- Aug 15, 2019 Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday Darshan Message.
- The Origin of all that exists — Mother
- Thought and Speech — Mother
- How to become more receptive to the Divine – Mother
- How should I prepare myself for the April 24th Darshan? – The Mother
- Indispensable Needs — Mother
- Know your self – The Mother answers
- Know yourself, conquer yourself, master yourself – Mother
- New Year’s Message 2019
- Sri Aurobindo’s Mahasamadhi – December 5
- The Sublime Charity
- Power of mental formations of thought– The Mother
- The significance of one’s birthday – Mother
- Aug 15, 2018 Sri Aurobindo’s B’day Darshan Message.
- On Thought
- The Divine relay race – A Disciple.
- In the folds of the Silence – Sri Aurobindo
- The first lesson on the Path – The Mother
- The most real and most effective help.
- On Pranayama – Mother shares her experience with a disciple.
- The one indispensable attitude and the first step – Mother
- Mother’s first meeting with Sri Aurobindo, March 29, 1914.
- Microbes, Illnesses and cure. The Mother reveals.
- The Word or Mantra – Mother explains
- Discriminate between Truth and falsehood in action – Mother
- Dangerous conditions of the world and the significance of Auroville – Mother
- The Refuge and the Quest—Sri Krishnaprem
- Christmas — Mother
- The True Meditation — Mother
- The way to Harmony – The Mother
What is the origin of all that exists ? Where was it all conceived? We share an interesting insight from the Mother on this, in response to a question.
Q : What is “the heavenly archetype of the lotus”?
Mother: It means the primal idea of the lotus.
Each thing that is expressed physically was conceived somewhere before being realised materially.
There is an entire world which is the world of the fashioners, where all conceptions are made. And this world is very high, much higher than all the worlds of the mind; and from there these formations, these creations, these types which have been conceived by the fashioners come down and are expressed in physical realisations. And there is always a great distance between the perfection of the idea and what is materialised. Very often the materialised things are like caricatures in comparison with the primal idea. This is what he calls the archetype. This takes place in worlds… not always the same ones, it depends on the things; but for many things in the physical, the primal ideas, these archetypes, were in what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind.
But there is a still higher domain than this where the origins are still purer, and if one reaches this, attains this, one finds the absolutely pure types of what is manifested upon earth. And then it is very interesting to compare, to see to what an extent earthly creation is a frightful distortion. And moreover, it is only when one can reach these regions and see the reality of things in their essence that one can work with knowledge to transform them here; otherwise on what can we take our stand to conceive a better world, more perfect, more beautiful than the existing one? It can’t be on our imagination which is itself something very poor and very material. But if one can enter that consciousness, rise right up to these higher worlds of creation, then with this in one’s consciousness one can work at making material things take their real form.
When a thought is expressed in speech, the vibration of the sound has a considerable power to bring the most material substance into contact with the thought, thus giving it a concrete and effective reality.
Sound always has a power; it has much more power than men think. It may be a good power and it may be a bad power. It creates vibrations which have an undeniable effect. It is not so much the idea as the sound; the idea too has its own power, but in its own domain – whereas the sound has a power in the material world.
I think I have explained this to you once; I told you, for example, that words spoken casually, usually without any reflection and without attaching any importance to them, can be used to do something very good. I think I spoke to you about “Bonjour”, “Good Day”, didn’t I? When people meet and say “Bonjour”, they do so mechanically and without thinking. But if you put a will into it, an aspiration to indeed wish someone a good day, well, there is a way of saying “Good Day” which is very effective, much more effective than if simply meeting someone you thought: “Ah! I hope he has a good day”, without saying anything. If with this hope in your thought you say to him in a certain way, “Good Day”, you make it more concrete and more effective.
My love is always with you; if then you do not feel it, it is because you are not capable of receiving it. It is your receptivity that is lacking and should be increased; for this you must open yourself, and one opens oneself only if one gives oneself. Surely you are trying more or less consciously to draw the forces and the divine love towards you. The method is bad. Give yourself without calculating and without expecting anything in return, and then you will become capable of receiving.
Q: How can we know that we are receptive?
Mother: When we feel the urge to give and the joy of giving to the Divine’s work, then we can be sure that we have become receptive.
12 July 1965
To be receptive
To be receptive is to feel the urge to give and the joy of giving to the Divine’s Work all one has, all one is, all one does.
Q: Sweet Mother,
How should I prepare myself for the April 24th Darshan?
A: Look attentively into yourself to find out what for you is the most important thing, the thing you feel that you couldn’t do without.
It is an interesting discovery.
– The Mother
(CWM-16, p. 334)
There is a sovereign royalty in taking no thought for oneself. To have needs is to assert a weakness; to claim something proves that we lack what we claim. To desire is to be impotent; it is to recognize our limitations and confess our incapacity to overcome them.
If only from the point of view of a legitimate pride, man should be noble enough to renounce desire. How humiliating to ask something for oneself from life or from the Supreme Consciousness which animates it! How humiliating for us, how ignorant an offence against Her! For all is within our reach, only the egoistic limits of our being prevents us from enjoying the whole universe as completely as we possess our own body and its immediate surroundings.
I am not even discussing the idea of need, for it is quite arbitrary. I knew a Dutch painter who had come here, and done Sri Aurobindo’s portrait (it seems this portrait is still existent). This Dutch painter was practicing yoga. And so, one day, he told me this: “Oh! As for me, I think I can do without anything. Truly I believe one can reduce one’s needs to a minimum. But all the same, I must have a tooth-brush.” I had not yet lived in India at that time, otherwise I would have told him: “There are millions of people who have never had a tooth-brush and whose teeth are quite clean. This is not the only way of keeping one’s teeth clean.” But at that time he was quite convinced that one could do without everything except keeping one’s mouth clean. And for him, to keep one’s mouth clean meant having a toothbrush. That gives a very exact picture of what goes on in people’s minds. They cling to something and think they need it. And surely it is a complete ignorance, for perhaps there is real necessity like that of having a clean mouth (that seems to be in any case quite necessary), but that association of the toothbrush with the necessity of having a clean mouth is quite arbitrary. For it is not so very long ago that toothbrushes were invented.
There was someone else also who told me: “Oh! I can absolutely do without anything at all” – we were speaking of a walking-tour with a minimum of baggage on the back (when you are compelled to carry it for miles on end, four or five kilometers a day, you try to reduce the weight of your bag as much as possible); so we discussed about what was indispensable and had to be put in the bag. He said his toothbrush. Another told me he needed a piece of soap (usually this spins round very simple tiny things of this kind). But here how many people there are who have never used soap, and that doesn’t prevent them from being clean! There are other ways of being clean. That’s how it is, one is fixed in all kinds of small ideas and believes there are indispensable needs. And then, if you travel a little around the world, you notice that what is a need for you is for others something they don’t even know of, something they have never seen in their life, which doesn’t exist and hasn’t the slightest importance of any kind. Hence is it not indispensable. It is just the result of an education and life in a particular environment. And these things are quite relative, and not only relative but transitory.
Q: Isn’t it more important to know oneself than to try to know others?
A: Very important, of capital importance! Besides, that’s the field of work given to each one. It is this one must understand, that each one – this totality of substance constituting your inner and outer body, the totality of substance with which your being is built from the outermost to the inmost – is a field of work; it is as though one had gathered together carefully, accumulated a certain number of vibrations and put them at your disposal for you to work upon them fully. It is like a field of action constantly at your disposal: night and day, awake or asleep, all the time – nobody can take it away from you, it is wonderful! You may refuse to use it (as most people do), but it is a mass to be transformed that is there in your hands, fully at your disposal, given to you so that you may learn to work upon it. So, the most important thing is to begin by doing that. You can do nothing for others unless you are able to do it for yourself. You can never give a good advice to anyone unless you are able to give it to yourself first, and to follow it. And if you see a difficulty somewhere, the best way of changing this difficulty is to change it in yourself first. If you see a defect in anyone, you may be sure it is in you, and you begin to change it in yourself. And when you will have changed it in yourself, you will be strong enough to change it in others. And this is a wonderful thing, people don’t realise what an infinite grace it is that this universe is arranged in such a way that there is a collection of substance, from the most material to the highest spiritual, all that gathered together into what is called a small individual, but at the disposal of a central Will. And that is yours, your field of work, nobody can take it away from you, it is your own property. And to the extent you can work upon it, you will be able to have an action upon the world. But only to that extent. One must do more for oneself, besides, than one does for others.
(With thanks for Mudra-di for sharing this with us).
Yes, there is a sublime charity, one which rises from a happy heart, from a serene soul. One who has won inner peace is a herald of deliverance wherever he goes, a bearer of hope and joy. Is not this what poor and suffering humanity needs above all things?
Yes, there are certain men whose thoughts are all love, who radiate love, and the mere presence of these individuals is a charity more active, more real than any other. Though they utter no word and make no gesture, yet the sick are relieved, the tormented are soothed, the ignorant are enlightened, the wicked are appeased, those who suffer are consoled. These individuals who, out of love, give themselves to all, who become the servants of all, are the living symbols of the supreme Charity.
When you have a thought, a well-made mental formation which goes out of you, it becomes an independent entity and continues on its way and it does that for which it was made. It continues to act independently of you. That is why you must be on your guard. If you have made such a formation and it has gone out, it has gone out to do its work; and after a time you find out that it was perhaps not a very happy thing to have a thought like that, that this formation was not very beneficial; now that it has gone out, it is very difficult for you to get hold of it again. You must have considerable occult knowledge. It has gone out and is moving on its way. Supposing in a moment of great anger (I do not say that you do so, but still when you were in quite a rage against someone, you said: “Ah! couldn’t some misfortune befall him?” Your formation has gone on its way. It has gone out and you have no longer any control over it; and it goes and organises some misfortune or other: it is going to do its work. And after sometime the misfortune arrives. Happily, you do not usually have sufficient knowledge to tell yourself: “Oh! It is I who am responsible”, but that is the truth.
Note that this power of formation has a great advantage, if one knows how to use it. You can make good formations and if you make them properly, they will act in the same way as the others. You can do a lot of good to people just by sitting quietly in your room, perhaps even more good than by undergoing a lot of trouble externally. If you know how to think correctly, with force and intelligence and kindness, if you love someone and wish him well very sincerely, deeply, with all your heart, that does him much good, much more certainly than you think. I have said this often; for example, to those who are here, who learn that someone in their family is very ill and feel that childish impulse of wanting to rush immediately to the spot to attend to the sick person. I tell you, unless it is an exceptional case and there is nobody to attend on the sick person (and at times even in such a case), if you know how to keep the right attitude and concentrate with affection and good will upon the sick person, if you know how to pray for him and make helpful formations, you will do him much more good than if you go to nurse him, feed him, help him wash himself, indeed all that everybody can do. Anybody can nurse a person. But not everybody can make good formations and send out forces that act for healing.
The importance of the birthday according to the Mother.
Yes, it is truly a special day in one’s life. It is one of the days in the year when the Supreme descends into us — or when we are face to face with the Eternal — one of those days when our soul comes in contact with the Eternal and, if we remain a little conscious, we can feel His Presence within us. If we make a little effort on this day, we accomplish the work of many lives, as in a lightning flash. That is why I give so much importance to the birthday — because what one gains in one day is truly something incomparable. And it is for this that I too work to open the consciousness a little upward so that one may come face to face with the Eternal. My child, it is a very, very special day, for it is the day of decision, the day when one can truly make a tremendous progress, when one can unite with the Supreme Consciousness. For on this day, the Lord lifts us up to the highest possible region so that our soul which is a portion of this Eternal Flame, can unite with it and absorb from the Source.
This day is truly an opportunity in life. One is so open and receptive that one can assimilate all that is given. I can do many things, — that is why it is important.
It is one of the days when the Lord Himself opens wide the doors for us. It is as though He were inviting us to further revive the flame of aspiration. It is one of the days which He gives us. We too, by our personal effort, could attain to this, but it would be long, hard and not so easy. And this — this is a chance in life — the day of Grace.
(Mother’s comment at a later date)
*It is an occult phenomenon that occurs invariably, without our knowledge, on this particular day of the year. The soul leaves behind the body and journeys up and up till it merges into the Source in order to replenish itself and absorb from the Supreme, Its Power, Light and Ananda and comes down charged for a whole year. Then again and again… it continues like this, year after year. *
(On another occasion, Mother explained)
This experience generally takes place on birthdays, but one is not at all conscious of it. It happens invariably; the soul rises, leaving behind all the terrestrial baggage and merges in the Supreme to be replenished by the Supreme power and comes back again here below, to continue living in His Beatitude. But since one is not conscious, one perceives nothing.
We see that thought, which is a dynamism in the highest sense of the word, acts in its own realm as a formative power in order to build a body for itself. It acts like a magnet on iron filings. It attracts all the elements which are akin to its own character, aim and tendencies, and it vivifies these elements – which are the constituent cells of its own body, that I shall call fluidic to avoid going into too many explanations – it animates them, moulds them, gives them the form which is best suited to its own nature.
We shall find a striking analogy between the work of thought and the work of the inventor, the builder of any kind. Let us take as an example a steam engine. The engineer draws up a plan in its smallest details, calculates and arranges everything, then he selects the appropriate materials for the materialisation of his conception, watches over the construction, etc.
And when the engine works, becoming by its movement a real living being, it will be the most complete possible manifestation of the thought which has built it, it will give the full measure of the power of this thought. The formative thought, a living entity, animates the body which has been built for it by the hands of men. In the mental domain also, there are conscious builders.
There are people who are specially gifted or who have developed certain inner senses in themselves, who can come into direct contact with this domain, mainly through vision and touch. When they are thus able to watch over the working of the phenomenon, they can, like chemists in their laboratories, manipulate substances, select them, mould them by their will-power and clothe their thoughts in forms that can manifest them fully.
But this is the ultimate stage of one of the many paths of individual progress. Long before achieving this full consciousness, it is possible to make powerful formations. Any person whose thought has any strength and persistence is constantly making formations without being aware of it. If you keep in mind that these formations are living entities always acting in the direction imparted to them by the thoughts which have given them birth, you will easily perceive the considerable consequences of these mental acts. Just as a good, kind, just and lofty thought can be eminently beneficial, so also a malevolent, base, wicked and selfish thought can be baneful. On this matter, I shall quote to you a passage from the Dhammapada which will give you an idea of the enormous importance attributed to thought by the wisdom of the past.
“Whatever an enemy may do to an enemy, whatever a hater may do to a hater, the harm caused by a misdirected thought is even greater still.
“Neither father nor mother nor any other kinsman can do so much good as a well-directed thought.”
If you reflect upon the incalculable number of thoughts which are emitted each day, you will see rising before your imagination a complex, mobile, quivering and terrible scene in which all these formations intercross and collide, battle, succumb and triumph in a vibratory movement which is so rapid that we can hardly picture it to ourselves.
Now you realise what the mental atmosphere of a city can be, where millions of individuals are thinking – and what thoughts! You can picture this teeming, mobile mass, this inextricable tangle. Well, in spite of all the contradictory tendencies, wills and opinions, a kind of unification or identity gets established among all these vibrations, for all of them – with a few minor exceptions – all express craving, craving in all its forms, all its aspects, on all planes.
This is to point out to you how we are contaminated each day, at each minute.
Can any one of us say that she has never felt craving and that she will never feel it again? Besides, how could we not feel craving when the atmosphere we breathe is saturated with it? How could we not feel this host of desires rising in ourselves when all the vibrations we receive are made of desires?…
For our part, we shall be content to asepticise ourselves so as to be safe from all infection. We shall aspire therefore for the individual victory, and if we win it we shall find out that we have done more for the collectivity in this way than we suspected at first.
To win this victory we must build up in ourselves a mentality whose quality is the opposite of that of the surrounding medium. We must, little by little, day by day, fill our minds with the loftiest, purest, most disinterested thoughts we can conceive of, and through our deliberate care they must become sufficiently living that they awaken in us each time a temptation to think wrongly comes to us from outside and rise in their dazzling splendour to face the shadow which constantly lurks in wait ready to assail us.
Let us light within ourselves the fire of the ancient vestals, the fire symbolising divine intelligence, which it is our duty to manifest.
This work cannot be achieved in a day or a month or even a year. We must will, and will with perseverance. But if you could know the benefits one reaps from this, if you could feel that peace, that perfect serenity which gradually replaces in us the agitation, the anxiety and fear which spring from desire, you would unhesitatingly set to work.
Moreover, the building up of a synthesis of pure and powerful thoughts does not lead solely to our own happiness. The clearer and higher the flame, the more light it sheds around it. The star we allow to shine through us will foster the birth of similar stars by its example; fortunately, not only darkness and ignorance, but also knowledge and light can be contagious.
In addition, the care we take to remain conscious of our highest thoughts will compel us to control our thoughts constantly, and this control is gradually obtained by the methods I outlined to you last month – analysis, reflection, meditation, etc. Those who have achieved the control of their mental being can emanate at will a certain portion of their intellectual power, send it wherever they think proper, while remaining perfectly conscious of it.
These emanations, which are true messengers, will take your place wherever, physically, it is for any reason impossible for you to go yourself. The advantages of this power will be easily apparent to you.
A thought which is skilfully directed and sustained can, by affinity, awaken to consciousness a glimmer of wisdom in many minds as yet wrapt in darkness, and thus set them on their way towards progressive evolution; it can serve as an intermediary for one who is sick by drawing towards him the vital forces needed to cure him; it can watch over a dear friend and protect him from many dangers, either by warning him through mental communication and through his intuition or by acting directly on the cause of peril.
Unfortunately, the inverse is also true, and bad thoughts as well are not wanting in power of action. We cannot imagine all the harm we do by receiving and emanating bad thoughts, thoughts of hate, vengeance, jealousy, envy, malevolent thoughts, harsh judgments, sectarian valuations…
We all know how injurious it is to listen to and repeat slanderous gossip, but it is not enough to abstain from the words, we must also abstain from the thoughts.
So let us watch over our thoughts, let us strive to create for ourselves an atmosphere of beautiful and noble thoughts and we shall have done much to hasten the advent of terrestrial harmony.
19 February 1912