The Mother Leaves Her Body

We have already referred in the Introduction to the suffering which the Mother took upon herself for mankind, since her body was, through its identification with earth-consciousness, like a nucleus of this world and had an ineluctable interrelationship with it. The ‘world’ at the present stage is still dominated by forces of Falsehood which resist transformation, since a new order according to the laws of evolution of consciousness would entail the fall and decline of all those whose outer position in life is entirely disproportionate to their inner qualification.

Perhaps it was these resistances in the world or obstacles deep in the material layer which brought about a paralysis of one of her legs in December 1970 and precipitated her into incredible suffering – a suffering which she could not escape through proven yogic technics such as detaching the consciousness from the body, transforming pain into joy, etc.: there was only sheer uninterrupted pain, as if she had been forced into hell in order to build, not somewhere outside, but there itself a bastion of Light and Truth.

The Mother described her experience in a talk of 16 January 1971:

“But it was not an innocent (!) paralysis: for at least – for three weeks, a constant pain, night and day, twenty-four hours out of twenty-four without fluctuation, none: it was as though I was being torn asunder… One might say that it was a cry all the while. It lasted long, lasted several weeks. I did not count. Then gradually, it alternated with moments of calmness when the leg did not feel. And it is only for the last two or three days that it looks like being put back into order…”[1]

In 1971 the Mother gave her disciples a mantra with a view to the imminent crisis in East-Pakistan:

“Supreme Lord, Eternal Truth,
let us obey Thee alone and live
according to Truth.”[2]

1972 was a year of fulfillment: the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary. An endless stream of visitors passed through the Mother’s Room, receiving her blessings, her smile, her Force. But soon after August 15 she suffered a physical set-back and her health became weaker. Whilst she seemed to have recovered at the beginning of 1973, another set-back came at the beginning of April. On 2 April access to the Mother was greatly restricted and only a dozen sadhaks could go and see her very shortly. Her activities were now more and more reduced, but she gave darshan on the terrace on 24 April.

On 20 May she suffered a complete physical break-down. Only four attendants (Pranab, Champaklal, Kumud and Vasudha) were with her now by turns, whilst two doctors kept watch over her health. Her son Andre had arrived from Paris and saw her occasionally, though without speaking with her. In this situation it seemed uncertain whether the Mother would be able to give Darshan on 15 August.

A huge crowd of sadhaks and visitors had gathered in the evening on the street facing the darshan terrace. At six o’clock there was a short; sudden downpour but nobody stirred. At last the Mother appeared on the terrace and gave the last darshan to her waiting children. “With the appearance of the Mother,” reported one of those present, “there came an inscrutable peace, and all seemed to be gripped by an unknown power. The silence was so intense that one could never imagine 8000 people were packed together on the road.”[3]

After the darshan the Mother withdrew completely and spent most of her time in trance, as she had done already before 15 August. Nirodbaran had said in a speech on 13 August: “They say now that the Mother is in a continuous trance, but in that trance she is ever awake. She knows everything that is going on in the whole world… Somebody attending on the Mother asked her, ‘Mother, why do you always keep your eyes closed?’ She replied, ‘Because I can see everything with my eyes closed.’ ”[4]

By the middle of November 1973 the Mother’s crisis became more and more serious. She could eat only very little and her heart had become weak. She asked her attendants repeatedly to lift her from the bed, since this gave her some relief. On 17 November in the afternoon she asked again to be lifted up, but her physical condition seemed now extremely critical. There was great respiratory distress and Dr. Sanyal was called. When her pulse failed, he tried a heart massage. But the earthly life of the Mother had come to an end. At 7.25 in the evening she left her body.

On 18 November, in the early morning, the Mother’s body was laid in state on a bed in the Meditation Room. Tens of thousands of disciples and devotees arrived in Pondicherry during the next three days to see her physically for the last time.

On 20 November in the morning the Mother’s body, after being placed in a casket, was laid in a second chamber of the Samadhi. Nolini Kanta Gupta, the Secretary of the Ashram, issued the following message the next day:

“Mother once told me – ‘If ever I leave my body, my consciousness will remain with you.’
“Mother is present amongst us and Her work continues.
“Let us once more dedicate ourselves for Her work of transformation with utmost sincerity and faithfulness.”[5]

The Mother’s physical presence had come to an end, but her disciples were there to continue the work and she herself remains in close contact with the earth-atmosphere, from the ‘other side’, in a supramental body in the subtle-physical world.

The foundation for a new creation has been laid and whosoever is today living on earth, participates in it, whether he knows it or not, whether he wants it or not. In 1958 the Mother had said to her disciples:

“I may tell you that by the very fact of your living on the earth at this time – whether you are conscious of it or not, even whether you want it or not – you are absorbing with the air you breathe this new supramental substance which is spreading out in the earth atmosphere now. And it is preparing in you things which will manifest very suddenly as soon as you have taken the decisive step.”[6]


[1] K. R. S. Iyengar’s On the Mother 2:773
[2] K. R. S. Iyengar’s On the Mother 2:778
[3] K. R. S. Iyengar’s On the Mother 2:801
[4] K. R. S. Iyengar’s On the Mother 2:800
[5] Mother India, December 1973, p. 1
[6] K. R. S. Iyengar’s On the Mother 2:658-59

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