- 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
- I have borne every attack which human beings have borne – Sri Aurobindo
- Mother on Sri Aurobindo’s Passing away.
- Role of soul or psychic being – Mother
Do you object to my doing some pranayama [[Pranayama: breathing exercises. ]] before I begin working?
I think it would do you good, mon petit.
I began three days ago, but I keep getting entangled with the traditional formation around it: “Oh, it’s dangerous, it’s dangerous, be careful.” So this morning I thought I’d better speak to you about it.
Are you doing it without instructions?
There’s a traditional way of doing it, I know the formula.
How does it go?
The time varies. You inhale through the left nostril for let’s say 4 seconds, then you hold your breath for 16 seconds, raising the diaphragm and closing all the openings; after 16 seconds you exhale for 8 seconds through the other nostril.
Are these the “official” figures?
Yes; I mean that’s the proportion: inhale 4, hold 16, exhale 8.
It has to be double the exhalation. If you do 8, then it’s 8-32-16.
I did it myself for years, using the same system: inhale, hold, exhale, remain empty. But holding the lungs empty is said to be dangerous, so I don’t advise it. I did it for years. Without knowing it, Sri Aurobindo and I did it nearly the same way, along with all sorts of other things that aren’t supposed to be done! This is to tell you that the danger is mainly in what you think. In the course of certain movements, both of us made the air go out through the crown of the head – apparently that’s only to be done when you want to die! (Mother laughs) It didn’t kill us.
No, the “danger” is MAINLY a thought formation.
You can achieve excellent control of the heart. But I never practiced it violently, never strained myself. I think holding for 16 is too long. I used to do it simply like this: breathe in very slowly to the count of 4, then hold for 4 like this (I still have the knack of it!), lifting the diaphragm and lowering the head [[Uddiyana-bandha and jalandhara-bandha. ]] (Mother bends her neck), closing everything and exerting pressure (this is an almost instantaneous cure for hiccups – it’s handy!). Then while I held the air, I would make it circulate with the force (because it contained force, you see) and with the peace as well; and I would concentrate it wherever there was a physical disorder (a pain or something wrong somewhere). It’s very effective. The way I did it was: inhale, hold, exhale and empty – you are completely empty. It’s very useful; very handy for underwater swimmers, for instance!
I had trouble breathing in slowly enough – that’s a bit hard. I began with 4 and eventually managed to do 12. I did 12-12-12-12. It took me months to reach that, it can’t be done quickly. To breathe in very slowly and hold all that air isn’t easy.
Now I have lost the knack, I can barely do more than 6 (Mother demonstrates). I count: 1-2-3-4 … no quicker.
And exhale slowly – that’s very difficult – being careful to empty the top part of the lungs, because air often stagnates there. This seems to be one of the most frequent causes of coughs and colds. When I had bronchitis I learned to empty the air out completely. And I knew singing, so I was familiar with the method: you learn to hold the air and then release it slowly, slowly, so as to keep singing nonstop.
I advise you to practice it.
How much time do you spend on it?
Eight to ten minutes, three times a day before my japa.
Oh, that’s very good.
I don’t know why, but I got entangled with that traditional formation which says it’s dangerous.
Someone put it on you, mon petit!
It troubled me.
No, it’s not at all dangerous, at least if you don’t overdo it. If you do it simply…. I think some people practice pranayama with the idea of gaining “powers.” That idea of gaining powers fouls it up more than anything. But if you do it simply as a help to your progress, there’s no danger.
At any rate, Sri Aurobindo and I both did a lot of things considered dangerous, and absolutely nothing happened to us. Not that it’s necessary to do dangerous things, but nothing happened to us, so it all depends on how you do them.
I think you can safely forget about this formation.
But instead of doing equal amounts of time, it might be better to do less for inhaling and more for holding the breath. The holding part is extremely interesting! When the air is inside, let’s say you have a headache or a sore throat or a pain in your arm, anything – then you take the air … (Mother demonstrates) and direct it to the unwell part … very, very helpful and pleasant and interesting. You see the force go to the spot, settle in and stay there, all sorts of things.
Q: Sweet Mother,
Each time I have encountered an obstacle in my life, each time I have been deprived of some happiness some apparent happiness a consolation has come immediately to dispel my psychological pain. For something tells me: “All that happens is done for your own good and is done by the Divine Grace.”
Is it good, is it healthy to think like this?
A: Not only is it right, good and healthy to think like this, but it is an absolutely indispensable attitude if one wants to advance on the spiritual path. As a matter of fact, it is the first step without which one cannot advance at all. That is why I always say: “Whatever you do, do the best you can, and leave the result to the Lord; then your heart will be at peace.
In the year 1910 my husband came alone to Pondicherry where, under very interesting and peculiar circumstances, he made the acquaintance of Sri Aurobindo. Since then we both strongly wished to return to India—the country which I had always cherished as my true mother-country. And in 1914 this joy was granted to us. As soon as I saw Sri Aurobindo I recognised in him the well known being whom I used to call Krishna…. And this is enough to explain why I am fully convinced that my place and my work are near him, in India.
The Mother (CWM 13:39)
The Mother wrote in Prayers and Meditation dated 30 March 1914 after meeting Sri Aurobindo for the first time on 29 March 1914, as follows:
It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.
The Mother (CWM 1:113)
…when I first met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. I was in deep concentration, seeing things in the Supermind, things that were to be but which were somehow not manifesting. I told Sri Aurobindo what I had seen and asked him if they would manifest. He simply said, “Yes.” And immediately I saw that the Supramental had touched the earth and was beginning to be realised! This was the first time I had witnessed the power to make real what is true: it is the very same power that will bring about the realisation in you of the truth when you come in all sincerity, saying, “This falsehood I want to get rid of”, and the answer which you get is “Yes.”
The Mother (CWM 3:141-142
Listen, as I had when I came from Japan: I was on the boat, at sea, not expecting anything (I was of course busy with the inner life, but I was living physically on the boat), when all of a sudden, abruptly, about two nautical miles from Pondicherry, the quality, I may even say the physical quality of the atmosphere, of the air, changed so much that I knew we were entering the aura of Sri Aurobindo. It was a physical experience and I guarantee that whoever has a sufficiently awakened consciousness can feel the same thing.
The Mother (CWM 4:223)
A day will come, I hope, when we shall be able to tell freely and truly all that Sri Aurobindo’s Presence has meant for the town of Pondicherry….
The Mother (CWM 13:3
I want to mark this day by the expression of a long cherished wish; that of becoming an Indian citizen. From the first time I came to India—in 1914—I felt that India is my true country, the country of my soul and spirit.
The Mother (CWM 13:43)
Here, in Pondicherry, you cannot breathe without breathing my consciousness. It saturates the atmosphere almost materially, in the subtle physical, and extends to the Lake, ten kilometres from here. Farther, my consciousness can be felt in the material vital, then on the mental plane and the other higher planes, everywhere. When I came here for the first time, I felt the atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo, felt it materially at a distance of ten miles, ten nautical miles, not kilometres. It was very sudden, very concrete, an atmosphere pure, luminous, light, light that lifts you up.
The Mother (CWM 13:73)
MESSAGES FOR THE MOTHER’S FIRST ARRIVAL IN PONDICHERRY 29 MARCH 1914.
I need not appear to be good if my sincerity is perfect. It is better to be than to seem.
The Mother (CWM 15:189)
Never forget that you are not alone. The Divine is with you helping and guiding you. He is the companion who never fails, the friend whose love comforts and strengthens. Have faith and He will do everything for you.
The Mother (CWM 15:189)
Microorganisms or microbes are often the cause of illness and disease. Microbes include what we know as Bacteria, Fungi, Virus and other life forms. Science has revealed to us that what we call “matter” is nothing but a movement of energy. It follows that the Microbes must be a vibration of an energy. It is interesting to note that the discoveries of science and modern medicine comport with the inner experiences of the spiritual and the occult. Mother reveals the truth about microbes based on Her experience. These revelations are of immense practical value for cure. She notes that the microbes that cause disease are the result of a materialization of a vibration of bad will, something that is inherently hostile. There is the further medical discovery of the existence of microbes that cure. What is remarkable is Her revelation that a positive state of mind, a spontaneous good will, a sunny disposition and humor, and a will to get well make for a very conducive condition for these good microbes to develop and effect the cure. Further, they are more contagious than the microbes of the disease so that one cure can lead to others getting cured as a result! These good microbes at their origin are the vibration of a higher will.
We share below with our readers excerpts culled from “Questions and Answers”.
The origin of Microbes.
There are in the physical atmosphere, the earth-atmosphere, numerous small entities which you do not see, for your sight is too limited, but which move about in your atmosphere. Some of them are quite nice, others very wicked. Generally these little entities are produced by the disintegration of vital beings – they pullulate – and these form quite an unpleasant mass. There are some which do very fine things. I believe I narrated to you the story of the little beings who tugged at my sari to tell me that the milk was about to boil and that I had to go and see that it did not boil over. But all of them are not so good. Some of them like to play ugly little tricks, wicked little pranks. And so most often it is they who are behind an accident. They like little accidents, they like the whole whirl of forces that gather round an accident: a mass of people, you know, it is very amusing! And then that gives them their food, because, in reality, they feed upon human vitality thrown out of the body by emotions and excitements. So they say: just a small accident, it is quite nice, many accidents!..
And then if there is a group of such small entities, they may clash with one another, because among themselves they do not have a very peaceful life: clashing with one another, fighting, destroying, demolishing each other. And that is the origin of microbes. They are forces of disintegration. But they continue to be alive even in their divided forms and this is the origin of germs and microbes. Therefore most microbes have behind them a bad will and that is what makes them so dangerous…The microbe is a very material expression of something living in a subtle physical world and that is why these very microbes that are always around you, within you, for years together do not make you ill and then suddenly they make you fall ill.
I will tell you a story. I do not know whether I have already told it to you, but I am going to tell you now for it will give you an illustration.
I was in Japan. It was at the beginning of January 1919. Anyway, it was the time when a terrible flu raged there in the whole of Japan, which killed hundreds of thousands of people. It was one of those epidemics the like of which is rarely seen. In Tokyo, every day there were hundreds and hundreds of new cases. The disease appeared to take this turn: it lasted three days and on the third day the patient died. And people died in such large numbers that they could not even be cremated, you understand, it was impossible, there were too many of them. Or otherwise, if one did not die on the third day, at the end of seven days one was altogether cured; a little exhausted but all the same completely cured. There was a panic in the town, for epidemics are very rare in Japan. They are a very clean people, very careful and with a fine morale. Illnesses are very rare. But still this came, it came as a catastrophe. There was a terrible fear. For example, people were seen walking about in the streets with a mask on the nose, a mask to purify the air they were breathing, so that it might not be full of the microbes of the illness. It was a common fear Now, it so happened I was living with someone who never ceased troubling me: “But what is this disease? What is there behind this disease?” What I was doing, you know, was simply to cover myself with my force, my protection so as not to catch it and I did not think of it any more and continued doing my work. Nothing happened and I was not thinking of it. But constantly I heard: “What is this? Oh, I would like to know what is there behind this illness. But could you not tell me what this illness is, why it is there?” etc. One day I was called to the other end of the town by a young woman whom I knew and who wished to introduce me to some friends and show me certain things. I do not remember now what exactly was the matter, but anyway I had to cross the whole town in a tram-car. And I was in the tram and seeing these people with masks on their noses, and then there was in the atmosphere this constant fear, and so there came a suggestion to me; I began to ask myself: “Truly, what is this illness? What is there behind this illness? What are the forces that are in this illness?” I came to the house, I passed an hour there and I returned. And I returned with a terrible fever. I had caught it. It came to you thus, without preparation, instantaneously. Illnesses, generally illnesses from germs and microbes take a few days in the system: they come, there is a little battle inside; you win or you lose, if you lose you catch the illness, it is not complicated. But there, you just receive a letter, open the envelope, hop! puff! The next minute you have the fever. Well, that evening I had a terrible fever. The doctor was called (it was not I who called him), the doctor was called and he told me: “I must absolutely give you this medicine.” It was one of the best medicines for the fever, he had just a little (all their stocks were exhausted, everyone was taking it); he said: “I have still a few packets, I shall give you some” – “I beg of you, do not give it to me, I won’t take it. Keep it for someone who has faith in it and will take it.” He was quite disgusted: “It was no use my coming here.” So I said: “Perhaps it was no use!” And I remained in my bed, with my fever, a violent fever. All the while I was asking myself: “What is this illness? Why is it there? What is there behind it… “ At the end of the second day, as I was lying all alone, I saw clearly a being, with a part of the head cut off, in a military uniform (or the remains of a military uniform) approaching me and suddenly flinging himself upon my chest, with that half a head to suck my force. I took a good look, then realised that I was about to die. He was drawing all my life out (for I must tell you that people were dying of pneumonia in three days). I was completely nailed to the bed, without movement, in a deep trance. I could no longer stir and he was pulling. I thought: now it is the end. Then I called on my occult power, I gave a big fight and I succeeded in turning him back so that he could not stay there any longer. And I woke up.
But I had seen. And I had learnt, I had understood that the illness originated from beings who had been thrown out of their bodies. I had seen this during the First Great War, towards its end, when people used to live in trenches and were killed by bombardment. They were in perfect health, altogether healthy and in a second they were thrown out of their bodies, not conscious that they were dead. They did not know they hadn’t a body any more and they tried to find in others the life they could not find in themselves. That is, they were turned into so many countless vampires. And they vampirised upon men. And then over and above that, there was a decomposition of the vital forces of people who fell ill and died. One lived in a kind of sticky and thick cloud made up of all that. And so those who took in this cloud fell ill and usually got cured, but those who were attacked by a being of that kind invariably died, they could not resist. I know how much knowledge and force were necessary for me to resist. It was irresistible. That is, if they were attacked by a being who was a centre of this whirl of bad forces, they died. And there must have been many of these, a very great number. I saw all that and I understood.
When someone came to see me, I asked to be left alone, I lay quietly in my bed and I passed two or three days absolutely quiet, in concentration, with my consciousness. Subsequently, a friend of ours (a Japanese, a very good friend) came and told me: “Ah! you were ill? So what I thought was true Just imagine for the last two or three days, there hasn’t been a single new case of illness in the town and most of the people who were ill have been cured and the number of deaths has become almost negligible, and now it is all over. The illness is wholly under control.” Then I narrated what had happened to me and he went and narrated it to everybody. They even published articles about it in the papers.
Well, consciousness, to be sure, is more effective than doctors’ pills!.. That is my story.
Now, quite recently, they have found something else and I consider it wonderful. They have discovered that for every disease there is a microbe that cures it (call it a microbe if you like, anyway, some sort of germ). But what is so extraordinary is that this “microbe” is extremely contagious, even more contagious than the microbe of the disease. And it generally develops under two conditions: in those who have a sort of natural good humour and energy and in those who have a strong will to get well ! Suddenly they catch the “microbe” and are cured. And what is wonderful is that if there is one who is cured in an epidemic, three more recover immediately. And this “microbe” is found in all who are cured.
But I am going to tell you something: what people take to be a microbe is simply the materialisation of a vibration or a will from another world. When I learned of these medical discoveries, I said to myself, “Truly, science is making progress.” One might almost say with greater reason, “Matter is progressing,” it is becoming more and more receptive to a higher will. And what is translated in their science as “microbes” will be perceived, if one goes to the root of things, as simply a vibratory mode; and this vibratory mode is the material translation of a higher will. If you can bring this force or this will, this power, this vibration (call it what you will) into certain given circumstances, not only will it act in you, but also through contagion around you.
To be continued.
What does the Word mean?
That’s something else. The Word – it is not pronounced speech and words. There are old traditions, which speak of “Let there be light and there was light.” The Word is the Mantra. But it is something quite exceptional, it is when the will formulated in the spirit wants to come down into matter and act directly upon matter that it makes use of the sound – not only of the word but of the sound, the vibrations of the sound – to act directly upon matter itself, in matter. It is the opposite movement. You are in the region of thought formulated in words, then from there you may rise higher and get an expression of the silent idea; again from there you may rise yet higher and have the Force: the Force is the Consciousness which is the very source of that thought. And so it becomes a total consciousness instead of something formulated – expressed and formulated. That is, you climb right back to the source. From there, once you possess this light in itself, this consciousness in itself and want to act upon matter to produce a result, this will comes down from plane to plane, and as it becomes more and more material, it defines itself clearly in words or even in a single word, and when it touches matter, instead of its being a silent word, it becomes a word articulated with sounds: a vibrations that will act directly upon matter. But one must first have gone high up above in order to be able to come down again. One must have reached the silent consciousness to be able to descend and do this. It must come from above, the source of this word must be up there, not in any intermediary domain. That then is the Word. And one must do what I have said – it is not an easy thing.
What I have said there (Mother shows “The Four Austerities”) is that one must keep the right attitude and be mentally silent: an attitude not expressed through words or through formulated thoughts, but through a living state of consciousness. An attitude of aspiration, you understand. I am obliged to put it in words because it must be printed on paper (this is why all this loses three-fourths of its force), but still otherwise it would not be acceptable at all; if I gave you a blank sheet, you would not know exactly what I have put there! I am obliged to put it into words.
An aspiration for all that is essentially true, real, perfect. And this aspiration must be free from words, simply a silent attitude, but extremely intense and unvacillating. Not a word must be allowed the right to enter there and disturb it. It must be like a column of vibrations of aspiration, which nothing can touch – and in total silence – and therein, if something comes down, what descends (and will be clothed in words in your mind and in sounds in your mouth) will be the Word. But nothing less than this will do.
Q – How to discriminate between Truth and falsehood in the impulses of action.
A – Those who wish to help the Light of Truth to prevail over the forces of darkness and falsehood, can do so by carefully observing the initiating impulses of their movements and actions, and discriminating between those that come from the Truth and those that come from the falsehood, in order to obey the first and to refuse or reject the others.
This power of discrimination is one of the first effects of the Advent of the Truth’s Light in the earth’s atmosphere.
Indeed it is very difficult to discriminate the impulses of Truth from the impulses of falsehood, unless one has received this special gift of discrimination that the Light of Truth has brought.
However, to help at the beginning, one can take as a guiding rule that all that brings with it or creates peace, faith, joy, harmony, wideness, unity and ascending growth comes from the Truth; while all that carries with it restlessness, doubt, scepticism, sorrow, discord, selfish narrowness, inertia, discouragement and despair comes straight from the falsehood.
Today, countries are in a race to amass armaments that are a formidable means of destruction. This they hope will be a deterrent to a war that could potentially be catastrophic if not fatal. Consequently, the world stands today precariously poised as though on a precipice, one step short of self-destruction. What is the force that is preventing these forces of destruction to precipitate? What is neutralizing this Falsehood and folly of man?
It is remarkable that in 1966 the Mother had a vision of this current state of world tension. Equally remarkable is the revelation to Her of the force that had the power to react against this imminent doom and neutralize this error of falsehood racing towards annihilation. We share below Mother’s experience of this vision in Her own words.
September 21, 1966
I had a revelation, in the sense that it was more on the order of a vision.
For external reasons, I was looking at the sorry state in which all countries find themselves, the truly painful and dangerous conditions of the earth, and there was a sort of all-embracing vision showing how nations (men taken as nations) have acted and are increasingly acting in a growing Falsehood, and how they have used all their creative power to create such formidable means of destruction, with, at the back of their minds, the really childish notion that the destruction would be so terrible that no one would want to use them. But they don’t know (they ought to know, but they don’t) that things have a consciousness and a force of manifestation, and that all those means of destruction are pressing to be used; and even though men may not want to use them, a force stronger than they will be pushing them to do so.
Then, seeing all this, the imminence of the catastrophe, there was a sort of call or aspiration to bring down something that could at least neutralize that error. And it came, an answer … I can’t say I heard it with my ears, but it was so clear, so strong and precise that it was indisputable. I am obliged to translate it into words; if I translate it into words, I may say something like this: “That’s why you have created Auroville.”
And with the clear vision that Auroville was a center of force and creation, with … (how can I explain?) a seed of truth, and that if it could sprout and develop, the very movement of its growth would be a reaction against the catastrophic consequences of the error of armament.
I found this very interesting because this birth of Auroville wasn’t preceded by any thought; as always, it was simply a Force acting, like a sort of absolute manifesting, and it was so strong [when the idea of Auroville presented itself to Mother] that I could have told people, “Even if you don’t believe in it, even if all circumstances appear to be quite unfavorable, I KNOW THAT AUROVILLE WILL BE. It may be in a hundred years, it may be in a thousand years, I don’t know, but Auroville will be, because it has been decreed.” So it was decreed – and done quite simply, like that, in obedience to a Command, without any thought. And when I was told that (I say, “I was told,” but you understand what I mean), when I was told that, it was to tell me, “Here is why you have made Auroville; you are unaware of it, but that’s why….” Because it was the LAST HOPE to react against the imminent catastrophe. If some interest is awakened in all countries for this creation, little by little it will have the power to react against the error they have committed.
I found this very interesting, because I had never thought about it.
And naturally, when I was shown that, I understood; I perceived how the creation of Auroville has an action in the invisible, and what action. It’s not a material, outward action: it’s an action in the invisible. And since then, I have been trying to make countries understand it, of course not outwardly because they all think they’re much too clever to be taught anything, but inwardly, in the invisible.
It’s fairly recent, it dates from two or three days ago. I had never been told this. It was said very clearly – “said,” I mean seen, shown like this (gesture of a scene offered to the sight). So my interest in Auroville has considerably increased since then. Because I have understood that it isn’t just a creation of idealism, but quite a practical phenomenon, in the hope … in the will, rather, to thwart and counterbalance the effects – the frightful effects – of the psychological error of believing that fear can save you from a danger! Fear attracts the danger much more than it saves you from it. And all these countries, all these governments commit blunder upon blunder because of that fear of the catastrophe.
You speak of the imminence of a catastrophe, but still Auroville will take some time to be realized?
No, it’s RIGHT NOW, right now. The force of propagation is far greater, it’s out of proportion to the transmitting center [Mother], which, on a world scale, is so to say unknown and almost nonexistent. But the center, the power of radiation and propagation is out of proportion, it’s rather remarkable: the response [to Auroville] is everywhere, everywhere; a response from new Africa, a response in France, a response in Russia, a response in America, a response in Canada, and a response in numerous countries, in Italy … everywhere, everywhere. And not just individuals: groups, tendencies, movements, even in governments.
Life is like a flooded river carrying with it in its mad rush all manner of struggling beings, men, women, children and animals as well as all manner of trees and wreckage, carrying them all down towards the sea of death. Things seem permanent because they are floating along with us, but all alike are rushing towards the end and not one of them can help us. Father, mother, friends, relations, not one of them can save us, for all are in the same flood. Only by reaching the bank can safety be obtained. And the bank of this river is God, call Him by whatever name you will. Neither is the bank far away. Hidden in our own heart, seated in the very midst of our being, is the Deathless, unchanging One, shining with brightness as of a million suns. None can describe Him, nor ever will, but He is there and He may, as the Gita says, be known and seen and entered into by those who strive to do so.
This is no fancy of Poets, no myth or legend of long ago, no dream of white-haired old men. It is the living truth, truer than all sciences and all history. It is knowledge of this truth that has given birth to all religions and it is forgetfulness of it that has led to their corruption and death. It may be seen and experienced by us, too, not in some heaven after death but here and now in this very life. Therefore, as the Upanishad says: ‘Arise, awake and seek out the Great Ones, They who will teach you the way to the Goal’.
Search for Truth—Sri Krishnaprem
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.
Do not fall into the very common error of believing that you must sit in an absolutely quiet corner where nobody passes by, where you are in a classical position and altogether immobile, in order to be able to meditate—it is not true. What is needed is to succeed in meditating under all circumstances, and I call “meditating” not emptying your head but concentrating yourself in a contemplation of the Divine; and if you keep this contemplation within you, all that you do will change its quality—not its appearance, for apparently it will be the same thing, but its quality. And life will change its quality, and you, you will feel a little different from what you were, with a peace, a certitude, an inner calm,an unchanging force, something which never gives way.
In that state it will be difficult to do you harm—the forces always try, this world is so full of adverse forces which seek to upset everything…but they succeed in a very small measure, only in the measure necessary to force you to make a new progress.
Each time you receive a blow from life, tell yourself immediately, “Ah, I have to make a progress”; then the blow becomes a blessing. Instead of tucking your head between your shoulders, you lift it up with joy and you say, “What is it I have to learn?I want to know. What is it I have to change? I want to know.”
This is what you should do.
The first necessity is to abstain from thinking of anyone in a depreciatory way. When we meet a person, our criticising thoughts give to him, so to say, a blow on the nose which naturally creates a revolt in him. It is our mental formation that acts like a deforming mirror to that person, and then one would become queer even if one were not. Why cannot people remove from their minds the idea that somebody or other is not normal? By what criterion do they judge? Who is really normal? I can tell you that not a single person is normal, because to be normal is to be divine.
One must have a sympathetic outlook and learn to cooperate with one’s fellows, building them up and helping them instead of sneering at whatever seems not up to the mark.
Even if somebody has a deficiency and is hypersensitive and self-willed, you cannot hope to improve him by summary measures of compulsion or expulsion. Do not try to force his ego by your own, by behaving according to the same pattern. Guide him gently and understandingly along the lines of his own nature. See whether you can place him where he can work without coming into conflict with others.
If those who are in power are puffed up with their own importance, they disturb the true working. Whatever their abilities, their achievement is not the real thing.
With our own perfection grows in us a generous understanding of others.
Do not trouble yourselves with what others do, I cannot repeat it to you too often. Do not judge, do not criticise, do not compare. That is not your lookout.
You have no right to judge a man unless you are capable of doing what he does better than himself.
Be severe to yourself before being severe to others.
Do not mind the stupidity of others, mind your own.
In human life the cause of all difficulties, all discords, all moral sufferings, is the presence in everyone of the ego with its desires, its likes and dislikes. Even in a disinterested work which consists in helping others, until one has learned to overcome the ego and its demands, until one can force it to keep calm and quiet in one corner, the ego reacts to everything that displeases it, starts an inner storm that rises to the surface and spoils all the work.
This work of overcoming the ego is long, slow and difficult; it demands constant alertness and sustained effort. This effort is easier for some and more difficult for others…
As long as I was physically present among you all, my presence was helping you to achieve this mastery over the ego and so it was not necessary for me to speak to you about it individually very often.
But now this effort must become the basis of each individual’s existence, more especially for those of you who have a responsible position and have to take care of others. The leaders must always set the example, the leaders must always practise the virtues they demand from those who are in their care; they must be understanding, patient, enduring, full of sympathy and warm and friendly goodwill, not out of egoism in order to win friends for themselves, but out of generosity so that they may understand and help others.
To forget oneself, one’s own likings and preferences, is indispensable in order to be a true leader.
That is what I am asking of you now, so that you can face your responsibilities as you should. And then you will find that where you used to feel disorder and disunity, they have vanished, and harmony, peace and joy have taken their place.
— The Mother
I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody “This too can be conquered”. At least I would have no right to say so.
Lord, this morning Thou hast given me the assurance that Thou wouldst stay with us until Thy work is achieved, not only as a consciousness which guides and illumines but also as a dynamic Presence in action. In unmistakable terms Thou hast promised that all of Thyself would remain here and not leave the earth atmosphere until earth is transformed. Grant that we may be worthy of this marvellous Presence and that henceforth everything in us be concentrated on the one will to be more and more perfectly consecrated to the fulfilment of Thy sublime Work.
7 December 1950
The lack of receptivity of the earth and men is mostly responsible for the decision Sri Aurobindo has taken regarding his body. But one thing is certain: what has happened on the physical plane affects in no way the truth of his teaching. All that he has said is perfectly true and remains so. Time and the course of events will prove it abundantly.
8 December 1950
To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.
9 December 1950
To grieve is an insult to Sri Aurobindo who is here with us, conscious and alive.
14 December 1950
We must not be bewildered by appearances. Sri Aurobindo has not left us. Sri Aurobindo is here, as living and as present as ever and it is left to us to realise his work with all the sincerity, eagerness and concentration necessary.
15 December 1950
I was painfully shocked when I heard the translation of the leaflet you are distributing here in the Ashram. I never imagined you could have such a complete lack of understanding, respect and devotion for our Lord who has sacrificed Himself totally for us. Sri Aurobindo was not crippled; a few hours before he left his body he rose from his bed and sat for a long time in his armchair, speaking freely to all those around him. Sri Aurobindo was not compelled to leave his body, he chose to do so for reasons so sublime that they are beyond the reach of human mentality.
And when one cannot understand, the only thing to do is to keep a respectful silence.
26 December 1950
We stand in the Presence of Him who has sacrificed his physical life in order to help more fully his work of transformation. He is always with us, aware of what we are doing, of all our thoughts, of all our feelings and all our actions.
18 January 1951
Sri Aurobindo has given up his body in an act of supreme unselfishness, renouncing the realisation in his own body to hasten the hour of the collective realisation. Surely if the earth were more responsive, this would not have been necessary.
12 April 1953
Q – Has the psychic any power?
A – Power? It is usually the psychic which guides the being. One knows nothing about it because one is not conscious of it but usually it is that which guides the being. If one is very attentive, one becomes aware of it. But the majority of men haven’t the least idea of it. For instance, when they have decided, in their outer ignorance, to do something, and instead of their being able to do it, all the circumstances are so organised that they do something else, they start shouting, storming, flying into a rage against fate, saying (that depends on what they believe, their beliefs) that Nature is wicked or their destiny baleful or God unjust, or.. no matter what (it depends on what they believe). Whilst most of the time it is just the very circumstance which was most favourable for their inner development. And naturally, if you ask the psychic to help you to fashion a pleasant life for yourself, to earn money, have children who will be the pride of the family, etc., well, the psychic will not help you. But it will create for you all the circumstances necessary to awaken something in you so that the need of union with the Divine may be born in your consciousness. At times you have made fine plans, and if they had succeeded, you would have been more and more encrusted in your outer ignorance, your stupid little ambition and your aimless activity. Whilst if you receive a good shock, and the post you coveted is denied to you, the plan you made is shattered, and you find yourself completely thwarted, then, sometimes this opposition opens to you a door on something truer and deeper. And when you are a little awake and look back, if you are in the least sincere, you say: “Ah! it wasn’t I who was right – it was Nature or the divine Grace or my psychic being who did it.” It is the psychic being which organised that.