15 September 1962
[…] Prayers and Meditations came to me, you know—it was dictated each time. I would write at the end of my concentration, and it didn’t pass through the mind, it just came—and it obviously came from someone interested in beautiful form. I used to keep it under lock and key so nobody would see it. But when I came here Sri Aurobindo asked about it, so I showed him a few pages and then he wanted to see the rest. Otherwise I would have always kept it locked away. I destroyed whatever was left—there were five thick volumes in which I had written every single day (there was some repetition, of course): the outcome of my concentrations. So I chose which parts would be published (Sri Aurobindo helped in the choice), copied them out, and then I cut the pages up and had the rest burned.
There are a few original fragments left from what was published—I distributed almost all of them; the ink has faded, it’s practically white. I burned everything.
It wasn’t written for anyone and wasn’t meant to be read. I showed it to Sri Aurobindo because he was speaking of certain things and I said, “Ah, yes, that’s the experience I had in….” Then I showed him my notebook for that date (there was something written for each day).
Five thick notebooks, year after year…. Even here I kept on writing for a while.
I wrote a lot in Japan.
Anyway, everything of general interest was kept. But that’s why there are gaps in the dates, otherwise it would be continuous—it was monumental, you know!
It’s only here that people started wanting to keep and keep and keep. (a gesture of throwing everything over her shoulder.) The world is moving fast, the world is moving fast, fast, fast—why keep anything?
May 7, 1966
For instance, there are passages I wrote in those Prayers and Meditations, some of which have been published – passages I wrote in Japan, and when I wrote them, I didn’t at all know what they meant. For a very long time I didn’t know. And very recently, one of those things that had always remained mysterious cleared up, I said, “There! It’s crystal clear, that’s what it means.”
November 27, 1965
Oh, I remember now that Sri Aurobindo reminded me of something I had written in Japan (which is printed in Prayers and Meditations), and I had never understood what I had written. I always tried to understand and asked myself, “What the devil did I mean? I have no idea.” It had come like that and I had written it directly. It was about a “child” and it read, “Do not come too near him because you will get burnt.” (I don’t remember the words at all.) And I always wondered, “What’s this child I am referring to?… And why should one take care not to come too near him??”[[Prayers and Meditations, March 27, 1917: “… You see it in your own heart, this triumphant hearth; you alone can bear it without its being destructive. If others touched it, they would be consumed. Do not therefore let them come too near it. The child must know that he must not touch the bright flame that attracts him so much….” ]] And suddenly, only yesterday or the day before, I understood; suddenly he showed me, he told me, “It’s this: the ‘child’ is the beginning of the new creation, it is still in its infancy,” so don’t touch it if you don’t want to be burnt – because it burns.
*The above selection from “Agenda” has originally appeared at the blog The Light of the Supreme on July 27, 2011