These are life-stories and interviews of some disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Judith Tyberg (Jyotipriya)
Anie: What was your earliest recollection of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo? What were you told about the Mother in early childhood and when did you realize she was someone special, not like everyone else?
Gauri: When we used to go for the balcony darshans when I was still very small, I would say “Big Mama is coming, Big Mama is coming.” I was brought up essentially with no religion. I was very close to nature and animals. When I thought of God, I saw Sri Aurobindo’s image. Also, I did not think of the Mother as a human being. It wasn’t planned out for me that she would appear as a Goddess, but that’s how it was in actuality. The Mother told my mother that I was a very old soul.
When we would go up to see Mother on darshan days, she was like a mother to all of us. She taught us children so much. We would sit down before her and she would pet us on the head. We would go to the Mother and have lunch with her. The queues were long waiting to see Sri Aurobindo. We would see him four times a year. I saw him up to the age of thirteen, at which time he left his body in 1950. He was for me the personification of compassion. There was always so much light around him. I always saw this light around him and a loving, compassionate smile on his face….
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Anie: Would you describe your first darshan with Mother and Sri Aurobindo, or share any of the darshan experiences you had with them?
Tehmi: I saw the Mother twice a day. She used to give darshan in the mornings in the meditation hall. In the evenings we would go up for darshan to the top of the staircase. My first darshan with Mother I saw her sitting at the top of the stairs wearing the most exquisitely beautiful blue sari. Her eyes were something indescribable. I was overwhelmed by the experience. She took us over immediately.
Sri Aurobindo’s power was quite different. I saw him only when he gave dar-shans four times a year. We passed by him quickly one by one, but he transferred so much force into each of us in such a short amount of time. I remember one April darshan in the afternoon sitting in the courtyard waiting to go upstairs. I could feel, palpably, the entire courtyard rocking back and forth from the amount of force emanating from his presence. This is one of the reasons children were not allowed in the Ashram until a certain age. The force was too strong and they would often fall ill.
During my first darshan, as I was approaching the inner room, when I reached the door I could feel two rays of light entering my chest. I was still standing at the door when I felt this. When I stood in front of Sri Aurobindo it was as though I was in a trance. I walked away still in that state…..
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Anie: Have you ever seen Mother and Sri Aurobindo in the subtle worlds?
Sunanda: Yes, I have seen them on the subtle planes. They appear as human forms, but when they “walk” they advance without taking steps. They move as though in a gliding motion over the subtle surfaces. Generally Sri Aurobindo is seen in white, blue, and gold. The Mother has all the subtle pastel colors.
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Anie: Will you please share your experience of the first darshan with Sri Aurobindo?
Richard: In the early days, there was no line except from the Meditation Hall. Everyone sat in the courtyard. We had a three-day holiday from school: the day before darshan, Darshan Day, and the day after, which was called Garland Day. It felt as though one walked in some other world. We entered the darshan room and it felt like a cool, dense forest, intense and quiet. Although I was short and there were tall people in front of me and I could not see, I could feel a solid peace—something very solid . . . a force, a light, intangible but inexpressible.
Even though they sat in the anteroom, one had a sense of being in the same room with Mother and Sri Aurobindo. For me as a child, Sri Aurobindo was like viewing a mountain. He was so majestic. When I was still quite young, I used to wonder what he was doing in his room all day and why we only saw him four times a year. The Mother seemed like a queen when she sat next to Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo was truly regal. His presence was felt even before standing in front of him. There was a great coolness in the room. The very first time I entered the Ashram, I could feel this coolness and peace in the atmosphere. To this day when I am in a state of deep quietude, I can still feel this atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo’s darshan strongly. Sri Aurobindo looked austere and impassive. The Mother was radiant and smiling!
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Margaret Woodrow Wilson (Nishtha)
- Anie Nunnally’s book The Golden Path: Interviews with Disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother from which many of these interviews are excerpted.
- Developing one’s own spiritual atmosphere (Gita 3:17)
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- Spirituality : between morality and immorality
- The occult forces behind artistic movements
- Cultivating witness consciousness (Saksi Bhava) – part 2
- Difference between religion and spirituality
- Are earthquakes due to Divine retribution?
- The purpose of idolatry and its limitations
- Is fear and awe of God necessary?
- Karma can be changed. Your destiny is in your hands