Born as Bernard Enginger on 30 October 1923, Satprem was a member of the French Resistance during the Second World War and was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943. He was released after spending one and a half years in German concentration camp. He visited Pondicherry for the first time in 1946 and came to know of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Their evolutionary yoga. After travelling to French Guiana, Brazil and Africa, he settled in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at the age of thirty in 1953 and earned the new name of ‘Satprem’ from the Mother in 1957. He went on to become one of Her most trusted confidants. In 1978 he was expelled from Sri Aurobindo Ashram after which he—along with his collaborator, Sujata Nahar—settled in a little known place in South India and devoted his time to the publication of Mother’s Agenda in thirteen volumes and his other books. A charismatic figure who had considerable influence on the seekers of the Path, he played a pivotal role in introducing innumerable people to the works and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and his books inspired many seekers to take up the stupendous task of physical transformation begun by Them. He left his physical body on 9th April, 2007 and was followed by Sujata Nahar on 4th May of the very year.
A tribute to Satprem and Sujata Nahar, written by Dr. Kireet Joshi who knew both of them quite intimately, has been published in the website of Overman Foundation on the occasion of their eleventh death anniversary.
With warm regards,
Satprem and Sujata: A Tribute
Satprem was born in Paris on 30th October, 1923. He was a sailor and a Breton. His original name was Bernard Enginger. As a young man, as he was a member of the French Resistance during the Second World War, he was arrested by the Gestapo. He was twenty years old at that time. He spent a year and a half in concentration camps. After his release, he journeyed first to Upper Egypt and then to India, where he served in the French colonial government of Pondicherry. There he discovered Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He was struck deeply by Sri Aurobindo’s statement that “Man is a transitional being”. But he left Pondicherry at that point after resigning from his post, and he spent an adventurous year in Guiana in the middle of the Amazonian jungle. Then he wandered to Brazil and then to Africa. He was thirty years old when, in 1953, he returned to India for good and joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, at Pondicherry.
Satprem was a magnificent personality that was ever-new, always young and fresh, constantly burning with electric energy, intolerant of pretence and hypocrisy. This great youthful representative of humanity left his body a month ago, leaving for us and himself the task of continuous march towards supramentalisation that can be visibly expressed in the forms of what Sri Aurobindo has called “the divine body”. What colossal work he has done with his fiery devotion to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for the advancement of evolution of humanity cannot be easily described or measured. He was like a ‘first man’, whom he has described in his Introduction to the fabulous thirteen Volumes of Mother’s Agenda, which is a daily account of twenty two years (1951—1973) of the Mother’s exploration in the consciousness of the body and the discovery of the Mind of the Cells, capable of transforming the conditions of the human body and the laws of the human species. He was a perfect candidate to be a participant of the Mother’s exploration and to be Her confidant; for by the time he came to the Mother in 1954, he had made a long and rapid journey, passed through those fundamental experiences, including the experience of living for months in concentration camps where death was imminent any moment, which obliged Man to rediscover himself and ask what is there in life and the world for Man and after Man.
His heart was beating with rediscovery of a very ancient mystery. Suddenly, he had felt it absolutely new to be a man and yet “mysteriously to be something still other than man, a strange, unfinished possibility that could also be all kinds of other things”. It was at that point that he met the Mother. He has described this critical point of his evolution as the “intersection of the anthropoid rediscovered and the ‘something’ that had set in motion to this unfinished invention momentarily ensnared in a gilded machine”.
He discovered the Mother as “our fable come true”. He found that the Mother was there “for something else”, that in her life and being a new Epic was beginning, — an epic where Matter and Spirit would meet “in a third physiological position that would perhaps be the last position of Man rediscovered, the something that had for so long fought and suffered in quest of becoming its own species”.
Satprem had not come to the Mother to belong to a Church and to worship, and truly he found the Mother exclaiming, “Why do you want to worship? You have but to become! It is the laziness to become that makes one worship.” And yet, it took the defiant and rebellious Satprem seven years to understand that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had begun there, where the other yogas leave off. As he has explained: “For seven years we fought with Her. It was fascinating, detestable, powerful and sweet; we felt like screaming and biting, fleeing and always coming back: ‘Ah ! You won’t catch me! If you think I came here to worship you, you’re wrong!’ and she laughed. She always laughed. We had our belly full of adventure at last…”. At last, he discovered that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had undertaken a programme corresponding exactly to his inmost search. Not only to change man, but even to change his skin. Yes, to open the task of changing the human species, to effect the transition of man to the next species, since that had become critically urgent and imperative as the real and radical solution to the contemporary crisis. Satprem discovered that it was necessary to have covered all the paths of the Spirit and all those of Matter before discovering or even simply understanding that what was needed was “something else”, neither an improved Spirit nor even an improved Matter. As he explained, how would a caterpillar visualize or understand that it had to become something else, a butterfly?
Satprem realized that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were in the adventure of the new species, — and this was exactly the adventure that his whole heart and soul and body were looking for. A great moment of Satprem’s line of sadhana arrived when the Mother asked him, “Are you conscious of your cells? No? Well, become conscious of your cells, and you will see that it gives TERRESTRIAL results”. Thereafter, Satprem’s own search was concentrated on the discovery of the consciousness of the cells, — a task on which the Mother’s own yogic research had advanced far and very far. In May 1959, the Mother had explained to Satprem as follows:
“When you follow the ascending path, the work is relatively easy. I had already covered this path by the beginning of the century and had established a constant relationship with the Supreme—That which is beyond the Personal and the gods and all the outward expressions of the Divine, but also beyond the Absolute Impersonal. It’s something you cannot describe; you must experience it. And this is what must be brought down into Matter. Such is the descending path, the one I began with Sri Aurobindo; and there, the work is immense.
“… And yet the presence, the help of the supreme Mother, is there constantly; thus you realize that for ordinary men such a task is impossible, or else millions of lives would be needed—but in truth, unless the work is done for them and the sadhana of the body done for the entire earth consciousness, they will never achieve the physical transformation, or else it will be so remote that it is better not even to speak of it. …” (Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 1, p. 300).
Satprem participated actively, with burning fire in his heart, in the unprecedented programme of research that the Mother was developing. The Mother had stood at the hour when Science, like Spirituality at the end of its roads, must discover what Matter TRULY is; or it was really there that a Spirit as yet unknown to us is to be found. It was the hour of a pure little cell that will have terrestrial repercussions, infinitely more radical than all our political and scientific or spiritualistic panaceas. The discovery of the pure cell was the whole story that has been narrated in the thirteen Volumes of Mother’s Agenda, and this whole story is narrated in the course of conversations between Satprem and the Mother over a long period of seventeen years. Day after day, the Mother sat with Satprem to tell him of her impossible odyssey. The constant questions were: What is the passage to discover a pure little cell? How is the path to the new species hewed open? Atomic research of our time has discovered the tremendous energy which is packed in the atom, and yet we are far from knowing the real nature of Matter which is the stuff of the atom. But here the Mother was engaged in researching the living cell, which is found everywhere encapsuled in Matter. This research promised the discovery of far greater energy packed in the cell, which when released, could reveal the true nature not only of organic Life, but also of Matter and Mind, even of Supermind. Satprem had the privilege of hearing and recording Mother’s fabulous discoveries as She crossed innumerable steps with hurricane speed. Describing what the Mother was narrating to him, Satprem writes:
“It was incomprehensible, yet filled with another comprehension. It eluded us on all sides, and yet it was dazzlingly obvious. The ‘other species’ was really radically other, and yet it was vibrating within, absolutely recognizable, as if it were THAT we had been seeking from age to age, THAT we had been invoking through all our illuminations, one after another, in Thebes as in Eleusis as everywhere, we have toiled and grieved in the skin of a man.” (Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 1, p. 19)
The Agenda is the story of the Mother’s super-human effort and victory. When Sri Aurobindo left his body in 1950, he (Sri Aurobindo) assigned to the Mother the supreme task of fixing the supermind in the body, the task that was never accomplished in the entire history of the earth. How supremely difficult this task was can be seen as we read page after page the six thousand pages of the Agenda. But there in Her conversation with Satprem on 14th March 1970, the Mother said that THAT work was done. The Mother added: “This was THAT. The work that Sri Aurobindo had given to me” (Vide Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 11, p. 103). The Mother had reached the end of the task. She explained that although what was to be achieved had been achieved, yet it had to be worked out, realized in every detail in the Mother’s words:
“It has to be worked out, as they say, realized in every detail, but the change IS DONE—the change is done.
“Which means that the material conditions, which were elaborated by the mind, FIXED by it (Mother clenches her fist tight), and which appeared so inescapable, to such a point that those who had a living experience of the higher worlds thought one had to flee this world, abandon this material world if one really wanted to live in the Truth (that’s the cause of all those theories and beliefs), now things are no longer like that. Now things are no longer like that. The physical is CAPABLE of receiving the higher Light, the Truth, the true Consciousness and of man-i-fest-ing it.” (Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 11, p. 102)
As the Mother said, “It must be ‘worked out”. She had added that it may take centuries to work out in all its details; Sri Aurobindo had said that it would take at least three hundred years. But the supramental consciousness imparts to the evolutionary movement an unimaginable acceleration to the process of transformation. It does not stop anywhere; it moves on as rapidly as possible towards a point where the transformation would be instantaneous. The Mother had continued her onward journey, and in that process, the Mother had made many new discoveries, and she had passed through hell of resistance from the old world, — even after building up in her body a new body of the awakened cells where there is no “life” and no “death” but “over life”. It was a perilous journey, and an account of that journey is available to us in the Agenda up to 19th May 1973, the day after which the door of the Mother was closed. The Mother was to live for another six months, 182 days; the Mother left Her body on November 17, 1973. And Satprem records as follows:
“I was so broken, shattered on that November 18—there was only a splitting headache and a blank look… But, suddenly, I had the most stupendous experience of my life. I who had so much complained to Mother of never having any “experience”! I was in no condition to have an experience, or concentrate or pray, or will anything—I was nothing but a headache, an aching body, a kind of frightful nonentity…
“Then she lifted me in her arms. She lifted me above my headache, lifted me above that crowd, above all those meaningless little bodies. And I was in a sound-burst. I entered a stupendous peal of bells—vast as the universe, exceeding all universes, all lives, all bodies, and yet WITHIN— a colossal ringing that swept away the worlds, swept away the pains, swept away the whys and the hows; I was one with that formidable SOUND ringing over the universe:
NO OBSTACLE, NOTHING WILL STOP
NO OBSTACLE, NOTHING WILL STOP
NO OBSTACLE, NOTHING WILL STOP
… ringing and ringing. The whole world was ringing in a torrent of rapturous, irresistible, triumphant joy.
NOTHING WILL STOP
It was the inevitable new world.
—My whole body was trembling.” (Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 13, pp. 425-426)
Satprem’s occupation in life was centered on the Mother, and the above experience must have given him a new light on the path that he was walking with the Mother, — the path of the next species. In the mean time, he had seen his great responsibility to the task of a historian and geographer, since the Agenda of the supramental action upon the earth which the Mother was creating in the fulfillment of the work that Sri Aurobindo had given to Her was witnessed by him day after day and recorded by him as also transcribed by him. He was the only repository of all the tape-recorded talks and transcriptions. The Mother had told him that that Agenda was a gift to all who loved Her, and that when the curve of the research work which She was carrying out reached the point of accomplishment, it could be given publicly to the world.
The Mother’s statement of 14th March, 1970 in which she had said that the task given to Her by Sri Aurobindo was done, and on the 18th November, 1973 when the Mother gave him the experience of “No Obstacle”, had now given him the certainty that he had to present to humanity the Mother’s account of the descent of the supermind on the earth, of the innumerable discoveries that the Mother had made in Her gigantic task of FIXING the supermind in the physical consciousness, and of the Mother’s eventual accomplishment and triumph. A volume could be written on the heroic battle he had to fight in order to succeed in preparing and publishing these momentous and monumental thirteen Volumes of Mother’s Agenda, first in French, and next in English. Satprem fought the battle heroically and proved that his only concern was to present to the whole world, with perfect fidelity, the full and unabridged account of the evolutionary adventure undertaken and accomplished by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to meet the evolutionary crisis of humanity in which the choice for humankind’s survival and fulfillment lay hidden. Satprem’s courage and heroism were manifest in this battle, and the entire humanity will remain ever grateful to him for sharing with it all the secrets of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s transition of man’s evolution to the divine Superman.
Mother’s Agenda will remain as a supreme contribution, and in support of these thirteen volumes of the Mother’s Agenda, his following works will always remain as of invaluable importance: Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, Mother or The Divine Materialism, Mother or The New Species, Mother or The Mutation of Death. These books tell us vividly the supreme story of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the supreme story of the next species; they bring to us a vivid picture of the events that have taken place not only at highest levels of supramental consciousness but also at the psychological and cellular level of humanity during the lifetime of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
The most important summary of Mother’s Agenda was presented by Satprem in 1981 in his book, Le Mental des Cellules. This book was originally in French, and the English translation, The Mind of the Cells was brought out in 1999. This book of two-hundred fifty pages is a masterly exposition of the detective biology of the next species narrated in six thousand pages of Mother’s Agenda. This book states Mother’s decisive experiences starkly, without flourishes or comments, like laboratory experiments, and it draws the lines from state to state “until the puzzle is complete and the conclusion inevitable”. As he points out, the Mother’s main thesis that “the physical substance progresses through each individual formation, and one day this substance will be capable of building a bridge between physical life as we know it and the supramental life that will manifest”. (Mother’s Agenda, 28th November, 1958)
As Satprem points out, Mother’s discovery of the mind of cells as a ‘new element’ for fixing the supramental consciousness in the physical consciousness marks “the most tremendous revolution ever accomplished by man since the day when a first hominid in a Neolithic glade started counting the stars and his sorrows”. (The Mind of the Cells, 1999, p. 19)
Satprem’s own equipment in terms of consciousness was that of a thoroughgoing scientist, meticulous and microscopic, relentless and inexorable in his demands for proofs; he had penetrating philosophical subtlety capable of drilling through appearances to reach the supreme heights of the Ultimate Reality; and he had inexhaustible skill of an engineer capable of joining the two poles of consciousness, the supramental and the physical. And above all, he was a literary artist of the highest rank, capable of aristocratic elegance and chiseled expressions in words and phrases that sparkled with light and undying power of creative inspiration.
At the time when he was writing The Mind of the Cells in 1980, he was getting ready to plunge into his own programme of physical transformation and to commence a programme of placing his body as a laboratory of the supramental consciousness which had already been brought down by the Mother and had been manifested in Her body—which was already the entire earth’s body. The Mother had spoken of the necessity of some intermediate bodies which would, by the progressive repetitions of the action of the supramental consciousness in Matter, create ultimately the projection of the supramental body, which would not be produced by any animal process, but directly as a supramental body by a supramental process. Satprem was getting ready to become a candidate for the forthcoming link in the intermediate human—supramental bodies. Satprem recalls the following statement of the Mother which she had made in 1955, where she had foreseen the future possibility of the manifestation of the supramental body. She had said:
“I think it will happen when there will be a sufficient number of consciousnesses who will feel in an absolute way that it cannot be otherwise. Everything that has been, and still is, had to appear an absurdity that cannot last—then it will be able to happen, but not before. Despite everything, a moment will come when it will happen. A moment will come when the movement will topple into a new reality. There was a MOMENT. There was a moment when the mental being was able to manifest on earth. A moment will come when the human consciousness will be in a sufficient state for a supramental consciousness to enter that human consciousness and manifest. It does not stretch out like a rubber band: a moment comes when it happens—it can take place in a flash.” (Ibid, p. 230)
The Mother had already fixed the supramental consciousness in Her earth-body. A sufficient number of consciousnesses were now to follow that accomplishment. When Satprem asked, “Why not now?” he was ready to become an apocalypse and plunge himself into becoming a link in the chain of further evolution.
In 1981, Satprem began a new chapter in his life. He put his body under the Drop Hammer of the supramental Power that had already built the cellular bridge. In 1992, he presented a brief account of his evolutionary experiment and of his discovery of the three components of what he called Evolution II.
As Satprem points out in his book Evolution II, by the age of thirty he had arrived at a point where he was convinced that what is most important was not to be human but to become “posthuman”. The human experience, he had concluded, yields “tricks” and “masks”, but not the powerful reality that could unshackle itself and propel itself, and yield to us the golden fruit of millennia. Then he had come to India, where at Pondicherry, he worked for twenty years near the Mother, from whom, he said, he learned everything. He learned about the two ends of human experience, the upper end and the lower end, and, above all, he learned of Sri Aurobindo who had ploughed the unknown field of Evolution II which would reverse the laws of our human and earthly conditions, and all laws as they have been for four billion years—scientific, religious or zoological. He had discovered what Sri Aurobindo had done for forty years, namely, “testing day and night for years upon years more scrupulously than any scientist his theory or his method on the physical plane.” Sri Aurobindo had spelt out his human panorama and his goal in the following words:
“It is only by rising toward a higher consciousness beyond the mental line … that (man) can emerge from his inability and his ignorance. His full liberation and enlightenment will come when he crosses the line into the light of a new superconscient existence. That is the transcendence which was the object of aspiration of the mystics and the spiritual seekers.
“But in itself this would change nothing in the creation here, the evasion of a liberated soul from the world makes to that world no difference. But this crossing of the line, if turned not only to an ascending but to a descending purpose, would mean the transformation of the line from what it now is, a lid, a barrier, into a passage for the higher powers of consciousness of the Being now above it. It would mean a new creation on earth, a bringing in of the ultimate powers which would reverse the conditions here …” (Evolution II, pp. 45-46)
Then for twenty years he had listened to the Mother, and had been the witness, as she had groped in the night of the future. At last, being ready to communicate what he had witnessed, he was dismissed from the Ashram at Pondicherry; and he had found a place, — a solitary place on top of a hill in South India, where he got drenched in a fearsome cataract, a new kind of evolutionary convulsion that could produce an unknown being. He had felt as though his body had become the very convulsion of the world, its death together with its new life, its contradiction an iron or limestone resistance together with what melts iron—the obstacle together with the very power that is forged in the obstacle. For ten years, from 198l—1991, he had touched and tested what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had laboured for and accomplished.
His book, Evolution II, is an account of ten years of his own voyage, and it stands out as an outstanding confirmation by personal experience of the results of the experimental research conducted by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother over decades and decades, — particularly since 1914 to 1973.
Satprem points out that beyond the mind and overmind, one steps into a forbidden zone, “a no-man’s land—really a virgin land with no trace of signposts—characterized by a … crushing density, increasingly crushing as one sinks deeper into it.” He recounts his experience when for the first time he set foot in those regions. He said to himself, or his body said to itself, “This is a liquid solid — or a solid liquid!” In a new kind of consciousness, he was shown “a cube of ocean”— a chunk of sapphire-blue ocean with its little silvery glints. It was so solid that it held together all on its own, yet it was liquid. He said to himself: “This is the new state of Matter ! A fourth state of Matter, no longer solid or liquid or gaseous, but something else” (p. 60). The first drops of that solid liquid were a fearsome flood gate. Indeed, the first “drops” were simply adorable, the body and cells were filled with a streaming, soaking, liquid delight. Satprem was dazed by those “drops” for a few weeks; but then the “drops” grew increasingly dense, oversized, torrential, disquieting, crushing. The cells of his body drank the unbelievable life-giving Nectar; but then there were tribulations.
He began to be submerged, pierced and smashed by oversize Energy bordering on the unbearable—and the border was pushed back everyday. He felt that he was more and more on the verge of a death that does not come and at a start of a life that takes ages to be born. The body of Satprem began to undergo a process of new education that taught him not to panic. He had two difficult “object lessons”— those concerning the heart and the brain. He had difficult heart phenomena, long or searing and close enough to the “limit”— once, twice, ten times. Then a last “heart attack”, and he experienced an extraordinary “saliva” flowing in the mouth, liquid as no saliva is and so profuse! Satprem writes:
“It flows and flows into the throat like an elixir. And the attack stops. So does the elixir. After that, you are done with “attacks” and are done with belief in the “laws of hearts.” (p. 68)
The “object lessons” for the brain were harder to bear and he had some bad scares—one, particularly, like a small tube or iron pipe being driven through the brain to the back of the skull. Satprem writes:
“Then there were so many successive furnaces in there and so may never-exploding explosions that you are done with belief in the “law of convolutions,” too. And finally, the body no longer believes in any laws because it is constantly dying and constantly finding itself still standing on its two legs, breathing … with difficulty. After a few years, it KNOWS there is another law—a single Law, the new law, that of the other side of the waters, the other side of death. And this body knows by itself, spontaneously and obviously, that it is in a kind of grave and something is trying to haul it out.” (p. 69)
There is, as Satprem points out, no way to teach you to become a new species, since it has never been; one feels like the fish on the sand, how can it breathe? And the evolutionary process develops the process of breathing. Here, too, his body became aware that those currents flowing from solid liquid were denser or more clogged, but as though with each breath of old breathing a fresh dose of that impossible cataract from above came in and circulated. Satprem writes:
“It is a double breathing: along with the old oxygen drawn in by those pulmonary bellows, another kind of “something” is breathed in and circulates, using for mechanical support the old respiratory pouches invented by our amphibian brothers. The body discovers its new circulatory tracts.” (p. 76)
The “drops” of the nectar were becoming in Satprem’s experience a torrent and finally a Niagara. What was welcomed by the cells with delight began to grow oppressive and compressive at the level of heart and brain. What was solid-liquid becomes increasingly solid on the more primordial level of the skeleton—and the resistance grew more and more formidable. Satprem began to call that torrent of energy “lightning” because it had incredible velocity—a split second to reach down the tips of the toes—and it was as piercing or irresistibly crushing and percussive as a bolt of lightning. Satprem writes:
“ “It” comes in through the top of the head and hurtles down to hit against an irreducible obstacle, coagulated like basalt, always the same, beneath the feet. The “lightning” falls there, rebounds against the obstacle, rises to fall again, and again and again with each breath. … the body is the pipeline, the site where the “percussion” takes place. There is, underneath, a basaltic or mineral layer, which seems to be as refractory and as vast as the Earth.” (p. 79)
What was the dense, solar element, in which Satprem had entered? One day, Satprem chanced on the most precise possible definition, dropped by Sri Aurobindo in the course of a conversation, as though inadvertently. Sri Aurobindo had called it “Supermind” and he had said simply: “The Supermind is harder than diamond yet more fluid than gas.” (p. 80)
Satprem’s body was being pounded by the supermind which had been brought down by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and which he had been able to contact as soon as he had crossed the borders of the Mind and the Overmind.
The body of Satprem, which was under the new impelling force, needed repeated experiences thousands of times, and these experiences had to do with the old resistant evolutionary framework and with the process of breathing. The framework is that of the skeleton which protested strongly against being crushed by the descending density; the more it was crushed, the more it resisted. It was realized that there was bound to be another law of the skeleton, and Satprem noted what Sri Aurobindo had said in connection with a subtler mechanism that would replace the law of our cyclotrons. Sri Aurobindo had said:
“The subtle process will be more powerful than the gross, so that a subtle action of Agni will be able to do the action which would now need a physical change such as increased temperature.”
Satprem had a single experience, which recurred unchanged several days in a row; then it disappeared without apparent reason. That experience was a kind of a promise, and probably it was a signal to wait till everything would be ready in the great earth crucible. Satprem describes the experience as follows:
“Instead of the usual crushing under the impact of that dense and pounding breathing, it was as if (not “as if”!) fluidity had prevailed over the diamondlike side of the process: a flood tide! A flood tide of dense air, but air nonetheless, streaming through the body, rolling it about in its wave, swelling it with a sense of ease and power, again and again. Really as if the bones had become a sort of boiled cartilage, without any resistance whatever, or perhaps as if that “lightninglike” and wavelike fluidity flowed through them as through an illusory wall dissolving into its intra-atomic emptiness. And all was rolled around in the wave and filled with delighted ease—perhaps like a jelly-fish!” (pp. 111-112)
Satprem remarks that there was suddenly a new structure, which did not need to wait for Darwinian millennia and slow modifications of carapace from one species to another. That density keeps one standing upright on its own, without framework, through the sole power of its fluid density. Nothing is destroyed and all is changed.
Satprem’s experience went farther and he remarks:
“But, strangely, that density or Energy is at once your structure and your breathing. The two great evolutionary ingredients put together.” (p. 112)
—“And perhaps three ingredients put together, namely, structure, breathing and nourishing.”
Satprem points out that it was shown to him, not in the body’s experience but through that sort of vision from beyond the graves—the vision of the body’s eyes when it has one foot on this side and one on the other—that this new breathing is nourishing. That means that one breathes the nourishing air.
Evolution II, as expounded by Satprem, appears to mean the following:
(a) In contrast to the evolution which has been going on up till now, Evolution II is effected by the conscious will of the human agency in deliberate pursuit of the process of integral yoga;
(b) Evolution II introduces in the process of evolution the process of surpassing the old law of frameworks, structures and processes that restrict the evolved form within definite narrow grooves of the manifestation of consciousness within fixed limits; a new law determined directly by the all-comprehensive supramental consciousness and power is introduced which can freely determine various degrees of manifestation of the supramental consciousness and power; and
(c) The three processes which are normally needed for the sustenance of the evolved form within unavoidable limits of longevity, — namely, skeleton, breathing and nourishing, — would be replaced by the operation of the infiltration through breathing of the supramental solid liquid in such a proportion that fluidity would preponderate, course through the body in such a way that its density, — fluid density—would constitute at once the framework, breathing and nourishing.
Satprem was a thorough scientist in his methods of experimentation and in testing the results of his experiments. He was meticulous in his positivism and in the recording of his experiments and experiences. One has only to read six volumes of his Carnets d’une Apocalypse in which he has recorded day to day experiences dating from 1981. These six volumes give us an account up to the year 1986. But the records that he has kept of his experiences, when published, will give the full account running up to year 2006 or 2007, and we shall be able to learn more about the nature of his experiments and results, and they will be extremely useful for the future candidates of integral yoga, who will contribute to the making of the new supramental species and the fabrication of the supramental or divine body on which Sri Aurobindo had written a long essay in one of his latest writings: The Supramental Manifestation on the Earth. Satprem’s book Evolution II gives only a brief outline of his yogic experiments and their results as they stood in 1991-92.
If we now ask the question as to the point at which he had reached in the subsequent years, it may be mentioned that I had personally received a note from Satprem in the year 2006, in which he had written: “Je suis arrivé au bout” (“I have reached the goal”). I was indeed overjoyed to read this note, and it confirmed the prophetic assurances that the Mother had given him, and which are recorded in Mother’s Agenda. We may refer, in this connection, to the following passage which occurs towards the end of the Mother’s conversation with Satprem on 5th February, 1961:
“So, mon petit (my child), don’t worry. You are SURE, sure not only to advance but to reach the goal. And as for this troubled mind, keep it occupied with the book on Sri Aurobindo.
“Good-bye now, petit. Don’t worry.”
Again, it is significant what the Mother told Satprem on 11th February, 1961:
“In any case, one thing: never forget that what we have to do, we shall do; and we shall do it together because we have to do it together, that is all—like this, like that, in this way, in that way (Mother tilts her hand from right to left as though to indicate this side of the world or the other, ‘life’ or ‘death’), it has no importance. But this is the true fact.”
On 10th of January 1973, Mother’s Agenda records the following:
“(Satprem) We’ll try to go with you to the end.
(Mother) Oh, you … (After a silence) You will go to the end.
(Satprem) Oh, Mother…. But I can go to the end only if you go there also!
(Mother laughs Silence)”
But a question would be asked: what exactly was meant when Mother said: “You will go to the end”? Strictly speaking, the end would mean the accomplishment of the fabrication of the supramental or divine body, since that would be the physical proof, which even the blind would be obliged to acknowledge. But Sri Aurobindo had said that that would take centuries, and the Mother had said that would take at least three hundred years. But the Mother had also added that the decisive point of accomplishment would not be the external manifestation and its appearance in the material body, but that point of accomplishment where the supramental consciousness and power would be fixed in the physical consciousness so that the supermind could manifest in the physical consciousness. The Mother had said that the external appearance of the transformed body would be the last thing but not the crucial point of accomplishment. It may be said that the Mother had already reached the end, when on l4th March 1970 the Mother said what has already been cited above.
In the light of the above, when Satprem wrote that he had reached the end we have to understand, it seems clear to me, that he had become successful in fixing the supramental consciousness in his physical consciousness. Thereafter, he was evidently moving more and more towards the fully transformed body, — a goal to reach which centuries of labour would be involved. But, indeed he must have reached the maximum point that his present human body allowed him to reach.
The last word that Satprem uttered, when he was taking his breakfast in the morning of the last day (9th April 2007) of his physical existence, was: “Ma”. He was with the Mother, and the Mother was with him. As the Mother had told him that they will be together, and we can be sure that they are together and will be together on and on.
In the story of evolution, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother mark the decisive stage, the stage of irreversibility. Supermind has been firmly fixed in the earth consciousness. They are the leaders of the supramental evolution. Satprem is the first human follower to accomplish and realize what the Mother had promised him. His life, his books, and his own accounts of his sadhana provide a living testament of the progression of Evolution II.
Few are those whose circumstances shape the destiny so propitiously and smoothly as also luminously as what obtained in the case of Sujata-di. She was born (12.12.1925) for the spiritual destiny and spiritual fulfilment. Her father, Prithvi Singh Nahar was a leading personality of Kolkata whose residence at Indian Mirror Street had become a landmark of cultural activities. When she was very young, not even five, the father and his family shifted to Shantiniketan, since he wanted his children to grow up in an atmosphere free from all narrowness. Sujata-di has thus an exceptional privilege to receive care and early education directly from Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, one of the greatest poets, educationists and citizens of the world of our modern India.
In 1938, Prithvi Singh and Sujata-di became members of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Sujata-di was one of the first students of the Ashram School, and she was one of the first few students whose homework used to be examined and evaluated by the Mother Herself. An interesting subject on which Sujata-di had written a short essay, was centrally significant for her life. The subject was: “Without the Divine, life is a painful illusion, with Him all is bliss”. Her essay was short, but the Mother who examined this essay gave her 19½ out of 20 and made the following remark: “Excellent homework from every point of view”. Sujata-di had written the following:
“The Divine is the Unique Reality, Love supreme, immutable Peace.
Without the Unique Reality life is an illusion.
It is painful because without Love life is a constant turmoil of unreal personalities, it is full of complexities, excessive and inextricable confusion, conflicting thoughts, clashing tendencies and warring desires.
With him all is bliss because He is the immutable Peace.” (Mother and Abhay, p. 44)
Sujata-di was a spontaneous child of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Her sadhana was spontaneous flowering of her soul under the direct sunlight of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. She had spontaneous trust and faith that she was under constant protection of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and that they would take her at every stage of her life where she had to be. She was directly trained by the Mother for varieties of services, and she gained from the Mother dedicated sense of discipline, fearless straight-forwardness in dealing with people, consistent with genuine goodwill for everyone and warm sweetness of affection for all with whom she had personal relationships, provided that these relationships were all offered at the feet of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Sujata-di had great proficiency in English and French as also in Bengali, which was her mother tongue. She assisted in the office work of Pavitrada, who was the General Secretary of the Ashram, and who was also the Director of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. She regarded her work with Pavitrada as a great privilege, not only because Pavitrada was her teacher and a great mathematician, scientist and engineer, a polytechnician of the highest order, and an extremely able administrator, organizer, builder and leader, but because he was also one of the greatest yogis about whom the Mother had said that when he left his body, he had no ego and that his personality was so psychically individualized that it could be retained in a state of immortality. Pavitrada imparted to everyone, who came in his contact, a highest example of truthfulness, candour and exemplary refinement in manners. To work with Pavitrada was always an exercise in sadhana that involved discipline and faultless Karma yoga combined with Bhakti yoga. Sujata-di had that exceptional opportunity to work with Pavitrada for years and years.
Soon after Satprem joined the Ashram in 1954, and soon after Satprem received the privilege of working directly for the Mother, Sujata-di came in close contact with him, and she began to assist him in the work connected with Satprem’s conversations with the Mother. Sujata-di had also the privilege of joining Satprem whenever he went to the Mother, and, as the Mother said explicitly, her plasticity and her receptivity were so transparent that she could gain automatic effects of the progression of the Mother’s Work and Her yogic research. She remained Satprem’s life-long companion and provided to him full support, assistance and care.
The stupendous work involved in the preparation of the typescripts of the thirteen volumes of Mother’s Agenda was shouldered by Sujata-di, and her labour of love was truly Herculean, considering not only the heavy responsibility of absolute fidelity to absolute correctness of every word that was be printed in the Agenda but also the immense difficulties which surrounded the task of the publication of the Agenda. The heroic battle that Satprem had to fight to bring out the publication of Mother’s Agenda can be a subject of an epic, and she can truly be regarded as a courageous heroine of that epic. A few glimpses of this battle can be found in Volume I of Satprem’s Carnets d’une Apocalypse [Notebooks on an Apocalypse].
On 2nd January, 1978 Sujata-di and Satprem were on a visit to Dehradoon. It was there that they received a letter of expulsion signed by the four trustees of the Ashram. Although ironical for Satprem to be expelled from the Ashram, since he had been the confidant of the Mother for twenty years, Sujata-di and Satprem were led to find a quiet and ideal place at “Land’s End” where they could secure the needed atmosphere and solitude which were indispensable for the evolutionary work to which they were both spiritually, mentally, vitally and physically devoted. It was at “Land’s End” where Sujata-di and Satprem materialized Mother’s Agenda and continued the work following Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s tracks. They could have left for France and worked from there. But as Satprem explains: “The center of this work is here, not Paris. It is here that he must materialize things. India is at the heart of the world problem and we must unravel the knot here…” (Vol. 1, Notebooks of an Apocalypse, p. 372)
It is impossible to recount the colossal work that Sujata-di accomplished at Land’s End. Numerous books came out year after year from the pen of Satprem, and each one of these works was intertwined with labour of self-effacing Sujata-di. In the first place, Satprem brought out three volumes of the biography of the Mother: Mother or Divine Materialism, Mother or New Species, and Mother or Mutation of Death. Thereafter, thirteen volumes of the Mother’s Agenda in original French were brought out. This gigantic work was followed by thirteen volumes of the English translation. Then, there were other publications: My Burning Heart, The Mind of the Cells, The Revolt of the Earth, Evolution II, The Tragedy of the Earth—From Sophocles to Sri Aurobindo, and Neanderthal Looks on. New translations of Satprem’s earlier works were also brought out, particularly, Sri Aurobindo or The Adventure of Consciousness, On the way to Supermanhood, and By the Body of the Earth or the Sannyasin. There were also some other important minor publications, such as, The Veda and Human Destiny and The Great Sense/Sri Aurobindo and the Future of the Earth.
After 1981, when Satprem plunged in the depths of his own body’s consciousness and began to record the steps of his journey in his Notebooks, Sujata-di was his constant companion. These notebooks “lay bare” or reveal the human or divine secrets that Satprem discovered during his own yoga of the cellular consciousness. Although only six volumes are yet published (and probably material or nearly subsequent seventeen volumes remains yet to be published), we have in these books the glimpses of the intimate role that Sujata-di had played. Several of Satprem’s visions and experiences were shared by her almost simultaneously, and some of them are to be found through sketches that she had drawn to give some concrete form to her own visions.
Sujata-di was herself an artist and a writer. During these years at “Land’s End”, she wrote and published six volumes of the Mother’s biography, entitled Mother’s Chronicles. These chronicles depict Mother’s life as She narrated it to Satprem and as personally witnessed by Sujata-di. The titles of these six volumes are: Mirra—The Artist, Mirra—The Occultist, Mirra—Sri Aurobindo, Mirra meets the Revolutionary, and Mirra in South India. Two more volumes are yet to be published, namely, Mirra in Japan and Mirra—The Mother. Probably many more volumes were envisaged by her. These biographical works bring out unimaginable labour of research, and they manifest Sujata-di’s multisided knowledge of art and occultism, of the history of India and the world, her intimate knowledge of Japan and India as also of France and Algeria, and of countless books, novels, legends, of religions and documents and magazines, and practically every possible resource which was relevant to the story of the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In a few and evocative lines, Sujata-di introduces the reader to the Mother:
“Let me ask you: do you like thrillers that take you hunting for the hidden treasure? Do you like historical novels that take you back in time? Do you like space odysseys that take you forward in time? Do you like science fiction stories that break all bounds of space and time? Do you like scientific discoveries in which scientists painstakingly gather proof after proof and note meticulously their findings? Do you like the story of evolution? Evolution that never stops, evolution that has produced you and me—mankind. And finally, who does not like love stories, love so fierce and absolute that it descends into inferno and confronts death in order to retrieve the beloved?
“Dear reader, if you like any or many or all of these things, then come with me. Let us walk together in Mother’s Geography and find out.
“Then, perhaps, we shall know: Who is Mother.”
Satprem’s and Sujata-di’s “Land’s End” had become right from the beginning a center of dynamic action of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Although not known to most people where exactly was this “Land’s End” located, the few who knew the address of Nilgiri Hills in South India were hundreds in number, and they were scattered all over India and France and various other parts of Europe and the world. Several centers of evolutionary research connected with the “Land’s End” had come to be established in Paris, Italy, U.S.A. and elsewhere. Then there was the Mother’s Institute of Research at New Delhi and Mira Aditi at Mysore. Tens of thousands of letters were received and answered by “Land’s End”, and all this tremendous load of correspondence was largely attended by Sujata-di. All this correspondence was meticulously classified and stored, and everything was meticulously arranged by Sujata-di. Those who helped in her work were few, but she carried the burden cheerfully and divinely. She kept abreast of current affairs, considering that both, Satprem and she, regarded the tasks of humanity and of India, in particular, as intimately related to Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s supramental Action on the Earth. At the occult level, Satprem and Sujata-di were contributing in some decisive way to the developments in India and the world.
The work relating to publication was gradually expanding, and Mira Aditi was specially created to facilitate the work of publication and distribution. In Paris, there was their great friend, Micheline, who had known the enormous significance of the work of Satprem and Sujata-di. It was a great blow to the work, when she suddenly passed away. Her departure added to the volume of work of Sujata-di, but she managed it all efficiently, meticulously and with fullness that Maha Saraswati demands from her obedient instruments.
Indeed, Sujata-di was an exceptional child of the Divine Mother, and when one saw her at work, one felt around her the atmosphere of the wisdom of Maheshwari, impetuous force of Mahakali, benign love and aristocracy and sweet smile of Mahalakshmi, but what was most active in her work was Mahasaraswati’s swift strides towards perfection, and whenever she completed her work, one found that nothing was forgotten or omitted.
Sujata-di left her body on 4th May 2007, just within a month of the departure of Satprem. We are told that even in their previous births they had worked together. In this birth, they met and came together to work for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and carried forward the great evolutionary work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. We can be sure that even now they are together and they remain connected with all of us and all the others who are engaged in the devoted service of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Dr. Kireet Joshi
Dr. Kireet Joshi (10 August 1931—14 September 2014) studied philosophy and law at the Bombay University. . He was selected for I.A.S. in 1955 but in 1956 he resigned from the post of Assistant Collector of Surat to devote himself at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry to the study and practice of Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He taught Philosophy and Psychology at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education at Pondicherry of which he was the Registrar and participated in numerous educational experiments under the direct guidance of the Mother. In 1976, Government of India invited him to be Educational Advisor in the Ministry of Education. In 1983, he was appointed Special Secretary to the Government of India, and held this post until 1988. He was Member-Secretary of Indian Council of Philosophical Research from 1981 to 1990. He was also Member-Secretary of Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan from 1987 to 1993. He was the Vice-Chairman of the UNESCO Institute of Education, Hamburg, from 1987 to 1989. From 1999 to 2004, he was the Chairman of Auroville Foundation. As an adviser of Gujarat Chief Minister, he also helped in establishing Children’s University and Institute of Teachers Education in state of Gujarat. From 2000 to 2006, he was Chairman of Indian Council of Philosophical Research. From 2006 to 2008, he was Editorial Fellow of the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC). A prolific writer who wrote on various themes, his notable works include titles like Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Sri Aurobindo and Integral Yoga, The New Synthesis of Yoga—An Introduction, A Pilgrim’s Quest for The Highest and The Best, Synthesis of Yoga in The Veda, Synthesis of Yoga in The Upanishads, The Gita and Its Synthesis of Yoga, Integral Yoga—An Outline of Major Aims, Processes, Methods and Results, Integral Yoga of Transformation—Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, A Philosophy of The Role of The Contemporary Teacher, A Philosophy of Education for The Contemporary Youth, A Philosophy of Evolution for The Contemporary Man, Philosophy and Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and Other Essays, Philosophy of Value-Oriented Education (Theory and Practice), Philosophy of Supermind and Contemporary Crisis, On Materialism, Towards Universal Fraternity, Towards A New Social Order, The Veda and Indian Culture, Glimpses of Vedic Literature, Landmarks of Hinduism, The Portals of Vedic Knowledge, Stories for Youth in Search of a Higher Life, Arguments of Arjuna at Kurukshetra and Sri Krishna’s Answer, Education at Crossroads, A National Agenda for Education, Education for Tomorrow, Education for Character Development, Child, Teacher and Teacher Training and Innovations in Education.