Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sir Stafford Cripps Proposal Part2

the Grace will withdraw and then the nation will suffer terribly, calamity will overtake it.
" 'Only some months ago, the same Grace presented itself at the door of France, immediately after the fall of Dunkirk, in the form of Churchill's offer to her to have joint nationality with England and fight the enemy. Sri Aurobindo said that it was the right idea, and it would also have helped His work immensely. But France could not raise herself above the ordinary mind, and rejected it. So the Grace withdrew and the Soul of France has gone down. One doesn't know when the real France will be up again.
" 'But India with her background of intense spiritual development through the ages, must realise the Grace that is behind this offer. It is not simply a human offering. Of course its form has been given by the human mind, and it has elements of imperfection in it. But that does not matter at all. Have faith in the Grace and leave everything to the Divine who will surely work it out.
" 'My ardent request to India is that she should not reject it. She must not make the same mistake that France has done recently and that has plunged her into the abyss.'
"As soon as She had finished speaking She hurried back to Her dressing room, without a word or a look at anybody. Later, on the same day, the first of April, 1942, when She returned from the Prosperity after the distribution, She disclosed that, Sri Aurobindo had already sent a telegram to Sir Stafford, and the latter
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had reciprocated very heartily, and both the telegrams were being put on the notice board by Nolini. We then read the messages and were very much encouraged.
"But the next day or the day after it, the Congress announced that it had rejected the offer. The Mother was quite unperturbed; She only said, 'Now calamity will befall India.'
"The events that followed in India right up to now need no mention.. We have been paying all along for our mistake."
The next issue, if not so great in magnitude, was the Japanese aggression. Japan, like a minor Hitler, had established its supremacy in the East. But Sri Aurobindo had never taken Japan's aggression very seriously. On the contrary, he once remarked that should Hitler become supreme in the West and turn his forces towards the East, Japan's power might be useful in confronting Hitler and checking his advance. This remark supporting as it were Japan's blaze of imperial conquest baffled me at the time. Did he want Japan's rise to serve as a counterblast to Hitler's problematic thrust towards the East? Or could it be read as a move to force America into the War? At any rate it was quite evident from our talks that Japan's dramatic conquests did not disturb him, as did Hitler's. But it was only when Japan's design on India, aided by some of our misguided patriots, was palpably clear, that Sri Aurobindo, as he himself avowed, used his spiritual Force against Japan and "had the satisfaction of seeing the tide of Japanese victory which had till then swept everything before it, change immediately into a tide of rapid, crushing
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and finally immense and overwhelming defeat".
We heard of the Japanese bombing of Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam, we also heard that Japanese warships had come to the Indian Ocean at Trincomali and the next information that reached us almost immediately was that they had exploded and sunk before they had time to invade India! In the North-East the I.N.A.¹ with the Japanese army at its back was triumphantly marching into Assam. The Indian army seemed to be in a panicky retreat, and the British Government, counting its imperial glory to be almost at an end, was preparing to leave India. The then Governor of Bengal seemed to have said at a cabinet meeting, "This time the game is up." When the words were reported to Sri Aurobindo he remarked, "Now the wheel will turn." For the Allies the situation at that moment was desperate everywhere, in Africa, in India, in Europe.
At this jubilant moment of the enemy, India's destiny intervened. A heavy downpour from heaven inundated the dense Assam jungles for days together, so that, bogged in the flood and mud, the invading army with its liberation force had to liberate itself from the wrath of Nature and beat an ignominious retreat. Yet rain during that season had never been heard of before.
In this context let us quote what the Mother said to a sadhak in 1927, when he asked how India was likely to get freedom. The Mother's prophetic reply was, "When a Japanese warship will come to the Indian Ocean." In fact, the Mother had visioned India's Independence In 1920. It was when she and Sri Aurobindo were in

¹ The Indian National Army of Subhash Bose.
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meditation, and she reached a state of consciousness from which she told Sri Aurobindo: "India is free."
Sri Aurobindo: How?
The Mother: Without any fight, without a battle, without a revolution. The English themselves will leave, for the condition of the world will be such that they won't be able to do anything else except go away.
It took twenty-seven years for that vision of the truth-plane to actualise itself on the material plane. In those early days the Mother used to pay special visits to the rooms of the sadhaks. One day A asked her, "How is India likely to get freedom?" She replied, "Listen! The British did not conquer India. You yourselves handed over the country to the British. In the same manner the British will themselves hand over the country to you. And they will do it in a hurry as if a ship were waiting to take them away."' How true was the prophecy!
Today the achievement of India's freedom is attributed to various factors: the August movement, Non-cooperation, the Terrorist movement, the I. N. A. and others; the factor that played the decisive part is either not admitted or ignored altogether. From Sri Aurobindo's pronouncements we can assert that his Force was principally responsible for the success of the Allies and the defeat of the Japanese, thereby helping India to gain her freedom. In fact, India's freedom had been his constant dream from his very boyhood. Even during his intense sadhana in Pondicherry, it was always in his mind and he indefatigably worked for it in the yogic way till he became convinced that freedom was

¹. Narayan Prasad: Life in Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Pondicherry, 1965).
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inevitable. As far back as 1935, when I asked him if he was working for India's freedom, he replied, "That is all settled, it is a question of working out only.... It is what she will do with her independence that is not arranged for - and so it is that about which I have to bother."
The other causes then could be considered no more than contributory, even if indispensable factors. Out of all these, I may make some comment on the claims of the I. N. A. Whatever significance there may be in its claims, the role it played was fraught with most dangerous consequences. I wonder how our countrymen had no apprehension of them. It was a fatal game the I.N.A. played, thinking that the Japanese, after the conquest of India, would peacefully leave the country letting the I.N.A. enjoy the fruit of its victory, or that India would be able to fight and drive them out. Sri Aurobindo pointing out what would have been our condition, had Japan entered India, said, "Japan's imperialism being young and based on industrial and military power and moving westward, was a greater menace to India than the British imperialism which was old, which the country had learnt to deal with and which was on the way to elimination."

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