When I was a child of about thirteen, for nearly a year every night
as soon as I had gone to bed it seemed to me that I went out of my body
and rose straight up above the house, then above the city, very high
above. Then I used to see myself clad in magnificent golden robe, much
longer than myself; and as I rose higher, the robe would stretch, spreading
out in a circle around me to form a kind of immense roof over the city.
Then I would see men, women, children, old men, the sick, the unfortunate
coming out from every side; they would gather under the outspread robe,
begging for help, telling of their miseries, their suffering, their
hardships. In reply, the robe, supple and alive, would extend towards
each one of them individually, and as soon as they had touched it, they
were comforted or healed, and went back into their bodies happier and
stronger than they had come out of them. Nothing seemed more beautiful
to me, nothing could make me happier; and all the activities of the
day seemed dull and colourless and without any real life, beside this
activity of the night which was the true life for me. Often while I
was rising up in this way, I used to see at my left an old man, silent
and still, who looked at me with kindly affection and encouraged me
by his presence. This old man, dressed in a long dark purple robe, was
the personification - as I came to know later - of him who is called
the Man of Sorrows.
Now that deep experience, that almost inexpressible reality, translated
in my mind by other ideas which I may describe in this way:
Many a time in the day and night it seems to me that I am, or rather
my consciousness is, consecrated entirely in my heart which is no longer
an organ, not even a feeling, but the divine love, impersonal, eternal;
and being this Love I feel myself living at the centre of each thing
upon the entire earth, and at the same time I seem to stretch out immense,
infinite arms and envelop with a boundless tenderness all beings, clasped,
gathered, nestled on my breast that is vaster than the universe....
Words are poor and clumsy, O divine Master, and mental transcriptions
are always childish....But my aspiration to Thee is constant, and truly
speaking, it is very often Thou and Thou alone who livest in this body,
this imperfect means of manifesting Thee.
May all beings be happy in the peace of Thy illumination!