Integral Yoga Literature - By the Mother

Collected Works of the Mother -- Publisher's Note

Volume 4


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.

This volume contains the Mother's talks from December 1950 to May 1951. It is worth noting how they originated. The Ashram school was founded in 1943 and by 1950 the first students had learned French fairly well. By this time many more children had come and there were not enough teachers of French. So, when the school year commenced in December 1950, the mother decided to take the highest class in French three times a week. This was the beginning of these gatherings, which came to be called "Mother's classes".

The mother usually began by reading a passage from her own writings or from the French translations of Sri Aurobindo's works; then she invited questions from the students and some of their teachers who also attended. Gradually, many other sadhaks of the Ashram joined the classes and asked questions. Therefore, the questions here are of various kinds and from many different levels of understanding.

For the first three weeks the Mother read from her essays on education and self-development which were published about that time in the earliest issues of the quarterly Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. For the next ten weeks she took up her early conversations, Questions and Answers 1929. For the last three weeks she read from some letters and short essays of Sri Aurobindo and from his book The Mother. The comments of the Mother upon these texts form the basis of her talks.

The earliest talks were noted by hand, but most were recorded on a dictating machine. They were published for the first time in an incomplete form in French and English in the Bulletin; extracts from ten talks appeared in various issues between 1957 and 1959; the rest (four complete talks excepted) were serialised in chronological order from november 1963 to February 1967. The first complete edition of the French text, Entretiens 1950-51, was published in book-form in 1967. A complete translation, entitled Questions and Answers 1950-51, was brought out in 1972.

The present volume, number four of the Collected Works of the Mother, (Centenary Edition), is a reprint of the 1972 edition incorporating a few minor revisions. The quoted passages from the texts of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are from the Centenary Editions of their works.

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Last modified on Aug 11, 1995