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At the Feet of The Mother

Mohini, The World-Enchantress (HH 253)

What is this mysterious power we call Nature that enchants the soul? What is her relation with the Supreme? We share some insights on this in the backdrop of a relatively lesser known Indian myth of Mohini, the World-enchantress.

Words of the Mother


(Regarding a passage in “Savitri” in which Sri Aurobindo describes the universe as a play between He and She. “This whole wide world is only he and she,” He, the Supreme in love with her, her servitor; She, the creative Force.)

As one too great for him he worships her;
He adores her as his regent of desire,
He yields to her as the mover of his will,
He burns the incense of his nights and days
Offering his life, a splendour of sacrifice….
In a thousand ways he serves her royal needs;
He makes the hours pivot around her will,
Makes all reflect her whims; all is their play:
This whole wide world is only he and she.
What a marvelous work!


He goes into a completely different region, so much above thought! It’s constant vision, it isn’t something thought out – with thought everything becomes flat, hollow, empty, empty, just like a leaf; while this is full, the full content is there, alive.

It’s an explanation of why the world is as it is. At the start he says, He worships her (here again, there are no words in French: Il lui rend un culte, but that makes a whole sentence). He worships her as something far greater than Himself. And then you are almost a spectator of the Supreme projecting Himself to take on this creative aspect (necessarily, otherwise it couldn’t be done!), the Witness watching His own work of creation and falling in love with this power of manifestation – you see it all. And … oh, He wants to give Her her fullest chance and see, watch all that is going to happen, all that can happen with this divine Power thrust free into the world. And Sri Aurobindo expresses it as though he had absolutely fallen in love with Her: whatever She wants, whatever She does, whatever She thinks, whatever She wills, all of it – it’s all wonderful! All is wonderful. It’s so lovely!

And, I must say, I was observing this because, originally, the first time I heard of it, this conception shocked me, in the sense that … (I don’t know, it wasn’t an idea, it was a feeling), as though it meant lending reality to something which in my consciousness, for a very long time (at least … millennia perhaps, I don’t know), had been the Falsehood to be conquered. The Falsehood that must cease to exist. It’s the aspect of Truth that must manifest itself, it’s not all that: doing anything whatsoever just for the fun of it, simply because you have the full power…. You have the power to do everything, so you do everything, and knowing that there is a Truth behind, you don’t give a damn about consequences. That was something … something which, as far back as I can remember, I have fought against. I have known it, but it seems to me it was such a long, long time ago and I rejected it so strongly, saying, “No, no!” and implored the Lord so intensely that things may be otherwise, beseeched Him that his all-powerful Truth, his all-powerful Purity and his all-powerful Beauty may manifest and put an end to all that mess. And at first I was shocked when Sri Aurobindo told me that; previously, in this life, it hadn’t even crossed my mind. In that sense Theon’s explanation had been much more (what should I say?) useful to me from the standpoint of action: the origin of disorder being the separation of the primal Powers – but that’s not it! HE is there, blissfully worshipping all this confusion!

And naturally this time around, when I started translating it came back. At first there was a shudder (Mother makes a gesture of stiffening). Then I told myself, “Haven’t you got beyond that!” And I let myself flow into the thing. Then I had a series of nights with Sri Aurobindo … so marvelous! You understand, I see him constantly and I go into that subtle physical world where he has his abode; the contact is almost permanent (at any rate, that’s how I spend all my nights: he shows me the work, everything), but still, after this translation of Savitri he seemed to be smiling at me and telling me, “At last you have understood!” (Mother laughs) I said, “It isn’t that I didn’t understand, it’s that I didn’t want it!” I didn’t want, I don’t WANT things to be like that any more, for thousands of years I have wanted things to be otherwise!

The night before last, he had put on a sari of mine. He told me (laughing), “Why not? Don’t you find it suits me!” I answered, “It suits you beautifully!” A sari of brown georgette, lustrous bronze, with big golden braid! It was a very beautiful sari (I used to have it, it was one of my saris), and he was wearing it. Then he asked me to do his hair. I remember seeing that the nape of his neck and his hair had become almost luminous – his hair was never quite white, there was an auburn shimmer to it, it was almost golden, and it stayed that way, very fine, not at all like the hair people have here. His hair was almost like mine. So while I was doing his hair, I saw the luminous nape of his neck, and his hair, so luminous! And he said to me, “Why shouldn’t I wear a sari!”

That opened up a whole new horizon…. We’re always so closed, you know.

Of course, it [this vision or conception] isn’t allowed into action, because when you start accepting everything and loving everything and seeing Glory everywhere – why change!? This is why the Force that had been in me for so long for the world to progress further made me reject precisely all that legitimized things as they are by putting you into contact with the inner joy of living – as he puts it, His Joy is there, everywhere, so nobody wants to leave the world….

In short, I was able to see the situation from above, a little higher than the creative Force – from the other side.

February 15, 1963

* * *


It was really very interesting. Afterwards it’s just a memory, no longer the thing…. It concerned the creation of the material world, the material universe, in the light of the conception of the Supreme in love with His emanation. But the vision was all-embracing, as if I were on the other side – the side of the Supreme, not of the creation – and saw the creation as a whole, with the true sense of progress, the true sense of advance, of movement, and the true way in which all that doesn’t belong to the future creation will disappear in a kind of pralaya (it can’t really “disappear” but it will be withdrawn from the Manifestation). And it was very interesting: all that doesn’t collaborate (in the sense that it is a sufficient experience, an experience that has come to its end) was reabsorbed. It was like the true vision of what was rendered as the Last Judgment. It is something going on constantly, that mighty “gust” of manifestation, and there are things that have been, according to our vision of time, but that live on, that continue to exist in the future; there are things that exhaust themselves (that’s in the present), and there are things that have no more purpose, that cannot keep pace with the movement (I don’t know how to explain this) and enter the Non-Being – the pralaya, the Non-Being, the unmanifest – of course, not in their forms but in their essence; that is to say, the Supreme in them remains the Supreme but unmanifest.

But it was all a living, palpable experience which lasted for a day and a half. The entire universal movement was LIVED and sensed. Not merely seen but lived – and in what light! What stupendous power! With that kind of certitude at the core of everything – something very odd. It’s very difficult to express. But the experience lasted so long that it became perfectly familiar. To translate it into words I might say: it is the Supreme’s way of seeing – of feeling, of living. I was living things the way He does. And it gives a power of certitude of realization. In the sense that what we are heading for is already here; the road we look back on, the road we have traveled and the road yet to travel, it all lives simultaneously. And with such logic! An eternal, wonderful superlogic which makes it obviousness itself – everything is obviousness itself. Struggle, effort, fear, all of that, oh, absolutely, absolutely nonexistent. And together with this, the explanation of the feeling we have of not wanting certain things any more: they leave the Manifest. You see, it’s like a sieve into which everything is thrown and where He … to Him, everything, but everything is the same, but there is the vision of what He wants, and also of what is useless for what He wants or would prevent the fullness and totality of what He wants (contradictions of sorts, I don’t know how to explain it) – so with that He just goes this way (gesture of reswallowing) and it goes out of the Manifestation….

Putting it like this implies an arbitrary fiat, but there’s no such thing: it isn’t a “gentleman” who decides to withdraw certain things he no longer likes! It’s not that way. They are things which, owing to their own propensity (what we might call their essential truth), had at a given moment their place in the Manifestation, and which, once they have lost their purpose, quite naturally leave the Manifestation – I could put it in fifty different ways just as poorly, I can’t see how to explain it properly. But the fact was evident. It was part of such a wonderfully complete and harmonious Whole – that Harmony is beyond us, we cannot understand it, caught as we are in the sensation of opposites. But there, “opposites” do not exist, there are only things that … Like the fact of the Supreme seemingly dominated by His creation, wholly obedient to His creation – as though He had no power, no knowledge, no vision, so things follow their course in the chaos we know. Well, when we put it like this, there is something unbelievable and shocking about it, yet it was so very natural, so very true, and part of such a perfect whole!

Only, you cannot see it unless you see the whole. At the time, everything was preexistent, although unfolding in time for the Manifestation. But it was preexistent. Not preexistent as we understand it, not everything “at a given moment”…. Oh, how impossible! It’s impossible to express it. I still feel what I could call the “warmth” of the experience – the reality, the life, the warmth of the experience are there. You know, I have lived in a Light! A Light which isn’t our light, which has nothing to do with what we call light, a Light so warm and powerful! A creative Light. So powerful! … Everything was so perfectly harmonious: everything, everything without exception, even the things that appear to be the very negation of divinity. And a rhythm! (gesture as of great waves) A harmony, so wonderful a TOTALITY, where the sense of sequence … Sequence doesn’t mean things being like this (chopping gesture), one being abolished by the next, it is … At the time I might have been able to find or invent the words, I don’t know, now … now, it’s only the memory of it. The memory, not the presence itself.

The experience lasted long. It started in the night, lasted through the whole day, and last night there was still something of it lingering, but then … (laughing) I seemed to be told, “So then, aren’t you going to move on? Are you going to stay with this experience, are you stuck there?!” It is so true: things move fast, fast, fast, and run as you may, you’re still not going fast enough.
But the main thing was this Nature…. A little taller than my body…. For years, every time I have seen Nature, it’s this person I’ve seen; to me, for years she has been Nature. And it’s not a “relationship,” but like my mother who might be my sister, or my sister who might be my mother, like that (things aren’t quite clear-cut, words are worthless). She is tall, a beautiful woman, and she is very, very simple, very simple, and quite awesome. But with me, like a little child. She went around with me, and she said, “See, I’ve put on your dress, I’ve put it on to tell you that it’s accepted – I’ve put on your dress.” And its color was the same as that of the skin [of Mothers exposed part], it was something like skin, and the dress was exactly the same color. It also had a slight luminosity like that, something as if “efflorescent.” The skin too was “efflorescent.” And that was the point: no sex, neither man nor woman – no sex. It was a form like this (Mother draws a svelte figure in space), a form resembling our body, but sexless: the two legs joined together….

Those are the two things that must be mastered. What we call death, which is … – it doesn’t exist. Yes, I must add to the first dream that I killed him, but he was still moving! I had killed him point-blank, but he kept on stirring…. I think I shot him with a pistol (though it made no noise and there was no …), but he kept on stirring very well. And he didn’t in the least hold it against me!… You understand, it was the image of the unreality of the falsehood of all those things.

But the second thing, I had always asked, “How is it, the supra-mental body? I’d like to see it.” Well, I saw it, I saw my body, how it will be. It’s fine! (Laughing) It’s fine!… It’s a body … not very different, but so refined! So … such a refined thing! None of all those movements – those crude movements – none of those simply ordinary human movements can exist there: the two can’t be together; when there is the one, there can’t be the other. That’s the whole point, it has to be … done, clarified – nothing should remain, except … except the divine bliss.

I see her, I still see Nature…. Her hair is … I don’t know, its color isn’t the same as that of our hair: it’s like all colors together. And she has her hair as I do, always (Mother shows the bun at the back of her head); always, she has always had her hair as I do, and always hair with no … I don’t know, it has all colors together. And she has a long, tranquil face…. Ageless, neither young nor old; I don’t know, ageless. And an extraordinary power in the face.

It’s the MATERIAL Nature, the physical Nature, the material physical Nature, and she said, “I’ve put on the dress, I’ve put on YOUR dress – I’ve put on your dress to tell you that I’ve adopted it.”

It means that material Nature has adopted the new creation.

February 19, 1963

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