July 11, 1970
Swami Ramalingam's experience of a luminous body
- Someone sent me a letter on the body's transformation, if you are interested.
- It seems that a Tamil yogi [Swami Ramalingam] of this region, who lived around 1850, had experiences, which he described in a poem and appear rather connected.... Experiences of the transformation of the skeleton, bones, etc. It's a Tamilian who sent me this letter, asking me to put the question to you.
- “The Mother may throw light on the nature and extent of the transformation the Swami had in the last part of his life. The Swami often declared affirming the transformation and deathlessness of his body by the power of what he calls ‘Arut Perum Joti’, the infinite or vast Grace-Light of the Divine. He also made the forecast and promise around the year 1870, that the supreme Divine would come soon to the earth for establishing his direct rule of Grace-Light (which the Swami also called as the Truth-Light) when a new race of people would arise defying disease, ageing and death....”
- Then here is the text of this sage, translated from the Tamil:
(Extract from “Joti Agaval”, Swami Ramalingam's poem, verses 725-740)
“O my unique Love which sprang from my heart and filled it so much that it made my life blossom. O my Lord of unique Love who has given himself to me wholly and by the Grace-Light has transmuted me. My Love that has entered and unified with me in my heart, so as to transform my body into a golden body. The skin has become supple, the influx of the nervous current all over the body is vibrating, with pauses in between; the bones have become pliable and plastic in their nature; the soft muscles have become truly loosened; the blood has become condensed within; the semen has become concentrated into a single drop and confined in the chest; the petals of the brain have blossomed or expanded; amrita [nectar of immortality] is welling up into springs all over the body and filling it up; the luminous forehead perspires; the luminous face brightens up; the breath full of peace becomes cool and refreshing; the inner smile beams up; the hair stands on end; tears of joy flow down towards the feet; the mouth vibrates into the passionate calling [of the Divine]; the ear tubes ring with the sense of musically humming sound; the body has become cool; the soft chest moves; the hands join [as in prayer]; the legs revolve or spin round; the mind melts sweetly, the intelligence becomes full of light; the will becomes full of joy and harmony; the individuality has enlarged itself everywhere; the heart has blossomed into the universality of feeling so as to be felt by the world outwardly; the whole knowledge-body has become blissful; even the spiritual egoism of the senses has gone away; the senses (tattva) have been replaced wholly by the truth (sattva), the truth-principle or truth-substance which alone prevails now uniquely; attachment to objects of the senses and to things of the world has dissolved away, and only the aspiration and will towards the illimitable Grace grows and intensifies.”
And how long did he live like this?
- It seems it happened the him towards the end of his life, and I think it must have lasted for a few years. ...He said he would ‘return’.
- Yes, he was born in 1823 and died in 1874.
He died two years after Sri Aurobindo's birth.
What did he say about the legs? I didn't understand.
- He says that the bones have become supple.... “The body has become cool; the soft chest moves; the hands join as in prayer; the legs revolve or spin round....” Which means, I suppose, that the legs can move in every direction, since the bones have become ‘pliable’.
How many experiences of this kind people had without anyone to note them....
- But you often wondered about the skeleton, in fact, you asked how it could change.
In my case too.
- Here, he says it becomes plastic, supple.
But then, how can he keep standing?
- Through this ‘condensation’ ...Is it because of this condensation of the blood he mentions?
What could that be?
- I don't know what that condensation of the blood is.... But there is one thing I haven't heard you mention and which Sri Aurobindo often refers to (in “The Supramental Manifestation”, for instance), that's the transformation of organs through the chakras, through the energy of the centers of consciousness. You very rarely mention the chakras or the role of the chakras.... Couldn't one conceive that these centers of energy may provide the body with a framework strong enough for it to stand?
(after a long silence)
Mother's kundalini experience
This ‘rising of the kundalini’, I had it in ... I was still in Paris. It was before I came to India. I had read Vivekananda's books about it.... And when the Force rose, it emerged from the head through here (gesture at the top of the head); the [classic] experience was never described in that way. The Force came out and the consciousness settled here (gesture about eight inches above the head). So when I came here, I told Sri Aurobindo about it; he told me it had been the same thing with him, and that according to the teaching of [ancient] texts, you “cannot” live when that takes place: you die! So ... (laughing) he told me, “Here are two who haven't died!”
The consciousness has remained there (gesture above), it didn't come down again; it's there, its always there.
- But I often feel it there. I don't know if it's an illusion, but I feel it there much more often than below.
Yes. Oh, but it must be communicable.
Here, slightly above the head (same gesture about eight inches), like this.
Whenever I try to know something, it's always the same: everything stops and I listen there (gesture above), that's where I listen.
And then, when I went back from here [to France, in 1915] ... I did something deliberately: all the energies of the last center [at the base of the spine] were drawn up here (gesture to the heart).
But I felt centers BELOW the feet.
I felt a center below the feet.... There was one below the feet, one at the knees, one here (gesture at the base of the spine), and all of it (Mother gestures, drawing the energies upward), like this, drawn up, and it came here (gesture to the heart).
Does Sri Aurobindo speak of that transformation of the subconscient and its becoming conscious?
- Yes, Mother, he speaks of it.
That's what took place when the energies were drawn here: it was the result.
The moment I came here, I no longer concerned myself with the body: I concerned myself with the Work; but before coming here, especially between my departure from here and my return, it was ... (how much time?... I came back in 1920; I came here in 1914 and left from here in 1915, I think — from '16 to '20 I was in Japan, but I came in '14 and I think I left in 1915), from that time on, there were all those experiences [kundalini, etc.], in France and in Japan.
(Mother goes into a contemplation)
- But, Mother, what I'd like to understand, it's that since you withdrew to this room [in 1962] for the body's transformation, you've never mentioned the role of the chakras, while in “The Supramental Manifestation”, Sri Aurobindo seems to attach to them a decisive importance in the body's transformation. He frequently refers to them, as if they were a key element.
(after a silence)
Mother's experience of her own chakras
What I am conscious of is the Consciousness there (gesture above); that's something unchanging. This (gesture to the forehead): blank. If it starts stirring, its very uncomfortable, but generally it doesn't stir at all — one day it stirred for a few minutes, and it was extremely unpleasant. It's like this (gesture like a motionless bar), blank: a blank feeling, like blank paper.... This (gesture from the throat to the mouth) is the connection with people, and that's EXTREMELY unpleasant, really extremely unpleasant (I can't say), and materially it results in the deterioration of teeth and ... Very unpleasant. Here (gesture to the heart) ... I told you, all energies, from below the feet (Mother gestures as if pulling it all upward), all that was brought up to here. Here (gesture to the heart), it's like a sun, always. It's like a radiant sun: that's where I work; that's where I work from.... But with the centers there (gesture to the base of the spine), all the energies have been as if brought up to the heart.
And that's so natural.... This and this (gesture to the heart and above the head), it's so natural that I don't even observe it anymore: it's my way of being.
But the consciousness isn't centered in the body, and the body is felt ... almost like a transmitting pipe!
‘Grace-Light’ and the supramental color
- Mother, one last thing, a question asked by the person who wrote the letter: he asks whether the “vast Grace-Light” or “Truth-Light” the Swami mentions is the supramental light?
- The vast “Grace-Light”.
Grace-Light.... Oh, I liked that very much in his letter. Grace-Light, that's what is working, you know: the work being done through this [Mother's body] is exactly like that, it's exactly like a Grace-Light. I liked that a lot. It's exactly that.
You see, it's a light with several degrees, and in the most material it's slightly ... it must be the supramental force, because it's slightly golden, slightly pinkish (you know that light), but very, very pale. One of them (gesture pointing to another, higher layer) is white like milk, opaque — it's very strong. And there's another (gesture very high) which is white like ... it's transparent light. With that one, it's strange: one drop of it on the hostile forces, and they're dissolved. They melt like this (gesture before one's very eyes). I said all that to Sri Aurobindo, he completely confirmed it. That's essentially the Grace in its ... (gesture very high) supreme state. It's a Light ... it has no color, you know, it's transparent, and that Light (I have experienced that, I mention it because I know it), if you put it on a hostile being ... it melts like that. It's extraordinary.... And then, in its ‘benevolent’ form, as we might call it (that is to say, the Grace helping and assisting and healing), it's white like milk. And if I want a wholly material action (but this is quite recent — it's since this new Consciousness came), then in its physical action, on the physical, it's become slightly colored: it's luminous, golden with some pink in it, but it's not pink ... (Mother takes a hibiscus next to her). It's like this.
- Like Auroville's flower?
Like Auroville's flower. But I DELIBERATELY chose it as Auroville's flower, for that reason. And my impression is that this is the supramental color: when I see beings from the supramental, they have ... not quite this color.... It's not like a flower, it's like flesh. But it's like this (Mother points to the flower's color).
Yes, he was in contact with that, this man, certainly. I felt it instantly when you read me the letter.
- Yes, one feels ... It's likely that, over the ages, there must have been individual experiences.
Yes, oh yes, certainly. Certainly. And there must still be right now, which we aren't aware of.
- But the difference now is that it's a collective thing.
- That's the difference.
But what's growing very clear is that all things remaining the same, the position of the consciousness remaining the same, there's a reversal this way or that way (Mother tips her hand over to one side or another), I don't know how to explain. In one case, that is, to the ordinary human consciousness (not ordinary but present), the suffering is almost intolerable; and everything remaining IDENTICALLY the same, with this slight reversal (I don't know how to explain it ... maybe we could say ‘the contact with the Divine’, I don't know), but everything remaining the same (it's a phenomenon of consciousness), a wonderful bliss — you understand, physical things remain IDENTICAL!... I have that all the time. Unfortunately ... (laughing) the painful side lasts longer! When I am in peace, still, then naturally it's the other side.
But this toothache and all that, which to the material consciousness, from an external standpoint, is very real (!), even that is no longer ... When the consciousness becomes true, it no longer has the same character — I don't know how to explain. There must be what in our ordinary consciousness we would call a ‘cure’, but it's not a cure: the nature of it changes.
That's the most constant work, that's the work I am in (that's why I have nothing to say).... There are no more ideas, no more feelings, almost no more sensations, it's ... this and that (same gesture of tipping over to one side or to the other), this kind of shift, and a shift SO VERY different, you know, and in total immobility!
But in this true consciousness, matter ... seems to lose something, or else something is transmuted into ... I don't know.... Will it be so permanently, or is it the transition? I don't know. I mean, will the supramental body have no ... Yet, there's no difference between man's materiality and the animal's, or is there?
- No, Mother, there isn't.
When you look, you always reach the same conclusion: you know nothing.
But there is this Consciousness ... all of a sudden, when you no longer ARE, when there's nothing but That, this Consciousness there (gesture around the head), a slightly golden Consciousness, you REALLY get the impression of omnipotence and ... And here you know NOTHING! Nothing, nothing at all, you can't explain anything. All that is ... what I call mental imaginings.
Now, when I am asked a question, nothing, nothing responds, and then all of a sudden the answer comes (gesture of descent) in words; but if I am not very attentive, prrt! nothing remains, I can't even recapture the words.... The consciousness of the answer is there (gesture above), it doesn't budge, it's always there, this consciousness, but the materialization of it is very fleeting.
- Original English.
- In traditional Indian experience, the centers of consciousness or chakras are compared to lotuses whose petals open or close.
- This translation of the original Tamil text into English (with minor editing here) probably gives only a very rough idea of the experience.
- “The Swami dematerialized his body in January or February 1874, leaving a promise that he would return at the time of the God of the vast Grace-Light.”
- Sri Aurobindo writes this about the chakra at the base of the spine: “The Muladhar is the centre of the physical consciousness proper, and all below in the body is the sheer physical, which as it goes downward becomes increasingly subconscient, but the real seat of the subconscient is below the body, as the real seat of the higher consciousness (superconscient) is above the body.” (Bases of Yoga, p.133)