November 17: A Look Backward and Forward

1

November 17, 1974, marks the passage of a full year since the Mother left her body. Along with the understandable human reaction to the passing away of a most cherished presence, there has been a deep sense of something unimaginably great done by the withdrawal from the immediate visible scene, there has been the conviction of a reader pour mieux sauter, a “drawing back in order to make a spring”.

Not only amongst those who have been around the Mother for decades but also amongst people far away an urge has arisen to cleave closer to her light and love. From distant Europe and still more from farther America, men and women have poured into Pondicherry in large numbers even after knowing they could not have the Mother’s Darshan. The joy they have shown on entering the Ashram’s precinct or the open spaces of Auroville, the regret of some who had to return to their countries for a time, the enthusiasm of many who have resolved to make Pondicherry their home for good — all these psychological expressions testify to the Mother’s continuing impact on the world.

The disciples resident for years in the Ashram or Auroville have grown increasingly rooted in the Ideal of Sri Aurobindo that the Mother strove during her life to make an inalienable part of earth’s being and consciousness. They are not unaware of difficulties to be faced and problems to be solved in the physical absence of their Leader. But there is a calm light in their eyes, for the Mother is always within their hearts, inspiring and guiding, and their eyes carry even a secret vision of the future in which she herself is again an embodied glory.

Her grace is seen constantly at work — in private situations, in public confrontations, in the very midst of the powers that rule this country which gave birth to Sri Aurobindo and which the Mother, recognising it ever as her soul’s native land, made her own for fifty-three years out of her ninety-five.

By her grace — and by it alone — the Ashram, India and the world will emerge, despite all opposing influences and after whatever delays, into a new Golden Age.

2

Yes, a faith and a force are present everywhere and at all hours. There is also an attempt to comprehend more and more the exact nature and the precise implication of the event that took place at 7.25 p.m. on November 17, 1973. In the course of the twelve months after it, various questions have been asked about the Why and How of the Mother’s departure as well as the How and When of her hoped-for return by occult means. The latter theme, though kept in sight, has not been much pressed, but upon the former the minds of the Mother’s followers have continued to be exercised.

Perhaps the most impressive presentation by a fellow-disciple was a of viewpoint completely differing from the one adopted by the editor of Mother India. He also prepared a large selection from the Mother’s talks at diverse times to bear him out. Incorporating some quotations meant to be in most direct support of him, we may set forth his viewpoint in his own words thus:

Several explanations have appeared as to what may have made our beloved Mother give up Her body in which most of us, if not all were hopefully waiting to see the transformation so that She might live among us physically present forever. But, in view of what has happened, it is obvious that our hoping lacked true perception and understanding of all that She had been trying to do and to tell us. Perhaps we are among those who become wiser after the event.

I have searched everywhere in all the available writings but nowhere the Mother seems to have promised or given us even a remote hint that in the immediate present, at the present stage of evolution, in Her present body She was going to achieve the transformation of the entire physical being, including that of the external structure. What She has unmistakably said is:

“If you want to do the work all alone, it is absolutely impossible to do it in a total way, for the entire physical being, however complete it may be, even if it is of an altogether higher quality, even if it has been created for a very special work, can never be but partial and limited. It represents only one truth, one law of the world; it may be a very complex law, but it is only one law — what is called Dharma in India — and the totality of the transformation cannot be done through that alone, through one single body… a minimum number of persons are required.”[2]

“I do not think that a single individual (on the earth as it is now), a single individual, however great he is, however eternal his consciousness and origin, can alone by himself change and realise — change the world, change the creation as it is, and realise this Higher Truth that will be a new world — a world more true, if not absolutely true. It seems a certain number of individuals (till now it appears to be rather in time as a succession, but it may be also in space, a collectivity) is indispensable so that this Truth may concretise and realise itself. Practically, I am sure of it.

“That is to say, however great, however conscious, however powerful an Avatar may be, he cannot, all alone, realise the supramental life on earth. It is either a group in time, arranged in a file in time or a group spread over a space — perhaps both — that are indispensable for this Realisation. I am convinced of it. The individual can give the impulse, indicate the way — walk on the path himself, that is to say, show the way by himself realising it — but cannot fulfil it. The fulfilment obeys certain group laws which are the expression of some aspect of Eternity and Infinity — naturally!…”[3]

“Is it possible to obtain a total personal transformation unless there is something at least corresponding in the collectivity?… It seems to me that it is not possible…. Is it possible to bring about a total transformation of one’s being so long as the collectivity has not attained some degree at least of transformation? I do not believe it… The total conquest, matter’s transformation, depends certainly a great deal upon a certain degree of progress in the collectivity.”[4]

Repeatedly and clearly the Mother has expressed the central fact to be kept in mind. As long as the collectivity, consisting of a minimum number of persons, which the Truth demands, is not ready, a single body born in the human way cannot be so transformed as not to die; its death is inevitable. The cause is not of much importance, whether it is heart-failure or the unbearable pressure of the transforming power or the Divine’s Will.

And then there was the age-old resistance of the defeatist subconscient which too had to be overcome; there too the certitude of transformation had to be achieved. After that, after passing through many intermediary stages when the substance that constitutes man’s body will have undergone sufficient change, we can surely hope to see the transformed body and the superman. How long that will take, the Mother said She did not know; or perhaps She knew but would not disclose.

This also implies that no single human body at present can escape dying.

But this is for sure that to help us realise our dream She has prepared and opened for all time the Way to transformation. Before She left Her body She had achieved all that She had set out to achieve, all that Sri Aurobindo had wanted Her to achieve. Sri Aurobindo had wanted the manifestation of the transforming Power — the Supramental Power — upon earth and She announced its accomplishment in 1956. Sri Aurobindo had wanted his disciples to become the race of Superman, the Intermediary Race, which would find the means and discover the secret of direct supramental creation, the advent of supramental beings formed in a supramental way (the type in which Sri Aurobindo has promised to return) and She announced in 1969 the certitude of its accomplishment, 1969 being the year at the end of which the Superman Consciousness came to earth and went out in search of those few who might be ready. Sri Aurobindo had wanted to build a bridge between earth and heaven, that is to say, the transformation of the bodily mind or the mind of Matter, as the Mother has called it, which was indispensable for the Supramental to manifest permanently upon earth and She announced its accomplishment in 1972. This transformed bodily mind has survived the death of Her body, and if the collectivity had been ready it would have naturally led to the transformation of Her most external being.

Before She left Her body the Mother told us that She had already lived for a while in a new subtle body (sexless, etc.). Whether it was a supramental body or a body in transition She did not clarify, but since its origin was not human it might as well have been the supramental. She had also told us that mostly among the children will those that can begin the new race be found — men are crusted over. So, if we wish to belong to the new race, the new creation, we must in all simplicity and sincerity follow the path of Sri Aurobindo shown to us by the Mother: the manifestation of the new race is not a freak, there is a method in it, and if we submit to it we too, in all probability, shall be there among those fortunate children — “The sun-eyed children of the marvellous dawn.”

3

When we read this many-sided exposition of the Mother’s aims and achievements we cannot help marking the absence of one aim which the Mother was most bent on achieving. The exposition principally sets out to deny that aim — namely, the transformation of the entire physical being at the present stage of evolution, in her present body itself.

It is extremely improbable, if not absolutely impossible, that those who lived in close contact with the Mother from 24 November 1926 onward should have hopefully but erroneously waited to see the Mother’s body completely transformed and that yet the Mother, knowing their minds, should not have unequivocally corrected their error but left it to them to discover it by studying her talks after she had left her body on 17 November 1973!

There is not the slightest doubt that she allowed those in close contact with her for forty-seven years to believe that she was striving with all her spiritual might to achieve a complete transformation of her body. Surely, she would not have thus striven if, knowing that the collectivity with whom she was in contact was poor in response, she had not felt that she could succeed in her work in spite of this collectivity’s insufficient co-operation. If anything leaps out of Pranab’s talk about her on 5 December 1973, it is her dauntless unremitting effort to transform her body.

He[5] says: “She fought and tried up to the end. She had a tremendous will and She was a great fighter and She fought and tried to do what She had taken upon Herself. She suffered a lot… if She had yielded to what we call natural law, that is, decay, disintegration and death, there would not have been so much suffering for Her, but that She did not want…” Then, citing her conversation with Dr. Bisht, to whom she said “She was undergoing a process of transformation”, Pranab[6] concludes after recording the details of the talk: “So from that we can understand how eager She was to continue Her work of physical Transformation.” And there is also Pranab’s statement:[7] “I am absolutely sure that if She had not the conviction that She would bring the Supramental Transformation in Her present body, She would not have been able to do all the Great Work that She has done.”

In addition to all this, we must remember what she told Dr. Sanyal at the end of 1950 — namely, that Sri Aurobindo has asked her to fulfil their Yoga of Supramental Descent and Transformation.[8]

It is not the believers in the Mother’s complete transformation, who lacked true perception and understanding. Those who now refuse to believe after the event of her passing seem anxious to avoid the haunting sense of “failure” on her part. We must resolutely face the appearance of “failure” and, holding fast to our belief in her attempt to complete transformation, seek the conditions that made her change her course. There was no real failure. As with Sri Aurobindo’s departure from his body on 5 December 1950, we have to see here again a strategic sacrifice and not a surrender to a “death” which was “inevitable”. In the talk[9] which Dr. Sanyal has reported, with her approval, as having taken place between her and Sri Aurobindo some months before he passed away, it is distinctly said that one of them would have to leave the body in the interest of their work. There is no indication at all that both would have to do it. Quite the contrary. And when the Mother offered to make the sacrifice Sri Aurobindo refused and took the work upon himself. His going was considered a final sufficient gesture and the implication was certainly that she would “live among us physically present forever”.

It is incorrect to speak of the inevitability of her death and the impossibility of her totally transforming her body because the fulfilment obeys certain group laws which are an expression of some aspects of Eternity and Infinity so that the totality of transformation depends largely upon a certain degree of transformation in the collectivity. There are two issues involved here. We must carefully distinguish them. They are: first, the establishment of a divine life on earth and, second, personal divinisation.

Evidently, if one individual got divinised, it would not mean that a divine life had been terrestrially established. Unless a certain group undergoes the physical transformation, a group which represents the several sides of the earth’s nature as contrasted to an individual representing, however richly, one side of it, the establishment of a divinised earth-existence cannot take place. This does not rule out a total personal transformation. The Mother actually speaks of an individual showing “the way by himself realising it”. Of course, his realisation cannot change the creation into a new world, but it can change his own physical existence into a new being. The full supramentalisation of others is not indispensable for it and an individual’s change into a new being is suggested also when the Mother speaks of “a group in time arranged in a file in time” as one of the possibilities by which a divine life on earth may be established. Does not this imply one individual realising that life before others who repeat his realisation in the succeeding years?

Here, too, however, we must note that an individual’s full supramentalisation is not quite unconditional: “some degree at least of transformation”, “a certain degree of progress in the collectivity”, is very much required. But there is no question of others getting fully transformed as a pre-condition. The question is only whether they have a partial change. Provided this change is present, “the total conquest, matter’s transformation,” is quite within the reach of the individual who is an Avatar of the Supermind.

That the Mother, the Incarnate Divine, should be slowed down in her personal supramentalisation by her human followers is perfectly understandable. After all, to transform them was her central purpose and to accomplish it she had to be linked with them, be affected by their stage of development and, to a certain extent, depend upon it. But in no writing of hers is there the smallest suggestion that her own transformation would not be done because of her dependence on them. Naturally, no such suggestion comes in, since people who sincerely accept her as their Guru are themselves bound to undergo a process of inner and outer change and, in the long run, some degree of transformation which would help her total supramentalisation.

Even if we interpret the passages quoted from her to mean that her whole supramentalisation depended on others getting wholly supramentalised, there is yet no suggestion that she could not hold out indefinitely till they came up in their transformation to the level needed for her to move further. A great delay can be deduced but no inevitable death resulting from group-laws.

We must not mistake the slowness of her personal fulfilment for inability, nor exaggerate her difficulty into a situation of checkmate, nor see in the length of time for her fulfilment the inevitability of death. She has said at one place: “What is acquired in the consciousness of this body is not acquired at all in the consciousness of others.”[10] Here is an extreme account of the collectivity lagging behind. Yet what is her conclusion? No more and no less than: “that increases the labour.”[11]

Again, she has announced: “The result remains still far, very far; much has to be done before the crust, the experience of the most external surface as it is, manifests what is happening within (not ‘within’ the inside spiritual depths: within the body). To enable that to manifest what is within it… This will come last, and it is good to be so, for if it came before time, the work would be neglected, one would be so satisfied as to forget finishing the work….”[12] This is a most important statement. First, it shows that within the body the supramental working was going on and only remained to be manifested in the “crust”. Secondly, there is the definite announcement that “this will come last”. Much time will be taken for the manifestation in the “crust”, but, however late, it will “come”. And, when we dwell on the words, “The result remains still far, very far”, we must also bear in mind that these words are immediately preceded by: “The work remains to be done. But now a certitude is there.”[13]

What follows all this is perhaps even more important. The Mother affirms: “But once it was done (Sri Aurobindo has said that), once one single body has done it, it has the capacity to pass it on to others. It is the only hope, because if everyone had to go over once again through the same experience….”[14] Evidently, something radical and crucial in the matter of transforming the external surface does not depend on the collectivity doing the same: “one single body” can do it and the others do not have to repeat its experience: they will simply be given the results. What we may conclude is: the Avatar of the Supermind and the disciples go on interdependently for quite a period of time but ultimately the Avatar breaks loose in a considerable measure from the drag of the collectivity and accomplishes a decisive turn which will hasten the collectivity’s own progress.

It is with regard to this power of the Avatar that the Mother made some unmistakable statements in answer to pointed questions:[15]

  1. “What have you been expecting from us and from humanity in general for the accomplishment of Your work upon earth?”
  2. “Nothing.”
  3. “Does the success of Your work for us and for humanity depend in any way upon the fulfilment of Your expectation from us and from humanity?”
  4. “Happily not.”

As for the intermediate stages involved in the physical transformation, the Mother is not referring mainly to mankind in general. She is referring primarily to her own bodily progress:

“This (Mother holds the skin of her hand between her fingers), how can that change into this other thing?… That appears impossible.”[16] “I understand very well a progressive change and that one could make of this substance something which might renew itself from within to the outside and eternally — and it is that which would be immortality, but only it seems to me that between what is now, as we are, and this other mode of life, there have to be many stages.”[17] “Sri Aurobindo also has said that first of all there will come the power to prolong life at will…, but this one is a state of consciousness which is being established; it is a kind of relation, a constant and established contact with the supreme Lord; it abolishes the sense of wear and tear and replaces it by an extraordinary flexibility, an extraordinary plasticity. But the state of spontaneous immortality is not possible — at least for the present. This structure must change into something other than this; and in order to change into something other than this, in the way things are happening, it will take long.”[18]

Not only when the Mother shows her own skin, but also when she refers to a state of consciousness which abolishes the sense of wear and tear and she speaks of it as “being established”, the talk turns upon the transformation going on in her physical being, for what is “being established” is evidently in herself. It is personal and it points at the end not to failure but to a long future before “the state of spontaneous immortality” arrives.

4

Now, are there any direct statements contradicting the idea that one would search in vain for any promise or even a remote hint of the Mother transforming in entirety the body which she had? Certainly. Let us begin with some words published in the Bulletin of April 1965:[19] ”Even when I am quite unwell or things are quite difficult or even when I am left a little quiet, that is to say, at night and I say to myself: ‘Oh, to go into my blissfulness’ — it is not permitted. I am bound there (Mother touches her body). It is there, there, it is to be realised. It is for that.” A definite indication is here that her body is meant for the arduous transformation.

Next, take what appears in February 1972:[20] “The old routine is ended. What is to be found is the plasticity of Matter so that Matter is able to progress always. There you are. How long will it take? I do not know. How much experience is needed? I do not know. But now the way is clear. The way is clear.” Do not these words suggest the surety of somehow finding the key to Matter’s progress towards total transformation?

Again, we read:[21] “If you like, one might say that at every minute one has the feeling that one may live or one may die or one may live eternally…. At the same time the knowledge, ‘This is the moment of winning the Victory’ which comes from the psychic and through it from above… ‘Hold fast, it is the moment of winning the Victory.’”

And consider the following:[22] “…yesterday, or the day before, I do not know, all of a sudden the body said: ‘No! It is finished — I want life, I want nothing else.’ And then things are getting better since.”

From Questions and Answers of 1956,[23] the year of the Supermind’s Manifestation in the subtle-physical, we may cull: “What Sri Aurobindo promised and what naturally interests us, we who are here now, is that the time has come when some beings among the elite of humanity, who fulfil the conditions necessary for spiritualisation, will be able to transform their bodies with the help of the supramental Force, Consciousness and Light, so as no longer to be animal-men but become supermen.” Note the phrases: “Sri Aurobindo promised” — “We who are here now” — “The time has come” — “will be able to transform their bodies.”

Finally, from Questions and Answers ‘57-58,[24] we have the Mother’s assurance that “This was certainly what he expected of us, what he conceived of as the superman… I think — I know — that it is now certain that we shall realise what he expects of us. It has become no longer a hope but a certainty…. Let each one do his best and perhaps not many years will have to elapse before the first visible results become apparent to all.”

Nothing can be more positive. Of course we may be told of the three hundred years the Mother thought not enough for the full change of the present body into the supramentalised one. But in the above affirmation she is speaking of “the first visible results” appearing fairly early. Once these signs of bodily transformation are there, we may hope for the full change. And indeed the Mother says that such a change is certain amongst “us”, which naturally means the Mother herself first and foremost. And, even in connection with the three hundred years or more, the Mother’s accent is optimistic:[25]

“So, to change this into what I have just described, I believe three hundred years are very little. It seems to me much more is needed than that. Perhaps with a very, very, very concentrated work….”

  1. “Three hundred years with the same body?”

“Well, there is change, it is no more the same body…. If each year that passes represents a progress, a transformation, one would like to have more and more years in order to be able to transform oneself more and more….

“And then, when all is done, when all is perfect, then there is no more question of years, for you are immortal.”

Even when the Mother envisages the objection that “it would be impossible for the body to change unless something is also changed in the surroundings” — beings and objects — all that she concludes is:

“It seems necessary that a whole set of things must change, at least, in relative proportions, so that one exists and continues to exist. This brings much complication, for it is no more one individual consciousness that has to do the work, it becomes a collective consciousness. And it is much more difficult.”[26]

Yes, a greater difficulty but nothing beyond that. No impossibility, not even improbability. Failure is not in the least visualised. On the contrary, in February 1972, we find the Mother saying:[27]

“I heard something written by Sri Aurobindo saying that for the supramental to manifest upon earth the physical mind must receive it and manifest it — and it is just the physical mind, that is to say, the body mind, the only thing that remains in me now… It is on the way to being converted in a very rapid and interesting manner. This physical mind is being developed under the supramental Influence. And it is just what Sri Aurobindo has written, that this is indispensable so that the Supramental can manifest itself permanently upon earth. So, it is going on well — but it is not easy (Mother laughs)…

“To what extent would it be able to change? Sri Aurobindo has said that if the physical mind were transformed the transformation of the body would follow quite naturally. We shall see….

“The mind that is in the body had become wide; it had a global view of things and the entire way of its seeing was absolutely different…. The Supramental is at work here.”

The prospect presented by the Mother for her body, in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s announcement, is a natural inevitable transformation. To overlook this fact is to begin with a capital mistake, a false premise.

Besides this unfortunate point de départ, there is to my mind a note of over-optimism about our own immediate possibilities. I should be ready to grant that the Mother’s force is working for the advent of the new race, but I cannot believe that the collectivity can so easily become responsive now and achieve for itself what it is alleged to have fatally prevented the Mother from doing for her own body. True, she has declared: “The Superman is now on the way to formation, and a new consciousness has manifested itself recently upon earth to perfect this formation.”[28] But she also added: “it is hardly probable that any human being has reached such a consummation, more so, since there must go with it a transformation of the physical body, which has not yet been done.”[29] What the Mother, despite her Herculean labour, left undone for the present in her own material frame — are we going to do in ours in the near future merely by being child-hearted and following in all simplicity and sincerity the path shown to us by her? A good deal of Yogic progress we surely can achieve but in the immediate days ahead not the physical transformation which has to go with becoming supermen.

All we can do is to prepare ourselves for the glorious time when the Mother again takes a direct physical hand in earthly evolution. How and when she will manifest is not given us to know with absolute certainty, but we may look forward to the materialisation of her supramental body as an outstanding possibility. And in regard to our preparation as well as in regard to an occultly managed materialisation we have been provided by our friend with a most inspired clue. At first his assertion looks bewildering but a little thought opens up a new vision.

He has spoken of the Mother’s transforming the mind of matter in her own body and added: “This transformed bodily mind has survived the death of her body.” It is the last phrase which is revelatory. Not only the transformed vital being and the subtle-physical have survived her body’s death and been assimilated into her new mode of existence and accompany her supramental form: even the bodily mind, by being transformed to a considerable degree, has been given an immortality and is part and parcel of her new mode of existence.

The survival of this mind in separation from the dissolved physical frame has, on the one hand, brought the supramental body an extra density enabling it to come closer to our earth and prepare a breakthrough and, on the other hand, afforded to the obscurest and densest component in our consciousness, to our own body-mind, a sort of link with her supramental body. Hence, at the same time she can draw near to us and we can draw near to her. Our progress can thus be speeded up so as to make us co-operate with her supramental body’s increased drive towards materialisation by means of its newly acquired extra density — materialisation which will put her supramental presence once more embodied in our midst and set us once more on the way to the fullness of physical transformation which, without her embodiment as the Avatar and leader of the transformative Supermind, may be considered, as Nolini has put it, “postponed — not cancelled”.[30]

Perhaps the Mother consented to leave her Yogically hard-pressed body because she saw in the survival of her transformed body-mind a shorter cut to her goal. Attached to her body, this mind might have taken very long to lead to that body’s supramentalisation. Detached from it and assimilated into the supramental, it would help the latter to be materialised in less time. The Supermind’s embodied presence was her goal. It was to be accomplished by the supramentalisation of the body in which she had taken birth. She strove towards it according to the plan Sri Aurobindo and she had made. But, just as Sri Aurobindo found that he could work for the goal better by leaving his body and concentrating everything in the Mother’s, and himself acting from the subtle-physical plane, so too she found that she could fulfil his Yoga of Supramental Descent and Transformation better by taking up into her supramental body the greatest victory of this Yoga — sufficient if not full transformation of her body-mind. The strategy was changed in order to effect in a swifter way the Supermind’s embodied presence. The sacrifice demanded for it was gladly given.

5

We may ask: “Under what circumstances was it realised that here was a swifter way?” To attempt answering the question we must attend to certain words of the Mother.

A few years back she stated about her body’s future:[31] “(…as if the world put the question): Will it continue or will it get dissolved?… But the body knows that it has been decided, and that it is not to be told to the body. It accepts, it is not impatient, it accepts, it says: ‘It is all right, it is as Thou wilt’…” Some time after this we find:[32] “It is becoming terrible. It is like a Pressure, a frightful Pressure — to bring about the desired progress. I feel it in myself for my body. But my body is not afraid, it says (Mother opens her hands): ’Very well, if I am to end, it is the end.’ Every minute it is like that: the true thing or the end…. The body knows that this is the way for the supramental body to be formed: It must be wholly under the influence of the Divine — no compromise, no approximation, no ‘it will come’, not so: it is like this (Mother brings down her fist), a formidable Will. But — it is the only way for things to go fast.” Not much later she saw her new body:[33] “I was like that, I had become like that.” And shortly afterwards she announced:[34] “I have had for a moment (the body) — just a few seconds — the supramental consciousness. It was so wonderful.”

We must surmise that in the wake of all these experiences and in the course of a tremendous subsequent trial of the body (from May 21 to November 17, 1973) she learned simultaneously the Supreme’s decision — the Will of her own transcendent self — that she should abandon her body and the same Will’s disclosure of the swifter way, a new pointer to the reward for all her luminous travail, all her exalted agony.

If we are to pinpoint the exact span of time in which, during this period, the about-turn took place from the effort of body-transformation to acceptance of body-abandonment, we should, in my opinion, put it after certain incidents reported by Pranab.[35] On 14 November last year, the Mother tried to do some walking with the help of Champaklal and Pranab but could not and had a severe temporary collapse. She took twenty minutes to recover. Immediately on recovery she said: “Lift me up again, I shall walk.” She was told that it would be harmful. She insisted but the attendants dared not risk the repetition of the frightening break-down. Several times that night she asked to be lifted out of the bed. Once more at 4 a.m. next morning she said: “Pranab, lift me up and make me walk. My legs are getting paralysed; if you help me to walk again, they will become all right.” The attendants did not co-operate: they could not bring themselves to face further danger. The whole of that day the Mother was quiet, but at night she wanted to walk. The attendants said: “Mother, you should not walk.” She, as Pranab tells us, “obeyed” them. Pranab continues: “That was on the 15th. From that day she became absolutely obedient. Whatever we told Her She did.”

It would seem from this calm passivity of the Mother that the Will of her transcendent self had dawned on her. There was an unexpected complete acquiescence on her part for the next two days, at the end of which the heart failed. The intervening spell of tranquil effortlessness and of what Pranab has called absolute obedience must have been due to the stoppage of the straining for bodily transformation and to the sudden burst of a novel light on the future, revealing the “blueprint” of the new Yoga-structure which would occultly bring about the fulfilment of the Aurobindonian Ideal.


[1] This article originally appeared in Mother India, November 1974.
[2] Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, February 1960, p. 63.
[3] Ibid., August 1962, p. 73.
[4] Ibid., November 1966, p. 61.
[5] Supplement to Mother India, December 5, 1973, p. 5.
[6] Ibid., pp. 5-6.
[7] Ibid., p. 7.
[8] Mother India, December 5,1953, “A ‘Call’ from Pondicherry”, p. 187.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Bulletin, August 1967, p. 71. All our excerpts from the Bulletin or Questions and Answers are taken from our fellow-disciple’s own selection from the Mother’s talks.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid., February 1968, p. 57.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid. p. 65
[15] Sri Aurobindo Circle, Twenty-fourth Number, 1968, pp. 2-3.
[16] Bulletin, February 1967, p. 65.
[17] Ibid., p. 71.
[18] Ibid., p. 75.
[19] Ibid., p. 59.
[20] Ibid., p. 79.
[21] Ibid., pp. 89, 91.
[22] Ibid., pp. 91, 93.
[23] Ibid., p. 323.
[24] Ibid., pp. 190-91.
[25] Bulletin, February 1968, pp. 35, 37.
[26] Ibid., p. 37.
[27] Ibid., pp. 83, 85, 91.
[28] Ibid., April 1970, p. 51. 
[29] Ibid.
[30] Mother India, March 1974, p. 167.
[31] Bulletin, April 1969, p. 87. 
[32] Ibid., April 1972, p.73.
[33] Ibid., August 1972, p. 75.
[34] Ibid., February 1973, p. 85.
[35] Supplement to Mother India, December 5, 1973, p.3.

An article by Amal Kiran, originally appeared in Mother India, November 1974.
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