OVERVIEW OF THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER


by Roy Posner and MSS


In this 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 of the experiences and realizations of this revolutionary spiritual personality.

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The Mother's Path

Introduction

The Mother, 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 adventure in human history. 

Throughout the first part of the 20th century Sri Aurobindo dedicated his life to the transformation of the human race from out of its current state of ignorance, falsehood, suffering, and death to a new existence of Light, Truth, Oneness, Delight, and Immortality

Along the way, he discovered a new spiritual Power in the cosmos; an extension of the Divine consciousness which he called "Supermind," or Truth Consciousness. He believed that this Force and Power not only enabled a universe to emerge from a Divine Source, 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.

Sri Aurobindo believed that if he and a handful of followers could bring this power down into the earthly realm, and saturate their individual consciousnesses, they could become the pioneers of a new, divinized, humanity, ushering in a Divine Life on Earth.

In the 1920s, the Mother joined Sri Aurobindo in this endeavor. For decades after, she attempted to open every fiber of her being to this Force, becoming a conduit for its action, thereby affecting her own self, as well as her disciples and the conditions of the world.

Even now after her passing (1973), many across the globe continue to open to the Supramental Force and Power she embodies. Those doing so have been relieved of major problems, have seen miraculous turnabouts in their fortune, have overcome serious illness, have quickly risen to the heights in their careers, and have witnessed a dramatic change in their consciousness and being. In fact, many have acknowledged that the effectivity and power of the Force is greater since the Mother passed into the subtle planes. 

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 1973, she made the difficult attempt to transform her own physical body, overcoming its limitations of pain, and suffering, and disease and death in order to become a forerunner of a new type of human being; a new species beyond Man. 

Whereas her disciples and followers around the world aspired to change their lower mental and vital nature (i.e. their ego-sense, ignorance, limited attitudes, fixed habits, etc.), the Mother had already attained that perfection at birth. Instead her mission was to attempt to make the more difficult physical transformation of her body, being the pioneer of a new, immortal, supramentalized human species.

One of Her first goals in that regard 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 supramental 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 radical experiment of physical transformation until she left the earthly plane.

During those years she had an array of astonishing experiences in which she-

  • traversed the subtle and spiritual planes

  • embodied the future supramental being in her person

  • experienced the pulsations of Creation

  • transferred her consciousness around the world

  • altered  global events

  • sent Her Force to improve the condition of her followers

  • and many others too numerous to mention

Her experiences, captured in the 13 volume 'The Agenda,' is perhaps the most astonishing spiritual chronicle in human history.

In 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 current limited nature and discover and realize a new supernature.

Auroville has been established as an experiment in Human Unity where each individual is freed from bondage to 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, back to the land lifestyle, and dedication to a vision of a new humanity based on profound principles of personal and spiritual growth.

 

Now let's review The Mother's life from the beginning.

Mira Becomes The Mother

The Mother was born Mira Alfassa in Paris 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 materialists. 

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 Supramental Man.

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 Parisian life.



In 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.

Then there was the extraordinary time that Theon led The Mother through an out of the body experience:

"Theon 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. The 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." (MSS)

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 dark Asiatic figure

During 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 Aurobindo 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. 

The 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

Sri Aurobindo started his personal "yoga," 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 and suffering.

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

From 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.

Sri 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. 



He 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 disciples.

At 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. 

In 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.

Four 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 World

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 positive outcomes. 

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 life. 

Henry 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 to India. 

Much 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. 

The 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 government.  

The 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 lifetime. 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 late 1980s.

When 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.



In 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. 

In 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 happen.


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. 

A 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. 

Also, if 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, he could 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 world.


From around 1962 onward The Mother began in earnest her 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) consciousness. 

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.

Several times she mentioned that Sri Aurobindo might return to earth in a new Supramental body.

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 substance.

In another experience 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.

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 engineers.

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 1973 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 The Agenda

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 devotee followers.


Auroville

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.

The 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.

The Matramandir in Auroville

The 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.

The 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.

One 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.

Human 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.

It was The Mother's way to name the different communities in Auroville as peace, harmony, aspiration, etc.

The 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 inner light.

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.

Auroville 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. 

At 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.

 


ADDENDUM:

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 suddenly withdraw.

-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 Pondicherry.

-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. (It was presaged in Sri Aurobindo's epoch poem 'Savitri.')

-She said Sri Aurobindo called WWII "Mother's War," where the dark power tried to prevent her from fulfilling her destiny on earth.

-She predicted in the 1970s, the end of Communism. She indicated that Capitalism would also soon end.

-She inwardly tried to convert the papacy to something of a higher consciousness.

-In the 1970s she had visions of giant skylines of cities across Asia, when everyone would have thought that an impossibility.

-After her passing she had a direct hand in the ending of the Cold War.

-Her Force continues to have miraculous effects on her devotees throughout the world who open to it.



Further Reading

  • To read a summary of the essential spiritual experiences of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, click here.

  • To read an Introduction to the life of Sri Aurobindo, click here.

  • To see an article on how to live The Mother's Path, click here.

  • To 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 here.

  • To go to the site of the Auroville international township, click here.

  • For an overview of what a divine life on earth might be like, click here.

  • To get an answer to a problem you are having in life, click here.


Additional Thoughts on the Life of The Mother