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The Mother

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Item Code: HAO268
Author: Prema Nandakumar
Publisher: National Book Trust, India
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789354912306
Pages: 195
Other Details 7.5x5.5 inch
Weight 214 gm
Book Description
About the Book

The Mother (1878 - 1973), Mirra Alfassa, was born in Paris to wealthy parents. A spiritually elevated child, she had shown signs of higher consciousness from the tender age of five. Her spiritual quest brought her to India following the footsteps of Sri Aurobindo where she joined forces with him in setting up of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry and propagating his vision of the future. There, with Sri Aurobindo coming to be known as the Master, she came to be known as the Mother. The idea of a 'superconscious' human grew within her and her gifted mind aided in ushering in the era of spiritual wisdom. An account of the benign and fascinating personality of the Mother has been brought to life in this short biography.

About the Author

Prema Nandakumar is well known for her standard critical study of Sri Aurobindo's Savitri and for her learned books on poet Bharati's life and works and sensitive renderings of his poems into English. As a child, she grew up in an environment where the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were living presences.

This is reflected in the perceptive descriptions of the Mother-her vision, and the efforts to realise that vision. NBT has also published the biography of Subramania Bharati authored by her.


There have been several illustrious women from the West who chose India as their sadhana kendra, field of action and realisation. Sister Nivedita, Annie Besant, Ida Scudder, Mira Behn, Sophia Wadia, Mother Teresa- the list grows long. These elect spirits came, casting aside the comforts of their homes, to suffer, sacrifice and build a new life for the people of their adopted country, India.

The ministry of Mirra, the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry*, had a similar impulsion, and achieved truly phenomenal results. Born on 21 February 1878 in Paris, she first came to Pondicherry in 1914, and joined forces with Sri Aurobindo for the realisation of his vision of the future. After his passing in 1950, she remained in India to continue his work which was verily the transformation of human consciousness and the establishment of Life Divine on the earth. At the age of ninety-five, the Mother withdrew from the physical sheath that was her consecrated body on 17 November 1973. As the architect of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and as the inspiration behind 'Auroville', the City of Dawn, the Mother will forever remain a potent and living force in the earth atmosphere.

I was pleasantly surprised when the National Book Trust, India, asked me to write a short biography of the Mother, for I knew at once that it was a formidable, even an impossible, task. Nevertheless, encouraged by my father, Professor K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, I accepted the assignment though not without a measure of diffidence. Since my childhood thirty years ago, I have grown in an environment where the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were living presences. After I had completed my book, A Study of 'Savitri', I was permitted to have darshan of the Mother, and during the fifteen minutes I was with her in my father's company (that was in 1961), I found her verily incarnate grace. How is one to attempt a biography of that power and personality?

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