Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sri Aurobindo on Sri Ramana Maharshi

Mrs. K. went to see Maharshi and was seen driving mosquitoes at the time of meditation. She complained to him about mosquito bites. The Maharshi told her that if she couldn't bear mosquito bites she couldn't do yoga. Mrs. K. could not understand the significance of the statement. She wanted spirituality without mosquitoes!
There are reports that those who stay there permanently are not all in agreement with each other.
Do you know that famous story about Maharshi "when being disgusted with the Ashram and the disciples," he was going away into the mountain. He was passing through a narrow path flanked by the hills. He came upon an old woman sitting with her legs across the path. Maharshi begged her to draw her legs but she would not. Then Maharshi in anger passed across her. She then became very angry and said "Why are you so restless? Why can't you sit in one place at Arunachala instead of moving about, go back to your place and worship Shiva there?" Her remarks struck him and he retraced his steps. After going some distance he looked back and found that there was nobody. Suddenly it struck him that it was the Divine Mother herself who wanted him to remain at Arunachala.
Of course it was the Divine Mother who asked him to go back. Maharshi was intended to lead this sort of life. He has nothing to do with what happens around him. He remains calm and detached.

-      Sri Aurobindo
(Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rabindranath Tagore on Sri Aurobindo

(In a comparative study of Tagore & Sri Aurobindo, 'The Rainbow Bridge' (2007), Goutam Ghosal writes: "Tagore met Sri Aurobindo twice, very humbly, recognizing in him the light unerringly."

Tagore wrote of his significant experience in 1928 (below), and even wrote an entire poem, ‘Salutation’, dedicated to Sri Aurobindo.)

For a long time I had a strong desire to meet Aurobindo Ghosh, It has just been fulfilled. I feel that I must write down the thoughts that have come to my mind.

In the Christian Scripture it has been said: "In the beginning, there was the Word.” The Word takes form in creation. It is not the calendar which introduces a new era. It is the Word leading man to the path of a higher manifestation, a richer reality.

In the beginning and end of all great utterances in our scriptures we have the word Om. It has the meaning of self acknowledgement of Truth, it is the breath of the Eternal.

From some great  sea of  idea, a tidal wave tumultuously broke upon Europe carrying on its crest the French Revolution. It was a new age, not because the oppressed of that time in France stood against their oppressors, but because that age had in its beginning the Word which spoke of a great moral liberation for all humanity.

Mazzini and Garibaldi ushered in a new age of awakening in Italy, not because of the external fact of a change in the political condition of that country, but because they gave utterance to the Word, which did not merely enjoin formal acts, but inspired an inner creative truth. The feeling of touch, with the help of which a man gathers in darkness things that are immediate to him, exclusively belongs to himself; but the sunlight represents the great touch of the universe; it is for the needs of every one, and it transcends the needs of all individuals. This fight is the true symbol of the Word.

One day science introduced a new age to the Western world, not because she helped man to explore nature's secrets, but because she revealed to him the universal aspect of reality in which all individual facts find their eternal background, because she aroused in him the loyalty to truth that could defy torture and death. Those who follow the modern development of science know that she has truly brought us to the threshold of another new age, when she takes us across thing to the mystic shrine of light where sounds the original Word of Creation.

In ancient India, the age of creation began with the transition from ritual practices to spiritual wisdom. It sent its call to the soul, which creates from its own abundance; and men woke up and said, that only those truly live, who live in the bosom of the Eternal. This is the Word spoken from the heart of that age :"Those who realise Truth, realise immortality."

In the Buddhist age, also, the Word came with the message of utmost sacrifice, of a love that is unlimited. It inspired an ideal of perfection in man's moral nature, which busied itself in creating for him a world of emancipated will.

The Word is that which helps to bring forth towards manifestation the unmanifest immense in man. Nature urges animals to restrict their endeavour in earning their daily wages of living. It is the Word which has rescued man from that enclosure of a narrow livelihood to a wider freedom of life. The dim light in that world of physical self-preservation is for the world of night; and men are not nocturnal beings. Time after time, man must discover new proofs to support the faith in his own greatness, the faith that gives him freedom in the Infinite. It is realised anew every time that we find a man whose soul is luminously seen through the translucent atmosphere of a perfect life. Not the one who has the strength of an intellect that reasons, a will that plans, the energy that works, but he whose life has become one with the Word, from whose being is breathed Om, the response of the everlasting yes.

The longing to meet such a person grows stronger when we find in men around us the self-mistrust which is spiritual nihilism, producing in them an indecent pride in asserting the paradox that man is to remain an incorrigible brute to the end of his days, that the value of our ideals must be judged by a standard which is that of the market price of things.

When, as today, truth is constantly being subordinated to purposes that have their sole meaning in a success hastily snatched up from a mad scramble for immediate opportunities our greed becomes uncontrollable. In its impatience it refuses to modulate its pace to the rhythm that is inherent in a normal process of achievement, and exploits all instruments of reckless speed, including propaganda of delusion. Ambition tries to curtail its own path, for its gain is at the end of that path, while truth is permeatingly one with the real seeking for her, as a flower with its stem. But, used as a vehicle of some utility, robbed of her love's wooing, she departs, leaving that semblance of utility a deception.

It takes time to prove the spirit of perfection lying in wait in a mind that is yet to mature. But a cruel urgency takes the quick means of a forced trial and the mind itself disappears leaving the crowd to admire the gorgeousness of the preparation. When we find everywhere the hurry of this greed dragging truth tied to its chariot-wheels along the dusty delusion of short-cuts, we feel sure that it would be futile to set against it a mere appeal of reason, but that a true man is needed who can maintain the patience of a profound faith against a constant temptation of urgency and hypnotism of a numerical magnitude.

We badly need today for the realisation of our human dignity a person who will preach respect for man in his completeness. It is a truism to say that man is not simple, that his personality consists of countless elements that are bewilderingly miscellaneous. It is possible to denude him of his wealth of being in order to reduce him to a bare simplicity that helps to fit him easily to a pattern of a parsimonious life. But it is important to remember that man is complex, and therefore his problems can only be solved by an adjustment, and not by any suppression of the varied in him or by narrowing the range of his development. By thinning it to an unmeaning repetition, eliminating from it the understanding mind and earnestness of devotion we can makeour prayer simple and still simpler by bringing it down to a mechanical turning of the prayer wheel as they have done in Tibet. Such a process lightens the difficulty of a work by minimising the humanity of the worker. Teachers who are notoriously successful in guiding their pupils through examinations know that teaching can be made simple by cramming and hushing the questioning mind to sleep. It hastens success through a ruthless retrenchment of education.

The present-day politics has become a menace to the world, because of its barbarous simplicity produced by the exclusion of the moral element from its method and composition. Industrialism also has its cult of an ascetic miserliness that simplifies its responsibility by ignoring the beautiful. On the other hand, the primitive methods of production attain their own simplicity through a barren negation of science and, to that extent, a poor expression of humanity. We recognise our true teacher when he comes not to lull us to a minimum vitality of spirit but to rouse us to the heroic fact that man's path of fulfilment is difficult, "durgam pathas tat.".

Animals drifting on the surface of existence have their life that may be compared to a simple raft composed of banana trunks held together. But human life finds its symbol in a perfectly modelled boat which has its manifold system of oars, helm and sails, towing ropes and poles for the complex purpose of negotiating with the three elements of water, earth and air. For its construction it claims from science a principle of balance based upon countless observations and experiments, and from our instinct for art the decorations that are utterly beside the purpose with which they are associated. It gives expression to the intelligent mind which is carefully accurate in the difficult adjustment of various forces and materials and to the creative imagination that delights in the harmony of forms for its own sake. We should never be allowed to forget that spiritual perfection comprehends all the riches of life and gives them a great unity of meaning.

While my mind was occupied with such thoughts, the French steamer on which I was travelling touched Pondicherry and I came to meet Aurobindo. At the very first sight I could realise that he had been seeking for the soul and had gained it, and through this long process of realisation has accumulated within him a silent power of inspiration. His face was radiant with an inner light and his serene presence made it evident to me that his soul was not crippled and cramped to the measure of some tyrannical doctrine, which takes delight in inflicting wounds upon life. He, I am sure, never had his lessons from the Christian monks of the ascetic Europe, revelling in the pride of that self-immolation which is a twin sister of self-aggrandisement joined back to back facing opposite directions.

I felt that the utterance of the ancient Hindu Rishi spoke from him of that equanimity which gives the human soul its freedom of entrance into the All.

I said to him, "You have the Word and we are waiting to accept it from you. India will speak through your voice to the world, 'Hearken to me'."

In her earlier forest home, Sakuntala had her awakenment of life in the restlessness of her youth. In the later hermitage she attained the fulfilment of her life.

Years ago I saw Aurobindo in the atmosphere of his earlier heroic youth and I sang to him,"Aurobindo, accept the salutation from Rabindranath."

Today I saw him in a deeper atmosphere of a reticent richness of wisdom and again sang to him in silence,

"Aurobindo, accept the salutation from Rabindranath.”
- Rabindranath Tagore
(May, 29, 1928)


Rabindranath, O Aurobindo, bows to thee !

O friend, my country's friend, O voice incarnate, free,

Of India's soul ! No soft renown doth crown thy lot,

Nor pelf or careless comfort is for thee; thou'st sought

No petty bounty, petty dole; the beggar's bowl

Thou ne'er hast held aloft. In watchfulness thy soul

Hast thou e'er held for bondless full perfection's birth

For which, all night and day, the god in man on earth

Doth strive and strain austerely; which in solemn voice

The poet sings in thund'rous poems ; for which rejoice

Stout hearts to march on perilous paths; before whose flame

Refulgent, ease bows down its head in humbled shame

And death forgetteth fear;—that gift supreme

To thee from Heaven's own hand, that full-orb'd fadeless dream

That's thine, thou'st asked for as thy country's own desire

In quenchless hope, in words with truth's white flame afire,

In infinite faith, hath God in heaven heard at last

This prayer of thine? And so, sounds there, in blast on blast,

His victory-trumpet? And puts he, with love austere,

In thy right hand, today, the fateful lamp and drear

Of sorrow, whose light doth pierce the country's agelong gloom,

And in the infinite skies doth steadfast shine and loom,

As doth the Northern star ? O Victory and Hail!?

Where is the coward who will shed tears today, or wail

Or quake in fear ? And who'll belittle truth to seek

His own small safety ? Where's the spineless creature weak

Who will not in thy pain his strength and courage find ?

O wipe away those tears, O thou of craven mind !

The fiery messenger that with the lamp of God :

Hath come—-where is the king -who can with chain or rod

Chastise him ? Chains that were to bind salute his feet.

And prisons greet him as their guest with welcome sweet,

The pall of gloom that wraps the sun in noontide skies

In dim eclipse, within a moment slips and flies

As doth a shadow.Punishment ? It ever falls

On him who is no man, and every day hath feared,

Abashed, to gaze on truth's face with a free man's eye

And call a wrong a wrong; on him who doth deny

His manhood shamelessly before his own compeers,

And e'er disowns his God-given rights, impelled by fears

And greeds; who on his degradation prides himself,

Who traffics in his country's shame; whose bread, whose pelf

Are his own mother's gore; that coward sits and quails

In jail without reprieve, outside all human jails.

When I behold thy face, 'mid bondage, pain and wrong

And black indignities, I hear the soul's great song

Of rapture unconfined, the chant the pilgrim sings

In which exultant hope's immortal splendour rings,

Solemn voice and calm, and heart-consoling, grand

Of imperturbable death, the spirit of Bharat-land,

O poet, hath placed upon thy face her eyes a fire

With love, and struck vast chords upon her vibrant lyre,—

Wherein there is no note of sorrow, shame or fear,

Or penury or want. And so today I hear

The ocean's restless roar borne by the stormy wind,

Th' impetuous fountain's dance riotous, swift and blind

Bursting its rocky cage,—the voice of thunder deep

Awakening, like a clarion call, the clouds asleep

Amid this song triumphant, vast, that encircles me,

Rabindranath, O Aurobindo, bows to thee !

And then to Him I bow Who in His sport doth make

New worlds in fiery dissolution's awful wake,

From death awakes new life; in danger's bosom rears.

Prosperity; and sends his devotee in tears,

'Mid desolation’s thorns, amid his foes to fight

Alone and empty-handed in the gloom of night;

In divers tongues, in divers ages speaketh ever

In every mighty deed, in every great endeavour

And true experience: "Sorrow’s naught, howe’er drear

And pain is naught, and harm is naught, and naught all fear;

The king's a shadow, - punishment is but a breath;

Where is the tyranny of wrong, and where is death ?

O fool, O coward, raise thy head that's bowed in fear,

I am, thou art, and everlasting truth is here."

- Rabindranath Tagore

(‘Sri Aurobindo Mandir’, 1944,Translated from the original Bengali by

Kshitishchandra Sen)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sri Aurobindo and Gods

The Mother had a small book by her table. She opened the book at random and said, “Here, read this.” The sentence was Sri Aurobindo telling someone in a letter, “Shiva and I are one.”

In her 1961 Mother's Agenda, the Mother remembered 1926 as the year Shiva refused to incarnate until the Supramental Yoga was complete. Krishna however 'consented' to be FIXED in Sri Aurobindo.

Mother’s Agenda
2 August 1961
There's a ledge above the pillars there, where all the gods used to sit – Shiva, Krishna, Lakshmi, the Trimurti, all of them – the little ones, the big ones, they all used to come regularly, every day, to attend these meditations. It was a lovely sight. But they didn't have this kind of adoration for the Supreme. They had no use for that concept – each one, in his own mode of being, was fully aware of his own eternal divinity; and each one knew as well that he could represent all the others (such was the basis of popular worship, and they knew it). They felt they were a kind of community, but they had none of those qualities that the psychic life gives: no deep love, no deep sympathy, no sense of union.They had only the sense of their OWN divinity. They had certain very particular movements, but not this adoration for the Supreme nor the feeling of being instruments: they felt they were representing the Supreme, and so each one was perfectly satisfied with his particular representation.
Except for Krishna.... In 1926, I had begun a sort of overmental creation, that is, I had brought the Overmind down into matter, here on earth (miracles and all kinds of things were beginning to happen). I asked all these gods to incarnate, to identify themselves with a body (some of them absolutely refused). Well, with my very own eyes I saw Krishna, who had always been in rapport with Sri Aurobindo, consent to come down into his body. It was on November 24th, and it was the beginning of “Mother.”
Yes, in fact I wanted to ask you what this realization of 1926 was.
It was this: Krishna consented to descend into Sri Aurobindo's body – to be FIXED there; there is a great difference, you understand, between incarnating, being fixed in a body, and simply acting as an influence that comes and goes and moves about. The gods are always moving about, and it's plain that we ourselves, in our inner beings, come and go and act in a hundred or a thousand places at once. There is a difference between just coming occasionally and accepting to be permanently tied to a body – between a permanent influence and a permanent presence.
These things have to be experienced.
But in what sense did this realization mark a turning point in Sri Aurobindo's sadhana?
No, the phenomenon was important FOR THE CREATION; he himself was rather indifferent to it. But I did tell him about it.
It was at that time that he decided to stop dealing with people and retire to his room. So he called everyone together for one last meeting. Before then, he used to go out on the verandah every day to meet and talk with all who came to see him (this is the origin of the famous “Talks with Sri Aurobindo”... – Mother is about to say something severe, then reconsiders – anyway...) I was living in the inner rooms and seeing no one; he was going out onto the verandah, seeing everyone, receiving people, speaking, discussing – I saw him only when he came back inside.
After a while, I too began having meditations with people. I had begun a sort of “overmental creation,” to make each god descend into a being – there was an extraordinary upward curve! Well, I was in contact with these beings and I told Krishna (because I was always seeing him around Sri Aurobindo), “This is all very fine, but what I want now is a creation on earth – you must incarnate.” He said “Yes.” Then I saw him – I saw him with my own eyes (inner eyes, of course), join himself to Sri Aurobindo.
Then I went into Sri Aurobindo's room and told him, “Here's what I have seen.” “Yes, I know!” he replied (Mother laughs) “That's fine; I have decided to retire to my room, and you will take charge of the people. You take charge.” (There were about thirty people at the time.) Then he called everyone together for one last meeting. He sat down, had me sit next to him, and said, “I called you here to tell you that, as of today, I am withdrawing for purposes of sadhana, and Mother will now take charge of everyone; you should address yourselves to her; she will represent me and she will do all the work.” (He hadn't mentioned this to me! –Mother bursts into laughter)
These people had always been very intimate with Sri Aurobindo, so they asked: “Why, why, Why?” He replied, “It will be explained to you.” I had no intention of explaining anything, and I left the room with him, but Datta began speaking. (She was an Englishwoman who had left Europe with me; she stayed here until her death – a person who received “inspirations.”) She said she felt Sri Aurobindo speaking through her and she explained everything: that Krishna had incarnated and that Sri Aurobindo was now going to do an intensive sadhana for the descent of the Supermind; that it meant Krishna's adherence to the Supramental Descent upon earth and that, as Sri Aurobindo would now be too occupied to deal with people, he had put me in charge and I would be doing all the work.

This was in 1926.
It was only... (how can I put it?) a participation from Krishna. It made no difference for Sri Aurobindo personally: it was a formation from the past that accepted to participate in the present creation, nothing more. It was a descent of the Supreme, from... some time back, now consenting to participate in the new manifestation.
Shiva, on the other hand, refused. “No,” he said, “I will come only when you have finished your work. I will not come into the world as it is now, but I am ready to help.” He was standing in my room that day, so tall(laughing) that his head touched the ceiling! He was bathed in his own special light, a play of red and gold... magnificent! Just as he is when he manifests his supreme consciousness – a formidable being! So I stood up and... (I too must have become quite tall, because my head was resting on his shoulder, just slightly below his head) then he told me, “No, I'm not tying myself to a body, but I will give you ANYTHING you want.” The only thing I said (it was all done wordlessly, of course) was: “I want to be rid of the physical ego.”
Well, mon petit (laughing), it happened! It was extraordinary!... After a while, I went to find Sri Aurobindo and said, “See what has happened! I have a funny sensation (Mother laughs) of the cells no longer being clustered together! They're going to scatter!” He looked at me, smiled and said, Not yet. And the effect vanished.
But Shiva had indeed given me what I wanted!
Not yet, Sri Aurobindo said.
No, the time wasn't ripe. It was too early, much too early.
I had it two years ago. But now there is something else – things are different now.

It struck me as odd when I first read this, and as I read it now, that the Trimurti - the Divine Trinity - was not functioning or manifesting as fully UNIFIED community or a unified consciousness-force. But now I am thinking that is perhaps one thing that is being underscored via the washing away of the Shiva statue: that in Truth, no GOD can stand ALONE ... as an entity isolated from the Whole, from the whole movement of evolution. In Truth, Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva (the forces of Creation, Preservation and Destruction) are One.

Krishna is well-known throughout the world as the 8th Avatar of Vishnu the Preserver. In her writing, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet discusses in depth Sri Aurobindo's role as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu and lays out the case that this 9th Avatar would necessarily incarnate and influence the evolving Earthly CREATION in our New Age corresponding to the Preservation or FIXED sign of Aquarius. To be established in this Age is the Unity-Consciousness, where All is known as One Being and One Becoming, including of course the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Adolf Hitler, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Mother's AgendaVol. 6

January 12, 1965
(Regarding an old “Playground Talk” of March 8, 1951, in which Mother spoke of the being that possessed and “guided” Hitler: “Hitler was in contact with a being whom he considered to be the Supreme: that being would come and give him advice and tell him all that he had to do. Hitler would withdraw into solitude and wait long enough to come into contact with his ‘guide’ and receive inspirations from him which he would afterwards carry out very faithfully. That being whom Hitler took for the Supreme was quite simply an Asura, the one called in occultism ‘the Lord of Falsehood,’ and he himself to be ‘the Lord of Nations.’ He had a resplendent appearance and could pull the wool over anyone's eyes, except one who truly had occult knowledge and could thus see what was there, behind the appearance. He could have deluded anyone, he was so splendid. He generally appeared to Hitler wearing a breast-plate and a silver helmet (with a sort of flame coming out of his head), and there was around him an atmosphere of dazzling light, so dazzling that Hitler could hardly look at him. He would tell him all that he had to do – he would play with him as with a monkey or a mouse. He had set his mind on making Hitler do all possible kinds of folly... until the day when he would come a cropper, which is what happened. But there are many cases like that one, on a smaller scale, naturally. Hitler was a very good medium, he had great mediumistic capacities, but he lacked intelligence and discernment. That being could tell him anything and he would swallow it all. That's what prodded him on little by little. And that being would do that as a pastime, he didn't take life seriously. For those beings, people are very small things with which they play as a cat plays with a mouse, until the day when they eat them up.”)
I knew that being very well (for other reasons... the story would be too long to tell), and once, I knew he was going to visit Hitler – I went before he did: I took his appearance, it was very easy. Then I said to Hitler, “Go and attack Russia.” I don't exactly remember the words or the details, but the fact was that I told him, “Go... In order to have the supreme victory, go and attack Russia.” That was the end of Hitler. He believed it and did it – two days later, we got the news of the attack. And then, the next day, that is, when I came back from Hitler, I met that being and told him, “I've done your job!” Naturally enough, he was furious!
But all the same, in that consciousness, there is with that being (the Lord of Falsehood, one of the first four Emanations), there is despite everything a very deep relationship, of course. He said to me, “I know, I know I will be defeated eventually, but before my end comes I will wreak as much destruction on earth as I can.”
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 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.
But I knew that being, I had already seen him in Japan – he called himself “the Lord of Nations.” And he really was a form of the Asura of Falsehood, that is, of Truth which became Falsehood: the first Emanation of Truth, who became Falsehood.
And he hasn't been destroyed yet.

       -   The Mother

The Second World War - Lest We Forget

The Second World War - Lest We Forget

On 6 June 2004 the Chancellor of Germany participated for the first time in the yearly commemoration ceremony of the Allied landing in France, on the beaches of Normandy, the decisive military operation which would lead up to the end of the Nazi regime and of the Second World War in Europe. The invitation of the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, and his embrace by the French President Jacques Chirac were meant as the final gestures of reconciliation which would put, after sixty years, a definitive end to World War II. In the newspapers one could read: “Time has healed the wounds. It’s time the Germans were there,” and the words of Mr Schroeder, saying that his presence was “hugely symbolic” and that it meant that “the Second World War is finally over”.
 The Second World War is still very much alive in the consciousness of humanity, as shown by such successful films like Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, The Pianist and the TV-serial Band of Brothers. There is, however, little knowledge about the historical facts. What remains in the general awareness are some vague notions of the Holocaust, the bombings of Great Britain and Germany, the SS, and the still fascinating but often caricatural personality of Adolf Hitler. Some prominent historians, like HR Trevor-Roper and Alan Bullock, admit that they cannot explain Hitler, which means, considering the importance of the Fuehrer in Nazi Germany, that they cannot understand the war. There is much writing about Hitler’s “charisma”, about the magic power his words exerted on his audiences, and about the “evil” embodied in the SS and their reign in the concentration and extermination camps. But explanations of the gigantic and terrible event that was the Second World War there are as many as there are students of history, and most key-facts are prudently worded in the subjunctive mode.

We, Aurobindonians, have a general explanation of this war, in fact an encompassing one, provided to us by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. In 1942 Sri Aurobindo wrote to a disciple: “I affirm to you most strongly that this is the Mother’s war. You should not think of it as a fight for certain nations against others or even for India; it is a struggle for an ideal that has to establish itself on earth in the life of humanity, for a truth that has yet to realise itself fully and against a darkness and falsehood that are trying to overwhelm the earth and mankind in the immediate future. It is the forces behind the battle that have to be seen and not this or that superficial circumstance.” (OH 3941) The emphatic force with which Sri Aurobindo wrote here was rather unusual of him.

And he continued: “It is a struggle for the liberty of mankind to develop, for conditions in which men have freedom and room to think and act according to the light in them and grow in the Truth, grow in the Spirit. There cannot be the slightest doubt that if one side wins, there will be an end of all such freedom and hope of light and truth, and the work that has to be done will be subjected to conditions which would make it humanly impossible; there will be a reign of falsehood and darkness, a cruel oppression and degradation for most of the human race such as people in this country [i.e. India] do not dream of and cannot yet at all realise.” (OH 394)

For Hitler did not act on his own initiative. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have stated repeatedly that Hitler was possessed by an emanation of one of the great Asuras, “the Lord of Falsehood” who calls himself “the Lord of the Nations”, and that he acted as his instrument. “One can say that Hitler is not a devil but is possessed by one”. (T 575) Of this possession Hitler was “very conscious”, for he was “an excellent medium”. “Without this possession he would be a crudely amiable person with some mental hobbies and eccentricities ... No one thought of Hitler as having anything in him. Then came the vital development, the vital Power holding him in his clutch.” (P 645, T 85) This two-sidedness of Hitler’s character is mentioned by all his biographers. Often seemingly floating and indecisive, he could suddenly, “when the spirit descended upon him”, jump into verbal action and unleash a torrent of words with a power which left nobody in his presence untouched.

“The problem is to save the world from domination by the Asuric Forces”, said Sri Aurobindo in September 1939. “It would be awful to be ruled by the Nazis or Fascists. Their domination will let loose on mankind what are called the Four Powers of Hell — obscurantism, falsehood, suffering and death. Suffering and death mean the horrors of war.” (T 232) In his sonnet “The Iron Dictators”, Sri Aurobindo calls these powers of hell “The iron dreadful Four who rule our breath, / Masters of falsehood, Kings of ignorance, / High sovereign Lords of suffering and death.” (CP 136) It may be remembered that the four great Asuras, of whom Sri Aurobindo and the Mother always spoke respectfully, were the reversal, at the beginning of the cosmic evolution, of the essential divine attributes which are Light, Truth, Life and Bliss.

Hitler is still often misrepresented as something like the droll figure in Charlie Chaplin’s parodical film The Great Dictator, or as a kind of screaming, half-mad sexual pervert. The fact is that he was driven by the vision inspired into him by his Lord, and that this vision was world-encompassing. The Aryans (read: the Aryan Germans) were the master race, whose rightful duty it was to submit all other peoples and rule the earth. He, Adolf Hitler, was the German Messiah, sent with the mission to lead his people towards a golden age, the Empire of a Thousand Years. As the Germans were the Chosen People, there was no place for another people which claimed to be chosen, namely the Jews, who therefore had to be eliminated by any means. The human acquisitions of intelligence, individual liberty and social fraternity, together with the virtues of the soul, were no longer of importance. They had to be replaced by the properties of power, physical strength, harshness, insensitivity, and other attitudes which would favour the global domination of the (white) Aryans.

As each God contains in himself all the qualities of all other Gods and of the Divine as such, so each Asura contains in himself all the anti-divine qualities of the other Asuras. Falsehood, ignorance, suffering and death never exist separately, though they may be dominant according to the circumstances. In India the beings who are these powers are known as “Asuras”, the basically anti-divine cosmic powers said to be older than the Gods and who will do battle with them for as long as the divine Providence allows or deems necessary. This battle between the good and the evil Forces is the main theme of the mythology of all peoples. In the West the same four scourges are known as “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.

This takes us directly to Hitler, acting under the inspiration of the Lord of Falsehood, and the background of the Second World War which necessitated the direct intervention of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It is the intention of the Asuras, still lords of the earthly evolution, to maintain their reign over the earth and all beings on it, for their existence depends upon this reign. The battle between the Asuras and the Gods has always been, in essence, a fight about the possibility of evolution upon the earth. The Asuras want to keep things as they are, for they thrive in darkness and ignorance; the Gods want to construct the path of evolution that, from that darkness and ignorance, will lead back to the divine Light, Truth and Bliss. (One can follow the gradual advance of the progress made up to the present evolutionary stage in what Sri Aurobindo calls “the procession of the Avatars”.) The battle of the Gods has rendered the apparition upon earth of the human being possible. Humanity has now reached the critical point of transformation into a higher, supramental, divine being.

This transformation is, of course, what the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were and are about. The sequence of hot and cold global wars of the twentieth century, seen in this light, acquires a significance which explains the huge acts of destruction and death, and even the menace of the extinction of mankind. One may search in vain for another explanation which so fully and clearly fits the facts. But the concepts mentioned in the previous paragraphs are, generally speaking, not within the horizon of Western thought at present and only still partially alive in the East. Besides, our “post-modern” era is a time of confusion.

“What we have to see is on which side men and nations put themselves”, wrote Sri Aurobindo. “If they put themselves on the Asuric side, they at once make themselves instruments of the Divine purpose in spite of all defects, errors, wrong movements and actions which are common to human nature and all human collectivities. The victory of one side (the Allies) would keep the path open for the evolutionary forces; the victory of the other side would drag back humanity, degrade it horribly and might lead even, at the worst, to its eventual failure as a race, as others in the past evolution failed and perished.” (OH 396)

The human being consists of matter, the life forces and the mind. So does humanity as a whole. The possibilities of the individual being remain limited by the possibilities created in the species in the course of the long battle of the divine and the anti-divine forces during the upwardly spiralling cycles of humanity. Within humanity this battle is fought as the yoga of the select souls which carry the destiny of humanity, by the vibhutis, and at the most crucial moments by the Avatars. The Avatars incarnate in times of greatest need, when humanity itself, in its great souls and vibhutis, is not able to go beyond its capabilities. These times of greatest need have always an evolutionary significance: the Avatar comes to take evolution a step forward.

It would be illogical to suppose that humanity can produce the next higher being, provisionally called the “superman”, if it is not fully developed, if it has not fully explored and realized its inherent capabilities. According to Sri Aurobindo, humanity at the present point in its cycle of evolution has reached the required maturity for that unique moment in human evolution: the moment of transition into a new, higher, divine being. For this to be possible at least an upper layer of the mass of humanity had to reach the full mental development, which was the task of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. The new values created in these accelerating periods of the human development were to become an integral part of the general human constitution.

“If mankind is to be spiritualised, it must first in the mass cease to be the material or the vital man and become the psychic and the true mental being. It may be questioned whether such a mass progress is possible, but if it is not, then the spiritualisation of mankind as a whole is a chimera.” (HC 253) “The mind and intellect must develop to their fullness so that the spirituality of the race may rise securely upward upon a broad basis of the developed lower nature in man, the intelligent mental being ... So long as the hour of the rational age has not arrived, the irrational period of society cannot be left behind, and that arrival can only be when not a class or a few but the multitude has learned to think, to exercise its intelligence actively.” (HC 188-89)

modifications may arrive, whatever new tendencies intervene, whatever reactions oppose, it could hardly then be doubted that the principal gifts of the French Revolution must remain and be universalised as permanent acquisitions, indispensable elements in the future order of the world, — national self-consciousness and self-government, freedom and enlightenment for the people and so much social equality and justice at least as is indispensable to political liberty; for with any form of fixed and rigid inequality democratic self-government is incompatible.” (IHU 75)

Whatever happens in history — and the path of evolution is dotted with catastrophes, which seem to be, like the wars, a means of intensified change — “to go back is impossible, the attempt is always, indeed, an illusion”. (HC 42) But to counteract the unique possibility of progress now present in humanity was precisely the intention of the Lord of Falsehood who, firstly, caused an anti-Enlightenment and anti-intellect wave, called Fascism, and who, secondly, inspired Hitler with a similar, although much more radical far-reaching, programme. “God’s front is the spiritual front ... Hitler’s Germany is not God’s front. It is the Asuric front, through which the Asura aims at world-domination. It is the descent of the Asuric world upon the human to establish its own power on the earth.” (T 669) “Hitler did not want the keep the wheel of history moving, he wanted it to turn backwards”, writes the German historian Guido Knopp, who also speaks about Hitler’s intention “to go back to pre-modern, even pre-civilised forms of society2”.

There can be no doubt about this when one reads Hitler’s Mein Kampf — which at the time too few did seriously — and when one reads his recorded sayings about his vision. “Creation is not finished”, he said, “at least not as far as the human being is concerned. The human being stands, biologically speaking, clearly on a turning point. A new kind of human being becomes discernible ... This causes the old species Man, as we have known it until now, to become inexorably decadent ... All the creative power will be concentrated in the new species Man. Both species will quickly separate and develop in opposite directions. The one will sink below humanity, the other will rise far above the present humanity. I might call the former ‘god-man’ and the latter ‘mass animal’ ... Yes, man is something that has to be overcome. Nietzsche knew already something about this in his own way. ... Man becomes God, this is what it means in simple words. Man is the becoming God ... Do you understand now the depth of our National Socialist movement?” Hitler asked Hermann Rauschning, the man to whom these words were addressed. “He who understands National Socialism only as a political movement knows practically nothing about it. It is more than a religion: it is the will to create a new humanity.3

These astonishing and revealing words leave little doubt that Hitler’s vision was, by way of speaking, the shadow of Sri Aurobindo’s. In fact, he systematically counteracted everything the Enlightenment stood for in order to build his pseudo-Darwinist racist world in which the ideal, its “god”, would be a kind of magnificent beast of prey, and the individual a cell in the integrated body of the people or nation. “If nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one, because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile”, we read in Mein Kampf. And in the comments to his Table Talk we read that Hitler said: “My pedagogics are ruthless. What is weak must be hammered away. I want my youth strong and beautiful, masterful and fearless. The free, magnificent beast of prey must flash from their eyes. In this way I wipe out the years of human domestication and I obtain the pure, noble material of Nature. And I will be able to create what is new.”

Germany became the uniformed, drilled, militarized society which would be “the fist of the Fuehrer” and “the sword of God”. (Hitler has always been convinced that he was faithfully carrying out the instructions of his “God”). It became “the rigid, armoured, aggressive, formidable Nazi state” (HC 42). But “uniformity is death, not life”, wrote Sri Aurobindo, for whom individual freedom was an absolute principle without which real growth is impossible. He wrote in the heyday of Nazism: “If this trend becomes universal, it is the end of the Age of Reason, the suicide or the execution ... of the rational and intellectual expansion of the human mental being. Reason cannot do its work, act or rule if the mind of man is denied freedom to think or freedom to realise its thought by action in life. But neither can a subjective age be the outcome ...” (HC 206) We know that the subjective age is necessary for the further development of the spirit in humanity and for its transformation into a higher kind of being.

This must suffice to indicate what was really at stake in the Second World War: the future of humanity, of the earth, of evolution. “Even if I knew that the Allies would misuse their victory or bungle the peace or partially at least spoil the opportunities opened to the human world by that victory, I would still put my force behind them. At any rate things could not be one-hundredth part as bad as they would be under Hitler. The ways of the Lord would still be open — to keep them open is what matters. Let us stick to the real, the central fact, the need to remove the peril of black servitude and revived barbarism threatening India and the world ...” (OH 398, September 1943)

Most people did not know what Hitler really had in mind, they did not realize that if they did not belong to the white Aryan master race, they would have to polish its boots. Especially the coloured peoples, rated somewhere with the animals, were the subject of his disdain. “To me, as a nationalist who appreciates the worth of the racial basis of humanity, I must recognize the racial inferiority of the so-called [colonially] ’oppressed nations’, and that is enough to prevent me from linking the destiny of my people with the destiny of those inferior races”, he wrote in Mein Kampf. The treaty with the Japanese was only a matter of opportunity, for they were a kind of yellow monkeys, as the Nazis said behind their back. What the “reign of falsehood and death” really meant became terribly clear when the gates of the concentration camps were crushed by the invading tanks, and when the documentary films and huge stacks of files were produced before the first military tribunal at Nuremberg.

Some details of the way in which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother put their force behind the anti-Hitler armies can be read in Nirodbaran’s Talks with Sri Aurobindo, in Purani’s Evening Talks, in Sri Aurobindo’s letters and in the conversations of the Mother. This, however, is only a small part of their real action, which was constant. The Mother would later say that in those years the situation was so serious that the avataric Yoga came to a complete standstill. This happened at a point that the descent of the Supermind was expected, as we find confirmed in KD Sethna. It must have been the last chance for the Asura to prevent the great turnabout the world is now subject to — the great swirling confusion which actually is the result of the momentous birth of a new world.

It should never be forgotten that when Hitler was at the zenith of his powers, in 1940 and 1941, he had, according to Sri Aurobindo, “a fifty percent chance of success” (T 939). Sri Aurobindo said clearly: “He is the enemy of our work”. (ET 710) And in the days of Hitler’s greatest triumphs Sri Aurobindo said: “There is no chance for the world unless something happens in Germany or else Hitler and Stalin quarrel”. (T 552) “Now only Hitler’s death can save the situation.” (T 721) Sketching the tactical moves of Hitler in October 1940, Sri Aurobindo commented: “So Hitler comes to Asia Minor and that means India”. (T 939) That Hitler’s pincer movement, through the Balkans and Southern Russia on the one hand and through North Africa on the other, was intended to reach India, is now abundantly documented. If Hitler had won, the evolution of the world, in its most critical stage, would have been turned back “for centuries if not for millennia”.

Now India is free, the Asian nations have taken their places among the nations of the world, the world is growing one, Indian spirituality is penetrating into the mind of the West, and the roads into the future, where man will become superman, have remained open. (These are “the five dreams” of Sri Aurobindo as formulated by him in his radio message on the occasion of India’s independence.) Few know about the role “the Sage of Pondicherry” and his “companion” the Mother have played in rendering these developments possible. Sri Aurobindo lived secluded in his apartment, there on the first floor of a compound in Rue de la Marine, where apparently he sat mostly in a big chair. But in his autobiographical poems (and in Savitri) we read about his wounds which were “a thousand-and-one”, caused by the attacks of “the Titan Kings”. Nobody knew of his battles, except when in one such attack his thigh was broken. Nobody knew or knows much about the superhuman work Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have done for the world.

It is Sri Aurobindo himself who has compared the spiritual battle of the Second World War with Kurukshetra. “Ours is a sadhana which involves not only devotion or union with the Divine or a perception of Him in all things and beings”, he wrote, “but also action as workers and instruments and a work to be done in the world or a force to be brought in the world under difficult conditions; then one has to see one’s way and do what is commanded and support what has to be supported, even it if means war and strife carried on whether through chariots and bows and arrows or tanks and cars and American bombs and planes, in either case ghoram karma: the means and times and persons differ but it does not seem to me that X is wrong in seeing in it the same problem as in Kurukshetra.” (OH 398)
1. The abbreviations used are “OH” for On Himself, “T” for Nirodbaran’s Talks with Sri Aurobindo and “P” for Purani’s Evening Talks, HC for The Human Cycle, IHU for The Ideal of Human Unity, P for Collected Poems.
2. Guido Knopp: Hitler — Eine Bilanz, pp. 176, 177.
3. Hermann Rauschning: Gespräche mit Hitler, pp. 231-32.

Georges Van Vrekhem

For further reading: Read this author's book "Hitler and his God".

Book Description

Hitler remains an enigma in spite of everything that has been written about him. Historians like Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw and H.R. Trevor-Roper confess their perplexity openly. How was it possible that an unknown, solitary and future-less front-soldier in 1918 became, some years later, the Leader and Messiah of the German people? How could a nullity unleash the most destructive and deadliest war humanity has ever known? Academic historians give countless reasons because the essential reason keeps escaping them; fantasy writers find the most bizarre occult explanations, disregarding the historical facts. Georges Van Vrekhem has studied the literature in German, English, French, Dutch and Italian for several years. His conclusion is clear: in Hitler there must have been a cause equivalent to the effects of his actions. Van Vrekhem gives a revealing picture of the rise of the unknown Austrian corporal and brings to life the people who helped him in the saddle: Dietrich Eckart, Captain Mayr, General von Mohl, and many others. The author analyses Mein Kampf, the book in which Hitler laid bare his thoughts and intentions without being believed. And he shows how this "man from nowhere", driven by the obsession of his mission and helped by incredible luck, managed to become the Führer. 

To explain the foundations of a people who made Hitler possible, Van Vrekhem undertakes, in the book's second part, a deep-probing analysis of the historical background. In this he gives a surprisingly clear picture of the German ambition, the racism which supported it, and the romantic youth movements which incorporated the racism. In a memorable chapter he sketches the history of the German Jews. And he shows another side of the German people: their longing for a better world, although vitiated by their sense of superiority. All this brings Georges Van Vrekhem to his central theme: Hitler's possession by the "god" who inspired him, guided him, brought him to power - and dropped him when no longer needed. 

This leads the author, in the third part of the book, to the unexpected but well-documented role of the Indian philosopher and sage Sri Aurobindo in the action against Hitler before and during the Second World War. While Hitler wanted to bring humanity back to a state of barbarism, Sri Aurobindo stood for the progress of humanity and a future in which a new evolutionary being, beyond humanity, might at last create the world humanity has never ceased to long for. In this view of history, many worlds interact and all facts fit into the big picture.