Sri Aurobindo's atmosphere
“But to have this precise perception... Listen, as I had when I came from Japan: I was on the boat, at sea, not expecting anything (I was of course busy with the inner life, but I was living physically on the boat), when all of a sudden, abruptly, about two nautical miles from Pondicherry, the quality, I may even say the physical quality of the atmosphere, of the air, changed so much that I knew we were entering the aura of Sri Aurobindo. It was a physical experience and I guarantee that whoever has a sufficiently awakened consciousness can feel the same thing.
I had the contrary experience also, the first time that I went out in a car after many, many years here. When I reached a little beyond the lake, I felt all of a sudden that the atmosphere was changing; where there had been plenitude, energy, light and force, all that diminished, diminished... and then... nothing. I was not in a mental or vital consciousness, I was in an absolutely physical consciousness. Well, those who are sensitive in their physical consciousness ought to feel that quite concretely. And I can assure you that the area we call “the Ashram” has a condensation of force which is not at all the same as that of the town, and still less that of the countryside.
So, I ask you: this kind of condensation of force (which gives you quite a special vibration of consciousness), who is there that is really conscious of it?... Many among you feel it vaguely, I know, even people from outside feel it vaguely; they get an impression, they speak of it, but the precise consciousness, the scientific consciousness which could give you the exact measure of it, who has that? I’m not alluding to anyone in particular, each one can look into himself. And this, this condensation here is only a far-off reflection of the supramental force. So when this supramental force will be installed here definitively, how long will it take for people to perceive that it is there?...”
(Regarding a Playground Talk of March 17, 1951, published in the latest Bulletin, in which Mother says that when she returned from Japan in 1920, she felt Sri Aurobindo's atmosphere two nautical miles away from Pondicherry:)
“It appears that in 1958 we said one thing and that this time we said another, so they ask me which is correct. It's about Sri Aurobindo's atmosphere which I felt at sea. So in 1958 (I probably remembered more precisely then) I said ten nautical miles (I remember having asked on the ship, just so I would know), and it appears that this time I said two miles. So they tell me …
- What does it matter!
That's how they are, they are stupid.
It's enough to crush you. So I answered ...
- You answered it was nine point eight hundred and seventy-five miles?!
(Mother laughs) Exactly! I didn't tell them that, I simply said (because that I remember) that the shore couldn't be seen. But now, it's like a previous life for me....
- But what does it matter?!
Absolutely! They're stupid.
That's how they read what I write. They take a magnifying glass and notice an error here, an error there....
(Mother gives Satprem a flower: a rose)
It's beautiful. Far lovelier than human beings.
- Oh, yes, that's for sure!
(Mother holds out another flower called ‘Prayer’) Here, a prayer that they may change.”