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Sri Young

Sri Aurobindo

Seven drafts on Supramental Yoga

and for "The Path"

(from 1928-1929 to late 1930's)

On Supramental Yoga

1 - [Circa 1928–29] The supramental Yoga is a path of integral seeking of the Divine by which all that we are is in the end liberated out of the Ignorance and its undivine formations into a truth beyond the Mind, a truth not only of highest spiritual status but of a dynamic spiritual self-manifestation in the universe.
The object of this Yoga is not to liberate the soul from Nature, but to liberate both soul and nature by sublimation into the Divine Consciousness from whom they came.
The aim of the ordinary Yoga is to liberate the soul from Nature or, perhaps sometimes, to liberate the soul in Nature.
Our aim is to liberate both soul and nature into the Divine. Our aim is to pass from the Ignorance into the Divine Light, from death into Immortality, from Desire into self-existent Bliss, from limited human-animal consciousness into all-consciousness and God-consciousness, from the ignorant seeking of Mind into the self-existent knowledge of Supermind, from obscure half animal life into luminous God-force, from the material consciousness... [sentence not completed]

2 - [Circa 1928–29] It is at the high line where the surrender can become absolute that a divine gnostic consciousness commences and the first authentic and unconditioned workings of the supramental Nature.

3 - [Circa 1928–29] The first word of the supramental Yoga is surrender; its last word also is surrender. It is by a will to give oneself to the eternal Divine, for lifting into the divine consciousness, for perfection, for transformation, that the Yoga begins; it is in the entire giving that it culminates; for it is only when the self-giving is complete that there comes the finality of the Yoga, the entire taking up into the supramental Divine, the perfection of the being, the transformation of the nature.

4 - [Circa 1930] All Yoga has one supreme object; a permanent liberation from the ignorance and weakness of this limited and suffering human and earthly consciousness is its purpose and either an escape or a growth and swift flowering into a greater consciousness beyond mind, life and body, into a wider and diviner existence.
But this greater consciousness is differently conceived by different seekers, for in itself it is to the mind unseizably infinite. One, but multitudinously one, it presents itself in a million aspects. To some it appears as a great permanent Negative or a magnificent, a happy annihilation of all that we know as an existence. To others it is a featureless Absolute; the annihilation of personality and world-Nature is its key and silence and an ineffable peace its gate of our entrance. To others it is a Supreme, positive beyond all positives, an Existence, an absolute Consciousness, an illimitable Beatitude. To others it is the one Divine beyond all Divinities, an ineffable Person of whom all these three supreme things are the attributes. And so through an endless chapter. As is the power of our spirit and the cast of our nature, so we conceive of the one Eternal and Infinite.
This Eternal and Infinite, however we conceive it, is the one ultimate aim of Yoga. Other smaller aims there are that can be achieved by it and are pursued by many seekers; but these are crowns of the wayside or even flowers of the bye-paths and their pursuit for their own sake may lead us far aside or far away from our eternal home.
The object of supramental Yoga combines all the others, but uplifts and transforms the smaller aims into a part of the completeness of the one supreme object.
Not to lose oneself altogether in some ineffable featurelessness is its object, but to renounce ego for our true divine person one with the universal and infinite; not to abolish consciousness, but to exchange ignorance for a supreme and all-containing Knowledge, not to blot out joy but to renounce human pleasure for a divine griefless beatitude, not to give up but to transform all world-nature and world-existence into a power of the Truth of the Divine Existence. Asceticism is not the final condition or characteristic means of this Yoga, although it does not exclude, whenever that is needful ascetic self-mastery or ascetic endeavour.
To become one in our absolute being with the ineffable Divine and in the manifestation a free movement of his being, power, consciousness and self-realising joy, to grow into a divine Truth-consciousness beyond mind, into a Light beyond all human or earthly lights, into a Power to which the greatest strengths of men are a weakness, into the wisdom of an infallible gnosis and the mastery of an unerring and unfailing divinity of Will, into a Bliss beside which all human pleasure is as the broken reflection of a candle-flame to the all-pervading splendour of an imperishable sun, but all this not for our own sake [but] for the pleasure of the Divine Beloved, this is the goal and the crown of the supramental path of Yoga.
This change is a thing in Nature and not out of Nature; it is not only possible, but for the growing soul inevitable. It is the goal to which Nature in us walks through all this appearance of ignorance, error, suffering and weakness.

5 - [Circa 1930. Closely related to "The Path"] All human Yoga is done on the heights or levels of the mental nature; for man is a mental being in a living body. But mind if it is able to reflect some light of the divine Truth or even admit some emanations from her power, is incapable of embodying her.
There is an eternal dynamic Truth-consciousness beyond mind; this is what we call supermind or gnosis.
For mind is or can be a truth seeker, but not truth-conscious in its inherent nature; its original stuff is made not of knowledge, but of ignorance.

6 - [Circa 1930. Heading: "The Path". This piece is the first draft of what is published as "The Path" (the heading of the present piece is used as the title of that essay)] The supramental Yoga is at once an ascent of the soul towards God and a descent of the Godhead into the embodied nature.
The ascent demands a one-centred all-gathering aspiration of soul and mind and life and body upward, the descent a call of the whole being towards the infinite and eternal Divine. If this call and this aspiration are there and if they grow constantly and seize all the nature, then and then only its supramental transformation becomes possible.
There must be an opening and surrender of the whole nature to receive and enter into a greater divine consciousness which is there already above, behind and englobing this mortal half-conscious existence. There must be too an increasing capacity to bear an ever stronger and more insistent action of the divine Force, till the soul has become a child in the hands of the infinite Mother. All other means known to other Yoga can be used and are from time to time used as subordinate processes in this Yoga too, but they are impotent without these greater conditions, and, once these are there, they are not indispensable.
In the end it will be found that this Yoga cannot be carried through to its end by any effort of mind, life and body, any human psychological or physical process but only by the action of the supreme Shakti. But her way is at once too mysteriously direct and outwardly intricate, too great, too complete and subtle to be comprehensively followed, much more to be cut out and defined into a formula by our human intelligence.
Man cannot by his own effort make himself more than man, but he can call down the divine Truth and its power to work in him. A descent of the Divine Nature can alone divinise the human receptacle. Self-surrender to a supreme transmuting Power is the key-word of the Yoga.
This divinisation of the nature of which we speak is a metamorphosis, not a mere growth into some kind of superhumanity, but a change from the falsehood of our ignorant nature into the truth of God-nature. The mental or vital demigod, the Asura, Rakshasa and Pishacha, - Titan, vital giant and demon, - are superhuman in the pitch and force and movement and in the make of their characteristic nature, but these are not divine and those not supremely divine, for they live in a greater mind power or life power only, but they do not live in the supreme Truth, and only the supreme Truth is divine. Only those who live in a supreme Truth consciousness and embody it are inwardly made or else remade in the Divine image.
The aim of supramental Yoga is to change into this supreme Truth-consciousness, but this truth is something beyond mind and this consciousness is far above the highest mind-consciousness. For truth of mind is always relative, uncertain and partial, but this greater Truth is peremptory and whole. Truth of mind is a representation, always an inadequate, most often a misleading representation, and even when most accurate, only a reflection, Truth's shadow and not its body. Mind does not live in the Truth or possess but only seeks after it and grasps at best some threads from its robe; the supermind lives in Truth and [is] its native substance, form and expression; it has not to seek after it, but possesses it always automatically and is what it possesses. This is the very heart of the difference.
The change that is effected by the transition from mind to supermind is not only a revolution in knowledge or in our power for knowledge. If it is [to] be complete and stable, it must be a divine transmutation of our will too, our emotions, our sensations, all our power of life and its forces, in the end even of the very substance and functioning of our body. Then only can it be said that the supermind is there upon earth, rooted in its very earth-substance and embodied in a new race of divinised creatures.
Supermind at its highest reach is the divine Gnosis, the Wisdom-Power-Light-Bliss of God by which the Divine knows and upholds and governs and enjoys the universe.

7 - [Late 1930s to early 1940s] All Yoga is in its very nature a means of passing out of our surface consciousness of limitation and ignorance into a larger and deeper Reality of ourselves and the world and some supreme or total Existence now veiled to us by this surface.
There is a Reality which underlies everything, permeates perhaps everything, is perhaps everything but in quite another way than the world now seen by us; to It we are obscurely moving by our thought, life and actions; we attempt to understand and approach by our religion and philosophy, at last we touch directly in some partial or, it may be, some complete spiritual experience. It is that spiritual experience, it is the method, it is the attainment of this realisation that we call Yoga.
But the Reality is an Absolute or an Infinite; our consciousness, even our spiritualised consciousness is that of a finite being. It is inevitable therefore that our spiritual experience should be not that of a concrete integrality of this Absolute or Infinite, but of aspects of it; we are, so long at least as we are mental beings, the blind men of the story trying to tell what the Elephant Infinite is in its totality by our touch upon a part of it, some member of its spiritual body, tanum svam. One experiences it as Self or Spirit. It may be a Self of himself in which he finds his spiritual consummation, integrality, infinity, perfection. It may be a Self of the universe in which his individuality loses itself forever. It may be a Self transcendent in which the Ego disappears, but cosmos too is annulled forever in a formless Eternal and Infinite. Another may experience it as God; and God may be either the All of the Pantheist, a cosmic Spirit, an individual Deity, a supracosmic Creator; or all of these together. A Personal Godhead may be the spiritual Form in which He presents Himself to us or rather He may reject forms from his being [and] resolve Himself into an impersonal Existence. Moreover each of these aspects of the Reality can be variously experienced; for each suits itself to the grasp of our consciousness, even though it can be very apparent that it is the same Reality that these variations differently account for. But also there may [be] other realisations of the Reality such as the Zero of the Nihilistic Buddhists which is yet a mysterious All, a negation that is a positive Permanence. It is an error to take these variations as a proof that spiritual experience is unreliable. All religions, all philosophies are equally desperate in their attempts to give an account of the Real and Ultimate; science itself for all its matter of fact physical positivism draws back bewildered from the attempt to touch the Real and Ultimate. It is the nature of Mind to arrive at this result of uncertain certainty; our experience is true but it is not and cannot be the sole possible integral experience.

Sri Aurobindo

NOT in SABCL, BUT in the new edition of Sri Aurobindo's Major Works, volume 10 "Essays Divine and Human", Section "The Supramental Yoga"
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry

diffusion by SABDA

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