These conversations are of the Mother with Satprem who used to record the Mother’s voice and his collection was named ‘The Mother’s Agenda’. Here are a few extracts taken from the Agenda which reveal the Mother’s view on Tara Jauhar Didi.
T. or T. J. here stands for Tara Didi.
The Mother: But T. [who asks “questions” on the Aphorisms] sends me four or five of them at one go, without space to answer each… so I only answer the last one!
It would be good to say, “Let our robe of virtue fall so we may be ready for the Truth.”
January 7, 1961
Mother generally worked a little every day on the French translation of The Synthesis of Yoga.
The Mother: …I haven’t touched my translations for over a week. T. sent me her notebook with questions and I had it for two weeks before I found time to answer.
You know, when I am tired and work on the translation I feel rested. But, oh, all these letters! Even the best of them are stupid.
Mother preferred answering verbally Satprem’s questions on the aphorisms. This allowed her to speak of her experiences freely without the restrictions imposed by a written reply.
January 10, 1961
Satprem: Wouldn’t it be better if each time you answered these questions on the Aphorisms verbally?
The Mother: Ah, that’s always better! With pencil and paper I have to look at what I’m writing and it holds me back like a leash.
Satprem: Then why don’t you just speak? T. or Z. could come and listen to you – they would be overjoyed!
The Mother: Oh no, my child, you don’t see at all! To speak I must have a receptive atmosphere! … I would never think of uttering a word! That only happens when I find some receptivity in front of me, something I can use.
What I say to people depends entirely upon their inner state. That’s precisely why I had such enormous difficulty at thePlayground3 – the atmosphere was so mixed! It was a STRUGGLE to find someone receptive so I could speak. And if I’m in the presence of people who understand nothing, I can’t say a word. On the other hand, some people come prepared to receive and then suddenly it all comes – but usually there’s no tape-recorder!
I have replied endlessly, I have given all sorts of explanations about the organization of the School, about World Union,4 about the true way to organize industry (its true functioning) – so many things! If all that were compiled we could publish brochures! Sometimes I’ve spoken three-quarters of an hour non-stop to people who listened with delight and were receptive but quite incapable of making a written report of it. At times like that we could have used one of your machines! But when things are organized in advance, it may well be that nothing comes out at all – mentalizing stops the flow. if T. is in front of me, I can’t say anything to her because she doesn’t understand. I already have trouble writing to her – what I have to say is always brought down a bit; but if she were here in the room and I had to speak to her, nothing at all would come out!
February 11, 1961
(Mother comes in with T.’s notebook of questions on Sri Aurobindo’s Aphorisms.)
55 – Be wide in me, O Varuna; be mighty in me, O Indra; O Sun, be very bright and luminous; O Moon, be full of charm and sweetness. Be fierce and terrible, O Rudra; be impetuous and swift, O Maruts; be strong and bold, O Aryama; be voluptuous and pleasurable, O Bhaga; be tender and kind and loving and passionate, O Mitra. Be bright and revealing, O Dawn; O Night, be solemn and pregnant. O Life, be full, ready and buoyant; O Death, lead my steps from mansion to mansion. Harmonise all these, O Brahmanaspati. Let me not be subject to these gods, O Kali.1
The Mother: He invokes all these Vedic gods and tells each one to take possession of him; and THEN he tells Kali to free him from their influence! It is very amusing!
It’s written in black and white, but the people here read and don’t understand what they’re reading, and that’s a pity. They have to be told, “This means that”!
Satprem: T. asks, “Why don’t the gods help us? Why do they keep us in bondage?”
The Mother: That’s not what Sri Aurobindo means! He means he doesn’t WANT to be limited by the gods, not even by their powers. He wants to be vaster than they are: vaster, more total, more complete. It’s not a question of getting rid of their influence but of becoming more than that.
April 29, 1961
59 – One of the greatest comforts of religion is that you can get hold of God sometimes and give him a satisfactory beating. People mock at the folly of savages who beat their gods when their prayers are not answered; but it is the mockers who are the fools and the savages.
The Mother: Poor T.! She asked me, “What does it mean (laughing) to give God a ‘satisfactory beating’? How is this possible?…” I still haven’t answered. And then she added another question: “Many people say that Sri Aurobindo’s teachings are a new religion. Would you call it a religion?…” You understand, I began to fume!
I wrote (Mother reads her answer):
“Those who say that are simpletons and don’t even know what they’re talking about! It is enough to read everything Sri Aurobindo has written to know that it is IMPOSSIBLE [underlined] to found a religion upon his writings, since for each problem, for each question, he presents all aspects and, while demonstrating the truth contained in each approach, he explains that to attain the Truth a synthesis must be effected, overpassing all mental notions and emerging in a transcendence beyond thought.
“Your second question, therefore, makes no sense! Furthermore, if you had read what appeared in the last Bulletin,1 you could never have asked it.
“Let me repeat that when we speak of Sri Aurobindo, it is not a question of teaching nor even of revelation, but of an Action from the Supreme; upon this, no religion whatsoever can be founded.”
This is the first blast.
The second is:
“Men are such fools” (laughing: it doesn’t get any better!) “that they can change anything at all into a religion, so great is their need for a fixed framework for their narrow thought and limited action. They don’t feel secure unless they can affirm: ‘This is true and that is not’ – but such an affirmation becomes impossible for anyone who has read and understood what Sri Aurobindo has written. Religion and yoga are not situated on the same plane of the being, and the spiritual life can exist in its purity only if it is free from all mental dogma.”
Satprem: People must really be made to understand this.
The Mother: Yes, it is indispensable!
Satprem: They are all always ready – even in the Ashram – ready to create a religion.
The Mother: Yes, the people T. is talking about are Ashramites.
Satprem: They are just as dogmatic as Catholics or Protestants….
The Mother: Yes, it’s the SAME thing. The same thing.
It means they have understood nothing.
But this: “How can one give God a beating?” (Mother laughs a lot). It’s funny, isn’t it!
Satprem: But what exactly did he mean?
The Mother: What did Sri Aurobindo mean?…
Do you have the English text? We may have somewhat… popularized it?
Satprem: The English word is “beating”: a good beating.
The Mother: “Beating?” Then that’s just it: “une raclée”!
Religion always has a tendency to humanize, to create a God in the image of man – a magnified and glorified image, but essentially always a god with human attributes. And this (laughing) creates a sort of intimacy, a sense of kinship!
- has taken it literally, but it’s true that even the Spanish, when their god doesn’t do what they want, take the statue and throw it in the river!
There are people here who do the same thing. I know some people who had a statue of Kali in their house (it was their family divinity), and all kinds of calamities befell them, so the last generation became furious and took the idol and threw it into the Ganges. They are not the only ones – there have been several cases like that. And to cap it all, one of them even asked my permission before doing it!
July 7, 1961
(Mother takes up “Thoughts and Aphorisms.”)
The Mother: Have you brought a question?
Ah! I have seen T., who told me she was finding it too difficult to ask questions [on Sri Aurobindo’s Aphorisms] because it always seemed to be the same thing! So now she has nothing to ask. We have decided she won’t ask any more questions, unless, by chance, something suddenly arouses a question in her. Otherwise, no more questions. (Mother breathes a sigh of relief!)
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