A talk given to the students of the Higher Course of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education on October 26, 1976
You have been here for many years, for many, many years. From childhood you are here, most of you, perhaps all of you. Some of you are going out, some are likely to stay, some are still undecided. If you are asked, “What have you gained by your long stay here?”, I can tell you what you have gained. It is not any outward thing nor any of the things that you have learned at school, the knowledge that you have gained here; it is not that, but something else. Be sure of that. You yourselves don’t know perhaps, but that thing is there within you. You have not passed your time in vain here — you have the Mother’s touch.
Mother said many many times, “Whoever gets my touch, whoever has a second of true aspiration, of true love for me, he is finished for this life, for all lives — he is bound to me. I have put a golden chain round his neck; his heart is bound eternally to me.”
It is a thing nobody can see; you yourselves don’t see it, but it is a fact, it is there. The golden chain is there within your heart. Wherever you go, you drag that chain; it is a lengthening chain. However far you may go, it is an elastic chain, it goes on lengthening but never snaps. In hours of difficulty, in hours of doubt and confusion in your life, you have that within you to support you. If you are conscious of it, so much the better; if you are not conscious, believe that it is there. The Mother’s love, her presence is there always.
That is the thing I wanted to tell you.
In the Upanishads there is a story. Once Narada — I suppose it is Narada — went to a Rishi to get initiation. The Rishi asked him, “What have you learned? What have you learned in your lite as a student now that you come to me?” Narada began to narrate all the Vidyas that he had learned during his education as a Brahmachari — all the Shastras, even Dhanurvidya, all kinds of learnings. Then the Rishi said, “All that is Apara Vidya, the inferior knowledge. Do you know Brahman?” “No sir, I do not know.” “That is the thing to be known. Once that one thing is known, everything else is known.”
So I tell you, that one thing needful you have acquired; you have not to attempt to get it. You are fortunate, you are lucky. We are all very lucky; Mother called us here and she has given it out of her own love, her infinite love, unasked, unconditionally. Whatever you are in your outward character and activities, that is not affected at all by the outer nature; it remains as it is, pure, unsullied.
Some of you were present at my talk on Dante. I spoke of Dante’s vision; it is a wonderful vision — the vision of the mission of the Divine Mother.
Dante saw a globe of light in front of him. As he was standing before the Divine Trinity in the Empyrean, suddenly he saw revealed to him a luminous globe and, within that luminous globe, he saw a light circling, moving. And as he gazed into that circling light, as if its reflection, its reflected image, he saw himself. He saw himself in that circling light — himself not as he saw himself, but as the circling divine light saw him — its own image. “I was there in the image as conceived by Him, not as conceived by me.”
In our language we can say that the luminous globe was the supreme Divine, and then within it was the whirling circling light — that was the Creative Power, the Divine Mother in Her creative mood. And within that, “I was there as Her child, in my true reality, not as I see myself but as She sees me; in that image I saw myself.”
Dante says that it was an experience as if he was looking into an Eye, a big ball of Eye; and in that Eye he saw reflected his image as the Divine sees him, not “as I see myself, but my true self”. I say that this is the Image the Mother has left to you, within you. However much you may try, you cannot lose it; it will be there, till its fruition. Whenever you feel discouraged — naturally when you look at the world and its happenings, you feel very much distressed, disgusted — remember that there is another reality behind: it is the Mother’s Presence that redeems all that. In any mood of depression, dejection, difficulty, always know that it is there in you to support you, to bring you peace and strength, and it is never failing. So many times she has said: “Everything else fails in this world; I will never fail you.”