Blanche Rachel Mirra Alfassa, was born to Moïse Maurice Alfassa a Turkish Jewish father, and Mathilde Ismalun an Egyptian Jewish mother in Paris on 21st February 1878. She grew up with vast interests and a talent for art and music alike. She had had quite a number of dreams or occult experiences in the past that she kept to herself. Narrating an experience she had once at a wedding, she was staring through a window completely engrossed in the music being played, when she suddenly felt a bolt of lighting enter her and that feeling had lasted for days.
Her first marriage was with Henri Morisset who was an artist himself and they had a son named Andre. Henri played an instrumental role in her joining the Academic Julian. Though art was only one of the interests she had, it occupied a major part of her life. She believed that in both Art and Yoga, the aim was to become more conscious and to learn to see and feel something that is beyond the ordinary vision and feeling.
Most of her works of art can be found in the Aurobindo Ashram Art gallery. She mostly worked on sketches, portraits and oil paintings
Mirra Alfassa got acquainted with Max Theon (who founded the group Cosmic movement) and his wife Alma Theon. She began practicing their teachings and experimenting with them. She later got married to Paul Richard who was also an aspiring politician. He also wrote a review on the Yoga of Aurobindo which was made into a book later on. But both Mirra and Richard had to move to France under pressure from the British. When they could finally come back to Pondicherry in 1920, she had decided this was going to be her chosen place for spiritual fulfillment. She was pursuing intense Yoga and Sadhana that reflected a physical change in her appearance too.
When the Mother first met Shri Aurobindo, she realized that the figure she had envisioned in her dreams as Krishna was actually him. She wrote in her diary: ‘‘It matters not if there are hundreds of beings plunged in the densest ignorance. He whom we saw yesterday is on earth: His presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light when Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth’.
She stayed near Aurobindo in the guest house at Rue François Martin initially before moving to the Aurobindo Ashram after her divorce.
Shri Aurobindo laid the foundations of the Ashram in 1920 and Mirra Alfassa was given the title of ‘The Mother’. He handed over the complete spiritual and material charge of all the disciples to the Mother and withdrew into solitude to concentrate on his sadhana of the Supermind.
The Mother founded Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, to fulfill Shri Aurobindo’s vision to provide a unique kind of education for the youth of India, where they could learn through experiments and research. Under her guidance, Aurobindo ashram grew into a large, multi-faceted spiritual community.
Source: India Times
The experiences in the last thirty years of her life were captured in a 13 volume book Mothers Agenda written by Satprem, who was one of her disciples.