Meeting with Sri Aurobindo
I first began to work (not with Théon personally but with
an acquaintance of his in France, a boy who was a friend of my
brother), well, I had a series of visions (I knew nothing about
India, mind you, nothing, just as most Europeans know nothing
about it: 'a country full of people with certain customs and religions,
a confused and hazy history, where a lot of "extraordinary
things" are said to have happened.' I knew nothing.) Well
in several of these visions I saw Sri Aurobindo just as he looked
physically, but glorified; that is, the same man I would see on
my first visit, almost thin, with that golden-bronze hue and rather
sharp profile, an unruly beard and long hair, dressed in a dhoti
with one end of it thrown over his shoulder, arms and chest bare,
and bare feet. At the time I thought it was 'vision attire!' I
mean I really knew nothing about India; I had never seen Indians
dressed in the Indian way.
I saw him. I experienced what were at once symbolic visions and
spiritual FACTS: absolutely decisive spiritual experiences and
facts of meeting and having a united perception of the Work to
be accomplished. And in these visions I did something I had never
done physically: I prostrated before him in the Hindu manner.
All this without any comprehension in the little brain (I mean
I really didn't know what I was doing or how I was doing it -
nothing at all). I did it, and at the same time the outer being
was asking, 'What is all this?'
wrote the vision down (or perhaps that was later on) but I never
spoke of it to anyone (one does not talk about such things, naturally).
But my impression was that it was premonitory, that one day something
like it would happen. And it remained in the background of the
consciousness, nor active, but constantly present.
for Théon, he was European and wore a long purple robe
that wasn't at all like the one in my vision. (I'm not sure, but
I think he was either Polish or Russian, but more probably Russian,
of Jewish descent, and that he was forced to leave his country;
he never said anything about this to anyone, it's only an impression).
When I saw him I recognised him as a being of great power. And
he bore a certain likeness to Sri Aurobindo: Théon was
about the same size (not a tall man, of medium height) and thin,
slim, with quite a similar profile. But when I met Théon
I saw (or rather I felt) that he was not the man I saw in my vision
he did not have that vibration. Yet it was he who
first taught me things, and I went and worked at Tlemcen for two
years in a row. But this other thing was always there in the background
of the consciousness.
when Richard came here he met Sri Aurobindo (he was haunted
by the idea of meeting the 'Master', the Guru, the 'Great
Teacher'). Sri Aurobindo was in hiding, seeing no one, but
when Richard insisted, he met him, and Richard returned
with a photograph. It was one of those early photos, with
nothing in it. It was empty, the remnants of the political
man, not at all resembling what I had seenI didn't
recognize him. 'It's strange', I said to myself, 'that's
not it' (for I saw only his external appearance, there was
no inner contact). But still, I was curious to meet him.
At any rate, I can't say that when I saw this photograph
I felt, 'He's the one!' Not at all. He impressed me as being
a very interesting man, but no more.
. But something in me wanted to meet Sri
Aurobindo all alone the first time. Richard went to him
in the morning and I had an appointment for the afternoon.
He was living in the house that's now part of the second
dormitory, the old Guest House. I climbed up the stairway
and he was standing there, waiting for me at the top of
.EXACTLY my vision! Dressed the same way,
in the same position, in profile, his head held high. He
turned his head towards me
and I saw in his eyes that
it was He. The two things clicked (gesture of instantaneous
shock), the inner experience immediately became one with
the outer experience and there was fusionthe decisive
this was merely the beginning of my vision. Only after a
series of experiencesa ten months' sojourn in Pondicherry,
five years of separation, then the return to Pondicherry
and the meeting in the same house and in the same way -
did the END of the vision occur
. I was standing just
beside him. My head wasn't exactly on his shoulder, but
where his shoulder was (I don't know how to explain it -
physically there was hardly any contact). We were standing
side by side like that, gazing out through the open window,
and then TOGETHER, at exactly the same moment, we felt,
'Now the Realization will be accomplished. I felt the Thing
descending massively within me, with the same certainty
I had felt in my vision. From that moment on there was nothing
to say - no words, nothing. We knew it was THAT.
between these two meetings he participated in a whole series
of experiences, experiences of gradually growing awareness.
This is partly noted in Prayers and Meditations (I
have cut out all the personal segments). But there was one
experience I didn't speak of there (that is, I didn't describe
it, I put only the conclusion)the experience where
I say 'Since the man refused
.' I was offering participation
in the universal work and the new creation and the man didn't
want it, he refused, and so I now offer it to God
don't know, I'm putting it poorly, but this experience was
concrete to the point of being physical. It happened in
a Japanese country-house where we were living, near a lake.
There was a whole series of circumstances, events, all kinds
of thingsa long, long story, like a novel. But one
day I was alone in meditation (I have never had very profound
meditations, only concentrations of consciousness - Mother
makes an abrupt gesture showing a sudden ingathering of
the entire being); and I was seeing
. You know
that I had taken on the conversion of the Lord of Falsehood:
I tried to do it through an emanation incarnated in a physical
being, and the greatest effort was made during those four
years in Japan. The four years were coming to an end with
an absolute inner certainty that there was nothing to be
done - that it was impossible, impossible to do this way.
There was nothing to be done. And I was intensely concentrated
asking the Lord, 'Well, I made You a vow to do this, I had
said, "Even if it's necessary to descend into hell
to do it
." Now tell me, what must I do?
The Power was plainly there: suddenly everything in me became
still; the whole external being was completely immobilized
and I had a vision of the Supreme
more beautiful than
that of the Gita. A vision of the Supreme. And this vision
literally gathered me into its arms; it turned towards West,
towards India, and offered meand there at the other
end I saw Sri Aurobindo. It was
I felt it physically.
I saw, sawmy eyes were closed but I saw (twice I have
had this vision of the Supremeonce here, much laterbut
this was the first time)
ineffable. It was as if this
Immensity had reduced itself to a rather gigantic Being
who lifted me up like a wisp of straw and offered me. Not
a word, nothing else, only that.
Then everything vanished.
next day we began preparing to return to India.
It was after this vision, when I returned from Japan, that this
meeting with Sri Aurobindo took place, along with the certainty
that the Mission would be accomplished.