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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1931, December

December 13, 1931

Yes, I had forgotten to answer about the Prayers and remembered only afterwards. I think for Anilkumar to approach his friend would be the best, if he thinks it a likely source. I hesitate to ask Biren for anything — for his position is awkward, surrounded by fathers, Dewans and other guardian angels, and he wrote some time ago that he finds it difficult to get his own allowance regularly because the estate is in a bad way — depression, I suppose, and non payment of rents.

I got your letter only at 10 o’clock and in any case your questions cannot be lightly or too briefly answered. They are not quite rightly put — the true question for us could not be to love or not love the Mother — that is already settled — but in what spirit to make the physical approach to her so as to avoid the mistakes of the past (the general mistake, not yours personally) and get the most spiritual benefit from her contact. However, there are various points of great importance behind your questions and I shall answer them; if I have not dealt with some of them before it is because I feared my answers would be gravely misunderstood by the [?] minds of the sadhaks.

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December 15, 1931

I return your MS. I have made some alterations here and there (very few, I believe) to make the thought more clear or to suppress too vivaciously uncomplimentary phrases about loving people, permissible in a private letter but not in a criticism made public.

In one or two places I have corrected at a guess what seem to be mistakes in the typewritten copy — I could not remember what I exactly wrote. In the letter dated 8.12.31 (last page) there are obviously some words omitted; I have put a query in the margin; here you will have to restore from the original letter.

One letter (copied in handwriting, not typed) dated 8.9.31 cannot be published, it is too personal and touches matters which are not for the general public.

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December 16, 1931

We don’t object to the photograph being published, but —. The poem is très joli (the English word “pretty” is a little deprecatory or at least too diminutive and does not express its quality); but is the photography worthy of it? It impresses me more like an illustration of a magazine article (in a popular magazine) or an institution prospectus. It is too glossy and ostentatious; but perhaps it will be turned down in the block of the Bharatavarsha press? If so, the objection may disappear.

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December 20, 1931

Tagore is always Tagore (I hope you won’t find this saying too cryptic). As for the pictures, if people are pleased with them, (as they are by Tagore’s music), they serve the purpose of their existence, and what more can be said for any of the creations of this Prakriti?

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December 26, 1931

I should like — and the Mother asks me — just to express a word of appreciation of the music yesterday. Your song to Mahakali was superb — full of a fine variety and great power. The Mother came up enthusiastic and said it was filled with a most wonderful life, energy and movement; one could feel the universal forces pouring themselves through it. Truly, you have opened your wings and soared into a larger ether.

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December 28, 1931

It is regrettable that this attack should recur. Perhaps it was a little my fault — you were or seemed to me [to be] going on so well that I was not on my guard against its possible recurrence. During the last two or three days the suggestion did come to me that there might be a turn of that kind, but I was so much in the joy of your music that I did not give it credence.

It is certainly not the answering of questions that will remove the underlying cause of the recurrence. Even if the answers satisfy, it could only be for a time. The same questionings would rise either in a mechanical reiteration — for it is not truly the reason from which they arise, it is a certain part of the vital consciousness affected by the surrounding atmosphere — or else presented from a shifted ground or a somewhat changed angle of vision. The difficulty can only disappear if you remain resolute that it shall disappear — if you refuse to attach any value to the justifications which the mind is made to put forward for your “sadness” under this atmospheric influence and, as you did in certain other matters, stick fast to the resolution to make the yogic change, to awake the psychic fully, not to follow the voices of the mind but to do rather what the Mother asks of you, persisting however difficult it may be or seem to be. It is so that the psychic can fully awaken and establish its influence, not on your higher vital where it is already awake and growing through your poetry and music and certain experiences so that whenever your higher vital is active you are in good condition, full of delight and creativeness and open to experience; but it is the influence on the lower vital, for it is there as I have already told you that your difficulties are and that this vital depression recurs.

For the rest, it is not a fact that the Mother is retiring more and more or that she has any intention of going inside entirely like me. Your remarks about the privileged few are incomprehensible to me; we are not confiding in a few at the expense of others or telling them what is happening while keeping silent to you. I have, I think, written more to you than to anybody else about these matters and the Mother has not been confiding to anybody anything in that field which has been held back from you. This — about the privileged few — is an old complaint of yours and it has no foundation.

If anybody claims to have the special confidence of the Mother, he is making an egoistic claim which is not justifiable. Your real point seems to be about the Mother’s not taking up the soup [distribution] and its accompaniments again. I have told you already why she was compelled by the experience of her illness to stand back from the old routine — which had become for most of the sadhaks a sort of semi-ecclesiastical routine and nothing more. It was because of the mistaken attitude of the sadhaks which had brought about an atmosphere full of movements contrary to the Yoga and likely to lead to disaster — as it had already begun to do. To resume the soup on the old footing would be to bring back the old conditions and end in a repetition of the same round of wrong movements and the same results. The Mother has been slowly and carefully taking steps to renew on another footing her control of things after her illness, but she can take no step which will allow the old dark movements to return — movements of some of which I think you yourself were beginning to take notice. The next step is for the sadhaks themselves to take; they must make it possible (by their change of attitude, by their resolution to rise on the lower vital and physical plane into the true consciousness) for a union with the Mother on that plane in the right way and with the right result to become possible. More I cannot say just now; but I fully intend to be more explicit hereafter — so far as I can without special reference to individuals; for there are things personal to people’s Yoga that can often be spoken of only to themselves and not to others. As for your other questions I shall consider them in another letter; it is too late tonight. It is already 3.30 p.m.[3] I will only say that what happens is for the “best” in this sense only that the end will be a divine victory in spite of all difficulties — that has been and always will be my seeing, my faith and my assurance — if you are willing to accept it from me. But that does not mean that your sadness and depression are necessary to the movement! The sooner they disappear never to recur again, the more joyously the Mother and I will advance on the steep road to the summits, and the easier it will be for you to realise what you want, the complete Bhakti and Ananda.

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December 29, 1931

(from Mother)


Why do you speak of “the ultimate human disappearance of the Mother”? I have — I assure you — not the least intention of disappearing or vanishing, humanly or otherwise; and those who care to see me with their physical eyes can feel quite at ease on this point.

If you permit, I would advise you never to listen to what sadhaks say — especially advanced sadhaks…

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December 30, 1931

I have looked at your “questions” (not already answered directly), but I find that most of them are implicitly solved in my letter. The others (two only) are difficult to answer without going into the whole question of the Yoga and its condition and everything else and writing a chapter or perhaps a volume of the Arya. A shorter reply might lead to misunderstanding or perhaps merely non-understanding. I will consider however whether I can fit what I have to say into an expression which will be at once short and enlightening and not needing a commentary like the aphorisms of the Brahmasūtras[4].

*   *   *


There is only one answer to Sachin’s question — marriage and Yoga are two different movements going opposite ways; if he follows one, he will be moving away from the other. So if he marries, either of two things will happen — he will sink into the ordinary life and go far away from us in spirit or he will find married life unsatisfactory, renounce his wife and return to the path that leads towards the Divine. Marriage with the first result would be only a stupidity; marriage for the second result would be irrational inconsequence. So in either way — As for the withdrawal of Grace, it might be said that few are those from whom the grace withdraws …

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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.