January 24, 1961
I have something to tell you now.... We'll work later.
In the middle of the night before last, I woke up (or rather I returned to an external consciousness) with the feeling of having a much larger (by larger I mean more voluminous) and much more powerful being in my body than I usually have. it was as if it could scarcely be held inside me but was spilling over; and SO COMPACTLY POWERFUL that it was almost uncomfortable. The feeling of: what to do with all this?
It lasted the remainder of the night and all day long I had considerable trouble containing an overwhelming power that spontaneously created reactions utterly disproportionate to a human body and made me speak in a way that.... When something was not going well: wham! Such an instantaneous and strong reply that it looked like anger. And I found it difficult to control the movement – it had happened already in the morning and it very nearly happened again in the afternoon. “That last attack has weakened me terribly!” I told myself, “I don't have the strength to contain this Power; it's difficult to remain calm and controlled.” That was my first thought, so I insisted upon calm.
Then yesterday afternoon, when I went upstairs to walk,1 a couple of things occurred – not personal, but of a general nature – concerning, for instance, certain old-fashioned conventions having to do with women and their particular nature (not psychological, physical) – old ideas like that which had always seemed utterly stupid to me suddenly provoked a kind of reprobation completely out of proportion to the fact itself. Then one or two other things2 happened in regard to certain people, certain circumstances (nothing to do with me personally: it came from here and there). Then suddenly, I saw a Force coming (“coming,” well, “manifesting”) which was the same as that “thing” I had felt within me but even bigger; it began whirling upon the earth and within circumstances... oh, like a cyclone of compact power moving forward with the intention of changing all this! It had to change. At all costs, it must change!
I was above, as usual (Mother points above her head, indicating the higher consciousness), and I looked at that (Mother bends over, as if looking down at the earth), and said to myself, “Hmm, this is getting dangerous. If it continues like this, it will result in... in a war or a revolution or some catastrophe – a tidal wave or an earthquake.” So I tried to counteract it by applying the highest consciousness to it, that of a perfect serenity. And I saw especially that this consciousness has been missioned to transform the earth through the Supermind and by the supramental Force, avoiding all catastrophes as far as possible: the Work is to be done as luminously and harmoniously as the earth would allow, even by going at a slower pace if need be. That was the idea. And I tried to counteract that whirlwind power with this consciousness.
I must say that after this, when I read The Secret of the Veda as I do each evening.... In fact, I am in very close contact with the entire Vedic world since I've been reading that book: I see beings, hear phrases.... It comes up in a sort of subliminal consciousness, a lot of things are from the ancient Vedic tradition. (By the way, I have even come to see that the pink marble bathtub I told you about last time, which Nature had offered me, belongs to the Vedic world, to a civilization of that epoch.3) There were – there are always – Sanskrit words coming up, sentences, bits of dialogue.... This is of interest, because I realized that what I had seen the other day (I told you about it) and then what I saw yesterday – that whole domain – was connected to what the Vedas call the dásyus – the panis and the dasyus4 – the enemies of the Light. And this Force that came was very clearly a power like Indra's5 (though something far, far greater), and at war with darkness everywhere, like this (Mother sketches in space a whirling force touching points here and there throughout the world), this Force attacked all darkness: ideas, people, movements, events, whatever made stains, patches of shadow. And it kept on going, a formidable power, so great that my hands were like this (Mother clenches her fists). Later when I read (I happened to be reading just the chapter concerning the fight against the dásyus), this proximity to my own experience became interesting, for it was not at all intellectual or mental – there was no idea, no thought involved.
The remainder of the evening passed as usual. I went to bed, and at exactly a quarter to twelve I got up with the feeling that this “presence” in me had increased even further and really become rather formidable.... I had to instill a great deal of peace and confidence into my body, which felt as though... it wasn't so easy to bear. So I concentrated, I told my body to be calm and to let itself go completely.
At midnight I was lying in bed. (And I remained there from midnight until I o'clock fully awake. I don't know if my eyes were open or closed, but I was wide awake, NOT IN TRANCE – I could hear all the noises, the clocks, and so forth.) Then, lying flat, my entire body (but a slightly enlarged body, exceeding the purely physical form) became ONE vibration, extremely rapid and intense but immobile. I don't know how to explain this, because it did not move in space but was a vibration (that is, it wasn't motionless); yet it was motionless in space. And the exact form of my body was absolutely the most brilliant white Light of the supreme Consciousness, the consciousness OF the Supreme. It was IN the body and it was as though in EACH cell there was a vibration, and it was all part of a single BLOCK of vibration. It extended this much beyond the body (gesture indicating about six centimeters). I was absolutely immobile in my bed. Then, WITHOUT MOVING, without shifting, it began consciously to rise up – without moving, you understand: I remained like this (Mother holds her two joined and motionless hands at the level of her forehead, as if her entire body were mounting in prayer) – consciously... like an ascension of this consciousness6 towards the supreme Consciousness.
The body was stretched out flat.
And for a quarter of an hour, the consciousness rose, rose, without moving. It kept rising up, up, up – until... the junction was made.
A conscious junction, absolutely awake, NO TRANCE.
Thus the consciousness became the ONE Consciousness: perfect, eternal, outside time, outside space, outside movement... beyond everything, in... I don't know, in an ecstasy, a beatitude, something ineffable.
It was the consciousness OF THE BODY.
I have had this experience before in exteriorization and trance, but this time it was THE BODY, the consciousness of the body.
It remained like that for a certain time (I knew it was a quarter of an hour because the clock chimed), but it was completely outside time. It was an eternity.
Then, with the same precision, the same calm, the same deliberate, clear and concentrated consciousness (absolutely NOTHING MENTAL), I began to come back down. And as I was descending, I realized that all the difficulty I had been fighting the other day and which had created this illness was absolutely ended, ANNULLED – mastered. Actually, it was not even mastery but the non-existence of anything to be mastered: Simply THE vibration from top to bottom; yet there was neither high nor low nor any direction.
And it went on like that. After this, Slowly, Still WITHOUT MOVING, everything went back into each of the different centers of the being. (Ah, let me say parenthetically that it wasn't AT ALL the ascent of a force like the ascent of the Kundalini! It had absolutely nothing to do with the Kundalini movement and the centers, it wasn't that at all.) But while re-descending, it was as though WITHOUT LEAVING THIS STATE, without leaving this state which remained conscious ALL the time, this supreme Consciousness began to reactivate the different centers: first here (Mother points to the center above the head and then touches the crown of the head, the forehead, throat, chest, etc.) then there, there, there. At each there was a pause while this new realization organized everything. It organized and made the necessary decisions, sometimes down to the most minute details: what had to be done in this case or said in that case; and all of that TOGETHER, at once, not one by one but seen entirely as a whole. It kept on descending – I noted many things, it was extremely interesting – down and down, farther and farther, right to the depths. Everything went on at the same time,7 simultaneously, and at the same time this supreme Consciousness was organizing everything separately.8
This descending reorganization ended exactly when the clock struck one. At that moment I knew that I had to go into trance for the work to be perfected, but until then I was wide awake.
So I slipped into trance.
I came out of this trance two hours later, at 3 a.m. And during these two hours I saw... with a new consciousness, a new vision, and above all a NEW POWER – I had a vision of the entire Work: all the people, all the things, all the systems, all of it. And it was... it was different in appearance (this is only because appearances depend upon the needs of the moment), but mainly it differed IN POWER – A considerable difference. Considerable. The power itself was no longer the same.9
A truly ESSENTIAL change in the body has occurred.
I see that the body will have to – how can I express it?... It will have to accustom itself to this new Power. But essentially the change has been accomplished.
It's not... it is far, very far from being the final change, there's a lot more to be done. But we may say that it's the conscious and total presence of the supramental Force in the body.
When I got up today, I was going over all this to myself, and my first instinct was not to speak of it, to observe and see what would happen; but then I received a distinct and precise Command to tell it to you this morning. The experience had to be noted down just as it occurred, recorded in its exact form.
In the body now, there is a very clear... not only a certitude, but a feeling that a certain omnipotence is not far away, and that very soon when it sees (“it” sees... “it”! There is only one “It” in this whole affair, which is neither “he” nor “she” nor...), when it sees that something must be, it automatically will be.
There is still a long, long way to go. But the first step on the way has been taken.
(Shortly afterwards, concerning a rampant flu epidemic.)
There is a terrible epidemic in the country – a triple epidemic.
Does a servant come to your house?... No one is sick in his family? Because what happens is that they don't want to lose their jobs or their salary, so they don't warn you. They may have smallpox or measles or chickenpox and they don't take the slightest care to wash or change their clothes; they come to your house and of course they bring along the disease. So the number of cases keeps multiplying and multiplying. I have been meaning to tell Pavitra to be careful of that little character who works for him – even ordinarily I don't like to see him running around here. It's strange how it sullies the atmosphere – oh, you can't imagine! Almost all of them, almost all!
It's not at all the same as in the West, in Europe or America, not at all. Basically, the people in those countries are made of the same stuff as we are. But here that's not the case, because for centuries it never changed – a Brahmin, for example, always remained a Brahmin, a Kshatria was always a Kshatria and all his servants were Kshatrias. It stayed in the family, in the sense that in each caste the servants – often poor relatives – be longed to that same caste. From a social standpoint this might not have been too pleasant, but as far as atmosphere was concerned, it was very good. This was changed, however, first by the Muslim invasion, and then especially by the British.
The British, you see, were served only by pariahs (in fact, it's we Europeans who named them that!). But they were not actually pariahs by birth, they became pariahs out of HABIT.
I have studied the problem very closely, because when you come from Europe you bring all your European ideas with you and you don't know or understand a thing about the way it really is. I immediately came into contact with Brahmin servants and pariah servants, but I didn't know that some were Brahmins and others pariahs, nobody had told me anything; it depended upon the people I was with and the places I went. But the contact, the atmosphere (gesture of fingering the air).... You know, I didn't even need to touch them physically! There was such a difference that I asked Sri Aurobindo, “But what is it?” So he explained the whole thing to me.
You see, originally these “pariahs” were people who took their delight (their pleasure) in filth and falsehood, in crime, in violence and robbery – it was a joy for them. They had castes among themselves; there is still a caste of brigands nearby – I once went to their village to have a look – people who always keep a dagger on them, they love to play with daggers. They steal not so much out of need as out of pleasure. And dirty-they abhor cleanliness! And they will lie even if they have to contradict themselves fifteen minutes later, for the sheer delight of lying.
What an atmosphere it creates!... It's palpable (Mother fingers the air).
I had a woman here with me who was born among these people. She had been adopted by Thomas (the French musician who composed the comic-opera, Mignon). They had come to India and found this little girl who at the time was very young; she was only thirteen, quite pretty and nice. So they took her back to France with them as a nanny and treated her as one of their own children. She was cared for, educated, given everything, treated absolutely like one of the family; she remained there for twenty years. Moreover, she was gifted with clairvoyance and could tell fortunes by reading palms, which she did remarkably well. She even worked for a while in a café, the Moulin-Rouge or a similar place, as a “Hindu Fortune Teller”! What a maharani she was, with her magnificent jewels – and beautiful, as well. In short, she had completely left all her old habits behind.
Then she returned to India and I took her in with me. I continued to treat her almost as a friend and I helped her to develop her gifts.... Mon petit,10 how dirty she started to get, lying, stealing, and absolutely needlessly – she had money, she was well treated, she had everything she needed, she ate what we did – there was absolutely no reason! When I finally asked her, “But why, why!?” (she was no longer young at this point), she replied, “When I came back here, it took hold of me again; it's stronger than I am.” That was a revelation for me! Those old habits had been impervious to education.
We think these people are the way they are because the environment is bad, the education is poor, the conditions are difficult – it's not true! In the universal economy of things they REPRESENT something, a certain type of force and vibration. It will have to be either dissolved or transformed. Transformed? But perhaps that is.... It may disappear along with the hostile forces. Perhaps once everything has been transformed it will disappear – I don't know when.
In any case, I really tried my best, with all the power I had, all the knowledge I had, because I liked this girl a lot, it wasn't at all a question of charity, I found her very interesting. But I watched – with a kind of horror, really – as this past repossessed her more and more, more and more each day, until we were finally obliged to dismiss her, to tell her, “Go.” “Yes, I understand,” she replied, “I can't stay here.”
She lived in France from the age of thirteen, with all that those people did for her! (It was Ambroise Thomas, I remember now. They were so kind to her.) And naturally she had picked up very fine manners – the outer appearances were all there.
All this is just to tell you that some contacts are not very favorable. And I understand full well: I could never tolerate people like that coming into my room – sometimes it would take me hours and hours to put things right!
We have to be careful.
There was a time when we had only a minimum of servants here and they always remained apart – we never had an epidemic. I don't know for how many years it was – years and years while Sri Aurobindo was here – we never had a single case of an epidemic disease. It began when people started coming here with children; necessarily they brought their servants along with them, who went to the bazaar and even to the movies and here and there. Then everything came in.
But now the situation is bad. There are something like thirty cases of measles, four or five of smallpox and some chickenpox as well. You must be careful. I need you in good health, otherwise we'll have to stop everything!
There are places where it happens like that: suddenly everything stops – no more school, no more mail, no more trains. I remember a poor little village in Japan where they had a flu epidemic, the first of its kind. They didn't know what it was and the whole village fell ill. It was winter, the village was snowed in and there was no more communication with the outside (the mail came only once every fifteen days). The postman arrived... and everyone was dead, buried beneath the snow.
I was there in Japan when it happened.
A little vale of snow – no one left.
1 Mother did her japa while walking back and forth in her room.
2 Satprem later asked Mother what she meant by these “things,” and Mother replied: “For example, there was a certain man's attitude with respect to life and to the Divine, and what he thought of himself, and so forth. You see, what came was a whole range of characters and one particular action of one man, and then something else came up.... How to explain?... These are POINTS OF WORK which come to me, things that present themselves in the atmosphere for me to see – things I see and which have to be acted upon.”
3 A few days later, Mother rectified: “I have looked at the experience again and realized that it's not Vedic but pre-Vedic. The experience 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. It was yesterday [January 26] that I perceived this, and it was quite interesting.”
4 In the Vedas, the panis and dasyus represent beings or forces hidden in subterranean caves who have stolen the “Riches” or the “Lights”, symbolized by herds of cows. With the help of the gods, the Aryan warrior must recover these lost riches, the “sun in the darkness,” by igniting the flame of sacrifice. It is the path of subterranean descent.
5 Indra represents the king of the gods, the master of mental power freed from the limitations and obscurities of the physical consciousness.
6 The body-consciousness.
7 Later, Mother added: “All the experiences took place one after the other, but the new experience did not cancel the preceding one. The Consciousness – this supreme Unity that I had – remained all the time, to the very end, even while the other centers were awakening. And each center that awakened was a kind of addition, taking away nothing from what had come before. So at the end it was all simultaneous: a kind of global consciousness – total and simultaneous – of everything.... You see, while rising up (one is obliged to say ‘rising’ and ‘descending’ for otherwise one would never be understood), while ‘rising up’ to reach this supreme Consciousness, all the rest was annulled, there was only That. When the supreme Consciousness was realized, it remained ALL the time, continuously, to the very end, it did not move; but meanwhile, the other centers began to awaken one after another. And each awakening center assumed its place but canceled nothing either of what had come before or of what was about to come, so that when I reached the end, all of it together was a simultaneous whole – the Supreme Consciousness.” When Satprem asked if this Supreme Consciousness was the “New Consciousness,” Mother replied, “Not ‘new!’ One can't say ‘new’ – Supreme Consciousness.”
8 This entire experience and Mother's insistence that it all happened “without moving,” unlike the experience of the ascent of the Kundalini, suggests that it is the supramental consciousness concealed in the depths of the cells, that somehow emerges and traverses all the layers until the junction is made with the most material body-consciousness.
9 Later, Mother added: “The Power that was acting was no longer the power that had been acting previously.”
10 Mother frequently addressed Satprem as “mon petit” or “petit,” terms of endearment she used for very few other people. We have unfortunately been unable to find English equivalents that capture the nuances of Mother's simple “petit” and “mon petit,” and so have decided to leave them in the original French wherever they appear.