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At the Feet of The Mother

The Supreme Secret

     ONE DAY
The Little More

One day, and all the half-dead is done,
One day, and all the unborn begun;
A little path and the great goal,
A touch that brings the divine whole.
 
Hill after hill was climbed and now,
Behold, the last tremendous brow
And the great rock that none has trod:
A step, and all is sky and God.

The Divine Presence in Matter

It has been always known to mystic experience that the Divine is everywhere and in everything and His intervention can be experienced with just a little point of support through faith, through prayer, through just a call. He is right there, rather here, besides us, within us, around us. Even in the chill darkness of hell He is there renewing hope and giving us the courage and strength to endure what yet we must as our share of the evolutionary burden. It is because of Him that the world forgets to die and loves life even when all seems outwardly dismal and hopeless. It is because of Him that the human soul climbs to God regardless of a million obstacles. It is because of Him that there comes the fulfilment of life and the God-Realisation, the crowning moment of yoga. All creatures, directly or indirectly receive His benevolent Grace and support. None is left or neglected. Even the completely destitute and homeless is not ignored by His All-Compassionate gaze that directs events and circumstances in a way so that each receives in their life their share of joy as well as the power to endure that pulls us through the storms and the hurricanes that meet us on the way to challenge us and by challenging awaken within us His Strength and Wisdom and Compassion and Love. He is there hidden behind the clouds as the unseen sun. He is there in the stormy and turbulent depths of creation and the troubled isles that we find on our way towards the Home of the Blest.

These are eternal truths known since ancient times and confirmed again and again to mystic experience. No amount of denials of the world change this fact to which those awakened in their deeper parts bear the testimony. True, He does not work arbitrarily, though sometimes that too He does. He works by pushing people and events since all are part of a single play, a single plan. He works through apparent contradictions of life to build an ever greater and perfect Harmony. Contradictions and oppositions are human limits, the limits of our understanding. In the end they are all part of a single plot that unfolds towards a predestined great event, the growth of Godhead in our life. The ignominy of fall is turned by His tremendous touch into a sting to climb towards a greater rise. The sting of Death is turned by His Love into the soul’s opportunity to change and grow and by growing change into the perfect vessel of Divine Truth and Peace and Bliss it is meant to embody and enshrine. The Atheist knows Him not because He has concealed Himself from His gaze since it is needed for his evolution at this point. The Theist knows Him not because he has seen His luminous shadow, received brilliant hints and mesmerized by it forgotten to touch the very body of The Mighty Mother stark awake.

“O Force-compelled, Fate-driven earth-born race,
O petty adventurers in an infinite world
And prisoners of a dwarf humanity,
How long will you tread the circling tracks of mind
Around your little self and petty things?
But not for a changeless littleness were you meant,
Not for vain repetition were you built;
Out of the Immortal’s substance you were made;
Your actions can be swift revealing steps,
Your life a changeful mould for growing gods.
A Seer, a strong Creator, is within,
The immaculate Grandeur broods upon your days,
Almighty powers are shut in Nature’s cells.
A greater destiny waits you in your front:
This transient earthly being if he wills
Can fit his acts to a transcendent scheme.
He who now stares at the world with ignorant eyes
Hardly from the Inconscient’s night aroused,
That look at images and not at Truth,
Can fill those orbs with an immortal’s sight.
Yet shall the godhead grow within your hearts,
You shall awake into the spirit’s air
And feel the breaking walls of mortal mind
And hear the message which left life’s heart dumb
And look through Nature with sun-gazing lids
And blow your conch-shells at the Eternal’s gate.
Authors of earth’s high change, to you it is given
To cross the dangerous spaces of the soul
And touch the mighty Mother stark awake
And meet the Omnipotent in this house of flesh
And make of life the million-bodied One.
The earth you tread is a border screened from heaven;
The life you lead conceals the light you are.
                                           Savitri: 370

This is the secret mystery of our existence, the supreme mystery for whose accomplishment no pain and suffering would seem much. It is only when we are ignorant or knowing it yet forgetful of the Goal that suffering not only seems unbearable but also monstrous, a cruel device made by some arbitrary God who sits Above and watches the play rewarding the faithful and punishing the unbeliever. But such a God is but a human conception created by certain religions. The Indian conception of God has always been that He is not just Above but also below, around, in everything and everywhere. He is as much in the darkened soul and misused bodies of the wicked as in the ever bright and smiling heart of the saint.

In the sweep of the worlds, in the surge of the ages,
Ineffable, mighty, majestic and pure,
Beyond the last pinnacle seized by the thinker
He is throned in His seats that for ever endure.
 
The Master of man and his infinite Lover,
He is close to our hearts, had we vision to see;
We are blind with our pride and the pomp of our passions,
We are bound in our thoughts where we hold ourselves free.
 
It is He in the sun who is ageless and deathless,
And into the midnight His shadow is thrown;
When darkness was blind and engulfed within darkness,
He was seated within it immense and alone.
             Sri Aurobindo, CWSA 2: 202 – 203

 

The three great secrets

This is the first fundamental truth that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother bring to us that none is abandoned, none is refused the Grace, none deprived of the saviour Love. But they also remind us that it is the work of man to not just become aware of an acknowledge this truth but experience it as a living reality, first through the eye of faith and then through a living experience of the Divine in our hearts and in the heart of creation itself.

The second fundamental truth is that this Presence of the Divine within us and in creation is not just a static Presence supporting all creatures in their grief and joy from behind but a dynamic one transmuting grief and suffering as a means to discover a greater joy. Truth is not only to be known but collaborated with in its great unfolding. All creation is a progressive unfolding of God. But the privilege of collaboration, of participating in the joy of the battle and the struggle and the joy of the freedom and the victory is given only to man. Man’s greatness lies not in what he presently is but in what he can become, what we can become, helped of course by the Grace. Humanity as it stands today is the creation of yesterday. It has emerged out of the animal through fierce labour and struggle. Yet this is but a transition zone. Man is a transitional being who is here to pave the way for tomorrow. Man is a candidate for the divine superhumanity of the not-too-distant future. To participate and collaborate in this process of transmutation from Man to superman is our true greatness. To subscribe to and continue with our animal past, to endorse and justify it through habit and custom, to linger with it because we have not the courage and the fire to leap towards the future, to be afraid and seek our own safe corners, big or small is to resist the Future and thereby be broken and cast aside by the dance of kali whose swift steps push the ever forward march of Time. On the other hand to have faith in a luminous future, not because of our own strength but because of the Divine Presence in Matter, to aspire, to seek it, to be athirst for it, to be always full of enthusiasm and gratitude, to sleep and wake up with this great Thought that tomorrow is not just yet another day but yet another step towards the beautiful and luminous future is to collaborate and thereby share the joy of the process.

There is however an even greater truth that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother reveal to us. This truth we find for the first time hinted in the Gita in just few brief verses. It is there in Christian mysticism but lost over a period of time since an institutional religion replaced the esoteric truth and confined it to a single human persona. It is the truth of the Divine sacrifice in matter. It is the great Secret, the secret of the Divine assuming a physical body, a body made of earth and its elements, a body that is mortal and frail subject to death and disease and disintegration. In India this secret is preserved in essence in the lore of the Avatar though its deeper sense is lost in a host of legends and stories that hint but do not explicitly reveal. While all else can be done by the Divine by His Omnipresence and Omniscience, there is something that is best done by His assuming the cloak of ignorance upon Earth. By doing this He brings matter and the physical body in direct contact with the Supreme who incarnates into it. By this act of supreme sacrifice wherein He leaves behind the eternal doors and enters into the forefront of the earthly play, not pushing things from behind as He always does, but bearing the brunt by leading from the front, He quickens the evolutionary impulsions. By this act of assuming a material body He hastens the emergence of new possibilities hidden within matter itself.

This is the real purpose of the coming of the Avatar. When the deed is done and Matter primed by the New Consciousness, when the earth receives the Divine touch and material Nature accepts the New Consciousness embodied in the Avatar’s body then the path of further evolution is secured. Having sown the seeds of the new emergence the Divine withdraws, not into some Ineffable secrecy of Silence but a little behind or beyond the limits of the human sight. This too is part of His lila (Divine Play) since by thus withdrawing He awakens in matter the longing and the aspiration to seek Him upon earth and through the very body and all the elements of our present human nature itself. This longing prepares and readies us to receive what the Divine has bequeathed as the Earth’s inevitable destiny. However the Avatar does not vanish or disappear but now works from behind to nourish and nurture this longing, to fulfil and accomplish in and through man, to achieve in the collective life all that He has realized by His trustee Time.

Here where our half-lit ignorance skirts the gulfs
On the dumb bosom of the ambiguous earth,
Here where one knows not even the step in front
And Truth has her throne on the shadowy back of doubt,
On this anguished and precarious field of toil
Outspread beneath some large indifferent gaze,
Impartial witness of our joy and bale,
Our prostrate soil bore the awakening ray.
Here too the vision and prophetic gleam
Lit into miracles common meaningless shapes;
Then the divine afflatus, spent, withdrew,
Unwanted, fading from the mortal’s range.
A sacred yearning lingered in its trace,
The worship of a Presence and a Power
Too perfect to be held by death-bound hearts,
The prescience of a marvellous birth to come.
                                 Savitri: 5

This is the mystery of the Mother’s mahasamadhi, not a withdrawal into Her high unreachable heights inaccessible even to the gods but just a little behind the curtain awaiting just a little call from us and even without the call pouring Her Divine Love to nourish the seeds of the New Consciousness She has conceived and sown in our human earthly soil. She has done and done more than what She came to do. Now it is our turn and what is asked of us is not very much. Just a little, a little more, a last forward push so to say with the Help of Her Grace that is always with us, with all who aspire and seek the Divine Life upon earth, with all who strive towards Perfection and Progress. All that She needs is a ‘Yes’, a sincere Yes from our hearts and we shall see how miraculously our lives begin to change. She reminds us:

It is the hour to be heroic.
 
Heroism is not what it is said to be: it is to become wholly unified—and the Divine help will always be with those who have resolved to be heroic in full sincerity. There!
 
You are here at this moment, that is to say upon earth, because you chose it at one time—you do not remember it any more, but I know it—that is why you are here. Well, you must rise to the height of the task. You must strive, you must conquer all weaknesses and limitations; above all you must tell your ego: “Your hour is gone.” We want a race that has no ego, that has in place of the ego the Divine Consciousness. It is that which we want: the Divine Consciousness which will allow the race to develop itself and the supramental being to take birth.
 
If you believe that I am here because I am bound—it is not true. I am not bound, I am here because my body has been given for the first attempt at transformation. Sri Aurobindo told me so. Well, I am doing it. I do not wish anyone to do it for me because… because it is not very pleasant, but I do it willingly because of the results; everybody will be able to benefit from it. I ask only one thing: do not listen to the ego.
 
If there is in your hearts a sincere Yes, you will satisfy me completely. I do not need words, I need the sincere adhesion of your hearts. That’s all.

                                                           The Mother, CWM 11: 307-308

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