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The Mother


Volume 10

October 11, 1969

(Mother first translates into French the messages she gave to Indira, in particular: “The value of the man is more important than the party to which he belongs .... The greatness of a country does not depend on the victory of a party, but on the union of all the parties.)

Do you know that there's a passage from Sri Aurobindo that says exactly the same thing? ....


I wondered if we couldn't publish it too: “Men of free minds and free habits are too strong of soul to be the slaves of their party feelings and too robust of mind to submit to any demand for the sacrifice of their principles on the altar of expediency. It is only in a servile nation unaccustomed to the habits of freemen that party becomes a master and not an instrument.

This is fine! Where was it?

In an article entitled, “Party and the Country,” in 1908.1

Oh, long before I met him. That was when he wrote in newspapers ....

*   *

So, what do you have to tell me?

Instead of going to the beach to cure himself, A.R. [the healer] went to Thiruvanamalai.2

It's tomorrow that he is to go to the beach.

I forget who met him at the post office just before he left, but I was told, “Oh, he was excited.” – Him get excited! It's quite surprising, he was excited.

There's nothing to see there.

Ah, yes, it's M. who met him. He asked M., “How is it that Maharshi let himself die of cancer?” Then M. told him that when he was still alive, someone asked him why he allowed the cancer, and he replied, “Oh, the very body is a cancer....” So it seems that A.R. was indignant.

With good reason!

(Mother laughs)

I saw him, this Maharshi....3

Did you?

I spent half an hour in meditation there, then I had enough and left. You understand, one bathed in... it was peace and peace and more peace – and so what?... I found it quite insubstantial. To me it had no material meaning.

Ah, but the aim was to withdraw from Matter. The aim was to withdraw here (gesture of drawing all energies upward) and reject Matter, like all illusionists, you understand. It's the continuation of Buddhism, too.


So is it tomorrow that he goes to the beach?4

Yes. He told me, “My worry is that it may take a long time (if it succeeds), and I have a limited time in India.” I replied, “But why should it take a long time?...”

(Mother remains silent)

I also told him you had “done what was necessary,”5 but it didn't seem to enter his consciousness.

Oh, he's very much like this (Mother gestures around her head to show that A.R. is shut within his realization).

Do you know that I got angry?

(Mother laughs)

I often told you that when I speak to people, at times something seizes me, and I speak bluntly. Well, all of a sudden, it got hold of me; and yet, I really feel affection for this man.

What did you tell him?

It was about the government. You know that he wanted to see people from the Indian government, and I conveyed to him your message saying that there was nothing to be done with those people. Then he insisted, saying, “Mother says, but I think,” and again “I think,” and again... Then anger began seizing me and I told him, “Listen, for fifty years now Mother has been here working with people of India, don't you think she knows things a little better than you do?” I got a little angry, and all at once I planted my finger in the middle of his chest and told him, “Mister A.R., there's one thing you've missed, it's the understanding of who Mother is.”

So that's what made him agitated! (Mother laughs heartily) Poor man!...

Oh, I am sorry. I felt sorry because I really like this man.

And what was his reaction?

He was very nice, I must say. He told me, “But I have come to understand; if there were nothing to understand, I wouldn't have come here.” He was very nice; it's me, I don't know what got hold of me, it came like that.

(Mother laughs) It's this New Consciousness.

You think so?

That's how it is, yes!

I told you, I had arranged for him to meet N.S., and it didn't work out.

But then, I had a perception afterwards. Because when this man speaks, I always feel the Truth speaking, always, I really feel it flows like a spring; but when he told me about that business with the government of India, I felt it wasn't the Truth speaking (that's in fact why I started feeling angry), and I suddenly perceived it wasn't he who spoke, it was probably the mental formation of those “Divine Life Society” people who sent you a letter of recommendation for him. I feel it's their mental formation.

That's right.

There's nothing to be done with those government people. They are fully in Falsehood, that is to say, they govern with Falsehood. They haven't yet renounced falsehood, so...

Yet this Indira is nice, she does what she can. You saw her, didn't you?...

I took great care not to go into that crowd.

She does what she can.


Have you anything else?

There's some news of P.L.

Oh, tell me.

A rather discouraged letter, because he's the victim of all sorts of harassing machinations at the Vatican ....

Oh, yes .... You know, between you and me (don't tell him), after he spoke,6 he was in GREAT danger, and it gave me work for several days – a long time. I worked and worked and worked to make it impossible for them to do... something radically nasty He had a narrow escape. It was almost miraculous that they didn't get rid of him – they're very skilled for that. So...

(Satprem reads P.L.'s letter)

Give him this (Mother hands a “blessings packet”) and tell him it's a symbol of my constant presence.

You told me that two bishops had resigned – have they been excommunicated?

I think so, but ...


Two or three days ago, I read an Aphorism of Sri Aurobindo's (you might know it). I forget the words, but he says that Christ came to purify humanity but didn't succeed, and he said he would come back, but this time, holding the sword of God...

169 – Christ came into the world to purify, not to fulfill. He himself foreknew the failure of his mission, and the necessity of his return with the sword of God into a world that had rejected him.

I was asked what's “the sword of God” (!) I said it was the irresistible Power.


Oh, a few days ago I was told a frightful story – what depths humanity has sunk to... it's unbelievable. Have you heard this story of the slaughter of baby seals?

When seals are born (a certain species of seals), they're all white, and they remain so for a few weeks, then they lose their hair and turn gray-gray or yellowish, like their fathers and mothers. And as it's the fashion to wear all-white fur coats, some people... It's organized by some trader or other: seals gather at the time of giving birth, there's a place there, in the North, on an island, where they gather in their thousands, and each mother gives birth to a single child. So those people go there in boats, fully equipped, and when the seals are born, they kill them – thousands of them at one go. It takes ten or fifteen skins to make a coat .... And they slaughter them. But then, for the carnage to be cheap (you understand, it shouldn't cost too much), they club the animals on their heads, then with big butchers' knives they skin them on the spot-skin them while they're still alive ....

That is to say... it seems they shriek, you know, they aren't dumb. It seems it's...

What happened is that a television reporter went there without knowing what was happening (he went there for something else), and he came upon that. He was so horrified, you know, so disgusted that he resolved to make it stop. And for maybe two years, he has been campaigning all over the world – through television and all sorts of means – for people to intervene. There was a strong pressure on the prime minister (it's in nor-them Canada and northern Norway, I think, on perpetually frozen islands), and they obtained from Canada's prime minister (charming people!) that instead of clubbing the baby seals supposedly to death, they would throw diesel oil on them, because that asphyxiates them fast .... But people found it too costly (such unbelievably low depths, you know!), so they went to the prime minister and asked him to lift his ban – and he did it! He allowed them to be slaughtered like that .... It seems the mothers (they've just given birth, you see, they're suckling the pups) try to defend them – so to prevent them from seeing what goes on, they put out their eyes .... Well, when I was told that, I saw a humanity sinking into... an abyss of ignominy.

Then they brought cards to me (they're preparing a new movement), cards with big photos – those little ones, if you knew how sweet they are! And intelligent! They're first-rate. And I saw the photo before knowing anything of the story; I looked and said, “Oh, what a lovely little one!” I instantly saw: receptive, admirable, an admirable kid! So there are photos of those little ones, there's a portrait of the crook who arranges the whole thing, a portrait of the reporter, and cards with the portrait of one of those little ones, with at the top, in French and in English, “Let baby seals live.” Like that. And a place for one's name and signature. And at the back, a place to add something if one wants to. They asked me if I wanted to sign. I said yes. There was one card addressed to Norway's fisheries minister, one to Canada's fisheries minister, and one to Canada's prime minister. So I put my stamp: “The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram.” I didn't add anything, I left the sentence and signed. And we'll send them.

But when I was told that... Why, why?... And those women who wear that... all those animals' suffering, all those animals' horror, their terror-they wear all that on their backs. And it doesn't give them nightmares!... Unbelievable.

It seems the fashion is to go dancing wearing a stole made of two or three skins of those poor beasts ....

People are getting insane!

Of course, up there [in the North], that [kind of savagery] is there. It's only ONE example, one sort of epitome. But this IGNOBLE consciousness is everywhere on earth .... I saw it like that. But it's one thing that has as if crystallized to awaken the reaction.

Oh, those little ones...

Seals are highly evolved animals, they aren't among the unconscious ones. There was one on the cover, with eyes staring at you like that, it was delightful!...


So this affair put me in contact with all that. It's the sign that it's going to go away.


It's in Switzerland that they started the movement (the reporter was Swiss), and it's Z who told me the story. Z told the reporter she was returning to India, and he gave her the whole bundle of cards, saying, “Oh, if India protested, it would lend weight.”

(Satprem has Tibet in mind, but remains silent)

It's not so much for those poor little ones, because they have a special protection (all that's conscious in them is like that, cherished). It's the ignominy of humans .... They must become conscious of their ignominy... They find it quite natural.

This world is revolting from one end to the other. There's nothing – I would keep nothing of this world, nothing.

(Mother laughs)

No, this isn't revolting (Mother lays her hand on a bouquet of roses near her). This is... a really and truly beautiful adoration.

Yes, without humans, it's quite fine.

Oh, it's the humans, because even animals aren't so disgusting.

Not at all.

A beast like a tiger or a lion kills only when it's hungry. But to make money – this is to make money... With the women, it's unconsciousness; I am sure the vast majority of those who wear that, if they were told, “You're wearing on you the skin torn from a living and shrieking animal,” it would give them nightmares – the vast majority. Very few would say, “Why should I care!” Very few.

But the brutes are the ones who're getting rich.


There's a story that took place many, many years ago, but because of the baby seals it's come back to me. One of K.'s relatives (her aunt, I think) died of cholera (I knew her, she'd known me before, then she left for somewhere or other, she caught cholera, and died). After some time, one night, I forget where I was, but I suddenly found myself surrounded by a huge crowd of people who were shouting and protesting; then she came out of that crowd, came to me and told me, “These are all those who died of cholera, they've come to ask you WHY it's like that....” It struck me much, really very much, because, you know... It was swarming with people, a huge crowd, in the middle of the night, like that, and she came towards me and said that to me ....

Naturally that's only ONE misery among so many others. Only it's a very brutal misery, which strikes in a very brutal way that's why... And when I was told this affair of the baby seals, I suddenly remembered how I found myself there, with those thousands of people saying, “Why is such a thing allowed?... Why is it allowed?”


It's what Bharatidi always said; she always used to say: “The Divine is the greatest culprit, He's the one who allows all those horrors!” (Mother laughs)

She said that once when we were preparing a play to be staged here7 (I don't know if you were there). There was the “chief of the mountains” and the “chief of the valley,” and then an incarnation of the Divine. The two chiefs were quarreling; the incarnation of the Divine came, and when he tried to stop the fight, they killed him. When they killed him, all of a sudden they woke up to the awareness of the horror of what they had done, owing to the fact of the killing. You see, night fell when they began fighting, and the Incarnation came between them to stop them, but they didn't see him and killed him .... The story was like that, we staged it. We gave out the roles and so on-we had got the play through Bharatidi. So she was there, and she told me, “But the Divine is the greatest culprit! It's quite natural that he should suffer, since He's the one who allowed humans to be like that!” (Mother laughs)


(long silence)

Those baby seals, I was preoccupied with them one whole night. So then, the first action (naturally, the Force went there instantly), the first attempt was to ask the seal species (the consciousness of the species) to change their birthing ground, to go to a place where people can't go, a place hard to reach (they've been going there because it's less cold for the young). So I don't know... it would be interesting if it succeeded .... A strong pressure for the seal species to act on the animals and drive the mothers to go elsewhere, to select another spot unknown to people (at least for a year or two, enough time to react).

But the interesting thing (it's obvious, but...)... for those capable of rising to that Consciousness, it's an interesting experience to have: as soon as you go beyond the region of even the highest human consciousness, once you are above, all spirit of revenge and punishment ABSOLUTELY disappears – absolutely It's impossible to feel it. It's... it seems to be a false way of reacting: instead of healing, you perpetuate the vibration, only changing its direction.

But up above, it's absolutely imperative: it doesn't exist, it's impossible.


We need time ....


1 In Bande Mataram of 24 April 1908 (Cent. Ed., 1.875).


2 Where a South Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi, lived; he died of cancer in April 1950.


3 In 1948 or 1949.


4 To a secluded hut, so as to attempt his “last conquest” over illness.


5 When Mother heard that A.R. had that hernia and wanted to try and cure it, she had concentrated on him.


6 During the meeting of the committee to reform the Church. See conversation of 26 March 1969.


7 The Sage, staged in December, 1953.









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