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The Mother


Volume 2

June 2, 1961

(Regarding an earlier “Questions and Answers” – March 13, 1957 – where Mother says: “And finally, isn't the Divine the best friend one could have? The Divine to whom one can tell all, reveal all, because here is the source of all mercy, of all power to efface error when it no longer recurs.... Surprised, Satprem blurts out.)

But there's no more problem when the error no longer recurs! Isn't it when the error recurs that it needs to be effaced?

When one does not repeat one's past mistakes, the divine power, the power of the divine Grace, abolishes their consequences – their karma – in the being. But as long as mistakes are repeated nothing can be abolished, because one re-creates them at every minute. When a person has made a serious error, say, a serious mistake (it can be serious or not, but we are concerned primarily with the serious ones), such mistakes have their consequences in life, a karma which has to be exhausted. The divine Grace, if you call upon it, has the power to abolish that karma, to cut short the consequences – but the Grace can only do this when you, within yourself, don't begin all over again, when the mistake committed is not renewed. The past can be completely purified and abolished, on condition that one does not keep making it into a perpetual present.

I have said it there in one sentence, but I didn't want people to believe that they can continue making the same stupid blunder indefinitely and have the Grace indefinitely annul all the consequences.1 It isn't like that! The past can be cleansed to the point where it has no effect of any kind on the future, but only on condition that you stop the wrong vibration in yourself, that you don't reproduce the same vibration indefinitely.

I know why I gave no explanations as I was speaking: because of the intensity of the experience. There is something like it in Prayers and Meditations. I remember an experience I had in Japan which is noted there.... (Mother looks through “Prayers and Meditations” and reads a passage dated November 25, 1917:)2

“Thou art the sure friend who never fails,
the Power, the Support, the Guide. Thou art
the Light which scatters darkness,
the Conqueror who assures the victory....”

It was a series of experiences resulting from external circumstances. And then I speak of the tears shed, not for oneself but for others. (Mother reads a passage dated July 12, 1918.)

“But a few days ago did I know, did I hear:
If you weep before Me
without restraint, without pretence,
many things will change,
a great victory will be won.
And that is why, when the tears
welled up from my heart to my eyes,
I came to sit before Thee
and let them flow reverently in offering.
And how sweet and how comforting
was this offering!3

“And now, although I weep no longer,
I feel so near, so near to Thee
that my whole being quivers with joy.

“Let me stammer out my offering”:
I have cried too with the joy of a child,

“O Supreme and only Confidant, Thou who
knowest beforehand all we can say to Thee
because Thou art its source!
“O Supreme and only Friend, Thou who acceptest,
Thou who lovest, Thou who understandest us
just as we are, because it is Thyself
who hast so made us.
“O Supreme and only Guide,
Thou who never gainsayest our highest will
because it is Thou Thyself who willest in it!
“It would be folly to seek elsewhere than in Thee
for one who will listen, understand, love and guide,
since always Thou art there
ready to our call and never wilt Thou fail us!

“Thou hast made me know the supreme,
the sublime joy of a perfect confidence,
an absolute serenity, a surrender total and
without reserve or coloring, free from
effort and constraint.

“Joyous like a child I have smiled and wept
at once before Thee, O my Well-Beloved!”

It was under very tragic circumstances.

I was reliving this experience [during the Talks of March 13, 1957] – that is why I didn't want to comment on it.

Tragic circumstances?

...After that experience the decision was taken to come back to India – only then could I manage to return. There were all sorts of projects and things... we were even on the point of going to China and, oh!... But after that it was decided to come back to India.

*   *

After working:

D. asked me if changing the time of her japa had much importance. I told her she can change the time if she has to, provided she remains sincere – that's the most important thing.

These are small details. I myself am unable to do it at fixed hours; I had always hoped to do it between 5 and 6 in the afternoon, but I usually can't manage to go upstairs before ten to six! So... so I do it from 6 to 7.

Fundamentally, I have noticed one thing: if you yourself are in the right state, the right atmosphere is immediately created. And in addition, I am always in a sort of... not even a conviction – an ABSOLUTE perception that all that happens is the Lord's doing. When He makes me late going upstairs it's because He wants me to be late, and consequently, if I take it well – if instead of closing myself and getting annoyed I say, “Good, that's fine” – immediately a very interesting atmosphere is created, because at the same time I see all the advantages of this change. But this movement must not be mental – it has to be spontaneous.

Therefore, I have told her (to put it simply): provided you are sincere in your attitude, all is well.

*   *


Here is something interesting. I am translating the “Yoga of Self-Perfection.” My first look at it stiffened me – now it's a delight! And I have done nothing in between but simply let it work within; it's so easy!

My translation is poorly written, hardly French at all, but to me it is limpid.

And I see that the translation would go quickly if one moved into another domain. In one domain it is laborious, terrible, difficult, and the result is never very satisfying. But contrary to what I had thought, the domain of comprehension does not suffice, even the domain of experience does not suffice: something else is needed (oh, how to explain it?), a state in which effort is left totally behind. There is a state (which probably must be beyond the mind, because one no longer thinks at all, not at all) where everything is smiling and easy, and the sentences come to you all by themselves. It's peculiar – I read, and even before I finish reading the sentence to be translated I know what's in it; and then without waiting – almost without waiting to know what's in it – I know what to put for it. When it's like that I can translate a page in half an hour.

But it doesn't last – it ought to last. Usually it ends in a trance: I go off into the experience, I am in a beatific state... and ten minutes later I notice that I've been in that state with my pen poised in my hand. It's not favorable to the work! But otherwise it's-I can't even say it's like someone dictating (it's not that, I don't “hear”); it comes by itself. Oh, the other day there were one or two sentences!... I wrote something and suddenly saw what I was writing – and doing so pulled me out of that state. “Well,” I said to myself, “how nicely put!” And plop! (Mother laughs) Everything was gone.

Be in that domain, and you will never grow tired.

But to get there, believe me, you must accept to be a total imbecile for quite some time! I am not exaggerating. I have found myself in such states: you no longer understand anything, no longer know anything, no longer think anything, no longer want anything, no longer can do anything – no more power, no more will, no more thought, no more anything – you are... like that. And when I am like that (when I WAS, because now it's beginning to go away), I see the external world, people like those around me, looking at me and thinking, “Ah! Mother is lapsing into her second childhood”!... Their vibrations come to me and unfortunately they sometimes have the power to shake me – I have to make a movement to free myself from the thoughts of others.


it was an odd thing, it seized me suddenly – I was no longer able to climb the stairs! I didn't know how to do it! It also took hold of me once as I was having lunch – I no longer knew how to eat! This, of course, is what the external world calls “lapsing into second childhood.” So I considered the problem of the poor old people who are thought to be lapsing into their second childhoods – might they not, by chance, be on the frontier... of liberation?! Perhaps.

My brain is good!! (Mother laughs)

It's good, but my skull.... You know, there are people who read your character from the shape of your skull – it would be interesting to have one of them touch mine. Mon petit, it's a mountain range! With peaks and valleys! There are deep hollows, precipices, Himalayan peaks! And it's increasing!


Oh, yes, it's increasing from year to year! The hollows become hollower, the bumps become bumpier! And they are everywhere! It's quite interesting!

For years and years, until I was past forty, my skull was soft here (Mother touches the front part of her skull), something which seems to be absolutely unheard-of. It was soft and becoming more so (gesture of the skull opening) and then, when you pressed there.... I didn't bother about it, but then suddenly I noticed that here (Mother touches the back part of her skull) it is truly like mountainous scenery – there are bumps everywhere, and hollows, vales – very interesting! It's increasing.

It means it must be getting more and more complicated in there!

I once fell down and dented my head (for a long time it was even painful); and since then the dent has become deeper and deeper and the bump has become larger and larger. I told the doctor about it (he had been called in at the time because it was bleeding profusely and people were upset – it healed in a day) and he told me there had been an accumulation of blood causing the bone to increase in size. But this is a doctor's reason.

It is quite interesting.


What is necessary is to abandon EVERYTHING. Everything: all power, all comprehension, all intelligence, all knowledge, everything. To become perfectly nonexistent, that's the important thing. But the very atmosphere makes things difficult – what people expect of you, what they want of you, what they think of you – it's very bothersome. You have to spend all your time fanning it away.


1 In one of the handwritten notes left by Mother, we found the following: “Sri Aurobindo told me: Never give them the impression that they can do whatever they like, they will always be protected.”


2 With the exception of the second asterisked passage, which was not included in his English version of selected Prayers and Meditations, the following translations are Sri Aurobindo's.


3 “Homage” is used in the original text.









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