Some Letters of
the Mother and
To begin with, I would like to relate two interviews with the Mother and what I heard from her when I first came here on 22nd November 1928 — sixty years ago.
In those days, after 9 o’clock in the morning one could go to the Mother if one had something to ask her. Of course a previous permission or appointment was the general rule, but in case there happened to be an urgent necessity the Mother would always allow the person to come to her. There was no rigidity about the rule. The divine compassion and consideration were always there.
One day I went to the Mother in a very upset state because of an unpleasant matter which had hurt me very much. As soon as I entered the room, I fell at her feet and began to weep. Seeing this, the Mother raised me up, embraced me with a warmth unforgettable and started patting me as she would a small child and in a tone most delicately soft and sweet went on saying, «What’s wrong, my dear child? Tell me what is the matter.» While replying I was still sobbing. She drew me more close to her and kissed my forehead. Then, after hearing everything, she said, «Look here, my child, listen, you do one thing: try to find out if you have done anything wrong on your side (the Mother put a stress in her voice on «your»), if you find any such thing then you must feel happy and pleased to have found something which you have to overcome and conquer now. And if you find that nothing wrong has been done by you, then what does it matter whether anybody says anything?» Saying this she gave me a good shake holding both my hands with a smile full of her unspeakable tenderness.
Now a meeting on another day. I was staying with a sadhika in a house where we had adjoining rooms. She had cats. In those days the Mother not only encouraged the keeping of cats but herself arranged food for them — boiled fish and pudding (made of milk and flour) — cooked somewhere in the Ashram. We used to have a maid-servant to bring the meals of the cats every day, and keep them in the right place. Anyhow, I went to the Mother and said to her, «Mother, I feel terribly disturbed because of the noise of the cats’ quarrelling with each other at night. I cannot sleep. Will you kindly give me a room somewhere else, Mother?» She replied, «Look here, Sahana, my dear child, I can give you another room, but suppose the same thing happens, then what will you do? After all, there are cats in the street.» After saying this she kept quiet for some time, then looking at me with the same compassion and smile of encouragement, but with a voice very deep and solemn, she slowly brought out the words, «One has to rise above all these things — do you understand, my child?» I came back with her voice ringing in my ears.
Now about the book — «Some Letters of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo», which I am publishing. The letters deal generally with very small, mostly personal matters, they may seem uninteresting, unimportant, trifling, etc. etc. But it is beyond one’s imagination how much time Sri Aurobindo gave to write such letters, with what patience, compassion, kindness, consideration, love and care, above all the encouragement to go forward, whatever might be the matter, not to be disheartened in any way. From every line I drew the strength to go ahead and not to break the divine journey. In these letters I have found the Light of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo always pointing an approach to the Beyond. With the grace of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo I have realised that nothing is small, everything is inwardly important. I offer my infinite gratitude to them for giving me the opportunity of this divine means to realise what they wanted me to realise from these letters.
I thank Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna) whole-heartedly for checking with so much love and care each copied letter with the original. I am grateful to him for all he has done for the publication of this book.
Sri Aurobindo’s Letters
October 8, 1931
There are only two passages in your letter which call for a change. In one place you speak of those who do not leave all and come here as being inferior in surrender. It is better not to write this, especially as it might appear to be a suggestion or a pressure on her ― and she must be left absolutely free to follow her own way.
In another place at the end of the letter, your practically tell her that she should not have called in a doctor except for diagnosis. This also should not be written. That may be a personal rule that some may follow who have an absolute faith in these matters; but it should not be suggested to those who have not such a faith; the suggestion will only perplex them, especially as in the Ashram itself medical means are used by most as an outward aid and there is a whole department for the purpose!
November 15, 1931
Amrita can write to Doraiswami, but we must know by what train on what day they are reaching Madras; other-wise nothing can be done. You can inform Amrita as soon as you get the wire and show him this note and ask him to write or, if there is not time, wire.
I suppose the two beds will be of the same kind, but even so it may not be possible to put a double-bed curtain on two beds ― they will have to manage somehow in that case.
November 26, 1931
There is no need to ask to try to find out whether the Mother forgives you. You wrote a strangely foolish letter, but as you saw your mistake and corrected it, we consider it as cancelled. The Mother had not the least idea of withholding forgiveness or of punishing you, as you mistakenly suggested in this morning’s letter.
At the same time you must be careful not to allow these blind and irrational movements from the subconscient vital to take hold of you and cloud your mind. You have had an instance of what they can make you do and how much they can disturb the sadhana; it should put you on your guard for the future.
January 28, 1932
The Mother’s intention in the arrangement by which your sisters come to your place for phoscao was precisely that you would be able to see them every day without having any obligation to go to them daily. Certainly therefore there will be no harm if you do not pay daily visits to them. Not to be under that obligation will be a better condition for keeping your concentration in sadhana.
January 30, 1932
A’s symptoms are all very well-known symptoms of cerebral anaemia. It must be due to worry and troubles, about the son’s illness and other domestic difficulties. The one indispensable condition of cure is that she should take complete rest and get freedom from all mental worry and trouble. This she ought to have for the time that she is here. There are special treatments and curative diet for this illness (such as Sanatogen, cereals specially prepared. Kola and cocoa etc.). Phoscao ought to be useful and the brown whole bread of the Ashram; she should take more bread than rice. But rest is the most important thing of all. Since she has this illness, it would be better not to do embroidery for the present; if she does it at all, it should be very little at a time and in a very slow and leisurely way, not hurrying to finish it by an early time.
Dilip’s music is very beautiful and it would not be desirable to change it. The picking of the flowers even in the swift steps could be done within the frame of the music , but as you are not accustomed that would probably too difficult for you now. But the Mother did not intend that you should reproduce her steps, she showed them only in order to make you feel the spirit in which that part should be done. If you put the spirit into it, you can make your own form for it, only keeping the inspiration. There should not be any monotony or unvaried repetition ― Dilip’s music is full of light and variety and significance, your dance throughout should be the same. This refers to the last part of the dance; for the style of the first part was good1.
February 9, 1932
It is perhaps better to be silent. She will bring a too excited atmosphere2.
February 10, 1932
The best way to help A is to assist her by your own example and atmosphere to get the right attitude. Instead of the sense that she is very ill, she should be encouraged to have a bright and confident feeling, open to receive strength and help from us, contributing by her own faith to a speedy recovery. These ideas that they do not see the Mother, are outside the atmosphere, at a distance, are just of the wrong nature and most likely to come in the way and block up your sister’s receptivity, it is surprising that you should accept or echo them and not react against them at once. They are here in the Ashram ( a little nearer or farther makes no difference), in the Mother’s presence and atmosphere, meeting her every day at the Pranam where everyone who is open can receive as much of her touch and her help as they can hold, that is what they should feel and make the most of their opportunity and not waste it by a negative attitude.
For yourself what you must have with other sadhaks (including your sisters) is a harmonious relation free from any mere vital attachment (indifference is not asked from you ) and free from any indulgence in wrong vital movements of the opposite kind (such as dislike, jealousy or ill will). It is through the psychic consciousness that you have found it possible to be in a true constant relation with the Mother and your aim is to make that the basis of all your life, action and feelings, all in you, all that you feel, say and do should be consistent with that basis. If all proceeds from that psychic union of your consciousness with the Mother, dedicating everything to her, then you will develop the right relations with others.
P.S. It would not be right to put any pressure on your sister at Patna. The Calvé House is quite unsafe and it is for that reason that we have had to vacate it.
February 28, 1932
We do not consider it necessary for you to practice tratak. It may be useful for some who have a strong predisposition ― in Dilip for instance, in his development something was always trying to bring out this power of vision. But in your case I think you can wait for the vision to develop of itself or at any rate leave it till later. For you what is important to carry on what has begun till it is complete in all the parts of your nature.
P.S. It is not necessary for you to go on teaching P ― as she is learning elsewhere.
March 14, 1932
You should not give the money for the food to the Mother ― for that would simply mean the stopping of your cooking altogether. The Mother does not «want» anything and she would not be able to tell you what to cook or how much to spend on it, she prefers that you should use your discretion ― or intuition for that.
Also she wants you to keep the blouses. If you bought them out of an impulse of luxury, it is enough if that is past and you are on your guard in the future.
The weakness may be due to overstrain; it may be only a momentary physical disturbance. While it lasts, do not force yourself, remain collected and quit and rest a good deal till it is over.
March 19, 1933
The Mother says the programme is a very long and crowded one for such a short time. But Venkataraman has a bad throat: he ought to give his throat a complete rest for some time; if he sings at all that day it shall be in the chorus only. If you also omit your solo (as you are singing a duet with Nolini as well as in the chorus), the programme would then be reduced to reasonable proportions.
March 26, 1932
Yes, you can try the European singing and the Mother will one day hear you and see what you can do.
The programme as you have suggested, will do very well.
March 29, 1932
I an glad you are trying to take food. I hope that by tomorrow you will have recovered your peace of mind and got rid of this invasion of trouble. With peace of mind there will be a return of physical health and vigour. Our love and help are with you always.
April 4, 1932
I It would be much too soon to try a European song on the 24th. You are only beginning and could not be really ready by then.
You can try the Vedagan if you like.
As for the sitar , it is with Doraiswami and Ksudhiki’s vina playing that it should go and that can only be when they are here in the vacation.
April 6, 1932
The Mother does not think you should take up drawing . French you can try. The European music is in the nature. of an experiment and the Mother will give her final verdict about it after she sees how you go on. The rest seems all right there is nothing that you need discontinue.
April 19, 1932
The difficulty is that if you show the house to one, everybody will want to see!
April 25, 1932
If Mridu has no ear or possibility of it. it is no use teaching her; she can always sing for herself as she has been doing.
You can certainly postpone your sitar and your singing lessons. It will be quite enough for the present if you do as you say with regard to the singing.
You sang very beautifully on the 24th and what people say to you is quite correct; but it was because you were not thinking of playing well so to impress others and were absorbed in your own sincere feeling and sang out of it, that it was so good.
May 10, 1932
Of course you can take help from Amal if you want; but Mother asks why not take from Arjava who is himself English and can tell you what books to read; but if somebody else tells you, you can submit to me and I will give you my opinion.
May 12, 1932
Arjava saw the Mother today and it appears that his time is very heavily charged ― so it would not be possible for him to devote the time to you that you need. So you will have to take Amal’s help as you originally proposed.
May 15, 1932
A must say what she can give, without inconvenience to herself ― reckoning carefully, for it may be the children will require more milk than we are giving and in that case she must have something for such extra expenses.
The one who accompanies them can stay for 2 or 3 days if A can make room for him in the house.
P.S. I shall write about the books afterwards.
May 22, 1932
I think it is not necessary for me to answer the most part of what you have written in your letter — for it is written entirely from the vital plane, and your relations with us cannot be taken back to that basis. To do so would be to annul all the progress you have made and that you surely do not want. The one thing that you have to do is to get out of this sunken condition which makes you take the whole thing from the wrong end and get back into your inner self and go on in your progress with this impediment gone from the road and the burden of the old difficulty taken from your shoulders.
There is no question of your seeing more or less of X. What the Mother said was that she had given (to you both) her confidence and since all has been frankly confessed she would not take it back from you. It means of course that she would not interfere with your seeing each other, trusting fully that this element will be cast out of it hereafter.
About the other point in the Mother’s conversation with X. There is no question of truth or half-truth; she said to him in answer to what he spoke about his pressure on you that she knew that (and certainly she knows that you would not have done anything of the kind but for that pressure), but your fault was that you did not speak out although you had promised to tell everything to her. (I must say that you did not merely speak of an attempt to do this, but said more than once that it was your firm resolution and you would carry it out not allowing any-thing to prevent it). More is expected of one who has had the full psychic contact with the Mother and offered the surrender and opened herself and accepted her guidance in every matter than from one like X who had admitted and has always said frankly that he has not been able to do these things. It was what you yourself saw when you saw X’s confession made your own error rise like a mountain before you. It is the truth and I do not see why you should be so much hurt when the Mother says it.
I have said that once the mistake was confessed, that repairs the past. It applies as much to X as to you. But for him it was necessary to call him and say it and put him on the right way. You yourself should have understood it at once and looked at it from the right standpoint viz. that you had made a serious mistake but that now all that was past, and you could now go on with a firmer and more complete resolution and with, as I have said, the impediment gone from the path and the burden taken from your shoulders.
The Mother will see you on Monday at 9.30 in the morning. Meanwhile rest and recover yourself and get back into the right attitude and the right union with her. Clean out all this perilous indulgence in vital abhiman and resume your way in the sweetness of the psychic union and with the strength of the psychic surrender.
May 23, 1932
It is not anything physical but a vital depression (in some part of the vital, not the whole) that prevents the body from recovering its elasticity. There was some part of the vital that was resisting a radical change and even, unknown to your mind, trying to go on as it was undercover of the change in the rest of your being. This has now, owing to this last affair, received a blow and got depressed and, when the vital is depressed like that, it affects the body. You say rightly that it is part of a change or turn that is taking place. But these effects of inertia and axness need not continue; as soon as this vital part acquiesces gladly in the turn in change, the elasticity and energy will return.
I shall answer the rest of your letter as soon as I have been able to translate the gist of the letter to the Mother —I got it rather late tonight.
May 27, 1932
Obviously it was that part of the vital which is not yet free — the part which says it is very difficult — which like stalk and likes the old ways, that is at the root of this constant thinking about it. These things come to show you that the root of the old movements is still there — when they come no longer you can know that that part of the vital has accepted to be changed, and has begun at least to change.
June 6, 1932
I have gone through your poems. For poetry three things are necessary. First, there must be emotional sincerity and poetical feeling — this your poems show that you possess. Next, a mastery over language and a faculty of rhythm perfected by a knowledge of the technique and rhythmic expression, there the technique is imperfect, the true faculty is there but in the rough and there is not yet an original and native style. Finally, there must be the power of inspiration, the creative energy, and that makes the whole difference between the poet and the good verse-writer. In your poems this is still very uncertain, in some passages it almost comes out, but in the rest it is not evident.
I would suggest to you not to turn your energies in this direction at present. Allow your consciousness to grow; if when the consciousness develops, a greater energy of inspiration comes, then you can write and, if it is found that the energy not only comes from the true source but is able to mould for itself the true transcription in rhythm and language, can continue.
June 10, 1932
It will take me a little time to answer what you have written in your letter. There are several things I have to explain to you about the sadhana and the nature of the surrender in connection with what you want us to do. It would be too long for me to write tonight. But remember that you have to get back fully your psychic basis — the success of any method really depends on that and not on the method itself which is only a means for the inner being to act on the outer nature.
July 26, 1932
... Mother told you about the phoscao because you complained of the emptiness in the head which was due to loss of blood and it can only be repaired by food creating afresh supply of blood. But if you cannot digest, then the only thing is to take less phoscao in the morning milk until you can move about and digest more easily. But it is a mistake to walk about with the idea of digesting the food when the thing is not finished — for it is that that must go first, the rest can easily be dealt with when that is gone.
August 19, 1932
Mother was rather thinking that you could move to the Vigie House, A is there and she cannot be left alone. It is also nearer; the Dupleix House is rather far away.
August 21, 1932
What the Mother suggests is that since there are two rooms upstairs, you could have your cot in one of them, —for it is better to sleep upstairs — using it as a bedroom, and two rooms downstairs, those nearest the rooms by the half-well. This would give space for the accommodation of others in the house which would otherwise be difficult. We have to be economical in the use of possible accommodation just now, because the Savary House will have to be vacated after a time and there is a possibility of other shaving to be vacated also if they become unsecure or if the owners refuse to renew the lease or are willing to renew only at an exorbitant rent. At the same time new inmates are always coming. You will therefore see whether you cannot manage with this arrangement.
August 22, 1932
If you like, you can try; but if you find it too inconvenient, e.g. the room No.2, too dark for the reading etc. you will say so.
August 28, 1932
«I will» in English means «I intend to». You intend to sing, but you do not intend not to have an opportunity.
September 4, 1932
You did nothing wrong and there is no displeasure.
About Mridu we did not reply because we had come to no decision.
About the cheese we replied to L and thought the matter was settled. You can give it to her.
About the tea for A we did not reply because here too it was difficult to decide. Tea is bad for her, but if she got restless for want of it (owing to habit) that also would not be good. If, however, she had decided against it, so much the better.
So you see you were worrying yourself for nothing. Why should you suppose that silence meant displeasure?
P.S. Mother only wants one pot of the jelly, for the rest you can do as you like. One pot lasts for a year. She will speak to Sarala about the ointment.
As to your feeling at a distance, it must be because there was some vital mixture in your movement to get out of the former house. Otherwise, it is on the inward condition that it depends and not on a slightly greater physical distance.
September 24, 1932
Mother smiled as usual and there was no difference in her. The depression came into you subconsciously be-cause you had the discussion with X. When you discuss like that with people, you may put something in them, but something also comes from them to you. So as X was not in quite a good condition, though nothing like what he used to be in his depressions, you easily got a touch of it and as soon as the subconscious could find a habitual excuse (the imagination of Mother’s not smiling) it sent it up to the mind. You should always be on your guard against these automatic interchanges. A little care is sufficient — and no needless discussion.
October 8, 1932
I did not answer anything in your letter at once because there was nothing urgent which could not be answered afterwards and it was already late, nearly 6 in the morning, and everything would have been delayed still farther if I had answered this and other letters at once. We attached no importance whatever to the affair of J and the prasad — it was an insignificant trifle. As usual, you have allowed your imagination and your vital feelings to play and put yourself in a wrong condition without any reason whatever. We have seen nothing wrong in your attitude on Friday and we had not disbelieved anything you wrote.
It is surely time you got rid of this habit of the vital of setting yourself wrong for nothing. It is to begin with a wrong attitude to get upset because I do not answer immediately — that means that there is a mixture of vital demand in your expectation. You ought to have sufficient confidence in us, besides, to know that the absence of a reply does not mean any of the things you imagine.
The best thing that you can now do is to dismiss all this from your mind, get back into the right condition and resolve firmly not to let yourself fall into these deceptions of the vital feeling and imagination ever again in future.
October 30, 1932
It will be better if you play the esraj with Venkataraman’s solo, as that is likely to improve it.
November 21, 1932
In the first place the Mother was not pressing you to stop going to X’s altogether — only not to stay too long or chat too much. It is to help an inner change to come. The strength of the impulse to go there as well as the feeling of trouble or despair at not being able to carry out the will not to go — a feeling which you should cast away — may both come from a too great stiffness in the effort of the will itself. A quiet will progressively fulfilling, freeing the physical of the attachment to this kind of vital self-expenditure, is the best way.
As for the feeling of being driven, compelled, that is quite usual when it is the physical nature that is being dealt with; there is no need to be upset or think it can not be got over. The physical is the slave of certain forces which create a habit and drive it through the mechanical force of the habit. As long as the mind gives consent, you do not notice the slavery, but if the mind withdraws its consent, then you feel the servitude, you feel a force pushing you in spite of the mind’s will. It is very obstinate and repeats itself till the habit — the inner habit revealing itself in the outward act — is broken. It is like a machine which once set in motion repeats the same movement.’ You need not be alarmed or distressed; a quiet persistent aspiration will bring you to the point where the habit breaks and you are free — as with the sex drive and tea.
November 28, 1932
We asked the Doctor to do the operation because it was urgent and there would have been serious danger in not doing it. There we certainly gave him the responsibility. As to the food the Doctor’s opinion agrees with the general opinion and desire and A’s own feeling — in such a case we could say nothing; for his opinion is given on his medical responsibility and will be accepted as right and scientific. If we said anything to the contrary, it might be obeyed, but without acceptation in the minds of people —in such circumstances it is better to say nothing. There is no objection to A’s taking more food if she needs it —phoscao, for instance. Personally, we would say that in her case simple food, not greasy, not spiced would be the safest thing — in view of her nervous condition and the serepeated abscesses; greasy and highly spiced things being held always to be dangerous in such cases. But then we are told that A cannot take plain food and needs tasty dishes to enrich her blood — so again we can say nothing and can only hope that tasty does not mean greasy or spicy in this case.
December 1, 1932
(About learning singing)
Mridu is very categorical, — it is for the every Thursday permission that she accepts. We have sanctioned the every Thursday.
L can learn by herself, so she can do with only twice a week; on these two days you can omit K.
As for Mridu, she has to pass her entrance examination first.
December 7, 1932
You should keep it for yourself if you have none. Mother is using the other one you gave her and does not need another.
January 19, 1933
X has written that he won’t repeat the tea at A’s — it was simply to celebrate the peace-making — so perhaps she won’t insist much. Remain quiet within yourself and put all the stress on the inner condition — in the end the outer circumstances will then become more comfortable.
February 9, 1933
You can tell C that she must not be discouraged or take this failure — whatever its cause — as final, but rather remain calm with a steady and one-pointed will and take this check as an ordeal and a call for a greater concentration and a more complete self-consecration of the nature. Even the worst obstacles in the end disappear before a will that never falters.
I do not understand why there should be a mystery about the reason for her not coming — so that she cannot even inform the Mother. If it is police pressure, it is still more incomprehensible. All kinds of people come here from Government officials to men who have gone to jail for non-cooperation and the police never had anything to say in the matter. Why should there be an insuperable obstacle of this kind in the case of C?
February 12, 1933
If one part of you keeps its quietude — the inner being-— then the rest can be dealt with. Not to allow the vital to be upset and the disturbance [to] cover up the inner self, that is the most important thing. Keep up the rejection always.
March 18, 1933
It is indeed amazing that you should have lent yourself to an extravagant deception such as M has set on foot. It is simply the same spirit of vital falsehood, dramatic and romantic, obscuring the reason and shutting out commonsense and simple truth and vanity which had impelled M. To clear the vital, to get rid of the old Sahana in it, you must get out of it all compromise with falsehood — no matter how specious the reason it advances — and get the habit of simple straightforward psychic truth engraved init — so that nothing may have a chance to enter. If this lesson can be imprinted in that part of the vital which is capable of such compromises — some good will come out of this wrong movement. Put the mother’s notice hence-forth at the door of your vital being «No falsehood hereafter shall ever enter herein» and station a sentry there to see that it is put into execution.
March 27, 1933
Your idea about Mother’s mysterious smile is your own imagination — Mother says that she smiled with the utmost kindness and took the most helpful attitude to-wards you. I have written to you already that you must not put these imaginations between yourself and the Mother; for they push the help given away from you. These imaginations and their effect on you are suggested by the same vital forces that are disturbing you so that you may not get free from the disturbance.
My help and the Mother’s help are there — you have only to keep yourself open to it to recover.
April 8, 1933
The Mother as you know had suggested to X not to seek a sentimental reconciliation with you so as not to start again the old circle. But the position created has been misinterpreted by X as the result of an unforgiving rancour, aversion, enmity on your part against him because of his ... and he has been so much upset by it that he declares it impossible for him to stay here under such conditions. I have told him that there are no such feelings in your mind, but he does not believe and instances such incidents as your going away suddenly when he offered some typescript to you before others as a proof of the truth of his interpretation of your attitude. If both had accepted the situation, our purpose in creating it could have been carried out; but in the circumstances it is not possible. Not only will his sadhana be frustrated, but there will be a reaction from the atmosphere upon you. We there fore withdraw the arrangement we had made. It is better if you have an explanation together and you let him know that you bear no grudge against him for what had happened and are perfectly willing to be friendly and it was only because you understood that he himself had not wished for it that you have held aloof. What precise relations there will be between you you will have to settle together. You will let me know what happens and I will write to you farther.
May 16, 1933
Why should you decide before hand that your birthday is spoiled? You have only to throw off all these undesirable ideas and feelings which proceed from a still imperfectly purified part of the external being and take the right attitude which you should always have when you come to the Mother. There should be no idea of what others have or have not — your relation is between the Mother and yourself and has nothing to do with others. Nothing should exist for you but yourself and the Divine— yourself receiving, her forces flowing into you.
To secure that better do not spend the time at your disposal in speech — especially if anything of the depression remains with you, it will waste the time in discussing things which cannot help the true consciousness to predominate. Concentrate, open yourself and let the Mother bring you back to the psychic condition by what she will pour into you in meditation and silence.
May 21, 1933
I need not say much as you yourself have seen very clearly the mistakes and their source. But it is regrettable that you have sent back to X his presents — such a gesture does no good and it would have been a greater conquest over egoism not to have done it.
We have no objection to your isolating yourself for a time. But let there be no cutting of anybody — that would be again a vital movement and would take away the spiritual value of your movement which should be only for concentration and the conquest of this lower vital nature.
No, the Mother is not angry with you. It is naturally a matter of regret that this disturbance which was on the point of falling quiet should have been prolonged by each one doing just the wrong thing till it has reached this point. However the most important thing for you is that you now see clearly what in yourself you have to conquer. Keep firmly your resolution to do it till it is done.
June 12, 1933
This indifference or equality will be a great progress towards getting the true spiritual attitude.
July 10, 1933
Yes, it is a very small and shallow part of the vital force that finds satisfaction.
July 10, 1933
It is a great and indispensable progress to have reached this condition.
July 16, 1933
The emotion was evident in your singing and your duet with Dilip was truly very beautiful.
August 10, 1933
It was probably because of your criticism on a former occasion of his taste in dress which he had not been able to digest. People do not like such reflections on them selves show ever trifling and often they take the first opportunity of making what is called a «score» (secure a point) against the critic. These are small movements which you should note without being either puzzled or disturbed, they are part of the ego-nature and everybody has them, though many do not let them be seen if they can help it. Perhaps X himself did not know the real reason of his taking the discussion so much to heart. Give no importance to these small disputes and if they come, drop them at once.
August 16, 1933
A painter who has a true artistic taste and eye is like that. But you said to X simply «a painter» without giving him the opportunity to reply that there are many painters (he named some) who had no taste in dress — for if you say a painter it means a man whose profession is to paint.
August 26, 1933
Calmness is an internal affair — why should K’s visits disturb it? She has only to remain indifferent.
September 13, 1933
It is really the same Force taking different forms, using different means of approach or acting on different levels of the nature.
September 15, 1933
Her difficulty has not been so much rajasic as tamasic — too much passivity, not enough determination to resist.
September 27, 1933
Why do you prophesy that such formations do not help? One should rather think that he should rise out of his lesser self and find peace and fulfilment.
October 7, 1933
Naturally. These dirty things do not agree with the system refined by Yoga.
No, it is not imagination — it is the inner vision and feeling that gives you these experiences.
October 22, 1933
All you say is quite right. It is becoming impossible. The Mother did not like to give a notice; but perhaps we have to give.
November 20, 1933
I am afraid we can’t give a notice — people ought to understand of themselves and feel.
November 28, 1933
You can choose [that] which least interferes with your concentration.
November 28, 1933
I think it is better, if you feel like it, to put all that off for a time. You could say that you wanted some time longer for yourself before you begin the outward activities.
May 2, 1934
Well, if all is right in you, then it is all right. Obviously, too, if you have no needs which are not met by the Mother and no fancies for yourself to which you do not yield, then there is no need of the two rupees monthly.
As to the bazar biscuits, I was putting our view of it, that is all. Yours, as you put it in your letter, does not seem to me the right one.
I, repeat that we do not object to your writing —whether it be poetry or short stories or novels. What we felt was that this kind of total absorption and possession by it was not good for your spiritual condition and that it put a lesser thing in front, even occupying the whole front of the consciousness for most of the time instead of putting it in its proper place in a sound spiritual harmony.
June 6, 1934
It is well. It takes time no doubt, to get rid of the old habits of the nature, but a quiet will and strong endeavour can hasten the process. We will give you full help towards its success.
June 18, 1934
I have read your letter and X’s letters. Is it not very much a storm in a teacup? I should sum it up in a few words, «X ought not to have insisted and you should not have cared». Remember that to establish a settled equanimity to all such things is what you have set out to do.
As to how much you will see of X, you are always free to decide. There can be no compulsion on you either way. Make your mind perfectly quiet and see what is the best thing to do.
July 8, 1934
I do not see what good you can do by speaking to P of this matter. Even if he consented to make no trouble, he might forget all that in a fit of passionate temper and let out everything. The only real solution would be if both D and P were to make sincere reconciliation surmounting their personal feelings and taking the true yogic attitude as you suggest in your letter. But it hardly looks as if things were ripe for that yet. If M comes, and we cannot tell her not to come, the situation must be faced and the best done that is possible. D said nothing about his talk with you, only a hint that it might be well if you spoke with P.
October 4, 1934
It is good that you were able to observe yourself all the time and saw the movements and that the intimation o f the new consciousness was frequent and automatic. At a later stage you will no doubt get a guidance in the mind also as to how to do the things you want to get done. Evidently your mind was too active as well as the minds of others also — and so you missed your objective, owing to the excessive multitude of witnesses! However —
December 11, 1934
It was certainly a mistake to tell J all about A; but from what she has written it does not seem to have done any harm. So you should dismiss the thing from your mind and not allow it to disturb your condition. All that you need do is to take a lesson and become completely master of your outer reactions.
December 18, 1934
The two parts in you are of course the inner being which is conscious and knows and the outer which can still beclouded and indulge itself in the freaks of the old nature— abhiman and the rest which you describe.
... As yet the physical consciousness and subconscient are still open to attack and to recurrences — so caution is best until this is no longer so.
For the same reason you have to be careful about food. There is just now an acute struggle between the supra mentalising (not supramental) Force and the Asuric powers in the material and violent attacks on the body have been felt by many. It is better not to give a loophole in the shape of a physical cause — such as pullao —attractive and rajasic — can be.
It is not a mistake to remain calm and avoid being up set when these things happen — it is the best attitude — so long as there is at the same time an aspiration and will to get rid of these defects of the nature. It naturally takes time because it has been a very strong habit — so a persistent will and some time are needed.
February 4, 1935
I have seen the letter written by you and Dilip’s note. The obstinacy of insomnia and the resulting physical depression is very troubling, it ought not to persist or return obstinately like that. Have you any objection to telling Nirod of the duration and signs of the insomnia, (nervous spasms, restlessness, yesterday’s weakness and giddiness etc.)? I should like to make certain whether It is only nervous or helped by some physical trouble, digestive or other. Nervous insomnia is difficult to treat medically, but if there is a specific body cause its removal might remove the insomnia also.
I am continuing to send the force each night; the other night you received it fully — I hope you will be able to ‘do so tonight and tomorrow again. If you can have a few nights’ full sleep and no nervous trouble, all this ought to go for good. It is a pity you allow yourself to be upset. Small things like these and the behaviour of people is of no or very minor importance — to get back health and strength and the full progress of the sadhana is the one important thing.
March 3, 1935
Yes, the force was sent, but especially for strength and quiet in the nerves and quiet in the mind so that there maybe sleep. I shall continue till the sleep and quiet come, try to be quietly open and receive.
April 5, 1935
Nirod has as yet written nothing, he is waiting, I suppose, for the urine examination he wants to make. We can say nothing until he writes. We do not ourselves like any body being under medical treatment except when it is necessary in moments of an emergency. It seems to me if you get back your sleep and are able to get quiet in the nerves, the rest would set themselves right by the descent of peace and strength in the body.
April 8, 1935
Yes, we must try now to establish the deeper consciousness fully in all the being.
April 10, 1935
D writes to me that he has decided to go and I under-stand from Amrita that he has taken money — evidently for his departure. I have written to him, that as he has intimated to me that he is quite decided and I should not bar him, I could only ask him to reconsider his decision and not to act in haste. I cannot tell you what to do or to do anything; you must act or not act just as you feel. He suggests the quarrel and your letter as the immediate cause of departure but indicates other reasons also.
April 11, 1935
M has written to me, evidently the result of your advice. You have done very well in speaking to her as you did. I am writing to her and I hope this trouble will not prolong itself too much or cause any complications. But I am sorry that all this trouble should cut across the hopeful physical amelioration that had begun. I hope we shall be able to put things right again without delay. Nirod has given his report and it does not seem to disclose anything serious.
April 27, 1935
You must do as you feel. If you get the impulse to go or to say anything, we shall not disapprove. There is evidently a Force that is trying to drive D away and he is unable to see what it is but thinks it is his own movement. It has been driving him to write letters to me that are more and more challenging and full of doubts and reproaches. I was obliged to point out that what he said about us was built on wrong interpretations and inferences and this seems to have offended and hurt him. Also he asked what he had to do and I told him, but he wrote as if he did not like and could not accept what I said and moreover put a wrong interpretation as if I had told him he was unfit for Yoga; so I said he could throw what I wrote to him in to the wastepaper basket, i.e., treat it as if of no importance. This also upset him greatly. I explained why I wrote in that way, not because I was angry but to stop these wrong ideas of his; he has not made any reply. This is just by way of explanation.
April 18, 1935
What you have written in your letter is correct; but this is a defect against which it is very difficult to do anything unless the psychic being within awakes and itself rejects it. We can only act silently and await the result.
(From a torn piece)
The Mother thinks you may resume your singing lessons and that there is no harm in your singing before others. .It is very desirable that you should develop your singing and get rid of the nervousness. For the rest you have only to be quietly conscious in doing...
April 22, 1935
The hold of sleep is natural after so long a spell of sleeplessness — it usually happens, the body takes back the arrears of sleep due to it. When you fully resume work, take care not to overdo it. In many I have seen the vital feels full of energy and then they tax the body too much with the result of overstrain afterwards. It is only when the body itself is changed and has the direct energy from above that one can do it safely.
September 13, 1935
As the body consciousness becomes more open to the Force (it is always the most difficult and the last to open up entirely) this frequent stress’ of illness will diminish and disappear.
May 3, 1936
What might be the nature of the attack is another matter — but to have only 4 hours’ sleep and work all day without rest is excessive. I hope that now you will take some rest in the daytime. The sleep must also be longer than that;
August 17, 1936
There is no reason to be so much cut down or despair of your progress. Evidently you have had a surging up of the old movements, but that can always happen so long as there is not an entire change of the old nature, both the conscious and the subconscient parts. Something came up that made you get out of poise and stray into a past round of feelings. The one thing to do is to quiet yourself and get back into the true consciousness and poise. There is nothing in what you have written about what happened that has any wrong turn or mistake except the imprudence of intervening and becoming a messenger of the Ys to X; it would have been wiser to have. refused. It was not necessary for you to accept; for Y is no pardanashin woman except, as she told the Mother, when she lives with the father; otherwise, she is accustomed to a freer life, has been in England and can meet men in the society way with a perfect composure and knowledge [of] what to say or do. Besides she has been in friendly correspondence with X and had already met and spoken with him, so there was no reason why she should not have said what she wanted to say herself or written or sent her Secretary, as she did afterwards. Then there would have been no trouble. This however is an outside thing altogether. There must have been something not noticed by you perhaps, being off your guard, that brought you into amore exterior consciousness and caused this reaction. Always keep within and do things without involving your-self in them; then nothing will happen or, if it does, no serious reaction will come.
The idea of leaving for any reason is of course absurd and out of the question. Eight years is a very short time for transformation. Most people spend as much as that or more to get conscious of their defects and acquire the serious will to change — and after it takes a long time to get the will turned into full and final accomplishment. Each time one stumbles, one has to get back into the right footing and go on with fresh resolution; by doing that the full change comes.
August 18, 1936
I think it is better not to discuss the matter further, because discussion can only keep up the disturbance. It is better to let the storm in the mind and vital subside and to come back quietly to the inner poise. You have progressed enough for that inner poise to reemerge, since what was established in you can be covered up but not lost. Then the inner psychic will be able to give its own light in everything and that is better than any discussion or mental ideas on the matter. I hope you will soon recover peace within and the firm ground of progress.
August 19, 1936
It is evident that while the main invasion has lifted, there is in some part of the being a resistance which takes this form of indifference to the Mother and the sadhana —perhaps in the physical vital. This must be cleared out. We shall send you help and force and we hope it will be possible to recover quietly both internally and physically.
August 20, 1936
It is indeed the best thing, to rest entirely for a time. You should not cook tomorrow (Friday). The first thing that is needed is to restore the physical strength and elasticity and therefore you should do nothing for a time that will tax it. It will then be easier for the physical consciousness to settle down into quietude and in the quietude for the inner being to recover its hold of the nature. It is the necessity to change the outer physical consciousness so that it may obey the inner and not be subject to the bondage of past nature that has become evident, but [this] can only be done when the inner poiseis back. Rest and an entire quietude are necessary for that purpose.
August 23, 1936
It is good. The being is opening itself and as it opens this part is likely to give a less reluctant consent to change.
But the want of sleep is bad, we must try to remove that.
August 25, 1936
About the curtain Mother was thinking that it might be left as it is for the present — unless you have bought the cloth in which case the additional work can be done at once.
You have done rightly about the things. These small desires obstruct greatly the change in the outer consciousness and the being must be free from them if the transformation is not to be hampered there.
The hunger is all right as it is a sign of the body re-covering and wishing to recuperate its strength.
As to Y, X’s disapproval if he has any (he says that he had no intention to hurt you and he had meant the rebufff or her and not for you), is not the important thing. But as she was the occasion of the upset, it may be from the point of view of the play of the forces better to let the connection remain dormant without breaking it. You can abstain from any answer until she of her own accord writes again.
August 29, 1936
Certainly, you should not force yourself to do what you do not feel. It is better then to leave things to develop of themselves to the point at which all this turmoil can be forgot.
I will only say, to remove a misapprehension in your letter, that X — when he said that he had not spoken anything against you to anyone was speaking of the sadhaks — I was not included in the anyone. But to me also he made no complaint of your having «interfered» —what I wrote was my own independent judgment of what had happened in this particular affair of the Y’s visit and the soiree. All that is of the past and can be left behind. I only wanted to know what was your own preference for the future.
September 13, 1936
As the light went out last night at such a time that I could not replace it by a lamp, I was unable to answer your letter. I will do it to night.
I hope the threat of ill health has passed away.
January 17, 1937
All these suggestions that come to you were of course part of the attack on the physical consciousness, — the attack on the body is used to raise these ideas and the ideas are used to make it more difficult for the body to recover. At a certain stage attacks fall heavily on the body because the opposing forces find it more difficult than before to upset the mind or vital so they fall on the physical in the hope that that will do the trick, the physical being more vulnerable. But the sensibility of the body to attacks is no proof of incapacity, just as the former sensibility of the mind or vital to attacks was no proof —it can be in due time overcome.
As for the feelings about the Mother and that her love is only given for a return in work or to those who can do sadhana well, that is the usual senseless idea of the vital-physical mind and has no value.
There is nothing wrong in taking care of the body in regard to health and, if the liver has gone wrong, the instinct to refuse too sweet or greasy or heavy foods is aright instinct. Mother has no objection to your abstaining while the illness is there nor has she insisted on your taking dal. Her objection is only to what people often do, getting ideas about this or that food and abstaining even when there is no acute illness. During an acute state of bad liver, abstinence is often necessary. Only one must not create by wrong ideas a nervous incapacity of the stomach or a chronic nervous dyspepsia as R and others did. She had no other meaning.
I hope you will be all right soon. If the body does not right itself, you must keep me informed from time to time.
It looks as if this time it was a purely physical attack based on nothing psychological except the tendency of the material (body) consciousness to respond to the insomnia vibrations. We must try this time to get it out of this last refuge for its recurrence.
You can certainly sing J’s song to her and N.
April 25, 1937
About R, Mother had spoken to him about the sitar and he showed no disposition to stop. Perhaps it may be that he is more occupied with the poetry at the moment without wishing to stop the sitar altogether. So it is better to continue but much pressure need not be put.
May 29, 1937
Mother is rather inclined to think that the difficulty at present is not nervousness, but a habit caused by the insistence you have been putting on technique which keeps your mind turned in that direction and prevents you losing yourself as before. Your singing was quite good from the point of view of technique. She thinks the difficulty will disappear of itself as soon as you have full confidence and do not need to think of your technique any longer because you have fully possessed it.
You can sing at Anilbaran’s as you propose, if you think that will help you — it may.
May 20, 1937
The defect of which you speak is there, but it is a little difficult to cure. When you are practising, you can attend to it and try to put it right, but at the time you are singing you should not think of it as it will prevent you from putting yourself into the music. If you once get into the music and lose yourself in it, there is much more chance of the voice coming right of itself.
May 27, 1937
What you said about H is quite correct. It is not necessary to be always serious of face or silent in doing the yoga, but it is necessary to take the yoga seriously and silence and inward concentration have a large place. One can’t be all the time throwing oneself outward if to go in side and meet the Divine there is one’s aim. But that does not mean that one has to be grave and gloomy all the time or gloomy any part of the time, and I don’t suppose that the sadhaks here are like that. It is H’s rhetorical way of putting his difficulty — the difficulty of a vital that wants to throw itself always outward in action and emotion while another part is dissatisfied with the result and feels that its own movement is frustrated. There are two people in him, one wanting a life of vital expansion, the other an inner life. The first gets restless because the inner life is not a life of outward expansion; the other becomes miserable because its aim is not realised. Neither personality need be thrown away in this yoga; but the outer vital one must allow the inner to establish itself, give it the first place and consent to be only an instrument of the soul— and to obey the law of the inner life. This is what H’s mind still refuses to understand; he thinks one must be either all gloomy and cold and grave or else bring the bubble and effervescence into the inner life. A quiet happy and glad control of the vital by the inner being is a thing he is not able as yet to conceive.
The check on your poetry can only be a temporary one— something there needs adjustment I suppose.
June 22, 1937
However or from wheresoever it came, the only thing to do with a depression is to throw it out.
It seemed to me that your poems showed a genuine and increasing poetic faculty — only the last one, though very well written is less inspired. What you have to see is that you come into touch with a genuine original source of inspiration when you write. Speed or frequency of writing are immaterial.
August 22, 1937
Mother thinks that it is better to drop the cooking so long as you have no money for carrying it on. She will pay the dues for August, but for the future it will not be possible for her to give anything. If in future you can arrange for money, then you can go on but you shall do it only when you have money in hand, it is better not to take things in anticipation of money to come, for people can always change their mind about giving any farther.
If you wish to be free from people’s expectations and the sense of obligation, it is indeed best not to take from anybody; for the sense of claim will otherwise be there. Not that it will be entirely absent even if you take nothing, but you will not be bound any longer.
What you write about the singing is perfectly correct. You sing your best only when you forget yourself and let it come out from within without thinking of the need of excellence or the impression it may make. The should indeed disappear into the past, — it is only so that the inner singer can take her place.
September 4, 1937
It was from what N said that the Mother had the• impression. She wished you to know that Y was not easy to deal with before she put her there and whether you have any objection; at the same time Y was told that, if she went to that house, she should so behave as not to disturb your sleep, should not object to your singing etc .etc. Y was told and Mother understood from what N said that you also had been told and that you knew Y and her nature and were confident of being able to manage with her. It appears from what you wrote that this must have been N’s own impression, but it was so said that it seemed to be the gist of his conversation with you. So Mother thought it would be all right and as you had managed with Mridu, so you would manage with Y.
It is not possible for the Mother to intervene personally in these matters. Formerly she used to try to intervene and arrange matters, but the only result was she got reproaches and abuse from both sides and accusations of partiality and injustice and the quarrels increased tenfold. For a long time that has been given up. If we begin again intervening in clashes between housemates or coworkers, all the time would have to be passed in that and the Ashram would become a seething cauldron of feuds and collisions. These things can only disappear if the sadhaks become fully sadhaks in their consciousness and temperament, learn how to keep equality in all circumstances and consider each other. Only a long silent spiritual pressure can help towards that — nothing else is of any use.
September 8, 1937
I don’t think I can say anything about your non-appreciation of X’s singing or rather your failure to feel it, for this is a matter of personality and its responses. X has put me the question as coming from you and I have made some kind of answer. His idea is that you have no appreciation of his music from the aesthetic point of view because it is new in its lines and you cling conservatively to the traditional music. If that is so, it is obviously a mental and aesthetic limitation. But what you say is that you admit his genius and the qualities of his singing — only you don’t feel what you seek in his music. That is a different matter. Your interpretation may then be the right one. In any case what is important for you is to develop your inner realisation till it can take up all the feeling and outer action — whether for your own singing or for a new appreciation of music in general that is the one line opened to you and the one thing needful.
September 20, 1937
I meant exactly the same thing as when I wrote to you that the «famous singer» must disappear and the «inner singer» take her place. The old psychological lines means the mental and vital aesthetic source of the singing, the desire of fame or success, singing for an audience — the singing must come from the soul within and it must be for the Divine.
What I wrote about the conservative clinging to traditional music was in answer to X’s supposition about the source of your non-appreciation. I said if it were that it would be a mental limitation. I had written before that I gathered from what he had written that it was not that but a temperamental difference or a seeking for another vibration than his music could give. As to the newness of X’s music and how far he has been successful, I am not a musical expert and cannot pronounce. It was the Mother who gave him the advice and impulse to create something new. If Tagore’s most recent verdict is sincere, he has succeeded in doing it, since Tagore speaks of him as a creator or in music.
A new creation need not be on one line only, each creator follows his own line, otherwise he would be more of an imitator than a creator. There are many who receive inspiration from me in poetry but they all do not write on the same line. Nishikanto’s poetry is different from Dilip’s, Nirod’s from Amal’s.
As for your singing I was not speaking of any new creation from the aesthetic point of view, but of the spiritual change — what form it takes must depend on what you find within you when the deeper basis is there.
I do not see any necessity for giving up singing al-together. I only meant, — it is the logical conclusion from what I have written to you not now only but before, —that the inner change must be the first consideration and the rest must arise out of that. If singing to an audience pulls you out of the inner condition, then you could post p one that and sing for yourself and the Divine until you are able, even in facing an audience, to forget the audience. If you are troubled by failure or exalted by success, that also you must overcome.
September 5, 1938
What you say is quite the right thing and I understand very well how the movement came.
But I don’t seize how you took what I wrote as an accusation. If N had warned you as he ought to have done and you had given that answer, what would have been wrong in it? It would have been a very desirable thing if there had been somebody who could manage Z. By N’s impression I meant simply that he must have been under the impression that you knew all about Z’s character but that your personality would prove stronger than hers or that you would be able to control her.
It is a pity about the insomnia, but we must still try to put an end to it as soon as possible. With these clinging ailments a persistent force is needful.
What you have done is very satisfactory. As to the relation and what you have to do inwardly or outwardly I will write tomorrow.
I think it should be more easy for you now than it would have been before all this happened.
It is a singular use to make of my letters — as a weapon— a duel of vital passion. I find it a most improper thing to do.
Your mind and higher vital are convinced of that, but something in the physical consciousness and the subterranean vital is not, it still goes back by habit to the old movements and that is why the mechanical physical mind goes on dwelling on these ideas or rather these accustomed mind-movements. You must—since it has risen up from below the surface — press quietly but firmly on these parts the light and knowledge and will you have in your mind and higher vital. Then there will be a liberation of the whole being and the body will not have these depressions.
To confess or speak to the Mother what you know was always right, and could have only a good effect — but not to yield to jealousy and other passions and the conduct that comes from it. If anything good came out of that, it was because the Divine Will overruled all for a good result— but otherwise there could have been disastrous consequences.
When the insomnia becomes so strong it takes a little time to set it right. I hope it will be all right in a few days .Don’t allow any anxiety about the work; let the difficulty. come right quietly of itself by the even flow of the force.
Of course it must be dealt with immediately. It is best to inform me at once if there are two nights’ bad sleep, for it is easier to deal with when it has not gathered force.
Bula’s experiences are those which usually attend the withdrawal from the outer consciousness into an inner plane of experience. The feeling of coldness of the body in the first is one of the signs — like the immobility and stiffness of D’s experience — that the consciousness is with drawing from the outer or physical sheath and retiring in side. The crystallisation was the form in which he felt the organisation of an inner consciousness which could receive at once firmly and freely from above. The crystals received at once indicate organised formation and a firm transparence in which the greater vision and experience descending from the higher planes could be clearly reflected.
As for the other experience, his rejection of the waking consciousness evidently had the result of throwing him into an inner awareness in which he began to have contact with the supra physical planes. What was meant by the sea of red ether and stars depends on the character of the red colour. If it was crimson what he saw was the sea of the physical consciousness and physical life as it is represented to the inner symbolic visions. If it was purple red, then it was the sea of the vital consciousness and the vital life-force. Perhaps if he had not stopped his sense of the Mother’s presence, it would have been better, — he should rather, if he can, take it with him into the inner planes; then he would have had no occasion to fear.
In any case if he wants to go into the inner consciousness and move in the inner planes — which will inevitably happen if he shuts off the waking consciousness in his meditation — he must cast away fear. Probably, he expected to get the silence or the touch of the divine consciousness by following out the suggestion of the Gita? But the silence or the touch of the divine consciousness can be equally, and for some more easily, got in the waking meditation through the Mother’s presence and the descent from above. The inward movement, however, is probably unavoidable and he should try to understand and, not shrinking or afraid, go to it with the same confidence and faith in the Mother as he has in the waking meditation. His dreams are of course experiences on the inner (vital) plane. I need not repeat the explanation I have already given to D.
P.S. The dream about the Mahadeva image may mean that someone (not of this world of course) wanted to mislead him and make him confuse some narrower traditional form of the past with the greater living Truth that he is seeking.
I do not feel as if the difficulty were anything psycho-logical, it is some difficulty in the body consciousness or the body itself (physical nerves). It is a question of opening the body entirely to the force; then these things would disappear. But this can only come gradually by a habit of relaxation of the consciousness and a quiet and wide opening of it so that peace can come down in the cells. Meanwhile, this sleeplessness is very troublesome and ought to be got rid of. Mother wants you to try the medicine which was given to L for her pains. It not only cures pains but is meant to bring good sleep. Perhaps it may correct the nervous habit the body has got into of restlessness and not sleeping. For it is a habit that it has contracted and cannot shake off; once it is well broken, it may disappear. Mother will ask Pavitra to send the medicine to Nirod who will prepare it for you and you can take it after the evening meditation and go home and rest.
I have read the letters. I suppose you can write to Tagore. I hope however that you will be able to put yourself right with him without any clash occurring with D. I say this only because he seems to be in such a state of frequently recurring despondency that it is becoming very difficult to keep him going. Let us hope for the best.
I suggested the walk because fresh air and exercise are very necessary both for the digestion and for other things. I think for instance it might help to get rid of the insomnia. I gather that you have stopped walking on the terrace because of M? But we leave this walk to your choice, for if you feel uncomfortable about it or find it a strain, it will not help. Sleep is the main thing, sufficient food and at any rate take some fresh air in one way or other.
Whatever the truth be, this inquisitiveness belongs to the lower vital and you should get rid of it altogether. Something of the old habitual feeling must have entered into it, even if there was no pain or jealousy, because otherwise surely you would not have lost sleep or appetite— something still sticking as a habit in the most obscure physical layers of the vital. But even quite apart from any special interest in X, the whole movement is wrong in itself, — the very habit of eager curiosity in these matters; it is closely affiliated to the sex interest in the small physical being — so discard it altogether and make these layers entirely clear and pure.
I do not at all understand why you should think that the Mother was displeased with you for any reason whatever. She was just as she is always with you. Even if you have made any mistake, the Mother now is disposed to over-look mistakes and leave it to the pressure of the Light and the psychic being of the sadhak to set things right. But why on earth should she be displeased because you wanted to stop the French lessons with N or for any such trivial reason! Whether you continue or suspend your lessons is a; detail which has to be settled in accordance with the’ condition of your mind and the needs of your sadhana and it can be settled either way. It is surprising that you should think Mother could show displeasure over so slight a matter. You must get over a nervousness of this kind and not disturb your good condition by imaginations — for it is an imagination since it had no reality behind it. Have amore perfect confidence and do not let your mind create difficulties where there are none.
We have heard nothing from anybody about that — X also did not speak of it. But he has got into a tremendous depression since yesterday and has been writing the usual things he writes when he is like that, but all in connection with sadhana only. He did not absent himself from Pranam, but he was not there for evening meditation today. I suppose it must have been as you say, for otherwise the suddenness of his depression was quite unaccountable; he had written quite cheerfully the day before. As I have no details of what happened, I cannot say anything. X must have been thrown by the talk into an old (past) groove of consciousness and got the old reaction from something that did not please him, I suppose.
Musical training is better postponed — for the present the inner movement is the one important thing; the rest can be done afterwards.
As regards your question about effort, — follow your own movement. Your own movement is best for you not another’s.
We cannot give permission to I — you should give no encouragement to her wish to come here; there is too much that stands in the way.
N will be asked to show him the copy of the letter I wrote. There is therefore no reason why you should not speak to him about it.
As I understand, it is likely that the child may be already with N and all prepared for her coming. In that case it is better not to intimate that the Mother has said she had better not bring her, but simply for A to say that in case she is not bringing her, arrangements will be made for N in the Vigie house, otherwise the arrangement would naturally be at M’s. Then state the fact about the flat and ask her whether it would be inconvenient for her or for M. In this way the choice will be left with her.
I do not see why you should give up singing — especially now that your voice has returned— Mother heard you singing and remarked it. It ought not to depend on X’s attitude or ^trained feeling. I don’t quite know what the strain is about. From his last letters I could only gather two things, first, about your dropping the work in connection with the book, second, that you don’t like his music and show it and that that makes him nervous. Is the latter a fact or only over sensitiveness on his part? Any-way it should not stop your singing.
It may not be necessary to have outward treatment if the body responds to the Force. It was because it was recurring again and again and becoming acute that I suggested it. But from what you write, it maybe because the Force was relaxed when you seemed to recover. This time we will keep acting till the recovery is more sure.
It is not necessary to do now anything with regard to X. That can be left aside for the present — it has now only a very minor importance.
What is necessary is to get rid of this strained condition in the nervous being and bring back an inner quietude as the basis of the fresh advance that has been necessary. That is what we shall be trying to bring about as quickly as possible.
If the programme will not take more than 75 minutes, then it is all right. But all the same the Mother considers that it would be better for Venkataraman not to do his solo; his throat is not yet cured and he ought to give it a rest.
It has been difficult for me to reply to the Maharani’s letter — I cannot write through anybody as she wishes the matters on what she writes to be kept entirely private; also she wants me to write in Bengali as she cannot altogether understand my English, but this is nowadays very difficult for me to do; it would need too a lot of time and I can not find the time for it. You can write to her whatever you feel like writing.
If you keep on with your «waiting» endeavour for the poetry, I suppose the consciousness will get prepared and the opening eventually come. As for the Darshan time it is always a trying one because of the excitement and other influences coming in. A great vigilance is needed.
It is very good.
The lapse was not likely to be more than a passing slip.
Mahendranath has in fact an intuitive and emotional nature — he is not a «dry» philosopher.
Nirod says I shall have to wait two or three days for his examinations. From what you describe it looks you had come down into the physical consciousness and were feeling the inertia that belongs to it. When that happens the one way out is to open there so that the light and force may come down into the physical and replace the inertia. We shall try to get that done.
It is rather embarrassing and I do not quite know what to say. If we had not sanctioned it first and allowed all the arrangements to’ be made, I could have told you to follow your own feelings. But now X could have some basis for complaint at being dropped, especially if they are not willing to come for one person alone.
It was of course a mistake. The need of sleep differs for different people. You need a great deal of sleep — it is not laziness, but the body’s need. To stop your sleep is a mistake — it may easily bring in insomnia.
All the same is it not better to rest till the fever is gone? A good rest may, besides, set the energy up again.
The house is not ours; besides, it is impossible to repair this bathroom, it can only be thrown down and rebuilt, which we are not prepared to do for the benefit of Savary; it is legally impossible to buy the house. So we can not repair.
We shall have to wait and see what happens after the rains when the wall dries up. If it does not come down, then the place can be used as a passage till the next rains, when the whole trouble will be there again.
There is one room in Bellevue; but it is downstairs and L came away because it was hot and no air.
Is it not better to wait two or three weeks and see?
I certainly do not think what I wrote was of a nature to upset X or that you are in any way responsible. What I wrote was as much in praise of him as of your singing and it was to express that that I did not confine myself to your question about the chorus but spoke of the whole concert and of the Radha song and its music. His first letter seems to indicate that it was my not writing to him that upset him — so you are not in any way to blame.
I do not think X wrote much about you apart from this — there was something, I think, about Venkataraman’s dislike for him and his expressing it once to you but I am not sure about this — my memory may have made a wrong connection. At any rate I don’t think there was anything else about you.
Of course what X says about the Mother and the music is one of the irrational things his depression usually suggests to him to justify itself. It is the Mother who has always supported and encouraged him to develop his music — quite apart from her warm encouragement to you and Venkataraman and others. I fail to see how she could do all that if she had no appreciation of Indian music or liked only European music. He seems totally to forget the praise she has lavished on his music and singing.
Yes, you can begin the practice.
We are glad to hear the sleep has come back. Evidently, it was a disturbance of the nerves of a rather physical kind. An entire peace has to be established in the nerves and cells of the body just as in the mind and vital and the rest of the consciousness.
I had intended to send back the translations tomorrow morning, but there is so much work sent to me today that I am obliged to postpone. I will send with any remarks I have to make on Monday morning.
How is that? Yoga does not bring abnormal attacks of sexuality — the attacks are there in life itself, but in the ordinary consciousness they are not felt as attacks but as normal movements to which there is no fundamental resistance — only. if any, some social or moral control. The same attacks come to the sadhak because something of the old consciousness sticks — if they seem abnormal, it is only because they are not normal to the new consciousness, and there is a struggle — it is not because they are stronger than before. At that rate — if what you said in your account is correct — we shall have to conclude that the ordinary man is pure or at least normal, but Yoga makes him abnormally sexual!!
It might have been better to leave the subject alone but I do not know that any harm has been done. X has written nothing on the subject — so I hope it is all right.
That is all right then. Mother has taken some of the things, but she prefers that you should keep the frame with you.
The Mother says you made a mistake in telling L; it was meant to help your creation and Dilip’s, not for her.
What you said to S is all true — but these reconciliations cannot be forced on people, they must come by an inner change.
The poem seems to me altogether successful in rhythm and language and in substance. It is a very good beginning.
Yes, you can cultivate your poetic faculty in the way you mention — you will get the help.
(About my poetry)
I am afraid I could not give a detailed criticism or point out any particular defect — only my general impression. I find this one good. There is still some sense of effort, but that will pass as the channels become clear.
The Mother told him the truth about the situation —with regard to persons — the truth about himself, his masculine vanity ..., self-centred egoism and the mistakes of the others also. He tells one side to others, keeps for himself, I suppose, what is too humiliating to his own self-esteem, but it broke much of his ego. It would not have had that effect, if Mother had charged the whole thing against him and taken only the side of the others — he would have felt it as a one-sided injustice. As for breaking his egoism completely, that is not easy — and would perhaps be a little dangerous so long as he is not more conscious of his own soul and cannot yet support himself n that alone — for it might leave him dejected, without self-respect of any kind, given up to mere despair. One must not treat human nature like a machine to be handled according to ‘rigid mental rules — a great plasticity is needed in dealing with its complex motives.
If you are not in the least upset after seeing this, then you have certainly passed the strongest test of all — that at least is one very desirable outcome of the whole undesirable affair.
Yes, but let them be there in a spirit of silence and concentration, no talk. Let the atmosphere of the house be kept — that which you yourself have noticed and to get which you have left the other house. It will be no use if the other atmosphere (gossip and the rest) pursues you there and disturbs and disperses your concentrated state.
Your অস্তঃ করণ rejects the illness, but the body consciousness has the habit of response to it, so the cough comes. But it is no use being impatient — to sing in spite of the bad state of the throat and to cough is hardly prudent. It should be done only after recovery.
Don’t yield to hasty and irritated movements —and remember that a door if maltreated can get angry and hit back.
It is absolutely necessary to write everything freely and write every day.
(I end this book with a line from a letter of Sri Aurobindo’s to me which shows the greatness and un-speakable humility of our Master.)
I hope you will give me the authority to tell him that you have forgiven him.
The Mother’s Letters
(To me, they are more a history of my life here; how the Mother moulded me with love, care and consideration under her guidance — how she taught me to follow her instruction at each step, in each case — how to be constantly aware and conscious of each movement, each incident —the inspiration to go Within and grow inwardly— to be close to the Divine.
In her teaching I found the hidden light of the spirit of self-surrender for the awakening of the soul.
July 27, 1932
I asked the Mother — «What about my practising ‘Mira Divinite’ with Lalita tomorrow?»
(The Mother’s reply:) No, it is better to rest. For these days you must not sing. Otherwise you would spoil your voice.
September 22, 1932
You ask where was your mistake; your mistake began just when you got hurt and upset; otherwise there was nothing wrong in asking for a plantain if you were hungry; but Dyuman was not wrong either in refusing it as he was simply obeying a general rule and there was in this nothing personal against you.
If you had not been upset you would certainly have thought of a very simple thing — coming up the steps of the Meditation House and passing a note in these terms: «Mother, I am very hungry, I have asked a plantain from Dyuman who did not give it; what am I to do?» I would have given you a plantain and all would have been all right.
I am sending you one just now with a smile for the childish tears.
May 17, 1933
I shall be waiting for you at 9.30 and expect you to come.
I accept none of your excuses which surely do not come from any psychic source.
December 13, 1933
«Seuls ceux qui sont parfaitement véridiques peuvent être mes enfants véritables.»
May 11, 1935
I am sending 3 packets for 3 times’ treatment. Each time 1 packet must be used in one litre of hot water — you foment the place with this solution for 10 or 15 minutes.
October 6, 1937
Cheer up and keep steady — it will go.
My love and blessings are with you.
December 7, 1937
I am very glad to hear of this new opening and fine experiences. Always when one faces difficulties and over-comes them it brings a new spiritual opening and victory.
Our love and blessings are with you.
April 19, 1939
I fully approve of your singing in your room and see no necessity to stop it.
As for the change in the vital, it will come by itself when you will take the habit of remaining in your higher consciousness where all these petty things and movements are tasteless.
With my love and blessings.
May 17, 1939
Love and blessing to my dear child Sahana — Let this day be for you the day of a new birth and a new start in your sadhana.
January 29, 1941
What I told Nolini was that there is nothing constitutionally wrong with your body and no illness. This haemorrhage therefore is a remnant of sex desire that has come up whether you are conscious of it or not — if you have become conscious of it that is all right, for you can now bring the light upon it and throw it out altogether.
With my love and blessings.
June 29, 1946
Once more I come with a prayer to you to allow me to keep twelve rose plants instead of six. I shall take all the care about the roof.
May I know, Mother, whether you will grant this or not?
(The Mother writes:) «Surely you can have the 12 pots if you take all precautions as you say.
My love and blessings.»
November 5, 1947
My dear child,
Once more this is a perfectly gratuitous shock ... I never knew that it was your sitar you were asking back from R; from what he told me it seemed clear that it was his own sitar that was in question. I see that it was a mistake and he must give it back to you if you need it.
But for your own sake I must tell you that you are bound to receive shocks and hard blows too as long as you indulge in such false ideas as «my taking sides» with one or another etc. This is completely wrong and baseless and you must get rid of this way of thinking altogether if you wish to feel close to the Divine.
With my love and blessings.
Sahana, my dear child,
You have indeed passed from one life to another; but it is in your body that this new birth took place, and now the road is wide open before you for a new progress.
With my love and blessings.
Fabruary 2, 1963
Sahana, my dear child,
What is this? There is nothing to fear — all is the Lord— there is nothing else than the Lord; the Lord alone exists and all that tries to frighten is only a silly and meaningless disguise of the Lord.
Cheer up — the way is open before you, shake off this obsession of illness and bring down the Divine Calm. Then everything will be all right.
With love and blessings.
(This letter has already been published.)
My dear child,
Do not be so sad — it is not as bad as all that. I mean ...at most it is a misunderstanding. I never doubted you wished to do according to my own decision — the fact is that in the matter I could not take a decision without seeing things for myself and circumstances did not allow me to see them, so they were left to what they were until Jotindra told me that everywhere (not only for your garden) it was very dangerous for the buildings — then I was obliged to interfere, because safety must come first. You know I sincerely appreciated your beautiful roses and felt sorry to have to be without them — but there is no other go.
At any rate the only thing I said to Jotindra is that In ever approved of too many pots put on a roof or a terrace because it endangers the building. This is general and not meant for one or another person.
Of one thing you can be sure that I am not in the least displeased — so you must not be sad also —
With my love and blessings.
It is much better to give up the work in G.G. and to go back to the sewing work where your presence — according to me — has always been indispensable.
With my love and blessings.
Sri Aurobindo says: Better to put behind you your past altogether and not reestablish broken ties.
It would be better if the mind also did not meddle with others’ affairs and still more if the vital took no interest in them.
My love and blessings.
My dear child,
I am sorry for what happened in the hospital. Certainly in future I shall not ask you to go there.
For the moment it would be better to wash carefully the part with warm water with a solution of potassium permanganate.
With my love and blessings.
About our musical programme (of eastern and western together before the Mother) the Mother wrote to me:
Nandini and Lalita have asked that their music should beat the beginning as they can’t see properly at the end and I have agreed. Let Nandini write the title and as composers of these pieces they will play before giving to Nolini for typing. (Nandini plays on the Cello and Lalita on the Piano.)
This feeling of an empty head is quite natural after what has happened. You must be careful to rest and eat well until you have recovered. It is better also to postpone all lessons, French, English and music, until you feel once more quite strong.
Sadhana is always difficult and everybody has conflicting elements in his nature and it is difficult to make the vital give up its ingrained habits-
That is no reason for giving up sadhana. One has to keep up the central aspiration which is always sincere and go on steadily in spite of temporary failures, and it is the inevitable that the change will come.
Our help is always with you.
With my love and blessings.
In a letter of Sri Aurobindo’s, there was mention about the Mother’s speaking of the steps of the dance of» Radha». Here, about the same dance the Mother herself gave me the instruction in writing.
Sahana, to complete what I told you yesterday about Radha’s dance I have noted this down as an indication of the thought and feeling Radha must have within her when she stands at the end in front of Krishna:
‘Every thought of my mind, each emotion of my heart, every movement of my being, every feeling and every sensation, each cell of my body, each drop of my blood, all, all is yours, yours absolutely, yours without reserve, you can decide my life or my death, my happiness or my sorrow, my pleasure or my pain; whatever you do with me, whatever comes to me from you will lead me to the Divine Rapture!’
It is always better to control an experience of this kind rather than to be controlled by it. I mean that the experience in itself is good and useful but it must come when we want it and not at any time whenever it chooses to come— it seems to me that it is better to allow this experience to come only when you are quietly at home or during the time of meditation — when you are at work it is always better to remain fully aware of your body and its action.
With my love and blessings.
It is very good to have recovered the calm. It is in the calm that the body increases its receptivity and gains the power to contain. With my love and blessings.
Faith is spontaneous Knowledge in the psychic.
Faith is a certitude which is not necessarily based on an experienced knowledge.
Certainly, you can stop the sewing work on Sundays and take up again your singing class.
With my blessings.
1 The idea of this «Radha dance» was given by the Mother.
2 This was the answer to my aunt Urmila Devi’s visit here. She was a great patriot and went to jail also. Urmila Devi was a sister of C.R. Das.