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The Mother


Volume 2

February 11, 1961

(Mother comes in with T.'s notebook of questions on Sri Aurobindo's Aphorisms.)

55 – Be wide in me, O Varuna; be mighty in me, O Indra; O Sun, be very bright and luminous; O Moon, be full of charm and sweetness. Be fierce and terrible, O Rudra; be impetuous and swift, O Maruts; be strong and bold, O Aryama; be voluptuous and pleasurable, O Bhaga; be tender and kind and loving and passionate, O Mitra. Be bright and revealing, O Dawn; O Night, be solemn and pregnant. O Life, be full, ready and buoyant; O Death, lead my steps from mansion to mansion. Harmonise all these, O Brahmanaspati. Let me not be subject to these gods, O Kali.1

He invokes all these Vedic gods and tells each one to take possession of him; and THEN he tells Kali to free him from their influence! It is very amusing!

It's written in black and white, but the people here read and don't understand what they're reading, and that's a pity. They have to be told, “This means that”!

T. asks, “Why don't the gods help us? Why do they keep us in bondage?”

That's not what Sri Aurobindo means! He means he doesn't WANT to be limited by the gods, not even by their powers. He wants to be vaster than they are: vaster, more total, more complete. It's not a question of getting rid of their influence but of becoming more than that.


For Sri Aurobindo, the important thing was always the Mother. As he explained it, the Mother has several aspects, and certain aspects are still unmanifest. So if he has represented the Mother by Kali in particular, I believe it's in relation to all those gods. Because, as he wrote in The Mother, the aspects to be manifested depend upon the time, the need, the thing to be done. And he always said that unless one understands and profoundly feels the aspect of Kali, one can never really participate in the Work in the world – he felt that a sort of timid weakness makes people recoil before this terrible aspect.

*   *

How are things going for you? All right?

Yes, but what about you?

Ah, for me it's all right.

All right... because it's always all right! But.... Well, it doesn't matter.

The trouble is, they hinder my work (Mother indicates her legs). Not the work up in my room – there, on the contrary, it is going well, very well, clear, precise.... Yesterday again I worked on the translation of The Synthesis of Yoga, and it was so pleasant. So pleasant.

You see, I can't stand up; and these people persistently try to keep me standing.... But I can't remain standing, it's all out of order. Anyway, it doesn't matter, it will pass.

Last night I had a dream about you that made a vivid impression on me. It's probably absurd, but it was so real!... You had called me because you were going to leave your body: you had decided to leave and you wanted somehow to say good-bye. It was so real! I came to you and for a moment you placed my head on your knees, and I was filled with light; it was very tender. But at the same time, I knew you were saying good-bye, you were going to leave your body, and I wept in my dream. Then I went to sit in a corner because there were other people who probably had come to see you as well. I remained in that corner, stricken – it seemed so real, you understand! Just then, aman I didn't know entered the room (I knew he was French), a stranger dressed all in black, and he started making a loud commotion. He was smoking a pipe,2 a very coarse man, and he wanted to make all the people there, the disciples, get out of the room....3 It was so real! I awoke with a start and almost cried aloud, “Ah, it's a dream! It's only a dream!”

Oh, it was that real!

Yes, it was that real! It was during the first hours of sleep, at 11:40 p.m. It was very, very vivid I awoke with a start, exclaiming to myself, “Ah! It's only a dream!...” But it seemed so TRUE! It left a deep impression on me. I remained awake for a long time, wondering, “What can this mean?...” You had a tiny, pinched face (you were dressed all in white), such a pinched face, very... (how can I express it?) emaciated, as though you were suffering.

(Mother remains silent for a long while, then replies.) Quite evidently, the adverse forces are not only trying to convince everyone but me too, that this is how it's going to turn out.

But I have as yet had no indications.

I have asked to be forewarned, not for reasons of.... It can happen any time at all, I am always ready. I can do nothing more for the work than what I am doing now, and I haven't a single practical measure to take because I have already taken them all. So that isn't why, but to... AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE to withdraw from the body all that has been put into it. There is such an accumulation inside it of force, consciousness, power, oh!... All the cells are impregnated and it would take some time if it all had to be taken out.

But I have had no indication of this, neither by night nor by day, neither awake nor in trance – no indication. The indication rather points to all that must be clarified, purified so the physical may keep what it received from that experience [of January 24, 1961].

From an ordinary standpoint, I believe the situation is dangerous, because... (laughing) the doctor refuses to tell me what the consequences might be. I asked him but he wouldn't tell me, so that's what it must mean! But I really have no indications and... I hope I won't be told, “Now you must go,” only at the very last minute!

The body doesn't ask (it's so docile), it doesn't even ask for its sufferings to stop – it adapts to them. It's mainly my contact with people that makes the thing difficult: when I am all alone upstairs, everything goes well, quite well. But when I spend one or one and a half hours in the afternoon seeing people, afterwards I feel exhausted. That, obviously, is what's making the thing difficult.... But the body doesn't complain. It doesn't complain, it's ready. The other day when it went back upstairs, it felt a bit – well, at the end of its resources, as though it had pushed itself to the limit. It said to the Lord (and it said this so clearly, as though the consciousness of the cells were speaking; I noted it down): If this (I can't call it an illness – there is no illness! It's a condition of general disequilibrium), if this condition is necessary for Your Work, then so be it, let it go on. But if it's an effect of my stupidity... (you see, it's the BODY saying, “If it's because I don't understand or I am not adapting or not doing what I should or not taking the proper attitude ...”), if it is an effect of my stupidity, then truly I pray that.... It asks only to change – to know and to change!

It is attached to nothing: none of its habits, none of its ways of being-nothing. It says in all sincerity, “I ask only for the Light, only to change.” That is its state. it has never, never said, “Oh, I'm tired, I've had enough!” Bah! It's not like that. It is attached to nothing – for a long, long time it has ceased to have desires – it is attached to nothing at all, to nothing. There isn't a single thing for which it says, “Oh, I can't do without that!” Not one. It doesn't care-if something comes, it takes it; if it doesn't come, the body doesn't think about it. In other words, it's truly good-natured. But if this isn't sufficient, then it doesn't know and it says, “If there is something I can't do or I don't know or I am not doing ...” It asks for nothing more than to make the necessary effort!


It all began with some extremely violent attacks. So if your dream is not premonitory, then it must be the result of “their” formation, by which they intend to disseminate the conviction everywhere, as much as possible, that this is the end.... Two years ago, when I had to retire to my room, a formidable campaign was set into operation upon all the Ashram people; and all those who were a little receptive, either in dreams or through an openness to suggestions, heard it clearly announced: “On the 9th of December of this year, Mother will leave. There's no doubt about it, it's sure.” It was said to me as well: “This will be the end, you will leave.” It was repeated to everybody, everybody, a great many people heard it – they were virtually awaiting it. And this is why (you know how extremely ill I was at the time, I was really ill), this is why I didn't react, but all the same I didn't go to the lake [the lake estate where Mother was to have gone on the 9th of December], because I told myself, “If anything happens there, it will be awkward – I had better not go.” But still I knew it wasn't true, I knew it.

Now this kind of attack has stopped, it is no longer like that. But there are beings who send dreams. For example, some dreams were sent to Z (who, as you know, is quite clairvoyant), in which she was told I would be “broken to pieces.” She was very upset and I had to intervene. Is your dream of this nature, or... are you being forewarned? I don't know, I can't say.... If the doctor were asked, perhaps he would say that if it continues like this, obviously... (you see, one thing after another is getting disorganized), if it continues in this way, how long can the body last?

But this body feels so strongly that it exists ONLY because the divine Power is in it. And constantly, for the least thing, it has only one remedy (it doesn't think of resting, of not doing this or that, of taking medicine), its sole remedy is to call and call the Supreme – it goes on repeating its mantra. And as soon as it quietly repeats its mantra, it is perfectly content. Perfectly content.


Two nights ago, I saw a formation of illness over the entire Ashram, a kind of adverse formation trying to prevent me from leaving my room, and I had to hide to get out, leave clandestinely. Oh, what a terrible atmosphere, so heavy, so gray – everybody was ill. And this formation had some actual effects because many people fell ill who normally never do. It is an adverse formation and there's no reason to concede its victory; it's simply a force which doesn't want us to succeed, of course – so we need not pay attention.

The trouble is, if I were thirty or forty years old, people wouldn't be affected. But unfortunately they think about how old I am all the time and... it creates a bad atmosphere. “After all,” they keep saying, “Mother is old and....” All the usual nonsense.

But I know differently and so does my body – to me it's all foolishness and has no importance. For instance, when Vinoba Bhave came to see me4 (the man who takes care of poor people), he looked at me and said, “Oh, you'll live a hundred years!” And I simply said, “Yes,” it all seemed so natural. At that moment, there wasn't even (how to put it?) the least intimation of a doubt. Of course it's a cliché, but nevertheless, he said it; afterwards he told people that this was what he had felt. And it seems completely natural – I know if my body can last till it's a hundred (a little less than twenty years more), then we will be on the other side – the difficulty will be over.

I rather feel that your dream is another part of this present mass attack, but....

There was one bizarre little detail: someone told me you were leaving because you had swallowed something – I understood it to be a “grain of rice” – and that was why you had to leave! You had swallowed something... and that was making you leave.

(After a long silence) This would rather indicate those who disapprove of my non-asceticism. It would seem to originate from those particular forces.

You see, there's a curious fluctuation possibly indicating that your dream is part of the present attack which continues with such violence.... The night before last, between midnight and half-past, there was a formidable attack. When I emerged from it, I felt that something had lifted, a victory had been won and that the body's condition had improved. It happens like that, the horizon clears and this Certainty comes with.... (The presence is always here – Sri Aurobindo and I are together almost every night – but the night when I saw that formation, the illness spell over the Ashram, Sri Aurobindo was quite sick in his bed, just as I saw him in 1950.) So when it lifts, all is well: once again there is harmony, there is joy, there is force... and again the whole thing continues, the effort continues, consciously. Yet there is a kind of fluctuation: it will go on like that for a few moments or a few hours and then suddenly everything becomes muddled again and I am beset by... a fatigue. A fatigue which is – I can't say almost unbearable, because nothing in the consciousness feels it to be unbearable – but it makes me like this (Mother clenches her fist tightly in a tension to “hold on”).

For example, at five-thirty in the evening, after I've spent an hour and a half here with people, it's a labor to climb the stairs; and by the time I get upstairs, I feel strained to the breaking point. Then I begin to walk (I don't stop, I don't rest), I immediately begin to walk with my japa, and within half an hour, pfft! it has lifted.

But the body's fatigue doesn't go: it's there – it's contained but it is there.

Yet I haven't the slightest impression that the horizon is blocked – you know, that the end is at hand, that the condition has to be changed and the Work begin again on another plane and in another way; in other words, that everything attempted so far would have been only a preparation for... for later. I still don't have that feeling. If I ever do, I will say, “Very well, that's quite all right with me,” but I don't have this feeling. Will I ever have it?... I don't know – usually (laughing), I know these things! For instance, I know for certain when someone is going to die, even before there's the least indication. So....

In the present case, of course, the body is always saying, “I am ready for everything – I will do anything at all”; yet I still can't say that it has this.... It's trying to be completely “pure” according to the spiritual concept – it doesn't sense its separate personality. More and more, year after year, it has been striving to feel only the divine Presence, the divine Life, the divine Force and the divine Will, all within itself; and to feel that without them it is nothing, it doesn't exist. This is fully realized in its consciousness (the conscious part). In the subconscient and inconscient,5 obviously... it is not realized... otherwise, logically, it shouldn't be ill.

The whole disorder evidently originates from the subconscient and inconscient; all the more so as it came with various indications (sent by the hostile forces – but this can always be useful, provided you are careful) saying, “Yes, everything is going well in your higher centers, but...” (because the different points of attack have clearly followed the order of the centers). Four or five days ago, or maybe a week, before this latest difficulty occurred, I saw little beings coming out of the subconscient and saying, “Ah! Your legs haven't had any trouble for a long time! It's the turn of the lower centers!” I swept it all away, of course, but....

Taken this way, it could be an indication that all this needs... a somewhat brutal preparation in order to be put in the necessary condition.


The most violent attack came immediately after that experience [of January 24]. But of all the experiences in my life, this was the most wonderful – for the simple reason that it was NOT EVEN preceded by an aspiration, not even an aspiration from the body – it came directly as the Supreme Will, bang! (Mother bangs down her hands in an irresistible gesture) And then there was nothing, nothing but... THE thing, WITHOUT ANY PERSONAL PARTICIPATION WHATSOEVER: no will, no aspiration, not even the satisfaction of it – nothing. It was.... I was (in my higher consciousness) filled with wonder at the ABSOLUTENESS of the experience. It came, a thing DECREED and eternal – like that (same irresistible gesture).


This detachment, as I told you, came afterwards (it was evidently indispensable); and as soon as it came, everything began to get disorganized. Well, the detachment must surely have come so that.... Actually, my immediate impression was: so that I wouldn't get worried and say to myself, “Oh, now it won't work any more – this is the end.” So I wouldn't worry. “All right,” I said, “don't bother with it.”(gesture of surrender, hands opened upwards) And for the first two or three days I was absolutely detached, watching and not bothering about it. It's only with this last attack on my legs.... Because the rest of it tired me and made me ill but it didn't hinder my work; but things become difficult when the legs don't function.

We shall see, mon petit! We'll see what's going to happen (Mother laughs).

But I have no doubts about that! It just came to me – not because I was consciously concerned about Your physical future: this dream simply came so unexpectedly and vividly....

No, no – I know that! I tell you, it can only be one of two things: either a good kick from the Enemy who is still trying to find a support in someone's mentality, or else premonitory.

I certainly hope not!

Yes, the grain of rice rather makes me think otherwise – that it comes from that quarter.

We shall see, we shall see! We have only to wait. One day we are sure to know!


I know for certain that if I can keep going until 1964, then.... That isn't long, but it will be dangerous until 1964. It's these years in particular: '61, '62... '63 is better, '64 is decidedly better, and from 1965, we should be on the safe side.

But truly speaking, the minute one completely emerges from the ordinary mind, NO EXTERIOR SIGN IS A PROOF, absolutely none. There is absolutely no standard to go by – neither splendid good health nor good equilibrium, nor an almost general disorganization – none of these. All depends exclusively – exclusively – on... what the Lord has decided. Exclusively. Consequently, if one remains very quiet, one is sure to know what He has decided.

When I am perfectly tranquil, I immediately live in a beatific joy where questions don't arise – there are no questions! One asks for nothing – one LIVES! One lives happily, and that's all. There's no, “Will it be like this? Will it be like that?” – how childish! There are no questions, questions don't arise. One is a beatitude manifesting, that is all.

All the rest is unimportant.

Basically, if we were capable of.... When I am up in my room, it's very easy, very easy: it comes and... what is a little more difficult is getting out of that state. There I am, like this (gesture of blissful abandonment), and when I feel it's time to go downstairs or I have something to do or someone is coming with lunch or whatever, then it's a little difficult; otherwise, I am like that (same gesture). What's difficult is my contact with the Ashram people. As soon as I go down and... simply that, having to fidget on my feet, giving people flowers .... And they are so unconsciously egotistical! If I don't go through the usual concentration on each one of them, they wonder, “What is it? What's wrong? Have I done something?...” And... and it turns into a big drama.

Otherwise, concentration is very good, it doesn't tire me – when my body is not drained, when it isn't constantly aware that it exists because it hurts here, hurts there, aches here, aches there (pain is what gives it a sense of existing), when the body is able to forget itself, things go well, it's nothing. Now the Force passes through me without causing fatigue, while many years ago, too much Force created tension; but it's not like that now, not at all – on the contrary, the body feels better when a lot of force has passed through it.

I don't know. We shall see.


To realize what one has to realize, it is absolutely indispensable to be TOTALLY free of all ties with the ordinary, false consciousness common to material body-consciousness – the consciousness of the body-substance – deriving from the subconscient and the inconscient. This must not only be mastered (it has been mastered for a long time) – but there must be complete independence so that it no longer has the power to provoke any reaction at all. But we aren't there yet, it's still not like that, and as long as it isn't, we are not on the safe side. But when all the body's cells, even in their most subconscious reactions, will come to know what I myself know, that the Supreme alone exists, when they will know that, it will be good – not before. As I told you just now, they still have ordinary reactions: “If I have to stay on my feet,” (this isn't a thought; I'm obliged to use words, but it isn't a thought), “If I have to stay on my feet, I'm going to get tired; if I do too much, I'll be tired, if I do this, it will have that consequence, if....” This stupid, automatic little mechanism. it's not yet THAT, not yet That!

Of course, there's the constant difficulty of all the thoughts coming from outside and from the people you live with. But now the consciousness is such that these outer things are seen objectively (Mother makes a gesture of seeing vibrations coming and stopping before her eyes) – automatically I see everything that comes from the surrounding vibrations objectively: far, near, above, below, everywhere. The vibration comes WITH THE KNOWLEDGE. In other words, it's not that you see what it is only after it has been received and absorbed: it comes with the knowledge, and this is a great help. This type of perception has considerably increased and become much more precise since that experience [of January 24], much more; it has made a big difference.

But perhaps there will have to be many experiences of this nature before the work is done. It is possible.

Something from that experience – an effect, a vibratory effect, so to speak – has not left. But the totality of the experience is not here the whole time, it's not established. I had a reminder of it one night, but not for very long; all at once, for a brief moment, this same vibration came, and my entire body was nothing other than this Vibration.

It didn't last longer than a quarter of an hour and it wasn't as total.

(long silence)

This particular period was very bad last year too.6 There was a tremendous opposition because of February 29th [first anniversary of the supramental manifestation]. But always a little before Darshans7 or days for special blessings there is a new outbreak of adverse attacks – always.

Well, mon petit, we have done nothing but talk. It's time to go and we haven't done anything!

There is one question I would very much like to ask you... How can all this work you are doing on your body, this work of consciousness, act upon the corporeal substance outside you? How is it generally valid?

In the same way as always – because the vibration spreads out! That's how it works.

For example, each time I have been able to master something, I mean find the true solution for an “illness” or a malfunctioning (the TRUE solution, not a mental one, not some ordinary knowledge, but the spiritual solution: the vibration that will UNDO the wrong working or set you on your feet again), it has always been very easy for me to cure the same thing in others, through the emission of this vibration.

That's how it works. Because all substance is ONE. All is one – we constantly forget that! We always have a sense of separation, and that is total, total falsehood; it's because we rely on what our eyes see, on... (Mother touches her hands and arms, as if to indicate a separate body, cut off from other bodies). That is truly Falsehood. As soon as your consciousness changes a little, you realize that... what we see is like an image plastered over something. But it's not true, NOT TRUE AT ALL. Even in the most material Matter, even a stone – even in a stone – as soon as one's consciousness changes, all this separation, all this division, completely vanishes. These are... (how to put it?) modes of concentration (something akin to yet not quite that), vibratory modes WITHIN THE SAME THING.8

(The clock strikes) Oh, now I must go!


My legs feel better after staying still! (Mother laughs)

Anyway, I don't need to tell you that the best attitude to take regarding this dream is: “May Your Will be done,” and tranquil, tranquil.

You can even receive the answer yourself and know where this dream comes from – simply turn towards the supreme Truth, remain like that [immobile] and say, “May Your Will be done.” It has to go very high, very high, to the highest, to that which is supreme Freedom. And then, if you are absolutely silent, you will have, not a thought or a word, but a kind of feeling, and you will know.

For me, at the moment, your dream does not correspond to a precise fact.

So good-bye, mon petit.

(Mother gets up to leave when suddenly, turning upon the threshold, She looks at Satprem with her eyes like diamonds and, in a tone of voice he has never heard before, as if it were a Command from above, says:)

In any case, one thing: never forget that what we have to do, we shall do; and we shall do it together because we have to do it together, that is all – like this, like that, in this way, in that way (Mother tilts her hand from right to left as though to indicate this side of the world or the other, “life” or “death”), it has no importance. But this is the true fact.

There, petit.


1 Kali symbolizes the destroying or warrior-like aspect of the universal Mother: it is she who severs all bonds... out of love.


2 The “pipe” is obviously symbolic.


3 As a matter of fact, twelve years later – in May 1973 – we were indeed all forced to “get out.”


4 In 1956.


5 The terminology used by Mother and Sri Aurobindo is distinct from the terminology of Western psychology. This is how Sri Aurobindo defines “inconscient” and “subconscient”: “All upon earth is based on the Inconscient, as it is called, though it is not really inconscient at all, but rather a complete ‘sub’-conscience, a suppressed or involved consciousness, in which there is everything but nothing is formulated or expressed. The subconscient lies between this Inconscient and the conscious mind, life and body.” (Cent. Ed., XXII, p. 354)


6 Three years earlier, in 1958, Mother had told Satprem that February and March were “bad months,” and she had spoken of cyclical movements in Nature like those in the individual consciousness, with alternating periods of difficulty and progress.


7 Four times a year, for “darshan,” visitors poured into the Ashram to pass one by one before Mother (and formerly Sri Aurobindo as well) to receive her look.


8 Since “Bohr's atom” at the beginning of the century, which with its electrons orbiting around a central nucleus like planets around a sun was to have been the mathematical model representing the ultimate constituent of matter, nuclear physicists have discovered many new elementary particles in the universe: from leptons to baryons, with neutrinos, pions, kaons, psi and khi particles in between!

A recent – and unifying (!) – theory postulated by the American Nobel Laureate, Murray Gell-Mann, would reduce this somewhat startling enumeration to more reasonable proportions through the introduction of a unique sub-particle constituting all matter: the quark. Nevertheless, there would still exist several kinds of quarks (e.g., “strange,” “charmed,” “colored” in red, yellow and blue) for accommodating the various qualities of matter. A proton, for example, would consist of three quarks: red, yellow and blue. However, it should be noted that quarks are basically mathematical intermediaries to facilitate the comprehension or interpretation of certain experiments thus far unexplained. Moreover, the simple question still remains, even if they do exist materially: “What are quarks made of?”

Nevertheless, a mathematical model resulting from a recent theory that attempts to represent our material universe strangely resembles Mother's perception, for it postulates a milieu consisting entirely of electromagnetic waves of very high frequency. According to this theory, Matter itself is the “coagulation” of these waves at the moment they exceed a certain frequency threshold; our perception of emptiness, of fullness, of the hard or the transparent, being finally due only to the differences in vibratory frequencies – “vibratory modes within the same thing.”

But what is this 'same thing“?

In the end, the Agenda is simply Mother's long quest in search of the reality of Matter: what is Matter... truly? The “transformation”, perhaps, means simply to “un-cover” what is actually there.









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