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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1933, May

May 1933?

It is true that the removal of the sex-impulse in all its forms and, generally, of the vital woman-complex is a great liberation which opens up to the Divine considerable regions of the being which otherwise tend to remain shut up. These things are a degradation of the source in the being from which bhakti, divine love and adoration arise. But the complex has deep roots in human nature and one must not be disappointed if it takes time to pull them up. A resolute detachment rejecting them as foreign elements, refusing to accept any inner association with them as well as outer indulgence even of the slightest kind is the best way to wear out their hold upon the nature.

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May 1933

My point about my Sadhana was that my Sadhana was not done for myself but for the earth-consciousness as a showing of the way towards the Light, so that whatever I showed in it to be possible: inner growth, transformation, manifesting of new faculties, etc. was not of no importance to anybody, but meant as an opening of lines and ways for what had to be done. The question of degree of greatness does not come in at all.

The terrestrial sex-movement is an utilisation by Nature of the fundamental physical energy for purposes of procreation. The thrill of which the poets speak, which is accompanied by a very gross excitement, is the lure by which she makes the vital consent to this otherwise unpleasing process — whatever Tagore or others may feel, there are numbers who experience a recoil of disgust after the act and repulsion from the partner in it because of the disgust, though they return to it when the disgust has worn off for the sake of this lure. The sex-energy itself is a great power with two components in its physical basis, one meant for procreation and the process necessary for it, the other for feeding the general energies of the body, mind and vital, — also of the spiritual energies of the body. The old yogis call these two components retas and ojas. The European scientists generally pooh-poohed the idea, but now they are beginning to discover the same fact for themselves. As for the thrill, it is simply a very gross distortion and degradation of the physical Ananda which by the Yoga can establish itself in the body, but this it cannot do so, so long as there is the sex-deviation ….

As for the Force I use to cure people I shall see also whether I can explain what I mean by Force (the one I refer to is neither supramental nor omnipotent nor guaranteed to work like Beecham’s pills in every case) and how it acts and in what conditions. I have tried it in hundreds of cases besides Dayakar’s[1] (on my own body first and always) and I have no doubt of its efficacy or reality under these conditions.

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May 1933?

 The crystallising of the concentration is a good sign. As a matter of fact all these things depend upon perseverance. With a long perseverance a little result comes, with more perseverance a bigger result comes, then with a little more perseverance the big result comes. Concentration or even the effort at concentration is like a constant pressure which wears away the obstacle until, before one well knows, one finds it breaking or broken.

I know very well these pressures of a mental Power or creative formation to express itself and be fulfilled. When it presses like that there is nothing to do but to let it have way, so as to leave the mind unoccupied and clear; otherwise it will be pushed two ways and not in the condition of ease and clearness necessary for concentration.

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May 1933

There is nothing sentimental in the true weeping that comes from the soul. All that you feel now is the blossoming of the psychic being in you and the growth of a real bhakti.

It is always better not to judge others in the sense of condemning them. One need not be blind to their movements, but one should observe them as the movement of Nature blinding the light in them, for which they are less responsible than the mind thinks. It is true that your attitude was quite right and the vital ego put its intensity on the right side; for that very reason the egoistic elements which rose up were able by this contact with the psychic in you, both in arms together for the inner Truth, to dissolve themselves quickly. That is how the psychic leading always works in one way or another to transform the movements of the other parts of the nature.

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May 5, 1933

[…] This second fast of Mahatma Gandhi of three weeks has disquieted me a little,[2] There seems to be no way out, for Gandhi asserts that he can break his irrevocable fast only if he is persuaded that the inner voice which enjoins the fast on him is the voice not of God but of the Devil. I wonder whose voice it is though? Can it be of anything but disastrous augury? I would like to have your verdict….

Very glad you have recovered your position. Let it be a firm terrain on which the rest can come.

I don’t think it was the voice of God that raged and thundered till Gandhi decided to starve himself on to the danger line — it looks as if it were the other fellow. One can only hope that he will scrape through somehow and that the doctors are wrong as they most often are when they opine in the plural; but the last experiment was not encouraging. And as this time there seems to be no reason whatever for this inspired procedure and no practical or practicable object set before it, there is no tangible means either of bringing it to a timely close. What an extraordinary ignorance of spiritual things to take any inner shout for the command of the Supreme!

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May 13, 1933

In these moods the thoughts that assail you are so much out of focus! The essence of surrender is not to ask the Mother before doing anything — but to accept whole-heartedly the influence and the guidance; when the joy and peace come down to accept them without question or cavil and let them grow, when the Force is felt at work, to let it without opposition, when the Knowledge is given, to receive and follow it, when the Will is revealed, to make oneself its instrument. It is also, no doubt, to accept the guidance and control of the Guru who is at least supposed to know better than oneself what is or is not the Truth and the way to the Truth. All that is nothing very terrible, it is simple common sense. As to the particular kind of control you speak of, it is not imposed on anybody; it is only a few in the Ashram who at all follow any such rule. Amrita[3] whom you mention would not have dreamed a year or two ago of asking the Mother before doing anything; if he does so now, it is not because the Mother told him to do so or “imposed” it on him, but because he felt the need for it for his sadhana. The Mother never imposed any rule on Anilbaran; he made his own rule of life of his own accord according to his own perception of the best way for him to concentrate and took the sanction of the Mother. You yourself were told by the Mother that you had no need to do what Sahana was trying to do in this respect at that time of her own motion — that for each it was only when he felt the need that he should do it. I do not see therefore why you should fear so much for your liberty — when in the whole Ashram of hundred and twenty people there are hardly half a dozen who follow any such rule of strict external surrender. And I cannot understand what you mean by the reproach that we have made some people stiff and speechless. Who are they? Amrita, Anilbaran, Dutta. As far as I know, they are quite adept in [?] and eloquent or fluent talkers. I am guiltless of the crime you charge against me.

Another thing let me correct. It is not at all correct to say that we — in this instance the Mother — never warned Suchi and Sarala of their deterioration — they were warned and plainly warned and also of the influences from outside the Ashram to which they were succumbing. The Mother had even foreseen from the beginning that this might happen and put them on their guard in due time. If they fell, it was because they preferred to follow their lower nature and side with the lower forces. The Divine can lead, he does not drive. There is an internal freedom permitted to every mental being called man to assent or not to assent to the Divine leading: how else can any real spiritual evolution be done?

If there is so serious an obstacle to your going forward, it consists only of two things, your vital depressions and your mental doubts which make you challenge even the experiences you have and belittle any progress you make. Never have we told you to be stiff and gloomy and speechless — on the contrary we have pressed upon the other side. Other obstacles or difficulties there are, but they could be overcome if these two things were out of the way or rejected and inoperative.

If I constantly encourage you, it is not because I see you deteriorating and want to hide it — I see nothing of the kind, — but because I have faith in your capacities and see the nobler Dilip behind all outward weakness. I would not speak what I know to be false — that much credit you can give me.

P.S. What put this into your head that you are regarded as an untouchable and a bad influence? If every man who had difficulties were so regarded, the whole Ashram would be an asylum of untouchables.

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May 13, 1933

What I meant about the experiences was simply this that you have erected your own ideas about what you want from the Yoga and have always been measuring what began to come by that standard and because it was not according to expectation or up to standard telling yourself after a moment, “It is nothing, it is nothing”. That dissatisfaction laid you open at every step to a reaction or a recoil which prevented any continuous development. The yogin who has experience knows that the small beginnings are of the greatest importance and have to be cherished and allowed with great patience to develop. He knows for instance that the neutral quiet so dissatisfying to the vital eagerness of the sadhak is the first step towards the peace that passeth all understanding, the small current or thrill of inner delight the first trickling in of the ocean of Ananda, the play of lights or colours the key of the doors of the inner vision and experience, the descent that stiffens the body into a concentrated stillness the first touch of something at the end of which is the presence of the Divine. He is not impatient, he is rather careful not to disturb the evolution that is beginning. Certainly, some sadhaks have strong and decisive experiences at the beginning, but these are followed by long labour in which there are many empty periods and many periods of struggle. You speak of Barin,[4] but Barin’s experiences were like all he did brilliant but unsound in method and only bright beginnings without any conclusion and it was all on the surface, mental and vital fireworks. There was never any receding of the ego, any fundamental bases of ultimate realisation, any transformation of the nature. There he is a little hunting and experimenting in the vague.

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May 16, 1933

I have not time to write a long letter. I can write only this. You are not to leave Pondicherry by this morning’s train or at all. You have to come and see the Mother at 9.30 and speak to her heart to heart. Both the Mother and myself have lavished much love and care on you and you are certainly not going to make a return like this — it is impossible. Do not believe all you hear or allow yourself to be driven off your balance by falsehoods of the kind that have been retailed to you. You do not belong to yourself and have not the right to do what you propose to do: you belong to the Divine and to myself and the Mother. I have cherished you like a friend and a son and have poured on you my force to develop your powers — until the time should come for you to make an equal development in the Yoga. I claim the right to keep you as our own here with us. Throw away this despair — rise above the provocations of others — turn back to the Mother.

*   *   *


[1] A young child of five-six from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, his parents were land holders; mother Krishnamma, father Rama Reddy, renamed Satyakarma, became the treasurer of the Ashram.

[2] Gandhi had been in jail since January 1933. He announced a 21-day fast “in connection with the Harijan cause.” Gandhi was released a few days later, and asked the Congress to suspend the Civil Disobedience Movement.

[3] K. Amrita (19 September 1895 – 31 January 1969) was born as Aravamuda Iyengar in a village near Pondicherry. He was very much attracted by Sri Aurobindo from his youth and met him in 1912. Later on, after studying in Madras, he came and stayed permanently with Sri Aurobindo. Pleasant and humorous, he was a delightful man. He became the manager of Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

[4] Barin Ghose, Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother.

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