Author Archives: The Mother

The Mother’s Vedic Experience

The entire consciousness immersed in divine contemplation, the whole being enjoyed a supreme and vast felicity.

  Then was the physical body seized, first in its lower members and the next the whole of it, by a sacred trembling which made all personal limits fall away little by little even in the most material sensation. The being grew in greatness progressively, methodically, breaking down every barrier, shattering every obstacle, that it might contain and manifest a force and a power which increased ceaselessly in immensity and intensity. It was a progressive dilatation of the cells until there was a complete identification with the earth: the body of the awakened consciousness was the terrestrial globe moving harmoniously in ethereal space. And the consciousness knew that its global body was moving in the arms of the universal Being, and it gave itself, it abandoned itself to It in an ecstasy of perfect bliss. Then it felt that its body was absorbed in the body of the universe and one with it; the consciousness became the consciousness of the universe, immobile in its totality, moving infinitely in its internal complexity. The consciousness of the universe sprang towards the Divine in an ardent aspiration, a perfect surrender, and it saw in the splendour of the immaculate Light the radiant Being standing on a many-headed serpent whose body coiled infinitely around the universe. The being in an eternal gesture of triumph mastered and created at one and the same time the serpent and the universe that issued from him; erect on the serpent he dominated it with all his victorious might, and the same gesture that crushed the hydra enveloping the universe gave it eternal birth. Then the consciousness became this Being and perceived that its form was changing once more; it was absorbed into something which was no longer a form and yet contained all forms, something which, immutable, sees, – the Eye, the Witness. And what It sees, is. Then this last vestige of form disappeared and the consciousness itself was absorbed into the Unutterable, the Ineffable.

The return towards the consciousness of the individual body took place very slowly in a constant and invariable splendour of Light and Power and Felicity and Adoration, by successive gradations, but directly, without passing again through the universal and terrestrial forms. And it was as if the modest corporeal form had become the direct and immediate vesture, without any intermediary, of the supreme and eternal Witness.

                                                               *

Sri Aurobindo wrote,

‘The experience you have described is Vedic in the real sense, though not one which would easily be recognised by the modern systems of Yoga which call themselves Vedic. It is the union of the “Earth” of the Veda and Purana with the divine Principle, an earth which is said to be above our earth, that is to say, the physical being and consciousness of which the world and the body are only images. But the modern Yogas hardly recognise the possibility of a material union with the Divine.

 

Reproduced from: The Mother’s Collected Works, Volume 1, pages 308 and 309.

 

On the Destiny of India

        India is not the earth, rivers and mountains of this land

 neither is it a collective name for the inhabitants

 of this country.  India is a living being,

 as much living as, say, Shiva.
India is like a goddess.  If she likes, she can manifest

in human form.

 

*

 

In the whole of creation the earth has its place

of distinction, because unlike any other planet it is evolutionary

with a psychic entity at its centre.

In it, India, in particular, is a divinely chosen country.

 

*

 

India must be saved for the good of the world

since India alone can lead the world

to peace and a new world order.

 

*

 

India is the country where the psychic law

MUST rule and the time has come for that HERE.

Besides, it is the only possible salvation for this country

whose consciousness has unfortunately been warped

by the influence and domination of a foreign nation,

but which, in spite of everything, possesses a

unique spiritual heritage.

 

*

The soul of India is one and indivisible.

India is conscious of her mission in the world.

She is waiting for the exterior means of manifestation.

 

*

 

…the division (Partition) was not decreed,

it was a human deformation.  Unquestionably it was

a human deformation.

 

The Mother

The Mother comments on Sri Aurobindo and History

(The outline of a study project, ‘On the Spiritual History of India’, was read to the Mother. She commented the following.)


No! It won’t do. It is not to be done that way. You should begin with a big BANG! You were trying to show the continuity of history, with Sri Aurobindo as the outcome, the culmination. It is false, entirely. Sri Aurobindo does not belong to history; he is outside and beyond history.

Till the birth of Sri Aurobindo, religions and spiritualists were always centred on past figures, and they were showing as the goal the negation of life on Earth. So, you had a choice between two alternatives: either


– life in this world with its round of petty pleasures and pains, joys and suffering, threatened by hell if you were not behaving properly, or


– an escape into another world, heaven, nirvana, moksha… Between these two there is nothing much to choose, they are equally bad.


Sri Aurobindo has told us that this was a fundamental mistake which accounts for the weakness and degradation of India. Buddhism, Jainism, Illusionism were sufficient to sap all energy out of the country.

True, India is the only place in the world which is still aware that something other than matter exists. The other countries have quite forgotten it: Europe, America and elsewhere… That is why she still has a message to preserve and deliver to the world. But at present she is splashing and floundering in a muddle.

Sri Aurobindo has shown that the truth does not lie in running away from life but in remaining in it, to transform it, divinise it, so that the Divine can manifest HERE, in this PHYSICAL WORLD.

You should state this all at the first setting. You should be square and frank…like that!

[The Mother outlines a large square on the table.]

Then, when this is told, strongly, squarely, and there is no doubt about it – and only then – you can go on and amuse yourself with the history of religions and religious or spiritual leaders.

Then – and only then – you will be able to show the seed of weakness and falsehood that they have harboured and proclaimed.

Then – and only then – you will be able to discern, from time to time, from place to place, an ‘intuition’ that something else is possible. In the Vedas, for instance (the injunction to descend deep into the cave of the Panis)…in the Tantras also – a little light burning.


Published in The Advent, August 1978

The Mother on ‘Humanity Under the Supramental Influence’

You felt nothing special on Darshan Day?

 

No

 

Sri Aurobindo was there from the morning till the evening. For, yes, for more than a hour he made me live, as in a concrete and living vision of the condition of humanity and of the different strata of humanity in relation to the new or supramental creation. And it was wonderfully clear and concrete and living…. There was all the humanity which is no longer altogether animal, which has benefitted by mental development and created a kind of harmony in its life – a harmony vital and artistic, literary – in which the large majority are content to live. They have caught a kind of harmony, and within it they live life as it exists in a civilised surrounding, that is to say, somewhat cultured, with refined tastes and refined habits. And all this life has a certain beauty where they are at ease, and unless something catastrophic happens to them, they live happy and contented, satisfied with life. These people can be drawn (because they have taste, they are intellectually developed), they can be attracted by the new forces, the new things, the future life; for example, they can become disciples of Sri Aurobindo mentally, intellectually. But they do not feel at all the need to change materially; and if they were compelled to do so, it would be first of all premature, unjust, and would simply create a great disorder and disturb their life altogether uselessly.

This was very clear.

Then there were some – rare individuals – who were ready to make the necessary effort to prepare for the transformation and to draw the new forces, to try to adapt Matter, to seek means of expression, etc. These are ready for the yoga of Sri Aurobindo. They are very few in number. There are even those who have the sense of sacrifice and are ready for a hard, painful life, if that would lead or help towards this future transformation. But they should not, they should not in any way try to influence the others and make them share in their own effort; it would be altogether unfair – and not only unfair, but extremely maladroit, for it would change the universal rhythm and movement, or at least the terrestrial movement, and instead of helping, it would create conflicts and end in a chaos.

But it was so living, so real that my whole attitude (how to say it? – a passive attitude which is not the result of an active will), the whole position taken in the work has changed. And that has brought a peace – a peace and a calmness and a confidence altogether decisive. A decisive change. And even what seemed in the earlier position to be obstinacy, clumsiness, inconscience, all kinds of deplorable things, all that has disappeared. It was like the vision of a great universal Rhythm in which each thing takes its place…everything is all right. And the effort for transformation, reduced to a small number, becomes a thing much more precious and much more powerful for the realisation. It is as though a choice has been made for those who will be the pioneers of the new creation. And all those ideas of ‘spreading’, of ‘preparing’, or of ‘churning Matter’…are a childishness. It is human restlessness.

The vision was of a beauty so majestic, so calm, so smiling, oh! …it was full, truly full of the divine Love. And not a divine Love that ‘pardons’ – it is not at all like that, not at all! Each thing in its place, realising its inner rhythm as perfectly as it can.

It was a very beautiful gift.

Well, all these things people know in some part, intellectually, like that, an idea; they know all that, but it is quite useless. In the experience of each day, one lives in accordance with something else, a truer understanding. And there, it was as if one touched these things – one saw them, touched them – in their higher order.

It came after a vision of plants and the spontaneous beauty of plants (it is something so wonderful!), then of the animal with so harmonious a life (as long as men do not intervene), and all that was in its right place. Then of the true humanity as humanity, that is, the maximum of what a mental poise can create of beauty, harmony, charm, elegance of life, taste of living…a taste of living in beauty, and naturally suppressing all that is ugly and low and vulgar. It was a fine humanity – humanity at its maximum, but lovely. And which is perfectly satisfied with its humanity, because it lives harmoniously. It is perhaps also like a promise of what almost the whole of humanity will become under the influence of the new creation: it seemed to me that it was what the supramental consciousness could make of humanity. There was even a comparison with what humanity has made of the animal species. (It is extremely mixed, naturally, but some things have become perfected, some improvements, more complete utilisations.) Animality under mind’s influence has become another thing, which is naturally something mixed, because mind was incomplete. In the same way there are examples of a harmonious humanity among well-balanced people, and this seemed to be what humanity could become under the supramental influence.

Only it is very far ahead. One should not expect it to happen immediately – it is very far ahead.

It is clearly – even now – a transitional period, which may last a long time and which is rather painful. But the effort, sometimes painful (often painful) is compensated by a clear vision of the goal to be attained, the goal that will be attained: an assurance, yes, a certainty. But it [the supramental influence] would be something that would have the power to eliminate all error, all deformation, and the ugliness of mental life – and then a humanity very happy, very satisfied with being human, not at all feeling the need of being anything other than human, but with a human beauty, a human harmony.

It was very charming. It was as though I lived in it. The contradictions had disappeared. It was as though I lived in this perfection. And it was almost like the ideal conceived by the supramental consciousness, of a humanity that had become as perfect as it could be. And it was very fine.

This brings a great relaxation. The tension, the friction, all that had disappeared, and the impatience. All that had completely disappeared.

 

That is, you concentrate the work instead of diffusing it a little everywhere.

 

No, it may be difficult materially, because the individuals are not necessarily collected together. But they are few in number.

The idea of a pressing need to ‘prepare’ humanity for the new creation, this impatience has disappeared.

 

It must first of all be realised in some.

 

Quite so.

For example, take a book like yours [The Adventure of Consciousness] – but I knew this from the beginning – a book like that would completely fulfil its purpose even if it reaches a dozen people. It does not need to be sold by the millions. If it reaches a dozen people, it will have fulfilled its purpose. It is like that.

I was seeing. I saw that in such a concrete way. Apart from those who are fit to prepare the transformation and the supramental realisation, and whose number is necessarily very restricted, there must develop more and more, in the midst of the ordinary mass of humanity, a superior humanity which has toward the supramental being of the future or in the making the same attitude as animality, for example, has towards man. There must be, besides those who work for the transformation and who are ready for it, a superior humanity, intermediary, which has found in itself or in life this harmony with Life – this human harmony – and which has the same feeling of adoration, devotion, faithful consecration to ‘something’ which seems to it so high that  it does not even try to realise it, but worships it and feels the need of its influence, its protection, and the need to live under this influence, to have the delight of being under this protection. It was so clear. But not this anguish, these torments of wanting something that escapes you because – because it is not your destiny yet to have it, and because the amount of transformation needed is premature for your life and it is that then which creates a disorder and suffering.

For example, one of the very concrete things that illustrates the problem well: humanity has the sexual impulse in a way altogether natural, spontaneous and, I would say, legitimate. This impulse will naturally and spontaneously disappear with animality, as for example the need to eat and perhaps to sleep in the way we sleep now. But the most conscious impulse in a superior humanity, which has continued as a source of…bliss is a big word, but joy, delight – is certainly the sexual activity, and that will have absolutely no reason for existence in the functions of Nature when the need to create in that way will no longer exist. Therefore. the capacity of entering into relation with the joy of life will rise by one step or will be oriented differently. But what the spiritual aspirants of the past had sought on principle – sexual negation – is an absurd thing, because this must be only for those who have gone beyond that stage and who no longer have animality in them. And it must drop off naturally, without effort and without struggle. To make of it a centre of conflict, of struggle and of effort is ridiculous. My experience with the Ashram has fully proven this to me, because I have seen all the stages, and that all these ideas, these prohibitions are absolutely useless, and that it is only when the consciousness ceases to be human that it falls away naturally. In this there is a transition which can be a bit difficult, because the beings in transition are always in an unstable equilibrium; but there is inside a sort of flame and a need which makes it not painful – it is not a painful effort, it is something one can do ‘smiling’. But to wish to impose this on those who are not ready for such a transition is absurd. I was criticised for having encouraged certain people to get married; there are many children to whom I say, “Get married! Get married! People say. ‘What? You are encouraging them?’ – But it is common sense.

It is common sense. They are human, but they shouldn’t pretend not to be.

It is only when, spontaneously, the impulsion becomes impossible for you, when you feel it is something tiresome and contrary to your profound needs that it becomes easy. At that moment, well, externally you break the bonds, and then it is finished.

It is one of the most convincing examples.

It is the same thing with food – it will be the same thing. There will probably be a transition when there will be food less and less purely material. This is what they are seeking now: all their vitamins and pills, it is an instinctive search for a less down-to-earth food and which will surely serve as a transition.

There are many things like that. Since the 24th [the day of the Darshan] I live in that new consciousness and I saw the scenario of many things. There were even experiences which I had before and which I understood now. Like, for example, when I fasted for ten days (completely, without even a drop of water), without even a thought given to food (I didn’t have the time to eat), and it was not an effort: it was a decision. At that time there was a capacity which developed little by little, and, for example, when I smelled flowers it was nourishing. I saw that: one is nourished in a more subtle way.

However, the body is not ready. The body is not ready and it deteriorates; that is, it eats itself. So that proves that the time had not come and it was only an experience – an experience which teaches you something, which teaches you that it mustn’t be a brutal refusal to enter into relation with the corresponding matter or an isolation (one cannot isolate oneself, it is impossible), but a communion on a more elevated or more profound plane.

The message that was distributed for the 24th, it was Sri Aurobindo who told me to keep it for the 24th; it was very clear and categorical, and I didn’t know why. But now he showed me why clearly, and I have understood. Because this Power is becoming more and more evident – the Power of Truth. And naturally human thought, which is infantile (it has the same relation to the supramental which one could call animal thought or feeling has with human thought or feeling), has almost a need for superstition (…superstition is a bad word for something that is not bad: it is a faith, ignorant, candid and very confident). Well, that faith, as soon as you feel the influence of a Power, makes you believe in miracles, and makes you believe that now the Supermind is going to manifest and we are going to be supramental, and then…

It is as if we were to tell a dog: ‘Do not believe at all that I am the way you imagine me to be, that I am all-powerful, all-knowing.’ If one told it the truth, as one humanly is, the poor dog would be very disappointed! He believes you are the all-powerful being who knows all, can do anything. Well, it is the same thing. One cannot tell a dog, “You are superstitious.’

 

(silence)

 

Those who have reached higher regions of intelligence but who have not dominated the mental faculties in themselves, have a candid need for the whole world to think as they do and be able to understand as they understand; and when they see that others cannot, do not understand, their first reaction is to be horribly shocked. They say, ‘What an imbecile!’ But they are not imbeciles; they are different, they are in another region. One cannot say to an animal, ‘You are an imbecile’. One says, ‘It is an animal.’ Well, we say, ‘He is a man.’ He is a man’, except that there are those who are not men anymore and who are not yet gods, and these are the ones in a very…in English they say ‘awkward’…position.

But it is so comforting, so sweet, so marvellous, that vision – each thing expresses its species so naturally.

And then, the Flame… When the Flame is illumined everything becomes different. But that Flame is something entirely different; it is entirely different from the religious feeling, from the religious aspiration, religious adoration (all that is very good, it is the maximum man can do and it is very good, excellent for humanity); but that Flame, the Flame of Transformation is another thing.

I just remembered that Sri Aurobindo had made me recall something I wrote in Japan (which is included in the ‘Prayers and Meditations’) and I never understood what I had written. I always sought to know and I told myself, ‘What the devil could I have wanted to say? I don’t know at all.’ It came like that and I wrote it directly. There was the question of a ‘child’ and it was said, ‘Do not approach him too closely because it burns’, (I cannot remember the words anymore): and I always said to myself, ‘Who is that child whom I speak of? …And it is necessary not to approach too closely???’ Then suddenly just yesterday or the day before yesterday I understood. Suddenly Sri Aurobindo showed me; he said, ‘It is this: The ‘child’ is the beginning of the new creation, still in the infant stage, and do not touch it if you do not want to be burned – because it burns.’

 

(silence)

 

It is quite evident that with the wideness and the totality of the vision, something like a compassion that understands comes – not that pity of superior to inferior: the true divine Compassion which is the total understanding that each one is what he should be.

The only thing left is the deformations. There was also the explanation of the deformations. It is a decisive seeing which puts each thing in its place. A true revelation.

All these things…they have been said a thousand times, they have been written I don’t know how often, they have been thought and expressed – all that is fine, up there. But this, it came in the material plane itself, felt, lived, breathed, absorbed. It is another thing entirely. It is an understanding that has nothing to do with an intellectual understanding.

 

(after a long silence)

 

Sri Aurobindo continues telling me things… It is truly very interesting.

There is a sort of instinct to want everything to agree with our experience. But it is a tendency to uniformity, the uniform unity of the Supreme, which is the non-manifest Supreme, identical to Itself eternally, in contrast to the innumerable multiplicity of all the expressions of that Unity. And instinctively there is always a (gesture of retreating)

recoil into the Non-Manifest, instead of (the Mother opens her two hands) an acceptance of the manifestation in its totality. It is very interesting.

It is the first effect of the return to the Origin.

The first effect of the return to the Origin is simplification, identity, the Unique – the identical Unique. And there is the movement of the manifestation (gesture of expansion); the multiple Immensity.

It is instinctive.

 

L’Agenda de Mere, Vol. 6, 27 November 1965

 

 

A Dialogue – The Mother

The idea of sin is something I do not understand, I have never understood. ‘Original sin’ seemed to me one of the most monstrous ideas men have ever had – sin and me do not go very well together! So, naturally I agree with Sri Aurobindo completely, that there is no sin – that is clear, but…

There are certain things one could call ‘sins’ if one wants, like cruelty; well, I find only this explanation: it is the deformation of the taste or need for an extremely strong sensation. I observed in cruel people that it is then that they feel an ‘ananda’, they get from it an intense joy. Consequently, this legitimises it. Except that it is in such a deformed state that it is repugnant.

About the idea that things are not in their place, that, my child, is something I had understood even when I was little. And I found the explanation with Theon [the Mother’s teacher in occultism], because in his cosmogony he explained the successive ‘pralayas’ [destructions of the worlds] saying that in each universe it was an aspect of the Supreme that was manifesting; that each universe was constructed around an aspect of the Supreme, and that all, one after another, had returned to the Supreme (he enumerated all the aspects which had successively manifested, and with a logic in the succession that was extraordinary! I kept it somewhere but I don’t know where it is). And this time it was (I don’t even remember the number in the succession any longer), but this should be the universe that would not be withdrawn, that would follow a progression in the becoming which would be, so to say, indefinite. And that universe was the Equilibrium (not a static equilibrium but a progressive one). Equilibrium, that is (he explained), each thing in its place, exactly: each vibration, each movement in its place, each…and then, as one descends: each form, each activity, each element exactly in its place with respect to the whole.

That interested me very much because Sri Aurobindo said the same thing, that there is nothing ‘bad’: simply things are not in their place – their place, not only in space but in time; their universal place, their place in the universe, beginning with the worlds, the stars, etc, and each thing exactly in its place. And then, when each thing would be exactly in its place, from the most formidable to the most microscopic, the totality would express the Supreme PROGRESSIVELY without the need to be withdrawn and emanated once again. It was on this point that Sri Aurobindo based the fact that it is in this creation, this universe, that this sort of perfection of a divine world could manifest – what Sri Aurobindo called the Supramental.

Equilibrium is the essential law of that creation and that is what permits a perfection to be realised in the manifestation.

 

According to that idea, things ‘in their place’, another question came to me: with the descent of the Supermind, what would be the very first things that the supramental force would want to dislodge or try to dislodge?

 

The first things that it would dislodge?

 

 

     Yes, individually and cosmically, in order for everything to be in its place.

 

Would it ‘dislodge’ anything?… If we accept Sri Aurobindo’s idea, it would put each thing in its place, that’s all.

There is something that must necessarily cease: it is the Deformation, that is, the veil of falsehood covering the Truth, because that is what is responsible for everything we see, everything that exists here. If that is removed, things would be entirely different, necessarily: they would be as we feel them, when we come out of that consciousness. When one comes out of that consciousness, when one enters into that Truth-Consciousness, one is astonished that there can be anything like suffering and misery and death and all that; there is a sort of astonishment in the sense that…one cannot understand how this can happen (when one is pushed to the other side). But then that state of consciousness is always associated with the experience of the irreality of the world as we know it; whereas Sri Aurobindo says that that perception of the irreality of the world does not need to exist for the supramental consciousness: it is only the irreality of the Falsehood, not the irreality of the world. And that is very interesting. That is, that the world has a reality in itself, independent from the Falsehood.

I suppose that this will be the first effect of the Supermind – the first effect perhaps even in the individual, because it will start first with the individual.

That state of consciousness…probably must become constant, but then there is a problem: how can one remain in contact with the world as it is in its deformation? Because I have noticed something: when that state is strong in me, so strong that it resists anything that bombards it from outside, if I say something, people understand NOTHING! – nothing. Consequently, it must do away with a useful contact.

How would a small supramental creation be, like a nucleus of action and radiation on Earth, for example (taking the Earth alone)? Is it possible? …One can easily conceive of a nucleus of a superhuman creation…that is, men who have been men and who, through evolution and transformation (in the true sense of the word) have come to manifest supramental powers; but their origin is human, so while their origin is human there is forcibly a contact; even if everything is transformed, even if the organs are transformed into centres of force, there is still something human which remains, like a colouring. It is those beings, according to tradition, who would discover the secret of the supramental creation directly, without passing through the process of ordinary Nature. And so, it is through them that the real beings from the supramental world would be born, those who must, necessarily, live in a supramental world. But then, how would the contact be between those beings and the ordinary world? How to conceive of a sufficient transformation of nature for that supramental creation to be produced on earth? – I don’t know.

Naturally one knows that for such a thing to happen a considerable length of time is required, and there will probably be stages, degrees, faculties which will appear and which, for the moment, we do not know or we cannot conceive of, and which will change conditions on Earth – that is looking several thousand years ahead.

The problem remains: is it possible to use that idea of space – I mean space on the globe? Is it possible that there is a place in which this embryo or seed of a future supramental world can be created?

What I had seen… The plan had come in all its details: but it was a plan that, in its spirit and consciousness, is not at all in conformity with what it is possible to realise terrestrially right now (but in its most material manifestation, it was based on the existing earthly conditions). That idea of an ideal city which would be the nucleus of a small ideal country and which would only have purely superficial and extremely limited contacts in its dealings with the old world. One must therefore already conceive of (and this is possible) a Power sufficient to be at once a protection against aggression or bad will (that would not be the most difficult protection to get), and a protection against infiltration; the mixture… But that, one can, if need be, conceive of it. From the social point of view, from the point of view of organisation, the point of view of interior life, these are not difficult problems; the problem is the relation with what is not supramentalised, to impede infiltration, mixture; that is, to prevent this nucleus from falling into an inferior creation – it is a period of transition.

 

                                               (Silence)

 

All those who have thought about the problem have always imagined something unknown to the rest of humanity, in a place like a pass in the Himalayas, a place unknown to the rest of the humanity. But that is not a solution. That is not a solution at all.

No, the only solution is occult power. But that… Then that would mean already a creation of a certain number of individuals who had arrived at a great perfection of realisation, before anything could be done… But if that could be done, it is conceivable that one could have, cut off from the external world (there are no contacts, isn’t that so), a place where everything is exactly in its place, as an example. Each thing is exactly in its place, each person exactly in his place, each movement exactly in its place, and in its place in an ascending movement, progressive, without relapse (that is, just the contrary to what happens in ordinary life). So, naturally that would mean a sort of perfection; it also means a sort of unity. It means that the different aspects of the Supreme can be manifested; and necessarily an exceptional beauty, a total harmony; and a sufficient power to keep the forces of Nature under control: for example, even if that place is surrounded by the forces of destruction, those forces have no power to act – the protection is sufficient.

All of this demands an extreme, extreme degree of perfection in those individuals who would be the organisers of such a thing.

 

                                    (Long silence)

 

This must be similar to what happened for the appearance of the first man.

Finally, no one knows how the first men were formed, the first mental realisation. Is it known whether they were isolated individuals or if it was in groups? If this took place in the midst of others or isolated? I don’t know. There could be an analogy with the future case of the supramental creation.

In the solitude of the Himalayas or in the solitude of a virgin forest, it is not difficult to conceive of an individual who begins to create his small supramental world around him – that is easy to conceive. But the same thing is necessary: he must have arrived at such a degree of perfection that his power would act automatically to prevent intrusion from outside.

 

      Because he would be automatically exposed to attacks from outside?

 

They would automatically have to be protected; that is, all foreign or opposing elements must be prevented from approaching.

One does hear of stories like that, of people who live in an ideal solitude. That is not impossible to imagine at all. When one is in contact with the Power, when it is in you, one can see…that is child’s play! To the point even of being able to change certain things, to exert an influence on the environing vibrations and the environing forms which, automatically, would begin to be supramentalised. All that is possible – but it is on the individual scale. Whereas, let us take the example of what happens here: the individual who stays right in the middle of the chaos – that is where the difficulty lies!… Is it that, because of this fact, to arrive at a sort of perfection in the realisation is impossible? But the other also, the one isolated in the forest, it is always the same thing; it is the example that doesn’t prove at all that the rest will be able to follow. Whereas what happens here would already be a far more radiating action. This must happen at a certain point – it MUST happen. But the problem still remains: can this take place at the same time or before the other thing is realised: the individual, the one supramentalised individual?

 

                                                (Silence)

 

It is evident that in the conditions of community or group the realisation is far more complete, integral, total and probably more perfect than any individual realisation, which is always necessarily, NECESSARILY, on the external, material plane absolutely limited, because it is only one mode of manifestation, a microscopic aggregate of vibrations that are touched.

But from the point of view of facility of work, I think there is no comparison!

                                                (Silence)

 

So the problem remains. All those people like Buddha and the others, they FIRST realised, and then they returned to a contact with the world. Well that is very simple. But for what I envision, isn’t remaining in the world an indispensable condition in order for the realisation to be total?

That…

 

           (The Mother remains a long while absorbed, looking before her)

 

I am constantly seeing images! – not images: living things, as answers to the questions. There was a magnificent peacock being formed (the peacock is the symbol of victory here), and then his tail opened up like this, and on his tail a construction appeared, like the construction of that ideal place… It is a shame that we cannot photograph that world! There should be sufficiently sensitive plates – they have tried. That would be very interesting because it was moving like a cinema: they are not stills, they move.

 

(18 July 1961)

              From L’Agenda de Mere, Volume 2, 1961

                                    Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris, 1978

 

      *

 

[While the Peacock is the national bird of India and is indeed the symbol of Victory, it acquires this qualification because it is the vehicle of the God Kartikeya, Shiva’s Son, the War God of Victory. This is the same Godhead referred to in our work as the Fourth Power of the Solar Line, the Son Principle in the descent of powers for the supramental transformation. Since ‘the City’ is the domain of that Fourth Power, it is not at all surprising that the Mother should have had this first vision of that ‘ideal place’ with the backdrop of the Peacock’s Tail.]

 

Pertinent Extracts from the Mother’s Talks

‘I have just set off a crisis of indignation! Because almost without exception all the people around me and who profess to want only what I want, are apparently completely obedient, but their instinct is just the opposite. For example, when I see someone, I see how he is, what he is capable of doing, etc, and when I see it is a man one cannot count on, their instinct is: “Oh, what an admirable man!” And it is their INSTINCT – that is, the spontaneous movement of their being is in constant contradiction with my consciousness.

‘So, this means…I cannot say that it is hypocrisy but it is purely a mental attitude which does not correspond to the consciousness of their being. For me there is a sure indication: when I do not say anything to someone (that is, I do not make use of the mental intermediary), but I see that his sensation, impression, state of consciousness are in harmony with mine, I know all is well. And when that person tells me, “Yes, I want what you want,” it is true. But when it is simply a mental poise, superficial, and that because I say “It is like this” they reply externally ‘It is like that”, but internally everything is in ferment because they feel differently…

‘For example, precise problems, a decision that needs to be taken, I am presented with the problem; I do not answer materially right away – I send the answer like this [gesture of inner communication]. Then I wait. Well, it happens (quite rarely but it does happen) that the person writes me, “I received the reply. It is this”…then I say “It is good.” But when I write and because I write the words they say the same thing, it proves nothing. It is an artificial obedience.

‘And I am not talking about those who immediately feel, “Oh, the Mother is wrong.” I am not even speaking of them. I am talking about those who really have goodwill but who are full up to here [gesture to her mouth], even to here [gesture to her forehead] of the Ignorance and Falsehood and who put on a cover of acquired knowledge but not felt…

‘How will the world change? It is not possible.

‘No, I am not speaking of the enormous mass of those who imagine that I am always mistaken but who say, “Oh, the poor old lady, one shouldn’t contradict her!” I am not even speaking of them. I am speaking about those of goodwill, mentally: they have put on a mask of goodwill, but the inner vibration belongs still to the world of Falsehood.   [16.10.1965, L’Agenda de Mere, Volume 6, pages 285-6]

 

 

‘The [Superman] Consciousness which has been active since January, insists very much on becoming aware that one must do things by an act of will. That one is born at will, dies at will, that one falls ill at will – that it is the will which is the dominant principle. It insists very much on this.

            ‘I think this will change many things’. [9.8.1969, L’Agenda de Mere, Volume 10, page 304]

 

 

‘…There is a background (it is that, above all) a background of unconscious Negation which is behind everything, everything, everything. It is still everywhere: one eats, breathes – and receives this Negation… In order for everything to be transformed, it is still a colossal work. But when one is – how to put it? – on “the other side” (they are not “sides”), but in the other state, it seems so natural, so simple that one asks why it is not like that, why does it seem so difficult? And then, as soon as one is on the other side, it is (the Mother holds her head between her hands) …the mixture is still there, unquestionably.

            ‘Truly the ordinary state, the old condition, is consciously…(that is, it is a conscious perception)…it is death and suffering. And then in the other state, death and suffering seem absolutely…unreal things.’ (18.10.1969, the birthday of the great Negator(!) L’Agenda de Mere, Volume 10, pages 413-4)

 

 

‘I have had a revelation!

‘That is, I was totally silent and it came suddenly. And, as usual, it insisted until I noted it down.

‘It followed a question, “What is death?” But the reply is not on the ordinary plane – that is, the mind was totally silent.

‘It came like this, imperatively: (The Mother reads):

 

Death is the consequence of the

decentralisation of the Consciousness

contained in the cells composing the body.

 

‘With a host of perceptions at the same time, like a general Earth-consciousness, with examples showing that it is only when the consciousness contained in the cells is decentralised that that takes place. Otherwise nothing, not even the stopping of the heart can make one die.

‘That decentralisation comes from innumerable natural causes, but they are causes which one could call psychological. And the cells contained in the body or which constitute the body, are held together in a form by a centralisation of the Consciousness that is in them and while that power of concentration is there the body cannot die; it is only when the power of concentration disappears that the cells disperse. And then one dies, then the body dies.

‘And the rest was like this (the Mother picks up another note) …The usual concentration of Nature (produced by Nature) is a mechanical concentration, and it is subject to all sorts of mechanical laws – but, also…(the Mother reads her note) This is what came:


                        The very first step toward immortality

                        is to replace the mechanical centralisation

                        by a willed centralisation.

 

…which comes from the inner Presence, that is, the divine Presence, by its will, concentrates the cells. Then:

 

                        Decentralisation produced by Nature

                        is mechanical. It must be replaced by

                        a willed centralisation.’

                                                                                      17.12.1969, L’Agenda de Mere, Volume 10, pages 508-9

 

 

The Mother’s Dialogues on Her Temple

(We continue in this issue to present the more complete version of the Mother’s Talks on the Matrimandir than appeared as Appendix I of The New Way, Volumes 1&2. The period covered by these dialogues was from 31 December, 1969, to 17 January, 1970, eighteen days in all. The Talks reproduced in this issue are the final two.)


10 January, 1970


            I have a letter from Paolo.


I am going to see him this afternoon.

I told you that I had seen the central building of Auroville…I have a plan. Would you be interested in seeing it?… There are some rolls there.


(The Mother unrolls the plan as she explains.)


There will be twelve facets. And, at an equal distance from the centre, twelve columns. At the centre, on the ground my symbol, and at the centre of my symbol, there are four of Sri Aurobindo’s symbols, upright, forming a square, and on the square, a translucent globe (we don’t know yet in what material). And then when there is sunlight, from the roof the sun will fall in a ray onto it, – nowhere else, only there. When there is no sun, there will be electric spotlights which will send a ray (also ONE ray, not a diffused light) exactly onto it, onto this globe.

There are no doors, but…going deep down, one comes up again into the temple. One goes under the wall, and comes up again inside. It is another symbol. Everything is symbolic.

And then there are no furnishings, but, like here, there is probably first wood on the ground, then over the wood a thick ‘dunlop’ and over that a carpet. The colour must be chosen. Overall it will be white. I am not sure if the symbols of Sri Aurobindo will be white…I don’t think so. I did not see them in white, I saw them in an indefinable colour which was between gold and orange. A kind of colour like that. They will be upright. They will be carved in stone. And a globe which is not transparent but rather translucent. At the bottom (under the globe) there will be a light projected upward. From above there will be the ray of light which will fall onto the centre. And no other lights, no windows, an electric ventilator. And not a single piece of furniture, nothing. A place…for trying to find one’s consciousness.

Outside, it will be something like this…

(The Mother unrolls another plan)

We don’t know if the roof will be completely pointed or…very simple, very simple. It would hold about 200 people….

Well, Paolo’s letter?


Very sweet Mother, I saw Roger [the architect of Auroville] on Sunday. He came to my room and we had lunch together.

With love, I arranged some very beautiful flowers for You and for Roger. You were there with us. We spoke a lot. I felt Roger as a brother.

I told him that Auroville could not be born as any other city (problems of urbanism, sociologic, economic, and all that – later). The beginning must be ‘something else’. For this reason we must begin with the Centre. That Centre must be our lever, our fixed point, the thing in which we can find support in order to leap to the other side – because it is only on the other side that one can begin to understand what Auroville should be. And that Centre must be the form which manifests in matter the content that You can transmit to us on all the planes (even the occult). We should be simply the open and sincere instruments through which you can consolidate that.

And I told him how I felt the need to attain all of that by living the experience inwardly and all united – those  from the East and those from the West – in a vast movement of love, because that is the only cement possible to build ‘something else’.


 What he says is good.


 …And the Centre can give us that love immediately because it is love for You!

I told him that in practical terms we could start with a moment of silence, all gathered together, and try to make a complete blank, and in that, with everyone’s aspiration, make the signs for the beginning descend. But all united and all together; especially those who are spiritually more advanced: the Indians.

Roger was in perfect agreement. He said that was really what had to be done.


 (The Mother nods)


I will see Paolo this afternoon to give him this plan. Because that is what I saw. We will make it in white marble. Udar has said that he will go to find the marble, he knows the place.


The whole structure in white marble?


Yes, yes.


But Paolo said something to me which I feel is quite right. He said: we are going to build this Centre, we are going to put all our heart and our aspiration into it, into this Centre…


Yes, yes.


And through the years it will become more and more ‘charged’.


 Yes.


So this Centre must be the real thing. This temple should not be removed to build another, bigger one later.


I said that to reassure the people who think that something fantastic is needed. I said, ‘We begin with this, and then we will see…’  You understand? I said, ‘This Centre should be there until the town is completely built, and afterwards we will see…’ Afterwards no one will want to remove it! Because many were thinking of something ‘formidable’.


But he says that from the architectural point of view it is quite possible to extend the thing from the outside, without touching what has already been built.


Yes. Oh, it is quite possible.

Roger said to me, ‘And then, what will we do afterwards?’ I said, ‘Well, we will think about that later!’ It’s that! They don’t know that one must not think. Myself, I didn’t think about it at all, at all, at all – one day, I saw it like that, as I see you. And still now, it is so living, that it is enough for me to look and I see it. And what I saw, was the Centre, and the light falls on it, and then quite naturally while looking at it, I noticed, I said, ‘See, it is like that.’ But it was not thought, I did not think ‘twelve columns and then twelve facets and then…’ I did not think all that. I saw.

It is like these symbols of Sri Aurobindo…when I am speaking of the Centre, I still see four symbols of Sri Aurobindo, which support each other at their corners, like that, and this colour, a strange colour…I don’t know where one could find that. It is an orange-tinted gold, very warm. And it is the only colour in the place, all the rest is white, and the globe is translucent.


Paolo said that he would go immediately to inquire in Italy, at Murano, the place where they make big crystals to find out what size globe can be made. For example one of 30cm in crystal.


The exact measurement is on the plan, it must be marked.


There is a big crystal factory there.


Oh! They make marvellous things there…. Isn’t it marked, the size of the globe?


70cm.


It can be hollow. It need not be solid, so that it is not too heavy.

 

(silence)

 

This tunnel entrance…. One will enter at a dozen metres or so from the wall, and at the foot of the urn. It will be the urn which will indicate the place of descent. I must choose exactly from which side…and then, it is possible that later, the urn, instead of being outside, will be within the enclosure. Then one could perhaps simply put a great wall all around, and then the gardens. Between the enclosure wall and the building we are going to make now, to have the gardens and the urn. And that wall will have one entrance. One, or several ordinary doors. People could walk around the gardens.

One should fulfil certain conditions in order to have the right to descend into the tunnel and emerge in the temple… That must be a little like an initiation, not just ‘like that’, no matter how…

 

(silence)

 

To Roger, I said, ‘We will see in twenty years’ – so, that kept him calm!

But the first idea was to surround it with water, to make an island so that one would have to cross the water to be able to reach the temple – it is quite possible to make an island…


17 January, 1970


What did you want to say to me?


I have received a visit from Paolo and Nata. There are two things. But first there is the plan of this Centre, – more precisely, of the outside of this Centre.


The outside – I have seen nothing. There is a sketch, it is a sketch by Udar…I did not see anything at all and I am open to all suggestions…and then?


He explained to me something which I found very beautiful, which I wanted to submit to you… When you had spoken of this Centre, in fact for the outside you said, ‘I don’t know if the walls will be at an angle, or if it is the roof which will be at an angle.’ You seemed to hesitate, so Paolo says that he received something like an inspiration, and that he has seen something very like a great shell, of which part was emerging from the surface, and another part would be buried in the earth. And he has drawn a sort of outline which he would like to show to you.


Have they seen Roger also? Because Roger had two ideas, he came to see me with two ideas, and I told him which of the two I preferred but nothing is decided yet. And Roger is to make a sketch of his idea. So I am going to see what Paolo says and then I will tell you Roger’s idea.


(The disciple unrolls the plans)


So you see, here is the outside, which would be simply like a shell. The inside is exactly as you have seen it: this great bare carpet, and then the ball at the centre. And what has given Paolo his inspiration was that you said one would go underground and re-emerge. So he had the idea of going deeply down, to make a spiral staircase here, which would rise again, and on arriving here, there would be a kind of series of stairs, which would come out in the temple itself. So, all the lower part would be in black marble, and all the upper part very simply in white marble. And the whole thing is like a great bud, you see, as if it was growing up from the ground.


Are you sure that he has not seen Roger? Because Roger told me, ‘I want to make a great circle; the interior is exactly a semi-circle, and the other semi-circle would be underground’. He used almost the same words.


Because Paolo told him his idea.


Ah! Paolo told him! Ah, that’s it.


It is like a bud that comes out of the earth.


Yes, yes, that was the first idea that Roger told me, almost identically the same words. And then, his second idea was a pyramid. But I had also thought of a pyramid, and I told him, ‘I thought of a pyramid…’ But he said that he would make both plans and that then we would see. But if that agrees with Paolo’s idea it is very good.


But Roger’s idea, in fact, is Paolo’s idea.


 Yes, that’s it.


So, when one arrives at the top of the ‘stalk’ there is a whole series of stairs in all directions, so that one can come out into the temple on any side…and the centre is absolutely bare, and all around there is a kind of gallery, through which one comes out, that is where all these stairways come to. And all will be bare. There will be simply this huge carpet which will be held from corner to corner by these galleries. It will seem as if suspended. All white, all a whole. And there was the question of the twelve columns. Paolo said that he felt that the columns were another ancient symbol which did not go well with the shell, and he said: In place of the twelve columns, one could put symbolically twelve supports, twelve bases of columns, which would act as backrests.


Oh! But the columns have a use, because it is at the top of the columns that the spotlights will be placed which will send the light onto the Centre. There will be light night and day; for the day, openings will be arranged, but as soon as the sun is gone the spotlights will be lit and they will be fixed to the twelve columns and converge onto the Centre.


But, Sweet Mother, if the columns are only useful for the spotlights, they could also be fixed to the walls.


The columns are not near to the wall. The columns are here, exactly half-way between the Centre and the wall.


Because he saw this space at the centre all bare, with just the symbols in the middle and this great carpet all whole, without being broken up by columns. But instead to put like big blocks, twelve big blocks which would indicate the position of the columns and which would serve at the same time as supports.

 


That has no meaning.


Symbolic meaning? Because you spoke much of the pillars as a support also to the people who would like to sit down.


Oh! For their backs.


So he said that these twelve blocks could be, for example, each one in a different material, like a symbol: twelve different materials.


I saw columns, myself.

On the outer walls the general ventilation will be arranged, which will be electric (no windows), and then on the columns there were the lights…I saw columns, I can’t say. I clearly saw columns.


Oh well, I will tell him that.


As for the gallery all around, I don’t know if I like that much…I did not see it, I saw the walls completely bare, without windows and then the columns, and then the Centre. Of that I am sure because I have seen it and I have seen it for a long time.


Does the shell shape suit you?


That means that it makes a perfect circle: half above, half below…that may do. Only an arrangement must be made for the sun.


Yes, Nata understands very well the question of lighting by prisms – because if one wants to catch a ray of sun, one must use prisms. He says he will solve the problems very easily, he will take care of it. Simply, one puts prisms at a certain number of places, which will capture just a ray of sun.


It must be one ray. What I have seen, one saw one ray.


That’s it. With a prism one sees the ray. So there will be a certain number of geometrical openings according to the movement of the sun… But inside, on the inner walls, the twelve facets will be reproduced.


Yes, yes.

 


And this, in theory, [The disciple points to the circular gallery] these were the entrances by which one came out of the tunnel.


I am not sure if it is good to multiply the entries like that. There will be a practical problem to solve: if there is one single entrance and there is a very strict surveillance at that entrance, it is all right, but if there are several entrances, and there is not enough light, there will be catastrophes.


No, no Sweet Mother, there will be only one entrance from the outside, but one comes out at the base of the shell, there will be this multiplicity of entries. No, outside there is only one descent, which comes out here, at the foot of this spiral staircase.

 

(silence)

 

He had thought of this gallery all around because he said that would make this central carpet stand out more, all white; it would seem as if floating, detached, instead of being stuck against the wall.


I did not think ‘stuck against the wall’; there was always a passage around the wall.


So it is this passage, with a certain number of bridges. And it was also this idea of bareness which has made him take away the columns.


What I don’t like is the idea of these bridges, because the walls were quite straight, from top to bottom in white marble.


Ah! but the gallery is not high, it is about 30cm above the floor.


Yes, that, that’s all right.


And then he was saying that on that gallery, or rather that border that marks off the passage around, the carpet could come to the angle, cover the angle.


Yes, that’s all right.

Well, good. It is necessary for them to come to an understanding. But it must be half done because Roger spoke to me of this idea. If I had known that it was Paolo’s idea, I would have said yes right away. But it will be arranged. It is going well.


Then I will tell him to work on this basis…the only question to be decided is the outside: should one leave a space around the shell so that the descent can be clearly seen? Otherwise if it is all filled up, it will simply look like a hemisphere resting on the earth. So that one understands properly the descent of this shell beneath the ground he thought of making an opening all around.


 I don’t know. I tell you, I have seen nothing for the outside, so I don’t know. But it would be dangerous, one could fall.


Or perhaps one could make a sort of moat with water all around, transparent water which would show the descent of the shell, for example?


Yes, yes, that might be good.


There is also a question of measurement. According to the plan, you have given 24 metres – twelve metres from each side to the globe. But can we keep a little extra distance on each side for the passage? The plan shows 24 metres in diameter and 15m 20cm for the height.


Ah?


He asks if the proportion can change? To keep 24m for the base of the carpet, but with the possibility, for example, of keeping 2 or 3 metres on each side for free movement.


Then where would the walls come?


They would be there.


(The disciple points to the outside of the circular passage)


It is the wall which must be at 24 metres.


He says that if there are to be these passages 24 metres would be a little short.

 

 (silence)

 

 And the height is also in question.


The question exactly was that it should make a perfect circle.


If it makes a perfect circle, then the height will make the radius of the distance between the two walls.


Yes.

 

(long silence)

 

The thing that would really give me pleasure would be if they both came to an agreement and both present me a project at the same time. Like that it would be easy to carry out…. Hasn’t Roger adopted Paolo’s ideas, why don’t they both together see how to carry it out?


Yes, that would simplify things.


Oh, very much.

 

(silence)

 

What will happen under there… (The Mother indicates the underground part of the shell). All that is mental, but when you are going to have a big basement, all black, what is going to happen there? What is going to happen? Lots of unmentionable things, Humanity is not transformed, one should not forget it. And there will be all kinds of people who will come…. Even if there is a control at the entrance you can’t prevent people going to see, so then what is going to happen under there? It was my objection when Roger told me, ‘We could make wonderful underground passages!’ I said to him, ‘That’s all very well, and who will control what happens under there?’


I thought it was your idea, the descent?


 My idea was quite a short descent, which came out there (The Mother points to the single opening of the original plan). Quite a short descent, not a great tunnel like that. But it is possible, it is a question of control, that’s all. Only there is a big difference between a tunnel where there is space for two lines of people, (one going up and one going down) which comes out there, and an enormous tunnel like this one – there is a big difference! And now he adds to it, that it will be all black!


In black marble, yes.


Yes, then? That means that one will not see very well in there. Then what is going to happen in there?


These underground parts are not in the form of tunnels. It is a spiral staircase, and when you arrive at the top of the staircase, it branches into a series of stairways in the open, suspended like bridges. It is not enclosed, it is all floating.


There will be no accidents? Ah! there are people ready and waiting with hallucinations who will break their heads on the floor. You know, it’s a bit too mental for my taste – that means that from the mental point of view it is very attractive, but when one sees…


The idea was above all the collective building of this underground, like a symbol…


(long silence)


We’ll see (The Mother laughs).

 

(silence)

 

In any case they must get together. And then I will see. I would like to be able to have them both together with their papers. Then that would be very good….

Because he doesn’t tell me it is the other’s idea – he presents it as if it were his own (!) and then the other doesn’t tell me that he has spoken to the first one!…


But he hasn’t had the opportunity to tell you.


No, but you said it because I mentioned it to you…. But I…I know. And so, you know, one works for the ‘unification of humanity’, and the workers cannot get along!

And I see clearly, I see clearly what in each one is like this (a gesture of something twisted). It is not that I am surprised, but… My reasoning goes like this: ‘Yes, it is all very good, you are very nice, you work for human unity – at least be united!’… You understand?


But I am certain that Paolo only wants to come to an understanding with Roger.


But you can well understand that if Roger took Paolo’s idea, it means that he admires Paolo’s intelligence, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken it. Therefore, why this side like this and that side like that… We don’t want any more of those petty things.


But when Paolo showed me his plan I had the impression that it was something very beautiful…I will tell you what I felt. I felt: I am witnessing the birth of Auroville.


No, it is not true.


The material birth, I mean. 


Yes, yes, I understand, but it is not true.

 

(The Mother enters into a long concentration)

 

We will let it sort itself out. Because you see, to accept changes, it is necessary that I be certain that the origin of the inspiration is of the same quality as mine… For the building, I know very well that people are needed who know their job and who do the work. But for the inspiration it is necessary that I be certain that the origin of the inspiration be AT LEAST of the same level as mine… And I am not sure, because I saw it so clearly. And immediately with Paolo’s ideas I saw the mixture. His ideas are all mental, I can guarantee it because it is easy for me to see that. Well, they bring all the same MIXTURE that there is in everything that is done in the world. And that…what is the use in beginning again, again, again…?

There is something that disturbs me. Entering from below, that is very good, but that enormous basement?… (The Mother grimaces)

 

(silence)

 

We shall see. Things must be left to settle, and we will see.


And for the underneath, shall we leave this idea of the shell, or is it perhaps to be studied further?


Shell? …the idea was a sphere. Why a shell?


‘Shell’ – well, a round form, a spherical form.


An egg-shell is elongated, it is not spherical. The egg as it is really is a little like a spinning-top – for the upper part would be bigger and the base narrower with only stairs…. That, it is quite possible.

Give me a paper… (The Mother draws an egg as she explains).

And then, there, down there below, there would be only stairs, like that, yes.


His idea was to reproduce the egg of Brahman, you know, the original egg. That the temple would represent the original egg.


But what is it like, the egg of Brahman!?


I don’t know…like an egg, I think!


An egg with a base which is narrower than the summit. So if one conceives an egg like that [the Mother draws] and then at the base there is a staircase, and the spiral staircase comes as far as the temple. For example, seven…


Seven instead of twelve.


And here [the Mother draws the central part of the ‘egg’] it is 24 metres and only 15m 50cm in height. Then like that it is correct.


24 metres for the total width or for the carpet?


No, it must have straight walls, the walls cannot be curved, I saw them straight.


Straight, and which go up into a curve.


According to what I had seen, the columns were higher than the walls, and that is why the roof was at an angle. And then it was on the columns that the electric light was positioned.

And the widest point of the egg would be here [The Mother draws a line at the level of the carpet].


At ground level. 


Yes.


And you said seven openings?


Seven stairs. And then an underground passage which leads to the base of the egg from where the seven stairs start. That is possible.


In fact the inner walls of the temple ought to be straight.


That is to say that one can for the outside, for the appearance, make them round. But inside, the wall must be straight.


The wall straight, and a dome over the straight wall.


Yes, a dome over the straight wall. But the dome can be the dome of the egg, and I had thought that the place where the dome comes to join the walls would be on the columns. Twelve columns. And here, for the outside, they can continue their wall in a rounded form like that. [The Mother draws.]

There would even be this possibility – to have a space between the outermost wall and the inner wall. To make a space. That is to be seen.


That means in addition to the 24 metres.


Yes, that is understood. The 24 metres end at the walls.


And the openings for the seven stairs?


I would like it better if they were outside the wall.


Yes, that would be better, because that would give more space in the centre.


Oh! Yes, and the interior would be much neater. To see all these stairs would not please me. Even one stairway, I did not like it, but seven…


So a passage outside.


The passage outside.


Yes, like in India when one goes around the temple.


Yes, that, that is good.


And the seven staircases start directly from the base of the shell, without this ‘stalk’ which comes up from the bottom?


That is however they want it. Below, I don’t mind. If they want it to be a staircase like that or a staircase…. So long as it is not too steep.

 

(silence)

 

What else have you?


There is the second part of the problem.


Ah! What is it?


Nata and Paolo have realised that if one leaves Auroville, or the building of this Centre, to the people of Auroville, as distinct from the Ashram, it will never work. There will never be the true force, the people who are there are not receptive enough to do the work. If there is this division between the Ashram and Auroville, we will never get there, they will make another ‘fabrication’ but not something true. According to them, the only hope is that really this Centre should be built not by Aurovilians, but by all the people of the Ashram, without a distinction between Aurovilians and non-Aurovilians: that the whole force unites in the construction of this Centre – not to abandon the Aurovilians to an external separation…. Just as all the disciples have built ‘Golconde’ in the same way all the disciples should build the Centre of Auroville, without outside labour.


At Golconde there was outside labour.


Anyway, limiting as much as possible the outside element, so that it is a work of consecration. Otherwise, says Nata, the people of Auroville are all full of arrogance, of incomprehension, they see the outside of things. It is necessary that there should mix with that the force of the people from here. And if the people of the Ashram do not come to infuse the force, nothing will be achieved…. At the present moment, Paolo told me, Auroville, such as it seems from the outside, looks like a necropolis.  [The Mother laughs.] It is the ‘living’ fruit of egoism. The only thing which can save it, is that the people of the Ashram go in there and do the work and that the others be absorbed in it – otherwise.


(After a long silence)


But at the Ashram, we have three centres which do construction: there is Phoni, who looks after the maintenance, Abhay Singh and Udar…Abhay Singh is not equipped for that, and then he is too busy because he hasn’t only construction work, there are all the automobiles, and then the lands. I feel that now he is fully occupied and he does his work well. If we gave him too much he couldn’t do it well any longer. Udar is very interested. He even said that he would arrange for the white marble; he would go to get it and choose it himself… But this would not be better.


But that was not what he meant. He was not speaking at all of a problem of construction, he spoke of the question that the disciples work with the Aurovilians. …Nata, as an engineer, and with the money collected will do the construction, but all the labour should be provided by the people of the Ashram as a whole, who should mix with the Aurovilians. That is the idea.


It is not possible. All the people of the Ashram who are of working age are all working, they have all got their work.


He saw a kind of rotation, each one giving, for example, an hour a day, or one day a week. Because otherwise…


They would ask for nothing better! They would take it as an extraordinary amusement. I have more trouble to prevent them from dispersing themselves than I would have difficulty to make them do something. That would be an amusement for them.


Because he says that if there is not the inner force of the people of the Ashram who mix with those of Auroville, those from Auroville will remain what they are. There is a split between Auroville and the Ashram.


I don’t find that it is sufficient.


The split?


 Yes.


Ah! Well!


I don’t find it sufficient. It is not at all on the same level. The people here…

 

(silence)

 

All you have to do is imagine what it would be if I were gone.


Baba!


Just imagine that and you will see, you will see immediately what would happen.


Well, it is the only hope.


If they came and said: It is necessary for YOU (the Mother) to take the responsibility. Ah! I would say, ’In that they are right’, it is entirely different.

They have kept to one side. That is not it.


But, Sweet Mother, I think that is what they mean to say, isn’t it so?


(The Mother laughs) They do not think clearly! It is confused thinking!


When they say that all the Ashram disciples should join in the construction of Auroville, as they did in Golconde, they mean that it is you who gives the impulsion to all the disciples to go and participate in the work. That is the idea. But you say that on the contrary a separation is needed – no mixing.


(Laughing) If you knew the things as they are!… The people from Auroville bring drugs here and…all sorts of things.


Yes, yes, I know – I know, sweet Mother. That is why he says that it is the only hope.


That they go there and catch all sorts of things!


He says, ‘Otherwise there is no hope.’


Oh no, he doesn’t know! It is all in the mind, it is all mental. They do not know. Who is there who knows? It is only when one sees. There is not one who sees.

All thoughts, thoughts, thoughts…it is not thoughts that build.


The people in Auroville can do the work?


I am in the process of working, working [Kneading gesture] to gather the energies that can do it. And there must be a sorting out process there.


Yes.


But, you understand, they talk about physical work, and for physical work there are only the young people who are in the School – all the Ashramites have become old, my child! They are all old. There are only the young people of the School. And the young people who are at the School are not here to become Ashramites: they are here for their education – it is for them to choose… There are many, many who want to go to Auroville. Then it would be the Ashram education that would go to Auroville – there are many. But…give me some names, who can go there and work with his hands?


But, Sweet Mother, the only way is if YOU say so; then tomorrow, I would go spend two hours in Auroville collecting ‘baskets’! [Of rubble.]


[The Mother laughs] My child, you are one of the youngest… Can you see me telling Nolini: go to work.


But that would draw all the others… In any case, it was Nata’s and Paolo’s idea.


[The Mother laughs] Poor Nolini!

 

(long silence)

 

If you knew all the letters I receive from so-called Aurovilians who say: ‘Oh, I want to be in peace finally. I want to come to the Ashram, I don’t want to be an Aurovilian any more…’ There. It is just the contrary: ‘I want peace.’ Voila.

 

(silence)

 

But you know, I do not believe in external decisions. I believe simply in one thing: the force of the Consciousness that makes a PRESSURE like this [crushing gesture]. And the Pressure is increasing…. Which means that it will sort out the people.

Otherwise it will be issueless, because before (just ten years ago), I would come and go, and see… But that is finished. It is not a decision that I have taken. I didn’t think at all that it was finished; it is not at all like that: it is something that OBLIGED me. You understand? So, I said all right. It is not an incapacity; this body is extremely docile, it does everything that one asks of it. If one asks it to go out, it arranges things so that it can go out. It is extremely docile. But it is like this, there is an Order. NO. And I know why…

You know, I believe only in that: the pressure of the Consciousness. All the rest, they are things men do; they do it more or less well, and then it lives, and then it dies, and then it changes, and then it becomes deformed, and then… – everything that they have done. It is not worth it. The power of execution must come from above, like that, imperative [gesture of descent] And so, for that, [the Mother points to her forehead] this must be quiet. Not to say, ‘Oh this must not be, oh! That must not be, oh! We should do this….’ Peace – peace – peace, He knows better than you what is necessary. There.

So, since there are not many who can understand, I say nothing: I watch and I wait.

I LOOK… Isn’t that so, someone gives me a paper as you have just done when you gave me that drawing; I look in this way and I see very well what in that paper is the result of something from above and what has become mixed and what is… Like that. But one is not going to say it! – to begin with, they would not believe me.

 

(silence)

 

I understand very well – very well – why Sri Aurobindo did not say ‘superman’, why he said supramental. He didn’t say superman because he didn’t want it to be ‘a man who could perfect himself’. It is not that. He said supramental because… He said: leave all of that.

Supramental – SUPRA, you understand?

In these last days I have seen the photographs of those people who have gone to the moon… Have you seen them? Have you seen the way they are decked out?


Yes, I have seen them.


Well, they have become machines.


That is it; robots.


Yes, then, [laughing] the Russians said: why not send robots, it is not worth it!

 

(silence)

 

Nata has spent all his time saying as many bad things about Roger as he could, saying that all his plans are bad and that his work cannot succeed. Roger has spent his time saying: ‘Nata has ruined all my work!’ And another says, ‘That one…’ and this one says, ‘this one…’ And they are all like that! So, I see with absolute certainty that IF the work is meant to be done, FIRST they must overcome this little human pettiness. They ‘see’, they have ‘ideas’ (they all have many ideas), they have ideas, they see; the others see other things and have other ideas…then: ‘Oh! that is worthless, my idea is good….’ They are like that! And all my action is like this: a PRESSURE on them to make their little ‘person’ abdicate. While that does not abdicate, the work CANNOT be done.

And they look in effect for all sorts of reasons for not seeing the true one.

It is necessary that…ouf! a bit of air.

The body – this body – is in the process of receiving a discipline, you know, oh! terrible… But it does not complain, it is happy, it asks for it. And it SEES to what an extent one is full of MANY LITTLE THINGS which are always………the Force. Well, one must start by getting rid of that. One has to be like this [gesture of abandon, openness] and receive the Force. Then all the inspirations will come, and not only the inspirations but the MEANS to execute them, – and the TRUE Thing. Otherwise…

And since they are not all quite ready, I act like the Consciousness: I put the Pressure and I say nothing – I wait [the Mother laughs].

 

(silence)

 

If you knew everything that is going on, it would amuse you… The agricultural side, it is the same thing; education, the same thing; everywhere it is the same… The international scene, it is the same everywhere, everywhere: Man…Man puffing himself up.

They must FIRST understand: abdicate. Then we will see.


Shall I give them your message?


Oh no, my child! They will become frightened, the poor things!


You think so? It would do them good.


Oh no, no, it would be too much for them. The Pressure, that is the best thing. Because they don’t understand what you think, what you say. They understand only what is in their heads. They change the meaning of the words… As happened with A.R., who took it as a personal attack.


Yes, that’s true! It is true, I have noticed that: they take it as a personal attack.


That’s it. But that is the way it is everywhere, that is the difficulty: the person above all else. Then that spoils everything.


One speaks the truth objectively, as one sees it – it is as if one were attacking them!


One attacks them, yes.

So, one must w-a-i-t until they mature – you understand, one loses a lot of time. It is best not to say anything: just put the Pressure. In that I am merciless [the Mother laughs].


Then what am I to do in the midst of all these people?


You can tell them that… Actually Roger spoke to me (it was the same thing put in different words), and I didn’t say yes or no. I was waiting because I wanted to know how the others were seeing things. Now I have seen, I see that they agree. If they can get together the work would go faster! There. Objections about details are not important because one sets out with one idea and one arrives with another – and one makes a lot of progress between the two. Well, there is no need to discuss the matter, only… Try to put your energies together in order to take off faster, that’s all. [The Mother laughs.]


Ends here

The Mother’s Dialogues on Her Temple

(In The New Way, Volumes 1&2, Appendix I consists of extracts from the Mother’s Talks on the Matrimandir. In 1981, a more complete version of these dialogues was released by the editor. They appeared in L’Agenda de Mere, Volumes 10 and 11. To provide our readers with this fuller version, we shall be reproducing these dialogues in this and the next issue of Vishaal, omitting only what is not directly related to the genesis of the Temple.)


31 December, 1969


Do you know Paolo, have you seen him? He is nice.


He is nice. But as a matter of fact, I have something on that subject. Yesterday I had a visit from Paolo and Nata together, and Paolo explained to me a sort of inspiration he had regarding Auroville. I found it very beautiful, very good, very good, very important. So I said to him: It is absolutely necessary that you yourself speak directly to the Mother about this. So, when can you receive Paolo?


Will I be able to hear him? Because the difficulty is that people do not know how to speak, they speak too fast, and I cannot follow them. Tell me what he wants to say.


He says that as of several years the energies of Auroville have been dispersed: they are egotistical, each one wants to build his small hut, his little thing, or, at best, he hopes to build a super-city which will be an improvement over all the existing cities in the world. In this Auroville what is lacking is an axis; a centre is lacking. What is lacking is a unification of consciousness around a centre, around an axis. So he says that in the past pyramids were built, cathedrals were built, and around those symbolic constructions consciousnesses were unified…

 (The Mother nods in agreement.)

and elevated and purified. Well, it is necessary that in Auroville an axis, a centre, a temple symbolic of the new world one wishes to create is built, and that all the consciousnesses unite in the construction of that pyramid of the new world or of that temple of the new world — and at the same time that will help to bring down what should be expressed there.


That is very good, that was the first idea: there was a centre and the city was organised around it. But now they are doing the contrary! They want to build the city and put the centre after…


And that is why it is not working, he says. He says: we must begin with that, and if one doesn’t, nothing will be done.


That was my first impression. But how can we make Roger [the architect of Auroville at that time] understand that? I don’t know. Because it is Roger who changed; he is the one who wanted to start with ‘Auromodele’, that is by trials and experiments.


What this produces is that people are occupied with their little stories and their little huts and there is no ‘cement’, the Thing that would lift them above themselves and their small concerns.


Theoretically, he is right.


Oh, yes, And it is strange, because when he was speaking to me about it, I saw almost, I was seeing. He is a person who could ‘bring that down’.


Yes, he has the power.

But why doesn’t he meet Roger?


He said to me, Should I speak with Roger about it? He says it is a problem if he speaks to Roger, he will withdraw or…. So I told him: No, don’t speak about it with Roger; speak to the Mother, it is the Mother who will say what has to be done.


I am seeing Roger tomorrow and I can tell him. Paolo is an architect, isn’t that so?


You’re the only one who has an authority over Roger.


Yes…no, if I tell him, ‘Do it’, he will not say no, but he won’t do it!…he must be convinced…. All that I can do is to tell him that I know of the idea and that I approve of it fully, and that I am asking him to see Paolo and come to an agreement.


Yes, in any case, when he was speaking to me, I felt the inspiration and the ‘Thing’ that was ready to come.


It is ready to come! I have known this for a long time! It is there [gesture above], and it is waiting.


Well, he is in contact with that.


Yes. Yes.


He was speaking, one felt that he had contacted the true thing. While others are thinking only about bringing millions, making propaganda, — they are doing things completely the other way around.


I believe that Paolo and Roger have not met yet.


Yes, they have. But Roger’s point of view is very materialistic.


Oh, yes.


I am worried that he will immediately say, ‘Why is he interfering?’


No, if I tell him, he won’t say that…


You are the only one who can…


No, I must speak to him about it.


Yes, sweet Mother, because they are putting the cart before the horse.


(After a silence)


I believe that they don’t even have the land. That is the difficulty. Because one fixed the centre of the city and there is still a large portion of that centre which belongs, I believe, to the government; and they are in the process of negotiating for it.

Roger’s idea is an island at the centre, with water around it, and it is running water which will provide the complete water supply for the city; when it has passed through the city, it will be sent to a factory, and from there it will go out for the irrigation of all the surrounding cultivation. So this centre is like a vast lake, and in the middle there is what we called at first the ‘Matrimandir’ — which I, myself, always see as a very big room, and absolutely bare, which receives a light that comes from above, which would be concentrated on a place where there would be — whatever one wants to put as the centre of the city. At first, we had thought of Sri Aurobindo’s symbol, but one can put whatever one wants. Like this, with a ray of light that always strikes it, that turns, turns, turns…, with the sun, you understand. If that were well done, it would be very good. And then underneath, so that people can sit and meditate, or simply rest, nothing, nothing, nothing except something comfortable underneath so that they can sit without getting tired, with probably some pillars, which would serve as backrests at the same time. And that, that is what I see always. A high room, so that the sun could enter as a ray according to the time of day, and strike the centre which will be there. If that is done, it will be very good….

Then, about the rest, it is all the same to me. They can do what they like. In the beginning there was the idea to make an apartment for me, but I will never go there, so it is not worth it, it is completely useless….

And then, the reply is always the same: But we don’t have any money!


But, sweet Mother, what I think and what Paolo has touched also, is that if sincerely these…let’s say twenty or fifty Aurovilians would join their hearts in the construction of that pyramid or that temple of the new world, that would BRING the money, millions.


It should.


It will come. It is not a question of ‘searching for millions’, it is first necessary to unite their consciousnesses around something.


Yes.


That is the key to the millions.


Explain to Paolo everything I have said…. In this way we will have something very good.

But evidently what is needed…. There are material difficulties: for that island, water is needed – naturally, otherwise it wouldn’t be an island. For water, there is not enough underground water.


But before building the island one can start to build the ‘temple’ itself…. It is necessary to start by lifting a stone.


Yes, that can be done.


That is what is important, that people take a first stone with their hands and that they place it, and that in that they unite because they will never become united through their little and their small concerns.


Yes, that would be much better.

Obviously, logically, or rather, psychologically, it is a mistake to build around and the centre after.


Of course!


How can we make him understand that?…


Since we want to do ‘something else’, the minimum is to have faith in something else.


Yes. I will speak to Roer about it tomorrow and I will ask him to see Paolo.

I think that to a certain degree Paolo can bring in money, if he is interested.

Good. That is, build before it is even an island.

For the outside of this kind of temple, Roger had thought of making a big lotus. But then this interior, this play of light, I do not know if that would be possible with a lotus shape.

If they could both collaborate…if they could both come together, and if one of them would always be here, one or the other of them, if there were always one of the two here, with a single plan they had made ― then it would go much quicker, a hundred times quicker.

This idea of a ray of sun, that…when I look, straightaway that is what I see. And a ray of sun which could come at all times — it would be arranged in such a way that it enters all the time [a gesture following the movement of the sun]. And then, there would be something there, a symbol, which would be at the same time upright so that it can be seen from all around, and flat so that it receives the light fully…. And let it not become a religion, for heaven’s sake!

You know, I am in contact with certain Ethiopians (I believe it is the country that has remained most Christian throughout the world). And there is a young man who is Secretary at the embassy in Delhi (the Ethiopian Embassy), who is completely taken, completely, and so… [laughing] it was his birthday two days back, and he came with a present….something in wood (ebony), this big, and on one side there was my picture, and on the other side there was Sri Aurobindo’s. In the middle there was a cross…in silver. On this cross, on top where the two arms meet, there was my symbol to one side and Sri Aurobindo’s to the other. What came into his head?!…

And naturally as soon as I saw it, when he put it on my lap…as soon as I saw it, this came [a gesture of a massive descent], as a response to the will of Christianity to transform itself. And it was so powerful, there was such a powerful vibration, that I had the impression that it was ACTUALLY HAPPENING….

The cross is the symbol of transformation: Matter penetrated by the Spirit; and the juncture of the two arms is the transformation. A formidable Force came, like that, so that that cross becomes really…the flower of the transformation.

But I didn’t say anything to him! And even he doesn’t know, that is he didn’t think — he didn’t think about it, he did it instinctively.

(Silence)

That the Force is working, there is not even the shadow of a doubt. And there is such a great… (how to say)…will, very active: NO RELIGION, no religion, no religious forms. But naturally, people immediately…. So, that is the reason why I leave people very free. That is the reason why I had not insisted on the construction of the centre first, because precisely it becomes the old cathedral, the old temple, the old stuff first [the Mother makes a gesture of embedding in the ground], and then everything becomes organised around: religion. We DO NOT WANT religion.


Yes, but one can ‘bring down’ something other than religion.


But one doesn’t bring it down! It is people who have it! They are so small, they need a religion, or at least they believe they do.

They need it, I have seen…I have received some letters that I am answering… [the Mother searches through some papers near her.] They arrive every day. And Sri Aurobindo has written some admirable things on this…just recently, yesterday or the day before, I answered a question concerning an Aphorism of Sri Aurobindo in which he wrote that atheism was NECESSARY because of religions and their misdeeds. Someone asked me a question and I replied.

Men are still very small.

But there is an interesting sign: in northern Europe, in Sweden and Norway and Denmark, there are priests who write to me. There is one who is the head of a church, there is one who is the head of a monastery. They write to ask and to say that they want to collaborate to come out of…. It is very strong there. There are one or two who have sent me their photos, asking me to help them. They are doing a work, they are working for Auroville there. That means….

But even our children have such stupid reactions! There is a girl here who wrote to me, because I had mentioned that the Consciousness had descended on Earth, it was concentrated on Earth to help human beings to prepare for the transformation. She said to me: “How is it that men have been left without help for such a long time?” It’s enough to make you scream in desperation!…I had to control myself in order not to tell her: My dear child [laughing], you are really stupid!

(Silence)

Who could be able to find a way to execute that? Because there is no lack of sun here…. Of course there are days when there isn’t any, but after all there are many days when it is shining — so that from all sides, from no matter what angle, the ray falls. It should be arranged like that. It is a question of geometry.

You can speak to Paolo about it, because if he had an idea….


When he spoke, 1 felt he had the power to bring that down.


Yes. And that is what is needed: something, a symbol ― we will find what is needed, we will see — of course like an altar, but what? A symbol that at the same time receives the light directly from above and from the side.

And then no windows, you understand? The rest in a sort of penumbra; and that, like a light…it would be good, it would be very good. I would like someone who could feel that. I don’t know if Roger is able to, but Paolo is.

And if it were properly done that would already be useful for people. It would be a crystallisation of something…. They will begin to say that it is sun worship! [Laughs]. Oh, you know, I am used to all sorts of stupidities!

(Silence)

The idea of Roger and his group is to have industries which can bring in money for Auroville, then….


They are wrong, they are wrong!


That is, instead of it being done quickly it will take centuries!


And then, it would be starting from the old idea, the old concept.


Yes.


It is necessary to start from something else.


It is out of fear of religions.


One can very well do this not as a religion but as the symbol of the new world.


Yes…someone is needed who understands this — maybe Paolo will.


Surely. And he has the power to convince people, I believe.


(Silence)


Yes, I will see Paolo. It would be better if he would come a day when you are here because I might not be able to hear him…it disturbs people to have to speak loudly. Then, Saturday perhaps? And I will speak to Roger about it tomorrow, that is, I will tell him that he should see Paolo who has some excellent ideas, — that he come to an understanding with him.

It is very simple. We shall try to make Roger understand and to create a collaboration between them. Roger will not tell me no — but he will do nothing (!), you understand. It is like that! But anyway, if he can, if they can understand each other, if that agrees with Roger, then that is good, there won’t be any difficulties. But if he can’t then it is necessary that Paolo be here when Roger is away, and then that we….!

You understand, for me it is like this! [The Mother laughs.] Because Roger has enough work (he has a formidable amount of work). It is not that we are taking work away from him. It is that if he refuses to do it, we will do it, that’s all.

I will see if they can come together on it.

For me now things are no longer exclusive, at all. I see very well the possibility of using the most contrary tendencies AT THE SAME TIME…with a little ableness; that is all. It is not exclusive. I don’t say: ‘Ah, no, not that!’ No, no, no: everything together. That is what I want: to arrive at the point of creating a place where all the contraries can unite.

That…unless one can do that… [gesture of turning round and round] that continues, one continues.

That is good. Yes, I understand: the thing is to build the centre, even if we cannot build the island. Perhaps Paolo can convince Roger. I will speak to him tomorrow, to start the new year.

There. Then, I wish you a good year.

We are changing the decade this time. It is necessary to shake up all of that.

So new and so small…in order to grow.


3 January, 1970


Yes, there is something interesting. I was feeling something for a long time, then we talked of it the other day, and I saw it. I spoke about it to Roger, I told him to see Paolo and I also told him that I had seen what should be done. Of course he did not say no, he said yes to everything, but I felt that he did not have much intention…. But anyway, this is what happened. I saw clearly, very, very distinctly…. That means that it was like that and that it is still like that, it is there [gesture indicating an eternal plane]. The interior of this place….


You should tell this to Paolo.


Should I tell him right away? Well…I can speak more easily if I am alone with you.


Then tell me, sweet Mother.


I can describe it. It came, like that. It will be a kind of tower which will be like the inside of a column. No windows. The ventilation will be artificial, with those machines [the Mother points to an air-conditioner] and only a roof. And the sun which strikes the centre. Or when there is no sun — at night and on cloudy days — an electric spotlight. And the idea is to build immediately a sort of sample, or model, holding about a hundred people. When the town is built and the experiment has been done, a large one will be made — but then it will be very big, to hold a thousand to two thousand people…and the second one will be done around the first; that means that the first one will not go away until the second has been finished. That is the idea.

Only, so as to talk about it to Paolo, and if possible…if I see that it is possible to talk of it to Roger. I would like to have a plan. I will have it made — not myself, because I can’t any more; I would have been able to do it at one time, but now I don’t see clearly enough. I will have it made this afternoon, in front of me; a plan, and with this plan I would be able to really explain well. But to you, I wanted to simply say what I have seen….

It will be a tower with twelve facets, each facet represents a month of the year; and above, the roof of the tower will be like that. [The Mother makes a gesture.] And then inside there will be twelve columns. The walls and then twelve columns. And right at the centre, on the ground there is my symbol, and above that four symbols of Sri Aurobindo, which are joined, which form a square; and above that, a globe. A globe which is, if possible, made of transparent material, and with (or without) light inside it, but the sun ought to strike the globe; then according to the month, the time, it will be from here, from there, from there… [gesture indicating the movement of the sun] do you understand? There will always be an opening with a ray entering. Not a diffused light; a ray which strikes it, which should strike it. To be carried out that requires a technical knowledge, and this is why I want to make a drawing with an engineer.

And then there will be no windows or lights inside the room. It will always be in a kind of light shadow, day and night — by day from the sun, by night from artificial light. And on the ground nothing, except a floor like this one [in the Mother’s room]. That means first wood, (wood or something else), then a sort of rubber foam, thick, very soft, and then a carpet. Carpet everywhere. And the twelve columns are for people who need to support their backs.

And then people will not come for a regular meditation or anything of that kind (but the inner organisation will be made afterwards). It will be a place for concentration. Not everyone will be able to come. There will be a time in the week or a time in the day (I don’t know) when visitors will be allowed to come, but anyway no mixture. A fixed time or a fixed day for showing it, and the rest of the time only for those who are…serious, serious, sincere, who want to learn to concentrate.

So I believe that that is good.

It was there [gesture above] I still see it when I speak of it — I see. As I see it, it is very beautiful, it is really very beautiful…a sort of penumbra: one can see, but it is very tranquil. And then very clear and very bright rays of light, (the spotlight, the artificial light, must be somewhat golden; it must not be cold — that will depend on the spotlight) fall upon the symbol. A globe made of a plastic material or…I don’t know.


Crystal?


If it is possible, yes. For the small temple, the globe will not need to be very big. If it were as big as this (about 30cm) it would be good. But for the big temple it will have to be big.


But how will the big temple be constructed? On top of the small one?


No, no, the small one will go away. But the big one will be built afterwards, and in vast dimensions…the small one will only go when the big one is built. But, of course, for the town to be finished, one must reckon on twenty years or so, for everything to be really in order, in its place. It is like the gardens: all the gardens which have been made are for now, but in twenty years all that will have to have other dimensions; then, it must be something really…really beautiful. And I wonder what material to use for this globe, the big one?… The small one, in crystal perhaps, a globe like that (30cm). I think that will be enough. One must be able to see the globe from every corner of the room.


It doesn’t need to be lifted too high above the ground either?


No, Sri Aurobindo’s symbol does not need to be big. It should be so big.


Twenty five or thirty centimetres?


At the most, at the very most.


That means that it will be about eye level.


Eye level, yes, that’s it.

And a very tranquil atmosphere. And nothing, you know, some great columns… We have to see if the columns are in some style…if they will be round, or if they also have twelve facets…? And twelve columns.


And the roof in two sections?


Yes, a roof in two sections in order to receive the sun. It must be arranged in such a way that the rain cannot enter. It is unthinkable to have something to open and close when it rains, that is not possible. It must be arranged in such a way that the rain cannot enter. But the sun must enter as a ray; not diffused. So therefore the opening must be of a limited size. It needs an engineer who really knows his job.


And when will they start?


For me, I would like it to begin straightaway, as soon as the plans are available. There are only two questions: first the plans (workers can be had) and then the money…I believe that it is possible with this idea of making a small temple. Of course ‘small’ is a manner of speaking! Because it still needs to be quite big so that it can easily hold a hundred people. A small scale to begin with, and then they will learn by making it, and the big one will be made only when the town is finished, not immediately.

I spoke about it to Roger, who said to me the next day: ‘Yes, but it will require time to prepare.’ I didn’t say anything of all that I’ve just told you, I spoke only of doing something. And afterwards I had the vision of this room; so I don’t need anyone any more to see what it should be; I know. And an engineer is more necessary than an architect, because an architect…it must be as simple as possible.


I told Paolo what you had seen, this large empty room. He understands well. He was also seeing this large empty room. Well, empty — that simply means a form.


But a form…like a tower, but…that’s why I would like to have a sketch, to show it. Twelve regular facets, and then there must be a wall which is not upright, a wall a little like this [slightly inclined gesture], I don’t know if it is possible. And inside twelve columns. And then an arrangement must be found to catch the sun. Twelve facets arranged in such a way that at every time of the year it can enter. It needs someone who knows his job well.

The outside…I did not see the outside, I did not see it at all. I saw only the inside.

I wanted to explain to Paolo when I had the papers. It would be easier, but since you have called him…

[Paolo enters]

Since it has been decided to build this temple, I have seen; I have seen its interior. I have just tried to describe it to Satprem. But in a few days from now I will have some plans and drawings, so I will be able to explain it more clearly. Because the outside, I don’t know at all how it looks, but the inside I know.


P: The outside comes out of the inside.


It is a kind of tower with twelve regular facets, which represent the twelve months of the year, and absolutely empty…and it must be able to hold from a hundred to two hundred people. And then, to support the roof there will be within it (not outside), twelve columns, and right at the centre, well, the object of concentration…. And with the help of the sun, all year round the sun should enter as a beam (not diffusely, an arrangement must be made so that it can enter as a beam). So according to the hours of the day, and the months of the year, the ray will turn; there will be an arrangement above, and the beam will be directed onto the centre piece. In the centre there will be the symbol of Sri Aurobindo, supporting a globe. A globe which we will try to make from something transparent, like crystal or…a big globe. And then people will be allowed in to concentrate [laughs]; to learn to concentrate. No set meditations, nothing of all that, but they should stay there in silence, in silence and concentration.

But this place is absolutely…as simple as possible. And the floor, done in such a way so that the people are comfortable, that they are not thinking about this pain or that pain!


P: It is very beautiful.


And in the middle, on the ground, my symbol. At the centre of my symbol we will place in four parts, like a square, four symbols of Sri Aurobindo, upright, supporting a transparent globe. That, that has been seen.

So I am going to have some small plans made by an engineer, simple, to show, and then I will show them to you when they are ready. And then we will see.

For the walls, probably they will have to be in concrete.


P: The whole structure can be in reinforced concrete.


The roof should probably be at an angle, and then at the apex there will have to be a special arrangement for the sun.


You said that the walls would be slightly at an angle.


It will be either the walls at an angle or the roof which must be at an angle — whichever is the easiest to do. The walls, they could be made straight and the roof at an angle. And the upper part of the roof resting on the twelve columns, and above that the arrangement for the sun.

And inside, nothing, nothing, but the columns. The columns, I don’t know, we will have to see if they should be made with facets (like the roof with twelve facets) or simply round.


P: Round.


Or simply square — it is to be seen.

And then, on the floor, we will put something thick and soft. Here, you are comfortable as you are sitting? Yes? There is first wood, and then this kind of rubber, and over it a carpet of wool.


With your symbol?


Not the carpet. The symbol, I had thought it best to make it in something lasting.


P: It should be in stone.


The symbol…everything will be around it, of course, the symbol will not cover it all, it will be only in the middle of the space — [laughing] one shouldn’t sit on the symbol! That is in the middle. The proportion of the symbol in relation to the whole will have to be seen very carefully, in relation to the height.


P: And the room quite large?


Oh yes, it should be…. It should be like a sort of shadow with the rays of the sun, so that the ray can be seen. A ray of sun. Then according to the hour of the day, the sun will turn (the hours of the day and the months of the year). And then at night, as soon as the sun disappears, spotlights will be lit which will have the same effect and the same colour. And day and night the light will remain there. But no windows, or lamps or things like that — nothing. Ventilation with air conditioning machines (that can be done in the walls, it is very easy). And silence. There one does not speak! [The Mother laughs.] That will be good. So as soon as my drawings are ready, I will call you and show them to you…


P: Very well.


(The Mother gives two red roses to Paolo and he leaves.)


I didn’t ask him if he had seen Roger because… Roger is entirely in the ‘practical’ atmosphere of the moment.

That’s good. It has to get going!

You see this is what I have learned; the failure of the religions is because they were divided. They wanted one to be religious to the exclusion of the other religions; and all their knowledge has failed because they were exclusive; and man has failed because he has been exclusive. And what the new consciousness wants (it is on this that it insists) is no more divisions. To be able to comprehend the spiritual extreme, the material extreme, and to find…to find the point of union, there where…that becomes a real force.

From the practical point of view I will try to make Roger understand. But I have seen…. What is needed is that when Roger is here he should be occupied with ‘Auromodele’, the practical side of things, all of that (it is necessary, that is very good), and for this construction of the centre, Paolo should be the one to do it. So I would like Paolo to stay here when Roger goes; that Paolo remain here when Roger leaves, and we will do it with Paolo. Only I don’t want them to feel that it is one against the other(!). They must understand that it is to complement each other. I believe Paolo will understand.


But Roger will take it as an encroachment.


Perhaps, but I will try. I will try.

No, when I told him that it was necessary to make the Centre, that I had seen it and that it ought to be done, he did not object. He only told me ‘But that will take time.’ I told him — no, it must be done straightaway. And that is why I am having these kind of sketches made by an engineer to show him, because it is not work for an architect, it is work for an engineer, with very precise calculations for the light of the sun, very precise. It must be someone who really knows. The architect has to see that the columns are beautiful, that the walls are beautiful, that the proportions are exact — all that is very good — and then the symbol at the centre. The aspect of beauty, naturally it is the architect who ought to see to it, but all the questions of calculation…and the important thing is that, the play of the sun on the centre. Because that becomes the symbol — the symbol of the future Realisation.


***


The remainder of the Mother’s dialogues on her Temple will be reproduced in the next issue.


Please note that in The Vishaal Newsletter, April, 1986, pages 18 and 19, extensive portions of this talk were reproduced, concerning ‘perception’. Therefore, we shall not reproduce them again here.

Extracts from a dialogue with the Mother

[From The Mother’s Agenda, Volume 10]


This morning about eight o’clock, I could have said many things…. Because there came a day when many problems had cropped up as a consequence of something that had happened, then this morning (towards the end of the night), I had the experience that was the explanation. And for two hours I lived in an absolutely clear perception (not a thought: a clear perception) of the why and how of creation. It was so luminous, so clear; it was irrefutable. It lasted at least for four or five hours and then it petered out; gradually the experience diminished in intensity and clarity…. I had just seen many people, then…it is difficult to explain now. But all had become so limpid; all the contrary theories, everything was at the bottom (the Mother looks from above), and all the explanations, all that Sri Aurobindo had said and also some things that Theon* had said were seen as a consequence of the experience: each thing in its place and absolutely clear. At that time I could have said it, but now it will be a little difficult.

Is it not so? In spite of what one has read and all the theories and explanations, something was left (how to say it?) difficult to ‘explain’ (it is not ‘explaining’: that is quite trivial). For example, suffering and the will to inflict suffering, that side of the Manifestation. There has been, of course, as though a prevision of the original identity of hatred and love, because the thing was going to the extremes, but as for all the rest it was difficult. Today it is so luminously simple, yes, it is that, so obvious! (The Mother looks at a note which she had written.) Words are nothing. And then I had scribbled with a pencil that wrote badly…I don’t know if you can see the words. To me they represented something very exact: now they are nothing but words. (the disciple reads):


Stability and change
Inertia and transformation…


Yes, in the Lord they were evidently identical principles. And it was particularly that, the simplicity of this identity. And now they are nothing but words.


Stability and change
Inertia and transformation
Eternity and progress
___________________________
Unity =  . . .


(The disciple is not able to make out the words.)


It was not I who wrote it, that is to say, not the ordinary consciousness, and the pencil…I do not know any more what I have put down. [The Mother tries to read the words, but in vain.] It was the vision of the creation — the vision, the understanding, the how, the why, the whither, everything was there, the whole of it together, and clear, clear, clear…. I tell you, I was in the midst of a golden glory — luminous, dazzling.

Well, the earth was there as the centre representing the creation, and then there was the identity of the inertia of the stone, of what is most inert, and then…


(The Mother tries once more to read the words.)


 I do not know if it will come.


(The Mother goes into a long concentration.)


One might say that…for the convenience of expression, I would say: the ‘Supreme’ and the ‘creation’. In the Supreme, it is a unity that contains all the possibilities perfectly unified, without any differentiation; in creation, it is, so to say, the projection of all that makes up this unity by dividing the opposites, that is to say, by separating them (it is that which has been seized by someone who said that creation is separation): for example, night and day, black and white, good and evil, etc, etc. — all that, but it is our explanation. The whole of it, all together is a perfect unity, immutable and…indissoluble. Creation means separation of all that constitutes this unity — one might call it the division of consciousness. The division of consciousness starts from the unity conscious of its unity, in order to arrive at the unity conscious of its multiplicity in the unity. And then it is this path which, because of its fragments, is translated for us by space and time. For us, such as we are, it is possible for each point of this consciousness to be conscious of itself and conscious of the original Unity. And that is the work which is being done; that is to say, each infinitesimal element of this consciousness, while keeping this state of consciousness, is in the process of rediscovering the state of the total original consciousness — and the result is the original Consciousness conscious of its unity and conscious of the whole play, conscious of the innumerable elements of this Unity. This for us is translated into the sense of time: moving from the Inconscient up to this state of Consciousness. And the Inconscient is the projection of the first Unity (if one can say it; all these words are altogether senseless), of the essential unity which is only conscious of its unity — yes, that is the Inconscient. And this Inconscient becomes more and more conscious in beings who are conscious of their infinitesimal existence and at the same time, through what we call progress or evolution or transformation, become conscious of the original Unity. And that, as it was seen, explains everything.

Words are nothing.

Everything, everything from the most material to the most ethereal, everything finds its place there — clear, clear, clear, a vision.

And evil, what we call evil, has its indispensable place in the whole. It will not be felt as evil the moment one becomes conscious of That — necessarily. Evil is this infinitesimal element looking at its infinitesimal consciousness; but as consciousness is essentially one, it resumes, regains the Consciousness of the Unity — the two together. It is that, yes, it is that which has to be realised. It is this wonderful thing, of this I had the vision at that moment… And for the beginnings (are they the beginnings?), what is called in English the outskirts, what is farthest from the central realisation, that becomes the multiplicity of things, and the multiplicity also of sensations, of feelings, of all…the multiplicity of consciousness. It is this act of separation that has created, that is creating the world constantly and that is creating everything at the same time: suffering, happiness, everything, everything that is created through this…what might be called ‘diffusion’; but it is absurd, it is not a diffusion — we ourselves live in the sense of space, so we speak of diffusion and concentration, but it is nothing of the sort.

And I understood why Theon used to say that we were living at the time of ‘Equilibrium’; that is to say, it is through the equilibrium of all these innumerable points of consciousness and of all these opposites that the central Consciousness is rediscovered. And all that is said is stupid — at the same time as I say this, I see to what degree it is stupid. But one cannot do otherwise. It is something…something so concrete, so true, yes, so ab-so-lu-te-ly…that.

I was obliged to take up some paper and jot it down, and in such a way that I do not know any more what I jotted down…. The first thing written was this:


Stability and change


It was the idea of the original Stability (one could say), which is translated in the Manifestation by inertia. And the growth is translated by change. Then came:


         Inertia and transformation


But it is gone, the sense is gone ― the words had a sense.


         Eternity and progress


They were the opposites (these three things). Then there was a gap (The Mother draws a line under the triple opposition), and once again a Pressure, and then I wrote this:


Unity =  . . . (Three illegible words follow)


And that was a much more true expression of the experience, but it is illegible — I think it was illegible deliberately. One must have the experience to be able to read it.


(The disciples tries to read the words:)


It seems to me that there is a word ‘rest’?


Ah! It must be that. Rest and…


(The Mother goes into concentration.)


Is it not ‘power’?


Ah! yes, ‘Power and rest combined.’


Yes, that is it.

It was not I who chose the words, so they must have a special force — when I say ‘I’, I mean the consciousness that is there (Gesture above the head) it is not that consciousness; it was something that was pressing down that compelled me to write.


(The Mother recopies her note:)


 Stability and change
Inertia and transformation
Eternity and progress
___________________________

Unity = power and rest combined


The idea is that the two combined restored that state of consciousness which wanted to express itself.

It was on the universal scale — not on the individual scale.

I put a line between the two to mean that they had not come together.


But already, often, when you speak of this supramental experience, you say that it is a staggering movement and at the same time it is as though completely immobile. You have said it often.


But you know, most often I do not remember what I have once said.


You say: the vibration is so rapid that it is imperceptible, it is as though coagulated and immobile.


Yes. But this was really a Glory in which I lived for hours together this morning.

And then all, all, all notions, all of them, even the most intellectual, all became as…as though childishness. It was so obvious that one had the feeling: there is no need to speak of it!

All human reactions, even the highest, the purest, the noblest, appeared so childish!… There is a sentence written by Sri Aurobindo somewhere that was coming all the while to me. One day, I do not remember where, he had written something, a rather long sentence in which there was this: ‘And when I feel jealous, I know that the old man is still there.’ It is now perhaps more than thirty years since I read it — yes, almost thirty years — and I remember, when I read ‘jealous’, I said to myself: How can Sri Aurobindo be jealous? And so after thirty years I have understood what he meant by being ‘jealous’ ― it is not at all what men call ‘jealous’, it was altogether another state of consciousness. I saw it clearly. And this morning it came back to me: ‘And when I feel jealous, I know that the old man is still there.’ To be ‘jealous’ for him did not mean what we call ‘jealous’…. It is this infinitesimal particle that we call the individual, this particle of infinitesimal consciousness which places itself at the centre, which is the centre of the perception, and which consequently perceives things coming like that (gesture towards oneself) or going like that (gesture outward) and all that does not come to it gives it a kind of perception that Sri Aurobindo called ‘jealous’: the perception that things are going toward diffusion, instead of coming in toward centralisation; it was that which he called ‘jealous’. So he said: When I feel jealous (this was what he meant to say), I know that the old man is still there; that is to say, this infinitesimal particle of consciousness can still be at the centre of itself; it is the centre of action, the centre of perception, the centre of sensation….

(Silence)

Yes, I could notice — it is the time when I do all my physical work — I could notice that the whole work could be done without any alteration in the consciousness. It was not that which altered my consciousness; what veiled my consciousness was seeing people: it is when I began to be here and to do what I have been doing every day: projecting the divine Consciousness upon people. But it came back… (how can one say it?) on the borders; that is to say, instead of being within, I began to perceive it, when you asked me. But that feeling is no longer there — there was nothing but that any more! That alone was there, and everything, everything has changed — appearance, meaning, etc.

That must be the supramental consciousness: I believe that this is the supramental consciousness.


But one could conceive very well that for a consciousness wide and quick enough, if I may say so, capable of seeing not merely a bit of the path, but the whole path at the same time…


Yes, yes.


The whole would be a moving perfection. Evil is simply holding one’s vision on one small angle; then one says, ‘It is evil’, but if one sees the entire path…in a total consciousness, obviously there is no evil.


There are no contraries. No contraries — not even contradictions; I say: no contraries. It is that Unity, it is living in that Unity. And that cannot be translated by thoughts or words. I am telling you, it is…a vastness without limits and a light…a light without movement, and at the same time an ease…an ease not recognised as such. Now I am convinced that it is that, the supramental consciousness.

And necessarily, necessarily that must change the appearances gradually.

(Long silence)

There are no words that can explain the magnificence of the Grace, how the whole is combined so that all may go as quickly as possible. And individuals are miserable to the extent to which they are not conscious of it and take a false position in regard to what is happening to them.


But what is difficult to think is that at each moment it must be…it is the perfection.


Yes, that is it.


At each instant, it is the perfection.


At each instant. There is no other thing…when I was there, there was no other thing. And yet, as I have told you, it was the time when I was physically extremely busy — all the work was being done, without disturbing anything; on the contrary, I believe I was doing things much better than usual…I do not know how to explain. It was not, as it were, a thing ‘added’: it was quite natural.

Life as it is can be lived in that consciousness ― but it is then lived quite well! Nothing needs to be changed, what is to be changed changes itself quite naturally.

…Well, this sort of a very quiet perception of what is still not all right — a pain here, a difficulty there — very calm, very indifferent, but it is perceived (without its taking any importance), and even that gone, wholly swept away!…I hope it won’t come back. It is really…this, I understand, it is a transformation. One is conscious in a golden vastness — my child, it is wonderful — luminous, golden, peaceful, eternal, all-powerful.

And how it is coming…. No word is there to express it indeed, this wonder regarding the Grace…. The Grace, the Grace is a thing that surpasses all comprehension, with its clear-seeing kindliness…. Naturally the body had the experience. Something had happened that I will not tell you and it had the true reaction; it had not the old reaction, it had the true reaction — it smiled, with the smile of the supreme Lord — it smiled. That was there for a whole day and a half. And it was this difficulty which enabled the body to make the last progress, enabled it to live in this Consciousness: if all had been harmonious, things could have lasted still for years — it is wonderful, wonderful!

And how stupid men are! When the Grace has come to them, they push it away, saying, ‘Oh! what horror!’… That I have known for a long time, but my experience is…dazzling.


Yes, each thing is perfectly, wonderfully what it ought to be at every moment.


Quite so.


But it is our vision that is not attuned.


Yes, it is our separated consciousness.

The whole has been brought with lightning rapidity towards the consciousness that will be the Consciousness of the point and of the all, at the same time.

(Long silence)

(The Mother finishes recopying her note.)

There, now I am writing today’s date.


It is the 19th.


19 November 1969, supramental consciousness.

(Silence)

The first descent of the supramental force was a 29, and this is a 19… The 9 is something to note there…. So many things there are which we do not know!

(Silence)

I have already had the experience, partially, that when one is in this state of inner harmony and no part of the attention is turned towards the body, the body works perfectly well. It is this… ‘self-concentration’ which upsets everything. And this I have observed many times, many times…. In reality one does make oneself ill. It is the narrowness of consciousness, the division. If you let it work, there is…everywhere there is a Consciousness and a Grace that do everything so that all may go well, and it is because of this imbecility that all goes wrong — it is strange! The ego-centric imbecility, it is that which Sri Aurobindo calls ‘the old man’.

It is truly interesting.


* The Mother’s teacher of occultism at the turn of the century, before meeting Sri Aurobindo.

The Mother, 31 May, 1962

‘…If ever I were to write a book about Sri Aurobindo, this is the book I would write, like a sort of fairy tale… “Picture it to yourself like this – you see life, you see it as it is, you are used to an existence of this sort, and it is dismal and sad (there are people who enjoy themselves, but it is because they amuse themselves with very little!). Well, there is, behind all that, a fairy tale. Something which is being prepared and which will be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, inexpressible. And in which we are participating…You are not aware, you believe that when you die you will forget everything, leave everything, but it is not true! And all those who are interested in a beautiful, luminous, joyous, progressive life – well, they will all take part in it in one way or another. Now you do not know; after some time, you will…Voila.

‘So, a fairy tale.

‘And the images, my child! All the outer images, like cinema images: of this activity, and this other, and another… That seems to me to be the only thing that can really be said, because it is the only thing I see. So, one sees, one says. ‘Yes, but there is someone [Sri Aurobindo] who is trying to do something with all that. Look, look, at the beautiful image behind, a beautiful story…and he was trying to bring that story down on Earth, and the story is sure to come…

‘What I myself see is almost a book for children. For a whole generation between ten and eighteen years old…thousands of children – with beautiful pictures.

‘…I would like it to come as an enjoyable experience. That you imagine you are speaking to children and that you are going to tell them the most beautiful story in the world.

‘And it is true! It is the most beautiful fairy tale in the world. There is none more beautiful than that one.

‘I am going to tell you the most beautiful story in the world…’

The Mother, L’Agenda de Mere, III, 1962,
Institut de Recherches Evolutive, Paris.