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.
Beyond the First Steps: Dawn of a New Consciousness
The first steps taken it had to now go on towards its logical culmination. The Warrior within Her ‘empowered from peaks beyond to open the door long closed and denied’ refused to withdraw even after this crucial and critical step had been accomplished. Meanwhile to make it easier for generations of disciples to come who would look for Guidance, She established in the midst of humanity the Superman Consciousness that would henceforth be the ‘benevolent mentor and guide’ through the transitional passage between the humanity of today and the supramental race of tomorrow.
(About the descent of what Mother later identified as the superman consciousness (la conscience du surhomme)).
In the night it came slowly and on waking up this morning, there was as though a golden dawn, and the atmosphere was so light. The body felt: “Well, it is truly, truly new.” A golden light, transparent and… benevolent. “Benevolent” in the sense of a certainty—a harmonious certainty. It was new.
It was the first of January after midnight. I woke up at two in the morning, surrounded by a consciousness, so concrete, and new in the sense that I had never felt it before. And it lasted, absolutely concrete, present, for two or three hours, and afterwards it spread out and went about to find people who could receive it. And I knew that it was the consciousness of the superman, that is to say, the intermediary between man and the supramental being.
That has given to the body a kind of assurance and confidence. That experience has, as it were, stabilised the body and if it keeps the true attitude, every support is there to help it.
[CWM 11:153 January 8, 1969]
There is a very marked change in those who have been touched on the first of January: it is particularly… indeed a precision and a certitude that has entered into their way of thinking.
It was there (Mother looks at the region of the heart). It is curious, as though I was given the charge of putting it into contact with all those who come near me.
This atmosphere, this consciousness (The superman consciousness.) is very active, and active as a mentor, I have already said. And that continues. And then, for several hours in the early morning of one of these last days, it was… Never, never had the body been so happy; there was the complete Presence, absolute freedom, and a certitude: that had no importance—these cells, other cells (Mother makes gestures to this side and that, indicating all bodies), it was life everywhere, consciousness everywhere. Absolutely wonderful.
It came without effort, it went away simply because… I was too busy. And that does not come at will—what comes at will is what may be called a “copy”: it has the appearance, but it is not the Thing. The Thing… there is something which is altogether independent of our aspiration, our will, our effort… altogether. And this something seems absolutely all-powerful, in the sense that none of the difficulties of the body exist. Everything disappears at this time. But aspiration, concentration, effort… all that is to no purpose. It is the divine sense, yes, it is to have the divine sense…
The special character of this new consciousness is: no half measures, no approximations. That is its character. The idea “Oh yes, we shall do it, and little by little we…”—no, no, not like that; it is Yes or No, either you can or you cannot.
Truly it is a Grace, you see, as if: not to lose time—not to lose time. It must be done or…
But this tremendous Power, it is that above all; and it is with a compassion! a gentleness!… No, there are no words, we have no words to describe that, something… Nothing but just to be attentive and… it is blissfulness. Nothing but just to turn one’s attention towards that side, immediately there is the bliss. And I understand (that has made me understand certain things), we have heard of people who in the midst of torture enjoyed bliss —it is like that. A beatitude.
There you are, it is that (Mother hands out a white hibiscus, which she has named “Grace”).
It is this Superman Consciousness, this New Consciousness that has been embedded now within the very heart and fabric of humanity as its Guide to the Future. The Mother did not appoint any successor, for none can really take Her place. But for those who could not or would not directly open to Her, She installed or rather activated within the human body itself the ‘Benevolent Mentor’ termed the ‘Superman Consciousness’. Just as Sri Aurobindo gifted to man some of the most uplifting Works, especially Savitri to awaken and Guide him through the process of transformation, The Mother gifted to the very body of man the Superman Consciousness to help discover the ways to transmute man’s animal-body into a body-divine.
What happened beyond that is something only the Mother can say with absolute authority. All that we can say with certainty is that the final step is of little immediate concern for man. We can also say with certainty that the Supramental Change is now inevitable, the time and challenges in the process notwithstanding. Whether the Mother’s physical body was transformed or not does not make any practical difference to the Integral Yoga and its inevitable goal. Even if it is transformed, as indeed many, (myself included) trust it to be so, it will be a long time before man can develop the vision and the means to perceive and communicate with it. Since this is a tremendous leap in the physical domain itself our normal senses oriented and built around the external crust of Matter (not true matter as the Mother would often remind us) would have to evolve much and reorganize itself to be able to perceive Her transformed body. Though there are enough pointers in that direction. For example Her description of the various means of creating / entering the New Body, Her description of Her New Body itself , the experience of some sadhakas whose word can be totally relied upon such as Nolini Da and Champaklal ji of their personal contact with the Mother’s luminous, golden body are all indicative and suggestive of what must be happening behind the scene. To take just a few among many such examples which also show that the Mother was working along many lines for the creation of a New Supramental Body even though She knew this was a yet far-off though certain and inevitable possibility.