World War II

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(Nirodbaran:) “One of the most exciting and significant features of our talks was in connection with the last World War. At its very start, a radio was installed in Sri Aurobindo's room and he used to listen to the war news three or four times a day. Then would follow comments and discussions on the war situation, international politics, India's vital role in the war and other allied topics. There we realised Sri Aurobindo's deep and firm grasp of world-politics and, what was most suprising, his penetrating insight into military affairs. Once someone asked him, “Did you ever use the military genius you seem to have?” He replied briefly, “Not in this life.” Sri Aurobindo could foresee, as it were, the various strategic moves with their immediate or ultimate consequences on the fate of the war. Sometimes he would drop hints as to how by his spiritual force he was guiding, helping and protecting the Allies and safeguarding India's interests.”[1]

(Nirodbaran:) “Is there an occult influence behind the Allies as there is behind Hitler?

(Sri Aurobindo:) No, they are all ordinary persons without any such influence pushing them.

Ordinary persons against an Asura? A bad look-out!

There is nobody among them who can receive the Divine Force to counteract the Asuras. The Mother has not found anyone.”[2]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “All my life I have wanted the downfall of the British Empire, but the way it is being done is beyond all expectation and makes me wish for British victory. And if I want England to win, it is not for the Empire's own sake but because the world under Hitler will be much worse.

(Nirodbaran:) The world is already getting darker and darker.

Yes, but that has been foreseen.

(Satyendra:) Foreseen by whom?

Foreseen since the age of the Bible that the Asura will dominate the world for a time.”[3]

(Pramila:) “During the Second World War the Mother would not sit on a chair. She remained standing while people did their pranam. With her head bent forward, repeating the gesture hundreds of times, untiringly and with a beautiful gentle smile on her face, she continued to bless with her soft hands the heads which were placed on her feet. Flowers used to be counted for which the Mother had to work endlessly in those days. Someone would, for example, come during the evening pranams and give her a plate full of bokul flowers while offering his pranam. The Mother would ask if the flowers had been counted or not. If the answer was ‘No’ then Chinmayi would take the plate of bokul flowers and keep it apart from the other plates. At night the Mother and Chinmayi would together count the flowers and write the number on a piece of paper.
         One morning I went to the Flower Room (which is now the late Pujalal-ji's room) and asked as soon as I got in whether I could help in counting the flowers for an hour or so. Jatin-da of the Flower Room happily gave me permission. As I started counting the flowers I understood that all the flowers, however big or small, had to be counted. Shefali, button flowers, bokul flowers and many other flowers were there. After counting them we had to write on a piece of paper the name of the flower and the number. Then the flowers had to be placed on a plate in a decorative way and sent to the Mother. If this was not done then the Mother and Chinmayi would stay up late at night and count thousands of flowers. There was an occult purpose for this. After the war was won by the Allied Forces this practice was stopped.”[4]

(Mother to Mona Sarkar:) “Do you remember, a long time ago, we used to count the flowers, some special flowers?

(Mona Sarkar:) Yes, Mother.

I used to receive the flowers and I would ask for the numbers. Then after the numbers of all the flowers received that day were added up, I was told that the grand total would be like this … big like this (gesture with the hands).
         We used to count the flowers, because it was Nature who gave me the flowers instead of a fortune. Instead of giving me the fortune, she gave me the flowers to please me. Then I noticed that this served the purpose. It was during the War and it was needed for the terrestrial equilibrium. It worked out very well. It was her offering. I counted the flowers and it helped the purpose, because during that period there was a great need for money, and all worked out in this way. Nature has a debt towards me, to give me the fortune.”[5]

(Auroculture, 2002:) “At that time the Mother had made a contract on the occult level that for each flower there would be one soul fighting on the side of Truth.”[6]

(Udar Pinto:) “I come now to another story of the Asuras. It was during the Second World War. I must first explain what the Mother said about it all. It was a war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, between the Gods and the Asuras. The latter were out to destroy the world, led by the ‘Seigneur des Nations’. And in that war some of the nations were on one side and some on the other without perhaps being aware of the real powers behind them. The Axis countries led by Hitler and Nazi Germany were the instruments of the Asura. The Allies led by England were with the Gods, perhaps without being aware of it.
         This war was a very crucial one. If the powers of Darkness were to win, the whole progress of the world in its evolutionary ascent would be put back for a very long time. And so it was most necessary that the forces of Light should win. That is why Sri Aurobindo and the Mother took so much interest in the way the war was moving and They had to be kept informed of the developments from day to day.
         The news was broadcast daily by radio but there was no radio-set in the Ashram at that time. We had one at the house where I and my family were living at that time, the one near the Parc à Charbon, and every night Pavitra and Pavita would come to our house for the 9.30 p.m. news broadcast and Pavita would take it down in shorthand and later transcribe her notes and send them to Sri Aurobindo. This went on for quite a long time and then when we had to go to Delhi and give up the house, the radio-set was installed in Pavitra's room and Sri Aurobindo continued to receive daily reports. Still later, a set was installed in His room with a loud speaker in His room itself so that He might hear the broadcasts directly.
         Then the war took a very serious turn. France collapsed and was under occupation and Hitler began to prepare an all-out attempt to invade England and occupy her also. The position was really desperate. It was then that Churchill made his great speech. Later we came to know that this speech was inspired directly by Sri Aurobindo, as He had earlier indicated what kind of declaration Churchill should make and Churchill made a declaration on the very same lines. Churchill said that the British would fight the Nazis on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets: “We will never surrender.” But, it seems, one part of his speech was omitted in the broadcast. He had added, “But God knows with what.” England really had nothing with which to fight except her indomitable will. Her plight was really hopeless. Then one night that great Asura came to the Mother and began to boast and to crow, “What will happen now to your great instrument, England? She is finished. She will be crushed beneath my heel. You will see. It is all over!” The Mother replied, “It is not all over. I still have a trick up my sleeve.” “And what is that?” demanded the Asura. The Mother replied, “You will see how I will make your instruments begin to fight among themselves and they will destroy each other.”
         The Mother recounted all this to us the very next morning. And some time later we learnt that Hitler, for some reason that no one yet has been able to discover, had decided to call of his invasion of England and turn all his forces to invade and attack his own ally, Russia. It was this change of plan that brought about his end, just as the Mother had said, and it was the turning-point of the whole war, which eventually resulted in a victory for the Divine.”[7]

(Mother to Satprem, 1965:) “Then, as I told you, the next day, the news of the attack came, and that was really the end of Hitler.
         As for Sri Aurobindo ... (you know that there is a place in Russia where they were defeated), Sri Aurobindo had foreseen the defeat and had worked the night before, and that's how it happened – we knew ALL THE DETAILS.
         We never told this, of course, but it was perfectly precise.”[8]

(Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga:) “These things which are exceptional to the waking mentality, difficult and to be perceived only by the possession of a special power or else after assiduous training, are natural to the dream-state of trance consciousness in which the subliminal mind is free. And that mind can also take cognizance of things on various planes not only by these sensible images, but by a species of thought perception or of thought reception and impression analogous to that phenomenon of consciousness which in modern psychical science has been given the name of telepathy. But the powers of the dream-state do not end here. It can by a sort of projection of ourselves, in a subtle form of the mental body, actually enter into other planes and worlds or into distant places and scenes of this world, move among them with a sort of bodily presence and bring back the direct experience of their scenes and truths and occurrences.”[9]

(Prithwi Singh, 28 August 1945:) “I should confess that to you that I feel sad at the use of the atomic bomb. It was too heartless. I should frankly like to know from you, Mother, whether this feeling was right or wrong – for it was a regret felt for the action of the Allies, for those who had stood so gallantly against the barbaric onslaught of the Germans, those who had been on the side of the Divine – even thought maybe not consciously. And it was also mixed with a feeling of sympathy for the Japanese in spite of all their savagery and dark treachery for which is swift retribution has overtaken them.

(Mother:) The atomic bomb is in itself the most wonderful achievement and the sign of a growing power of man over the material Nature. But what is to be regretted is that this material progress and mastery is not the result of and keeping on with a spiritual progress and mastery which alone has the power to contradict and counteract the terrible danger coming from these discoveries. We cannot and must not stop progress but we must achieve it in an equilibrium between the inside and the outside.
         My love and blessings”[10]

  1. Talks with Sri Aurobindo (Vol. 1), Preface
  2. Talks with Sri Aurobindo (Vol. 2), p.654, 22 May 1940
  3. Ibid, p.767, 29 June 1940
  4. Pramila Devi, The Luminous Past, Translated by Sunayana Panda 2014, p.6
  5. Mona Sarkar, Throb of Nature: Conversations with the Mother on Flowers and Nature, p.34
  6. Auroculture, The Transformational Power of Flowers (“Flower Power – Does it work?”: a series of articles which appeared in the “Auroville News”), 9 March 2002
  7. “Udar Remembers”, The Golden Bridge (compilation), Auropublications, August 1978, p.95
  8. Mother's Agenda 1965, 12 January 1965
  9. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.524, “Samadhi”
  10. New Correspondences of the Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2020, p.359

See also