As I told you I had once proposed for the Ashram’s school a programme. I made a syllabus: Spiritual history of India — that was the title. And I had started with the Veda, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Indian philosophies, movement of Bhakti, the eclipse and the restarting, the new renaissance and coming up to Sri Aurobindo. And the impression that I had created was that Sri Aurobindo is the culmination of all that has gone before, a point of fulfilment of all that has been aspired for. Mother answered with a big bang towards me when I presented this to her. And she advised me as to what I should concentrate upon. I told you, that it was my first lecture the day before yesterday in fulfilment of what Mother had said. So, I would like to read with you what she had written for me. I have it both in French and in English. But if you don’t mind I will read first in French because Mother told me: “If you want to read me you should read me in French.” I had requested the Press to give me English copies of Mother’s talks and the Ashram Press people went to the Mother and showed my letter, so Mother gave me a bang saying: “If you want to read me you must read me in French.”
(Mother’s answer in English to the School’s teachers when she was told that the new special afternoon classes at the library had chosen as a first research theme India’s spiritual History.)
No! It won’t do. It is not to be done that way. You should begin with a big BANG! You were trying to show the continuity of History, with Sri Aurobindo as the outcome, the culmination –– it is false, entirely. Sri Aurobindo does not belong to History; he is outside and beyond History. Till the birth of Sri Aurobindo, religions and spiritualities were always centered on past figures, and they were showing as “the goal” the negation of life upon earth. So, you had a choice between two alternatives: either a life in this world with its round of petty pleasures and pains, joys and sufferings, threatened by hell if you were not behaving properly; or an escape into another world, heaven, nirvana, Moksha, liberation. Between these two there is nothing much to choose, they are equally bad. Sri Aurobindo has told us that this was a fundamental mistake which accounts for the weakness and degradation of India. Buddhism, Jainism, Illusionism were sufficient to sap all energy out of the country. True, India is the only place in the world which is still aware that something else than matter exists. The other countries have quite forgotten it: Europe, America and elsewhere… That is why she still has a message to preserve and deliver to the world. But at present she is splashing and floundering in the muddle. Sri Aurobindo has shown that the truth does not lie in running away from earthly life but in remaining in it, to transform it, divinize it, so that the Divine can manifest HERE, in this PHYSICAL WORLD. You should tell all this at the first sitting. You should be square and frank. Then, when this is told, strongly, squarely, and there, is no doubt about it –– and then only –– you can go on and amuse them with, the history of religions and religious or spiritual leaders. Then –– and then only –– you will be able to show the seed of weakness and falsehood that they have harbored and proclaimed. Then –– and then only –– you will be able to discern, from time to time, from place to place, an “intuition” that something else is possible: in the Vedas, for instance (the injunction to descend deep into the cave of the Panis); in the Tantras also a little light burning. I may add that you could adopt as motto for your first project this quotation of Sri Aurobindo:
“We do not belong to the past dawns, but to the noons of the future.”
Essays on the Gita
Message from Mother to the School:
“Sri Aurobindo does not belong to the past nor to history. Sri Aurobindo is the Future advancing towards its realization. Thus we must shelter the eternal youth required for a speedy advance, in order not to become laggards on the way.”
Mother's Agenda 5 April 1967
Actually Mother had put here one big square –– carrément. She herself had drawn a square. It is not here but the paper that she sent me had this big square written on it to indicate that I should be square and should tell all my students very squarely with a big bang.
As I told you the day before yesterday I have really given the first lecture only on that day. All the rest was a preparation to be able to tell you what Mother has said here and I will take another time, long long time to dilate upon it. In fact, when I read The Life Divine and The Synthesis of Yoga it is basically for this purpose.
So we come back to The Synthesis of Yoga. The utsaha is the zeal for the Lord that eats us up. It is the necessity of personal effort particularly during the first period until we are able to have contact with the Divine and not to listen to the advice that don’t worry, God will do everything for you. This is the period when we must ask every part of the being to strain and to work harder and still harder.