My dear Pranab,
I thank you for your characteristically generous response to my letter. Agreeing with you that we have to wait in patience, I wanted to let matters lie there. But of late there is a feeling that I must amplify my thinking.
First let me assure you that there is no question of diluting the tradition of the Guru. It is understood that for all time to come Sri Aurobindo and the Mother will continue to be the Gurus for every one taking to the path of Integral Yoga. There cannot be a successor to the Mother. When Dakshinapada asked Her (unwisely) in the early fifties: 'Sri Aurobindo has left us, one day you also will leave us. Then who is to lead us?' She replied: there will be no need for it, the Truth will guide. So the Guru continues to look after the spiritual aspect of our life.
The question is of the general life of the collectivity which is formed as the material base of their operations. It is no use saying—as is being done—'Mother will do'. It is sheer shirking if not escapism. There must be some arrangement to see that the Teaching is properly applied, the Ashram develops on the right lines so that the Ideal is not deformed in its translation. Looked at from this angle there is a deplorable hiatus between what should be and what is. The present administration is or feels powerless to arrest degeneration and deviation. It has not the will to face the blackmail, the threat of non-cooperation that looms large. They know what is right, what should be done, but find it expedient to let things drift under the plea that the Mother alone can do it.
Illustratively we may point to the steady deterioration in the standards of the Education Centre; a few elements hold the progress at ransom. Talent, initiative, originality, are stamped down. the Mother, in Her own life-time, deplored the fall in standards at the Centre; things are much worse now. Why should it be so? Where is the boldness that is required in such pioneering efforts?
The Mother had practically stopped new admissions at a particular stage and asked us to tell people to go to Auroville if they wanted to stay here. She had Her own way of screening entrants. In the absence of that insight, the trustees had wisely decided that we do not need to expand, admissions were to be made only in exceptional circumstances. But that policy has been given up. Apart from that there has been an increasing invasion of non-ashram elements crowding the ashram environs and straining our Services. Some of us warned die authorities to keep back this invasion but it fell on deaf ears.
Today every third person in the ashram community is a non-ashramite, freely drawing upon the Services with his money-power, putting genuine sadhaks at a disadvantage. Some of the departments have been converted into private fiefs. Vested interests are forming and holding up the healthy development of the ashram life. Superannuated individuals rule the roost with the result that youngsters are denied opportunities. One has to wait for the incumbents to die before hoping for any change for the better.
This is only to illustrate the areas where things have got to be urgently rectified. A supramental being is not required to organise and run the life of what the Mother called 'this small world'. In any case, the supramental being is something far, far off. It is not going to be in our life-time. Are we to wait and watch developments helplessly?
It is here that the role of collective wisdom steps in. Since we do not have—nor is there a prospect—anyone of outstanding higher consciousness who will be accepted by all in general, if not by every one, we have to fall back on a pool of a core of minds and hearts who are essentially spiritual in their motivation, impersonal in their dealings, capable of holding to the Mother's LOVE in all conditions. Once the unit is formed the Mother's Force is sure to vitalise it and function boldly and uncompromisingly. In the actual working there can be no question of superiority or position of eminence. Within the group the select persons forsake their individuality and function only in the greater interests of the collectivity. Naturally X prevails in one matter, Y in another and Z in still another. One person need not always be the deciding factor. With enough humility on the part of all, the premium will be on achievement of the whole than getting one's way through. The higher the consciousness the more the humility and readiness to look from the standpoints of others.
Well, Pranab, I have done for the moment. I have trodden many a path in these matters and have acutely realised where and how I could and should have done vastly better. But lost opportunities do not come again—at any rate in the same form. I have a deep feeling that the Mother is offering us opportunities to vindicate the truth of Her life.
With much love,
I thank you very much for your letter dated 28.11.91 and for trying to put a little sense in my blunt head with your valued arguments, being moved only by your sense of extreme goodwill. But I am absolutely convinced that in the present set-up of the Ashram, nobody can do anything except a Superman.
All the malpractices and movements of the lower nature prevalent in the Ashram, that you mention in your letter, are nothing but the play of the ordinary human consciousness, in which man dwells at present. It has plagued humanity with multifarious problems and made man extremely miserable throughout the ages. Wise men tried to find out various solutes. The East approached through inner pursuits and ultimately found out an escape through philosophic and spiritual culture; and Western people, through their practical mind, took the outer approach and ended in materialism. But the problem of man is not solved.
Just then, Sri Aurobindo came and told us that nothing will change the fate of man unless he is transformed integrally and emerges into a better species by the radical change of his consciousness, and that is possible only when he realises the Supramental Consciousness. That is why the Mother and Sri Aurobindo worked throughout their life to establish the Supramental Consciousness in the earth's atmosphere.
Once the Mother told me that however you fight with darkness you can not move it. But just light a candle and the darkness is removed. In the same way whatever we try to do through a rational set-up, as regards our organisations and plannings, it will produce no result unless we acquire the Supramental Consciousness.
My question is—Is the majority of the people in the Ashram trying to work for the Supramental Consciousness seriously and sincerely? How many of us have a clear picture of our real problems and the method for dealing with them? Only the reading of the Life Divine or Savitri and doing regular pranams at the Samadhi will not help much. Hours of deep study and meditation, working like a donkey from morning till night will mean nothing. It needs something more. On the other hand, we see so much of pretence and hypocrisy in the name of a Spiritual life.
Madhav-ji, you say that Superman is not needed to steer the Ashram and its people in the right direction. I am tempted to suggest that please do and show us what you say is true. You say that the Supramental being will come only after many many years, when we shall be no more on the face of this world. But I feel that the leader comes only when there is a pressing need and demand in the world for man's relief from his miseries, and the Superman has to come now because never in man's history has there been so much of chaos and confusion in his life.
Our new leader must come with so much power and such a personality that his physical presence itself will be sufficient to make man do the right thing in the right way. It holds good in the cause of the world, India and the Ashram.
I an extremely sorry that I have to write all this to convey my feelings to you, who are my elder, who are greater than me in every respect and possess all this knowledge. But I have only tried to express my mind, which speaks what it feels.
With loving regards,