Q: I don’t quite understand. Didn’t you have the experience of the Supreme before Sri Aurobindo’s departure?
A: Spiritually, you have that experience as soon as you come into contact with the Divine within; mentally, you have the experience as soon as the mind is purified; vitally, you have it as soon as you get out of the ego. But it’s the consciousness of the BODY—the consciousness of the cells—which had the experience at that moment. Everything else had had it long before and was constantly aware of it, but the body…. It had been told about it and believed in it, but it didn’t have the experience in such a concrete, total and absolute manner that it can’t be forgotten for a single second.
At that moment, the physical being and the individual, personal body had the experience once and for all.
The body always used to let itself be carried along. It was one in consciousness with Sri Aurobindo’s presence, and depended on it without the least worry; it felt that its life depended on it, its progress depended on it, its consciousness, its action, its power all depended on it. And no questions—it didn’t question. For the body, it was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE that things could be otherwise. The very idea that Sri Aurobindo might leave his body, that that particular way of being might no longer exist for the body, was absolutely unthinkable. They had to put him in a box and put the box in the Samadhi for the body to be convinced that it had really happened.
And that’s when it had that experience.
This body is very conscious, it was BORN conscious, and throughout those years its consciousness went on growing, perfecting itself, proliferating, as it were; this was its concern, its joy. And with Sri Aurobindo, there was such peaceful certitude, there were no more problems, no more difficulties: the future was opening up, luminous and peaceful and certain. Nothing, nothing, no words can describe what a collapse it was for the body when Sri Aurobindo left.
It’s only because Sri Aurobindo’s conscious will entered into it—left one body and entered the other…. I was standing facing his body, you know, and I materially felt the friction as his will entered into me (his knowledge and his will): “You will accomplish my Work.” He said to this body: “You will accomplish my Work.” It’s the one thing that kept me alive.
Apart from that…. There’s nothing, no physical destruction I can think of, comparable to that collapse.
It took me twelve days to get out of it—twelve days during which I didn’t speak a single word.
So the experience I mentioned is the PHYSICAL experience.
Ref: The Mother’s Agenda