I am with you (Part II and III)

Remembrance of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo

— Kailas Jhaveri


Price: Rs 250

Pages: 679
Dimensions (in cms): 14x22
ISBN: 978-81-86413-43-2
Soft Cover
Publisher: Sri Mira Trust, Pondicherry

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About I am with you (Part II and III)

A chronicle of the author's life and work in the Ashram, this book continues the story begun in Part I, which was published in 2004 and related how she came into contact with the works of Sri Aurobindo while a student in Mumbai and then spent ten years in the U.S.A. This volume begins with Part II which details her close contact with the Mother between 1964 and 1973 and the various work she undertook, particularly for the project of Auroville in its earliest stages and with Richard Pearson on the spiritual significance of flowers. Part III follows her life after 1973, including her travels within India and abroad to speak about the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The book is enhanced by more than forty pages of facsimiles of the Mother's letters to her.


"Kailas" stands for the meeting point of the earth and heaven, for here atop this mountain peak the great and beneficent god Siva sports in his solitude. So do we find the same with Kailas-behen, her book a living testimony of how human nature can be touched and raised up by the loving hand of Grace. This book, divided into Parts II and III, is a continuation of her previous work, Part I, which dealt with her life before coming to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, her rich and affluent life in America, the dream destination of many a modern youth. But here we find a pilgrim soul leaving the affluence and the comforts it provides to pursue another dream and secure for herself another wealth than what the world can offer. It is the wealth of the Spirit that she seeks, to participate in the Divine action upon earth under the direct guidance of the Mother. The book is the story of the author pursuing this divine dream first in some quiet corner of Pondicherry in modest surroundings and next stepping out into the world at large as a messenger and communicant of the dream Divine.

The first part of the book (Part II) deals with her life at Pondicherry, her aspirations and her struggles; and through all this we see the hand of the Divine Mother leading and carrying her through everything. This part of the book is representative of the Divine dealings with our humanity and reveals to us a glimpse of Her ways and Her workings in and through the uniqueness of each nature. It shows us practically what the mind can never otherwise grasp: the mysterious alchemic touch of Divine Love and how it transforms our life. It starts with a touching account of how, when she expressed her wish to come and settle down in the Ashram, the Mother reminded her of the difficult life here compared to the American comforts that the aspirant Kailas must have been used to. The disciple's reply is truly inspiring, a cry from the very depths of her soul:

Are all the American comforts much to give up when I consider in balance the perfume of Your living presence and the touch of the Earth, sanctified by my Gurus, the Divine Mother and the Lord incarnate—the earth where "enchanted from the fragrance of the flowers leaps every moment to remember and the joy recalled in the song of every bird" would thrill my being with joy? …

I will leave this rich land of comfort with a salute of gratitude for all the charm she has added to my life with her luxuriantly beautiful forms, enriching my life. I will leave her not out of any disappointment or disgust, but because the time has come when I must embrace the loving dust of my Mother's Land, where the Sun shines with all its Splendour and Glory, the Land that can grow and blossom, flower and fulfil my soul. I know I will be happy anywhere and under all circumstances where You place me, because You will be with me everywhere.

The second section (Part III) deals with the Mother's Presence and Her continuing action after what we ignorantly call Her passing. Passing out of our limited human sight, yes, but not out of our hearts and the inner chambers of life where the visible and the tangible meets the invisible and the unknown. We see in this latter part how the Mother continues to guide all who are open and call Her for help not only in matters spiritual but also in matters mundane. For as we can clearly see from the beautiful account of the author's relationship with the Mother, there is no such artificial division in the eyes of the Divine between the mundane material and the sublime spiritual. All is Her glory and Her marvel and Her grace, and to the heart that can hear, the tiniest grain of sand is an occasion for Her worship and bears the stamp of Her message. The Mother, as recounted in this book, knows and receives not only our inmost thoughts, feelings and aspirations but also, depending upon our attitude, our external work and outward actions. Not only does She take charge of our spiritual life but also the material aspects of our existence. All this comes out so beautifully and with such a force of simplicity in this book, which is written in a very direct, almost a conversational style.

What makes the book even more interesting and in certain respects an important document are some of the author's deep reflections and compilations on relevant issues such as the reshaping of humanity, religion and spirituality, human unity, India – including the 1971
war –, education, and the Integral Yoga. Especially important are some of her writings on Auroville and education that have the stamp of the Mother's approval and appreciation. They are like divine documents, and we are very thankful to Kailas for sharing with us some of these priceless treasures. This brings a collective dimension to the book and gives it a universal appeal and an enduring value that goes beyond her individual life. It becomes not only the story of an individual soul helped by the Divine on its unique journey but also the story of humanity on its collective march, with the Divine intervening at crucial steps to lead it towards its inevitable future. There is, for example, a behind-the-scenes account of the beginnings of Auroville, and later on Dr Adiseshiah's 1969 radio interview on Auroville. Kailas recounts that after listening to a tape of the interview, the Mother commented: "A very powerful being came down and tied Auroville to the ground. It was needed and he did it. Now, Auroville will be a reality and the world will see it."

The title I am with you becomes thereby not only the Divine assurance for one person but for all who struggle and hope and aspire to make this earth a better place. Thus everyone can find something of interest for himself, something inspiring, even something that meets his unique need in this book.

The book is reasonably priced at Rs 250 considering that it runs to more than 600 pages, which are neatly presented. It also contains photographs of some of the cards painted by the author and sent to the Mother or received by Her, adding an artistic and colourful dimension. It is also worthwhile to mention the Mother's work on flowers with Richard Pearson, as this section will delight and enlighten those interested in learning how flowers can help us on the path of Yoga, turning "the razor's edge" into a delightful journey, the path of joy and smiles. It brings home the point that the Divine communicates to us in thousands of ways if we care to listen.

In addition to some compilations from Sri Aurobindo's writings, there are several beautiful and inspiring talks by the author such as "Man,—Slave or Free?", "Relevance of Sri Aurobindo to the Modern World", and others on issues of general interest. Also included are detailed travelogues of her visits to the USA and Europe and finally, as icing on the cake, some of her poems. Indeed, this account of the long and winding journey of her life culminates with these inspired lines from one of her poems:

As I sip drop by drop,
lighter than air am I lifted
to Thy home of Bliss,
where a thousand resplendent suns
blossom like lotuses of variant hues,
awaiting Thy command to new-create
Thy worlds of Truth, Beauty and Bliss.

Thou art seated there, Mother supreme,
With Thy radiant majesty divine,
Wisdom piercing through lustrous eyes
and Love through every breath of Thine,
weaving with soft delicate fingers
Thy perfections of Beauty and
splendours of Love, Truth and Delight!

Spontaneously my being sings:
‘Victory to Thee, O Mother Divine!
And Glory to Thee, Sri Aurobindo!
Salutations to the Lord Supreme!'

— Alok Pandey

Dr Pandey, psychiatrist and philosopher, is a seeker on the path of Sri Aurobindo's yoga. He writes and lectures extensively on varied issues of life and yoga.
May 2008