Stories of Auroville - Frederick
In 1960 I travelled through India, I had been to Shantiniketan. When I stayed there I came to know Sisir Gosh who introduced me to Sri Aurobindo. Mother was, well, like an addition: I can go straight to Sri Aurobindo, I don’t have to go via the Mother.
You also have to understand my own life. I always have had an overdose of femininity – like many children after the war in Germany. The men were all dead, or lost in the war or prisoners of war. I wanted Sri Aurobindo, the man. I wanted a father really. I can say it now but I didn’t know when I was travelling.
Then I heard that Sri Aurobindo was not there physically. I came to the Ashram, and there was this old lady. I stayed for some days. I saw her at the morning darshan, it was okay. Then before leaving, I thought ‘you have a sense of courtesy and formality – you just don’t go like this. You say good bye properly and thank her’.
So I went washed and clean with my bags packed.
I come into this room, an empty room. You walk further in and I heard a high voice asking ‘yes?’. There she was sitting, her legs didn’t even reach the ground, so she had a little stool, her thin arms on the hard black carved armrest. Everything looked so fragile.
All of a sudden my knees gave in and I was kneeling, she looked at me and asked ‘do you want to be quiet or do you want to talk?’. I could not say anything. Then her eyes became a very physical almost tangible force, like a beam. I felt like being turned around, through her eyes I was looking into myself. It was like a torch lighting up all the niches and the corners and the ground.
And suddenly I realized that I had never been looked at fully, without reservation. I had never felt that somebody who has seen me totally – not accepted, not approved – but looked at, and it was such a joy to be known. Then she created a vision in front of me, she created a long tube, a glass tube like they use in chemistry; at the bottom it showed a little bit of liquid, and then the outline from this empty glass tube was lit up quite clearly and very precisely. The message was: look, this is what you are now, and this whole empty column of lit-up is what you could become, if you were to fulfil your role. Then the same tangible look took me back again. Reality reappeared, I was in front of her, she was looking at me and her face started smiling.
On a very external level, she made me not just leave without fulfilling me sense of decorum, and I realize it very strong in me actually. She used that. On a deeper level, she also made me get out of this, you might almost say this allergy against too much femininity. Because I fell in love with this woman. There was no femininity in this sense, it was just a loving person. She was maybe just Sri Aurobindo coming in that very strong, very powerful woman. So much strength, the way she turned me around.
This is an excerpt from the book ‘Turning Points’ by Auroville Press.
To purchase the same have a look here.