Thematic Index of the Collected Works of the Mother
© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
Introduction: why this index was made
The writings of of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are based on the same consciousness and make use of the same intellectual framework. They have, however, each their own style, and Mother's texts are generally considered easier to follow. While answering to a question from one of the children in the Ashram, the Mother explained the difference as follows:
Q: "How should we read your books and the books of Sri Aurobindo so that they may enter into our consciousness instead of being understood only by the mind?"
A: "To read my books is not difficult because they are written in the simplest language, almost the spoken language. To get help from them, it is enough to read with attention and concentration and an attitude of inner good-will, with a desire to receive and live what is taught.
"To read what Sri Aurobindo writes is more difficult because the expression is highly intellectual and the language far more literary and philosophic. The brain needs a preparation to really be able to understand and generally this preparation takes time, unless one is specially gifted with an innate intuitive faculty." (The full text of the reply is here.)
In Mother's works, however, it can be hard to find what she has written on any specific subject, as she has often dealt with the same subject in many different places.
This Thematic Index of the Collected Works of the Mother was created to make it easier to find everything she has written on one subject together in one place.
How to work with this index
It will be good to begin by making yourself familiar with its basic structure. The 167 subject categories have been divided over 15 main sections, which are displayed on the main Contents page: The first section gives an overview of the philosophical, social and spiritual setting; the next six sections deal with the structure and functioning of the self and the personality; the following six are about change and how to bring it about; and the last three belong to what is traditionally known as "applied psychology".
When you click on the section of your interest, a second page will open, listing the various subject areas that belong to this section.
When you click on any of these subject headers, a list will unfold that has short summaries of all the passages in which Mother dealt with this subject.
On the left of each summary, you'll find the reference. Some of the references are in blue and underlined: if you click on those, a new file will open which has the full text of the passage.
The references in this index always have the volume-number and the page number(s) on which the passage occurs in the first edition of Mother's Collected Works. The page numbers in the second edition (sold from 2004 onwards) are generally the same or slightly higher.
At the bottom of each file, you'll find buttons or links that can take you back to where you came from.
How the index was made
In the first phase, we created an outline for a comprehensive overview of the psychological ideas of Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
Then someone read systematically through all the volumes of Mother's Collected Works (with exception of Prayers and Meditations) and marked every passage that might be considered relevant to Psychology. Of each passage a short summary was written, wherever possible in Mother's own words. The summary was typed into a computer-file, together with the reference and the codes of all the subjects under which people might like to find this passage.
In the third phase, all these passages were put together and sorted according to the subjects they dealt with. The whole collection went then through several rounds of editing and re-ordering the subjects. A few subjects about which Mother had not written were removed, several others, which we had not thought of initially, were added. In the end, the index has now 167 subject-headings. Most passages can be found under only one subject, but some others can be found under two or three different headings. In total the Index has now 1746 references to 1448 different passages. Of 1042 passages the full text is available as a separate html file.
We hope you will enjoy using this index, and that it will encourage you to read the original works of both Mother and Sri Aurobindo. If you find any errors, or if you have suggestions for improving this index, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org .