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At the Feet of The Mother

24th November 1924: “A Strong Descent Leaped Down”

The 24th November of 1926 must have been like any other day in the life of most people, their mornings busy with their daily chores, the noon abuzz with work and the evenings occupied with the little gains of their labour preparing to rest dropping the burden of their fate for a while, only to lift it again the morning after. The world must have been in a state of calm unease with a hasty peace treaty after the First World War while the clouds of the Second great War were beginning to form. India was in the throes of a revolution to throw away the yoke of the British Empire. Pondicherry during those days was a sleepy little French colony where life moved at a rather slow pace with all kinds of rough and rowdy elements having a free play as the sun descended into its cave of darkness.

But a small little corner in Pondicherry was abuzz with a divine foreboding as if some velamen had been torn from a seed long waiting to burst forth out of our earthly soil. It was the seed of Creation in which the Divine had locked Himself for a progressive unfolding in Time and Space. It is this unfolding that biologists call as evolution and those with a spiritual vision know as the progressive manifestation of the Divine through the cycles of Time. Each step of the unfolding has been already marked and mapped in the Cosmic Mind of God. But its unfolding upon earth is through a struggle, a clash and conflict of forces, a wrestle and embrace between what has been and what yet must be, a leap from the past towards the future with the present as a springboard. According to the ancient Indian spiritual thought and experience the critical junctures of this unfolding are marked by a leap of sorts, a jump time wherein radical changes stir the mind and life of earth. This unfolding is not merely an automatic process but presided over by the descent of a Divine Being known as the Avatar. As the earth was preparing for another radical leap, the Avatar of the past was handing over the charge of leading creation one more step further to the Avatar of the Future.

It is this significant event that was took place in the house on Marine Street in Pondicherry which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had turned into a seat of their tapasya. Keeping a vigil on the Night and the Shadow that was passing over the world they were invoking the new dawn and preparing the earth for the New Light. They needed no recognition though the few disciples who had gathered around them as honey bees attracted to the fragrance of a flower had begun to feel that something unprecedented was going to happen. It was all in the air waiting to touch the soil of earth and awaken the soul of man to a new and higher possibility than yet known. It was as if the gods were beginning to seize the human clay filling the night with a brilliant display of their lights. Such were the few months that preceded the 24th November 1926. And then on that fateful day, at some unrecorded yet appointed hour, Sri Krishna, the Avatar of the Dwapar or the Bronze Age was handing over the future to Sri Aurobindo, not through any mental process but as the way of the gods, in the manner that the Divine Himself acts, simply by fusing with Sri Aurobindo and thereby infusing all the perfection that Sri Krishna had embodied into the very being and substance of Sri Aurobindo. The two had now become gloriously one. The seal and stamp of the Divine had been put upon the future work of God whose centre were to be Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. That little corner of the sleepy ghostly town of Pondicherry was now destined to turn into a window mirroring the yet to be born future. This day opening the past towards the future came to be known as the Siddhi Day. It marked the completion, Siddhi or Perfection of the individual sadhana of Sri Aurobindo that has started in Baroda and given a new orientation in the Alipore Jail in Kolkata. In Pondicherry he had received the full program of the limbs of the Yoga he had to undertake personally before giving it to the world. All the limbs of this new yoga had been accomplished. Sri Aurobindo had completed his individual perfection, Siddhi, intended through the Yoga he had begun in the first decade of the twentieth century. Sri Krishna had consented to join with his body thereby putting the seal of finality on Sri Aurobindo’s individual sadhana. But his yoga was not for himself alone. His individual siddhi was only the first indispensable step towards a much greater work that awaited him.

In a divine retreat from mortal thought,
In a prodigious gesture of soul-sight,
His being towered into pathless heights,
Naked of its vesture of humanity.
As thus it rose, to meet him bare and pure
A strong Descent leaped down. A Might, a Flame,
A Beauty half-visible with deathless eyes,
A violent Ecstasy, a Sweetness dire,
Enveloped him with its stupendous limbs
And penetrated nerve and heart and brain
That thrilled and fainted with the epiphany:
His nature shuddered in the Unknown’s grasp.

In a moment shorter than death, longer than Time,
By a Power more ruthless than Love, happier than Heaven,
Taken sovereignly into eternal arms,
Haled and coerced by a stark absolute bliss,
In a whirlwind circuit of delight and force
Hurried into unimaginable depths,
Upborne into immeasurable heights,
It was torn out from its mortality
And underwent a new and bourneless change.

An Omniscient knowing without sight or thought,
An indecipherable Omnipotence,
A mystic Form that could contain the worlds,
Yet make one human breast its passionate shrine,
Drew him out of his seeking loneliness
Into the magnitudes of God’s embrace. [Savitri: 80-81]

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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.