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(Mother to Satprem, 1958:) “It was in 1910 that I had this sort of reversal of consciousness about which I spoke the other evening – that is, the first contact with the higher Divine – and it completely changed my life.
         From that moment on, I was conscious that all one does is the expression of the indwelling Divine Will. But it is the Divine Will AT THE VERY CENTER of oneself, although for a while there remained an activity in the physical mind. But this was stilled two or three days after I saw Sri Aurobindo for the first time in 1914, and it never started up again. Silence settled. And the consciousness was established above the head.
         In the first experience [of 1910], the consciousness was established in the psychic depths of the being, and from that poise issued the feeling of no longer doing anything but what the Divine wanted – it was the consciousness that the divine Will was all-powerful and that there was no longer any personal will, although there was still some mental activity and everything had to be made silent. In 1914, it was silenced, and the consciousness was established above the head. Here (the heart) and here (above the head), the connection is constant.

(Satprem:) Does one exclude the other?

They exist simultaneously; it's the same thing. When you start becoming truly conscious, you realize that it depends upon the kinds of activities you have to do. When you do a certain kind of work, it is in the heart that the Force gathers to radiate outwards, and when you do another kind of work, it is above the head that the Force concentrates to radiate outwards, but the two are not separate: the center of activity is here or there depending upon what you have to do.”[1]

(Sri Aurobindo in third person:) “After 1909 he carried on the political (Swadeshi) movement alone (the other leaders being in prison or in exile) for one year. Afterwards on receiving an inner intimation left politics for spiritual lifework. The intimation was that the Swadeshi movement must now end and would be followed later on by a Home Rule movement and a Non-cooperation movement of the Gandhi type, under other leaders.
         Came to Pondicherry 1910.”[2]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “[In the Karmayogin] I wrote an article, “Open letter to my countymen” for which the Government wanted to prosecute me.

“An Open Letter to My Countrymen”

Karmayogin - An Open Letter to My Countrymen.jpg
PDF (11 pages)

While the prosection was pending I went secretly to Chandernagore and there some friends were thinking of sending me to France. I was thinking what to do next. Then I heard the adesh to go to Pondicherry.

Why to Pondicherry ?

I could not question. It was Sri Krishna's adesh. I had to obey. Later on I found it was for the Ashram and for the Work.”[3]

Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest
“A Statement” (To the Editor of the Hindu, 7 November 1910)

Autobiographical Notes - To the Editor of the Hindu, 8 November 1910.jpg
PDF (1 page)

(Sujata:) “Sri Aurobindo was lodged in the third storey of Shankar Chetty's house on April 4, 1910. A three-storey building was a rare sight in Pondicherry in those days. Two young Bengali boys — Bijoy and Moni — were with him. Moni gives an eye-witness account (in Bengali) of that meeting:
         “About five to seven days — or at the most ten to fifteen days after Sri Aurobindo settled down at Chetty's house,” wrote Moni, “a Frenchman, just arrived from France, came to meet him. The French gentleman's name was Paul Richard. He was a barrister from Paris. His address on the visiting card read: N°9 Rue Val de Grace.
         “Although the ostensible reason for his coming to Pondicherry was politics, he had some ulterior object. So the first thing he inquired upon landing on the Indian soil was, where could he meet a yogi?” ”[4]

(Paul Richard:) “The first opportunity to go to India came one morning in 1910, during a flood of the river Seine. I was looking at one of the bridges in Paris, covered with water right up to the Zouave carved on the pillar. One of my colleagues at the Court of Appeals was also watching this spectacle, and then casually he asked, “Would you like to take my place as a candidate for the election in Pondicherry? I've been offered a better opportunity elsewhere.” I accepted without a second thought and began preparations for the trip. Meanwhile, Mirra took care of moving our belongings from the apartment to another house on the rue Val-de-Grâce, which was to become our home for the next seven years.
         Before reaching Bombay, I had a dream about receiving a telegram from Pondicherry telling me that all plans for the election had changed. When I arrived in that city a telegram was waiting for me, and the message was exactly what I had seen in the dream. Thus, the practical justification for my coming to India had vanished, but the real reason was about to become manifest. I continued my journey south to Pondicherry as if nothing had happened to change my plans. As soon as I arrived, I asked several people if they could direct me to a wise man, as that was what I had come to find. All of them laughed at the idea of finding a wise man in Pondicherry, but a few days later, two men visited my lodgings in great secrecy and said: “A wise man has come from the North. He is hiding in an Indian home. We have told him about you and he wishes to meet you.” So they brought me to the hideout of Aurobindo Ghose, and we began a friendship which would last twelve years.
         Before leaving India I went to Adyar (near Madras) which had become the Mecca of the theosophists. There I was introduced to Annie Besant and her protégé Krishnamurti, whom I still remember as a twelve year old boy playing tennis. The voyage back to Europe was marked by the beautiful display of Haley's comet rising in full splendor above the ocean, and then life in Paris began again with Mirra in our new home.
         We spent the summer of 1910 at Cluses, a small alpine resort, with my son Jacques and daughter Hélène.”[5]

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  1. Mother's Agenda 1951-1960, 6 June 1958
  2. Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest, p.15
  3. A. B. Purani, Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.550
  4. Mother's Chronicles, Volume 3: Mirra the Occultist
  5. Michael P. Richard (ed.), Without Passport: The life and work of Paul Richard, p.50

See also

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