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At the Feet of The Mother

Long Back – by Dr. Rajangam

I use to read the Arya when I was living in the Victoria Hostels in Madras. I was sixteen then. I found in those pages just what I needed and I intensely wished to obtain what was there. Small booklets like the Uttarpara Speech also came into my hands and appealed to me very much. I wanted to see Sri Aurobindo very much. The opportunity arrived on the 7th of April 1921 when I came to Pondicherry and stayed for fifteen days.

I first saw Sri Aurobindo in the verandah of the Guest House upstairs. He was quite different from the figure in the familiar pictures. He had a big body; the colour was golden, particularly there was a golden light on the head and in the feet which was perceptible to my intense vision. I offered Pranam to him.

SRI AUROBINDO: What have you been doing?

I: I have read the Ideal of Karmayogin and have been practising it. I look upon the body as the chariot and Sri Krishna as the charioteer. I pray to Him.

SRI AUROBINDO: All right, continue.

After I left and returned to my host’s house I had an experience in which I lost the body consciousness. I found myself moving in the air, to distant places like a bird. I felt myself a bird. It was all light and delight.

Later when I reported this experience to him, Sri Aurobindo said:

It is a symbolic vision; promise of the Light to come. Bird is the symbol of the soul.

As he was saying this I felt highly gratified that I had achieved something special. That very moment he added that it was a common experience.

While leaving he told me to be writing to him though I was not to expect replies. Accordingly I used to write to him every week. What is remarkable is that even before posting the letters I used to feel the effect.

It was in 1923 that, after passing out from the Medical College, I could come away to stay with Sri Aurobindo permanently. At that time Purani was functioning as the manager of the household. And I learnt that referring to my coming Sri Aurobindo had said to him: “Yoke him when he comes.”

And I was yoked blissfully. I was put in charge of purchases etc. Sri Aurobindo used to give me fifteen rupees per month for each of the inmates (for Mess expenses) plus Rs. 40 per month for house rent.

I used to get opportunities to meditate in Sri Aurobindo’s presence along with one or two others. At times there would be loud noise downstairs of opening wooden cases etc. When one of us complained to him that the noise was interfering with the meditation, he answered:

You must be able to meditate on the battle-field.

Naturally I used to get different experiences during these sittings. There would be extreme delight which the body could not bear. There would be great peace. When I asked him about this peace Sri Aurobindo said:

Mental peace is different from spiritual Peace. Spiritual Peace is unaltered by anything.

I also spoke to him of the Light that I used to feel descending into me. He remarked that what came from above was grappled by the mind and at times there was mixture. I interrupted and said that there was no mixture in my case.

SRI AUROBINDO: After thirty years of sadhana I find there is mixture. And you…!

In those days it used to be a common sight to see Sri Aurobindo sitting amidst others but he was really somewhere beyond, unreachable.

*

24th November 1926 was indeed a glorious day. It was the day of the descent of Sri Krishna Consciousness into Sri Aurobindo. I still remember Dutta (the Irish lady attending on the Mother) exclaiming as if in trance:

He has conquered Life.

He has conquered Death.

He has conquered All.

Krishna the Lord has descended!

During all this period I used to come in contact with the Mother in connection with my work of fetching things from the French Post Office, French Treasury, etc. Her smile used to make me deeply happy. When I mentioned this to Sri Aurobindo, he told me that he had made this arrangement precisely to let me come into her atmosphere.

In one of my meetings the Mother referred to my past lives and said that in my last birth I was Barat during the French Revolution days in France.

*

During those early years of the Ashram life the Mother used to allot numbers to those who attended the meditations. Mine was No. 9.

She used to bring down the Gods. The godhead that was brought down into me was ADORATION.

*

Once when I needed some extra supplies and there was trouble Sri Aurobindo wrote to me:

I am taking whatever the Mother gives, so you also take whatever Mother gives.

*

On my birthday April 30, 1928 Sri Aurobindo wrote in the book The Mother given to me:

Be always faithful to the Mother.

She will be ever with you and protect you.

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