From a series of 15 contemplations, written by Indra Sen shortly after The Mother’s physical withdrawal
Mother, as we think of You, longingly remember You, a long past and Your varied dealings with us begin to play up in our mind. We heartily enjoy all those dealings over again, are grateful for them, but are weighed down by a regret, feel awfully sorry that we did not behave and respond to You and Your dealings as we should have. We feel very sorry, indeed.
We enjoyed so much going to You for blessings and there was a time when we went to You three times a day. You received each one of us with great joy, showered on us the Divine’s Peace and Love and Force and we felt so thrilled, elevated, reinforced! But we had a queer silly attitude — a demanding, a comparing and a critical attitude. We felt, ‘Oh, Mother smiled more to him, concentrated longer on so-and-so, did not pay much attention to somebody, I was just passed over or ignored!’ and so forth. How silly it all was!
We just failed to appreciate one simple truth that to the Mother we were all Her children, She had accepted us, She looked after us and wished us all to grow in Divine Consciousness. Her love was for us all a patent fact. Compassion is native to the Divine Consciousness.
But this simple and obvious truth we could never get and, in fact, found fault with the Mother’s dealings, thought they were discriminatory. We are miserable, Mother, we apologise, we are sorry for all that.
Sri Aurobindo explained to us time and again that the Mother was concentrating on so-and-so, was putting a special Force on some point in him and, therefore, could not smile to him. She was not at all displeased with him. Or sometimes the Mother was in a trance and, therefore, the smile could not be there. But we did not care to understand the trance and its deeper working and insisted on having the apparent smile and there too we insisted on a fuller and a broader smile and had not much appreciation for a deeper and quieter pleasure.
How stupid was it all, Mother! Your abiding joy in us, in spite of our mistakes, wrong attitudes, gross misbehaviours, we did not recognise, but the absence of smile on a particular occasion, whether due to an act of concentration or a trance, was harboured long. And Sri Aurobindo’s repeated explanations we did not accept. How funny! How unintelligent! How unworthy of a seeker after Soul and God, who had come and made his total surrender to the Guru!
We recall it all, feel terribly sad. We apologise. Never shall such a feeling cross our mind again. We have all the reasons to be grateful to You, grateful to You for Your love and joy, for Your marvellous help in difficulty and even more grateful for Your rebuke, usually very incidental and suggestive, since that shook us up in our self-complacency and opened a truer and a larger vision. We are grateful, only grateful, for all Your marvellous and varied dealings with us.
Our past failures were very many and we feel very very sorry for them. Mother, forgive us. They shall never be repeated.
Sri Aurobindo’s advice now comes to us with a special force. He said, ‘Open and receive’. That was the only thing that mattered, He said, and this He said time and again in many ways. He said, ‘Open yourself and receive what the Mother is giving to you, is pressing upon you at meditations and otherwise’.
But this one thing that mattered was the one thing we did not heartily accept and follow. If we had done that, our progress in finding our soul and discovering the Supreme would have been immense and immense would have been the Mother’s pleasure in us. How happy we would have felt then!
The daily ‘blessings’ were a great thing and we ran to those occasions. But our birthdays were a festival to each one of us. The Mother had seen that on a birthday a sadhak was usually more open and She sought to put into him a great deal of Divine Peace and Force and Love and Knowledge. She welcomed each one of us with a special warmth, the Ashram community rejoiced over it and we were happy the whole day, thinking of the Mother and Her great love.
A similar great occasion in collective form was the New Year’s day. There was a time when the Mother received us all at 5 a.m. and wished each one of us ‘Bonne Annee’ (‘Happy New Year’) and we thrilled with the experience.
The Darshan Days were days by themselves of exceptional giving and large collective and individual receiving and they were welcomed and celebrated jointly by the Ashram community, the disciples living outside and the admirers and seekers all over the world. On these days, the Mother was in a form that reflected the great occasion.
There used to be for a time ‘a vegetable Darshan’ too. At about midday, the Mother would come down to the courtyard of the Ashram to receive the offering of the vegetables of the Ashram gardens. At that time, a relatively small number of sadhaks would come round to see the Mother. The Mother would look at the vegetables of the day and then have a little fun with us. That Darshan had an evident quality of amusement and we would laugh a great deal. The Mother would give us some fruit or the like, but this She would throw out to us and ask us to catch. Some did it very neatly and some clumsily and some failed and we would all have great fun.
Christmas was also a special occasion and at one time the Mother Herself gave each one of us a Christmas gift.
There were quite a few other special occasions of joy and celebration.
We remember all that and it is such a joy to live them over again inwardly. But as we do so, we do also remember that we went to the Mother, met Her and had a lot of joy. But this joy was a variable fact. At times very keen, very vivid and long-staying. But at times, it would not be so. And then there would be occasions when at home itself, in our room, quietly sitting by ourselves, we would have a nice meeting with the Mother. It would be thrilling and we would long dwell over it.
Latterly when the Mother withdrew and the occasions of going to Her for blessings became fewer, many of us reported that this situation necessitated the cultivation of the capacity of inner spiritual contact independently of the physical meeting. And we also heard that many felt they could then have freer contacts. They said that, there being no necessity of physically running for ‘blessings’, they learned to rely more on their inner turning to the Mother and off and on get the contact. This experience was heard of as being a very very happy thing.
Mother, You are now all a spiritual Reality, presumably more free, more active, more dynamic. And since Your passing, Your Presence and Contact have been more widely felt. We pray that we develop this capacity more fully, more perfectly and enjoy Your Presence and Contact more abidingly. You can thus be to us a constant companion, guide, friend and helper. You will then be to us more living than ever before. This is what you demanded of us when You withdrew latterly and this is what Sri Aurobindo also advised — an inner contact, not the physical meeting. Now You would desire it all the more.
Mother, grant that this may become a complete reality of life, for Your pleasure and satisfaction and our fulfilment.
But for our past failures, failures to recognise that You are always compassionate and loving, failure to follow Sri Aurobindo’s advice ‘Open and receive’ and indulging in a childish demanding, claiming, blaming attitude we are very very sorry indeed.