October 25, 1960
There is a black cloud over the ashram. It's origin is rather unique and very interesting.
S has a nephew in Bombay, and one day towards the end of August or beginning September, he told me an extraordinary story about this nephew, who had disappeared (he showed me his photograph – he looks rather like a medium). He returned home two days later, I believe. He'd been found in a train in a hypnotic state; fortunately someone shook him and he suddenly woke up: “Why am I here? What am I doing here?” (He had no intention of travelling, you see; he had simply left his house to visit a neighbor in Bombay.) So he returned home without knowing what had happened to him. And he was quite bizarre, really rather off.
A few days later, this nephew had to go somewhere, I don't know where; he went down to the railway station – and didn't return. Impossible to find out what had happened to him, he was nowhere to be found. Several days had passed when the family decided to send me his photograph and to tell me the story, adding that it was surely a sequel to the previous occurrence (there must be some people doing hypnotism), and then they asked me where he was and what had become of him.
All this happened just on the day X1 was leaving. So I told S to take the photograph and letter to X and tell him the story. X consulted some book, did a very short japa for a few seconds and said, “Oh, he'll come back before September 26, BUT inform Mother so that She may see to it.” Therefore, I concentrated a little.
About two weeks later (in other words, ten days or so before September 26), some more news – the boy's older brother, who lives in Ahmedabad (not Bombay), came to visit his mother, father and grandmother (there's also a grandmother), and he asked about his brother. He had come with a friend. “Your brother has disappeared,” they explained, “we don't know what has happened to him.” So the two of them decided to search for him: “We'll find him.”
The day before their departure, the elder brother's friend said he was going to visit the grandmother (she lives some hundred yards away). He went out – and didn't return. Disappeared.
So of course they were terribly worried; they wondered what had happened. I had someone write to X, I concentrated, and four days later the boy (the brother's friend, that is) returned in a lamentable state: white, emaciated, barely able to speak. Then he recounted his story:
On his way to the grandmother's house, he passed by the station and went in to drink something. While drinking, two persons who were there started playing with some balls in front of him. He WATCHED. But suddenly, he felt very uneasy; he wanted to leave and ran towards an exit that opened onto the tracks – it was closed and he could not get out. And these two people were just behind him; suddenly he lost consciousness: “I don't know what happened to me after that.”
He woke up in a railway station somewhere between Bombay and Poona, and he began telling them that he was hungry (he was with those same two persons). They punched him in the stomach and put a handkerchief over his nose – he again passed out! At Poona, he woke up again (he'd lost his appetite by then!), and again they put the handkerchief over his nose. And it went on like that – they kept on punching him a lot. When he woke up in the country on the outskirts of Poona, four men were around him arguing in a language he didn't know (his language is Gujarati). They were probably speaking in some other language, I don't know which one – it seems they were very dark. He didn't understand, but from various signs they made he could see that they were arguing about whether to kill him or not. Finally, they told him (probably in a language he could understand), “Either you join our gang, or we'll kill you.” He grunted in reply so as not to commit himself. The others decided to wait for their chief (thus the chief wasn't there): “We'll decide after he comes.” Then just to make sure, they punched him a few more times in the belly and put the handkerchief over his nose – out!
Sometime later (he doesn't know how long, for until he returned he had no sense of time), he woke up in a rather dark, low-roofed house way out in the country; there were five persons now, not four. They were busy eating, so he was careful not to budge. Mainly they were drinking (they have prohibition there). Four of them were already dead drunk. So he got up to have a look. The fifth one, whom he hadn't seen before (he must have been the chief), was not yet totally drunk; when he saw the boy stirring, he let out a fearful growl – so the poor boy threw himself flat in the corner and lay still – he waited. After awhile, the fifth one (after downing another bottle) was also dead drunk. So now that he saw them all fast asleep, he got up very cautiously and... he said he ran for an hour and a half!... A boy pummelled as he had been, who hadn't eaten for four days! I think that's a miracle.
After running for an hour and a half, he found himself back at the Poona station, he doesn't know how. He caught a train back to Bombay, scarcely knowing how he managed it.
When I found this out, I immediately thought, “Good, this boy caught the formation2 X had made for the other one, and it got him back.” For it's really miraculous that he succeeded. But the other one, the nephew, was left stranded, nowhere to be found. It was obviously the same gang and the same method.
Then the police got involved. They wanted to take him back to the countryside around Poona (naturally I suppose they nursed him in the meantime), but not much came out of it. Seems that wherever he remembered seeing these people, when he said he had seen them, he fainted. Finally, I was told the story, and the poor family wrote to me saying, “Who are these demons with such a great power that even it withstands Mother's force as well as that of X – and who are holding our son?” So X was again informed and, knowing the story of the elder brother's friend, he said, “Ah, now I know where the other one is, and I hope it won't take too long.” But then September 26 passed – general despair in the family. They wrote to me, and I concentrated.
It was just before Durga Puja,3 or just after – I can't remember (dates and I don't go together) – no, it was after Durga Puja. So I went into a deep concentration and, as a matter of fact, I saw that a very powerful and dangerous rakshasic4 power was involved. And then, when I started walking for my japa upstairs in my room (I had given some thought to this story and tried asking for something to be done), I suddenly saw Durga before me raising high a lance of white light – the lance of light that destroys the hostile forces – and She struck into a black swarming mass of men.
But then there came a... frightful reaction. For one day I was nearly as sick – not quite – as two years ago5 (they must have used the same mantra). And, you see, I who never vomit... terrible vomiting – everything inside came out! Only now I'm a bit more experienced than two years ago (!), so I set it right... It happened here, downstairs, in the afternoon. I went right back up to my room (I didn't see anyone that afternoon), and I remained concentrated to try to find out what had happened. I saw that it came from there – a backlash of those people trying to defend themselves.
I did what had to be done.
But unfortunately, this spread all over the Ashram, all over everyone – a black cloud everywhere. It was rather... troublesome!
But some days later, a telephone call: the boy was found in Ahmedabad and brought back to Bombay.
The boy's story is... fantastic! It's fantastic. He was thin, gray, empty-headed. I no longer recall all the details, but ultimately it was the same story: abducted from a railway station in the same way; he saw some people, an hypnotic state, and then no more recollection of what had happened to him, nothing at all. I don't know if they used a handkerchief on him as well, but he was “hypnotized.” They punched him also when he asked to eat. And after that, no more appetite! As if they removed all interest in eating – even when there was food, he didn't touch it. And absolutely empty-headed.
However, he recalls them repeatedly telling him this: “You have no family; that name is not yours; you are called by such-and-such-a-name (they gave him another name); you are all alone and depend exclusively upon us.” But then, probably this boy had a slightly deeper consciousness, for although his brain did not seem to be working outwardly, something deep down was able to observe and remember.
Finally, they had him work as a waiter in a small café in Ahmedabad, near the station. One day it even happened that his brother and his brother's friend stopped by (he vaguely recalls having seen them) but he was incapable of speaking to them or of getting them to recognize him. Another time, he tried to leave and headed towards the station, but after awhile he could no longer walk, he was suddenly stopped by something (he doesn't know what), and he had to go back. That's how it was – quite a... unique state. But one day, a friend of the brother stopped at this café to drink something, and this same boy served him. He had changed a lot, but the other fellow recognized him all the same and asked, “What's your name?” He saw that the boy seemed dazed and couldn't answer. So he didn't say anything but ran immediately to where the elder brother lived; they came back, took the boy into a corner and doused his face with seltzer water. It seems that then he started becoming more alive. Then they led him away and informed the police.
I don't have any more details yet...
(Here we introduce, parenthetically, the details of the story as Mother told them two months later)
I found out the details: this boy had to go to the station, but on his way, he went into a shoe store just next to the station to buy a pair of sandals. As he entered, he saw a man there choosing a pair of women's shoes for himself! This seemed strange to him: “What's this man doing buying...” and he WATCHED – suddenly, nothing more. He lost consciousness and no longer knew what happened to him. And that's how the story began – a man selecting women's shoes in a shop! He must do strange things – probably intentionally – to attract people's attention. Naturally, out of curiosity, the boy started watching, and that was that – all of a sudden, blank, nothing more! And long afterwards he found himself far away in a train with this man. He's here now with his mother – they came to thank me. It's he who gave me the details. He's a nice boy, but all this has left him with some anxiety, especially when he speaks of it. He's trying to forget. He told me he'd like to join the army and asked my permission. The boy feels a need for force and he has the idea that to be part of such a force would be good for him. (Of course, he didn't tell me all this, he's not that conscious. But that's what he feels – the need to be supported by an organization of force.) So I encouraged him. I told him it was a good idea. His mother wasn't very happy! She feared he was leaping from the frying pan into the fire!
Another curious detail is that after having taken away all his appetite and having put him in the café as a waiter, they told him, “Now you must eat,” so he tried to eat, and for four days he vomited up everything he put in – it was completely black! After that, he was able to start eating a little. It's a fantastic story!
(The conversation resumes here)
But I was mainly interested by the fact that I felt the danger these people represented – not because they were brigands, but because they had some power – brigands with a power – and from what I saw, it was not merely an hypnotic power. There must have been a tantric force in it, otherwise they would not have been so powerful, and especially so powerful from a distance. I had said to myself, “They MUST be caught.” Which was why... (the Force kept on working, you see). And yesterday, the newspaper said that a gang of five men, eight women and half a dozen children had been arrested by the police in Allahabad for using what the newspaper called “mesmeric” means to rob people, attack them, etc. (They were operating in Poona, Bombay and Ahmedabad, but they were caught in Allahabad). Probably when they realized that the boy was gone, they got frightened and fled to the North. And they were arrested in Allahabad – I had made a very strong formation and had said, “They MUST be caught.”
As of now, I have no other news... They've been caught, so they can't do any wrong OUTWARDLY, but still their power is there. We're going to have to be... And everyone here says the same thing – like a black veil of unconsciousness that has fallen upon us. Even those who aren't accustomed to such things have felt it. I'm presently cleaning the whole place – it's not easy. Everything is upside down.
I had X informed. But I didn't tell him my difficulty (this mantra they threw on me to kill me), I didn't speak of that at all. For he had insisted, from the beginning he had said, “Mother must see to it, only Mother's grace can save them.” And I understood – their attack came just at the time of Durga Puja, so I understood that Durga had to intervene. So that's the story.
Things are not going so well for X either; everywhere it's grating. It was probably very important... I am hopeful that it can bring some change.
But normally, shouldn't the mantra bounce back on them?
Obviously! It's boomeranging back on them. They must be having a rather hard time of it now, but too bad for them! They won't escape it.
I don't know what's going to happen to them... They must have killed quite a few people. If that's discovered, they'll get what they deserve and we'll be rid of them – they'll become little disembodied demons! It's less dangerous.
Unless they reincarnate somewhere else. Some people are always ready to accept demons, that's the trouble!
(No sooner had Mother finished telling this story than, by a curious “coincidence,” someone brought her a portrait drawn by P.K., one of the Ashram artists. Several days earlier, at about two in the morning during an uncommonly violent lightning storm, P.K. had suddenly SEEN amidst the flashes of lightning in the sky a rather terrible, demoniacal head in front of his very eyes. Having nothing else available, he hastily drew his vision in chalk on a schoolchild's slate, which is the portrait Mother speaks of here:)
Well, well! So P.K. is clairvoyant! It's him, for sure – this is the being behind those people. That's why they had so much power. And he came here because of that – he was furious. Quite a demon!
I also saw him that night. “You fools with your small crackers,” he said, “I will show you what real crackers are!”6 – and those flashes of lightning, such an astonishing violence... Oh, he proclaimed all kinds of things, disasters, what not... But these are very complex matters and it's better not to go into detail.
(Some days later, Mother added the following:)
Merely by looking at that portrait, one child came down with fever!7
I myself didn't dare look at it for long!
Oh, it's terrifying! I don't know who had the stupid idea of showing this to the child, but after he saw it he had a fever for three days, with terrible chills. And I believe the artist too was sick after finishing his sketch.
What about you, is your health better? [the disciple had not been well]
When you have to slip in seven hours of japa a day, it makes your life a bit strange!
It's so contrary not only to the education but to the make up of people from the West! For an Indian... for a modern Indian it would be difficult, but for those who have kept something of the old tradition it would not be difficult. It's easy for children raised in a monastery or near the guru...
I looked and saw the realm which is under the influence of thought – the power of thought on the body is tremendous! You cannot imagine how tremendous it is. Even a subconscious or sometimes unconscious thought acts and provokes fantastic results!... I've studied this. I've been studying it IN DETAIL for the last two years – it's incredible! If I had the time one day to explain all this, it would be interesting.
Even tiny, the tiniest mental or vital reactions – so tiny that to our ordinary consciousness they don't appear to have the LEAST importance – act upon the body's cells and can create disorders... You see, when you observe carefully, you suddenly become aware of a very slight uneasiness, a mere nothing (when you're busy, you don't even notice it), and then if you follow this uneasiness to see what it is, you perceive that it comes from something quite imperceptible and “insignificant” to our active consciousness – but it's enough to create an uneasy feeling in the body.
Which is why – unless you are intentionally and constantly in what here is called the Brahmic consciousness – it is practically impossible to control. And this is what gives the impression of certain things happening in the body independently of... not only of our will but of our consciousness – BUT IT IS NOT TRUE.
Only, there is all that comes from outside – that's what is most dangerous. Constantly, constantly – when you eat, you catch it... oh, what a mass of vibrations! The vibrations of the thing you eat when it was living (they always remain), the vibrations of the person who cooked it, vibrations of... All the time, all the time, they never stop – you breathe, they enter. Of course, when you start talking to someone or mixing with people, then you become a bit more conscious of what is coming, but even just sitting still, uninvolved with others – it comes! There is an almost total interdependence – isolation is an illusion. By reinforcing your own atmosphere (Mother gestures, as if building a wall around her), you can hold these things off TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, but simply this effort to keep them at a distance creates (I'm thinking in English and speaking in French)... disturbances.8 Anyway, now all this has been SEEN.
But I know in an absolute way that once this whole mass of the physical mind is mastered and the Brahmic consciousness is brought into it in a continuous way, you CAN... you become the MASTER of your health.
This is why I tell people (not that I expect them to do it, at least not now, but it's good they know) that it's NOT a matter of fate, NOT something that completely escapes our control, NOT some sort of “Law of Nature” over which we have no power – it is not so. We are truly the masters of everything which has been brought together to create our transitory individuality; we have been given the power of control, if only we knew how to use it.
It's a discipline, a tremendous tapasya.9
But it's good to know in order to avoid this feeling of being crushed when things are still completely outside your control, this sense of fatality people have – they're born, they live, they die: Nature is crushing and we are the playthings of something much bigger, much stronger than us – that is the Falsehood.
In any case, for myself, in my yoga, only after I KNEW that I AM the Master of everything (provided I know how to BE this Master and LET myself be this Master – provided, that is, that the outer stupidity accepts to stay in its place), did I know that one could be the Master of Nature.
There's also this old idea rooted in religions of Chaldean or Christian origin of a God with whom you can have no true contact – an abysm between the two. That is terrible.
That absolutely has to stop.
For with that idea, the earth and men will NEVER be able to change. This is why I have often said that this idea is the work of the Asuras,10 and with it they have ruled the earth.
Whereas whatever the effort, whatever the difficulty, whatever time it takes, whatever number of lives, you must know that all this doesn't matter: you KNOW you ARE the Master, that the Master and you are the same. All that's necessary is... to know it INTEGRALLY, and nothing must belie it. That's the way out.
When I tell people that their health depends on their inner life (an intermediate inner life, not the deepest), it's because of this.
During the last two years, I've been accumulating experiences IN THEIR MINUTEST DETAILS, things that might seem most useless. You have to consent to that and not have a mania for greatness; you must know that where the key is found is in the tiniest effort to create a true attitude in a few cells.
The problem is that when you enter into the ordinary consciousness, these things become so subtle and require such a scrupulous observance that people are justified (they FEEL justified) in having the attitude, “Oh, it's Nature, it's Fate, it's the Divine Will!” But with that conviction, the “Yoga of Perfection” is impossible and appears as a mere utopian fantasy – but this is FALSE. The truth is something else entirely.
...When I say to someone, “I shall take care of you,” do you know what I do? I join his body to mine. And then all the work is done in me (as far as possible – essentially it's possible, but there is a relativity because of time; but as far as possible...). So I find it very interesting to make cross-references and find out the results of my intervention – not so I can boast (there's nothing much to boast about), but for the sake of the SCIENTIFIC study of the problem: to know how to proceed, how to discriminate, what is active and what isn't, what are the guide lines, etc.
And even if at the moment you don't feel very good, you are able to say, “It doesn't matter; what we have to do, we'll do” (this fear of not being able to do what has to be done is the most irksome), if at that moment you can sincerely say to yourself, “No, I trust in the Divine Grace... no, I will do what I have to do, and I'll be given the power to do it, or the power to do it will be created in me” – then that is the true attitude.
I feel that's what you give me.
1 The disciple's tantric guru.
2 In occult language, a “formation” is a concentration of power towards a specific end. In this case, the tantric guru's formation to save the nephew.
3 The yearly ritual worship in honor of Durga, the universal Mother.
4 The rakshas are demons of the lower vital plane.
5 The attack of black magic in December 1958.
6 Original English. This happened at the time of “Deepavali”, the Festival of Light, when people throughout India set off all kinds of fireworks.
7 Which is why we are not publishing it.
8 Original English.
9 Tapasya: asceticism, austerities, severe discipline.
10 Asuras: demons of the mental plane.