Life Sketch of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

Originally named Mirra Alfassa, the Mother was born in Paris on 21 February 1878. She was the daughter of Maurice Alfassa, a banker (born in Adrianople, Turkey in 1843) and Mathidle Ismaloun (born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1857). Maurice, his wife and his son, Matteo (born in Alexandria in 1876), emigrated from Egypt to France in 1877, one year before Mirra's birth. Her early education was given at home. Around 1892 she attended a studio to learn drawing and painting, and later studied at the Paris Salon.

Concerning her early spiritual life, the Mother has written: "Between 11 and 13 a series of psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to me not only the existence of God but man's possibility of uniting with Him, of realising Him integrally in consciousness and action, of manifesting Him upon earth in a life divine." In her late twenties the Mother voyaged to Tlemcen, Algeria, where she studied occultism for two years with a Polish adept, Max Theon, and his wife. Returning to Paris in 1906, she founded her first group of spiritual seekers. She gave many talks to various groups in Paris between 1911 and 1913.

At the age of thirty-six the Mother journeyed to Pondicherry, India, to meet Sri Aurobindo. She saw him on 29 March 1914 and at once recognised him as the one who for many years had inwardly been guiding her spiritual development. Staying for eleven months, she was obliged to return to France because of the First World War. She lived in France for about a year and then in Japan for almost four years. On 24 April 1920 she returned to Pondicherry to resume her collaboration with Sri Aurobindo, and remained here for the rest of her life.

At that time a small group of disciples had gathered around Sri Aurobindo. The increase of disciples led to the founding of the Sri Aurobindo's Ashram on the 24th Nov, 1926. From the beginning Sri Aurobindo entrusted the Mother with full material and spiritual charge of the Ashram. After almost 50 years of work at every level, the Mother left her body on 17th Nov. 1973, at the age of ninety five.

There is one divine Force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe. The Mother stands for all these, but she is working here in the body to bring down something not yet expressed in this material world so as to transform life here -- it is so that you should regard her as the Divine Shakti working here for that purpose. She is that in the body, but in her
whole consciousness she is also identified with all the other aspects of the Divine.

from Volume 25, "The Mother", p. 49-50, 1920

The Mother's presence is always there; but if you decide to act on your own idea, your own notion of things, your own will and demand upon things, then it is quite likely that her presence will get veiled; it is not she who withdraws from you, but you who draw back from her.

from Volume 25, "The Mother", p. 117, 1920

The Mother's consciousness is the divine Consciousness and the Light that comes from it is the light of the divine Truth, the Force that she brings down is the force of the divine Truth. One who receives and accepts and lives in the Mother's light, will begin to see the truth on all the planes, the mental, the vital, the physical. He will reject all that is undivine, -- the undivine is the falsehood, the ignorance, the error of the dark forces; the undivine is all that is obscure and unwilling to accept the divine Truth and its light and force. The undivine, therefore, is all that is unwilling to accept the light and force of the Mother. That is why I am always telling you to keep yourself in contact with the Mother and with her light and Force, because it is only so that you can come out of
this confusion and obscurity and receive the Truth that comes from above.
When we speak of the Mother's Light or my Light in a special sense, we are speaking of a special occult action -- we are speaking of certain lights that come from the Supermind. In this action the Mother's is the White Light that purifies, illumines, brings down the whole essence and power of the Truth and makes the transformation possible. But in fact all light that comes from above, from the highest divine Truth is the Mother's.
There is no difference between the Mother's path and mine; we have and have always had the same path, the path that leads to the supramental change and the divine realisation; not only at the end, but from the beginning they have been the same.
The attempt to set up a division and opposition, putting the Mother on one side and myself on another and opposite or quite different side, has always been a trick of the forces of the Falsehood when they want to prevent a Sadhak from reaching the Truth. Dismiss all such falsehoods from your mind.
Know that the Mother's light and force are the light and force of the Truth; remain always in contact with the Mother's light and force, then only can you grow into the divine Truth.

from Volume 26, "On Himself", p.455,
10 September 1931

Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on 15 August 1872. At the age of seven he was taken to England for his education. There he studied at St. Paul's School, London, and at King's College, Cambridge. Returning to India in 1893, he worked for the next thirteen years in the Princely State of Baroda in the service of the Maharaja and as a professor in the state's college.

In 1906 Sri Aurobindo quit his post in Baroda and went to Calcutta, where he became one of the leaders of the Indian nationalist movement. As editor of the news- paper Bande Mataram, he boldly put forward the idea of complete independence from Britain. Arrested three times for sedition or treason, he was released each time for lack of evidence.

Sri Aurobindo began the practice of Yoga in 1905. Within a few years he achieved several fundamental spiritual realisations. In 1910 he withdrew from politics and went to Pondicherry in French India in order to concentrate on his inner life and work. During his forty years there, he developed a new spiritual path, the Integral Yoga, whose ultimate aim is the transformation of life by the power of a supramental consciousness. In 1926, with the help of the Mother, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. His vision of life is presented in numerous works of prose and poetry, among which the best known are The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga and Savitri. Sri Aurobindo left his body on 5 December 1950.

What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world's history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.

from Volume 13, "Words of the Mother", pp.1-35, 14 February 1961

Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to teach this truth to men. He told them that man is only a transitional being living in a mental consciousness, but with the possibility of acquiring a new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and capable of living a life perfectly harmonious, good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious. During the whole of his life upon earth, Sri Aurobindo gave all his time to establish in himself
this consciousness he called supramental, and to help those gathered around him to realise it.

from Volume 12, "On Education", p.116, 24 July 1951

When in your heart and thought you make no difference between Sri Aurobindo and me, when to think of Sri Aurobindo will be to think of me and to think of me will mean to think of Sri Aurobindo inevitably, when to see one will mean inevitably to see the other, like one and the same Person, then you will know that you begin to be open to the supramental force and consciousness.

from Volume 13, "Words of the Mother", pp.1-35, 4 March 1958