March 29, 1972
(That same day, after Malraux, the conversation took a completely different turn, which is why we publish it separately, although under the same date.)
I had a feeling I had something to give you....
Did they give you a tape-recording?... I had said something to R. and to Sujata.
Is it good?
Yes, Mother, yes, it was good! We could perhaps publish it? It was about the vision you had of your own transitional body.
I simply wanted to make sure you had received it.1
Yes, Mother, it's extremely interesting.... Did you see anything new since that vision of the new body?
No. It's something totally new for me – it was the first time and it seems it's going to be the last.
My body has asked for... (it is in a constant state of aspiration, you know), it has asked for.... It feels (I don't know how to explain it), it feels the complete Presence of the Divine, I mean in all things, everywhere, all the time, as if it were at once enveloped and permeated by it – and it asked for something even more concrete. Then, a kind of Consciousness answered me that the body wasn't given a more complete perception because it would still feel like... (what shall I say?) fusing into the Divine, and then the cells would... (gesture of explosion). So the body would lose its form.
Oh, I see!
Something like that, you understand?
And I felt it was very true. I felt it.
For instance, eating is still a major problem – it's been ages since I've derived any pleasure from eating, but now it's become a real problem; well, any cellular contact with the divine Presence magnifies those things [like refusing food]. I mean all external processes – food and so on – seem then so cumbersome! Without a doubt the next creation will use something else, another way of staying alive, but we don't yet know what it is. I have a feeling there already exists a certain type of food – an intermediary type of food – which is no longer like the old kind but isn't yet... [the direct absorption of energy], and which has a minimal material basis. But we don't know anything about it, we don't know, nobody knows, we are still inexperienced; we have to find it – but how?
Nobody knows about it; nobody can say do this or do that. I don't know.
The only thing we really know is glucose.
That's what they give to people who can't eat normally.
Yes, that's what the doctor told me; he told me to take glucose. I take some, but is that enough in itself?
How does glucose enter the bloodstream?
I think it's directly assimilated.
But what does directly mean? You have to swallow it.
Yes, of course, you have to swallow it!
It goes into the stomach and enters the bloodstream through the intestinal walls.2
Oh, that's how! It doesn't go through the kidneys?
Yes, Mother, automatically. After entering the blood, there's elimination through the kidneys.
Always, I think.
But does the glucose itself change into blood?
No, I think the intestinal walls absorb it and the necessary chemical reactions take place during this absorption through the walls – I think (!)
Oh, that's how it is.
Yes, Mother, at least I think so.
Is there anything else besides glucose that works like that.)
In liquid form, yes. There is glucose or very pure fruit juice – which is more or less the same thing.
That's almost all I take: glucose and fruit juice.
But many yogis – at least some – had the capacity to absorb energy directly, Mother, without eating. There are many such stories from the past.
Yes, but I don't know if they're true.
You don't know if they're true?... They are quite common, though, and often cited.
All that Sri Aurobindo told me is that people always eat too much. That was his experience. He went forty days without food, you know.3 I myself went without food (I don't remember for how long) and felt I was receiving nourishment directly,4 it simply passed through like this (gesture through the pores of the skin).
But couldn't you again use that sort of thing now, through the breathing process?
Yes, but I lost a tremendous amount of weight, you see, which means that I wasn't getting the proper nourishment, I was feeding on my body.
But I haven't lost too much weight now, have I? I don't know, I can't see.
Since I was supposedly ill.
No, not since then.
No, I don't find you have.
I went foodless for a few days – almost without food.
No, I don't see any change. Although, of course, there is so little left of your body! [Laughter]
I am pretty thin!... I can't see, you know.
But I don't look thinner than usual, do I?
No, you don't, Mother. But getting any thinner would be difficult!
If something new comes, I'll tell you.... Is today Wednesday? If something comes, she [Sujata] can come in, just come in, and if there's something new I'll tell her.
Yes, Mother. As a matter of fact, Sujata has been wondering about her visits to you: she is afraid of imposing her presence, of disturbing you.
No, she doesn't disturb me! I'll give her a flower and she can leave, unless I have something to tell her. It's better that way; every day she'll know if there's something to tell you.
Yes, Mother, every day – but she was getting the feeling she was... intruding upon you!
No, not at all! It's not that. I am inundated with people so I had to stop, but it was mostly birthdays, things like that. But she can come, bring me her flowers, take flowers from me, and if I have something to tell her, I'll tell her, otherwise she'll leave immediately. Is it all right like that?
(Sujata aside: “My thought is mainly for Mother.”)
Sujata says it's all right, but what about you?
For me it's fine. It doesn't tire me.
She's a little.... I don't know, she has something of a heavy heart.5
Well, exactly because of that.
Oh, no! Come here, mon petit! Oh, no, not at all.
(Sujata comes near Mother)
You know... you see, the consciousness is very clear, clearer than it has ever been, but I can't speak – something has to be found. So I am unable to tell you, but I am always happy to see you. I haven't said anything these last days because “saying” means explaining.... But I am always happy to see you, I have thought of you very, very, VERY, often – you understand?... Do you understand?
You don't seem to understand.
(Sujata:) Yes, Mother, I do.
In any case, one thing you know: I tell the truth. If I say I am happy to see you, it means I am happy to see you. That you understand.
What is it, mon petit? You've been hurt, did someone hurt you?
Very hurt, Mother.
Why, mon petit? Did someone tell you something?
No, Mother, I was simply told that you see me far too often, and... and that you didn't want to see me.6
But that's not true! I never said that to anybody.7
Well, Mother, each time, I see Sujata's name just crossed off [the list of visitors], so I take it that you don't have time or don't wish to see Sujata. So Sujata simply withdraws.
Who said that?
No one: I am telling you. That's how it happens.
But it's not true!
It is, Mother, that's what happens every time.
It's not true. It's not true that not to see you makes me happy – it's not true. I don't understand. I am not the source of that.
Well, practically, that's what happens. The slightest thing, and Sujata's name is crossed off. So I take it that you don't have time or don't wish or don't like to....
But that's not true! It's not true, mon petit! These last few days, I stopped everything because I had to, but again and again I thought it would be good if you were here. Only... you see my difficulty to speak, so....
Listen to me now – will you do as I say? Come to see me every day. Come to see me every day as before. If I have nothing to say, I'll give you flowers; if there is something I want you to convey to Satprem, I will tell you. But come, just come.
The time will be more or less the same as before. You came after who?
I used to come after R.
Well then, come after R. That's settled: you come every day after R. I even had practical things for you to do: sometimes I rearrange my cupboards and I may have things to give you and explain to you8; and I was thinking, “I must see her every day.”
If it's all right with you, come every day after R. If I have something to say, I will tell you; if I have nothing to say, I'll give you some flowers. But never, never think that I don't want to see you, it's not true – it's a BIG lie, it's not true. It's a big lie.
You know, you must be sure of one thing: I say things exactly as they are. I may say them poorly, but I say exactly what is true. I can't speak very well nowadays, I find it difficult, but the consciousness is clear. So I am telling you: I want to see you every day. Understood?
(Sujata returns to her place
Satprem comes near Mother)
That's what it is: I have difficulty speaking, I immediately... (Mother gasps for breath). There's obviously something happening here (Mother touches her chest).
But the consciousness is clearer and stronger than EVER before. And I see that people think I am getting senile because I can't speak anymore. But the consciousness is clearer and stronger than ever before.
It's perceptibly stronger. It's quite perceptible.
(after a silence)
The biggest difficulty is this: if only there were someone to tell me what I should take.... Although I must say glucose is what I drink the most easily – so I'll just take more of it.
I think it's the only physical, material means; people who are hospitalized for months at a time take only glucose (usually intravenously). Well Mother, you can be fed that way indefinitely.
Good. It's all right, then.9
I'll see you Saturday; and if I have something, I'll tell you through Sujata.
1 Actually, Satprem was only given the recording with Sujata, not the other one.
2 Satprem claims no scientific accuracy!
3 Sri Aurobindo is known to have fasted for 10 days while imprisoned at Alipore's jail in 1908-1909, and a second time for 23 days at a stretch, in 1910, soon after his arrival at Pondicherry. Of this second experiment he said later, “I very nearly solved the problem.”
4 Mother even told Satprem that when she had once fasted for ten days, she had found the fragrance of flowers to be “nourishing.” See Agenda VI, November 27, 1965.
5 In fact, Sujata was beginning to come up against the invisible wall put up by Mother's entourage, who thought Mother was seeing too much of Sujata. What is clear through this conversation is that Mother felt the need to remain in daily contact with Satprem. The scene that follows has something so poignant about it, as if Mother already sensed that the connection was going to be severed. This is just a prelude.
6 These were the exact words of the attendant, whose name will come up again. Mother would often ask, “Where is Sujata? Where is Sujata?” and the unvarying reply was, “She's not here.” Actually, we understand it now, Mother would have liked Sujata to become her personal assistant after Vasudha, but she knew the importance of Sujata's work with Satprem, so she never asked. Had this been otherwise, the subsequent course of events would have changed.
7 As an illustration we are tempted to publish here a letter Mother wrote to Sujata's father, Prithwi Singh, way back in February 1951. Barely two months after Sri Aurobindo's passing, certain inmates of the Ashram were already showing their true colors: “My dear child,” Mother wrote, “I am not aware of having said anything that could give you the slightest pain – so I advise you not to listen to what people say. Most of them take a very great pleasure in disturbing others, and when they have nothing nasty to repeat they invent.”
8 Mother often called for Sujata for typing and filing her notes, messages, translations, etc., or else for conveying something to Satprem. Apart from typing work, Sujata also looked after Mother's toiletry and perfumery.
9 Mother was never allowed to live her experience. A few days after she left her body, in a speech before the assembled disciples, Pranab, Mother's “bodyguard,” ingenuously declared: “According to the advice of Dr. Sanyal, we were to give Her about 20 to 25 ozs. of food every day. It consisted of a little vegetable soup, milk with some protein compound, paste made of almonds, mushrooms, artichokes or things like that and some fruit juice at the end.... All those who were in the courtyard below [Mother's room] must have heard how we had to fight with Her to make Her eat a little.” [Original English] This fight over food (to mention only one) created a sharp conflict in Mother's body; she was torn between their suggestions – “If you don't eat, you're going to die” – and the thrust of the Experience.