an Auroville Pioneer & ‘The Mother’s Child
Varadharajan did his schooling at Aruppukottai in Ramnad District Tamil Nadu. His collegiate education was at Madurai. After passing a competitive examination, he joined the Central Secretariat Service in Delhi. Later he was transferred to Chennai (then called Madras) where coincidentally he came in contact with the Mother through the Sri Aurobindo Society. Today when he looks back, he feels it was surely The Mother’s way of preparing him to settle in Auroville. Presently Varadarajan lives at Prathana in Auroville.
We are grateful for his contribution, his example, and for the inspiration he has shared with us!
All sincere thanks to Ashwini Selvaraj for this interview with Varadarajan-ji.
Part 1 – The Mother’s Child
My first darshan of The Mother was the Balcony Darshan on 15th August 1964, the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo. It was on this day that the historical official announcement of AUROVILLE was made at the Sri Aurobindo Society Conference. There were many others like me eagerly standing to seek her darshan. She came out on her balcony holding the rails, watching everyone below. Then comes this precious moment, when you look up at her amidst the crowd, and your eyes get locked up with The Mother’s for a few seconds. There is NO BODY else around you except you both. I could feel the light within me at that moment, which is indeed very special.
I had also the opportunity to have her darshan on my birthdays – and as part of the Aspiration talks in her room. Each darshan was special and had great inner and outer effects. My last darshan of The Mother in her room was in March 1973, the year of her physical withdrawal, and then her balcony darshan in August 1973.
Once, when I went for her darshan with some inner quest, three or four people were already waiting outside her room. It was around 9.30 am. Normally Champaklal-ji, her attendant – also known as the Mother’s Lion – would begin calling us one by one. But that day, as we were waiting, Champaklal-ji came out and told us “The Mother may or may not see you today. You can go or wait if you want “.
One by one everybody left except me. I decided to wait patiently hoping Champaklal-ji might come and say ok, you can meet the Mother – which he did after sometime. When I went into the room, Mother was in her deep trance in a resting position on her couch. I went near her, as I always used to, and stood in silence before her. Even though those moments of communication with her were in silence it gave a sense of ultimate peace within me. With Mother I always felt that when you are with her and she feels it is ok for you to leave, you will know it definitely. Then, as I was coming out from the room, I had a strange feeling that her room became elongated, and bright.
As I was leaving, Champaklal-ji told me “Today is a day of great Grace for you”
Every moment of mine with the Mother has been sweet. Even in silence! Just as she said ’Our action is best in Silence! Because our mind doesn’t interfere. Our lower consciousness doesn’t interfere.’ All the moments with her are unique. For me I believe that the Mother loves me and I am the Mother’s child.
I remember to have read the letter of Sri Aurobindo, who on coming to know the news of the passing away of his wife Smt. Mrinalini Devi, wrote to his father-in-law “Those whom I have loved once, I never cease to love”. This applies to Mother’s love too. Her children may be anywhere in the world, not necessarily in Auroville – the tie is Eternal. At one crucial stage in my life the Mother gave me this personal message:
“Aspiration addressed to the Supreme: Let all in me be always at your service”
All institutions started by Mother are meant for different purposes in her material and are dear to me. My external works in Auroville developed according to the circumstances at that particular time.
Once the Mother gave a message “The world is preparing for a big change Will you help?” I was told someone asked her how one can help. She clarified “the big change will anyhow happen but you help yourself so that its coming is not in vain for you” – this applies to all of us.
I feel that Auroville being a ‘cradle ‘of new creation, will have many challenges, but nothing will be insurmountable. She called us ’pioneers’ and if we become so by each one changing oneself, we will move forward quickly. We are imperfect instruments, but her grace is always there to help.
It is my prayer that we all may be worthy of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo
Part 2 – Sharings on Auroville
*For me Auroville is certain, it exists!
Mother says ‘We just need a handful of earth for Auroville to manifest’. it is already there but we should be prepared to receive it and it is confirmed. Once someone wrote to the Mother in 1966 January:
‘Mother, so many people say nothing is happening, it is all a dream’. Mother wrote to her:
‘Auroville is going well and is becoming more and more real, but realisation does not proceed in the usual human way – it is more visible to the inner consciousness than the outer eye’. So through our inner eye we can realise how AV is proceeding.
*To be a true Aurovilian … she states:
‘To be a true Aurovilian one should understand that for our passage in the material world, that which is indispensable to our life and to our action is put at our disposal according to the place we should occupy there. The more conscious our contact is with our inner being, the more exact are the means given’.
How true! I was fortunate to be present when she spoke on being a true Aurovilian. The Mother was sitting in her room on her chair with the aspiration group and was going through the first condition for being an Aurovilian, and she was asking ‘What do you think?’ She asked for the writing pad to be brought to her and used her left hand with the magnifying glass to write in French translation on ‘to be a true Aurovilian’. After a silently concentration, she stopped. She said:
‘It is not coming in the way which can be put on paper. So I’ll write later but don’t change even a comma in what I will write’.
* Our Aspiration is to be a true Aurovilian.
Aspiration is in everyone no matter who it is and has the same power, but the effect of it is different.
Many say I have an aspiration but I do not have an answer. Yes, you do have an answer but you are not aware of it. In 1965 during my early days I wrote in my diary ‘Mother let me be your best instrument’ and then I stopped and I asked myself whom am I competing against? So I said ‘Mother let me be your perfect instrument. Whatever job I am given I should do it perfectly.’
That year, I went for my birthday to meet her. She was sitting in a small room and writing something.
She gave me a card, and a beautiful bunch of flowers with a smile. When I came down and sat in the Meditation Hall I opened the card. She gave me a blessings packet and there was a message on the right hand side of the card…’There is no greater pride and glory than to be a perfect instrument of the Master.’
So aspiration is immediately answered. To know she has already answered it takes time and then to implement it takes a long time.
Once we turn towards the Mother, she looks at us as her own child. She pours her love like a shower on us. Some receive it and the result is like a fertile land. There is no consideration of not pouring. She pours, and we only have to humbly receive it. It is according to your receptivity. It is not a competitive examination.
*The fifth condition to be an Aurovilian says ‘The whole earth must prepare itself for the advent of the new species, and Auroville wants to work consciously to hasten this advent’
Auroville wants to be a universal township. The aim is to realise human unity and human unity arrives only when there is divine unity. Human Unity is the mind, Divine unity is the foundation.
Coincidences happen in such a manner that coming into Auroville is like a natural flow. So far as the collectively is concerned we are all here due to our good will.
Sri Aurobindo wrote ‘The Mother’s victory is essentially the victory of every sadhak over himself’. So if our aim and road map is clear we have to walk. She has given us a map, a direction and we only have to follow it. Each one of us has an aspiration. Our aspiration may be small but if it is ardent and without impatience She has assured us our success.
To expect Auroville to change in our span of a lifetime is not possible but we can help the change by contributing ourselves. We need to be examples to others.
I am trying to change myself according to how Mother would have liked me to change. I am certain she is helping each one of us to change. We are not perfect instruments but need to strive towards perfection. In 1972 The Mother gave a message:
‘Let us all try to be worthy of Sri Aurobindo’s centenary.’
In the same way let us all try to be worthy of Auroville!
Mother is with everyone and is everywhere. She does not want anyone to suffer. One might feel there is a problem, but there is no problem. Nothing is a problem for Auroville not even the land. The land was very near our possession, our preparation was not adequate. When the time comes problem will automatically be solved.
The last written massage of Mother to the Auroville
‘Auroville is created to realise the ideal of Sri Aurobindo who taught us the karma yoga.
Auroville is for those who want to do the yoga of work.
To live in Auroville means to the yoga of the work. So all Aurovilians must take up a work and do it as yoga.’
27 March 1973
What more do we need?
Varadharajan, Auroville, January 2021