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The Mother


Volume 4

April 22, 1963

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameshwaram, Monday, 22 April

Sweet Mother,

I arrived here yesterday. So far I have spent most of my time struggling against a horrible impression in my heart, my thought and my body, so strong that if I could, I would catch the first train home today. I have never had such an impression here. I almost wired you to call for your help. I shall try to “hold out” here as long as is decently possible, then will leave as soon as I can.

On the material level, the conditions are as wretched as possible – in a word, complete barrenness in complete squalor. My body isn't too brilliant, but I hope it will get better. On the mental and affective level = NIL. That leaves the one Thing without which all would collapse.

I need you terribly.

With love,

Signed: Satprem


(Mother's reply)

April 23, 1963

Satprem, mon cher petit,

Your letter has just come. It only confirmed what I had seen and FELT. The last two nights were downright bad; and it is hardly better during the day.

Of course, you should come back as soon as you find it possible.

Wire me as soon as you have made a decision. I am doing my best to make you feel that I am with you.


Signed: Mother


(Excerpt from a letter to Sujata)

Monday morning, 22 April '63


I have just written a word to Mother to tell her that if I could, I would catch the first train home. When I arrived here, I got a horrible impression as never before, almost a panic. Everything was so terribly void and far away. Probably I have grown hypersensitive. If I were not afraid of yielding to that impression and if it weren't rude to X, I would take noon train today. The new “guest house” is beyond description1: cement walls enclosed within cement walls; the plan is so wonderful that not a whiff of air can blow in here, nor can one see a single blade of grass. There are magnificent wrought-iron railings and openwork cement designs, but not even the most basic amenities. I absolutely refused to enter that sarcophagus, so they put me up in an adjoining house purchased by X and used as a garage. It's unspeakably filthy. It didn't even occur to them to offer me a mat. Finally they brought a bench for me to sleep on, which I refused.... So much for the material conditions. I hope the body will get better. As soon as I can decently leave, I shall weigh anchor.

Signed: Satprem


1 A gift from the Ashram's businessmen.









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