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At the Feet of The Mother

“The Mother of Dreams” — Some Experiences from 1973 (5)

 

5

Dream of 29-9-1973

 

Three more reports were sent to Pondicherry during the next fortnight — on September 20, 25 and 29 respectively. The first one ran as follows:

At the hospital where my operation was to be done, I was to be put in ward 13, that is 1+3=4. I chuckled with anticipation. I was told my bed would be number 1, This surprised me, but a greater surprise was in store. On getting to the hospital in the afternoon of September 17, I found that my bed was part of a row of 5 beds — the very first row as we entered the room. Believe it or not, my bed, numbered 1, was not standing first but second. It was as if bed 2 from one side and bed 4 from the other. If 4 and 2 are put together and the actual labelled number, which was 1, is added to their sum, we get 7. So once more 4 and 7, amounting to 11=2. Surely the Mother’s numerology was having a field-day!

It was a huge ward, very clean, airy and bright. There were sixteen beds in all, widely spaced. Late in the evening, after a good vegetarian meal, I was taken downstairs for a final check. Various tests were done; the one that sticks most in my memory is the passing of a wire into the tiny hole at the inner corner of the right eye, the hole connecting the eye with the nose and throat. Water was injected into this hole until I could get it in the throat and gulp it. My upper eyelashes were all cut after this.

Early next morning I was sponged. Then I got tea, but no bread and butter, as patients who are to be operated upon do not get solid food. Later I was given an intravenous injection of Terramycin. At 8, I was taken in a wheelchair to the preparation room. There the eye was washed with drops and the surrounding areas cleaned with ether. Again in a wheelchair I was taken to the upper floor — the operation theatre. Stretched on the operation table I was given several injections — one in the facial nerve near the ear, another in the lower eyelid, a third in the upper eyelid, and a fourth behind the eyeball. Then an intramuscular injection of Pethidine (Morphine) in the right arm to make me dopey. While lying on the operation table I got repeatedly a slight cough, a thing forbidden. I tried a trick in which I had often succeeded. There is a Purusha (Self) at each spot of the body behind the Prakriti (Nature) working there. I now separated the Purusha in the throat from the Prakriti which was indulging in that local irritation. And this Purusha, standing back, refused sanction to what Prakriti was up to. Immediately the movement to clear the throat stopped and never came back till 36 hours later! I also called for the peace and protection of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

When the injection had taken effect, Dr. Ursekar started covering my left eye as well as the parts around the right, leaving only the prepared eye open. This took quite a time. He was sitting on a stool behind my head. My doctor nephew, Ferdauz, was to my left and near him a nurse. A bright light was switched on above my eye and the operation began. The doctor made a semicircular cut in the skin over the lens. Then he called for the Cryopen, the probe with freezing nitrogen within its tip. He inserted it under the skin flap and touched the lens. The lens froze and stuck to the Cryopen and came out with it. The operation was over. The doctor started putting sutures into the cut skin of the eyeball, as well into the upper eyelid. The previous bandage was removed and a new bandage was neatly put over the eyes. I tried to thank the doc and to say that the operation had been absolutely painless, but the Pethidine made my speech very difficult and I could hardly get the letter l right in the expression. Then I was shifted to a wheeled trolley and taken out of the operation room. I attempted to say something to my sister, my brother-in-law and my other nephew who were waiting outside. But the same effect in the speech was there.

We are supposed to keep the head completely still for twenty-four hours, otherwise the operation may be a failure. I consider this idea an utter myth. For the trolley on which I was laid was an old rattling one and, although sandbags had been put on both sides of my head, my head was jerked up and down and from left to right as I have never experienced before in my life. Halfway through, I kept my head a little high, suspended instead of right down.

Back to the ward, very dopey in the head but in possession of my mind, even if unable to articulate clearly. I inwardly thanked the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. After some time I fell into a doze. The doze lasted until about 3 p.m. Ferdauz had been tenderly looking after me all the time.

The rest of the family called at 4 p.m. when the visiting hours started. I chatted with them cheerfully. As I had been instructed to lie on my back all the time, my back was painful. At night when one of the hospital doctors came to see me I asked if I could turn a little. The answer was “Yes”. This relieved the backache. Now I realise that all such instructions are more or less bunkum. One should try to take precautions but not overdo it. Of course one must not turn on the side of the operation.

I woke up in the morning lying on my left side. At seven the left eye was unbandaged, the right eye cleaned, the suture in the upper eyelid cut, the eye closed up again but the other one left free and open. I was no longer totally blind. The whole day passed well. In the afternoon my sister brought Sehra’s registered envelope containing the special blessing-packet given by Champaklal from the Mother’s room. It was a glorious little purse in gold-paper with a press-button. Inside were the photos of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The instructions were that what was inside should be the first thing my right eye should fall upon when it would be able to see.

In the evening when the other relatives called, I was quite animated and my hands moved as usual in accompaniment to my talk. They found me a little too active and advised me not to move my head. Very obediently I agreed, affirming my agreement by nodding several times.

I slept well at night. In the morning I got permission to read and write a little. Hence this report. I’ll close it with a snatch of conversation I heard when my sister and my brother-in-law had come in the afternoon of the operation-day. I asked Ferdauz at what time the operation had started. He at once said: “9.20.” My brother-in-law remarked that it must have been at 9.30, but Ferdauz replied: “No, it was at 9.20.” He said this without any preconception, quite spontaneously, confidently and matter-of-factly. I was struck by his statement. 9.20 comes to 11=2.

 

The report of September 25 is rather brief:

It was my wish that on the very next day after my eye would be opened — that is, on the seventh day after the operation — my left eye should be operated upon, even though the cataract there was still unripe. I persuaded the doctor to undertake the job. But two days before the date fixed, which was September 25, I developed conjunctivitis in the eye and a little cold and cough. This made it uncertain whether my wish could be carried out.

On September 24 it was found that the second operation was out of the question. I was running a temperature and the cough had become fairly nasty. What was worst of all was an extremely disagreeable feeling as of a lump of poison in the stomach. Occultly speaking, it was as though a small monster was sitting in it.

The same afternoon Ferdauz decided I should leave the hospital immediately. When a healthy patient falls ill in a hospital, the hospital itself becomes a risk, for having caught one infection he is exposed to the various other maladies flying about, as it were, in the hospital air. So I was taken home.

The day, however, was memorable for me because of what had happened in the morning. The right eye was at last opened completely. I had kept my golden press-button paper-purse ready. There was a sudden blaze of white light when the shield was off the eye and in that blaze I saw what was inside the purse: Photographs of 2 faces, the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s, side by side. The strange history of the numerology that had presided over my doings in Bombay seemed to reach its completion and culmination.

 

Later Comment

 

What happened afterwards lent a poignant touch to my newly opened eye’s first vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother side by side. The first sight it had of the Mother in actuality was when I flew back to Pondicherry on hearing that she had passed away.

A week before November 17 I had gone to the optician to have my new glasses made. On November 17, a Saturday, I was supposed to go and fetch them. But there were hitches and it seemed reasonable to wait till Monday. Somehow I felt I must go that very day. So I got the glasses in the late afternoon. The next morning I heard of the Mother’s departure. If I had not obtained the glasses as I had done, I could not have seen her body clearly at the distance at which I had to stand when I reached Pondicherry and went to the Meditation Room. They were obtained exactly in time.

However, what I saw with them made my first view of her inside that press-button purse tragically significant. The cured eye was fated to see her as Sri Aurobindo had been seen by me at the end of 1950. The side-by-sideness which it first glimpsed in that purse presaged the sight of her after she had discarded her body and taken up her position in the subtle world with Sri Aurobindo who had discarded his body twenty-three years earlier. The sequence of number 2, which the glimpse completed and culminated, meant for the newly seeing eye a final look at the Mother in a state which joined her to the Master beyond the earth-plane.

 

Here is the report of September 29:

I move about in grey-tinted goggles, with flaps on both sides to shut out light. The right eye has been progressing excellently. But a big general setback came in the form of the strange infection I had brought from the hospital: the cold, the cough, the fever and that sense of a monstrous little presence in the stomach.

Various blood-tests were taken. They showed nothing. This meant a viral infection which would not respond to any antibiotic treatment. So all treatment was stopped and one had just to wait.

Much anxiety was caused all around. The third day at home was the worst. I sent a telegram to Sehra to carry the news to the Mother’s room. On the fourth day there was a little improvement on the whole but the infection persisted. The monster within the stomach refused to budge. My resistance appeared to be in a poor state and I felt no certainty within me of any cure. On the fifth day the same helplessness and hopelessness continued. My body made no positive reaction. The mind kept detached, not caring whether the body lived or died, though vaguely somewhere in the being was an expectancy for some reaction at some time.

Late in the evening of the fifth day — counting September 24 itself as the first — something suddenly awoke in me. From behind the head of the right side and from behind the right side of the upper part of the body a mysterious power acted. It was as if a subtle arm were stretched forth with a clenched fist, asserting an irresistible decision. I felt a thrust of the mind and a drive of the life-force, supported by the secret soul. Just one moment of decision and I knew that the viral infection had been completely pushed out of the body. There was no process, no gradual betterment: everything was instantaneous. The disease was completely gone. The ogre sitting in the stomach was dislodged once for all. If this was not a miracle, I don’t know that a miracle could be. At once I declared to Ferdauz that I was well. Nobody could believe me but they knew the old blighter had always been a strange chap.

I had a very pleasant sleep. When Ferdauz came the next morning to ask me how I was and whether the special blood-test for Rs. 100, which he had planned, was to be taken or not, I smiled and said: “Not at all. Everything is finished. Forget the special blood-test.”

I said this not only because of what had happened the previous evening but also because of what had happened the same morning in the early hours — that is, on September 29, the date itself (2+9) an 11 and exactly 11 days after the operation.

I had a dream. I found myself living in the house where I had spent the first 10 years of my stay in the Ashram. I had lived in the upstairs corner room of what had then been known as the Guest House. It is the present Dortoire opposite Pranab’s place. Sri Aurobindo had lived there for 9 years, and when I arrived in Pondicherry Purani had his quarters there. Now in my dream I was again a resident of that room. I came out of the house and was taken in a sort of truck to the corner diagonally opposite the Ashram on the south side where the main gate is. I stood on the footpath in the midst of a small group of people. Suddenly the Mother emerged on the top terrace of the house where she had been living. But the house was as I had seen it in 1927, when the Mother’s present room had not yet been built on that terrace. She came walking in our direction. Her hair was done as in a picture of her when she was 18 — wound in a top knot. The significance of this vision was that she had unexpectedly got up from her couch or chair of current withdrawal, throwing aside all apparent infirmities and illnesses and come up in full strength. There was an unbounded joy in the watchers as she kept moving forward. She came in my direction and seemed to look long at me. At one point she slightly slowed down and, in response to my gesture to her with folded hands, made a similar gesture. Her walk was a walk of supreme victory. My heart was near to bursting and the lips kept saying “Mother, Mother, Mother!” The same words were in everybody’s mouth. This Darshan was the most moving experience in my whole life. Then the dream ended. I knew that the Mother had achieved something stupendous and that one of the side-effects of the achievement was my own inexplicable cure.

Only one thing remains to be added. When I first arrived in Pondicherry I was taken straight from the station to Purani’s room by Pujalal who had come to receive me. As I have already mentioned, Purani’s room was in the Guest House. The time was 7 o’clock. From the north window I looked towards the main Ashram block and lo! the Mother was on the top terrace of her house, walking in the morning sun, with her hair unbound. That was my first sight of her — a glorious unforgettable vision of divine beauty that made me instantly her disciple and her child.

That experience and the dream were as if fused now and what had begun then seemed consummated.

 

Later Comment

 

Here is not only a doubling — two experiences of essentially the same kind — but also the seeing of the Mother as quite different in look from what she was at the age of 95. The old body seemed to have been left and a perennially young Mother came forth — an anticipation of her abandonment of her aged frame on November 17 to become altogether her ever-youthful being of the subtle planes. Viewed in the light of the victorious air she bore in the dream, we may regard the event of November 17 as a triumph, no matter how like a death that is a defeat it may appear to our surface eyes. These surface eyes may be compared to the cataract-obscured eye, which I had before the operation. The cataract-free eye, in the very first dream after the operation, saw the true Mother, the verity behind appearances.

 

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Hypnotism is a form — a form modernised in its expression — of occultism; a very limited, very small form of a very tiny power compared with occult power.