Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1955-10-26

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AurovilleRadio-logo-pop.png Mother's Questions and Answers: October 26, 1955
by Loretta, 2016 (25:34)

Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers
October 26, 1955
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This week, Mother speaks about the Word that creates. This is the origin of the mantra. She also explains the power that we all have when we talk to people.

In 1937, Mother answered a letter from a disciple who asks her if a written prayer is more powerful than a spoken prayer. Mother numbers her answer; and she speaks about the occult use and action of words. This is what she wrote:

“From the occult point of view:
1. Something formulated in words in more powerful than something only vaguely thought.
2. Something voiced aloud is more powerful than something formulated in words.
3. And lastly, something written is more powerful than something only voiced aloud.
But this concerns occult action exclusively.”

Later on in this class, a child asks Mother about her action on 'Victory Day', the day of Durga Puja. Durga is the goddess who embodies the conquering and protecting aspect of the Divine Mother in her universal action on earth. And this is of course in the Indian spirituality. Sri Aurobindo spoke about four aspects – or four powers – of the Divine Mother, which the Mother brought with her into this embodiment. The reason she brought them is that each one of these has qualities which she brought for us to attain and perfect.

The four pillars of the Matrimandir are named for these four powers. In Indian spirituality, they were also the names of four goddesses who had these attributes. They are: Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Maheshwari. No pillar is named for the goddess Durga. But in one of his letters, Sri Aurobindo explains that the goddess Durga has all the characteristics of Maheshwari, but with a very little bit of the character of Lakshmi.

So when Mother named the pillars in the Matrimandir, she named them 'Maha'. 'Maha' means 'great'. Mahasaraswati, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Maheshwari.

Sri Aurobindo gives a full explanation of all the qualities of each one of these in his book The Mother. And The Mother, it's interesting to note, is the very first book ever published in the Ashram. And people say that it contains everything that one needs to do the Yoga. There's a letter from Sri Aurobindo where he says 'not quite – it contains something more'. But it contains a lot – a lot of really good guidance for people doing the Yoga.

The Mother (booklet).jpg
PDF (26 pages)
    The Mother

Sri Aurobindo says that Durga is the Mother's power of protection. The Indian tradition tells stories of Durga fighting and slaying an evil, adverse being, called an Asura. In this way, she is protecting mankind. Supposedly each year she does this work; and Durga Puja is performed to celebrate her victory over evil for mankind.

In the Ashram, all four of the goddesses had their own special puja day. It was the date that was fixed for the whole country; and the date was fixed according to the Hindu calendar, which varies each year according to the moon. During the 1950s, Mother would come downstairs dressed as the goddess – after having done her own inner thing – and all the ashramites would receive something special from her.

During this time, Mother gave a daily darshan in the mid-morning. Every day she would sit in a chair in the Ashram meditation room. Each ashramite would come before her, and receive flowers from her. So on the four puja days, she'd come downstairs in that special sari; and at that time the ashramites would decorate her chair with beautiful silks folded in special ways, and all around the chair they would put beautiful flower arrangements.

The Ashram sells four beautiful photographs of Mother, for each one of the four puja days. And each one has a name: it's named for the goddess of the puja that she's done. And now still, each year, on each puja day, Mother's chair is again brought down and decorated, and flower arrangements are made. People can go into the Ashram and see this, and then sit there for meditation.

Since Mother and Sri Aurobindo came here to bring the new consciousness into the manifestation, all of this was part of her work at that time and place, in India. So the child's question, which comes at the end of the class, is asking Mother what did she do on this particular day in 1955, when Durga's victory is celebrated all over India.

This week, unfortunately, we don't have the original tape-recording of Mother's class – so we can't hear her. They had to reuse the following week, so they erased it.

So here we are in Mother's Friday class in the Playground...

26 October 1955[1]

(Mother reads from The Synthesis of Yoga, Part I, Chapter I:
“The Four Aids”.)

Ch.1 The Four Aids.jpg
PDF (16 pages)

No questions!

There aren’t any questions here, it is clear as crystal.

Here it is written: “The word within may be the utterance of the inmost soul in us which is always open to the Divine or it may be the word of the secret and universal Teacher...”[2] Why are they different, the Divine and the universal Teacher?

The universal Teacher is only an aspect of the Divine, you see. The Divine contains all the possible activities; the Teacher is only one activity, the One who teaches. Sri Aurobindo means that either it is a direct contact with the Divine or a contact with an aspect of the Divine, the One who teaches, the divine Guru. But the Divine is not only a Guru.

That’s all?

Sweet Mother, here: “In some cases this representative word is only taken as a sort of excuse for the inner power to awaken and manifest...”[3] Then in this case is it the individual’s aspiration or the power of the Word?

This depends a great deal on the degree of the sadhak’s development, you see. If he is developed and conscious enough to be in direct contact with the spiritual Force which is working behind the words, then the word is only an excuse. But if for him it must pass through his mental understanding in order to have its effect, then the word takes on a much greater importance. It depends on the degree of development.

If one is capable of receiving directly, then one opens a book for instance, finds a sentence and has an illumination; because it was just the word one was waiting for in order to put himself into contact with the Force he needed to take the next step.

Otherwise one must take a book, study it, read it sentence by sentence, word by word, and then reflect and then understand it and then assimilate it and then, later, very slowly, after the assimilation and understanding, it begins to have an effect on the character and one makes some progress.

In one case it is a direct contact, you see, and just one sentence, one word... one reads a word, reads a sentence, and has an illumination. And then one receives all the Force that one needs. The other is the path of the learned man, the scholar, who is an intellectual being and needs to learn, reflect, assimilate, reason about all he has learnt, in order to make progress. It is long, it is laborious.

That’s all?

Sweet Mother, there’s a flower you have named “The Creative Word”.

The Creative Word - Leucanthemum superbum.jpg


What does that mean?

It is the word which creates.

There are all kinds of old traditions, old Hindu traditions, old Chaldean traditions in which the Divine, in the form of the Creator, that is, in His aspect as Creator, pronounces a word which has the power to create. So it is this... And it is the origin of the mantra. The mantra is the spoken word which has a creative power. An invocation is made and there is an answer to the invocation; or one makes a prayer and the prayer is granted. This is the Word, the Word which, in its sound... it is not only the idea, it is in the sound that there’s a power of creation. It is the origin, you see, of the mantra.

In Indian mythology the creator God is Brahma, and I think that it was precisely his power which has been symbolised by this flower, “The Creative Word”. And when one is in contact with it, the words spoken have a power of evocation or creation or formation or transformation; the words... sound always has a power; it has much more power than men think. It may be a good power and it may be a bad power. It creates vibrations which have an undeniable effect. It is not so much the idea as the sound; the idea too has its own power, but in its own domain — whereas the sound has a power in the material world.

I think I have explained this to you once; I told you, for example, that words spoken casually, usually without any reflection and without attaching any importance to them, can be used to do something very good. I think I spoke to you about “Bonjour”, “Good Day”, didn’t I? When people meet and say “Bonjour”, they do so mechanically and without thinking. But if you put a will into it, an aspiration to indeed wish someone a good day, well, there is a way of saying “Good Day” which is very effective, much more effective than if simply meeting someone you thought: “Ah! I hope he has a good day”, without saying anything. If with this hope in your thought you say to him in a certain way, “Good Day”, you make it more concrete and more effective.

It’s the same thing, by the way, with curses, or when one gets angry and says bad things to people. This can do them as much harm — more harm sometimes — than if you were to give them a slap. With very sensitive people it can put their stomach out of order or give them palpitation, because you put into it an evil force which has a power of destruction.

It is not at all ineffective to speak. Naturally it depends a great deal on each one’s inner power. People who have no strength and no consciousness can’t do very much — unless they employ material means. But to the extent that you are strong, especially when you have a powerful vital, you must have a great control on what you say, otherwise you can do much harm. Without wanting to, without knowing it; through ignorance.

Anything? No? Nothing?

Another question?... Everything’s over?

About sound, Mother, different languages have different expressions of sounds; then on what does the power of a language depend?

But when one is perceptive, sensitive enough, if someone speaks a language which one does not know at all, but he puts into it a very precise intention, the same effects are felt.

If someone wishes you a good day or good health in a tongue that you don’t know at all and which has no relation with yours, you can feel the effect without understanding the words. Or else if someone says something violent to you or curses you in a language you are totally ignorant of, you can very well receive the vibrations. This does not depend on the understood word. In each language there are sounds which are expressive; it is not only one language that is expressive. And there are several ways of expressing the same thing. There are countless ways of expressing the same thing.

I remember having heard learned people discussing things, and they thought themselves very wise — and discussed with an imperturbable seriousness to find out in which language God had said: “Let there be Light.”

Some of them said that it must have been in Sanskrit, others said that it must have been a still more ancient tongue, others said that it must have been Syrian, and so on, you see; and nobody thought that perhaps it was not any language at all!

Does the Word also follow the evolution?

That means?...

It means that what was studied before has now become mediocre.

What Word?

What had been conceived by the scholars in the written Shastras; that is, what is written here...

Of the old traditions?... Yes. But Sri Aurobindo also says that there is no reason for it not to change, for things not to be added, changed. He says... he himself answers your question.

It is very good to keep the memory of the past if it helps you, but it should not prevent you from going forward. And the teaching which was good at one time is no longer so at another, that’s absolutely certain.

What I am asking is: Does it too follow the evolution?

What evolution?

That is, what was necessary formerly is no longer sufficient now.

Logically, one should always add.

But, usually, those who are attached to the past want to keep the past by itself, and the others who want to go forward want to reject everything and keep only what they have found. And so both of them make a common mistake... that is, of limiting themselves and making their consciousness narrow instead of widening it.

Is sound particular only to the physical world or is there sound in the other domains also?

There is sound there also.

In the same way as here?

There certainly is a sound in all the manifested worlds, and when one has the appropriate organs one hears it.

There are sounds which belong to the highest regions, and in fact, the sound we have here gives the feeling of a noise in comparison with that sound.

For example, there are regions harmonious and musical in which one hears something which is the origin of the music we have here — but the sounds of material, physical music seem absolutely barbaric in comparison with that music! When one has heard that, even the most perfect instrument is inadequate. All constructed instruments, among which the violin certainly has the purest sound, are very much inferior in their expression to the music of this world of harmonies.

The human voice when absolutely pure is of all instruments the one which expresses it best; but it is still... it has a sound which seems so harsh, so gross compared with that. When one has been in that region, one truly knows what music is. And it has so perfect a clarity that at the same time as the sound one has the full understanding of what is said. That is, one has the principle of the idea, without words, simply with the sound and all the inflexions of the... one can’t call it sensations, nor feelings... what seems to be closest would be some kind of soul-states or states of consciousness. All these inflexions are clearly perceptible through the nuances of the sound. And certainly, those who were great musicians, geniuses from the point of view of music, must have been more or less consciously in contact with that. The physical world as we have it today is an absolutely gross world; it looks like a caricature.

It’s the same thing with painting: all the pictures we know today look like daubings when one has seen the domain of form and colour, the source of the things expressed through the painting.

And fundamentally it is the same thing from the point of view of ideas. If one enters into contact with the domain of pure ideas beyond words, all words are such limitations, restrictions... it becomes a kind of caricature. The intensity of life contained in the idea is untranslatable. One can receive it if one is capable of entering consciously this domain. One can transmit it to a certain extent if one is master of its vibrations and can let them pass and emanate from him. But all that one says or all that one writes is truly a caricature.

Is that enough?

Or other questions still?

Mother, today is Victory Day (Durga Puja). It is said that every year on this day you win some victory.

But in order to have the right to know it, you must have at least some faint experience of it.

What victory has been won today?

Do you know it, you, eh?

No? You haven’t had any experience of this kind?

Has anyone had an experience?

The conquest of desires.

What? You no longer have any desires, you? It is finished? I congratulate you! (Laughter)


Even following the tradition — which is only a local tradition, you know, not even a terrestrial tradition and still less a universal one — for how many thousands of years has she been winning a victory every year? And then she must begin once again always.

It must be something very difficult to destroy.

Is that all?

Ah! We are going to make an experiment. We are going to meditate for ten minutes and during these ten minutes I shall put you in touch with what has happened; but I won’t say a word to you. If there is someone who becomes aware of something, well, you will write it down on a sheet of paper later and I shall see it tomorrow.

There, now.