Mona Sarkar reads a part of his conversation with the Mother, recollected and published earlier as a part of his book ‘The Supreme’ (Ashram Press, 2000). A full text of the conversation is given below.
Bonjour, Douce Mère.
Is everything all right?
As it should be?
I think so, Mother.
(In a teasing tone) Oh, you think… you are not sure?
Yes, Mother, I think so, yes.
And are you progressing well?
That — that You know, Mother.
And not you?
Not yet, Mother.
Then you must hurry up, otherwise you will not be able to catch up with me. I advance very fast.
Yes, that is the difficulty. But do not leave us behind. We want to follow You, Mother.
Do you think you can?
No, Mother, never. This we feel, that without You, we can do nothing.
Then, it depends on you. You must make the effort…. But what I see within, the promise of what is there, (pointing to the heart) what you must do, the indications which I receive, it is these that I pursue.
But it seems that you are not yet conscious of all that is happening within you.
No, Mother, not yet, I am very far. But I am beginning to perceive something.
But for me, this is the indication, — what I see within, — it is this that I follow. It is this that I catch hold of, the light of this awakened consciousness, the progress in the aspiration. I do not see the dirt and the defects that are there all around, nor the clouds of inconscience that cover the being. All this, I sweep aside and I see the central being — the soul — which tells me of the possibility that is there, that is trying to express itself and to emerge. When I look, the screen which was covering it opens itself and the soul tells me all that is to be done. And it is this that draws one forward, so that there is a contact with the central being which expresses its will to act directly to make the necessary progress.
I am trying, Mother, but it is difficult.
And yet I am constantly pushing you forward.
Mother, we are still very far from what You expect of us, there is a gulf between what You see within us and what we are outwardly.
But you must build a bridge between the two. It is as simple as that. (Mother smiles)
Then build it, Mother.
And if I do it, will you be able to keep it constantly?
Mother, for You it is so easy. You have only to say and it is done. But for us, it is very difficult. You cannot compare Yourself with us.
I am not comparing. But you do not take the pains. The will and the ardour, the effort and the patience to progress and to sustain it — it is this that is lacking. With the help that is there at our disposal what could we not do! What could we not accomplish! Try, with a will, with humility, to acknowledge the help, without the ego intervening, — and then you will see. Not just trying for two minutes and Vroot falling flat the next moment. No, not like that. But steady, steady, with a constant aspiration to progress, and an unwavering patience. Always, at each step and on each occasion, try to feel the Presence, constantly and untiringly. Forget the results of all the actions, and find the lesson they bring for you. Each action has something to teach. Try to find that instead of being overwhelmed by the cause and effect. For each event, know how to stand back a little, detached, and find the clue that it gives for the progress — the Truth behind each action. One should use to the maximum the occasion that arises, without being externally involved. The external has no value. But also to recognise that it is He who is within, — the Truth of your existence, — who is doing everything for you. And evidently it can only be for the best. Leave everything to Him alone, do nothing, and above all, do not worry. Abandon all to Him. Then you will see the difference, how each step, each event, each word, each sensation, each vibration, in fact, each action, each sentiment, becomes the source, the means to perceive what the Truth is. My child, this is a game which is much more interesting than all others.
This is the Joy which lies hidden behind life. Be worthy of the formidable help that is at your disposal, which is continuously pushing you forward. It is not to be found anywhere, but given only to those privileged ones who accept and take refuge in me and in Sri Aurobindo. Take the trouble to find it.
Mother, I have always thought, in what way could I show my gratitude, my gratefulness towards You?
(In a teasing tone) To whom?
To You, Mother.
To me!… Ah! This is a privilege to which I have no right. For no one takes the trouble. If there is a difficulty, an obstacle or an attack, at once they send a prayer to me, a supplication for help: “Please save me. Please protect me”; or even in order to surmount the difficulties: “Mother, come to our help. Stretch out your hands to protect us. Extend your compassion. Have pity on us.” And when the Grace has accomplished its work, the benevolent Power that She is… then, never a word of gratitude for the thousand and one things that I constantly accomplish for them. When I protect them, or surmount a difficulty for them, not a word after that…. When the Grace has done everything for them, — saved them, protected them, and has overcome all the difficulties, — not a word which goes up from below. Forgotten immediately. It makes no difference to them that there was a formidable force that had pulled them out of danger, without which how could they have been saved and how could they remain safe and at peace! Phew! Forgotten and gone without leaving a trace on them; the great miraculous phenomenon which had saved them, they do not remember…. The attitude of gratefulness is really neglected, an act that is not to be found in the world. At least, it is very rare…. Hmm! To be grateful! That is the difference.
But why do you ask me this? Why? (In a teasing mood) Have you been rewarded by the Grace? An act of divine kindness? A certain favour from heaven which has touched you deeply, that, moved by its generosity, you want to show your gratefulness towards me? Oh! how I am flattered, overwhelmed with surprises, touched by the very thought. At last there is someone who would like to show his gratitude to the Divine.
Mother, please do not tease me. I am serious.
Well, so am I! (smiling) I tell you that most people consider this to be the most natural act, — when God protects them from a misfortune or an accident, or He sends His Grace, His Help to comfort or to console or to bless, — as something quite evident, something which is their due, it is their legitimate right and the Divine must comply because by chance they have called for Divine help when suddenly they were in difficulty. The Divine should pay back his debt towards them. How wonderful is their logic! That is why they need not be grateful. They have already called the Divine, it is evident and very natural for them, then why all this drama after everything is over?
But let us see,… what do you want to know? How to show one’s gratefulness?… gratefulness?…
He who understands,… who admits the intervention of a higher power which accomplishes the things without our knowledge, — whether it be to save someone, to protect another, or it could be an act of generosity of the Lord towards the people, the help, the succour, and all that, which intervenes to assure man of the presence of a higher power, — he who in all humility accepts with goodwill, recognises with modesty that there is something beyond him, beyond the circle of his little ego, that gets the work done, something which one cannot even imagine, rarely know or witness, which accomplishes all the so-called miracles of our existence, of our terrestrial life. One has to submit oneself. Have the goodwill to recognise that after all it is Providence which acts according to a higher law, of which we can become conscious, and offer Him a word of gratitude, nothing more.
Do not forget that fate is not the last determinism, but there is a choice given to us; it is not the end…. Whether it is the invisible Hand that pulls you out of an imminent danger, that comforts you during the painful moments of your life, that gives us the assurance, the certitude, the happiness, that alleviates a fait accompli, or that gives you a new life, a renewed health or rather snatches you out from the jaws of death, — it is still His Grace. Whether it is the Hand that blesses, or the smile of a peaceful life, the joy without end, the riches of the infinite splendour, — for everything to be thankful to Him in a silent and unparalleled obeisance, to send a word in thankfulness, to render a silent prayer from the very depths of the being in answer to the acts accomplished by Him.
First of all, it is not an act of gratefulness that one must express towards Him, but an attitude of surrender in the peaceful depths of one’s heart. To submit oneself at His feet (Mother bows Her head in a gesture of humility), and accept that ‘It is He who has accomplished all this for me. For indeed it is He who does everything’…. Very quietly, to render a word of gratitude, a gesture of thankfulness towards Him, without forgetting the proof of His assistance. Then, this rises directly there (gesture), where the Benefactor is. This can take the form of a prayer, like that of thankfulness, like a gesture to the Adorable One in the depths of one’s being, to the Immutable Truth that resides within. To feel His Presence, to give everything to Him, to entrust all to Him…. We can arrive at this when we have surpassed our ego.
In fact, without Him nothing can move. Yes, it is like that. He is the Mover, that is why it is well to recognise the good that He does for us. For always He leads us and brings us closer to the truth of our being, always the very best we can conceive of, always for our good, even if in appearance it is the contrary. Without faltering, He invites us to progress more. He brings us into the sanctuary of Truth where is found the source of Peace, Light and Ananda, where the Lord resides — the Immanent Divine (Mother indicates the heart).
There, in that immense cave of the inner being, one must plunge to find the inner support; one must descend and descend further, more and more, plane after plane, consciousness after consciousness, leaving behind all imprints, and enter into the very depths to find the serene Peace. Within this immense quietude of the being, far from the exterior noise, far from the anguish and the pain, far from the thoughts and the imaginations, far, far away from the waves of sensations, one must enter very carefully, there where the ego does not exist, to feel the Presence. There is yet further to go, still more to discover, to turn the consciousness inwards where the Power vibrates, all-powerful, which accomplishes everything. One must go still deeper where there is no act, no impression, no ego, no separate self, nothing but waves of joy and a vibration which is at the origin of everything, like that, equal (gesture), and of a perfect equanimity. To feel and be united in this perfect and immutable peace… then to enter into that serene beatitude where the consciousness is completely identified with the central being. There, there is no duality anymore, no existence anymore, nothing at all — to be one with this spark of the Immortal Flame, the Immanent Divine, the Unique and the One, the Soul that resides in us.
And still deeper down in this purifying Flame resides Sri Aurobindo — Immutable Ananda, All-Powerful, the Invincible, the Supreme Lord of our existence, the manifestation of the Omnipresence in existence, the Omnipotence in His effectuations, the Omniscience of the Supreme Power manifested; one who is the Goal, the Master, the Beloved, — who is also the Supreme Lord.
When one truly calls Him, it is from there (Mother indicates the heart) that Sri Aurobindo answers. It vibrates by His Name, with His consciousness; there resounds the name of Sri Aurobindo because His imprint is there (gesture).
In the very depths, it is He who resides…. All existence lives by Him. It vibrates by Him. The whole universe vibrates by Him. He is there in everything, vibrant and animating by His Presence.
The delight of His Name penetrates and purifies all, rings and resounds everywhere in the sublime Joy, eternal and true. With His Name the existence takes on a meaning.
To rediscover the Immanent Divine hidden in everything in this whole universe…. To find Him is the eternal game. To feel Him is to feel the immutable Peace of perfect Purity. To realise Him is to find the eternal Joy. To call Him is to unlock the doors of Infinity. This is the power behind the name Sri Aurobindo (trance)….
This, then, is the meaning of gratitude: that the Divine exists and a sublime joy fills our being with a marvellous sensation of self-giving in an act of perpetual thankfulness, and we submit ourselves in a peaceful adoration to the Supreme Lord of our being.
But Mother, Sri Aurobindo has always said that You, You are within us.
Yes, it is true, perfectly right.
Me, I am there as a Presence in the Eternal Flame, the Power that animates and initiates the action, the Peace that renders all sweet and peaceful, the Joy that overflows and sublimates, the Light that purifies, and the Vibration that sanctions.
Sri Aurobindo is there as a sustaining Entity, and me I am there like a Guide. In fact, it is the same identity in two. One, who observes, — the Witness, and the other that effectuates, — the Shakti.
So long as one has not realised that, one cannot understand anything.
Anyhow, your gratefulness has been well accepted. He has heard your prayer and I give you my blessings.
Yes, my child, he who recognises Sri Aurobindo and me, — in fact, it is the same thing, the same identity, — for him all obstacles, all difficulties, all traps, all the so-called interruptions on the march towards the Truth, are swept away and removed for ever, — in this life, as well as after death and in the lives to come, — till Eternity.
Yes, for him, the Lord is all powerful.
Only to repeat:
“Ma — Sri Aurobindo, Ma — Sri Aurobindo” … (trance).
That is enough. (trance)