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 3. The Two Goals: Dissolution or Progressive Manifestation
But what about Gurus and Masters who step in to fill a seeming vacuum? Some of them are perhaps well-intentioned though not necessarily well grounded with the Vision and Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Most however are likely to be simply taking this ‘apparent withdrawal’ as an opportunity to occupy the ‘seat’ of Wisdom and Power that only Sri Aurobindo and the Mother can occupy. The plea that is often given is that every Master (most) leaves a successor and since Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have left none, they presume that either the work will stop or else someone else can occupy the space as an intermediary. What they forget is that there is a third possibility and it is this that the work is essentially over. It is now only a question of unfolding with passage of time. If Sri Aurobindo and the Mother felt the necessity of appointing any successor (with all his limitations since none can be even remotely their equal) they would have easily done so. Besides their work is of a complex nature and no single individual or even a selected group of developed human beings can undertake it. Now they will work through many souls and many hearts, many minds and many bodies. Even as such they were not limited by a body but always acted universally and through universal forces. This universality of their action will become even more prominent with passage of time.
Here we have also to draw a distinction between those who aim for dissolution or nirvana or moksha after they withdraw from the earth scene and those whose work has been to accomplish and fulfil something here, upon Earth. The Avataras belong to the latter category of Divine Manifestations. They do not come to return back into the Silence but to enrich Earth with the Word that saves and they stay on until Their work is done and Their promise fulfilled. We know for example how those endowed with faith or the practice of yoga, continue to experience the inner contact and pouring of fresh revelations through the being and Presence of Krishna, Christ and Buddha, the other Avataras belonging to the progressive manifestation. In the Inida tradition, it is even believed that the previous Avatar remains in contact with the Earth until He hands over His work to the next Avatara. We see this in the stories of Rama and Krishna. In Sri Aurobindo’s life also we see the same phenomenon, the fusing of Sri Krishna’s Avataric personality with Sri Aurobindo that took place on the 24th Nov 1926. We can almost say that it is only then that Sri Krishna’s work was over or rather carried forward. Perhaps this is what is meant by the Second Coming in Christianity and the return of Maitreya Amitabha Buddha in Buddhist tradition. The Mother recounts:
In 1926, I had begun a sort of overmental creation, that is, I had brought the Overmind down into matter, here on earth (miracles and all kinds of things were beginning to happen). I asked all these gods to incarnate, to identify themselves with a body (some of them absolutely refused). Well, with my very own eyes I saw Krishna, who had always been in rapport with Sri Aurobindo, consent to come down into his body. It was on November 24th, and it was the beginning of ‘Mother.’….
It was this: Krishna consented to descend into Sri Aurobindo’s body – to be FIXED there; there is a great difference, you understand, between incarnating, being fixed in a body, and simply acting as an influence that comes and goes and moves about. The gods are always moving about, and it’s plain that we ourselves, in our inner beings, come and go and act in a hundred or a thousand places at once. There is a difference between just coming occasionally and accepting to be permanently tied to a body – between a permanent influence and a permanent presence…..
It was at that time that he decided to stop dealing with people and retire to his room…..
I had begun a sort of ‘overmental creation,’ to make each god descend into a being – there was an extraordinary upward curve! Well, I was in contact with these beings and I told Krishna (because I was always seeing him around Sri Aurobindo), ‘This is all very fine, but what I want now is a creation on earth – you must incarnate.’ He said ‘Yes.’ Then I saw him – I saw him with my own eyes (inner eyes, of course), join himself to Sri Aurobindo.
This was in 1926.
It was only … (how can I put it?) a participation from Krishna. It made no difference for Sri Aurobindo personally: it was a formation from the past that accepted to participate in the present creation, nothing more. It was a descent of the Supreme, from … some time back, now consenting to participate in the new manifestation.
Shiva, on the other hand, refused. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I will come only when you have finished your work. I will not come into the world as it is now, but I am ready to help.’
(Conversations with a disciple: August 2, 1961)
The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have not come here to leave with Their Work unfinished. They have come to fulfil and will do and are doing whatever is necessary for it to be accomplished. Questions such as did They complete Their Work etc are absurd in the first place. To begin with, we as a human race did not even know that there is such a Work undertaken by the Divine; that creation has a grand purpose and is on the road to its fulfilment. We became aware only because They shared it with us and they shared it so that we can consciously collaborate and have the joy of participating. However at no point must we forget that it is Their Work and They know how to execute and carry it to its culmination. This is important because quite a few self-styled guides and masters of Integral Yoga have sprung up claiming that they are carrying forward the Work from where The Mother and Sri Aurobindo left! One would be tempted to ask of these ‘knowledgeable’ persons if they even have a clear idea of the work, let alone the means to execute it? ‘It is a veritable work of creation’ as the Mother put it. They know the work, the goal and the path and are surely doing whatever is needed to fulfil it. As a corollary we may also add that if They as the supramental Avataras could not finish it, then it is idle to suppose that any human being who knows little beyond the tip of his nose will fulfil it. Such megalomania can only lead us and those who follow such charlatans to the pit and nothing else. The truth of the matter is that one needs no one other than the Mother and Sri Aurobindo for walking this path and receiving all that is needed for its fulfilment. Rather bringing anyone between us and the Mother would be a great, even a fundamental obstacle on the path as Sri Aurobindo revealed it long back. The Mother assures us:
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 (two days after Sri Aurobindo’s physical withdrawal). CWM 13: 6