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The Mother


Volume 11

September 9, 1970

The Hell

(Mother seems very slightly better, though still quite exhausted.)

I had something to tell you, but I don't remember at all.... Maybe it'll come back.

(very long silence, then Mother gestures that she remembers and plunges in again)

It's coming, but not yet precise enough.

Do YOU have anything to ask?

Was it related to “that night,” when you were as if in hell?

Yes, it was related to that. It was... I'll try to explain. You know that OM is said to be the sound of the whole universe turned towards the Supreme, imploring the Supreme – and the result is OM. I had the impression that I was all the pain of the world – all the pain of the world (how can I put it) felt together. I don't know how to explain.

It must be that – it must be that because, before, I was dominated, you understand: when it came, I was as if crushed by the thing; whereas from the moment I understood that way, I was able to be above pain. And I am much better. But just when I said it, it was very... it even had the character of a revelation. So then, it was very precise – very precise, very concrete. Now... it's a translation, of course.

I felt, I felt at the same time something like an extraordinary Protection which prevented from going mad.... It was a VERY concrete experience for several hours: the protection of a Consciousness... a higher consciousness, and a sort of power dominating the thing, with the perception that if That weren't there, there was enough to make lots of people go mad.

But the body is very... the body is very affected (Mother touches her left eye and forehead). You see, there are...

Impossible, almost impossible to eat – especially that.

(very long, moaning silence)

That sense of being crushed hasn't gone yet.

It's like something preventing me from breathing freely.

But the night after the day I saw you, when I told you, you remember, I told you (smiling) to pray for me...

Yes, Mother.

... that night was absolutely wonderful – absolutely peaceful and wonderful. A night as I hadn't had in a long, long time.... I thanked you, I don't know if you know!

Oh, Mother....

(Mother laughs, Satprem lays his head on her knees, silence)

But Sri Aurobindo? Sri Aurobindo...


What does he say?

(after a silence)

I had (and that was frightful), I had the consciousness of all that he suffered physically. And that was one of the things most... (Mother's voice is covered in tears) the hardest to bear. As if... physically... And our physical unconsciousness beside that, and the kind of physical TORTURE he was subjected to.1 That was one of the most difficult things, most difficult.

The torture he was subjected to, which we treated so lightly, as if... as if he felt nothing. That was one of the most frightful things.

(very long silence
Mother plunges in,
then gives a start)

You see, it's like this (Mother gestures as if suffocating): an Anguish weighing down, and that's terrible.

It's not in the thought, you understand (same suffocated gesture).

But Mother, this pain of the earth, isn't it to make it call the Supreme Consciousness there too, deep down?

Yes, of course. That's what I say to myself, what I try to find, but...

There is something to be found.

(very long silence)

It's like this (same gesture of suffocation), and it's still there.... There is one spot, like a spot where there is such a dreadful anguish.... Do you feel how I have difficulty breathing? – That's it. It's constant.


It's here (Mother draws a bar across the top of her chest). It's here. And I am as if forbidden to... (Mother makes the gesture of rising to join the Origin above the head)... As if I absolutely had to find something.


What time is it?

Ten past eleven, Mother.

Do you have anything to say?

But doesn't the Mantra have an action on this?

My body repeats the Mantra ceaselessly. I think it couldn't hold out if it didn't.... Constantly, constantly.


Sometimes I say to myself that OUR darknesses are YOUR obstacle, and that if we could conquer our own darknesses ...

Ah, naturally it would be easier for me. But that... (how can I put it?) it's not my business. I have no right to demand it: I have to do the work.... Naturally, as I told you, your prayer that night had a... you know, the word relief in English. It was, oh, such a relief!

(very long, moaning silence)

It's strange, it takes hold here (gesture from the waist to the knees), but especially here (gesture at the waist). I can't say what it is, but it's a dreadful anguish.... When it comes here (gesture to the chest), I scream.

It's in the legs down to the knees. Now I can hardly walk.

Its totally physical, material.



I know very well what should be done, of course: this [phenomenon] should be observed rather than felt – it should be known: a knowledge rather than a sensation. Then it would be like other kinds of knowledge, you see.... But what does it depend on? I don't know.

(long silence)

We shall conquer, Mother.


(silence, Satprem lays his forehead on Mother's knees)

You understand, that it will be conquered I am ABSOLUTELY certain of, but... has the time come? That's the question.

And it's this, this doubt, that's a torture.

(Mother takes Satprem's hands)


1 “We insisted on the dangerous remedies ...,” confesses one of the doctors who were looking after Sri Aurobindo

Nirodbaran, Sri Aurobindo–“I Am Here, I Am Here!”, 1951,p.20

Sri Aurobindo refused – once. Mother refused. Then they stopped saying anything. “He knew that [one such remedy] would be of no avail and he emphatically ruled it out, but as we had not the insight nor the proper appraisement of the value of words when they are clothed in the common language we are habituated to use, we insisted on the dangerous remedies in which we had faith and confidence.”


Let us note that the same phenomenon was to recur with Mother.


2 “A voice cried,

‘Go where none have gone!

Dig deeper, deeper yet

Till thou reach the grim foundation stone

And knock at the keyless gate.’...

I left the surface gods of mind

And life's unsatisfied seas

And plunged through the body's alleys blind

To the nether mysteries.”

(A God's Labour)









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