'[The Mother] had a small book by her table. She opened the book at random and said, “Here, read this.” The sentence was Sri Aurobindo telling someone in a letter, “Shiva and I are one.”' [bold added]- 'Interview with Sunanda Poddar'
In her 1961 Agenda, the Mother remembered 1926 as the year Shiva refused to incarnate until the Supramental Yoga was complete. Krishna however 'consented' to be FIXED in Sri Aurobindo [bold added]:
The Mother’s Agenda
2 August 1961
There's a ledge above the pillars there, where all the gods used to sit – Shiva, Krishna, Lakshmi, the Trimurti, all of them – the little ones, the big ones, they all used to come regularly, every day, to attend these meditations. It was a lovely sight. But they didn't have this kind of adoration for the Supreme. They had no use for that concept – each one, in his own mode of being, was fully aware of his own eternal divinity; and each one knew as well that he could represent all the others (such was the basis of popular worship, and they knew it). They felt they were a kind of community, but they had none of those qualities that the psychic life gives: no deep love, no deep sympathy, no sense of union. They had only the sense of their OWN divinity. They had certain very particular movements, but not this adoration for the Supreme nor the feeling of being instruments: they felt they were representing the Supreme, and so each one was perfectly satisfied with his particular representation.
Except for Krishna.... In 1926, I had begun a sort of overmental creation, that is, I had brought the Overmind down into matter, here on earth (miracles and all kinds of things were beginning to happen). I asked all these gods to incarnate, to identify themselves with a body (some of them absolutely refused). Well, with my very own eyes I saw Krishna, who had always been in rapport with Sri Aurobindo, consent to come down into his body. It was on November 24th, and it was the beginning of “Mother.”
Yes, in fact I wanted to ask you what this realization of 1926 was.
It was this: Krishna consented to descend into Sri Aurobindo's body – to be FIXED there; there is a great difference, you understand, between incarnating, being fixed in a body, and simply acting as an influence that comes and goes and moves about. The gods are always moving about, and it's plain that we ourselves, in our inner beings, come and go and act in a hundred or a thousand places at once. There is a difference between just coming occasionally and accepting to be permanently tied to a body – between a permanent influence and a permanent presence.
These things have to be experienced.
But in what sense did this realization mark a turning point in Sri Aurobindo's sadhana?No, the phenomenon was important FOR THE CREATION; he himself was rather indifferent to it. But I did tell him about it.
It was at that time that he decided to stop dealing with people and retire to his room. So he called everyone together for one last meeting. Before then, he used to go out on the verandah every day to meet and talk with all who came to see him (this is the origin of the famous “Talks with Sri Aurobindo”... – Mother is about to say something severe, then reconsiders – anyway...) I was living in the inner rooms and seeing no one; he was going out onto the verandah, seeing everyone, receiving people, speaking, discussing – I saw him only when he came back inside.
After a while, I too began having meditations with people. I had begun a sort of “overmental creation,” to make each god descend into a being – there was an extraordinary upward curve! Well, I was in contact with these beings and I told Krishna (because I was always seeing him around Sri Aurobindo), “This is all very fine, but what I want now is a creation on earth – you must incarnate.” He said “Yes.” Then I saw him – I saw him with my own eyes (inner eyes, of course), join himself to Sri Aurobindo.
Then I went into Sri Aurobindo's room and told him, “Here's what I have seen.” “Yes, I know!” he replied (Mother laughs) “That's fine; I have decided to retire to my room, and you will take charge of the people. You take charge.” (There were about thirty people at the time.) Then he called everyone together for one last meeting. He sat down, had me sit next to him, and said, “I called you here to tell you that, as of today, I am withdrawing for purposes of sadhana, and Mother will now take charge of everyone; you should address yourselves to her; she will represent me and she will do all the work.” (He hadn't mentioned this to me! – Mother bursts into laughter)
These people had always been very intimate with Sri Aurobindo, so they asked: “Why, why, Why?” He replied, “It will be explained to you.” I had no intention of explaining anything, and I left the room with him, but Datta began speaking. (She was an Englishwoman who had left Europe with me; she stayed here until her death – a person who received “inspirations.”) She said she felt Sri Aurobindo speaking through her and she explained everything: that Krishna had incarnated and that Sri Aurobindo was now going to do an intensive sadhana for the descent of the Supermind; that it meant Krishna's adherence to the Supramental Descent upon earth and that, as Sri Aurobindo would now be too occupied to deal with people, he had put me in charge and I would be doing all the work.
This was in 1926.
It was only... (how can I put it?) a participation from Krishna. It made no difference for Sri Aurobindo personally: it was a formation from the past that accepted to participate in the present creation, nothing more. It was a descent of the Supreme, from... some time back, now consenting to participate in the new manifestation.
Shiva, on the other hand, refused. “No,” he said, “I will come only when you have finished your work. I will not come into the world as it is now, but I am ready to help.” He was standing in my room that day, so tall (laughing) that his head touched the ceiling! He was bathed in his own special light, a play of red and gold... magnificent! Just as he is when he manifests his supreme consciousness – a formidable being! So I stood up and... (I too must have become quite tall, because my head was resting on his shoulder, just slightly below his head) then he told me, “No, I'm not tying myself to a body, but I will give you ANYTHING you want.” The only thing I said (it was all done wordlessly, of course) was: “I want to be rid of the physical ego.”
Well, mon petit (laughing), it happened! It was extraordinary!... After a while, I went to find Sri Aurobindo and said, “See what has happened! I have a funny sensation (Mother laughs) of the cells no longer being clustered together! They're going to scatter!” He looked at me, smiled and said, Not yet. And the effect vanished.
But Shiva had indeed given me what I wanted!
Not yet, Sri Aurobindo said.
No, the time wasn't ripe. It was too early, much too early.
It struck me as odd when I first read this, and as I read it now, that the Trimurti - the Divine Trinity - was not functioning or manifesting as fully UNIFIED community or a unified consciousness-force. But now I am thinking that is perhaps one thing that is being underscored via the washing away of the Shiva statue: that in Truth, no GOD can stand ALONE ... as an entity isolated from the Whole, from the whole movement of evolution. In Truth, Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva (the forces of Creation, Preservation and Destruction) are One.
Krishna is well-known throughout the world as the 8th Avatar of Vishnu the Preserver. In her writing, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet discusses in depth Sri Aurobindo's role as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu and lays out the case that this 9th Avatar would necessarily incarnate and influence the evolving Earthly CREATION in our New Age corresponding to the Preservation or FIXED sign of Aquarius. To be established in this Age is the Unity-Consciousness, where All is known as One Being and One Becoming, including of course the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. [See: Secrets of the Earth - Questions and Answers on the Line of Ten Avatars of Vedic Tradition]