Born in 1878 on 21 February, in Paris, France, to an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father, Mira Alfassa, whom Sri Aurobindo was later to recognize as and name “The Mother”, was an extraordinary child who had the most extraordinary experiences.
Her extremely materialist, scientifically inclined parents rejected totally the idea of God, but Mira, right from a very young age, knew her purpose on earth was not ordinary at all. She chanted OM without any knowledge of India, the eternal sound coming naturally to her lips.
She found herself imbued with strange powers – being able to leap the whilst the other children she was playing with could only leap a few steps. She communed immediately with Nature. She could talk with fairies and beings from the world hidden behind ours.
Her eyes, if you see photos of her as a child, were extremely arresting. Certainly, she was moved by some other force, though at the time, she didn’t know what it was.
As a teenager, she studied piano, painting and higher Mathematics. Without understanding what was going on, she journeyed outside her physical body and discovered her past lives. In 1897, she married Henri Morisset, an Impressionist painter, and was part of the circle of French Impressionists.
At the age of 26, in 1904, she met Sri Aurobindo in a dream. She also started a circle of spiritualists. At Tlemcen, in Algeria, she underwent a rigorous training in occultism through Max Théon, who gave her for the first time an explanation of her extraordinary experiences, and made her aware of her special role.
She divorced Morisset, and launched into a study of philosophy. She met and married Paul Richard, a member of the French Civil Service. She traveled with him to Pondicherry, which was then a French colony, and met, for the first time physically, Sri Aurobindo in 1914.
Immediately, she recognized him as the Force who she had seen in her dream and who in fact had been guiding her spiritual growth for some time.
She spent a year in Pondicherry, helping Sri Aurobindo to establish The Arya, a magazine in which he published for the first time, all his major works such as The Synthesis of Yoga and The Life Divine.
The Arya was their attempt to reach out to the intellectual circles of India and Europe and influence them with ideas that seemed far in advance of the material conditions of the time. Mother spent the next 4 years in Japan, and then returned for the final time to Pondicherry in 1920, via China.
As the number of disciples around Sri Aurobindo continued to increase and it became necessary to organize their life, she created what came to be known as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. In 1926, Sri Aurobindo retired to consecrate himself to the “Supramental Yoga”, and left the entire management of the Ashram to her.
She continued to guide its growth and development until 1973 when she left her body. Throughout this time, she and Sri Aurobindo worked together, and when he withdrew from his body in 1950, she carried on his work, the work of “Transformation” .
The Supramental Yoga outlined by Sri Aurobindo and Mother is premised on the fact that the human species is not, as it likes to believe, the last stage of evolution. Just as the human emerged from the monkey due to an evolutionary crisis, so also, the world today is poised on the edge of another evolutionary crisis. The question is “after humankind, what"?
All those millions of years spent by the earth since the first algae – did they only result in this: an imperfect unhappy agitated humankind straining at its seams, unable to fit into its clothes however technologically advanced? A humankind that either egotistically acts as though it is the center of the Universe, or else, increasingly suffocates because there is nowhere to turn and its being can’t breathe anymore? Was this what Nature intended? Sri Aurobindo’s answer, which Mother put into practice in her physical body, was a clear “No”.
Their answer: there is something else after humankind; humankind will be transformed into the “Supramental” , and the whole work of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo is dedicated to this transformation.