What is the true significance of birthdays? Why are they given a special importance in the Ashram?

Yes, it is truly a special day in one’s life. It is one of those days in the year when the Supreme descends into us—or when we are face to face with the Eternal – one of those days when our soul comes in contact with the Eternal and, if we remain a little conscious, we can feel His Presence within us. If we make a little effort on this day, we accomplish the work of many lives as in a lightning flash. That is why I give so much importance to the birthday – because what one gains in one day is truly something incomparable. And it is for this that 1 also work to open the consciousness a little towards what is above so that one may come before the Eternal. My child, it is a very special day, for it is the day of decision, the day one can unite with the Supreme Consciousness. For the Lord lifts us on this day to the highest region possible so that our soul which is a portion of that Eternal Flame, may be united and identified with its origin.
 This day is truly an opportunity in life. One is so open and so receptive that one can assimilate all that is given. I can do many things, that is why it is important.
It is one of those days when the Lord Himself opens the doors wide for us. It is as though He were inviting us to rekindle more powerfully the flame of aspiration. It is one of those days which He gives us. We too by our Personal effort, could attain to this, but it would be long, hard and not so easy. And this is a real chance in life — the day of the Grace.”
“It is an occult phenomenon that occurs invariably, without our knowledge, on this particular day of the year. The soul leaves behind the body and journeys up and up till it merges into the Source in order to replenish itself and absorb from the Supreme its Power, Light and Ananda and comes down charged. for a whole year to pass. Then again and again… it continues like this year after year.
[Sweet Mother – Harmonies of Light by Mona Sarkar, p.16]

I would like to know the true meaning of birthdays, for it is an important day here.

From the viewpoint of the inner nature, the individual is more receptive on his birthday from year to year, and thus it is an opportune moment to help him to make some new progress each year.
                                                                                                                                [CWM2, 16:399]

How should one spend one’s birthday?

…in finding out the purpose of life.”
                                                                                                                                [CWM2, 16:415]

Today is my birthday. I want this day to be the beginning of a more spiritual life and therefore something has to be done. Please tell me what I must do.

It is not with the mind that one should decide what has to be done. It should be a spontaneous movement taking place in a sincere and constant aspiration.
                                                                                                                                [CWM2, 17:169]

What is the meaning of one’s birthday, apart from its commemorative character? How can one take advantage of this occasion?

Because of the rhythm of the universal forces, a person is supposed to have a special receptivity on his birthday each year.
He can therefore take advantage of this receptivity by making good resolutions and fresh progress on the path of his integral development.
                                                                                                                                [CWM2, 16:308]

Two beautiful birthday messages

Let this day of your birth be for you an occasion to give yourself a little more, a little better to the Divine. Let your consecration be more total, your devotion more ardent, your aspiration more intense.
 Open yourself to the New Light and walk with a joyful step on the path.
 Resolve on this day that it may be thus and the day will not have passed in vain.
                                                                                                                                [CWM2, 15:199]
Let the new birth become manifest in your heart and radiate in calm and joy and take up all the parts of your being, mind and vision and will and feeling and life and body. Let each date in your life be a date of its growth and greater completeness till all in you is the child of the Mother. Let the Light and Power and Presence envelop you and protect and cherish and foster, till all in your inner and outer existence is one movement and an expression of its peace and strength and Ananda.
Sri Aurobindo [I am With You, p.2-3]
“Last comes the instrumentality of Time, Kala ; for in all things there is a cycle of their
action and a period of the divine movement….” [Quote from Sri Aurobindo] What is this period of the divine movement?
For each thing it is different.
For each activity, each realisation, each movement, there is a definite period of time, which differs. There are countless periods of time which are entangled; but each thing is regulated by a kind of rhythm which is this thing’s own rhythm.
You see, for the facility of their outer existence, men have divided time more or less arbitrarily into years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, etc.; it is a rhythm that’s more or less arbitrary, because it has been created by man, but it has in itself a certain reality, for it corresponds to universal movements… as far as possible. And that is why, by the way, we celebrate the birthday, for example: because there is a certain rhythm in each one’s existence which is established by this regular return of circumstances analogous to those in which he was born.
And all movements—when you observe them, you become aware that they have a certain rhythm—the movements of inner consciousness, for example, not only from the point of view of understanding but that of personal reactions, of the ups and downs in progress; of a fairly regular periodic return, at once of advancing and recoiling, of difficulties and of helps. But if each person is attentive he realises that his own rhythm is absolutely particular to him; it is not the same rhythm as his neighbour’s. But even as the seasons follow a certain rhythm, regular enough on thewhole, so the individual life has its seasons. And when one studies oneself attentively, one finds out that there are even certain repetitions of analogous circumstances at regular intervals. Even, very sensitive people become aware that there are certain days of the week or certain hours of the day when they can do things more easily. Some of them have particular difficulties on particular days and at particular hours; some on the contrary have better inspirations at particular moments—but every one has to find this out in himself by observation. Naturally it is far from being absolute, it is not strict, and if it is troublesome, it can be eliminated very easily simply by a little effort of resolute will. But if it helps, one can make use of it.
And all this, each thing having its own rhythm, well, it makes an extremely complicated criss-crossing of rhythms, which results in what we see: something which seems to have none—because it is too complicated, it is too complex.
                                                                                                                            [CWM2, 7:332-33]