Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture. (SAIIC) Shillong workshop, 26,Oct -7 Nov, 2006 - 14. Mother’s Yoga

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

Mother's experience of death through the violent anger of Theon was significant.

Mother said that it was by him that the cord was cut, which was the reason of the ill-will because Mother said: I won't give you the mantra, so he got angry and because of that anger the cord was cut. And he knew what Mother is and therefore he felt that she would die on him. And in occult language it will be terrible for him. So he tried to help her to come back. I must tell you that later on Mother has said that Theon was the incarnation of the asura of Death. Mother herself says you can see the company that I have ….. there is Paul Richard and there is this one. She had all the four Asuras in her lifetime and worked with all of them……..

Mother's experience of death through the violent anger of Theon was significant. For, as Mother narrated much later in 1961, Theon was an emanation or a vibhuti of the Asura of Death. In fact, as Mother explained:

It was not by choice that I met all the four Asuras—it was a decision of the Supreme. The first one, whom religions call Satan, the Asura of Consciousness, was converted and is still at work. The second [the Asura of Suffering] annulled himself in the Supreme. The third was the Lord of Death (that was Theon). And the fourth, the Master of the world as he calls himself was the Lord of Falsehood; Richard was an emanation, a vibhuti, as they say in India, of this Asura.

These are Mother’s words.

Theon was the vibhuti of the Lord of Death.

It's a wonderful story, a real novel, which will perhaps be told one day... when there are no more Asuras. Then it can be told.

Now Mother speaks about many other things which I am not now going into but I shall come straight into what Mother speaks about her experience in Prayers and Meditations. This is known to everybody but simply I’ll read out because if you show by 1912 what was her condition of consciousness to what height she had already reached. She says in a prayer:

Although my whole being is in theory consecrated to Thee, O Sublime Master, who art the life, the light and the love in all things, I still find it hard to carry out this consecration in detail. It has taken me several weeks to learn that the reason for this written meditation, its justification, lies in the very fact of addressing it daily to Thee. In this way I shall put into material shape each day a little of the conversation I have so often with Thee; I shall make my confession to Thee as well as it may be; not because I think I can tell Thee anything—for Thou art Thyself everything, but our artificial and exterior way of seeing and understanding is, if it may be so said, foreign to Thee, opposed to Thy nature. Still by turning towards Thee, by immersing myself in Thy light at the moment when I consider these things, little by little I shall see them more like what they really are,—until the day when, having made myself one in identity with Thee, I shall no more have anything to say to Thee, for then I shall be Thou. This is the goal that I would reach; towards this victory all my efforts will tend more and more. I aspire for the day when I can no longer say “I”, for I shall be Thou.

The Mother, Prayers and Meditations: November 2, 1912

By 1912 Mother had reached this very great height of her sadhana.

Now there was another experience of Mother, she had spoken of in these Prayers and Meditations in 1914 which is also very interesting because it will explain to us how she was as a young child. She says:

When I was five years old (I must have begun earlier, but the memory is a bit vague and imprecise)… but from five onwards, in my consciousness (not a mental memory but—how can I put it?—it’s noted, a notation in my consciousness)… well, I began with consciousness. Of course I had no idea what it was. But my first experience was of the consciousness here (gesture above the head), which I felt like a Light and a Force; and I felt it there (same gesture) at the age of five.

It was a very pleasant sensation. I would sit in a little armchair made especially for me, all alone in my room, and I… (I didn’t know what it was, you see, not a thing, nothing—mentally zero) and I had a VERY PLEASANT feeling of something very strong, very luminous, and it was here (above the head). Consciousness. And I felt, “That’s what I have to live, what I have to be.” Not with all those words, naturally, but… (Mother makes a gesture of aspiration Upward). Then I would pull it down, for it was… it was truly my raison d’être.

That is my first memory—at five years old.

The Mother, Mother's Agenda — 1962: July 25, 1962

And then she goes on. And then she says many, many things about her childhood which I am not reading out here. But then I come here to the moment that she met Sri Aurobindo, yesterday I repeated it but I want to read out to you what she said about her experience.

On March 13, 1914, She says the following in her diary.

In the presence of those who are integrally Thy servitors, those who have attained the perfect consciousness of Thy presence, I become aware that I am still far, very far from what I yearn to realise; and I know that the highest I can conceive, the noblest and purest is still dark and ignorant beside what I should conceive. But this perception, far from being depressing, stimulates and strengthens the aspiration, the energy, the will to triumph over all obstacles so as to be at last identified with Thy law and Thy work.

The Mother, Prayers and Meditations: March 30, 1914

It will show what Sri Aurobindo was at that time, how she found him and where she was at that time.

..and I know that the highest I can conceive, the noblest and purest is still dark and ignorant beside what I should conceive. But this perception, far from being depressing, stimulates and strengthens the aspiration, the energy, the will to triumph over all obstacles so as to be at last identified with Thy law and Thy work.

Gradually the horizon becomes distinct, the path grows clear, and we move towards a greater and greater certitude.

It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.

O Lord, Divine Builder of this marvel, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude when I think of it, and my hope has no bounds.

My adoration is beyond all words, my reverence is silent.

The Mother, Prayers and Meditations: March 30, 1914

This is a record on the 30th of March 1914. Thereafter, all these experiences are very well told in her Prayers and Meditations, and so I don’t need to repeat one can get these very easily.

Now I come to the point where she has come back in 1920 and I shall read out a few passages from the Mother's words.

She said: Truly speaking, it was the first question that arose when I met Sri Aurobindo. Should we do this Yoga and go right to the end and then afterwards to see about the others, or should we immediately let all those who have an identical aspiration come to us and walk together towards the goal. The two possibilities were there. Either to do an intensive individual sadhana by withdrawing from the world and having no more contact with others or else to let a group form in a natural and spontaneous way without preventing it from being formed and then setting out all together on the path.

This was the question and then Mother says: the decision was not at all a mental choice, it came spontaneously. The circumstances were such that there was no choice. In other words, the group formed very naturally and spontaneously as an imperative necessity and then once it begins in that direction there is no question of going back. You have to go right to the end.

This is how the Ashram should be formed or not that question was settled at that time. Now here is an important passage from the Mother's writing, which gives a further inkling into what was being done between 1920 and 1926.

Mother says: When you follow the ascending paths, the work is relatively easy. I had already covered this path by the beginning of the century and had established a contact, a constant relationship with the Supreme that was beyond the personal and the gods and all the outward expressions of the divine, but also beyond the absolute impersonal. It is something you cannot describe, you must experience it, and this is what must be brought down into matter. This is the important question, such is the descending path, the one I began with Sri Aurobindo and there the work is immense. The thing can still be brought down as far as the mental and vital planes. Although Sri Aurobindo said: that thousands of lifetimes would be needed merely to bring it down to the mental plane. (It’s a very important statement.) Sri Aurobindo had said that thousands of lifetimes would be needed merely to bring it down to the mental plane unless one practised a perfect surrender. With Sri Aurobindo we went down below matter, not only below mind but below matter right into the subconscient and even into the inconscient. But after the descent comes a transformation (It’s another distinction which is very important. Merely descending is not enough, you can descend but then transformation comes now. After the descent comes the transformation. And when you come down to the body. when you attempt to make it take one step forward or not even a real step, just a little step, everything starts grating. It is like stepping on an anthill. The path is difficult. I could have begun this work on the body 30 years ago. This is what Mother says much later, what she says much later 30 years ago when she is saying this somewhere in 1971 or so. She said I could have begun this work on the body thirty years ago but I was constantly put up in this harassing Ashram life. It does not mean that the 30 years were wasted for it’s likely that had I been able to start this work 30 years ago, it would have been premature. The consciousness of the others also had to develop; the two are linked— the individual progress and the collective progress—and one cannot advance if the other does not advance.

Now this question of descent, yesterday a question was asked: what is transformation. Which are very important, and I thought that when Mother makes a distinction between descent and transformation, I should read out from Sri Aurobindo’s own words what he says about transformation. Transformation is a word Sri Aurobindo says now: “Transformation is a word that I have brought in myself like supermind to express certain spiritual concepts and spiritual facts of Integral Yoga. Purification of nature by the influence of the spirit is not what I mean by transformation. Purification is only a part of a psychic change or a psycho-spiritual change. The word besides has many senses and is very often given a moral or ethical meaning, which is foreign to my purpose. What I mean by spiritual transformation is something dynamic, not merely liberation of the self or the realisation of the one which one can very well attain without any descent. It is a putting on the spiritual consciousness dynamic as well as static in every part of the being down to the subconscient that cannot be done by the influence of the self, leaving the consciousness fundamentally as it is with only purification, enlightenment of the mind and heart and quiescent of the soul, or the vital. It means a bringing down of the divine consciousness, static and dynamic into all these parts and the entire replacement of the present consciousness by that. This we find unveiled and unmixed above mind, life and body. It is a matter of the undeniable experience of many that this can descend and it is my experience that nothing short of the full descent can thoroughly remove the veil and mixture and effect the full spiritual transformation. I may add that transformation is not the central object of other paths as it is of this yoga. Only so much purification and change is demanded by them, as will lead to liberation and the beyond life.

So you might say, between 1920 and 1926, the process that was being attempted was descent from supermind and descent of the supermind into lower and lower levels of consciousness right up to the mind and then the vital and the physical and the subconscient and up to the inconscient.

Now a mere descent was not enough for all dynamic manifestation in all aspects, all that when is done, that is real transformation and as she says, replacement of all this not outside of the influence, the individual or collectivity or anything, real replacement. As Mother once said: one of the important tasks is not making influence with the government, but to be the government, it’s a replacement. Those who are in power are to be those who are to be instruments of the divine consciousness themselves. It’s not a question of remaining outside influencing.

In fact, this is another very interesting question of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama asked the Mother and I was present at that time and the Dalai Lama said: Mother, I feel (this is not announced in the book but this was one of the conversations that he had very privately with the Mother). I feel I should withdraw from my authority and be an advisor and let people work on it. Is it alright if I do this? So Mother said: It is a mistake. This has been a mistake. One should be in authority. Then he said Mother if I am in authority, I have to take sides sometimes against the other. She said: that you should be an authority without taking sides, you can act and you must act. This was wonderful advice that Mother gave to the Dalai Lama. It was in 1973 when he came, he was thinking of giving up his authority. And Mother actually told him: Both Sri Aurobindo and I want you to go back to Tibet with full authority and power.

Afterwards the Dalai Lama asked me to ask the Mother when that would happen. So I asked the Mother this question: when would it happen? So Mother said: it is not an interesting question. Then Mother said: how old is he she asked me. He must have been at that time 27 or 28. ‘It may be in this life’, Mother said, but I cannot say certainly because it may be if the supramental force may bring a lot of change but I cannot say definitively. So that is what the Mother answered at that point. But this is very important because people like to declare and they become advisors and if you simply advise nothing happens because the power is in the hands of other people, what can you do?

Now I come to your question, it is a good point that I can answer this question: what is the difference between occultism and spirituality? Sri Aurobindo distinguishes between several levels of consciousness. The level at which we live is what we called semi-consciousness, we are half consciousness and half unconsciousness. It is what is called in Veda the state of ratri (night). Our present state of consciousness is compared in the Veda as ratri (as night) because ratri is also full of stars, darkness but also full of stars. Similarly our consciousness is also like that it is mainly dark but there are some bulbs here and there and there is some kind of light burning here and there, so it is called ratri. In fact in the Rig-Veda there is a beautiful verse it says: ritam cha satyam chabhiddhat tapaso dhyajayata tato ratryajayata tatah samudro arnavah. It is the description of how the world came into existence. First was the Tapas, the power of concentration of the divine consciousness then came Truth and Right ritam cha satyam. First was Tapas tapaso dhyajayata, came These two, tato ratryajayata there after suddenly the night came. The kind of consciousness that we have is born as the next step it did not stop there, tatah samudro arnavah thereafter came the complete denseness of darkness. This was the discovery of the Vedic Rishis. You can see what was the great discovery Sri Aurobindo himself has worked out very clearly. Sri Aurobindo says in the verse of Vamadeva in the first Mandala of Rig-Veda where he speaks of three oceans of consciousness. One is the ocean of consciousness where agni was born.