24th April 1920: Mother Comes Back to Pondicherry For Good

About their first meeting  in Pondicherry (then French Pondichery) on March 29 1914, Mirra Alfassa wrote:

” As soon as I saw Sri Aurobindo I recognised in him the well-known being whom I used to call Krishna… And this is enough to explain why I am fully convinced that my place and my work are near him, in India.”

She had had to leave, though, with her then husband Paul Richard, because of the beginning of WWI in August 1914; but all the while until her return six years later on today’s date, she already had worked in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo for the French edition of the ‘Arya’, the new monthly magazine started for Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, August 15th, before she left on 22 February 1915 – just after her own birthday.

She wanted to still try to turn towqrds the Divine the asuric Mind Power she had been trying her best to convert in Paul Richard, the huge mental ego she had married for the very purpose of attempting his conversion, as she had promised the Divine to do. So as he was called back to France, she followed him.

One dangerous year in France during the War,  plus battling one deadly illness after the other in her own body; then four even more dangerous years in Japan with Richard, enjoying the perfect beauty of Japan and Japanese culture, but  having many difficulties and challenges there as well, like combating and conquering inwardly the malevolent energies that she discovered were behind the epidemic devastating the population in the town; this inner action on her part having had the immediate result that the epidemic stopped, some wise people there credited her openly for that.

And Mirra finally arrived at the sobering conclusion that converting Paul Richard to the Divine was an impossibility in that way: one needed to go down to the very root of things,  and change things there, then the Mind Power too would change, that was the only way.

So, this goal she had pursued, that promise she had tried to fulfill, being gone, she inwardly asked the Divine what she was now to do. In her ‘Agenda’, many years later, she told what happened next:

‘Suddenly everything in me became immobile; the whole outer being got immobilized completely, I had a vision of the Supreme… more beautiful than the one in the Gita. A vision of the Supreme. And then this vision literally took me in its arms, it turned towards the West, that is, towards India, and it presented me, and I saw that at the other end there was Sri Aurobindo. It was… I felt it physically. I saw, saw – my eyes were closed but I saw… indescribable. It was as if this Immensity had reduced itself to a Being slightly gigantic; he lifted me like a feather and presented me. Not a word, nothing else, nothing more than that. The very next day, the preparations began to go back to India.’

When the ship arrived near Pondichery, on this 24th April 1920 we are commemorating today, she had a strong experience again, physically again:

‘I felt the atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo (felt materially) ten miles away from the coast: ten nautical miles, not kilometers! It was suddenly, very concretely,  a pure atmosphere, of lightness, lightness, which was uplifting you.’

And when they met again, in the same place and in the same way as the first time, Mirra saw that this time her original inner vision of that moment was completed, the second half of it finally happened, exactly like in her original vision while still a young girl in France, which had astonished her so much at the time…

And ‘TOGETHER’, she added, ‘exactly together we felt that the Realisation would come. That the thing was sealed, the Realisation would come.’

Mirra as she was in Japan, and Sri Aurobindo

Mirra as she was in Japan, and Sri Aurobindo

Here are a few quotes from some of Sri Aurobindo’s Letters to disciples years later, that describe the same period and their work together from then on (although the two last quotes speak of Sri Aurobindo in the third person, they too are statements that he himself wrote):
‘It is not clear what your Guru meant by my sitting on the path;
that could have been true of the period between 1915 and 1920
when I was writing the Arya, but the sadhana and the work
were waiting for the Mother’s coming. In 1923 or 1924 I could
not be described as sitting on the path, so far as the sadhana was
concerned, but it may perhaps be only a metaphor or symbol
for the outward form of the work not yet being ready. The
statement about my having gone too high to redescend for work
in the world was made in almost the identical terms by another
Yogi also; it referred to my condition at the time and cannot be
taken as anything more.’


‘Mother was doing Yoga before she knew or met Sri Aurobindo;
but their lines of sadhana independently followed the same
course. When they met, they helped each other in perfecting the sadhana.’

‘What is known as Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga is the joint creation
of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother; they are now completely
identified—the sadhana in the Asram and all arrangement is
done directly by the Mother, Sri Aurobindo supports her from
behind. All who come here for practising Yoga have to surrender
themselves to the Mother who helps them always and builds up
their spiritual life.’




4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Bardo Group
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:16:14

    This is wonderful to read first thing in the a.m., Bhaga. I must come back when I am on my own blog to reread and absorb. Thank you for this post.
    Jamie Dedes



    • Bhaga
      Apr 25, 2014 @ 10:19:40

      Yesterday night, just as I was putting my laptop off, I found your comment in my email, waiting to be approved; I just did that and went to bed! And today, returning after a full morning spent at our Town Hall, I’m glad to really read it at last, it is so nicely appreciative…,



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