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At the Feet of The Mother

Pavitra on Events of Dec 05: Sri Aurobindo Remains as a Living and Active Presence

From a letter by Philippe Barbier St. Hilaire (Pavitra) dated December 14, 1950, to his father
as published in the book “To Thee Our Infinite Gratitude”, Pondicherry, 2012

[…] Sri Aurobindo had some chronic difficulties which he had kept under control for many years. Sometime before the Darshan of November 24, these got aggravated. Even the Darshan would not have taken place but for his great effort of will. An ailment started at the kidneys and at the same time urea and sugar appeared in the blood in increasing quantities, attaining a proportion which ordinarily results in coma or death. Without doubt this hampered the full action of the supramental force. The equilibrium was broken and he succumbed to what is officially declared as a problem of uraemia (the 5th at 26 minutes past 1 in the morning).

We thought of burying him the same day, but as his body did not at all have the appearance of death and remained intact, we waited. The doctors though had examined him with much care and certified death. Many people saw his body luminous, with a golden light.

On the morning of the 7th, the Chief of the Health Service came to examine the body. According to his official report, written 55 hours after the death, the body did not show any sign of decomposition; the government permitted postponement of the burial, which by law had to take place within 48 hours.

Several thousand people, many of whom had come by special plane from Bombay and Calcutta, filed past his body. Many had the impression of a person immersed in a deep meditation, but not at all of death. It is thus that you will see him in the attached photo; it has to be held as though he were sitting with his back resting against the pillow. Mother told us that a part of the consciousness had voluntarily remained in the body. But subsequently, some signs of change appeared and the burial took place on the 9th at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. By special permission, the tomb is in the heart of the Ashram, under a spreading tree with yellow flowers.

Our grief has certainly been great, because the blow was unexpected. Above all, I measured the extent of the loss that the world suffered at a time when it is going through such a grave crisis. But a consolation has been given to us, which has proved to be greater and greater and which alone enables us to face the future. We feel the Presence of Sri Aurobindo, in us and around us, as powerfully if not more than when he was living, and we feel that this Presence is completely identified with that of the Mother. Thus is born and is confirmed this certitude that our Master has not left us, that his action is going on and that his work continues.

The true reasons for his withdrawal from the body are no doubt profound and will be known only later. For the moment I can only have a glimpse of them.

We could have thought that Sri Aurobindo has withdrawn into the Absolute or that he has entered Nirvana. Mother has told us and many of us also think that it is not that and that he remains and will remain with us, not only as a source of inspiration but as a living and active presence, radiating Light and Force until his work is accomplished, that is to say, until the Supramental has descended and is fully manifested on earth. How many years or centuries that will take, she does not say, and no doubt, it is not important when one sees things on the scale of the cosmos or of humanity!

The true reasons for his withdrawal from the body are no doubt profound and will be known only later. For the moment I can only have a glimpse of them.

We could have thought that Sri Aurobindo has withdrawn into the Absolute or that he has entered Nirvana. Mother has told us and many of us also think that it is not that and that he remains and will remain with us, not only as a source of inspiration but as a living and active presence, radiating Light and Force until his work is accomplished, that is to say, until the Supramental has descended and is fully manifested on earth. How many years or centuries that will take, she does not say, and no doubt, it is not important when one sees things on the scale of the cosmos or of humanity!

So Mother has decided that the Ashram should continue, and, with an increased force, she continues to guide it, as she has been doing since its foundation in 1926 when Sri Aurobindo himself gave her the charge. For us, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are, now more than ever, one and the same Person. We have lost the great sweetness of the personal relation with Sri Aurobindo, but not his guidance, his knowledge and his power, and he has left to us the great sweetness of the relation with the Mother.

Certainly, some changes are going to be made in the Ashram. Some will probably be imposed on us by the circumstances themselves; others will result from the shock which this painful event has given us: a greater concentration in the aspiration, a clearer vision of the essential.

In what concerns me, I do not foresee any important changes in the immediate future. That is why, thanking you for your generous offer, I will not accept it. Rest assured that, as you wished, she has permitted me to make my own decision freely.

The end of the year is approaching and the time when one draws up the balance sheet. I send you my best wishes for the New Year, to you, to Denise and the children, and to the whole larger family. I shall be with you in thought during this period, particularly on January 10. At the present stage of human evolution, death is perhaps necessary, not only for those who go away, but also for those who remain. But all the same, it will not always be like this.

I shall keep you informed.

Embrace Albert and tell him that I have not forgotten him.

I hold you affectionately against my heart.

Your son,

 

Signed: Philippe

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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.