When Sri Aurobindo founded his Ashram in 1927, he placed the Mother in full charge of his disciples. The following year he issued a short but important book, The Mother, in which he explained the central role of the Mother in his vision of life and his method of Yoga. And during the next two decades he wrote for the disciples thousands of letters about the Mother.
Sri Aurobindo's letters on the Mother form the main body of this book. In them he clarifies who the Mother is, what she stands for, and why she is so essential in the sadhana. He also discusses the need for surrender to the Mother,
true relation with her through faith, devotion and love, and how to receive her help in difficulties.
The book begins with the text of The Mother and ends with translations by Sri Aurobindo of some prayers of the Mother. This book will be helpful to those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the Mother and her way of working.
Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on 15 August 1872. At the age of seven he was taken to England for his education. He studied at St. Paul's School, London, and at King's College, Cambridge. Returning to India in 1893, he worked for the next thirteen years in the Princely State of Baroda in the service of the Maharaja and as a professor in the state's college.
In 1906 Sri Aurobindo quit his post in Baroda and went to Calcutta, where he became one of the leaders of the Indian nationalist movement. As editor of the newspaper Bande Mataram, he put forward the idea of complete independence from Britain. Arrested three times for sedition or treason, he was released each time for lack of evidence.
Sri Aurobindo began the practice of Yoga in 1905. Within a few years he achieved several fundamental spiritual realisations. In 1910 he withdrew from politics and went to Pondicherry in French India in order to concentrate on his inner life and work. Over the next forty years, he developed a new spiritual path, the Integral Yoga, whose ultimate aim is the transformation of life by the power of a supra mental consciousness. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator the Mother, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. His vision of life is presented in numerous works of prose and poetry, among the best known of which are The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and Savitri. Sri Aurobindo passed away on 5 December 1950.
This volume consists of two different but related works of Sri Aurobindo: The Mother and Letters on the Mother. It also includes his translations of passages from the Mother's Prayers and Meditations. These three constituents make up the three parts of the volume.
The Mother consists of six chapters, all of them written in 1927. The first chapter was originally written as a message, the second to fifth chapters as letters. The sixth and longest chapter was written for inclusion in a booklet that eventually comprised the message, the letters, and Chapter 6. This booklet was first published under the title The Mother in 1928. The present text has been checked against Sri Aurobindo's manuscripts.
The letters on the Mother included in Part Two have been selected from the large body of letters that Sri Aurobindo wrote to disciples and others between 1927 and 1950. Most of his letters from this period are published in Letters on Yoga, volumes 28-31 of The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. Others appear in volume 35, Letters on Himself and the Ashram, and volume 27, Letters on Poetry and Art. The letters chosen for inclusion in the present volume deal with the Mother in her individual, universal and transcendent aspects. They have been arranged in five sections. Many letters are preceded by the questions or comments that elicited Sri Aurobindo's reply. The texts of the letters have been checked, whenever possible, against Sri Aurobindo's manuscripts.
The translated extracts from the Mother's Prieres et Meditations (Prayers and Meditations) included in Part Three comprise all the passages that Sri Aurobindo is known to have translated entirely on his own. His translation of Radha's Prayer" is also included in this part.
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