"...but... it's done.
That was the work Sri Aurobindo had given me, that was it. Now I understand."
The above citation of the Mother's words is taken from Volume 1 11, of Mother's Agenda (14.3.1970).
But what is the Agenda?
And what is the work that Sri Aurobindo had given to the Mother, which was accomplished by Her?
This book is a modest effort to answer these two questions. Chapter 1 introduces us to Mother's Agenda, and subsequent chapters provide a narration of some of the important steps that preceded the Mother's declaration of the work that Sri Aurobindo had given to Her, as also some of the next steps.
It seems, however, useful to present in this Preface the conversation given in Volume 3 of Mother 's Agenda, where the
Mother explains what a tremendous value She attached to the Agenda.
Here is that conversation in full:
March 13, 1962
You're in a bad mood; oh yes, I could see it from far away.
(Satprem voices various complaints, then adds.) And then to top it off, the other day you tell me this Agenda isn't interesting either, that it's not worth keeping. So what am I doing here?
What? What's not worth keeping? Your Agenda.
My Agenda? But I treasure it!
Oh, you said it didn't interest you.... Me? I said that!
Yes. You sure did!
Then I was lying.
No, obviously not. But you said it didn't interest you and it should be filed away in a corner or I don't know what. So what am I doing here?
You surely misunderstood me. I said it's unpublishable for the time being; that's quite different.
Yes, it certainly not publishable right now
And I made a date with you for fifty years from now. I was very serious: I was laughing. When I laugh I am being serious.
No, no, mon petit, it's simply that ... you have swallowed some poison.
No, you even told me that if you happened to go you would leave a note saying it shouldn't be published.
Published? Certainly not in the newspapers. It will be for those interested in the yoga.
Well, thats different.
I was speaking about newspapers and magazines and the outside world. I said, "I don't want the outside world to scoff at something sacred." That's all.
And that's all I said. Maybe I didn't put it in exactly those words, but I said it was for those who love me. That's the point. For those who have loved me, well, it's all right, I give it to them; even if they forget me, it will make them remember. But it's my gift to those who continue to love me. And I don't intend to give them a worthless gift.
No, no, I must really have expressed myself very poorly, because it was quite the opposite. I deem this Agenda far
too intimate, far too near and dear to me, to be thrown as fodder to a bunch of idiots!
I fully agree! But you said (at least I thought you did) that you would systematically file this Agenda away, that it would never even be at the disposal of those interested in the Work.
No, not that. I said two things. One, if I make it through to the end, I may even let it be shown to the public, for the living proof will be there: "You don't need to scoff—just see where it leads—HERE!" And if the Lord decides it's not for this time, well, then I will give it to those who have loved me, who have lived with me, worked with me, endeavored with me, and who respect what was attempted. It will be my parting gift ... if I go. And I don't intend to.
I certainly hope not!
Well then, is that all right? Are you satisfied? That's what I meant to say. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear.
No, but every so often you say: "Oh, I am not interested.
No, I am never like that. It's just that ... (I may seem to be making fun of things, that's different) but it's precisely when.... Listen, I can tell you: when I am like that, when I seem to be making fun of things, it's because at times it's really dangerous, really dangerous.
I can't stand drama.
I don't want to be tragic. I would rather make fun of
everything than be tragic.
Instead of putting on grand airs and saying it's difficult, I make jokes. But it's something else entirely. I don't like drama—I just don't like it. The greatest, loftiest, noblest, most sublime things can be said with simplicity. There's no need to be dramatic, to see things tragically. I don't want to be a victim or a hero or ... or a martyr or anything of the kind!
How well I understand!
You know, I don't like the story of Christ. Yes, that's....
That's exactly the point.
The crucified god—no thanks.
If he loses his skin, he loses it—so what, it doesn't matter. You understand?
Well, that's it.
That's precisely the situation.
Come now, mon petit....
No, if I sometimes seem like I couldn't care less (is that what you meant?), it's simply to avoid looking like a victim or a martyr; I am neither a victim nor a martyr—I detest that.
All right, then.
Listen, I told you once—it wasn't just words—and I thought you understood and would remember: everything I write is absolutely dependent on your work, in the sense that if you weren't here I wouldn't write another word—just letters with "I send you my blessings." Period. Not that I don't have time or can't do it, but I don't enjoy it. When we do something together, when we write, I get the feeling it's complete and has a certain quality that makes it useful. When you aren't here to write it, I feel something missing. So if you think it's useless to do this for me, I am sorry—that hurts!
No, of course not!
You do understand?
Because it comes from very high—it's not from here, not at all; it was decided on high, and a long, LONG time ago. Before you came here, I was constantly feeling.... Besides, it hadn't been so long without Sri Aurobindo; when Sri Aurobindo was here I had nothing to say, and if I did speak it was almost by chance. That's all. What had to be said was said by him. And when he left and I began to read his books (which I hadn't read before), I told myself, "Well, what do you know! There was absolutely no need for me to say anything." And I had less and less desire to speak. The minute I met you, I began to get interested. "Ah," I thought, "collaboration! ... Something interesting can be done."
None of this is random chance. It's not that we're taking
advantage of circumstances, not at all; it was DECREED.
All my life I have always, always felt I had something to say, but that there had to be another instrument to say it, to give it a kind of perfection of form I myself was unable to give. Because that's not my job. It's not my job. What I can bring to the world are flashes—something that goes beyond, above and through everything that is presently manifested. But I don't have the patience for the concrete, fixed, material form. I could have been a scholar, I could have been a writer, just as I could have been a painter—and I have never had the patience for any of it. There was always "something" moving on too swiftly, too high and too far.
So I greatly appreciate beautiful written form. I love it. There were periods in my life when I read ever so much—I am quite a library! But it's not my job.
Of course not! You didn't come for that....
I like the form of your expression very, very much. It contains something deep, very supple and polished at the same time—like a lovely, finely chiseled statue. There is profound inspiration and a rhythm, a harmony, which I like very much. I really enjoyed reading your first book—the kind of enjoyment that comes from discovering beautiful forms, an original way of looking at things and expressing them. I appreciated it tremendously. Immediately, spontaneously, I ranked you as a true writer.
There you have it. I didn't think it was necessary to keep telling you all these things. But it's true.
Besides, you're totally wrong—it's not WHAT YOU ARE that makes you grumble; it's just the opposite: you see yourself that way BECAUSE you grumble!
There, enough scolding, let's get to work.
I have my pride, and I want the people who work with me to be content; this gives me more pleasure than anything. Of course, ideally.... But one is never truly satisfied, one will never be truly satisfied; one will always go from aspiration to aspiration. But as a base, one should at least feel a sense of purpose in life. You said the very thing that hurts the most!
(Mother gazes at Satprem for a long time)