The Mother on Sri Aurobindo's Thoughts and Aphorisms
Bhakti (Devotion)
Page 1

408. I am not a Bhakta, for I have not renounced the world for God. How can I renounce what He took from me by force and gave back to me against my will? These things are too hard for me.

        409. I am not a Bhakta, I am not a Jnani, I am not a worker for the Lord. What am I then? A tool in the hands of my Master, a flute blown upon by the divine Herd-Boy, a leaf driven by the breath of the Lord.

        410. Devotion is not utterly fulfilled till it becomes action and knowledge. If thou pursuest after God and canst overtake Him, let Him not go till thou hast His reality. If thou hast hold of His reality, insist on having also His totality. The first will give thee divine knowledge, the second will give thee divine works and a free and perfect joy in the universe.

        411. Others boast of their love for God. My boast is that I did not love God; it was He who loved me and sought me out and forced me to belong to Him.

        412. After I knew that God was a woman, I learned something from far- off about love; but it was only when I became a woman and served my Master and Paramour that I knew love utterly.

Sri Aurobindo had a genius for humour and all we can do is admire and remain silent.

20 March 1970

What does Sri Aurobindo mean by: "How can I renounce what He took from me by force and gave back to me against my will?"
And also when he says: "After I knew that God was a woman…"?

I cannot answer because, while he was in his body, he never told me anything about this.
If anyone knows the exact date on which he wrote this, it might be an indication.
Perhaps N could tell you when this was written, or whether Sri Aurobindo told him anything about it.

21 March 1970
- The Mother

413. That thou shouldst have pity on creatures is well, but not well, if thou art a slave to thy pity. Be a slave to nothing except to God, not even to His most luminous angels.

I do not understand this Aphorism.

This is the most perfect way in which Sri Aurobindo, with his marvellous sense of humour, could ridicule human morality. This sentence is a whole satire in itself.

21 March 1970
- The Mother

414. To fear God really is to remove oneself to a distance from Him, but to fear Him in play gives an edge to utter delightfulness.

        415. The Jew invented the God-fearing man; India the God-knower and God-lover.

        416. The servant of God was born in Judaea, but he came to maturity among the Arabs. India's joy is in the servant- lover.

        417. Perfect love casts out fear; but still keep thou some tender shadow and memory of the exile and it will make the perfection more perfect.

        418. Thy soul has not tasted God's entire delight, if it has never had the joy of being His enemy, opposing His designs and engaging with Him in mortal combat.

        419. If you cannot make God love you, make Him fight you. If He will not give you the embrace of the lover, compel Him to give you the embrace of the wrestler.

        420. My soul is the captive of God, taken by Him in battle; it still remembers the war, though so far from it, with delight and alarm and wonder.

What does Sri Aurobindo mean by "the joy of being His enemy"?

Here too I have to say that I do not know exactly, because he never told me.

But I can tell you about my own experience. Until the age of about twenty-five, all I knew was the God of religions, God as men have created him, and I did not want him at any price. I denied his existence but with the certitude that if such a God did exist, I detested him.

When I was about twenty- five I discovered the inner God and at the same time I learned that the God described by most Western religions is none other than the Great Adversary.

When I came to India, in 1914, and became acquainted with Sri Aurobindo's teaching, everything became very clear.

24 March 1970
- The Mother

421. Most of all things on earth I hated pain till God hurt and tortured me; then it was revealed to me that pain is only a perverse and recalcitrant shape of excessive delight.

        422. There are four stages in the pain God gives to us; when it is only pain; when it is pain that causes pleasure; when it is pain that is pleasure; and when it is purely a fiercer form of delight.

        423. Even when one has climbed up into those levels of bliss where pain vanishes, it still survives disguised as intolerable ecstasy.

        424. When I was mounting upon ever higher crests of His joy, I asked myself whether there was no limit to the increase of bliss and almost I grew afraid of God's embraces.

I would like You to explain to me "the four stages of pain" which Sri Aurobindo speaks of here.

If Sri Aurobindo is speaking of moral pain, of any kind, I can say from experience that the four stages he mentions correspond to four states of consciousness which are the result of inner development and the degree of union with the divine consciousness which the individual consciousness has achieved. When the union is perfect, there only remains "a fiercer form of delight."

If it is the physical pain endured by the body, the experience does not follow such a clearly defined order; especially because union with the Divine most often causes the pain to disappear.

25 March 1970
- The Mother

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All contents of this page are taken from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry - 605002 India.