Editor’s Note: In the ‘Book of the Month’ we feature a few selections from ‘Growing up with the Mother‘ by Tara Jauhar. In these passages, the Mother answers to Tara di’s questions on a range of subjects such as psychic growth, eliminating the ego, connecting with the Mother in the dreams and also about Overmind.

The book was published in 1999 by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch.

Psychic Growth

Sweet Mother, What is the difference between the psychic change and the spiritual change?

The psychic change is the change that puts you in contact with the immanent Divine, the Divine who is at the centre of each being and of whom the psychic being is the vesture and the expression. By the psychic change one passes from the individual Divine to the universal Divine and finally to the Transcendent. The spiritual change puts you directly in contact with the Supreme.

* * *

Sweet Mother, How can one draw energy into oneself from outside?

That depends on the kind of energy one wants to absorb, for each region of the being has a corresponding kind of energy. If it is physical energy, we absorb it principally through respiration, and all that facilitates and improves respiration, increases at the same time the absorption of physical energy.

But there are many other kinds of energies, or rather many other forms of Energy, which is one and universal. And it is through the various yogic exercises of breathing, meditation and concentration that one puts oneself in contact with these various forms of Energy.

What are these other forms of Energy and how do they help us in our sadhana?

Each region of the being and each activity has its energies. We may classify them generally into vital energies, mental energies, spiritual energies. Modern science tells us that Matter is ultimately nothing but energy condensed. Our yoga being integral, all these various forms or kinds of energy are indispensable to our realisation.

* * *

Sweet Mother, How can one make one’s psychic personality grow?

It is through all the experiences of life that the psychic personality forms, grows, develops and finally becomes a complete, conscious and free being.

This process of development goes on tirelessly through innumerable lives, and if one is not conscious of it, it is because one is not conscious of one’s psychic being—for that is the indispensable starting-point. Through interiorisation and concentration one has to enter into conscious contact with one’s psychic being.

This psychic being always has an influence on the outer being, but this influence is almost always occult, neither seen nor perceived nor felt, save on truly exceptional occasions.

In order to strengthen the contact and assist, if possible, the development of the conscious psychic personality, one should, while concentrating, turn towards it, aspire to know it and feel it, open oneself to receive its influence, and be very careful each time that one receives an indication from it, to follow it very scrupulously and sincerely.

To live in a great aspiration, to take care to become inwardly calm and remain so always as far as possible, to cultivate a perfect sincerity in all the activities of one’s being—these are the essential conditions for the growth of the psychic being.

* * *


[…]

Sweet Mother, How can one silence the mind, remain quiet, and at the same time have an aspiration, an intensity or a widening? Because as soon as one aspires, it is the mind that aspires, isn’t it?

No; aspiration, as well as widening and intensity, come from the heart, the emotional centre, the door of the psychic or rather the door leading to the psychic.

The mind by its nature is curious and interested; it sees, it observes, it tries to understand and explain; and with all this activity it disturbs the experience and diminishes its intensity and force. On the other hand, the more calm and silent the mind is, the more can aspiration rise up from the depths of the heart in the fullness of its ardour.

* * *

Sweet Mother, How can one eliminate the will of the ego?

This amounts to asking how one can eliminate the ego. It is only by yoga that one can do it. There have been, throughout the spiritual history of humanity, many methods of yoga—which Sri Aurobindo has described and explained for us in The Synthesis of Yoga.

But before eliminating the will of the ego, which takes a very long time, one can begin by surrendering the will of the ego to the Divine Will at every opportunity and finally in a constant way.

For this, the first step is to understand that the Divine knows better than we do what is good for us and what we truly need, not only for our spiritual progress but also for our material welfare, the health of our body and the proper functioning of all the activities of our being.

Naturally, this is not the opinion of the ego, which thinks it knows better than anyone else what it needs, and claims for itself independence of judgment and decision. But it thinks and feels this way because it is ignorant, and gradually one has to convince it that its perception and understanding are too limited for it truly to be able to know and that it judges only according to its desires, which are blind, and not according to truth.

For the desires are not the expression of needs but of preferences.

* * *

Sweet Mother, Why has the Divine made His path so difficult? He can make it easier if He wants to, can’t He?

First of all, one should know that the intellect, the mind, can understand nothing of the Divine, neither what He does nor how He does it and still less why He does it. To know something of the Divine, one has to rise above thought and enter into the psychic consciousness, the consciousness of the soul, or into the spiritual consciousness.

Those who have had the experience have always said that the difficulties and sufferings of the path are not real, but a creation of human ignorance, and that as soon as one gets out of this ignorance one also gets out of the difficulties, to say nothing of the inalienable state of bliss in which one dwells as soon as one is in conscious contact with the Divine.

So according to them, the question has no real basis and cannot be posed.

* * *

Read:
Aspiration and the Psychic Being

Connecting with the Mother

Sweet Mother, You have written that to enter into conscious contact with one’s psychic being, one must “aspire to know it and feel it, open oneself to receive its influence, and be very careful… to follow it very scrupulously and sincerely”. But, Sweet Mother, I don’t know how to do this. I find it easier when I think of You, try to enter into contact with You and open to You.

This too is a way which is certainly as good as the other. There are many ways to attain self-realisation, and each one must choose the way that comes to him most naturally. But each way has its demands in order to be truly effective.

In thinking of me, you must think not only of the outer person, but of what She represents, what stands behind Her.

For you must never forget that the outer person is only the form and symbol of an eternal Reality, and it is to this higher Reality that you must turn through the physical appearance. The physical being can become truly expressive of the eternal Reality only when it is completely transformed by the Supramental manifestation. And until then, it is through it that you must find the Truth.

* * *


Sweet Mother, Is it possible to have control over oneself during sleep? For example, if I want to see You in my dreams, can I do it at will?

Control during sleep is entirely possible and it is progressive if you persist in the effort. You begin by remembering your dreams, then gradually you remain more and more conscious during your sleep, and not only can you control your dreams but you can guide and organise your activities during sleep. If you persist in your will and your effort, you are sure to learn how to come and find me at night during your sleep and afterwards to remember what has happened.

For this, two things are necessary, which you must develop by aspiration and by calm and persistent effort.

  1. Concentrate your thought on the will to come and find me; then pursue this thought, first by an effort of imagination, afterwards in a tangible and increasingly real way, until you are in my presence.
  2. Establish a sort of bridge between the waking and the sleeping consciousness, so that when you wake up you remember what has happened.

It may be that you succeed immediately, but more often it takes a certain time and you must persist in the effort.

* * *

Soul, good luck and bad luck

Sweet Mother, What is the role of the soul?

But without the soul we wouldn’t exist! The soul is that which comes from the Divine without ever leaving Him, and returns to the Divine without ceasing to be manifest.

The soul is the Divine made individual without ceasing to be divine. In the soul the individual and the Divine are eternally one; therefore, to find one’s soul is to find God; to identify with one’s soul is to unite with the Divine.

Thus it may be said that the role of the soul is to make a true being of man.

Is there anything like good luck and bad luck, or is it something that one creates for oneself?

There is nothing that can truly be called luck. What men call luck are the effects of causes they do not know.

Nor is there anything that in itself is good or bad luck; each one characterises circumstances as good or bad depending on whether they are more or less favourable to him; and this estimation itself is very superficial and ignorant, for one must already be a great sage to know what is truly favourable or unfavourable to oneself.

Moreover, the same event may be very good for one person and at the same time very bad for another. These estimations are purely subjective and depend on each one’s reaction to contacts coming from outside.

Finally, the circumstances of our life, the surroundings we live in and the way people regard us are the expressions, the objective projection of what we ourselves are, within and without. So we may say with certainty that what we carry in ourselves in all our states of being, mentally, vitally and physically, is that which constitutes our life objectified in what surrounds us.

And this is easily verifiable, for in proportion as we improve ourselves and advance towards perfection, our circumstances also improve. Likewise, in the case of those who degenerate and fall back, the circumstances of their lives also worsen.

* * *


Inconscient to Supreme faculties

Sweet Mother, What exactly are the subconscient and the inconscient?

The inconscient is that part of Nature which is so obscure and asleep that it seems to be wholly devoid of consciousness; at any rate, as in the stone, the mineral kingdom, the consciousness there is entirely inactive and hidden. The history of the earth begins with this inconscience. We too carry it in ourselves, in the substance of our body, since the substance of our body is the same as that of the earth.

But by evolution, this sleeping and hidden consciousness gradually awakens through the vegetal and animal kingdoms, and in them subconscience begins; this subconscience, with the appearance of mind in man, culminates in consciousness.

This consciousness likewise is progressive, and as man evolves, it will change into superconscience.

We too, then, carry in ourselves the subconscience which links us to the animal, and the superconscience which is our hope and assurance of future realisation.

* * *

[…]

Sweet Mother, What is the work of the Overmind?

The overmind is the region of the gods, the beings of divine origin who have been charged with supervising, directing and organising the evolution of the universe; and more specifically, since the formation of the earth they have served as messengers and intermediaries to bring to the earth the help of the higher regions and to preside over the formation of the mind and its progressive ascension.

It is usually to the gods of the overmind that the prayers of the various religions are addressed. These religions most often choose, for various reasons, one of these gods and transform him for their personal use into the supreme God.

In the individual evolution, one must develop in oneself a zone corresponding to the overmind and an overmind consciousness, before one can rise above it, to the Supermind, or open oneself to it. Almost all the occult systems and disciplines aim at the development and mastery of the overmind.

* * *

Sweet Mother, What is meant by “a zone corresponding to the overmind” and how can one develop it in oneself? What is meant by the “mastery of the overmind”?

The individual being is made up of states of being corresponding to cosmic zones or planes, and as these inner states of being are developed one becomes conscious of those domains.

This consciousness is double, at first psychological and subjective, within oneself, expressing itself through thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations; then objective and concrete when one is able to go beyond the limits of the body in order to move about in the various cosmic regions, grow conscious of them and act freely in them—this is what is called “mastery”; it is this I spoke of when I mentioned the mastery of the overmind.

It goes without saying that all this is not done in a day, not even in a year. This mastery, in whatever domain it may be, vital, mental, overmental, demands assiduous effort and great concentration. These masteries are no easier than the mastery of the physical world; and everyone knows how much time and effort are needed merely to learn the things indispensable for leading one’s life properly, not to speak of “mastery”, which is truly something exceptional on earth.

* * *


[…]

Sweet Mother, What are the “supreme faculties”?

It is difficult to reply without having the context. Which “supreme faculties” are being referred to here? Those of man on the way to becoming superman, or those that the supramental being will possess when he appears on earth?

In the first case, they are the faculties that develop in man as he opens to the higher mind and overmind, and through those regions he receives the light of the Truth. These faculties are not a direct expression of the supreme Truth, but a transcription, an indirect reflection of it. They include intuition, foreknowledge, knowledge by identity and certain powers such as that of healing and, to an extent, of acting upon circumstances.

If it refers to the supreme faculties of the supramental being, we cannot say much about them, for all we can say at the moment belongs more to the realm of imagination than to the realm of knowledge, since this supramental being has not yet manifested on earth.

– Selections from ‘Growing Up with The Mother‘, pp. 8-27

The book is available for purchase HERE.



~ Design: Raamkumar

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