What is meant exactly by, “I am with you.” Are we really always heard when we pray or struggle with an inner problem – in spite of our blunders and imperfections, even in spite of our ill will and mistakes? And who hears? You who are with us?
Is it you in your supreme consciousness, an impersonal divine force, the force of the yoga, or you, the embodied Mother with your physical consciousness – a personal presence really intimate to our every thought and act, and not some anonymous force? Can you tell us how and in what way you are present with us?
It is said that Sri Aurobindo and you are one and the same consciousness, but are the personal presence of Sri Aurobindo and your own personal presence two distinct things, each playing a particular role?
I am with you because I AM you or you are me.
“I am with you” means a world of things, for I am with you at every level, on every plane, from the supreme consciousness to my most physical consciousness. Here, in Pondicherry, you cannot breathe without breathing my consciousness. It permeates the atmosphere in the subtle physical almost materially and extends right to the lake, seven miles away from here. Beyond, my consciousness can be felt in the material vital, and then on the mental and the other higher planes everywhere. When I came here for the first time, I felt Sri Aurobindo's atmosphere, felt it materially, ten miles from the shore – ten nautical miles, not kilometers! It was very sudden, very concrete, a pure and luminous atmosphere, light, so light that it lifts you up.
A long time ago, Sri Aurobindo had this reminder, with which you are all quite familiar, put up everywhere in the Ashram: “Always behave as if the Mother was looking at you; because she is, indeed, always present.”
This is not some mere sentence, these are not just words, it is a fact. I am very concretely with you, and those with a subtle vision can see me.
Generally speaking, my Force is constantly here at work, constantly changing the psychological elements of your being to put them into new relationships and to make clear to you the diverse facets of your nature so that you may see what must be changed, developed or eliminated.
But besides all this, there is a special personal bond of affection between you and me, between all who have turned towards Sri Aurobindo's teaching and me – and of course, distance does not count; you may be in France, at the other end of the world, or in Pondicherry, but this bond remains just as real and as living. Each time there is a call, each time I need to know something to send out a force, an inspiration, a protection or whatever else, a sort of message suddenly comes to me, and I do what is needed. Obviously, these communications come to me at any moment whatsoever, and you may have seen me more than once suddenly stop in the middle of a sentence or some work: it means something, some communication is coming, so I concentrate.
There is more than a bond with those whom I have accepted as disciples, those to whom I have said “yes” – there is an emanation of myself. Whenever necessary, this emanation notifies me as to what is happening. In fact, I know constantly, but all these things are not registered in my active memory, otherwise I would be flooded – the physical consciousness acts as a filter: things are recorded on a subtle plane and remain there in the latent state, rather like music that is silently recorded, and when I need to know something with my physical consciousness, I plug into this subtle plane and the tape starts playing. Then I can see things, their evolution and the present result.
And if, for some reason or other, you write asking for my help, and I answer, “I am with you,” this means that the communication with you becomes active, that you are even in my active consciousness for some time – the time needed.
And this bond between you and me is never cut. There are people who left the Ashram a long time ago, in a state of revolt, and yet I continue to know them and to take care of them. You are never abandoned.
In truth, I feel responsible for everyone, even for people I have met for only one second in my life.
Now, you know that Sri Aurobindo and I are always one and the same consciousness, one and the same person. Only, when this unique force or presence is felt in your individual consciousness, it assumes different forms or appearances depending upon your temperament, your aspirations, your needs, the particular cast of your nature. Your individual consciousness is like a filter, a pointer, as it were; it makes a choice and settles upon one possibility in the infinity of divine possibilities. In truth, the Divine gives to each one exactly what he expects from Him. If you believe the Divine to be distant and cruel, He will be distant and cruel, because it may be necessary for your supreme well-being to feel the wrath of God. He will be Kali1 for the worshippers of Kali, and bliss for the bhakta.2 He will be the All-Knowledge of seekers after Knowledge, the Transcendent Impersonal of the illusionist. He will be an atheist for the atheist, and the love of the lover. He will be fraternal and near, an ever faithful friend, ever helpful, to those who feel him as the inner guide of each movement, at each minute. And if you believe that He can erase everything, He will erase all your faults, all your errors, tirelessly, and at each moment you will feel his infinite Grace. In truth, the Divine is what you expect of Him in your deep aspiration.
And once you enter into this consciousness where all things are seen with a single look, the infinite multitude of the Divine's relationships with men, you realize how wonderful everything is, in every detail. You can also look at the history of mankind and see how much the Divine has evolved depending upon what men have understood, desired, hoped for or dreamed; how he was materialistic with the materialist, and how each day he grows, draws nearer, becomes more luminous, as the human consciousness widens. Everyone is free to choose. The perfection of this endless variety of relationships between man and God throughout the history of the world is an unutterable wonder. Yet all this together is but a second in the total manifestation of the Divine.
The Divine is with you according to your aspirations. This does not mean, naturally, that He bends to the whims of your outer nature – I am speaking here of the truth of your being. Yet sometimes He does fashion himself according to your outer aspirations; and if, like the devout, you live alternately in estrangement and embrace, ecstasy and despair, the Divine too will be estranged from you or draw near, according to your belief. Therefore, one's attitude is extremely important, even one's outer attitude. People do not know just how important faith is, how faith is miracle – the creator of miracles. For if at each moment, you expect to be uplifted and drawn towards the Divine, He will come and uplift you, and He will be there, very near, nearer and nearer.
1 Kali: the warrior (or destroyer) aspect of the Divine.
2 Bhakta: one who follows the path of love.