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I am Thine for eternity. - The Mother

Letters to Children by The Mother >> To Ravindra ...

 

To a disciple who is identified in the text simply by his initial, R. Raised in Gurukul Kangri in Uttar Pradesh, the disciple joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in July 1938, at the age of twenty-one, and remained until his passing in 2002. He sought to serve the Mother especially through his work, and this concern is reflected in his letters, most of which deal directly with problems of work. During his sixty-four years in the Ashram, the disciple served in many positions. The main ones, mentioned here because they are referred to in the correspondence, are: the preparation of fruit juices for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother; the allotment of work to new Ashramites; the distribution of fuel and foodstuffs to Ashramites; the management (in conjunction with others in some cases) of the Fruit Room, Dining Room, Bakery and Laundry; editor of Purodha and Agnishikha, two monthly journals in Hindi; Hindi teacher at the Ashram’s Centre of Education; and the Hindi translator of many works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

 

 

Mother mine,
Sometimes I am translating stories written by various people both in the Ashram and out of the Ashram. If I want to send them to press, may I do so? In these days it would be inconvenient for Thee to give approval on each one. Does this literary work help me in my sadhana or is it a hindrance?

 

You can do this translation work occasionally but not to the extent of getting absorbed in it. The consciousness must remain free for the sadhana.

Love and blessings.


29 December 1938

 

1 This series is entirely in English, with the exception of one reply in French.

 

In answer to your letter I can tell you that if the value of the property is given to me I will certainly accept it. But I cannot ask for it, I can only take it as a free gift.

My love and blessings are with you.

 

20 January 1939

 

Mother mine,
Some temptations are coming to me in the name of service to the motherland and mother-tongue. Fame, Gandhiji’s personality and great philanthropic work are held out as baits. Kindly protect me. A friend is pressing me to join Kalelkar in his work. Kindly see that this and other such temptations do not snatch me away from Thy arms.
I have written a story. May I send it to the press?

 

You can send it provided there is nothing objectionable in it — that is to say, no political or social controversy, etc. Love and blessings to my dear child.

 

25 March 1939

 

Mother,
Can I get a brief life sketch of Thine for publication in the special Sri Aurobindo number that I am editing? if so, whom should I approach with the request?

 

I do not want any life sketch of mine to be published. I have always refused the permission to all those who have asked it.
My love and blessings.

 

3 April 1939

 

Mother Dear,
The special Sri Aurobindo number is ready. The matter is prepared, but at the eleventh hour I am very unwilling to publish the portions translated by me and so I want to postpone it — if not cancel it. I am feeling rather depressed. I am thinking that my translations are not satisfactory. I don’t know what to do. I think it is Your Will that the number should not come out at present and hence the dissatisfaction in me. Because up to last week I was fully satisfied with my work. When it is against Your Will, how can I do it?

 

You must have worked too hard at the translation and that is why you are now dissatisfied and depressed. But I am sure the translation is all right and I see no reason to postpone its publication.

With my love and blessings

.

24 May 1939

 

I have received Abhaya’s letter. You can write to him: “It is absolutely out of the question for anyone connected with the Ashram to intervene in politics of any kind. He must not go to Sir Akbar Hydari (it would be quite useless in any case). If he went and Sir Akbar spoke to us of it we will be obliged to disavow his action as not sanctioned by us.” You can send him our blessings.

 

3 June 1939

 

My dear child,

I am always present, close to you — in you — and my blessings are with you.

 

19 June 1939

 

Mother,
X came today for the books. I have told him on Your authority that it is impossible. He is not going. He says he must remain near You and that really You have no objection in his staying.

 

This is quite wrong, both Sri Aurobindo and myself want him to go because we are convinced that the atmosphere of Pondicherry is not favourable to the balance of his mind and the climate is not good for his health.

 

21 June 1939

 

Abhaya writes to me that he wishes to take you away with him to Gurukula.
I have not yet answered to him.

 

I wanted first to ask from you how do you feel about it. Of course if you ask me, I shall tell you that I do not see why you should go. But you must tell me frankly your own feeling.
Love and blessings to my dear child.

 

25 September 1939

 

(The disciple informed the Mother that he did not wish to leave the Ashram, but would go if she wanted to send him away.)

 

I am quite pleased with your answer although it is not a surprise to me. I knew what was in your heart, but I wanted to have it in writing from you to be able to say categorically no to Abhaya.

You can be quite sure that I will not send you away from here.
Love and blessings to my dear child.

 

25 September 1939

 

Mother,
I want to ask You whether thinking of Your work is not a part of thinking of You. Is it going towards the right attitude if, even though I may not remember You always, yet I may be remembering Your work and thinking of it.

 

Yes, it is quite good.

 

 

* This note is based upon the disciple’s recollection of his original letter, which has been lost. Such notes have been provided subsequently in a number of cases where all or part of the letter is missing.

 

27 November 1939

 

Mother,
I do not use any bedding or mosquito curtain or even a pillow. I sleep on the cot without spreading anything or on the ground with a mat. I have been told that Youdo not like this. Is it so? Of course formerly I used to do this for the sake of asceticism, but now that is not the reason. I am habituated to it and I don’t see any reason why You should spend more money unnecessarily. I hope You don’t have any objection.

I have absolutely no objection to it and wonder who could have told you that I had any!

 

A cousin of mine — Professor Y of Hyderabad — wants me to treat him with Ayurvedic medicine. It is not necessary to see the patient — I can get the medicine prepared
in Gurukul and send it to him. I will get about Rs.80/-from it (excluding the price of the medicine) which will naturally go to You. If you allow me to treat him and charge, then the money goes to Your feet; otherwise somebody else will get it.

You can have the medicine prepared there if you like but we cannot take money as payment. All money that comes here must be an offering.
My love and blessings.


15 December 1939

 

(In 1940 the disciple took charge of the “cart service” — delivering Dining Room food to Ashramites who ate at home. When he heard that someone had complained to the Mother about his work, he wrote to her, asking if it was true.)

 

Nobody has complained to me of your cart service and you can be sure that if I had something to tell you regarding your work I would write it to you directly.

But you must not get worried about the mistakes and weaknesses of others; the only thing necessary is not to believe what people say to you, especially if they speak in my name.

My love and blessings.

 

20 July 1940

 

Mother,
You know what has happened to me. Please tell me what to do when I am caught in this internal and external friction. I wish I could have goodwill towards those who are responsible for my external troubles, but I can’t help it. Kindly give me some general directions which may be helpful in my present condition. I have become so sensitive that the least thing makes me upset.

 

These are vital perturbations which show themselves in the course of the sadhana and have to be eliminated. They must not be regarded as natural movements justified by the wrong action of others and bound to continue so long as there is the external causes. The real cause is internal and it can only be got rid of by yogic discipline, vigilance, self-detachment from the vital movement and a quiet but strict rejection.

My love and blessings.

 

26 July 1940

 

Even if you are not apparently successful in your meditation, it is better to persist and to be more obstinate than the opposition of your lower nature.

I am quite satisfied with your way of doing the work and it is sure to help you to come nearer to me.

My love and blessings.

 

13 September 1940

 

(The disciple mentioned that the sadhaks in a certain department talked a lot during their work.)

 

For the sake of sadhana and for the sake of work, it is always better to work silently.

 

Early 1940s

 

(The disciple informed the Mother that he had measles and asked her blessings to cure him. He also noted that he had come to the Ashram in order to work, not to do
sadhana.)

My blessings are with you.

You must take this illness as a sign that, in spite of all your convictions — perhaps even resolutions — you have to do sadhana and to add to your outer consecration in work, the inner consecration of deep understanding and psychological transformation, and make use of your seclusion for that purpose.

My help and love are with you.

 

6 April 1952

 

** This approximate date has been provided by the disciple from memory; the original
letter is undated. Such tentative dates have been given subsequently in a number of cases.

 

 

 

Mother,
I am trying my best to improve the quality of my work. I don’t know whether I am successful. I still feel tired and run-down. After the illness my enthusiasm has not come back. My will to be more and more useful has become damp.
Mother, either make me useful or send me off. I do not want to lead a useless life. I may have a better luck next time. I am tired — tired of everything. Let me go if you find it impossible to change me. Let me have a very long and deep sleep.
Don’t withdraw yourself, Mother. Once you have accepted me, if I have been of any use, even for a moment, don’t let me down.

 

There is no question and no possibility of “letting you down”. My attitude towards you has not changed. But your illness and your present condition have the same cause. I am trying to move quickly towards the future Realisation; the progress is rapid and to remain close to me one must move quickly also. Something in you was refusing to change, the same something that was boasting that it was not interested in yoga, that it believed only in work, etc. etc. As a result of it you got out of my protection and fell ill. My word written at the beginning of the illness meant that. But it did not act as I hoped.

Now there is only one thing to do: face squarely the necessity of the change in some part of your nature and — with my help — change.
With my love and blessings.

10 June 1952

 

(The disciple sent to the Mother the letter of a worker who complained that he lacked the strength to do his work and could not feel her Grace. The Mother replied:)


Here, for each work given, the full strength and Grace are always given at the same time to do the work as it has to be done. If you do not feel the strength and the Grace it proves that there is some mistake in your attitude. The faith is lacking or you have fallen back on old tracks and old creeds and thus you lose all
receptivity.

 

1 October 1952

Mother,
I would like to stop being present in the Playground. If I sit, I am afraid that people will begin to collect there for their business as they used to do, and that would disturb the silence of the place.

 

And if I need you? The best would be to make a rule of not speaking or listening during all the distribution and to listen and answer as soon as it is over.

 

9 September 1954

 

(Not wishing to take up the Mother’s time, the disciple deliberately avoided seeing her. About this she wrote:)

 

One more word to tell you that you must not avoid seeing me, because it gives a kind of support to the parts of your being which are somewhat unwilling to open to my influence.

With my love and blessings.

 

Try to be spontaneous and simple like a child in your relations with me — it will save you from many difficulties.

 

25 October 1954

 

Mother,
You have said: “We would be completely under Thy influence, to the exclusion of every other.”4 I have translated it in Hindi as “We want to be dyed in Your colour, to the exclusion of other colours.” This is idiomatic, but is it correct?

 

This is not the true meaning; each force or power has an influence on other forces and powers, and this action is reciprocal. To escape this constant and general confusion of influences, there is only one way — to concentrate exclusively on the Divine Consciousness and to open oneself only to the Divine Consciousness.

 

1954

 

Mother,
It is the general talk around here that if I want to assign workers to departments I can always do so, but for one reason or another I do not give them and thus I put people into difficulty. I don’t know whether they actually believe it. I have never cared for popularity or public opinion, so this view had no importance for me. But from the way you spoke yesterday morning, I wonder whether the Divine also shares this view.


No, the Divine knows and cannot share in any nonsense.

 

When exhibitionism seems to be more important than anything else, when all possible facilities are being given to make life easy, when everything is being given to us without any expectation of return, how can people work unless there is a change from within? — and, I am sorry to say, my eyes cannot see it within the range of sight. Life is becoming more chaotic, the Divine does not seem to be nearer, everything seems to be going topsy-turvy. In spite of all the bright promises, I wonder what is in store.

 

This is only a pessimistic view of things. The opposite also is true and through this apparent chaos a new and better order is being formed. But to see it one must have faith in the Divine

Grace.
Cheer up! Things are not so bad as you think.
With love and blessings.

 

** Prayers and Meditations, 23 October 1937


7 October 1956

 

(The Mother called the disciple to the Playground to see her on his birthday, but he did not go. That evening she explained to him that she had wanted to give him something inwardly. The next day he wrote:)

 

Mother,
I am sorry for my behaviour yesterday. May I apologise for it? I hope missed opportunities will not be lost opportunities. May I pray that this one may be the last of the series.
I wish I could be your true servant.


My dear child,

I have spoken a little “severely” last night so that the mistake is not reproduced — but to say the truth, the consequences of it are already effaced and what I wanted to give you is given —it is left to you to make the proper use of it.

I consider you already as a true servant, but I want you also to become a true child, so that you may have the full joy of it.
With my love and blessings.

 

27 January 1957

 

(The disciple wrote that he felt the Mother’s Presence only while working, and therefore work was his only sadhana. The Mother replied:)

 

In the integral Yoga there is no distinction between the sadhana and the outward life; it is in each and every movement of the daily life that the Truth must be found and practised.

 

16 March 1958

 

(The disciple informed the Mother about a difficulty in work, then added:)

 

As a discipline I should not complain to you about anything. For some time I have been going on in this way. Somehow I feel that you will have a control over things in the very near future. The only thing to be done is to keep quiet. But I would like to know whether this attitude is correct — or is it tamas in a guise?

 

Surely to be quiet is not tamas. In fact it is only in quietness that the proper thing can be done. What I call quietness is to do the work without being disturbed by anything and to observe everything without being disturbed by anything.

However if something seems to you quite wrong, you can an untrained eye but the solidity and the resistance are quite different. After saying all that, my conclusion is “Let them do as they like.”

After all everybody must learn his lesson.

Still I add a word of warning. A badly built house cannot be repaired — because most often it is the foundations that are defective.

Blessings.

 

18 November 1963

 

Mother,
I have just received a question from the President of the Sri Aurobindo Society through her Secretary. It asks me whether I am ready.** Please say what I shall reply.

 

The question means Are you ready for the Hour of God?
You can answer: Yes.
Blessings.

* The President of the Society was the Mother.

Her question, “Are you ready?”, was issued soon after as her New Year message of 1964.

10 December 1963

 

Mother,
It seems that the Divine likes to be cheated. I have a note from X saying that you have sanctioned breakfast for two children staying with Y.

 

Where you are mistaken is to believe that I am cheated. This is impossible because their “intention” is for me much clearer than their words.

 

At first they were sent to the Dining Room under the cloak of emergency. After that, when they were checked, inwardly or upwardly, in contemplation of the source and origin of their existence and consciousness, in order to take a dip in It and renew their energies.

It is scarcely necessary to mention the modern manner of understanding the word or the thing, that is to say, all the possible ways of wasting time in a futile attempt at amusing oneself.

 

October 1959

 

(The disciple wrote about a sadhak who did very little work and, in addition, was advising new workers not to “slave like coolies”.)

 

When you are not doing your work with a full sense of your responsibility, it is not a reason to incite new workers to act like you.

 

About 1960

 

(The disciple, responsible for assigning work to new persons entering the Ashram, was upset to find that work had recently been given to someone without even informing him. He asked the Mother how this could happen.)

 

All I can tell you is: Whenever a person or persons send word to me asking for work and expressing their intention to stay on for some time or to be admitted permanently, I always answer without exception: go to R* (if I speak to the person himself) or send him or them to R. How this is changed into something else and you are not informed — that I cannot say — it is one of the mysteries of human nature, and I am quite sure that many things happen without my being informed of them at all.

But it is not a reason for being upset about it. There is only to remain quite cool and to do our best within the limits that human nature ascribes to us.


After all the whole, entire responsibility is the Lord’s and nobody else’s. So there is nothing to worry about.
With my love and blessings.

 

*The disciple.

26 February 1961

 

We have announced that in the proposed Aditi book series each book will have about 100 pages. The first book will be “White Roses”. Is it necessary to keep Huta’s introduction?

Yes, because what I have written was for Huta and not for others — to each one what is said is said in a different way — and to mix all that makes a confusion.

 

1961

 

Mother,
I submit a summary of Anu’s play, Rajkumar,in her own words. You may read it when you can. I would request you to make some suggestion that may help in raising it from the commonplace, that may help the consciousness of those who participate. I feel the need of some change at the end. I do not know what.

Are the circumstances of the story historical?orcan they be altered? If they can be altered, it would be more interesting if the hostile’s instrument gets converted by the Prince’s love just at the moment of giving the poison, confesses and gets pardoned.

This old idea of the necessity of the catastrophe to make the power effective is a limitation that has to be overcome. Of course,ifitis historical and has to be kept, it is in the speech that the higher truth must be told.

 

25 February 1962


Mother,
I was under the illusion that I have to arrange work for people. X is in a very bad condition and Y is also unwell. So I thought that when Z comes, he could be put in Honesty Society to help X. He has been a merchant. As it always happens, the case has not been referred to me and I hear he is being given to Bureau Central under your orders!! Yet just the other day I gave a temporary hand to Bureau Central. X’s need for a new worker is much more. But if it is your order, I bow down to it.
Each time that an unpleasant situation is there or an impossible person is to be handled, religiously they are passed on to me; otherwise . . . And you say that I am responsible for works.
 

My dear child,

Must I take it for bad temper and that the ego has been brushed the wrong way? . . . You seem very bitter. And yet nothing is decided finally on my side without referring matters and telling that you must be consulted for the most useful thing to be done. But never mind — if you think things are not going the right way and I am responsible, let it be — I accept the responsibility.

In the present case, I am glad to know that Z can be more useful in Honesty Society, so we shall send him there and hope everything will be all right. But it remains absolutely true that I am mostly busy with something I consider more important than exterior organisation — for the moment — and that is why I expect each one to do his duty with the best of his capacity, and with his eyes fixed upon the magnitude of the Divine’s work which will surely help him in his personal
difficulties.

Times are hard for everybody and in everything — but it is surely to teach us to overcome our limitations. I have full confidence in you, count upon you, need your work, and feel sure you will get over the present difficulties. With love and blessings.


6 August 1962

 

Mother,
X brought this pen from Nepal. He gave it to me. I pass it on to you with the confidence that its coming toyou will do good to China (it is made in China) and the relations between India and China.

Here is the writing. The pen seems good — blessings to China!

 

27 August 1962

 

Mother,
Yesterday I was sleeping in the day and you came in my dream and began to say something when someone knocked at the door and woke me up. This was repeated thrice and each time someone knocked at the door and gave me a severe headache. I hardly remember my dreams, but this one was so vivid. I wonder whether actually you had something for me.

Yes, indeed, I came to you — it is not the only time — with some insistence, for general affairs, Ashram affairs and sadhana

(yours) — that is to say, stating the point of your advance. Is there no way of preventing people from knocking? A notice at your door, “Please do not knock now.”?
With love and blessings.


25 October 1962

 

Mother,
A state of emergency has been declared by the President of India.6 The Government can take drastic action. Our people right from A down to X, Y and Z are speaking vehemently against Nehru and his Government
at the gate, in the streets, in the Dining Room, etc. Some even go on involving your and Sri Aurobindo’s name. This may invite unnecessary trouble for the Ashram. I bring it to your notice.
I am sending you a notice to put up in the dining room.We shall have it on the notice board also.

Silence! Silence!

This is a time for gathering energies, and not for wasting them away in useless and meaningless words.

Anyone who proclaims loudly his opinions on the present situation of the country, must understand that his opinions are of no value and cannot, in the least, help Mother India to come out of her difficulties. If you want to be useful, first control yourself and keep silent.

Silence! Silence! Silence!

It is only in silence that anything great can be done.

 

28 October 1962

 

A good advice to all the ashramites in their dealings with visitors and foreigners
(and even among themselves)

“When you have nothing pleasant to say about something or somebody in the Ashram, keep silent."

 

 

* On 20 October 1962 China invaded India at two points of her northern border. In the following week Chinese soldiers captured several Indian military posts, but then withdrew.

 

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The Mother

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If you have within you a psychic being sufficiently awake to watch over you, to prepare your path, it can draw towards you things which help you, draw people, books, circumstances, all sorts of little coincidences which come to you as though brought by some benevolent will and give you an indication, a help, a support to take decisions and turn you in the right direction. But once you have taken this decision, once you have decided to find the truth of your being, once you start sincerely on the road, then everything seems to conspire to help you to advance.

The Mother