An unfinished Work (1/3)

April 24th, 1920 is the day of the Mother’s final arrival to Pondicherry. This day is among the four days observed as a Darshan day among devotees and disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The Mother reveals that this day marks the tangible sign of a decisive victory over the adverse forces. Quite naturally a question arises about the nature of this victory that the Mother speaks about. But to understand the full import of this we have to go back into time, not just a hundred years back but perhaps a few thousand years back.

The battle with the adverse forces is not something new. Mystic and spiritual literature is full of it. The two major epics in India, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are centred around the battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’.  The Vedic seers also speak about the constant obstructions that the Rishi meets during his Godward journey for which he invokes the help of the gods. Countless stories in the Puranas and the Tantra speak about the Divine Powers battling against the daityas. Even the Avataras are not spared this battle. The calm, benign and compassionate Buddha, the benevolent Christ too had to face their inner and outer struggle and opposition against a host of forces that would not allow them to fulfil their mission and work. Essentially then, these are the adverse forces that try everything from inflicting psychological states such as depression and despair that paralyse our will and faith to physical illnesses and attacks by human representatives of these forces to prevent the advent and growth of Light in a human being and upon earth.

Even though each of these battles has done something for the earth, the decisive victory has yet to come. That would mean not just the killing of one or two or more demons but liberating mankind from their influence. That is the challenging task. Even after all the demons are killed by Lord Rama the tendency remains and shows up in his own kingdom in the form of suspicion raised by a washerman thereby casting aspersions on the embodied Divine Mother, Sita. Even after an entire clan of evil-doers are slain in the Mahabharata war, the tendency remains and raises its head in the form of arrogance and egoistic pride in the very clan of Sri Krishna leading to another wave of destruction and another work of the Divine half-done. The great adversary continues to rule over men’s hearts creating one instrument after another thereby delaying the ultimate victory. An ultimate victory would mean a drying up of the very roots of evil in its own den. Mere cleansing of the human representatives will not be enough.

It is this unfinished work that has been undertaken by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, a work that they have been engaged with through many a births and under different forms and names. In practical terms this means the dissolution or the conversion of the Asura that holds humanity in its sway. What this Asura is unwilling to concede is a divine life upon earth. Therefore this conversion or dissolution only means that whatever inner experiences we may have, whatever number of human beings may escape the dark net and dissolve into nirvana, the earth remains still in their grip. Unlike the soul which is a descent from Above, matter and man’s physical nature is the result of an emergence from below. Since all our material life and everything based upon it has its foundations gripped by the darkness, the Inconscient  below this field of forces are completely under the control of the Asuras whose names are Darkness, Unconsciousness, Falsehood and Death. The bond between soul and matter is thereby always strange and uneasy. One descends from Above and is conscious of itself and of the Lord. The other ascends from below and is unconscious or half conscious of itself and the Lord who dwells within it. Yet they have been brought together by the secret evolutionary Force so that this other too may become fully conscious of the Lord and thereby be uplifted and redeemed. For here too, in earth and matter is also hidden the same Divine Force and must one day emerge fully into the earthly play, thereby uplifting our imperfect instruments and this mortal bodily sheath into a divine and glorious body, a befitting robe of the human soul, a perfect and harmonious marriage between matter and soul.

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