English Translation of “Matrimandir, Merveille des Merveilles”

I know, English-speaking visitors to this blog, this post “en Francais dans le texte” has been a bad surprise for you. But it came that way, and after all it is only fair that from time to time my French-speaking visitors get their turn too!…

But now here is a translation into English for those of you who cannot read French…



A few days ago I have spoken of “Merveille’, but now I must speak also of  the “Merveille des Merveilles”: the Matrimandir. I am just coming from there, and I feel it is the right time to speak about it.

Coming back from the Town Hall at the end of the afternoon, for once I had the time of stopping at Matrimandir and, oh happiness, it was a  part of the day when it was open to the Aurovilians; so I left my scooter at the parking with the watchman, and in my haste to be there I practically ran all the way along the beautiful paths arranged around Matrimandir, purposely passing under the brotherly branches of the Banyan Tree, the precise centre of the city; I left my bag with the Aurovilian lady on duty at the foot of the Matrimandir, I climbed full speed the steps that take you into the vast sphere, majestic and imposing like a pyramid of Egypt, but a spherical one, that would overhang upon you from all its height; I sat down on the long wall seat provided for you to carefully put on the obligatory white socks, ready in their stands; then came the slow going up the spiraling  ramp, my feet appreciating the thick white rug covering it;  I pulled open the heavy white marble door, sneaked inside while softly closing the door behind me; under the vigilant eye of the Aurovilian whose silhouette is hardly visible, discretely and silently sitting at the entrance, I give a quick glance in the half-light to the cushions still free here or there upon the large white rug covering the floor;  a rapid choice, and here I am, nicely settled down, my back comfortably resting on the extra cushion propped up against the wall, my legs with their socked feet stretched out in front of me…

The temperature is cool, almost too cool, my throat reacts by an immediate little cough, but luckily it stops at once; and I dive…

I dive into the unbelievable beauty of this place unlike any other.

It is something like the space of the soul, but miraculously materialized into this terrestrial world, into this physicality usually so thick and so heavy, but here suddenly turned diaphanous; conversely, the peace, the silence, the beauty are so intense that they become almost tangible: they form part of the very air one breathes and in which, soft and welcoming, one feels enveloped.

In this circular space with twelve facets of high walls, one lives at the same time the vastness and the profound intimacy of the soul with the Divine, the essence of Whom she shares and expresses.

The marble of the walls, the polished surface of the twelve columns that soar towards the ceiling, all shines softly wherever one’s gaze goes; but it is from the center that the veritable light comes, and it is there, irresistibly,  that one’s gaze is attracted and lingers: there sits a big crystal sphere, on the support formed by four Sri Aurobindo symbols rising vertically from the symbol of Mother that lies flat on the floor at the center.

One is as if in a world apart from the external world and yet giving to it all its contents, meaning, potential of true Light and true Love. In that silence one finds oneself anew… one’s true self, infinite and eternal, that our outer existence makes us too often forget and betray without even being aware of it.

This extraordinary place, so precious by the help it can give us better even than any church, temple or other such religious place, precisely isn’t meant for any religion and any ceremony or collective ritual imposed by a religion. This place speaks directly to the spirit in each of us, and helps our outer consciousness to come in contact again with this Spirit that in truth each of us is, from all eternity, for all eternity, even while we deliberately forget about it so as to go fully through the experience of the great Game of Evolution that is being played out presently upon Earth.

lt is not compulsory nor indispensable to go to Matrimandir, and it is not because of a sense of any duty  that one goes there, but simply if and when one feels personally the need of it. It may happen of course that some other Aurovilians are there too at that same time, but each one’s experience remains every time an individual and personal one, a moment of meeting between self and Self.

What is the characteristic difference between  the inner attitude in the traditional Yogas and the inner attitude in this Yoga of Evolution is that it is not any more about rejecting the physical world and body but about progressively transforming them into the expressions of the Spirit they were always meant to become: it is the very Purpose of this whole immense evolutive process which now is nearing its apotheosis, literally: the ‘Life Divine’ that Sri Aurobindo has revealed is coming and has made possible.

And it is in Mother’s body itself that the conditions allowing the learning of this new way of functioning have been realized, the consciousness of the very cells awakening little by little to the need of the Divine and to their own secret divine nature.

In this Inner Room of Matrimandir, which Mother saw inwardly again and again, the crystal sphere at the center with the ray of solar light penetrating it from above, had a particularly important symbolic meaning:

‘The important thing is that, it is the play of the sunlight upon the centre. For that becomes the symbol – the symbol of the future realisation.”

For a long time I wondered what Mother meant by that, and the understanding came at last  to me by reading the other passages from ‘Mother’s Agenda’, Volume XI (1970), from which this quotation also comes: during the same period of time the cellular experience Mother was having was going more and more in the direction of an effort towards transparency, a more and more complete and perfect transparency to the Truth Light now at work upon Earth, so that nothing in ourselves, be it the minuscule cells of our body, may become an obstacle to that Light or may deform its transforming action at every level of our being. It is receptivity and total transparency to that Light that we must aspire to, and it is the realisation of thist, that the crystal symbolically represents in the Inner Chamber of Matrimandir.

The understanding of this, received years ago, enabled me to add one more dimension to what the Matrimandir already meant for me.

Since then, all the work accomplished to complete its construction in the slightest inner or outer details has realized such a degree of beauty in the creative inspiration, such a  perfection in Matter, that now every time I enter again that space, I feel again that truly it is the Wonder of Wonders…


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Random Ntrygg
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 23:19:21

    I don’t think that I understand this, fully, but it gives me a sense of peace

    inner peace

    that I have not felt for a long time

    thank you
    humble gratitude




    • Bhaga
      Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:08:09

      Nobody understands this, fully, dear Nina, it can only be experienced and the inner effect of it, felt.
      I simply tried my best to convey through my words the way it felt, being there, or being anywhere, but in that specific state of consciousness. You did feel it, that’s all that matters, and I congratulate you for your receptivity.
      When progressively it deepens in you, it will reveal still deeper inner content than the peace you are now experiencing, which is only the first step, so to say…
      Be grateful to your own Inner Self as well, who is making itself felt to the outer self so as to gradually reawaken it to being that Inner Self too!!! When we experience it fully, It reveals Itself as the One Self we all – and everything else – manifest in our utter multiplicity and diversity…



      • Nina
        Mar 24, 2012 @ 22:46:14

        thank you for confirming the only part that I understood.

        repetition is somewhat in my nature

        I think it’s why I am such a nurturing soul
        I like to make sure that anything I do is right the first time

        but, as long as there’s life, there’s do-overs…

        you inspired just that big a change in me

        thank you again, Bhaga


  2. Nina
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 16:02:54

    maybe the third time is the charm

    yesterday, I bought three new shirts

    they are all vibrant colours, and I am happiest in vibrant colours

    and none of them are shirts that I would have chosen in previous years

    something about shifting out of discomfort to comfort to …

    I am not sure what lies outside pr just beyond the comfort zone

    but I feel very calm, reading this and understanding, just a little more

    so, I am good with that, someone told me to just be open to possibility

    I think that I might be touching some part, at least, seeing the centre glow

    and feeling the cool stone floor and walls

    at least in my mind

    and who knows

    given how it’s always wandered when I am not mindful of paying attention



  3. Bhaga
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 16:53:27

    What a beautiful and moving poem you have just written, dear Nina, by just putting down how you feel, which is so new to you and sounds like what a little hard bud might feel and write, when it starts blooming…,

    Three cheers for the happy shirts!!!



    • Nina
      Mar 26, 2012 @ 18:05:31

      I am touched, but that wasn’t a poem

      poetic maybe. stream of conscious, absolutely

      I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to poetry

      I like verse, structure and all the conventions
      otherwise, you can’t really know, if the work is intentional or a fluke

      I did come up with a haiku recently

      to a mosaic
      a melting pot
      is glue



  4. Nina
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 18:20:01

    yes, there is a lot of new feelings

    new appreciations and understandings

    When I was a teenager, I spent a summer working at a hotel outside of Banff and I met a wonderful woman who lived in the hotel and she introduced me to

    Tom Lehrer and she gave me a book called Mister God this is Anna.

    and when I was in grade 12, my english literature teacher, Mike, was just a kindred spirit that I bought him a copy of Mister God this is Anna and he gave me

    an English Translation of the Littlest Prince

    and I have always cherished what he wrote in the cover of that book.

    and part of the inscription is “for Nina who sees rightly.”

    it always bothered him that I stopped showing him my poetry, when he returned it to me, graded and gave me extra marks in class, because I didn’t show him my poems for extra credit, I just wanted to know, if he liked them.



    • Bhaga
      Mar 27, 2012 @ 05:53:04

      What a strange idea to grade poems shared personally by a student!
      To be a teacher in the usual context may warp your way of dealing with other human beings in real life…
      But it’s good to know that you do write poems sometimes. I’ll have to check on your blog…



  5. Nina
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:24:37

    Well, Mike was just trying to reward and encourage me, he didn’t understand that I was not encouraged by grades and I didn’t need the extra credit marks.

    the only encouragement that I needed from him was his delight at finally having a student who loved literature as much as he did.

    He retired early and changed professions after I graduated, not long after, I discovered when I bumped into him and his wife somewhere.

    He was glad to see me and I was glad that he wasn’t teaching anymore, it had been making him so sad to not be able to get teenagers excited about literature or learning.

    Funny thing, in college, on a final exam, when the question said to compare and contrast two poems, one by Shelly and one by Keats – well, I don’t know how long I had sat there, with a blissful look on my face

    the Professor coughing and trying to get my attention because I wasn’t writing anything and the time was running out.

    when I handed in my paper, Finn said to me, if I were up to me, you’d get 100% for that look on your face, but unfortunately, I can only grade what’s on the paper and it took 20 minutes for me to get your head back into the room.

    and I just smiled, because, I have never been motivated by grades, just for the opportunity to learn and by people. People motivate me.



  6. Nina
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:32:14

    I keep being drawn back to this post

    I feel that I almost understand it, or maybe, I can just feel it more

    cool marble, clear light, room to breath, to be solitary yet connected…

    I think that I might have … I just don’t have a frame of reference

    and am unsure if I can explain

    I have felt so thin and sticky, drawn out, pulled apart, stretched into the ether

    and re-reading this post, sitting and just letting my eyes play across the image

    letting the coolness seep into me

    contracting, cooling, concentrating

    I don’t feel so much like a string of beads, but just one centre dot

    not cracked, but not spherical – more like the planets, slightly flattened at either pole

    with a rakish tilt to my axis and a slight wobble in my orbit

    thank you, Bhaga

    just for being you

    and for being here

    for anyone who wanders alone

    for anyone who wonders alone

    for anyone who isn’t alone, but pondering…



  7. Nina
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 07:52:02

    I think that I was finally able to touch something of this place

    because, well, I saw an image


    and it helped me make sense of how I was feeling

    and …today, it feels like, I got my second skin back

    cleansed and purified

    and fitting in a way, that really makes me want to dance and sing



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