Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1956-08-15 part 2
|Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers
August 15, 1956 (part 2 of 2)
In this part of Mother's class today, she's still speaking about the August 15th darshan. August 15th is Sri Aurobindo's birthday. It's quite a day ‒ a lot of things happen on August 15th. And it's good to speak about a darshan now, especially his birthday darshan, because this is the 20th of November ‒ and on the 24th of November, there is a darshan in the Ashram for the date that Sri Aurobindo had his major realization of the plane above the mind (what he calls the Overmind), which allowed him then to really go on into realizing the supramental consciousness (which is the next higher plane).
So it's very appropriate; and in this class, Mother goes into a little detail about how the independence of India is connected with Sri Aurobindo's birthday. He worked to free India, and he gave his life ‒ until 1910 ‒ exclusively to this work. In 1910, he was forced to flee Calcutta. He had to escape being arrested by the British for a second time, after they had put him in jail for a year.
Sri Aurobindo's escape is so exciting. It's as dramatic and exciting, full of danger and action and adventure, as any adventure novel or any action movie ‒ and it keeps you hanging at the edge of your seat. India was freed of August 15th of 1947. And on that day, Sri Aurobindo wrote something about this date, and about his dreams. And the main points he makes in this writing are hopes and dreams not only for India, but for the whole world, and for the future. He says that he takes India's independence on his very birthday as the sanction and seal of the divine Force that guides his work. And he says that by then ‒ on his birthday in 1947 ‒ he can see progress in all his long-held dreams.
Today, we can see even more progress. The first dream is India's freedom ‒ and her unity. India was freed, but it still had to be united. And this still remains.
- “The first of these dreams was a revolutionary movement which would create a free and united India. India today is free but she has not achieved unity. At one moment it almost seemed as if in the very act of liberation she would fall back into the chaos of separate States which preceded the British conquest. But fortunately it now seems probable that this danger will be averted and a large and powerful, though not yet a complete union will be established. Also, the wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly has made it probable that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that that may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form — the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India’s future.”
The second dream was for the resurgence and liberation of all the peoples of Asia. We can see this more and more today.
- “Another dream was for the resurgence and liberation of the peoples of Asia and her return to her great role in the progress of human civilisation. Asia has arisen; large parts are now quite free or are at this moment being liberated: its other still subject or partly subject parts are moving through whatever struggles towards freedom. Only a little has to be done and that will be done today or tomorrow. There India has her part to play and has begun to play it with an energy and ability which already indicate the measure of her possibilities and the place she can take in the council of the nations.”
And the third dream is for a world-union, unifying the world ‒ an international spirit, an international outlook. And we also see this happening now.
- “The third dream was a world-union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind. That unification of the human world is under way; there is an imperfect initiation organised but struggling against tremendous difficulties. But the momentum is there and it must inevitably increase and conquer. Here too India has begun to play a prominent part and, if she can develop that larger statesmanship which is not limited by the present facts and immediate possibilities but looks into the future and brings it nearer, her presence may make all the difference between a slow and timid and a bold and swift development. A catastrophe may intervene and interrupt or destroy what is being done, but even then the final result is sure. For unification is a necessity of Nature, an inevitable movement. Its necessity for the nations is also clear, for without it the freedom of the small nations may be at any moment in peril and the life even of the large and powerful nations insecure. The unification is therefore to the interests of all, and only human imbecility and stupid selfishness can prevent it; but these cannot stand for ever against the necessity of Nature and the Divine Will. But an outward basis is not enough; there must grow up an international spirit and outlook, international forms and institutions must appear, perhaps such developments as dual or multilateral citizenship, willed interchange or voluntary fusion of cultures. Nationalism will have fulfilled itself and lost its militancy and would no longer find these things incompatible with self-preservation and the integrality of its outlook. A new spirit of oneness will take hold of the human race.”
The fourth dream is that India will give its spiritual gifts to the world. And we see this happening more and more.
- “Another dream, the spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India’s spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.”
And the final dream is the next step in evolution ‒ to raise man to a higher and higher consciousness. And fortunately for us, Sri Aurobindo went from liberating India from British rule, to liberating all of mankind from darkness and ignorance and falsehood.
- “The final dream was a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin the solution of the problems which have perplexed and vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society. This is still a personal hope and an idea, an ideal which has begun to take hold both in India and in the West on forward-looking minds. The difficulties in the way are more formidable than in any other field of endeavour, but difficulties were made to be overcome and if the Supreme Will is there, they will be overcome. Here too, if this evolution is to take place, since it must proceed through a growth of the spirit and the inner consciousness, the initiative can come from India and, although the scope must be universal, the central movement may be hers.”
Sri Aurobindo went to India to study when he was nine years old. When he was sixteen, he decided that he would liberate his country: he would liberate India. He returned to India after his education, in 1893. He was 21 years old. And soon he was fully involved in working for India's freedom.
He was one of the leaders of the Free India [Swaraj] movement. At one time, when all of the other leaders were either in jail, or in exile ‒ or in hiding ‒ single-handedly Sri Aurobindo led the whole Free India movement. One man, all by himself.
In the meantime, Sri Aurobindo was also walking the path of serious Yoga practice. In 1907 or early 1908, he attained Nirvana ‒ the goal of all Buddhist meditations. The vast Silence beyond the world. His inner guide told him then to give up his revolutionary work, and devote himself entirely to Yoga. But he was so attached to liberating India that he didn't listen (!). So the Divine took charge ‒ and he was arrested by the British in 1908. Later on, Sri Aurobindo said that because he did not listen to the divine command ‒ because he did not stop his revolutionary work and give himself to Yoga ‒ the Divine put him in jail for a year (a place where he couldn't do anything else!).
After a year in jail, Sri Aurobindo was acquitted of the charges against him. He returned to revolutionary work; and it was at that time, in mid-1909, that Sri Aurobindo was the only leader of the revolutionary movement. However (and fortunately for us), the Divine really wanted him to devote himself to his final dream: the step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo came to Pondicherry in April 1910. He was escaping the second arrest by the British. A hundred years later, on the anniversary of his escape in coming to Pondicherry, The Golden Chain ‒ which is a magazine for the Ashram alumni ‒ published a wonderful account of his dramatic escape. It's in the February‒May issue of 2010, if anyone wants the whole thing. There's a lot about what Sri Aurobindo did after he came to Pondicherry ‒ which we won't go into. But we will follow his escape.
In February 1910, while Sri Aurobindo was with some of his revolutionary companions, someone who had a relative working in the police department came with the news that the British government was going to arrest him again ‒ and very soon. It was evening. Immediately, Sri Aurobindo heard the command from above, telling him three words: Go to Chandernagore. The house he was in was regularly watched by policemen, but he simply stood up and walked out of the house. And on that particular evening, there was no trace of any policeman anywhere around the house.
There had been four men; Sri Aurobindo left with one, a man named Ramchandra. The other two followed; but they didn't walk together. And they didn't walk near Sri Aurobindo.
Ramchandra knew the neighborhood very well. He took Sri Aurobindo through many lanes and bylanes, which were criss-crossed by so many other lanes and turns that it would have been impossible for the police to keep him in sight, or to give chase if they saw him. So they were able to get to the Ganges riverbank very quickly without being stopped.
When they arrived at the ghat, Ramchandra hailed one of the boatmen and said, “Hey, would you take a fare?” He then arranged for the two boatmen in that boat to take Sri Aurobindo and the two other men directly to Chandernagore down the Ganges. Sri Aurobindo later said, “I suddenly received a command from above in a Voice well known to me, in the three words: ‘Go to Chandernagore.’ In ten minutes or so I was in the boat for Chandernagore.”
They sailed the whole night; they sat on the bare wooden planks in complete darkness, in the thatched cabin. And the boat reached Rani ghat in Chandernagore before dawn. Sri Aurobindo only knew one revolutionary there. He waited in the boat, and one of the men went to ask this man if he would take Sri Aurobindo into his house.
The man didn't want to be in danger anymore; he was afraid. Sri Aurobindo then had to sit in the boat while other revolutionaries were asked; until finally one man, Motilal Roy, agreed to take Sri Aurobindo in and hide him. They knew the British would be hunting for him everywhere. Later, Motilal said this changed his whole future.
Sri Aurobindo could not stay openly in Motilal's house ‒ it was too risky. He had to be hid. There was only the dusty lumber room. So first he stayed one night and one day in another place, which was more comfortable. But he had to share a room with someone, so they took him back to Motilal's house. The first day he was there, they didn't have time to clean out the dust or the bats, the spiders and the cockroaches. So Motilal said that he swept the dust away from a part of the floor, and laid down a carpet and put a sheet on it. Sri Aurobindo sat quietly down; and when Motilal looked in on him a little later, Sri Aurobindo was in meditation, wit his eyes fixed in an upward stare.
Much later, Sri Aurobindo said that when he was in Chandernagore, he plunged entirely into the solitary meditative state.
Everyone was worried that word might leak out, if Sri Aurobindo stayed in one place for too long. So over the next few weeks, he was moved to different locations around Chandernagore. First he was moved to Gondalpara. He was there for a few days in a rented thatched hut, in a colony of coolies. And sometimes, within that time, he stayed for a day or two in another revolutionary's house. Then he went to a garden house in another part of the town ‒ but it was in the middle of the town, and they felt that it was too exposed for his stay to remain secret.
Finally, the young revolutionaries ‒ who had to bring him food, who had to take care of all of his needs in great secret ‒ found a dilapidated house (it was more like a shed). And Sri Aurobindo stayed there until he left for Pondicherry.
After Sri Aurobindo escaped, the police department was in a fix. He was untraceable for weeks. There was wide speculation about where he might be. So-called ‘reliable information’ said that he became a sannyasin. Another rumor said that he went to Tibet. The British were ready to prosecute Sri Aurobindo; they had been told that he had done something that would merit prosecution. But because of his disappearance, they couldn't. They simply had to stop and wait, until they could find out where he was. And as we know, they never did prosecute Sri Aurobindo a second time.
While he was in hiding, Sri Aurobindo kept in touch with only one member of his family. It was his cousin, Sukumar Mitra. Nobody else knew where he was. One day, after Sri Aurobindo had been in Chandernagore for several weeks, he was wondering what to do next. And he heard a voice, telling him (again three words): Go to Pondicherry. Later he said, “I could not question. It was Sri Krishna’s adesh. I had to obey.”
Sri Aurobindo defines the Sanskrit word ‘adesh’ as “the command of the Divine Guide of the Yoga”, which is heard inwardly. And ‘adesh’ can also mean ‘command’. It can also mean ‘divine command’.
The British had taken over most of India. But Pondicherry, where the voice told Sri Aurobindo to go, was a French territory. The British had no jurisdiction in Pondicherry; and they could not arrest Sri Aurobindo while he was there. Sri Aurobindo asked his cousin, Sukumar Mitra, to make the arrangements for his secret escape from Chandernagore to Pondicherry. Sukumar later said, “Since the secret police openly picked me up and followed me from the moment I left the house, I got the work done by giving instructions to two men I trusted. What I told one, I did not inform the other, and I did not allow the two to meet.”
If Sri Aurobindo were to go to Pondicherry by train, he could be recognized during the long ride. Or he could be noticed by the police spies; and by now police spies were everywhere. So Sukumar sent Sri Aurobindo on a French ship instead. It was safer for Sri Aurobindo to be isolated in a ship out on the ocean. Also, Bengal was the British Indian coast. And as soon as the ship crossed the three-mile zone out of Bengal, all the passengers would be in international waters and under French jurisdiction, where the British had no power.
Sri Aurobindo traveled on the S.S. Dupleix ‒ the only ship out of Calcutta which halted at Pondicherry. It didn't actually dock, but it did stop in Pondy.
He chose Bijoy Kumar Nag, an 18-year-old revolutionary fellow. Bijoy traveled with Sri Aurobindo. Sukumar sent one of his two men, named Nagendra, to buy two tickets. Nagendra was to give the steamship company two false names; so Sri Aurobindo's name wasn't even seen anywhere. Sukumar's father had a newspaper: it was called The Nationalist. They had a subscription list of people who subscribed to the paper. So Sukumar took two names from the subscription list, and gave those names as Sri Aurobindo's name and Bijoy's name. By the time the police would reach these two men whose names were used, Sri Aurobindo would be safe in Pondicherry.
Sukumar instructed Nagendra to say that one of the passengers was suffering from malaria, and that he would stay in his cabin for the whole journey. So everything was set up that Sri Aurobindo was completely unknown, and he wouldn't even have to show himself on the ship during the journey.
In order to mislead the British even further, the tickets were bought for the two passengers to go all the way to Colombo. The plan was that when the Dupleix temporarily halted at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo and Bijoy would disembark with the luggage. They would not go all the way to Colombo, where the ship would dock.
On 31 March, 1910, Nagendra was instructed to carry the tickets with him, to go aboard the ship and to put Sri Aurobindo's two trunks aboard the Dupleix, and lock the cabin. Meanwhile, Sri Aurobindo had to be brought back to Calcutta to board the boat. And by then, the British police were actively searching for him. So the plan was made for Sri Aurobindo to go by boat downstream, to Dumurtala ghat, halfway to Calcutta. Then he would be picked up in another boat, and taken further downstream to another ghat. Finally, he would change to yet a third boat, which would be sent from Calcutta to get him and take him directly to the Dupleix.
This complex plan did not work. They never found the third boat; no contact was made. So the young men decided to take Sri Aurobindo directly to Calcutta to board the Dupleix. But they didn't have the tickets ‒ because Nagendra had the tickets, and he had put the baggage into the boat.
They hired a carriage and rushed to the wharf. Nobody was there that they knew, so they rushed to Sukumar's house which was in the middle of Calcutta. It was a very tense ride for the young men; they were taking Sri Aurobindo right through the center of Calcutta, and they had to pass within a few hundred meters of Government House. Government House was where the English viceroy stayed, and there were always guards surrounding the house, quite a ways out.
Through all this confusion and hurry, Sri Aurobindo was absolutely quiet and calm. They got to Sukumar's house, but Sukumar was not at home. So again they drove: they drove right through the center of Calcutta, past Government House, and returned to the wharf to wait for someone to come.
Meanwhile, when Sri Aurobindo did not meet the third boat, Sukumar had Nagendra take the trunks off the ship. And with all this going on, Sri Aurobindo and Bijoy had to have a health examination before sailing. All passengers had to take a medical exam by a doctor appointed by the shipping company. They had to bring a health certificate onboard ‒ otherwise, they couldn't get on the ship.
Now, it was too late. The doctor had finished the regular exam and gone home. Nagendra had hired a coolie to help him get Sri Aurobindo's trunks off the boat. The coolie said that he knew the doctor's servant, and he knew where the doctor lived. He said if they paid something to him, he could arrange for the medical exam at the doctor's house. This was far safer than having the exam on the pier at the usual time; a Calcutta policeman was always present at these regular examinations. And Sri Aurobindo's face was well-known throughout India. It's likely that the policeman would have recognized Sri Aurobindo ‒ and he might have been stopped and arrested at the very last minute before he could board the ship and escape the British.
The report of the policeman who was there to observe the medical exam said that two ticket-holders with Bengali names did not turn up at Pani ghat for their examination that day.
Nagendra paid the coolie what he wanted, and went to Sukumar's house with the trunks. Sukumar told him to take the trunks right back, take the tickets right back to the ship. Narendra found Sri Aurobindo's group at the wharf. And then they went to the doctor. They had to wait for the doctor to finish his dinner. But he gave the examination, and he gave the health certificates very quickly. Then they rushed back to the wharf, and finally they were able to board the ship, by eleven o'clock that night. The Dupliex sailed out of Bengal the next morning.
In the story in The Golden Chain, there's a lot of history about where Sri Aurobindo stayed once he arrived in Pondicherry. But we won't go into that just now.
For Mother's class, the main subject of this half of the class is her response to a question about the Divine Grace being all-powerful. First she says that the Grace is all-powerful; but then she goes into a long discussion about how people see the Grace, and how they see it in a way that doesn't help them. And then she poses a question which she doesn't answer. She says that she will answer it at some later date.
At the end of the class, they've printed something Mother said after the class. She said that the answer was related to August 15th. She said it was related to Sri Aurobindo's birthday and also in another way; because August 15th is also the day of the celebration of the [Assumption] of the Virgin Mary. This is also the divinization of matter; Mother said that Sri Aurobindo said that it was the divinization of matter. And the divinization of matter is what Mother and Sri Aurobindo came to do ‒ they were doing it in their own matter. And this is exactly what we have to do.
The difference is, that in the case of the Virgin Mary, it was by the indwelling presence of the direct incarnation of God, and the indwelling reception of the Divine Spirit for that purpose. It's an interesting thing to look at, since we're dealing with the spirit in Matter; and in the Bible, the Annunciation of the Virgin is when the angel Gabriel came to her and told her that she would be the mother of Jesus. The holy spirit would come upon her, and she would conceive a child. Jesus was the son of God. And therefore the angel was announcing the spirit coming into Mary's body, and the incarnation of God into flesh. Gabriel told Mary to name her son ‘Yeshua’. Mary (and her son therefore) were Jewish. And in Hebrew, ‘Yeshua’ ‒ or as we pronounce it in English, ‘Jesus’ ‒ meant ‘YHWH is salvation’. And ‘YHWH’ is Y-H-W-H. That's the only way to pronounce these very unpronounceable letters; it is the Jewish name for God. Because in the Jewish faith, man is not able to speak the name of God, and should not speak the name of God.
So here we have a very clear divinization of matter, a long time ago. The ancient teachings of many cultures include the incarnation of God in a human body. In his book The Mother, Sri Aurobindo writes about how the Divine Mother incarnates. He says that the Mother is the Mahashakti: she is this material world, she conducts everything in this material world and she is in charge of this material world.
One of the things that the Mother does is to prepare and shape minds and bodies to be emanations of herself into matter. This is how she manifests in the physical world. She does this because when she puts on a human consciousness, she may manifest some ray of her power and quality of her presence while she's in a human body.
He says that personally “she has stooped to descend here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light”. She has come into the Falsehood and Error; she has come to turn it into godlike Life. To end pain and sorrow and suffering, “in the transforming ecstasy of her sublime Ananda”. She has consented to pass through the birth that is a death, and to “bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness and the Falsehood”. She does this to take upon herself the pangs and sorrows and suffering of the creation. She does this to transform it.
This sounds like a lot of things in the Bible ‒ a lot of things that have been written about Jesus. And we can see here that these teachings, this history, these abilities, are something well-known throughout history ‒ well-known to many peoples.
So now we're in Mother's class. It's the 15th of August, 1956. And another student (a slightly older student) asks...
- Mother, has this day, the fifteenth of August, an occult or a simple significance? For, in history, important events occurred on this day.
What exactly do you mean? The fifteenth of August is Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. Therefore, it is a date which has a capital importance in the life of the earth, from the physical point of view. So?
- On August fifteenth other important events took place?...
What, the liberation of India? Is it because the liberation of India came about on the fifteenth of August? And so, it is necessary to tell you why it happened, you can’t find it out by yourself, can you? It needs to be said, does it? I think Sri Aurobindo has written it also, hasn’t he, in the message he gave? Hasn’t he said it?
Yes, it is exactly that....
Today, there came into my hands one of those greeting cards which people send on puja days or for the new year or other such festivals; and on this card was written something like this — I don’t recall the exact words — but anyway they were, “Greetings on the occasion of this memorable day of the birth of our nation.” It is sent by someone who, I think, proclaimed himself a disciple of Sri Aurobindo quite a long time ago.... That seemed to me one of those enormities which human stupidity alone can commit. If he had said: “On this memorable day of the birth of Sri Aurobindo and its natural consequence, the birth of the nation”, it would have been quite all right. But still, the important point was left out and the other mentioned, which is quite simply a consequence, a natural result: it had to be like that, it could not be otherwise.
But people always think like that, the wrong way up. Always. They take the effect for the cause, they glorify the effect and forget the cause.
And that is why the world walks on its head with its feet in the air. Quite simply, there is no other reason.
I have a huge collection of questions here. I received yet one more today. This question raises perhaps the most difficult problem for the world; so I don’t quite know if, precisely, in this Darshan atmosphere, it is very appropriate to touch upon such a problem. However, it is something infinitely interesting. One would like to find a fully satisfactory solution, for then at the same time one would have the key which opens the last door.
Man has always been faced with two possible attitudes when he has wanted to find a solution to the problem of the existence of the universe. It could be said from the practical point of view, that since the universe exists and exists as it does, the wisest thing is to take it as it is, and if one is not satisfied with it, well, to try to make it better. But even if one takes this very practical attitude, the problem remains: How to make it better? And once again one is facing the same fact which it seems impossible to resolve. Here you are, then:
The divine Will — and the Grace which manifests it — is all-powerful and nothing can exist which is not the expression of this divine Will and this Grace which manifests it.... The logical attitude — precisely the one described in the little book I read to you on Fridays now, Wu Wei — a perfect peace, a total surrender, putting aside all effort and all personal will, giving oneself up to the divine Will and letting it act through oneself.
Mind you, this is not at all easy, it is not as simple as it looks. But still, if one sincerely takes up this attitude, it is certain that immediately there comes a perfect inner peace, an unmixed bliss, and whatever may be the events of your life, they leave you totally indifferent. This has always been recommended for individual salvation; and I may remark in passing that in this little book, which is also very beautiful and very well written, the sage compares the state of surrender of which he speaks to a sea which is calm, blue, peaceful, vast, moved by a deep force, swelling up at the right moment, subsiding at the right moment — indeed, it is an ideal description. But a practical and somewhat objective mind immediately tells you, “Well, yes, but there are also tempests at sea, there are also terrible storms, tidal waves, engulfed islands. And so that is perhaps another aspect of the Divine, but it does not bring peace, at least not in the way described by the sage. One would have to be in another state of consciousness to be at peace in such circumstances, one must not compare oneself with the sea!” So the problem presents itself again.
Sri Aurobindo has made a study of all this in The Life Divine, and he tells us that there are sure signs of a progressive evolution. An evolution naturally tends towards a goal, and if it is a progressive evolution one may continue to think that all is the expression of the divine Grace and Will, but that at the same time all is not as it ought to be. Everything is in accordance with the divine Will, but everything is not as it ought to be, otherwise things would not move.
And there we are faced with the problem once more.
The question I have been asked is this:
- “Now that the Supermind has manifested on the earth, it must naturally follow that the divine Grace is all-powerful”, and I am asked: “Is this right?”
The divine Grace has always been all-powerful.
And yet, if we compare the world as it is with the more or less ideal world we can imagine when we come out of our ignorant consciousness and enter a consciousness which we call more divine, how is it that it is not always so good, if the Grace is all-powerful?
It would seem that the vision of what ought to be comes long before the execution — and this is what gives rise to the whole problem.... One sees ahead — or up above — the realisation, perhaps not of the next step, but still what will happen one day; and then as one sees it, one tells oneself, “But this conception is more divine than what is realised at present; therefore, if the Grace is all-powerful, it ought to be realised immediately.” I am now looking at the problem as the human mind, it seems to me, would put it or approximately so, in order to try and make myself understood.
But what does one call an all-powerful Grace? I don’t want to speak of the conceptions of an ordinary mind for which the all-powerful Grace is that which would instantaneously realise what it wants or believes to be the right thing; I am not speaking of that, we may eliminate this case, which is childish. But granting that somebody has a deeper, higher vision, a sort of inner perception of an ideal world where all the things which for us are very shocking would disappear; then one is truly faced with a problem which seems insoluble.
This translates itself in very ordinary minds into an oversimple and very childish form: either the divine Will is something unthinkable for us — which would not be surprising! — unthinkable and almost monstrous if It allows things to be as they are, if It wants things as they are, or else... the Grace is powerless.
That — I warn you to put you on your guard against the trap — that is the great argument of the Adversary. He uses it to cloud the mind and raise up revolt; but still, it is well thought out as a trap.
Then come those who say, “It is because you are in the Ignorance that you see like that; change your consciousness, enter into contact with the divine Consciousness and you will see differently.” This is perfectly correct. I was just telling you, and I repeat, that if you can manage to get out of the Ignorance and enter ever so little into union with the divine Reality, you live an ecstatic life in which everything is marvellous, sublime, and where the Grace manifests in all things. Therefore, you have solved the problem for yourself, on condition that you can remain in that state perpetually, which is not very easy. But still it is possible. But it draws you out of the world, prevents you from participating in the life of the world, and above all, if everything had to be changed in that way, I think an eternity would not suffice for all the elements of the world to be so transformed.
And the problem presents itself again. In whatever manner, by whatever way you approach it, it will always present itself again.
There is a solution.
Think about it, we shall speak about it again another time. There, I would like you to make an effort. For it is beneficial, because this is a sort of conflict in the human consciousness which comes up constantly; because it is a conflict which forms the basis of all oppositions to a concrete work; because this conflict makes people — I am speaking even of those who are the most enlightened in this field — always confuse spiritual life with an annihilation of the physical, material creation, as for them this is the sole means of escape: “Let us escape from the material reality and we escape the problem”, for, to be in the state where the problem doesn’t present itself any longer, one must get out of life — according to them.
There is a solution.
That will be for another time.
- When back at the Ashram, after the class, Mother made the following remark:
- I gave the solution, this evening. I gave it twice in the class, without speaking.
- Has this solution any connection with the date, August fifteenth? Is there any connection between the Feast of the Assumption in the Catholic Church and the date of Sri Aurobindo’s birth?
- Yes. And he has also said it himself. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is the divinisation of Matter. And this is the aim of the last Avatar.
- Mère, est‑ce que le jour du 15 août a une signification occulte (ou simple)? Parce que, dans l’histoire, des événements importants sont arrivés ce jour-là.
Que veux-tu dire exactement? Le 15 août est le jour de la naissance de Sri Aurobindo. Par conséquent, c’est une date qui a une importance capitale dans la vie terrestre, au point de vue physique. Et alors?
- Le 15 août, d’autres événements importants se sont produits...
Quoi, la libération de l’Inde? C’est parce que la libération de l’Inde est arrivée le 15 août? Et alors, il faut que l’on vous dise pourquoi c’est arrivé, vous ne pouvez pas le trouver tout seul, non? Cela a besoin d’être dit? Je crois que Sri Aurobindo l’a écrit aussi, non, dans le message qu’il a donné? Il ne l’a pas dit?
Oui, c’est exactement cela...
Aujourd’hui, il m’est venu entre les mains une de ces cartes de voeux que les gens envoient, comme aux moments des pûjâs ou du nouvel an, ou de telle fête, telle autre ; et sur cette carte, il était écrit ceci (je ne sais plus exactement les mots ; d’ailleurs, c’était en anglais), enfin c’étaient des greetings « à l’occasion de ce jour mémorable de la naissance de notre nation ». C’était envoyé par quelqu’un qui, je pense, s’est déclaré disciple de Sri Aurobindo il y a fort longtemps... Cela m’a paru une de ces énormités dont seule la stupidité humaine est capable. S’il avait dit : « En ce jour mémorable de la naissance de Sri Aurobindo et de sa conséquence naturelle, la naissance de la nation », ç’aurait été très bien. Mais enfin, on a laissé le point important et on a parlé de l’autre, qui est tout simplement une conséquence, un effet naturel : cela devait être comme cela, cela ne pouvait pas être autrement.
Mais les gens pensent toujours comme cela, à l’envers. Toujours. Ils prennent l’effet pour la cause, ils glorifient l’effet et ils oublient la cause.
Et c’est pour cela que le monde marche la tête en bas et les pieds en l’air. Tout simplement, il n’y a pas d’autre raison.
J’ai ici une collection formidable de questions. J’en ai reçu encore une aujourd’hui. C’est une question qui soulève peutêtre le problème le plus difficile pour le monde ; alors, je ne sais pas trop si, justement dans cette atmosphère de Darshan, il est très approprié de toucher à un problème pareil. C’est pourtant une chose infiniment intéressante. On voudrait trouver une solution pleinement satisfaisante, parce que du même coup on aurait la clef qui ouvre la dernière porte.
L’homme s’est toujours trouvé en présence de deux attitudes possibles quand il a voulu trouver une solution au problème de l’existence de l’univers. On pourrait dire qu’au point de vue pratique, puisque l’univers existe et qu’il existe tel qu’il est, le plus sage est de le prendre tel qu’il est, et si on n’en est pas satisfait, eh bien, d’essayer de le rendre meilleur. Mais même si l’on prend cette attitude tout à fait pratique, reste le problème : « Comment le rendre meilleur? » Et de nouveau on est en présence d’un même fait, qu’il semble impossible de résoudre. Voilà :
La Volonté divine (et la Grâce qui la manifeste) est toutepuissante et rien ne peut être qui ne soit l’expression de cette Volonté divine et de cette Grâce qui la manifeste... Attitude logique (celle qui est justement décrite dans ce petit livre que je vous lis le vendredi maintenant, qui s’appelle Wu Wei ') : une paix parfaite, un abandon total, laisser tout effort et toute volonté personnelle de côté, s’abandonner à la Volonté divine et la laisser agir à travers soi.
Notez que ce n’est pas du tout facile, ce n’est pas aussi simple que cela en a l’air. Mais enfin, si l’on adopte sincèrement cette attitude, il est certain qu’il s’ensuit immédiatement une paix intérieure parfaite, une béatitude sans mélange, et que, quels que soient les événements de votre existence, cela vous laisse totalement indifférent. C’est toujours ce que l’on a préconisé pour le salut individuel ; et je peux remarquer en passant que dans ce petit livre, qui est d’ailleurs fort joli et fort bien écrit, le sage compare l’état d’abandon dont il parle à cette mer, calme, bleue, paisible, vaste, qui est mue par la force profonde, se gonfle au moment où il faut, se retire au moment où il faut — enfin c’est une description idéale. Mais un esprit pratique et un peu objectif, immédiatement vient vous dire : « Eh bien, oui, mais il y a aussi des ouragans sur la mer, il y a aussi des orages effroyables, des raz de marée, des îles qui sont englouties. Et alors cela, c’est peut-être un autre aspect du Divin, mais il n’amène plus la paix, du moins de la façon dont le sage la décrit. Il faudrait être dans un autre état de conscience pour avoir la paix dans des cas comme ceux-là, il ne faut pas se comparer à la mer ! » Alors, le problème se repose de nouveau.
Sri Aurobindo, dans La Vie Divine, a étudié tout cela, et il nous dit qu’il y a des signes certains d’une évolution progressive. Une évolution tend naturellement vers un but, et si c’est une évolution progressive, on peut continuer de concevoir que tout est l’expression de la Grâce et de la Volonté divines, mais en même temps que tout n’est pas comme cela devrait être. Tout est selon la Volonté divine, mais tout n’est pas comme cela devrait être, autrement cela ne bougerait pas.
Et nous voilà de nouveau en face du problème.
La question que l’on m’a posée est celle-ci :
- « Maintenant que le Supramental s’est manifesté sur la terre, il doit s’ensuivre naturellement que la Grâce divine est toute-puissante. » Et on me demande : « Est‑ce que c’est correct? »
La Grâce divine a toujours été toute-puissante.
Et pourtant, si nous comparons le monde tel qu’il est au monde plus ou moins idéal tel que nous pouvons le concevoir quand nous sortons de notre conscience d’ignorance et que nous entrons dans une conscience que nous appelons plus divine, comment se fait-il que ce ne soit pas toujours très bien, si la Grâce est toute-puissante?
Il semblerait que la vision de ce qui doit être précède de beaucoup l’exécution — et c’est cela qui fait naître tout le problème... On voit en avant (ou en haut) la réalisation, peut-être pas du pas suivant, mais enfin celle qui se produira un jour ; et alors, comme on la voit, on se dit : « Mais cette conception est plus divine que ce qui est réalisé maintenant ; par conséquent, si la Grâce est toute-puissante, cela doit se réaliser instantanément. » (Je suis en train de regarder le problème comme il me semble qu’une mentalité humaine se le pose, ou à peu près, pour essayer de me faire comprendre.)
Mais qu’est‑ce que l’on appelle une Grâce toute-puissante? Je ne veux pas parler des conceptions d’un esprit ordinaire pour qui la Grâce toute-puissante est celle qui réaliserait instantanément ce qu’il désire ou ce qu’il croit être la bonne chose ; je ne parle pas de cela, nous éliminons ce cas qui est enfantin. Mais en admettant que quelqu’un ait une vision plus profonde, plus haute, une sorte de perception intérieure d’un monde idéal où toutes sortes de choses qui sont pour nous très choquantes disparaîtraient — alors, on est en face vraiment d’un problème qui paraît insoluble.
Ceci se traduit pour les mentalités très ordinaires d’une façon très simpliste et très enfantine : ou bien la Volonté divine est quelque chose qui est pour nous impensable (ce qui ne serait pas étonnant!), impensable et presque monstrueuse si elle admet les choses telles qu’elles sont, si elle veut les choses telles qu’elles sont, ou bien... la Grâce est impuissante.
Cela, je vous préviens pour vous mettre en garde contre le piège, c’est le grand argument de l’Adversaire. Il s’en sert pour troubler les esprits et éveiller la révolte ; mais enfin, c’est très bien conçu comme piège.
Alors, viennent ceux qui disent : « C’est parce que vous êtes dans l’Ignorance que vous voyez comme cela ; changez votre conscience, entrez en rapport avec la Conscience divine et vous verrez autrement. » C’est parfaitement exact. Je vous disais tout à l’heure, et je le répète, que si vous arrivez à sortir de l’Ignorance et si vous entrez tant soit peu en union avec la Réalité divine, vous vivez une vie extatique où tout est merveilleux, sublime, et où la Grâce se manifeste en toute chose. Par conséquent, vous avez résolu le problème pour vous-même, à condition que vous puissiez rester dans cet état-là d’une façon perpétuelle, ce qui n’est pas très facile. Mais enfin, c’est possible. Mais cela vous tire hors du monde, cela vous empêche de participer à la vie du monde, et surtout, si tout devait être changé de cette façon-là, je pense qu’une éternité ne suffirait pas pour que tous les éléments du monde soient transformés.
Et le problème se repose. De n’importe quelle façon, par n’importe quel chemin que vous le preniez, il se reposera toujours.
Il y a une solution.
Pensez-y, on en reparlera une autre fois. Voilà, je voudrais que vous fassiez un effort. Parce que c’est salutaire, parce que c’est une sorte de conflit dans la conscience humaine, qui se présente constamment ; parce que c’est ce conflit qui sert de base à toutes les oppositions à une oeuvre concrète, parce que c’est ce conflit qui fait que les gens (je parle même de ceux qui sont les plus éclairés dans ce domaine) confondent toujours la vie spirituelle avec une annihilation de la création physique, matérielle, que pour eux c’est le seul moyen d’échapper : « Échappons à la réalité matérielle et nous échappons au problème », parce que, pour être dans l’état où le problème ne se pose plus, il faut sortir de la vie — d’après eux.
Il y a une solution.
Ce sera pour une autre fois.
- Après être rentrée à l’Ashram, à la fin de la classe, Mère a fait la remarque suivante :
- J’ai donné la solution, ce soir. Je l’ai donnée deux fois en classe, sans parler.
- Cette solution a-t-elle un rapport avec la date du 15 août? Y a-t-il un rapport entre la fête de l’Assomption (dans l’Église catholique) et la date de naissance de Sri Aurobindo?
- Oui. Et il l’a dit lui-même aussi. L’Assomption de la Vierge Marie, c’est la divinisation de la Matière. Et c’est l’objet du dernier Avatâr.
- Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest, p.474: “As a mystic, I take this identification, not as a coincidence or fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine Power which guides my steps on the work with which I began life. Indeed almost all the world movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though at that time they looked like impossible dreams, I can observe on this day either approaching fruition or initiated and on the way to their achievement.”
- Ibid., p.478
- Ibid., p.479
- Ibid., p.480
- Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest, p.89
- Talks with Sri Aurobindo, Nirodbaran, vol. 1, p. 42
- Glossary to the Record of Yoga, p.4
- The Mother with Letters on the Mother, p.17
- Questions and Answers 1956, p.264
- Entretiens 1956, p. 296