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15 August 1956

15 8 1956

“It is here that the emergence of the secret psychic being in us as the leader of the sacrifice is of the utmost importance; for this inmost being alone can bring with it the full power of the spirit in the act, the soul in the symbol. It alone can assure, even while the spiritual consciousness is incomplete, the perennial freshness and sincerity and beauty of the symbol and prevent it from becoming a dead form or a corrupted and corrupting magic; it alone can preserve for the act its power with its significance. All the other members of our being, mind, life-force, physical or body consciousness are too much under the control of the Ignorance to be a sure instrumentation and much less can they be a guide or the source of an unerring impulse. Always the greater part of the motive and action of these powers clings to the old law, the deceiving tablets, the cherished inferior movements of Nature and they meet with reluctance, alarm or revolt or obstructing inertia the voices and the forces that call and impel us to exceed and transform ourselves into a greater being and a wider Nature. In their major part the response is either a resistance or a qualified or temporising acquiescence; for even if they follow the call, they yet tend—when not consciously, then by automatic habit—to bring into the spiritual action their own natural disabilities and errors. At every moment they are moved to take egoistic advantage of the psychic and spiritual influences and can be detected using the power, joy or light these bring into us for a lower life-motive. Afterwards too, even when the seeker has opened to the Divine Love transcendental, universal or immanent, yet if he tries to pour it into life, he meets the power of obscuration and 259perversion of these lower Nature-forces. Always they draw away towards pitfalls, pour into that higher intensity their diminishing elements, seek to capture the descending Power for themselves and their interests and degrade it into an aggrandised mental, vital or physical instrumentation for desire and ego. Instead of a Divine Love creator of a new heaven and a new earth of Truth and Light, they would hold it here prisoner as a tremendous sanction and glorifying force of sublimation to gild the mud of the old earth and colour with its rose and sapphire the old turbid unreal skies of sentimentalising vital imagination and mental idealised chimera. If that falsification is permitted, the higher Light and Power and Bliss withdraw, there is a fall back to a lower status; or else the realisation remains tied to an insecure half-way and mixture or is covered and even submerged by an inferior exaltation that is not the true Ananda. It is for this reason that the Divine Love which is at the heart of all creation and the most powerful of all redeeming and creative forces has yet been the least frontally present in earthly life, the least successfully redemptive, the least creative. Human nature has been unable to bear it in its purity for the very reason that it is the most powerful, pure, rare and intense of all the divine energies; what little could be seized has been corrupted at once into a vital pietistic ardour, a defenceless religious or ethical sentimentalism, a sensuous or even sensual erotic mysticism of the roseate coloured mind or passionately turbid life-impulse and with these simulations compensated its inability to house the Mystic Flame that could rebuild the world with its tongues of sacrifice. It is only the inmost psychic being unveiled and emerging in its full power that can lead the pilgrim sacrifice unscathed through these ambushes and pitfalls; at each moment it catches, exposes, repels the mind’s and the life’s falsehoods, seizes 260hold on the truth of the Divine Love and Ananda and separates it from the excitement of the mind’s ardours and the blind enthusiasm of the misleading life-force. But all things that are true at their core in mind and life and the physical being it extricates and takes with it in the journey till they stand on the heights, new in spirit and sublime in figure.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, SABCL, Vol. 20, pp. 155–57

This is the most powerful, the most complete and true answer to all the questions which so many people have in their heads but do not dare to ask.

So many people doubt the effectiveness of the Protection, the safety of the Path, because others go astray. And in their egoism they tremble with fear instead of telling themselves what I have just been reading to you this evening, what is the cause of all catastrophes, small or great, which threaten those who follow the path of yoga without having taken the necessary care to be sufficiently pure and sincere.

No protection, no Grace can save those who refuse the indispensable purification.

And I would add this: that fear is an impurity, one of the greatest impurities, one of those which come most directly from the anti-divine forces which want to destroy the divine action on earth; and the first duty of those who really want to do yoga is to eliminate from their consciousness, with all the might, all the sincerity, all the endurance of which they are capable, even the shadow of a fear. To walk on the path, one must be dauntless, and never indulge in that petty, small, feeble, nasty shrinking back upon oneself, which is fear.

An indomitable courage, a perfect sincerity and a sincere self-giving, so that one does not calculate or bargain, does not give with the idea of receiving, does not trust with the idea of being protected, does not have a faith which asks for proofs—it is this that is indispensable in order to walk on the path, and 261it is this alone which can truly shelter you from all danger.


You have a question, yes?

Sweet Mother, why does one feel a different atmosphere on Darshan days?fnOn Darshan days visitors and disciples were allowed to pass one-by-one in front of Mother (and formerly Sri Aurobindo) to receive directly their spiritual help. August 15, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, is one of the four Darshans of the year. This year (1956) there was a particularly large number of visitors. What should one do on these days?

Different? You ask this question!… There is an invasion of more or less dark and foreign elements, who may come with goodwill, possibly, but who come with an almost total ignorance and throw it all out in the atmosphere; and so, naturally, if one is the least bit open to what is happening, one feels crushed under the weight of this increased ignorance.

I don’t mean that there is no ignorance here! But still, the dose is different. Here, for all that, there is a sort of manipulation of the consciousness going on constantly, night and day, visibly, invisibly; and whether one wants it or not, in spite of everything one takes it in, and after some time it acts.

When a few people come, something changes, but it is not so much as to give a painful feeling; but when it is a rush like this, dashing in all at once, then the whole level comes down immediately, and unless one is able to withdraw into oneself and keep one’s head above these submerging waters, this swamping flood of ignorance, if one can’t raise one’s head above it, well, one feels very uneasy.

No, Mother, it is an atmosphere of joy!

You find it an atmosphere of joy!


Yes, Mother.

Then it is personal, my child. It is something purely personal. And you ought to be able to keep it.

It comes because at this time there are memories awakening in you, a certain concentration. Or perhaps what you call joy is a vital pleasure, no? Isn’t it a sort of excitement? When do you feel this joy?

Today, it was after Darshan.

I think it is the same thing that happens to people who are more receptive on their birthdays or who need to remember an event to awaken their receptivity.

In the days when Sri Aurobindo used to give Darshan, before he gave it there was always a concentration of certain forces or of a certain realisation which he wanted to give to people. And so each Darshan marked a stage forward; each time something was added. But that was at a time when the number of visitors was very limited. It was organised in another way, and it was part of the necessary preparation.

But this special concentration, now, occurs at other times, not particularly on Darshan days. And it occurs much more often, on other kinds of occasions, in other circumstances. The movement is much accelerated, the march forward, the stages succeed each other much more rapidly. And perhaps it is more difficult to follow; or in any case, if one doesn’t take care to keep up, one is much more quickly out-distanced than before; one gets the feeling of being late or of being abandoned. Things change quickly.

And I ought to say that these Darshan times with all this rush of people serve not so much for an inner progress—that is to say, inside the Ashram—as for a diffusion outside. The use we make of these days is a little different; above all, it is to go farther, have a vaster field, reach more distant points. But the 263concentration is less and there is this inconvenience of a large crowd, which was always there but which has been much greater during these last years than at the beginning. At the beginning there was not such a crowd; and perhaps the quality of the crowd was also a little different.

So the joy you were speaking about would rather be a kind of excitement or the feeling of a more intense or more active life; but it is not actually a greater Presence. One puts oneself, perhaps, into a more receptive state in which one receives more, but there is no intensification of the Presence—not to my knowledge.

So it must be within you that you have to find the reason, and the remedy for keeping this joy.

But Mother, what is the significance of the message you give every Darshan? For example, today you gave the picture of the flower that symbolises the supramental manifestation.fnThe haemanthus, which is like a ball composed of hundreds of red and gold stamens.

Yes, as I have just told you, this is spread in thousands of copies all over the world. It is an externalisation of the thing, it is a way of spreading the influence, spreading the message, reaching farther. Everything that is said in a Darshan message has been studied, proved, tested, beforehand. And on Darshan day it is given. First the experiment is made, then it is declared publicly. The first movement is the individual development; at the Darshan time it is spread abroad.

Sri Aurobindo always spoke of two movements: the formation of the individual in order to be able to reach the goal individually, and the preparation of the world.… For the progress of the individual is, so to say, not exactly delayed or helped by the condition of the whole, but this brings about a certain balance between the two. The individual movement is always 264much more rapid and more penetrating; it goes farther, more deeply and more quickly. The collective movement forms a sort of basis which both restrains and supports at the same time. And it is the balance between these two movements which is necessary. So, the more rapidly one goes individually, the more necessary it is to try to extend and strengthen the collective basis.

Mother, has this day, the fifteenth of August, an occult or a simple significance? For, in history, important events occurred on this day.

What exactly do you mean? The fifteenth of August is Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. Therefore, it is a date which has a capital importance in the life of the earth, from the physical point of view. So?

On August fifteenth other important events took place?…

What, the liberation of India? Is it because the liberation of India came about on the fifteenth of August? And so, it is necessary to tell you why it happened, you can’t find it out by yourself, can you? It needs to be said, does it? I think Sri Aurobindo has written it also, hasn’t he, in the message he gave? Hasn’t he said it?fnMother is referring to the message Sri Aurobindo gave on 15 August 1947. The full text is given in an appendix to this talk.


Yes, it is exactly that.…

Today, there came into my hands one of those greeting cards which people send on puja days or for the new year or other such festivals; and on this card was written something like this—I don’t recall the exact words—but anyway they were, 265“Greetings on the occasion of this memorable day of the birth of our nation.” It is sent by someone who, I think, proclaimed himself a disciple of Sri Aurobindo quite a long time ago.… That seemed to me one of those enormities which human stupidity alone can commit. If he had said: “On this memorable day of the birth of Sri Aurobindo and its natural consequence, the birth of the nation”, it would have been quite all right. But still, the important point was left out and the other mentioned, which is quite simply a consequence, a natural result: it had to be like that, it could not be otherwise.

But people always think like that, the wrong way up. Always. They take the effect for the cause, they glorify the effect and forget the cause.

And that is why the world walks on its head with its feet in the air. Quite simply, there is no other reason.


I have a huge collection of questions here. I received yet one more today. This question raises perhaps the most difficult problem for the world; so I don’t quite know if, precisely, in this Darshan atmosphere, it is very appropriate to touch upon such a problem. However, it is something infinitely interesting. One would like to find a fully satisfactory solution, for then at the same time one would have the key which opens the last door.

Man has always been faced with two possible attitudes when he has wanted to find a solution to the problem of the existence of the universe. It could be said from the practical point of view, that since the universe exists and exists as it does, the wisest thing is to take it as it is, and if one is not satisfied with it, well, to try to make it better. But even if one takes this very practical attitude, the problem remains: How to make it better? And once again one is facing the same fact which it seems impossible to resolve. Here you are, then:

The divine Will—and the Grace which manifests it—is 266all-powerful and nothing can exist which is not the expression of this divine Will and this Grace which manifests it.… The logical attitude—precisely the one described in the little book I read to you on Fridays now, Wu WeifnWu Wei: a novel based upon the philosophy of Lao Tse, by Henri Borel (Librairie Fischbacher, 33 rue de Seine, Paris).—a perfect peace, a total surrender, putting aside all effort and all personal will, giving oneself up to the divine Will and letting it act through oneself.

Mind you, this is not at all easy, it is not as simple as it looks. But still, if one sincerely takes up this attitude, it is certain that immediately there comes a perfect inner peace, an unmixed bliss, and whatever may be the events of your life, they leave you totally indifferent. This has always been recommended for individual salvation; and I may remark in passing that in this little book, which is also very beautiful and very well written, the sage compares the state of surrender of which he speaks to a sea which is calm, blue, peaceful, vast, moved by a deep force, swelling up at the right moment, subsiding at the right moment—indeed, it is an ideal description. But a practical and somewhat objective mind immediately tells you, “Well, yes, but there are also tempests at sea, there are also terrible storms, tidal waves, engulfed islands. And so that is perhaps another aspect of the Divine, but it does not bring peace, at least not in the way described by the sage. One would have to be in another state of consciousness to be at peace in such circumstances, one must not compare oneself with the sea!” So the problem presents itself again.

Sri Aurobindo has made a study of all this in The Life Divine, and he tells us that there are sure signs of a progressive evolution. An evolution naturally tends towards a goal, and if it is a progressive evolution one may continue to think that all is the expression of the divine Grace and Will, but that at the same time all is not as it ought to be. Everything is in accordance with the divine Will, but everything is not as it ought to be, otherwise things would not move.


And there we are faced with the problem once more.

The question I have been asked is this:

“Now that the Supermind has manifested on the earth, it must naturally follow that the divine Grace is all-powerful”, and I am asked: “Is this right?”

The divine Grace has always been all-powerful.

And yet, if we compare the world as it is with the more or less ideal world we can imagine when we come out of our ignorant consciousness and enter a consciousness which we call more divine, how is it that it is not always so good, if the Grace is all-powerful?

It would seem that the vision of what ought to be comes long before the execution—and this is what gives rise to the whole problem.… One sees ahead—or up above—the realisation, perhaps not of the next step, but still what will happen one day; and then as one sees it, one tells oneself, “But this conception is more divine than what is realised at present; therefore, if the Grace is all-powerful, it ought to be realised immediately.” I am now looking at the problem as the human mind, it seems to me, would put it or approximately so, in order to try and make myself understood.

But what does one call an all-powerful Grace? I don’t want to speak of the conceptions of an ordinary mind for which the all-powerful Grace is that which would instantaneously realise what it wants or believes to be the right thing; I am not speaking of that, we may eliminate this case, which is childish. But granting that somebody has a deeper, higher vision, a sort of inner perception of an ideal world where all the things which for us are very shocking would disappear; then one is truly faced with a problem which seems insoluble.

This translates itself in very ordinary minds into an oversimple and very childish form: either the divine Will is something unthinkable for us—which would not be surprising!—268unthinkable and almost monstrous if It allows things to be as they are, if It wants things as they are, or else… the Grace is powerless.

That—I warn you to put you on your guard against the trap—that is the great argument of the Adversary. He uses it to cloud the mind and raise up revolt; but still, it is well thought out as a trap.

Then come those who say, “It is because you are in the Ignorance that you see like that; change your consciousness, enter into contact with the divine Consciousness and you will see differently.” This is perfectly correct. I was just telling you, and I repeat, that if you can manage to get out of the Ignorance and enter ever so little into union with the divine Reality, you live an ecstatic life in which everything is marvellous, sublime, and where the Grace manifests in all things. Therefore, you have solved the problem for yourself, on condition that you can remain in that state perpetually, which is not very easy. But still it is possible. But it draws you out of the world, prevents you from participating in the life of the world, and above all, if everything had to be changed in that way, I think an eternity would not suffice for all the elements of the world to be so transformed.

And the problem presents itself again. In whatever manner, by whatever way you approach it, it will always present itself again.

There is a solution.

Think about it, we shall speak about it again another time. There, I would like you to make an effort. For it is beneficial, because this is a sort of conflict in the human consciousness which comes up constantly; because it is a conflict which forms the basis of all oppositions to a concrete work; because this conflict makes people—I am speaking even of those who are the most enlightened in this field—always confuse spiritual life with an annihilation of the physical, material creation, as for them this is the sole means of escape: “Let us escape from the material reality and we escape the problem”, for, to be in the 269state where the problem doesn’t present itself any longer, one must get out of life—according to them.

There is a solution.

That will be for another time.

When back at the Ashram, after the class, Mother made the following remark:

I gave the solution, this evening. I gave it twice in the class, without speaking.

Has this solution any connection with the date, August fifteenth? Is there any connection between the Feast of the Assumption in the Catholic Church and the date of Sri Aurobindo’s birth?

Yes. And he has also said it himself. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is the divinisation of Matter. And this is the aim of the last Avatar.