Their Deep Compassion
You ask me how my contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother started and when. Well, it is difficult to fix it. All that I would say is that when I was a small boy I remember standing as a volunteer witnessing a procession in Surat of Sri Aurobindo and the other national leaders of that time. Later as a student in the college I had occasions to read the Master’s books like Yoga and its Objects, Yogic Sadhan, Isha Upanishad, etc. My cousin (who later became Adviatananda) was a regular subscriber to the Arya and held Sri Aurobindo in very great regard; he introduced me to the writings of Sri Aurobindo. I was deeply interested in the deeper side of life from my very childhood. What I read in this, literature strengthened my aspiration and filled me with happiness. It was while going through the Yoga and its Objects that one day I saw a golden sun rushing at me and pulling me out through the forehead centre. It was the first of such experiences that started during this period.
The Arya volumes came to me in an interesting way. I was once travelling in a local train and had the Essays on the Gita in my hand. Seated opposite to me was a Maharashtrian lawyer who queried what book I was reading. On coming to know that it was Sri Aurobindo’s work on the Gita he said that at one time he had been interested in the Arya and had in his possession the whole set excepting some five numbers. He offered to send the volumes to me as he was no longer so much interested in them and had taken to a study of Tukaram his works being more simple, less complicated, suited to his taste. And he kept his word. Later when I came to Pondicherry the Mother gave me the missing numbers and helped to make the Arya set complete.
About nine months after the experience of the golden sun, I was lying quietly one night. Suddenly I became conscious of something bright and luminous in the form of a serpent with jewels studded on it, lifting and moving its head upward. Word came to me (which I heard distinctly )saying, “It is death.” I said “All right” and immediately I found myself above and outside the body, but not in my subtle body. I was conscious of myself as an entity of white light in the form of an egg or a lingam; I was conscious of the night around me and the stars above. A little later I came down into the body with a thud. From then on the feeling that I am not the body has been always with me, even if not always on the surface.
It was in 1922 or 1923 that I met my first guru. He was a householder living a simple life and I had been to him along with a few friends. I remember that when I bowed to him and he patted my back there was a deep flow of peace and joy through his fingers. When I looked at him he said something cryptic in Gujarati which I can only roughly render as “maintain the Love.” Subsequently I sought initiation from him which he was pleased to grant. At that time he asked me to see the guru in everything. He also added that both the guru and the disciple are in the same boat that is being piloted by the Sadguru, the Lord. The same night I had a thrilling experience and it was this. I saw the guru coming towards me in his subtle body. He entered straight into my heart and described a circle with a small wand which he had in his hand and light flooded my heart accompanied by a sense of purity and joy.
I had many meetings with him but this is not the place to speak of those details. Suffice it to say that he clearly told me that sanyas was not for me and so I went back to my college for the studies that had been interrupted by my impulsive turn to spiritual life. The next memorable meeting with the guru was in 1928 in a dream. As he was coming, I heard the words: “He is coming to bid you goodbye. This is the severance of the link.” He sat down and I laid my head on his lap and wept and wept.
I should have mentioned that he had passed away two years earlier, i.e. in 1926. And though the link was snapped in 1928 this way, I had occasion to have his darshan again in 1932 when I had gone to his place at Godhra, where I met his niece for the first time though I had heard about her earlier, as specially devoted to him and who had received the most from him. I had not long to wait for confirmation of her status. For, in the evening when we were sitting in the courtyard below a neem tree and she was singing a bhajan in that half-lit place, I saw his beloved self standing behind her with a curtain of white light in between. I rubbed my eyes and made sure he was there.
I have not seen him thereafter.
Sometime in 1928 there was an interesting experience. I saw vividly a personage dressed as a Rajput coming towards me on a phaeton drawn by two white horses. He told me, thrice, “surrender to the Mahamaya.”
One night, in a vision, I saw the Divine Mother standing in front of me about twelve feet above the ground. But I did not see her full figure, I saw only her dark blue legs up to the knees. She had worn golden anklets and the soles of her feet were lotus red. I saw a silk cloth descending from her right side, — the kind of cloth she wears in traditional worship.
At the instance of certain friends I applied for permission to Sri Aurobindo for the Darshan of November 24, 1932, but the reply I received from the Secretary was to the effect that permission could not be granted as the November Darshan was meant only for disciples. Thereafter I did not think further of the matter and proceeded to Bombay to rejoin my work at the college.
There were, however, one or two striking vision-experiences which revealed their meaning to me later. The first was the vision of two feet with golden anklets. While seeing them I had the distinct feeling that they were the Mother’s feet. The second experience came to me in response to a telegram I had sent to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother conveying some good sentiments after I was refused permission for Darshan in November, 1932. I saw a marble staircase rising in front of me up to 8 or 10 steps then taking a turn to my right then turning again arising straight up into infinity. I saw a lady swiftly descending from its invisible top and coming and stepping in front of me at the first bend. She opened out her arms wide. Her face was European and her dress of the Greek type. It was difficult to judge her age, but no doubt she was young. This scene has remained stamped on my consciousness even four decades after.
It was in 1934 November that a friend wrote to Sri Aurobindo asking him whether I could come for the November Darshan that year and the request was immediately granted and I came for Darshan. On the 3rd or 4th day of my stay here, as I was lying down at night I had a peculiar experience. It was as if someone was drilling a hole in my head. In a spiral of light I saw a little figure entering through my head, entering into the heart and stopping there in the heart. Immediately I recognised the figure to be the same lady with a European face that I had seen two years earlier.
During that visit everytime I approached the Mother for Pranam I experienced a strong impulse to give and give. If I had a gold button on my shirt I would take it out and place it at her feet. If there were a few coins in my pocket I would do the same thing. I could not resist the push.
You ask what was my experience at Darshan of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The moment I had sight of him from a distance, there was a surge of emotion and I strongly felt that I had known him for ages. There was such a joy that
I could not contain myself and I embraced the man who was in front of me. When my turn came, Sri Aurobindo looked at the Mother and Mother looked at Sri Aurobindo and he nodded.
Before going back I met the Mother. She asked a few questions about myself and then asked “Will you come here?” “Yes, Mother” was my answer. And it was not long before I was back.
Once while speaking of some of my difficulties, I had asked Mother if she saw any possibility in me. “Yes, even exceptional possibilities”, Mother replied and added: “would I have called you otherwise? There has been a descent of the Divine Will in you.”
I do not need to speak here of the various visions — some of them prophetic, some symbolic — that I had during my stay here after I came finally February 1935; nor is it necessary to speak of the experience of the vast infinite that was given within a few years of my coming. The particular experience was this: A vast golden light with white masses in it descended and touched the crown of my head, then receded. At that moment of contact I became aware of its quality of peace, joy and freedom — each particle dancing with joy.
As a result, perhaps, soon afterwards I saw the heart lotus standing upright with some petals fully open. And then in a total stillness of the outer being I saw and felt the cool presence of a brilliant white flame, the size of a man’s thumb deep within the cave of the heart. This repeated itself for two or three days.
I wouldn’t say, with you, that I have arrived. Far from it, very far still. But the Grace of the Beloved Two has given me a feeling of certitude that my feet have touched the path that leads to Truth. And I hope and trust that my spiritual future, as that of the race, is safe, quite safe, in the hands of the Well-Beloved whose love and compassion know no bounds and whose will has the sanction of the Supreme.
You may, if you like, see some of these letters from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. They will give you an idea of their deep compassion, love and grace which have been vouchsafed to me in abundance. And I am no exception.
Some Answers from the Mother
Q: To talk of surrender is easy, very easy indeed. To think of surrender in all its complexity is not easy, not so easy at all. But to achieve even the beginning of a genuine surrender of self, O! how difficult it is. Mother!
There are many things wrong with me, I know. But there must be something fundamentally wrong that stands in the way of my genuine surrender to you. What is it. Mother?
A: Nothing special to you. It is the same difficulty that exists for all human beings: pride and blindness of the physical mind.
Q: There is an old Hindu belief that one should not lie down or sleep with one’s head towards the North. Has it any real significance ?
A: Many things have been said on the subject but, as far as my own experience goes, I do not attach much importance to that belief.
You must know that yoga frees us from all subjection to the horoscope; the horoscope expresses the position one has in relation with the material world, but by the sadhana we get free from the slavery to that world.
I want you to ask freely what you need ....
From your mother you can always take, it is quite natural, especially when things are given to you full-heartedly — and am I not your mother who loves you? ....
Q: Though I do not understand my own nature and its highest needs, I feel that you know me better than myself and that my life and its aspirations are safe in your keeping.
A: Yes, my will is to lead you to the realisation of your highest aspiration.
Q: And though I do not know what true love is, I love you in my own crude way. May I offer you my love such as it is?
A: Your love is welcomed and receives the answer of our love and blessings.
Q: How I long for the day when I can truly feel and say that my one desire and happiness in life is to love and serve you. Will it come to pass ?
A: I see no reason why it should not!
You can be sure of my love and affection — and my help and force will never fail you.
I always mean what I say.
I know that it is only the weak who complain. The strong never do because they can’t be hurt. So I never attach much importance to complaints.
Has the psychic flame any correspondence to the Vedic Agni? They seem to have more or less the same chief/qualities.
A: Yes, these are two names for the same thing.
Q: Lead me to Thy own home in Truth, Mother. I offer Thee my will of progressive submission and increasing adoration.
A: The way is opened, my dear child, and I am waiting for you with my arms wide to receive and enfold you affectionately.
Q: I also want to come to you, for in your arms alone will I have peace and joy and Ananda and the true truth and fulfilment of my life and being. But still the way is not clear to me. And how shall I be ever able to climb to your dizzy heights with the heavy chains of a mortal’s nature pulling at my feet?
A: Let me carry you in my arms and the climbing will become easy.
Q: Here is my pledge. Mother. I place the whole responsibility of my life into your hands. Now do what you like with me. Carry me in your arms, if you please. Whatever happens to me, in me or around me, I shall try to have the faith that it is your Will, Divine Will, that it should be so, but that I am always safe in your arms. Yes, Mother?
A: Yes my dear child.
Q: How shall I ever repay you for your exquisite act of love. Mother? You are very, very kind to your little child who loves you and is happy.
A: My dear child, live in my love, feel it, be filled with it and be happy — nothing can please me more than that.
Q: I am your child first and last and the work that I do has no other value for me except that through it I can serve your Will, except that through it I can grow to be a better and truer child to you ....
A: Yes, you are my child and it is true that of all things it is the most important .... Dear child, I am always with you and my love and blessings never leave you.
Q: On my last birthday, your parting words to me were, “Keep your faith.” I am still wondering what exactly you meant. What kind of faith would you like me to aspire for ?
A: Faith in the Divine’s Grace and its power to transform you.
Q: Dear Mother, every day you are growing more and more lovable and adorable to me. By what divine Mystery do you cast this sweet spell on us?
A: The only mystery, the only spell is my love — my love which is spread over my children and calls down upon them the Divine’s Grace to help and protect.
Q: You send me your love and blessings everyday of late, and in rare blessed moments I do sense that we are always surrounded by your love. But as for a real response, my heart seems to be made of stone, otherwise, why should it refuse to open itself to your love ? The more you shower your love, the more I feel ashamed of myself... I have ho power. Thy will be done.
A: Nothing can resist the steady action of love — it melts all resistances and triumphs over all difficulties.
Q: Open my entire being to your love. Purify my being of all sensuality and take me in your Arms. Otherwise I will surely be lost.
A: To lift you out of the ordinary vital nature, my love and help and blessings are always with you. I
Q: My most humble salutations to the Lord and my very special love and greetings to the Divine Mother for the coming darshan.
A: Remain quietly and joyfully open on the 24th to receive the special Light, Love and Force which will be given on that day.
Q: I know your love and blessings are always with me and I sometimes wish you had not been so invariably kind and gracious to me. For, it makes it still more hard for me to tell you that there are difficulties of my nature which make it difficult for me still to accept you and your yoga in the requisite spirit. And without this what is discipleship?
A: It is not as a Guru that I love and bless, it is as the mother who asks nothing in return for what she gives.
Q: It was very sweet of you to tell me that yours was the love of the mother who does not ask for anything in return. That is all right for you, for yours is a self-fulfilled life. But I have yet to achieve everything, yet to justify my human existence. I have yet to know my soul and my self, to know and love the Divine and above all to have the vision of the World-Mother, Mahashakti, who will know what is best for me. Then how can I do without a Guru who will lead me to Her Feet?
A: I do not see anybody in the world more qualified than Sri Aurobindo to lead you at the feet of the Mahashakti.
Q: There happen to be bad sons now and then, but a bad mother never.
A: But what a joy and love it is when both mother and son are good! My love and blessings to my dear (good) child.
Q: I know you mean well, but to be good, truly good, may be possible only for those who have gone beyond all egoism. But if my mother chooses to see only the good in her child, that only speaks of the goodness of the Mother’s heart.
A: My child’s heart is filled with love and light from the Divine, let them shine throughout your whole being and the clouds, if any, will soon disappear.
Q: I have approached Thy feet with great hopes, 0 Mother, and let it not be said that I had to return empty-handed.
A: My love is always with you, let it fill your hands and your heart, let it fulfill your aspiration.
My love and blessings, help and protection to my dear child whom I would like to see always happy.
(On receiving a pot of pickles from the Mother)
Q: You overwhelm me with your love, dear Mother. I do not deserve one iota of the kindness you show to me, but then what shall I say to you, you whose very nature is an overwhelming divine love ? Your love itself is a priceless gift Why then these other gifts?
A: There is a great joy in giving; there is a still greater joy in pleasing those we love ... and when you will eat the Pickles you may remember me and think, mother loves me….
Q: Dear Mother, in the lotus of my heart may I have your lotus-feet permanently installed on the throne of love.
A: My dear loving child, your heart is quite a sweet place because of your love — let me remain always there so that I may fill your whole being with light and love and joy.
Q: In the sweet recesses of my hearts chamber I have always been aware of an instinctive belief that you are an Avatar of the divine Mother whom I adore, but whom I know not except by Her lotus-feet. That is the reason why my eyes seek Her in your lotus-feet and my heart yearns to press them to itself knowing them as its sole refuge.
A: Let the Light of a conscious certitude and the joy of the everlasting Presence be always with you—concretely —in the sweetness of love divine.
Q: Will you kindly tell me, dear Mother, if you love me truly and genuinely in spite of my poor humanity or is it all an experiment? I feel ashamed to pose such a question to you, but I hear the word experiment used so often and in such a variety of ways that I feel frightened and would like to hear from you personally if you are not merely experimenting with us.
A: Well — the best thing you could do is not to listen to what people say, it would save you from many falls of consciousness—
This afternoon when I looked at you in silence I told you, “be faithful to your love”. I suppose this is a sufficient answer and you do not expect me to justify my love in front of the foolish ignorance of such interpretations. Whether you believe it or doubt my love and blessings are with you.
Q: I apologise humbly for my yesterday’s query and pray to be forgotten. How could I question your love, you why are the soul of truth and love and goodness? If you were not true, you who are the incarnate Divine Mother, what else could be true in this world of death, disease, ignorance and incapacity? You are right. Mother, it is for me to be faithful to my love and to your lotus-feet.
A: I knew that it was a passing mood and that you would soon come out of it, — but let this love and this truth be your shield and protect you against the intrusion of any force of falsehood. My love and blessings will lead you to the goal.
Q: But time is flying and I must hasten to offer my humble love to my dearest Mother, to see whom is to love her. How sweet you are Mother ?
A: If only you could keep always your inner happiness, it would please me immensely and help you very much on the way.
Q: Your love for me is my true refuge and sole strength. What I offer you is a turbid mixture of which I am ashamed but which you alone can purify.
A: Whatever is the nature of the offering when it is made with sincerity it always contains a spark of divine light which can grow into a full sun and illumine the whole being. You can be sure of my love, you can be sure of my help and our blessings are always with you.
Q: How extremely loveable you are, dear Mama! Is there anyone like you in the whole world?
A: Love, love, love to my very dear child, all the joy, all the light, all the peace of the divine love and also my loving blessings.
Q: I have returned the pot of pickles but I still have the pickles and whenever I see them I remember you and say to myself, “The Mother loves me.” On the crest of a great wave of low the gift came to me and I have felt the presence of the ocean which projected that wave. With that pot in hand when you called me, you know of whom I was thinking ? I was thinking of Kali standing before me ready to give a boon! In fact, I was invoking Her and there you were with the pot of pickles and an ocean of Love! Such is your play, dear Mother!
A: Indeed, that day I heard you distinctly calling me and I wanted to answer very concretely to your call.
Q: You were asking me this morning as to what was the matter with me. It is the same old thing but nonetheless distressing. It is a civil war, a conflict between two different tendencies and ideals, a war on all the fronts, mental, vital and physical. But I am deeply sensible of your kindness and grateful too.
A: There is no contradiction that cannot be solved and harmonised in a synthesis if you rise up high enough in the intuitive mind and yours is not at all irreducible. I am sure that one day you will find this out.
Q: Accept my love and forgive my lapses, as you have been doing for so many years. I expect these moods will come and go, but may I never lose sight of your luminous smiling face through all these passing clouds!
A: I truly hope you will soon be out of all your troubles. Just one good jump to the higher consciousness where all problems are solved and you will get rid of your difficulties. I never feel that I am forgiving. Love does not forgive, it understands and cures.
Q: Sometime back you wrote to me, “One good jump to the higher consciousness where all problems are solved and you will get rid of your difficulties.” What exactly is this higher consciousness and how may I rise or jump into it ? And again you have said, “Let divine love be your goal. Let pure love be your way. Be always true to your love and all difficulties will be conquered.” Is this higher consciousness the same thing as a state of pure love and, if so, how would it be related to a state of higher knowledge ?
A: The higher consciousness is a state of pure love but it is also a state of pure openness to divine knowledge. There is no opposition there between these two kindred things, it is the mind that makes them separate.
The best way to get to it is to refuse all mental agitations when it comes, also all vital desires and turmoils, and to keep the mind and heart turned as constantly as possible towards the Divine. The love for the Divine is the strongest force for doing this.
Q: You once said “I am in you”. This form and force of your divine self in me, this “Little Mother”, is the secret tie between you and me. Like you she is very modest in her. demands and very, very patient (so far); but I know that so long as she chooses to make her abode in my being, sooner or later, poor me will have to abdicate in favour of Her Imperial Majesty and till that day comes there will be no rest for me.
A: So, the best thing to do is to abdicate at once and to get rest, peace and joy. When you have to get rid of an obstinate resistance, you must not make more delay than when you have to pull out a bad tooth.
Inside, outside and everywhere is this help of the mother.
From Sri Aurobindo
The desires of the heart and the body which stand in the way of Brahmacharya, give a glow to the vital and emotive nature and prevent it from being dry and shut to feeling. To keep the heart warm and open, not dried up or closed, and at the same time attain to spiritual purity the best way is to turn it towards what is eternal, pure and ever true, behind and beyond these earthly emotions — the everlasting Love, Bliss and Beauty.
The experience you had of the power of the Name and the protection is that of everyone who has used it with the same faith and reliance. To those who call from the heart for the protection, it cannot fail. Do not allow any outward circumstance to shake the faith in you; for nothing gives greater strength than this faith to go through and arrive at the goal. Knowledge and tapasya, whatever their force, have a less sustaining power — faith is the strongest staff for the journey.
The protection is there over you and the watchful love of the Mother. Rely upon it and let your being open more and more to it — then it will repel attacks and always uphold you.
The experience you had was that of exteriorisation or going out of the body. The consciousness went up and remained above the body for a time. The feeling or vision of oneself in the form of an egg is frequent in such cases. It is not always so, for many go out in an individualised consciousness with an awareness of a subtle body, subtle thought, subtle sensation etc. and move about in the vital or even in the physical world till they come back to the body. But when one begins, the vital body is at first a little vague and the consciousness also with the result that all is at first dim and unorganised. The serpent must be the Kundalini force which had left its coiled sleeping position in the Muladhara and taken the lengthened one in which it joins the embodied consciousness with the consciousness above.
The power of exteriorisation is one that can be used for many purposes by the Yogi when it has been developed.
Q: I saw a small bright/fame as big as a man’s thumb in the region of the heart. What is it?
A: It is the psychic fire kindled in the heart. The psychic being is described by the Upanishads as of the size of a thumb antarātman — it may manifest first as this psychic puru#7779;ha-mātrahtanguś flame.
The Mother in her cosmic power is all things and all divine Personalities, for nothing can be in manifestation except by her and as part of her being. But what was meant in the “Visions and Voices” was that the Ishwara and the Divine Shakti were one Person or Being in two aspects and it puts forward this vision of them as Krishna-Mahakali as a great power for the manifestation.
Durga combines the characteristics of Maheshwari and Mahakali to a certain extent, — there is not much connection with Mahalakshmi. The combination of Krishna and Mahakali is one that has a great power in this yoga and if the names rise together in your consciousness, it is a good sign.
It depends on the shade of the yellow. If it is golden white it comes from above the mind and the combination suggests the Maheshwari-Mahakali power. Higher Mind colour is pale blue.
Although the vital and physical may join in the resistance, yet the most of it is in the mind — a doubt and a wrong angle of vision there; this imposes itself on the vital in the form of a corresponding feeling and the two together obscure the physical and tire and depress it. You say that if it is so in the beginning what will it be in the future when you are in the real swing of the thing. But when you are in the real swing of the thing, you will have the experience, — for the stream of sadhana will mean that and in it these difficulties will one by one or together disappear. The others belong to the ordinary course of sadhana and will yield to the increasing experience of the inner Truth and the growth of the spirit. Faith will come by experience, by the opening of the inner vision that sees the Truth behind appearances — or it will come by a simple opening of the soul to the Truth. It cannot be commanded by a struggle in the mind between old beliefs and new ones.
There is no need to give up entirely what you had in the past. Spiritual truths are not warring enemies — they are parts of a single truth and complete each other. It is only the mind that turns them into disparities and wants one to bar out another. That is the weakness of making something in the past the standard by which you judge the present — the mind takes advantage of its own limitations to declare that the two are incompatible. But it is not so in reality — between two truths of the Divine there is always a reconciliation when to the limiting mind they seem opposites; as one is realised after the other, their unity appears, it is not necessary to deny the past experience in order to go forward to the new realisation.
This will before long become apparent to you if you do not allow the mind to stand in the way of the heart’s permanent opening. Let the doors of the heart swing open freely — allow yourself to enter into the stream without making any mental conditions before you plunge in; the stream itself will carry you to your goal.
Q: By no means at my command can I make my mind even reasonably quiet. Again it has started bringing doubts and misgivings. One of them is that perhaps I am on the wrong path, that it is some ambition that has attracted me to this path and that the other paths which satisfied thousands of seekers before me would probably be quite enough for me, etc., etc. I write this to you because I cannot deal effectively with this difficulty and it is by my will only that I am clinging to you. Or ^perhaps it is not my will but the compulsion from a greater will than my own acting from behind the veil. But the rest of my nature seems temperamentally more amenable to influences representing other paths and other goals. Because of this, this path will be more difficult for me than for most here. Am I really on the right path? Have I really a call for it?
A: It is the right path for your inner nature and there is the call. The resistance is from the outer, especially the mind, but that is due to a dissatisfied restlessness which is part of the outer mental nature (the reasons given are only supports which it builds for its restlessness) and that would have interfered wherever you might have been and on whatever path. To conquer this outer nature is the only way and that can be best done here, since the change of the outer being is here a part of the sadhana and you will receive the necessary help.
Q: You say: “To conquer this outer nature is the only way.” But how to conquer this restlessness and dissatisfaction in the mind, I do not know.
A: There must first be the will to change firmly conceived and held — then to open the consciousness to the Force and let it work with the inner consent to its working. When there is the psychic opening, then even the things most obstinate in the nature can change.
Q: Grant me one little bit of devotion. Mother, just a little bit of it. Otherwise I do not know what will happen to me, I do not indeed know how I can live here. And I do not want. to leave the shelter of Thy Lotus-Feet.
A: Do not allow mental anxiety to harass you. Wait on the working of the Mother’s force which will open the lotus of the heart. In the light from above devotion will blossom in you.
You are not weak, there is a considerable strength in you, but it is covered over by the fluctuations of the mind — when these are mastered, then the strength will be apparent.
Very little — nothing that is definite — can be said from the photograph; for it is too small. The general impression that disengaged itself was of a fine consciousness and especially of a deep quietude. It is probable from what you write that he had achieved the consciousness above the human mental in which one is aware of the self, the Brahman and lives in it — that includes of course the sense of the Divine in all. What you report of his sayings is the utterance of one who has this realisation.
There have been several Yogis who have declared that the Avatar was coming, or, more recently, that he was there already in the human birth, — but none have been able to say where.
I have only now had time to go through the three letters you sent me. X can of course have the Conversations1.1 As to what your other friend asks, it is quite possible for him to receive where he is without coming here if he has the adoration of the Mother in his heart and an intense call.
About the question of the Avatar, I do not think it is useful to press in the matter. It has become very much the tendency, especially in Bengal, to regard the Guru as the Avatar. To every disciple the Guru is the Divine, but in a special sense —.for the Guru is supposed to live in the divine consciousness, to have attained union and when he gives to the disciple, it is the Divine that gives and what he gives is the consciousness of the Divine who is within the Guru. But that and Avatarhood are two different things. It is mostly in East Bengal recently that those have come who were acclaimed as Avatars; those who came had each of them the idea of a work to be done for the world and the sense of a Divine Power working through them, which shows that there was a pressure for manifestation there and something came in each case, for something of the Divine Power always comes when it is called, but it does not look as if there was anywhere the complete descent. It is this that may have created the idea that the Avatar was born there. It has always been said of the Advent that is to come now that there would be many in whom it would seem that it had come, but the real Avatar
—would work behind a veil until the destined hour came.
I do not gather from what is quoted as said by your Guru that he claimed to be the Avatar. It seems to me that he claimed to be a Power preparing the way for the work of the Divine Mother and even to indicate that all that he meant would be manifested not only by his own followers but by other groups (sampradāya), consisting evidently of those who had not had him for Guru but had some other Head and Teacher. This is also confirmed by the saying that some other one than his disciples might be the means of his prakāśa — that is to say, would be the means of carrying on his work and aiding the manifestation of the Mother. If this meant proclaiming him as the Avatar, I do not see how it can agree with the other saying that after his leaving of the body the Avatar would come to the Ashram he had created.
I do not quite know what is meant by ayoni-sambhava. An incarnation is always through a human mother, though there have been one or two cases in which a virgin birth has been proclaimed (Christ, Buddha). The only other meaning
— unless we suppose an unprecedented miracle — might be a descent such as sometimes happen, the Godhead manifesting in somebody who at birth was a Vibhuti, not at once the full incarnation. But in the absence of a clear statement from your Guru himself, these are only speculations.
I have written this much as an answer to your question, but I doubt whether it is necessary or advisable to write anything of it to your friends. They have their own feeling about the matter; it seems to me better not to challenge or disturb it.
Birthday-Messages from Sri Aurobindo
A veil behind the heart, a lid over the mind divide us from the Divine. Love and devotion rend the veil, in the quietude of the mind the lid thins and vanishes.
May the inner Sun tranquillise and illumine the mind and awaken fully the heart and guide it.
In a quietude of the mind open to the presence of the Divine in your heart and everywhere; in a still mind and heart the Divine is seen like the sun in still water.
Rise into the higher consciousness, let its light control and transform the nature.
By the heart’s self-giving the Presence and the Influence will be there even in the inconscience and prepare the nature for the true light and consciousness through the whole range of the being.
Put stress always on the aspiration within; let that get depth and steadiness in the heart; the outer obstacles of mind and the vital will recede of themselves with the growth of the heart’s love and aspiration.
Keep the mind and heart open and turned inward and upward so that when the touch comes from within or the flow from above, you may be ready to receive it.
To persevere in turning towards the Light is what is most demanded. The Light is nearer to us than we think and at any time its hour may come.
To keep the soul ready for the Divine Grace so that it may be ready to receive it when it comes.
A persistent will for the work to be done in us and in the world is what is most needed; there is a sure spiritual result, the growth of the consciousness and the soul’s readiness for the touch of the Divine’s Light and Power.
When the Light enters into the Inconscience which hedges |n all our being and prevents or limits the manifestation of the true consciousness in us, when it inhibits the habits and recurrences and constant repetition of the same stimuli which besiege us and rise from the subconscient, then only can the nature be wholly free and respond only to the Truth from above.
Clarity of knowledge and inner self-vision, subjugation of the ego, love, scrupulousness in selfless and dedicated works, are the four wheels of the chariot of yoga. One who has them will progress safely on the path.
In 1938 I had asked Sri Aurobindo for a brief prayer with His and the Mother’s names to use as a mantra. Sri Aurobindo sent the following:
“OM Sri Aurobindo Mira
Open my mind, my heart, my life to your Light, your Love, your Power. In all things may I see the Divine.”
While sending this mantra, Sri Aurobindo wrote:
“I have written for you a brief prayer with the names in the form of a mantra. I hope it will help you to overcome your difficulty and get an inner foundation.”
On receiving the mantra I inquired:
“Have I to consider the names and the prayer as one mantra ?”
Sri Aurobindo replied: “Yes”.
1 A book by the Mother.