Powers Within Light Endless Light Sat-sang About Us HOME Powers Within India-Gods's Abode
Powers Within
Light Endless Light Sat-sang
About Us
HOME Powers Within
India-Gods's Abode

Pavitra1

The conversation with Sri Aurobindo

Monday, July 26, 1926

I feel distinctly the overshadowing presence of a force above me. A small part of that force comes down and works in me.

WHAT kind of work does it effect ?

I cannot see very distinctly. It is a pressure that tries to expand. More than this I cannot say. Only, I feel that a small part only comes down. It also presses upon the physical mind and tries to calm and quiet it.

There are two movements I make: one is to be passive and to open to that working. The other is to go above trying to unite with that force. I have then a sensation of broadening, of a vast and compact consciousness.

It happened two or three times that I saw before me a long, endless road. But this image had no distinct character that indicated another origin than the ordinary mental images.

            It is still a mental image, and all mental images have the same character. Only it may come from the higher mental plane. Once you open to them you receive knowledge of things you do not know in the ordinary mind.          

            The image of a road is a very common image of the higher mental;  its meaning is that of the path that has to be travelled on.  

If the images are all around us, how is it that they do not come in our mind?

They come often in man's mind but he believes them to be his own thoughts. Moreover one must have something that corresponds to them, otherwise they make no impression and do not come out of the subcon­scient. But once you begin to open, images arise more frequently and you need to discriminate among them.

What kind of image has to be rejected and what to be accepted ?

What is first to be rejected is the ordinary working of the mind and the images of material life that surround us. Afterwards one has to remain passive. What seems to come from above is not necessarily pure and then one has to discriminate.

Mr. G. has spoken to Mr. V., head of the College here. There is a possibility of my becoming an examiner at the baccalauréat here. This will bring me students. But I will have to owe this position to Mr. G. And it is impossible to obtain it without his support.

I don't see why you should not accept it. It does not bind you ?

Not at all. I have only to be thankful for it.

That is all right. What is to be avoided is your being drawn into politics.

Certainly. There is no chance of that.

Monday, August 2, 1926

There is nothing new to report. Quiet meditation becoming deeper. At times flashes of light pass before my eyes. But I know they have no outward reality. They are of the same kind as those flashes that are seen when one presses one's own eyes.

These flashes of light are the first signs of the coming down of the light into the physical consciousness. They need not come and the sense of light may remain mental, but if it comes down, flashes are seen. But you must not jump to the conclusion that they are of the same kind as light created by ocular compression. People generally view their new experiences from the standpoint of their accumulated experience. Some people for instance when they first see that light look around to see if the lamp is alight or if the sunlight is coming in. It is necessary to view them from a higher point of view.

But how does it give such a physical impression of light though not physical ? You said also that a tendency to blindness may be crea­ted at that time.

Because the centre of vision is affected and we have the habit to refer every new experience to what we already know. It need not affect the physical sight, if we can remain aloof from it.

As for the tendency to blindness, it has two main causes. First, many people, when these visions come, get into the habit of continually keeping their visual attention inward and create a disturbance in the physical sight. Then, the light which is seen is very brilliant and it has the same effect as if somebody was continually fixing a dazzling light.

Madame X. has these experiences and says she nearly became blind.

But a balance has to be cultivated that enables one to remain above, undisturbed and unaffected.

Monday, August 9, 1926

Nothing new. As I have done some mental work, my mind has caused me some trouble. There are two kinds of mental work as regards their effect upon me. When I am preparing my tuitions or reading an easy book, my mind is only superficially interested, but when I am trying to solve a question for myself, for instance, a problem of mathematics and if I take interest in it, my mind gets loose again and carries me away. Then it rushes out with accu­mulated force — and it sees nothing else, does not allow me to meditate and cuts my connection with the higher life.

You need not be cut. There is nothing wrong in being interested in some work. But the mind that works is not the whole mind and there is a part which remains aside if you do not identify yourself with the working mind.

I cannot make this separation in practice. When I am reading, if I try to look at my mind which is reading I lose the significance of what I read.

That has always been a difficulty with me. As soon as I do any action in life, it may be a manual or an intellectual work, I cut myself from my higher aspiration. It is impossible to practice yoga in life.

Because the vital and physical parts of the mind have remained untouched. They must be opened.

Mother told me that my vital being had been repressed. There is some truth in it. My education has been purely scientific and I had no artistic culture. I did not derive any help from art. I am far from clinging to conventional ideas of morality, but I have repressed certain tendencies of the vital only in order to get a rela­tive freedom and mastery. I have respect, but certainly little of emotional emotion. So the vital is of very little use to me. But what is to be done ? I suppose it will open to the higher light and nothing is to be tried from below.

It will open in the process of yoga. But something more than a passive self-surrender is necessary. In this yoga, a mere waiting upon the force to come down if it wills, won’t do. You have done nearly all that could be done by the mind above, and the opening through a pure mental process would no doubt require a long time. Therefore you have to rely on the higher force. But simply waiting is not sufficient. You have to call it down, and see how it works, make demands upon it.

And this must be done in the vital as well as in the mind.

What is the difference between a vital demand and a mental demand ?

This you have to find out. You have to see what is there in the vital, see the possibilities and potentialities, what is to be kept. You will rely on the higher light to decide, but you must not remain purely passive. The higher light will show you what has to be done, but you must put the active demand for transformation. This will not be perfect at first and some resistance will be met with.

Especially in your case, such an active demand is necessary. Some people need some moderation, for they are continually pulling down, being vitally and emotionally eager. But this is not your case.

I have always been afraid of mental laziness. But I suppose that was wrong. Even if I don't do any mental work except what is strictly necessary for my tuitions, there is no harm in it.

It is sometimes found good to change the habitual way of working for a certain time.

Monday, August 16, 1926

Last week has been better, taken as a whole ; it has been more easy to meditate and the force has come down with more power. It presses down at the level of the navel. My mind also is more quiet and does not require as much incentive.

You speak of the opening of mind and of vital. What do you mean exactly by these terms?

It is first the opening to a higher light and power and also the opening to the influences of that plane, becoming conscious of the forces of that level.

Does the mind always open before the vital?

It is more generally so. But the vital can be prepared before the mind opens. The mind may get partially opened and the vital is then able to receive the higher light. But the total opening of mind may come only later. In your case the fact that the force works now on the vital level shows that it can pass through the mind without being hampered.

You have to open to the higher light and power.

Has my recent illness any connection with sadhana? At any rate, there is a distinct physical cause for it: I got a chill.

No. I don't think there is any connection with sadhana.

Now another question. Mr. G. spoke to the Governor about me and my positions as a teacher and as an examiner. I wonder whether it would not be good that I should pay a visit to the Governor. He is said to be a kind man, with interest in theosophy. And I would like to say to him, diplomatically, that though he will not meet me in social gatherings my abstention only comes from the kind of studies I am pursuing.

Let me consider that point. I will answer you later on.

( Later Barinda told me that I could go and visit the Governor, but that it would probably be better not to emphasize my private life as regards yoga).

Wednesday, August 18, 1926

I report my conversation with the Governor, who besides had asked for me. He received me quite sympathetically and asked me if I could possibly devote some time for giving lessons at the College. Not only does he excuse my abstention from social life but he approves of it.

In short, interview successful.

Saturday, August 28, 1926

I have been very busy outside with the examination; but, for the first time the contact with the outside world has not disturbed me as it used to do. Coming home I was able to take up meditation rather easily.

Meditation has been, as a whole, satisfactory. The mind was relatively quiet and transparent to the force that came down. The chief place where the force works is above and around the navel. Sometimes I felt a distinct sense of strong power rising in me.

The vital centre is beginning to open in you.

The principal difficulty in meditation comes from the most external part of the mind. Sometimes it is quiet and passive but sometimes intruding thoughts are very obstinate — they are connected with the physical arrangement of things. For instance, I am thinking whe­ther I should place a shelf here or not, what I have to buy, the things that may come by the next mail and so on. That was what I meant when speaking of the part of the mind which is interested in collecting stamps. On the other hand, the preparation of my tuition and the tuition itself does not disturb me. But if I take interest in a work for myself, then I am easily carried away.

But these thoughts do not disturb you in meditation, do they ?

When I am in a favourable state they don't, but sometimes I cannot get rid of them. Especially in the morning meditation which is generally very defective. The best one is in the evening, between 6 and 7. The noon one is between these two.

The reason may be because the things you throw away in the waking state are able to come back through the subconscient and they come in mostly at night.

That may be.

Now, something happened a few days ago. I received a letter from my friend Y., speaking about his wife. After that, in medita­tion I found myself thinking of that lady, but in a peculiar way. I was directing to her a kind of force that came from the mental vital. It was not purposely done by me nor was it a vital rush, but a quiet and mild pressure and it was put forth from the top of the head.

I had twice similar experiences, of finding myself working on the higher planes without purposely intending to do it. The first one was when C. S. was ill. At the evening gathering, you asked the news about him and then remained silent for a while. Then I felt myself carried to his room and working there. Another time, when the gale was raging during our evening meeting, I found also that I was putting forth a kind of force in that direction.

K. also felt that.

It is because the consciousness begins to be awake on the higher planes and to work consciously there. There is nothing of pure imagina­tion in it. It is a fact.

I brought today photos of my friend's wife in order that you may know what she is like.

Can you leave them with me? I shall show them to Mother.

Saturday, September 4, 1926

This week has not been as favourable as the last one. And it is a curious fact, for last week I was very busy outside; but when I came home, I entered easily into meditation, body, vital and mind submitted to it. It may be that I am now going through the consequences of the disturbance, consequences which did not appear at first. My body is slothful, my mind is restless. So there is not much to say.

What is the reason of the fact that progress is always made by fits and starts, never straightforwardly ?

IT is always so. Different movements enter into play at different times—the important thing would be to discern whence they come. And the most obstinate movements always recur until they are completely transformed.

You spoke of two ways. One direct to the the supermind through the mind, the other by the opening of the psychic being. Are they really two different paths ? And what are their characteristics ?

Yes, there are two movements. Sometimes the mind opens first to the light and the supermind works then through the mind and uses the machinery of mind. Sometimes the psychic being, which is always behind — without a psychic aspiration nothing in this Yoga is possible — comes forward. There is then no mental illumination, but a burning fire which turns the whole being upwards. It makes then the progress easy. Afterwards of course the whole machinery of nature is also directed from above, but the mental movement is not the chief one.

What is the nature of Carpenter's illumination* ?

*Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), English writer and social reformer whose later works express in particular a certain perception of the unity of all existence.           

 It is difficult to say, I don't know him.

But judging from his writing ...

It does not indicate much—for it may be only an awakening of the intuitive mind.

Sometimes my aspiration is very intense, but when the mind resumes again its working, it covers it to some exent.

Mind must remain, but mind must be transformed. And so also with the vital and the physical. They must completely yield themselves and not only accept the pressure which is put by the mind.

This I understand now. From my experience with the theosophists I can say that they try only to overrule the lower bodies by the mind, but never try to go into these levels and transform them. I understand that the consciousness of these planes must yield to the higher light and accept by itself the transformation.

I suppose that in my case I am following the way through the mind?

Yes, the mental movement is predominant. That is why it is slow.

(Smiling) ... But it does not mean unfitness !

Not at all. There are always difficulties — in each case — for ins­tance when the vital and physical are opening ; for everything that is there concealed comes out.

In my case the central acceptation is done and I think that even the vital and physical accept the change.

But the question is whether they accept it for themselves or on account of the pressure put upon them by the mind.

! ... that I don't know.

Now, will you tell me something about the photos?

Not very favourable.

?

She is a vital woman. She moves only on the vital plane.

I knew that. But is there nothing psychic about her?

I don't see anything. Mental aspiration there may be, but it is not sufficient. I may say that she is not safe in the spiritual life.

But will not a time come when she will open to something higher?

What do you mean by a time?

I mean in this life ...

Everything is possible. It would be rather a miracle.

There is something curious. They could have come here. They had the opportunity of doing so. She went to Europe, landed at Colombo but did not come here. He is now going back from the Far-East, but crosses Siberia ...

I don't know much about him, but she is not intended for this place. Then it is better not to try to bring them to this Yoga?

Yes, you should leave them to follow their path.

Saturday, September It, 1926

In meditation I feel myself distinct from the mind. I can see my mind working. But the curious thing is that my mind seems to remain connected with the body and I watch it from outside. I see from outside the form-building mind, the speaking mind, and when sounds come from outside, they appear to happen inside that mind. But all this is in the body, so to say, and I am in front of my body, looking at it. Not from above.

When the force comes down, it has a dissolving power over the mental formations. I can now use this power for placing before the force the mental formations I want to get rid of. This power liberates me and I feel a sensation akin to floating. I never go above, but forward — but I never succeed in cutting all connection with the active mind and moving freely on my own plane.

It is not a usual movement. Generally one goes above the body or finds some broadness where there is no location of consciousness.

I don't feel this wideness -- of course I cannot be very positive about the location of my consciousness. As soon as I try to think of this location in space I find myself again within the body. Is this move­ment to be encouraged ?

I suppose it is a movement on the mental plane, but we have to see.

As I said I am conscious of the dissolving power of the force coming from above. It goes down to the navel centre and works from there. I cannot say yet how it works. But, at times, a sense of vital power rises.

I am fully conscious from above of vital movements rising. For instance a movement of pride arises. It comes out from the navel. And I realise it as distinct from myself. But what shall I do with it ? Up to the present time I merely tried to force it down and bar its coming into the conscious field. But I think it is not right.

No. That is what people ordinarily do. But it simply suppresses the vital movements. You have to call down the same power that dissolves the mental formations and apply it to open the vital. You have to watch and understand the movements, see how they rise, what supports them in nature. The full understanding of this is necessary.

I did so instinctively. And I offer these movements, impure as they may be, to the Divine, that he may transform them.

Mother told me yesterday that the awakening of the psychic in me depended much upon an attitude of mine. Can you tell me something more about this attitude ?

She did not say anything else?

No.

... It is difficult to say. (Silence) This attitude can only become permanent when the mental is no longer the prominent factor in life. It all comes to the same thing .... You have to rely upon the power that comes from above and realise that it is something more than a power ....

The divine as personality?

We are always using mental words that mislead. Yes, it is true that it is the support of all personality. The Vedantic standpoint of the imper­sonal absolute, which has spread so much in the later years* is only one aspect of the truth. It applies very much to the mind, especially to the modern mind, but when the consciousness rises above mind, it is clearly seen as a partial aspect of the truth. It is the power that has personality as a guna. It uses the impersonal to rise above the limited egoism of our personalities. The impersonal view of the divine is somewhat larger than our personal conception, limited by our mind. But it is mind that limits personality. It has an existence above mind. You have to recognize that the power is not a mere power.

*vekananda.

It is true that, for the present, I only see it as a working power.

Because you are always in the mind. But when the psychic opens you cannot retain this standpoint. It becomes too vivid and too real.

Have I to rise in the supermind for that?

 The psychic opening will raise you to that.

Up to my coming here I stuck to the Vedantic idea of impersonality and even now I cannot realize with the mind what is truly meant by divine personality. How can the mind take the right attitude ?

It can call for it. When it will get a glimpse of it, it will more easily put itself in the right movement.

Last night I had a dream:

I was with others, probably sadhaks, and Mother was there. I was given a book. This book was written in French, but in purely a phonetic way, not taking any account of the orthographic rules. Even some new phonetic signs were used. It was new to me and somehow I had the idea it was written by you, Mother and P.R. I could not understand anything of it. Looking through the book I noticed some misprints. I showed them to Mother who said, "It is strange. I took so much care to have it corrected before having it printed". I also asked for some information from you who were in the adjoining room. You answered me in Sanskrit, which I could not understand. I went to you. You were in bed, and as far as I remember taking breakfast. I bowed to you with very deep feelings of devotion and aspiration and remained sometime prostrated with a blank mind. Then you touched me with your hand and I underwent a change of consciousness of which I don't remember anything. After sometime I came down again. You kissed me twice and I departed with very high feelings. The vividness of the dream and the strength of the feelings struck me. I awoke ; it was half past two.

As for the book, I don't see very well. It may have been something of the past. Something took place probably on the vital plane, and it is not always easy to interpret.

But did I come into your presence?

Not to the physical. Some vital happening occurred and that is why you saw me in such a way.

Why was it so vivid?

Once you enter the mental and vital planes, they are as real as the physical.

Perhaps some mixture came from my mind with regard to the book. But the last part was of a different character.

(I related the dream to Mother. She said : This is not surprising. We spoke of you several times during the day yesterday, in connection with the difficulties of the western mind. Even yesterday evening, concern­ing something which happened in you during the evening gathering and of which you are perhaps not conscious. Also it is not surprising that there was some thought on his side about you. And as I too spoke with you yesterday, on your side also there was aspiration... So much the better, this shows that the time is drawing near when you will be able to receive the light. Keep what you have received).

Tuesday, September 14, 1926

Mother spoke with A.G. about my difficulties in meditation. Today she took me aside and we meditated together for half an hour, at 4.30. The force prepared above my head, then descended, particularly to the level of the mind and tried to open the mind. Outer thoughts were kept at a distance, though they tried to penetrate.

The day was not particularly well chosen, for I have been medita­ting with difficulty since some days.

Later, after having heard what I had felt, Mother told me:

Yes, the force descended. It descended right to your feet; but in the lower regions it was rather outside than within.

At the beginning you had a very strong aspiration. Then something must have disturbed you; all the time there remained a peaceful and calm aspiration. You have a power of aspiration but it has been almost complete­ly strangled by the mind.

The force which descended at first is a force of wisdom, of pure knowledge which descended to the level of the solar plexus. There, there was a sort of order to open the mind. There was an opening but it had a geometrical form: a triangle. And within, a sort of representation of the idea you have formed of the divine.

A force of calm, a silence, descended afterwards. You say you did not feel it. Yet it was there and you will perhaps feel it soon. Much more descended than what you are aware of at present. But it is not lost for the subconscious and it will be realised little by little. There is in you a great capacity of calmness, which may serve as a useful base for a descent and subsequent manifestation.

Yet in that, in this calm, there was Ananda.

There was some response in the lower centre, but the response was feeble and mostly recorded by the subconscient.

In short, I do not think this will take very long now. There is a certain rigidity in the mind, but that is common to all westerners.

Did the force descend as far as the vital plane also?

Yes, naturally, and even on the physical, but outside you rather than within.

There is certainly a great difference from my ordinary meditations. Now I feel, perhaps better than during the meditation, that there is something there quite close, which descended.

Saturday, September 18, 1926

Mother must have told you about our meditation of last Tuesday. After the meditation I felt very deeply the presence of a great calm force which was behind me. It did not enter my consciousness but I felt it nevertheless backing me.

When in meditation, the divine force comes readily down. It works through the navel centre on the vital and also it seems on the physical. There is not any powerful vibration of the lowest centre, but I feel as if a force was expanding in the physical itself. It seems to me quite distinct from the vital.

You say it expands?

... I would rather say it permeates the subtle physical part of the body. But I am not perfectly sure of it. Let us wait and see.

Behind the chest centre, which is always very active, I feel the presence of something and from there my aspiration goes above and unites with the force coming down. I see a kind of connecting line between this centre and the top of the head. It is a straight line. Is there anything like that ?

It means that your psychic aspiration is rising and calls the force down. A connection is formed. At the end all the centres will be connect­ed in that way.

My mind is still active on the old lines. How is it that it does not stop !

The old habit recurs ! But it does not matter much as long as the aspiration is able to bring down the force. The mind by itself could not do much ; but the force that comes from the Divine is more powerful.

Now, I will be more busy outside with this new work in the archives. I hope it will not disturb me ...

It is not an absorbing work !

Of course not. As soon as it is over I forget all about it. But it seems that the work that best suits me is teaching. As regards teaching in the college, the Governor has met an opposition in Mr. V... the director.

He is completely in the hands of the priests.

I hope in time to get something there. It would suit me better than the present work.

Saturday, September 25, 1926

Meditation has become easier. It is more substantial, more vivid. Up to now it had always been hard and difficult, a pressure erected by the mind. Now a certain interest is found in meditation itself.

That it has become more vivid is due to the fact that the vital is opening.

The principal fact is that the force comes down to the physical. It is felt by the physical consciousness and the pressure acts especially over the centres of the knees and legs. The pressure is so strong that I am now lying down during meditation. At certain times I feel a pressure

above and behind me. It is not a punctual pressure (it is not a single point of consciousness) but I feel it, touch it so to say, not only in relation with the head centre but also with the heart centre. What this pressure is I don't know. It is formless, but gives me a strong feeling of peace, calm and bliss. My feelings are also roused. What is it ?

(Smiling) You have to wait and see what is beginning to manifest itself. Do you feel it especially at meditation time?

Yes. But also when I turn my inner touch towards it I can feel it at other times. There is nothing else to say.

Monday, October 2, 1926

There is nothing new to say about this last week. The same working goes on. At the evening sitting I feel above the presence of a great peace; it is there but it does not come down, though my mind is quieter also. I suppose it has to come down !

'yes, it will.

My thoughts are then seen as happening below. There is not much difference felt between a thought of mine and the voice of somebody else. They all play before me so to say.

Since my coming here my mind has gone through a whole process. Now, I don't feel much inclined towards space and time and towards reading books. The only thing that remains as a part of mental activity is the business of ordinary life. This is sometimes troublesome; however, I generally succeed in keeping it away during meditation.

In the vital I feel the same working. Are there two centres, one below and one above the navel?

The vital centre is at the navel itself. There is a play of forces between this centre and the chest centre. There is a connection between that part and the more physical part of the mind, the material stuff of mind. Below the centre of the navel there is another centre, a vital centre also, which is in connection with life, outward life. The activities of the navel centre may be felt all around the waist. From that centre to Muladhara, all is vital. At Muladhara the vital connects with the physical.

It seems that all these centres become active, though I don't dis­tinguish very well their various activities.

As for the physical consciousness, it appears to me as being somewhere at the level of the mouth?

It may be anywhere. The centres are fixed, but the physical con­sciousness may be centred anywhere. The fact that it is in connection with the throat centre is a common one. It is the centre of speech and of for­mulation and most of the vital and physical activities are connected there.

I see the difference. From mulddhara the force proceeds downwards towards the legs and feet or permeates the whole physical conscious­ness. But the centre of consciousness, which appears as separate in meditation from the higher consciousness, is felt where I said.

Now there is something I don't understand. When I meditated with Mother last Tuesday the divine force came down. But what is the part of either you or Mother in such a coming down?

I don't understand !

Well ! The divine force comes from inside. How can it be brought down by somebody else? It is not a mere tuning of the vehicles, a quieting of the mind which could be done from outside, but a real call ...

The explanation! ? It is a fact, is it not ?

Yes.

Then that is sufficient.

But I meant to say this. Suppose I had not come here, but remained doing yoga elsewhere, I and God would have been the same, but this coming would not have happened. Is there any kind of inter­mediary centre of divine force, for instance in the spiritual force which is here above?

Even in the case of those who look only for liberation and try to merge into God, such a help from someone who has realised before is generally necessary because the forces of ignorance are too strong. What is trying to come down here is a power for knowledge. In the past, knowledge has been reached also but a different kind of knowledge, a knowledge more abstract. Now it is a knowledge for effectuation, for practical purposes of the human life. That is what is in the spiritual force above. And as you are in touch here with it, it tries to manifest in you.

Mother has spoken of the blue light of Shri Krishna?

Yes. Krishna is generally depicted as blue. It is his colour. It means that it is one aspect of the Divine. All these colours are aspects of the divine force.

Is it a force of Knowledge?

Not exactly. Knowledge manifests more by a force whose colour is golden. Though it includes many other things.

Then it is a force of divine love.

It is a force of true devotion that raises the psychic being to a pure aspiration. It includes also many things. But names are always limiting. You must not hanker after naming things but see what is behind, realise and know.

Has it any connection with the historical Krishna?

 It does not matter, after all, does it ?

Sunday, October 3, 1926

Interview with Mother

Mother : Do not seek the truth with your mind ! ... All that you have done so far, all that you have learnt ought to be put aside. What holds you back is your education and your mental habits.

A Hindu who had the deep experience you had last time would have drawn knowledge from it. That experience truly would have brought knowledge, it was beautiful enough, wasn't it ? and you felt all its power. But your European mentality came in the way. Your inner being opened, put itself in a receptive attitude which allowed the descent. Instead of trying to reason, plunge into the experience itself.

If I asked a question it was not that my mind was anxious or wanted so much to convert everything into mental terms. My mind has suffered hard blows and it is no longer so exacting. I feel a truth quite close : there is a part in me which knows it. But from time to time a question comes up in my mind, without its attaching much importance to it.

When you put the question to it, it was on the point of speaking. But it cannot speak before the psychic being is open.

If that experience could have brought along the desired change of attitude, all would have been transformed. But that must come, it is bound to come. You are on the eve of that. It depends on your opening to the Divine.

Next week you may come to the small meditation-room*. You may feel something. That is why I am asking you to come.

*The verandah in front of the "Prosperity" hall.

Saturday, October 9, 1926

The pressure bears more upon the mind now. It works at a complete quieting of the mind and for a separation of my consciousness from the workings.

But is it always the mind that is working ?

Yes. I feel in me a consciousness distinct from the mind, behind me; but when working I come again to the mind.

What will happen is that the mind no longer works, but all knowledge comes from above. The mind receives it, of course, but it has no longer to ascertain the truth by reasoning. And the workings, even the most outward like tuition, etc. are directed from above.

Does it mean that the mind is perfectly still?

The mind is nothing else then but a channel.

Why is it so difficult to bring into my active consciousness the inner experiences ?

Because this consciousness has taken a habitual position, from which it is very difficult to dislodge it. It can be done in two ways. The first is by the mind itself. But it is very slow, especially in cases where the mind has been rigidly trained and has worked much, as in Europeans. In most Hindus where the mind is trained differently it is more easy. But this way is also not absolutely secure. When the mind, enlightened, begins to awaken, the vital powers arise. In the practical use of these powers, the mind is capable of making mistakes, and even if it receives the light from above, it may mistranslate the truth. On the other hand, the second way is shorter and surer, it is the opening of the psychic being. It is surer because it knows the truth and if a mistake is made, it feels uneasy until it is set right.

I feel in me some partial awakening of the inner being.

(Smiling) That is true, but it has to come completely forward.

Tuesday, October 12, 1926

Meditation with Mother at 11-45 a.m.

It is difficult for me to distinguish everything that happens during meditation. I only know that a sweet and powerful and luminous force descends into the vital right up to the physical.

A certain surface activity of the mind always remains. Is it that which prevents me from perceiving clearly ?

What is its nature ?

Creative thoughts come and seek to enter in. Sometimes they remain without penetrating very deep. At other times I am obliged to throw them out lest they get hold of me.

Yes, that has something to do with it but it is not so important.

The receptivity is good. As soon as you are seated, the force descends and you receive it. What is missing is something in the consciousness. You do not get sufficiently absorbed in the inner experience. If that were so you would return with the full knowledge of what happened.

Between your head and chest a line of light is set up, a column, but not round, a square column so to say, of gleaming light. It is like a cage, the preparation of,an abode for what is going to descend.

Yesterday evening, he spoke to you about the four aspects of the supermind, did you follow ? Well, this white light comes from Mahesh­wari, it is a light of knowledge and purity. It is she who is the great preparer of the yoga. When that is ready generally an aspect of power (Maha­kali) descends, which takes a personal form, whilst the force of Maheshwari is impersonal (at least here). I was expecting to see this descent. But the work of preparation was long — of assimilation and cutting off from the exterior, that took almost the whole time. At the same time a third ring separated you as though to cut you off from the world where you lived externally and also from your past. This force comes from Mahalakshmi.

The force of purification is always there now, preparing, regulating. I am always following you though I do not see you physically. As the preparation was very good I thought something would manifest in your consciousness today. But one must not be in too great

hurry, it will come another time.

Before coming here all my meditations were in a wrong direction. Purely mental. I had no idea of what the inner experience was. That is why perhaps I have these difficulties. But perhaps this too was useful after all?

Yes, as a preparation of the instrument.

But what we are doing here is so different from what people are in the habit of thinking, even here in India, and so much more in Europe or in ...

…October 1926

Mother : ... in the inner experience.

That I know quite well. Even in meditation my mind remains active, my consciousness often follows in its train. I go to and fro so to say between the inner and outer movements. I cannot remain for long united with the inner movement. But I hope that when this inner experience becomes more enduring, I shall become more easily ab­sorbed in it.

At present I have often the feeling of transparency. My mind becomes transparent and thoughts are like little centres of activity in this translucent milieu.

Yes, this is an experience which will develop.

Saturday, October 16, 1926

I feel the working of two forces. One goes straight to the psychic centre and remains there.... The other comes from above and per­meates the outer consciousness, the mind first then the vital. The first is more inner, but calls the second one into action.

THESE are two workings of the force.

I have difficulties in keeping my mind concentrated upon the inner experience. When I am watching these movements, I don't watch the thoughts and they often carry me off.

But that is the correct movement that has to be made. The thoughts come in and go out without being noticed, without attention paid to them. But you must watch the inner movement and not the outer one. At first you had to act upon the mind to quiet it to some extent, in order to allow the force to begin its work. But now you must detach yourself from the mind itself.

Are there not two methods? One consists in looking at the thoughts as they cross the field of the mind. The other in losing consciousness of them by concentrating upon the inner movement?

I think you can now enter the second movement. And you must keep in mind that the more you can overcome the idea of working by yourself, the quicker you will go. Allow things to be done for you.

I think that means keeping always the inner connection with the force within.

Yes. Till you become one with the force. All things will be directed from within. The inner consciousness will remain calm and peaceful though for some work you may enter again the outer movement and come back again.

I suppose this idea of self will also disappear, for it has no "raison d'etre" and is troublesome.

Yes, it will.

I have at times the sense of transparency, the thoughts happening as local activities which I am looking at.

There are two ways: one by oneself — it is slow — one by allowing everything to be done by the Divine — it is quick. Mother has told you about your taking part in their meditation?

I think I misunderstood. I thought she meant my meditation with the group here with you.

No. With them.

What I got in my meditations with Mother is invaluable. And I know that much more has been received than I am conscious of. In fact I am but little conscious of what happened.

But Mother told me that you received well enough.

Yes, certainly. But I only feel a deep and strong and luminous force coming down. My knowledge is informal.

Anyhow you are able to follow the movement. Very few are conscious of all that happens.

I am thankfully willing to participate in the meditation. But I will do what you decide, as you know better.

Now, Mme. W. told me of the possibility of my being invited to dinner by the British Consul. There is an architect from Madras for some time here. I don't think there is any reason to accept.

I neither. But I will speak with Mother and answer later.

Sunday, October 17, 1926

With Mother:

I think I have understood what you meant. Since yesterday I have changed everything in my meditation. Instead of doing things myself as though I was directing the force, I quite simply open myself and remain passive. Almost the whole day through I could keep the contact with the force and opened myself to its action.

Mother: I felt you very close all the day.

But this puts me to sleep.

There is nothing against that. During sleep, in you as in many others, there is no resistance left. Everything opens and the working is perfect. If you feel inclined to sleep don't resist it.

About the meditation, what have you decided?

 It is decided if you are yourself ready within.

I consider this meditation as infinitely valuable, and accept it gratefully.

I must ask you not to feel surprised in your outer consciousness if you see certain things which could set you wondering. They consider this room (for meditation) a temple and behave as they would in a temple only replacing the idol by a human figure. That gives them the plenitude they need. You are brought up differently...

Do not fear. First of all, this won't surprise me, I understand very well their feeling. I do not act altogether like them, probably because, as you say, I am brought up in other conditions and have less need of outer manifestations. I obey, however, what I feel within. As for being surprised, why?

Tuesday, October 19, 1926

Meditation with Mother at I2-15 a.m.

Something deep must have happened. I followed the movement on the whole. It seems to me there were two different forces. The first calm and luminous. The second, stronger, was fixed there (solar plexus).

Mother : A force of strength ?

Yes — a force of strength. My mind was more calm today.

When you came, you were well prepared. Your psychic being had prepared and adorned — under a symbolic form — a sort of bed of roses and gold leaves to receive what was going to come down. It was very pretty.

The force which descended is a force of transformation. It will act from the centre now — fully conscious of the movements.

..............................

(Here, several pages from Pavitra's notebook were torn)

Mother : ... for want of a better word, I would say : several exams — or "tests" if you like. You have passed them all successively and re­gularly, which shows that you were quite sincere. Now all will go well till the end — all will be easy. I am sure of it.

Tomorrow he will see you after your meditation.

In this way, I won't miss the meditation !

Saturday, October 23, 1926

At first, I will speak of my meditation alone. Then I feel, as I said, two workings of force, one is behind the heart. The impression it gives me is of living fire, but obscure. On the contrary the force coming from above in the mind has a light behind : though I don't see it, I know it is there. Taking for instance my meditation with Mother today, I will say what happens when meditating with her. I feel at first a preparatory period, when the force comes down to the head and remains there a certain time. Then it goes down and takes possession of the central being. There it remains. My consciousness is then drawn backwards, but as it is a new movement for my body, there is some difficulty arising from it, in the chest and throat, as for instance a choking sensation.

With Mother my mind is quiet , its activity is greatly dimi­nished and does not disturb me. But when alone, as I don't act upon it now, it is sometimes very chaotic and disturbs me very much.

What kind of movements ?

Always the same old movement. A noise awakens some association and the mind spins around it and goes on. Then I find myself carried away and have to come back again and again.

Do you see what kind of movements they are ? Are they true mental movements or do they arise from below ?

They arise from below and I don't think there is anything new in them. But there is also another kind of mental movement. Very often now I find myself thinking of you or of Mother, thinking that I will see you tomorrow, for instance, what I will say to you, or seeing myself offering flowers to Mother...

Seeing ?

Not seeing, imagining rather. The process is the ordinary mental one, it seems. But as I am awaking to the reality of what I had only an intuition formerly, and as I come in touch with the light here above, my mind is directed towards you. It may be there is something genuine, but then the mind immediately works according to its old fashion. What have I to do here?

You have nothing to do. The two movements you are conscious of are movements of the same force. When it comes to the centre in the chest, it awakens the being to the truth and turns it upwards. It is the human way of establishing the communication with what is above, a straight line with the supramental truth. When the force will be esta­blished there and the central being come out, seize upon the outer being, it will effect the transformation. It will direct the force downwards, every-where, and effect the change.

I am so tired of my mind.

But these movements are not so important. They are the remnants of the old way of working and they will fade away.

I am awaiting a more radical change. Up to the present, though something very luminous is dawning in me, there is no radical change of consciousness. I am still the old self.

What are you expecting ?

Well ! Many things. For instance I will see my lower self as I see others' selves. I will be no more bound by the body ...

Of course the time will come when you will see the movements of nature in you as in others. But what you are waiting for, is it not a mental demand ? It is better not to make such demands, for they always misrepresent the Truth. What you are asking is the Truth and you must not state in advance that the Truth must be so and so. The mental repre­sentations, even the best ones, are imperfect and they become obstacles. What is needed is to realise the experiences as a part of yourself.

Then it is too much to wait for such a change? I am awaiting a change. Perhaps it is wrong to await something?

No, but it is wrong to state in advance what the change will be.

Now, in meditation I only open myself to the force and allow it to work. I am not acting upon my mind any longer ; that is why it is so restless at times. This change in my meditation occurred last Satur­day. I was then very conscious of the presence in me and I kept the touch with it the whole day. But since that day, though it is still working, I am not so much conscious of it. Sometimes the force acts in the mind, sometimes in the central being. What shall I do? I have left the idea of directing the force.

(Sri Aurobindo smiles).

But shall I follow all its movements?

Remain open and passive and follow. That is what you have to do. The force will transform by itself and by its own means and ways. The way of doing it with the mind is slow and imperfect, though the mind sometimes thinks it to be the best, because it feels itself acting. That is wrong. The mind does not know the conditions and the means. That force acts with a directness of which the mind is incapable. And you are receptive enough to allow it to work. Obstacles may arise, obstacles in the physical, vital or mental, as they arise always. But that does not matter. They will be worked out and rejected. Do not try to do something by yourself.

I feel also an increasing need for peace, tranquillity. And even the little work I do outside disturbs me for the present. I would like to minimise it, or even to give it up. But I suppose I have to keep it.

Yes. It is better to keep it. And you will arrive at a state where you will do that work only with the outer part of yourself. It will then no longer disturb you.

Yes. But for the present, it is a little difficult and painful. It seems a period of transition.

Yes. It is a period of transition.

(Here, several pages of conversations with Mother were torn)

Saturday, October 30, 1926

Nothing remarkable is to be said. Meditation is becoming deeper and more luminous. I feel my consciousness as if bathing in light. Also it happened that I felt to some extent separated from my outer consciousness. Yesterday evening, in meditation, my consciousness was very much withdrawn inside and I nearly lost consciousness of the body. Thinking it to be a help, I called Mother, but instead of helping me to go beyond, it seemed that she brought me back to the physical consciousness. It is only an impression, I have not spoken to her since.

It is not always equally easy. Some days are better than others. But apart from these slight variations and from the recurring thoughts of the mind there are no special difficulties now. The force is working mainly in front of the face, where it purifies and pacifies, and on the vital. I feel the force as luminous, white. It pervades the mind but not yet the whole being.

My physical body feels a little the strain resulting from the different movements. Today I woke up with a pain in the back. I don't know if it has any relation to yoga or is simply due to cold? It may perhaps have a connection with the psychic centre ?

But why is the vital not opening ?

It is opening. Much more work is being done than is felt by your ordinary consciousness. Mother tells me sometimes what is happening during the meditation. It is all very good. The task of connecting the

two consciousnesses is going on. When this will be done, it will go quickly.

 In meditation I don't remain completely passive but I follow what the force does. I talked with Mother about the matter and she said that passivity was required in the beginning of the meditation but that when the force has begun to work cooperation is to be practised.

Of course following the movement was understood. To follow the movement, and see what it is doing there. Complete passivity would be inconscience.

Completely passive I would go to sleep.

I became conscious of a centre in the middle of the head, a centre connected with both ears. I don't know yet more about it, only its existence.

Sunday, October 31, 1926

 Interview with Mother

My meditation was calm and deep. A great force descended. But the last two days were not very luminous. Yesterday particularly was a little cloudy.

The evening the day before, during meditation, I almost lost consciousness of my body. I called you to help me; but instead of helping me to free myself you put me back into my physical con­sciousness.

Mother : Yes. To leave one's consciousness in order to enter another state is not what one must seek. That may be interesting as an experience ; but the present movement is different. It is a question of linking up the two consciousnesses, but that means to bring down the higher conscious­ness into the physical body. Everything must be present there in the natural consciousness. You will be brought back thus every time you try to escape.

Something is being prepared for you. That was said yesterday. It is as though the divine will had traced the goal, and the road ; it is as though it had told you : "You will be like that". It was very clear. The Goal is known to us, but it is reserved for us two. To you it is rather the road that this indicated. And this road is very different from what you expected in your outer consciousness. I wouldn't know how to express it. You would not understand me in your outer consciousness. Your inner being knows : it almost told me sometime ago something very similar. That must become conscious. You are on the eve of something. Don't be surprised if it is very different from what you expect or if it is very intense. It is so willed.

…?...

Today I saw that a shadow had tried to cloud things. But there is nothing left of it now. When something like this descends, the first effect is to raise up all the oppositions. All that is unsubdued in the being bristles up. Then there is a waiting in the darkness, for one sees nothing yet. That must be the cause of your difficulties yesterday.

Remain calm and concentrated.

(Several conversations which followed were torn)

 

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India.