Integral Yoga and Evolutionary Mutation - Its Aid to Humanity and Human Species - Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies


Difficulties and Remedies

Psychological Difficulties and Remedies

In regard to the psychological difficulties, certain impulses and instincts of the body have been found especially harmful by the spiritual aspirant. Sri Aurobindo points out that sex and sexuality and all that springs from sex and testifies to its existence had to be banned and discarded from spiritual life. Sri Aurobindo points out that though this is difficult, it is not at all impossible and can be made a cardinal condition for the spiritual seeker.73 In the practice of integral yoga, all gross animal indulgence of sex desire and impulse would have to be eliminated; it could only continue among those who are not ready for the higher life or not yet ready for a complete spiritual living. Sri Aurobindo further points out that all who aspired for spiritual life but could not yet take it up in its fullness, sex will have to be refined, submit to the spiritual or psychic impulse and a control by the higher mind and the higher vital and shed all its lighter, frivolous or degraded forms and feel the touch of the purity of the ideal. At the same time, all recognition of the sex principle, as apart from the gross physical indulgence of sex-impulse, could not be excluded from divine life upon earth. In its human action on the mental and vital level, sex is not altogether an undivine principle; it has its nobler aspects and idealities, and it has to be seen in what way and to what extent it can be extended into the new and larger life.

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Sri Aurobindo pointed out, " Love would remain, all forms of the true love, in higher and higher steps till it realised its highest nature, widened into universal love, merged into the love of the Divine. " 74 Sri Aurobindo also points out that the love of the man and woman would also undergo that elevation and consummation; for all that can feel the touch of the ideal and spiritual must follow the way of ascent till it reaches the divine Reality. Similarly, the body and its activities must be accepted as part of the divine life and must all follow the process of higher elevation and consummation. At the same time, Sri Aurobindo underlines that, as in the other evolutionary transitions, what cannot accept the law of the divine life must fall away from the ascending nature.

Another difficulty which has to be confronted relates to the body's dependence for its very existence upon food, and here, too are involved the gross physical instincts, impulses and desires that are associated with this difficult factor. These include the essential cravings of the palate, the greed of the food and animal gluttony of the belly. The higher human in us has attempted to overcome this difficulty by seeking refuge in a temperature moderation, in abstemiousness and abstinence or in carelessness about the body and its wants and in an absorption in higher things. In certain forms of asceticism, long and frequent fasts are recommended, and although these fasts might lift up the spiritual seeker temporarily out of the clutch of the body's demand and help him to feel in himself a pure vacancy of the wide rooms of the spirit., this does not mean liberation, and the question may be raised whether the divine life must submit to the necessity of fasting. Sri Aurobindo himself had made experiments, and he has confirmed that even while fasting for long periods, it is

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

possible to maintain the full energies and activities of the soul and mind and life, even those of the body.75 He points out that
one can remain awake but concentrated in yoga all the time, or think deeply and write day and night, to dispense with sleep to walk eight hours a day, maintaining all these activities separately or altogether and not feel any loss of strength any fatigue, any kind of failure of decadence. He also found that at the end of the fast one can even resume at once taking the normal or even a greater than the normal amount of nourishment without any transition, precautions such as medical science enjoins, as if both the complete fasting and the feasting were natural conditions, alternating by an immediate and easy passage from one to the other, of a body already trained by a sort of initial transformation to be an instrument of the powers and activities of Yoga. He, however, found one important but unacceptable conseqence; he found that one does not escape the wasting of the material tissues of the body, its flesh and substance. Hence, his conclusion was that unless a practicable way and means could be found! by which that invincible obstacle too might be overcome, one has to go back to food and the established material forces s of Nature. In other words, food and the ordinary process of Nature can be accepted although its use has to be liberated from attachment and desire and the grosser undiscriminating appetites and clutch at the pleasures of the flesh. Indeed, so long as the food is accepted, a refined pleasure in it may be permitted and even a desireless ananda of taste take this place of the physical relish and the human selection by likings and dislikings which is our present imperfect response to what is offered to us by Nature.

Sri Aurobindo considers and answers an important question raised by sex for those who dedicate themselves to

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

the integral yoga, — and that problem is related to the necessity of the prolongation of the race for which the sex activity is the only means already provided by Nature for living beings and inevitably imposed upon the race. In answer,76 Sri Aurobindo points out that there will always be the multitude who do not concern themselves with the pursuit of a divine life or who are not ready for its complete practice and to these can be left the care for the prolongation of the race. But Sri Aurobindo acknowledges that there may be circumstances in which a voluntary creation of bodies for souls that seek to enter the earth-life to help in the creation and extension of the divine life upon earth might be found to be desirable. In these circumstances, the necessity of a physical procreation for this purpose could only be avoided if new means of a supraphysical kind were evolved and made available. It is true that even physical science is trying to find physical means for passing beyond the ordinary instrumentation or procedure of Nature in the matter of propagation. But these means, even when found, would not be able to avoid the limitations, degradations, incompleteness and heavy imperfection of the results which would be available when physical means are used, which are under the yoke of the law of material force. Sri Aurobindo refers to the Indian view held from the earliest times of the possibility and reality of the use of occult powers by men with an advanced knowledge of occultism or men with a developed spiritual knowledge and experience and dynamic force. Sri Aurobindo also speaks of the Tantra where there is an organized system of the method and practice of the use of occult powers for producing results by the use of occult forces; but there is here still the necessity of a resort to the normal means of propagation and the gross method of physical Nature. Thus, the resort to the sex impulse and its

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

animal process can be transcended only if there was a possibility of a purely occult method and a resort to supraphysical processes acting by supraphysical means for a physical result. In this context, Sri Aurobindo refers to the actuality of the occult methods by which materialization and dematerialization can be effected. In the theory of the occultist and in the gradation of the ranges and planes of our being which Yoga-knowledge outlines, there is not only a subtle physical force but a subtle physical Matter intervening between life and gross matter and to create in this subtle physical substance and precipitate the forms thus made into our grosser materiality is feasible. In this connection, Sri Aurobindo states:

"It should be possible and it is believed to be possible for an object formed in this subtle physical substance to make a
transit from its subtlety into the state of gross Matter directly by the intervention of an occult force and process whether
with or even without the assistance or intervention of some gross material procedure. A soul wishing to enter into a body
or form for itself a body and take part in a divine life upon earth might be assisted to do so or even provided with such a
form by this method or direct transmutation without passing through birth by the sex process or undergoing any
degradation or any of the heavy limitations in the growth and development of its mind and material body inevitable to our
present way of existence. It might then assume at once the structure and greater powers and functionings of the truly
divine material body which must one day emerge in a progressive evolution to a totally transformed existence both
of the life and form in a divinized earth-nature."77

This possibility and inevitability shows us the gigantic proportions of the work that the evolutionary manifestation

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

of the supramental being on the earth places before humanity. Indeed, such a programme as this, even if conducted quickly and effectively, would extend over a long period, even though, as we find it in 'Mother's Agenda', the essential task of this work was accomplished by the Mother in 1970.

As noted earlier, the first major task connected with this essential task was accomplished in 1950, when Sri Aurobindo left his body, and the Mother stated in a conversation that the Mind of Light was realized on the earth. She had explained at that time that even though Supermind had descended long ago into the mind and even into the vital, and even though it was working by the year 1950 in the physical also but indirectly through the mind and the vital, the question was about the direct action of the supermind in the physical. She had added that according to Sri Aurobindo, it would be possible only if the physical mind received the Supramental light, since the physical mind was the instrument for direct action upon the most material. According to the Mother, when Sri Aurobindo left his body the physical mind received the supramental light, and that meant the descent and operation of the Mind of Light on the earth. Thereafter, the second major accomplishment connected with this essential task took place on the 1st January, 1969,78 when the Mother had an experience of "new consciousness", the consciousness of the superman, an intermediate between the human and the supramental being. But the third and final accomplishment of the essential task was what the Mother described on 14th March, 1970,79 when she said that she had accomplished the work that Sri Aurobindo had given to her.

Explaining this momentous accomplishment, the Mother

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

pointed out that one can attain the supramental consciousness when one goes up to the supramental consciousness but the difficulty was that of fixing the supramental consciousness in the physical so that the physical life is thereafter irrevocably directed by the supramental consciousness. She further explained why all those who did not foresee the possibility of this new accomplishment had said that the best is to get out of the body. She then added that the change that was brought about by the accomplishment that was achieved proved that that necessity of getting out of the body or the necessity of leaving the physical consciousness was no longer unavoidable. She said:

"All that has become so clear! But this change, the fact that it's NO LONGER inescapable, that is the great Victory: it's NO LONGER inescapable. You feel — feel and see, and the body itself has experienced — the possibility that soon, here too, things will be truer.

There is ... there is really something changed in the world. ...

Naturally, for things to be truly established, it's going to take time. That's the battle going on. From every side, on every plane, there's an onslaught of things coming to say outwardly, "Nothing has changed"—but it's not true. It's not true, the body knows it's not true. And now it knows, it knows in what sense. ...

Now I see, I see how his [Sri Aurobindo's] departure and his work so ... so immense, you know, and constant in this
subtle physical, how much, how much it has helped! How much he has (Mother gestures as if kneading Matter) .. .how
much he has helped prepare things, change the structure of the physical. ...

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

It has to be worked out, as they say, realized in every detail, but the change IS DONE — the change is done."

Explaining what was done and what change was effected, the Mother added:

"Which means that the material conditions, which were elaborated by the mind, FIXED by it (Mother clenches her fist tight), and which appeared so inescapable, to such a point that those who had a living experience of the higher worlds thought one had to flee this world, abandon this material world if one really wanted to live in the Truth (that's the cause of all those theories and beliefs), now things are no longer like that. Now things are no longer like that. The physical is CAPABLE of receiving the higher Light, the Truth, the true Consciousness, and of man-i-fest-ing it.

It's not easy, it calls for endurance and will, but a day will come when it will be quite natural. It's only just the open door — that's all, now we have to go on. ...

It has taken this Consciousness ... a little more than a year to win this Victory. Naturally, as yet it's visible only to those who have the inner vision, but... it's done. ...

That was the work Sri Aurobindo had given me, that was it. Now I understand."80

As will be noticed, the Mother speaks here of the help that Sri Aurobindo continued to give to the Mother from his subtle physical abode for arriving at the above accomplishment. In fact, this also explains that Sri Aurobindo left his body in order to be able to work out and arrive at this accomplishment more quickly and more effectively through the Mother's body. Secondly, it is clear that the work that was

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

accomplished required to be worked out in every detail, but what was DONE, was the most essential task, and it was the task that Sri Aurobindo had given to the Mother to be accomplished in her body and in her physical consciousness. Thirdly, the Mother speaks also of the work concerning the structure of the body. But it is also clear that the tasks that Sri Aurobindo envisages in regard to the structure of the body were consequential to the task that was accomplished by the Mother, and that those tasks could even take centuries. In fact, this is what Mother said in the same conversation of the 14th March 1970:

"And all, all circumstances are as catastrophic as they can be: troubles, complications, difficulties, everything, just
everything goes at it relentlessly like that, like wild beasts, but... it's over. The body KNOWS that it's over. It may take
centuries, but it's over. To disappear, it may take centuries , but it's over now.

This wholly concrete and absolute realization that one could have only when going out of Matter (Mother brings a finger down), it's sure, sure and certain that we will have it RIGHT HERE."81

The Mother reiterated during her conversation with Satprem on 29.04.1970 that the object to be accomplished was a change in the physical consciousness, that the change in the physical appearance was a secondary consequence, and that that would be the last thing to change. She said emphatically that the thing that had to be accomplished was accomplished. In her own words:

"... We think that this, this appearance (Mother points to her body) is ... to the ordinary consciousness it seems to be
the most important thing— it's obviously the last thing that

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

will change. And to the ordinary consciousness, it seems to be the last thing that will change because it's the most important: that will be the surest sign. But it's not that at all!... It's not that at all.

The important thing in this change in the CONSCIOUSNESS—which has taken place. All the rest is a consequence. And here, in this material world, it appears the most important to us because it's ... everything is upside down. I don't know how to explain.

For us, when this [the body] is able to visibly be something different from what it is, we'll say, "Ah, now the thing is done." —That's not true: the thing IS DONE. This [the body] is a secondary consequence. ..."82

That secondary thing, the appearance of the divine body with a new structure appropriate to the function and manifestation of the supramental consciousness is, as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo, in terms of evolution, quite radical and visibly different in many respects from the human body. Sri Aurobindo points out that the material history of the development of animal and human body is bound to a minutely constructed and elaborated system of organs and a precarious order of their functioning. It is that precarious order that constitutes corporeal difficulties in the form of the supramental transformation and development of the Divine Body.

Corporeal Difficulties and Remedies

As Sri Aurobindo points out, the precarious order of the human body often becomes a disorder; it is open to general or local disorganization; it is also dependent on an easily

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

disturbed nervous system and commanded by a brain whose vibrations are supposed to be mechanical and automatic and not under our conscious control. The subjection of the body to these limitations is so great that, Sri Aurobindo points out, it cannot arrive at a divine transformation if there were no radical change in the bodily instrument itself and in the organization of its material workings.83 For at a certain stage of the process of supramental transformation, the individual undergoing transformation would be bound and stopped by the physical organism's unalterable limitations. Even if the modification is carried out to a large extent, it would remain imperfect owing to the original animal that is inherent in the human process of evolution. There would be possibilities of disorders, derangements and maladies native to the physical arrangements of the body; these could only be shut out by a constant vigilant or perpetual control obligatory on the corporeal instrument's spiritual inhabitant and master. This, Sri Aurobindo points out, could not be called a truly divine body, since there would be an inherent freedom in a divine body from all these things; and this freedom would be natural and perpetual, it would be a normal and native truth of its being and therefore inevitable and unalterable. It would, therefore, be imperative that the functioning and even the structure of the body would need a radical transformation; the mechanical and material impulse and the driving forces of the bodily system will have to be radically transformed.

Sri Aurobindo asks if there is something in us, some agency within our own body which can be used for this all important liberation and change. Or is there something that has to be developed? Is there something that can be called a central and still occult part of our being containing forces whose powers are not yet visible or only visible fractionally

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

which can be developed and made complete and dominant and utilizable for the object in view? Sri Aurobindo points out that in the system of Chakras revealed by Tantrik knowledge and accepted in his system of yoga, we shall be able to find what we are looking for. The Chakras or conscious centres, as known and developed in the system of yoga, are sources of all the dynamic powers of our being; they organize their action through plexuses which are arranged in an ascending series from the lowest physical, mūlādhāra, to the highest mind centre and spiritual centre called a thousand - petaled lotus, sahasrāra, where ascending Nature which is called the Serpent Power in the Tantrik yoga, meets the Brahman and is liberated into the Divine Being. These centres are closed or half closed within us and have to be opened before their full potentiality can be manifested in our physical nature. In the Tantra, these centres are sought to be opened by the process of Hatha yoga, prānāyāma and
āsana, and the Serpent Power is raised from below upwards. But in the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the descending power from above can open the centres from upward below, and this movement does not imperatively require the methods of Hatha yoga. But the important point is that once these centres are opened and completely made active, no limit can easily be set to the development of their potencies. These potencies could be utilized for the purpose of total transformation.

The results of the emergence of these powers of the chakras and the liberated and diviner action on the body itself could be numerous. According to Sri Aurobindo, these results would include the following:

( i ) The first necessary change would be liberation of mind, the life-force and the subtle physical agencies and the

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

physical consciousness into a freer and a diviner activity;

(ii) Next, a many-dimensioned and unlimited operation of the consciousness operative in the freer and diviner activity;

(iii) A large outbreak of higher powers and the sublimation of the bodily consciousness itself, of its instrumentation, capacity, capability for the manifestation of the soul in the world of Matter;

(iv) The subtle senses now concealed in us might come forward into a free action and the material senses themselves become means or channels for the vision of what is now invisible to us or the discovery of things surrounding us but at present unseizable and held back from our knowledge;

(v) A firm check might be put on impulses of animal nature they might be purified and subtlised so as to become assets and not liabilities and so transformed as to be parts and processes of a diviner life.

But even though all those results would take the process of transformation to a very high level, they would, according to Sri Aurobindo, still leave a residue of material processes keeping the old way and not amenable to the higher control and, if these could not be changed, the rest of the transformation might itself be checked and incomplete. A total transformation of the body demands a sufficient change °f the most material part of the organism, its constitution, its Processes and its set-up of nature.

As against the proposal of total transformation of the body, it will be argued that what would be sufficient is a full control instead of transformation. It may be argued that the

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

knowledge and vision of the organism of the body and its unseen action and an effective control determining its operations according to the conscious will should be regarded as sufficient for the manifestation of divine life on earth. It may even be pointed out that this possibility has been affirmed as something already achieved and it is a part of a development of the inner powers in some individuals who have been practicing certain processes of Yoga. It is true that several phenomena of the power of the will over the body are known such as those of the cessation of breathing while still the life of the body remain stable, the hermetic sealing up at will not only of the breath but all the vital manifestations for long period, the stoppage of the heart, similarly at will, while thought and speech and other mental workings continued unabated; there are well-attested examples of this kind of mastery. Sri Aurobindo acknowledges the validity of this mastery but points out that these are occasional or sporadic successes and they do not amount to transformation. Transformation would mean not only total control but also a natural mastery. Sri Aurobindo goes even farther that even if that is achieved, something more fundamental might have to be demanded for the complete liberation and change into the divine body.

According to Sri Aurobindo, a form of the body and bodily connection containing the earth-dynamism and its
fundamental activities must remain, but the connection with the body and bodily action should not be a bond or a confining limitation or contradiction of the totality change. He observes that the maintenance of the present organism without any transformation of it would not but act as a bond and confinement within the old nature; the material base would still be earth-nature, and old and not a new earth.

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

with a diviner psychological structure. The diviner psychological structure would be out of harmony with the old system and that system would be unable to serve its further evolution or even to uphold it as a base in Matter. In the words of Sri Aurobindo:

"It (the old system) would bind part of the being, a lower part to an untransformed humanity and unchanged animal functioning and prevent its liberation into the super humanity of the supramental nature. A change is then necessary here too, a necessary part of the total bodily transformation, which would divinize the whole man, at least in the ultimate result and not leave his evolution incomplete."84

According to Sri Aurobindo, even if the instrumentation of chakras, the conscious centres, and their forces reign over all the activities of nature with the entire domination over the body, even then there would have to be a change in the operative processes of the material organs themselves, in their very constitution and their functioning. They could not be allowed to impose their limitations imperatively on the new physical life. They have to become more serviceable for the psychological purposes of the transforming agent, less blindly material in their responses, more conscious of the act and aim of the inner movements and power which use them.

Results of the Conquest of the Difficulties

As a result,

(1)The brain would be a channel of communication of the form of the thoughts and a battery of their insistence on the body and the outside world where they could then become effective directly, communicating themselves

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

without physical means from mind to mind, producing with a similar directness effects on the thoughts, actions and lives of others or even upon material things;

(2)The heart would equally be a direct communicant and medium of interchange for the feelings and emotions thrown outward upon the world by the forces of the psychic centre;

(3)Heart could reply directly to heart, the life-force come to the help of other lives and answer the call, in spite of strangeness and distance, of many beings without any external communication and thrill them with the message and meet in the secret light from one divine centre;

(4)The will might control the organs that deal with food, safeguard automatically the health, eliminate greed and desire, substitute subtler processes or draw in strength and substance from the universal life-force so that the body could maintain for a long time its own strength and substance without loss or waste, remaining thus with no need of sustenance by material aliments, and yet continue a strenuous action with no fatigue or pause for sleep or repose;

(5)The soul's will or mind's will could act from higher sources upon the sex-centres and the sex organs so as to check firmly or even banish the grosser sexual impulse or stimulus and instead of serving an animal excitation or crude drive or desire turn their use to the storing, production and direction towards brain and heart and life-force of the essential energy, ojas, of which this region is the factory so as to support the works of the mind and soul and spirit and the higher

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

life-powers and limit the expenditure of the energy on lower things;

(6) The soul, the psychic being, could more easily fill all the organs with the light and turn the very matter of the body to higher uses for its own greater purpose.

Sri Aurobindo considers all these developments as results of a first potent change; but he envisages the evolutionary urge to proceed to a change of the organs themselves in their material working and use; this would diminish greatly the need of their instrumentation and even of their existence. As Sri Aurobindo points out:

"The centres in the subtle body, sūksma śarīra of which one would become conscious and aware of all going on in it would pour their energies into material nerve and plexus and tissue and radiate them through the whole material body; all the physical life and its necessary activities in this new existence could be maintained and operated by these higher agencies in a freer and ampler way and by a less burdensome and restricting method. This might go so far that these organs might cease to be indispensable and even be felt as too obstructive: the central force might use them less and less and finally throw aside their use altogether. If that happened, they might waste by atrophy, be reduced to an insignificant minimum or even disappear. The central force might substitute for them subtle organs of a very different character or, if anything material was needed, instruments that would be forms of dynamism or plastic transmitters rather than what we know as organs. This might well be part of a supreme total transformation of the body, though this too might not be final."85

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Divine Body: Even more radically different

It is quite possible that the new body, the divine body, would be even more radically different from the present form of the human body since, Sri Aurobindo points out, no limits can be imposed on the evolutionary urge. At the same time, Sri Aurobindo points out that all has not to be fundamentally changed, since all has to be preserved that is still needed in the totality; but all has to be perfected and overcome; what has become unhelpful or retarding can be discarded and dropped on the way. Whatever is necessary or thoroughly serviceable for the uses of the new life on the earth must be preserved; whatever is still needed and will serve the purpose of the new life, even though imperfect, will have to be retained on the condition that it will be farther developed and perfected. At the same time, whatever is no longer of use for new aims or is a disability must be thrown aside. Since the foundation of the physical world in which life and mind have evolved and in which supermind will also evolve, the necessary forms and instrumentations of matter must remain. But the materiality of the divine body will have to be refined, uplifted, ennobled, illumined, since Matter and the world of Matter have increasingly to manifest the indwelling Spirit.Sri Aurobindo has stated quite clearly that even if the divine body will be radically different, there must be a continuation
from the human to the divine body, and it must continue the already developed evolutionary form. Even if the form be new to the extent to which it would be indispensable for the manifestation of the indwelling spirit, it must not be something unrecognizable; it will be a high sequel to what is already achieved and in part perfected. Indeed, new powers have to be acquired by the body, and these new powers will be unimaginable or even undreamt. Describing these powers,

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Sri Aurobindo has stated:

"The body itself might acquire new means and ranges of communication with other bodies, new processes of acquiring knowledge, a new aesthesis, new potencies of manipulation of itself and objects. It might not be impossible for it to possess or disclose means native to its own constitution, substance or natural instrumentation for making the far near and annulling distance, cognizing what is now beyond the body's cognizance, acting where action is now out of its reach or its domain, developing subtleties and plasticities which could not be permitted under present conditions to the needed fixity of a material frame. ...There could be an evolution from a first apprehending truth consciousness to the utmost heights of the ascending ranges of supermind and it may pass the borders of the supermind proper itself... The transformation of the physical being might follow this incessant line of progression and the divine body reflect or reproduce here in a divine life on the earth something of this highest greatness and glory of the self manifesting Spirit."86

The Mother's Journey Towards the Divine Body

In the light of the possibilities that Sri Aurobindo had envisaged, the Mother's own journey, as recorded in the thirteen Volumes of 'Mother's Agenda', traces a curve of development that passes through extremely difficult passages, and as we noted in her record of the 14th March 1970, she had accomplished by that date that task which Sri Aurobindo had wanted her to accomplish. Indeed, what was accomplished was far from realizing the divine body, but it can be said that she had established on the earth a secure and

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

irreversible status of the supermind in the material consciousness of Matter, so that, in principle, the supermind was FIXED as a new principle of evolution. The 'Mother's Agenda' gives also an account of the extraordinary powers and capabilities which became manifest, not as supernormal qualities, but as natural capacities of her body as a part of the new nature of the material body, accessible and transmittable to any physical body on the earth which may have developed the required degree of sensitivity and the power to absorb by mere contagion.

Mind of the Cells: Its Significance for the future Evolution of the Human Species

One of the most important discoveries that was made by the Mother was concerning the "mind of the cells". It is true that Sri Aurobindo had spoken of the mind of the cells in his writings, but the way in which the mind of the cells reacted to the incoming of the supermind in the body and the way in which the mind of the cells came to develop its potencies was, in the Mother's evolving body, entirely new. As a result, the enormous importance that needs to be given to the understanding of the human cell deserves to be specially underlined for any scientific investigation that pertains to the problems of the future evolution of the human species. Based on the experiments of the Mother, it can be said that if the evolutionary research of the future is to run on the lines which are salutary for the human race, the infusion and penetration of the supramental consciousness in the cellular consciousness is indispensable, and that for the purposes of the future of evolution, which can now be designed and perfected by deliberate means of the human will, it would be best to study the Mother's account of the experiences

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

through which she has passed. In that context, it is extremely important to study the account of the victory that has been
accomplished by the Mother in fixing of me supermind in the earthly evolved cells.

With the accomplishment of the work of which the Mother spoke on the 14th March, 1970, a momentous stage was reached. An irreversible stage was reached. The essential work, the real work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, was to open up the consciousness of the cells by fixing the supramental consciousness in the body consciousness. This work was done; the rest was to be a secondary consequence. To bring about that secondary consequence, namely, the formation and the manifestation of the divine body with its further momentous results for human evolution and for the highest welfare of humanity, had yet remained to be worked out in all its details. Sri Aurobindo had said that it would take at least three hundred years. But the supramental consciousness imparts to the evolutionary movement an unimaginable acceleration to the process of transformation. It does not stop anywhere, it moves on as rapidly as possible towards a point where the transformation would be instantaneous.

The onward journey of the Mother was then directed towards the total transformation of the body, so that even the residue of the old would undergo the change. In this process, the Mother made many new discoveries; she passed through hell of resistances of the whole world, — even after building up in her body a new body of the awakened cells where there is no 'life' and 'death' but 'over-life'. This journey, although perilous and colossal, was also microscopic in its detailed operations. There were moments when the body felt immeasurable force, and there were moments when the body

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

could not keep itself standing. And this was for a reason that the body no more obeyed the same laws that keep us on our feet.87

Visions in the Subtle Physical Being of the New Body

In a conversation with Satprem on 9th May, 1970, we find a new phenomenon that was shaping a new body out of her own supramentalised cells. In that conversation, the Mother describes, what she saw in her subtle physical being, her new body, how it would be! It was a body not very different but extremely refined, and it had an orange colour. The body was
vibrant, and it had a kind of luminosity. The skin was 'efflorescent'. As she said: "And that was the point: no sex, neither man nor woman — no sex. It was a form like this (Mother draws a svelte figure in space), ,.."88

We read in the Mother's Agenda an account of a gradual expansion of the body of the awakened cells in the Mother's gross body. Organ by organ or part by part was being transferred to the rule of the Supermind; there was still the residue of coarse matter, where the battle was being fought. There was already transformed matter in the Mother's body — the matter which had a different air and a different manner of being, the matter which had uninterrupted life and which can be physically visible to the physical eyes which have a different way of seeing.

On 24th March, 1972, the Mother had a vision of the new body that was forming within her body. As it is important, the following extract may be given below of this conversation of the Mother with Satprem:

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

"Yes, I WAS like that. It was me; I didn't look at myself in a mirror, I saw myself like this (Mother bends her head to
look at her body
). I was ... I just was like that.

That's the first time. It was around four in the morning, think. And perfectly natural — I mean, I didn't look in a mirror, it felt perfectly natural. I only remember what I saw (gesture from the chest to the waist). I was covered only with veils, so I only saw .... What was very different was the torso, from the chest to the waist: it was neither male nor female.

But it was lovely, my form was extremely svelte and slim — slim but not thin. And the skin was very white, just like my skin. A lovely form. And no sex — you couldn't tell: neither male nor female. The sex had disappeared.

The same here (Mother points to her chest), all that was flat. I don't know how to explain it. There was an outline reminiscent of what is now, but with no forms (Mother touches her chest) , not even as much as a man's. A very white skin, very smooth. Practically no abdomen to speak of. And no stomach. All that was slim. I didn't pay any special attention, you see, because I was that: it felt perfectly natural to me. That's the first time it happened, it was the night before last; but last night I didn't see anything. That was the first and the last time so far.

But this form is in the subtle physical, isn't it?
It must be already like that in the subtle physical.

But how will it pass into the physical?

That's the question I don't know....I don't know.

I don't know.

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Also, clearly there was none of the complex digestion we have now, or the kind of elimination we have now. It didn't work that way.

But how? ... Food is already obviously very different and becoming more and more so — glucose, for instance, or
substances that don't require an elaborate digestion. But how will the body itself change? ... That I don't know. I don't

You see, I didn't look to see how it worked, for it was completely natural to me, so I can't describe it in detail. Simply, it was neither a woman's body nor a man's — that much is certain. And the outline was fairly similar to that of a very young person. There was a faint suggestion of a human form (Mother draws a form in the air): with a shoulder and a waist. Just a hint of it.

I see it but.... I saw it exactly as you see yourself, I didn't even look at myself in the mirror. And I had a sort of veil, which I wore to cover myself.

It was my way of being (there was nothing surprising in it), my natural way of being.

That must be how it is in the subtle physical.

But what's mysterious is the transition from one to the other.

Yes — how?

But it's the same mystery as the transition from chimpanzee to man.

Oh, no, Mother! It's more colossal than that! It's more colossal for, after all, there isn't that much difference between a chimpanzee and a man.

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

But there wasn't such a difference in the appearance either (Mother draws a form in the air): there were shoulders, arms, legs, a body, a waist. Similar to ours. There was only....

Yes, but I mean the way a chimpanzee functions and the way a man functions are the same.

They are the same.

Well, yes! They digest the same, breathe the same .... Whereas here....

No, but here too there must have been breathing. The shoulders were strikingly broad (gesture), in contrast. That's important. But the chest was neither feminine nor even masculine: only reminiscent of it. And all that — stomach, abdomen and the rest — was simply an outline, a very slender and harmonious form, which certainly wasn't used for the purpose we now use our bodies.

The two different things — totally different — were procreation, which was no longer possible, and food. Though even our present food is manifestly not the same as that of chimpanzees or even the first humans; it's quite different. So now, it seems we have to find a food that doesn't require all this digesting.... Not exactly liquid, but not solid either. And there's also the question of the mouth — I don't know about that — and the teeth? Naturally, chewing should no longer be necessary, and therefore teeth wouldn't be either.... But there has to be something to replace them. I haven't the slightest idea what the face looked like. But it didn't seem too, too unlike what it is now.

What will change a great deal, of course — it had acquired a prominent role — is breathing. That being depended much
on it.

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Yes, he probably absorbs energies directly.

Yes. There will probably be intermediary beings who won't last, you see, just as there were intermediary beings
between the chimpanzee and man.

But I don't know, something has to happen that has never before happened."89

As we read the 'Mother's Agenda', it appears that there was a great possibility of the Mother's journey towards a transformed body to go right up to the end where the new supramental and divine body could emerge, even if it took a very long time. But she had also spoken of other possibilities, in January 1967; the Mother had spoken of the possibility of a cataleptic trance for purposes of physical transformation. Earlier, she had also indicated that taking recourse to cataleptic trance was to adopt the path of laziness evidently; she wanted to avoid it. On the question of the death that might occur to her body she had spoken as far back as 1964 and again in 1967 and 1969. Again, since her conversations on this question are very important, we may give a few relevant extracts.

On Death

The Mother had spoken of the problem of the physical death in 1964 as follows:

"You see, for our consolation we are told in every possible way that the work done isn't lost and that all this action on the cells to make them conscious of the higher life isn't lost — that's not true, it is absolutely lost! Suppose I leave my body tomorrow; this body (not immediately, but after a time) reverts to dust; then all that I've done for these

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

cells is perfectly useless! Except that the consciousness will come out of the cells — but it always does!...

... it's a pure waste....

On the physical level, it's pure waste. The mind and vital are another affair, that's not interesting: we have known for
a very long time that their life doesn't depend on the body.... I am speaking of the body, that's what interests me: the
body's cells. Well, death is a waste and that's that.... ....

That is to say, before this body dissolves, a new creation should be there....

.... a certain quality of cells should be able to allow the form to become different (the form can change, it changes all the time, it's never the same), but with the conscious interrelationships of the cells persisting."90

No solution to this problem was found for several years. In the meantime, she made several experiments. In February
1966, Mother said that she was trying to find out the secret of the process of death so that one could undo it. A fortnight later, she said: 'I am like a dead person who lives on the earth.' She said that it was a different way of living, independent of physical laws, but dependent exclusively on the Supreme Will. Two months later, she spoke of a curve of experiences which demonstrated repeatedly the difference between being in the body and being without the body as far as the consciousness is concerned. Then came the question of eating. She said that she could no more eat; in fact, this Problem would remain right till the end — it was very difficult for her to eat, as though eating would mean allowing the difficulties of the external world. She was rapidly proceeding towards preparing the cells that would be

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

capable of sustaining the Supramental consciousness. This required, she found, an utter plasticity that is impossible in the skeleton with all the rigidity of the bones. Indeed, the supramental body which would be a condensation or densification of 'some stuff could be utterly plastic, but the question was how to graft that body in the body that we can see and touch. The gulf between the two was too great to be covered except by several intermediate stages.

Could this process be accelerated by recourse to a cataleptic trance? Mother had felt the need of such a trance from time to time, but she had always considered it to be the method of inertia and laziness. However, on 14th January, 1967, she dictated a note91 in which she said that she might need to enter into a cataleptic trance and that her body should be left in peace. 'This could last several days, perhaps weeks or even more.' But she preferred that the need for immobile repose be replaced by the power of an inner concentration. She began to perceive two states of Matter more and more persistently, the state of Matter as we ordinarily see, and the state of what she called the true Matter, a luminous Matter, Matter of multi-colored light associated with shades of all colors.

This gave rise to the possibility of a transition so that the outer body would be gradually replaced by the new body of true matter. Mother found that a local or momentary manifestation would not be impossible; but more and more she felt that there had to be a sufficient collective transformation for achieving durable manifestation.

During the first months of 1968, Mother had repeated experiences of a state that determines the rupture of the equilibrium, the dissolution of the form which we call death.

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

This was at one extreme; and, at the other extreme, she had repeated experiences of the state of unmixed Bliss. She said that the fusion of these two states would mean the supreme Power and that if That would be realized physically, the problem would end. The work consisted of bringing about that fusion, and this required the change of the consciousness of all the cells. Indeed, this was a gradual process, and it proceeded by taking up groups of cells or parts of faculties, one after the other.

It was against this background that the Mother had an important experience in early February 1969.

".. .it was... Never, never had the body been so happy! It was the complete Presence, absolute freedom, and a certitude: these cells, other cells (gesture here and there showing other bodies), it didn't matter, it was life everywhere, consciousness everywhere.

Absolutely wonderful.

It came effortlessly, and it left simply because ... I was too busy. ....

... And it's the DIVINE SENSE, you understand, that's what having the divine sense means. During these few hours (three or four hours), I understood in an absolute way what having the divine consciousness in the body means. And then, this body, that body, that other body ... (gesture here and there, all around Mother), it doesn't matter: it moved about from one body to another, quite free and independent, aware of the limitations or the possibilities of each body — absolutely wonderful, I had never, ever had this experience before. Absolutely wonderful. It left because I was so busy that...

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

. .. that state, which lasted for several hours ... never had this body, in the ninety-one years it's been on earth, felt such
happiness: freedom, absolute power, and no limits (gesture here and there and everywhere), no limits, no impossibilities, nothing. It was ... all other bodies were itself. There was no difference, ...."92

About a month later, the Mother said:

The body consciousness has become individualized 93 and at the same time independent, which means it can enter other bodies and feel quite at ease there. I made the experiment one day ("I made," it wasn't the body that made it, it was "made" to make it, precisely by this Consciousness) of entering three or four people like that, one after another, and of feeling in each one the BODY'S way of being: it wasn't at all a vital or mental entry, it was a bodily entry. And that was really interesting. ....

....That completely changes the body's attitude with regard to solutions: there's no more attachment or sense of extinction, you understand, since the consciousness ... it's the body consciousness that has become independent. And that's very interesting. In other words, in any physical substance sufficiently developed to receive it, it can manifest. ...."94

A week later, the Mother said the following: "...

.... This question had been asked: "All this work of transformation of the cells, of consciousness in the cells, with the ordinary way [of dying], won't it be wasted since the body is going to disintegrate? ..." Then there came in a very precise, almost concrete manner: there is a way, which is, before dying, to prepare within oneself a body with all the

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

transformed, illumined, conscious cells, to collect them together and form a body with the maximum number of conscious cells; then, when the work is over, the full consciousness enters it and the other body can dissolve, it no longer matters."95

When Sri Aurobindo left his body, the accumulated result of all his physical consciousness was transmitted to the Mother's body, and thus there was no waste. But now, apart from the Mother's body, there was no other body which was so developed that it could receive, if the Mother left her body, the accumulated result of her physical consciousness. This
was a formidable problem. But as we see from what she said, this problem was now resolved. Even if she left her body, the
work would not be spoilt, there would be no waste. The work could continue.

The Mother passed through one of the most important processes of transformation, when her nervous system was
transferred to the supramental. She said:

"My nervous system is being transferred to the Supramental. It feels like ... you know, what people call "neurasthenia" — they have no idea what it is; but the entire nervous system is.... It's worse than dying.

But I think ... I think I can transmit the divine

On the 19th May, 1973, Satprem had many questions to ask when he went to Mother. The Mother asked him:

"And you [no question]?

I was thinking about something Sri Aurobindo wrote.... In "Savitri," he clearly says, "Almighty powers are shut in

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Nature's cells." [IV.III.370]

ALMIGHTY powers.

... But you see, my physical, my body is deteriorating very rapidly — what could stop it from deteriorating?

Mother, I do NOT believe it is deterioration — it's not. My feeling is that you are physically being led to a point of
such complete powerlessness that the most complete Power will be forced to awaken....

Ah! ... you're right. ...

.. .1 was told that the beginning would take place when I am a hundred; but that's a long way off!

No, Mother, I don't think it will take that long. I don't think so. I really don't think so. Another type of functioning
is going to set in. But the end of the old has to be reached, and that end is the terrible part!

Oh ... I really don't want to say (Mother shakes her head), I don't want to insist, but... truly ... (Mother speaks
with her eyes closed, all the pain of the world is in the shake of her head

... .The consciousness is clearer, stronger than it has ever been, and I look like an old.. .."97

This happened to be the last meeting of Satprem with the Mother. Thereafter, he had no further interview with her. On
15th August, 1973, the Mother appeared on her balcony. This was Sri Aurobindo's 101st birthday. She remained on the
balcony for a few minutes. A big crowd of people had gathered below in the street to have her Darshan. A vast

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

peace reigned there over the crowd. Then, slowly, very slowly, she disappeared into her room.

Indeed, the Mother's consciousness was clearer and greater than ever. She was the seer par excellence. She was living with a new mode of being that was turned exclusively towards the Divine with complete self-effacement right up to the cells in utter surrender. And yet, she had all the dynamism of a hero-warrior engaged in the battle to fight all that resisted or obstructed the effort to bring about the rule of the divine supermind on the earth. On November 14, at midnight, she began to feel that she might get paralyzed. She asked to walk. She said: T want to walk, otherwise I'll become paralyzed.' She held on to the arm of the one of the attendants and walked... until she turned blue.

During the next days, she would ask to be lifted from her chaise longue. On the night of November 16, she again asked to walk: 'I want to walk,' she said. She continued to fight till the very end. On the afternoon of the 17th, the signs of choking grew worse. At 7.10 p.m. her doctor massaged her heart. At 7.25 p.m. her breathing stopped.

In the subtle physical, a supramental body, which the Mother had seen twice, was already formed. In the gross physical, most of the parts were already transferred to the governance of the supramental. The true matter of that gross physical was already in a state of over-life, transcending what we call life and death, capable of physical action on the earth and events. There was, indeed, the residue, still susceptible to 'death', and the Mother's conscious body entered there all alive. Even though placed in the tomb, the cells of her body are conscious. As Satprem points out:

"... Each of her cells repeats and repeats the Mantra,

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

endlessly, like a golden little pulsation. She is undergoing the formidable operation. She is rebuilding the base of life. The 'process' continues. This is what she had been prepared for for months: 'My body is being accustomed to something else;' this is why she was not told anything, because she had to enter there alive — I still hear her little cry the first time she had the vision of her death. Nothing, absolutely nothing works in the usual way anymore! The body can no longer eat, no longer ... And the Consciousness that is devoted to helping it in the work made ab-so-lu-te-ly clear to it that leaving is not a solution. Even if before there was some curiosity to know what will be, that curiosity is gone. As for the desire to stay, it's been gone for a long time. And any possible desire to leave when things get a bit... stifling has gone with the idea that it won't change anything. So there's only one thing left for the body to do: to perfect its acceptance. That's all. The only thing that comforts it (and not for long) is the idea that: what you are doing is useful to all; you are not doing this for you, a small silly person, but so the whole creation benefits from it. ...I don't know, I don't know what's going to happen. But I'd like... I'd like not to be put into a box and stuffed into... because it will know it, it will feel it, and that will only add one more misery to all those it's already had.... It doesn't desire it, it doesn't fear it — it will be as it should be, that's all. However, it really would like people to understand... to appreciate the effort it has made and not decide to box it up and throw dirt on it. because, even after the doctors have declared it dead. it will be conscious. The cells are conscious, that' s all I have to say.

She is there, alive.
Aeschylus and Orpheus look pale."98

Difficulties and Remedies

Difficulties and Remedies

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother came to open up the consciousness of the cells to the supramental consciousness and power; this was accomplished; the old genetic code that keeps the human race bound to its limited boundaries was shattered; the new species having a new supramental material way of knowing and acting has come into being; it is at work; it is not limited to any particular body; it is working everywhere, but more powerfully and triumphantly where there is greater receptivity and intensity of aspiration.

The Mother made an attempt to arrive at a complete transformation of the body, although she had no assurance whether this goal could be reached or not. The effort went up to the extreme point of acuteness; that effort had long ago become the effort of the body of the earth; that effort continues. The Mother had said that it would require three hundred years to bring about the transformed body. She had also spoken of the need to follow the rule of several intermediate bodies as in the case of the evolution of man in succession of the chimpanzee. That work is on, and there is no obstacle. There is continuity; in that continuity all the bodies are involved; the body of each one of us is in the cauldron of transformation. This is the cosmic yoga, which none can escape, and in which salvation and realization are at once physical and collective.

Difficulties and Remedies

Back to Content