Unique experiment!

The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry in India decided to make an effort to hasten this evolutionary process by Yogic method and shorten the period of thousands into a few decades.

  The Mother needed collaboration towards this end of all those who were around Her, collaboration from Her disciples and there was no collaboration at all.   To human mind it may be reasoned thus. The consciousness of Mankind living on earth and that of the earth itself were not yet ready to admit the new thing. Her experiment failed not because of the inefficacy of the Yogic method to achieve the result but because of the lack of this cooperation from those who were expected to do so. It was not a mere lack of collaboration, beyond it, it was a rebellion against the very effort.

  The forces operate through human beings – like all other things. The forces that did not want to allow the happening of the next step on the evolutionary scale too early, worked their way and Divine consented to their play.

  The first and the foremost principle of Yoga is to surrender to the Will of Supreme Being. In this sense, the Mother did not decide or will anything except to surrender to the Will of the Supreme Being.  She did not succeed because the Supreme Being willed it that way.

Earth and human beings: still not ready!

  Mankind is not yet ready to change, to advance, and to collaborate with Divine Will. This is one way of looking at such things. It is human way to look at things. There is another way of looking at things, the spiritual way to look at things. That way makes us understand that the hostile forces are hell bent upon for thwarting the Divine work of transformation and that mankind is yet not ready for it. The will of the Lord is supreme.

  As Sri Aurobindo has said Divine Lord is not in a hurry to do His work and He has the eternity at His disposal. He breaks his pots hundred times to bring perfection. In contrast to these incidents of hostile forces taking complete possession of Mother’s disciples and using them as their instrument for anti-divine work, we find incidents in ancient, and even in modern, history of India of complete support extended by disciples to their master in similar circumstances. This incident in the Mother’s life of hostile forces opposing and ultimately succeeding, for the moment, in their objective of barring the immediate descent (that is, within a few years during the life-time of the Mother) of supramental being on earth also brings another fact to the fore. That is, that the earth is not yet ready to receive the higher spiritual force and to transform its mental consciousness into supremental one.

  Here we may recount some interesting spiritual incidents of ancient India that offer examples of the collaboration on the part of the followers in the work of their Master. Indian history tells an incident in the life of   Adi Shankaracharya, a great Yogi and founder of four Yoga-institutions (called Pitham) in Four Corners of India. While traversing length and breadth of India, along with his entourage of disciples, to teach and convert people of India, to his path of divine knowledge, Adi Shankaracharya met a husband-wife duo, Mandan Mishra and his wife Bharati. They were highly learned and scholars of Shastras, and challenged Adi Shankaracharya to duel with them in Shastrartha (a contest of divine knowledge).

  It is said that in the household of  Mandan Mishra even parrot used to talk in Sanskrit language, the language that is considered by Indians a repository of divine knowledge. Mandan Mishra met the Adi Shankaracharya in contest and put difficult questions of the subject to him. Adi Shankaracharya answered them all in correct way, but in turn, when the great Yogi put difficult questions Mandan Mishra could not answer them, and he accepted his defeat. But that was not the end of the contest. Bharati, the wife of the scholar, came forward and confronted the Adi Shankaracharya saying, “You are the learned and know the Shastras. I am ardhangini – half part – of my husband. Unless you contest with me and defeat me in that, my husband cannot be said to be defeated by you.”

  There was no option and the Adi Shankaracharya had to agree to contest with her. In the ensuing contest the woman put a question to the rival that had something to do with married life (Kamashashtra). Now, Shankaracharya did not know the answer as he was a balbrahmachari – celibate since childhood – and had no knowledge of the subject. But he was a Yogi par excellence and had not gone there to accept a defeat.

  The great Master requested the lady to grant him the time of six months to answer her question. The lady knew that her rival was balbrahmachari and was confident that he would never be able to answer the question that was alien to him. She granted the requested time. The Yogi, along with his disciples, retreated to a cave in some secluded place. He informed his disciples that he would leave his physical body by Yoga method and that the body would become dead. He instructed them in elaborate terms to guard his body till he returns back into it and to maintain strict vigil at the entrance of the cave so that nobody enters there and interferes with his body. In a manner that is occult and not allowed by Shashtras to be revealed to ordinary worldly human beings, he removed his subtle physical body from his gross physical body and went to the intended place and for the intended purpose. And, his gross physical body lay there in the cave, dead and cold.

  To those who are Yogis, whose life is consecrated to divine and who have surrendered themselves without reservation to the Mother of universe, it is not a big deal to willfully get their true SELF out of their gross physical body (with or without accompanying subtle physical body). The gross physical body of the Adi Shankaracharya remained dead for several months, lying there in the cave, and his devoted disciples carried faithfully and scrupulously the instructions as bid by their Guru. Unlike the disciples of the Mother of Pondicherry Ashram, they had not the slightest doubt about the veracity of the statements of their Guru. Such was their faith, devotion and conviction in the spiritual truth and power of the Master.

  In contrast, the disciples of Mother were ordinary human beings steeped in ignorance and disbelief, and were in rebellion against the divine. To complete the story of the Adi Shankaracharya, the Indian history tells us that the great Yogi left his body, entered the body of a king who had just then died and, the king being revived of his life, had the necessary experience of married life in the kingly life to be able to answer the question put by Bharati. On his objective being achieved, the great Yogi once again left the king’s body, the king dropped dead and, the Master entering his gross physical body lying in cave, his body revived. He rose from the ground, collected his disciples and, by answering the posed query, defeated the better half of Mandan Mishra, the scholar. This is an instance of spiritual fidelity of a disciple towards his Guru.

  We have one more example of such fidelity of a disciple in recent times. It relates to the life of shri Sai Baba of Shirdi in Maharashtra state in India. In 1886, shri Sai Baba had an asthmatic attack and to tide over its pain by conquering its vital root cause, he decided to ascend through Samadhi (trance) to the higher realms of consciousness. He called his trusted disciple Bhagat Mahalsapati and instructed him thus, “You have to guard my physical body for three days. It is well and fine if I come back to my body but in case I do not come back, then you have to entomb (a mound called Samadhi) my body at this (indicated) place and put up two flags thereon as symbol.”

  After instructing thus, Baba stretched out himself on the ground at about ten o’clock in the night. Then, his breathing stopped and it seemed that he was dead. Thereupon, all those around him, which included the villagers also, got together, examined his dead body and, after pronouncing him dead, decided to entomb his body at the indicated place. But Bhagat Mahalsapati, the disciple, stopped them from executing their decision and, by placing the Baba’s head on his lap, guarded the physical body for three days, as was bid by the Guru. After the expiry of the appointed time of three days, at about three o’clock at night there were signs of the Baba’s body being revived. The breathing again started and there was movement in the body’s organs. He opened his eyes and changed his sides. He was fully conscious again. It is the spiritual fidelity and faith that are expected of a disciple towards his Guru. Judging by this standard, the disciples of the Mother committed a monstrous betrayal of their Guru.

  Also, in the life of Sri Ramakrishna, the Guru of more famous disciple, Vivekananda, we have somewhat similar instance of fidelity where Tota Puri, another spiritual master, took due care of his physical body during his long Samadhi.

  The biographer of Ramakrishna records an incident in the life of the saint in his ‘Ramakrishna, the Great Master’ thus: “After initiating me, said the Master, the naked one (Tota Puri) taught me many dicta conveying the conclusions of the Vedanta, and asked me to make my mind free of function in all respects and merge it in the meditation of the Self But, it so happened that when I sat for meditation, I could by no means make my mind go beyond the bounds of name and form and cease functioning. … Almost despairing of the attainment of the Nirvikalpa Samadhi, I then opened my eyes and said to the naked one, ‘No, it cannot be done; I cannot make the mind free from functioning, and force it to dive into the Self.’ Scolding me severely, the naked one said very excitedly, ‘What! It can’t be done! What nonsense!’

  “He then looked about in the hut, and finding a broken piece of glass took it in his hand and forcibly pierced my forehead with its needle-like pointed end between the eyebrows and said, ‘Collect the mind here at this point’.  With a firm determination I sat for meditation again, and as soon as the holy form of the Divine Mother appeared before the mind as previously, I looked upon knowledge as a sword and cut the form mentally in two with that sword of knowledge. There remained then no function in the mind, which transcended quickly the realm of names and forms, making me merge in Samadhi.

  “Tota remained sitting for a long time beside the Master who entered into Samadhi in the manner mentioned above. Then coming out of the hut silently, he locked the door up lest someone should enter the hut without his knowledge and disturb him. He took his seat under the Panchvati (garden), not far from the hut, and was awaiting the Master’s call to open the door. The day passed into night. Slowly and calmly days rolled on. At the end of three days, when Tota did not still hear the Master’s call, he was filled with curiosity and astonishment, and left his seat to open the door. With a view to knowing the condition of his disciple, he entered the hut and saw that the Master was sitting in the same posture in which he had left him and that there was not the slightest function of the vital force in his body. He understood that the disciple was completely dead to the external world and that his mind, merged in Brahma, was calm and motionless like an unflickering lamp in a windless place.

  “Being versed in the mystery of Samadhi, Tota became astounded and exclaimed within himself, ‘Oh, wonderful! How can I believe my eyes? Has this great soul actually realized in a day what I could experience only as the result of forty years of austere Sadhana?’ After examining him and being satisfied, Tota cried, “Oh, the Divine Maya! It is indeed Samadhi – the Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the ultimate result attained through the path of knowledge spoken in the Vedanta! Ah, how very strange is the Maya of the Divine! Tota then undertook the process of bringing the disciple back to the consciousness of the external world. Profound sounds of the Mantra, ‘Hari Aum’, filled the land, water and sky of the Panchvati.”

  If one contrasts this spiritually correct conduct with the sordid attitude of the Mother’s trusted disciples towards her, only one thing can be said with certainty: Divine willed that way. Who knows the Divine Will? And, why should one attempt to know the same? The spiritual wisdom tells us that it should be the Divine Will that we should will.

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