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At the Feet of The Mother

Think in the Stomach

In “The Brain of India” Sri Aurobindo has written that the Bengalis can think with their hearts…

Who can think with his heart?… The Bengalis can think with their hearts? That’s a poetic way of saying it. (Laughter) Where has he written this? It is indeed a very poetic description. That’s to say that they are essentially emotive beings, and that their heart is conscious even in their thought, that their thought is not purely intellectual and dry, and that their heart is aware of their thought. That’s what he meant.

But I can also tell you that when I was in Japan I met a man who had formed a group, for… It can’t be said that it was for sadhana, but for a kind of discipline. He had a theory and it was on this theory that he had founded his group: that one can think in any part of one’s being whatever if one concentrates there. That is to say, instead of thinking in your head, you can think in your chest. And he said that one could think here (gesture) in the stomach. He took the stomach as the seat of prâna, you see, that is, the vital force. He used certain Sanskrit words, you know, half-digested, and all that…. But still, this does not matter, he was full of good will and he said that most human miseries come from the fact that men think in their heads, that this makes the head ache, tires you and takes away your mental clarity. On the other hand, if you learn how to think here (gesture indicating the stomach), it gives you power, strength and calmness. And the most remarkable thing is that he had attained a kind of ability to bring down the mental power, the mental force exactly here (gesture); the mental activity was generated there, and no longer in the head. And he had cured a considerable number of people, considerable, some hundreds, who used to suffer from terrible headaches; he had cured them in this way.

I have tried it, it is quite easy, precisely because, as I told you a while ago, the mental force, mental activity is independent of the brain. We are in the habit of using the brain but we can use something else or rather, concentrate the mental force elsewhere, and have the impression that our mental activity comes from there. One can concentrate one’s mental force in the solar plexus, here (gesture), and feel the mental activity coming out from there.

That man used to say, “Haven’t you noticed that all men who have great power have a big belly? (Laughter) — Because they concentrate their forces there, so this makes their stomach big!” He always used to give the example of Napoleon; and he said, “These people stand up quite straight, always straight with the head erect, never like this (Mother bends the head forward), never like this (Mother bends the head to the right), never like this (Mother bends the head to the left); always quite straight up but with all their force here (pointing to the stomach), and so this makes them very powerful!” And he always spoke of Napoleon. He used to say, “Napoleon, you see…” (Mother shows that Napoleon had a big stomach.) And he had a visit from Tagore when Tagore was in Japan and he told me, “Have you observed how Tagore stands quite upright, like this, with his head erect?” Then I told him, “But he doesn’t have a big stomach!” He said to me, “It will come.” (Laughter)

There were hundreds of people at his meetings. They would all sit on their knees as one does in Japan. He struck a table with a stick and everyone brought down his mental force to the stomach; and then they remained like that for… oh! at least half an hour. And after half an hour he struck the table a second time and they released their mental force and began chatting… not very much, for the Japanese do not chat much, but nevertheless they talk.

There now! But mark that there was something very true, in the sense that if ever you have a headache I advise you to do this: to take the thought-force, the mental force — and even if you can draw a little of your vital force, that too — and make it come down, like this (gesture of very slowly sliding both hands from the top of the head downwards). Well, if you have a headache or a congestion, if you have caught a touch of the sun, for instance, indeed if anything has happened to you, well, if you know how to do this and bring down the force here, like this, here (showing the centre of the chest), or even lower down (showing the stomach), well, it will disappear.

8 September 1954

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