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At the Feet of The Mother

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as I saw Them – by V. Chidanandam (III)



SRI AUROBINDO: Thoughts come from outside and take form in the mind. You have to watch them as they come and reject them passively, throw them out. Holding to the calm and watching the thoughts, i.e., separation from mind and rejection of the thoughts, must be one movement till they are silenced. Then you may turn inside and ignore the thoughts…. If you change the mechanical habit of mind and insist on its passivity every moment, the mind will yield. You must make it habitually passive and full of the peace within.


3.9.1926 — Morning

SRI AUROBINDO: Complete control of the mind and using it like a tool comes later. You have to look at thoughts, see where they come from, and if they are any worth, take them up. You have to know the mental nature. What if thoughts come? only they must not disturb the inner calm. Don’t listen to the thoughts…. You must reject them in the sense that you must make them more and more external to yourself; don’t attend to them, don’t dwell upon them. When there is quiet, you can take them up. Calm is not of the mind, it descends from above…. Control of the subconscious nature, e.g. of the mechanical action of the mind in sleep or wakefulness, comes later. Give up the fighting attitude. Meditation must be restful. Externalise the thoughts more and more. Ignore all mental consideration. The essential thing is an easy, effortless and natural opening to the Divine. A certain concentration is necessary to reject the thoughts but it must be silent concentration, it must not cause strain…. When the mind gets calm, you can also have activity. On the basis of calmness you have to build the active thought. First there will be scattered thought, but afterwards there will be very clear, connected thought. When you attain perfect calm, you can look for the Universal consciousness, Vijnana and so forth. The first step however is the feeling of the Universal Prana, then the Universal consciousness and so on….


5.9.1926 — Morning

SRI AUROBINDO: It does not matter if your calm is disturbed, only see that it remains in the background at least. Try to get the force. Fix these two, calm and force, and if you get other experiences so much the better.


Q: Is the force vital force or nervous energy?

SRI AUROBINDO: When you silence the mind you get to pure mind. Then you get Pranic Energy, not nervous energy. First Shakti comes as Pranic Energy. Later only come the higher forms of Energy. You must receive, hold and stabilise this Pranic Energy. Then the vital being feels refreshed…. The light seen when the mind is pure is the light of Chidakasha, not of the outside atmosphere…. The delight, even if it is independent of cause, is mental, not prolonged. But it is helpful in the way of seeing the One and Infinite everywhere.


16.9.1926 — Morning

SRI AUROBINDO: There are two movements in this Yoga:

(i) The mind’s stillness — thoughts do not come from the brain or physical mind, but come like that (with a gesture), and (ii) aspiration or will turned up, not a will that pulls down. Don’t feel yourself in the brain, but in the heart…. There should not be any strain on the brain …

Q: Can we manage without the use of the brain in reading and writing?

SRI AUROBINDO: Yes. Not that the brain does not function, but you will rise above it, rise above the physical mind and watch from there.

Q: Can we station ourselves always there?

SRI AUROBINDO: Yes…. Will does not exhaust. It is the resistance of the mind that exhausts. I think there is no serious obstacle in your vital being or physical being. The only obstacle now is your mental activity, eagerness. Eagerness there may be, but it must be that of the heart, intense. The mind must not mix up with it….



SRI AUROBINDO: Concentrate not only in the mind but in the heart. Don’t expect anything, but remain quiet. There must not be any mental insistence on the next step or any vital demand. Put some confidence into it if you can…. You see the peace, vastness above you now. You simply keep yourself open…. You quieted the thinking mind, you separated yourself from the mechanical part of the mind, — formerly you were involved in it, so you did not notice it, — now it has risen up. The dynamic mind is thrown into the mechanical mind and it goes on repeating ‘I shall do this, I shall do that’. But it will soon get tired. When the Higher will or light becomes manifest it does everything.



SRI AUROBINDO: Connect the centre of the mind with the centre of the heart. The heart is at present man’s centre, the soul centre. If you concentrate in the mind, the mind begins to meditate. But meditation in the heart easily takes you to the reality.


5.11.1926 — Morning

SRI AUROBINDO: The aspiration must be spontaneous, there must be vigilant will and detachment. Some energy is required to sustain the consciousness within and to keep it from going outward. Concentration or aspiration helps to open, but for that you must detach yourself completely from thoughts. When you get that detachment you feel it even physically, you feel as if you are mixed in etheric space, and so light…. You must feel the detachment, detachment from the mind and from the body….


10.11.1926 — Morning

SRI AUROBINDO: Your natural movement seems to be through the heart and that part of the vital being which comes into contact with beauty…. You must get the positive quiet of opening to the Universal, not the negative silence of shutting yourself up in concentrated absorption…. The movement through the mind gives knowledge, wide consciousness…, through the heart, feeling of delight, power…. Concentrate in the heart, identify yourself with the quiet feeling of aspiration, spread out the feeling, and let the whole being become the quiet feeling….


15.11.1926 — Morning

SRI AUROBINDO: Your only obstacle is the mental activity. When you try to withdraw into yourself, you take your mind also there. That must not be. There must be real detachment and aspiration for something from above, wideness etc., not mere control of mind…. You have a lot of force in you, only you allow it to be dormant.



Owing to some circumstances I had to leave Pondicherry and go home. I therefore requested the Master’s permission to leave. He was so warm and kind and loving and gracious that he said to me “Why do you want to go? Why don’t you continue to stay here?” I was overwhelmed. I felt his Grace enveloping me and I was deeply touched. When I explained my situation to him he was all sympathy and compassion and gave me his Blessings.


In those days the Mother kept herself in the background, — physically. When first I saw her, I was struck by her frail but super-earthly and radiant form, and her eyes that seemed to be like endless Ocean expanses, fathomless. I stood before her transfixed, and gazed and gazed far and long into those expanses, those captivating eyes, those marvellous eyes of the Infinite. I was literally lost in those eyes. Was this form of Mystery and Angel from afar an immortal spirit or a Vision? I felt I was surrounded by her Love and Grace. Then collecting myself I prayed for her Blessings. She looked into my eyes and smiled and blessed me. What an enchanting smile it was! I have not seen such eyes and such a smile in any other person so far. That vision has remained engraved in my mind all these years. I saw her again a number of times. I marvelled many a time at the changing face of the Mother, now the very form of Grace, now a form of brilliant, flowing, living gold, always clothed in Grandeur, Majesty, and Divine Dignity, and radiating waves of light, of love and of bliss.


20.11.1926 — Morning

I went to the Mother to seek her guidance and to take leave of her….

THE MOTHER: Concentrate in the heart. Aspire for force and peace in the heart, open yourself to us here…. There is no obstacle. Don’t be anxious. Go ahead. Everything will be all right.

Thus reluctantly, I took leave of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who were so full of the nectar of Divine Love. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are inseparably associated in my mind with the Divine Gourisankar of the Himalayas high above the earth, calm and tranquil and serene and bathed in Light, and radiating Peace and Grace, and Love for all. They have been my beacon lights on my life’s journey, and I pray and trust that they may continue to extend their Grace to me through all eternity.

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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.