Home Page | Works by the Mother | 03 Volume

The Mother


Volume 3

May 29, 1962

... But isn't this second book on Sri Aurobindo something imposed by circumstances? Is it really something that must be done, that already exists and has been decreed?

Personally, I do see one. I see a Sri Aurobindo....


Almost no philosophy, nothing intellectual – almost a story. His work presented in an entirely practical and matter-of-fact way, like the talks I used to give to the children here. When I said to the children, “This, you know, is why you are here,” I told them in a way they could understand, didn't I? Well the book should be like that. If I were to write (I will never write a book on Sri Aurobindo! Never, never, never – I know it), but were I ever to write a book on Sri Aurobindo, that's the book I would write, something like a fairy tale.... “Just imagine.... You see life, you see how it is, you are used to this sort of existence; and it's dreary and it's sad (some people find it entertaining – because it doesn't take much to entertain them!).... Well, behind it all there is a fairy tale. Something in the making, something that's going to be beautiful, beautiful, inexpressibly beautiful. And we shall take part in it.... You have no idea, you think you will forget everything when you die, leave it all behind you – but it's not true! And all who feel the call to a beautiful, luminous, joyous, progressive life, well... they will all take part in it, in one way or another. You don't know now, but you will after a while.... There you are.”

A fairy tale.

But do you feel inclined to tell a fairy tale?... It needn't be very long.

And with pictures, mon petit! Pictures of all the outer activities, like a movie.... A lovely magazine full of pictures. This seems to me the only thing that could really be said, because that's all that can be seen. So you show all this, saying: “Yes... but someone is trying to do something with all this. Look behind it, look at the lovely image, the lovely story behind.... And he was trying to draw that story down to earth, and it is sure to come.

” And if you like, you too can help make that story come down to earth. “

Done like that, mon petit, the book could be delightful!

Your first book is prophetic and most beautiful, but I must say it's something beyond most people's reach – it's really a book for us, to put us into contact with all who are interested in yoga, in the spiritual life: an elite. It is a book for an elite, not for the general public.

What I see is almost a children's book, for a whole generation aged ten to eighteen, thousands of children.... With lovely pictures.


No, only one thing worries me, one thing alone: your physical health. But to tell the truth (the true truth of what I KNOW), I don't think there's any climate a body can't adapt to.

But I don't think so either!

Human beings aren't that limited, after all! It is rather... yes, it's a matter of atavism, of education, of all sorts of things; and above all, I think the main reason is that you have no desire to – it's no fun for you!

(Satprem laughs in complete agreement)

I was brought up by an ascetic, a stoic; my mother was a woman like an iron bar, you know. When my brother and I were small she spent her time telling us over and over that we weren't on earth to have fun; that it's constant hell, but you have to put up with it, and the only possible satisfaction lies in doing your duty!

A splendid education, mon petit!

Splendid. I am infinitely grateful to her. My body has never asked for fun or well-being or anything else.” That's life, “it said,” and you just have to take it as it is. “And that's why when I first met someone who told me it could be otherwise (I was already past twenty), I said,” Oh, really? Is that so? “(Mother laughs) And then when he told me all about Théon's teachings and The Cosmic Life and about the inner God and a new world that would be a world of beauty and (at least) of peace and light... well, I rushed into it headlong.

But even then I was told:” It depends on YOU alone, not on circumstances – above all, don't blame circumstances; you must find it in yourself, the transformative element is within you. And you can do it wherever you are, even in a cell at the bottom of a hole. “The groundwork was already done, you see, since the body never asked for anything.

Well, I think that's the best education. To the children here we give the exact opposite! But that's how it is: it's a principle – it's not practical.

Not practical?

(Mother laughs) I don't think it's at all practical to teach them that life is for developing yourself, expressing yourself, being happy – they're unbearable as it is! (Mother laughs)

We have some real little devils in the making here. Interesting, true enough – oh, the vital is definitely not suppressed! But really....

There's a little American boy here (I don't know if his mother is completely helpless or just idolizes him, but anyway she lets him run wild – she's always defending him, she won't allow anyone to scold or punish him), and this child won't take any classes or accept any teacher, but just runs around the school from one classroom to another – making noise, hitting people, calling the teacher names – like a whirlwind; and then off he goes! And one day he went into the Playground; he's such a maniac that he's not allowed there, but he sneaked in, and there were some girls and women doing exercises on the ground – he started running around on their stomachs! (Laughter) It was a scandal.

Oh, what a circus! But that's the atmosphere.

Anyway, we're getting sidetracked....

I know the solution for you would be to have some experiences.

I feel there's been a change since X left.


I don't know, I can't define it very clearly.... Instead of trying to push down walls, I feel I may be remaining more passive. It's that kind of movement now, a movement of surrender rather than concentration.

Yes, exactly! That's where I find fault with the Tantric system – they have no belief in the possibility of something helping you from above. They believe in walking the tightrope. It's no good.

Yes, I sensed... it's very subtle, but I sensed a change for the better.

For my taste (do I still have tastes?... I certainly have no preferences, but some things do come more spontaneously than others)... my spontaneous movement, you know, would be this (all-embracing gesture, open to all horizons) – and then just let go. If I could plunge you into certain vibrations, you wouldn't need the mountains.

I know what it's like in the mountains – the body feels fine for a while, but.... Z, you know, had the same feeling (she comes from the mountains); she felt that without mountain air she would always be sick. I knew, that wasn't it, that it was certain inner difficulties, but I let her go to the mountains. Her body was exuberant! But she came back sicker than when she left. And yet her body was exuberant. It's very superficial....

No, I don't really feel any need for the mountains. The idea came to me because of this book.

Frankly, I don't believe that's the problem, mon petit. Because I see this book, I feel it. And since I feel it so vividly, don't you think it would be easier to write it here than up there?

No, it's solely a question of health. If I could.... Listen, I also had a longing to go to the Himalayas, I had a great longing for it when I was in France. When I came here the first time it was fine, I was very happy, everything was beautiful, everything was perfect, but... oh, to go to the Himalayas for a while! (I have always loved mountains.) I was living over there in the Dupleix house, and I used to meditate while walking back and forth. There was a small courtyard with a dividing wall, and shards of glass were stuck on top of the wall to keep out thieves. And I was meditating – meditating on the spiritual life – when suddenly something caught my eye: a ray of sunlight on a sharp piece of blue glass on top of the wall. And positively, spontaneously, without thinking or reflecting or anything... I saw the summits of the Himalayas: I was on the summits of the Himalayas.

It lasted more than half an hour. It was a marvelous mountain scene, with mountain air and the lightness of the mountains – it was all there. The splendor of sunlight on the Himalayan peaks.

After that half hour I hadn't the slightest wish to go!

I'd had the FULL spiritual experience of the Himalayas.

It was a grace given to me – a gift.

If I could give you such a gift.... I am trying, but so far I can't do it – I don't know why. I have done many things for many people, as you well know. So why not this?... Haven't yet found the way.

But when you have the experience, you know, it's complete – complete, total, physical, concrete.


I was given a similar experience with the sea.... In the house where I distribute ” prosperity “1 there's a veranda with a little nook, and set in the nook is a window (not a window, actually – an opening), and through the opening you can glimpse a patch of sea, no bigger than this (gesture). And at that time too the body was feeling closed in, a little weary and confined. I used to give meditations to about twenty people on the veranda (afterwards I would always tell Sri Aurobindo what had gone on). And one day, as I am walking across the veranda to give the meditation, I turn my eye and... I see the sea. And suddenly it was all oceanic immensity – and with a sense of free sailing, from one place to another.... The sea breeze, the taste of the sea, and the sense of immensity, vastness, freedom... something limitless. It lasted a quarter of an hour, twenty minutes. My body came out of it refreshed, as if I had gone for a long sail.

I want to emphasize that the effect is PHYSICAL: the experience is concrete and has a physical effect. That's what I would like to give you.

I am quite willing to do it, but....

Anyway, let's forget about this trip. When the book starts to come to me, well, I'll just get into it and that will be that.

Yes. But there's no hurry, is there?

There's no hurry. I would like it to come to you spontaneously, and almost be a pastime – just imagine yourself talking to children and telling them the most beautiful story in the world.

And it's true! It is the most beautiful fairy tale in the world. There's none more beautiful.

I am going to tell you the most beautiful story in the world....

Ill do my best. Ill try.

*   *

(Mother then asks Satprem various questions about his japa, and, after a very long silence during which she seems to be elsewhere or” looking “into the distance, continues:)

It is very interesting, mon petit.... As you were telling me about it, I automatically went into that state. And there was a kind of – how shall I put it? I don't know what to call it.... It is a movement akin to will, but it has nothing to do with thought, it's a feeling: I wanted to take you into the experience. And it was shown to me – literally shown – that your whole relationship with the inner and outer worlds is situated here (gesture above the head); that's why it is so well expressed through intellectual activity. But here (gesture to the solar plexus) there's not much. And I was seeing this, you know, I was touching it. It only comes indirectly, as a consequence. And then down here (gesture lower down): NOTHING. It remains just the way it was formed when you came down to earth!

And here (umbilical region) I was shown that a sort of widening of the being is needed, a widening of the vibrations – a peace, a calm within the immensity. HERE – the prana, that is – is where there should be a widening into peace, peace, peace and calm. But within the immensity.

And that's what will loosen you up.

Here (gesture to the head and above) the work is done and will not be undone; there is no danger, the link is quite well established. All you have to do is this (Mother takes a breath) and there it is.

To open here (gesture to the heart), the method is... a bit too classical, in that you would inevitably fall back into classical learning, all the classical methods and means – it will happen by itself, quite naturally.

And here (umbilical region): something like a quiet ease (there's no equivalent in French). A quiet ease. It has been all cramped up, and now it must widen. The inner life of the prana must be widened (the inner vital, the true vital, the being that has the experiences I told you about – the piece of glass, the glimpse of the sea); that's what must widen. And vast, vast.... It is all cramped up and it suffers. It has to be relaxed inwardly, by bringing in the Force, the Force of that new experience [April 13]: apply it there. And you... simply let yourself go; if you could catch hold of the wave movement, that would be perfect.

Like this: relax, relax, relax.... You're floating on an infinite undulating movement – floating, floating, floating. Shall we try?

But don't get into a meditation posture! And don't tense up; just let yourself go, as if you simply wanted to rest – but not in an empty hole. To rest in a mass of infinite force... a supple solidity.


A most luminous atmosphere....


1 Library House, where Sri Aurobindo and Mother lived for several years (from 1922 to February 1927).









in French

in German