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At the Feet of The Mother

The Mother on Sri Aurobindo’s Books (as recollected by Mona Sarkar)

A Conversation with the Mother, Recollected by Mona Sarkar. Originally published in “Blessings of the Grace”, 2015

… It is in the best possible conditions that the students are developing here, and they come in contact with this atmosphere of purity, of truth where the consciousness is charged by the transforming force of progress towards perfection and the divine love which is found nowhere, even for the cultural and aesthetic development, the refinement of the senses, of the highest degree of virtue, the appreciation of beauty, of sanctity, and of the subtle, the simple life, the spiritual influence, and above all, especially the Presence — the Presence of the one who is the Supreme Knowledge, the Omniscience from where all emanates, the Reality of our existence, Truth, Beauty … and this Manifestation in a perpetual blossoming. He has given us only a fragment of His knowledge and even that no one can understand. This is the difference, being here. He has opened the doors of the delight of this terrestrial existence which is a mystery. He has revealed to us the Truth in its purity and its totality. He has amassed for us the sublime ananda and the purifying light with which the atmosphere is fully impregnated. You are breathing it, you are imbibing it, you are absorbing it without knowing this exceptional privilege which is found nowhere. It has even become a part of your existence….

However, if the student has the thirst to learn something, I am sure that one can learn better here than in any other part of the world, if only one wants to learn and fill his mind with the true knowledge, the pure idea, to think adequately, to deduce, to reason and to understand, to know and to become intelligent, alert and conscious of all that surrounds us, of all that we feel and perceive, in fact, to develop the mental faculties, the vital faculties and the physical faculties, — for all things, to open oneself towards the heights in order to develop other faculties which are innate and latent in us and demand an absolute discipline to awaken to a new process, to become master of ourselves, of the circumstances and of the whole world — this is the knowledge — to know oneself and then one becomes master of all….

This is the ideal, but to develop the base, the foundation, even to learn, I mean, ordinarily one must work hard and do mental gymnastics to know, to understand, to study, and to express better one’s profound feelings, and one’s emotions, the sensations, in a word, to enlarge one’s comprehension, the skill, the intelligence, to grasp better and develop the mental faculty, for any discovery, to acquire knowledge, one must at least read Sri Aurobindo. The essence of true knowledge of the highest degree is there. Even if it is to learn a language or else anything, philosophy, psychology, humanities, history, logic, the science of living and the various applied sciences, the religious and the occult domains, and spirituality. Finally, if it is to build or to fashion the different powers of the human mind and its spirit, by evoking the thirst for knowledge and the will to learn with the spirit behind, — for any subject, one will have the key to discover the substance and the essence of that which constitutes them, of that which they reveal, that which they represent.

Theoretically, if the students want to learn, or study, or even know a language, if they are serious and want to appreciate better the shades, the subtleties, the grandeur, the richness, in short, to express better their thoughts, their emotions and their profound sentiments, or if it is to speak clearly and adequately, or discuss logically, they only have to read Sri Aurobindo and they will find all that they need. I do not mention communicating with pure thoughts and the high metaphysics — all this they will have as much as they can understand. But usually, normally, to express themselves better, they ought to study the simple things He has written, — the essays, the plays, his poems and his speeches to appreciate better the beauty of his language, the clarity of thought, simple and direct to approach, the diversity in His expressions whose subjects are innumerable.

The cadences and the harmony, the sound and the vibrations, the beauty and the perfection of the language, the subtle nuances taking in the classical, the romantic as well as the modern styles by a delicate subterfuge, sweet and at the same time profound and virile, with a quality of language which is incomparable…. There is nothing that jars, nothing that clashes or is left hanging but evokes a state which He expresses in its purity in its brief and clear lucidity. It is this that we have a little difficulty in appreciating, the value with which His language is full and vibrant. On the whole, each sentence with its syntax expresses perfectly the idea which He wants to express, the exact meaning of what He gives, the verb which corresponds perfectly to the subject, the impeccable adjective which is unquestionable, so much so that one could not find another, the direct complement which evokes the mood, and the whole gives the exact sense of what He expresses.

The whole together has a finesse which surpasses our beauty of expression and gives a precision to the structure, in a form full of subtlety, of richness and the vision of an object of art marvellously sculptured. The form, concise, simple and of a perfectly pure limpidity; the image, beautiful, fluid and majestic; the sound, musical, rhythmic, sonorous, with an amplitude in the construction of the lucid phrases which evoke the profound sentiments, and the vision which opens the door to the Reality and which suggests the perfection in the art of expression…. It is this that He reveals in all that He has written. This is not all; there are still mysteries which are hidden, unknown things which will be revealed only to those who have access to intuition. The word is the force, the power — it creates. As soon as the word is uttered, it creates a vibration which takes a form and it lasts, only for those who have undertaken to absorb in their lives the practical meaning of His education by a discipline and an effort for the transformation to the Supramental life….

And if someone wants to study His works in depth, he will have all the answers to what is life, what is the universe, to all conceivable questions in all the subjects, to all the mysteries, everything, everything. Be it philosophy, the sciences, physics, higher mathematics which require a certain logic, calculus, the functioning of the body, materials … finally, for all the solutions that man is seeking blindly and groping here and there, man will have the answer or the indication of the essential truth hidden in His writing, which reveal the solutions to the enigma that the universe is, what man has been searching for in vain since antiquity. But this, this demands a lot of sadhana, a great essential curiosity and this is not within everyone’s reach. It is difficult. But if one has this inquisitiveness, the will and the thirst for this knowledge, he will have the key in Sri Aurobindo’s books, in all that He has propounded, has revealed, has experimented, has brought down into the terrestrial consciousness. And it is put in a very simple language, as clear as the day — limpid, pure of all ornaments, direct, with the truth that He has brought down in His impeccable expression. Nothing, nothing but a drop of His knowledge is enough to flood the world with the true attitude, the true and absolute orientation and the truth of existence, essentially the remedy of all these maladies! What a folly to search elsewhere the lesson which is within ourselves and go out of the temple where the Divine resides.

… I am absolutely convinced that the education we give here by far exceeds all other systems of education in the world. Here we prepare men, ādhāras, and above all, souls who can dare to defy ignorance and inconscience, and all that… and all that is perverted in man and which is the cause of all his misfortunes.

Still, if I could convince the boy [1] of the importance of our combined effort against the falsehood and the ill-will that predominate and which are the cause of the conflicts and the wars with all this suffering and that the only remedy is found in Sri Aurobindo, he would have seen another aspect of our education. I will see what I can do — to work in him, on the domains which persist obstinately and revolt and are dark, and change them slowly with my Force. Because he is my child, I do not want that he goes astray and falls into the inconscience. I will help him to surmount his difficulties. I will see how I can change his attitude. I have hope and my compassion and my mercy can triumph over the worst and the most vile. Well, for all the uncompromising problems which seem so obstinate there are as many solutions and remedies which emerge, with innumerable options. This is a challenge thrown against the invasion of the ill-will and falsehood which want to establish themselves; but I shall be as severe as I can be so that this malady does not spread among others and spoil my work. I must uproot and undo the knots before this contaminates others. After all, it is not so much against this boy that I am angry, but against this force which sows the seed of unease and influences these little brains in formation. It is … against this that I must fight. This is the problem.

But I do not doubt that everything will be arranged as it should be, because it is the will of Sri Aurobindo that I execute. And there, nothing can stand against it.

Au revoir.


[1] A student who had decided to go abroad for his studies.

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