Celebrating the Mother’s Birthday (a hope and a reminder)

As from the soil sprang glory of branch and flower,
As from the animal’s life rose thinking man,
A new epiphany appeared in her.
A mind of light, a life of rhythmic force,
A body instinct with hidden divinity
Prepared an image of the coming god;
                           Savitri: 357

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were always careful to caution about the grand shows that the vital of man indulges in. Spectacular though these shows are, often verging on the pompous, catering to lower tastes and tendencies in man, such vital shows do not help us grow. They give us only an illusion of action but very often take us away from the true action demanded of us on such events as the Mother’s Birthday. Her advent was with the purpose of bringing down a new, a greater Consciousness upon Earth. She embodied this greater Consciousness right from Her Birth and even as a child would be often seen drawing this tremendous Power more and more into her body that was prepared in a special way to receive and manifest this New Consciousness. With the development of her earthly instruments, this New Consciousness, this breath of New Life that she had brought with her began flowing out naturally and inevitably as flowers radiate their beauty and fragrance all around. were mankind ready and receptive perhaps nothing else was needed but for man to imbibe this New Consciousness, awaken to this new possibility and taking a leap from the limited mental man start receiving the supramental consciousness in his life. Of course the total change would still take time since it would mean not just a change of consciousness of man but also the instruments of nature through which we operate right now. Yet a beginning would have been made in a more natural way. This is what she was trying before coming to Pondicherry.

The Mother notes this refusal of man in her following prayer:

Oiwake: September 3, 1919*

SINCE the man refused the meal I had prepared with so much love and care, I invoked the God to take it.

My God, Thou hast accepted my invitation, Thou hast come to sit at my table, and in exchange for my poor and humble offering Thou hast granted to me the last liberation. My heart, even this morning so heavy with anguish and care, my head surcharged with responsibility, are delivered of their burden. Now are they light and joyful as my inner being has been for a long time past. My body smiles to Thee with happiness as before my soul smiled to Thee.

And surely hereafter Thou wilt withdraw no more from me this joy, O my God! for this time, I think, the lesson has been sufficient, I have mounted the Calvary of successive disillusionments high enough to attain to the Resurrection. Nothing remains of the past but a potent love which gives me the pure heart of a child and the lightness and freedom of thought of a god.

CWM 1: 377

Soon after this she started back for India. This was 1920. The question that she had in mind was whether it will be for this time or once again the original divine project has to be shelved aside and postponed for a still later date. She recounts this experience in one of her conversations.

To give you an idea of what this means I shall relate an experience of mine when I first met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. I was in deep concentration, seeing things in the Supermind, things that were to be but which were somehow not manifesting. I told Sri Aurobindo what I had seen and asked him if they would manifest. He simply said, “Yes.” And immediately I saw that the Supramental had touched the earth and was beginning to be realised! This was the first time I had witnessed the power to make real what is true: it is the very same power that will bring about the realisation in you of the truth when you come in all sincerity, saying, “This falsehood I want to get rid of”, and the answer which you get is “Yes.”

CWM 3: 141 – 142

It had to be this time; at least a seed had to be sown in ‘death’s tremendous hour’. A branch of Heaven that she had brought with her had to be transplanted upon human soil. Thence started an unprecedented tapasya of the twin Avatars, a tapasya that would start with a seed plot in Pondicherry and would end with the manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness the world over.

Yet this New Manifestation that she promised and fulfilled is but yet another beginning. It is here that we must discover the secret of Her Birth and the possibility that is born with it. The best way therefore of celebrating Her birthday is to remember what She stands for, what she has brought for us, to silently prepare ourselves to receive it, persevering on the Path a complete faith in Her vision and Her Grace that is here to accomplish and fulfil in each individual and the collective and in each and every sphere and detail of life what has already been granted in a fundamental way.

As She Herself reminded us on Her eightieth birthday:

21 February 1958

To celebrate the birth of a transitory body can satisfy some faithful feelings.
To celebrate the manifestation of the eternal Consciousness can be done at every moment of the universal history.
But to celebrate the advent of a new world, the supramental world, is a marvellous and exceptional privilege.    

CWM 15: 185

She came to remind man of the glorious future awaiting us. She brought it right at our doorsteps. But yet a step is needed to link up this future with our present. It is a ‘Yes’, a sincere Yes in our hearts and the will to give ourselves to this evolutionary leap for which we have waited for centuries and millenniums. Now has it come but with it comes the urgency, – will we won’t we. It is for each one of us to answer it and depending upon the answer in our hearts, the doors of destiny will open one way or the other. We can close with her following conversation where She states the problem and the solution succinctly in one of her conversations of 1958:

After all, the whole problem is to know whether humanity has reached the state of pure gold or whether it still needs to be tested in the crucible.

One thing is evident, humanity has not become pure gold; that is visible and certain.

 But something has happened in the world’s history which allows us to hope that a selected few in humanity, a small number of beings, perhaps, are ready to be transformed into pure gold and that they will be able to manifest strength without violence, heroism without destruction and courage without catastrophe.

But in the very next paragraph Sri Aurobindo gives the answer: “If man could once consent to be spiritualised.” If only the individual could consent to be spiritualised… could consent. [1]

Something in him asks for it, aspires, and all the rest refuses, wants to continue to be what it is: the mixed ore which needs to be cast into the furnace.

At the moment we are at a decisive turning-point in the history of the earth, once again. From every side I am asked, “What is going to happen?” Everywhere there is anguish, expectation, fear. “What is going to happen?…” There is only one reply: “If only man could consent to be spiritualised.”

And perhaps it would be enough if some individuals became pure gold, for this would be enough to change the course of events…. We are faced with this necessity in a very urgent way.

This courage, this heroism which the Divine wants of us, why not use it to fight against one’s own difficulties, one’s own imperfections, one’s own obscurities? Why not heroically face the furnace of inner purification so that it does not become necessary to pass once more through one of those terrible, gigantic destructions which plunge an entire civilisation into darkness?

This is the problem before us. It is for each one to solve it in his own way.

This evening I am answering the questions I have been asked, and my reply is that of Sri Aurobindo: If man could once consent to be spiritualised….

And I add: Time presses… from the human point of view.

CWM 9: 74 – 75

 

 

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  1. “All would change if man could once consent to be spiritualised; but his nature, mental and vital and physical, is rebellious to the higher law. He loves his imperfection.”[]