Guiding Light of The Month

All is light, all is love, ignorance and egoism are but vain phantoms, they can be dissolved. And over all things spreads Thy sovereign peace, Thy fecund calmness. - The Mother

On The Mother’s Symbol



For the first time, The Mother's symbol appeared in Sri Aurobindo's ‘The Mother’ - as if illustrating its meaning and message. There was already Sri Aurobindo's symbol: the descending triangle signifying the triple truth of Sat-Chit-Ananda and the ascending triangle (formed by life, light and love) of the triple aspiring response from matter; the junction of the triangles forming a square representing the perfect manifestation and having at its centre the lotus, the Avatar of the Supreme rising from the waters of the Multiplicity or the Creation. The Mother's symbol henceforth published, may be seen as the one primal Power emanating out of itself four major Powers and twelve subsidiary powers of creation.
Actually, the two symbols are but two formulations of the same Truth, uncomplicated and immediately suggestive. There is the union of the many in the One, and there is the play of manifestation, alongside of mediation and transcendence. The Mother's symbol, which is a stylised lotus in bloom, has verily reserves of potency. If one must go into greater detail, one may say that the central circle signifies the Divine Consciousness, the four surrounding petals connote Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and  Mahasaraswati, and the twelve outer petals or twelve powers “ the vibrations that are necessary for the complete  manifestation “.

Sri Aurobindo also gave his approval to the interpretation of a disciple that the central circle “ of the  Mother's symbol of Chakra “ meant the Transcendental Power, the four inner petals the four powers working from the  Supermind to the Overmind, and the twelve outer petals the powers from the Overmind to Intuition and Mind. But of course the real worth of a symbol is in its fusion of connotative richness and aesthetic appeal.  “ Always the symbol is legitimate, “ says Sri Aurobindo,  “ in so far as it is true, sincere, beautiful and delightful, and even one may say that a spiritual consciousness without any aesthetic or emotional content is not entirely or at any rate not integrally spiritual.

The Mother's symbol has certainly this “integrally spiritual” power, and helps a great deal to spread the Light in the Ashram and outside.


(‘On The Mother’, Chapter 23 – “A God’s Labour”, K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry)


The symbol, from the outermost, consists of 12 outer petals that represent the 12 qualities in the following order, starting from the 12 o'clock mark, clockwise: Progress, Receptivity, Aspiration, Perseverance, Gratitude, Humility, Sincerity, Peace, Equality, Generosity, Goodness and Courage. Sri Aurobindo says that, "Essentially the 12 powers are vibrations that are necessary for the complete manifestation. These are the 12 seen from the beginning above The Mother's head. Thus they are really 12 rays from the sun…" [The Mother With Letters on The Mother and Translations of Prayers and Meditations, Sri Aurobindo]. These qualities come with their own wavelength of light, ranging from orange red, to deep green, deep blue to reddish violet and red.

The four inner petals represent the Four Aspects of The Mother, namely, Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Of the Four aspects, Sri Aurobindo says, "Only when the Four have founded their harmony and freedom of movement in the transformed mind and life and body, can those of other rarer Powers manifest in the earth movement and the supramental action become possible.



Sri Aurobindo On the Four Powers.....

"The four Powers of The Mother are four of her outstanding Personalities, portions and embodiments of her divinity through whom she acts on her creatures, orders and harmonises her creations in the worlds and directs the working out of her thousand forces..."

The Mother On the Twelve Powers.....

 ”It signifies anything one wants, you see. Twelve: that's the number of Aditi, of Mahashakti. So it applies to everything; all her action has twelve aspects. There are also her twelve virtues, her twelve powers, her twelve aspects, and then her twelve planes of manifestation and many other things that are twelve; and the symbol, the number twelve is in itself a symbol. It is the symbol of manifestation, double perfection, in essence and in manifestation, in the creation.

The first eight concern the attitude towards the Divine, and the last four towards humanity.


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