Bishwa NATH singh:
The mother of Aurobindo Society whose original name was Mirra Alfassa was born in Paris on February 21, 1878. She was the daughter of Maurice Alfassa, a banker ( who was born in Adrianople, Turkey in 1843) and Mathidle Ismaloun ( who was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1857). Her Parents along with her brother, Matteo who was born in Alexandria in 1876 had, emigrated from Egypt to France in 1877 a year before Mirra's birth. Her early education was given at home. Around 1892 she attended a studio to learn drawing and painting, and later studied at the Paris Salon. For the first eight years of her life she lived at 62 boulevard Haussmann.She had described her experiences she had as a child in Paris. She had said that at the age five she realised she did not belong in this world, and her sadhana meaning spiritual discipline had began then.She claimed that she would lapse into bliss and go into a trance sometimes when she was placed in an easy chair or during a meal, much to the annoyance of her mother, who regarded this behavior of her as a social embarrassment to them.Between eleven and thirteen, she claimed, a series of psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to her the existence of God, and man's possibility of uniting with HimAt age of twelve she was practicing occultism and claimed to be travelling out of her body. One of the experiences she claimed as she had, at the age of thirteen for nearly a year every night, was of going out of her body and rising straight above the city:.. At her age in between eleven and thirteen, she had experienced a series of psychic and spiritual experiences where she had gathered not only the existence of God but man's possibility of uniting with Him, of realizing Him integrally in consciousness and action, of manifesting Him upon earth in a life divine. In her late twenties the Mother voyaged to Tlemcen, Algeria, where she had studied occultism for two years with a Polish adept, Max Theon, and his wife. Returning to Paris in 1906, she founded her first group of spiritual seekers. She had delivered many discourses to various groups in Paris between 1911 and 1913. At the age of foutteen, she was sent to a studio to learn art, and a year later she wrote as a school essay a mystical treatise named The Path of Later On (Alfassa 1893). In 1893 she traveled to Italy with her mother. While at the Doge's Palace in Venice she claims to have recalled a scene from a past life where she was strangled and thrown out into the canal. Later, she use to describe other incarnations, but she alternately described these past lives as emanations. At the age of sixteen, she had joined the Ecole des Beaux Arts where she had acquired the nickname "the Sphinx", and later exhibited at the Paris Salon. In 1897 at the age of nineteen,she had married Henri Morisset, a student of Gustave Moreau. They lived at Atelier, 15 rue Lemercier, Paris, and she became a part of the Paris artistic circles, befriending the likes of Auguste Rodin and MonetShe had claimed that between nineteen and twenty she had achieved a conscious and constant union with the Divine Presence, without the help of books or teachers. Soon after, she discovered Vivekananda's Raja Yoga, which enabled her to make further rapid progress. She had disclosed that after about a year or two, she had met an Indian in Paris who advised her to read the Bhagavad-Gita, taking Krishna as a symbol of the inner or imminent Divine. She obtained a French translation which—she relates— was quite poor but still enabled her to understand the substance of it. She had claimed that in her meditations she saw several spiritual figures, all of whom offered her help of one type or another.In 1898 at the age of twenty, she and Morisset had a son, André.Around 1904 at the age of twenty six, she had encountered in her dreams a dark Asiatic figure that she called ‘Krishna’. She said that this figure guided her in her inner journey. She came to have total implicit faith in Krishna, and was hoping to meet him one day in real life as Karmayogi . Around 1905 she met the occultist Max Théon, who had explained her psychic experiences to her. She paid two extended visits and on the second one she was accompanied by or later joined by Morisset to Théon's estate at Tlemcen, Algeria, to live with and learn occultism firsthand from Théon and his wife, Alma Theon. She had a very high regard for Madame Théon, whom she described as having exceptional psychokinetic powers. Later, when she had become known as "the Mother", she would often relate some of the extraordinary experiences she had at Tlemcen.In 1908 at the age of thirty, she had divorced her husband Morisset, and moved to 49 rue de Lévis, Paris.Around this time she had regular meetings with students and seekers who were attracted to psychical phenomena or to mysticism. In 1906, with her brother Matteo, she founded in Paris a group named l'Idée Nouvelle ("The New Idea"), which met at her home on Wednesday evenings, first at rue Lemercier and then at rue des Lévis, and later at 9 Rue du Val de Grace. Her book "Words of Long Ago" (vol.2 of the Collected Works) is the account of one of these meetings, along with talks she gave to the L'Union de Pensée Féminine, which was a new study group she had established. In a conversation with Prithwindra Mukherjee, one of the members of this group, Alexandra David-Neel, recalled those meetings and with the mother: where they had spent marvelous evenings together with friends, believing in a great future. At times we went to the Bois de Boulogne gardens, and watched the grasshopper-like early aeroplanes take off. He had rememberence of mother’s elegance, her accomplishments, her intellect endowed with mystical tendencies. In spite of her great love and sweetness, in spite even of her inherent ease of making herself forgotten after achieving some noble deed, she couldn't manage to hide very well the tremendous force she bore within herself." By the time She was an accomplished artist, and also excelled as a pianist and writer. In 1912 she had organized a group of around twenty people named Cosmique, who had the aim of gaining self-knowledge and self-mastery. Although she had not yet met Sri Aurobindo, some of her ideas at the time paralleled his. These were later included at the start of her small book, Conversations.In 1910 she had what she described as an experience of a reversal of consciousness in which she realised the Divine Will at the very center of her being, and from that moment onwards was no longer motivated by personal desire, but only wanted to do the Divine Will. Around this time she married again at the age of thirty two Paul Richard. Richard who had traveled to India, seeking election to the French Senate from Pondicherry and while there he had met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry in mid-April 1910. This seems to have been when Sri Aurobindo first heard about Alfassa and her Idea group. Richard informed Alfassa of Sri Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo remained in "material and spiritual correspondence" with the Richards for the next four years. Alfassa studied philosophy with Richard, as well as correcting his dictation (The Mother - Some dates). They lived at 9 rue du Val de Grace, in a small house at the back of a garden or courtyard. André, then around twelve, was a regular visitor. This was the house where Alfassa would receive Alexandra David-Neel almost every evening During this period, she also met `Abdu'l-Bahá Inayat Khan and other spiritual teachers (Van Vrekhem, 2001).At the age of thirty-six the Mother journeyed to Pondicherry, India, to meet Sri Aurobindo. She saw him on March 29,1914 and at once recognized him as the one who for many years had inwardly been guiding her spiritual development. Staying for eleven months, she was obliged to return to France because of the First World War. She lived in France for about a year and then in Japan for almost four years. On April 24,1920 she returned to Pondicherry to resume her collaboration with Sri Aurobindo, and remained here for the rest of her life.At that time a small group of disciples had gathered around Sri Aurobindo. On the 24 November 1926 (Siddhi Day) Sri Aurobindo reported himself to have had an important realisation which would open the path for bringing down the Supramental consciousness on earth This was also the official founding of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. At the time there were no more than twenty four disciples in the Ashram In December 1926, Sri Aurobindo had decided to withdraw from public view. At this point he identified Alfassa with the Divine Mother, and instructed his followers to do the same. He informed his disciples that henceforth Alfassa would take full charge of the ashram and he would live in retirement. Alfassa later said that Sri Aurobindo had not consulted her prior to the declaration nor did he inform her of his intention, but that she had heard the news for the first time along with the disciples Sri Aurobindo considered Alfassa to be an Avatar (incarnation) of the Supreme Shakti. In 1927 he wrote: The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence Sri Aurobindo's letters and instructions to his disciples taught the path of spiritual surrender through devotion to Alfassa; a form of Bhakti Yoga.In 1927, Sri Aurobindo and Alfassa moved to Rue François Martin, where they stayed for the remainder of their lives (The Mother - Some dates).In the early years, Alfassa appeared on the ashram balcony to initiate the day with her blessings. She would also meet the heads of the various departments of the growing ashram every morning, and then the sadhaks individually. Once again, in the evening at 5:30 PM, she conducted meditation and met each sadhak once more.In 1938 Margaret Woodrow Wilson, the daughter of US President Woodrow Wilson, came to the Ashram and chose to remain there for the rest of her life. Henry Ford had also heard of Alfassa and wanted to meet her. On the eve of his departure, World War II broke out and prevented his coming to India.During the war, Sri Aurobindo and Alfassa declared their support of the Allies. They said that victory of the Nazis would have been a disaster for the spiritual work, and professed to have participated in world history, changing the course of World War II by working on the subtle levels Through letters, Alfassa had remained in contact with her son Andre Morisset ever since leaving for Japan. In this way she kept him apprised of the development of the ashram and her and Sri Aurobindo's sadhana. He became increasingly interested, but was prevented from visiting by the outbreak of World War II. In 1949 he finally arrived at Pondicherry. The first issue of the Bulletin of Physical Education was published in 1949. Sri Aurobindo had died on December 5,1950 at the age of Seventy eight in Pondicherry now called Puducherry..In 1951, as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo's conception of pedagogy, she founded the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education: for children who had come to the ashram with their parents during World War II seeking shelter. Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did all he could to concretize his appreciation of Alfassa's efforts in this field. Alfassa was encouraged by Sri Aurobindo to wear saris and she acquired a collection of about five hundred. When she was offered Rupees one lakh for one, she called all the sadhikas and distributed or sold them along with her ornaments to raise funds for the ashram during the financially difficult years following the Master's death. She considered flowers of spiritual significance, and gave names to 800 different types, according to the spiritual quality they convey These would be presented to disciples, as a vehicle for conveying her blessings and grace. Satprem records being presented with various flowers during his visits, each described according to its spiritual quality.Sri Aurobindo had said that in Alfassa he found surrender to the Divine down to physical body itself, the cells of the body (not merely the mind and emotions), the likes of which could not be found in any human being.In 1950 Sri Aurobindo died. Alfassa related that, upon his death, she came to stand beside the bed on which he lay, "and -- in a way altogether concrete -- concrete with such a strong sensation as to make one think that it could be seen -- all this supramental force which was in him passed from his body into mine"After Sri Aurobindo's passing, Alfassa fully took up her promise to Sri Aurobindo to attempt the physical transformation. On 29 February 1956 ("Golden Day") she announced an experience in which she had a vast cosmic golden form and broke open the golden door that separated the Universe from the Divine, allowing the Supramental force to stream down to Earth in an uninterrupted flowShe later on24 April 1956 announced "The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact".From 1960 till her death in 1973, Alfassa had a number of near-weekly meetings with one of her closest disciples, Satprem. There she discussed her progress in her physical transformation, world events and her effect on world events, the new workings of the supramental consciousness in the world, her earlier life's experiences including her spiritual experiences, the changes and spiritualisation in the functioning of her physical body, her visions of the new race, and many other topics. These conversations were kept and were published in French and English in the 13-volume set known as The Agenda.In 1961 a friend of John F. Kennedy took interest in Alfassa and examined in depth the philosophy and yoga of Sri Aurobindo. He met Alfassa and asked her what were the external signs by which one could discern the attainment of the Supramental consciousness in a person. Alfassa explained to him the conditions that would reveal the attainment of the Supramental consciousness and told him that of the three, equality, was the most significant. The visitor arranged for Kennedy to visit Alfassa, but it could not take place.In 1962, at the age of 84, she was forced by an illness to withdraw from close physical contact with disciples although she continued to give public Darshans four times a year, at which a few thousand devotees gathered and received her Grace. But she continued her inner work, concerning the transformation of the physical and cellular consciousnessIn her discussions, she is alleged to have had a number of formidable spiritual experiences in the 1950s through the 1970s. In later years she met with other renowned individuals, including the king of Nepal. She had a significant meeting with the Dalai Lama who had recently escaped from Chinese occupation of Tibet.Concurrent with her work on the inner transformation, she worked on the outer as well. In 1956 she established the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch, together with Surendranath Jauhar and Alfassa's International School. In the 1960s, it was Alfassa's dream to create a place where humanity could seek the Divine without having to dredge for food and shelter. Alfassa wanted a place where "normal people" from all over the world could live together in harmony, a place where people can seek spirituality and bring it into the world. She named this place Auroville or City of Dawn. It now has a population of more than 2,300 people.The city has several zones. The "Soul of Auroville" is the Matrimandir (literally, "Mother's temple"). It is constructed as a futuristic-looking sphere that houses in its center a Chamber, all white with a transculent globe at the centre lit by single ray of sunlight. this signifies "future realisation". In 1968, Alfassa formally inaugurated the new city, and the soil of 124 nations (all the independent countries in the world at that time) was placed in a lotus-shape urn at the centre of the future city. In 1967 plans were made and some land acquired to found a universal city of spiritual seekers in Gujarat, which she named Ompuri. This project, like earlier plans of 1957, did not go any further. But in 1968, Alfassa, working with architect Roger Anger, began Auroville as a 'more external extension' of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram The mother Alfassa died on November 17, 1973; three days later her body was placed in the Samadhi, the vault in the courtyard of the Ashram where Sri Aurobindo's body was placed in 1950 The experiences of the last thirty years of Alfassa's life were captured in the thirteenvolume work The Agenda. In those years she attempted the physical transformation of her body in order to become what she felt was the first of a new type of human individual by opening to the Supramental Truth Consciousness, a new power of spirit that Sri Aurobindo had allegedly discovered. Sri Aurobindo considered her an incarnation of the [[Mother Divine and called by that name: the Mother. When asked why he called her the Mother, Sri Aurobindo wrote an essay The Mother by introduction.Though, the mother is not physically present with us but her spirit of passion always keeps on guiding us to do well to others and be good to ourselves. On December 5th, 1950 Sri Aurobindo left the body so as to be able to work for his goal of spiritual evolution from beyond his body. The Mother continued the work from the physical plane working in earnest towards a physical transformation attempting to bring the divine into every cell. In 1968, the Mother had formally inaugurated the new city of Auroville. Auroville is an international township dedicated to realising human unity through diversity. In 1966 UNESCO passed a resolution giving its support to the idea. Mother once said that until the number in the Ashram grew beyond one hundred fifty, she guided and controlled every inner and outer movement of each sadhak. In other words, She herself took charge of their sadhana and guided them. It is said that a rishi or a yogi could bless, at a time, one person seeking his grace. The greatest known rishi is said to be capable of blessing seven persons at a time. In her public Darshans Mother used to emanate the vibrations of her Grace, meant individually for everyone, to all the three thousand devotees gathered. That is why no one, not even her permanent attendants, would miss this public Darshan. She said she held herself responsible for everyone She had seen even for a minute. She is the Mother, not only to human beings but to all life on earth. Trees in her garden used to complain to her, if they were not watered. Animals under her care have always sent their silent messages to her. The sea god himself listened to her and obeyed her commands. She is the Mother of all life on earth, and she showered her love and blessings and Grace on all. She does the sadhana in all, too. She loved India and said India would be the Guru of the world. When the French settlements merged with India, She sought Indian citizenship and secured it. She felt France and India have a common destiny. The ideal of the Ashram was extended in founding Auroville, where the yogic experiment was extended to a wider cross-section of people. The whole world is her Ashram, as she sought to kindle the light in the heart of every living being. On the evening of November 17, 1973, a sadhak saw a huge light breaking into a million sparks and shooting to all sides of the earth. Finally each spark lodged itself in the heart of a person. He couldn’t understand the meaning. Next morning he heard from All India Radio that Mother had attained Mahasamadhi. She loved all of humanity and lives in its heart.The Mother entered her mahasamadhi in 1973 at the age of 95, three days after her passing her body on November 17, 1973; was placed in the Samadhi alongside of Sri Aurobindo. Let us join to pay our floral tribute to Mahasmadhi of our great mother Mirra Alfassa widely known as the Mother of Aurobindo Society!
Photos: (1)Photo of the Mother while she was in France in 1896.(2) Photo of the holy Mother whose original name was Mirra Alfassa was born in Paris on February 21, 1878 and died onwhose original name was Mirra Alfassa was born in Paris on February 21, 1878 and passed away on November 17, 1973 at Pondecherry. (3)The Mother with Prime Minister Nehru, Kamaraj, Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pondicherry 1955.Indira Gandhi and Shastri later became Prime Ministers of India (4)Photo of Yogi Aurobindo is the divine teacher and Mother Aurobindo is the holy disciple of Guru Aurobindo
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
he Mother (her original name Mirra Alfassa) was born in Paris on February 21, 1878. had joined Sri Aurobindo on April 24,1920 in the hope she could work for divinization of life on earth. Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded by her and her G...uru Sri Aurobindo on November 24, 1926 for this purpose. The occasion for founding the Ashram was the retirement of Sri Aurobindo on November 24, 1926, when his yoga moved into the final stages of realization. The aim of Integral Yoga is not moksha, release of the soul from the body, but the conversion of human life into a Life Divine. When She founded the Ashram, devotees and disciples began to gather around Her. Though She threw the door of the Ashram open to everyone, irrespective of position, creed, religion, sex, or nationality, She made a very careful selection in matters of admission. Decades later She disclosed that everyone in the Ashram had been with her and Sri Aurobindo in their previous births, working for the same ideal. She indicated that Sri Aurobindo had been Napoleon and Leonardo da Vinci in previous births and was Krishna, too. Among the disciples She once said there were people who were rishis and emperors in their previous births. She described Sri Aurobindo Ashram as the cradle of the new civilisation composed of the new race of supermen. It was an experiment to evolve the Superman from humanity and for this purpose man had to conquer his human nature. The civilized man conquers his behaviour while his inner feelings remain the same. The cultured man changes his inner feelings and character, too. But even in him his consciousness remains the same as the animals from which he evolved. Especially his subconscious is the untamed brute. To convert human life into a divine life, it is not enough to change the behaviour or character. It is also essential to change this basic animal consciousness into a higher consciousness. This, was being called by her as transformation. It is not given to man to bring about this change. Only the Divine can do this miracle. All that is asked of man is a total surrender of all that he is. Mother once said that until the number in the Ashram grew beyond one hundred fifty, she guided and controlled every inner and outer movement of each sadhak. In other words, She herself took charge of their sadhana and guided them. It is said that a rishi or a yogi could bless, at a time, one person seeking his grace. The greatest known rishi is said to be capable of blessing seven persons at a time. In her public Darshans Mother used to emanate the vibrations of her Grace, meant individually for everyone, to all the three thousand devotees gathered. That is why no one, not even her permanent attendants, would miss this public Darshan. She said often that she held herself responsible for everyone She had seen even for a minute. She is the Mother, not only to human beings but to all life on earth. Trees in her garden used to complain to her, if they were not watered. Animals under her care have always sent their silent messages to her. The sea god himself listened to her and obeyed her commands. She is the Mother of all life on earth, and she showered her love and blessings and Grace on all. She does the sadhana in all, too. She loved India and said India would be the Guru of the world. When the French settlements merged with India, She sought Indian citizenship and secured it. She felt France and India have a common destiny. The ideal of the Ashram was extended in founding Auroville, where the yogic experiment was extended to a wider cross-section of people. The whole world is her Ashram, as she sought to kindle the light in the heart of every living being. On the evening of November 17, 1973, a sadhak saw a huge light breaking into a million sparks and shooting to all sides of the earth. Finally each spark lodged itself in the heart of a person. He couldn’t understand the meaning. Next morning he heard from All India Radio that Mother had attained Mahasamadhi. She loved all of humanity and lives in its heart. The Mother had passed away on November 17, 1973 at the age of Ninety five and entered her Mahasamadhi three days after her death and was placed in the Samadhi alongside of Sri Aurobindo at their Pondicherry Ashram which has become a place of pilgrimage for most of us living in this universe!Let us offer our humble obeisance to the holy Mother and pay our floral tribute to her!
Bishwa Nath Singh
Let us join to pay our floral tribute to Mahasmadhi of the holy Mother Mirra Alfassa who was widely known as the Mother of Aurobindo Society!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------(Photo of Mahasmadhi sthal of Guru Aurobindo and Holy Mother Mirra Alfassa)
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ishwa Nath Singh:
Our humble obeisance to the lotus feet of Guru Aurobindo and the holy MotherAlfassa who have shown us the right path during darkness and owned us as their most lovable children!Just to know more detail about them, all of you are requested to visit my Profile Page and have glimpse of my articles on them that were flashed on the f.b.