July 22, 1970
(The following conversation is a first and highly instructive outline of the phenomenon that gave birth to all the religions of the world, a phenomenon that will try to crystallize once again after Mother's departure.)
I have something about this Tamil Swami who had that experience of the body's transformation.... You remember this Swami Ramalingam who had that vision of the “Grace-Light”? You made a few remarks, part of which I passed on to the person who had asked the question.... And I've raised a storm.
Not with this good man [Ramalingam's Tamil disciple], not at all, but with A.1
Yes, A. must have seen the answer, and through me he sends you a letter.
You know ...it somewhat gives me a feeling of a mental falsehood.
What's wrong? Does it bother him?
Yes, he's quite indignant.
At what?! What did I say?
At what I, at least, said. He says, “Mother can't possibly have said this....”
What's this business!... But why? What made this gentleman indignant?
First I'll read you what I wrote to T. [Ramalingam's Tamil disciple]:2
“The translation of Swami Ramalingam's experiences was read out to Mother, and she does not doubt their authenticity; she particularly liked the manner in which the Swami called that light ‘Grace-Light,’ and she said it corresponds to her own experience. She remarked that over the ages, and even now, it is quite likely that a number of individuals, known or unknown, have had similar experiences. The only difference is that at present, instead of an individual possibility, there is a collective possibility – that is precisely Sri Aurobindo's and Mothers work: to establish, as a terrestrial fact and a possibility for everyone, the supramental consciousness or ‘Grace-Light’ as Swami Ramalingam called it.”
Ah, what made him indignant is the mixing of the two, “Grace-Light” and “supramental light”.... I didn't say it was the same thing. Anyway, it doesn't matter.... It would have been better not to put “supramental consciousness,” because they don't understand.... It doesn't matter.
But from what you said, I understood that this “Grace-Light” was the supramental light.
It's ONE of the actions of the supramental light. But it doesn't matter.
So A. says this:
“Dearest Mother, regarding certain translations of poems of Swami Ramalingam by his disciple T., you answered him through Satprem in such a way that he was led to equate Ramalingam's ‘Grace-Light’ and the supramental Consciousness....
Yes, I wouldn't have done that.... So he's furious!
But you see, to my mind, when I asked you if over the ages there had been experiences of this sort, I had in mind experiences of individuals who had individually made contact with the supra-mental light or the supramental level....
One of the forms of the supramental manifestation.... It doesn't matter. Read on.
“Did you really mean that Ramalingam was in DIRECT contact with the Supramental?...
Read on, then.
“...and that he was in contact with it as you and Sri Aurobindo were?...
No, I didn't say that!
You didn't! It's really a mental falsehood, because nowhere in the letter did I say such things.
“Premonitions and momentary visions are of a different order; it is the whole question of a direct supramental yoga, complete and in its fullness....
Good Lord, how stupid people are! How stupid!
Is that all?
“Through your answer, T. [Ramalingam's disciple] understood that the only difference between Ramalingam's supramental yoga and yours or Sri Aurobindo's is that his was concerned with an individual supramentalization, whereas you and Sri Aurobindo also worked for a collective supramentalization.
“T. is convinced of this and also declares that Ramalingam had attained the complete supramentalization of the body....
We didn't say that!
“...In his opinion, what you said confirms it.
“I tend to regard his whole stand as rather fantastic; it shows me that T. has failed to understand Sri Aurobindo's vision, work and yoga at their true value. I believe that not only the collective supramentalization, but the individual supramentalization have never been attempted previously, not to speak of realization. Even the full knowledge of the Supramental through an ascent into the Supramental and a sovereign entry into the Supramental has not been done. How then can one speak of a practical realisation of the full dynamics of the supramental descent?
“At least that is what I understood from a study of Sri Aurobindo's and your writings. Am I wrong? A clear indication from you would be very helpful to make us see things in the true light.”
(after a long concentration,
Mother takes a notepad, then plunges back for a long time)
There's a refusal to answer.
Was this man alive recently?
No, around 1850. He died two years after Sri Aurobindo's birth, and he announced the coming of an incarnation of the Divine and a new race that would “defy death, ageing” and so on – one year before Sri Aurobindo's birth.
(after a long silence, Mother takes the notepad again, hesitates, then writes a letter to A.)
22 July '70
It is unfortunate that you make me say what I did not say.
I have therefore nothing to say in answer to your groundless conclusions.
Let us hope that peace will return to your mind, and, along with it, a better understanding.
With my blessings,
When I got his letter, I had the inner feeling of a mental falsehood.
Yes, there's an excitement.
But what I can do is to correct what you said with Ramalingam s disciple.
No, it's not “the Supramental,” but one aspect of the Supramental, or rather one activity of the Supramental.
Would you like me to send him this correction?
If he chatters about what he's told, yes.
(Mother looks at her letter to A., hesitating to send it)
Oh, let's leave it – he'll be upset.
(silence Mother looks tired)
I'm really sorry!
No! (Mother laughs) It doesn't matter! It's not your fault, it's A.'s fault.
I don't know why they come to a boil.
Oh, I can see.... All that takes place here (gesture to the forehead).
Really, the mind is something terribly complicated!
Oh, it's like that, it's here (same gesture to the forehead). And when I look, I see so clearly!... Human conceptions... it has always been the same thing with all, all the Avatars: if he isn't one and only – one and only – and shut in like this (gesture as if under a bell jar), it's no longer the thing! It disturbs them....
Yes, that's right!
That's it, they don't see the Force doing... (immense gesture embracing everything).
But I see so clearly!... This personalization... You understand, a great Force descends to work, then it “coagulates,” so to speak, into a personal point so as to touch Matter. And then, men (laughing) like to take scissors, and they cut (Mother cuts out a little square from this vast flow of Force), make a person out of it, and isolate it (gesture as if under a bell jar). That's something I see so clearly!
Yes, it's the door to sectarianism and fanaticism.
Yes, yes, yes.
(Mother holds out to Satprem a garland of “Aspiration”)
Would you like?
Yes, Mother, yes!
(Satprem lays his head on Mother's knees)
I absolutely REFUSE to let myself be put like this (gesture under a bell jar).... I'd rather – I'd rather dissolve, you understand.
Let it be fluid.
The impression I get is as if people have big scissors, and they always want to cut out pieces of the Lord! (laughter)
1 An old disciple, author of several books about Sri Aurobindo and editor of one of the Ashram's magazines.
2 Satprem's letter to T. and the following letter from A. are retranslated here from the French translation.