Sri Aurobindo’s brief life sketch
1872 – 1893 Calcutta to England
1893 – 1906 England to Baroda
1906 – 1910 Bengal
1910 – 1926 Pondicherry
1926 – 1950 Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The Mother’s brief life sketch
1878 – 1907 France & Algeria
1907 – 1914 Paris
1914 – 1915 Paris to Pondy
1916 – 1920 Japan
1920 – 1973 Pondicherry
It was on this day in Pondicherry, on 29th of March, exactly hundred years ago in 1914, Madame Mirra Alfassa met the person whom she used to see in her inner visions, a dark Asiatic figure who was guiding her spiritual development, whom she used to refer as “Krishna”.
She had an extraordinary life from her early child hood. Born as a second child to an Egyptian mother and Turkish father of Jewish descend in France, on 21st February 1878, she had many inner experiences from early age. It was the golden period of European domination over the world and Paris was bustling with creative brilliance and that was where many great creative people of the world were drawn to. She was among the intellectual elite, the finest cream of Western culture, growing up to be an accomplished painter and musician. Her inner quest took her to Algeria where she learned occultism with Max Theon and his wife exploring the hidden worlds behind the physical world and mastering many mysteries of existence. Later she would return to Paris to work with many groups of spiritual seekers.
She came to India to meet a yogi about whom she heard from her second husband Paul Richard who had been to Pondicherry earlier. So there she was in his house in Pondicherry, meeting him for the first time.
He was there, waiting for her, exactly as she had seen him in her visions - the same Asiatic figure but this time in the physical reality. It was a meeting that would change her life forever. He was known at that time as Aurobindo Ghosh.
Later on 30th March 1914 she wrote in her diary “It matters not if there are hundreds of beings plunged in 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, when Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.”
The most dangerous man in India, that is how the British saw him, he was the first Indian to declare and demand complete freedom for India. It was he who had set ablaze the nation's Will to freedom long before Gandhi came and the British government was desperately trying to contain him. They had put him in jail, for an year of solitary imprisonment, but it turned out to be an extraordinary period of development of his yogic life culminating in the experience of Krishna, Vasudeva, who was guiding him for a greater mission, not just for the freedom of India but also for the world, for humanity.
Humanity was heading for an evolutionary crisis and he had a role to play in that dangerous passage, it was his main work, India' freedom was only a step on the way. As the British government was plotting again to arrest him he took shelter in Pondicherry which was then a French colony. In his seclusion in Pondicherry Sri Aurobindo was involved in intense sadhana, especially to bring the power of the Divine Mother to earth consciousness, a step necessary to save humanity which was heading for self destruction. He knew that only Her power of Love could save the earth.
So it was the most special meeting when Madame Mirra Alfassa arrived in his house in Pondicherry on that day. There she was, meeting him in the physical world. Later he would name her “The Mother” and give her the charge of his ashram and he would become “Sri Aurobindo”. She surrendered to him completely and so did he, surrendered to her completely without any reserve. It was the beginning of a great saga of evolutionary epic.
This is the knot that ties together the stars:
The Two who are one are the secret of all power,
The Two who are one are the might and right in things.
Hers is the mystery the Night conceals;
The spirit's alchemist energy is hers;
She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire.
Written by Manoj on 29 March 2014