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At the Feet of The Mother

24th November (3) The Avatar’s Work

The consciousness is like a ladder: at each great epoch there has been one great being capable of adding one more step to the ladder and reaching a place where the ordinary consciousness had never been. It is possible to attain a high level and get completely out of the material consciousness; but then one does not retain the ladder, whereas the great achievement of the great epochs of the universe has been the capacity to add one more step to the ladder without losing contact with the material, the capacity to reach the Highest and at the same time connect the top with the bottom instead of letting a kind of emptiness cut off all connection between the different planes. To go up and down and join the top to the bottom is the whole secret of realisation, and that is the work of the Avatar. Each time he adds one more step to the ladder there is a new creation upon earth…. The step which is being added now Sri Aurobindo has called the Supramental; as a result of it, the consciousness will be able to enter the supramental world and yet retain its personal form, its individualisation and then come down to establish here a new creation….

The work of achieving a continuity which permits one to go up and down and bring into the material what is above, is done inside the consciousness. He who is meant to do it, the Avatar, even if he were shut up in a prison and saw nobody and never moved out, still would he do the work, because it is a work in the consciousness, a work of connection between the Supermind and the material being. He does not need to be recognised, he need have no outward power in order to be able to establish this conscious connection. Once, however, the connection is made, it must have its effect in the outward world in the form of a new creation, beginning with a model town and ending with a perfect world. [CWM 3: 178-179]

If we take cue from the Gita about the work of the Avatar, we may say that the first of these works, of breaking the forces of downward gravitation was akin to Sri Krishna’s work of defeating the forces of gigantic egoism and ambition incarnated in the likes of Kansa, Shishupal, Jarasandh, Kalyavan, Duryodhana and the Kauravas supporting him. Sri Aurobindo had his own battles of fight, much more fierce and at a larger global scale. These had taken the hydra form of certain ideas that were threatening mankind through the human instruments and nations that became instrument of these idea-forces. Some like the Imperialist power of Britain he fought politically by awakening and mobilising forces of a sleeping nation that was once mighty and great. Though India, the ancient land of Bharatvarsh lay in tamas under the spell of the Asuric Maya of the Western materialism, Sri Aurobindo rekindled the fire of freedom, awakened the soul of a sleeping nation and breathed into its life the mantra of liberation by invoking the Divine Mother as Durga who is the guardian power of the land of Aryavarta. At a still deeper and wider level he fought on the occult planes against the world swallowing Asuric forces manifested in Hitler and his those who stood by his side to support and aid and fulfil his diabolic designs. 

At the ideative level too he countered the prevalent ideologies and thoughts that were hurling the world towards destruction. He not only countered and annulled their power but also absorbed some of them through the New Idea converting and synthesising them with the future that he was preparing and releasing for earth and humanity. 

As to the restoration of dharma, on the one hand he reinterpreted the Vedas and the Upanishads and of course the Gita with the key to the ancient Sanskrit provided by Sri Krishna while he was in the Alipore prison. But he did not stop at the reinterpretation of the ancient texts in the light of his own direct spiritual experiences, he extended them further in a trajectory that led towards the future. Thus he provided a logical continuity between the past aspiration and realisations of the Rishis and the future that was hinted and suggested though was not yet realised. But going further he, along with the Mother opened the way towards the future in the new divine unfolding in creation. In both of these actions we see the Mother actively supporting, collaborating and even taking the lead in fulfilling these divine movements some of initiated by Sri Aurobindo. These include the Mother’s occult action for India’s independence and securing her sovereignty, her active participation in the two great world wars, in ensuring the birth of the Arya and of course in opening the gates of the future through the Integral Yoga of Supramental transformation. It was quite evidently the extension of Sri Krishna’s work, the unfinished agenda of God through the long history of previous incarnations. No wonder Sri Krishna walked with Sri Aurobindo in this tremendous journey of upheaval and the new sowing until on the 24th November there was a complete fusion of the two. Sri Krishna and his work had been secured in Sri Aurobindo. The Overmind creation had fully descended upon earth which was now beginning to feel the thirst for the greater Supramental Consciousness that would be the grand culmination of the work of the Avatars. Quite naturally the Mother could see in Sri Aurobindo the last Avatar in a human body.

But Sri Aurobindo had not come to establish once again the Krishna world upon earth. No doubt the earth seems to have touched its peak possibility during the presence of Sri Krishna who had brought the message of freedom and delight and released streams of bhakti that would continue to nourish the earth’s aspiration for millenniums to come. His gift of the Gita still ranks and would continue to rank among the greatest of world-scriptures. Yet this was not enough. Something more is needed and Sri Krishna himself knew it. He hints at it in the Gita but stops short of opening the doors to this yet to manifest greater truth. We may say that the time was not ripe and man was not ready. The greatness and glory of God he had established in India, the ancient land of Aryavarta, remained intact for nearly 3000 years plus before it began to fade. This fading was the period of dharmasya glani, the decline of dharma mentioned in the Gita. The world was getting ready for the new Avatar to carry creation one more step forward beyond the Overmind world that Sri Krishna had established, beyond the last frontiers of ignorance, into the Supramental world. The Overmind world, the world of the great gods withdrew. The Mother dissolved it at Sri Aurobindo’s behest and the two started working for the descent of the greater Divine World, the Supramental. It is important to note that the descent of Sri Krishna into the physical body of Sri Aurobindo and their fusion into each other was facilitated by the Mother who by then had already realized her oneness with the Divine Mother even though few knew about it. Here is an account of the same from her conversations with a disciple:

I knew how it was with her because I remember the days when Sri Aurobindo was here and I used to go downstairs to give meditations to the people assembled in the hall. There’s a ledge above the pillars there, where all the gods used to sit – Shiva, Krishna, Lakshmi, the Trimurti, all of them – the little ones, the big ones, they all used to come regularly, every day, to attend these meditations. It was a lovely sight. But they didn’t have this kind of adoration for the Supreme. They had no use for that concept – each one, in his own mode of being, was fully aware of his own eternal divinity; and each one knew as well that he could represent all the others (such was the basis of popular worship,201 and they knew it). They felt they were a kind of community, but they had none of those qualities that the psychic life gives: no deep love, no deep sympathy, no sense of union. They had only the sense of their OWN divinity. They had certain very particular movements, but not this adoration for the Supreme nor the feeling of being instruments: they felt they were representing the Supreme, and so each one was perfectly satisfied with his particular representation.

Except for Krishna…. In 1926, I had begun a sort of overmental creation, that is, I had brought the Overmind down into matter, here on earth (miracles and all kinds of things were beginning to happen). I asked all these gods to incarnate, to identify themselves with a body (some of them absolutely refused). [298] Well, with my very own eyes I saw Krishna, who had always been in rapport with Sri Aurobindo, consent to come down into his body. It was on November 24th, and it was the beginning of ‘Mother.’

It was this: Krishna consented to descend into Sri Aurobindo’s body – to be fixed there; there is a great difference, you understand, between incarnating, being fixed in a body, and simply acting as an influence that comes and goes and moves about. The gods are always moving about, and its plain that we ourselves, in our inner beings, come and go and act in a hundred or a thousand places at once. There is a difference between just coming occasionally and accepting to be permanently tied to a body – between a permanent influence and a permanent presence…. [August 2, 1961] 

The word used to describe the 24th November 1926 is Siddhi Day. Though the word is used to describe the acquisition of powers, here it is used in the acquisition of the fullness of the Divine Consciousness (inclusive of Wisdom, Power, Bliss). It marked the culmination of the program of Yoga that Sri Aurobindo had ‘received’ for himself. The program was noted in his personal diary where he systematically kept the Records of his yogic journey, a diary or journal he started maintaining since his release from the Alipore prison subsequent to his vision of Vasudev Sri Krishna as the Immanent Divine everywhere and in everything. It was the first glimpse of the Supramental experience as the Mother would reveal later. Later in one of his letters to his brother Barin Sri Aurobindo recalled that the Master of the World (Sri Krishna as Jagannath) who gave him the limbs of the yoga to be accomplished by him individually before the work for the future could be included. By then Sri Aurobindo already had his three major realisations and many other high experiences such as opening of the subtle sight and occult capacities, communion with the gods of the Vedas, opening of the higher faculties of inspiration, revelation, intuition, the Adwaitic experience of the Vacant Infinite, the Vision of the World Mother while standing before an image of Kali, surging of the Godhead from within him during a carriage accident and many others. The major realisations included Nirvana, the Cosmic Consciousness and the perception of the One Divine everywhere, the Absolute Reality of Parabrahman. His life as a Jivanmukta is self-evident during the revolutionary days. Most of these experiences and realisations relate to the Vedantic side of the sadhana. The program of Yoga given to him was now for the liberation of nature and its perfection for the Divine Enjoyment and fulfilment, through the four major steps namely Shuddhi or purification, Mukti or liberation, Siddhi or perfection and Bhukti or the Divine Enjoyment of the universe. The 24th November 1926 marked the completion of this side of the yoga without which the further work of transformation could not be undertaken. But this required an even greater and more intense tapasya towards an entirely new and unprecedented goal, it necessitated Sri Aurobindo’s withdrawal from the outer activities. He did so but not before placing the Mother in the forefront as the leader and guide of the Path. With the Divine Mother being installed, the houses in which the two Avatars dwelt became the House of the Lord where a new and unprecedented work had started with a handful of early disciples. Before this date Sri Aurobindo did not officially take any disciple as he knew it was a serious affair. The responsibility of the Guru did not end with initiation or showing the way. The Guru had to ensure that the disciple so accepted had to reach the divine destination and fulfil his or her divine destiny regardless of the difficulties and challenges on the path. This naturally led to the early beginnings of the Ashram as a force-field for a spiritual effort and labour of spiritual evolution towards a Divine Life upon earth. 

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