Q: Why do we celebrate Christmas here? What special meaning does this day have for us? And why is a distinction made here between Europeans and Indians on Christmas Day?
A: Long before the Christian religion made December 25th the day of Christ’s birth, this day was the festival of the return of the sun, the Day of Light. It is this very ancient symbol of the rebirth of the Light that we wish to celebrate here. As far as I know, everyone in the Ashram is allowed to come to the Christmas tree and the distribution.
The custom of sending special baskets to the Europeans and Americans comes from the fact that in those countries they usually give presents to each other on Christmas Day, instead of on January first. That is all.
Q: Mother will you explain the New Year Message? What is the meaning of: “A power greater than that of Evil can alone win the Victory. It is not a crucified but a glorified body that will save the world?”
A: Because until now evil has been opposed by weakness, by a spiritual force without any power for transformation in the material world, this tremendous effort of goodwill has ended only in deplorable failure and left the world in the same state of misery and corruption and falsehood. It is on the same plane as the one where the adverse forces are ruling that one must have a greater power than theirs, a power which can conquer them totally in that very domain. To put it otherwise, a spiritual force which would be capable of transforming both the consciousness and the material world. This force is the supramental force. What is necessary is to be receptive to its action on the physical plane, and not to run away into a distant Nirvana leaving the enemy with full power over what one abandons.
It is neither sacrifice nor renunciation nor weakness which can bring the victory. It is only Delight, a delight which is strength, endurance, supreme courage. The delight brought by the supramental force. It is much more difficult than giving everything up and running away, it demands an infinitely greater heroism – but that is the only way to conquer.
Q: Sweet Mother, when we are faced with a difficulty, does this mean that the Divine is trying to make us conscious of the defects of our nature?
A: If you face it, yes. That is, as soon as you are in front of a difficulty, if instead of giving way like a coward you begin trying to conquer it, then you may be sure that the Divine is behind you. But if you are cowardly, the Divine will not be there. That is, your cowardice cuts you off from the Divine. But if you resist and want to conquer, you may be sure that the Divine will be there to help you. There’s not the shadow of a doubt about it.