article we try to summarize the life of a woman so enigmatic,
so fascinating, so extraordinary that it might take decades if not centuries to
understand the profundity
experiences and realizations of this
revolutionary spiritual personality.
born Mira Alfassa, collaborated with the Indian
seer and sage Sri
Aurobindo in an attempt to bring about a
fundamental change in human existence, which they
believed would culminate in a divine life on earth. For fifty years
The Mother headed the ashram founded by Sri Aurobindo, located in Pondicherry, South
India, and together with him embarked on perhaps the greatest spiritual experiment in human
Aurobindo had throughout the first part of the 20th
century dedicated his life to the transformation of the human race from
out of its current state of division, ignorance,
falsehood, suffering, and death to a new existence of Light, Knowledge,
Wisdom, Power, Truth, Peace, Peace, Beauty, Delight, Infinity, and Oneness
Along the way, he discovered a new spiritual
Power and extension
of the Divine consciousness which he called
'Supermind,' or Truth
Consciousness. He believed that this
Force and Power
was not only responsible for the creation of the
universe, but had now descended into the earth's atmosphere and could effectuate
the change that would bring about this new
spirit-based, divine human existence.
Aurobindo believed that if he along with a handful of
followers could bring this power down into the earthly realm, and into
their individual consciousnesses, they could be the
pioneers of a
new transformed humanity and a Divine Life on Earth.
In the 1920s,
the Mother, born in Algeria and raised in France, joined Sri Aurobindo in
this endeavor. For decades
after, she opened
herself to this Force, becoming a conduit for
its action; affecting her own being, the status of the gathered disciples, and the
conditions of the world.
Even now after
her passing (1974), many
across the globe continue to open to the
Supramental Force and Power she represents.
Those doing so have suddenly
been relieved of major problems,
have seen miraculous turnabouts in their fortune, have
quickly risen to the material and career heights, have overcome serious illness,
and have witnessed a dramatic change in their
consciousness, awareness, and nature. In fact,
many have acknowledged
that the effectiveness and responsiveness of the Force is greater
since the Mother's passing into the subtle plane.
Perhaps the Mother's
greatest personal achievement
occurred in the later decades of her life. From about the age of 70 until her death at age 94 in 1974, she made the difficult attempt at the transformation
of her own physical body, in order to become the forerunner of a new type of human
being; a new species beyond Man.
disciples and followers around the world aspired to change their vital
and mental nature (i.e. their ego-sense, ignorance, limited attitudes,
fixed habits, etc.), the Mother had already attained that perfection at
Thus, her mission in this
incarnation (as Divine Mother) was to make the
more difficult transformation of her physical body, thereby ushering in
a new human species with a divinized ('supramentalized') body.
One of Her
first goals was to find the inner causes of illness, suffering, and pain. A
second goal was to overcome the inevitability of death itself;
including why the cells decay over time.
With increasing frequency she saw that it was
only by surrendering to and interjecting the spiritual Force that the
programming of the cells could be
overcome, enabling a new plasticity and
responsiveness in the substance of her body. She continued this
extraordinary experiment of physical transformation until the end.
years she had an array of astounding experiences, in which she travelled
the spiritual planes, embodied the future supramental being in her
person, experienced the pulsations of Creation, transferred her
consciousness around the world, changed global events, sent Her Force
out to improve the condition of her followers, and many others
too numerous to mention her. Her experiences, captured in the 13 volume 'The
Agenda,' is perhaps the most astonishing spiritual chronicle in the
history of the human race.
1968 The Mother founded Auroville, the international community of peace and
human progress. Its purpose is to be an experimental community where
individuals can make the effort to evolve beyond their present limited
nature and discover and realize a new supernature.
has been established as an experiment in Human Unity where each
individual is freed from bondage to moral and social conventions and the
necessity of working for material possessions. There is no religion
practiced there, no money used, no ownership of property. The emphasis
is on each person discovering his/her own inner center of being behind
the social, moral, and cultural influences, and actively living from
that center, expressing it through outer works in collaboration with the
gathered community. Auroville is a UN sponsored organization attracting
people worldwide because of its openness, new age lifestyle, and
dedication to a vision of a new humanity based on principles of personal
and spiritual growth.
review The Mother's life from the beginning.
Mira Becomes The Mother
The Mother was born Mira
Alfassa in Algeria in 1878. She was born into a middle class family; her
father a mathematician, her mother a strict disciplinarian. Little Mira's
parents were not in any way spiritually inclined; they were solid
As a child in Paris, France Mira had extraordinary inner and outer
experiences. For example, at
the age of five Mira would lapse into bliss and go into a trance sometimes
when she was placed in an easy chair or during of a meal. Once in the
middle of a meal with her
outstretched hand holding a spoon, she
found herself in trance, much to the annoyance of her iron-willed mother
to whom it was a social embarrassment. Little did the mother or the
daughter know that she was a Divine child meant to preside over the
affairs of the world and to try an evolutionary experiment in her own body
to evolve the first member of the next species, which Sri Aurobindo called
Eventually she began to study all aspects of
culture, history, poetry, painting, and in her 20s moved among Paris's artistic circles. At one point her
search was intense, and yet she did not know what she
was searching for. She met an Indian in Paris who sensed her deep
aspiration. He suggested she read the Bhagavad-Gita and she obtained a
copy of it in French. The French translation was quite poor but she
understood the substance of it and received the necessary help. When she
found out that there was something inside to be sought for, she says she
rushed like a cyclone and made the discovery of her "inner
being," i.e. her higher self and soul. What
normally would take decades of efforts for spiritual type individuals, she
was able to realize in a few short months while in the middle of
her meditations she saw several spiritual figures, all
of whom offered her help of one type or another. Among them she saw a dark
Asiatic figure whom she called to herself 'Krishna'. She said that Krishna guided
her in her inner journey. She came to have total implicit faith in Krishna, and
was hoping to meet him one day in real life.
Later in 1906 she
met the enigmatic occultist named Max Theon in Algeria. A man of vision,
knowledge, and occult power, Theon lived with his wife Madam Theon, an
occultist herself, and
published a journal on spiritualism and mysticism. As it
would turn out Theon's teachings were not very different from Sri Aurobindo's, the sage she
would meet some years thereafter.
Theon had significant occult
powers. The Mother once saw Theon divert a lightning
bolt from its natural course. She once saw Madam Theon sit on her bed and
make her slippers, which were some distance away, move towards her.
there was the extraordinary time that Theon led The Mother through an out of
the body experience:
was taking Mira to other worlds in her subtle body while her physical body
lay on the floor. Traveling thus in various places of mystical interest,
Mira arrived at a place where the "mantra of Life" was inscribed in Sanskrit.
Mother knew no Sanskrit at that time but took the mantra into her memory.
Theon, standing beside her and presiding over the operation, wanted Mira to
give him the mantra. It was clear to Mira that the mantra was not intended
for him or, perhaps, it should not fall into his hands. She refused the
unspoken authoritative demand of the occult guru in whose hands her very body
and life were now entrusted. Mira was quiet and her refusal was also quiet.
Theon flew into a rage and snapped the chord that bound her to the body. Theon who had severed the chord of life through which alone
Mira could reenter her body, saw the purpose of obtaining the mantra was not
going to be served. Knowing Mira as he did, the enormity of his
impulsive act dawned on him and he revived the connection.
Eventually she was married
to Paul Richard. On a trip to India, Richard met the well-known spiritual
sage Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry India. When The Mother saw Sri Aurobindo for
the first time she recognized him as the person she saw in her visions of
the meeting Sri Aurobindo and Paul Richard sat across a table to discuss
politics, the election, and his personal prospects. Mira sat at the foot of
the table on the floor, an unusual act for an accomplished Westerner. She
found something was happening inside her head. Thoughts ceased to run, her
mind became quiet, and silence began to gather momentum. Sri Aurobindo,
while engaged in a conversation was conferring on her eternal silence,
something that normally would take decades of inner effort. Sri
was transferring it to her without her asking for it; not through a
ceremony of initiation, but casually, in spite of diverting himself in a
conversation. Mira prostrated before him without knowing that that was
what Indian followers do before their gurus.
next day she noted in her journal, "It does not matter that thousands of
beings are plunged in darkness. He whom we saw yesterday is on earth. His
presence is enough to assure us that one day Truth will rule here."
They then discussed their
plans to serve the spirit, the Divine, and to finally dissolve pain and suffering from the
earth. Together they agreed on a course of action. Mira then spent a year
in France and four years in Japan before she returned to Sri Aurobindo in
1920. There Mira became his spiritual partner on a journey to try to change the way life exists on earth.
The Vision of Sri Aurobindo
Years before Sri Aurobindo first met Mira,
he had given up his revolutionary quest to help India throw out the British
and focused his efforts on bringing down a spiritual Force that could
transform humanity and life on earth to end suffering, to move us out of
ignorance, division, and falsehood.
Sri Aurobindo started his
that is, the attempt at personal transformation and union with the Divine, thinking he
could gain enough inner power to affect events on the outside, and
liberate India from British domination. As soon as his yoga revealed to
him that India was free in the subtle plane, he realized that the Divine
had henceforth given him the new work of emancipating all of humanity from falsehood
So Sri Aurobindo gathered around him a number
of disciples to help him in the undertaking, so that suffering, pain, falsehood, cruelty, and poverty
in any form would be fully and finally abolished from earth's life. If about a dozen people could accomplish this feat in their
bodies, the Divine's truth would descend into the earthly realm, they
declared. Hence they allowed seekers to collect around them. Disciples in small numbers
gathered around them to participate in their yoga. That was how
the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded.
The Mother and the Ashram
1920 she started organizing the Sri Aurobindo Ashram efficiently. She had
to start with lessons in keeping material things and books in proper order
and proceed up to a life of personal transformation, utilizing Sri
Aurobindo's technique of Integral Yoga.
Aurobindo in 1926 reached the highest spiritual domains in his own
personal transformation. This was a turning point in his yoga and at this
point, he thought it necessary to withdraw into his room and into total
silence so that the further ascent to the Force, the Supramental consciousness and descent of that world would be accelerated.
called all the disciples and announced to them that henceforth The Mother
would take full charge of the ashram and he would live in retirement.
Mother heard for the first time that this new responsibility was conferred
on her and she had been installed officially as The Mother. Sri Aurobindo
did not consult her prior to the declaration nor did he inform her of his
intention. She too heard the news for the first time along with the
6:15 every morning The Mother appeared on the ashram balcony to initiate the day
with her blessings. Sadhaks,
who got up at 3 a.m., finished their own meditations and a good portion of
the day's work, and then assembled under the balcony to receive her
blessings. Here she collected all the aspiring souls and lifted them
upward, charging them with her spiritual energy.
those days there were only a few departments. Later, after the ashram
grew, many departments sprang up: the office, library, dining room, press,
workshops, playground, art gallery, dispensary, farms, dairies, flower
gardens, guest houses, legal department, audit department, and many
others, too. Her sadhaks
(ardent followers) worked
in all the departments and ran them as a service to the Divine. The heads
of the departments met her in the morning and took her blessings and
orders. Again at 10 a.m. she used to meet all the sadhaks
individually and bless them. Once again, in the evening at 5:30 p.m., she
conducted meditation and met each sadhak to give her blessings to them.
In this way she transmitted the force that had built inside her to those
immediately around her.
times a year she used to give public
Darshans (a spiritual
gathering where the guru bestows blessings and force) at
which a few thousand devotees gathered and received her Grace.
Affecting Events in the
Mother and Sri Aurobindo
participated in the affairs of the earth and the universe according to the
mission and the work they were doing. When it was clear that the Second
World War was inevitable, they saw the Lord of Nations leading Hitler on
and urging him to conquer the world with very tall promises. The Lord of
Nations, it was said, appeared before Hitler in a dazzling light in
shining white armor and gave him detailed advice. Sri Aurobindo called
this war, 'Mother's war.'
Sri Aurobindo used to send
his spiritual force in support of the Allies and eagerly awaited the
results of individual battles. At every important turning point of the
war, Sri Aurobindo took great interest. At the famous Dunkirk battle,
the British troops were miraculously saved when they crossed the channel
under the cloak of fog. Sri Aurobindo used to
refer to that with a smile as the mysterious fog.
When Hitler was gaining
success after success and The Mother was trying in the opposite direction,
she said the shining being that was guiding Hitler used to come to the
Ashram from time to time to see what was happening. Things changed from
bad to worse. The Mother decided on a fresh strategy. She took on the
appearance of that shining being, appeared before Hitler and advised him
to attack Russia. On her way back to the Ashram, she met that being. The
being was intrigued by The Mother having stolen a march over him.
Hitler's attack on Russia ensured his downfall.
For years The Mother and Sri
Aurobindo worked for the freedom of India from colonial rule. That occurred
in 1947. Years later the Mother was preoccupied with other events related
to India, in particular the Chinese invasion of India in 1962, the
confrontation with Pakistan in 1965, and the Bangladesh
war, which ended in the partition of Pakistan in the early 1970s. She was
consulted by a number of key individuals in Indian government during this time, and in her consciousness
she focused her Force on these events in order for them to have the most
The Mother along with Sri
Aurobindo believed that India would be the teacher and guru of the world
as it relates to the inner and spiritual life. They believed that India
and Pakistan would one day reunite, that Tibet would be independent again,
and that a number of the countries currently around India would one day
form a confederation with India. They worked in the inner, subtle realms
to see this one day come about.
Renown Visitors and Interactions
Many renown people from around the world visited The Mother in those
years. For example, the daughter of Woodrow Wilson, the US President, came
to the Ashram in the 20's and chose to remain there for the rest of her
Ford, the automobile king, heard of The Mother and wanted to meet her. On
the eve of his departure, World War II broke out and prevented his coming
later in the 1960s a
friend of John F. Kennedy took interest in The Mother and examined in
depth the philosophy and yoga of Sri Aurobindo. He met The Mother and asked
her what were the external signs by which one could discern the attainment
of the Force, the Supramental power in a person. His question was reminiscent of Arjuna asking
Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita on the battlefield of Kurekshetra,
"How does a realized person sit, walk
and speak?" The Mother explained to him the three conditions that would
reveal the attainment of the Supramental consciousness and told him that
of the three, equality, was the most significant. The visitor arranged for
Kennedy to visit The Mother, but it could not take place.
Mother's plan for Auroville, the world spiritual community founded by
The Mother was presented to Khrushchev in the 1960s while he was in power.
He felt the idea of Auroville was something worth the support of his
Mother believed throughout the 1950s to the 1970s in the rapprochement between Russia and the
US, and worked inwardly for that goal. She thought it might happen when Khrushchev
and Kennedy were in power in the early 60s, but noted that hostile forces
worked for their removal. The rapprochement never took place in her
Though she was not alive when Gorbachev almost single-handedly ended the
Cold War, we could perhaps believe she had a hand in his emergence and the
"velvet revolutions" that ended the Cold War that followed in the
India's first premier Nehru visited Pondicherry, he commented that
Pondicherry was saturated with peace; little knowing that it was the peace
of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
1971 Indira Gandhi was in a political turmoil because of the split in the
Congress party's organization. Her government had lost its majority and on
important occasions in the Parliament she relied on the support of the
opposition group. She had ordered interim elections but thought she would
be lucky if she could muster 250 seats in the house. It was at that time
friendly advice brought her the suggestion that if she sought The
Mother's support, her political and legislative uncertainty would end.
Indira heeded the advice and came to Pondicherry to meet The Mother. Her
prayer was for 250 house seats. The Mother smiled broadly, nodded her head
vigorously and granted the prayer made through her cabinet colleague Nandini. The electoral victory was a landslide win. An Indira wave swept
across the nation giving her 356 seats and the coveted two-thirds majority
required to amend the constitution.
later years she met with other renowned individuals, including the king of
Nepal. She had a significant meeting with the
Dalai Lama who had recently escaped from Chinese occupation of Tibet.
She found him to be a man of great compassion. He asked Mother if Tibet
would one day be freed of Chinese rule. She affirmed it world one day
Interaction with Disciples and Others
One of The Mother's primary roles was to serve as an intermediary
between the followers in the ashram (and others around the world) to the
new evolutionary spiritual Force,
the Truth Consciousness or Supramental consciousness, discovered by Sri
Aurobindo years before.
The Mother had accumulated great Force in her being, and became its
powerful conduit. Since she was a person living in close proximity to
the disciples, they had easy access to that Force by simply opening to
her consciousness. By surrendering to the Mother herself, the disciples
could transform themselves: from ignorance to knowledge, from incapacity
to capacity, from ill-health to health, from difficulty and strife and
pain to happiness and joy. By developing their own being, the disciples
would be collaborating in the effort by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother to
bring about the transformation of humanity.
She wrote many notes to the disciples aiding them
in their progress, and yet was often burdened by their often wanting
ways, having negative on her physical well-being. Still she felt
obligated to maintain the connection and broadcast Her Force so that the
collective of individuals could partake in the movement forward toward
the creation of a new, divine existence.
The Mother was able to bestow this force on the disciples as well as those famous
and not so famous individuals who came to visit her.
number of people not necessarily interested in yoga came to The Mother with their
prayers, and had them answered. Parents would come when a child had lost his speech or when a boy
had run away; industrialists brought their woes of strikes; unemployed
graduates prayed for jobs; patients with incurable diseases visited the ashram to
find out whether there was any hope for them; and so forth. Virtually
all of them went back rewarded; their problems solved at some point immediately
or shortly thereafter. That was (and is) The
Mother's supramental power.
any problem or news was brought to the notice of The Mother or even the
message enters the area of The Mother's power or was brought to the
ashram, the problem would be solved. (The Mother said she
holds herself responsible for everyone who had seen her, even if it is
only for a second.)
The Physical Transformation
In 1950 Sri Aurobindo left
his body, fully aware that though he had discovered the Force, and had
seen its astonishing movements and functionings through inner experiments,
not bring the Force fully enough into his own body to transform it into the new species
he wished to bring about. However he did believe that The Mother's body
was capable of this physical transformation; that her body was flexible
enough to accept the Force, so that she could make the change, so she could
in essence become the harbinger of a new species.
Sri Aurobindo said that in
Mother he found surrender to the Force, to the Divine down to physical
body itself, to its cells (beyond the mental and vital realms), the likes of which
could not be found in any other human being.
Just before Sri Aurobindo died,
he poured all of the Force from his body into her body. Also before he
died, she agreed to make the effort of physical transformation that Sri Aurobindo had
begun but was not able to complete. In fact in one sense it was because he was unable
to carry out the physical transformation that he felt it was time to leave
his physical body, so he could work at the non-physical subtle plane where
he would be more effective.
After Sri Aurobindo's passing,
the Mother took up in full the transformation of her own physical body. That
is where one of the two great legacies of The Mother begins.
After Sri Aurobindo's passing in 1950, The Mother fully took up in
earnest her promise to Sri Aurobindo to attempt the physical
transformation. In addition she continued the effort by Sri Aurobindo to
bring down the Force, the Supramental consciousness deeper and more widely
into the earthly
plane. She also worked inwardly to effect world events, including the positive
emergence of India, which she believed was on its way to fulfilling its
destiny as teacher/guru of the
From around 1962 onward The Mother began in
experiment in physical transformation. One of the primary focuses of her
endeavor was to keep herself continuously open to the Force, the dynamic,
element of the Divine that Sri Aurobindo called the Supramental power. In
fact Like Sri Aurobindo before her she continued in the effort to bring
this Force down into the earthly realm. In 1967(?) she announced that the Supramental
Force had descended fully into the earth's consciousness.
In the mean time she began
to see a changing of functioning in a number of her physical senses. She
experienced seeing, hearing, even tasting in a different way. For example,
she could look at something in a book and note how the truly important
thing stood out or shined in some manner. She could walk into a darkened
room and see even as her eyesight was deteriorating. Likewise she could
hear people better who were more organized in their thought, as opposed to
those whose thoughts processes and consciousness was muddled.
Thus she was developing a
new way of seeing and experiencing the world; perhaps a harbinger of the
way humans of the future would experience the world. Also, these
experiences indicated that she was able to experience the world
"directly" without the intervention of the senses. Experiencing
the world directly is how the Supramental consciousness (and hence a Supramental
being) would operate. One just "knows" without the
intervention of the mind, or in this case the senses. There is direct
knowledge; which is a fundamental property of the Truth (Supramental)
Another related example of
this change in Mother's physical being is the fact that the Mother reached
a stage in her 80s and 90s where she no longer slept. She would go into an
inner repose for a few hours to regenerate her energy. Once again we could
speculate that this is an attribute of a future divinized individual;
perhaps one who can replenish one's energies without the need for a
descent into the subconscious that current sleep requires.
She also began to experience
great changes as it relates to time and space. For example, as it related
to time, often she would do
something that she perceived as taking only a few moments, when an hour
actually had gone by. Or she would have done something that she perceived
as taking only an hour, when only a few minutes had gone by.
Along the way she had
various visions of the new species. At one point she had a vision of a
body, which she perceived as the Supramental body, or the body of the new
species. The being she saw was tall, slim, with no breasts, and likely had
shed the normal human functioning of breathing, digesting, and
procreating, amongst others. These functions had become incorporated in
the new body as states of consciousness rather than physical organs such
as lungs, liver, kidneys, etc.
Another time she had a
vision of a "Supramental ship" where individuals seem to be
covered in a type of gray, sticky, liquefied, clay-like substance, that
was perhaps a substance significant to and necessary to the future race.
Individuals in her vision seemed to love playing and wading in this
Another time she had a
vision of Sri Aurobindo, very tall and very athletic racing across a
distance such as 100 yards at unbelievable speeds. She noted that this
super athletic Sri Aurobindo had an incredible head, a Supramentalized head.
Several times she
mentioned that Sri Aurobindo might return to earth in a new Supramental body.
At various points in the
1960s and 1970s she referred to the fact that the cells of her body were
becoming more conscious, a key to the physical transformation. This
cellular transformation of the "mind of the cells" by opening to the
supramental Force was the key to the physical transformation. She
indicated that the cells of her body were learning to organize
themselves in a new way, were shedding the old programming in their
belief in the inevitability of decay and death, and as a result was
developing a new, more conscious mind of its own.
She often referred to death
as a mere "state of mind;" one that the cells readily accepted. If they could change their perspective, if they did not accept
death as inevitable, this could help the cells maintain their form
without degrading and deteriorating. This echoes recent discoveries in
science that each cell has the genetic code of life, and that the code if
understood could surely be altered. The difference is that with the
Mother's approach, the "code" would be modified through
consciousness, through the Force, through the cells own evolution and transformation,
rather than by making physical changes by scientists and
She noted that one of
the keys to the physical transformation was overcoming the effect of the
"physical mind," that only believes in the material, not the subtle and
causal movements and influences of life. She also indicated the negative
influence of the subconscious mind that is defeatist, filled with fear
and inertia, where illness gets reinforced, and therefore a great bar to
the physical transformation. Realizing that these were impediments to
the emergence of the new species, she focused the supramental Force into
those aspects and parts of her being.
Often the physical transformation
that she was attempting was felt as a great strain and physical pain. She
had acquired so much of the Force in her being, had begun to live so much
under the Divine influence that her current body could not in one sense
keep up. She would often say that she was often in a sort of half way
state between the incredible new experiences of the Force, and the
inability of her body to keep up, which put her in a difficult position.
Some have suggested that this is the reason she left; i.e. she could make no
further progress in the body she had. In later years under this strain she
said that her consciousness had never been greater, her mental alertness
never greater, her power to effect change in the world and for those
around her never greater, yet her body could not keep up with the change.
The Mother had weekly
meetings from 1960 till her passing in 1974 with her closest disciples,
Satprem. There she discussed her earlier life's experiences including
the occult and mystical, the ongoing progress she was making in her
efforts at physical transformation, the meaning of world events and her
effect on them, the new workings of the Force in the world, her
visions of the new race, her startling array of supernormal experiences,
and many others. These conversations were kept and were published in
French and English in the 13-volume set known as
In 1956, 1962, and the
years that followed she continued the work began by Sri Aurobindo,
bringing the Supramental Force and Consciousness deeper into the earthly
realm, formulating it into an even greater power to affect local and
global events, as well as use it to help evolve and transform her
In the 1960s, while her attempt at physical transformation
into a new human species through the power of the supramental Force was well under way, she was instrumental in another endeavor. It
was The Mother's dream to create a place where humanity could seek the Divine
without having to spend one's time trying to secure food, shelter, and
other securities of life. As a result, The Mother founded Auroville,
an international township meant for those whose ideal is to live according
to truth, who aspired to develop a new way of living, a new culture based
on higher, spiritual values.
Mother had years before an original grand scheme for Auroville, but did not
outwardly act on it for some time. In the mid-60s she received a letter from a
disciple who had a vision which rekindled The Mother's interest in the project.
She then embarked on a more modest version of her original plan.
Matramandir in Auroville
city has, in the conception of the initial architects, several zones with
roads on which automobiles are prohibited. The soul of Auroville is
Matrimandir or 'The Mother's temple'. Matrimandir is constructed as
a sphere that houses in its center a meditation hall. The construction is
uniquely arranged so that sunlight
enters the building during all hours of the day through a small hole in
the roof. At the time of the foundation in 1968, an urn of lotus bud shape
was constructed, into which earth from all nations of the world was
deposited by youth from each nation.
Mother's conception of the city and life there includes several
features. Money has no role to play in Auroville. Cars are banned. No
administration with authority over the lives of the members is created. No
one is appointed as the head or leader whom all should obey. Each member
is to be guided by his inner light only. Any structure of authority that
is created is to be functional and not to have legal or administrative
power vested in it.
main reason The Mother had in mind in founding Auroville was that the city
must be a symbol of human unity and thus prevent the next world war by its
very presence on earth. She even declared that as long as Auroville
existed, no war would break out.
tendencies of pugnacity, competition, spite, jealousy, rivalry are bound
to surface in a cosmopolitan place where hundreds of men and women gather
and live. Their daily lives offer thousands of occasions for human
interactions. The Mother wanted those innumerable occasions to become the
anvil on which human nature would consent to be beaten into a divine
shape. If in Auroville individuals shape themselves anew in the image of the Divine
and endeavor to transform their own human nature into Divine nature, life
on earth would gently turn to the Divine. This was The Mother's
intention. She even said that Auroville was a field of experimentation,
not an exhibition of already accomplished perfection.
was The Mother's way to name the different communities in Auroville as peace,
harmony, aspiration, etc.
spiritual atmosphere in the city is very powerful and unmistakable. No one
can miss it. It is easy to imagine what amount of uncertainties would loom
large in the life of a city where there is no central authority, no fixed
provision of income, no one enjoys property rights, no one has any say
over anyone else.
Still, people who visit the place are powerfully
attracted to live there. To a visitor's query, an Aurovillian doing duty
at the Indian pavilion, Bharat Nivas, answered, "Nothing is certain
here, but everything works." More than the comment of the man, the
visitor was struck by the Aurovillian's sparkling face expressing the
A regular visitor to the ashram in 1960 was crossing
a road junction and suddenly noticed the figures of The Mother and Sri
Aurobindo in the distance. The splendor of the vision was great and so
real that he lost himself totally. A few days later when the devotee was
crossing the same spot the vision recurred. Only then he took notice of
the spot on the road where he had had the same vision miles away in the
sky. He could make nothing of it. Several years later
when Auroville was founded, he understood that the spot of his vision was
the future site of the city.
has now been transformed from acres of barren land to richly forested and
planted landscape. There are dozens of mini settlements in the town, and a
number of pavilions and centers. There are major experiments and
implementations in the latest new age technologies, such as computers, the
Internet, solar technology, the latest agricultural and conservation
techniques, and so forth.
the center of the town lies the Matrimandir, the temple of the Mother, a
fabulous round sphere, topped by a great crystal that directs the sunlight
into the structure. People move freely in and out of the temple, mediating
or otherwise opening to the Force there.
Among the hundreds of inner experiences that
Mother had as narrated to Satprem in the Agenda were:
-She saw her own body as the future supramental
body - as tall, svelte, without any of the human functioning of
breathing, digestion, sexuality, and others.
-She experienced the creation of the universe as
a series of pulsations that she felt as Divine Love.
-She saw a supramental ship and workers made up
of a gray substance that was supramental in nature, symbolic of the new
species that was being born or developed in the subtle plane.
-She had taken a great golden hammer that
shattered a great wall that enabled the supramental Force to descend
onto the earth.
-She had the constant experience of trying to
infuse her cells with the Divine Force, and that the cells of the body
themselves were consciously reacting to that power, taking the first
steps towards the elimination of the decay of the human body on the way
to willed immortality.
-She was in constant communication with Sri
Aurobindo who had left his body and remained very active in the subtle
planes. She often referred to him as Lord.
-She indicated that during the China-India war
of 1962 she had sent her force and thereby caused the Chinese to
-She met with the Dalai Lama and found him to be
a man of great magnanimousness and compassion, but more of a mental man
than a spiritual one. She promised him that one day Tibet would be free
of China's occupation.
-She had regular contact with the four great
dark forces of creation ("asuras"), and helped eliminate at least two.
-She scolded the devotees who did not see a
giant subtle Sri Aurobindo sitting over the entire community in
-She narrated her experiences of her interaction
with several of the Hindu Gods who came to her, some of whom surrendered
to her as ultimate goddess as Divine Mother.
-She would walk with Krishna, and he would lay
his head on her shoulder.
-She had the mantra of life that her early
spiritual mentor Theon wanted to take from her, nearly preventing her
from reentering her body when he had severed her chord of life.
-She heard a local tree crying and calling to
her, when she had someone check it out and discovered that an ax had
been left stuck in its bark.
-She had a childhood experience where she fell
off a huge cliff, but then gently floated to the ground.
-She told of many individuals to whom she sent
her force that had the effect of healing them or preventing them from
danger, bringing them success, etc.
-She described how the Divine Mother had entered
into her being at one point, ("the great lady up there") making her the
incarnation of the Divine Mother on earth.
To read a summary of the essential spiritual
experiences of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, click
an Introduction to the life of Sri Aurobindo, click
To see an article on how to live The Mother's Path,
go to Growth Online's central site providing new insights into the
life and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, including an area
on Mother's Agenda, please click
go to the site of the Auroville international township, click here.
an overview of what a divine life on earth might be like, click here.
get an answer to a problem you are having in life, click
Thoughts on the Life of The Mother