The Mother, to Women
When the Mother was in Japan, she once addressed the women there, and said something that should be of tremendous interest not only to women anywhere in the world, but to mankind as a whole. She spoke on the mundane subject of maternity, but gave it a twist that makes women potentially the agents of a radical change in human nature. The process of creating a new life through maternity can be a conscious process. The mother's thoughts and feelings during pregnancy can shape the consciousness of the baby taking shape in her womb. The Mother had once seen two beautiful little girls, twins, whose beauty had the perfection of a child in a painting by Reynolds. The girls resembled neither parent, but it so transpired that the girls' mother had looked at consciously, throughout pregnancy, especially just before going to bed, and on getting up in the morning, a painting by Reynolds, and had prayed that she give birth to a child as beautiful as the child in the painting. The physical features offer much more resistance to any modifying influence than do thoughts and feelings. Therefore, if even the body of her child can be affected by a pregnant mother, it should be easier to influence the child's mind during pregnancy. Hence, the Mother urged women to use the power of their minds to "conceive and create a character capable of manifesting an ideal". This, the Mother said, is more important now than ever before in history because we are on the verge of a new step in evolution. The first among the supermen will naturally be born to women, and therefore women can contribute to the process by treating maternity as a process of conscious creation. The superman the Mother had in mind was not the same as visualized by Nietzsche. Nietzsche's superman is "a man aggrandized, magnified, in whom Force has become super-dominant, crushing under its weight all the other attributes of man". Instead, the superman that the Mother visualized is the man who lives by a principle higher than reason. The superman's guiding Light would be the Spirit within, the highest Truth of which man is capable. This faculty would change human nature itself in such a way that evil and injustice, and the consequent misery associated with human life would be wiped out. The Mother also said something extremely interesting about the superman: his mental ability might be less than that of man. But this foresight should not be so surprising, because evolution has not been accompanied by a linear and progressive increase in all abilities. Man's predecessors like the lion have far more physical ability; man cannot even jump from tree to tree like a monkey. Similarly, the superman might lose some of man's mental abilities. What the Mother said further is even more significant. By losing some of man's mental abilities, the superman will lose the "ability to deceive himself and others". It is such a superman, who will change the very character of terrestrial life, that women should concentrate on creating consciously through maternity. For this, they, and their partners, need to be on the spiritual path all along, not just during the woman's pregnancy. We must change if we want to see the change in the next generation.
(Based on: Words of Long Ago by The Mother. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, fourth edition, 1994, pp. 115-126.)
The Mother spent about four years in Japan from May 1916 - March 1920. It was from Japan that she sailed for Pondicherry, where she arrived, for the second time, on 24 April 1920. After that, She never left Pondicherry for even a single day. 24 April is, therefore, an important date in the calendar of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and is one of the four Darshan Days celebrated every year.