India the Mother

  • By Mira Aditi
  • July 2002
  • 22400 views

1959 to 1973        

1959 (?)
(A piece of advice to a politician.)

Completely give up this ordinary vulgar political practice of publicly abusing people either in speech or writing. One should wage a war of ideas so that the truth may triumph, not a war of personalities.

January 28, 1960
Victory belongs to the most obstinate.

July 17, 1960
For about a century the human world has been suffering from a disease which seems to be spreading more and more and which nowadays has reached its highest pitch: it is what we may call utilitarianism. People and things, circumstances and actions seem to be considered and appreciated exclusively from that angle. Nothing has worth except what is useful. True, a useful thing is better than a useless one, but we should first be clear on what we call useful: useful to whom? To what? For what?

But increasingly, the races that regard themselves as civilized call useful whatever can bring acquire or produce money. Everything is judged and assessed from a monetary angle. That’s what I call utilitarianism. And the disease is highly contagious, for children themselves don’t escape it.

At an age when they should have dreams of beauty of grandeur and perfection, dreams perhaps too sublime for the ordinary commonsense, but nevertheless highly superior to that flat commonsense, now children dream of money and worry about how to earn it… What becomes paramount for them is to prepare to pass their exams, for it is with diplomas certificates and degrees that they will be able to find good positions and earn lots of money. For them studies have no other goal, no other interest.

Learning in order to know, studying in order to understand the secrets of Nature and life educating oneself so as to let one'’ consciousness grow, disciplining oneself so as to master oneself, overcome one’s weaknesses incapacities ignorance, preparing to move in life towards a nobler vaster goal, more generous and truer-they give hardly any thought to all that and regard it as quite utopian. The only important thing is to be “practical” and to prepare oneself and learn to earn money .

January 24, 1961
I am in close contact with the whole Vedic world since I’ve been reading this book [Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda]: I see beings, hear sentences …. A lot of things are from the ancient Vedic tradition. There were, there are constantly, Sanskrit words coming, sentences, bits of dialogue…. It’s not Vedic but pre-Vedic. The experience has put me into contact with a civilization prior to the Vedas: the Rishis and the Vedas are a kind of transition between that vanished civilization and the Indian civilization, which grew out of the Vedic Age. That was very interesting to notice. 

April 25, 1961
(Mother is shown brochures of various proselytizing “spiritual” movements and informed that some of her “disciples” have also been bitten by the propaganda bug.)

I am surrounded by people who tell me, “I am sending your message to so-and-so, they MUST come here, and they HAVE to meet you.” Oh!… “I am going away,” I said to myself, “I am going to hide somewhere. “I’ve had enough. I don’t want to be the leader of a group-oh Lord, no! Not at any price! It’s disgusting…..

The first thing I did this morning was to open this book by Alice Bailey. Ah, I said-well, well! Here’s a person who’s dead now, but she was considered a very great spiritual leader, she was the disciple of a Tibetan Buddhist lama, and she writes, “Christ is the incarnation of divine love on earth.” And that’s that. “And the world will be transformed when Christ is reborn, when he comes back to earth.” But why the devil should it be Christ? Why does she put “Christ”? Because she was born Christian? It’s pitiful….These people just can’t get out of their education.

And such a mixture of everything-everything! Instead of making a synthesis, they make a hotchpotch. They scoop it all up, toss it together, whip it up a little, use a bunch of words that have nothing to do with one another, and then serve it to you!

And they want to shove me in there, too! No thanks.

April 29, 1961
(Mother reads out her reply to a disciple who asked whether a religion could be founded on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings.)

…”Men are such fools that they can change anything at all into a religion, so great is their need for a fixed framework for their narrow thought and limited action. They do not feel secure unless they can affirm, ‘This is true and that is not.’ But such an affirmation becomes impossible for anyone who has read and understood what Sri Aurobindo wrote. Religion and yoga are not situated on the same plane of the being and spiritual life can exist in its purity only if it is free from all mental dogma.”

December 20, 1961
(About a French publisher who has just rejected the manuscript of a book on Sri Aurobindo by Satprem.)
Seem from the European angle; Sri Aurobindo represents an immense spiritual revolution that rehabilitates Matter and the creation, which to the Christian religion is basically a fall. It’s not very clear how what came out of God could have become so bad (!) but anyway; better not ask for too much logic. It’s a fall. The creation is a fall. And that’s why they [the Europeans] are far more easily convinced by Buddhism…. While Sri Aurobindo says (in simple terms), “God created the world for the Delight of the creation,” or rather, “He brought forth the world from Himself for the Delight of living an objective life.”….

To the whole European mind, the whole Christian spirit, the world is reprehensible… So the very normal, natural reaction against this attitude is to negate the spiritual life: let’s take the world as it is, brutally materially, “short and sweet” (since it all comes to an end with this short life), let’s do all we can to enjoy ourselves now, suffer as little as possible, and let’s not think of anything else. That is the normal conclusion of having said that life is a condemned, reprehensible, antidivine thing. Then what to do?…. They don’t want to do away with life, so they do away with the Divine.

October 28, 1962
(A message Mother wrote for some disciples who criticized India’s government following China’s aggression.)

Silence! Silence!
This is a time for gathering energies, and not for wasting them away in useless and meaningless words.

Anyone who proclaims loudly his opinions on the present situation of the country must understand that opinions are of no value and cannot, in the least, help Mother India to come out of her difficulties. If you want to be useful, first control yourself and keep silent.

Silence! Silence! Silence!
It is only silence that anything great can be done.

November 17, 1962
Have you read Sri Aurobindo’s last letters on China?

** Sri Aurobindo wrote on June 28, 1950, a few days after North Korean forces launched and attack on South Korea with Soviet support: “I do not know why you want a line of thought to be indicated to you for your guidance in the affair of Korea. There is nothing to hesitate about there; the whole affair is as plain as a pikestaff. It is the first move in the Communist plan of campaign to dominate and take possession of these northern parts and then of S.E. Asia as a preliminary to their maneuvers with regard to the rest of the continent – in passing, Tibet as a gate opening to India. If they succeed, there is no reason why domination of the whole world should not follow by steps. Chinese troops joined in the Korean War a few months later, and invaded Tibet in October. India remained a silent spectator.

Oh yes-he himself read them to me! (Mother laughs.)

But everything Sri Aurobindo said has always come true you know he also said (but it was in jest, he didn’t write it)…. About India’s reuniting with Pakistan, he told me: “Then years. It will take ten years.” The ten years passed and nothing happened-OFFICIALLY nothing happened. But the truth is (I learned it from government people), Pakistan did make over-tures for a reunion, asking for a union to be re-established (they would have kept some sort of autonomy, but the two countries would have UNITED, it would have been a UNION), and it was Nehru who refused.

How foolish of him!
So Sri Aurobindo had seen it.
He had seen that it was so. After ten years, when that man who headed Pakistan died, they found themselves in great difficulty and unable to organize themselves; so they sent somebody (not officially, of course, unofficially) to ask India to re-establish a union on certain bases-but they refused, the Indians refused. It was a repetition of the same blunder as when Cripps came to make his proposal and Sri Aurobindo sent a message saying, “Accept whatever the conditions, other wise it will be worse later on.” That’s what Sri Aurobindo told them. Gandhi was there and he replied, “Why is that man meddling? He should be concerned only with spiritual life.”

January 26, 1963
(A message.)

True spirituality is not to renounce life, but to make life perfect with Divine Perfection. This is what India must show to the world now.

June 15, 1963
Yes, he [Nehru] never understood why Sri Aurobindo did not resume his political life.

No. And then, you see, he takes Gandhi’s asceticism for spiritual life-always the same mistake! There’s no way to pull them out of it. Unfortunately, the entire world has caught the same idea.

Then when there was that Cripes affair, I believe it was Nehru (or Gandhi, I don’t remember which of the two) who said, “He has withdrawn from political life, why is he meddling! It’s none of his business. “They never forgave him. That is to say, completely obtuse, unable to understand that one can have knowledge higher than practical knowledge. There you are.

June 29, 1963
(Pope John XXIII died on June 2; his successor was Paul VI.)

Catholicism has two things that Protestantism lacks: the occult sense (not only the sense, but even a certain occult knowledge), and the Mother-the Virgin. The Protestants have something the Catholics lack: the inner divine presence. It’s only through those two things that you can catch them.

But…..

He [John XXIII] was a good man… I think his foremost idea was to prevent war. Consciously, he wanted all Christians to love each other! (Mother laughs) A childish hope. To love each other in Jesus-whom they leave on the cross.

A Sri Aurobindo says, men…. Men LOVE grief, which is why Jesus is still nailed on the cross.
It’s magnificent, that thing.
(After a silence) With the others, the Communists, it’s the opposite: they want everyone to be happy, but they have succeeded in making everyone unhappy! Everyone: previously, a few were happy and many unhappy; now they re all unhappy!
That’s what they call “serious matters.”

July 3, 1963
What seems…. Bizarre to those who have gone beyond the petty, purely terrestrial limits-human terrestrial limits-is that belief in a SINGLE divine manifestation on the earth; all the religions are based on that, everyone says, “Christ was the only one,” or “Buddha was the only one,” or elsewhere” Mohammed was the only one,” and so forth. Well that “only one” is something IMPOSSIBLE as soon as you rise a little above the ordinary earth atmosphere-it appears childish. You can understand the thing and accept it only as a sort of recurrent movement of the divine Consciousness on the earth…..

This much conviction they [the Roman Catholish] still have, you see, that their religion is superior to all others, their power is superior to all others, and therefore they have to be more powerful than the others. That’s the main idea: “To be the most powerful.”

In a certain state of consciousness, it becomes absolutely impossible to worry about what may happen; everything becomes visibly, obviously, the work of one and the same Force, one and the same Consciousness, one and the same Power. So that sense and will and ambition to be “more”- more powerful, greater-is again the SAME Force which pushes you to expand to the Limitless. As soon as you cross the limit, it’s finished.
November 12, 1963 
(For its Republic Day issue of 1964, The Illustrated Weekly of India sent Mother a questionnaire, which was published under the title: “The Sate of the Nation-The Mother answers.”)

1. If you were asked to sum up, just in one sentence, your vision of India, what would be your answer?

India’s true destiny is to be the Guru of the world.

2. Similarly, if your were asked to comment on the reality as you see it, how would you do it in one sentence?

The present reality is a big falsehood-hiding an eternal truth.

3. What, according to you, are the three main barriers that stand between the vision and the reality?

i) Ignorance. ii) Fear. iii) Falsehood.

4. Are you satisfied with the overall progress India has made since Independence? (Yes or No)

No.

5. What is our most outstanding achievement in recent times? Why do you consider it so important?

Waking up of the yearning for Truth-because without Truth there is no real liberty.

6. Likewise, can you name the saddest failure? On what ground do you regard it as so tragic?

Insincerity. Because insincerity leads to ruin.

January 18, 1964
(Regarding a new American disciple.)

…..Oh, are they conceited!…. And puffed up with their superior realization-they were born to HELP the earth. They have such goodwill! They want to help the whole earth, (in an ironic tone) help the earth. They come here, but instead of asking themselves what they can learn, they come TO HELP; they come to bring some order (there’s “no order”!), to set right the things that are wrong, to bring some practical sense into these nebulous minds!

The order conceit seems to me more serious than the American one-the European conceit. Because they really think they are very intelligent. The Americans want “to help”- they’re children. But the Westerners are “sages” of the intellect; so it takes some doing to penetrate their minds!….
There’s nothing they need to learn.

I have very little contact with those people.

Well, exactly! They are the ones: a fortress. It’s the entire European “elite.”

Especially the French, no?

The French very much so, but almost everywhere in Europe: the Germans, the …..

The Italians don’t think they have a superior intelligence.

But the Germans, the English…..

Oh, the English, that’s a different phenomenon! Anything that isn’t English is worthless! (Mother laughs) The English alone are practical, the English alone are intelligent, the English alone know how to live, the English alone are powerful, the English alone… In short, there are only the English, the entire earth ought to be English……….

The English…… (laughing) the only thing that rehabilitated them in the world’s history is that Sri Aurobindo went to study in their country! But he clearly said that during his studies there, his whole feeling of intimacy was with France, not English.

Oh, the English…….No the English haughtiness certainly isn’t just a legend.

June 10, 1964
(A disciple asks Mother for a message about India’s future.)

The future of India is luminous in spite of its present gloom.

August 14, 1964
But you get the feeling that in a country like this one, which in spite of everything is receptive, if one great man (I mean, of great spiritual value) arose, everyone would follow.

Exactly! They send me delegates; they send me people to ask me, “What should we do?”

I told them, “I lack a man.”

If I had one man, I would see to everything. But I can’t do everything myself.

But that’s just the question: how is it that in this country one man hasn’t arisen a man you would support from behind?

I think it’s the result of having been under the domination of another country for such a long time. People have lost interest in politics (people of value, those who weren’t after personal gains). I think that’s why.

Because I feel very clearly that if one man with a bit of sincerity arose, it would be enough……for everyone to follow.

Exactly! I tell you, if I had one man and I told people who asked me, “Here he is, follow him,” the work would be done.
…..But the situation might have to get even worse, until they are quite desperate.
All I would need is one man who had an absolute trust and was receptive, with a power of execution.
Those I have are too old.
But, you know when it’s necessary, the man turns up.
Among the young.
It’s not impossible.
We’ll see.

Mid 1960s
(Various notes.)

Do not pretend-be.
Do not promise-act.
Do not dream-realize.

God gives Himself to His whole creation; no one religion holds the monopoly of His Grace.

All countries are equal and essentially one; everyone of them represents an aspect of the One Supreme.

In the terrestrial manifestation they have all the same right to a free expression of themselves.

From the spiritual point of view, the importance of a country does not depend on its size or its power or its authority among other countries, but on its response to Truth and the degree of Truth it is capable of manifesting.

Democracy was needed and useful some hundred years ago; but now it must be surpassed if a step forward is to be taken towards a new creation.

June 1965
(A message to a movement for world union launched by a few disunited disciples.)

If you want peace in the world or upon earth, first establish peace in your heart.

If you want union in the world, first unify the different parts of your own being.

July 1965
The best way to help the world is to transform oneself by an integral and intensive yoga.

July 26, 1965
(In reply to a question of a teacher suggesting that India, with her “special responsibility towards herself and towards the world,” should encourage national education; Mother approves, and adds :)

India has or rather had the knowledge of the Spirit, but she neglected matter and suffered for it.

The West has the knowledge of matter but rejected the Spirit and suffers badly for it.

An integral education, which could, with some variations, be adapted to all the nations of the world, must bring back the legitimate authority of the Spirit over a matter fully developed and utilized.

August 5, 1965
(Extracts from Mother’s answers to a few questions from Ashram teachers on what an Indian education should be.)

What is India’s real genius and what is her destiny?

To teach the world that matter is false and impotent unless it becomes the manifestation of the Spirit.

National unity is a cause for worry in the whole country. What is the Mother’s vision in this regard? How will India fulfil her duty towards herself and the world?

The future of the world tends irresistibly towards the unity of all nations. But for the unity of all nations to be possible, each nation must first realize its own unity.

India is much preoccupied by the linguistic problem. What should be the correct attitude for us in this regard?

Unity must be a living fact and not the imposition of an arbitrary rule. When India will be one, she will have spontaneously a language understood by all.

A teacher must absolutely possess the qualities and the consciousness, which he wants to see his students acquire.

I would like the Government to recognize yoga as a subject of education, not so much for us [at the Ashram], but because it will be good for the country.

Matter will be transformed; it will be a solid base. Life will be divinized. Let India take the lead of the movement.

September 16, 1965
(At the height of the war between India and Pakistan, Mother gives this message :)

It is for the sake and the triumph of Truth India is fighting and must fight until India and Pakistan have once more become ONE because that is the truth of their being.

September 18, 1965
(Mother first reads out her message of September 16. It may be noted that Mother had at first written “shall fight,” then, in the afternoon, changed “shall” into “must.”)

…. A member of UNESCO has asked a stupid question, something to this effect: “there was a time when India represented the spiritual consciousness” (or “taught the spiritual consciousness,” I don’t remember now), “but now that she is engaged in such a war, who will play this role?” So instead of replying to the question, because I might have told him a thing or two, I answered what you’ve just read.

[Satprem:] Of course! All those Europeans… for fifty years they have been told about Gandhi, so now they don’t understand!

That’s right. Let your throat be cut without saying a word…..

[Sujata:] Long ago, you said, “If there is another war, it will be over India.”

Yes, that was long ago.

But when the division between India and Pakistan took place, Sri Aurobindo wrote very strongly: this division MUST go somehow or other, “by whatever means,” he said. And to me he said, “If they can’t agree on doing it, they will fight.”

September 25, 1965
(The United Nations Security Council has issued an ultimatum to India and Pakistan for a ceasefire.)

Have you read the report of the United Nations session?

Yes, about the ceasefire?

I haven’t read it: I have been told about it. But through certain things, I have been put in contact, and they seem to be a united expression of universal falsehood.

Their common ground is petty schemes and petty biases, preconceived and MICROSCOPIC ideas on the usefulness of divisions among countries so that no one country may dominate the others-nothing but absolutely superficial things, and completely false, moreover. And no sincerity, no mental honesty, no sincere goodwill-nothing. They decided in advance that Pakistan was right and India was wrong.

September 29, 1965
One has the feeling that this Pakistan problem is symbolic, and that until it is sorted out, India will not play her role in the world.

That’s right.

And it’s through this symbol that the hypocrisy of “Gandhi’s India” and all her errors must at the same time be swept away.

Absolutely.

You said you had received indications?

Material ones: letters, people, things… I can’t talk about that.

A political movement.

The message [“India is ONE….”] has gone about everywhere, and has been accepted.

It’s better not to talk about that.

We’ll be really glad when it’s sorted out… because it’s a lovable country, this!

It’s predestined.
There aren’t two like this one; it is true that there aren’t two countries alike, but the others are all sorts of different things on the same plane, while this is found only here.

It’s something you breathe in with country’s atmosphere.
I had this experience very, very strongly. When I left here [in 1915], as I got farther away, I felt as if emptied of something, and once in the Mediterranean, I wasn’t able to bear it any longer: I fell ill. And even in Japan, which outwardly is a marvelous country-marvelously beautiful and harmonious (it WAS, I don’t know what it is nowadays), and outwardly it was a joy every minute, a breathtaking joy, so strong was the expression of beauty-yet I felt empty, empty, I absolutely lacked… (Mother opens her mouth as though suffocating) ….. I lacked the important Thing. And I found it again only when I came back here.

January 14, 1966
(A few hours after the signature of an Indo-Pakistan agreement at Tashkent, India’s Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died, officially of a heart attack.)

There was this sudden death of Shastri. To me it was obvious. Strangely enough, I was told (long ago) that they were to meet in Russia and when I was told that, I spontaneously answered, “If he goes there, he will die.” (I never knew why, but that’s how it was.)…. In between, someone met Shastri about my message [of September 16, 1965] and he answered that for him it was the expression of the truth, but….”What can I do about that? I am a small man.” That’s what he said. After that I kept quiet, and when I was told about the conference, I thought, “We should at least get the ‘best’ out of it”-I “charged” him to the full. But I “charged” him as if he were a powerful man… That’s dangerous!

But I knew the time at which they were in conference, and all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, I was woken up with a start by someone calling for help-it was him.

The next day, early morning, I was told he was dead. It didn’t strike me as “news”! I said “But of course! It goes without saying, that’s how it is.” And it seems (I heard all the details afterwards-long afterwards, in the course of the day), it seems the going was very tough and when the talks ended in what he considered to be success (it was obviously the “best” (!) that could happen there), he was exultant an quite happy; then he went into his room and after a few minutes, opened the door and called for a doctor, and in no time it was over. That’s probably when he called. But it was decided a very long time ago.

March 31, 1967
(Extracts from Mother’s answer to teachers at the Ashram school, who proposed a research project on the theme of “India’s spiritual History.”)

Till the birth of Sri Aurobindo, religions and spiritualities were always centered on past figures, and they were showing as “ the goal” the negation of life upon earth. So you had a choice between two alternatives: either a life in the world with its round of petty pleasures and pains, joys and sufferings, threatened by hell if you were not behaving properly; or an escape into another world, heaven, nirvana, moksha……

Between these two there is nothing much to choose, they are equally bad.
Sri Aurobindo has told us that this was a fundamental mistake, which accounts for the weakness and degradation of India. Buddhism, Jainism, Illusionism were sufficient to sap all energy out of the country.

True, India is the only place in the world, which is still aware that something else than matter exists. the other countries have quite forgotten it: Europe, America and elsewhere… That is why she still has a message to preserve and deliver to the world. But at present she is splashing and floundering in the muddle.

Sri Aurobindo has shown that the truth does not lie in running away from earthly life but in remaining in it, to transform it, divinize it, so that the Divine can manifest HERE, in this PHYSICAL world.

September 13, 1967
(About the Christian conception of hell.)
….The amount of harm that conception has done in the world is frightening, frightening: the idea that if you commit a serious fault, it means hell for ALL ETERNITY, do you hear!  

It’s horrible

It’s a dreadful, monstrous notion.
When you look at it as it is, outside all routine, when you look at it as it is, it’s a monstrous notion-I don’t know what demon invented it…. If you were told, “You’ll have to spend a few years in hell to expiate,” that would do-it’s not charitable, not generous, but anyway it’s acceptable; but that idea of “all eternity”-an ETERNITY OF HELL- is something monstrous! It’s a wholly diabolical idea.

And that’s what frightens them. Even when consciously they don’t accept it, it’s there in the subconscious.

It is said….. (but I am not sure about this, because it was simply repeated to me), a Catholic panjandrum to whom I spoke my mind quite plainly, answered me, “In the Collage of Cardinals, they are taught the truth and told this is not true.” I said, “God bless the cardinals, but their first duty should be to destroy this….monstrous formation.”

December 27, 1967
(During violent anti-Hindi agitation in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry: trains, buses, post office, etc., are set on fire……)

If  there were a way (that’s what I have been working on for some time), a way to make all this youth understand that to destroy doesn’t build-they can’t give birth to anything whatsoever with this means. They want to change the state of things, agreed-they may not see very clearly the direction in which we should go, but that things must change is agreed-but still, this method is downright stupid……

You see, that was the method of the adverse forces to prove that the creation was bad: they weren’t satisfied with the creation and set about doing that that’s what they have been doing on a big scale. But it doesn’t prove anything! They have established death, established destruction and all the forms of violence and hatred, anyway they turned everything topsy-turvy with the thought that, that way, the world would become a superior world-which is stupid.

And all these people now follow one another in single file, not even aware of what they’re doing or why or how or anything! They act in the name of freedom and, yes, free progress, because an attempt is made to impose an arbitrary law [Hindi on them-the arbitrary law is stupid but what they are doing is still more silly.

Yes, but in this case, all the politicians are the ones to blame.

Oh, yes.

February 3, 1968
(Mother reads a message she has given for Auroville’s inauguration.)

I asked, I concentrated to know what had to be said. And all of a sudden, Sri Aurobindo gave me a revelation. That was something interesting. I concentrated to know the why, the how and so on, all of a sudden Sri Aurobindo said… (Mother reads out a note):

“India has become the symbolic representation of all the difficulties of modern mankind.
“India will be the land of its resurrection-the resurrection to a higher and truer life.”

And the clear vision: the same thing which in the history of the universe made the earth the symbolic representation of the universe so as to concentrate the work on one point, the same phenomenon is now taking place: India is the representation of all human difficulties on earth, and it is in India that the cure will be found….. I often to wonder about it (not “wonder,” but there was a tension to understand why things, here in India, have become such a chaos, with such sordid difficulties and all of it piling up), and instantly, everything became clear, like that. It was really interesting.

May 29, 1968
There’s letter from X [a teacher] complaining about the films shown [at the Ashram] and saying that films should be instructive and show admirable things. But for films to show admirable things, people should live those admirable things, no? !

She even wrote to me that they were a whole group of teachers who intended to write and circulate a letter asking for a change-I don’t like all that. It’s a small-town boarding-school spirit. So yesterday evening, I wrote an answer. (Mother reads:)
“We would like to be able to show the children pictorial representations of what life should be, but we still have not reached that stage, very far from it. Those films are yet to be made. And for the moment, films more often than not show what life should not be, and do so strikingly enough to give you a disgust for it.

“That too is useful as a preparation.
“Films are allowed in the Ashram not as entertainment but as part of education. The problem is therefore that of education.

“If we consider that a child must only learn, know and be aware of what can keep him pure of all lower, crude, violent and degrading movements, then we should eliminate at one stroke the entire contact with the rest of mankind, beginning with all those accounts of wars, murders, conflicts and deceits that are called History; we should eliminate the present contact with family, parents and friends; and we should constantly control the child’s contact with all the vital impulses of his own being.

“This idea is what led to monastic life shut in a convent or to ascetic life in the cave or the forest.

His remedy has proved to be totally ineffective and has not pulled mankind out of its quagmire.

“According to Sri Aurobindo, the remedy is altogether different.

“We must face integral life with all that it still entails in terms of ugliness, falsehood and cruelty, but while taking care to discover in ourselves the source of all goodness, all beauty all light and all truth in order to consciously put that source in contact with the world so it may transform it.

“That is infinitely more difficult than fleeing or closing one’s eyes so as not be to see-but it is the only really effective way, the way of those who are truly strong and pure and capable of manifesting the Truth.

“You can show this letter to those who share your indignation.”

They need to be shaken a little, oh, they’re goody-goody!

July 3, 1968
(All India Radio asked Mother for a message on India’s condition.)

I said this:
“It is only India’s soul that can unify the country.
“Externally the provinces of India are very different in character, tendencies, culture, as well in language, and any attempt to unify them artificially could only have disastrous results.

“But her soul is one, intense in her aspiration towards the spiritual truth, the essential unity of the creation and the divine origin of life, and by uniting with this aspiration the whole country can recover a unity that has never ceased to exist for the superior mentality."

November 13, 1968
Lots of people from the United States are coming here at the moment, and they bring news of an appalling crisis over there, a crisis of discouraged pessimism…. The whole youth seems to be in woeful state of depression and discouragement.

They’ve discovered all that was hollow, false, unreal in the old way of seeing life, and they haven’t found anything to replace it with…… A few rare individuals (we get their letters, or they come here) say that they came across Sri Aurobindo’s teaching and found it to be the salvation. But they are very few. And the majority of people don’t understand-they don’t have the intelligence needed to understand.

So everywhere they’re sinking back; there has been an effort to emerge from that exclusive search for personal satisfaction, and it has led to extravagances; but now the very absurdity of those extravagances has become apparent, so they’re sinking back very low, and they haven’t found-they haven’t found the true path. Because it’s not a mental path.

Everywhere there is still the cult of the mind that’s the terrible thing.

June 28, 1969
(A note.)

The West expresses more than it really knows.
India knows more than it really can express.

August 2, 1969
(About someone from the Vatican who is in contact with Mother and wants to work for the unification of Catholics and Protestants.)

That’s not the thing needed, because it would have strengthened Christianity-division takes away some of its power….. All that gives strength to Christianity is not good. Christianity hoped to dominate the earth, and it’s this division that prevented its domination.

October 6, 1969
(Indira Gandhi came to see Mother. Mother gave her the following messages.)

“Let India work for the future and take the led.
Thus she will recover her true place in the world.”

“Since long it was the habit to govern through division and opposition.
“The time has come to govern through union, mutual understanding and collaboration.”

“To choose a collaborator, the value of the man is more important than the party to which he belongs.”

“The greatness of a country does not depend on the victory of a party, but on the union of all the parties.”

November, 1969
(A message.)

To listen is good but not sufficient-you must understand.
To understand is better but not yet sufficient-you must act.

January 3, 1970
The bankruptcy of religions was because they were divided-they wanted everyone to follow one religion to the exclusion of all others. And all human knowledge has gone bankrupt because he was exclusive. What the new Consciousness wants (it insists on this) is no more divisions. To be capable of understanding the extreme spiritual, the extreme material, and to find the meeting point where it becomes a true force.

1970 (?)
(A note.)
To think that communism is the Truth is to make the same error as all religious fanaticism and puts communism on the same level as all other religions….. very far from the Truth.

May 25, 1970
(Two days later, Mother had a conversation with a few disciples on the same subject.)

What must be done to pull the country out of its difficulty? Sri Aurobindo had foreseen all the troubles and given the solution…. It is to organize the country beyond politics. And that is the only way. In politics there is only fight and ugly fight-ugly. And it has become so bad. He was telling me always that things would become worse and worse, because it is the end of this age. We are entering into an age when things must be organized differently.

Because we know what will come, we can help to make it come sooner and with less turmoil. There is no hope in going backward; it would make things last endlessly. We must go forward, absolutely and go beyond, beyond party…. It is time for transformation. We can’t cling to the past…. If people could understand and realize his program, the country could be very strong, very strong.

…..Politics is always limited by party, by ideas, by duties also-unless we prepare a government that has no party, a government that admits all ideas because it is above parties. Party is a limitation; it is like a box: you go into the box (Mother laughs). Of course, if there were people with the courage to be in the government without a party-“We represent no party! We represent India”- that would be magnificent.

….All this turmoil is because the country must take the lead, must rise above all these old political habits. Government without party. Oh, it would be magnificent!

May (?), 1970
(Remarks from Mother noted from memory by a disciple.)

We should bring a large number of women into the Parliament. And we should organize centers for women all over the country- “Shakti centres.”

What is the most important thing that we should do in India?

The first thing that you ought to do is to change the Constitution in such a way that those people who combine honesty and capability should come to power. Normally, people who are honest are not capable, and those who are capable are not honest. Therefore it is very important that people who combine these two qualities should be able to come to power.

December 15, 1970
(Mother is asked for a list of languages to be studied at Auroville.)
1. Tamil.
2. French.
3. Simplified Sanskrit to replace Hindi as the language of India.
4. English as the international language.

(About this time, Mother made the following remark to Kireet Joshi: )

If only one language is taugh, it should be international. But for the general development of students, several languages are needed.

Sanskrit should be the real national language. It is only Sanskrit which wil be ultimately acceptable to the people of India. Sanskrit is the only language which creates an equal handicap for all the parts of the country, so that nobody has a natural advantage over others in learning it. When I speak of Sanskrit, it should be simple Sanskrit, but not “simplified.” When India goes back to her soul, Sanskrit will naturally become India’s national language.

April 19, 1971
(In reply to questions on Hindi or Sanskrit as India’s national language.)

Hindi is good only for those who belong to a Hindi-speaking province. Sanskrit is good for all Indians.

Sanskrit ought to be the national language of India.

January 20, 1973
(On January 18, Mother received the Dalai Lama. Mother had long ago admitted a number of Tibetan refugees to the Ashram and Auroville.)

I’d be curious to know what you felt with the Dalai Lama?

A truly benevolent man. Buddhist benevolence, you know, and he practises it marvellously.

He seems to have no… no selfishness in him. That is to say, a constant concern to do the right things.

….According to what I was told, he was happy with his visit….He is a young man…

Very benevolent-he’s very benevolent.. He has a very light presence, very light-he doesn’t impose himself at all.

I felt a very strong man-very strong. And harmoniously strong; his right arm was bare, you know, it gave the feeling of a great quiet force….

What about Tibet, did you see anything-do you see any-thing for that country?

I told him Tibet would become independent again. He asked me when. I said, “I don’t know.”

Sri Aurobindo’s idea was an independent Tibet within a sort of great federation with India. But when will it be ? I don’t know.
 
 Tibet was locked in a lower Tantrism, the Chinese probably came to free them from their imprisonment.

Mother said to Kireet Joshi “India should work for a federation of Tibet with India. Sri Aurobindo had the vision of a great federation of countries – so that all these countries would be united under one large federation”. 


And so ended excerpts from the book on Mother’s Words. Friends the more I read about Sri Aurobindo the more I admire him, his understanding of India, why we are the way we are, ability to compare Bharat with Western thought, plain speaking about Gandhi and Ahimsa, importance of Sanathan Dharam are all super. Profound words.

Sometimes I wonder, how different would Indian history have been if Sri Aurobindo had not quit the Freedom Movement? Would it be possible for Gandhi to dominate the freedom movement like the way he did had Sri Aurobindo been part of it. After all Sri Aurobindo was much senior to Gandhi. Would Aurobindo have allowed Gandhi to make Hindu-Muslim unity a corner stone of his policy? Aurobindo’s views on the Hindu Muslim issues are well known and different from Gandhi’s.

As is with the case with most hypothetical questions it is very difficult to predict what would have happened if this and not this happened. Let the future decide.

I am reading a book by him titled ‘Foundations of Indian Culture’. Would strongly recommend it to all of you who want to improve their understanding of Bharat.

Receive Site Updates