Seven drafts on the Supramental Yoga
and for "The path")
The supramental Yoga is at once an ascent towards God and a descent of
Godhead into the embodied nature.
The ascent can only be achieved by a one-centred all-gathering upward
aspiration of the soul and mind and life and body; the descent can only
come by a call of the whole being towards the infinite and eternal Divine.
If this call and this aspiration are there, or if by any means they can
be born and grow constantly and seize all the nature, then and then only
a supramental uplifting and transformation becomes possible. The call
and the aspiration are only first conditions; there must be along with
them and brought by their effective intensity an opening of all the being
to the Divine and a total surrender.
This opening is a throwing wide of all the nature on all its levels and
in all its parts to receive into itself without limits the greater divine
Consciousness which is there already above and behind and englobing this
mortal half-conscious existence.
In the receiving there must be no inability to contain, no breaking down
of anything in the system, mind or life or nerve or body under the transmuting
stress. There must be an endless receptivity, an always increasing capacity
to bear an ever stronger and more and more insistent action of the divine
Force. Otherwise nothing great and permanent can be done; the Yoga will
end in a break-down or an inert stoppage or a stultifying or a disastrous
arrest in a process which must be absolute and integral if it is not to
be a failure.
But since no human system has this endless receptivity and unfailing capacity,
the supramental Yoga can succeed only if the Divine Force as it descends
increases the personal power and equates the strength that receives with
the Force that enters from above to work in the nature.
This is only possible if there is on our part a progressive surrender
of the being into the hands of the Divine; there must be a complete and
never failing assent, a courageous willingness to let the Divine Power
do with us whatever is needed for the work that has to be done.
Man cannot by his own effort make himself more than man; the mental being
cannot by his own unaided force change himself into a supramental spirit.
A descent of the Divine Nature can alone divinise the human receptacle.
For the powers of our mind, life and body are bound to their own limitations
and, however high they may rise or however widely expand, they cannot
rise above their natural ultimate limits or expand beyond them. But, still,
mental man can open to what is beyond him and call down a supramental
Light, Truth and Power to work in him and do what the mind cannot do.
If mind cannot by effort become what is beyond mind, supermind can descend
and transform mind into its own substance. If the supramental Power is
allowed by man's discerning assent and vigilant surrender to act according
to its own profound and subtle insight and flexible potency, it will bring
about slowly or swiftly a divine transformation of our fallen and imperfect
This descent, this working is not without its possibility of calamitous
fall and danger. If the human mind or the vital desire seizes hold on
the descending force and tries to use it according to its own limited
and erring ideas or flawed and egoistic impulses, - and this is inevitable
in some degree until this lower mortal has learned something of the way
of that greater immortal nature, - stumblings and deviations, hard and
seemingly insuperable obstacles and wounds and suffering cannot be escaped
and even death or utter downfall are not impossible.
Only when the conscious integral surrender to the Divine has been learned
by mind and life and body, can the way of the Yoga become easy, straight,
swift and safe.
And it must be a surrender and an opening to the Divine alone and to no
For it is possible for an obscure mind or an impure life-force in us to
surrender to undivine and hostile forces and even to mistake them for
the Divine. There can be no more calamitous error.
Therefore our surrender must be no blind and inert passivity to all influences,
but sincere, conscious, vigilant, pointed to the One and the Highest alone.
Self-surrender to the divine and infinite Mother, however difficult, remains
our only effective means and our sole abiding refuge. Self-surrender to
her means that our nature must be an instrument in her hands, the soul
a child in the arms of the Mother.
Note on this text : This essay is one of several pieces
written around 1930 on the supramental Yoga. Three of these were published
together under the editorial title "The Supramental Yoga" in "The Advent"
in November 1955. The present piece, the most completely developed of
them, is the only one that has a title in the manuscript.
in "The Hour of God", (booklet edition pages 106-108)
NOT in SABCL, volume 17 BUT in the new
edition of Sri Aurobindo's Major Works, volume
10 "Essays Divine and Human"
published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA