Reminiscences of the Mother’s Grace

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Editor’s Note: In our Book of the Month feature, we highlight some precious reminiscences of K. D. Sethna (Amal Kiran). They speak the working of the Mother’s Grace. The precise reason for featuring these extracts in the current issue has to do with the connection to the Supramental Manifestation of 29 February 1956. We have selected these from the author’s book titled ‘The Vision and Work of Sri Aurobindo’, (1992 edition, published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry), pp. 143-144

The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality.

It is at work here, and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognise it.

~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 15, p. 96

The Grace of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: Some Reminiscences

There is a lot of “I” in these reminiscences. But that is an unavoidable accident. For, they are penned not because of the person to whom certain things occurred: they are penned because of these things themselves. And if the person has any significance it is that he serves to set off all the more the incalculable play of Grace from the Karmic Law of Deserved Returns.


On February 29, 1956, I left for Bombay on account of my grandfather, 98 years old, who had been threatening to expire for quite a long time. The Mother had told me that I should be back before the 29th of March. It was the year in which great things were expected. I left by the morning train, reached Madras in the evening and caught the night mail to Bombay.

I went to sleep in the compartment and had a dream.

I saw a wide open place, with the Mother seated at one end and people going to her to make praṇām. I was at the very boundary of the place. It seemed I might miss the chance of the praṇām. So I tried to hurry. But in the hurry I somehow could not get my feet out of my slippers and in the excitement I woke up.

When I opened my eyes I saw, against the opposite berth and the facing wall of the compartment, the Mother standing. Her body was in shadow, her face was in moonlight and both were transparent so that through them I could see the woodwork and part of the upholstery of the berth. I kept gazing for some time. Not believing my eyes, I shut them and opened them again. It made no difference to the vision. There still stood the transparent form of the Mother, the face softly shining. After looking for a quarter minute I once more shut my eyes. When I reopened them the form was gone.

On reaching Bombay I wrote to the Mother about this mysterious apparition. I got no reply, but after a time I received letters from my wife in which it was said that the Mother wished me to return soon. From a friend I got the hint that something wonderful had happened. I came back as soon as I could. What had happened was the long-awaited Manifestation of the Supermind as a universal Force in the earth’s subtle-physical atmosphere. And it had happened on the 29th of February, late in the evening, during the collective meditation with the Mother, in the spacious playground of the Ashram.

Word got round that the Mother had remarked:

“Only five people knew what took place—two in the Ashram and three outside.”

To get some clarification I took the report to the Mother. She said that she had not referred to people’s knowing what had taken place: she had meant that something extraordinary had been experienced by five people as a result of the Manifestation: they might not at all have been aware of the true nature of the event. And she added:

“Among those outside, I counted you. You wrote to me of your experience in the train on the night of the 29th February. Well, I had come to inform you. Don’t you remember that many years ago, when you went to Bombay and the Supramental Manifestation was expected here, I promised you that I would let you know at once? I came to you now in fulfilment of my promise.”

I was absolutely overwhelmed. The promise had been kept after no less than 18 years! I could only stammer out,

“Mother, you came to inform me, a person like me? Oh, I feel so grateful, so grateful…”

Read more by Amal Kiran

~ Design: Beloo Mehra

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