The Mother was born Mirra Alfassa in Paris on February 21, 1878. A pupil at the Academie Julian, she became an accomplished artist, and also excelled as a pianist and writer. Interested in occultism, she visited Tlemcen, Algeria in 1905 and l906 to study with the adept Max Theon and his wife. Her primary interest, however, was spiritual development. In Paris, she founded a group of spiritual seekers and gave talks to various groups.
In 1914, the Mother voyaged to Pondicherry to meet Sri Aurobindo, whom she at once recognised as the one who for many years had inwardly guided her spiritual development. After a stay of eleven months she was obliged to return to France due to the outbreak of the First World War. A year later she went to Japan for a period of four years.
In April 1920, the Mother rejoined Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. When the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was formed in November 1926, Sri Aurobindo entrusted its full material and spiritual charge to the Mother. Under her guidance, which continued for nearly fifty years, the Ashram grew into a large, many-faceted spiritual community. In 1952, she established Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, and in 1968 an international township, Auroville.
The Mother beautifully summarized her mission thus: “…my only aim in life is to give a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo’s great teaching and in his teaching he reveals that all the nations are essentially one and meant to express the Divine Unity upon earth through an organised and harmonious diversity.” Sri Aurobindo and the Mother strove together to embody and manifest upon earth this Divine Consciousness, with the Ashram as the starting point.
The Mother left her body on November 17, 1973.