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The Mother

The Work is Done !

France… The First Meeting

Mira Alfassa

Mirra Alfassa was born on February 21, 1878, in Paris, the year following the installation in France of her father, Moïse Maurice Alfassa, of Turkish origin born in Adrianople, and of her mother, Mathilde Ismalun, born in Alexandria in Egypt. He, a banker and mathematician, of Muslim faith, and she, a follower of Karl Marx, of the Jewish faith, were atheistic and materialistic. In itself, his parents already formed an extraordinary couple through their confession of origin, their atheism and their freedom to think.

Like all great beings, certain experiences and situations foreshadow an exceptional destiny from childhood.

Extract from Volume 13 of the Words of the Mother, p.38 – Pondicherry, 1920:

How I Became Conscious of My Mission When and how did I become conscious of a mission which I was to fulfil on earth? And when and how I met Sri Aurobindo? These two questions you have asked me and I promised a
short reply. For the knowledge of the mission, it is difficult to say when it came to me. It is as though I were born with it, and following the growth of the mind and brain, the precision and completeness of this consciousness grew also.
Between 11 and 13 a series of psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to me not only the existence of God but man possibility of uniting with Him, of realising Him integrally in consciousness and action, of manifesting Him upon the earth in a life divine. This, along with a practical discipline for its fulfilment, was given to me during my body’s sleep by several teachers, some of whom I met afterwards on the physical plane. Later on, as the interior and exterior development proceeded, the spiritual and psychic relation with one of these beings became more and more clear and frequent, and although I knew
little of the Indian philosophies and religions at that time I was led to call him Krishna, and henceforth I was aware that it was with him (whom I knew I should meet on earth one day) that the divine work was to be done.

In the year 1910 my husband came alone to Pondicherry where, under very interesting and peculiar circumstances, he
made the acquaintance of Sri Aurobindo. Since then we both strongly wished to return to India — the country which I had always cherished as my true mother-country. And in 1914 this joy was granted to us.
As soon as I saw Sri Aurobindo I recognised in him the well-known being whom I used to call Krishna… And this is enough to explain why I am fully convinced that my place and my work are near him, in India

This first meeting turned Mirra Alfassa’s life upside down.

Extracts from “Mother’s Diaries” and “Prayers and Meditations”

Before I even came, to leave to meet Sri Aurobindo, I had done all that was necessary to be able to start yoga. It was all ready and filed, organized – beautiful! With a superb mental construction that in five minutes, he threw to the ground. Oh! How happy I was! Phew! …
It was really a reward for all my efforts … I sat next to him, just like that, on the floor …

All of a sudden, I felt in myself like a great Force and a Peace! A silence! Massive … And I realized that I no longer had a thought, that I was absolutely in a complete blank. So, I gave thanks to the Lord and I thanked Sri Aurobindo in my heart …

It does not matter that there are thousands of beings plunged in the thickest ignorance … its presence is enough to prove that a day will come when the shadow will be transformed into light and where, indeed, Your reign will be established on the Earth.

The second meeting… the installation

After an eleven-month stay with Sri Aurobindo, she was forced to return to France because of the outbreak of the First World War. A year later, she went to Japan for a period of four years, following her husband sent by the minister of the colonies, on a trade mission to Japan.

On April 24, 1920, they returned to Pondicherry.
From that date, Mirra Alfassa settled permanently in the ashram. Her important collaboration with Sri Aurobindo is difficult to bear for her husband. He filed for divorce two years later.

In August 1926, Sri Aurobindo entrusted Mirra Alfassa with the management of the Ashram, officially founded on that date. On November 24, 1926, he publicly recognized her as “the Mother” and her Shakti. From then on, Sri Aurobindo retired to his room for twelve years. Shortly after, Sri Aurobindo published a little book called “The Mother”.

Extracts from “The Mother” by Sri Aurobindo

The supra-mental change is decreed and inevitable in the evolution of the terrestrial consciousness because this consciousness has not finished its ascent and the mind is not its final summit. But for change to happen, take shape and last, there needs to be a call from below and a willingness to recognize, not deny, light when it comes, and there has to be, from above Supreme sanction.

The power that mediates, between sanction and appeal, is the presence and the power of the Mother. Only the power of the Mother, and not some human effort or austerity, can break the cover, tear the veil, shape the vessel and bring down into this world of darkness, lies, death, and suffering, the truth, the light, divine life and the bliss of the immortals.

Divine life

Extract from Volume 2 of the Words of the Mother, p.166 – Japan, 1920:

I belong to no nation, no civilization, no society, no race, but to the Divine.

I obey no master, no ruler, no law, no social convention, but the Divine.

To Him I have surrendered all, will, life and self; for Him, I am ready to give all my blood, drop by drop, if such is His Will, with complete joy; and nothing in His service can be a sacrifice, for all is a perfect delight.

For forty-seven years, Mira Alfassa is the Mother of the Ashram.
In all, she will have spent fifty-four years in India, Indian for some, French for others … universal for the most part.

Extract from Volume 13 of the Words of the Mother, p.43 – Pondicherry, 1954:

I want to mark this day by the expression of a long-cherished wish; that of becoming an Indian citizen. From the first time I came to India — in 1914 — I felt that India is my true country, the country of my soul and spirit. I had decided to realize this wish as soon as India would be free. But I had to wait still longer because of my heavy responsibilities for the Ashram here in Pondicherry. Now the time has come when I can declare myself.
But, in accordance with Sri Aurobindo’s ideal, my purpose is to show that truth lies in union rather than in division. To reject one nationality in order to obtain another is not an ideal solution. So I hope I shall be allowed to adopt a double nationality, that is to say, to remain French while I become an Indian.
I am French by birth and early education, I am Indian by choice and predilection. In my consciousness there is no antagonism between the two, on the contrary, they combine very well and complete one another. I know also that I can be of service to both equally, for my only aim in life is to give a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo’s great teaching and in his teaching, he reveals that all the nations are essentially one and meant to express the Divine Unity upon earth through an organized and harmonious diversity.
15 August 1954


In 1968, she founded Auroville, “The City of Dawn”, a few kilometers from Pondicherry, a city that does not belong to any country, under the aegis of Unesco.

Auroville aims to be a place of universal community life, where men and women of all countries learn to live in peace and harmony, as much as possible, beyond all beliefs, political opinions, and nationalities.

Auroville’s founding charter says:

  1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But, to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
  2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
  3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realizations.
  4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of actual human unity.

The Mother left her body in 1973, during the last concreting of the four pillars of the Matrimandir, the cupola-shaped temple, with the golden roof, of Auroville.

Matrimandir - Auroville - Pondichéry

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