Guiding Light of The Month

Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to Thee; and like the child who does not reason and has no care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will may be done, that Thy Light may manifest, Thy Peace radiate, Thy Love cover the world. - The Mother

The Banyan Talks…



Vikas, an Aurovillian, and one of the blessed children of The Mother, writes about his thoughts on his life and its meaning. He gives us glimpses of his personal experiences with The Mother, offering us sweet moments of contemplation of our own lives lived as The Mother’s children, her devotees, followers, however we see that special relationship with The Mother.




The Mother gave me the name Vikas which translates as ‘Progress’.  An Indian friend also gave the sense that it means ‘unfolding, like a flower to light’.  A very beautiful image and symbol, and something, a blessing, and a grace, that I have come to experience as a living reality.  There are times when I think ‘This Mother has a great sense of humour, to call me Vikas when I am the very antithesis of progress’.  But She knows what She is doing and the name is also a force within me that calls me back to awareness of why I am on earth at this time.

It was 1972 and I had been in Auroville some months and had been blessed with some beautiful experiences.  Meeting Mother face to face, public darshans, working at the earliest stages of the Matrimandir construction.  I truly felt as if I had been new born, so I wrote to tell Mother of my experience and asked her for a name.  She wrote to me ‘Let your name be Vikas (Progress)’.

Time is cruel to the human memory.  It either inflates and embellishes the recollection of experience with touches of imagination and thereby falsifies it, or else it slowly erases it, leaving only brief moments recalled vividly whilst the totality of the experience fades to the point where one sometimes no longer even trusts what is recalled.  My recollection now of meeting with Mother is that I entered her room and as I was waiting my turn to go up to her to receive her blessings, I was very aware of the fact that she was a little old lady sitting in her chair, very frail, rather bent over, but that her skin was translucent.  I had brought her a rose and a candle, with the aspiration that she would light its (my) flame.  As I handed her the candle she smiled and said ‘Bougie’, the French for candle.  I knelt in front of her and looked closely at her, whilst she looked deeply into me and then, put her hand on my head and smiled.  Nothing else was said.  I suppose I had expected to see lights, but no, it was just very sweet and human.  I got up and left the room.  I am fortunate that I came across an interview recorded in 1974 in which I recalled the meeting with Mother and its life-changing effect.

I went to see the Mother.  Once.
And even then it was curious, because my first reaction after seeing her, the first thought that came into my head, before I got to the bottom of the stairs, was that I was not worthy to be here.  By then I had sort of got to know one person in the Ashram and I told this to him that this was my reaction, and he said to be careful of not jumping on it, just to wait and see what came...  It was very powerful, this meeting with Mother…  When I look back on it now, it seems as though (the whole thing took maybe ten seconds) she grabbed hold of my eyes and said, “Just look, from this side, at yourself”...And what I saw was a mess…  I think it was that that made me think I wasn’t worthy.  But gradually I came to see that staying here (in Auroville) was the only, or at least the very fastest way, to do anything about it, about the mess I was, and also that it didn’t matter that I was unworthy, because her grace is exactly that, to accept people who aren’t worthy.  In a sense nobody is worthy of her Grace, or it wouldn’t be Grace.

In 1972 on Sri Aurobindo’s birth Centenary on 15th August, Mother gave a public balcony Darshan.  I stood in the street below along with several thousand others.  Mother came onto the Balcony and looked at us, but this time I saw the whole scene bathed in brilliant white light, what Mother elsewhere has described as ‘a bath of the Lord’.  I felt Her as manifesting All Love.  Intensely powerful.

Finally, when Mother left Her body, an act that we could not believe was possible, I went to see Her body lying ‘in state’ at the Ashram.  As I looked upon her, I became aware that the whole room was filled again with this intense white light, vibrantly luminous, yet soft and all enveloping. 

When her body was interred in the Samadhi, in the ignorance of my spiritual youth, I wept.  I wept for our loss.  I wept for the total self-giving that her life represented.  And I wept in gratitude.  In trying to understand why she had left, my own understanding was that She now would act from the other side in affecting world events, in determining the progress of the evolution. It seemed not long after this that we saw the web of deceit that was Watergate, all the lies and covert games exposed, a whole fabric of Falsehood dissolved.  I knew with absolute certainty that this was now the mode of action that the Consciousness-Force that had manifested itself as The Mother would work.  It always has, but we do not see it.   I see Her Force at work now all the time both in the ‘little’ things that affect my life and in the big events that shape the course of human destiny.  I also see that what we think of as the very opposite of progress is part of a larger process in which the forces which seem to us as hostile to progress are raised up to be confronted and overcome, and the apparently dormant periods are necessary for our obviously (to our perception) forward moves to be assimilated.  Nothing is necessarily what it seems.

Again, from my 1974 interview:

What is this attitude?  I think it is not simply to become conscious of the Divine, but to try to serve the Divine and to surrender to the Divine and to do it in every situation of life.  Also to express the Divine.  One can have spiritual experiences and get into states of consciousness that are very

beautiful and fine; but I feel that the Auroville consciousness includes a drive towards expression and this is why Auroville is not only an attitude but also a physical place, it’s a place that wants to be the site of an incredible manifestation, not only in the buildings and gardens and cultural activities, but in the contact between people in the course of its ordinary daily life.  It’s this idea, this possibility of every contact of daily life being a direct, living expression of the highest spiritual truth, that is the magnet for me.  There have only been moments of it, glimpses, but they seem like glimpses of the future, glimpses, of what the future will be like.  That state – it feels like something absolutely miraculous, that beauty, that splendour – and yet, it’s in the everyday process of living – making your bed, taking your food.  It’s that idea, to make the ordinary business of living a sustained expression of... the Truth – that, for me, is the promise of what the future will eventually bring.  And one has these glimpses now to show one that it’s being prepared and that that’s the real thing, that everything else, all the difficulties, are simply the means of getting to that.  But it’s that that’s the real thing.

Vikas - 19.05.2015

 

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