© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Krishna and Radha

18 July 1956

I have received two questions. One is about a passage from The Synthesis of Yoga where it is said:

"For there is concealed behind individual love, obscured by its ignorant human figure, a mystery which the mind cannot seize, the mystery of the body of the Divine, the secret of a mystic form of the Infinite which we [new p. 222]can approach only through the ecstasy of [old p. 223]the heart and the passion of the pure and sublimated sense, and its attraction which is the call of the divine Flute-player, the mastering compulsion of the All-Beautiful, can only be seized and seize us through an occult love and yearning which in the end makes one the Form and the Formless, and identifies Spirit and Matter. It is that which the spirit in Love is seeking here in the darkness of the Ignorance and it is that which it finds when individual human love is changed into the love of the Immanent Divine incarnate in the material universe."

—The Synthesis of Yoga, p.150

This brings us back to the symbol of Krishna and Radha.

Krishna is the One of whom Sri Aurobindo speaks here, the divine Flute-player, that is to say, the immanent and universal Divine who is the supreme power of attraction; and the soul, the psychic personality, called here Radha, who responds to the call of the Flute-player. So I have been asked to say something this evening on the Radha-consciousness, that is, in fact, on the way in which the individual soul answers the call of the Divine.

It so happens that this is exactly what Sri Aurobindo has described in the chapter we have just read: it is that capacity of finding Ananda in all things through identification with the one divine Presence and a complete self-giving to that Presence. So I don't think I have much to add; what I could say would be a limitation or a diminution of the totality of this experience.

(After a silence) This consciousness has the capacity of changing everything into a perpetual ecstasy, for instead of seeing things in their discordant appearance, one now sees only the divine Presence, the divine Will and the Grace everywhere; and every event, every element, every circumstance, every form changes into a way, a detail through which one can draw more intimately and profoundly closer to the Divine. Discordances disappear, ugliness vanishes; there is now only the splendour of [new p. 223][old p. 224]the divine Presence in a Love shining in all things.

It is obvious that from a practical point of view one must be able to remain at a constant and unshakable height in order to be in that state without exposing oneself to fairly troublesome consequences. That is probably why those who wished to live in this state used to withdraw from the world and find the universal contact through Nature.... I must say, without meaning to be unpleasant to men, that it is infinitely easier to realise this state of consciousness when one is surrounded by trees, flowers, plants and even animals than by human beings. It is easier but not indispensable. And if one wants the state to be truly integral, one must be able to keep it at every moment, in the presence of anyone and anything.

There are countless legends or stories of this kind, like that of Prahlad, [Note: In Indian mythology Prahlad is the son of King Hiranyakashipu, an ardent enemy of the god Vishnu. The king had banned the worship of Vishnu in his kingdom, and when he learnt that his son Prahlad was worshipping this god in his own palace, he delivered him to serpents, but they did not bite him. Then he had him thrown down from the top of a hill into the sea, but the child was miraculously carried by the waters. When the enraged king asked his son, "Who has saved you?", the child replied, "Vishnu is everywhere, in the serpents and in the sea." It is interesting to note that the king himself had been a soul temporarily driven out from the heaven of Vishnu due to the curse of some rishis who had given him the choice between three lives on earth as the enemy of Vishnu and ten lives on earth as the worshipper of Vishnu--the king had chosen the shorter way back.] for instance, which we saw recently in a film, stories which illustrate that state of consciousness. And I am not only convinced, but I myself have the quite tangible experience that if in the presence of some danger or an enemy or some ill-will, you are able to remain in this condition and see the Divine in all things, well, the danger will have no effect, the ill-will can do nothing to you, and the enemy will either be transformed or run away. That is quite certain.

But I must add a word which is quite important. You must not seek this state of consciousness with any motive or seek it because it is a protection or a help. You must have it sincerely, spontaneously, constantly; it must be a normal, natural, [new p. 224] effortless [old p. 225]way of being. Then it is effective. But if you try in the least to imitate the movement with the idea of obtaining a particular result, it won't succeed. The result is not obtained at all. And then in your ignorance you will perhaps say, "Oh! but they told me that, but it is not true!" That is because there was some insincerity somewhere.

Otherwise, if you are really sincere, that is, if it is an integral and spontaneous experience, it is all-powerful. If, looking into somebody's eyes, you can spontaneously see the divine Presence there, the worst movements vanish, the worst obstacles disappear; and the flame of an infinite joy awakes, sometimes in the other person as well as in oneself. If in the other person there is the least possibility or just a tiny rift in his ill-will, the flame shines forth.

Sweet Mother, about Radha, in all the Vaishnavite stories and in the accounts of many mystics, there are always tears and anguish: "She wept and the Divine did not come.... The Divine tormented her...." What does this mean? She was integral purity, then why...

That is just on the way! That happens when one is still on the way, when one has not reached the goal. They have that, they insist a lot on this, for... for they like to prolong the human road, simply because they enjoy this human road and because, as I told you, if you want to remain in life, in contact with life, a certain relativity necessarily remains in the experience. They like it that way--they like to quarrel with the Divine, they like the feeling of separation, these things give them pleasure! For they remain in the human consciousness and want to remain there. The moment there is perfect identification, all this disappears. So, it is as though one were depriving oneself of the pleasure of a drama! There is something that has gone out of life, that is, its illusion. They still need a reasonable amount of illusion; they can't enter directly into the Truth. [new p. 225][old p. 226]

In fact, for the feeling of separation to disappear, you must have realised within yourself a perfect identity; and once this perfect identity is realised, well, the story comes to an end, there is nothing more to tell.

That is why it is said that if the world, if creation realised its perfect identity with the Divine, there would no longer be any creation. If you realise this perfect identity in which there is no longer any possibility of distinction and if the entire universe realised this perfect identity in which there is no longer any possibility of distinction, well, there would no longer be any universe. It would be a return to Pralaya.

So the solution is to find Ananda, even in the play, in this exchange in which one both gives and receives, in which one seems to be two; and that is why they keep the duality.

Otherwise, in identity, nothing remains but the identity. If the identity is complete and perfect, there is no more objectivisation.

But I said this somewhere when speaking about the story of love. I think nobody--oh! I don't know--probably very few people noticed the distinction. I said that it begins with the Ananda of identity, and that after the full circuit of the creation, it ends in the Ananda of union. [Note: Later, someone asked Mother: "What is this `it'? the universe?" To which Mother replied, "I said `it' deliberately, so as not to make it precise. I don't like the word `creation'; it immediately gives the impression of a special creation as though it were made out of nothing--but it is He Himself! And it is not the universe `which begins': the universe `is begun'. How to put it? It is not the universe which takes the initiative of the movement! And if one says that the Lord began the universe, it becomes false. All these are such fixed ideas! If I say: `The Lord began the universe,' one sees at once a personal God deciding to begin the universe--it is not that!
"I have said that about Love, the manifestation of Love which is the supreme Ananda. Sri Aurobindo also said it: beyond Being and Non-being there is something which is, which manifests as supreme Love, and which is at once Being and Non-being. And the first manifestation of That is the Ananda of identity--essentially it is the identity becoming aware of itself in Ananda, and then, it makes the full circuit through the whole manifestation and all the forms taken by Love, and returns to the Oneness through union. And this adds to that Ananda, the Ananda of union, which would never have existed if the circuit had not been made."] Well, if there had been [old p. 227]no circuit, there would never be the Ananda of union, [new p. 226]there would only be the Ananda of identity. Were there no circuit, there would be no union.

This is perhaps a little subtle, but it is a fact: and perhaps it is just in order that the Ananda of identity may find what I might call its consummation and crowning in the Ananda of union, that the whole circuit was made.

But if there is perfect identity, there can be no union, the feeling of union does not exist, for it necessarily implies something other than perfect identity. There can be perfect union but there is no perfect identity.

Don't try to understand with words and with your head, for these two words express altogether different experiences. And yet the result is the same, but one is rich with all that was not in the other, the richness of the whole experience--the whole universal experience.

—Collected Works of The Mother, First Edition, Volume 08, pp. 222-27