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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1932, August (II)

August 5, 1932

The way, the attitude you suggest would indeed be the right one; but you must be able to keep it, not allow doubt to torment or impatience for results to disturb you. Impatience only hinders the result from coming or even upsets the apple-cart just when it is turning into the right lane. However, if you can take this course and keep it, it is the true preparation for the mind and vital to admit of the psychic being’s emergence to the front. Intensity of aspiration can do it also, no doubt, but a quiet steady intensity, not the impatient eagerness which, when it is disappointed or the fruit delayed, calls in doubt to upset the aforesaid apple-cart.

About asking us about small things, I should hesitate to advise it if it needs on your part a heroic resolve. It is important that the vital nature should not feel a constraint, a sense of parting with its liberty under compulsion from the mind when this kind of step is taken; it is hard enough to get it to admit the more immediately needed control of its major impulses (sex, etc.) without coercing it in “small” things also, — at least those it feels to be small. If at any time the vital feels the need or feels this to be the natural way to a deeper soul intimacy, then the step will be of great use.

To reject doubts means control of one’s thoughts — very certainly so. But the control of one’s thoughts is as necessary as the control of one’s vital desires and passions or the control of the movements of one’s body — for the Yoga, and not for the Yoga only. One cannot be in fully developed mental being even, if one has not control of the thoughts, is not their observer, judge and master, — the mental Purusha, manomaya puruṣa, sākṣi, anumantā, īśwara [the mental Being, the witness, the giver of sanction, the Master]. It is no more proper for the mental being to be the tennis ball of unruly and uncontrollable thoughts than to be a rudderless ship in the storm of the desires and passions or a slave of either inertia or the impulses of the body. I know it is more difficult because man being primarily a creature of mental Prakriti identifies himself with the movements of his mind and cannot at once dissociate himself and stand free from the whirl and eddies of the mind whirlpool. It is comparatively easy for him to put a control on his body, at least a certain part of its movements: it is less easy but still very possible after a struggle to put a mental control on his vital impulsions and desires; but to sit, like the Tantrik Yogi on the river, above the whirlpool of his thoughts is less facile. Nevertheless it can be done; all developed mental men, those who get beyond the average, have in one way or other or at least at certain times and for certain purposes to separate the two parts of the mind, the active part which is a factory of thoughts and the quiet masterful part which is at once a Witness and a Will, observing them, judging, rejecting, eliminating, accepting, ordering corrections and changes, the Master in the House of Mind, capable of self-empire, svārājya.

The Yogi goes still farther; he is not only a master there, but even while in mind in a way, he gets out of it, as it were, and stands above or quite back from it and free. For him the image of the factory of thoughts is no longer quite valid; for he sees that thoughts come from outside, from the universal Mind or universal Nature, sometimes formed and distinct, sometimes unformed and then they are given shape somewhere in us. The principal business of our mind is either a response of acceptance or refusal to these thought-waves (as also vital waves, subtle physical energy waves) or this giving a personal-mental form to thought-stuff (or vital movements) from the environing Nature Force. It was my great debt to Lele that he showed me this. “Sit in meditation,” he said, “but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts coming into it; before they can enter throw them away from you till your mind is capable of entire silence.” I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think of either questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw a thought and then another thought coming in a quite concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thought as a labourer in a thought factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire and thought-empire.

I mention this only to emphasise that the possibilities of the mental being are not limited and that it can be the free Witness and Master in its own house. It is not to say that everybody can do it in the way I did it and with the same rapidity of the decisive movement (for, of course, the later fullest developments of this new untrammelled mental Power took time, many years); but a progressive freedom and mastery of one’s mind is perfectly within the possibilities of anyone who has the faith and the will to undertake it. The rest hereafter.

*   *   *

August 8, 1932

It is a question of standard and emphasis, is it not? Maya did her best, I think, but that does not mean that somebody else in her position might not have done better. Maya was divided, so she could not put everything aside, explore every avenue, come in disregard of every obstacle. That would have been an absolute sincerity, if you like, and it is what one would expect from someone not divided, wholly fixed on the spiritual life. But Maya is not that yet, nor have we yet asked it of her, because it would have been beyond her present power. I take it that she badly wanted to come and made a real effort against Shankar’s opposition — therefore we cannot say that she was insincere; but she could not carry through to the end and entirely because she was divided, as she admits. As to the other things you tell, well — they are what they are, — your view of them is right.

Khitish Sen’s lines are very fine. If he had to struggle, at least he strove to some purpose! I will keep the whole still for more leisurely examination.

*   *   *

August 12, 1932

The rhythm of your Sarasvati is very luminously sweet and attractive, I observe that while in the beginning you moved with careful and exact steps in the Sanskritic meters you now have a light and masterly ease there.

We have taken note of the five pranams, — five in essence?

*   *   *

August 16, 1932

Anyhow, do not allow yourself to be overborne by the dejection; it can only be an incident in the ups and downs of the sadhana, and, as an incident, it should be made as short as possible. Remember that you have chosen a method of proceeding in the sadhana in which dejection ought to have no place. If you have a growing faith that all that is happening has somehow to happen and that God knows what is best for you, — that is already a great thing; if you add to it the will to keep your face always turned towards the goal and the confidence that you are being led towards it even through difficulties and apparent denials, there could be no better mental foundation for sadhana. And if not only the mind, but the vital and physical consciousness can be imbued with this faith, dejection will become either impossible or so evidently an outer thing thrown from outside and not belonging to the consciousness that it will not be able to keep its hold at all. A faith of that kind is a very helpful first step towards the reversal of consciousness which makes one see the inner truth of things rather than their outward phenomenal appearance.

As for the causes of the dejection, there were causes partly general in the shape of a resistance to a great descending force which was not personal to you at all, and, so far as there was a response to it in you, it was not from your conscious being, otherwise you would not have had it in this way, but from the part in us which keeps things for a long time that have been suppressed or rejected by the conscious will. It is the conscious will that matters, for it is that [which] prevails in the end, the will of the Purusha and not the more blind and obstinate parts of Prakriti. Keep the conscious will all right and it will carry on to the goal, — just as the resistance in universal Nature will yield in the end before the Divine Descent.

*   *   *

August 18, 1932

(from Mother)

I have felt and been moved by the sincerity of your letter. Do not be too sorry. In a way what has happened was for the best since it has led you to take a firm and decisive resolution which must help you greatly to get rid of this trouble. Be sure of all the help I can give you.

I will call you again as soon as this flood of departing people has diminished a little. Meanwhile, “bon courage!”

*   *   *

August 19, 1932

The Rishi like everything else was drowned in the flood; I have looked through it today and return it. It is a great success, the high level kept throughout; certainly you must encourage him to finish it. I take note about the “Bairagi” [?].

The Mother was very pleased to get your letter and to know that you had conquered the attack from these unpleasant forces of Nature. It is perfectly sure that you can conquer — and therefore you will.

*   *   *

August 22, 1932

If you can feel the Name bringing you peace, it should be able to bring everything else, bhakti, joy, the revelation of the Power and the Presence and the full feeling and consciousness of it to you. That is indeed the process of the Vaishnava sadhana and the power of the Name in it. Only keep your poise and persevere.

*   *   *

August 28, 1932

I am feeling to-day an altogether new kind of peace and a surge of devotion. When I looked at Mother this evening, a prayer came up to my lips to cure me effectively of the last traces of selfishness and clamouring and what not and make me humble — really humble, not the modesty of social manners which is often worse than Shavian assertiveness (which is more sincere). I want to feel I am superior to none and can pray for love as a grace not because I am so worthy of it. I have a feeling (I hope it is true) that my difficulties are at long last about to melt away through Mother’s grace and yours. Make me pure at heart and sincere and one-pointed in my aspiration.

The Shavian assertiveness is not offensive (as the Hugoesque[1] tends to be) because it is full also of a smiling self-mockery, an irony that under a form of deliberate self-praise cuts at itself and the world in one lump. It is curious that so many people seem to miss this character of Shaw’s self-assertiveness and self-praise, its essential humour.

It is very good indeed. Keep this and you cannot but progress.

*   *   *


[1] After Victor Hugo, the famous nineteenth-century French writer.

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