Monday, September 19, 2016

Mysteries of Death according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

The Fear of Death

Death wanders through our lives at will, sweet Death
Is busy with each intake of our breath.
Why do you fear her? Lo, her laughing face
All rosy with the light of jocund grace!
A kind and lovely maiden culling flowers
In a sweet garden fresh with vernal showers,
This is the thing you fear, young portress bright,
Who opens to our souls the worlds of light.
Is it because the twisted stem must feel
Pain when the tenderest hands its glory steal?
Is it because the flowerless stalk droops dull
And ghastly now that was so beautiful?
Or is it the opening portal’s horrid jar
That shakes you, feeble souls of courage bare?
Death is but changing of our robes to wait
In wedding garments at the Eternal’s gate.

           -  Sri Aurobindo

(SABCL, Vol. 5, p. 54)

*                             *                                *

… knows nothing about death — he does not know what
it is, he does not know what happens, he has built all kinds of
hypotheses, but there is nothing certain. And by pushing ahead,
by insisting in this way by pushing, I have come to the conclusion
that there is nothing which is really death.
There is only an appearance, an appearance based on a limited
view. But there is no radical change in the vibration of the
-      The Mother

(CWM, Vol. 11, p. 61)

*                            *                              *

Anyway, it was because of Théon that I first found the 'Mantra of Life', the mantra that gives life, and he wanted me to give it to him, he wanted to possess it - it was something formidable! It was the mantra that gives life (it can make anyone at all come back into life, but that's only a small part of its power). And it was shut away in a particular place, sealed up, with my name in Sanskrit on it. I didn't know Sanskrit at that time, but he did, and when he led me to that place, I told him what I saw: 'There's a sort of design, it must be Sanskrit.' (I could recognize the characters as Sanskrit). He told me to reproduce what I was seeing, and I did so. It was my name, Mirra, written in Sanskrit - the mantra was for me and I alone could open it. 'Open it and tell me what's there,' he said.
(All this was going on while I was in a cataleptic trance.) Then immediately something in Me KNEW, and I answered, 'No,' and did not read it.I found it again when I was with Sri Aurobindo and I gave it to Sri Aurobindo.


                                                                               - The Mother

(Mother’s Agenda
, November 5, 1961)
  *                             *                             

Further Reading :

Death and Allied Phenomenon
Catalepsy, Sleep and Death
Q: Is there a difference between sleep and death, or are they the
Oh, no! Not at all. No. The cataleptic state of trance is like death,
yes, except for the link that remains – only a link remains, but
otherwise one has entirely gone out. Actually, the body becomes
cataleptic only when one has entirely gone out; otherwise everything
that is most material in the vital remains.
Q: I mean, aren’t the places you go to in sleep the same as the ones
you go to in death?
No, no, no. Most of the time in sleep, with very few exceptions,
one is in contact with all that rises up from the subconscient: a cerebral
subconscient, an emotive subconscient, a material subconscient;
this is what produces ninety-nine percent of the dreams
people have. Sometimes – usually – the mind goes wandering,
but ninety-nine and a half percent of the time, one remembers
nothing when it returns, because the link is not properly established.
The purpose of sleep is to re-establish contact with the consciousness
of Sachchidananda. But I don’t think one person in a
hundred does so! They enter into unconsciousness far more than
into Sachchidananda.
Yet no two sleeps are the same, mon petit! And it’s the same
with deaths, no two are the same. But sleep and death are different
because ... they are different states. As long as you have a
body, you are not in the same state as when you are ‘dead.’ There
is a period of seven days after the doctors declare you ‘dead’ when
you are still in an intermediary state; but the actual state of death
All India Magazine, December 2015 5
itself is completely different because there is no longer this physical
….No, sleep is something else. Yes, something else. It’s more
like a relapse into Inconscience – a sort of invasion of tamas.1 We
all know, of course, that the Divine Consciousness is there in the
depths of the Inconscient; but even so, sleep appears to be a fall,
and there are people who fall almost completely back into the Inconscient
and come out of their sleep far duller than when they
entered it.
Trance, Out-of-Body experience and Death
There was another thing (laughing): even as a young child,
I would all of a sudden, right in the middle of an action or a sentence
or anything at all, go into trance – and nobody knew what
it was! They would all think I had gone to sleep! But I remained
conscious, with an arm raised or in the middle of a word – and
poof! No one there (Mother laughs). No one there outwardly, but
inwardly quite an intense, interesting experience. That used to
happen to me even when I was very young……
It was during this period that I used to go out of my body
every night and do the work I’ve spoken of in Prayers and Meditations
(I only mentioned it in passing).2 Every night at the same
hour, when the whole house was very quiet, I would go out of my
body and have all kinds of experiences. And then my body gradually
became a sleepwalker (that is, the consciousness of the form
became more and more conscious, while the link remained very
solidly established). I got into the habit of getting up – but not
like an ordinary sleepwalker: I would get up, open my desk, take
out a piece of paper and write ... poems. Yes, poems – I, who had
nothing of the poet in me! I would jot things down, then very con-
1. tamas: principle of inertia
2. February 22, 1914 (CWM 1: 81-82)
6 All India Magazine, December 2015
sciously put everything back into the drawer, lock everything up
again very carefully and go back to bed.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: August 5, 1961
Consciously entering the domain of Death
Q: What is the difference between entering consciously into death
and consciously going out of one’s body? Many people can go out
of their body, can’t they?
Yes, but they don’t all go into the world of death.
Q: Is it the same method as for going out of one’s body?
Yes, but that is only the beginning. One begins by learning how
to go out of one’s body. Many people, when they sleep, go out of
their body. They do it more or less consciously — the majority unconsciously,
but still there are a few who do it consciously. They
go out of their body but remain in the physical domain. At the
most they go into some mental region but they do not go into the
domain of death.
There are some who go there, but then, for the process to
be complete... you must know that when one goes out of one’s
body, one remains tied to the body by a certain number of links
— what shall I call them? They may be vital links, links of the mind,
psychic links — when one goes out, it can be all kinds of things
which go out of the body. Usually what goes out is something
quite subtle, like the mind or the higher vital, and much remains
in the body, enough for the body not to enter into trance. Among
sleepers some even move about often in their sleep: there is one
part of their being which is exteriorised but the most material part
of their vital being is in the body. And as long as that is there, it is
altogether in the domain of life. First of all, it is not easy to detach
from the body exactly that part which leaves it at the moment of
All India Magazine, December 2015 7
death. This asks for a very rigorous discipline practised for a very
long time. There is a process of exteriorisation to follow in order to
succeed in making all the parts which leave at death go out; and
in this case the body enters into a cataleptic state. It goes into the
state in which it is found when one dies. It even becomes very rapidly
completely rigid. Well, this is something one must learn to do,
and it is not very easy; and if one wants to do it quite completely,
somebody must always be there to watch the body so that nothing
may happen. One can never do it all alone. Somebody must be
there to guard the body.
But even if one does all that, that is not quite the experience
I am speaking about. The experience I am speaking about is still
much more difficult. Once one has gone out like that and left his
body in a cataleptic state, one cuts the links. So, one is really dead;
that is, the heart beats no longer. But as there is still “the life of
the form”, and it is not through an accident that one has left, as it
is by an act of will with knowledge and power, one can force one’s
way back, re-establish the connection and come back forcibly into
one’s body. It is not a comfortable business — the whole thing is
difficult. Like that, on paper it seems to be nothing at all. But it is
not easy.
Q: You have said here: “It is within the reach of so few.” So this
means there are people who have done it. Hence they have attained
immortality, but so far...
Immortality! No, I have not said that this was immortality. I have
said that they got rid of all fear of death. That is quite a different
Q: But they enter the domain of death, don’t they?
Yes, but at that moment the body is in a good condition. The body
is in good order and one can find it again — it is not a question of
remaining outside for long like that!
8 All India Magazine, December 2015
Q: But they have had the experience, so when they really die they
try once again the same thing?
If their body is in good condition. But usually, when one dies something
has happened to the body, you know. There is something
seriously out of order in the body. But still, it is not yet certain
that having gone out of one’s body, one cannot keep the ability to
put what is disturbed back into order unless it is something very
serious like a stab in the heart or when the head’s cut off! That
is grave enough but still if the body remains intact, if it is only a
disequilibrium, it can be re-established.
Q: Mother, what happens if the links are broken?
If the links are broken? — One dies.
Q: But the part that has gone out of the body?
That, if it is conscious, remains absolutely conscious. It has its
own independent life, it remains absolutely conscious. Cut off or
not, that changes nothing in its life. It does not give it more consciousness,
does not take away any from it — the consciousness
it has, the knowledge it has, the power it has, these it keeps. One
who is able to do this does not depend upon the body. That is, in
order to be conscious, one does not depend at all — at all — upon
the body. He has an altogether independent consciousness.
CWM 6: 52–54
Gradations in Death
Q: So it's not because the soul leaves the body, is it?
The soul may very likely make a resolve, noting that the body is
either unworthy or unfit or incapable or unwilling or ... anything,
and the soul may decide that the body should die so it may go; but
All India Magazine, December 2015 9
the soul's going isn't what kills the body. There are innumerable
people who are without a soul — they have a soul, but their soul
isn't in their body — lots of people. And they go on living quite well.
It's more difficult to live without the psychic being, on the
other hand. The psychic being, of course, is the clothing — the
individualized clothing — between the eternal soul and the transitory
body; and [from life to life] it grows more formed, individualized,
more and more individually conscious. When that leaves the
body, the rest generally follows. But I had the experience of doing
it deliberately, so I know. One has to know how to do it, but it
can be done. My psychic being stayed here with Sri Aurobindo,
and I left with my mental, vital and physical beings. It was a ...
slightly precarious condition. But as I also kept the contact quite
consciously, it could be done.
What people call "death" ... I see loads of people who, to me,
are living dead (they are those who are without their psychic being,
or even those who have no contact with their soul). But to
know that, one must have the inner vision. But what people call
"death," that is, the decomposition of the cells and dissolution
of the form, is when the most material "vital sub-degree," which
brings into contact with Life — with vital force, life — goes out.
That is how death occurs in animals, for example. And that vital
sub-degree generally goes away when the external organism is unable
to continue — when, for instance, it's cut in two or the heart
has been removed, or anyway when something quite radical has
happened to it! Because some people have met with accidents
and had many parts missing, yet they lived on. But even cardiac
arrest, as I said, doesn't necessarily mean death, since after stopping,
the heart can start up again. Those who have the material
knowledge tell you that for a few ... I forget whether a few seconds
or a few minutes, the heart can start up again; after that, decomposition
sets in. With decomposition it's over, naturally.
So we could correctly say that there are kinds of gradations
10 All India Magazine, December 2015
in death. Gradations in life and gradations in death: some beings
are alive to a greater or lesser degree, or if we want to put it negatively,
some beings are dead to a greater or lesser degree. But for
those who know, oh, for those who know that this material form
can manifest a supramental light, well, those who don't have the
supramental light in them are already a little dead. That's how it is.
So there are gradations. What people have conventionally called
"death" is just a purely external phenomenon, because it's something
they can't deny — the body going to pieces.
Dying without dying
Q: You said just a while ago that your body remembered an earlier
death ...
Oh, yes.
Q; But you didn't say what that recollection was.
Yes, everybody knows it: it happened at Tlemcen while I was working
with Théon. I had gone out in a wholly material way, the body
was in a cataleptic state, and something came, something occurred
that cut the link. So the link was cut.
Q: But what was the experience like at that time?
The experience was that ... (laughing) impossible to get back in
there! But Théon was there (Théon had a bad scare!), and there
was at that time the knowledge – a good deal of knowledge! – of
the occult. The knowledge was there as well as the will (Mother
makes a gesture of pushing to reenter the body), and also an inner
faith, and a concentration. As for him, he was capable, he knew.
He was able to "pull." And the body hadn't deteriorated, you see, it
wasn't damaged, so it wasn't difficult. It was in a very good condition,
but the thread was cut, which means that what gives life had
All India Magazine, December 2015 11
gone out and could not get back in.
I came back in as a result of the power and the will, because ...
In fact, simply because I still had something to do on earth.
It happened in 1910, I think.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple, June 14, 1967
There is not so much difference between Life and Death
…..there isn't so much difference between what people call "life" and
what they call "death"; the difference is very small, and grows still
smaller when you go into the problem in depth and in all the details.
People always make a clean cut between the two — it's quite stupid:
some living are already half dead, and many dead are very alive.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: October 4, 1967
… knows nothing about death — he does not know what
it is, he does not know what happens, he has built all kinds of
hypotheses, but there is nothing certain. And by pushing ahead,
by insisting in this way by pushing, I have come to the conclusion
that there is nothing which is really death.
There is only an appearance, an appearance based on a limited
view. But there is no radical change in the vibration of the
CWM 11: 61 The Mother
It’s like an attempt to make you feel there isn’t
any difference between life and death,... That it is
something else than life or death — neither what we
call death, nor what we call life — it is ... something.
And that ... is Divine.
Or rather it is our next step towards the Divine.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: December 9, 1972
12 All India Magazine, December 2015
In the morning I informed Mother of the passing away of Mrityunjoy's
elder sister. Mother said: "Yes, she was not keeping well for a
long time. She was sick."
While Mother was having breakfast after Balcony darshan,
she said that she had come to know a very interesting thing. She
had seen on the forehead of Mrityunjoy's sister, the symbol of Sri
Aurobindo. Mother was very much surprised and said to herself;
"What? On this...." Then she heard Sri Aurobindo saying: "Henceforth
whoever dies here, I will put my seal upon him whatever his
condition, protection will be given." It was then 6.30 a.m.
I had heard of Benares as the ideal place to die. But now Sri
Aurobindo has created a still better and safer place!
17.5.1959 Champaklal Speaks: page 234
A hundred and one are the nerves of the heart and of all these
only one issueth out through the head of a man; by this the soul
mounteth up to its immortal home but the rest lead him to all
sorts and conditions of births in his passing.
(Katha Upanishad)
The Spirit in the heart abideth, and in the heart there are one
hundred and one nerves, and each nerve hath a hundred branchnerves
and each branch-nerve hath seventy two thousand subbranch-
nerves; through these the breath pervasor moveth.
(Prusna Upanishad)
CWSA 18: 126, 183 Sri Aurobindo
All India Magazine, December 2015 13
There is no mortality. it is only the Immortal who can
die; the mortal could neither be born nor perish.
CWM 10: 96 —Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts & Aphorisms
The Immortal can pass from the condition of life to the condition
of death (but not ‘death’ as we understand it); ‘can
die’ means ‘can change condition.’ The Immortal can pass
from this condition to that condition and back and forth
again. We call it ‘death,’ but it has nothing to do with either
life or death. They are changes of state.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple, May 12, 1967
14 All India Magazine, December 2015
While dying people should always remember the Divine and
aspire for the Truth. Thus very easily and peacefully they can pass
and start the new journey towards the Truth. ...
People should never think of themselves: on the contrary, they
should fix their thoughts on the Divine, and all their difficulties
will go. They must put themselves into the Divine's arms, for His
arms are always ready to hold His children. All troubles will go if
people take refuge in the Divine.
Mother You Said So: 4th and 10th Oct. 1957 The Mother
All India Magazine, December 2015 15
Conquest of Death
Death can be conquered
In Buddha's teaching it is said that death must come to everyone.
But Buddha knew that death can be conquered. Only, the
world at that time was not ready to understand this truth.
Sri Aurobindo has said that death can indeed be conquered
and the body made immortal. But, of course, it cannot be done in
Mother You Said So: 4th Oct. 1957 The Mother
Immortality and the Deathless State
There is a difference between immortality and the deathless
state. Sri Aurobindo has described it very well in Savitri.
The deathless state is what can be envisaged for the human
physical body in the future: it is constant rebirth. Instead of again
tumbling backwards and falling apart due to a lack of plasticity
and an incapacity to adapt to the universal movement, the body is
undone ‘futurewards,’ as it were.
There is one element that remains fixed: for each type of atom,
the inner organisation of the elements is different, which is what
creates the difference in their substance. So perhaps similarly,
each individual has a different, particular way of organizing the
cells of his body, and it is this particular way that persists through
all the outer changes. All the rest is undone and redone, but undone
in a forward thrust towards the new instead of collapsing
backwards into death, and redone in a constant aspiration to follow
the progressive movement of the divine Truth.
But for that, the body — the body-consciousness — must first
learn to widen itself. It is indispensable, for otherwise all the cells
become a kind of boiling porridge under the pressure of the supramental
What usually happens is that when the body reaches its maxi16
All India Magazine, December 2015
mum intensity of aspiration or of ecstasy of Love, it is unable to
contain it. It becomes flat, motionless. It falls back. Things settle
down — you are enriched with a new vibration, but then everything
resumes its course. So you must widen yourself in order
to learn to bear unflinchingly the intensities of the supramental
force, to go forward always, always with the ascending movement
of the divine Truth, without falling backwards into the decrepitude
of the body….
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: November 25, 1959
To die unto Death
We could say some elegant things, but they don't explain anything;
like this feeling, for example, that one must die unto death
to be born to immortality. It doesn't mean anything but it corresponds
to something. To die unto death, to become incapable
of dying because death has no more reality. This is beginning to
... I can't say "crystallise," that's much too hard.... It's like a soft
breeze condensing…..
In ordinary consciousness, what really gets in the way of the
experience is our excessive attachment to the physical form as we
see it, which looks to us like a permanent reality of the being.
I try to make people understand this through a practical demonstration.
You know, I very rarely appear to people in a form even
vaguely similar to the one I physically ... I was about to say "had"!
It always depends on what they are akin to, what they're most intimate
with — all sorts of forms. And I try to make them comprehend
that that form is just as much mine as this one (Mother touches her
body). To tell the truth, it is much more truly mine. As for the true
form — the True Form — to bear the sight of it, one must be able
to relate directly to the Supreme. So when people say, "I want to
see you," or "I see you," they mean the aspect of mine they know.
But these torrents of forms are ALL true, and most of them truer
than this body has ever been. To my consciousness it was always,
All India Magazine, December 2015 17
oh, so pitiably approximate - a caricature! Not even a caricature: no
resemblance at all.
It had its good qualities (I seem bent on speaking in the past
tense — it's spontaneous), qualities it was built and chosen for.
For practical purposes, this body was very necessary, but when it
comes to manifesting! ...
There has never been too great an attachment to this form.
There was never any attachment to anything but consciousness
— yes, something set great store by this consciousness, wouldn't
let it be destroyed, saying, "This is something precious." But the
body.... It's not even too good an instrument; simply modest, plastic,
self-effacing, and molding itself to every necessity. An ability to
mold itself to all points of view and to realize every ideal it deemed
worthy of realizing - this very suppleness was its one virtue. And
extremely modest, never wanting to impose itself on anything or
anyone. Fully conscious of its incapacity, but ... capable of doing
anything, of realizing anything. It was consciously formed with this
make-up, because that's what was necessary.... And nothing is too
great or overwhelming, since there isn't the resistance put up by a
small personality with the sense of its own smallness. No, none of
that matters — Consciousness matters; consciousness vast as the
universe, even vaster. And along with consciousness, the capacity
to adapt — to adapt and mold itself to every necessity.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: July 4, 1962
Clearing the passage after Death
…..even before meeting Theon, before knowing anything,
I had experiences at night, certain types of night activities caring
for people who had just left their bodies -- and with a knowledge….
but I knew exactly what had to be done and I did it. I was
about twenty.
As soon as I came upon Theon's teaching -- even before meeting
him personally -- and read and understood all kinds of things
18 All India Magazine, December 2015
I hadn't known before, I began to work quite systematically. Every
night, at the same hour, my work consisted in constructing
between the purely terrestrial atmosphere and the psychic atmosphere
a sort of path of protection across the vital, so that people
wouldn't have to pass through it -- for those who are conscious
but don't have the knowledge it's a very difficult passage, infernal.
It is infernal. I was preparing this path -- it must have been around
1903 or 1904, I don't exactly remember -- and doing this work
for months and months and months. All sorts of things happened
during that time, all sorts, extraordinary things. Extraordinary. I
could tell long stories....
Then when I went to Tierncen, I told Madame Theon about .it.
'Yes,' she told me, 'it is part of the work you have come on earth
to do. All those with even a slightly awakened psychic being who
can see your Light will go to your Light at the moment of dying,
wherever they may die, and you will help them to pass through.'
And this is a constant work. Constant. It has given me a considerable
number of experiences concerning what happens to people
when they leave their bodies. I've had all sorts of experiences, all
kinds of examples. It's really very interesting.
Sujata Nahar: Mother’s Chronicles: Mirra the Occultist: Chapter 12
The Asura of Death and the Mantra of Life
It was not by choice that I met all the four Asuras — it was a
decision of the Supreme. The first one, whom religions call Satan,
the Asura of Consciousness, was converted and is still at work. The
second [the Asura of Suffering] annulled himself in the Supreme.
The third was the Lord of Death (that was Theon). And the fourth,
the Master of the world, was the Lord of Falsehood….
Theon was the vibhuti of the Lord of Death….
Anyway, it was because of Theon that I first found the ‘Mantra
of Life,’ the mantra that gives life, and he wanted me to give it to
him, he wanted to possess it — it was something formidable! It was
All India Magazine, December 2015 19
the mantra that gives life (it can make anyone at all come back into
life, but that’s only a small part of its power). And it was shut away
in a particular place,1 sealed up, with my name in Sanskrit on it. I
didn’t know Sanskrit at that time, but he did, and when he led me to
that place, I told him what I saw: ‘There’s a sort of design, it must be
Sanskrit.’ (I could recognize the characters as Sanskrit). He told me
to reproduce what I was seeing, and I did so. It was my name, Mirra,
written in Sanskrit — the mantra was for me and I alone could open
it. ‘Open it and tell me what’s there,’ he said.
(All this was going on while I was in a cataleptic trance.) Then
immediately something in Me knew, and I answered, ‘No,’ and did
not read it.
I found it again when I was with Sri Aurobindo and I gave it to
Sri Aurobindo.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: November 5, 1961
The best attitude
The other day I told you that the body had had the experience
of dying without dying, and it was useful in that the body said,
“Well... it’s all right.” ...
The entire old illusion of disappearing with the body’s dissolution,
it’s a long time since it went away, of course, and now the
body itself is quite convinced that even if it were scattered like
that [in “death”], that would widen its field of consciousness.... I
don’t even know how to explain because for the consciousness,
this sense of the personal and the need of the personal has vanished.
Basically, what still has the illusion of being something separate
must dissolve. It must say to itself, “Its not my business, I
don’t exist.” That’s the best attitude it can take. Then … it goes
into the great Universal Rhythm.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: January 31, 1970
1. An occult realm in the inner dimensions.
20 All India Magazine, December 2015
Death transformed becomes Life that is Immortality; Cruelty
transfigured becomes Love that is intolerable ecstasy; Ignorance
transmuted becomes Light that leaps beyond wisdom
and knowledge.
CWM 10: 164 - 165 — Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts & Aphorisms
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The Transmutation of Death
The difficulty of transformation
To be in a condition in which all is the Supreme, all is wonderful,
all is marvelous, all is marvelous love, all is ... all is profound
Joy — an unchanging, immutable, ever-present condition. To live in
That, and then to have this bodily substance contradict it through
every possible stupidity — losing sight, losing strength, pains here,
pains there, disorders, weaknesses, incapacities of every type. And
at the same time, the response within this body, no matter what
happens to it, is, ‘O Lord, Your Grace is infinite.’ The contradiction is
very disconcerting.
From experience, I know perfectly well that when one is satisfied
with being a saint or a sage and constantly maintains the right
attitude, all goes well — the body doesn’t get sick, and even if there
are attacks it recovers very easily; all goes very well ... as long as
there is not this will to transform. All the difficulties arise in protest
against the will to transform; while if one says, ‘Very well, it’s all
right, let things be as they are, I don’t care, I am perfectly happy, in
a blissful state,’ then the body begins to feel content!
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: July 15, 1961
Something "new" being introduced into matter
That’s the problem: something totally new is being introduced
into Matter, and the body is protesting.
After my ‘interview’ with Nature, when she told me that she
would collaborate, I thought this difficulty would cease; many things
have improved considerably (One part of Nature is collaborating), but
not this. Plainly and clearly, it comes from the subconscient and the
inconscient (wherever there is consciousness, all is well); it’s rising
up all the time, all the time, and with — oh, disgusting persistence!...
…. For example, as I was saying at the beginning, the body’s formation
has a very minimal, a quite subordinate importance for a saint
22 All India Magazine, December 2015
or a sage. But for this supramental work, the way the body is formed
has an almost crucial importance, and not at all in relation to spiritual
elements nor even to mental power: these aspects have no importance
at all. The capacity to endure, to last is the important thing.
Well, in that respect, it is absolutely undeniable that my body
has an infinitely greater capacity than Sri Aurobindo’s had.
That was the basic problem — because the identification of
the two [Sri Aurobindo and Mother] was almost child’s play, it was
nothing: for me to merge into him or him to merge into me was no
problem, it wasn’t difficult. We had some conversations on precisely
this subject, because we saw that ... the prevailing conditions were
such that I told him I would leave this body and melt into him with
no regret or difficulty; I told him this in words, not just in thought.
And he also replied to me in words: Your body is indispensable for the
Work. Without your body the Work cannot be done. After that, I said
no more. It was no longer my concern, and that was the end of it.
This was said in ... 1949, just a little more than a year before
he left.
And that’s really how it is.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: July 7, 1961
The Body, — a battle field
In the final analysis, everything obviously depends upon the
Supreme’s Will because, if one looks deeply enough into the question,
even physical laws and resistances are nothing for Him. But
this kind of direct intervention takes place only at the extreme limit;
if His Will is to be expressed in opposition, as it were, to the whole
set of laws governing the Manifestation — well, that only comes ...
at the very last second. Sri Aurobindo has expressed this so well in
Savitri, so well! At least three times in the book he has expressed
this Will that abolishes all established laws, all of them, and all the
consequences of these laws, the whole formidable colossus of the
Manifestation, so that in the face of it all, That can express itself
All India Magazine, December 2015 23
— and this takes place at the very last ‘second,’ so to speak, at the
extreme limit of possibility. ….
Some months ago, when this body had once again become a
battlefield and was confronting all the obstacles, when it was suspended,
asking itself whether ... it wasn’t wondering intellectually,
but asking for a kind of perception, wanting to touch something: it
wondered which direction it was taking, which way things were going
to tilt. And suddenly, in all the cells, there was this feeling (and I
know where it came from): ‘If we are dissolved out of this amalgam,
if this assemblage is dissolved and can no longer go on, then we shall
all go straight, straight as an arrow’ – and it was like a marvelous
flame – ‘straight to rejoin Sri Aurobindo in his supramental world,
which is right here at our door.’ And there was such joy! Such enthusiasm,
such joy flooded all the cells! They didn’t care at all whether or
not they would be dissociated.... ‘Oh,’ they felt, ‘so what!’
This was truly a decisive stage in the work of illuminating the
All the cells felt far more powerful than that stupid force trying
to dissolve them; what is called ‘death, left them entirely indifferent:
‘What do we care? We shall go there and consciously participate in
Sri Aurobindo’s work, in the transformation of the world, one way
or the other – here, there, like this, like that – what does it matter!’
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple July 15, 1961
Overlife: The next step forward
The step forward humanity must take immediately is a definitive
cure of exclusivism. That’s what is, in action, not only the symbol
but also the effect of division and separation. They all say, “This
and not that” — no, this and that, and this too and that too, and
everything at the same time. To be supple enough and wide enough
for everything to be together. That’s what I keep knocking myself
against at present, in every field — every field.... In the body too. The
body is used to, “This and not that; this or that, this or that …” —
24 All India Magazine, December 2015
No, no, no: this and that.
And of course, the great Division: life and death — there you
are. Everything is the effect of that. Well (words are stupid but …),
overlife is life and death together.
Why call it “overlife”?! We are always tempted to lean to one
side: light and darkness (“darkness,” well …)
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: January 3, 1970
Beginnings of a New Life for Earth
What I find interesting is what I am doing on myself, not for a
particular result, but for the possibility that is opening up for the
entire earth ... for a new process which extends from here, with
me as base, from my body, where I have been able to charge this
matter with the Supramental substance, to those who are ready
to open to the New Consciousness, who aspire for the transformation
of the body. For them it will be so much less work, so many
difficulties removed by the work that I have done on myself. …
I find an extraordinary meaning in what I am pursuing, in what I
am doing on myself. It is a new experience, a new life which has
begun, with possibilities which go on and on and extend towards
the truth of existence.
The Supreme, P. 30 The Mother
Lord, this morning Thou hast given me the assurance that Thou
wouldst stay with us until Thy work is achieved, not only as a
consciousness which guides and illumines but also as a dynamic
Presence in action. In unmistakable terms Thou hast promised
that all of Thyself would remain here and not leave the earth
atmosphere until earth is transformed. Grant that we may be
worthy of this marvellous Presence and that henceforth everything
in us be concentrated on the one will to be more and more
perfectly consecrated to the fulfilment of Thy sublime Work.
CWM 13: 6 T he Mother
All India Magazine, December 2015 25
The Ever Living Presence
Sri Aurobindo is ever-living
There was the case of Sri Aurobindo. "He is dead," the doctors
decided – he was absolutely alive. Absolutely living. And even
after five days, when they put him into ... it was because of (how
should I put it?) the pressure of the outside world, and because it
was impossible to preserve him. We had to consent. But I cannot
say he was dead! He wasn't at all dead, it was perfectly obvious.
The body was already beginning to ... (very little, but a little at the
end of the fifth day), that is, the skin was losing its color, but ...
(Mother makes a glorious gesture).
For the first three days, I remained standing there, near his
bed, and in an absolutely ... well, to me, it was absolutely visible —
all the organized consciousness that was in his body deliberately
came out of it and into mine. And I not only saw it but felt the
friction of its entry.
Then people say, "He is dead" — that's ignorance.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple: June 14, 1967
Sri Aurobindo is ageless
Sri Aurobindo himself is as he was, but more ... with a harmony
of form: very, very broad here (in the chest), broad and solid. And
very agile: he comes and goes, sits down, gets up, always with
great majesty. His color is a sort of golden bronze, a color like the
coagulation of his supramental gold, of his golden supramental
being; as if it were very concentrated and coagulated to fashion
his appearance; and it doesn't reflect light: it seems as if lit from
within (but it doesn't radiate), and it doesn't cast any shadows.
But perfectly natural, it doesn't surprise you, the most natural
thing in the world: that's the way he is. Ageless; his hair has the
same color as his body: he has hair, but you can't say if it's hair,
it's the same color; the eyes too: a golden look. Yet it's perfectly
26 All India Magazine, December 2015
natural, nothing surprising. He sits down just as he used to, with
his leg as he used to put it [the right leg in front], and at the same
time, when he gets up, he is agile: he comes and goes.
The Mother: Conversations with a disciple, June 29, 1963
Sri Aurobindo possesses more power for action now
Q: I asked myself a question about Sri Aurobindo. I wanted to
know at what point he had arrived when he passed away — at
what point of transformation. What difference in the work, for
example, is there between what you are doing now and what he
was doing at that time?
He had gathered in his body a great amount of supramental force
and as soon as he left... You see, he was lying on his bed, I stood by
his side, and in a way altogether concrete — concrete with such a
strong sensation as to make one think that it could be seen — all
this supramental force which was in him passed from his body into
mine. And I felt the friction of the passage. It was extraordinary —
extraordinary. It was an extraordinary experience. For a long time,
a long time like that (Mother indicates the passing of the Force into
her body). I was standing beside his bed, and that continued.
Almost a sensation — it was a material sensation.
For a long time.
Q: But what I wanted to understand is at what point of the inner
work was, for example, the cleaning of the subconscient and all
that? What difference is there, say, between the work he had done
at that time and the work to which you have come now? I mean to
say, is the subconscient less subconscient or...
Oh! Yes, that, surely. Surely.
……There is a difference in the power for action. He himself
possesses more action, more power for action, now than when in
All India Magazine, December 2015 27
his body. Besides, it is for that that he left, because it was necessary
to act in that way.
It is very concrete. His action has become very concrete.
Evidently it is something which is not at all mental. It is from another
region. But it is not ethereal nor... it is concrete. One could
almost say that it is material.
CWM 11: 328-29 The Mother
Sri Aurobindo’s Presence is powerfully felt in His Room
There, — there is the manifestation of the Truth. To be in front
of His room is to perceive the Absolute Consciousness. He who
knows how to open himself, truly open himself wide and spontaneously,
will find His invariable help for everything. It is unbelievable! It
is Invincible! And All-Powerful! Do not pretend. In front of Him, one
has to be straightforward, scrupulously frank and sincere and one
has to simply open oneself to be able to feel His Beatitude.
It is extraordinary, the power of His Reality. No one could
stand and no one could bear it if He reveals Himself in His entirety.
That is why I was warning you in advance. Never pretend or make
a semblance that you are one of those who have the permission
to stand before His room. It vibrates with His Presence. Be happy
and make of your life a consecration for accomplishing His work
here below. It is an exceptional opportunity. Be worthy of it and
do not waste time.
What a marvel! What a Power! What Grandeur! The One who was
with us, His Power and His Force still vibrate in His room. It is a
place for meditation and for receiving the Vibration of the Truth
which it emits. It is charged. The presence of Sri Aurobindo is palpably
felt by one who is sincere.
Blessings of the Grace, pp. 109–110 The Mother
28 All India Magazine, December 2015
Sri Aurobindo’s Eternal Presence at the Samadhi
If you are in difficulty and you want an answer, it could be
anything, or if you are not feeling quite at ease or something is
tormenting you or you have made a mistake which makes you
feel uneasy — supposing you become angry and are discontented,
which may be very insignificant, quite ordinary and without
any value, even for things of which you do not know the cause, if
something is not alright, not as it should be, — at that time, if you
want to get rid of this somewhat unhappy state, come directly to
the Samadhi, and bow down your head at the Samadhi and speak
frankly to Sri Aurobindo all that you have to say without hesitation,
without doubt, as you come to tell me — and you have seen
so many times that your difficulties have disappeared at once,
vanished completely the moment you spoke to me…..
In the same manner, you should tell Him (Sri Aurobindo); like
this, you should keep your head on the Samadhi (the Mother bows
Her head) and you tell Him to get rid of your difficulties. Or you send
a prayer like this, (the Mother makes a movement with the hand from
The Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother
All India Magazine, December 2015 29
the region of the heart upwards) but very sincerely, and you bring the
concentration at the very depth of your being. I am sure that He will
hear you and He will give you your answer. Without doubt, you can
now communicate easily with Him. There are many who put themselves
in contact with Him and find their answers. He has become
more accessible to us and He is much more active. You see then, in
this way you don't have to wait...
But this method is convenient and more direct and more accessible.
At any time you can ask. You just come to the Samadhi to
have your answer.
Everyone can now have access to Him
If something is not all right and you would like to know the
cause, or you want to get rid of a weakness, or get cured, or be
cleansed, to have a difficulty removed in order to be purified, — for
any answer, come and ask Sri Aurobindo at the Samadhi and you
will have the answer. Not only His answer but also His blessings, His
compassion, His peace and His illumination. You will be engulfed
and seized by His love that is all-powerful. Once you abandon yourself
to Him, you will be protected against all mishaps. It is like this —
His influence. He reveals Himself to all those who are simple, sincere
and humble. He is there, perfectly conscious, and He directs all the
activities of the world….
…You know, earlier, when He was in His body, people used to
say that He was very far, remote and inaccessible to men and that
He was not concerned about the affairs of the sadhaks here. It is
not quite correct, for indeed He used to spend night after night replying
to a heap of letters instead of doing His work of uplifting the
world and preparing it for the advent of the Supramental world. He
used to take pains to follow their progress and occupy Himself with
matters concerning the sadhaks. And yet He had arranged things
in such a way that the sadhaks could communicate directly with
me and receive my blessings and my help practically on the physical
30 All India Magazine, December 2015
plane as well as inwardly for the sadhana. It was through me that
they could realise the heights of consciousness towards the Supramental
or surmount any difficulty. At that time, He was preoccupied
to gain control, not only to conquer but to subjugate and master the
different worlds, the diverse powers and the innumerable states of
consciousness that were opposing and standing like an obstacle to
our work — the quest towards the Supramental. And the mundane
affairs were left to me to resolve and also all this organisation of
the Ashram as well as the progress of the individuals and the effort
towards the collective yoga. During that period He had hardly any
time to occupy Himself with the people or hear their complaints.
But now He has universalised Himself, become vast, very intimate
and close. There is a bond with everyone, through a nearness and a
direct influence so that everyone can have access to Him.
It is formidable. His presence vibrates, concrete, all around the
Samadhi. And His influence penetrates and touches the central
being and awakens the consciousness to the spiritual life. Even
the agnostics, the unbelievers, people of bad-will who come out
of curiosity to visit the Samadhi, return amazed by a mysterious
alchemy and find an inner peace, because there He showers His
peace and His compassion constantly. It is this that bathes them
when they pass before Him. It is an unbelievable surcharged activity
of His force and His presence.
The Samadhi: A sanctified place for meditation
When I look at the Samadhi and see what is happening there, I
am astonished to find this column of dazzling light vibrating with
an energy and a transforming force. It rises like this — (Mother
makes an upward movement with the hands) with a splendour and a
brilliance like an effusion of light from the length and breadth of
the Samadhi. It is the New Light materialising ....
At night, when everything is quiet, there are some entities
who clean up this place of all that the people have left behind —
All India Magazine, December 2015 31
all the formations of falsehood, desires, impatient supplications,
all sorts of complaints, bad-will and maladies, as well as the hostile
forces — and make this place peaceful and pleasant. They
purify the whole surrounding with so much love so that His presence
is felt.
It is a sanctified place for meditation and not for gossip. Never
to speak — one disturbs the atmosphere. He is there with His
glorified body sustaining the entire world in a subtle movement,
manifesting gradually His consciousness, partially veiled for the
Divine descent.
The living assurance of our divine possibility
He is the living assurance of our divine possibility, the promise
of the Divinity radiating with the divine Light and divine Power —
the progressive march towards the Divine Manifestation. That is
why the whole atmosphere is charged with a divine and sublime
Peace, you understand? It is He who is there — in the divine body
— Himself divinised, the representative of the whole humanity, He
who, by His own effort, by His tapasya and by the sadhana that He
has done in His body, has made His body glorious. The realisations
and the experiences He has had, what He has accumulated in His
body by this yogic effort, has charged His body with a transforming
power. It is charged — charged dynamically with a force and a light
that overflows; it is this that envelops the whole atmosphere. All
around, it is His presence. It endures because it is the Supramental
force and shows no sign of diminishing. It cannot.
It is this that the people absorb when they pass around the Samadhi.
Without knowing it, they are bathed by His love and they do
not even realise as to why they are mystified when they approach
the Samadhi. It is amazing! They are bewildered when they touch
the Samadhi because the force that is working all around demolishes
their so-called religious sentiments, shatters the emotions
clamouring towards the heavens and puts them before a Reality
32 All India Magazine, December 2015
that they do not understand. They are astounded by this extraordinary
phenomenon of the Truth that manifests there. Those who
are open are touched, and they return to recharge themselves and
to imbibe in their being, this Peace that is in the atmosphere. His
presence is so concrete and so living — like a conscious Immensity
that dominates and charges this atmosphere. I see how it seems
to float in evanescent lights and colours, a beauty of unseisable
delight, a spirit of purity and an elusive presence, though unsubstantial
yet nearly material, carrying a sweetness unknown to the
world. It seems to me that a heart that is one-pointed, aspiring
ardently for the Divine, if it stands before the Samadhi and desires
nothing but His beatitude, will be transported into a region of delight
much better and higher than the ecstasy experienced by the
all-powerful heavens or that the earth has ever known.
He uproots the difficulties and the obstacles incessantly
His devotees and those who aspire — truly aspire to unite
their consciousness with Sri Aurobindo who dominates this place
with His formidable presence — find the grandeur of His majestic
presence, as concrete as you see me now. And those who wish to
communicate with Him find His invariable answer. He is there - allpuissant
with all His power and He presides over the New Creation
from behind the veil with a sustained insistence and an unbelievable
patience, but determined, as is His mode of action, gaining victories
one after another, first to change the consciousness of humanity
and then to transform it in all its dimensions, knowing well that
these resistances and these momentary falls prepare humanity to
overcome the obstacles before it, and guiding its mode of action
and its attitude by a global movement in the peace of His light. ...
The world is tired of the cruelties of men, — blood flows and violence
predominates, we have never seen such terrible devastations.
Men have become beasts, even worse than beasts!
... So long as man does not try to change his consciousness
All India Magazine, December 2015 33
... it is an unsurmountable impasse. No one, neither man, nor individuals
endowed with extraordinary faculties can do anything or
bridge the chasm between the Divine and the adverse forces. It is
ignorance which has pushed man into this state. But do not worry.
One who has been given the charge, One who is responsible, works
to bring man towards the frontiers of a New World; He uproots the
difficulties and the obstacles incessantly, guiding man towards a
luminous future. He alone can cure this malady, because he is the
Master of our existence. Have confidence and all will be all right. This
is perhaps the lowest point that man has reached in the spiral of
evolution, in the vicissitudes of his terrestrial existence. But soon, we
shall see the light — the hope of a great change — the certitude of
His presence which alone can bring down and establish the kingdom
of the Divine upon earth.
Blessings of the Grace, pp. 119 –125 The Mother
The great Sacrifice
(Extract from a record of the last moments of the great sacrifice, written
after Sri Aurobindo's withdrawal by Shri Nirodbaran, a close and
long standing disciple of Sri Aurobindo)
Sri Aurobindo seemed now to withdraw himself from his surroundings…
Evidently, he found the deep plunge more useful for
whatever purpose he had in view than caring about the afflictions
of the body. He appeared to have allowed the body to have its
own actions and reactions while he was engaged in a more inscrutable
work of world-significance. The body he had assumed
had served him well, and, as the Mother has said, it had suffered,
endured, worked and achieved all for us. Now, if it served as an impediment
to the god-like sweep of his movements, why should he
not change it? As he did not allow the physical handicap to trouble
him in his work and maintained throughout the same fire and passion,
so, after the accomplishment of the work, he did not allow
the body's distress to swerve him from his occult sublime purpose.
34 All India Magazine, December 2015
Even of this dire disablement he took the amplest advantage. His
was not a nature to be cowed by circumstances, however adverse
they might be. If he had to give in on one front, he must gain the
full compensation on another. Even if he knew beforehand that
defeat and failure would be the result, that would not stop his
working and fighting up to the end. "Even if I knew that my mission
would fail, I would go on working till the last moment" were
his words in a letter. Nishkama (disinterested) Karma of the Gita
was his motto….
It was the memorable 4th December, the date written for
ever in letters of gold. Sri Aurobindo had totally emerged from
the depth and expressed a desire to sit up. In spite of our objections,
he insisted. We noticed after a while that all the distressing
symptoms had magically vanished and he was once more a normal
healthy person. Then he sat in the chair. The change was so sudden
and unexpected that we looked at each other, in sheer joy
and amazement. "At last, our prayer has been heard!" This was the
sentiment welling up in the silent heart of our devotion. It could
not be believed! Now we ventured to repeat our question: "Are
you not using your force to get rid of the disease?" "No!" came
the shocking reply. We could not believe our ears and to get a
confirmation of our disbelief we asked again. Now no ground was
left to harbour the illusion. What we heard was as plain and sharp
as a sabre edge. Then we put forth the bold query: "Why not? If
you don't use the force, how is the disease going to be cured?"
To this he simply gave the cryptic reply: "Can't explain; you won't
Here at last was the key to the mystery! That is why the disease
had progressed step by step, marked by three clear stages
in its downward path: the completion of Savitri, Darshan and the
School Anniversary, each stage followed by a deeper and deeper indrawn
condition. It was at one of the final stages that the Mother
remarked, "Whenever I was there, I used to see him pulling down
All India Magazine, December 2015 35
the Supramental Light." It was clear from this statement what Sri
Aurobindo was busy with. He had shifted his gaze and concentration
to something else which, to his view, must have been much
more important than minding the afflictions of the body. But we
had not the vision nor the comprehension, so we thought that the
descent of the Light would fulfil our heart's desire.
After an hour he came back to his bed and along with his coming
returned all the signs and symptoms with a vengeance. The
short respite seemed to have given him time for a further grapple
with the advancing Shadow that was trying to draw a premature
veil upon his work. Half an hour before the fatal moment, he drank
some water and bestowed on all a last glance of compassion and
recognition for the services rendered and took the plunge ultimate.
The news spread around in the early hours of the morning. The
reaction of the disciples can be better imagined than described.
Through the hush of night one by one they came and mounted up
the stairs of Heaven to see what nobody had seen before. It was
not death they saw, not a resurrection, nor a withdrawal into Nirvana
but a grand repose, a death that was pulsating with power,
light and beauty in every limb as if death had become immortal in
the body of the King of kings. A vivid rendering of the Truth into a
touch-stone of Matter, it was no longer the body, but the golden
lid which half-covered, half-revealed that Truth. Those who had the
inner sight had realised the Truth and those who had the inner ear
had heard in the still cave of their heart the piercing cry, "I am here,
I am here!"
In that awakened consciousness we are marching forward
towards the Goal the Master had set before us, for which he had
worked to the last breath and has promised to do so till the Goal
is attained. The Mother, Supreme Creatrix and realiser of that
Goal, is our Guide and Goddess. Enriched with all his inexhaustible
achievements, occult and spiritual, and with the supramen36
All India Magazine, December 2015
tal Light that had automatically passed on to her she is shaping
us to the mould — and figure he had visioned as the future type
of humanity. Any one who has visited the Ashram after the great
Event could not but have been impressed by the will to victory
that his sacrifice has engendered in every breast. Out of his Samadhi
a thousand flames seem to be mounting up"" and, lodged in
our soul, burning in an ever rejuvenating fire, while His Presence
enveloping and merging with and radiating from the Mother's
being and body is pervading the whole atmosphere. One can see
His Presence, hear his foot-falls, his rhythmic voice, ever vigilant,
devoid of the encumbrance of the physical body. One day the
sacrifice will bear fruit, what he had depicted in Savitri, will come
true. For, what is, after all, Savitri if not the inner life- episodes of
the Mother and the Master? What he had pictured in the great
epic has been faithfully enacted on the world-stage. The veil has
fallen on the first part of that wonderful Drama and the sequel is
being played behind the screen. The Fight with the last supreme
Adversary has not ceased; if it has ended on the earth's battlefield
in an apparent failure, it is raging as fiercely in the occult
planes. When at the close of the Duel, the curtain will be lifted,
we shall hear the sonorous recital of the Book of Death, we shall
see materialised the Epilogue on the earth-stage, and throughout
the world will echo and re-echo the embodied passionate cry
of Victory:
"I am here, I am here!"
Extracts from Nirod Baran: ‘I am Here, I am Here’. Pages 16 - 24
We must not be bewildered by appearances. Sri Aurobindo
has not left us. Sri Aurobindo is here, as living and as present
as ever and it is left to us to realise his work with all the
sincerity, eagerness and concentration necessary.
CWM 13:7 The Mother
All India Magazine, December 2015 37