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The Mother


Volume 3

June 12, 1962

(Unexpectedly, this conversation led into the subject of Satprem's break with X, who had been his guru for the past few years. Here then, briefly, is the story behind the rupture: No sooner had Satprem brought X to the Ashram than a swarm of disciples threw themselves at him. Conspicuous among these were the moneymen, the same wheelerdealers who, eleven years later, after Mother's departure, were to reveal their ambitions in Auroville as well as Pondicherry. Satprem's somewhat straightforward manner soon got in the way of their schemes. He had a deep affection for X and when he repeatedly saw that these people – spiritual scoundrels is the only word for them – were, in the hope of sowing confusion (for they always prosper best in confusion), bringing false reports to Mother of things X had supposedly said, he tried in all innocence to put X on his guard against the false reports and dishonest people who were wronging him. But instead of listening to Satprem and understanding that he spoke out of love, X – with all his Tantric power behind – flew into a violent rage against him,  as if he had been casting a slur on X's prestige. Satprem then broke with X, but not without sorrow.)

Anything new?


Me too, nothing new.

Nothing at all.

But you have a letter there (Mother sees an envelope on the floor next to Satprem).

I don't know what it is; it came just this morning and I haven't opened it.

Isn't it from your publisher?

Oh, you know what the publisher says: send us a book when you have one ready.

Oh! They said that?


All right. We'll stop all other work.

But the book has to come to me!

Oh, it's coming – it's coming. I have no doubt about that. All you have to do is turn this way (gesture above the head).

Some people are satisfied with what they write; I don't have that feeling, I must say.

They are generally fools.

But you know, if you think it will come only if you go somewhere else... there's always that possibility.

No, I didn't want to go to the Himalayas for inspiration – I'm quite aware that inspiration can come anywhere! No, it wasn't for that, but for....

Your health?

Yes, among other things. I have been wounded by that episode. You don't know all the details, but it was ugly.

But mon petit... I haven't told you everything that happened! Now he's telling everybody he had to cut with the Ashram because he was ill-treated.

Oh, so that's what he's saying....

He says he never uttered the words he's supposed to have said, yet on my side, I practically made N.1 swear an oath that he was telling the truth.... X says he never said I had no more than two months left to live (and he certainly never said it like that).

Of course not!

Not the slightest doubt about it. And he says an injustice was done to him (he doesn't mention your name – he doesn't mention any names, or at least none that are repeated to me); he says he was insulted and abused and is now compelled to cut with the Ashram.

When I spoke to him, you know, when I went to see him, it was just after my japa and I was in a state of absolute inner calm – absolute, with not a.... I simply felt he had to be helped, because he was saying things that were going against him. So I had this feeling, a very strong feeling of affection, but an affection that states things clearly and unemotionally. I was very calm when I said all that. I did get upset afterwards, but I was upset mainly because he immediately had such an incredible reaction! So then I was at a loss. But the way I put things to him.... Really, if he had the least.... But even a man who has never done any yoga would have felt I was speaking from my heart, candidly. Even a man with no spiritual culture would have felt that. So how could he take it in such a way!

I am not sure he did.

Oh, look! It was so....

No, I don't believe he thought you were insulting him or whatever – I think it's all politics, mon petit!

When Z first spoke to him, you know, he didn't deny anything; all he said was, “Oh, let's not pay any heed to these worldly things.” And then he talked about Z's arm, which he wanted to heal. The second time, he denied one part – he denied he had spoken of my health, when actually.... The third time.... You follow, the more it became necessary to take a clear stand, the more he denied, simply saying, “No, I never said that.”

So he has cut off relations with the Ashram?

He says he has – he hasn't actually done it.

Naturally he says he has kept all he felt and saw for me. He had said he wanted to remove his yantram2'from the Ashram, but in the end he left it. He writes to Z telling him he is working on his arm. He had a visit from A. and from that fellow M. – that was comical! M., of course, had come to the Ashram to stay, but anyway... he's looking for some kind of power, I sense that well enough. He had been frequenting some character who had power but wasn't putting it to very good use, and he felt something similar with X – he is instinctively in search of power. When he went down to see X, he may have felt a power coming into him – so he's going away!... I don't think he has any kind of attachment either to India or the Ashram: he's looking for power.

That's how things stand.

You know, for me all this is nothing but surface drama, the whole business means nothing. The only thing I did see clearly was more or less what you felt: that is, if X is to remain intimately linked with us, he had better learn not to tell tales... or, to put it as favorably as possible, not to give voice to a certain unconscious part of his being.

That's exactly it! I detest gossip, you know, so I never spread any, but he has told some people incredible things. I don't “tell on him” to you because I find it a kind of... it's something I dislike. That's why I spoke to him – in such a case, I always refer to something within, to the deep affection I had for him. I mean I was trying to help. I had NO OTHER kind of reaction. I saw him in a bad spot and tried to help him out, that's all.

Yes, but with the sort of people he had around him, you understand....


It was inadmissible – he had to keep up his position.

Oh, those people! I have really had my eyes opened, you know....

He had to keep up his position.


...You see, the trouble is he's a man whose principles and education prevent him from believing in progress and transformation. He believes that if you fulfill the conditions you get the siddhi,3 and that's the end of it – the goal is reached. He had already attained his goal before meeting us, and then... he could have kept his distance, but he became intimately connected with something full of all kinds of difficulties (which we neither ignore nor call for), but... it's essentially a Power for progress – an awesome force for progress. Well, when I saw that, I wondered, “How can he possibly bear it?” I thought he would keep his distance and not enter the atmosphere, but he did try to enter – he linked up with certain people, and particularly when he started meditating with me (he asked for it, not me), suddenly something responded.... And that triggered the conflict in him. One part of his being has gone along with the Movement, while the other is left stranded – doesn't budge. That created a gap.

Of course, one has to be in a terribly superficial consciousness to react the way he did. He had a rather deep contact with you, and there were moments when he understood very well who you are – he knows, he told me so. Consequently, had he truly been in a yogic state, then even if you had done something tactless or wrong, he would have just smiled! He would have said, “Oh, he's just impetuous, but I don't mind.”

But it wasn't like that, Mother! I'm self-critical, god knows, and I have examined myself on this – I wasn't tactless for a SECOND, I spoke very calmly. Very calmly. And not with the idea of accusing him. On the contrary, I was simply trying to tell him, “Look, see what's happening....” I have really done nothing wrong, to tell you the truth.

No, you did do something wrong.

Well, yes – you told me not to say anything!

Yes. Because I had seen... you couldn't see it, but I saw that if you were to speak to him it would be catastrophic! (Mother laughs) And as soon as I saw that, I told you “Don't say anything.”

But I did it KNOWINGLY, because I saw he needed help.

A man in his position, with such a rudimentary degree of culture, CANNOT be helped. Especially since all his learning is based on a knowledge that denies progress. So how can he be helped to progress?

Anyway, what will happen will happen, and it will certainly be what's best for everyone, including him!4

But through that event I have been put in contact with a certain realm of mental distortion which is a bit... bewildering. I've realized that I say something, something clear as crystal for me, and then....


No, the Grace has made him an object of special attention, thrusting him into a world which, externally, was not his own. In a matter of a few years he has made a journey of several lifetimes, so it has been a little bit difficult. Truly, in a few years he has inwardly traveled many lifetimes. And he has had to face the necessity of an enormous progress, all the more difficult because he hadn't mentally accepted or foreseen it. So he doesn't understand any more, poor man! If I could only take him in my arms like a baby and say to him, “My poor little dear, my dear little child...” and make him feel good, then all would be well. But it's not possible – there's a whole spiritual construction. So I do it from a distance, wordlessly, in silence. But what gets through all that crust? I don't know!... Over and over, I keep saying one thing: “To divine Love, all human confusions and misunderstandings are unknown.” There. Well, we will see. “Wherever divine Love is present, human confusions and misunderstandings cannot exist, cannot enter.”

That's the only solution.

But not an ATOM of mind must be added – the slightest intellectual activity spoils everything.

And then look at it all with a crystalline smile.


He has been put in contact with a dangerous Grace – some graces are dangerous – I knew it from the start. We'll see.... It can all depend on a single... a single flash of light: if something can go like that, pierce the crust, then it will be all right. He will become quite a fine person.

It will be as the Lord decides.


There is a way of looking at things – an all too human way – which sees me as VERY dangerous, very dangerous. It has been said time and time again.... There was an Englishwoman who came here after an unhappy love affair. She had come to India seeking “consolation,” and stumbled onto Pondicherry. It was right at the beginning (those English Conversations5 are things I said to her; I spoke in English and then translated it – or rather said it all over again in French). And at the end of a year's stay, this woman said to me (with such despair!), “When I came here I was still able to love and feel goodwill towards people; but now that I've become conscious, I am full of contempt and hatred!” So I answered her, “Go a bit farther on.” “Oh, no!” she replied. “It's enough for me as it is!” And she added, “You are a very dangerous person.” Because I was making people conscious! (Mother laughs) But it's true! Once you start, you have to go right to the end; you mustn't stop on the way – on the way, it gets to be hard going.

I don't do it on purpose.

As a matter of fact, I don't do anything on purpose. It's like this (Mother opens her hands): Lord, You have willed....

I can't do anything about it.


*   *

(Somewhat later)

What I say is becoming more and more difficult....

Perhaps fifty years from now people will understand!


I feel like an egg that has yet to hatch – I mean a certain period of incubation is needed, isn't it?

And I am more and more aware that people really panicked this time; they imagined I was going to die – I could have died, had the Lord willed it. But... it has been a sort of death, that's for sure – sure, sure, sure – although I don't say so, because.... After all, one must have some regard for people's common sense!

But really, if I let myself go one step further I would say that I was dead and... have come back to life. But I don't say it.

A lot of people have been praying for me and even taking vows that if I didn't die they would go here or there on a pilgrimage – it's quite touching.

This greatly objectifies my situation, which has nothing to do with an illness to be cured! I can't be cured! It is a work of transformation. At any moment, if the Lord decides it's hopeless, it will be hopeless, finished; and no matter what happens, if the Lord has decided that I'll go right to the end of the experience, then I'll go right to the end.

That whole way of seeing, feeling and reacting belongs really to another world. Really to another world... to such a degree that if I had no regard for people's peace of mind I would say, “I don't know whether I am dead or alive.” Because there is a life, a type of life vibration that is completely independent of.... No, I'll put it another way: the way people ordinarily feel life, feel that they are alive, is intimately linked with a certain sensation they have of their bodies and of themselves. If you totally eliminate that sensation, the type of relation that allows people to say “I am alive”... well, eliminate that, but then how can you say, “I am alive,” or “I am not alive”? The distinction NO LONGER EXISTS. Well, for me, it has been completely eliminated. That night [April 12-13], it was definitively swept out of me. It has never come back. It's something that seems impossible now. So what they mean by “I am alive” is... I can't say “I am alive” the way they do – it's something else entirely.

Better not keep this – in the end they'll be worrying about my sanity! (Mother laughs.)

But that doesn't matter either!


You get such a feeling of power, so tremendous, so FREE, so independent of all circumstances, all reactions, all events – and it doesn't depend on whether the body is this way or that. Something else.... Something else....

Only one thing depends on the body: speech, expression... who knows?... (Mother gazes at Satprem for a long time, as though she were considering an unknown possibility.)

Ah, that's enough for today!

Shall we be silent for five minutes?

Tell me frankly, very frankly: does it help you or not [to meditate]? You can tell me anything you like – that it doesn't help you, that it harms you; you can tell me whatever you like! It doesn't matter, I am not sensitive.

No, Mother....

You feel nothing?... Nothing.

It's always the same thing. It's very... it's calm, clear, but nothing happens.

You think something has to happen? (Mother laughs) I've been working for years on end just to have nothing happening!

It is so difficult to have nothing happening.

Yes, but if I may say so, that's exactly what I've been working towards all these years. I had read in Sri Aurobindo: mental silence, tranquillity, peace... and so that's what I've been striving for. I mean, I think I've got it now – when I meditate, it's tranquil.

Oh, yes! Certainly.

It doesn't stir – but nothing's there!

But why should something be there?

But then what!...

If something's there, it's no longer tranquil!

But something else should be there! I thought that....

Ohhh!... Something else?

This tranquillity is simply the starting point for me. Something should manifest within this silence, shouldn't it?

My constant complaint is that something does manifest – it interrupts the tranquillity.

If within that immobility I had a vision of the Mother, for instance – a vision of the Mother – if She were here... well, yes, as though She knew me, was near me, was aware of my existence! A relationship, something.... Well, that would change everything! If I could say to myself: close your eyes and you will see Her – like Ramakrishna, for example, he had that kind of relationship. I don't know, my whole life would be changed, I would feel linked to SOMETHING. It wouldn't just be silence, silence, silence....

But all that belongs to a lower stage. What you need is....

A lower stage?

When the contact is through images, concrete and palpable, it's in a consciousness that's... I don't say “lower” in a pejorative sense, but I mean in a more material consciousness. It's in the vital. In the vital. Ramakrishna's experiences were in the vital.

But at least it gives a meaning to life; life becomes full!

Yes, of course.... But in the vital.... For that, your vital needs a lot of preparation – it will happen, but... I don't think you'll get the satisfaction you're hoping for. What I would like is to see you suddenly emerge into the supramental light, with that SENSE of eternal plenitude; and then, yes, you'll feel something! But not necessarily a form. Some people see forms – not necessarily a form.


There may be some misunderstanding here! (Mother laughs) I thought you wanted....


Well, mon petit, if that's what you want you will have to work a lot – you will have to bring into your vital and emotional being a great calm and peace. Things like that [with X] mustn't be able to disturb you, make you sick and so forth. Only on that condition can you get what you want.

A flash, yes... (you had it once at Brindaban,6 you had an experience there); a flash is possible. But you want something permanent.

All right.


That, you know, was what I was always striving for: a sudden surge into the supreme Light, into the Eternal and the Infinite, and then into dazzled wonder. And then, instead of being dazzled by it, it becomes your normal state.

That's really something. And that's what I wanted to give you.

All right.

Well, I don't know....

Just imagine – it's easier for me to give you the other thing!

All right, we're going to try. We'll try.


Oh! You want Her to tell you She knows you? But She's telling you! She has told you many a time!

You want Her to say: “You are mine, my very own?”

You want to SEE Her?




1 One of these wheelerdealers, who spread rumors of X's alleged statements.


2 Yantram: Tantric symbol used to invoke or evoke gods, goddesses, or beings from worlds beyond.


3 Siddhi: realization (sometimes also occult powers).


4 The final reckoning for the others isn't known, but for Satprem this incident resulted in definitively and exclusively binding him to Mother, and in particular made him grasp the futility of tons of discipline that simply imprison you more solidly within a “realization” – for all realizations are prisons, save only the Supramental, which is light as air. As for the wheelerdealers, who in order to continue scheming in peace wanted to keep X apart from Mother and Satprem... they seem to have succeeded in their devious intention.


5 Conversations with the Mother, 1929.


6 Brindaban: known as the city of Krishna, where he grew up and played with the Gopis (cowherds and milkmaids).









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