Compilation made by Bernard
From A.B. Purani's "The Life of Sri Aurobindo", Chapter "Pondicherry
1910-1926", page 209
1926 - 10 July:
Remark in a talk: "Vivekananda came and gave me the knowledge of
the intuitive mentality. I had not the last idea about it at that time.
He too did not have it when he was in the body. He gave me detailed
knowledge illustrating each point. The contact lasted about three weeks
and then he withdrew".
From a "note kept by Anilbaran of a talk with Sri Aurobindo in
July 1926" [10 July?] as quoted in an addition from the Editors
in Nirodbaran's "Talks with Sri Aurobindo" (volume 1) page
Sri Aurobindo: [.] Then there is the incident of the personality of
Vivekananda visiting me in jail. He explained to me in detail the work
of the Supramental - not exactly of the Supramental, but of the intuitivised
mind, the mind as it is organised by the Supramental. He did not use
the word "Supermind", I gave this name afterwards. That experience
lasted for about two weeks.
Nirodbaran: Was that a vision?
Sri Aurobindo: No, it was not a vision. I would not have trusted a vision.
From "Evening Talks" of A.B. Purani - Second series (online
18th December 1938 (4-30 P. M.)
Disciple: Have you realized Supermind?
Sri Aurobindo: You know I was talking about the tail of the Supermind
to Y. I know what it is, I had flashes and glimpses of it. I have been
trying to Supramentalize the Overmind. Not that the Supermind is not
acting. It is doing so through Overmind and Intuition and the intermediate
powers have come down. Supermind is above the Overmind (He showed it
by placing one palm above the other) so that one may mistake one for
the other. I remember the day when people here claimed to have got it.
I myself had made mistakes about it in the beginning, and I did not
know about the many planes. It was Vivekananda who used to come to me
in Alipore Jail and showed to me Intuitive plane and for about two to
three weeks or so gave me training as regards Intuition. Then afterwards
I began to see still higher planes. I am not satisfied with only a part,
or a flash of Supermind but I want to bring down the whole mass of the
Supermind pure, and that is an extremely difficult business.
From Nirodbaran's "Talks with Sri Aurobindo" (volume 1) pages
(also partly quoted in K.R. Srinavasa Iyengar's "Sri Aurobindo
- a biography and a history", page 372)
10 January 1939
Sri Aurobindo: [.] I had no idea of the Supermind when I started and
for long it was not clear to me. It was the spirit of Vivekananda who
first gave me a clue in the direction of the Supermind. This clue led
me to see how the Truth-Consciousness works in everything.
Nirodbaran: Did he know about the Supermind?
Sri Aurobindo: He didn't say "Supermind". "Supermind"
is my own word. He just said to me, "This is this, this is that"
and so on. That was how he proceeded - by pointing and indicating. He
visited me for 15 days in Alipore jail and, until I could grasp the
whole thing, he went on teaching me and impressed upon my mind the working
of the Higher Consciousness - the Truth-Consciousness in general - which
leads towards the Supermind. He would not leave until he had put it
all into my head.
Nirodbaran: Do Gurus come in that way and give teachings?
Sri Aurobindo: Why not? That is traditional experience from ancient
times. Any number of Gurus give initiation after their death. [.] But
I had another direct experience of Vivekananda's presence when I was
practising Hathayoga. I felt this presence standing behind and watching
over me. That exerted a great influence afterwards in my life.
From Nirodbaran's "Talks with Sri Aurobindo" (volume 1) pages
25 January 1939
S (disciple): Vivekananda had a sort of Nirvanic experience. He has
himself mentioned something about it.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, that experience is the only one definitely known.
Purani: He also had visions at Amarnath. But he seemed always torn between
two tendencies: world-work and direct sadhana.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes. And he used to put more intuitive flashes into his
conversations than into his writings. That's what I found on reading
Nivedita's book "Vivekananda - The Master As I Saw Him". As
a rule too, it is in talk that such flashes come - at last in his case
it was so.
Nirodbaran: You said the other day that his spirit visited you in Alipore
Jail and told you about the Higher Consciousness from where, I suppose,
these intuitive flashes come.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, he did tell me. I had no idea about things of the
Higher Consciousness. I never expected him and yet he came to teach
me. And he was exact and precise even in the minutest details.
Nirodbaran: That is very interesting. He has nowhere in his books or
conversations spoken of those things. Could his spirit know after death
what he didn't know in life?
Sri Aurobindo: Why not? He may have got it afterwards.
S (disciple): Can the spirit evolve after death?
Sri Aurobindo: Of course. But either he may not have known in life or
else he may have known and kept silent. A Yogi doesn't say all that
he knows. He says only what is necessary. If I wrote all that I know,
then it would be ten times the amount I have written.
S (disciple): People will judge you by what you have written.
Sri Aurobindo (laughing): That doesn't matter.
Nirodbaran: Then we shan't know all that you know?
Sri Aurobindo: Well, realise first what I have written.
From Nirodbaran's "Talks with Sri Aurobindo" (volumes 2 &
3) page 243
25 February 1940
Nirodbaran: When M. asked you what Vivekananda had taught you during
your inner contact with him in jail, you replied that he had taught
you about Intuition as a first step to Supermind.
Sri Aurobindo: I may have said it like that, but I didn't mean it as
you understand it. What I meant is that one can get a glimpse of Supermind
from the Intuition-level, and such a glimpse was my first step..
From a letter published in "On Himself", Section "Life
before Pondicherry", page 68
13 September 1946
Sri Aurobindo writes:
It is a fact that I was hearing constantly the voice of Vivekananda
speaking to me for a fortnight in the jail in my solitary meditation
and felt his presence [.] The voice spoke only on a special and limited
but very important field of spiritual experience and it ceased as soon
as it had finished saying all that it had to say on that subject.
A.B. Purani "The Life of Sri Aurobindo" (revised edition 1978)
Sri Aurobindo "On Himself" , SABCL
are published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
Nirodbaran "Talks with Sri Aurobindo" in 3 books containing
4 volumes (1985 - 1986 & 1989) are published by Sri
Aurobindo Society Calcutta (1) & Madras (2 & 3)
All books: diffusion by SABDA