There are two statements, which I hear from many of my friends in the ashram, around here and many places. “We are all doing the Mother’s work”, this one statement I hear very often. The second is, “The Mother will do everything.” And I tell you, with both the statements, I fully disagree.
There was one disciple who wrote a letter to the Mother, I had taken it to the Mother. It said “Mother, I’m traveling all over India to do the Mother’s work”. So the Mother told me, “You cannot do the Mother’s work, you tell him. You first of all aspire to offer; secondly, you begin to offer your work to the Mother; don’t say I am doing the Mother’s work”.
It is at a very high level, when you reach a kind of union with the Divine’s will and the Divine’s will manifests through your consciousness, when you receive the rays of the Mother’s work straight coming from above, transmitted to you, and when you are simply moved, then you can say, perhaps, if you at all want to say, if you still remain you, — that you are doing the Mother’s work.
Similarly the statement, “The Mother will do everything”, It is also a great statement. I don’t want to discourage anybody when people say “The Mother will do everything”. But Sri Aurobindo himself has written very clearly, that this is very connected to being “at the feet of the Mother”. If you should think that the Divine will do everything, you remain what you are; do not be deceived. This is a big illusion; inert passivity is the one thing which has to be exiled if you really want to be “at the feet of the Mother”.
Sri Aurobindo, while speaking of the threefold labor of personal effort — the aspiration, rejection and surrender — even the word surrender is used by Sri Aurobindo for personal effort. It requires personal effort to surrender. It is only when personal effort comes at a very high level, high intensity, that a real submission begins to take place.
Sri Aurobindo has put down three great conditions to arrive at that condition; it is a condition of glad and strong submission, an obedience of an illumined disciple of truth; secondly, an inner warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood; and thirdly, a faithful servant of the Divine. When these three things are combined together then we can say we are now approaching what is called “the submission and the surrender to the Divine”. It is when that surrender becomes perfect that you can truthfully say “The Mother will do everything”.
To be “at the feet of the Mother”, according to me, is a long process of sadhana, which requires tremendous effort at getting illumination of the mind, and that illumination speaks all the time of truth and truth and truth and nothing but the truth; and to be a courageous hero and a warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood. It is a tremendously difficult task to be a servant, and a faithful servant, and that also of the Divine. These three conditions put together, when they can be combined, then only one can say that one is fit to be “at the feet of the Divine Mother”.
Excerpted from a talk given at the Gnostic Centre, New Delhi in 2007. A few sentences have been slightly altered for clarity of meaning.