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At the Feet of The Mother

Their Deep Compassion – by Satyendra Thakore (III)

From Sri Aurobindo

The desires of the heart and the body which stand in the way of Brahmacharya, give a glow to the vital and emotive nature and prevent it from being dry and shut to feeling. To keep the heart warm and open, not dried up or closed, and at the same time attain to spiritual purity the best way is to turn it towards what is eternal, pure and ever true, behind and beyond these earthly emotions — the everlasting Love, Bliss and Beauty.



The experience you had of the power of the Name and the protection is that of everyone who has used it with the same faith and reliance. To those who call from the heart for the protection, it cannot fail. Do not allow any outward circumstance to shake the faith in you; for nothing gives greater strength than this faith to go through and arrive at the goal. Knowledge and tapasya, whatever their force, have a less sustaining power — faith is the strongest staff for the journey.

The protection is there over you and the watchful love of the Mother. Rely upon it and let your being open more and more to it — then it will repel attacks and always uphold you.



The experience you had was that of exteriorisation or going out of the body. The consciousness went up and remained above the body for a time. The feeling or vision of oneself in the form of an egg is frequent in such cases. It is not always so, for many go out in an individualised consciousness with an awareness of a subtle body, subtle thought, subtle sensation etc. and move about in the vital or even in the physical world till they come back to the body. But when one begins, the vital body is at first a little vague and the consciousness also with the result that all is at first dim and unorganised. The serpent must be the Kundalini force which had left its coiled sleeping position in the Muladhara and taken the lengthened one in which it joins the embodied consciousness with the consciousness above.

The power of exteriorisation is one that can be used for many purposes by the Yogi when it has been developed.



Q: I saw a small bright flame as big as a man’s thumb in the region of the heart. What is it?

A: It is the psychic fire kindled in the heart. The psychic being is described by the Upanishads as of the size of a thumb angushtha-matrah puruso’ntaratma — it may manifest first as this psychic flame.



The Mother in her cosmic power is all things and all divine Personalities, for nothing can be in manifestation except by her and as part of her being. But what was meant in the “Visions and Voices”[1] was that the Ishwara and the Divine Shakti were one Person or Being in two aspects and it puts forward this vision of them as Krishna-Mahakali as a great power for the manifestation.



Durga combines the characteristics of Maheshwari and Mahakali to a certain extent, — there is not much connection with Mahalakshmi. The combination of Krishna and Mahakali is one that has a great power in this yoga and if the names rise together in your consciousness, it is a good sign.



It depends on the shade of the yellow. If it is golden white it comes from above the mind and the combination suggests the Maheshwari-Mahakali power. Higher Mind colour is pale blue.



Although the vital and physical may join in the resistance, yet the most of it is in the mind — a doubt and a wrong angle of vision there; this imposes itself on the vital in the form of a corresponding feeling and the two together obscure the physical and tire and depress it. You say that if it is so in the beginning what will it be in the future when you are in the real swing of the thing. But when you are in the real swing of the thing, you will have the experience, — for the stream of sadhana will mean that and in it these difficulties will one by one or together disappear. The others belong to the ordinary course of sadhana and will yield to the increasing experience of the inner Truth and the growth of the spirit. Faith will come by experience, by the opening of the inner vision that sees the Truth behind appearances — or it will come by a simple opening of the soul to the Truth. It cannot be commanded by a struggle in the mind between old beliefs and new ones.

There is no need to give up entirely what you had in the past. Spiritual truths are not warring enemies — they are parts of a single truth and complete each other. It is only the mind that turns them into disparities and wants one to bar out another. That is the weakness of making something in the past the standard by which you judge the present — the mind takes advantage of its own limitations to declare that the two are incompatible. But it is not so in reality — between two truths of the Divine there is always a reconciliation when to the limiting mind they seem opposites; as one is realised after the other, their unity appears, it is not necessary to deny the past experience in order to go forward to the new realisation.

This will before long become apparent to you if you do not allow the mind to stand in the way of the heart’s permanent opening. Let the doors of the heart swing open freely — allow yourself to enter into the stream without making any mental conditions before you plunge in; the stream itself will carry you to your goal.



Q: By no means at my command can I make my mind even reasonably quiet. Again it has started bringing doubts and misgivings. One of them is that perhaps I am on the wrong path, that it is some ambition that has attracted me to this path and that the other paths which satisfied thousands of seekers before me would probably be quite enough for me, etc., etc. I write this to you because I cannot deal effectively with this difficulty and it is by my will only that I am clinging to you. Or perhaps it is not my will but the compulsion from a greater will than my own acting from behind the veil. But the rest of my nature seems temperamentally more amenable to influences representing other paths and other goals. Because of this, this path will be more difficult for me than for most here. Am I really on the right path? Have I really a call for it?

A: It is the right path for your inner nature and there is the call. The resistance is from the outer, especially the mind, but that is due to a dissatisfied restlessness which is part of the outer mental nature — the reasons given are only supports which it builds for its restlessness — and that would have interfered wherever you might have been and on whatever path. To conquer this outer nature is the only way and that can be best done here, since the change of the outer being is here a part of the sadhana and you will receive the necessary help.



Q: You say: “To conquer this outer nature is the only way.” But how to conquer this restlessness and dissatisfaction in the mind, I do not know.

A: There must first be the will to change firmly conceived and held — then to open the consciousness to the Force and let it work with the inner consent to its working. When there is the psychic opening, then even the things most obstinate in the nature can change.



Q: Grant me one little bit of devotion, Mother, just a little bit of it. Otherwise I do not know what will happen to me, I do not indeed know how I can live here. And I do not want to leave the shelter of Thy Lotus-feet.

A: Do not allow mental anxiety to harass you. Wait on the working of the Mother’s force which will open the lotus of the heart. In the light from above devotion will blossom in you.



You are not weak, there is a considerable strength in you, but it is covered over by the fluctuations of the mind — when these are mastered, then the strength will be apparent.



Very little — nothing that is definite — can be said from the photograph; for it is too small. The general impression that disengaged itself was of a fine consciousness and especially of a deep quietude. It is probable from what you write that he had achieved the consciousness above the human mental in which one is aware of the self, the Brahman and lives in it — that includes of course the sense of the Divine in all. What you report of his sayings is the utterance of one who has this realisation.

There have been several Yogis who have declared that the Avatar was coming, or, more recently, that he was there already in the human birth, — but none have been able to say where.



I have only now had time to go through the three letters you sent me. X can of course have the Conversations[2]. As to what your other friend asks, it is quite possible for him to receive where he is without coming here if he has the adoration of the Mother in his heart and an intense call.

About the question of the Avatar, I do not think it is useful to press in the matter. It has become very much the tendency, especially in Bengal, to regard the Guru as the Avatar. To every disciple the Guru is the Divine, but in a special sense — for the Guru is supposed to live in the divine consciousness, to have attained union and when he gives to the disciple, it is the Divine that gives and what he gives is the consciousness of the Divine who is within the Guru. But that and Avatarhood are two different things. It is mostly in East Bengal recently that those have come who were acclaimed as Avatars; those who came had each of them the idea of a work to be done for the world and the sense of a Divine Power working through them, which shows that there was a pressure for manifestation there and something came in each case, for something of the Divine Power always comes when it is called, but it does not look as if there was anywhere the complete descent. It is this that may have created the idea that the Avatar was born there. It has always been said of the Advent that is to come now that there would be many in whom it would seem that it had come, but the real Avatar would work behind a veil until the destined hour came.

I do not gather from what is quoted as said by your Guru that he claimed to be the Avatar. It seems to me that he claimed to be a Power preparing the way for the work of the Divine Mother and even to indicate that all that he meant would be manifested not only by his own followers but by other groups (sampradaya), consisting evidently of those who had not had him for Guru but had some other Head and Teacher. This is also confirmed by the saying that some other one than his disciples might be the means of his prakasa — that is to say, would be the means of carrying on his work and aiding the manifestation of the Mother. If this meant proclaiming him as the Avatar, I do not see how it can agree with the other saying that after his leaving of the body the Avatar would come to the Ashram he had created.

I do not quite know what is meant by ayoni-sambhava. An incarnation is always through a human mother, though there have been one or two cases in which a virgin birth has been proclaimed (Christ, Buddha). The only other meaning — unless we suppose an unprecedented miracle — might be a descent such as sometimes happen, the Godhead manifesting in somebody who at birth was a Vibhuti, not at once the full incarnation. But in the absence of a clear statement from your Guru himself, these are only speculations.

I have written this much as an answer to your question, but I doubt whether it is necessary or advisable to write anything of it to your friends. They have their own feeling about the matter; it seems to me better not to challenge or disturb it.



Birthday-Messages from Sri Aurobindo

A veil behind the heart, a lid over the mind divide us from the Divine. Love and devotion rend the veil, in the quietude of the mind the lid thins and vanishes.



May the inner Sun tranquillise and illumine the mind and awaken fully the heart and guide it.



In a quietude of the mind open to the presence of the Divine in your heart and everywhere; in a still mind and heart the Divine is seen like the sun in still water.



Rise into the higher consciousness, let its light control and transform the nature.



By the heart’s self-giving the Presence and the Influence will be there even in the inconscience and prepare the nature for the true light and consciousness through the whole range of the being.



Put stress always on the aspiration within; let that get depth and steadiness in the heart; the outer obstacles of mind and the vital will recede of themselves with the growth of the heart’s love and aspiration.



Keep the mind and heart open and turned inward and upward so that when the touch comes from within or the flow from above, you may be ready to receive it.



To persevere in turning towards the Light is what is most demanded. The Light is nearer to us than we think and at any time its hour may come.



To keep the soul ready for the Divine Grace so that it may be ready to receive it when it comes.



A persistent will for the work to be done in us and in the world is what is most needed; there is a sure spiritual result, the growth of the consciousness and the soul’s readiness for the touch of the Divine’s Light and Power.



When the Light enters into the Inconscience which hedges in all our being and prevents or limits the manifestation of the true consciousness in us, when it inhibits the habits and recurrences and constant repetition of the same stimuli which besiege us and rise from the subconscient, then only can the nature be wholly free and respond only to the Truth from above.



Clarity of knowledge and inner self-vision, subjugation of the ego, love, scrupulousness in selfless and dedicated works, are the four wheels of the chariot of yoga. One who has them will progress safely on the path.



A Mantra

In 1938 I had asked Sri Aurobindo for a brief prayer with His and the Mother’s names to use as a mantra. Sri Aurobindo sent the following:

“OM Sri Aurobindo Mira
Open my mind, my heart, my life to your Light,
your Love, your Power. In all things may I see the Divine.”

While sending this mantra, Sri Aurobindo wrote:

“I have written for you a brief prayer with the names in the form of a mantra. I hope it will help you to overcome your difficulty and get an inner foundation.”



On receiving the mantra I inquired:

“Have I to consider the names and the prayer as one mantra?”

Sri Aurobindo replied:




[1] A book by Amrita

[2] A book by the Mother.

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