Questions and Answers 1950–1951 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 4)

Questions and Answers 1950–1951 (CWM Volume 4)

Questions and Answers 1950–1951

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 4

This volume consists of talks given by the Mother in 1950 and 1951 to the students of her French class as well as some sadhaks of the Ashram. She usually began by reading out a passage from one of her works or her French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s works, and then invited questions. During this period the Mother discussed several of her recent essays on education, her conversations of 1929, some letters of Sri Aurobindo and his small book The Mother.

It is worth tracing the origin of the Mother’s French class, in which these talks were given. The Ashram school was founded by the Mother in 1943, and by the end of the decade its first students had learned French fairly well. As more and more children joined the school, there were not enough teachers in French. When the new school year began in December 1950, the Mother decided to take the highest class in French three times a week. At first she spoke to the students and some of the teachers, but gradually many sadhaks of the Ashram were allowed to join the class. As a result, the questions they asked arose from many different levels of understanding.

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Questions and Answers 1929–1931 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 3)

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Questions and Answers 1929–1931

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 3

Conversations about Yoga and life. The Mother answered questions raised by disciples in 1929 and 1930–1931. The volume also includes her commentaries on The Dhammapada, with a translation of that text.

This volume includes two early collections of conversations by the Mother and her oral commentaries on the Dhammapada. The conversations were spoken in English; the commentaries were spoken in French and appear here in English translation.

Questions and Answers 1929. In 1929 the Mother met weekly with a small group of disciples. After a period of meditation she answered questions raised by them. Most of these questions were asked by an Englishwoman who was living in the Ashram at that time. One of those present noted down the conversations immediately afterwards and later sent a copy of fifteen of them to Sri Aurobindo, who revised them for publication. They were first brought out for private circulation in 1931.

Questions and Answers 1930-1931. During 1930 and 1931 the Mother spoke with a group of disciples who met with her in a room of the Ashram known as Prosperity. One of the participants recorded some of these conversations in abbreviated long-hand and later elaborated his notes. These reports were not revised by Sri Aurobindo or the Mother, but the Mother did approve of their publication and made a French translation. They were first published as a book in 1951.

Commentaries on the Dhammapada. The Mother gave these commentaries on the Buddhist teachings of the Dhammapada between August 1957 and September 1958. She was speaking to a large gathering of Ashram members and students of the Ashram school, members of her “Friday class” at the Ashram Playground. After reading out a chapter of the text, the Mother spoke about the points that interested her and then asked the class to meditate on them. She did not comment systematically on the Dhammapada verses, but she did cover most of the central ideas of the text.

Appendix to Questions and Answers 1929. This appendix contains Sri Aurobindo’s explanations of certain phrases and passages in Questions and Answers 1929. They were written to various disciples between 1933 and 1937.

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Words of Long Ago (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 2)

Words of Long Ago

Words of Long Ago

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 2

Writings and talks from 1893 to 1920. The volume includes early essays, talks to seekers in Paris, essays written in Japan, and Tales of All Times, some stories for children. This volume contains all the writings of the Mother from the period before 1920, the year she settled in Pondicherry, with the exception of Prayers and Meditations. The book is divided into seven parts, according to the nature and date of the material. Most of the pieces were written originally in French and appear here in English translation.

Part 1. The essays and stories in this part were written by the Mother between 1893 and 1912. All the texts were written in French. All but two were first published in 1946 in the first part of a book entitled Paroles d’ autrefois. This book was reprinted in 1955. An English translation, entitled Words of Long Ago, was published in 1946 and reprinted in 1952 and 1947. In the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago, the contents of Part 1 of the previous editions were rearranged according to date and two new pieces added: “A Sapphire Tale” and an unpublished note related to “On Thought”. “A Sapphire Tale” was first published in the original French and in English translation in the monthly journal Mother India in February 1957. At the time of its publication the Mother remarked to the journal’s editor that the story expressed “the ideal of the overmind creation”. The original translations of all the contents of Part 1 were revised for publication in 1978 in Words of Long Ago, Volume 2 of the Collected Works of the Mother. The same contents were brought out in the original French in 1983 in Paroles d’autrefois, the French counterpart of Volume 2 of the Collected Works.

Part 2. The essays in this part were written by the Mother for the meetings of “a small group of seekers” in 1912. All the texts were written in French. All but one were published in 1946 in the second part of Paroles d’autrefois. This book was reprinted in 1955. An English translation, entitled Words of Long Ago, was brought out in 1946 and reprinted in 1952 and 1974. In the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago, one new piece was added: the essay for the meeting of 7 May 1914. This essay, which was restored to its original position in the series, was first published in 1939 in Quelques paroles, quelques prièrs and in English translation as the Foreword to the 1940 edition of Words of the Mother. The question at the beginning of this essay, taken from the Mother’s handwritten manuscript, was published for the first time in the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago. The original translations of all the contents of Part 2 were revised for publication in that edition. The same contents were brought out in the original French in 1983 in Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 3. Between 1911 and 1913 the Mother gave a number of talks to different groups in Paris. Two of these talks, “On Thought” and “On Dreams”, appear in Part 1 of this book. Several other talks never published in the Mother’s lifetime are published here as Part 3. The Mother sometimes presented the same talk to different groups, with suitable additions and alteration. These variants, if significant and non-repetitive, have been given here in footnotes. A note relating to the Mother’s talks, which was found among her manuscripts, has been placed before the other items. The talks, notes and reflections in this part, all from the period 1912-13, were first published in English translation in 1978 as Part 3 of Words of Long Ago. The original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 3 of Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 4. The writings in this part, similar to Prayers and Meditations, were not published in the Mother’s lifetime. Several of the pieces are dated between 1914 and 1916; the remainder seem clearly to belong to the period before 1920. These writings first appeared in English translation in 1978 as Part 4 of Words of Long Ago. The original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 4 of Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 5. This part comprises several short essays and notes entitled by the Mother “Notes and Reflections”, and a few related writings. Several of the pieces are dated between 1914 and 1915; the rest appear to have been written around the same time. None of the writings were published during the Mother’s lifetime. They first appeared in English translation in 1978 as Part 5 of Words of Long Ago. The original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 5 of Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 6. The letters, essays, etc. comprising this part were written in Japan between 1916 and 1920. “Woman and the War”, written originally in French, was published in an English translation seen and revised by the Mother, in the Fujoshimbun on 7 July 1916. “Woman and Man”, written in French around the same time and translated into English by the Mother, was never published in either language during her lifetime. “Reminiscences” also appears to have been written first in French and translated subsequently into English, very likely by the Mother herself. The other pieces in this part appear to have been written originally in English. They are among the Mother’s first compositions in the English language. “Impressions of Japan”, dated 9 July 1915, was written in Akakura and published in the form reproduced here in the Modern Review (Calcutta) in January 1918. “The Children of Japan”, an incomplete letter, was written shortly after “Impressions of Japan”, “Myself and My Creed” was written in February 1920. “To the Women of Japan” is undated. It exists in several versions, one of which has been chosen as the principal text; to this, passages from other versions have been added. Part of this talk was published as “To the Women of the World” in the annual Sri Aurobindo Circle of 1947. Some revisions, made by the Mother for this publication, have been included in the present text. A greater portion of the talk was published as “Talk to the Women of Japan” in 1967. The last part of “To the Women of Japan” incorporated passages from Sri Autobindo”s Human Cycle, Synthesis of Yoga, etc. The pieces in this part were published together in English in 1978 as Part 6 ofWords of Long Ago. The same pieces were brought out in French in 1983 as Part 6 ofParoles d’autrefois.

Part 7. The Mother translated and adapted some stories written by F.J. Gould which had been published in his Youth’s Noble Path in 1911. The Mother’s versions, written in French, were first published under the title Belles Histoires in 1946. English translations of the stories were first brought out in 1951 under the title Tales of All Times. These translations were revised for inclusion in Part 7 of the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago. Several hitherto unpublished stories were translated and added as an appendix to that volume. All the stories were published in the original French in 1983 in Part 7 ofParoles d’autrefois and its appendix.

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Prayers and Meditations (Collected Works of the Mother Volume 1)

Prayers And Meditations

Prayers And Meditations

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 1

Prayers and Meditations consists of extracts from the Mother’s spiritual diaries. Most of them are from the period 1912 to 1917. The 313 prayers reproduced here were selected by the Mother for publication. Written in French, they appear here in English translation.

A small collection of prayers — about one-fifth of the total — was brought out in English in 1941. Sri Aurobindo translated some of those prayers himself and, in the other cases, revised translations made by disciples.

This book comprises extracts from a diary written during years of intensive yogic discipline. It may serve as a spiritual guide to three principal categories of seekers: those who have undertaken self-mastery, those who want to find the road leading to the Divine, those who aspire to consecrate themselves more and more to the Divine Work. — The Mother

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Economics for People and Earth: The Auroville Case 1968-2008

Economics for People and Earth: The Auroville Case 1968-2008

Economics for People and Earth:
The Auroville Case 1968-2008

Auroville, an international township in South India, was founded in 1968. A small group of pioneers on a heavily eroded plateau, close to the Bay of Bengal near Pondicherry, set out to reforest the barren land and create a new socio-economic, ecological and spiritual habitat with a vision to build “a city the Earth needs”.

Forty years later, a vibrant community of almost 2,000 people from 43 nations had emerged, providing employment to some 4,000 men and women from nearby villages. Meanwhile, they had reforested thousands of acres of land, built homes, health centres and schools, developed organic farms, experimented with renewable energy and cost-effective building technologies, reached out to the neighbouring villages, and set up a plethora of businesses and services.

This book is a result of 15 years of research on Auroville’s economy. It outlines the principles envisaged by its founders, traces its history over the past four decades, investigates the growth of employment opportunities, offers a window on its economic activities through case interviews, and analyses the performance of its commercial and services domains.

It also gauges Auroville’s sustainability as a model of durable socio-economic development “for People and Earth”, and as an antidote for the all-pervading impact of global capitalism.

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Transcendent Sky

Transcendent Sky by Noel Parent

Transcendent Sky

Transcendent Sky is a collection of poems that explore the spiritual essence of life and inspire the awakening of the Soul and Spirit towards greater enlightenment and self-awareness. Through a unique offering of inspiration, contemplation, and insight, this book of poetry expresses some of the author’s inner experiences and personal reflections along the spiritual journey. It is a journey that evokes the Oneness of all of Life and the Divine Presence that dwells uniquely within each person. A meditation of words flow through these poems with the power to uplift, transform, and transport one’s Being to inner realms of Light, Love, Beauty, and Consciousness.

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l’Agenda de Mère (Tout le texte français)

l’Agenda de Mère

l’Agenda de Mère

Recueilli par Satprem, un disciple de Mère, au cours de nombreuses conversations personnelles avec elle, l’Agenda de Mère est le journal de bord complet de son exploration de la conscience cellulaire dans le corps humain. Il couvre 23 années des expériences de Mère qui sont parallèles à certaines des théories les plus récentes de la physique moderne, et sont peut-être la clé du passage de l’humanité vers l’espèce suivante.

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Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God

Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God

Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God

“A Witness of creation, if there had been one conscious but uninstructed, would only have seen appearing out of a vast abyss of an apparent non­existence an Energy busy with the creation of Matter, a material world and material objects, organizing the infinity of the Inconscient into the scheme of a boundless universe or a system of countless universes that stretched around him into Space without any certain end or limit, a tireless creation of nebulae and star-clusters and suns and planets, existing only for itself, without a sense in it, empty of cause and purpose.”

– Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, pp. 881-84

The evolution of life on Earth is a fact; Darwinism is one theory among several, based on the research of predecessors like Buffon and Lamarck, and formulated simultaneously with the very similar theory of Alfred Wallace. Besides, what is nowadays generally labelled as Darwinism hardly resembles what Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, but is the result of scientific developments at times considered anti-Darwinian.

This book narrates the relevant events in the history of ‘Darwinism’ and the resulting Social Darwinism and Sociobiology. It also stresses the antagonism of the scientific materialism at its basis and the religious teachings of the origin and evolution of life on our planet. It is this antagonism that has inevitably resulted in the ongoing controversies between creationism, the positivist scientific view of evolution, and ‘intelligent design’. The foundations of physical science as adopted by the biological sciences are examined, as are the motives for the attacks on religion by authors like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Stephen Jay Gould. The book analyses and clearly discerns between the various branches of creationism and intelligent design.

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The New Spirituality

The New Spirituality by Georges van Vrekhem

The New Spirituality

Georges Van Vrekhem, a Flemish Belgian, lived in Auroville from 1978 until his passing on 31st August, 2012.

In that period he published a number of highly seminal books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother such as Beyond Man, the Life and Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (1997); The Mother, the Story of Her Life (2000); Overman: The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being (2001); Patterns of the Present, from the Perspective of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (2002); 
Hitler and His God, the Background to the Nazi Phenomenon (2006); Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God (2011), and Preparing for the Miraculous (2012), containing the eleven lectures Georges had given in 2010-2011 at Auroville’s Savitri Bhavan and Town Hall.

In 2006 he was awarded the Sri Aurobindo Puraskar by the Government of Bengal.

At his passing Georges left a number of unpublished essays behind. Some of them were based on his talks in Auroville at the end of 2011, when he embarked on a second series of lectures on a wide variety of topics related to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. However, first Cyclone Thane and later his deteriorating health disrupted these lectures.

This book, which contains his unpublished essays as well as some of his articles and interviews that have been published in the magazines Auroville Today, Mother India, and The Advent, and in the book The Journeying Years, is published to honour Georges Van Vrekhem in recognition of his immense work in helping to understand the life and work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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Overman

Overman: The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being

Overman

The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother wrote and spoke at a time before the awareness of “gender specific language”. Yet, they more than anybody else stood for the importance and dignity of the individual in all its aspects, male and female. For those who are not familiar with their personalities and their work, it may suffice to say that they admitted in their Ashram sadhaks and sadhikas on an equal footing at a time when this was most unusual.

When writing on subjects in connection with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother it is not always possible, however hard one tries, to adapt one’s language to the present sensibilities.

The book before you offers an important new presentation of an aspect of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother ’s vision and yogic development. The Mother ’s French term surhomme, meaning the intermediary between the human and the supramental being, has until now been wrongly translated as “superman”, the word which in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work stands throughout for the supramental being. To end this confusion and to clearly indicate the place the intermediary being occupies in the ongoing evolution beyond humankind, I find it essential to translate surhomme as “overman”.

“We start from the idea that humanity is moving to a great change of its life which will even lead to a new life of the race, – in all countries where men think, there is now in various forms that idea and that hope, – and our aim has been to search for the spiritual, religious and other truth which can enlighten and guide the race in this movement and endeavour. …”

“As man arose out of animal, so out of man superman shall come,” said Sri Aurobindo. Overman is a metaphysical book which dwells upon the concept of the ultimate progression of man into a highly enlightened species called the supramental being, towards which, the author says, the intermediary stage (the Overman) has already been reached.

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Hitler and his God

Hitler and his God

Hitler and his God

The Background to the Nazi Phenomenon

Hitler remains an enigma in spite of everything that has been written about him. Historians like Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw and H.R. Trevor-Roper confess their perplexity openly. How was it possible that an unknown, solitary and future-less front-soldier in 1918 became, some years later, the Leader and Messiah of the German people? How could a nullity unleash the most destructive and deadliest war humanity has ever known? Academic historians give countless reasons because the essential reason keeps escaping them; fantasy writers find the most bizarre occult explanations, disregarding the historical facts.

Georges Van Vrekhem has studied the literature in German, English, French, Dutch and Italian for several years. His conclusion is clear: in Hitler there must have been a cause equivalent to the effects of his actions. Van Vrekhem gives a revealing picture of the rise of the unknown Austrian corporal and brings to life the people who helped him in the saddle: Dietrich Eckart, Captain Mayr, General von Mohl, and many others. The author analyses Mein Kampf, the book in which Hitler laid bare his thoughts and intentions without being believed. And he shows how this “man from nowhere”, driven by the obsession of his mission and helped by incredible luck, managed to become the Führer.

To explain the foundations of a people who made Hitler possible, Van Vrekhem undertakes, in the book’s second part, a deep-probing analysis of the historical background. In this he gives a surprisingly clear picture of the German ambition, the racism which supported it, and the romantic youth movements which incorporated the racism. In a memorable chapter he sketches the history of the German Jews. And he shows another side of the German people: their longing for a better world, although vitiated by their sense of superiority.

All this brings Georges Van Vrekhem to his central theme: Hitler’s possession by the “god” who inspired him, guided him, brought him to power – and dropped him when no longer needed. This leads the author, in the third part of the book, to the unexpected but well-documented role of the Indian philosopher and sage Sri Aurobindo in the action against Hitler before and during the Second World War. While Hitler wanted to bring humanity back to a state of barbarism, Sri Aurobindo stood for the progress of humanity and a future in which a new evolutionary being, beyond humanity, might at last create the world humanity has never ceased to long for. In this view of history, many worlds interact and all facts fit into the big picture.

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The Mother The Story of Her Life

The Mother: The Story of Her Life

The Mother
The Story of Her Life

The Mother The Story of Her Life is a biography of the Mother (Mirra Alfassa) by Georges Van Vrekhem. Despite their essential contribution to the present world, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are still mostly unknown outside the circles of their disciples and devotees. It is Georges Van Vrekhem’s intention in this biography of the Mother to examine all available material about her life and to present it in an accessible and interesting way. He attempts to draw the full picture, including the often neglected but important last years of her life, and even of some reincarnations explicitly confirmed by the Mother herself.

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Patterns of the Present

Patterns of the Present by Georges Van Vrekhem

Patterns of the Present

Patterns of the Present is a profound and enjoyable account of the present situation of mankind and the world it lives in. On the threshold of the new millennium, countless pages have been written on the meaning of our world and its possible development. The conclusion in most cases was depressing – man would become an automaton in a sci-fi world. The author puts the present situation of humanity in the perspective of the evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The result is a positive interpretation of the global situation.

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Pitfalls in Sadhana

Pitfalls in Sadhana by M.P. Pandit

Pitfalls in Sadhana

It the book “Pitfalls in Sadhana” M.P. Pandit speaks about overcoming difficulties in the practice of the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

  • I. Meditation — Work — Reading
  • II. Rituals — Emotions — Psychic
  • III. Obsessions — Defects — Desires

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Readings in Savitri Volume 6

Readings in Savitri Volume 6 by M.P. Pandit

Readings in Savitri, Volume 6

Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol spans more than 900 pages and covers the gamut of human life and aspiration, the meaning of existence and the evolutionary development of consciousness. M.P. Pandit has systematically gone verse by verse through this epic and highlighted the sense and opened the meaning to us with his brief commentary or meditation on the themes thus revealed. Sri Pandit was secretary to the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He wrote and lectured extensively on Sri Aurobindo’s yoga and the Mother’s transformational work.

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On the Way to Supermanhood

On the Way to Supermanhood

The Book “On the Way to Supermanhood” is written by Satprem an was first published in 1987. It is an essay on experimental evolution, which powerfully conveys the atmosphere and vibration of the new world; the “book of tomorrow.” Read more

Yoga in Savitri

Yoga in Savitri

Yoga in Savitri

In the book Yoga in Savitri M.P. Pandit provides an overview of the yoga of  Sri Aurobindo as explained and set forth in  Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol.  There is the yoga of Ashwapathi that calls down the response of the Divine Shakti, and there is the separate yoga of Savitri, as she prepares for her confrontation with and defeat of Death.

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Readings in Savitri Volume 10

Readings in Savitri. Vol.10 by M.P. Pandit

Readings in Savitri Volume 10

Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol spans more than 900 pages and covers the gamut of human life and aspiration, the meaning of existence and the evolutionary development of consciousness. M.P. Pandit has systematically gone verse by verse through this epic and highlighted the sense and opened the meaning to us with his brief commentary or meditation on the themes thus revealed.  Sri Pandit was secretary to the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  He wrote and lectured extensively on Sri Aurobindo’s yoga and the Mother’s transformational work.

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The Teaching of Sri Aurobindo

Teaching of Sri Aurobindo

The Teaching of Sri Aurobindo

In “The Teaching of Sri Aurobindo” M.P. Pandit has provided us a brief overview and introduction to the teaching of Sri Aurobindo. This book seeks to expose the principles of this High Teaching and to elaborate upon the truths of this Knowledge in their bearing on the significance of Man, Nature and God.

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A Summary of Savitri

A Summary of Savitri by M.P. Pandit

A Summary of Savitri

In the book “A Summary of Savitri” M.P. Pandit goes through Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol and provides us a systematic prose summary of the poem with its key issues, points and organization, opening up Sri Aurobindo’s master work in a useful and concise way.

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