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At the Feet of The Mother

The Mother on Her First Meeting with Sri Aurobindo and Final Coming

The First Meeting

I had a series of visions (I knew nothing about India, mind you, nothing, just as most Europeans know nothing about it: Well, in several of these visions I saw Sri Aurobindo just as he looked physically, but glorified; that is, the same man I would see on my first visit, almost thin, with that golden-bronze hue and rather sharp profile, an unruly beard and long hair, dressed in a dhoti with one end of it thrown over his shoulder, arms and chest bare, and bare feet. At the time I thought it was ‘vision attire’! I mean I really knew nothing about India; I had never seen Indians dressed in the Indian way.

Well, I saw him. I experienced what were at once symbolic visions and spiritual facts: absolutely decisive spiritual experiences and facts of meeting and having a united perception of the Work to be accomplished. And in these visions I did something I had never done physically: I prostrated before him in the Hindu manner. All this without any comprehension in the little brain (I mean I really didn’t know what I was doing or how I was doing it – nothing at all). I did it, and at the same time the outer being was asking, ‘What is all this?!’

I wrote the vision down (or perhaps that was later on) but I never spoke of it to anyone (one doesn’t talk about such things, naturally). But my impression was that it was premonitory, that one day something like it would happen. And it remained in the background of the consciousness, not active, but constantly present….

I came here…. But something in me wanted to meet Sri Aurobindo all alone the first time. R. went to him in the morning and I had an appointment for the afternoon. He was living in the house that’s now part of the second dormitory, the old Guest House. I climbed up the stairway and he was standing there, waiting for me at the top of the stairs…. Exactly my vision! Dressed the same way, in the same position, in profile, his head held high. He turned his head towards me … and I saw in his eyes that it was He. The two things clicked (gesture of instantaneous shock), the inner experience immediately became one with the outer experience and there was a fusion – the decisive shock.

 

The Final Coming

But this was merely the beginning of my vision. Only after a series of experiences – a ten months’ sojourn in Pondicherry, five years of separation, then the return to Pondicherry and the meeting in the same house and in the same way – did the end of the vision occur…. I was standing just beside him. My head wasn’t exactly on his shoulder, but where his shoulder was (I don’t know how to explain it – physically there was hardly any contact). We were standing side by side like that, gazing out through the open window, and then together, at exactly the same moment, we felt, ‘Now the Realisation will be accomplished.’ That the seal was set and the Realisation would be accomplished. I felt the Thing descending massively within me, with the same certainty I had felt in my vision. From that moment on there was nothing to say – no words, nothing. We knew it was that.

But between these two meetings we participated in a whole series of experiences, experiences of gradually growing awareness. This is partly noted in Prayers and Meditations (I have cut out all the personal segments). But there was one experience I didn’t speak of there (that is, I didn’t describe it, I put only the conclusion) – the experience where I say ‘Since the man refused I was offering participation in the universal work and the new creation and the man didn’t want it, he refused, and so I now offer it to God ….

The Mother: Conversation with a Disciple, Dec. 20 1961

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