Mother's Agenda

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Mother's Agenda - l'Agenda - is a massive 13 volume, 6,000 page, journal of The Mother's (born Mirra Alfassa) spiritual and physical experiences, recorded by Satprem over a period of 19 years, beginning with some fragments dating to 1951, and continuing in greater detail (especially with Satprem's use of a tape recorder) from 1960 to her passing in 1973. From 1957 until 1962, the Mother met Satprem twice a week in Pavitra's office. From March 1962, when she permanently retired to her room, the interviews were conducted there (Satprem 1979, pp. 21–22).

The Agenda "works" on several levels at the same time. On the one hand it is a record or logbook of the Mother's own explorations and work at the transformation and supramentalisation of the physical body, including the discovery of a deep but physical level of consciousness capable of restructuring the nature of the body and the laws of nature in a very radical way.

It also provides, on a very different level, an intimate glimpse of the Mother's personality, very like A.B. Purani's Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo. Yet it also includes (as perhaps did Purani's notes) many things that were clearly never meant to be written down (as she herself often insisted). For example complaints regarding the disciples behaviour were obviously off the record, but were included by Satprem in order to provide as he saw it a more complete record of the work of transformation.

Selected transcripts were however approved, and in a few instances revised, by the Mother, and these appeared regularly from February 1965 to April 1973 in The Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education under the headings "Notes on the Way", and "A Propos". They were later compiled and published as vol 11 of the Collected Works of the Mother.

On another it is a record of Satprem's own spiritual development, from rebellious westerner and endless traveller (including his poignant letters to the Mother while on the road, or with his tantric guru (Agenda vol.1 pp. 281–326, etc.) to devoted spiritual aspirant taking on the Mother and Sri Aurobindo's work.

On another level again it shows the development of Satprem's ideas on Spiritual evolution, with his concept of the birth of a "new species", equivalent to the evolution of humans from apes. This theme, while common in Satprem's works, perhaps originally inspired by the Mother's reference to the origin and descent of mind (e.g. Collected Works vol.xx p.xxx; Agenda vol.1 p.xxx), seems very understated next to the Mother's own descriptions of the entire transformation of physical life and the abolition of illness and death as such.

And in addition to all this, and inevitably, the Agenda is "a work of literary magic" (Titlebaum, 1985–1986) in which one enters a reality radically different from the western secular-naturalist approach, and is confronted with descriptions of occult and mystical experiences based on a radically different worldview to the current "post-modern" one.

After the Mother's passing, Satprem edited the tapes (which were in French), which he published as The Agenda. In 1979 the English translation of the first volume came out. Not all the volumes are available in print in English. However, in the late 1990s a complete English translation appeared on the internet.

In 21 December 2000, in an action which upset the on-line Sri Aurobindo and Mirra community, the Institut de Recherches Evolutives (Institute for Evolutionary Research) General Secretary Micheline Etévenon contacted all webmasters hosting Agenda or Satprem texts on line threatening legal action not only if they host any material of the whose copyright rests with the Institute Agenda, but even if they link to sites which have this material. An appeal by Dave Hutchinson, the President of the Sri Aurobindo Association, to allow this valuable electronic resource to continue, to be used by the online community of sadhaks studying the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, fell on deaf ears. As a result, the Agenda was removed from almost all websites.

The Agenda has since been translated from French into Russian by Igor Savenkov and into Chinese by Xu Fancheng. This Russian version is not covered by the I.R.E. copyright and is available on-line and free to download.

References[edit]

  • Hutchinson, Dave (2000), email to "ire-agenda", December 21, 2000
  • The Mother (1980) Notes on the Way - vol.11, Collected Works of the Mother - Centenary Edition, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
  • Mother's Agenda (1979- ) (Engl. transl) Institute for Evolutionary Research, New York (13 vol set)
  • Satprem (1979), "Topographical Note" in Agenda vol.1, pp. 21–22
  • Titlebaum, Richard (1985–1986) Commentary From The Journals, Boston, Massachusetts, 1985–1986
  • Georges van Vrekhem, Beyond the Human Species Paragon House, St Paul, Minnesota, 1998 ISBN 1-55778-776-2 (first published in Dutch 1995)

External links[edit]