“The Ashram, the World and the Individual” – Nolini Kanta Gupta

Transcript of a talk delivered by Nolini-da on September 9, 1976

 

Mother told us long ago that our Ashram is an epitome of India. It represents all that is good in India and also all that is bad — all the bad qualities, the weaknesses, all that is crooked and false, dark and obscure. And the Ashram, being a concentrated centre of all that, represents it in an especially intense form.

Now the pressure from above has come to change things and for that purpose all the dark points, all that has to be changed and rejected, have been exposed. They have been exposed everywhere — in the Ashram and also outside the Ashram, in the country in general — the same defects and weaknesses, the same wrong movements.

In India, the government is trying to check and control these movements by external means; to some extent it is necessary and so the central authority has been given that much strength and capacity. But the Ashram was made to be a conscious collective centre where these things must change from within, not under external compulsion, and that is why the Ashram was not given an authority strong enough to dominate or control its members. Here, the change should be conscious and, as I said, from within.

And each one of us who is here in the Ashram is an epitome of the Ashram and all the good and bad elements and movements are in one way or another represented in us — even in the best ones the wrong movements can cast a shadow. So it is a task for each one, especially the so-called “best” ones, that is, chose who are more conscious, to detect and reject and change all that is wrong and false in them and develop all that is true and good, and thereby help to change those very elements in the Ashram atmosphere as well as outside it. That is the only solution and the only remedy — to cure the ills individually, personally in one’s own consciousness. Then only a conscious collective consciousness can grow and develop in the Ashram with all these living and conscious units or cells and thereby change its own condition as well as the condition of India and also the condition of the world.

I say all this in view of the hard core, the strong seed that has to be formed, and out of which will sprout the future new creation. A centre must become such a seed, at least at its own centre, its own inmost centre; it must develop this inmost centre, its kernel, its living soul.

Mother also said that as India is a representative or an epitome of the world — just as the Ashram is the epitome of India and each individual in his turn is an epitome of the Ashram — so the world-problems will have to be solved in India. For India has the capacity and is destined to do so. When India solves her problems, the world also will find its problems practically solved. And the Ashram is expected to show the way to the solution of India’s problems. Can the Ashram rise up to play its role? At least that was the Mother’s intention. It all depends upon its individual members.

Of course, we must remember, Mother’s help is always there.

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