Act XII, Scene 6

(January 1928. The old Library room in the Ashram. An interview with the Mother. Having turned his back upon his old life, K.D. Sethna, afterwards renamed Amal Kiran by Sri Aurobindo, sits smartly dressed in European style, facing the Mother across a table.)

SETHNA: Mother, I have seen the world thoroughly. No more of it. I am sick of intellectual pursuits as well. Now I want nothing except God.

MOTHER: You have seen the world thoroughly? How old are you?

SETHNA: Twenty-three.

MOTHER: Only twenty-three and…

SETHNA: Yes, Mother. Can I stay here for good?

MOTHER (compassionately): Don't decide in a hurry. Stay here now and see how it suits you. Then…

(The Mother rises.)

SETHNA: Wait a moment, Mother. Let me make my pranam to you. You know, we Indians make a pranam to our Guru.

(The Mother smiles. She does not mention that at least a hundred times each day the Ashramites make pranams to her. Sethna prostrates before her. She blesses him. Later she relates to Sri Aurobindo how a young Parsi "taught" her the Indian way with one's Guru! Sri Aurobindo enjoys the joke.)

(Some weeks later. Sea-side, Pondicherry. Sethna, meditating alone in the morning on the pier. He was worrying in his mind about not having an opening in the heart or any extraordinary spiritual experience. He had been told that he might think of a book in the heart, opening. The mention of a book had put him out a little, for he was sick of the mental pursuits associated with books. In the course of his meditation now, he felt as if the sea were swaying right through his heart in a rhythm of wide delight.)

(Some time after 21 February 1928, when Sethna has his first Darshan of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Sethna and the Mother.)

SETHNA: May I ask if Sri Aurobindo has said anything about me?

MOTHER: "He has a good face." That's what Sri Aurobindo has said.

(The remark strikes home. Sethna is all surprise. He at once remembers that he himself had fixedly scanned Sri Aurobindo's own face at the Darshan moments and found it "good"!)

(15 August 1928. Sethna had his second Darshan, and offers to Sri Aurobindo a poem of his. He comes downstairs into Purani's room and sits still, head bent in dejection. He seemed to have lost the inner consciousness that had abided with him for a long time, almost starting from that moment at the sea-side. He had somehow faced Sri Aurobindo now with the outer mind again.)

PURANI: What's the matter?

SETHNA: I don't know.

(Suddenly he feels as if a huge solid mass were pressing from above into his head, causing giddiness, bringing strange tears into the eyes and making the heart beat wildly with joy. In the afternoon he comes to the Mother to receive a Blessing-garland from her. The Mother takes him into her interview-room.)

MOTHER: Do you know what Sri Aurobindo has said this time? There is a great change in you, he has said, and he is very pleased.

(Sethna falls at the Mother's feet and takes her Blessing.)