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TitleWords of Long Ago
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Table of Contents
                            Words of Long Ago
	Part 1
	The Path of Later On
	The Virtues
	A Sapphire Tale
	A Leader
	To Know How to Suffer
	On Thought
	On Dreams
	The Supreme Discovery
	Part 2
	7 May 1912
	14 May 1912
	21 May 1912
	28 May 1912
	4 June 1912
	11 June 1912
	18 June 1912
	25 June 1912
	2 July 1912
	Part 3
	That Which is Speaking
	On Thought – Introduction
	On Thought – II
	On Thought – III
	The Central Thought
	The Divinity Within
	The Mother and Abdul Baha
	Part 4
	Prayers and Meditations
	Part 5
	On the Mysteries of the Ascent towards God
	Two Parallel Movements
	Towards the Supreme Light
	Three Dreams
	The War
	Part 6
	Woman and the War
	Woman and Man
	Impressions of Japan
	The Children of Japan
	To the Women of Japan
	Myself and My Creed
	Part 7
	One - Self-Control
	Two - Courage
	Three - Cheerfulness
	Four - Self-Reliance
	Five - Patience and Perseverance
	Six - The Simple Life
	Seven - Prudence
	Eight - Sincerity
	Nine - Right Judgment
	Ten - Order
	Eleven - Building and Destroying
	Twelve - The Giver
	Thirteen - The Conquest of Knowledge
	Fourteen - Modesty
	Fifteen - The Family
	Sixteen - Sympathy
	Note on the Texts
Document Text Contents
Page 1


Words of Long Ago

Page 2

Words of Long Ago



Page 151

Words of Long Ago


We were advancing along the broad white highway which led
to our goal, when at a fork in the road we saw a great number
of people massing and huddling together with expressions of
terror. We wonder why as we proceed on our way, when we
hear ourselves being called by a shepherd dressed in white, who
tells us to join the people on the bank by the roadside. And
in answer to our enquiry, he tells us that an enormous herd
of cows and bulls has been kept prisoner until now, but that
the time has come to let them loose, that the rope which is
holding them back will be removed, and that they are going to
charge and are likely to destroy everything in their path. I reply,
�Indeed these creatures are full of vigour and sometimes even of
apparently blind violence, but for people such as we two who
are walking straight on our way, there is nothing to fear; bulls
have never done us any harm.� But the shepherd insists, saying
that it is really something exceptional and unprecedented. So as
not to vex him we stop and stand by the roadside in front of the
crowding people. But there again he insists, saying, �Not there,
not there, you will be trampled down, behind.� And he makes
us stand behind all the others, back from the side of the road.

At that moment, in the distance, I catch sight of the im-
mense herd of cows and bulls; the rope that held them back is
removed and they surge forward, charging straight in front of
them; and if anyone had been in their path, they would certainly
have trampled him down. When all have passed, the leader of
the herd, who had been kept until last, is let loose. He is a
splendid, enormous white bull. Instead of following the same
path as the others, he turns to the right, in front of us, following
the descending path. But after a moment he stops, looking for
something, does not �nd it, retraces his steps, and �nally sta-
tions himself just in front of me. Then I see that it is a triple
bull, composed of three bulls closely bound together. One of the
three (the middle one, I think) was a little less white than the


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Three Dreams

two others. To my left there was a priest who, at the sight of this
enormous creature charging upon us and halting just in front
of me, is seized with a great fear. And in his fright he begins
to move restlessly. Then I say to him, “Well then, what about
your faith in God? If He has decided that you are to be trampled
down by this bull, won’t you find that His will is good?” Rather
ashamed of himself, he wants to look brave, so he starts talking
to the bull and giving him friendly pats on the muzzle. But the
powerful creature was beginning to lose patience. And I was
thinking, “With his fear, this fool will really end up by causing
a disaster.” “We had better go away,” I said, turning towards
“Him”. And without any further care for the bull, we set out
on our way once more. We have scarcely taken a few steps on
the road when we see the bull quietly passing beside us, calm
and strong. A little farther on, I see another bull coming in the
opposite direction, all reddish-brown, with a wild and ferocious
look, charging with its huge horns pointed forward. I look back
towards “Him”, walking a few steps behind me, and I say to
him, “This one is the really dangerous creature, the one that
is alone and going in the opposite direction to the others. This
one has evil intentions. It cannot even see us because we are on
the straight path and are protected. But I am much afraid for
the others.” Still a little farther on we hear a galloping sound
behind us, as if the ferocious bull were coming back with others.
I feel that it is time for us to reach the goal. At that moment the
road seems to be closed; in front of us there is a door that I
want to open, but my hand slips on the knob and I cannot
turn it. And yet time is pressing. Then I distinctly hear the deep
Voice, “Look.” I look up, and right in front of us, beside the
closed door, I see a wide-open door leading into a square room
which is the goal. And the voice resumes, “Enter. That is where
all the doors are to be found and you will be able to open
them all.” With a feeling of great peace and tranquil strength
I woke up.

1914 (after August)


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Note on the Texts

Part 5. This part comprises several short essays and notes entitled by
the Mother “Notes and Reflections”, and a few related writings. Sev-
eral of the pieces are dated between 1914 and 1915; the rest appear
to have been written around the same time. None of the writings
were published during the Mother’s lifetime. They first appeared in
English translation in 1978 as Part 5 of Words of Long Ago. The
original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 5 of Paroles

Part 6. The letters, essays, etc. comprising this part were written in
Japan between 1916 and 1920. “Woman and the War”, written orig-
inally in French, was published in an English translation seen and
revised by the Mother, in the Fujoshimbun on 7 July 1916. “Woman
and Man”, written in French around the same time and translated into
English by the Mother, was never published in either language during
her lifetime. “Reminiscences” also appears to have been written first
in French and translated subsequently into English, very likely by the
Mother herself. The other pieces in this part appear to have been
written originally in English. They are among the Mother’s first com-
positions in the English language. “Impressions of Japan”, dated 9 July
1915, was written in Akakura and published in the form reproduced
here in the Modern Review (Calcutta) in January 1918. “The Children
of Japan”, an incomplete letter, was written shortly after “Impressions
of Japan”. “Myself and My Creed” was written in February 1920.
“To the Women of Japan” is undated. It exists in several versions, one
of which has been chosen as the principal text; to this, passages from
other versions have been added. Part of this talk was published as “To
the Women of the World” in the annual Sri Aurobindo Circle of 1947.
Some revisions, made by the Mother for this publication, have been in-
cluded in the present text. A greater portion of the talk was published as
“Talk to the Women of Japan” in 1967. The last part of “To the Women
of Japan” incorporated passages from Sri Aurobindo’s Human Cycle,
Synthesis of Yoga, etc. The pieces in this part were published together
in English in 1978 as Part 6 of Words of Long Ago. The same pieces
were brought out in French in 1983 as Part 6 of Paroles d�autrefois.


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Words of Long Ago

Part 7. The Mother translated and adapted some stories written by F.
J. Gould which had been published in his Youth�s Noble Path in 1911.
The Mother’s versions, written in French, were first published under
the title Belles Histoires in 1946. English translations of the stories
were first brought out in 1951 under the title Tales of All Times.
These translations were revised for inclusion in Part 7 of the 1978
edition of Words of Long Ago. Several hitherto unpublished stories
were translated and added as an appendix to that volume. All the
stories were published in the original French in 1983 in Part 7 of
Paroles d�autrefois and its appendix.


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