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At the Feet of The Mother

The World of Dead and the World of Living (HH 095)

There are few things that carry such fascination as well as fear as Death. Most of our attitudes and practices regarding Death are either a matter of blind habit and custom or else a product of Ignorance. As always, the Mother and Sri Aurobindo open for us a wonderful door of Light that reveals to us the mystery of Death as seen by the very highest spiritual consciousness. 

Words of the Mother


You see, there are always two possibilities when people are so seriously ill: they can be helped to die quickly, or else made to linger on for a very long time. When I have no outer or inner indications, all I ever do is apply the consciousness for the best to happen to them (the best from the soul’s standpoint, of course).

Do you know whether your father has expressed any wish?

According to my mother’s letter, he says he no longer particularly cares to live, that his days are so miserable….

But he still doesn’t want to pass away? Is he suffering a great deal ?

He’s suffering.

(Mother remains silent for a moment, then says.) Over the years I have had a considerable number of experiences in this realm, and my first action is always the same: send the Peace (I do this in all cases, for everyone) and apply the Force, the Power of the Lord, for the best thing to happen. Some people are very sick, sick to the point where there is no hope, where they cannot be cured, where the end is coming; but they sense that their souls must still need to have certain experiences, so they hang on-they don’t want to die. In such cases I apply the Force for them to last as long as possible. In other cases, on the contrary, they are weary of suffering, or indeed the soul has finished its experience and desires to be liberated. In such a case, if I am sure of it, sure that they themselves are expressing the desire to depart, it’s over in a few hours – I say this with certainty because I’ve had a considerable number of experiences. There is a certain force which goes out and does what is necessary. I haven’t done either of these things for your father – neither to prolong his life (because when people are suffering it’s not very kind to prolong their lives indefinitely), nor to finish it, because I didn’t know – one can’t do either without knowing the person’s conscious wish……

As I said, I have done nothing, neither one way nor the other. So don’t do anything. You know, from time to time when people are very sick, something comes out of them to indicate their will.

There was an experience like that quite recently. A.’s mother was ill – old and seriously ill. Seeing her declining, A. wrote to me: ‘If the time has come, make it happen quickly – don’t let her suffer.’ Then I saw very clearly that there was still something in her which didn’t want to go; and when I applied the Force for the best to happen she suddenly began to recover! It must have coincided with a kind of inner aspiration in her – no more fever, she was feeling well. And A. began preparing to come back here. ‘If she’s recovering,’ he said, ‘there’s no longer any point in my staying!’ The same evening she had a relapse and he sent me a telegram. Meanwhile (it was evening) I had gone upstairs to ‘walk’; suddenly The Will came (which is a very, very rare thing), The Will: ‘Enough, now it must finish – it’s enough as it is.’ Within half an hour she was dead.

These things are very interesting. [233] They must form part of the work I have come on earth to do. Because even before encountering Theon, before knowing anything, I had experiences at night, certain types of activities looking after people who were leaving their bodies – and with a knowledge of the process; I didn’t know what I was doing nor did I seek to know, yet I knew exactly what had to be done and I did it. I was around twenty.

As soon as I came upon Theon’s teaching (even before meeting him personally), and read and understood all kinds of things which I hadn’t known before, I began to work quite systematically. Every night, at the same hour, I was working to construct – between the purely terrestrial atmosphere and the psychic atmosphere – a path of protection across the vital, so that people wouldn’t have to pass through it (for those who are conscious but without knowledge it’s a very difficult passage – infernal.) I was preparing this path, doing this work (it must have been around 1903 or 1904, I don’t remember exactly) for months and months and months. All sorts of extraordinary things happened during that time – extraordinary. I could tell long stories….

Then, when I went to Tlemcen, I told Madame Theon about it. ‘Yes,’ she told me, ‘it is part of the work you have come on earth to do. Everyone with even a slightly awakened psychic being who can see your Light will go to your Light at the moment of dying, no matter where they die, and you will help them to pass through.’ And this work is constant. Constant. it has given me a considerable number of experiences concerning what happens to people when they leave their bodies. I’ve had all sorts of experiences, all kinds of examples – it’s really very interesting…..

…..When I.B. was killed, I had to gather up all his states of being and activities, which had been dispersed by the violence of the accident169 – it was terrible, he was in a dreadful state of dispersion. For two or two and a half days the doctors fought in the hope of reviving him, but it was impossible. During those two days I gathered up all his consciousness, all of it; I collected it over his body, to the point where, when it had come and formed itself there, such vitality, such life was coming back into his body that after some hours the doctors believed he would be saved. But it couldn’t last (it wasn’t possible – a part of the brain had come out). Well, when not only his soul but his mental being, his vital being, and all the rest had been properly collected and organized over his body and had realized that the body had become quite unusable, it was over – they gave up the body and it was over.

I was keeping I.B. near me because I already had the idea of putting him immediately back into another body – his soul was not satisfied, it had not finished its experience (there was a whole combination of circumstances) and it wanted to continue to live on earth…. I sent word to him of what I was doing, that I was keeping I.B. in my atmosphere and that he should stay very calm and not get excited, for I was going to put him back into a body as soon as possible – I already had something in view. ….he stayed tranquilly with me, until I was able to put him into C’.s child.

Is one snatched up by the vital zone upon leaving the body?

No, it depends.

It depends entirely upon the way people die: on the way they leave their bodies, on what is around them, on the atmosphere created for them.

If they call me, then it goes well.

There have been very, very few cases, a quite minimal number, when people have called (not very sincerely) and their call hasn’t had much effect. But even these people have a protection. There was a woman here, an old woman who was not very sincere (she didn’t live here – she only came to visit) and the last time she visited she fell ill and died. Then I saw that she was completely dispersed into all her desires, all her memories, all her attachments … and it had all been scattered here and there, into all sorts of things (one part of her was seeking, seeking where to go and what to do); anyway, it was rather pitiful. Afterwards I was asked, ‘How did it happen? She was calling all the time.’ I replied that I had not heard her call – it must not have been very sincere, only a formula.

But it’s very rare that people get no response.

Not long ago M.’s sister died (psychologically, she was in a terrible state – she had no faith). Well, on that day, just when I came to know that she was passing away, I remember being upstairs in the bathroom communicating with Sri Aurobindo, having a sort of conversation with him (it happens very often), and I asked him, ‘What happens to such people when they die here at the Ashram?’ ‘Look,’ he replied, and I saw her passing away; and on her forehead, I saw Sri Aurobindo’s symbol in a SOLID golden light (not very luminous, but very concrete). There it was. And with the presence of this sign the psychological state no longer mattered – nothing touched her. And she departed tranquilly, tranquilly. Then Sri Aurobindo told me, ‘All who have lived at the Ashram and who die there have automatically the same protection, whatever their inner state.’

I can’t say I was surprised, but I admired the mighty power by which the simple fact of having been here and died here was sufficient to help you to the utmost in that transition.

But there are all sorts of cases. Take N.D., for example, a man who lived his whole life with the idea of serving Sri Aurobindo – he died clasping my photo to his breast. This was a consecrated man, very conscious, with an unfailing dedication, and all the parts of his being well organized around the psychic.The day he was going to leave his body little M. was meditating next to the Samadhi when suddenly she had a vision: she saw all the flowers of the tree next to the Samadhi (those yellow flowers I have called ‘Service’) gathering themselves together to form a big bouquet, and rising, rising straight up. And in her vision these flowers were linked with the image of N.D. She ran quickly to their house and – he was dead.

I only knew about this vision later, but on my side, when he left, I saw his whole being gathered together, well united, thoroughly homogenous, in a great aspiration, and rising, rising without dispersing, without deviating, straight up to the frontier of what Sri Aurobindo has called ‘the higher hemisphere,’ there where Sri Aurobindo in his supramental action presides over earth. And he melted into that light. Some time before his heart attack he said to his children: the gown is old, it must be thrown away.

….But people are so ignorant! They make such a fuss over death, as if it were the end – this word ‘death’ is so absurd! I see it as simply passing from one house into another or from one room to another; you take one simple step, you cross the threshold, and there you are on the other side – and then you come back.

Have I told you about the experience I had the day I suddenly found myself in Sri Aurobindo’s home in the subtle physical? Well, it’s as if I took a step and entered a far more concrete world than the physical – more concrete because things contain more truth. I spent a good (deal of time) while there with Sri Aurobindo and then, when it was over, I took another step and I found myself back here … slightly dumbfounded. It took me quite some time to regain my bearings here, because it was this world that seemed unreal to me, not the other.

But it’s simply that – you take a step, and you enter another room. And when you live in your soul there is a continuity, because the soul remembers, it keeps the whole memory; it remembers all occurrences, even outer occurrences, all the outer movements it has been associated with. So it’s a continuous, uninterrupted movement, here and there, from one room to another, from one house to another, from one life to another.

People are so ignorant! That’s what irritates those who have passed to the other side – people don’t understand, they shoo them away: ‘What does he want? Why does he bother me? He’s DEAD!’

* * *

The attitude of the living towards the dead is one of the most loathsome expressions of mankind’s selfish ignorance.

It’s either a complete I-couldn’t-care-less attitude, or else, “Ohh, anything to get rid of that!”…..

Many things must change before a little bit of truth can manifest – that’s all I can say.

There was the case of C….. Then, at a certain point … (he died in hospital, and naturally, at that time nobody listened to me: they burned him much too soon – it would have been too soon anyway, because in his case, precisely because he had that practice, much precaution and time would have been required; but it was all rushed through), then all of a sudden, when they burned him (I didn’t even know the time of the cremation), he suddenly came into my room, you know, appalled … appalled, crying, miserable: “But I am dead! I didn’t know I was dead, but I am dead and they’ve burned me, they’ve burned me! …” Oh … it was horrible, horrible. So I calmed him down, told him to stay there, be calm, be with me, and that I would find him another body. And for a long, long time I had him consciously near me. Then I taught him to reincarnate – it was all done in detail. So I know …

The same thing with N.S. In his case also … He had fallen on his head and fractured it (he fell in a faint in the street, that’s how he died). He was taken to the hospital. But he went out and came to me right away (and so I knew: when I was told the accident had happened, I already knew something had happened because he had come to me). I kept him there, put him to rest, and he was quite peaceful – quite peaceful. They didn’t even consult me about the time when he should be burned or anything (of course, a family of doctors!). Then, suddenly, brrt! (gesture of bursting) he went out of my atmosphere abruptly, like that. And no more sign of him…. It took me DAYS to recontact him – and that was the shock he had when they burned his body. It took me days to find him again, put him back to rest, gather him together. And one part had disappeared; his whole consciousness didn’t return, because a part of his most material consciousness, of the material vital, must have been thrown out by the shock………

He saw N.S., and N.S. asked him news of his family, news of his wife, news of his children, and he told him, “I worry about them.” It must have been the part tied to his family, which must have been separated from the rest of his being:….

But that division, that separated part came about when they burned him. Until then, I had kept him complete, and would have made him pass into the psychic as I do with everyone, peacefully, smoothly, without difficulty. But brrt! (same gesture of bursting) It’s a frightful shock, you know! They put the fire in the mouth first…. It’s … Oh, the way men behave with each other – I have SEEN all that, I have SEEN it…. It’s such a frightful, frightful thing!

And to think that … It has happened not once or twice but hundreds of times that people who loved someone (they loved their father or brother, or their mother), as soon as that person is dead, if they see him in a dream or vision, they get terribly frightened and try to chase him away!….

That’s what I said to T. (I don’t think she understood), I told her that there isn’t so much difference between what people call “life” and what they call “death”; the difference is very small, and grows still smaller when you go into the problem in depth and in all the details. People always make a clean cut between the two – it’s quite stupid: some living are already half dead, and many dead are VERY alive.



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