Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator, the Mother, was born in Paris on 21st February 1878. Mirra, as the child was called, was spiritually conscious from her early childhood. She was a talented musician and an accomplished painter and participated in the stimulating artistic life of the turn-of-the-century Paris.
Concerning her early spiritual life, the Mother has written: “Between eleven and thirteen a series of psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to me not only the existence of God but man’s possibility of uniting with Him, of realizing Him integrally in a life divine.”
In 1906 and 1907 the Mother voyaged to Tlemcen, Algeria, where she studied occultism for two years. Returning to Paris, she founded a group of spiritual seekers. Between 1911 and 1913 she gave many talks to various groups in Paris. The Mother sailed to Pondicherry, India in 1914 and met Sri Aurobindo for the first time on 29th March. She recognized him as the one who for many years had inwardly guided her spiritual development. She remained in Pondicherry for eleven months helping Sri Aurobindo to publish the ‘Arya’ and then return to France. After a year in France she went to Japan and stayed there for a period of nearly four years.
On 24 April 1920 the Mother returned to Pondicherry to resume her collaboration with Sri Aurobindo in his spiritual work. With her arrival the number of disciples around Sri Aurobindo gradually increased. This informal grouping eventually took shape as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. In November 1926, Sri Aurobindo went into seclusion and entrusted the full material and spiritual charge of the Ashram to the Divine Mother. Under her guidance, which covered a span of nearly fifty years, the Ashram grew into a large, multifaceted community which today numbers about 1400 persons. In 1943 the mother started a small school which gradually expanded to become the Sri Aurobindo International Education which presently has about 450 students and 200 teachers. Auroville, the ‘City of Dawn’ — an international township — was founded by her in 1968 near Pondicherry with the aim of realising Sri Aurobindo’s vision of human unity.
The Divine Mother, on her ninetieth birthday, summarized her life and work in this way: “The reminiscences will be short. I came to India to meet Sri Aurobindo. I remained in India to live with Sri Aurobindo. When he left his body, I continued to live here in order to do his work which is, by serving the Truth and Enlightening Mankind, to hasten the rule of the divine’s Love upon the earth”.
The Mother left her body on 17 November 1973.