Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture. (SAIIC) Shillong workshop, 26,Oct -7 Nov, 2006 - 13. Mother’s Yoga

Now I shall go back a little and tell you what Mother did because some of the things that she did there need to be stated quite clearly what achievements she had. In 1904, she had gone to Algeria. This was preceded by having heard of him first, through one young man who was a friend of her brother. Mother’s brother was Mathieu Alfassa, later on he became Governor and all that he also helped Mother and Sri Aurobindo for keeping Pondicherry intact. He played a great role in seeing that the French Government does not arrest Sri Aurobindo because the British Government wanted to use the French Government for capturing Sri Aurobindo and he played a great role in seeing that it does not happen. And with Mathieu Alfassa was also a very developed young man and he was extremely close to the Mother, as a brother and sister the relationship was very, very close. He had a friend Themanlys in French is Themanlys.. he was in contact with one Theon.

Now Theon was a Russian probably, either Polish or Russian, he had visited India and he had great knowledge of Rig-Veda, it is very important to underline that he had already a very good knowledge of the Rig-Veda. He had worked also with Blavatsky. Blavatsky was also Russian and is in contact with that work. You see, first of all, having mastered the Rig-Veda then he had gone to Egypt, established a secret society and then he had gone to Algeria and set up himself a small group in Algeria. He and his wife both of them were involved in a kind of work which they used to call cosmic work. Madame Theon was an extra-ordinary occultist. Mother herself has spoken about her and there was a very close connection to Madame Theon and the Mother. And Theon because of his knowledge of the traditions of the Veda and pre-Veda, he had also very good knowledge of the pre-Vedic tradition, which in India we do not know ourselves very much. But some of the scholars have done much more research in India much more than what he had done. And he had the knowledge of the Chaldean, the pre-Vedic Chaldean civilization, pre-Vedic Indian civilization and he had very good knowledge of the secrets of the Vedic knowledge.

So you can see that the Mother came into contact with Rig-Veda in a very concrete manner through Theon in 1904. And when she heard about him, now I shall read out to you what Mother says herself:

She began to have many experiences, she writes herself, I will only read out.

when I first began to work (not with Theon personally but with an acquaintance of his in France, a boy who was a friend of my brother [What I told you: Themanlys]), well, I had a series of visions (I knew nothing about India, mind you, nothing, just as most Europeans know nothing about it: ‘a country full of people with certain customs and religions..

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: December 20, 1961

There she had the vision of Sri Aurobindo which I read out to you for the first time yesterday. Soon thereafter she went to Tlemcen in Algeria.

Tlemcen is a little away from Algiers …Once I had gone to Algeria myself, mainly because I wanted to see Tlemcen where Mother had spent some time. So I was invited at one time by the Government of Algeria for having some kind of negotiation between India and Algeria on education matters. So I was the leader of the delegation and stayed seven days in Algiers. And that time they took me to Tlemcen particularly. So I had a good look at Tlemcen.

The Mother said that she went to Tlemcen where Max Theon and his wife lived. Theon was European either Polish or Russian but more probably Russian of Jewish descent.

Mother says:

When I saw him I recognized him as a being of great power.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: December 20, 1961

Mother herself says that he had some kind of likeness to Sri Aurobindo.

And he bore a certain likeness to Sri Aurobindo: Theon was about the same size (not a tall man, of medium height) and thin, slim, with quite a similar profile. But when I met Theon I saw (or rather I felt) that he was not the man I saw in my vision because… (She could distinguish between the one she had seen in the vision and Theon and distinguish that this is not that man, not the one. She did not know the link.) he didn’t have that vibration. Yet it was he who first taught me things, and I went and worked at Tlemcen for two years in a row.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: December 20, 1961

So you see it was a tremendous period of training. Then Mother says that:

He had an English wife. She was an extraordinary occultist, having incredible faculties.

Let me explain first of all some of the things Mother has said herself about Madame Theon because this will also give an indication to Mother’s own life and her sadhana. This is a very interesting experience which happened in Tlemcen and an experience of Madame Theon.

Someone had wanted to plant pine trees—Scotch firs, I think—and by mistake Norway spruce were sent instead. And it began to snow!

We all know that there are certain very high, tall trees in very hilly places in the North of Europe. On these trees when they are there in the winter it snows. Now Algeria is a very hot country near the Sahara. The question of growing there does not arise at all but it snowed because those trees had come. Now this is the experience about that point.

It had never snowed there before, as you can imagine—it was only a few kilometers from the Sahara and boiling hot: 113˚ in the shade and 130˚ in the sun in summer. Well, one night Madame Theon, asleep in her bed, was awakened by a little gnome-like being—a Norwegian gnome with a pointed cap and pointed slippers turned up at the toes! From head to foot he was covered with snow, and it began melting onto the floor of her room, so she glared at him and said:

‘What are You doing here? You’re dripping wet! You’re making a mess of my floor!’

‘I’m here to tell you that we were called to this mountain and so we have come.’

‘Who are you?’

‘The Lord of the Snow.’

‘Very well,’ replied Madame Theon, ‘I shall see about that when I get up. Now go away, you’re spoiling my room!’

So the little gnome left.

But when she awoke, there was a puddle of water on the floor, so it couldn’t have been a dream. And when she looked out the window, all the hills were snow-covered!

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: February 4, 1961

This was the power of Madame Theon that she was able to contact beings which are supra-physical and which are beings behind many natural phenomena. It also shows that natural phenomena are having behind them supra-physical realities. This was also known in the Veda that’s why physical objects are regarded as symbols of beings of cosmic gods.

And when she looked out the window, all the hills were snow-covered!

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: February 4, 1961

In Algeria!

It’s a fact. Mother herself has narrated this story.

It was the first time. They had lived there for years but had never seen snow. And every winter after that, the hillsides would be covered with snow.

This is a very interesting phenomenon. I have read out only to show that Madame Theon wasn’t an ordinary person, an extraordinary occultist. No Mother says about her little further:

I saw it with Madame Theon: she would will a thing to come to her instead of going to the thing herself; instead of going to get her sandals when she wanted them, she made the sandals come to her. She did this through a capacity to radiate her matter—she exercised a will over her matter—her central will acted upon matter anywhere, since she WAS THERE. With her, then, I saw this power in a methodical, organized way, not as something accidental or spasmodic (as it is with mediums), but as an organization of Matter.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: December 23, 1961

Now Mother speaks about one of her great experiences.

But the deeper significance of figures came to me in Tlemcen, when I was in the Overmind.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1963: May 11, 1963

So in Algeria she had already reached the Overmind. She says so.

..but it was a world that corresponded to the highest and most luminous regions of Sri Aurobindo’s Overmind. It was above, just above the gods’ region. And it was something in accord with the Overmind creation—the earth under the gods’ influence. That was where figures took on a living meaning for me—not a mental speculation: a living meaning.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1963: May 11, 1963

Now a very important sentence comes.

That was where Madame Théon recognized me, because of the formation of twelve pearls she saw above my head; and she told me, “You are that because you have this. Only that can have this!” (Mother laughs) It hadn’t even remotely occurred to me, thank God!

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1963: May 11, 1963

It is she who told her. Now Mother speaks about another experience which is extremely important.

Madame Theon had this experience and she gave me the indication (she didn’t actually teach me) of how it was to be done. She would go out of her body and become conscious in the vital world (there were many intermediary states, too, if one cared to explore them). After the vital came the mental: you consciously went out of the vital body, you left it behind (you could see it) and you entered the mental world. Then you left the mental body and entered into…. They used different words, another classification (I don’t remember it), but even so, the experience was identical.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: November 7, 1961

You see many of those who read Savitri, Sri Aurobindo has written one full book called The Book of the Traveller in Savitri, Aswapathy’s Yoga, and there the experiences of the, material world, vital world, mental world, overmental world, supramental world all these are given one after the other. Now these experiences which Aswapathy had according to Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, these experiences Mother had here going from one plane to the other and this is what she is describing here.

And like that, she successively left twelve different bodies, one after another. She was extremely ‘developed,’ you see—individualized, organized. She could leave one body and enter the consciousness of the next plane, fully experience the surroundings and all that was there, describe it… and so on, twelve times.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: November 7, 1961

Now Mother says about herself.

I learned to do the same thing, and with great dexterity; I could halt on any plane, do what I had to do there, move around freely, see, observe, and then speak about what I had seen. And my last stage, which Theon called ‘pathétisme,’ a very barbaric but very expressive word, bordered on the Formless—he sometimes used the Jewish terminology, calling the Supreme ‘The Formless.’ (From this last stage one passed to the Formless—there was no further body to leave behind, one was beyond all possible forms, even all thoughtforms.) In this domain [the last stage before the Formless] one experienced total unity—unity in something that was the essence of Love; Love was a manifestation more… ‘dense,’ he would always say (there were all sorts of different ‘densities’); and Love was a denser expression of That, the sense of perfect Unity—perfect unity, identity—with no longer any forms corresponding to those of the lower worlds. It was a Light!… An almost immaculate white light, yet with something of a golden-rose in it (words are crude). This Light and this Experience were truly wonderful, inexpressible in words.

Well, one time I was there (Theon used to warn against going beyond this domain, because he said you wouldn’t come back), but there I was, wanting to pass over to the other side, when—in a quite unexpected and astounding way—I found myself in the presence of the ‘principle,’ a principle of the human form. It didn’t resemble man as we are used to seeing him, but it was an upright form, standing just on the border between the world of forms and the Formless, like a kind of standard. At that time nobody had ever spoken to me about it and Madame Theon had never seen it—no one had ever seen or said anything. But I felt I was on the verge of discovering a secret.

Afterwards, when I met Sri Aurobindo and talked to him about it, he told me, ‘It is surely the prototype of the supramental form.’

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: November 7, 1961

So you can see by that time where Mother had reached. 'It is surely the prototype of the supramental form.'

I saw it several times again, later on, and this proved to be true.

But naturally, you understand, once the border has been crossed, there is no more ‘ascent’ and ‘descent’; you have the feeling of rising up only at the very start, while leaving the terrestrial consciousness and emerging into the higher mind. But once you have gone beyond that, there’s no notion of rising; there’s a sense, instead, of a sort of inner transformation.

And from there I would redescend, re-entering my bodies one after another—there is a real feeling of re-entry; it actually produces friction.

When one is on that highest height, the body is in a cataleptic state.

I think I made this experiment in 1904, so when I arrived here it was all a work accomplished and a well-known domain; and when the question of finding the Supermind came up, I had only to resume an experience I was used to—I had learned to repeat it at will, through successive exteriorizations. It was a voluntary process.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: November 7, 1961

She has given a lot of experiences about this thing so I don’t want to take your time. These are very interesting experiences, it will only show where Mother had already reached. In 1914, this was 1904 so ten years more she had passed so we can see what levels Mother herself had reached.

Now there is one experience which is important I will read out to you.


And if you want to see things physically, you must go out in your most material subtle physical and then here you leave your body in a cataleptic state; and these things are not to be done without someone being with you who understands them and can guard you.

The Mother, Questions and Answers (1955): 6 July 1955 body was in a cataleptic state and I was in conscious trance….

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: August 5, 1961

People cannot remain in conscious trance in that state.

It was a peculiar kind of catalepsy in the sense that my body could speak, though very slowly—Theon had taught me how to do it. But this is because the ‘life of the form’ always remains (this is what takes seven days to leave the body) and it can even be trained to make the body move—the being is no longer there, but the life of the form can make the body move (in any case, utter words). However, this state is not without danger, the proof being that while I was working in trance, for some reason or other (which I no longer remember, but obviously due to some negligence on the part of Theon who was there to watch over me), the cord—I don’t know what to call it—went snap! The link was cut, malevolently, and when it was time and I wanted to return, I could no longer re-enter my body. But I was still able to warn him: ‘The cord is cut.’ Then he used his power and knowledge to help me come back—but it was no joke! It was very difficult. And this is when I had the experience of the two different states, because the part that had gone out was now without the body’s support—the link was cut. Then I knew. Of course, I was in a special state; I was doing a fully conscious work with all the vital power, and I was in control not only of my surroundings but…. You see, what happens is a kind of reversal of consciousness: you begin to belong to another world; you feel this quite distinctly. Theon instantly told me to concentrate (I was finding it all interesting—Mother laughs—I was making experiments and getting ready to go wandering off, but he was terribly scared that I would die on him!). He begged me to concentrate, so I concentrated on my body.

When I re-entered, it hurt terribly, terribly—an excruciating pain, like plunging into a hell.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: August 5, 1961

This is one of the very important experiences because as Mother said that while living she had the experience of death. It was one of her first experiences of death itself but while living and then she could ..what a tremendous power to come back and then establish a link with her body.

A few months later, Mother spoke again of the above experiment and said:

Anyway, it was because of Theon that I first found the ‘Mantra of Life,’ the mantra that gives life, and he wanted me to give it to him, he wanted to possess it—it was something formidable! It was the mantra that gives life (it can make anyone at all come back into life, but that’s only a small part of its power). And it was shut away in a particular place, sealed up, with my name in Sanskrit on it. I didn’t know Sanskrit at that time, but he did, and when he led me to that place, I told him what I saw: ‘There’s a sort of design, it must be Sanskrit.’ (I could recognize the characters as Sanskrit). He told me to reproduce what I was seeing, and I did so. It was my name, Mirra, written in Sanskrit—the mantra was for me and I alone could open it. ‘Open it and tell me what’s there,’ he said. (All this was going on while I was in a cataleptic trance.) Then immediately something in me KNEW, and I answered, ‘No,’ and did not read it.

I found it again when I was with Sri Aurobindo and I gave it to Sri Aurobindo.

But that’s yet another story….

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1961: November 5, 1961