Janina Stroka

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Janina Stroka.jpg

(Janina writing to her friend, 1957:) “I arrived in Pondicherry yesterday, 17.12, early in the morning. The brother of the sadhak who met me in the port of Bombay came to the train – another brother for me. The Radiation works through them. He brought me with all my luggage (which has during all the journey never been opened by the customs!) to a house which is supposed to be my home now and soon the place too of my work. It is a house newly purchased by the Ashram for a kind of nursing home for patients after operations. Nahar has told me that Mother wants to put me in charge of this home. The pressure of Her force is so immense that it is clear that only She will be doing Her work in the house and I am only praying that I may never forget it and learn more and more to be a channel only.”[1]

(Janina:) “What I have learned during these first days is – but I shall write about it another time. Now I want to tell you that yesterday I was accepted by Mother to attend a class of older youths and sadhaks during which Mother translates The Synthesis of Yoga into French. Before She came I had to wait near the table, just like a child in school (Oh! I tell you, this freedom here, and this being a child is a glory) and when She came She handed me a book and a nice copybook with Her indescribable smile. I can look at Her only when I stand under the balcony. When She is so near me I cannot. Maybe because first I adored Mother as the Highest and I cannot even move in such moments, when She is near. But it will come. She will create it. She creates everything. Pavitra kneeling at the great stone of Sri Aurobindo's Samadhi, a girl of 16 with a face of almost a pure spirit, the work of hundreds of sadhaks who pray working. There are awful faces too. My helper is not easy either, but I feel it like a benediction today. I started my work.”[2]

(Janina:) “On Christmas day She just sat in an armchair under the Christmas tree in the playground and not only we, the sadhaks, but other people too could come and get some sweets from Her, which, of course, meant the contact with the Grace. We, the sadhaks got more (I got a kind of diary with Her words), and when She gave it to me and looked at me, I just became again a different being. I even did not know how I passed farther and I stood for a time in a corner of the playground filled with something that cannot be described.”[3]

Janina Stroka - A Captive of Her Love p3.jpg

(Janina, 1958:) “My letters have not given you until now an idea of the most inner process that is going on – the deeper and deeper self-giving. It is as if I was continuously being broken by overpowering Love, Her Love; it is clear that the ego hidden in all the corners must disappear and I experience it as being broken, the body too, and the body kneeling prostrates itself with its forehead almost on, or near, the floor. This movement comes spontaneously and a vibrating force moves the body. It is just natural and it is a delight too, there is no strain in anything. And all this process is connected with X [Janina's helper in the Nursing Home]. In Europe we would talk about asuras and forces and try fervently to remain positive. Here, Mother has given me X that I may give myself more and more to her as if she were Mother Herself. All these orders I get during Darshan. And X is Mother Herself. So I often prostrate myself inwardly during my work with her. I often kneel near her (understand me well, I am very matter of fact!) because she is the Highest with a mask. And then when I do it with enough surrender and purity I feel Mother working through me. I do not know what She does but now I have experienced that if we give ourselves to the Mother in the evil, as if for being eaten up, She can really do the work, Her work. But all this comes just naturally, there is no tension, only happiness and gratitude and pain and suffering mixed together in a state that I cannot describe yet.”[4]

(Janina:) “Yesterday [January 8, 1958] I grasped what She wanted from me. For two days already I felt from time to time as if a mountain or huge waves were coming on me and pushing me back. She wants me to step back this time, as completely as I can – and to make room for Her. And I feel how foolish it is to push oneself into a place which God wants to occupy. But I grasped it with my heart rather. It was yesterday evening during the French talk for children. Among other things She was explaining how Sri Aurobindo used to free people from an obsessing thought or illness. And She was moving Her hands and fingers showing how He just took the thought out and removed it gently – the fact of His and Her Almighty Love became so overwhelming to me that I at last experienced that I cannot exist in God's Presence – I have to annul myself, just to become nothing. And now the time will come to practise it and persevere and persevere in this way. But my happiness is so great, so great....”[5]

(Janina:) “It is like being flooded. She pours and pours in and spreads Herself to all the corners, holes and caves of the being. And it is a continuous fever of self-giving and a continuous imploring and calling Her to come. The self-giving seems to be so insufficient and so poor when it faces the Grace. And when She comes, She becomes so near that I at last begin to feel free with Her, to talk to and adore Her in Her manifested body as She is here. I did not yet do it and this is also so wonderful how every tiny movement of life is being harmoniously arranged. There are already many threads connecting me with Her – not only the darshan and classes – although I have never talked to Her yet.”[6]

(Janina:) “The most wonderful thing is Her Love for us. I come near to Her only during distributions. There have been six such distributions since I came. The first on the day I came, when Her eyes' Vibration broke a crust in my eyes into my soul which felt as if somebody had made with an instrument two holes in a screen or wall. On Christmas day, She flooded me with a vibration of such sweet Love that I did not know how I could possibly bear it. On the 31st of December there was the distribution of the New Year's message and on the first of January distribution of the calendar and Prosperity. The fifth time was on the 14th of January when She touched my hand with a purpose (I knew it) and all my being went aflame. Yesterday there was the distribution of sweets after which I am again a different human being and nothing else matters but She. Now, each time the waves work with such a strength, I just try to withdraw into a corner and sit still.”[7]

(Janina:) “I open myself so widely, as widely as I can, so that She may see the most hidden corners – Oh, I am so thankful doing it! I try to stretch everything and to open as perfectly as possible which brings a glorious happiness. Now I know that it was this kind of self-giving I have been trying to find all my life – that nothing is hidden from Her eyes and every particle of the being gives itself with a glorious joy. But I had been trying to do it with men – and so I landed with the wrong one. All my life I have been longing for this melting into another ‘being’ and now She has granted it to me.”[8]

(Janina:) “Oh, this can only be compared to changing the element in which one lives, from water, for example, to air. Everything is new. And the essence of my life changes. Because now there seems to be really nothing more than sacrificing continuously. This will be the main occupation, probably the only one. I do not know. She often gives me new realisations. This one withdraws and comes back and so it goes.”[9]

(Janina:) “Let me know if you have got the Bulletin issues of 1956. There are a number of very inspiring talks by the Mother. I often go to our beautiful library, sit on a big veranda with a view of the sea, in the shade of course, and read these old issues. It is as if She is actually instructing me. It really is so. Often I feel Her order to get up and leave everything at the Nursing Home and go to the library and read. This is more than reading. The August 1957 Bulletin had helped me today a lot. And often the part I have to read is ‘given to me’ with the omission of other talks. My inner contact grows into a greater and greater intimacy.”[10]

(Mother, 1964:) “I remember, the very day when Janina died (she died around 6 in the morning, I think), around 4 in the morning, something made me suddenly take interest in this question: What will the new form [the supramental being] be like? What will it be? I was looking at man and at the animal, and then I saw that there would be a far greater difference between man and the new form than between man and the animal. I began to see certain things, and it so happened that Janina was there (in her thought, but a material enough and very concrete thought). It was very interesting (it lasted a long time, nearly two hours), because I saw all the timidity of human conceptions, while she had made contact with something: it wasn't an idea but a sort of contact [with a future reality]. And I had the sense of a more plastic Matter, more full of Light, much more directly responsive to the Will (the higher Will), and with such a plasticity that it could respond to the Will by taking on variable and changing forms. And I saw some of her own forms, forms that she conceived (rather like those beings who don't have a body as we do, but have hands and feet when they will it, a head when they will it, luminous clothes when they will it — things of that sort), I saw that, and I remember I was congratulating her; I told her, “Yours was a partial but partially very clear perception of one of the forms the new Manifestation will take.” And she was very happy; I told her, “You see, you have fully worked for the future.” And then, suddenly, I saw a sapphire blue light, pale, very luminous, with something like the shape of a flame (with a rather broad base), and there was a kind of flash — pfft! — and it was gone. She wasn't there anymore. I thought, “Well, that's odd!” An hour later (I saw that around 6 A.M.; all the rest had lasted about two hours), they told me she was dead. Which means she spent the last moments of her life with me, and then, from me, pfft! went off towards ... a life elsewhere.
         It was very abrupt. She was so happy, you know, I told her, “How well you have worked for the future!” And all of a sudden, a sort of flash (a sapphire blue light, pale, very luminous, with the shape of a flame and a rather broad base), pfft! she was gone. And that was just the time when she died.
         It's one of the most interesting departures I have seen — fully conscious. And so happy to have participated!”[11]

  1. Janina Stroka, A Captive of Her Love, p.9
  2. Ibid., p.13
  3. Ibid., p.15
  4. Ibid., p.19
  5. Ibid., p.20
  6. Ibid., p.22
  7. Ibid., p.23
  8. Ibid., p.33
  9. Ibid., p.43
  10. Ibid., p.44
  11. Mother's Agenda, 11 August 1964

See also