the mother

THE MOTHER'S LIFE AND WORKS
| who is the Mother | Pondichery | in Japan |
| final arrival in Pondy |

1914-1915, in Pondicherry
| The Arya |

After disembarking at Colombo, Mirra and Paul Richard reached Pondicherry in the early hours of March 29th 1914. While approaching, the Mother had a vision of a huge column of light in the centre of Pondicherry and there was such a change even in the physical quality of the atmosphere that she knew that they were entering the aura of Sri Aurobindo. They met Sri Aurobindo on the very same day in the afternoon, and everything was changed. The Mother saw in front of her the Krishna of her vision, who had been guiding her all along and she knew immediately that her place and work were at his side, here in India.

The Motehr, PondyThe Mother also experienced immediately the great power of Sri Aurobindo's realisations: 

"When I first met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry, I was in deep concentration, seeing things in the Supermind, things that were to be but which were somehow not manifesting. I told Sri Aurobindo what I had seen and asked him if they would manifest. He simply said, `yes'. And immediately I saw that the Supramental had touched the earth and was beginning to be realised! This was the first time I had witnessed the power to make real what is true." 

The next day the Mother wrote in her diary: 

"It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth."
 
 

The 'Arya'

This was the beginning of a great spiritual collaboration. Its immediate outer expression was the publication of two journals, one in English and the other in French called `The Arya'. The Mother was the chief executive and took care of even the smallest details. She wrote in her own artistic handwriting the list of subscribers and maintained all the accounts. It was in the Arya that Sri Aurobindo poured forth, month after month, all the spiritual knowledge he had gained in the pursuit of Yoga, and in which all his major works were published serially, for the first time. 

Along with this a society was founded to unite all those who were open to these ideas and wanted to work for its realisation. It was called "L'Idee Nouvelle" or "The New Idea".

Urkan (in knowlege of aryans)

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1916-1920, in Japan
| In Japan | The Cherry-Tree Experience |

The Mother in JapanBut then the First World War intervened. Paul Richard had to go back to join the French Reserve Army and the Mother had to return with him in February 1915. Soon after her return she fell seriously ill and for some time her condition was so bad that even the doctors gave up all hope. But she recovered by the sheer force of her inner strength and in 1916 sailed for Japan. 

The Mother was greatly impressed by the beauty of Japan. She learned several typical Japanese customs - the tea ceremony, the flower arrangements and to dress in the Kimono. She said later:

"For four years from an artistic point of view, I lived from wonder to wonder." 

In Tokyo, the Mother stayed with Dr. & Mrs. Okhawa for one year. This is how Dr. Okhawa describes his impressions of the Mother :

"Something in her drew me to her, - call it grace, call it the immutable light of the polar star that makes the magnet point to its own centre. A fragrance was wafted from her to me as from Paradise, sweet with the scent of immemorial days. There was a light in her eyes as of the great morning of the world that was about to dawn...

You would like to know whether I have measured her vision and assessed her spirit. But I was a friend, an intimate member of the family. I was her brother.

You have known her as the Divine. And the Divine I have known as a friend and sister. She was beautiful in Western clothes. And she looked surpassingly lovely when she wore a Kimono. If I could but see, I would surely have said that she looked equally lovely in an Indian saree. 

To measure is to be apart and to assess is to be far away. Distance alone can ensure description. 

How could I, who lived in the very heart of Fujiyama, tell you about the volume of its fire and flame and the dimensions of its light?" 

And these are the recollections of Mme. Okhawa : 

"I knew her very well. She was one of those blessed spirits that one learns to love heart and soul. She came from the far-off land of France. But it was my feeling that she was all along, like me, a daughter of Japan. I could swear that she was my very sister whenever she wore a Kimono. It was for a brief while that she sojourned here. But great was my happiness when I lived with her. And when she went away, there was a mist in my eyes like the autumnal mist that hangs over Tokyo and on the ocean around. 

I do not know what it is to be a mother. But I probably know more than any other what it is to be a sister." 

The Cherry-Tree Experience

The Mother had many interesting experiences in Japan. In one of them she completely identified herself with the consciousness of a cherry-tree: 

"A deep concentration seized on me, and I perceived that I was identifying myself with a single cherry-blossom, then through it with all cherry-blossoms, and, as I descended deeper in the consciousness, following a stream of bluish force, I became suddenly the cherry-tree itself, stretching towards the sky like so many arms its innumerable branches laden with their sacrifice of flowers. Then I heard distinctly this sentence: 

Thus hast thou made thyself one with the soul of the cherry-trees and so thou canst take note that it is the Divine who makes the offering of this flower-prayer to heaven. 

When I had written it, all was effaced; but now the blood of the cherry-tree flows in my veins and with it flows an incomparable peace and force. What difference is there between the human body and the body of a tree? In truth, there is none: the consciousness which animates them is identically the same.

Then the cherry-tree whispered in my ear : 

"It is in the cherry-blossom that lies the remedy for the disorders of the spring."

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1920-1973, final arrival in Pondy
| The Descent of the Overmind Conciousness | Growth of the Ashram |
| Sri Aurobindo Leaves His Body | Descent of the Supermind | Pondicherry unites with India� |
| The Mother Leaves Her Body |

In 1920 the Mother sailed for Pondicherry. Now the most important chapter in her life was to begin. She had found her chosen and appointed place of spiritual fulfilment.

The MotherThe Mother reached Pondicherry on April 24, 1920. She was forty-two. She was pursuing an intense Yoga and the Sadhana was going on in the mental and vital planes. The result was even a physical change in her appearance.

"...after a month's yoga I looked exactly eighteen. And someone who had seen me before, who had lived with me in Japan and came here, found it difficult to recognize me. He asked me, `But really, is it you?' I said, `Obviously!'"

Until the Mother's final arrival, a few of Sri Aurobindo's followers had lived with him as members of the household. With the coming of the Mother, there were some gradual changes and a collective life took shape. Physically things were organised and regular collective meditations were started. Shri Nolini Kanta Gupta, one of the oldest disciples said of the Mother:

"The Mother taught by her manner and speech, and showed us in actual practice, what was the meaning of disciple and master;... It was the Mother who opened our eyes..." 
 
 

The Descent of the Overmind Conciousness

The foundations of the Ashram were being laid. In 1926 a great event occurred which put the seal of certainty on the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The aim of their Yoga is to bring down the highest Supramental Consciousness of the Divine and to establish it in the earth consciousness. But before this can take place, the Overmind Consciousness or the Krishna Consciousness, has to be firmly established. This descent took place on 24th of November 1926

There were then 24 disciples. On that eventful day, they gathered in the Verandah of Sri Aurobindo's room. On the wall behind Sri Aurobindo's chair was a black silk curtain showing three Chinese dragons. The tail of each dragon reached up to the mouth of the other. 

There was an old prophecy in China that Truth would manifest on earth when the three dragons would meet: they symbolise the regions of earth, mind and sky. 

After a short meditation, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, for the first time, together blessed all the disciples. From that day, Sri Aurobindo handed over the complete spiritual and material charge of all the disciples to the Mother and withdrew into seclusion to concentrate on his sadhana of the Supermind. 

Growth of the Ashram

The Mother taking classThe next few years saw great changes. The number of disciples increased and many new activities were started. This is a sadhana which tries to bring down the spirit into matter. All fields of human activity are accepted and the Mother took care of the smallest details. From an unknown experiment in one corner of India, the Ashram now grew into a great centre of yoga attracting devotees and disciples from all over the world.

Sri Aurobindo Leaves His Body 

Sri Aurobindo leaves his body, 1950In 1950, Sri Aurobindo left his body in a supreme sacrifice to hasten the descent of the Supramental upon earth. For sometime Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had discussed this possibility and Sri Aurobindo had told the Mother : 
"If necessary... I might go. You will have to fulfil our Yoga of Supramental descent and transformation." 

Descent of the Supermind 

The descent of the Supermind took place on 29th February, 1956. The Mother has described how this came about :

"This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that `the time has come', and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow." 

A message was distributed, in which the Mother significantly modified one of her earlier prayers from the future to the present tense:

"Lord, Thou hast willed, and I execute: A new light breaks upon the earth, A new world is born. The things that were promised are fulfilled."

A most decisive step in the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had been taken. The goal was certain. Now it was a question of time and of preparing the earth for the full manifestation of the Supermind. There could be no more failure, no more falling back. In the meantime the Ashram continued to grow and expand under the Mother's guidance. The Mother was busy from morning to night - meeting the disciples, listening to their problems and queries, looking after the large number of departments, taking classes for the children, encouraging them in their sports and cultural activities, giving the lead and showing the way in each and everything.

In 1952, the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education was started. 

Pondicherry unites with India� 

In 1954 Pondicherry merged politically with India. The Mother makes an open declaration : 

The Mother, Pt. Nehru, Nolini da, Smt. Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pondy"I am French by birth and early education, I am Indian by choice and predilection. In my consciousness there is no antagonism between the two, on the contrary, they combine very well and complete one another. I know also that I can be of service to both equally, for my only aim in life is to give a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo's great teaching and in his teaching he reveals that all the nations are essentially one and meant to express the Divine Unity upon earth through an organised and harmonious diversity."

The Ashram had now nearly fifteen hundred inmates. With the number of devotees increasing all over the world, the Mother started in 1960, the Sri Aurobindo Society with herself as its Executive President. In 1964 the Mother launched the project of Auroville, the city of human unity, "the City of Dawn" named after Sri Aurobindo. It is a city for 50,000 inhabitants and is hailed by people from all over the world. In 1968 the foundation stone of Auroville was laid and the Mother read out the charter herself. 

The Mother Leaves Her Body

In 1972 the Birth Centenary of Sri Aurobindo was celebrated. The Mother took a personal interest in every item and gave the following message:

"One more step towards Eternity." 

The Mother at balcony darshan

In 1973 on 17th November, after a brief illness, the Mother left her physical body. She was ninety-five. Nolini Kanta Gupta, a senior trustee of the Ashram made the following declaration: 

"Mother once told me - `If ever I leave my body, my consciousness will remain with you.' 

Mother is present amongst us and Her work continues. 

Let us once more dedicate ourselves for Her work of transformation with utmost sincerity and faithfulness." 

Yes the Mother is Eternal. Her movement is timeless. She is the Consciousness Force of the One Supreme but manifests in the world through various personalities. In the words of Sri Aurobindo : 

"Four great Aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play. 

The Mother on Saraswati puja dayOne is her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness. 

Another embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force. 

A third is vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating Grace. 

The Mother on DurgapujaThe fourth is equipped with her close and profound scapacity of intimate knowledge and careful flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things. Wisdom, Strength, Harmony, Perfection are their several attributes and it is these powers that they bring with them into the world, manifest in a human disguise in their Vibhutis and shall found in the divine degree of their ascension in those who can open their earthly nature to the direct and living influence of the Mother. To the four we give the four great names, Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati...

To the disciples, Sri Aurobindo has said :

"The Mother herself is the destination, everything is in her. When you find her you find all."

Sri Aurobindo has revealed that the Mother is also Savitri who has descended here "into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light, into the Falsehood and Error that she may convert it to the Truth, into this Death that she may turn it to godlike Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstasy of her sublime Ananda." 

The Mother, Pondicherry"At the head she stands of birth and toil and fate, In their slow round the cycles turn to her call; Alone her hands can change Time's dragon sbase. Hers is the mystery the Night conceals; The spirit's alchemist energy is hers; She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire. The luminous heart of the Unknown is she, A power of silence in the depths of God; She is the Force, the inevitable Word, The magnet of our difficult ascent, The Sun from which we kindle all our Suns, The Light that leans from the unrealised Vasts, The joy that beckons from the impossible, The Might of all that never yet came down. All Nature dumbly calls to her alone To heal with her feet the aching throb of life And break the seals on the dim soul of man And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things."

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