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At the Feet of The Mother

The Kashmir Issue (HH 264)

As we enter the month of Sri Aurobindo’s birth we see a sudden unexpected development in Indian polity. However this development has deep far reaching implications. The talk today deals with the Kashmir problem which is symbolic of the Indo-Pak problem and Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s remarks and the Mother’s occult action.

Words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Kashmir


Adwaita (A poem on an experience in Kashmir)

I walked on the high-wayed Seat of Solomon
Where Shankaracharya’s tiny temple stands
Facing Infinity from Time’s edge, alone
On the bare ridge ending earth’s vain romance.

Around me was a formless solitude:
All had become one strange Unnameable,
An unborn sole Reality world-nude,
Topless and fathomless, for ever still.

A Silence that was Being’s only word,
The unknown beginning and the voiceless end
Abolishing all things moment-seen or heard,
On an incommunicable summit reigned,

A lonely Calm and void unchanging Peace
On the dumb crest of Nature’s mysteries.


* * *


Kashmir is a magnificent place, its rivers unforgettable and on one of its mountains with a shrine of Shankaracharya on it I got my second realisation of the Infinite (long before I started Yoga).


* * *


Quite agree with your estimate of Kashmir. The charm of its mountains and rivers and the ideal life dawdling along in the midst of a supreme beauty in the slowly moving leisure of a houseboat—that was a kind of earthly Paradise—also writing poetry on the banks of the Jhelumwhere it rushes down Kashmir towards the plains. Unfortunately there was the over-industrious Gaekwar to cut short the Paradise! His idea of Paradise was going through administrative papers and making myself and others write speeches for which he got all the credit. But after all, according to the nature, to each one his Eden.


* * *


As regards Bengal, things are certainly very bad; the conditions of the Hindus there are terrible and they may even get worse in spite of the interim mariage de convenance at Delhi. But we must not let our reaction to it become excessive or suggest despair. There must be at least 20 million Hindus in Bengal and they are not going to be exterminated,—even Hitler with his scientific methods of massacre could not exterminate the Jews who are still showing themselves very much alive and, as for Hindu culture, it is not such a weak and fluffy thing as to be easily stamped out; it has lasted through something like 5 millenniums at least and is going to carry on much longer and has accumulated quite enough power to survive. What is happening did not come to me as a surprise. I foresaw it when I was in Bengal and warned people that it was probable and almost inevitable and that they should be prepared for it. At that time no one attached any value to what I said although some afterwards remembered and admitted, when the trouble first began, that I have been right; only C. R. Das had grave apprehensions and he even told me when he came to Pondicherry that he would not like the British to go out until this dangerous problem had been settled. But I have not been discouraged by what is happening, because I know and have experienced hundreds of times that beyond the blackest darkness there lies for one who is a divine instrument the light of God’s victory. I have never had a strong and persistent will for anything to happen in the world—I am not speaking of personal things—which did not eventually happen even after delay, defeat or even disaster. There was a time when Hitler was victorious everywhere and it seemed certain that a black yoke of the Asura would be imposed on the whole world; but where is Hitler now and where is his rule? Berlin and Nuremberg have marked the end of that dreadful chapter in human history. Other blacknesses threaten to overshadow or even engulf mankind, but they too will end as that nightmare has ended. I cannot write fully in this letter of all things which justify my confidence— some day perhaps I shall be able to do it.

19 October 1946

* * *


Now let us come to your article. All you have written up to the X mark against the beginning of a para is very good and needed to be said; but after that there are certain things to which I have to take objection. For instance, why suggest a slur on the whole Mohammedan population of Kashmir by speaking of “fanatic spell of the name of Allah”? This cannot apply to the Kashmiris who follow Abdullah and who are in a large majority, they are for his idea of a secular state. The others in Gilgit and elsewhere are not actuated by religious fanaticism but by political motives. The rest of the sentence should be modified accordingly; the people in the districts who have been rescued from the grip of the rebels have shown strong gratitude for their release and it would be quite impolitic to ignore by such doubts the sincerity of this gratitude. I am not enamoured of your idea of an understanding between Pakistan and India, it is not likely that the Pakistan Government will consent to any understanding except one which will help to perpetuate the partition and be to their advantage. It would be most dangerous to forget Jinnah’s motive and policy in establishing Pakistan which is still the motive and policy of the Pakistan leaders,—although it would not be politic to say anything about it just now. If you keep what you have written it should be with the proviso, if there is a change of heart and if Pakistan becomes willing to effect some kind of junction with India or some overtopping Council of cooperation between the two federations. But the most amazing thing is your disastrous suggestion of a coalition Government between the loyalists and the rebels in Kashmir. That would give a position and influence and control over all the affairs of the State to the supporters of Pakistan which they can never hope to have under the present circumstances. They would be able to appoint their own men in the administration, use intimidation and trickery in order to press people to vote against their will and generally falsify the plebiscite, and they certainly would not hesitate to do all that they could for that end. It might very well knock all the good cards out of Abdullah’s hands and smash up his present predominant chances of a favourable issue of the plebiscite.

There is a passage in your article containing a trenchant suggestion which has puzzled me. You seem to say that India has been beaten on the military ground in Kashmir and there is no hope of her keeping it or clearing out the invaders; her last chance is the plebiscite and that is the reason why she is insisting on the plebiscite. Is that at all true? It would mean that Indian military strength is unable to cope with that of Pakistan and then, if she cannot cope with it in Kashmir in spite of her initial advantage, can she do it anywhere? If she gives up Kashmir because of her military weakness that encourages Pakistan to carry through Jinnah’s plan with regard to the establishment of Muslim rule in Northern India and they will try it out. I don’t think this is really the case. It was for political motives, I take it, and not from a consciousness of military weakness that India did not push her initial advantage, and she insisted on the plebiscite, not because it was her last or only chance but because it gave her the best chance. In a plebiscite on the single and straight issue of joining either Pakistan or India she was and is quite confident of an overwhelming majority in her favour. Moreover, she does not cling to the plebiscite from motives of ideological purity and will even refuse it if it is to be held on any conditions other than those she has herself clearly and insistently laid down. She is quite prepared to withdraw the case from the cognizance of the U.N.O and retain Kashmir by her own means and even, if necessary, by fight to the finish, if that is unavoidable. That Patel has made quite clear and uncompromisingly positive and Nehru has not been less positive. Both of them are determined to resist to the bitter end any attempt to force a solution which is not consistent with the democratic will of the Kashmir people and their right of self-determination of their own destiny. At the same time they are trying to avoid a clash if it is at all possible.

One thing which both Abdullah and the India Government want to avoid and have decided to resist by all possible means is a partition of Kashmir, especially with Gilgit and Northern Kashmir going to Pakistan. This is the greatest danger but the details and the reasons for the possibility of its materialising, though they are plain enough, have to be kept confidential or, at any rate, not to be discussed in public. But if you take account of it, it will be easier to understand the situation and the whole policy of the India Government….

What will finally transpire from all this lies as the Greeks used to say on the knees of the Gods, theo¯n en gounasi keitai. It lies also with the reactions of the Pakistan leaders which are more easily calculable, but may not show themselves until a possibly much later date….

Since the above was written there has appeared Pakistan’s interpretation of the Commission’s arrangement for the plebiscite. It looks as if Lozano had made his statements as smooth as possible to either party so that they got very different impressions of what was meant to be done. However there is only one important point and that is about the Azad armies. If these are allowed to remain in arms in the places they now occupy the plebiscite will become a farce. But the India authorities seem to have received a definite promise from Lozano that it will be otherwise. We shall have to wait and see what will be the definite arrangements and how the Commission will get out of this imbroglio. But Pakistan in this matter is showing a mentality that makes one wonder whether it is worth while your suggesting the possibility of an amicable rapproachment between the two parts of partitioned India such as you have gone out of your way to elaborate in your article.


* * *


A member of UNESCO has asked a stupid question, something to this effect: “There was a time when India represented the spiritual consciousness” (or “taught the spiritual consciousness,” I don’t remember now), “but now that she is engaged in such a war, who will play this role?”…85 So instead of replying to the question, because I might have told him a thing or two, I answered what you’ve just read.

Of course! All those Europeans … for fifty years they have been told about Gandhi, so now they don’t understand!

That’s right. Let your throat be cut without saying a word.

And here is another text of mine that someone has brought back to life:
“The world situation is critical today. India’s fate too is hanging in the balance. There was a time when India was absolutely secure, there was no danger whatever of her being a victim to Asuric aggression. But things have changed. People and forces in India have acted in such a way as to invite Asuric influences upon her; these have worked insidiously and undermined the security that was there….”

September 16, 1965


* * *

It dates back to long ago. I was here.

(Sujata:) Long ago, you said, “If there is another war, it will be over India.” 

Yes, that was long ago.

But when the division between India and Pakistan took place, Sri Aurobindo wrote very strongly: this division MUST go somehow or other, “by whatever means,” he said. And to me he said, “If they can’t agree on doing it, they will fight.”

And yet, if we give credence to official declarations from Delhi, they don’t at all intend to go right to the end. They only intend to “adjust” the border a little.

There was a letter from S.M. this morning, saying that the question would never be resolved unless they … (gesture sweeping Pakistan away).

Yes, but that’s not what the Prime Minister says.

The Prime Minister … They are all afraid. Afraid of world opinion.

May 25, 1941


* * *


India is free and her freedom was necessary if the divine work was to be done. The difficulties that surround her now and may increase for a time, especially with regard to the Pakistan imbroglio, were also things that had to come and to be cleared out…. Here too there is sure to be a full clearance, though unfortunately, a considerable amount of human suffering in the process is inevitable. Afterwards the work for the Divine will become more possible and it may well be that the dream, if it is a dream, of leading the world towards the spiritual light, may even become a reality. So I am not disposed even now, in these dark conditions to consider my will to help the world as condemned to failure.”

Sri Aurobindo, April 4, 1950


* * *


It’s good, isn’t it?

Yes, one has the feeling that this Pakistan problem is symbolic, and that until it is sorted out, India will not play her role in the world.

That’s right.

And it’s through this symbol that the hypocrisy of Gandhi’s India and all her errors must at the same time be swept away.



* * *


It won’t be done that way. I’ve seen how. It won’t be done through a battle: the different parts of Pakistan will demand separation. There are five of them. And by separating, they’ll join India – to form a sort of confederation. That’s how it will be done.

It will break up from within, yes, I see.

That’s right. That’s how it will be done.

I saw it, I don’t remember what day (recently), all of a sudden, for several hours there was a contact with the Divine Power and Vision – it was … it was magnificent, things became extraordinary; then, immediately the next day, all the news changed. Really extraordinary. What actually took place isn’t what I saw, for it was seen years ahead…. But that doesn’t matter, it’s all right.

We’re always in a hurry, because life on earth is short, but when you see what is in the offing … (vast, circular gesture). Really beautiful, much better! It takes more time, but it’s much better.
One of the things in the offing is the conversion of America, the United States, but it will take time.

The conversion of the United States….

So, the things in the offing are a federation of all the states of India, and another one in the offing is the conversion of the United States. A federation of the states of India along the lines of The Ideal of Human Unity, as conceived and explained by Sri Aurobindo. And the conversion of the United States is in the same idea, just according to Sri Aurobindo’s revelation. But that will take time.

It came in an imperative way.

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