Mother on her Photographs

Sweet Mother, when we concentrate on one of your photos—there are many photos, each one with a different expression—does it make a difference for us, the one on which we concentrate?

If you do it purposely, yes, of course. If you choose this photo for a particular reason or that other one for another reason, surely. It has an effect. It is as though you were choosing to concentrate on one aspect of the Mother rather than another; for example, if you choose to concentrate on Mahakali or Mahalakshmi or on Maheshwari, the results will be different. That part of you which answers to these qualities will awaken and become receptive. So, it is the same thing. But somebody who has only one photo, whichever it may be, and concentrates, without choosing this one or that, because he has only one, then it is of no importance which one it is. For the fact of concentrating on the photograph puts one in contact with the Force, and that is what is necessary in the case of everyone who responds automatically.

It is only when the person who concentrates puts a special will, with a special relation, into his concentration that it has an effect. Otherwise the relation is more general, and it is always the expression of the need or the aspiration of the person who concentrates. If he is absolutely neutral, if he does not choose, does not aspire for any particular thing, if he comes like this, like a white page and absolutely neutral, then it is the forces and aspects he needs which will answer to the concentration and perhaps even the person himself will not know what particular things he needs, because very few people are conscious of themselves. They live in a vague feeling, they have a vague aspiration and it is almost unseizable; it is not something organised, coordinated and willed, with a clear vision, for example, of the difficulties one wants to overcome or the capacities one wants to acquire; this, usually, is already the result of a fairly advanced discipline. One must have reflected much, observed much, studied much in order to be able to know exactly what he needs. Otherwise it is something hazy, this impression: one tries to catch it and it escapes... Isn't that so?

24 August 1955
The Mother


Sweet Mother,
Why does meditation in front of different photos of you give different experiences?

It is because each photo represents a different aspect, sometimes even a different personality of my being; and by concentrating on the photo, one enters into relation with that special aspect or different personality which the photo has captured and whose image it conveys.
The photo is a real and concrete presence, but fragmentary and limited.

4 November 1959
The Mother


Sweet Mother,
Why is the photo a fragmentary and limited presence?

Because the photo catches only the image of a moment, an instant of a person's appearance and of what that appearance can reveal of a passing psychological condition and fragmentary soul-state. Even if the photograph is taken under the best possible conditions at an exceptional and particularly expressive moment, it cannot in any way reproduce the whole personality.

5 November 1959
The Mother

Let us give joy to all for joy is ours. - Sri Aurobindo

All photographs on this page are are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry - 605002 India.