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16. Past Lives of Sadhaks                              
17. Where is Mother?                                      
18. Some Related Information                    
19. What Happens to You When You Come to Mother
20. To Accept Mother in Life   



Mother and Sri Aurobindo were on earth at all critical periods of evolution to guide it, said Sri Aurobindo. Answering a question about how long they were on earth, he said since the beginning. Mother always said that all those who are here in the Ashram, those who were here and even those who had left the Ashram, were with them in several previous births. Everyone of them had, in earlier births, prayed to Her for the boon of being with Her at the time of Divine fulfilment. And that is why they are all here, said Mother.

In a certain period, Mother was telling sadhaks about their previous births. To one sadhak she said that she saw an emanation of Vivekananda on him. Another was a Roman general. Commenting on the royal robes of an actor on the Ashram stage, Mother said he looked exactly like his past self as a Roman Emperor. Reincarnations of Hector, Moses, Lalitha [Radha’s play mate], a French king and Confucius were found by her among her disciples.


For human life to be transformed into Divine Life, the ego should be replaced by the soul, the thoughts of mind by the jyothi of the spirit, the attachment of the heart by divine love, the excitement of the vital by the delight of the spirit, the habitual efficiency of the body by the unfettered power of the gods, death by immortality, etc. All expressions of darkness and falsehood must be replaced by expressions of light and truth. Purna yoga’s central endeavour is to bring this about.

When we receive blessings from the Mother, when we think of Her and feel we belong to her, when we really see Mother acting in our lives, we see the expressions of such a transformation.

An industrialist devotee came to the Ashram on his usual annual visit, met a visitor who had come there, and discussed his own affairs in his factory. The industrialist was pleased by the half-hour discussion with the visitor and even felt that it might be useful. A week later the visitor received a cheque for Rs.2,000, requesting him to use it for the work he was doing for Mother. The industrialist was known to be a miser of a hard type. Not many people had succeeded with him in matters of money. Everyone who personally knew the industrialist refused to believe the news. Some could not even believe it after seeing the cheque. Misers of reputation have shown the ‘Divine Truth’ that misers do have generosity when they relate to Mother and have acted as men of generosity. Whenever you find a man acting exactly opposite to his nature, you can be sure Mother is at work. That is her power of transformation.

The owner of a coconut garden prayed to Mother that the theft of nuts from his garden should stop. It stopped. Two men came to him. They announced that they were the thieves and that they had decided to turn over a new leaf. Theft can stop in response to prayer. The thief changing his ways and announcing it to his victim is unheard of. Wherever it exists, it is transformation. Wherever Mother acts, that touch of transformation is inevitably there.

Mother has named the flower of the Indian Cork tree ‘transformation’. A bank’s offering more money than applied for; dishonest villagers returning their loans on their own; an applicant who pleaded for the inclusion of his name in the selection panel, cancelling the previous rejection order, finding his name included, not in the panel, but in the selected list; the aspirant for a bank clerkship being recruited as a bank agent; the buyer of a property offering a higher price than the one quoted by the seller—are not common to human life. They are the experiences of the devotees and expressions of Mother’s power of transformation.


By ‘Mother’ we mean the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram who lived here in her physical body for over 60 years. Sri Aurobindo said Mother was an avatar and an incarnation of the Divine Transcendent Shakti. In Her individual aspect she lived here and worked with Sri Aurobindo. During her stay She revealed her universal aspect several times. To us, her devoted children dedicated to Her mission, She is the Supreme Divine Mother physically leading us to the realisation of the Supermind. She is individual, universal and transcendent. Her being here on earth, Sri Aurobindo said, is an act of constant Grace. When all is said and done, we mortals have a way of feeling that she WAS here and now Mother is not here, referring to her physical existence. It is true that the physical presence of Mother is constant Grace, an incomparable opportunity to relate to Her as her own children. It is an Hour of God and not luck that earth was often favoured with. Perhaps this was the most auspicious hour in earth’s life. Mother even added a new dimension to Her existence on earth. The Divine Mother, of whom she was a physical incarnation, herself came down on earth to hasten the advent of the Supramental Being, because our Mother was here.

Well, it is a physical fact that Mother lived amongst us and now she is no longer with us in the physical body. How do we know when she acts, where she is, which acts express her grace?  There are several ways that were true even when Mother was here and continue to be equally true now, perhaps more true. One thing is certain. Mother’s presence is now more powerfully felt everywhere than when she was here prior to 1973. She responds to calls more quickly and her answers bring a fuller result.

When a devotee meets Mother, she initiates him into spirit by looking into his eyes, reaching his soul through the eyes, fixing a spark of herself in his soul, which grows there into an emanation of her, presiding over his life. Apart from that permanent lodged inhabitant, there are the other moments when she comes into your mind, heart, nerves or life. They have a special sweetness, each special to its own plane, and have a marked way of expressing.

We can know Mother is there when CALM invades our heart suddenly. When Mother chooses our heart as a temporary abode, we feel it as CALM. If she chooses to linger there for more than a minute, causeless joy issues out of our heart. Joy is always Mother’s gift and causeless joy is a stamp of Her presence. If you ever find your mind expanding--actually it is felt as if the skull is expanding--you can spot out Mother in your mind. If thought ceases in your mind of currents and cross currents, it indicates Mother’s visit to your mental region. When the sensation of excitement changes into pleasing expansiveness, when others speak your thoughts, when life moves towards you bringing you the man you want to meet, the things you want to acquire, when new rules are made to meet your new needs, when MORE is given to you than what you asked for, when an argument against you turns in your favour, when help arrives exactly on the minute, MOTHER IS there.

A man with a deep-seated inferiority complex developed a high strung tension and learnt to live with it, living a miserable inner life. He came to Mother’s Darshan and on the same day the entire terror dissolved forever. Another well-placed business executive of very fortunate circumstances in life developed a fond sentiment for the Vedas and learnt important portions, neglecting traditional injunctions. His unorthodox interest in the orthodox ways of Vedic lore had the very opposite result than he aimed at. His mind was torn by an unbearable tension to the point of having sleepless nights and nightmares for 15 years. He came to have Mother’s Darshan. When he entered Her room, even before coming in front of Her, Her gaze fell on him and wiped out the demon that had possessed his mind.

A professor of high academic education and attainment came to Mother’s balcony Darshan and found his mind falling silent and his thoughts ceasing, an experience he never had in life. A timid lady who used to fear everything and everyone came to the Ashram to renew contact with her sister lost several years before and was frightened beyond measure as to what would happen at the meeting. To her surprise, meeting her sister in the Ashram premises gave her a joy not known to her before.

Clever talebearers in a school carried false stories to the indecisive headmaster against a new teacher. He called a teacher’s meeting to discuss and decide on the 29 complaints. Being unprecedented in the 100 year tradition, every other teacher was panicky about the issue, since a weak boss was being handled by clever intriguers. In a potential atmosphere for any untoward turn, the meeting began on an uncertain note and led nowhere. The new entrant was a devotee of Mother and decided not to defend himself. He awaited the result. The foolish remarks of the talebearers provoked the headmaster who furiously turned against them for leading him into a situation he could not manage. He abused them publicly and dispersed the members. When the devotee does not defend himself, Mother defends him more fully than he can.


Mother says the life of a man remains in the body after death for seven days. Life exists at several levels. When the heart stops, pulse stops, the body becomes cold, we declare a person dead. But deeper layers of life linger even after the body begins to decompose and finally leave the body only after seven days. In more developed cases of the soul, the period may be longer than seven days. The Indian habit is to cremate the dead body. Mother says when the body is burnt, the lingering life reacts and twists and turns the body sometimes. Burial is the best method according to Mother. It leaves the lingering life peaceful.

Mother accepts the service done to her devotees as service done to Her directly. Several traders, workers, doctors and other professionals offer paid service to Mother’s devotees as part of their regular work. Often they may not be even aware that the people whom they work for are devotees of Mother. Invariably every one of them prospers, as if they have done service directly to Mother out of dedication. The remuneration they draw in return for their service becomes, by an inverse logic of life, Mother’s Prasad to them. Likewise, there is a long list of people whose experiences illustrate this phenomenon. A money lender who lent a devotee a small sum got a troublesome partner removed from his firm; an agriculture labour supervisor who worked in one of Mother’s farms discovered water in his field well, which had been given up years ago as waterless; a school headmaster who offered a unique help to a devotee was promoted in his own religious hierarchy to an unprecedented height; a field labourer on Mother’s property became a community leader; a rickshaw man who was serving devotees received a permanent income five-fold higher for a fourth of his usual labour. To whomsoever the service is offered, Mother receives it from behind. When it is offered to Her devotees, She receives it as if it is directly offered to Her.

After coming to Mother, man finds his capacities increase and life offers rewards to the increased new capacities. As a result, average people rise to heights, incapable useless people become successful, even great, and labour leaders rise to political eminence.

It requires a great punya of past births to be part of Mother’s work, even if the individual is otherwise endowed. It is not endowment of personality that entitles a man to Mother’s service. It is only his poorva janma punya. Even if one is a dummy and good for nothing, such punya can bring him to Mother, Her work and Her service.

People who seek spiritual progress should still make an offering of a fruit or a leaf or a cup of water. It is an imperative in the scheme of spiritual fulfilment in human life. Only that material offering completes the last link between the eternal source of endless progress and the aspiring soul. Those in life whose prime requisite is not spiritual progress but material welfare must make a material offering. A Saivite brahmachari of over 70 years came to have Mother’s Darshan and on hearing the above explanation pronounced, "I seek only Mother’s Blessings. I am not in favour of material offering."  His Darshan had several beneficial expressions in his life. His health grew in vigour. His face began to shine as never before. He began to adore Mother with sincere emotion. He was appointed as an approved water diviner by the state government. He, who had been used to 10 to 15 calls a year, now was called all the time and answered three or four calls on a single day. He said that in one year he did as much work as he had in the previous 30 years. But, he received only as much income as he had earlier or a little more. He was sore about it. He was pondering on that paradoxical situation of a mountain of work accompanied by no enhanced income. When he almost spoke aloud his situation, one who had been present at his earlier pronouncement, "No material offering", reminded him of his earlier stand. He quickly reversed his stand and sent an offering to Mother. All the money due to him came as if obeying invisible orders. He left for his native place, bought a piece of land and a house, dug a well, and settled down in retirement. Material offering is in place for those seeking material prosperity.

 In my 29 years of experience, I have heard of several instances of Mother relieving the distress of her devotees. I have myself witnessed many of them. I have myself been instrumental in bringing devotees to Mother. In the next chapter, I would like to give a summary of all I know of under the title ‘What happens to you when you come to Mother?’


 Your clumsiness comes down, mind is clearer, health gains, life is happy, you are treated better by others, you rise in life earlier, your income trebles, unmarried girls get married, new rules come to bestow unexpected gains, quarreling in families abates, you get employed, feel happier, rewards come your way, recognition is greater, you score against rivals, diseases disappear, constantly people exclaim, "Where was I, where am I now, it is unimaginable!”, tempers calm down, you become a better person, acquire new capacities, you are invited on foreign tours, irresponsible children turn around, intimidating management becomes soliciting superiors, coercive partners quit, miserly partners buy you shares with their money, abandoned projects come to life, a nobody becomes a VIP, life prolongs after decreed years, incorrigible bad habits fall off, lost speech is restored, a mere volunteer becomes a chief minister, the greatest of dangers turns into the greatest of opportunities, lost wealth is restored in greater measure, properties offered for sale get thrice the price, annual incomes become monthly income and later daily income, low level employees rise to be top level executives, last level worker rises to become a CEO, final tragedies in life disappear in seconds catapulting you into the limelight, you end up buying 300 acres having aimed at owning one acre, record prices greet your produce, unforeseeable help brings in unimaginable abundance, complicated arrangements work out smoothly, unrealised ambitions given up decades ago come to life yielding results, life brings in the whole when you aspire for a part, uncultured relations put up acceptable behaviour, hostile society calms down into an admiring one, sickness disappears from the family, accidents disappear from vehicles and factories, strikes are forgotten by your workers, employers lose the attitude of exploitation, bankrupt divisions come to life, truant children become regular and rise to the top, vain people become sober, sight lost 20 years ago is restored in full, water appears in wells given up as dry, arch enemies acclaim your accomplishments, longed for posts are now offered to you, you become dominant in situations where you were submissive, invitations come from heads of administration and heads of state, journals solicit articles from one who has never published, rewards given at the end of career are offered at its beginning, retarded children improve enough to marry, neglected children become popular, timid men turn into respected leaders, coolies become community leaders, a thief becomes a wealthy trader, copious rain comes in the middle of summer to save the crop from a pump breakdown, you get a house in hours in a city where it takes months, opposite lawyer discloses favourable facts, a plot turns against those who hatched it, dismissal orders are dismissed at once, letters with no address reach safely, money lent to rogues is recovered, offensive spouse becomes pleasant companion, poor father is able to conduct three marriages in three years, offensive boss is compelled by his superior to write favourable reports cancelling bad reports, admission to medical college is secured without effort.


 In life we act according to what we like and avoid what we dislike. We choose our friends, our food, our job, etc. We take care to avoid certain people or certain foods. Some jobs are anathema to us. This is the basis for man to succeed in life. When you have people around you whom you like or when you do a job of your choice, you naturally meet with success. If for any reason a job irks you, you constantly look for an opportunity to get out of it. This is normal human life at all levels. When Rajiv Gandhi was invited to politics with a promise of future Prime Ministership, he said he would rather be a pilot. That is the force of liking. It is right in life.

 Should a man say that he would like to accept Mother in life, he would be touched at this point and, only if he is willing to change this attitude, can he think of Mother. Mother’s attitude is to rise above likes and dislikes, relate to work, do not express your personality but express your duty, do it without expecting results, do it without any attachment to the work itself. This is high sounding and seems idealistic. Our first response is to shun it at all costs. But this is a truth of life. At home, at the office, with relatives, friends, at a function in public, we do exhibit this ideal so as to be approved of in the society. "Here is an order to pay money to flood-affected people. Several others have come. I feel guilty in throwing away government money. But it is not for me to question. I am here to execute orders. Let me do it."  This is what one in government service does.

 If we look at the level of life we have risen to, at this level we will be following the above ideal at several points, in several ways. All men who continuously rise in life can be seen putting away their personal preference for one reason or another and relating to work on hand. That is the way of progress. Mother says it is good one makes several individual adjustments but it is better one gets that ATTITUDE permanently. To acquire that attitude forever is to accept Mother in life. To begin with, this attitude is essential in Mother’s way of life, which culminates in the final ideal of "No Reaction". Man’s life itself is a reaction to the environment. For him to reach an ideal of no reaction is a very high goal. Mother says reaction comes from the ego. Mother’s yoga stipulates the abolition of ego. Hence her ideal of no reaction. Taken in the best of spirits, this is a great opportunity for progress. What is very difficult for man becomes less difficult and possible, if he invokes the help of Mother. Should one try for a life of no reaction, he will soon discover how enjoyable and powerful life is.

 Normal human responses are expectation, greed, irritation, vindictiveness, jealousy, etc. If these get fulfilled, the pleasure one derives out of them is sharp, not wholesome. Certainly it is far more satisfying and pleasant to genuinely feel happy at a colleague’s promotion and congratulate him, instead of feeling jealous about his advancement. It makes you feel good and that is a way of progress too.

 Man anticipates the results of his present work and starts building on them. That is one reason for disappointment and frustration. To do the work and concentrate on it and think less and less about the result is a good attitude. Whatever discipline you follow, whether it is the right attitude, no reaction, feeling happy about another or not thinking of results, LIFE will cross the limits of our patience. If we succeed in one discipline at one level, life, as if it is consciously testing our endurance, will present a stronger occasion. If you manage to keep your cool at the provocation of your being bypassed in your office in the matter of allotting work, life will present you another opportunity where your promotion will be bypassed. The patience you managed to exhibit in the previous case will give way now. Even if you succeed here, another opportunity more difficult will come to break your endurance. Life is bent upon testing us and we should pass that test at all costs. Only with that attitude can we succeed in an effort like this.

 It is easy to keep patient when someone wrongfully prods you, but when your right actions are twisted and motives attributed, it is not so easy to keep quiet without reacting.

 You may pass that also. Yet there is one more test. You have loved a person as a good friend for a long time. He feels now there is an opportunity for him to serve a rich man and earn his good will, if he initiates an act of gross betrayal of your interest. Not many can stand that situation. A few may pass that test too. Added to that, he calls into question your otherwise spotless integrity to justify his own betrayal. Not to react here is not given to anyone who does not base his faith in the Divine. If one outwardly succeeds in this, still the inner reaction is not easy to abolish. Mother says that in such a situation one has to love the man who betrays you. Surely you cannot love his betrayal of your interest. Mother says love in him the Divinity, in spite of his betrayal. To find that love inside oneself is a sure way of accepting Mother in life. However intimidated you feel in such a situation, if you accept the ideal and call in Mother’s support, She makes it possible to emerge unscathed. Also She gives you no further occasion in life of that description.

 We cannot compare ourselves here with others, because not many people are following these ideals. We can constantly compare ourselves with the ideals we have set for ourselves.

 If this ideal is too high and one feels he cannot attempt it, he can make a small but significant beginning that will lead to the goal in time.


1.   As a first step, it must be possible to drop jealousy, hatred, offensiveness, selfishness, etc. One can make a full-throated effort, at least, with one of them.

2.   As a second step, try to take another man’s point of view, train yourself to listen, be pleasant and try any such attitude.

3.   At the physical level of action, punctuality, orderliness, regularity, etc. will help the efforts above.

4.   At a higher level act on faith.

 If you are not able to follow any of these with full significance, at least start following the external physical versions of them in behaviour.

  next chapter