Loretta reads Mother's Questions and Answers:1955-07-27 part 2

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Transcript of:
Mother's Questions and Answers: July 27, 1955 (part 2 of 2)
by Loretta, 2015 (38:19)
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We saw in the first half of the class the closeness and the trust that the children had with the Mother and her involvement with them. Again we're going to see how very much Mother gave of her time, and her work, to help all the ashramites and the children of those days. Because all of these people were really there for the Yoga. The children not quite in the same way as the adults – but all along we're able to see from their questions how much they're conscious about what's going on and what they want to do.

In the very early days of the Ashram, Mother was always available for the ashramites. They could always see her when they had something to ask her; and Mother organized her time so that she could see all of the ashramites in groups at different times during the day.

With the children, Mother saw them individually in the Playground when she distributed snacks to them; and in the early days when people saw Mother it was also one at a time.

By November of 1926, when Sri Aurobindo retired, and Mother took complete charge of the Ashram, the daily Ashram schedule included sitting in meditation with Mother, and time to speak personally with her. By November 1928, there were about 80 ashramites, and Mother came downstairs about 6:30 in the morning and sat in the meditation room, and each ashramite came to her and received specially-chosen flowers.

In 1938, Mother started receiving people in a small room at the head of the stairs, during the early evening. More and more people came, and Mother stood for hours seeing people until late at night.

By the 1950s, there were several hundred ashramites, and Mother could no longer see people like that. She came downstairs between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning, and sat in the meditation room, and gave flowers – but now the ashramites just came before her in a line, and no one had a chance to speak.

Mother and Sri Aurobindo were so deeply involved with the individual progress of each ashramite in those early days – because they wanted to make sure that things were really established in the earth-consciousness.

When people came to see Mother, she worked inside them to give them what they needed to progress. And here we're going to see the children asking her what she does. In this class, the first question that a child asks is about something that was called Mother's Balcony Darshan.

The term 'darshan' is very much a part of Indian culture. It's a Sanskrit word, which has several meanings. One of its meanings is 'the inner sight which reveals the truth of the thing seen'. Another meaning is 'presence'. To be in the presence of a realized person automatically imparts something of their spiritual realization. And everybody will receive as much as he or she is capable of receiving.

In 1932, Mother started going out on her balcony at the back of the Ashram around 6:30 in the morning. News about Mother's appearance on her balcony quickly got around the Ashram, and soon everyone was standing for what came to be known as Mother's Balcony Darshan. People quickly found their own favorite spot to stand on; and Mother would walk from one end of the balcony to the other, looking deliberately and carefully down into the eyes of each person, until she'd seen everyone, and done her work in them.

Even though hundreds of people gathered there every morning, if someone did not come, Mother would later ask them why they had missed the morning darshan.

Balcony Darshan went on for thirty years, until 1962, and the Mother did this every morning. It was one of those regular scheduled contacts with Mother, for all the ashramites.

I have a friend who lived most of her life in the Ashram, and she'd been about 16 years old at the time of this Question and Answer class in 1955. I asked her what she felt when she went for Balcony Darshan every morning. She said that she had her special spot; and she stood there and waited for Mother to come to that side of the balcony to see her; and that it was more than evident that when Mother looked at you, that you received something.

In this recording, Mother explains a little bit about what she does when people come for Balcony Darshan. Once she gave a more detailed explanation about the way she did her work when she looked at people. And this is what she said:

“You know, I work a lot – I do many things with these eyes that reflect the soul. These eyes communicate directly with your soul. It becomes like a bridge, and I transmit the Force. It passes directly from my eyes like a ray of light, invisibly – invisible for those who have not developed the inner vision – but it is in this way that I communicate and work to change the consciousness, the attitude, and to illumine it, and guide it, for the total progress of the person whom I see. There are all sorts of methods that I use according to the individual cases.”[1]

In the same first question, the child also asks Mother what she does at something called the March Past, and at something called the Concentration in the Playground. The March Past was done by everyone who was in the Ashram physical education groups. They weren't necessarily school children; ashramites – and much older ashramites also – had their physical education group. People lined up in rows, four abreast, and marched past Mother and turned their faces towards her. The shortest people were on the inside of the four – closer to Mother – and the taller ones on the outside, so that Mother could see everyone, and everyone could see her.

After this March Past came the Concentration. And this was very short – it was a brief moment of silence.

Mother says something not in the class but in a footnote, about what happens when she explains something in the class. So I'm going to explain it here:

She says that there is a kind of spontaneous and charming admiration for heroism, which is in the most material physical consciousness. She said it was the cellular response to the enthusiasm of the vital. And she gives an example showing how this worked during the First World War.

So for this second half of the English reading, as soon as it's over, the second half of the original French recording of Mother's talks will come on.

So here's a child's question...


Sweet Mother, every day we go for the Balcony Darshan, and here at the Playground we come for the March Past and the Concentration. What should be our approach to each one of these things?

The most indispensable thing in every case is receptivity. At the Balcony, for example. When I come on the Balcony I make a special concentration, you notice that I look at everybody, don’t you; I look, see, pass my eyes over every one, I know all who are there, and where they are, and I give each one exactly what he needs; I see his condition and give him what is necessary. It can go fast, because otherwise I would keep you there for half an hour, but I do it, that’s what I do. That’s the only reason why I come out, because otherwise I carry you in my consciousness. I carry you in my consciousness always, without seeing you, I do what is necessary. But here it is a moment when I can do it by touching the physical directly, you see; otherwise it is through the mind that it acts, the mind or the vital. But here I touch the physical directly through the sight, the contact of sight; and that’s what I do — each time.

So if each one who comes, comes with a kind of trust, of inner opening, and is ready to receive what is given, and naturally is not dispersed... there are people there who pass their time looking at what is happening, what the others are doing; and in this way they don’t have much chance to receive anything very much... but if one comes concentrated on what he can receive and is as quiet as possible, and as though he were open to receive something, as though he were opening his consciousness, like this (gesture) to receive something — if one has a particular difficulty or problem, one can put it in an aspiration, but it is not very necessary, because usually between what people think about themselves and the condition in which they are, there is always a little difference, in the sense that it’s not quite the thing; their way of feeling or seeing the thing creates a little deformation, so I am obliged to cross over their deformation; whereas if they don’t think about anything, if they are simply like this (gesture), open and awaiting the Force — I go straight in and what has to be done I do. And that’s the moment when I know exactly, you see, I do this (gesture), quite slowly — from above I see very well, very well — exactly the condition in which each one is. That’s the morning’s work.

The “Concentration” is something absolutely different. I try, first, to make the atmosphere as calm, quiet, unified as possible, as though I were spreading the consciousness out wide, like this (gesture); and then from far above I bring down the Force as much as I can and put it upon you as strongly as I can. So this depends exclusively on whether one is quite tranquil and well concentrated; here one must be concentrated, one must not be dispersed, one must be concentrated, but very... how to put it?... plain, very horizontal. Like this (gesture). Then the Force puts a pressure. And it’s above all for unifying, penetrating the whole and end eavouring to make of it something cohesive which can express collectively the Force from above.

In the morning it is an individual work, in the evening it is a collective work. But naturally, within that, each one can feel individually, but you see, it is a work of unification which I do in the evening. Each one receives according to his receptivity and the state in which he is.

And during the March Past, Sweet Mother?

That, the March Past, it is... it is more a physical action — preparing oneself for the physical action. It is more a way of opening oneself to the energy, the universal energy, to prepare for the action. It is a contact with the energy, the universal energy which is there, it is to help the body to participate in the work. At that moment it is something very physical. This is truly the basis of physical culture: to prepare the body for the action and the receptivity of energies to accomplish the work. And also the Marching, even when I am not there. But the March Past is for stimulating the receptivity of the body to the energies for realisation. It is based upon something which is expressed in all kinds of ways; but it is a kind of admiration... how to put it?... a spontaneous and also charming admiration for heroism, which is in the most material physical consciousness.

And this is a tremendous power for overcoming tamas and physical inertia. Besides it is upon this that all the fighting capacities of armies in the wars are founded. If human beings did not have this, well, one could never make them go to fight one another, stupidly, for things which they don’t even know. And it is because this is there in the being that these great masses of men can be utilised, employed and put in motion.

There were examples of this, absolutely marvellous ones, in the First World War, which was much harder for the individual than the Second. It was a terrible war because men had dug trenches and were obliged to lie sunk in the earth like worms, under the perpetual danger of a bombardment against which they could do nothing but protect themselves as well as possible; and they remained at times shut in there for days. Sometimes it happened that they were shut in for more than fifteen days in one trench, for there was no means of changing them; that is, it was a mole’s life under a perpetual danger, and with nothing to do about it. Of all things it was the most horrible. It was a horrible war. Well, there were troops which had been left like that, for nothing more could be done because of the bombardments and all that, they could not be relieved any more. It was called “relieving”, relieving the troops, bringing new troops and taking away the others to give them rest. There were some who remained in this way for days. There were some who remained ten days, twelve days. There was cause enough to go mad, for anyone at all. Well, among these people there were some who related their life, related what happened.

I have read books about this, not novels, reports noted from day to day of what was happening. There is one — by the way it is a great writer who wrote his memories of the War, and he related that they had held on like that under the bombardment for ten days. (Naturally there were many who were finished off there.) And then they were made to come back behind and were replaced by others, new ones arrived, the old ones returned. And naturally when they returned — you see, they had eaten poorly, had slept badly, had lived in dark holes, indeed it was a dreadful life — when they had come back, some of them could not even take off their shoes any more because the feet were so swollen inside that they couldn’t pull them off. These are unthinkable physical horrors. Well, these people (you see, at that time mechanical transports were not as common as in this last war), so they came back on foot, like that, broken, half-dead.

They had stuck.

That was one of the most beautiful things in the war from the point of view of courage: because they had held on, the enemy could not take the trenches and was not able to advance. Naturally the news spread and then they came to a village and all the people of the village came out to receive them and lined the road with flowers and shouts of enthusiasm. All those men who could no longer even drag themselves along, you see, who were like this (gesture of collapse), suddenly all of them were seen drawing themselves up erect, holding up their heads, filled with energy, and all together they began to sing and went through the whole village singing. It seemed like a resurrection.

Well, it is about this kind of thing I am speaking. It is something so beautiful, which is in the most material physical consciousness! You see, all of a sudden, they had the feeling that they were heroes, that they had done something heroic, and so they didn’t want to look like people completely flattened out, no longer good for anything. “We are ready to go back to the fight if necessary!” Like that. And they went by in this way. It seems it was marvellous; I am sure of it, that it was marvellous.

Well, that’s what you are developing with the March Past now.

There we are.

Douce Mère, tous les jours nous allons au Balcon, et ici au Terrain de Jeux nous venons pour le March-Past et la Concentration. Alors quelle doit être notre approche pour chacune de ces choses ?[3]

La chose la plus indispensable dans tous les cas, c’est la réceptivité.

Le Balcon, par exemple. Quand j’arrive au Balcon, je fais une concentration spéciale, vous remarquez que je regarde tout le monde, n’est‑ce pas, je passe, je regarde, je vois tout le monde, je sais tous ceux qui sont là, et où ils sont, et je mets sur chacun exactement ce qu’il lui faut ; je vois sa condition et je mets sur lui ce qu’il faut. Ça peut aller vite, parce qu’autrement je vous garderais là une demi-heure, mais je le fais, c’est cela que je fais. C’est la seule raison pour que je sorte, parce que je vous porte dans ma conscience. Je vous porte dans ma conscience, toujours, sans vous voir, je fais ce qu’il faut. Mais ça c’est un moment où je peux le faire en touchant le physique directement, n’est‑ce pas ; autrement c’est à travers le mental que ça agit, le mental ou le vital. Mais là je touche le physique directement par la vision, le contact de la vision ; et c’est cela que je fais — chaque fois.

Alors si chacun qui vient, vient avec une sorte de confiance, d’ouverture intérieure, et est prêt à recevoir ce qui est donné, et naturellement pas dispersé... il y a des gens, là, qui passent leur temps à regarder ce qui se passe, ce que les autres font, et comme cela, alors ils n’ont pas beaucoup de chances de recevoir grandchose ; mais si on vient concentré sur ce que l’on peut recevoir, et aussi tranquille que possible, et comme si on était ouvert pour recevoir quelque chose, comme si on ouvrait, justement, sa conscience, comme ça (geste), pour recevoir quelque chose... Si on a une difficulté spéciale ou un problème spécial, on peut le poser dans une aspiration, mais ce n’est pas très nécessaire, parce que généralement entre ce que les gens pensent d’eux-mêmes et la condition dans laquelle ils sont, il y a toujours une petite différence, dans le sens que ce n’est pas la chose exacte ; leur façon de sentir ou de voir la chose, cela fait une petite déformation, alors je suis obligée de passer par-dessus leur déformation. Tandis que s’ils ne pensent rien, s’ils sont simplement comme ça (geste), ouverts à attendre la Force — je vais tout droit, et ce qui est à faire je le fais. Et c’est le moment où je sais exactement — n’est‑ce pas, je fais comme cela (geste), tout lentement —, de dessus je vois très bien, très bien, exactement, la condition dans laquelle chacun est. Voilà le travail du matin.

La Concentration, c’est tout à fait différent. J’essaye d’abord de rendre l’atmosphère aussi calme, aussi tranquille, aussi unifiée que possible, comme si j’étalais les consciences, comme ça (geste) ; et puis alors, de tout en haut, je fais descendre la Force autant que je peux et je la mets dessus aussi fort que je peux. Alors cela dépend exclusivement de si on est bien tranquille et bien concentré ; là il faut être concentré, il ne faut pas être dispersé, il faut être concentré, mais très... comment dire... très plan, très horizontal, comme ça (geste). Alors la Force fait une pression. Et c’est surtout pour unifier, pénétrer l’ensemble et tâcher d’en faire quelque chose de « cohésif » qui puisse exprimer en groupe la Force d’en haut.

Le matin c’est un travail individuel, le soir c’est un travail collectif. Mais naturellement, là-dedans chacun peut sentir individuellement, mais, n’est‑ce pas, c’est un travail d’unification que je fais le soir. Chacun reçoit suivant sa réceptivité et l’état dans lequel il se trouve.

Et pendant le March-Past, Douce Mère ?

Ça, le March-Past, c’est... c’est plutôt une action physique — pour préparer à l’action physique. C’est plutôt une façon de s’ouvrir à l’énergie, l’énergie universelle, pour se préparer à l’action. C’est un contact avec l’énergie, l’énergie universelle qui est là, c’est pour aider à la participation du corps dans le travail. C’est une chose très physique à ce moment-là. Ça c’est vraiment la base de la culture physique : de préparer le corps pour l’action et pour la réceptivité des énergies pour accomplir l’oeuvre. Et la marche aussi, même quand je ne suis pas là. Mais le March-Past, c’est pour stimuler la réceptivité du corps aux énergies réalisatrices. C’est basé sur une chose qui s’exprime de toutes sortes de façons ; mais c’est une sorte d’admiration... comment dire... d’admiration spontanée, et d’ailleurs charmante, pour l’héroïsme, qui est dans la conscience physique la plus matérielle.

Et ça, c’est une force formidable pour surmonter le tamas et l’inertie physique. C’est d’ailleurs là-dessus que sont basées toutes les capacités de lutte des armées dans les guerres. Si les êtres humains n’avaient pas ça, eh bien, on ne pourrait jamais les faire aller se battre les uns contre les autres, stupidement, pour des choses qu’ils ne savent même pas. Et c’est parce qu’il y a ça dans l’être, que ces grandes masses d’hommes peuvent être utilisées, employées et mises en mouvement.

Il y a eu des exemples de ça, absolument merveilleux, dans la première Grande Guerre, qui était beaucoup plus dure pour l’individu que la seconde. C’était une guerre terrible, parce que les hommes avaient creusé des tranchées et qu’ils étaient obligés de croupir comme des vers dans la terre, sous le danger perpétuel d’un bombardement contre lequel ils ne pouvaient rien que de se protéger aussi bien qu’ils pouvaient ; et ils restaient quelquefois enfermés là-dedans pendant des jours. Il est arrivé qu’ils restent enfermés plus de quinze jours dans une tranchée, parce qu’il n’y avait pas moyen de les changer ; c’est-à-dire que c’est une vie de taupe où on est sous un danger perpétuel, et rien à faire. C’était de toutes choses la plus horrible. C’était une guerre horrible. Eh bien, il y avait de ces troupes qui avaient été laissées comme ça, parce qu’on ne pouvait plus, à cause des bombardements et tout ça, on ne pouvait plus les relever. On appelait ça les « relever », relever les troupes, apporter de nouvelles troupes et emmener les autres pour qu’elles se reposent. Il y en avait qui restaient comme ça pendant des jours. Il y en a qui sont restées dix jours, douze jours. Il y a de quoi devenir fou, pour n’importe qui. Eh bien parmi ces gens-là, il y en a qui ont raconté leur vie, qui ont raconté ce qui s’est passé.

J’ai lu des livres là-dessus : pas des romans, des comptes rendus pris au jour le jour de ce qui se passait. Il y en a un... c’est d’ailleurs un grand écrivain qui a écrit ses souvenirs de guerre, et il racontait qu’ils avaient tenu comme ça, sous le bombardement, pendant dix jours (naturellement il y en avait beaucoup qui y restaient). Et puis alors on les faisait revenir en arrière et on les remplaçait par d’autres : les nouveaux arrivaient, les anciens retournaient. Et naturellement quand ils retournaient — n’est‑ce pas, on avait mal mangé, on avait mal dormi, on avait vécu dans des trous noirs, enfin c’était une vie épouvantable —, quand ils arrivaient, il y en avait qui ne pouvaient même plus enlever leurs souliers, parce que les pieds étaient tellement gonflés dedans que ça ne pouvait plus sortir. Ce sont des horreurs physiques impensables. Eh bien, ces gens (n’est‑ce pas, à ce moment-là il n’y avait pas, d’une façon aussi généralisée, les transports mécaniques comme on les a eus cette fois-ci), alors ils revenaient à pied, comme ça, fourbus, à moitié morts.

Ils avaient tenu.

Cela a été une des plus belles choses de la guerre au point de vue courage : parce qu’ils avaient tenu, les ennemis n’avaient pas pu prendre les tranchées et n’ont pas pu avancer. Naturellement la nouvelle s’était répandue, et alors ils sont arrivés dans un village, et tous les gens du village étaient sortis pour les recevoir et longeaient la route avec des fleurs et des cris d’enthousiasme. Tous ces gens qui ne pouvaient plus se traîner, n’est‑ce pas, qui étaient comme ça (geste d’affaissement), tout d’un coup, les voilà tous qui se redressent, qui se relèvent, qui sont pris d’énergie, et tous ensemble ils se mettent à chanter et ils passent en chantant à travers tout le village. Il paraît que c’était une résurrection.

Eh bien, c’est cette chose-là dont je parle. Ça, c’est une chose si belle, qui est dans la conscience physique la plus matérielle ! N’est‑ce pas, tout d’un coup, ils ont eu le sentiment qu’ils étaient des héros, qu’ils avaient fait quelque chose d’héroïque, et alors, ils ne voulaient pas avoir l’air de gens complètement aplatis, plus bons à rien. « N ous sommes prêts à retourner à la bataille s’il le faut ! » Comme ça. Et ils ont passé comme ça. Il paraît que c’était merveilleux ; j’en suis convaincue, que c’était merveilleux.

Eh bien, c’est cela qu’on cultive avec le March-Past maintenant.

Voilà !

  1. ?
  2. Questions and Answers 1955, p.253
  3. Entretiens 1955, p.282