The mystery and magic of Sri Aurobindo’s life remains incomplete without mentioning the wonder whom the world knows now as the Mother. Born on the 21st Feb 1878, in Paris, to an Egyptian Turkish parents, the Mother (aka Mirra) had met Sri Aurobindo for the first time in 1914, following the lead of her own spiritual experiences and joined him permanently as his spiritual collaborator in 1920.
Even before coming to Pondicherry she had been an adept in Buddhist Yoga and the Yoga of the Gita. Her vast and profound spiritual and occult knowledge had impressed many spiritual leaders of the time.
An accomplished artist, painter and musician, she had her own set of experiences and realisations to justify that the present civilisation was fast approaching the completion of its cycle and is destined to be replaced by another more harmonious, truer, beautiful and divine race of superhuman beings.
An initiate of profound and ancient occult mysteries she had mastered the entire occult domain and identified her consciousness with the Highest at a very young age.
Though in the course of her inner and outer life she had met many Masters and beings of a higher order, it was only after she met Sri Aurobindo that she realised where her work and mission lay. She realised in him the Krishna of her inner vision with whom she had a fairly constant contact since childhood. She realised in him the Divine descended in a human form, the Avatara of the future who would lead mankind out of the mental age with its primacy of reason to the coming Supramental Age with the blossoming of intuition.
In 1920, when she returned to India for good, she started her work along with Sri Aurobindo. When Sri Aurobindo withdrew completely into seclusion to enter into a still deeper tapasya, the task of giving a concrete shape to Sri Aurobindo’s teachings came upon the Mother. Since then life began to change around Sri Aurobindo. It was as if a mighty Shakti was pouring herself into human vessels to embody and create her many-sided dynamic splendour. Consequently the Ashram grew with its rich inner life and multifarious activities, with an effort to uplift them to their highest as was done in the Ashrams of ancient India.
Subsequently, when Sri Aurobindo withdrew behind the material scene in 1950, taking along with him the burden of darkness and the poison of earth nature, the Mother single-handedly organised and continued the Ashram activities which were fast expanding in each and every sphere. The cry and longing, the aspiration for a divine perfection upon Earth had been lit in the heart of humanity and, consequently, more and more people were being drawn to the Ashram at Pondicherry. Subsequently, due to Sri Aurobindo and her tapasya, the Supermind eventually descended and began to manifest in earth atmosphere since the 29th Feb 1956.
Her main work completed, her mission fulfilled, it was now her turn to gradually withdraw into a most hazardous and untried terrain of what cane to be later known as the ‘Yoga of the Cells.’ In the meanwhile the work of expansion of the little nucleus of aspirants continued to grow enormously as a huge and mighty tree springs out from a tiny seed. The Sri Aurobindo Society and later on Auroville, the city of dawn, an international township near Pondicherry began to take roots in the human soil. The dream of the Divine began to take shape. Just then the Mother too withdrew from the material range of our vision on the 17th Nov 1973, letting the Supramental Force, the Shakti do the rest.
Of course, just like Sri Aurobindo, She remains close to earth, easily available and accessible to all who seek her with love or through service or simply with an aspiration in their heart for a diviner life. To others who have known little or simply heard of her, she remains a mystery, like the Egyptian Sphinx that guards the gates of Eternity lending her secret to the rare few pilgrims, or the Phoenix bird that rises from the ashes and dies to live eternally and conquers Death and discovers immortality by taking a plunge of oblivion into the dark and dangerous abyss of death.
Sri Aurobindo beautifully summarises the Divine Mother in her avataric role in these mantric lines from Savitri:
‘A deep of compassion, a hushed sanctuary,
Her inward help unbarred a gate in heaven;
Love in her was wider than the universe,
The whole world could take refuge in her single heart…..’
‘If this is she of whom the world has heard,
Wonder no more at any happy change.
Each easy miracle of felicity
Of her transmuting heart the alchemy is.’
(Savitri; Book 12: Page 723)