On the birthday anniversary of The Mother, Mira Alfassa, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, on the 21st day of February, let us remember Her.
The Mother was born in Paris in 1878, and she grew up in Paris where she spent the first part of her life. In her early years She was conscious of the special purpose of Her life, of Her mission on earth. From the age of five she became conscious that she was not of this world and had a Consciousness higher than the ordinary human consciousness. At this age she began her spiritual discipline.
She came in contact with Max Theon and Madame Theon around 1905. She met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry on 29th March 1914. She left Pondicherry in February 1915 and proceeded to France and Japan. On 24th April, 1920, She returned for ever to Pondicherry.
Sri Aurobindo, an Incarnation of the Supreme Divine Consciousness, referring to Mira Alfassa, said that ' the One whom we adore as The Mother is the Divine Cinscious Force that dominates all existence…' He said further: "The Mother is the consciousness and force of the Supreme and far above all she creates."
According to Sri Aurobindo, the Supreme Divine has three aspects: transcendental, universal and the individual. The Mother also has these three aspects, just as the Supreme.
Sri Aurobindo has said further on The Mother:
"Her embodiment is a chance for the earth-consciousness to receive the Supramental into it and to undergo first the transformation necessary for that to be possible."
Thus, She is unalterably important for the entire humanity and for the earth. "She is the golden bridge ...," said Sri Aurobindo [ in Savitri ]. She is the Force that enables Man and the earth to leap beyond and pass over the gulf of difference between Mind and the Supramental Consciousness, between Darkness and Light, between Ignorance and Wisdom, between Falsehood and Truth.
She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire. The luminous heart of the Unknown is she, A power of silence in the depths of God; She is the Force, the inevitable Word,..... To heal with her feet the aching throb of life And break the seals on the dim soul of man And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things. [Savitri : Sri Aurobindo]
The Mother said :
Throughout all this life, knowingly or unknowingly, I have been what the Lord wanted me to be, I have done what the Lord wanted me to do, I have done what the Lord wanted me to do. That alone matters.
She has further said :
Since, the beginning of the earth, wherever and whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray of Consciousness, I was there.
She has also shown us the Way, the most sublime Way of the Child in us, in all of us:
You have to aspire, you have to reject; but the best is if you can keep me in your heart, if you love me, then you will have to do nothing. I shall do all for you.
That is the best Way.
And let us remember also what She has further said :
"Let us advance always, without stopping, towards an always more complete manifestation, an always more complete and higher consciousness."
Sri Aurobindo has said:
"The Mother not only governs all from above but she descends into this lesser triple universe. Impersonally, all things here, even the movements of the Ignorance, are herself in veiled power and her creations in diminished substance, her Nature-Body and Nature-force, and they exist because, moved by the mysterious fiat of the Supreme to work out something that was there in the possibilities of the Infinite, she has consented to the great sacrifice and has put on like a mask the soul and forms of the Ignorance. But personally, too, she has stooped to descend here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light, into the Falsehood and Error that she may convert it to the Truth, into this Death that she convert it to godlike Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstacy of her sublime Ananda. In her deep and great love for her children she has consented to put on herself the cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness and the Falsehood, borne to pass through the portals of the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life. This is the great sacrifice called sometimes the sacrifice of the Purusha, but much more deeply the holocaust of Prakriti, the sacrifice of the Divine Mother."
The Mother told us about Sri Aurobindo :
Sri Aurobindo came on earth from the Supreme to announce the manifestation of a new race and a new world, the Supramental.
She also said about Sri Aurobindo :
Man is the creation of yesterday. Sri Aurobindo came to announce the creation of tomorrow : the coming of the supramental being.
And for this coming of the supramental being, Sri Aurobindo says that Man has to ascend from Mind to various higher levels of Mind, and then to the Supermind. Man has to go through the ways of Transformation. And when the human aspiration rises to a height, then only Supermind can be approached.
The Mother Mira was the Person who caused the Descent of the Supramental Principle on earth on the 29th February 1956. The purpose of this Supramental Descent was to make possible the ascending journey of Man to Supermanhood.
The Mother has stated:
FIRST SUPRAMENTAL MANIFESTATION
(During the common meditation on Wednesday
The 29th February 1956)
This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had the form of a living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door, which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that 'the time has come', and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.
This is the purpose of the coming of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on earth : the Manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness on earth, so that Man can progressively change himself into the Superman, the Supramental Being. By the half-lit and diminished principle of Mind, Man can rise from the animalhood to a great extent, but cannot become the Supramental Being, cannot put an end to his miseries and sufferings, to his ignorance, inconscience, incapacities and death.
The Mother has said:
We can, simply by a sincere aspiration, open a sealed door in us and find ..that Something which will change the whole meaning of life, answer all our questions, solve all our problems and lead us to the perfection we aspire for without knowing it, to that Reality which alone can satisfy and give us lasting joy, balance, strength. All this you have heard many times. You have heard it - oh, there are even ~ here who are so used to it that for them that seems to be the same as drinking a glass of water or opening a window to let in the sunlight ....
We have tried a little, bur now we are going to try seriously! The starting-point: to want it, truly to want it, to need it. The next step: to think, above all, of that. A day comes very quickly when one is unable to think of anything else. That is the only thing that counts. And then .. you formulate your aspiration, you let the true prayer spring up from your heart, the prayer that expresses the sincerity of the need. And then ... well, you will see what happens. [Spiritual Significance of Flowers]
Sri Aurobindo said about Man in His poem Evolution :
O thou who climbest from dull stone
Face now the miracled summits still unwon.
The first half of Evolution has been before us, the human beings — step by step, we have grown from Matter, described by Sri Aurobindo as "dull stone" — we have become the humans through the prolonged and difficult course of Evolution — from the stone to the human. That is the story of the coming of Man, amidst the stone and the plants and the animals.
Now, there are the new summits, still unconquered, before us, which are the summits of consciousness and existence : we need and shall have to conquer the new summits beyond the human existence and consciousness, beyond all our limitations, all our present imperfections and incapacities, all our ignorance and darkness, and we need to have the miraculous capacities to transform ourselves for the New Creation, for the Advent of the Superman, the Supramental Being.
That is the Truth, as The Mother says. Either we have to achieve it or we have to lose the struggle of existence, being doomed to the Abyss. Let us remember what The Mother has said to us :
Men, countries, continents, The choice is imperative — Truth or Abyss.
In spite of all the imperfections, ignorance and darkness in Man, in spite of all the pull and push of the animal nature in him, since the beginning of his existence, he has an opening for the Supreme, for the Divine. Since the beginning, he has ever tried to have contact with the Higher Consciousness and Force, however crude and incomplete his attempts might have been. This trend in him might have given rise to many superstitions, but it has also given rise to the great religions, leading some humans to live nobler and higher lives.
However, The Mother has said that the Age of Religions is over.
In the religions, the incomplete and imperfect mind attempted to conveniently mix up the mental ignorance and darkness with the highest contact and the highest sentiments, emotions, ideas and thoughts within us. Some men with the lesser consciousness and understanding, living satisfied with limitations and imperfections, tried to manage the religions and the rules thereof. Men have been seeking to go to heaven, or to go for Niravana or Moksha, making the human existence, as it were, a meaningless, purposeless, aimless play of the Supreme.
In the name of the religions, now the humanity is divided. Hatred and cruelty and division are now in force in place of Love and humanism and oneness. The Divine is far away, and the Divine Life seems distant and impossible.
Therefore, we shall have to go beyond Mind to find the true meaning and use and purpose of the human life and existence and also of the Mind itself.
Let us recall what The Mother has said: "The Age of religion is over." Keeping aside the religious conflicts and debates, we shall have to go beyond the mental limitations and ascend the higher ranges of Consciousness.
We need to ascend the higher ranges of Mind —the Higher Mind, the Illumined Mind, the Intuitive Mind , the Overmind — to ascend the heights of the Gnosis, the Supramental Consciousness. And before all these Ascents, we should discover and know the Divine Child in us, the Psychic Being.
That is the Work before us, the humans. That is the Truth. The Spirit, involved in the Stone, has become Man, and shall now evolve further and manifest as the Supramental Being.
The Mother has prayed before the Supreme, for all the humanity :
Lord, we are upon earth to accomplish Thy work of transformation. It is our sole will, our sole preoccupation. Grant that it may be also our sole occupation and that all our actions may help us towards this single goal.
Evolution is the Work of the Supreme, the Divine. The Supreme, the Sat-chit-ananda, the Existence Consciousness Bliss, has emerged as the Stone, the principle of Matter. That is Involution. And from that stage, the return journey of the Supreme has begun — from Matter to the Supreme Consciousness again. Man has come into existence, in course of the Evolutionary return journey of the Supreme Consciousness. That is the Play, the Work of the Supreme. However, in Evolution, the One willed to become the Many and has become so. t may be said that he thought : "Ekoham, bahu syama." [ I am alone, and shall become many.] Existence-Consciousness became many, countless many, and each of the many is a Soul, or the Atman in Sanskrit, which is a part and portion of the Supreme Consciousness, the Divine — a part who is one with the Whole, who can be the Whole also, who can unite with the Whole.
Sri Aurobindo has used the word 'the psychic being' in expressing the active aspect of the 'soul' in Man. The psychic being is evolved only in the human being, as it has to participate and lead in the next evolution beyond Mind. Sri Aurobindo says :
The soul … … is something that comes down into birth and passes through death – although it does not itself die, for it is immortal – from one state to another, from the earth plane to other planes and back again to the earth-existence. It goes on with this progression from life to life through an evolution which leads it up to the human state and evolves through it all a being of itself which we call the psychic being that supports the evolution and develops a physical, a vital, a mental human consciousness as its instruments of world-experience and of a disguised, imperfect, but growing self-expression. All this it does from behind a veil showing something of its divine self only in so far as the imperfection of the instrumental being will allow it. But a time comes when it is able to prepare to come out from behind the veil, to take command and turn all the instrumental nature towards a divine fulfilment. This is the beginning of the true spiritual life. The soul is able now to make itself ready for a higher evolution of manifested consciousness than the mental human. [Letters on Yoga — Sri Aurobindo]
The Divine has began His return March from the Stone and has reached the stage of the Human. And now the human being has to collaborate with the Divine to manifest the Divine in Many as the Supramental Race.
Now, ignorance, darkness, diseases and Death shall be conquered, as they belong to the falsehood. That is the Divine Will.
The Mother had prayed :
The hour has come when a choice has to be made, radical and definitive. Lord, give us the strength to reject falsehood and emerge in Thy truth, pure and worthy of Thy victory….
As ordinary human beings, we are leading ourselves to the Abyss, as we are deeply engrossed with our lowest emotions, passions, pre-occupations and occupations, as we are thoroughly involved with our fears and distrust and gross indulgence. Even if we got some Light of Faith and of Ideas and Thought, we bring in Darkness though the quarrels of religions, old and new, through the political labyrinths which mutilate and imprison the Ideas and the Thoughts. Often we close our eyes to the Light, often we shut up our inner windows when we hear the Call. We lend ourselves to be controlled and managed by the Asura.
The Mother has further said:
The Asura is the force of falsehood, antidivine, which reigns as sovereign over the physical world; his influence is felt everywhere, it is in everything in Matter. But the time has now come when the separation, the purification, can be made, the falsehood, the Asuric influence, rejected and there can be an exclusive living in the Divine Truth.
Sri Aurobindo has also expressed in a poem how the Ascent, the Next Evolution, will lead Man to the Supramental Transformation.
Earth was a cradle for the arriving god
And man but a half-dark half-luminous sign
Of the transition of the veiled Divine
From Matter's sleep and the tormented load
Of ignorant life and death to the Spirit's light.
Mind liberated swam Light's ocean vast,
And life escaped from its grey tortured line;
I saw Matter illumining its parent Night.
[Evolution : Sri Aurobindo]
The Supramental Consciousness is the arriving God, the Divine, and the human being is the sign, the evolved reality, that is the instrument of the Divine. In Man, there is only a partial Light. He is not fully illumined. The arriving God, which is the veiled Divine, is there to bring a Transition from the Matter in sleep to the Light of the Spirit. When Mind will then be liberated — it will then swim the vast ocean of The Spirit, the Divine Consciousness. Life will also be freed from all the torture it has been tolerating all along. And even Matter will illumine its darkness. "Even the body shall remember God."
This is the message of Hope for Man.
In interpreting the message "Truth or Abyss,"The Mother further said : The message is only for those who are still asleep and quite satisfied with their sleep.
The majority of the mankind is still asleep, asleep in darkness and ignorance with satisfaction. Man is still imprisoned with the ignorant senses and the blind and limited thoughts and ideas, with no aspiration or hope, no light or vision, no seeking, satisfied with the animal indulgences and the limited ego, with death and darkness and division.
We shall have to aspire and endeavor and prepare ourselves for the Ascent.We should no more remain satisfied with our present state of being immersed in gross indulgence and inner blindness and blocked consciousness, of being involved with hatred and jealousy and greed and violence, of being conquered by darkness and ignorance and death. This is the Truth for us.
Let us accept the Truth and thereby open the gates of great possibilities. The Mother says : This wonderful world of delight waiting at our gates for our call, to come down upon earth…
We must accept this Truth. Or else, the Abyss is sure. To stop remaining the gross animal man, immersed in darkness and falsehood and hatred and violence, this Truth is the desireable way. Our Aspiration should be for the Ascent.
Let us remember The Mother and march towards the Goal — the Ascent, the Supramental Becoming.
Interested mainly in the Adventure of Consciousness, I believe in human progress and evolution and in the inner capacity of Man to outgrow and master all his imperfections and darkness, to grow into a creative and constructive divine being, along with the society, conquering all inner and outer darkness, crossing all barriers and divisions.
I am a retired Officer of the Orissa Administrative Service from Orissa, India. Since adolescence, I was inspired by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mira Alfassa) and sought to understand and follow Their Teaching, and make others understand and follow Them. In 1956, I read The Life Divine, and gradually, read almost all that is written by Them and about Them. I have visited the Ashram and Auroville some times. I organized some Sri Aurobindo centres in Orissa, and often met Prapatti and Ramkrishna Das. I and my wife and children had a special Darshan of The Mother on my birthday on 3rd March 1972.
Mira Aditi Centre has published my Bengali translations of some books including Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness by Satprem, India's Rebirth and India the Mother, collections from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.