(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