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At the Feet of The Mother

Some Letters of the Mother




(Pardon my writing to you without any specific reason; but I felt like telling you that you are extremely dear to me. In spite of my thousand and three imperfections, this one sense remains in me — that you are my Mother, that I am born from your heart. It is the only truth I seem to have realised in all these years. A very unfortunate thing, perhaps, that I have realised no other truth; but I deeply thank you that I have been enabled to feel this much at least.)

Sri Aurobindo’s reply: “It is an excellent foundation for the other Truths that are to come — for they all result from it.”

The Mother’s reply: “My blessings are always with you.”


*      *

(I had been expecting a reply from you — but I got it this morning in your face. I suddenly resolved not to touch drink again, but saw some inconveniences in the way, so withdrew the resolution in its extreme form; yet a power for good remained. Facing myself later I perceived that, though a certain itch for drink had been brought about, it was only a temporary development and I really had no special complex for alcohol. The seven days’ experiment with a bit of Bacchus seemed over.

Then I fell asleep and had a most frightfully realistic dream in which my teeth broke off in my mouth and fell out in my hand and on the floor. Thinking — in the dream itself — that this must be a dream, I dreamed that I got up. But in that condition also I discovered that my teeth came loose and I spat out quite a lot of them. I was terribly pained to see such a thing.

I really woke up after this and, understanding that the falling of teeth in a dream meant the breaking of the physical mind’s habits of thought, I felt a great release — a fine sense all over me of openness to you. Of course the physical mind brought back certain retarding considerations — but surely, Mother, something has been done. I should like to have some words from you.)

“I am happy at your resolution and I hope you will keep to it. I was going to write to you that you must choose between seeing me and drink — for I would not see you if you went on drinking — but I am glad to hear that you have made the resolution already.”


*     *

(A friend wishes to collect money for you. He says he will be very much helped if you write for him a statement about approaching people for monetary help.)

“I am not in the habit of writing for money to anybody. If people do not feel that it is for them a great opportunity and Grace to be able to give their money for the Divine cause, tant vis pour eux!((( So much the worse for them (K.D.S.).))) Money is needed for the work — money is bound to come; as for who will have the privilege of giving it, that remains to be seen.”


*     *

(My heart is pulled towards you and I want to come back from Bombay. But certain things are keeping me here and I feel that they will keep drawing me even if I return at present. What should I do? But please know that whether I come just now or not I cannot ever break away from you. I pray to you not to abandon me.)

“My dear child, blessings of the day… Just received your letter of 21st; it came to me directly (without the written words) three days ago, probably when you were writing it, and my silent answer was categorical: remain there until the necessity of being here will become so imperative that all else will completely lose all value for you. My answer now is exactly the same. I want only to assure you that we are not abandoning you and that you will always have our help and protection.”


*     *

(People keep lamenting about their lot and feel that their troubles and their unhappy reactions would go if other people and things were changed. Do you share my doubt about this feeling?)

“Each one is the artisan of his own miseries.”


*     *

(I dabbled in stocks and shares a little, but came a cropper. The speculation I carried on for a while has burnt quite a hole in my pocket. I really wish I hadn’t. Are you dead against speculation?)

“You ought to know that I do not approve at all of speculation — but what is done is done.”


*     *

(So many problems have been facing me of late. I wonder how they are to be solved happily.)

“The only way to a true and lasting happiness is a complete and exclusive reliance on the Divine’s Grace.”


*     *

(Your letter, in reply to mine which explained what I thought of doing, runs: “Do as you like. But as you ask my opinion I must say that it is silly.” Is it silly because there is a feeling in me that circumstances are compulsive? Another thing: why have you omitted those words which mean so much to me and with which you have always ended: “Love and blessings?”)

“My ‘it is silly’ covered many sides of the question, including the most exterior one. What you suggest as the foolishness of believing that circumstances are compelling when they are not, is part of it.

“It is purposely that I have omitted the words love and blessings’, because I did not wish you to think that I am blessing your enterprise — I do not — just because I find it silly. So, do not be mistaken if I end by love and blessings. These words are for your soul of which you are not just now very conscious, and not for your exterior being.”


*     *

(I spent quite a lot of grey matter, putting before you argument after argument. But you have not argued back. You are quite happily unconcerned.)

“All the reasonings in your letter come from the external physical mind. You cannot expect me to come down to that level and discuss with you from there. I see things from another plane and in a different way.”


*     *

(It is hard for me to understand how X who had been absorbed in Yoga for years, who had been considered by you to have the nature of the Saints, could drift away from you and have a fall from the Yogic life.)

“The mistake in your psychology is its excessive simplification. You look at one side and with exaggerated emphasis and ignore the rest. A person may have certain qualities but not in perfection, and there is in the subconscient the very contradiction of these qualities. If one does not take care to eliminate this contradiction, then at any moment under the pressure of circumstances what is in the subconscient may rise up with force and bring about a collapse, what is called a fall from the Yoga.”


*     *

(If a person who was declared by you to be “saintly” in nature could come away from a Yogic life of many years, I can’t help feeling quite sad and discouraged.)

“I may point out to you that nothing irreparable has happened. Of course the further one wanders away from the path, the more radical will be the conversion needed to return to it; but the return is always possible.”


*     *

(You know that for many years I have been in the habit of leaving my physical body and making exploratory tours in my subtle body. I leave the physical from the region of the waist. Slipping out into the other planes while I am living in Bombay, I find that I mostly get into planes that are not of a very high nature. Sometimes I pass through attractive scenery. Once to the earth-consciousness in an attempt to force them into the physical plane. But only up to the final verge between that world and this I could bring them. At other times the other world which I explore has a terrible dryness and there are also ugly sights compared to which earth’s uglinesses are very far from being intense. Once or twice I was among haunts of a low erotic life. I have also entered many houses and moved from room to room, closely examining the furniture and the belongings. I have seen strange kinds of clocks and recently a type of flower vase which does not exist on earth. Then there are the people. They look human, have the shapes of men and women, but carry a silent menace in their looks. They are embodied figures that do not have the soul-being in them. Nor have they any sense of scruple. I suppose this is because the planes beyond the earth are typal and not evolutionary: the soul in us is for the purposes of an evolution from the lowest to the highest while everything in those planes moves with endless variations in a fixed type having its own perfection and pleasure, however evil and perverse. Once I found myself to be not a full subtle body but a sort of pigmy with a semi-idiotic consciousness, a funny squeak and an irresponsible hurried movement. We seem to have odd beings within ourselves.

Last night I was glared at by some people in the subtle world and they closed in upon me. I managed to escape back to my physical sheath, but there was a kind of crash over my spine and when I woke up I found myself awfully sick with a peculiar broken feeling in the back. I wondered what I should do. No doctor could have helped me. Then it struck me that this sort of subtle attack can only be remedied by bringing vibrations of the highest possible consciousness into my being. So I opened Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri at the passage in which he describes the avatar-like nature of Savitri. It is a passage which he, on being taxed by my questions, had said to be originating in the Overmind Intuition. I read it out loudly, giving full effect to its marvellous rhythm. Especially when I came to the line —

For even her gulfs were secrecies of light —

I felt flooded in all my inner recesses with an intense healing power, and at the end of the passage the brokenness in the back was gone.

I wonder whether I should keep up my practice of getting out of the body. It is extremely fascinating, but is it a necessary part of Yogic development for keeping the consciousness open to inner spiritual things?)

“It is much better to stop the experiences altogether. They seem to take you into levels which are undesirable and most unsafe; they are not at all necessary for any opening in the Yoga.”


*     *

(Your letter of warning has set me thinking whether you have my death in mind. Death by itself does not frighten me very much. I do have the normal man’s recoil from it, but my mind has a certain detachment which makes something in me rise superior to fear, and there is also the vision and conviction born of my contact with you and Sri Aurobindo, making me keep a grip on the tremble of the heart-strings. Yet death does appear to me horrible because it would cut short my spiritual growth in this life and waste the mercy that has brought me close to you and given me a grand opportunity to be your instrument. I want to live and realise what I have never ceased to regard as my true ultimate goal. Personally, I do not and cannot ever believe that I shall die and not realise that goal. You know the secrets of all hearts. So what I feel for you and Sri Aurobindo must be known to you. With that feeling I find it hard, if not impossible, to envisage final defeat. Sometimes I think that even if you told me that I would be defeated I would refuse to believe.

Again and again I cannot help turning to you. You are a haunting background at all times and on occasion too a flame in the forefront. I should like to relate an experience I had several months back, which was one of the most vivid of the forefront type.

I was lying in bed at night and telling myself how vain were all things of the ordinary life, with death as the blind terminus of their groping. I reflected on the complex forces at play in my personality and the uncertain future they were working out. To know God by intimate experience seemed to me the sole worth-while business on earth. I exclaimed to myself: “O that I might one day know God wholly!” As soon as these words were uttered, a powerful tug was felt in the middle of my chest and, like a stream of warm wind or rather like a wind of fire, there rushed from the chest a cry that had nothing to do with my conscious mind. It went on and on for many minutes, an intense aspiration for the Divine, like a thousand prayers gathered into one yet prayed by something that was not my own self as I commonly knew it but a deep dweller within, who had suddenly come out and uttered his luminous hunger. I was afraid no less than astonished, as that soar of soul was like a knife cutting through all the small desires of my being. I did not know what dear delight of the human heart in me it would slay if I let it move on its relentless path, without any check or control. All my little longings stood anxiously around that upflying and upburning ache. So pure was the aspiration, with not the slightest reserve in its cry, that I hesitated to interfere with it: it was sacrilegious to put anything in its way, and I hung by, letting it go undisturbed, no matter what the consequence to my cherished frailties. I yielded to its steady sweeping self-consecration my whole consciousness, and the conviction dawned on me that this experience was definitely moulding my future. I seemed to realise that there was waiting for me an inevitable day when I would lie for ever at your feet and Sri Aurobindo’s.

How I wish you would tell me that I am not mistaken! Have you given me up? Will you one day take me to the goal I desire?)

“Certainly I have not given you up, not in the least. You are quite capable of the realisation if you make up your mind to it, and the experience you relate seems to me a valid promise that it will come.”

“As for what I meant in my last letter it was simply that there were things which might act to delay your spiritual realisation and might be otherwise dangerous for you. This does not mean that the realisation will not come.”


*     *

(I was rather depressed on hearing of Chandulal’s death after an operation. He was one of your workers with an exceptional ability. How is it that he passed away although under your influence and guidance?)

“The operation was quite successful, done by a very skilful surgeon, but Chandulal’s heart was weak beyond expectation and he died of heart failure five days after the operation. It has been a sad event and a big loss for the work. But for some time he suffered much and felt tired of it. He had several times expressed the wish to change his body for a better one. It is surely this wish that is responsible for what happened.”


*     *

(I am still not through with this second spell of heart-trouble. The first was in June, 1938, owing to a gigantic overdose of a stimulant tonic powder. This time it is strain of the heart-muscle. The doctors have advised complete rest in a supine position. Not even the head is to be lifted. They also warn me that if I don’t take extreme care I may develop more serious trouble. But I feel full of your presence and do what my suddenly and abundantly released poetic inspiration leads me to do. I sit up frequently, get excited with the passage of the poems through me — especially when the lines seem to come from wide far-off spaces — and my heart starts beating fast at that time and if the doctors could then put their stethoscopes to my chest they would begin to shake their heads at the prospect of a quick cure. But I am unconcerned. I trust implicitly in your power and feel like laughing away the black future with which they — of course, with the best intentions and for my own good — threaten me in case of carelessness about my heart. I feel certain, Mother dearest, the Divine Power can help — can’t it?)

“My dear child, I quite agree with you that there is a power other and much more powerful than that of the doctors and the medicines and I am glad to see that you put your trust in it. Surely it will lead you throughout all difficulties and in spite of all catastrophic warnings. Keep your faith intact and all will be all right.”


*     *

(I want to ask you a question concerned with my reaction to the inconsideration and vulgarity in Y’s letter about Sri Aurobindo. I remember an occasion many years ago when a lady friend of mine spoke unbecomingly of both of you. I verbally choked her off at once, but the indignation within me went on burning. It was like a sword of fire leaping out of my chest, striking and striking through the hours. My mind could serve only to direct it accurately, it had itself little part in the actual violence. The next day the lady had a terrific attack of diarrhoea. A similar blaze began to go out of my chest yesterday on reading Y’s letter. I had no scruple in directing it at his journal as if to consume its future to ashes. But although I also struck out at Y himself as if to destroy him I did not encourage the fiery onslaught. I started wondering if it was right to attack a person like that. At times I thought I was perfectly justified. At other times it seemed to me that I should offer my sword of fire to you and Sri Aurobindo and leave it to you both to use it instead of myself concentratedly directing it at Y. I shall be thankful if I can have some words of guidance from you. Please keep in mind that I am not talking of a mere outburst of anger: some force appears to be there which wants to destroy and which feels it has the power to destroy. Of course I would never think of using it for my own private ends.)

“It is evidently the working of the Kali force that has lit and is directing this fire in you. There is nothing wrong in its action; it is not an anger personal to you but the wrath of a divine power and it must be allowed to act; in fact, I think you could not stop it from burning in you even if you wanted to stop it. This man has drawn it on himself and there is nothing wrong in what is happening, he alone is responsible. Of course, it must not be used for any personal aim or in any self-regarding way.”


Mother India, February 21, 1973.

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