A Talk by Dr Alok Pandey from the “Tuesday Talks” series (AUDIO)
We continue our deliberations on the ways of the Gnostic Being with the help of Their Words as well as living example of Champaklal, who was one of the front runners among the pioneers of the New Race of Gnostic Beings. We also take a few leaves from his diary Notes.
Words of Sri Aurobindo
A supramental or gnostic race of beings would not be a race made according to a single type, moulded in a single fixed pattern; for the law of the supermind is unity fulfilled in diversity, and therefore there would be an infinite diversity in the manifestation of the gnostic consciousness although that consciousness would still be one in its basis, in its constitution, in its allrevealing and all-uniting order. It is evident that the triple status of the supermindwould reproduce itself as a principle in this new manifestation: there would be below it and yet belonging to it the degrees of the overmind and intuitive gnosis with the souls that had realised these degrees of the ascending consciousness; there would be also at the summit, as the evolution in Knowledge proceeded, individual beings who would ascend beyond a supermind formulation and reach from the highest height of supermind to the summits of unitarian self-realisation in the body which must be the last and supreme state of the epiphany of the Creation. But in the supramental race itself, in the variation of its degrees, the individuals would not be cast according to a single type of individuality; each would be different from the other, a unique formation of the Being, although one with all the rest in foundation of self and sense of oneness and in the principle of his being. It is only this general principle of the supramental existence of which we can attempt to form an idea however diminished by the limitations of mental thought and mental language. A more living picture of the gnostic being supermind only could make; for the mind some abstract outlines of it are alone possible.
The gnosis is the effective principle of the Spirit, a highest dynamis of the spiritual existence. The gnostic individual would be the consummation of the spiritual man; his whole way of being, thinking, living, acting would be governed by the power of a vast universal spirituality. All the trinities of the Spirit would be real to his self-awareness and realised in his inner life. All his existence would be fused into oneness with the transcendent and universal Self and Spirit; all his action would originate from and obey the supreme Self and Spirit’s divine governance of Nature. All life would have to him the sense of the Conscious Being, the Purusha within, finding its self-expression in Nature; his life and all its thoughts, feelings, acts would be filled for him with that significance and built upon that foundation of its reality. He would feel the presence of the Divine in every centre of his consciousness, in every vibration of his life-force, in every cell of his body. In all the workings of his force of Nature he would be aware of the workings of the supreme World-Mother, the Supernature; he would see his natural being as the becoming and manifestation of the power of the World-Mother. In this consciousness he would live and act in an entire transcendent freedom, a complete joy of the spirit, an entire identity with the cosmic self and a spontaneous sympathy with all in the universe. All beings would be to him his own selves, all ways and powers of consciousness would be felt as the ways and powers of his own universality. But in that inclusive universality there would be no bondage to inferior forces, no deflection from his own highest truth: for this truth would envelop all truth of things and keep each in its own place, in a relation of diversified harmony,—it would not admit any confusion, clash, infringing of boundaries, any distortion of the different harmonies that constitute the total harmony. His own life and the world life would be to him like a perfect work of art; it would be as if the creation of a cosmic and spontaneous genius infallible in its working out of a multitudinous order. The gnostic individual would be in the world and of the world, but would also exceed it in his consciousness and live in his self of transcendence above it; he would be universal but free in the universe, individual but not limited by a separative individuality. The true Person is not an isolated entity, his individuality is universal; for he individualises the universe: it is at the same time divinely emergent in a spiritual air of transcendental infinity, like a high cloud-surpassing summit; for he individualises the divine Transcendence.
A replacement of intellectual seeking by supramental identity and gnostic intuition of the contents of the identity, an omnipresence of spirit with its light penetrating the whole process of knowledge and all its use, so that there is an integration between the knower, knowledge and the thing known, between the operating consciousness, the instrumentation and the thing done, while the single self watches over the whole integrated movement and fulfils itself intimately in it, making it a flawless unit of self-effectuation, will be the character of each gnostic movement of knowledge and action of knowledge. Mind, observing and reasoning, labours to detach itself and see objectively and truly what it has to know; it tries to know it as not-self, independent other-reality not affected by process of personal thinking or by any presence of self: the Gnostic consciousness will at once intimately and exactly know its object by a comprehending and penetrating identification with it. It will overpass what it has to know, but it will include it in itself; it will know the object as part of itself as it might know any part or movement of its own being, without any narrowing of itself by the identification or snaring of its thought in it so as to be bound or limited in knowledge. There will be the intimacy, accuracy, fullness of a direct internal knowledge, but not that misleading by personal mind by which we constantly err, because the consciousness will be that of a universal and not a restricted and ego-bound person. It will proceed towards all knowledge, not setting truth against truth to see which will stand and survive, but completing truth by truth in the light of the one Truth of which all are the aspects. All idea and vision and perception will have this character of an inner seeing, an intimate extended selfperception, a large self-integrating knowledge, an indivisible whole working itself out by light acting upon light in a self-executing harmony of truth-being. There will be an unfolding, not as a delivery of light out of darkness, but as a delivery of light out of itself; for if an evolving supramental Consciousness holds back part of its contents of self-awareness behind in itself, it does this not as a step or by an act of Ignorance, but as the movement of a deliberate bringing out of its timeless knowledge into a process of Time-manifestation. A self-illumination, a revelation of light out of light will be the method of cognition of this evolutionary supramental Nature.
As mind seeks for light, for the discovery of knowledge and for mastery by knowledge, so life seeks for the development of its own force and for mastery by force: its quest is for growth, power, conquest, possession, satisfaction, creation, joy, love, beauty; its joy of existence is in a constant self-expression, development, diverse manifoldness of action, creation, enjoyment, an abundant and strong intensity of itself and its power. The gnostic evolution will lift that to its highest and fullest expression, but it will not act for the power, satisfaction, enjoyment of the mental or vital ego, for its narrow possession of itself and its eager ambitious grasp on others and on things or for its greater self-affirmation and magnified embodiment; for in that way no spiritual fullness and perfection can come. The Gnostic life will exist and act for the Divine in itself and in the world, for the Divine in all; the increasing possession of the individual being and the world by the Divine Presence, Light, Power, Love, Delight, Beauty will be the sense of life to the gnostic being. In the more and more perfect satisfaction of that growing manifestation will be the individual’s satisfaction: his power will be the instrumentation of the power of Supernature for bringing in and extending that greater life and nature; whatever conquest and adventure will be there, will be for that only and not for the reign of any individual or collective ego. Love will be for him the contact, meeting, union of self with self, of spirit with spirit, a unification of being, a power and joy and intimacy and closeness of soul to soul, of the One to the One, a joy of identity and the consequences of a diverse identity. It is this joy of an intimate self-revealing diversity of the One, the multitudinous union of the One and a happy interaction in the identity, that will be for him the full revealed sense of life. Creation aesthetic or dynamic, mental creation, life creation, material creation will have for him the same sense. It will be the creation of significant forms of the Eternal Force, Light, Beauty, Reality,—the beauty and truth of its forms and bodies, the beauty and truth of its powers and qualities, the beauty and truth of its spirit, its formless beauty of self and essence.
Words of the Mother
For we are living in an exceptional time at an exceptional turning point of the world’s history. Never before, perhaps, did mankind pass through such a dark period of hatred, bloodshed and confusion. And, at the same time, never had such a strong, such an ardent hope awakened in the hearts of the people. Indeed, if we listen to our heart’s voice, we immediately perceive that we are, more or less consciously, waiting for a new reign of justice, of beauty, of harmonious good-will and fraternity. And this seems in complete contradiction with the actual state of the world. But we all know that never is the night so dark as before the dawn. May not this darkness, then, be the sign of an approaching dawn? And as never was night so complete, so terrifying, maybe never will dawn have been so bright, so pure, so illuminating as the coming one…. After the bad dreams of the night the world will awaken to a new consciousness. The civilisation which is ending now in such a dramatic way was based on the power of mind, mind dealing with matter and life. What it has been to the world, we have not to discuss here. But a new reign is coming, that of the Spirit: after the human, the divine. Yet, if we have been fortunate enough to live on earth at such a stupendous, a unique time as this one, is it sufficient to stand and watch the unfolding events? All those who feel that their heart extends further than the limits of their own person and family, that their thought embraces more than small personal interests and local conventions, all those, in short, who realize that they belong not to themselves, or to their family, or even to their country, but to God who manifests Himself in all countries, through mankind, these, indeed, know that they must rise and set to work for the sake of humanity, for the advent of the Dawn. And in this momentous, endless, many-sided work, what can be the part of womanhood? It is true that, as soon as great events and works are in question, the custom is to relegate women to a corner with a smile of patronising contempt which means: this is not your business, poor, feeble, futile creatures…. And women, submissive, childlike, lazy perhaps, have accepted, at least in many countries, this deplorable state of things. I dare to say that they are wrong. In the life of the future, there shall be no more room for such division, such disequilibrium between the masculine and the feminine. The true relation of the two sexes is an equal footing of mutual help and close collaboration. And from now, we must reassume our veritable position, take again our due place and assert our real importance—that of spiritual former and educator. Indeed, some men, perhaps a little vainglorious of their so-called advantages, may despise the apparent weakness of women (although even this exterior weakness is not quite certain) but: “Do what he may, the superman will have to be born of woman all the same”, someone said very rightly. The superman shall be born of woman, this is a big unquestionable truth; but it is not enough to be proud of this truth, we must clearly understand what it means, become aware of the responsibility it creates, and learn to face earnestly the task which is put before us. This task is precisely our most important share in the present world-wide work. For that, we must first understand—at least in their broad lines—what are the means by which the present chaos and obscurity can be transformed into light and harmony. Many means have been suggested: political, social, ethical, even religious…. Indeed, none of these seem sufficient to face with any reliable success the magnitude of the task to be done. Only a new spiritual influx, creating in man a new consciousness, can overcome the enormous mass of difficulties barring the way of the workers. A new spiritual light, a manifestation upon earth of some divine force unknown until now, a Thought of God, new for us, descending into this world and taking a new form here. Thus we see that at this critical period of the world’s life it is no longer sufficient to give birth to a being in whom our highest personal ideal is manifested; we must strive to find out what is the future type, whose advent Nature is planning. It is no longer sufficient to form a man similar to the greatest men we have heard of or known, or even greater, more accomplished and gifted than they; we must strive to come in touch mentally, by the constant aspiration of our thought and will, with the supreme possibility which, exceeding all human measures and features, will give birth to the superman.
The new race shall be governed by intuition, that is to say, direct perception of the divine law within. Some human beings actually know and experience intuition—as, undoubtedly, certain big gorillas of the forests have glimpses of reasoning. In mankind, the very few who have cultivated their inner self, who have concentrated their energies on the discovery of the true law of their being, possess more or less the faculty of intuition. When the mind is perfectly silent, pure like a wellpolished mirror, immobile as a pond on a breezeless day, then, from above, as the light of the stars drops in the motionless waters, so the light of the supermind, of the Truth within, shines in the quieted mind and gives birth to intuition. Those who are accustomed to listen to this voice out of the Silence, take it more and more as the instigating motive of their actions; and where others, the average men, wander along the intricate paths of reasoning, they go straight their way, guided through the windings of life by intuition, this superior instinct, as by a strong and unfailing hand. This faculty which is exceptional, almost abnormal now, will certainly be quite common and natural for the new race, the man of tomorrow. But probably the constant exercise of it will be detrimental to the reasoning faculties. As man possesses no more the extreme physical ability of the monkey, so also will the superman lose the extreme mental ability of man,2 this ability to deceive himself and others.
No, the way to supermanhood lies in the unfolding of the ever-perfect Spirit. All would change, all would become easy if man could once consent to be spiritualised. The higher perfection of the spiritual life will come by a spontaneous obedience of spiritualised man to the truth of his own realised being, when he has become himself, found his own real nature; but this spontaneity will not be instinctive and subconscient as in the animal, but intuitive and fully, integrally conscient. Therefore, the individuals who will most help the future of humanity in the new age, will be those who will recognise a spiritualevolution as the destiny and therefore the great need of the human being, an evolution or conversion of the present type of humanity into a spiritualised humanity, even as the animal man has been largely converted into a highly mentalised humanity. They will be comparatively indifferent to particular belief and form of religion, and leave men to resort to the beliefs and forms to which they are naturally drawn. They will only hold as essential the faith in the spiritual conversion. They will especially not make the mistake of thinking that this change can be effected by machinery and outward institutions; they will know and never forget that it has to be lived out by each man inwardly or it can never be made a reality. And among these individuals, woman must be the first to realise this great change, as it is her special task to give birth in this world to the first specimens of the new race. And to be able to do this she must, more or less, conceive what will be the practical results of this spiritual conversion. For if it cannot be effected simply by exterior transformations, it can neither be realised without bringing forth such transformations. These will certainly not be less in the moral and social domains than in the intellectual. As religious beliefs and cults will become secondary, so also the ethical restrictions or prescriptions, rules of conduct or conventions will lose their importance. Actually, in human life, the whole moral problem is concentrated in the conflict between the vital will with its impulses and the mental power with its decrees. When the vital will is submitted to the mental power, then the life of the individual or of the society becomes moral. But it is only when both, vital will and mental power, are equally submissive to something higher, to the supermind, that human life is exceeded, that true spiritual life begins, the life of the superman; for his law will come from within, it will be the divine law shining in the centre of each being and governing life from therein, the divine law multiple in its manifestation but one in its origin. And because of its unity this law is the law of supreme order and harmony.
Thus the individual, no more guided by egoistical motives, laws or customs, shall abandon all selfish aims. His rule will be perfect disinterestedness. To act in view of a personal profit, either in this world or in another beyond, will become an unthinkable impossibility. For each act will be done in complete, simple, joyful obedience to the divine law which inspires it, without any seeking for reward or results, as the supreme reward will be in the very delight of acting under such inspiration, of being identified in conscience and will with the divine principle within oneself.
And in this identification the superman will find also his social standard. For in discovering the divine law in himself he will recognise the same divine law in every being, and by being identified with it in himself he will be identified with it in all, thus becoming aware of the unity of all, not only in essence and substance but also in the most exterior planes of life and form. He will not be a mind, a life or a body, but the informing and sustaining Soul or Self, silent, peaceful, eternal, that possesses them; and this Soul or Self he will find everywhere sustaining and informing and possessing all lives and minds and bodies. He will be conscious of this Self as the divine creator and doer of all works, one in all existences; for the many souls of the universal manifestation are only faces of the one Divine. He will perceive each being to be the universal Divinity presenting to him many faces; he will merge himself in That and perceive his own mind, life and body as only one presentation of the Self, and all whom we, at present, conceive of as others will be to his consciousness his own self in other minds, lives and bodies. He will be able to feel his body one with all bodies, as he will be aware constantly of the unity of all matter; he will unite himself in mind and heart with all existences; in short, he will see and feel his own person in all others and all others in himself, realising thus true solidarity in the perfection of unity.
Q: Not to hate the sinner is not so difficult, but not to hate the virtuous is much more difficult. It is easy to understand a sinner, it is easy to understand a poor wretch, but the virtuous…
A: But in reality, what you hate in them is their complacency, it is only that. Because after all they are right not to do evil— you cannot blame them for that! But because of that they think themselves superior. And that is what is so difficult to tolerate: their feeling of superiority, the way in which they look down from their heights on all these poor devils—who are no worse than they are! Oh, I have seen such marvellous examples of this!
Take, for example, a person who has friends, whose friends are very fond of her because they see special capacities in her, because it is pleasant to be in her company, one can always learn from her. Then all of a sudden, by a concurrence of circumstances, this person is shunned by society because she has been with another man or because she is living with someone else without being officially married, in short, because of all these social things which have no value in themselves. And all her friends—I am not speaking of those who truly loved her—all her acquaintances, all those who received her kindly, who welcomed her and greeted her with a warm smile when they met her in the street, now turn their heads the other way and walk right past her without a glance—this has happened even here in the Ashram! I do not want to give any details, but anyway, several times something happened which contravened accepted social laws, and people who had shown so much affection and sympathy—oh, they would sometimes say, “This person is lost!”
When such things happen in the world at large, I find it quite natural, but when it happens here, I always get a little shock, in the sense that I say to myself: “Well, well, they haven’t gone beyond that!” Even people who profess to be broad-minded, to be above all these “conventions”, fall straight into the trap, immediately.
Then to protect their conscience, they say: “Mother does not allow it. Mother does not permit it. Mother does not tolerate it!”—adding one more stupidity to all the others. It is very difficult to get out of this state. This is truly self-righteousness, this sense of social dignity. But it is narrow-mindedness, because a person with a little intelligence is not going to be caught out by something like that. For example, people who have travelled the world and seen that all these social rules depend entirely on climate, race, custom, and even more on time and period, can smile at all that. But right-minded people—phew!
It is an elementary stage. Until you come out of this state you are unfit for yoga. Because, truly, you are not ready for yoga when you are in that state. It is a rudimentary state.
“SHE HAS HER REASONS”
I once told Sri Aurobindo that I could not understand how Mother could give different explanations to different people, different answers to different persons, for the same question.
Sri Aurobindo answered: “She has her reasons for doing this.”
At that time I only understood the word-meaning of Sri Aurobindo’s reply. I had faith, but did not grasp the real meaning behind. Now, by their boundless Grace all this is becoming clear.
“MOTHER DOES NOT LIKE”
We often hear people saying that Mother does not like this or does not like that, because she once said such and such a thing; or that Mother once did this in this way and so it must be done only and always in this particular way.
But those who have carefully observed Mother’s actions know that it is childish to talk in that way. Whatever she did or said depended upon the circumstances, the work, the persons involved in or connected with it, and many other considerations. There was never any insistence or rigidity in her views or actions or expectations.
There was a time when Mother showed a strong distaste for artificial flowers. I remember watching her reaction in the Prosperity room when for the first time these flowers were offered to her. Normally Mother used to receive in her hands everything that was offered to her, useful or not useful; she would either carry them herself or give them to me to carry as I followed her back to her room. But in the case of these artificial flowers she left them there itself, though she liked the person who had offered them. Her expression was as if some unwelcome thing had entered the Ashram.
Years passed. People started bringing various kinds of artificial flowers in different colours. And believe me, Mother looked happy to receive them and praised them, admiring the skill with which they were made. She even started keeping some in her room. People in the Ashram also began to make such flowers
Supposing I had left the Ashram immediately after the scene in the Prosperity room and came back now, after some decades, and saw the long row of plastic flowers in front of the Mother’s couch in the Meditation Hall, what would I say? Naturally I would express my amazement at what the Ashramites were doing, — exactly the opposite of what the Mother liked! And not having known all that had happened in between my departure and my arrival, who could say I was wrong?
Truth to tell, no one can say what Mother and Sri Aurobindo liked or did not like, wanted or did not want. For, I suppose, they had no real likes or dislikes, no wants or otherwise. Whatever was to be done in a particular circumstance or at a particular time, that they did or made us do.
There was a time when Mother was very particular about X, a sadhika. She would always give top priority to X’s letters, needs, etc. But X had many pursuits, what you might call distractions. One day Mother gave me a letter to be delivered to X and said, “Tout de suite”, meaning immediately. ;
C: “It will be done. But Mother, you are so particular about her, but she is not particular about you.”
Mother: “I know that.”
C: “Perhaps one day she will realise the value of what you are doing for her, I do not know.”
Mother: “When that happens, I shall leave her.”
Do you see? That was one the Mother’s many ways of awakening people to the Truth, in this case X. Once the awakening is effected in an individual, there is no need for her to occupy herself” further with him or her.
Stitching Mother’s cloth: This is the most memorable among the constant acts of Mother’s grace to Kamala. Sometimes, after Mother would go into her bathroom and shut the door, she would suddenly come out with a small piece of cloth and tell Kamala;
“Kamala, stitch this immediately; I need it just now.” I used to wonder: Mother has so many handkerchiefs and clothes, so what is the need for this one just now? (But even as I write this, the scene comes up before my eyes: Love is pouring out of Mother’s eyes and her words are spoken with such a tender affection! But then things like this will interest only those with natures like mine.) After some time Mother would come out again and, giving her beautiful smile, take the cloth Kamala would have stitched by then. I did not then understand the reason behind Mother’s behaviour, but now I do.
You may ask: “So tell us, what have you now understood?” What can I answer? All I can say is that Mother never explained such things to me in words. When the time arrived I understood deeper reasons for them. Others can also understand them in the same way. Or, I might say, those who really want to understand will be led to it by the Mother herself.
* * * * *
Prayer of May 4, 1914
TO be merged both in Thee and in Thy work . . . to be no longer a limited individuality . . . to become the infinitude of Thy forces manifesting through one point . . . to be freed from all shackles and all limitations . . . to rise above all restrictive thought . . . to act while remaining outside the action . . . to act with and for individuals while seeing only Oneness, the Oneness of Thy Love, Thy Knowledge, Thy Being . . . O my divine Master, eternal Teacher, Sole Reality, dispel all darkness in this aggregate Thou hast formed for Thy service, Thy manifestation in the world. Realise in it that supreme consciousness which will awaken the same consciousness everywhere.
Oh, no longer to see appearances which incessantly change; always to contemplate in everything and everywhere only Thy immutable Oneness!
O Lord, all my being cries to Thee in an irresistible call; wilt Thou not grant that I may become Thyself in my integral consciousness, since in truth I am Thou and Thou art I?
Prayer of May 9, 1914
JUST at the moment when I was feeling the imperious need of resuming these notes regularly so as to come out of this overwhelming mental inertia, my physical organism suffered a defeat such as it had not known for several years and during a few days all the forces of my body failed me; I saw in this a sign that I had made a mistake, that my spiritual energy had weakened, my vision of the omnipotent Oneness had been clouded, that some wrong suggestion had managed to disturb me in some way, and I bowed down before Thee, O Lord, my sweet Master, with humility, conscious that I was not yet ready for a perfect identification with Thee. Something in this aggregate which constitutes the instrument I can put at Thy service is still obscure and obtuse; something does not respond as it should to Thy forces, deforms and darkens their manifestation. . . .
A great problem came up before me and illness covered it with its veil and prevented me from solving it. Now that I am living once more in the feeling of Thy Oneness, the problem no longer seems to have any sense and I do not understand it very well any more.
It seems to me I have left something far behind me, it seems to me that I am slowly awakening to a new life. I would it were not an illusion and this deep and smiling peace had returned forever.
O my divine Master, my love aspires to Thee more intensely than ever; letme be Thy living Love in the world and nothing but that! May all egoism, all limitation, all darkness disappear; may my consciousness be identified with Thine so that Thou alone mayst be the will acting through this fragile and transient instrument.
O my sweet Master, how ardently my love aspires to Thee. . . .
Grant that I may be nothing but Thy Divine Love and that in every being this Love may awake, powerful and victorious.
Let me be a vast mantle of love enveloping all the earth, entering all hearts, murmuring in every ear Thy divine message of hope and peace. O my divine Master, how ardently I aspire for Thee!
Break these chains of darkness and error; dispel this ignorance, liberate, liberate me, make me see Thy light. . . .
Break, break these chains. . . . I want to understand and I want to be. That is to say, this “I” must be Thy “I” and there must be only one single “I” in the world.
O Lord, grant my prayer, my supplication rises ardently to Thee.
Conversations with a Disciple as noted in the Agenda (Sept 30, 1964):
…To go and do battle with the adverse forces in their own domain, to provoke them, is indeed a peculiar method…. I told W (and in any case I’ll see to it that the other two periods don’t go the same way) that I would keep those gentlemen at a distance.
To go and seek them out in their own place, on their own ground, and fight them seems to me …
But they are the guardians of a certain power, so if you want that power, you have to go and fight them, don’t you?
It had rather seemed to me that they should be kept at a distance. With Théon, the adverse forces and hostile beings were often mentioned, they occupied a big place in self-development and in action. As for Sri Aurobindo, he used to say that that notion was useful mostly from the psychological and personal standpoint, because struggling with difficulties is easier when you see them as coming from “outside,” as an attack from outside, than if you think they are part of your own nature. Not that he denied their existence, far from it, but the path depends a lot on the attitude you take and on the mental construction you have, naturally.
Sri Aurobindo insisted rather on Oneness: he used to say that even what we consider to be the worst adversaries are still a form of the Supreme, which, deliberately or not, consciously or not, helps in the general transformation. This seems to me vaster, deeper, more comprehensive.
And I tried to base action on this rather than on constant battle with opposing forces. Because, granted this idea, it makes sense that if you make the necessary progress, if you have the divine knowledge and consciousness, the very purpose of those forces disappears, and consequently they can’t stay.
On the practical level, I have seen obvious examples of this; it was even my great argument with Durga (I told you, didn’t I, that she used to come at the time of the pujas and that, two years ago, she “surrendered”), that was my great argument, I said to her, “But the purpose of your existence in this form – in this form of combative action – would disappear if through identification you obtained the powers that render those forces unnecessary.” And it’s after I told her these things that she surrendered to the supreme Will; she said, “I shall do what the Supreme wants me to do.”
It was a very interesting result indeed.
….Sri Aurobindo said that all the Tantrics start from below; they start right down below, and so right down below, that’s how things must be, obviously. While with him, you went from above downward, so that you dominated the situation. But if you start right down below, it’s obvious that, right down below, that’s how things are: anything that’s a little stronger or a little vaster or a little truer or a little purer than ordinary Nature brings about a reaction, a revolt, a contradiction and a struggle.
I prefer the other method. Though probably it isn’t within everyone’s reach.
Yesterday I was asked the question; I was asked whether abuse, the feeling of being abused, and what in English is called self-respect (which is somewhat akin to self-esteem), have a place in the sadhana. Naturally, they don’t, that goes without saying! But I saw the movement, it was extremely clear: I saw that without ego, when the ego isn’t there, there CANNOT be that sort of ruffling in the being. Because I went back far into the past, to the time when I still felt that (years ago), but now it’s not even something alien – it’s something impossible. The whole being, even, strangely, even the physical constitution, doesn’t understand what it means. It’s the same thing when materially there is a knock (Mother shows a scratch on her elbow), like this, for instance: it’s no longer felt the way an injury is felt. It’s no longer felt that way. More often than not, there’s nothing at all, it goes absolutely unnoticed in the midst of the whole; but when there is something, it’s only a sense – a very … sweet, very intimate sense – of a help trying to make itself felt, a lesson to be learned. But not the way it’s done mentally, always with a stiffening; that’s not it: it’s instantly a sort of offering in the being, which gives itself in order to learn. I am speaking of all the cells. It’s very interesting. Of course, if we mentalize it, we should say it’s the sense or awareness of the divine Presence in all things, and that the mode – the mode of contact – comes from the state in which we are.
This is the body’s experience.
And the only perception when there is some clash or other in individuals, some shock or other, is always a clear vision of the ego – the ego manifesting itself. They say, “It’s the other’s fault.” I wouldn’t say, “Oh, so-and-so was angry” or “Oh, so-and-so …” No, it’s his ego; not even his ego: THE EGO, the ego principle – the ego principle still interfering. That’s very interesting, because for me the ego has become a sort of impersonal entity, while for everyone, it’s the acute sense of his personality! Instead of that, it’s a sort of way of being (which we may call terrestrial, or human), a sort of way of being in greater or lesser quantity here or there or there, and which gives each one the illusion of his personality. It’s very interesting.
Yes, but the trouble is, others don’t learn their lesson, so … So they invade you.
Oh, if they learned their lesson, everything would change very soon!
So the result is that you are invaded, submerged.
All your time is swallowed up, all your…
I can’t be submerged! (laughing) I’m too big!
But still, materially you’re overburdened.
I have noticed that if I resist, things go wrong. If I have a sense of fluidity, there aren’t any clashes any longer. It’s the same thing as with this scratch (Mother shows her elbow). You see, if you stiffen up and things resist, you give yourself a knock. It’s like people who know how to fall: they fall without hurting themselves. With people who don’t know how to fall, the slightest tumble and they break something. It’s the same thing. We must learn to be … perfect oneness. To correct, straighten things out, is still to resist.
So what’s going to happen [if the invasion goes on]?… It’ll be amusing, we’ll see! (Mother laughs) The others aren’t in the same state, so maybe they’ll feel hurt, but I can’t help it! (Mother laughs)
We should always laugh, always. The Lord laughs. He laughs, and His laughter is so good, so good, so full of love! A laughter that envelops you in an extraordinary sweetness.
This, too, men have distorted – (laughing) they’ve distorted everything!
* * *
What shocked me was…. You know I rarely leave my house, but each time I would come to the Ashram for darshan or to see you, always, as if by chance, I would find J. off in a corner with some European visitor. The repetition of this coincidence made me wonder, ‘What’s he doing so systematically with ALL the European visitors?!’ And it shocked me to imagine myself in their place: just suppose, I said to myself, you are coming to the Ashram for the first time, very open, in search of a great truth, and you stumble upon this man who tells you: Sri Aurobindo = ……. Well, my first reaction would be, ‘I’m leaving, I’m not interested!’
It serves as a test, my child, a very good test! There are many things like that….
For example, there’s someone here, M…..,, who gossips to everybody. She had quite a clientele for a long time because she used to make Indian sweets and the Europeans went to her place for snacks. She is a woman who, when there isn’t any gossip, invents it! She tells all the dirt imaginable to all her visitors – a fact which was brought to my attention. I recall that a long time ago Sir Akbar from Hyderabad warned me, ‘You know, she’s the second Mother of the Ashram, be careful!’ ‘It’s a good test,’ I replied, ‘people who don’t immediately sense what it is aren’t worthy of coming here!’
Well, with J. it’s the same – from an intellectual viewpoint, it’s the very same thing: if people are taken in by what he says, it means they’re not ready AT ALL.
But the danger isn’t to be ‘taken in,’ but to be disgusted by it!
Disgusted? But that amounts to the same thing!
They’ll say, ‘So that’s Sri Aurobindo!…’
Then it proves they have never read anything by Sri Aurobindo. It’s unimportant. No, it’s even better than unimportant: it’s a test. This place is full of tests, full, full, full! People don’t realize…. One can see it happening, as though it were done on purpose just to trip people up (not really ‘on purpose,’ but that’s how it acts). It protects me from hordes of good-for-nothings! I am not eager to have a lot of people here.
Another thing that shocked me was in their journal….
I’ve never seen it – full of stupidities?
It’s outrageous! First of all, they use Sri Aurobindo’s name, putting it on a level with Vinoba Bhave or Dr. Schweitzer or who knows what other sage; then at the end they launch an appeal for people to ‘enroll’! So the reader is left wondering, ‘But I thought Sri Aurobindo….’ You understand, this indiscriminate mixture, this diminishing….
I wrote them a letter where I stuck this nonsense of theirs right under their noses.
Listen to this appeal: ‘If the opportunity offered by this movement appeals to you, if you have the feeling that you are one of those who have been prepared to collaborate in the spiritual adventure, we invite you to write to us, enrolling yourself as a member….’
I’m going to send this to V, asking her innocently, ‘Has this appeared in your journal? Because it would be better if it didn’t: we don’t make propaganda.’ Oh, I am hard on them, you know!
But it doesn’t matter, we must always keep smiling, mon petit. In the end, good always comes out of such things – it’s a sorting-out! A splendid, splendid sifter!
The truth is, VERY FEW people are ready to be here, very few. We have taken in all types – we accept, we accept, we accept – afterwards, we sift. And the sifting goes on more and more. Actually, we accept everything, the entire earth, and then … (gesture)there’s a churning. And everything useless goes away.
The opposition is clearly becoming stronger and stronger, a very good sign – it means we are advancing. But circumstances are growing more and more difficult: the least thing becomes an opportunity to demonstrate bad will and spite – on the part of the government, on the part of people here and so on. Seen from a superficial viewpoint, we are more than ever in the soup. But this makes my heart rejoice! I take it as a sign that we are getting nearer.
Don’t let it trouble you, you must always smile. Smile, be absolutely above it all – absolutely.
I told them…. Because at….. W. U, they asked me what their mistake had been (they didn’t state it so candidly, but in a roundabout way), and I replied (not so candidly, either – not exactly in a roundabout way, but in general terms). I told them their mistake was being unfaithful and I explained that to be unfaithful means to put everything on the same level (that’s when I sent them those lines). I told them, ‘Your error was in saying: “One teaching among many teachings – so let us be broad-minded and accept all teachings.”’ So along with all the teachings, you accept every stupidity possible.
But if someone is taken in, it proves he’s at an elementary stage and unready.
Oh, I’ve had all sorts of examples! … All these errors serve as tests. Take the case of P.: for a long time, whenever someone arrived from the outside world and asked to be instructed, he was sent to P.’s room. (I didn’t send them, but they would be told, ‘Go speak to P.!’) And P. is the sectarian par excellence! He would tell people, ‘Unless you acknowledge Sri Aurobindo as the ONLY one who knows the truth, you are good for nothing!’ Naturally (laughing), many rebelled!….. I was told about it afterwards and I replied, ‘Let people read and see for THEMSELVES whether or not it suits them! What difference does it make if they’re put off! If they are, it means they NEED to be put off! We’ll see later.’ Some of them have come full circle and returned. Others never came back – because theyweren’t meant to. That’s how it goes. Basically, all this has NO importance. Or we could put it in another way: everything is perfectly all right.
Each one of us must learn his lesson – that’s a different matter. WE are not perfectly all right because we can be better – circumstances are simply the outgrowth of what we are, nothing else. And we needn’t worry – I never worry myself!
What’s more, I find it so funny! A time comes when all such things seem so childish, so stupid, so … meaningless! What difference can it make! As long as people are still at that level, that’s where they are. The day they get away from it, they too will smile!
* * *
But if we had the vision of the whole, if we were able to contain past, present and future simultaneously (as it is somewhere up above), then we would see how relative these things are and that it’s mainly the progressing evolutionary Force which gives us this will to reject; yet when these things still had their place, they were quite tolerable. However, to have this experience in a practical sense is impossible unless we have a total vision – the vision that is the Supreme’s alone! Therefore, one must first identify with the Supreme, and then, keeping this identification, one can return to a consciousness sufficiently externalized to see things as they really are. But that’s the principle, and in so far as we are able to realize it, we reach a state of consciousness where we can look at all things with the smile of a complete certainty that everything is exactly as it should be.
Of course, people who don’t think deeply enough will say, ‘Oh, but if we see that things are exactly “as they should be,” then nothing will budge.’ But no! There isn’t a fraction of a second when things aren’t moving: there’s a continuous and total transformation, a movement that never stops. Only because it’s difficult for us to feel that way can we imagine that by our entering certain states of consciousness things would not change. Even if we entered into an apparently total inertia, things would continue to change and we along with them!
Ultimately, disgust, rebellion and anger, all movements of violence, are necessarily movements of ignorance and of limitation with all the weakness that limitation implies. Rebellion is a weakness, for it’s the feeling of an impotent will. When you feel, when you see that things are not as they should be, then you rebel against whatever is out of keeping with your vision. But if you were all-powerful, if your will and your vision were all-powerful, there would be no opportunity to rebel! You would always see that all things are as they should be! That is omnipotence. Then all these movements of violence become not only useless but profoundly ridiculous.
Consequently, there is only one solution: by aspiration, concentration, interiorization and identification, to unite with the supreme Will. And that is both omnipotence and perfect freedom. It’s the only omnipotence, the only freedom – all the rest are approximations. You may be en route, but it’s not that, not the total thing.
If you make the experiment, you will come to see that this supreme freedom and this supreme power are accompanied by a total peace and an unfaltering serenity; if you notice any contradiction – revolt, disgust or something inadmissible – this indicates that some part in You is not touched by the transformation, is still en route: something still holding on to the old consciousness, that’s all.
This talk was recorded on 4th Feb 2014 at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India.