Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Refreshing our knowledge about the Mother on her birthday - Aryadeep S. Acharya

“Her father Moïse Maurice Alfassa, a banker from Adrianople, had married Mathilde Ismalun in Alexandria in 1874. Both were of Sephardic Jewish origin, though neither was religious.765 There were no sharp divisions in the Levant of those days, but rather “a dense and intricate interconnectedness” between Arab and Jew, Lebanese and Syrian, Egyptian and Turk.766 In this cosmopolitan setting, Alexandria was the most cosmopolitan center, with Frenchmen and Italians rubbing shoulders with Egyptians, Arabs, and Greeks. In the 1860s, everybody in town seemed to have something to do with the Suez Canal. Maurice Alfassa had been sent to Egypt by an Ottoman bank with a stake in the multinational venture. He prospered for a while, but things became difficult when the country slipped into political and financial chaos. In 1877, Maurice, Mathilde, and their young son Mattéo settled in Paris. Mirra, who was born the next year, was proud of her Middle Eastern heritage, but she never considered herself anything but French.”
“In Europe, Mirra and Mira are short forms of the Hebrew name Miriam.”
(Ref. The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs)
This was not another Miriam among thousands other but an extraordinary one.  Even in her childhood she was different. I quote below just one of her experiences in her childhood out of many.
“As a child, when I was around ten or twelve years old, I had some rather interesting experiences which I didn't understand at all. I had some history books – you know, the textbooks they give you to learn history. Well, I'd read and suddenly the book would seem to become transparent, or the printed words would become transparent, and I'd see other words or even pictures. I hadn't the faintest idea what was happening to me! And it appeared so natural to me that I thought it was the same for everybody. But my brother and I were great chums (he was only a year and a half older), so I would tell him: "They talk nonsense in history, you know – it is LIKE THIS; it isn't like that: it is LIKE THIS!" And several times the corrections I got on one person or another turned out to be quite exact and detailed. And (I see it now – I understood it later on) they were certainly memories. About some passages I would even say, "How stupid! It was never that; THIS is what was said. It never happened like that; THIS is how it happened." And the book was simply open before me; I was just reading along like any other child and ... suddenly something would occur. It was something in me, of course, but I used to think it was in the book!
I found out many, many things about Joan of Arc – many things. And with stunning precision, which made it extremely interesting. I won't repeat them because I don't remember with exactness, and these things have no value unless they are exact. And then, for the Italian Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa; and for the French Renaissance: François I, Marguerite de Valois,[i] and so forth.” (Ref. Agenda Vol.3, dt. June 30, 1962, p.150-151)
If there was one person who was supremely conscious of the inner truth of Mother’s embodiment, it was Sri Aurobindo. I quote below some of his answers.
Sri  Aurobindo: There is one divine Force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe. The Mother stands for all these, but she is working here in the body to bring down something not yet expressed in this material world so as to transform life here — it is so that you should regard her as the Divine Shakti working here for that purpose. She is that in the body, but in her whole consciousness she is also identified with all the other aspects of the Divine. (SABCL 26:49-50)
Disciple: Am I right in thinking that she (the Mother) as an individual embodies all the Divine Powers and brings down the Grace more and more to the physical plane, and her embodiment is a chance for the entire physical consciousness to change and be transformed?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes. 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. Afterwards there will be a further transformation by the Supramental, but the whole earth-consciousness will not be supramentalised — there will be first a new race representing the Supermind, as man represents the mind. [13-8-1933] SABCL 26:49
Disciple: Do you not refer to the Mother (our Mother) in your book The Mother?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes.
Disciple: Is she not the “Individual” Divine Mother who has embodied “the power of these two vaster ways of her existence”— Transcendent and Universal?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes.
Disciple: Has she not descended here (amongst us) into the Darkness and Falsehood and Error and Death in her deep and great love for us?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes.
Disciple: There are many who hold the view that she was human but now embodies the Divine Mother and her Prayers, they say, explain this view. But to my mental conception, to my psychic feeling, she is the Divine Mother who has consented to put on herself the cloak of obscurity and suffering and ignorance so that she can effectively lead us—human beings—to Knowledge and Bliss and Ananda and to Him.
Sri AurobindoThe Divine puts on an appearance of humanity, assumes the outward human nature in order to tread the path and show it to human beings, but does not cease to be the Divine. It is a manifestation that takes place, a manifestation of a growing divine consciousness, not human turning into divine. The Mother was inwardly above the human even in childhood, so the view held by “many” is erroneous. (Ref. The Mother with the Letters on the Mother, CWSA 32: 31
Question: Is there any difference between the Mother’s manifestation and the descent of the supramental?
Sri Aurobindo: The Mother comes in order to bring down the supramental and it is the descent which makes her full manifestation here possible. (23 September 1935)
Sri Aurobindo: The Mother has come down to work on the earth, not in another world...(1 October 1933)
Disciple: I know that all here is unreal. The Mother alone is real.
Sri Aurobindo: It is the higher reality that the Mother brings into the world— without it all else is ignorant and false. 3 August 1934
Disciple: The Mother does not work on the sadhak directly from her own plane above, though she can do so if she wants to— she can even supramentalise the world in a day; but in that case the supramental Nature created here would be the same as it is above, and not the earth in Ignorance evolving into the supramental earth, which will not be quite the same in appearance as what the Supermind is.
Sri Aurobindo: That is a very important truth. 17 June 1935 - (Ref. SABCL - Vol. 32)
The Mother on Herself
May I know, Mother, how many centuries ago You descended upon earth?
The Mother: I have never left the earth since it was formed. (10 January 1935)
March 14, 1952
Since the beginning of the earth wherever and whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray of consciousness, I was there. (CWM, V.13)
Disciple: You are with me, always, but I am not aware of it.
The Mother: I am more subtle than the air; and already the air you do not see. There are infinitely more things which we do not see than those we see.   (Ref.  THE PATH = EN ROUTE, THE MOTHER’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH SHYAM SUNDA)
It is ages of ardent aspiration that have brought us here to do the Divine’s Work. (CWM13)
“It is evident that the purpose of my descending here on earth, for the transformation of the body and eventually of the earth, by the transforming action of the Supramental, would be accomplished if I could sow a seed of this Supramental substance in the human species and which will then ensure its continuity on earth.... Even if it be only a thousandth infinitesimal part of what I carry, it will be sufficient to perpetuate this movement.
Otherwise... I would say that the earth and men were not ready, were not receptive enough to accept the descent of a greater Light, a greater Knowledge, a greater Ananda, were not ready to open themselves to the Eternal, to the Truth of existence.” (Supreme, – Noted by Mona Sarkar, p. 53)
My earlier posts (compilations) on the occasion can be viewed here , here, and here .