logo
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1932, May (II)

May 1932

I think you have made too much play with my phrase “an accident”, ignoring the important qualification, “it seemed to come by an accident.” After four years of prāṇāyāma and other practices on my own, with no other result than an increased health and outflow of energy, some psycho-physical phenomena, a great outflow of poetic creation, a limited power of subtle sight (luminous patterns and figures, etc.) mostly with the waking eye, I had a complete arrest and was at a loss. At this juncture I was induced to meet a man without fame whom I did not know, a bhakta with a limited mind but with some experience and evocative power. We sat together and I followed with an absolute fidelity what he instructed me to do, not myself in the least understanding where he was leading me or where I was myself going. The first result was a series of tremendously powerful experiences and radical changes of consciousness which he had never intended — for they were Adwaitic and Vedantic and he was against Adwaita Vedanta — and which were quite contrary to my own ideas, for they made me see with a stupendous intensity the world as a cinematographic play of vacant forms in the impersonal universality of the Absolute Brahman. The final upshot was that he was made by a Voice within him to hand me over to the Divine within me enjoining an absolute surrender to its will — a principle or rather a seed-force to which I kept unswervingly and increasingly till it led me through all the mazes of an incalculable Yogic development bound by no single rule or style or dogma or shastra to where and what I am now and towards what shall be hereafter. Yet he understood so little what he was doing that when he met me a month or two later, he was alarmed, tried to undo what he had done and told me that it was not the Divine but the devil that had got hold of me. Does not all that justify my phrase “it seemed to come by an accident?” But my meaning is that the ways of the Divine are not like those of the human mind or according to our patterns and it is impossible to judge them or to lay down for Him what He shall or shall not do, for the Divine knows better than we do. If we admit the Divine at all, both true reason and bhakti seem to me to be at one in demanding implicit faith and surrender. I do not see how without them there can be avyabhichāriṇī bhakti [one-pointed adoration].

*   *   *

May 8, 1932

I am afraid in this question about the cinema you are putting to me something which I am unable to answer. It is not a question of willingness or unwillingness, but the thing itself is quite outside the province in which I can make or give decisions. On all matters concerning the sadhana or life in the sadhana I can or may recommend or say Yes or No, — your poetry or your music I regard as part of the sadhana, part of your own and the collective Yoga life, but Charlie Chaplin and the City Lights are so outside it that I am unable to say anything about it whatever.

I find it rather surprising that you should regard what the Mother said to you or what I wrote as a recommendation to relax aspiration or postpone the idea of any kind of siddhi till the Greek Kalends! It was not so intended in the least nor do I think either of us said or wrote anything which could justly bear such an interpretation. I said expressly that in the way of meditating of which we spoke, aspiration, prayer, concentration, intensity were a natural part of it; the way was put before you because our experience has been that those who take it go quicker and develop their sadhana, once they get fixed in it, much more easily as well as smoothly than by a distressed, doubtful and anxious straining with revulsions of despondency and turning away from hope and endeavour. We spoke of a steady opening to the Divine with a flow of the force doing its work in the ādhār [vessel], a poised opening with a quiet mind and heart full of trust and the sunlight of confidence; where do you find that we said a helpless waiting must be your programme?

As for light-heartedness and insouciance, the Mother never spoke of insouciance — a light don’t care attitude is the last thing she would recommend to anybody. She spoke of cheerfulness, and if she used the word light-hearted, it was not in the sense of anything lightly or frivolously gay and careless — although a deeper and finer gaiety can have its place as one element of the yogic character. What she meant was a glad equanimity even in the face of difficulties and there is nothing in that contrary to yogic teaching or to her own practice. The vital nature on the surface (the depths of the true vital are different) is attached on the one side to a superficial mirth and enjoyment, on the other to sorrow and despair and gloom and tragedy, — for these are for it the cherished lights and shades of life; but a bright or wide and free peace or an ānandamaya intensity or, best, a fusing of both in one is the true poise of both the soul and the mind — and of the true vital also — in Yoga. It is perfectly possible for a quite human sadhak to get to such a poise, it is not necessary to be divine before one can attain it. All this is nothing new and original; I have been saying it ever since I began speaking at all about Yoga and I cannot see anything in it resembling a gospel of helpless waiting or of careless insouciance or anything contrary to our own practice. I do not think that we have either of us become relentlessly grim and solemn or lacking in humour or that the Mother has lost her smile! I am afraid you are looking at her and things as through a glass darkly and seeing them in too sombre colours. As for instance what you say about the music — she came up straight to me from it and spoke at once about your music and the presence of Krishna there and she was in a very different mood from what you describe.

I have read you poem; it is very beautiful, but also too sombre in colour. Do throw off this mood and become yourself once more!

*   *   *

May 10, 1932

Your credo cannot be a reason for your not remaining here.

There are very few among the sadhaks here who at all concern themselves with the supermind or know anything about it except as something which the Mother and I will bring down some day and establish here. Most are seeking realisation through meditation, through love and worship or through activity and work. Meditation and silence are not necessary for everyone; there are some, even among those spoken of by you and others as the most advanced sadhaks who do their sadhana not through meditation, for which they have no turn, but through activity, work or creation supported or founded on love and bhakti. It is not the credo but the person who matters. We impose no credo; it is sufficient if there is an established and heartfelt relation between ourselves and the disciple.

If it is the way of ahaitukī bhakti [motiveless devotion] that you count to follow, that can be no obstacle; for there can be none better. For in that way everything can be made a means — poetry and music for instance become not merely poetry and music and not merely even an expression of bhakti, but themselves a means of bringing the experience of love and bhakti. Meditation itself becomes not an effort of mental concentration, but a flow of love and adoration and worship. If simply and sincerely followed, the way of ahaitukī bhakti can lead as far as any other.

On our side, therefore, there cannot be on this ground any incompatibility or any reason why you should not be here. But on yours you must remember that this is for the Mother and myself a tense and difficult period in which we cannot expand our energies as we would wish to do — for the natural tendency of the Mother was always to throw out her energies largely in every way by means externally vital and physical as well as inward, psychic and spiritual and to multiply rather than reduce contacts. If we have been obliged to do otherwise for a time, it was not from preference. It will not do therefore to get impatient with us because of this difficult period or to misunderstand the concentrated pressure towards a new basis for expansion which it imposes on us. For that impatience can alone create a stumbling-block — not on our side, but on yours.

For on our side there can be none. Your credo can make no difference to the true basis of our relationship which is something personal and living.

*   *   *

May 10, 1932

It is quite impossible for me to dismiss you or to consent to your going away like this from us. If the idea of this kind of separation is possible to you, for us it is inconceivable that our close relation should end like this. I had thought that the love and affection the Mother and I bear to you had been made evident by us. But if you say that you cannot believe in it or cannot accept it with the limitations on its outward manifestation that not our choice but inexorable necessity imposes on us for a time, I do not know how to convince you. I could not believe that you could really find it in your heart to go or take such a step when it came to the point. As it is, I can only appeal to you not to allow yourself to be swept away by this attack, to remain faithful even in suffering to your soul that brought you here and to believe in our love that can never waver.

*   *   *

May 31, 1932

This question of quantity is one in which I find it difficult to arrive at a conclusion. You can prove that it can be done and has been successfully done in Bengali, and you can prove and have proved it yourself over again by writing these poems and bringing in the rhythm, the kallol [great joy or delight], which is absent in Satyen Dutta. It is quite true also that stylisation is permissible and a recognised form of art — I mean professed and overt stylisation and not that which hides itself under a contrary profession of naturalness or faithful following of external nature. The only question is how much of it Bengali poetry can bear. I do not think the distinction between song and poem goes at all to the root of the matter. The question is whether it is possible to have ease of movement in this kind of quantitative metre. For a few lines it can be very beautiful or for a short poem or a song — that much cannot be doubted. But can it be made a spontaneous movement of Bengali poetry like the ordinary mātrāvṛttas or the others, in which one can walk or run at will without looking at one’s steps to see that one does not stumble and without concentrating the reader’s mind too much on the technique so that his attention is diverted from the sense and bhāva? If you can achieve some large and free structure in which quantity takes a recognised place as part of the foundation, — it need not be reproduction of a Sanskrit metre, — that would solve the problem in the affirmative.

*   *   *

May 31, 1932

Yes, this poem [“Bahurupi”] seems to me to be a very victorious acclimatisation of the principle of quantity (true quantity) in a free and large and flowing movement, a beautiful and natural and plastic rhythm and no suggestion of difficulty or carefully picked steps anywhere. It is an entire success.

*   *   *

May 1932?

I am, as you know quite in agreement with you as regards the principle. At the same time there is a greater difficulty in Bengali than in Hindi and Gujarati. For in these languages the stylisation is a long-accepted fact and the ear of the writer and reader are trained to appreciate it, but in Bengali the trend has been on the contrary to more and more naturalism in metre and such stylisation as there was not quantitative. Now the writer has the double difficulty of finding out how to stylise successfully in detail and of getting the ear of the public to train itself also. That is no reason … [incomplete].

*   *   *

Related Posts

Back to ,
To be spontaneous means not to think, organise, decide and make an effort to realise with the personal will.