Once upon a time there was a little girl, quite young, very nice, very pretty, living in her family with her parents, particularly in the company of her grandfather. This grandfather was rather old but extremely nice and kind and gentle like herself. He loved the child very much, indeed the grandfather adored his grand-daughter and the child reciprocated the feeling.
It happened however that the old man fell ill, very ill. It was quite natural, he was an old man. All people, friends and family members came to see him and gathered in the sick man’s room. “How was he now?” The doctors were there.
The little girl stood somewhat away from her grandfather’s sick bed. She was sad, very sad indeed. All of a sudden she looked up towards her grandfather’s bed and saw — strange, strange to say — quite near the bed another little girl standing — a little girl looking like herself in appearance and every way — her double as it were. She herself was standing on one side of her grandfather’s bed, a little away. The other one was standing exactly like herself quite near the bed on the other side. She was amazed and questioned herself: “What has happened? I am here, but my image, a reproduction of mine is over there.”
She approached her grandfather, the image also approached close to him. But nobody else noticed anything; she only knew it and for others she was alone. She asked: “But who are you?” The other one answered: “I will tell you later on.” And she disappeared. Subsequently the old man recovered, and the little girl also recovered her grandfather as before. But she continued wondering and questioning about her queer experience. There was no answer for sometime. But she was sure that it was due to her presence that she got back her grandfather. The fact could not be doubted. The vision was absolutely real, there could be no question about it.
Later on and soon enough occasions came when she met again and again the same person, whenever there was any difficulty or danger ahead, to help her out of it. It was explained to her in course of time that this person who appeared to be the very image of herself was none else but herself, her real inner person.
In this connection some of you will surely remember the famous poem of the famous French poet Alfred de Musset where he speaks -“Nuit de Decembre” — of a strange companion who used to visit him from time to time, at critical moments of his life, come and sit by his side — some unknown person dressed in black who however resembled him as though his own twin brother:
Un pauvre enfant vetu de noir
Qui me ressemblait comme un frere
This story of a double person in oneself, one being the guide and mentor and friend and helper, is a phenomenon not very rare. Everybody, everyone of you have this companion, this friend who protects you, who loves you indeed.
If you want you can see her, at least feel her, and this person is absolutely like you in appearance, your own self, the same face and figure as if reflected in a mirror when you stand before it: and then so real and living. He speaks to you, gives you good advice and is so loving and adorable. One way of finding her and coming in contact with her, seeing her and feeling her presence is to be always good, to be good and do good things, never to have bad thoughts, always to be clean in mind and decent in behavior. This will draw your friend to you as if pulled by a magnet and you will feel her within you, near you, and the hidden comrade will reveal herself. This hidden friend is the Presence of the Mother, the Mother is always with you, with every one of you as I have been saying always.
I may say each one of you carries three persons in him, you are a triple personality: first of all your outside appearance, as you stand before the others groomed and dressed, hiding as it were within the trappings, your clothes, but behind that you are the bare and naked body, that is, your natural appearance.
You have then quite another character than the former personality so clothed. But there is too something else, very different, behind that natural body. The body, however, includes or represents indeed the whole of your present nature: your body, your vital and your mind make one complex — the unit of your common normal personality.
But those two are outer robes, hanging loose around another person, behind and within, hanging loose and standing aloof even like a clothing enveloping your body. It is that being which is your true being of whom I was telling you so long, the intimate brother and friend of yours, indeed your own true self, incarnating the Mother’s presence and the Mother’s love. It is only a matter of opening out your coat or coating!
With deep gratitude to Nolini Kanta Gupta of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, or Nolini Da, as he was fondly known to all in the Ashram.
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