17th Nov 1973 is regarded as the Mother’s Mahasamadhi day. This day and event has become the subject of much speculation. The sceptics wonder about the fate ofIntegral Yoga without a spiritual successor, especially since they think that the task of physical transformation undertaken by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother has been left incomplete. Some use the term postponed, others say it has been temporarily abandoned. The faithful however continue to repose their trust in the Mother and accept everything as part of Her Divine Lila even if they do not comprehend it.
This article (running in ten parts) is an effort to take a look at some of these issues with regard to the Integral Yoga and its many-sided fulfillment.
Part 2. Beyond Birth and Death
We must understand here that the Divine Descent is not to guide some section of humanity since this Guidance can be done through His immanent Presence in man. The descent is rather upon Earth, in Matter with man as a nodal point for the work since he is the junction of Spirit and Matter. In man the two meet and it is given to man to make these two poles of existence meet consciously. The Avatara leads, humanity follows; the Avatara builds the bridge, humanity walks over it. When the intended work is done, the Avatara withdraws behind so that humanity may prepare itself for the great walk. He does not die but simply withdraws just a step behind the curtain of material life. Blind are they who believe that the Avatara is no more. Even great Masters are not subject to Death. They enter into birth consciously and leave it wilfully when their work and mission is over. The rest is left to the workings of all-fulfilling Time and the human instruments that come onto the scene to reap the harvest and distribute it to all who are called. Even in ordinary circumstances Death is merely an appearance, a mask that the Eternal has worn to conceal this earth from too sudden an awakening to the Light lest we, unable to bear the original Flame are blinded by the blaze. But when it is the Eternal Himself who assumes the process of birth and passes through the portals of death then life upon earth is never again the same. A decisive leap is taken, a jump across the gulfs of Time. A bridge is built between the world of yesterday and the world of tomorrow. It is only left upto man to now walk the way armed with the staff of faith or, better still, allow himself be carried upon the wings of love and devotion for the incarnate Divine.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are not tied to a human body; they never were! Even during the period that is generally termed by us as a lifetime, their action extended beyond boundaries of Space, not only of physical Space but also beyond the material dimension of Space. So also their action extends beyond the boundaries of Time. Each of their deeds and words carries the stamp of eternity and hence will continue to have repercussions and reverberate and even bear fruit as the scroll of human destiny unfolds and the waves of Time roll on. Nor are they limited by the instrumentality of the physical body. There are countless examples that reveal how Sri Aurobindo and the Mother intervened subtly in far off places and changed what seemed an inevitable destiny. These examples have not ceased after 1950 or 1973. If anything they have multiplied, a fact to which many devotees will surely testify. All this is not to turn them into miracle-doing figures; that will indeed be little utility of the Divine Presence on Earth. Devotees of various saints and Avataras experience miracles in everyday life through their faith in respective Masters. That is a small point. The bigger issue is that this goes on to prove that they are not limited to a physical body and its instrumentality. They can and do act in multiple ways that often baffle the intelligence of the limited creature called man who, under the spell of Ignorance, knows not anything beyond his material sheath. But Ignorance in any field is not the limit of truth, it is only the limit of our ‘personal’ knowledge and hence our power to act and effectuate. As someone has rightly and beautifully said, ‘the limits of our sight are not the limits of Light’. Besides since time immemorial it has been known that the Divine can and does act through countless instruments and needs not hands or feet to execute His Will. His Guidance can be felt in the remotest corner of the world by one who seeks. All this is common knowledge and not so uncommon experience to many who live with trust and faith in the Grace and Protection of the Divine. What greater proof of the Divine Presence and Action than the universe itself! The Mother reveals referring to an early experience of immortality:
God knows, never, not one minute in my life, even when things were the darkest, the blackest, the most negative, the most painful, not once did the thought come, “I would like to die.” And ever since I had the experience of psychic immortality, the immortality of consciousness, that is, in 1902 or 3, or 4 at the latest (sixty years ago now), all fear of death went away. Now the body’s cells have the sense of their immortality. There was also a time when I almost had a sort of curiosity about death; it was satisfied by my two experiences in which, according to the surface illusion, my body was dead, while, within, I had a wonderfully intense life (the first time, it was in the vital, the other time, way up above). So that even that curiosity (I can’t call it “curiosity”), even that question is no longer asked by the cells. But the possibility does present itself: according to the ordinary outer logic, if this isn’t transformed, it must necessarily come to an end. And always, always, I receive the same answer, which isn’t an answer with words, but an answer with a knowledge (how can I put it?…), a factual knowledge: “It’s no solution.” To say things in quite a banal way, this is the answer: “It’s no solution.”
So we are after another solution, since death isn’t considered to be a solution. And it’s obvious that it is no solution.
[The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: November 21, 1964]