The following excerpt concerning development of the mind in animals has been collated from 3 books of Mother Mirra, who was the spiritual counterpart of Sri Aurobindo. Both the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were God-realized sages who possessed many spiritual powers – a glimpse of which can be obtained in the Mother’s retelling of the following incident. This incident is presented below in an assimilated form, gathered from her own accounts, which have been recorded in 3 different books: Questions & Answers With Mother (1950-1951), Mother’s Agenda (Volume 2) and Questions & Answers With Mother (1955).
I had a very sweet little cat, absolutely civilized, a marvellous cat named Kiki. He had a wonderful color and was just like velvet.
We used to have meditations and he would come, get up on a chair and go into trance; he would make the brusque movements of trance during the meditation. And I had to rouse him out of it, otherwise he wouldn’t wake up!
This cat Kiki, was born in the house and had the habit all cats have, that is to say, if something moved, it played with that. Just then there was in the house a huge scorpion; as was its habit, the cat started playing with the scorpion. And the scorpion stung it.
But it was an exceptional cat; it came to me, it was almost dying, but it showed me its paw where it was bitten—it was already swollen and in a terrible state. I took my little cat—it was really sweet—and put it on a table and called Sri Aurobindo.
I told him, “Kiki has been stung by a scorpion, it must be cured.” The cat stretched its neck and looked at Sri Aurobindo, its eyes already a little glassy.
Sri Aurobindo pulled up a chair, sat down facing the table and began to gaze at Kiki. This lasted about twenty or twenty-five minutes. Then suddenly the cat relaxed completely and fell asleep. When he woke up, he was entirely cured. Sri Aurobindo didn’t touch him, he didn’t do anything; he simply gazed at him.
In those days, I had the habit of holding a meditation in the room where Sri Aurobindo slept and it was regularly the same people who came; everything was arranged. But there was an armchair in a corner, in which this very cat always settled beforehand—it did not wait for anyone to get into the chair, it got in first itself! But it never came in until we were beginning the meditation. It settled there and remained there throughout the meditation.
And regularly it went into a trance! It was not sleeping, it was not in the pose cats take when sleeping: it was in a trance, it used to start up, it certainly had visions. And it let out little sounds. It was in a profound trance. It remained thus for hours together.
We indeed would finish but it remained, and it was only when I went to take it, called it in a particular way, brought it back into its body (to its normal body consciousness), that it consented to go away; otherwise no matter who came and called it, it did not move.
Well, this cat always had a great aspiration, a kind of aspiration to become a human being; and in fact, when it left its body (at death) it entered a human body. Only it was a very tiny part of the consciousness, you see, of the human being; this one was a cat which leaped over many births, so to say, many psychic stages (i.e. many stages of development of the mind and consciousness in animal births) to enter into contact with a human body. It was a simple enough human body, but still, all the same, (a human body). It happens… I think these are exceptional cases, but still it happens.
“It is the egoistic ignorance of man that makes him think he is the highest being in creation. He is high because there is in him the possibility of evolving into a divine life, as he has a developed mind.
But it does not necessarily follow that man has used his mind for evolving (to a higher consciousness). On the contrary, because he has a mind, man has also an infinite capacity to be devilish (and thus devolve to a lower consciousness).”
– Sri Aurobindo in Evening Talks with A.B. Purani
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