Sri Aurobindo was an enlightened soul of his times. He was a scholar, patriot, poet and a spiritualist par excellence of the 19th century. Hailing from Bengal, he won the coveted ICS cadre. Aurobindo renounced all worldly joys in order to attain the realization of God. He firmly believed that every human being by practice could attain the status of a superman and attain nirvana. The sprawling ashram, teeming Auroville and the soaring temple at Pondicherry are living monuments for one of the greatest souls of our times. We are indeed blessed to have lived in the land of Aurobindo. Mother had the unique privilege of serving Aurobindo during his lifetime and having imbibed his teachings was a natural successor to her mentor. She has carried forward the torch lit by Aurobindo and has been instrumental in giving the motherly touch to the teachings and practices of her teacher. Though born in France she is now the living mother to millions of Indians and others from all parts of the globe. The present prosperity serenity and expanse of the ashram owes a lot to mother’s devotion and blessings.
A hundred and twenty-five years ago Mirra Richard was born in Paris as a gift to India and was twice married, once to Henri Morisset in 1897 (whom she divorced in 1908, but not before they had a son, André, in 1898) and to Paul Richard in 1910 who was, at the time, intensely interested in the religion of the east. The meeting of the French lady and the Indian yogi on French-Indian soil in March 1914, turned out to be a momentous one, and, on 7 March 1914, Alfassa and Paul embarked for India aboard the steamer Kaga Maru, reaching Pondicherry on the 29th.
The exigencies of the First World War took the Richards to Japan but Mirra returned to Pondicherry on April 24 1920 never to leave the place. Sri Aurobindo withdrew completely from public gaze in 1926 except for 4 days in a year when he gave Darshan to his devotees. Mirra was placed in charge of not only the external activities of the ashram but the guidance for the Sadhana of the disciples. Henceforth she came to be known as the Mother. The dual role meant Karma yoga round the clock. Deep love of flowers was inspired by her Japanese days. Ashram school was inaugurated on 2-12-1943 and she started International university center after 1950 when master passed away. Even at 75 she played tennis with Ramanathan Krishnan.
A mother to our wants, a friend in our difficulties, a persistent and tranquil counselor and mentor, chasing away with her radiant smile the clouds of gloom and fretfulness and depression reminding always of the ever-present help, pointing to the eternal sunshine, she is firm, quiet and persevering in the deep and continuous urge that drives us towards the integrity of the higher nature” was how the master described her. She taught all the science of living
In her words “An aimless life is always a miserable life. Every one of you should have an aim. But do not forget that on the quality of your aim will depend the quality of your life. Your aim should be high and wide, generous and disinterested; this will make your life precious to yourself and to all. But whatever your ideal it cannot be perfectly realized unless you have realized perfection in yourself.”
Mother attained mahasamadhi on 17-11-1973.
Mother said that faith based on material proof is not faith., it is bargaining. “Faith is a certitude without proof”
“Let us do our best in all circumstances, leaving the result to the Divine decision”
“When in life you meet with a hardship, take it as a grace from the lord. Indeed, it will become so.”
“Be grateful for all ordeals, they are the shortest way to the Divine.”
“Hand over all your problems to the Divine, and he pulls you out of all your difficulties.”
“Sincere calls are heard and receive an answer”
“It is in proportion to our trust to the divine that the divine grace can for us and help”
She only asked for absolute faith. She took prayer to an altogether different height. Do we ever pray to become better human beings? Will not the change in us make the world a better place?
“A harmonious collection of aspirations can change the course of circumstances”
Should we not as citizens of this world pray collectively for a better world? Prayer is not all about asking. It is about giving oneself to the divine once we are able to do this we will learn to live life to the fullest in peace and harmony. Mother used to say emphatically “The world is about to change, will you help?”
Thanks to KRS for the write-up.