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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1932, November (I)

November 1, 1932

Your dreams were very beautiful and, symbolically, very true. By the way, let me repeat, they were not really dreams; the state between sleep and waking or which is neither sleep nor waking is not a dozing but an inward gathered consciousness, quite as much awake as the waking mind, but awake in a different plane of experience.

As for the dream of the cobra, it could be taken as an answer to your own plaints against the Divine being grim and solemn and refusing to play and your remark that if you could have the faith that the troubles were a part of the Divine plan leading you through them to the Divine, you would be more at ease. The answer of the symbolic experience was that the Divine can play if you know how to play with him — and bear his play on your shoulders; the cobras and the bite indicate that what seems to you in the vital painful and dangerous may be the very means of bringing you the ecstasy of the Divine Presence.

Less generally the cobras are the forces of the evolution, the evolution towards the Divine. Their taking the place of the legs means that their action here takes place in the physical or material consciousness, in the evolution of the external mind, vital, physical towards the experience of the Divine and of the Divine Nature. The bite of the cobras (Shiva’s cobras!) does not kill, or it only kills the “old Adam” in the being; their bite brings the ecstasy of the presence of the Divine — that which you felt coming upon your head as trance waves. It is this trance ecstasy that has descended upon you each time you went inside or were even on the point of going inside in meditation. It is the universal experience of sadhaks that a power or consciousness or Ananda like this first comes from above — or around — and presses on or surrounds the head, then it pierces the skull as it were and fills first the brain and forehead, then the whole head and descends occupying each centre till the whole system is full and replete. (Of course there are or can be preliminary rushes occupying the whole body for a time or some other part of the system most open and least resistant to the influence.)

I repeat what I have said before (though your physical mind does not yet believe) that these experiences show at once that your inner being is a Yogi capable of trance, ecstasy, intensest bhakti, fully aware of Yoga and Yogic consciousness, and showing himself the very moment you get inside yourself, even as the outer man is very much the other way round, modernised, externalised, vigorously outward-vital (for the Yoga is inward-vital and psychic) and knowing nothing of Yoga or the world of inner experience. I could see at once when I saw you that there was this inner Yogi and your former experiences here were quite convincing to anyone who knows anything at all about these things. When there is this inner Yogi inside, the coming to the way of Yoga is sure and not even the most externalised surface consciousness — not even a regular homo Russellicus outside, and you are not that, only a little Russellicatus on the surface, — can prevent final success in the Yoga. But the tussle between the inward and the outward men can create a lot of trouble, because the inward man pushes towards the Divine and will not let go and the outward man regrets, refuses, pulls back, asks what is this shadowy thing to which he is being brought, this Unknown, this (to him) far-off Ineffable. That, and not merely sex, food or society, is the genesis of the struggle and trouble in you. And yet it is all a misunderstanding — for if the outer gave entirely to the inner Yogi, he would find that what he lost or thought he was losing could be repaid a hundredfold — though he would get it in another spirit and consciousness, not any longer the transient and deceptive delight of the world for its own sake, but the delight of the Divine in the world, a thousand times more intense, sweet and desirable.

*   *   *

November 1, 1932

(from Mother)

You can be reassured — it is quite certain that Sri Aurobindo cannot make such a mistake! As he says that you are sure to succeed, it means that you will succeed and become quite a good yogi after all.

Don’t let troubles and difficulties depress you. The greater the difficulties the greater the victory hereafter.

*   *   *

November 2, 1932

I suppose your letter was written for relief more than for an answer; for it raises the whole question of the meaning of this creation which does not admit of a summary reply or solution! I will only say that it is not merely to encourage you that I speak of the Yogin within you or of your [?] in Yoga. I write according to my seeing and my experience and knowledge, — which I think is not superficial or little. As for the rarity of these strongly indicative experiences, that makes no difference to their evidential value; it is the quality and force of meaning of the experience and not the quantity or number that matters. In the early stages, before the wall of the outer nature goes down under the inner pressure, strong experiences are apt to be espacées [spaced out] or rare.

I may say also that I did not leave politics because I felt that I could do nothing there; such an idea was very far from me. I came away because I did not want anything to interfere with my Yoga and because I got a very distinct ādeśa [command] in the matter. I have cut connection entirely with politics, but before I did so I knew from within that the work I had begun there was destined to be carried forward on lines I had foreseen by others and that the ultimate triumph of the movement I had initiated was sure without my physical action or presence. There was not the least motive of despair or sense of futility behind my withdrawal. For the rest I have never known any will of mine for one major event in the conduct of world affairs to fail in the end, although it may take a long time for the world-forces to fulfil it. As for the possibility of failure in my spiritual work I shall deal with that another time. Difficulties there are, but I see no cause for pessimism or for the certification of failure.

*   *   *

November 3, 1932

I can only repeat for the moment that the capacity, not the faint possibility is there in you in spite of the strong resistance. As for sending you away, there is no fear of that, it is quite impossible. And since you are yourself determined to remain and see it through, success is sure whatever the difficulties or their source. If the opening does not come to you from within by your own effort, it will come to you, as it is coming to others after a long sterility, of itself from above.

*   *   *

November 1932?

You need not be anxious; Shiva won’t mind at all. He butted in quite benevolently and disinterestedly in order to remove obstacles that were proving too obstinate — probably the stiff neck was only the “tautness” getting thrown out into the external nature from inside.

I agree that the “Bairagi” is the most finished and richest of the series — a consummate achievement.

*   *   *

November 4, 1932

A new birth to fearless equanimity — it is a very good idea. Why so much nervousness about a wrung neck — a neck wrung by Shiva ought afterwards to be as strong as the neck of Atlas or even of Sheshnaga [the king of snakes].

I am reading your printed poems and notice the devilries of the printer. There is one in the English translation — for I stood aghast before a “hand of empty dreams” — and this singular hand was plural! It took me a minute to discover that the Devil’s own had turned a collective band into a plural hand. “A hand of empty dreams” — how gloriously poetic and modernistically full of a meaningless significance!

The Mother says that, if you want, you can come to her for a short time tomorrow morning at 9.15 (Saturday).

P.S. Of course, Prabodh Sen is right. I suppose what Buddhadev means is that none of the very great poets invented a metre — they were all too lazy and preferred stealing other people’s rhythms and polishing them up to perfection, just as Shakespeare stole all his plots from whoever he could find any worth stealing. But all the same, if that applies to Shakespeare, Homer, Virgil, what about Alcaeus, Sappho, Catullus, Horace? They did a good deal of inventing or of transferring — introducing Greek metres into Latin, for example. I can’t spot a precedent in modern European literature but there must be some. And after all, hang precedents! A good thing — I mean, combining metre invention with perfect poetry — would be still a good thing to do even if no one had had the good sense to do it before.

*   *   *

November 5, 1932

Yes, you can put in the Peace letter.

After all, you have at least one poem in laghu-guru sufficiently long and with a sufficiently plastic flow to test the question whether the quantitative movement can be applied in Bengali to other than songs and short lyrics. It seems to me that the answer must be in the affirmative.

*   *   *


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