(Mother to students, 1956:) “Mastery means the knowledge of handling certain vibrations; if you know how to handle these vibrations you have the mastery. The best field of experimentation is yourself: first you have the control in yourself and once you have it in yourself you can transmit the vibration to others, to the extent you are capable of identifying yourself with them and of thus creating this vibration in them. And if you cannot handle a vibration in yourself, you don’t even know the procedure; you don’t even know what to do, so how can you manipulate it in others? You may encourage them by words, by an influence over them, to do what is needed to learn self-control, but you cannot control them directly.
To control something, a movement, is simply to replace by one’s presence, without words or explanations, the bad vibration by the true one. This is what constitutes the power of mastery. It does not lie in speaking, in explaining; with words and explanations and even a certain emanation of force, you may have an influence on someone, but you do not control his movement. The control of the movement is the capacity to oppose the vibration of this movement by a stronger, truer vibration which can stop the other one... I could give you an example, you know, a very easy one. Two people are arguing in front of you; not only are they arguing, but they are on the point of coming to blows; so you explain to them that this is not the thing to do, you give them good reasons for stopping and they come to a stop. You will have had an influence on them. But if you simply stand before them and look at them and send out a vibration of peace, calm, quietude, without saying a word, without any explanation, the other vibration will no longer be able to last, it will fall away of itself. That is mastery.
The same thing applies to the cure of ignorance. If you need words to explain something, that is not true knowledge. If I have to say all that I do say for you to understand me, that is not mastery, it is simply that I am able to exercise an influence on your intelligence and help you to understand and awaken in you the desire to know and discipline yourselves, etc. But if by looking at you, without saying anything I am not able to make the light enter into you, the light which will make you understand, I won’t have mastered the movement or the state of ignorance.”
(Mother:) It must be strong enough to pull me from my concentration or my activity. If I knew when you concentrate or do your puja, I could tune into you, and then I would know more; otherwise, my inner life is too ... I am not at all passive inwardly, you see, I am very active, so I don't usually receive your vibrations unless they impose themselves strongly or unless I have decided beforehand to be attentive to what is coming from someone or other. If I know that at a given moment something is going to happen, then I open a door, as it were. But it's difficult to speak of these things.
In the outer, practical domain, I might suddenly think of someone, so I know that this person is calling or thinking of me. When you left on your trip, I created a special link-up so that if ever, at any moment, you called me for anything, I would know it instantly, and I remained attentive and alert. But I do that only in exceptional cases. Generally speaking, when I haven't made this special link-up, things keep coming in and coming in and coming in and coming in, and the answer goes out automatically, here or there or there or there – hundreds and hundreds of things that I don't keep in my memory because then it would really be frightful. I don't keep these things in my consciousness; it is rather a work that is done automatically.
When you asked me if Panditji were thinking of me, I consulted my atmosphere and saw that it was true, that even many times a day Panditji's thoughts were coming. So I know that he is concentrating on me, or something: it simply passes through me, and I answer automatically. But I don't particularly pay attention to Panditji, unless you ask me a question about him, in which case I deliberately tune into him, then observe and determine whether it's like this or like that.”
(Mother listens to a passage from Satprem's manuscript concerning the vital and the mechanism by which vibrations enter one's being.)
(Mother, 1962:) “What you say about all those things entering through the centers is perfectly correct.
Interestingly enough, these last few days I have been making a sort of detailed study of the various kinds of vibrations, how they approach you and enter the various centers.... I don't know how to explain it – certain differences between vibrations resemble differences in tastes. There's a whole gamut, you see, all vibrations, nothing but vibrations, and the differences between them resemble differences in taste or color or intensity, perhaps differences in force as well – essentially, of course, they are differences in quality.
I've been observing all this in a neuro-physical realm, subtle-physical, that is – but it's still physical – and in a complete mental silence where all judgments (you know, ‘judgments’) have disappeared, along with a certain way of observing things. That's why I can't talk about it.
These vibrations have various qualities; if they were expressed through a mental observation, it would be done through such things as taste, color, and so forth, everything I've just mentioned – but that's not how they're expressed. They come almost exclusively as sensations, but those sensations... some, I mean some vibrations, have rounded edges. Some come horizontally (I was in fact studying everything that comes horizontally), others result from the state of consciousness (vertical gesture from top to bottom). While at the same time, others are.... Yes, it's like looking through a high-powered microscope: some are rounded, others pointed; some are darker, some brighter. Some are very upsetting to the body, and some even feel dangerous. On the other hand, certain ones make the body receptive to the vibration, which we might call ‘the Lord's Vibration’, the supreme Vibration. You see, all this is the outcome of a discipline, a tapasya, for preparing the body to receive the Lord's Vibrations (the first step is receiving, being able to receive them; afterwards you have to hold on to and then manifest them). Those vibrations are unmistakable, they are something else entirely. But other vibrations are helpful, beneficial, while still others are disruptive, contradictory.
And each one is beginning to reveal its own particular nature. There are those stemming from people's thoughts (I sense them in my body, not in the mind: the material consequence of people's psychological state, and even their state of health). Some things are general and last a bit longer; others are momentary, lasting only a few seconds. The first step is to study the different vibrational qualities – you could practically draw diagrams: if we had a machine sensitive enough to record these things, it would produce all kinds of zigs and zags. Certain vibrations immediately stop or change or are dissolved or repelled. Others are adopted, as it were, and transformed. The majority are simply pushed back and worked on from a distance – quite a distance! I keep them at a fair distance (Mother laughs). Very few are let in. But some are let in for the sake of the experience, to see how much they upset the body. There's also the effect of people's permanent auras: I know a certain person is arriving by his aura's effect on the body; because (laughing) each vibration has its particular effect on the body – perfectly prosaic things, maybe, but by studying them you realize that each thing has its own law.
The interchange of vibrations among people is something tremendous, and we're swimming in it all, all, all the time – even when we're alone! Because these things travel: for instance, it's enough for someone's thought to come and strike against yours, and for you to think of him (which means responding) – there is an immediate effect in the body. So to imagine that solitude would make yoga any easier is sheer childishness.”
(Mother:) “Something to say?
- (Mona Sarkar:) It has stopped, Mother.
What has stopped?
- The sensations and the vibrations.
- Mother, when You do not touch me, it stops. I do not feel the vibrations.
All right, all right, now I understand.
- As soon as I let go of Your hand, it stops.
And what do you feel?
- I feel the vibrations.... (Mother holds my hands and concentrates for some time.) But Mother, why do I feel things through sensations and vibrations and not through visions and experiences and all that?
You want to see visions...? What?
- Mother I have read that if one has such experiences, one sees visions and there are others which follow.
And where did you read it?
- Perhaps, in “On Yoga” [e.g. Letters on Yoga - III], I think, Mother.
Oh, On Yoga, and you want to compare them? … You know it is not an individual's experience that He [Sri Aurobindo] has dealt with. ‘You see this, therefore it is that which must follow.’ No, no, it is far from that. He has dealt with experiences of hundreds and thousands of people, only it is a conglomeration of thousands of experiences so it is vast and complete. It is difficult. It does not deal with each individual.
You know, I work in matter, the material body, my work is directly in the material body and there one receives only the vibrations and the sensations and not the visions and experiences etc. Because I work in the material and physical world, I can communicate directly through the vibrations and it is this that has the best effect on the physical body. It is, moreover, the most direct contact with the Supreme truth. It is only by the vibrations that I work with the individual in the physical plane because this is the most true and pure means which comes directly from the Supreme.
It is this that can radically change the consciousness, and because it is on the most material physical plane, therefore it has a greater influence on the other parts of the body, and it is this which is the basis of the transformation of the physical body. It is vibration alone which has a direct effect on the physical body, not visions and experiences, etc. – all that belongs to the mental or rather to the vital, you understand?
The visions, etc. belong to the vital-physical or the mental-physical plane and have a somewhat subtle and vague effect and are not so direct. They come and pass and leave a small imprint and that's all; whereas the vibrations work for concrete results and penetrate deep into the being. And if one can remain absolutely calm and open, then the vibrations can bring down the whole Truth.
You know, when I work and I send a force to someone, and if he receives it in the form of vibrations and not visions or experiences, then he receives it in as complete and pure form as he is capable of. And it is more direct and much more effective. And it is also the same for the Supreme Truth. When It wants to bring down something on the earth, It sends a tiny vibration which is charged and which penetrates Matter and from there It vibrates and works silently for its realisation. And it is the surest way.
Matter is very close to the Supreme where vibrations are concerned, for it can receive the forces directly only through vibrations.
When the Supreme wants to carry out something, He sends a vibration that works effectively on the body without any intermediary, for it is like this that the body becomes conscious. But the visions and all that, they are transcriptions and have to pass through intermediaries and are not so effective; but the vibrations – it is the direct energy of the Supreme. It is the same force when it enters into the individual and there is no loss in the process and one becomes conscious, the body retains that vibration. But the visions, etc. are the transcriptions of the Supreme force, they are clumsy and are not direct and do not have the efficacy, because they have to pass through an intermediary which is either the mind or the vital. And one cannot call the Supreme by thought, one cannot think of the Supreme Truth with the mind. It is impossible. It is a phantasmagoria that one creates by the mind. To define the Supreme – it is absurd! There is no truth in what one creates by the mind, absolutely no truth. One constructs something false to satisfy one's ego.
I do not like visions and all that because they become something that one can boast about and show to the others: “Look what I have seen or heard!” Whereas the vibration acts quietly and effectuates the necessary changes much more effectively, because it is a state that is and does not show itself, but which has an extraordinary power. You know, to arrive at this state, to feel this vibration which comes from the Supreme, one must be absolutely tranquil … a tranquillity, a perfect tranquillity without any mental constructions, but an absolute tranquillity … and all of a sudden one perceives, not by the mind, but one feels a vibration, which is almost not a vibration but a tiny stirring – which is nearly imperceptible because it is a state that is. And it is only in a perfect tranquillity and tranparency that one receives this indication. And it is this tiny vibration of the Supreme which is behind the whole creation. It is that which sustains the entire world. And one finds this only in a perfect tranquillity. And one should not mistake this tranquillity for... it is not a tranquillity which tends towards tamas or inertia, but it is a tranquillity which is ever conscious, all-absorbing, and which is charged and which vibrates and which has a transforming intensity. It is this that I call tranquillity, it is something that works itself out. When one has attained this state which is tranquil and peaceful, only then does one come into contact with the vibration which is behind all manifestation and it is this which gives the necessary impetus to realise something.”
- (Satprem:) When I meditate with you ... When I'm alone, there is never this power, this ... It's something else ... Sometimes it's strong but it always lacks this particular quality. There are powerful moments when I'm alone, but not like this.
Of course! I'm also with you there in your room when you meditate, but it does make a difference ...
The physical vibration is important. The circumstances relating to the work of transformation make the physical vibration important. I feel it, for as soon as I want to do something with someone on the physical plane (physical, mind you), it all comes into the body. And the body is simply seized ... I see that absolutely physical vibrations are being used all the time. It's really so different. All the work which is done at a distance (gesture indicating action stemming from the mind) – it acts, of course, but ...
You know, even now, all this (Mother touches her body, her hands) feels so vibrant and alive that it's difficult to sense its limits ... as if it extends beyond the body in all directions. It no longer has any limits.
But it's still not luminous in the dark. What is normally luminous in the dark is something else ... I had that when I was working with Théon (after returning to France, we had group meditations – though he didn't call it ‘meditation’, he called it ‘repose’, and we used to do this in a darkened room), and there was ... it was like phosphorescence, exactly the color of phosphorescent light, like certain fish in the water at night. It would come out [of the body], spread forth, move about. But that is the vital, it originates in the vital. It is a force from above, but what manifests is vital. Whereas now it is absolutely, clearly the golden supramental light in ... an extraordinary pulsation, vibrant in intensity ... But probably it still lacks a ... what Théon used to call ‘density’, an agent that enables it to be seen in the dark – and then it would be visibly gold, not phosphorescent.
But it is very, very concrete, very material.
I wonder if at night ... Sometimes it's so intense that I wonder if it doesn't radiate. But I can't see as my eyes are closed!”
- Questions and Answers 1956, p.351
- Mother's Agenda 1951-1960, 4 October 1958
- Mother's Agenda 1962, 4 August 1962
- Blessings of the Grace: Conversations with the Mother Recollected by Mona Sarkar and Some of Her Written Answers, p.29
- Mother's Agenda 1951-1960, 30 October 1960
- On the threshold of a new age with Medhananda, p.193