In a haven of safety and splendid soft repose
One could drink life back in streams of honey-fire,
Recover the lost habit of happiness,
Feel her bright nature’s glorious ambience,
And preen joy in her warmth and colour’s rule.
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. [Savitri: 15]
The Mother’s final coming was the tangible sign of sure victory over the adverse forces. The first world war and the rage of Spanish flu had abated. The 24th November marked yet another major transition in Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. The day is known as the Siddhi day since with the complete fusion of Sri Krishna with Sri Aurobindo the maximum possible human perfection had become manifest. It was the Perfection of the godlike humanity whose last summit is the Overmind. The maximum summit to which human consciousness could rise within the ambit of the cosmic consciousness was achieved.
A much greater task now remained. It was to go beyond the frontiers of the cosmic consciousness and bring down from there the higher Supramental Consciousness which would in turn take humanity one step further to the Divine Perfection. It meant the creation or the manifestation and emergence of the Divine Superhumanity of the future beyond the highest godlike humanity and godly perfection of the saint and the seer that is possible at present. To facilitate this work, Sri Aurobindo stepped behind the scenes to work upon the cosmic forces and open the doors for the full manifestation of the Supermind. The Mother was now established in the forefront of the human consciousness to take the charge of the yoga, to prepare humanity as well as to organise the material and psychological aspects of the disciples who were growing in number. It is thus that the Sri Aurobindo Ashram came into existence and have been growing hence since the 24th November 1926. From this day onwards Sri Aurobindo stepped into the background and placed the Mother in the forefront of the human quest for the Ideal. The Vedantic yoga was complete. The Ishwara gave his body now for the dance of the Shakti to fulfill what he had dreamed and initiated. It was time for the Divine Shakti to take over.
The Ashram began on the 24th November 1926 with this important transition.
The Ashram is not just a community of sadhaks nor even a traditional spiritual commune where one is provided with a framework to maintain the outer bodily life while rest of the time is devoted to reading, prayers and meditative contemplation. Of course the activities required for the basic needs of life such as food and shelter are undertaken by the disciples in the spirit of service or sewa. But here almost every human activity is represented through the various departments including Science and Engineering, Music, Art and Poetry, a Centre of Education, Physical education, manual activities such as gardening and carpentry, health and healing, creative activities, among many others. This is so because the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo takes up the entire range of human activities and endeavours in its scope with a will to transmute it into something more and more divine. It is a great diversity that one finds here, not only of different human elements and personality types but also different human activities as well. In this sense the Ashram has been a pioneer in improving the human potential and in some instances going beyond the mere human to superhuman possibilities. The whole purpose of yoga is to transform and divinise human life and hence the working is on a vast field and area of life. In this sense it is a laboratory of spiritual evolution. Or we may see it as a yagyabhoomi where a world wide sacrificial yagna is being undertaken presided over by Sri Aurobindo. At the centre of it all is the Mother. It is not just to train the human being and human life to dedicate itself with the Divine as centre but more specifically the Mother who is golden gate, whose physical body is the golden temple door, whose steps are the path and gaze is the Goal. As Sri Aurobindo summarised in one short and sweet sentence of tremendous power, ‘All who are turned to the Mother are doing this yoga.’ The Avatarahood of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are central to this yoga in the sense that what they accomplish is made available to those who are ready to receive but to access it one has to open to the Mother. That is the way of the Ashram life, in fact of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. This is the central key and those who have it go through despite any and every difficulty:
This Ashram has been created with another object than that ordinarily common to such institutions, not for the renunciation of the world but as a centre and a field of practice for the evolution of another kind and form of life which would in the final end be moved by a higher spiritual consciousness and embody a greater life of the spirit. There is no general rule as to the stage at which one may leave the ordinary life and enter here; in each case it depends on the personal need and impulsion and the possibility or the advisability for one to take the step.
This is not an Ashram like others — the members are not Sannyasis; it is not mokṣa that is the sole aim of the yoga here. What is being done here is a preparation for a work — a work which will be founded on yogic consciousness and Yoga-Shakti, and can have no other foundation. Meanwhile, every member here is expected to do some work in the Ashram as part of this spiritual preparation. [CWSA 35:590]