The contents of this document are copyright 1976, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, India. You may make a digital copy or printout of this text for your personal, non-commercial use under the condition that you copy this document without modifications and in its entirety, including this copyright notice.
Questions and Answers 1929
In 1929, on Sundays, the Mother met a small group of disciples at the home of one of them. After a period of meditation she answered any questions raised by the disciples. Portions of fifteen of these weekly talks, which were given in English, were noted down in shorthand by one of those present; the transcript was elaborated by another participant, and finally revised by Sri Aurobindo for publication.
The talks, entitled Conversations of the Mother, were first published for private circulation towards the end of 1931. In 1940 they were made available to the public as the main part of the book Words of the Mother. This was reprinted in 1943, 1946 and 1949. In 1956 the talks were published separately (with a short Foreword by the Mother) as Conversations. This book was reprinted in 1961, 1966, 1971 and 1973. In the present volume the talks have been given the name Questions and Answers 1929.
Questions and Answers 1930-31
During 1930 and 1931 the Mother spoke with a group of disciples who met her in the room of the Ashram called "Prosperity". Some of her talks, given in English, were noted down in abbreviated long- hand and afterwards reconstructed.
Several of these talks were first published with the Mother's approval in various issues of the monthly Mother India and in the annual Sri Aurobindo Circle of 1949. A larger collection, entitled Words of the Mother: Third Series, was published in book-form in 1951 and 1966. An additional talk, "Difficulties in Yoga", is included in the present volume, in which the talks are called Questions and Answers 1930- 31.
On the Dhammapada
From August 1957 to September 1958, in a weekly class with the children of the Ashram school, the Mother read from and commented on the Buddhist teachings as contained in the Dhammapada. The Mother based her commentaries on a French translation of the Pali text. The commentaries, given in French, were tape-recorded at the time.
The text, in a revised translation by Mme. Suzanne Karpeles (Bharatidi), and the mother's commentaries were first published in 1960, under the title Commentaires sur le Dhammapada. A second edition was issued in 1974. An English translation was serialised in the quarterly Advent from November 1960 to February 1965. In the present volume the translation of the commentaries is a revision of the Advent series; the text of the Dhammapada is a translation of the version of Bharatidi, with a few revisions in the light of the original text.
Appendix to Questions and Answers 1929
The Appendix contains Sri Aurobindo's explanations of certain phrases and passages in Questions and Answers 1929. These were written to various disciples between 1933 and 1937, most being addressed to a particular disciple in January 1937. The collection was first published in 1972 on pages 390 to 401 of The Mother, Volume 25 of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library.
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Last modified on Aug 11, 1995