Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya’s Questions and the Mother’s Answers: Five Talks, One Letter and A Report

172

Dear Friends,

Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya (31 August 1905—22 November 1984) was an engineer by profession who was associated with companies like Tata Iron and Steel Company and Damodar Valley Corporation. He visited Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the first time in 1933 and joined it as an inmate in March 1955. He was quite instrumental in raising funds for the Ashram. In 1972 he was made a Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust by the Mother.

As the concluding installment of our special series of tribute to the Mother, the text of five conversations which Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya had with the Mother has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation along with an epistolary exchange between the Mother and him and a report of an incident recorded by him.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

*

28 January 1964

Pradyot: I am going to Calcutta. There they will ask me one question regarding the present situation—communal riots. What is the solution?

Mother: The solution is, of course, the change of consciousness. I know those other people behaved badly, like animals—even animals are better than human beings—but if people in India also do the same, they are playing into the hands of the forces that make people do evil and strengthen the hold of these forces. Retaliation like this is no remedy.

Pradyot: People here feel frustrated, they see no remedy, do not know which way to go, whom to look up to. They are going the wrong way, following the wrong lead. Isn’t the division of the country responsible for much of these troubles?

Mother: Yes, division of religion, of country, of interest. If people felt like brothers, not brothers who quarrel, but conscious of their common origin…

Pradyot: When are you coming upon the scene?

Mother: Don’t be under the illusion that I am not there. I am there, the force, the consciousness are there, but there is no receptivity. During the Chinese trouble, I was in those places at the front, concretely, but I am sorry to say that the only people who were receptive were the Chinese. The impulsion to come forward disappeared. That is receptivity. No one knew why they withdrew. On the Indian side a few were touched and they told me of terrible conditions.

Since World War II, I have been keeping Kali quiet, but she is restless. Times are critical, anything may happen. If people will only give up their ego.

Pradyot: I shall suggest a simpler way, to turn to you.

Mother: Perhaps the time has come to tell others what I have told you. You may talk if any occasion arises. Keep your faith and go like a warrior.

September 1964

Pradyot: The objective of the present conflict with Pakistan is, I suppose, the end of the division.

Mother: Yes, of course. It is well understood.

But we have to be wide-visioned, large-hearted, generous. There should be no spirit of revenge. It will not be the rule of the conqueror over the conquered; it will be the reconciliation of fighting brothers.

News comes from the occult—of turmoil. But there is Power behind it. It seems the Lord has taken charge.

Pradyot: It seems everybody is against us; for instance, England, America.

Mother: Yes, I have written in Prayers and Meditations that a day will come when the whole world will rise against the Divine and oppose his work, and the Divine will take the whole world into Her arms.

1965

Pradyot: In Bihar, although there has been rain owing to your intervention and green patches are visible, some places are still without any vegetation. There is a general scarcity of drinking water.

Mother: Are there still difficulties? The rain was not sufficient?

Pradyot: Perhaps not sufficient in those places. But are these difficulties necessary?

Mother: No! There are two reasons for them. One is the people’s inertia. They need blows to wake them up. The other is more serious; it is a sort of liking, a preference for dramas which invite the blows.

The sadhana is now going on in the cells. All difficulties will disappear but it will take time. I do not have much time to devote to this work, otherwise it could be done quicker.

1966

Pradyot: The Government and the people—the country—are facing tremendous difficulties, social, economic, political and spiritual.

What is the solution?

Do we know what is to be done? Are the problems too big for us? Have we the will to do our best? Beyond that, do we know that a prayer from the heart offered in sincerity and faith is answered by the Divine? Do we know that the Divine is with us here to guide us?

If we do, then all problems can be solved.

Mother: You have seen something during the drought. [1] I have seen it many times during, for instance, the Chinese invasion when we seemed to be totally unprepared and the Chinese withdrew, also during the Pakistani war last year when we could stand up to much superior armament.

There is no reason to despair, what is necessary is to be receptive.
Receptivity means, to offer
What we have
What we are
What we do
to the Divine

To the extent we are receptive, to that extent the problems, even the most difficult ones, can be solved.

26 April 1967

Pradyot: I am leaving for Calcutta and I want to know what is the significance of the figures 4-5-6-7 which are said to symbolically represent the descent or manifestation which will take place on May 4. If I am asked, I should be able to tell people about it.

Mother: You came to me this morning—that is, in a dream—and asked me the meaning of 4-5-6-7. You can tell them:
4. Manifestation
5. Power
6. New Creation
7. Realisation

This will keep them quiet. I am not sure that it did not happen on the 24th April. The meditation on that day was unique in my life. The very cells of the body were totally conscious. After the meditation I should have kept sitting for a few minutes. But I got up instead to reach the table and I nearly fell. Something was happening from New Year’s day, very very concrete. 24th April might be a preparation for 4th May.

3 March 1970 (A Letter)

Pradyot: You have asked us to help you. How can I help you? What am I to do?

Mother: To concentrate and open to receive the New Progressive Consciousness, to receive the new things which are coming down.

*

Once a leader of a political group went on a sham hunger-strike on the pavement opposite the Ashram gate. It continued for several days, and the Mother seems to have instructed people that they need pay no attention to him. One fine morning, he was conspicuous by his absence. What had happened was that the day before this, Pradyot had gone to see the Mother and asked her, “Why don’t you stop this comedy?” She had replied, “The Divine alone can do it.” Pradyot had retorted, “But are you not the Divine? Why do you confuse me?” She had smiled and said, “But I am telling you what people say.” The next day the Divine acted.

*

[1] This refers to the November rains in the drought-affected areas in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

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8 Comments

  1. Anurag Banerjee said,

    February 28, 2015 at 7:51 am

    From the Mother’s Agenda:

    April 27, 1967

    (Regarding the “darshan” of April 24, forty-seventh anniversary of Mother’s coming to Pondicherry.)

    How was the 24th? Did you stay at home for the meditation?

    (Satprem) No, I always come.

    It was rather peculiar.

    Here is the sequence of events: someone living here had a very bad cold some seven or eight days before the darshan. I said to myself, “I must not catch it.” [The Mother had a bad cold at that time.] So I did a special prayer not to catch it. But it has had consequences.

    I told you about that experience, which has been growing increasingly concrete and constant, of the Vibration of Harmony (a higher harmony expressing the essential Consciousness in its aspect of love and harmony and, as it draws nearer to the manifestation, of order and organization), and of the nearly constant and general vibration of disorder, disharmony, conflict – in reality, Matter’s resistance to this Action. The two vibrations are like this (Mother slips the fingers of her right hand between those of the left), as if they interpenetrated each other and a simple movement of consciousness sent you to one side or the other, or rather, as if the aspiration, the will for realization, put you into contact with the Vibration of Harmony, and the SLIGHTEST slackening made you lapse into the other. It has become constant. So then, on the 24th, right from morning there was a constant aspiration, a constant will for the triumph of the Vibration of Harmony. Then I sat down at my table as I always do, some five or ten minutes before it [the meditation] began. And instantly, with a power – a power capable of crushing an elephant – this Vibration of Harmony came down like that, in such a mass… that the body lost the sense of its own existence altogether: it became That, it was conscious of nothing but That. And the first quarter of an hour literally flashed by in a second. Then, there were three people in the room; one of the three, or maybe all three, felt ill-at-ease (nothing to be surprised at!), and that woke me up: I saw the light (I burn a candle on my table) and I saw the time, but it wasn’t me – something saw. Then there was a sort of pacifying action on the place, and then – gone again. And one second later, the call of the end! [a gong is struck to mark the end of the meditations.]

    It’s the first time that has happened to my body. It always used to remain conscious. Sri Aurobindo, too, told me the same thing, that he never, ever had samadhi in his body. Neither did I: I always, always used to remain conscious. While that… only Force remained, there was nothing left but Force at work: there was a concentration here, a concentration on the whole country, and a concentration on the whole earth. And it all was conscious, like that (vast gesture above the head), at work. But something massive, as powerful as an elephant – enough to crush you.

    I didn’t say anything to anybody, I wanted to know (because when I speak, people try to find something, while I wanted to know the spontaneous reaction). The first thing I received was a letter from G. saying that he was at the Samadhi, and just before it started, a force came down on him so strongly that he fell (he was sitting, he fell forward). So he asked me what it was. I haven’t replied yet. Then there have been other people, other things.

    That was unique for me, because it’s the first time it has happened to me. But it has had a result: all that still clings within to that old habit of disorder and disharmony – which is the cause of, oh, everything, all mischief, all illnesses, everything – that has been… Yesterday afternoon, I saw there was something that needed to be done away with, and it changed into a head cold. It’s nothing.

    It’s nothing, and it has given me an opportunity to see that all the cells everywhere, even those that according to the old habit should be in discomfort because of the cold, are all in a blissful aspiration of transformation. And they truly and spontaneously feel that what’s happening to them is to make things move a little faster. So they are very happy.

    But things should move still faster; that is, all these things such as colds and so on should pass very quickly – come in and go out.

    There are still lots of bad habits – that will pass.

    And there was the consciousness – the Total Consciousness, in a light… a light without any equivalent here, yet it was quite material. If you like, it might be like molten gold – molten and luminous. It was very thick. And it had a power – a weight, you know, like that, it was astonishing. And then, no more body, nothing anymore – nothing anymore, nothing but That. And the vision of That, like this (gesture widening out above the head), in its immediate action, its action on the country, and its action on the whole earth. An action that doesn’t cause any movement, I don’t know how to explain it. A sort of pressure – a pressure in which nothing is displaced.

    The pressure went away after the meditation, but the effect has remained, and when, out of the old habit, I got up afterwards to take something on the table over there, I nearly fell! The body no longer knew how to walk! I had to concentrate, then it came back.

    Something still remained (but not as strong as that), something remained when I went to the balcony [in the afternoon of the 24th]. At the balcony I was different from what I usually am. I don’t exactly know what it was. But then, the photographs are very different; there is something in the photographs that wasn’t there before. There was a special atmosphere.

    (silence)

    I remembered something Sri Aurobindo told me sometime during the last months; he told me, “When the supramental Force” (which he was constantly calling down, of course), “when the supramental Force is there and for as long as it is present, you get a sense of all-powerfulness – an unconditioned all-powerfulness: an ALL-powerfulness.” But he said, “It goes into the background” when the pressure of the Force is removed.

  2. Anurag Banerjee said,

    February 28, 2015 at 7:55 am

    In a letter of February 2, 1934, Sri Aurobindo had written: “4.5.67 is the year of the complete realisation.” It seems he also said that from 1967, governments would obey the supramental influence. The sequence of figures (4.5.67) appeared to have a special occult significance.

  3. Anurag Banerjee said,

    February 28, 2015 at 7:56 am

    From the Mother’s Agenda:

    29 April 1967

    I feel something is really being prepared: there is a very strong pressure – but what? I don’t know. People ask me, “What’s going to happen on 4.5.67?” I tell them, “Wait and see.”

    There is a very active influence from Sri Aurobindo, and then this constant work [of the two vibrations]: even during the visits, when people whom I don’t know come, it goes on. It’s like a sort of sifting.

  4. Anurag Banerjee said,

    February 28, 2015 at 7:57 am

    From the Mother’s Agenda:

    3 May 1967

    …the “wise men” Sri Aurobindo speaks of ask, “What does 4.5.67 mean? What’s going to happen on 4.5.67? Why…” It comes from every side into the atmosphere. So yesterday I said to someone, someone with great faith and some authority over a large number of people (they ask him all these stupid questions; he didn’t tell me but said it mentally, so that I received it mentally), when I saw him in the afternoon I said to him, “So, you have been asked all these questions; well, here is what you are going to answer them very gravely (!):
    4 means Manifestation
    5 means Power
    6 means New Creation
    7 means Realization.”

    Now, let them do whatever they like with that!
    It’s to keep them quiet.

    And indeed, he told me this morning (I replied, “You need not tell me, I know!”), he said to me, “Oh, as for me, I’d rather wait and see.” I answered, “That’s the true attitude, it’s better to wait and see.”

    In any case… I don’t know – I don’t know anything and don’t want to know anything, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing happened, but… Because, for me, it has ALREADY happened. It came on the 24th, I told you, I had had all kinds of experiences (you too told me!), but never this one: the material personality, the body – absolutely dissolved. There only existed… the Supreme Consciousness. And that, I must say, has remained. It has remained in the sense that… I can no longer eat, I can almost no longer rest, I see really hundreds of people and things and papers and… This poor body might say, “Phew!” – but not at all. And if the tension in others happens to cause a slight loss of balance, the body spontaneously says like this: “Oh, but You are here” – and it’s all over. It’s all over right away. So this is something.

    We will see. With this 4.5.67, there are quite amusing things. Some people have the attitude of “righter of wrongs” (there are people like that) and take their own example of a wrong they have suffered which must be righted; and they say, “This will be the Mother’s symbol.” Another would like cameras to be sensitive enough to photograph the “presence” invisible to the human eye. That also comes, they are things that come in the atmosphere [of Mother]. Another (several others, it seems) thinks that on that day the Indian new year will begin. Others… everyone thus imagines something, and it comes into the atmosphere. It’s amusing.

    And I always think of that passage in Savitri in which he says, “God shall grow up…” Grow up in Matter, of course (and you SEE the Divinity grow up in Matter, and Matter being made more and more capable of manifesting the Divinity), and he says, “…while the wise men talk and sleep.” It’s exactly that. And it’s charming.

  5. Anurag Banerjee said,

    February 28, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Satprem’s footnote on the entry of 3 May 1967:

    Among the questions put to Mother, let us note these: “In 1967 the Supermind will enter the phase of realising power. What does realising power exactly mean?” (Mother:) Acting decisively on the mind of men and the course of events. “Does this date – 4.5.67 – mark the beginning of what the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have called the new race – the race of superman?” (Mother:) Since a few months the children born, amongst our people mostly, are of a very special kind.

  6. Anurag Banerjee said,

    February 28, 2015 at 8:03 am

    From the Mother’s Agenda:

    May 6, 1967

    …. On the morning of the 4th, when I got up (it was 4:30), suddenly I seemed to be sent… well, it was as if I were sent a ball of lightning like this (Mother strikes her head). I said, “Ah, very well!” (Mother laughs) But it shook me! It was so strong that it shook me (I was sitting over there). Then came the explanation of the “message” for 4.5.67. It came in English. He told me, “You must say this, you must say this, you must…” and it kept being repeated till I had noted it down.

    You remember the message, don’t you?

    (Mother reads her note:)

    “The Divinity mentioned by Sri Aurobindo…

    It was Sri Aurobindo speaking to me, but he said it like that!

    “The Divinity mentioned by Sri Aurobindo is NOT A PERSON…

    He insisted a lot on this.

    “…is not a person, but a condition to be shared and lived by all those who prepare themselves for it.”

    So I was walking (I always walk a half-hour in the morning, saying the mantra), and he went on and on and on repeating it, like that, until this expression came. Then, when I had noted it on paper, it was over.

    Afterwards, he told me to put it into French like this:

    “La Divinité dont parle Sri Aurobindo n’est pas une personne, mais un état auquel participeront tous ceux qui se sont préparés à le recevoir.”

    (Satprem): Did something happen on the 4th?

    That is what happened.

    And a constant Presence the whole day long.

    I tell you, it started like that in the morning, as if I had been stunned for the day – I no longer existed.

    It’s like that all the time: the Force at work, the Force at work, the Force at work… all the time like that, constantly, nothing but the Force at work. That’s what I told you the other day [the two vibrations], it’s like that. But all the time, all the time. At the balcony, constantly, constantly: the Force at work, the Force at work… Nothing remains except that.

    And as there is a large crowd, it does a lot of work.

    But at the balcony (and even before, in the morning when that ball of lightning came), there was a very special concentration on you. But that, I don’t know, it’s for you to say. If you felt something, so much the better!

    (Satprem): I had a very pleasant, very good meditation. I felt the Power, but …

    Yes, the meditation gave the sense of something very charming.
    And a constant insistence on Harmony, Harmony, Harmony…. A harmonious balance: harmonious balance of nations, harmonious balance of people, harmonious balance of inner faculties, harmonious balance… like that.

    And then, resistances are clearly expressed as a disharmony.

    Something extremely smiling, harmonious, smiling, harmonious….

    There was a rather interesting phenomenon (it was yesterday or the day before), amusing little details: now the last member of the government of India has been converted, so to speak. All the government members (the central government – I don’t mean the whole country, but the center), all the government members are… (what should I say?) I might almost say “apprentice disciples of Sri Aurobindo,” with a great goodwill to serve.

    And everywhere, everywhere in the world, the signs of a CONSCIOUS goodwill awakening.

    That’s what Sri Aurobindo once said to me. What he saw was that the supramental Force would have enough influence on the various governments of the earth, of the nations, to permit hope for a harmony.
    If that’s how it is, it’s something.

    We’ll see.

    (Satprem): But still I didn’t see the Light!

    You didn’t see the Light.

    (Satprem): I didn’t have a sensation of contacting …

    …something new.

    (Satprem): I suppose I must be dense.

    No… No, as for me, I still see (it’s the same thing in this body, you understand), there are still small spots of obtuseness, you know: scattered here and there, like that – very small spots of obtuseness, but sufficient to stop the movement from being integral.

    For instance, what Sri Aurobindo says – that purity which consists in receiving ONLY the Influence of the Divine, so that none of the other influences can touch you… For instance, a certain number of people have been paid to destroy me. I know it. And I see it. Well, it can’t do anything, but it does give a little work – it SHOULDN’T give any work. Now and then I am obliged to hold up the shield of white Light to stop them from coming through. That shouldn’t be necessary, it should be automatic. And it comes from the fact that swarms of cells still have old habits – old imprints, old habits.

    That must change.

    They weep a little (“weep,” well…), they whine a little; they are very conscious of their infirmity and pray a lot, but… they still have the sensation that they would need some peace and quiet and a certain amount of time for the supreme Harmony to be able to penetrate everywhere – which is silly, but… So they feel they are, not exactly in contradiction but somewhat constrained or weighed down by the multitude – the immensity – of the material work. You understand, this [body] can hardly eat anymore, doesn’t have time to rest anymore (now even at night there’s much work – I had made a resolve to remain quiet at night, but there’s work and it has to be done), so the result of it all is that… (gesture of conflict). They [the cells] are stupid, they still feel, “Oh, if I could have some nice peace and quiet, then I would change.” They need a slap. That’s all.

    There’s still some friction.

    And the body is conscious enough to be convinced that it has no right to demand the change (I mean a certain change) in the Whole so as to enable its own change. That it knows very well: “Then what use am I? If I am like the others, I am useless – I MUST have the capacity to emerge into the Light, whatever the people or difficulties around me.” It knows that, it’s under no illusions. But still, there is some slight friction.

  7. beni said,

    March 1, 2015 at 11:46 am

    thanks for enlightening us on these , great work…would have never found these jewels …without your help…have read them in sequence independently and heard the whole recording of 200 casettes of what ever was available against the 13 vols, without being edited as Satprem claims…and Sunilda refutes ..on his birthday what was said he (satprem) has erased or edited. my personal opinion if it has any value is that…’ whatever was not personal was published in the bulletin under 3 headings” by Mother 1)Commentaries on ”Thoughts and Aphorisms”,
    2)A propos ..
    3) Notes sur le chemin-notes on the way
    all the rest is personal.and SHE DID NOT CHOOSE TO PUBLISH and was published in spite of Her injunction and most of us have read them

  8. March 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Anurag Bhai. The question & answer with Mother is very useful.
    Satpremji’s agenda is very intersting & useful to know Mother.
    Each one wants to know their Mother & her effort to make her children live happily by receiving from her so that she can guide one in sunlith path.


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