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At the Feet of The Mother

What the Mother Endured and Achieved for the Earth in 1962 (1)

 

Introductory Report1)

The Mother was not well for some time in early 1962. But she kept on working. She even came to the Balcony now and again to give the morning Darshan as usual. But the 18th of March was the last day. After that, she fell seriously ill and did not come down from her room on the second floor.

She began to have heart-attacks. One day she had them twice in twenty-four hours. They were severe. A third followed the next day. Some time later she recounted to a disciple the experience connected with the heart-attacks. No definitive version is available, but the following account seems nearest the truth. She saw a huge being who looked exactly like Sri Aurobindo. This being asked her, “Will you surrender yourself to me?” The Mother, recognising that he was not Sri Aurobindo but an Asura, replied, “I surrender to the Lord. This body has been given over to His Supreme Will.” It may be surmised that the pretending being started his hostile work against her and that Sri Aurobindo fought with him and saved her. The Mother remarked that the fight had been a crucial one in the course of the Integral Yoga.

A report has it that the same Asura in the shape of Sri Aurobindo appeared to a disciple and asked him to do Pranam to him. When the disciple was about to get down on his knees he saw the being’s feet and at once realised that this was not Sri Aurobindo but a demon with a characteristic recorded in Indian tradition: the feet had the position of their toes and heels reversed. The disciple stopped himself and the demon vanished. The experience was told to the Mother, who found it significant in view of what had happened to her.

From the medical standpoint the Mother’s life seemed to have hung by a thread during her illness. Once, at 2 a.m., her condition grew exceedingly bad. Her breathing was very difficult and she repeatedly put her hand on her chest and looked as if she might faint. Her doctor was sent for. According to reports, the Mother lay in a dead swoon for quite a time, and the doctor could barely feel her pulse. As the Mother had forbidden him to give any drug or injection, he could do absolutely nothing. He felt his responsibility terribly. Here he was, the Mother’s special doctor, and could not take a step. What would people say if anything should happen?

The whole critical period came to an end on the 5th of May. A disciple had a vision in which Sri Aurobindo appeared to him. He asked Sri Aurobindo why the Mother had to go through such dire suffering. Sri Aurobindo said that she had to pay almost as high a price as he had done for the future of humanity, but that now she had come out victorious.

The culmination of the Mother’s experience of victory came on the night of the 12th April. On the 13th, in spite of extreme weakness, she made a tape-record of her experience. On the evening of the 15th the tape-record was played to the members of the Ashram at the Playground.

Soon after the heart-attacks the Mother was utterly indrawn. One day she sat stiff for six hours in a deep trance, opening her eyes only at rare intervals. When asked whether she would take any food or drink, she signed with her head that she would take nothing. Even later on, she kept concentrating on her inner work and mostly seemed not to notice the people around her. But gradually she began to take interest in things. At certain hours she let a couple of sadhaks take their routine work to her. One of them reported that he had found her skin unusually shining.

The Mother astonished her doctor by the rapidity of her recovery. From such weakness that she could hardly lift a finger and from a state of constant heart-irregularity for days, she commenced moving by herself, though slowly, in her room. Her emaciated body was also fast picking up.

When her heart-attacks were over, she told an attendant, “You thought I was going. How could I go? Have I completed my work?” The attendant said, “Mother, you are not eating properly and have grown so very weak. Naturally we have fears.” The Mother replied, “Do you think I depend on food and drink for my strength and life? I don’t depend even on my lungs and heart.”

After the great experience of April 12 she had the long passage on the Supreme Love in Book Eleven, “The Book of Everlasting Day”, of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri read out to her — the passage beginning

O beautiful body of the incarnate Word

and ending

Built is the golden tower, the flame-child born.((( SABCL, Vol. 29, pp. 698-702.)))

It gave some idea of what she had become in relation to the Lord and to the world.

The Victory marked by the Mother’s experience may be understood as a very decisive step further in her world-work. It was a great sequel to the achievement of the 29th February 1956 when the Manifestation of the Supermind on a universal scale had taken place in what the Mother had then called the earth’s subtle atmosphere. At that time the Supramental Light, Consciousness and Force had come. The experience of April 12 seems to have speeded up the future evolution of the world by bringing in the Supramental Love whose presence would keep impelling the earth towards a divine destiny in spite of all obstacles and apparent setbacks.

K. D. SETHNA

Mother India, February 21, 1974.

  1. ( Based on notes made on the 9th of May 1962. []

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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.