The Mother was born in Paris, on 21st February, 1878. Her childhood name was Mirra. Her parents, Turkish father and Egyptian mother, had come to Paris just two years before.
From childhood she had an active spiritual life: at age four she was already meditating and at age five she was aware of her future work and was preparing for self-mastery.
There was no one with whom she could share her experiences in her materialistic surrounding, so on her own she continued her inner journey and developing an inner life.
“Between 11 and 13 a series of psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to me not only the existence of God but man’s possibility of uniting with Him, of realising Him integrally in consciousness and action, of manifesting Him upon 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.”1
Growing up, young Mirra had many interests and learned many skills; she was an artist, musician and dancer and her love for playing tennis continued throughout her life. She wrote essays and guided several spiritual groups. She was also an accomplished occultist. From 1906 to 1908 she spent two years in Algeria to learn occultism.
The Mother has given insights on occultism.
“[One] must be already very conscious of oneself, have a good mastery over one’s reflexes and be above all fear, precisely – above all possibility of fear, in order to be able to enter upon it. It is a knowledge which in the modern world is hardly recognised as scientific, but it is scientific in the sense that it follows some definite processes and that if the circumstances are correctly reproduced, the same results are obtained. It is a progressive science and one can devote oneself to it, can make quite a regular progress, as logical as in all the sciences that are acknowledged as such in modern times. But this one concerns a reality or certain realities which do not belong to the most material domain. One needs special capacities and a special development to be conscious in that domain, for it escapes our ordinary senses.”2
In March 1914, as she came to Pondicherry and met Sri Aurobindo, she at once recognised him to be the Krishna of her dreams. The following passage is from the prayer she wrote the next day in her diary,
“It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.”3
In a few months, the Mother helped Sri Aurobindo to start a monthly journal, Arya, but soon the First World War broke out and in February 1915 she had to return to France. In 1916 from France she went to Japan and from there in 1920 she came to Pondicherry, this time for good.
In 1926, Sri Aurobindo entrusted her with the full responsibility of the Ashram’s management and the practitioners’ spiritual development while he himself went into seclusion. The Mother created many work units, guided Ashramites in their works and spiritual discipline, started the Ashram’s school, taught students as well as guided the practitioner teachers, taught art to several disciples, directed Sri Aurobindo’s plays which were performed in the Ashram Theatre. Later she organised facilities for physical education for the Ashramites and students. The number of Ashramites rose from 24 to some 1200 under her patronage.
After Sri Aurobindo’s Mahasamadhi [conscious leaving of the body] in 1950, the Mother experienced a passing of his consciousness into hers. From then onwards she would continue her works in the Ashram and also carried on Sri Aurobindo’s work of inner concentration.
The Mother beautifully summarizes her mission thus: “…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 organised and harmonious diversity”.4
On 29th February 1956 she accomplished the inner work she had started with Sri Aurobindo and was able to bring down the Supramental Consciousness in Earth matter. Later in 1967 she said that the new consciousness had become an active force on the Earth. During her last years she was experiencing the action of the Supramental Consciousness in the cells of her body.
The Mother took Mahasamadhi (left body) on 17th November 1973.
Sri Aurobindo has explained that the Mother was not a human being who developed to embody the Divine Mother, but rather was Her conscious incarnation.
“The Divine puts on an appearance of humanity, assumes the outward human nature in order to tread the path and show it to human beings, but does not cease to be the Divine. It is a manifestation that takes place, a manifestation of a growing divine consciousness, not human turning into divine. The Mother was inwardly above the human even in childhood.” “The Mother comes in order to bring down the supramental and it is the descent which makes her full manifestation here possible.”5
- CWM Vol. 13, P: 39
- CWM Vol. 06, P: 38
- CWM Vol. 01, P: 113
- CWM Vol. 13, P: 43
- CWSA Vol. 32, The Mother with Letters, P: 31-32
(Extact from ‘An Introduction to the Integral Yoga‘)