Labour of the Gods: The Birth of Auroville and its occult action and significance (HH 228)

A Talk by Alok Pandey from the “Tuesday Talks” series (AUDIO)


Today is Labour Day but what we mean ordinarily by this labour is something done with hands and feet or at the most with the body, physically so to say. Surely physical work is important and has its own place and dignity. Yet there is another kind of labour that we do not ordinarily recognize it as such. It is the labour that goes into the birth of a New Idea or in the discovery of a New force that would help humanity much with far reaching consequences. There is still another kind of labour that few undertake to plunge into their own being, fight within to annihilate their ego-self and conquer the sting of desire and by this act help the world become a better place. But the greatest of all labour is to give birth to a New World, a new Consciousness that would animate mankind and transform it from the human animal to a divinized humanity. Such a place is Auroville, the cradle of a New World, a preparation for the humanity of tomorrow. Today we shall share a few thoughts on the birth of Auroville, its inner reason and occult significance.


Words of the Mother

May 26, 1967

Regarding the New Year Message: “Men, countries, continents! The choice is imperative: Truth or the abyss”, a disciple asks Mother, “What is the meaning of ‘abyss’ in your New Year Message?” Mother’s reply, in English:

Right now there is a great tension. They have all taken positions as if to start war. It is the blind passion that men put into their international relations.

At the base of it all there is fear, general distrust, and what they believe to be their “interests” (money, business) – a combination of these three things. When these three lowest passions of humanity are brought into play, that is what I call “the abyss.”

When someone has decided to consecrate his life to the seeking for the Divine, if he is sincere, that is to say, if the resolution is sincere and carried out sincerely, there is absolutely nothing to fear, because all that happens or will happen to him will lead him by the shortest way to this realisation.

That is the response of the Grace. People believe that the Grace means making everything smooth for all your life. It is not true.

The Grace works for the realisation of your aspiration and everything is arranged to gain the most prompt, the quickest realisation – so there is nothing to fear.

Fear comes with insincerity. If you want a comfortable life, agreeable circumstances, etc., you are putting conditions and restrictions, and then you can fear.

But it has no business in the sadhana!

July 6, 1963

You know, the next day, I saw Sri Aurobindo again – it was Sri Aurobindo, he was with me, but a bit taller than the previous time, a bit slimmer, with his skin almost white, almost like mine (not the white of northern people but a kind of golden white). So I looked at him and smiled (because it had changed, you see!), I didn’t say anything, but (laughing) he told me: Yes, to meet all tastes! I found that admirable!

That day, he was very busy with the external organization; he asked me for some information and made remarks about everything. Then there was an incident (I don’t yet know what it means), and he said, Oh, there (but I can’t remember which country that was – we were dealing with countries and governments), oh, there, all is all right, isn’t it? And I answered him, “Yes, certainly, all is all right since all the people in the government are our people.” And he seemed to be showing me … (at night, Europe is always to my left, and America is always to my right, as if I were always facing north), he was showing me the left side and I too was pointing to the left, and it was there, all the people were ours: Everything is quite smooth. But I can’t remember (probably on purpose); the name of the country or place or whatever has been wiped out – I could not remember it.

But I can still see Sri Aurobindo, a little taller than me, and myself bent forward and smiling, pointing to the left, and he said, “Yes.” And I could see – I saw lots of people. Because it’s a strange thing, the eyesight is absolutely different (it’s in the subtle physical), the sight is absolutely different from physical sight: you see thousands of miles away and very near at the same time, and distance is implied only by a given place in the atmosphere (I don’t know how to explain this), but what’s far away is as near from the standpoint of action as what’s very close by. You see, the action is just as concrete and close, but it is as though differently placed (Mother shows different levels in the atmosphere)…. I never gave it a thought, but probably in that activity of the subtle physical we are physically much taller, I think; yet the proportions remain the same; but things are smaller [than Mother or Sri Aurobindo]. It’s the same for going up or down, it doesn’t have the meaning it has here. And that country I was pointing to was to the left, a little … not backward, a little forward and lower down, like this (gesture).

Sri Aurobindo was very tall there. But I, too, was tall.

***

Something is being attempted now: there are some people who are in contact with us and are conscious; they have a possibility of action and they are trying. They have caught an idea: to bring Russia and America together so that the two powers united will be the agents of peace on earth. It’s an EXCELLENT idea. We’ll see what’s going to happen.

Because obviously … Oh, to tell the truth, I don’t know. I say “obviously,” but it’s absolutely all the same to me if everything is demolished and starts again – it’s another way of playing, that’s all. But maybe without demolishing … To demolish and start all over again [laughing) has already been done a few times! Maybe that’s enough – if, without demolishing, men could progress … But is it possible?

We must come VERY CLOSE to the goal for that to be possible.

The big difficulty is that tamasic stupidity. Yesterday, in this connection, I had the experience of a young couple who came to see me. (It has become a custom nowadays that young people who are going to marry and whose families I know, or who live here, come to receive my blessings before marrying! That’s the new fashion.) So they came. The girl was educated here and the boy stayed here for quite a long time, working here; anyway, they want to marry. The boy went searching for a job; he had trust [in Mother] and found one. He is – I can’t say conscious because it isn’t like consciousness, I would call it rather superstition (!) but it’s a superstition on the right target! The movement is ignorant, but well directed, so it works; not that he has an enlightened faith, but he has faith. All right. Things are fine and he does very well. So they came yesterday to receive my blessings. Then they went. And they left behind in the room … a vital formation, very bubbly, absolutely ignorant, very bubbly with a joie de vivre, a joie de vivre so blissfully ignorant of all possible difficulties, all possible miseries, and not only for oneself but for everyone! You know, that joie de vivre that says, “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me if we are born and die – life is short, well, let it be good, that’s enough.” No mental curiosity, no urge to know the why of the world – all that is nonsense, we needn’t bother about it! Let’s be happy, have some fun, and do as well as we can. That’s all…. That formation was so strong, you know, in the room that I saw it and had to find a place for it. It put me in contact with a whole domain of the earth, of mankind, and I had to put it in its proper place, put it in order and organize it. It took me a little time (long enough, maybe three quarters of an hour or an hour), I had to order and organize everything. Then I saw how widespread it is on earth. (Note that these young people belong to the “top” of society, they are regarded as very intelligent, they are very well educated, in a word, it’s about the best you can find in mankind! Not the dregs, far from it.) And I wondered if it isn’t even more widespread in Western countries than here – I think it is. At that moment I came into contact with everywhere, and, well, the “everywhere” was really quite extensive.

Afterwards, I asked myself, “But what the devil can be done with all this? …” Disturb these people? They are quite incapable of getting out of their condition in this life and will probably need many, many, many lives to awaken to the NEED TO KNOW – as long as they can move about, you know (laughing), as long as they can move about and things aren’t too painful, they’re quite contented! And then, in addition, there is, all the way down, that whole inert mass, you know, of men who are very close to the animal – what can be done with that? If that too has to be ready, it seems to me impossible…. Because that young couple, according to human opinion, are very fine people!

So how many … HOW MANY consciousnesses must there be, what quantity, if we may say (intensity, there is: off and on it shines like stars), what is the mass of consciousnesses necessary to enable this new world to come down on earth? …

September 21, 1966

I had a revelation, in the sense that it was more on the order of a vision.

For external reasons, I was looking at the sorry state in which all countries find themselves, the truly painful and dangerous conditions of the earth, and there was a sort of all-embracing vision showing how nations (men taken as nations) have acted and are increasingly acting in a growing Falsehood, and how they have used all their creative power to create such formidable means of destruction, with, at the back of their minds, the really childish notion that the destruction would be so terrible that no one would want to use them. But they don’t know (they ought to know, but they don’t) that things have a consciousness and a force of manifestation, and that all those means of destruction are pressing to be used; and even though men may not want to use them, a force stronger than they will be pushing them to do so.

Then, seeing all this, the imminence of the catastrophe, there was a sort of call or aspiration to bring down something that could at least neutralize that error. And it came, an answer … I can’t say I heard it with my ears, but it was so clear, so strong and precise that it was indisputable. I am obliged to translate it into words; if I translate it into words, I may say something like this: “That’s why you have created Auroville.”

And with the clear vision that Auroville was a center of force and creation, with … (how can I explain?) a seed of truth, and that if it could sprout and develop, the very movement of its growth would be a reaction against the catastrophic consequences of the error of armament.

I found this very interesting because this birth of Auroville wasn’t preceded by any thought; as always, it was simply a Force acting, like a sort of absolute manifesting, and it was so strong [when the idea of Auroville presented itself to Mother] that I could have told people, “Even if you don’t believe in it, even if all circumstances appear to be quite unfavorable, I KNOW THAT AUROVILLE WILL BE. It may be in a hundred years, it may be in a thousand years, I don’t know, but Auroville will be, because it has been decreed.” So it was decreed – and done quite simply, like that, in obedience to a Command, without any thought. And when I was told that (I say, “I was told,” but you understand what I mean), when I was told that, it was to tell me, “Here is why you have made Auroville; you are unaware of it, but that’s why….” Because it was the LAST HOPE to react against the imminent catastrophe. If some interest is awakened in all countries for this creation, little by little it will have the power to react against the error they have committed.

I found this very interesting, because I had never thought about it.

And naturally, when I was shown that, I understood; I perceived how the creation of Auroville has an action in the invisible, and what action. It’s not a material, outward action: it’s an action in the invisible. And since then, I have been trying to make countries understand it, of course not outwardly because they all think they’re much too clever to be taught anything, but inwardly, in the invisible.

It’s fairly recent, it dates from two or three days ago. I had never been told this. It was said very clearly – “said,” I mean seen, shown like this (gesture of a scene offered to the sight). So my interest in Auroville has considerably increased since then. Because I have understood that it isn’t just a creation of idealism, but quite a practical phenomenon, in the hope … in the will, rather, to thwart and counterbalance the effects – the frightful effects – of the psychological error of believing that fear can save you from a danger! Fear attracts the danger much more than it saves you from it. And all these countries, all these governments commit blunder upon blunder because of that fear of the catastrophe.

All this is simply to tell you that if nations collaborate in the work of Auroville, even to a very modest extent [such as this offer of money from the French government], it will do them good – it can do them a lot of good, a good that can be out of proportion to the appearance of their actions.

You speak of the imminence of a catastrophe, but still Auroville will take some time to be realized?

No! I am speaking of the countries’ collaboration in CREATING something. It’s not when Auroville has been completed: it’s the nations’ collaboration in creating something – but creating something founded on the Truth instead of a rivalry in Falsehood’s creation. It’s not when Auroville is ready – when Auroville is ready, it will be one town among all other towns and it’s only its own capacity of truth that will have power, but that … remains to be seen.

No, the point is a combined interest in building something founded on the Truth. They have had a combined interest (combined without any mutual liking, of course) in creating a power of destruction built on Falsehood; well, Auroville means diverting a little of that force (the quantity is minor, but the quality is superior). It’s truly a hope – it’s founded on a hope – of doing something that can be the beginning of a harmony.

No, it’s RIGHT NOW, right now. The force of propagation is far greater, it’s out of proportion to the transmitting center [Mother], which, on a world scale, is so to say unknown and almost nonexistent. But the center, the power of radiation and propagation is out of proportion, it’s rather remarkable: the response [to Auroville] is everywhere, everywhere; a response from new Africa, a response in France, a response in Russia, a response in America, a response in Canada, and a response in numerous countries, in Italy … everywhere, everywhere. And not just individuals: groups, tendencies, movements, even in governments.

What’s proving to be the most refractory (and the irony of it is wonderful) is … the United Nations! Those people are outdated, oh! … They haven’t yet gone beyond the “materialistic, antireligious movement,” and they made a derogatory remark about the Auroville brochure, saying it was “mystic,” with “religious” tendency. The irony is lovely!

Besides, even quite outwardly, that fight between India and Pakistan was clearly … (how can I put it? … The words that come to me are English) initiated and driven, that is to say, set in motion by and under the impulsion of the forces of Truth that wanted to create a great “Asian Federation” with the power to counterbalance Red China and its movement. It was a federation that, as a matter of fact, needed the return of Pakistan and all those regions, and which includes Nepal, Tibet, also Burma, and in the south, Ceylon. A great federation with each country having its autonomous development, perfectly free, but which would be united in a common single aspiration for peace and fight against the invasion of forces of dissolution. That was very clear, it was willed – and it’s the intervention of this United Nations that stopped everything….

But tiny details such as the one we spoke of just before [the French government’s offer of a pension] are an indication: it’s countries collaborating in the Truth without knowing it. And it’s very good, it will do them good. It’s good for them. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t aware of it (smiling): they won’t have the pleasure of having done it, that’s all!
(silence)
But I was the first to be very interested, because it came like that (gesture of irresistible descent), with all-powerful authority: “That’s why Auroville has been created.”

I see all kinds of very amusing things pass by; just now, this reflection: “Ah, it’s a Tower of Babel in reverse.” (Mother laughs) That’s interesting! They united and divided in the construction, so now, they come together to unite in the construction. That’s it: a Tower of Babel … in reverse!

(Mother stops for an instant, as if she saw something)

One suddenly sees … It’s a certain region, there, a region in the earth atmosphere, vast and imperishable, where things take on a new importance, which sometimes belies appearances, and one sees a sort of great, immense current carrying circumstances and events along towards a goal … always the same goal, and through very unexpected paths. It becomes very vast, and despite the horror of details, as a whole it takes on a very smiling Rhythm….

Now I know, I remember, this whole experience came after I saw a book that was published quite recently in India, in English, which they entitled The Roll of Honour, and in which there is a photo and a short biography of all those who died in the fight against the British, for India’s freedom. There were photos everywhere, lots of them (some were only photos the police took after they had just been killed and were lying on the ground). And it all brought a certain atmosphere: the atmosphere of those disinterested goodwilled people who meet with a tragic fate. It had the same impression on me as the horrors of the Germans during the war over there. These things are obviously under the direct influence of certain adverse forces, but we know that the adverse forces are, so to say, permitted to work – through the sense of horror, in fact – in order to hasten the awakening of consciousness. So then, that experience, which was very strong and was very like the one I had when I saw the photographs of German atrocities in France, put me in contact with the vision of the human, terrestrial, modern error (it’s modern: it began these last one thousand years and has become more and more acute in the last hundred years), with the aspiration to counterbalance that: How to do it?… What is to be done?… And the answer: “That’s why you have created Auroville.”

 

A note on Auroville by Mother:

“Humanity is not the last rung of terrestrial creation. Evolution continues and man will be surpassed. It is for each one to know whether he wants to participate in the advent of the new species. For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville obviously has no raison d’être.”

September 24, 1966

Is the earth responding? Is there really a response, or do you feel you are working all alone?

You don’t mean people? You mean the earth as the mineral, vegetal, animal world?

No, I was referring to humans, to the whole earth.

Oh, humans, yes, certainly – certainly, without any doubt, a very pronounced answer, strangely pronounced, from everywhere, just everywhere. A need for something, a dissatisfaction with what is, and the need for something higher. It’s very, very pronounced, everywhere. I can’t say the number is very large, I don’t think it is, but it’s everywhere.

 So there is progress?

Oh, a lot, quite a lot. There are signs, there are even from time to time strange signs of something awakening.

I even feel an awakening among animals.

And where is the obstacle? Is there an obstacle?

It’s everywhere. It’s like a coalition of Falsehood trying to resist.

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