Integral Yoga Literature - By the Mother

Collected Works of the Mother -- Publisher's Note

Volume 10


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.

The Mother's commentaries on Sri Aurobindo's Thoughts and Aphorisms were given over the twelve year period extending from 1958 to 1970. The commentaries may be divided into four periods according to date, character and form.

1. Aphorisms 1-12 (1958): Oral answers to questions submitted beforehand in writing by the students, teachers and sadhaks of the Ashram during the Mother's "Wednesday classes" at the Ashram playground.

2. Aphorisms 13-68 (1960-61): Replies, mostly written, a few oral, to questions written to the Mother by a young "captain" of the Ashram's physical education department.

3. Aphorisms 69-124 (1962-66): Oral replies to a disciple. During this period the Mother digressed more and more from direct commentary on the aphorisms and used the occasions to explain the experiences she was having at the time.

4. Aphorisms 125-541 (1969-70): Brief written replies to questions asked by the captain mentioned above. All the mother's commentaries, spoken and written, were in French and were based on a French translation of the text of Thoughts and Aphorisms which was done by the Mother herself.

The Mother's translations of and commentaries on the first twelve aphorisms were published in 1959 under the title, Pensees et Aphorismes: Traduits et Commentes par la Mere. The remaining translations and commentaries were serialised in French and English in the quarterly Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education between April 1960 and August 1976. A complete edition of the French text, entitled Pensees et Aphorismes: Traduits et Commentes par la Mere, was published in two tomes in 1974 and 1976. The present volume, number ten of the Collected Works of the Mother (Centenary Edition), is the first complete edition in English. Translations of the first twelve aphorisms and commentaries are being printed here for the first time. The other translations are revisions of the English versions which appeared in the Bulletin.

Sri Aurobindo's Thoughts and Aphorisms was written during the early part of his stay in Pondicherry, certainly before May 1915, and very likely just before this date. Never revised or published during his lifetime, the aphorisms were first brought out in 1958 under the three headings established by the author: Jnana (Knowledge), Karma (Works) and Bhakti (Devotion).

When the original manuscript of Thoughts and Aphorisms was examined preparatory to the publication of a new edition of the English text in 1977, it was found that there were several erroneous readings in the text of the first edition, which was the one used by the Mother for the translation done by her upon which her commentaries are based. These errors, mostly minor, have been correted in this edition of On Thoughts and Aphorisms. A note has been given wherever the corrected reading is not in line with the Mother's comment.

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Last modified on Aug 11, 1995