Which Town ?
(written by Divakar)
“It is not enough to adore, one must become…”
She who walks in front.
She who cleaves the path, opens the way, links the worlds.
She who loves.
One day, even as at each moment She had to struggle more intensely and endure more fiercely, in this used, bent and damaged body, to undo the spells that are coiled within the cells, one day, yes, She simply announced: “let us build a town at the service of Truth…” But since long already, very long, She was nourishing the soil from which could germinate and sprout this call, the call for unity, for a truer life, a clearer and surer consciousness, a freer state. To the building of this town, which would give a shape to the aspiration She was offering, She has invited, from all the countries of the Earth and whatever be their race, their class or their caste, these men and women, these beings who have a thirst and a need of a conscious plenitude and a living harmony capable of constantly progressing and dissolving all misery. From the time of Her childhood, She had known what Her work would be: to pull and bring down here, in this very world, a sovereign Consciousness- Force, entire and direct.
And very early on She drew Her plan of action = first to gather human individualities sharing the same quest for a new reign, for a state of
completeness which would have the power to reconcile all the opposites and to harmonize the whole earth. Then, from this kernel of call and of receptivity, one would then have to build a town, the embryo of a collective terrestrial realization which, progressively, would give a body to an entire country, to then expand, spread and propagate further abroad like a luminous and beneficial contagion over the earth.
This was at the beginning of the twentieth century.
And, on the eve of the First World War, She found Him again, in this material world, He with whom the work would be accomplished.
The Two joined their efforts.
To reach, attain and unite with that Consciousness which would take over from the Mind in the evolution, to gradually bring down its Force into their own purified and offered natures, till their very own presences may begin to manifest the rudiments of a new condition of existence in Matter - such was Their task.
A growing number of individuals were grouping around Them.
These were the first murmurs of a new collective formation upon earth.
Without a respite She strove to open the hearts and thoughts to this new world, of which She was welcoming the seeds.
For more than thirty years They worked together to clear the terrain of human consciousness, to open passageways and deliver the living truth that this ambivalent humanity keeps imprisoned and to unite it with its solar source = a struggle and a battle of each second, often fierce and merciless, so as to at least neutralize all that resists and refuses light.
For humanity is the site of the evolution of consciousness in Matter = man is the bridge, the vessel and the instrument. In the human being persist the forms of whatever was ever attempted and secretly vibrate the moulds of That which will come. And for ages already, it has been under the aegis of the ego and of separation that humanity has learnt to function, to survive, to progress – and to harm. This miraculous apprenticeship, at once marvelous and malevolent, took place with the help of the life-forces and then of the mind-forces, and all the planes and all the powers of existence have, from near or far, participated – or rivaled in the exercise of their influences.
For, along with the separation comes the will for power and domination.
It is thus that the Second World War had for its stake the terrestrial destiny of the human species. In one outcome, humanity would be subjected to an abusive totalitarian reign which would push very far away in time the very possibility of any evolutionary advance; in the other, the freedom of choice would be essentially preserved – the indispensable condition for the emergence and development of the true consciousness.
To this combat the Two gave Their love and Their living forces, in a concentration of which no one, anywhere, had ever been capable of. For it was imperative that once for all be flung back, if not altogether dissolved, this sinister menace and this abomination, if the evolutionary passage must be cleaved now upon this Earth, rather than postponed indefinitely.
But the cost of this necessary victory would be heavy, as large amounts of lesser forces, sensing the end of the ego’s separative mode which alone allowed them to exploit and feed from human life, began to rush through all openings into the earth-atmosphere.
During these 30 years, until the end of 1950, the Two worked ceaselessly in this physical material world, sharing complementary tasks. He, a little withdrawn from the public gaze in his apartments on the first floor, which he paced from hour to hour, continually moved back and forth, ascending and descending, breaking open the path of consciousness beyond known planes and states, so as to establish the direct connection between Matter and the Truth of tomorrow. And to that end must be developed the new individual vehicle, the new center of existence which would replace the ego and convert the physical, vital and mental forces into instruments at the service of a Consciousness of Unity.
And if He was not walking across His three connecting rooms, it was because he was writing, writing, writing – thousands of letters of calm explanation, or the verse hundred times revised of his revelatory epic “Savitri”, or he was concentrating, seated in His large armchair or prone on His couch, to open the thresholds up above and down below, to explore, to endure, to illuminate, to discover.
And as thus He worked, ever unperturbed in His orientation, these movements of consciousness translated in Her, simultaneously and directly, in experience and action.
She was incarnating in the world.
Accessible, diligent, alert to each and all, She organized, guided, encouraged, protected, indicated, enveloped, supported, pulled forward and taught. Already She had, with the first disciples, established the practical foundations of a collective organization capable of harmonious growth. She opened all fields to the same exigency, the same aspiration, the same dedication. Every activity, once offered to the Truth, was equally noble and worthy of the same respect and consecration. She inculcated that the poet and the legislator could as well sweep the courtyard with the same vibrancy and the same inwardness. She taught them that all of life is the ground of the Yoga and the lever of transformation.
At the beginning, in the old colonial quarters of Pondicherry, this slumbering town often ill-famed and treacherous that yet preserved a sort of ordered grandeur with its well-traced streets parallel or perpendicular to the ocean and bordered with thick-walled and high-ceilinged spacious mansions, They owned nothing, or almost nothing and had to rely on the hospitality of a few devoted local residents – and most of the first new arrivals had nothing either.
Still, a shared discipline had to be set, a commitment of each to the happy, positive and active offering of all labor, action, enterprise and all task, at the service of the true consciousness. And little by little each instant and each act and gesture of the daily life were filling and being endowed with significance. And each one was beginning to understand, concretely and in the very facts of life, that the nucleus of a new world was actually being progressively built in this world. For everything must contribute to this nascent manifestation, all the powers and all the forces that reside in the human being must learn to collaborate = art, commerce, industry, science and technology, the highest intelligence as the most corporeal aptitude, everything must find its right place in the accelerated conscious evolution of this new creation. Obstacles were turned into lessons, momentary defeats, backlashes and failures, all was embraced by an inner action as vast and comprehensive as constant and rigorously exacting.
For, within Her, the Shakti was growing.
A little human substance was thus gathering around Them and each individual joining Their terrestrial work with one’s own personality, character, temperament, one’s own abilities and weaknesses and subconscious baggage of conditionings, naturally came to represent a certain type, a particular difficulty in humanity, a resistance to be conquered. For, if each of those who gave Them their life was by this very act responding to a psychic and spiritual discovery, to a new birth and an inner
choice as imperative as it was unexpected – a reversal of consciousness and a revolution of all values =, each one also brought a condition yet unchanged of the ordinary physical consciousness, and it was indeed in this brute and refractory matter that the Two must sow and nurture the germs of a new world.
Like a new-born star, this infinitesimal gathering was beginning to irradiate.
Gradually and from more and more diverse horizons, beings felt the call as a magnet and a directing force of which, with gratitude, they recognized the conscious source. There were those who then wanted to leave everything so as to give themselves entirely, whatever the difficulties – and whom They accepted. And there were those who wished to follow, to open and to participate without yet dropping all their links, finding at Their contact a new meaning to their human existence, with the possibility of serving a great Task in the measure of their means and aptitudes and under Their protection. For the new creation to actually and effectively germinate – and this would be a long and patient endeavor -, three powers had to be at least partially and punctually acquired = the power of money, the political power and the power of health.
Each of those who were accepted – if not chosen by the Two of Them – in this burgeoning collectivity, handed over to Them all their personal possessions and, from then on, would receive from Her all that would be necessary to the daily life. For She, with Her consciousness and Her presence, guided and irrigated all activities and managed all goods and assets for the welfare, progress and prosperity of all.
Those who participated from a distance would come as often as they could for more or less extended stays to bathe in Their atmosphere and laid at Their feet their respective “harvests” – their contributions. In this fashion, one house and then another, a plot of land and then another, could be acquired in the name of Their ashram, including, over the years, consolidating a group of ancient colonial homes which would constitute its recognizable center within this reviving coastal town. She also wanted to assemble, within the peaceful and puissant harmony of Their presence, a vibrant collectivity of living souls who could offer to the Consciousness of Tomorrow the capacities of humanity and its thirst for perfection in every domain, through a trusting, receptive, purified and liberated consecration. Constantly She was pushing back and breaking the limits, beginning with those the individualities still determined by the principle of the vital and mental ego who had gathered around Them. Her very own aspiration was to become ever more worthy and capable of manifesting true love, at the service of the Supreme upon earth, to save and transform it. And it was thus that He, from the start of Their visible common advance, had named Her “the Mother”. This was indeed what She was becoming to a growing number of individual souls who recognized Her as such, She who could delve and plunge in every being to find there the Divine and yield unreservedly to Its Presence. *
One day, when the number of permanent residents of the ashram had well augmented, a princely disciple of a neighboring state offered to Her… a whole hill, with its surrounding lands.
She had the plan of Her town.
The plan of this city of which He would be the centre.
For always She sought a freedom of action: the freedom to attempt and to experiment without the constraints and restrictions of the ordinary society, the freedom to try out and practice new forms and new principles of governance, of economy, of collective existence.
Her plan was simple.
There would be a circular compound wall, with one or several entrances where each arrival would deposit all that linked to the outer public domain. All along the internal face of the surround would be the lodgings of the disciples, each having a small home and its garden. Then, converging towards the center and thus towards the top of the hill, one would find the buildings of collective use for all the services and different activities.
And His central home would thus be at the summit.
Around the town would lay the farms and orchards.
But this project could not take flight.
For there came the need to found the bases of what would become the Center of Education: indeed, the children had arrived. It so happened that, near the end of the Second World War, the Two of Them had to open the doors of the ashram to families of disciples originating from Bengal who were no longer safe and sought refuge near Them – with their children naturally. And so quite suddenly the life of the ashram had to adapt in a thousand ways so as to include and embrace this raw vitality with all its needs. Not only had one to look after them all, but one had to establish a progressive dynamism of integral development able to nourish, sustain and encourage the growth of the true consciousness in each and every unique individual child. And to that end had to be trained those amongst the disciples who would take up and carry out the functions, not of “teachers” but of helpers and participants in the self-discovery, self-mastery and the search for true knowledge in every child and adolescent.
And very soon She introduced the imperative necessity of physical education, so that each could concretely grasp the importance of a wakeful and participating physical consciousness and of bodies that are balanced, plastic, harmonious and eager with the flame of progress.
Needs and necessities call for answers and thus new spaces were made and provided and the range of activities further diversified.
Always She wanted to open new ways, invoke new forms.
With the devoted assistance of two forerunner architects, one Slavic and the other Japanese, who had turned to Them,, She could create a first sample of a several-storied collective habitat built with reinforced concrete, fibrocement and wood which, to this day, remains a model of harmonious and elegant simplicity, at once noble and practical in all of its parts and details.
It is on a wide plateau of red clay, denuded and eroded by the winds and the goats, about 50 meters above the ocean, that She has finally, in February 1968, given the decisive impulsion to Her city.
Another 50 years later, a number of wells have dried up.
When we first arrived, there were still some open wells, down the plateau towards the interior lands, where a rope, a bucket, a pulley and simple cheer could do the work. At present, a little like in any big city anywhere, we depend almost entirely on the public systems of generation and distribution of electricity to draw the water from the three aquifers that we have accessed to the surface – the top aquifer being the one that is fed by the seasonal rains, the one below carrying waters from further away, little exploited in the past, but vulnerable to saline intrusion and the third and deeper one being slightly sulfurous. Even though this electricity is “free”, since we exchange for it the one we produce with our wind towers located further South (there is not enough wind in the area), this condition of dependency is fettering as it not only restraints but also alters and affects, by its effects and consequences, the liberty to collectively explore and progress: for, without energetic independence, we are effectively bound to the general economy. Thus the next step is to create a station of photovoltaic panels of sufficient capacity to provide for all the needs. However it is to the ecological general situation that we are increasingly tied for, even though our efforts at regeneration have borne spectacular results along the years, the rapid proliferation of the harmful practices attending the wild development that has seized upon the region with its
hordes of profiteers and predators has already considerably aggravated the prevailing environmental conditions.
Yet She, at the outset, had clearly warned: “buy all the lands now, or you will bitterly regret it… you do not know the power of greed…”, or, “study and research now the methods for filtering the sea-water…”.
She also cautioned, “you must all commit never to lie, or else this city will never truly rise…”
Today, how many are we?
Barely three thousand, a third of which are children.
I was born and lived the first years of my childhood in the capital city of France, Paris, and the street where we had our home, on the 6 th floor of a building similar to all its neighbors, rue Henri Monnier, which ascended the hill towards Place Pigalle, sheltered as well probably up to three thousand individual inhabitants. We were neither rich nor very poor; this was not a wealthy area and one would meet and move amidst a great diversity of classes, ethnic origins, as well as “trades”; but the pavements were clean, water flowed from all the taps on all the storeys and electricity was lighting all the rooms and no one was really worried about anything, in a civic sense, beyond one’s ability to pay the monthly bills. There were of course, now and then, a drunkard collapsed on the curb, a woman slapped, some loud exchange of choice invectives, a burst bottle,, a quarrel at the grocer’s, and the sounds of police or ambulance sirens, but the proper functioning of all the parts necessary to the everyday life seemed to be ensured. While in our nascent town we are preoccupied practically with each and every action and gesture and their consequences, in a constant search for harmonious solutions that could contribute to recover the health of all the organic systems of the earth – this earth that has been savaged and ransacked and violated and harmed by our arrogance and our excesses.
In terms of the progress and evolution of consciousness – this consciousness incarnated so far by humanity -, what is the use of a city?
What are its functions, its role, its virtues?
What are the powers, the effects and the possibilities that a city alone can generate, trigger and activate?
Critical masses and thresholds, thoroughfares of diversity, sites of exchange and learning, radiating collective centers – are there existing optimal dimensions for the establishment of towns and cities?
Near the end of the 1940s India, who had just acquired its independence and its status as a nation on the terrestrial stage, was a universe entirely woven with a rich complexity of traditions upon which had superimposed, to sheer pragmatic and interested ends, the Victorian values of England. When, in this unorthodox ashram now endowed with a school, She introduced a program of physical education that was identical for women and for men, for boys and for girls, addressing each growing individuality as a living soul whose uniqueness, freed from the ego, must be cherished and sustained and encouraged, this was the actual announcement of a great revolution. Children and disciples of all ages were now wearing, several hours a day, the same uniform, participated in the same games and underwent the same training. It was then that He chose to briefly interrupt His silent concentration to write a limpid and lucid text that She published in the new quarterly Bulletin of the Center of Education, in which He defined the terms of the necessary progress of the corporeal consciousness in order to ensure an earthly physical base for the evolutionary transition, through the first manifestation of what He then named the “Mind of Light” = an intermediate step that required the strong, balanced, plastic, enduring and mastered receptivity of the physical consciousness and the life of the body, the very cells of the material organism learning to participate. Reticence, resistance, alarm, indignation, comments were fusing everywhere.
The pangs, the horrors and the ravages of the Second World War were beginning to dissipate in the collective memory of a humanity which, along with the fall of the empires, was preparing to proliferate in the blindest of growths. Upon this living earth, in the name of a doctrine and a discipline deemed “superior”, had arisen and manifested unthinkable abominations. Through a cunning piracy of a Vast Truth yet to come, a small, cold, self- enamored person addicted to its own image, had almost seized control of the common destiny of the peoples and the nations. If the sap of union, liberty and fraternity had been strong enough to circulate and nourish enough hearths to halt and put down this terribly organized and efficient attempt and to neutralize its purposes, the will for power that had animated it had not altogether renounced its goals – the possession of the human species to the detriment of the evolution of its consciousness and of its access to a unitary state of truth in Matter.
The battle would have to be fought everywhere at once, until all forces freely choose the path of progressive harmony of all that is.
An upheaval and a convulsion of unprecedented amplitude had shaken the earth and, in its violence, tens of millions of human beings had perished.
And the most advanced sciences had lent themselves to the sacrifice.
It was now time to pick oneself up, to reconstruct and rebuild, to recover the taste for life and the confidence in one’s future.
But the moral and ethical models had also succumbed and the moderating boundaries of good conduct would soon collapse in the rush of vital forces eager to find expression.
He and She clearly saw that the advent must be hastened – here, upon this earth – of the Principle of Consciousness that would succeed to the Mind and guide the evolution.
From one instant to the next, continuously, constantly They labored; and, as He acceded to more consciousness and more consciousness descended and awakened the layers of the subconscient and the obscure underlayers of all physical and material existence, She experienced it directly and acted accordingly upon it. But He needed more concentration to intensify the movement and he had to spend too many daily hours in answering letters and calls and demands and no one around Them seemed to realize either the urgency or the magnitude of the task.
One can understand nothing of Their Work, nor of any of Their choices and decisions, as long as one believes that the individual person and consciousness dies with the body.
He saw that the best course of action was for Him to withdraw from the material stage.
She would remain.
Of the Two, She owned the best body, most robust and enduring, however frail it may have appeared. She, who only rested two or three hours in a day in a fully conscious trance, looked after everything and gave Her equal attention to the smallest detail in the life of the ashram as to the larger events and terrestrial changes, extended the most meticulous and comprehensive care to the notebook of a child as the most immediate and effective solicitude to aid and succor a disciple in trouble on another continent – knew how to find rest and renew the energies of the body. For, more and more, She was filling with the Shakti, with this Puissance of pure Energy – the acting Consciousness-Force which He had so luminously evoked when describing the four aspects of the Mother in the manifestation: the force of progress and power to combat the obscurity; the vast wisdom of the deep knowledge which understands and sees the truth of each being; the power of harmony and prosperity which reveals the joy and beauty in all that is; and the power of perfection in all operations and all instruments.
She would continue to act – invisibly and visibly – in the material world and He would support Her with His subtle work from the other side of a still necessary veil.
He took the decision.
Without announcing it to Her.
She had to accept.
He, this gaze so immense wherein united in a single puissance the transcendent, the universal and the individual, He who could heal at a distance and read every heart, let an infection turn fatal and silently left His body. She, who could leave Her own body at will to do Her work in the adjoining realms, knew since long how to “die” : if He had given Her the time to choose, She would have been gone in an instant.
But He knew and He saw.
It was She who must remain.
It was in Her and through Her that the union of Their two consciousnesses would become manifest, opening the way for a new Evolutionary Principle upon earth and in Matter – with Matter, with the cells and atoms of this terrestrial reality.
We were, in the ending of that year 1950, about two and a half billions of human beings. When, 18 years later, She launched Her flame of progress in the earth- atmosphere, we would be three and a half billions.
And still fifty years later, we are approaching the 8 billions.
Can the progressive creation of a minuscule agglomeration of a few thousands aspirants, however consecrated and dedicated they may be, have an effect, a weight, an action on the destiny of the Earth and the human species?
But we appreciate and assess the action of consciousness only through our experience and comprehension of those instruments it has been able to develop so far in the material universe, these relative instruments that allow us to exist as physical individual creatures – the physical forces, the vital forces and the mental forces. Today’ science, with its more and more precise and perfected observation of the behavior of Matter – its forms, its components, its movements -, must honestly confess to an infinite and dizzying mystery. For, if Matter is indeed Energy, is not Energy, or does Energy not prove to be, conscious?
But then, to what consciousness is this referring to and does this consciousness have “intentions”, “aims”, “motivations”, does it know joy?
If we can measure the speed of a mass, and then of an electrical charge, of a sound-wave and then of a light-wave, and then of a mind-wave or thought-wave, we are yet unable to accept, admit and recognize that these are only divers modes of the One Consciousness.
Therefore, who can affirm that a fraction of the entire human mass can make no difference to the condition of its whole?
In the ordinary life, we all know that a number of states such as anger, fear, ill-temper, as well as enthusiasm, laughter or impatience, can communicate directly, that is, without any intention, words or deliberate gestures, just as certain so-called contagious diseases can.
And it is not infrequent to observe that one is catching someone else’s thoughts.
We also sometimes happen to witness a sudden and spontaneous phenomenon of sudden propagation in a crowd – of indignation, of refusal and protest or of loud support and approval. The scientific method has also allowed us to observe that, within a single living species for instance, and notwithstanding physical distances, a simple series of gestures constituting a new know-how, communicates or is learnt faster and faster and with more ease as it is practiced. And contemporary advances in such complementary domains as informatics and nanotechnology keep multiplying the capabilities of our external means of communication. It is now certain that a new perception, a new comprehension and a new practice can communicate directly – either instantly or through successive thresholds of passage and transmission -, or indirectly, but faster and faster, with the help of external means.
The crucial question is that of the quality and of the essential nature of what is being transmitted.
It is very high that She placed the terms of the experience to which She invited representatives of the whole of humanity.
When on the day of the foundation of Her town, She enunciated the dynamic laws that would preside over this local and relative attempt, it was indeed each and every awakened human being whom She addressed – on that day as for very many days to come. It is however in the nature of things of this earth that India, who detains and holds the richest treasure of spiritual experience and realization, be the first to welcome this movement towards a more luminous future for all and for the entire world.
First and foremost, She enjoined everyone to find their soul, this inner being free and vast and directly aware of the Divine. Directly and uniquely, for each soul has its own unique relation to the Divine and with the Divine in the world.
For it is now a matter of operating and undergoing an evolutionary saltus, towards and into the eternal Truth.
In effect, these two documents which She put into circulation (the Charter on the very day of the inauguration and the second text a few years later so as to enlighten a little the first disoriented arrivals) in the earth-atmosphere are founding a new era.
The Auroville Charter 1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But, to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the divine consciousness. 2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages. 3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realizations. 4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.
“To be a true Aurovilian.
1. The first thing needed is the inner discovery, to find out what one truly is behind social, moral, cultural, racial and hereditary appearances. At the centre there is a being, free and vast and knowing, who awaits our discovery and who should become the active centre of our being and our life in Auroville. 2. One lives in Auroville to be free from moral and social conventions; but this freedom must not be a new enslavement to the ego, to its desires and ambitions. The fulfillment of one's desires bars the way to the inner discovery which can only be achieved in the peace and transparency of perfect disinterestedness. 3. The Aurovilian should lose the sense of personal possession. For our passage in the material world, what is indispensable to our life and action is put at our disposal according to the place we must occupy. The more we are in conscious contact with our inner being, the more will the exact means be given to us. 4. Work, even manual work, is something indispensable for the inner discovery. If we do not work, if we do not put our consciousness into matter, matter will never develop. To allow the consciousness to organize a little matter by means of one's body is very good. To create order around us helps to create order within us. We should organize our lives not according to outer artificial rules, but according to an organized inner consciousness, for if we let life go on without subjecting it to the control of the higher consciousness, it becomes dispersed and inexpressive. It is a waste of time in the sense that no conscious use is made of matter. 5. The whole earth must prepare itself for the advent of the new species, and Auroville wants to work consciously to hasten this advent. Little by little it will be revealed what this new species must be, and meanwhile, the best course is to consecrate ourselves entirely to the Divine.”
These two texts bring us to the threshold of an adventure vaster and truer than all the quests of the past, an adventure that will at last justify the incalculable labor of our species. The lines of action and of conduct, the new “dharma” revealed in them, are the exclusivity of no one, of no group, of no party, of no people, but concern humanity as a whole – at once ferments and guides of the progress of its consciousness.
But already, at the beginning of the 1950s, addressing not only the inmates of the ashram but all those who were interested in it and in its International Center of Education, She had begun to formulate the basis and the foundations of a collective organization that would be able to serve the harmonious future of the Earth and to define the conditions for its establishment = a site which no country could claim as its own wherein all would be citizens of the world; where the mutual discovery and the fertile meeting of the cultures and peoples through their representatives would promote respect and collaboration, each individual becoming conscious of the spirit and soul of one’s nation of origin and capable of appreciating and embracing the complementary richness of every other culture and people. She so wished that the students and apprentices of a more integral development, more favorable to the evolution of human consciousness, be exposed and brought into contact with the diversity of the civilizing agents. Was She Herself not incarnating, in Her own physical body, the harmonious integration of these vast civilizing currents? The past of Egypt and the Middle East lived on in Her, the incomparable culture of France and its universal values were active in Her, the sense of beauty and dignity in each gesture and each detail which She had assimilated in Japan was joined in Her with the eternal vibrant immensity of the Shakti of India with
whom She had united – such were the great rivers that had irrigated the intensive training of Her own physical consciousness.
For, in Her constant urge and thrust towards a more conscious future, the first fortresses that She shattered were those of the parochial mentality – of our prejudices, our ostracisms and our racisms. The true Consciousness is One and expresses itself in a diversity that can only be infinite.
The more She advanced on the way and the more all human constructions, which are responsible for our conditionings, appeared hollow and restrictive, and false and poor these moral values which human societies flaunt and use in order to judge and to condemn. She wanted that the children and the adolescents – and that all in this ashram – should experience the thirst for a truer life and ask to be prepared and trained for it = an individual and collective existence founded on the laws of the spirit and the soul. “A Dream There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme Truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his sufferings and miseries, to surmount his weaknesses and ignorance, to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the concern for progress would take precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions, the search for pleasure and material enjoyment. And thus, one day of the year 1954, She wrote down Her dream:
In this place, children would be able to grow and develop integrally without losing contact with their souls; education would be given not for passing examinations or obtaining certificates and posts but to enrich existing faculties and bring forth new ones. In this place, titles and positions would be replaced by opportunities to serve and organise; the bodily needs of each one would be equally provided for, and intellectual, moral and spiritual superiority would be expressed in the general organisation not by an increase in the pleasures and powers of life but by increased duties and responsibilities. Beauty in all its artistic forms, painting, sculpture, music, literature, would be equally accessible to all; the ability to share in the joy it brings would be limited only by the capacities of each one and not by social or financial position. For in this ideal place money would no longer be the sovereign lord; individual worth would have a far greater importance than that of material wealth and social standing. There, work would not be a way to earn one’s living but a way to express oneself and to develop one’s capacities and possibilities while being of service to the community as a whole, which, for its own part, would provide for each individual’s subsistence and sphere of action. In short, it would be a place where human relationships, which are normally based almost exclusively on competition and strife, would be replaced by relationships of emulation in doing well, of collaboration and real brotherhood.”
How could one not wish to be part one day of such a living experience...? A place where the sense of unity and fraternity could only grow and expand and where each one would be free to explore and develop one’s own relation with the Divine and with the universe, while contributing joyfully, gratefully and according to one’s capacities to the welfare and harmony of the whole, who would not wish to grow in it...?
In India, with the exception of the tantric yoga, the diverse yogic disciplines and practices all had as their avowed goal the liberation of the individual person – liberation from the veils of illusion and separation, from the ordeals and vicissitudes of the ignorant phenomenal existence -, and its return, or its disappearance, absorption, dissolution, fusion into the Absolute. She and He were opening a way that was almost obverse – on the foundation of the inner discovery of the individual soul, the deathless and birthless being, and aided and supported by the Truth Consciousness Force, the way of an integral transformation and progression at the service of the physical incarnation in constant becoming of the divine Person, in Matter, here upon this earth.
It is a complete reversal of the values and orientations which have ruled human lives until now a rehabilitation of the material world as the potential Home for the One, the True and the Vast. It is no longer a matter of developing the use and utilization of Matter for selfish and passing enjoyments, but to help unveil and reveal its divinity, so that all becomes the domain infinite of the One manifest.
It is thus that this new yoga, although it aims to serve the Presence of the One in all that is, can however be practiced only by those who no longer seek any benefit for themselves – neither any creature satisfaction, nor any spiritual salvation – and who are ready to offer everything to the work of transformation necessary for the coming of the new species, whatever may be the difficulties.
And so, a town to gather and assemble them?
Or else, a town, a dedicated collectivity, to shelter and protect them, to surround them with a favourable atmosphere aspiring to the unity of all and to the harmony of a progressive social existence in accord with Nature and mindful of wholeness and balance? For there would certainly be a sort of factual hierarchy, no more according to a vertical ladder of value or status, but according to each one’s aptitude to develop the capacities necessary for the transition – endurance, for instance, to undergo the ordeals of the transformation -, and the general organization would have to provide for needs and expressions of different orders, while serving shared objectives.
Human intelligence is incapable of comprehending the movements and processes of the great Shakti. Human thought is inapt to grasp the simultaneousness of Her actions.
She never ceased to move forward but, at the same time, She protected and preserved whatever had already turned to the Truth. These three movements, of uninterrupted progression, of constant universalization and of sure and profound preservation, are inseparable and complementary. But it is only through the intervention of the Grace that the untransformed individual consciousness can have an actual glimpse of this complementarity.
While, up until the time He withdrew, in December of 1950, She could be perceived as the executrix of His vision and His will, She now had to represent Him and act out Their conjugated presence. Since He had thus become invisible and inaccessible, He worked from a contiguous space-time wherein, little by little, through His own aligned presence, He built a new milieu and a new atmosphere, while She, from this side of things, little by little, learned to find and meet Him there. A kind of permeability was developing through the union of Their two consciousnesses.
And, aided by this subtle reinforcement, She was becoming in Her physical consciousness more and more receptive and enduring, more capable of holding a greater and greater charge. Actively engaged day and night in Her multiple tasks, whether in Her ashram and Her school or at a distance or on other planes of action, always attentive to the needs of each of those who had turned to Them, She led and steered Her vessel of consciousness towards the realizations of tomorrow and each of its passengers was feeling fully protected. And, during one of those evenings when perhaps She watched with Her children a movie She had selected, or else it may have been during a meditation after one of Her classes, suddenly, from this relative silence, She passed into a trance where She found Herself at once the witness and the subject of a formidable Act = She stood before a great door of massive gold and She knew She must raise the gold hammer with both Her hands and strike with a mighty blow – and an immense cascade of golden light poured down onto the Earth. No doubt, from the viewpoint of markers, this was no ordinary day for, as if to signal the entry of another time in this time here, this event occurred on a 29 th of February, in the leap year of 1956. She knew, with absolute certitude, that no such thing had ever happened before. And these floods of fluid gold that were spreading into the atmosphere of the Earth were the agents of a new, another reversal of consciousness = we were all of us entering into another hemisphere or, rather, we would all of us, from then on, have the possibility to open to and unite with a new state and a new consciousness, so different from the most purified and advanced spiritual life – a difference perhaps analogous to that which exists between silver and gold. A plenitude of true life, of warm vibrant presence, a honey of joy, a peace so entire and a nameless force = no comparison obtained, these were the premises of another world into this world, of a new creation here itself.
It was a tide sated with Presence.
Done the ethereal, emaciated, desiccated ideal of a virtuous austerity: this was a new life, infinitely rich, which would penetrate, inundate, and invade even the most physical and material consciousness. But this was a state of Truth and its puissance would be intolerant of all falsehood.
She had no illusion. It would take much time and much labour for this to become perceptible to the human beings and, until then, it would be swallowed by the habitual ignorance and inertia of the human condition. And there would probably be an increased and relentless assault of ill-will and opposition, for who truly wanted such a wholesome and true Life, which could only be founded in the unity of consciousnesses? Thus would She have more than ever to arm Herself with patient benevolence - and She would dig in Her own body until the irrevocable contact would be established for all, for the Earth.
This was a first answer to Their work, and She would be its channel.
From now on She would at once be plunging into the body and walking out in the world. And She would welcome in Her ashram those that a thirst for Truth and a need for an Other air and an Other state would lead to Her. To some She would indicate the service they could best accomplish in their own country.
To others, still fewer, She would say, “you may remain here”.
Until then, the majority of the members of Her ashram – which was already like a small town within the city – had taken birth in India. Now She must work all over the Earth and for this She needed representatives, living souls having elected to be born in divers countries and cultures, who would not only be able to recognize Her, but would have the aspiration and the capacity to open to this new Force of Consciousness. Particularly She saw the necessity of an at least partial conversion of the vitality and mentality of the West – and thus did She begin to welcome as Her children very different specimen of humanity.
One of the Westerner’s dominant traits is one’s individualism: the ego constructs itself differently. The Indian, and generally the Asian, or Easterner, exists in symbiosis with one’s family and its multiple ramifications, as with the community one
belongs to, with its numerous traditions and customs, while the Westerner situates, or tries to situate oneself as far as possible as an autonomous person. Consequently, the pressure to obtain one’s conversi0n, as well as one’s receptivity, will also be different.
Thus it was, for this community already established in the radiance of Her presence, another necessary adaptation.
Irresistible was Her advance.
Each being who reached and stood before Her, She enveloped and environed with peace and a force of progress infinitely comprehending.
Without any propaganda, rhetoric or vacant promises, new centres of diffusion of Their Work were being established here and there, in India and then elsewhere in other countries, wherever an opening, a readiness and eagerness to serve and a beginning of understanding presented themselves.
The ashram activities also were extending and diversifying.
In all directions, the ashram collective life was developing: a sports ground, tennis courts, game halls, an Olympic swimming-pool, workshops, manufacturing units and laboratories, handicrafts and industries, farms and orchards and – cultures of flowers... which had a central importance in the
daily life as, out of the spiritual significances She had given each of them, She had instituted a language of sadhana.
And all of this was indeed blossoming, without artifice or clamour.
And it all required more physical labour, more than what the active adult population of the ashram could provide, and more employees had to be integrated into the life and organisation of the community; on this matter, She insisted on clear relationships and mutual respect and expressed Her wish to be soon in a position to create for them too a sort of enclave wherein all their needs would be seen to. Thus the question arose, of identifying and acquiring a more homogeneous site, as most of these centres of activity were scattered in and around Pondicherry and often far apart from one another.
She would say that money must not be used to make money but must circulate at the service of the new creation – and what She said, She practiced: the smallest profit was at once invested in another step forward and, when came the monthly dues and She had to pay Her cashier, there were never any savings. She would say – to those who have the means to act and, more specifically, to the financiers, “if you persist in your pillage and self-serving exploitation, you will make of the Earth another dead planet as dry as the moon, while if you put all your energies at the service of unity and truth, then this Earth will indefinitely prosper in a constantly developing equilibrium...”
As this new Force of Consciousness worked more and more actively in Her body, this body was becoming like a relay post or an emitting source in the world and all those distances that mind has defined, the distances of separation and of ignorance (geographical, temporal, psychological), seemed to disappear, and it was as if the whole Earth and all its events were happening or occurring or taking place in a single milieu of consciousness.
When She actually began to work in the consciousness of the body, She was already an aged, “elderly lady” of very frail appearance, and markedly bent. And yet it was as if the more She leaned Her neck forward and the more puissant were Her blessings.
Through experience, thousands of experiences, She was discovering the correspondences of a sort of physical and material continuum – a state of communication which the human beings are as yet unable to apprehend.
A formidable acceleration seemed to seize all – a frenzy in humanity, a multiplication of conflicts and dangers terrestrial and corporeal, of the resistances and the oppositions, but perhaps also, or more centrally so, of the power of the Truth-Consciousness, whose action appeared to largely
Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker