Ninety-five years back, on the 29th day of March, 1914, Mirra Alfassa, later known as The Mother, met Sri Aurobindo. She wrote in Prayers and Meditations on the next day:
Gradually the horizon becomes distinct, the path grows clear, and we move towards a greater and greater certitude.
It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.
O Lord, Divine Builder of this marvel, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude when I think of it, and my hope has no bounds.
My adoration is beyond all words, my reverence is silent.
If we see from a truly historical viewpoint, unbiased and liberated from the ordinary way of thinking and understanding, we will realize that this has been a day of the greatest possible significance and importance for the mankind and its future, for the earth and its future.
They are the two Persons who realized the Supermind and caused the Descent of the Supramental Consciousness. Prior to Them, none else endeavored for reaching or bringing down the Supramental Consciousness. The words the Supramental Consciousness or Supermind were first used and defined by Sri Aurobindo. He also used the words Gnosis and Truth-Consciousness mean Supermind. But the Idea or the conception was not quite new. According to Sri Aurobindo, the Vedas contain the gospels of the divine and immortal Supermind in a concealed way.
In Taittiriya Upanishad, it has been said: Annam brahma — the Matter is Brahman. [Annam brahmeti vyājanat — he knew the Matter to be the Eternal Absolute] Likewise, it is also said there: prāno [Life] brahma, mano [Mind] brahma, vijnānam brahma and ānandam [Bliss] brahma. Vijnana is Supermind. Supermind is also termed rtachit or Truth-Consciousness.
In this regard, M Alan Kazlev says: "Vijnana loka" is the Supermind proper - in Sri Aurobindo's reading of the Taittiriya Upanishad, vijnana is not intuitive or inner mind as it is in the conventional vedantic (especially advaitin) interpretation in terms of koshas, but the Supramental purusha which is still to be actualized, and will be as part of the process of Supramentalization. [Kheper Website ~ http://www.kheper.net/]
It may be emphasized that not much of efforts were made, earlier to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, to reach Supermind or to cause its Descent on earth. It was said that on reaching and realizing the height of Vijnana, the Supramental Consciousness, one’s body would not last more than forty days.
Possibly, the human body was not yet then ready for the Adventure. But now things have changed, after the Supramental Descent on earth, caused by The Mother on the 29th day of February 1956.
It was an adventurous action on the part of Sri Aurobindo that He reached, realized and received the Supramental Consciousness that descended on the 5th day of December 1950. And He did so at the cost of His physical Existence.
Sri Aurobindo states that Supermind is the creator of the universe, and not any Overmental God or Force.
Sri Aurobindo has also described the nature of Supermind to be an ultimate knowledge and knowing power. According to Him, Mind is a lesser power of Supermind and is derived from the latter. However, Mind is a plane necessary in the Evolution, as designed by the Supreme Consciousness. He also says that the human beings are capable of experiencing and realizing the ultimate cognitive and creative capacity that Supermind is.
He also states that through Evolution of consciousness, Man can rise from Mind to a higher, spiritualized Mind [namely, the Higher Mind, the Illumined Mind, the Intuitive Mind and Overmind] and even further, until he reaches and realizes the Supramental.
In the onward journey of Ascension, before reaching the Supramental Consciousness, generally, one has to realize and surpass the various planes of Mind, as described above, — from the Higher Mind to Overmind. According to Sri Aurobindo, Overmind is the plane of Gods and Goddesses. This is the highest consciousness within the mental system. As Man progresses higher and higher in Consciousness, he has the scope of experiencing and surpassing these planes of Mind, until he reaches Overmind. And thereafter, there comes the possibility of the Supramental Realization and Descent and Transformation. If we rise in consciousness, we can grow and develop the supramental capacity of knowledge. Moreover, as a consequence of acquiring the capacity for integral knowledge, we will have the infinite capacity to create in life, just as Supermind itself is able to do as the Creator.
Sri Aurobindo’s departure was a Sacrifice for the noblest cause of letting the Supramental Consciousness and Force descend on earth for the Supramentalization of the earth-consciousness and for evolutionary progress beyond Man, so that the earth changes from a vale of tears to an abode of Joy and Light and creativity. That was the beginning.
In the words of K D Sethna, the physical departure of Sri Aurobindo “reveals itself as an extreme measure freely adopted, for reasons of his own, in significant yet never dominant mortal detail by one who, after having ascended in consciousness to a new and hitherto unmanifested power of the Divine Reality, sought to effect a descent of it for earth's complete perfection, including a transformation of the very body of man. The spiritual perfectionist found at a critical turn of his battle with entrenched powers of darkness in earth's being that to take his own semi-transformed body through the process of a death at once normal and supernormal was a paradoxical short-cut towards the revolutionary evolution of humanity into divinity that was his aim.” [Emphasis is mine.]
The Departure of Sri Aurobindo effected a realization of a New Consciousness and Force in the very Person of The Mother: the Mind of Light got realized in Her. And that caused to open the doors of the greatest Hope for Mankind: the Hope for the Supramentalization.
The Mother says:
"As soon as Sri Aurobindo withdrew from his body, what he has called the Mind of Light got realised in me."
"The Supermind had descended long ago - very long ago - into the mind and even into the vital: it was working in the physical also but indirectly through those intermediaries. The question was about the direct action of the Supermind in the physical. Sri Aurobindo said it could be possible only if the physical mind received the supramental light: the physical mind was the instrument for direct action upon the most material. This physical mind receiving the supramental light Sri Aurobindo called the Mind of Light."[Emphasis is mine.]
And what has seemed to us to be The Mother’s Departure is but a transition — The Mother left Her human frame and walked into the newly formed Supramental Body, which is but an individual manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness and Force into a New Body, still invisible to the ordinary human eye.
Prior to the coming of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on earth, these were all unheard and unattempted Ideas and Truths. The sole aim of all spiritual endeavors till then was to go back to the Origin, to have Nirvana or Moksha or to go back to the Heaven.
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have changed the Aim, the Goal, changed the approach, and changed the Way. The Aim is a New World, where imperfections will be no more there, no more will be Darkness and inconscience and ignorance and inertia, Death and diseases and sufferings, limitations and divisions. The Goal is the New World — the Supramental World, after a total and integral transformation of the old earth and the old humanity. The approach is new, as the seeker no more thinks of any return to the Origin, of any Nirvana or Moksha, of any withdrawal from and non-participation in the Cosmic Manifestation. As we have seen, a desertion of the Society and the World, a so-called “renunciation” and relinquishment, is no more the approach and the Goal. Going back to the origin, beyond the Manifestation, renouncing the World for an individual Moksha or Nirvana is no more the Goal, the Task. And the Way is evolutionary, integral, and all-aspected. As is well-known, Sri Aurobindo has said: “All life is Yoga.”
Integral Yoga, as given to us by The Master and The Mother, is not limited to, and only begins with the individual realization.
In this connection, The Mother says: “For this transformation to succeed, all human beings — even all living beings as well as their material environment — must be transformed…. Not only an individual or a group of individuals, or even all individuals, but life…has to be transformed. Without such a transformation we shall continue having the same misery, the same calamities and the same atrocities in the world. A few individuals will escape from it by their psychic development, but the general mass will remain in the same state of misery.”
The Master has said: “Man is a transitional being.” This is because Man is an evolutionary being is a part of an Evolution. The Cosmic or Universal Manifestation is an evolution of what is involved. And what is involved is the principle of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, Sat-chit-ānanda [Sachchidānanda], the Divine, the Brahman, the Supreme. The Existence-Consciousness-Bliss willed to become Many — “Eko-ham, bahu syāma." The Many are now manifested, through and after a long process of Evolution, as the human beings. And Man is yet to manifest in him the perfection of the Sachchidānanda, the Divine. And that is the purpose and the Aim of the New Way of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
And it should be borne in mind that long before The Mother walked into the New Body, She has caused the Descent of the Supramental Consciousness on earth on the 29th day of February 1956, as mentioned earlier. Let me quote the oft-quoted message of The Mother from Mother's Agenda Vol.1:
First Supramental Manifestation
(During the common meditation on Wednesday
The 29th February 1956)
This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was present amongst you. I had the form of a living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door, which separated the world from the Divine.
As I looked at the door, I knew and willed in a single movement of consciousness, that ‘the time has come', and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces.
And then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.
Things are now ready or the Mankind to attain the willed pogress and transformaion. The Mankind has to arise to the occasion. The Truth of the possibility of the coming of the New Race of “Supermen” has to be accepted and lived. This is not the question of any blind faith. This is an evolutionary Truth, a scientific Truth which is also a spiritual Truth, a Truth of the Science of Consciousness.
Individually, we shall have to will for the transmutation, for the transformation of our mind, life and body — with the specific stress on the transformation of the body. For my will is the First step of the Divine’s Will, as the Master has said.
The meeting of The Master and The Mother on the 29th March 1914 has resulted with and created a Hope, the greatest possible Hope, for us — the Mankind : the Hope for a New World. That is the purpose of Their coming on earth among us, the Mankind, and that is the purpose of Their meeting.
The incarnate dual Power shall open God's door,
Eternal supermind touch earthly Time.
The superman shall wake in mortal man
And manifest the hidden demigod
Or grow into the God-Light and God-Force
Revealing the secret deity in the cave.
[Savitri, Bk XI Co I]
[Simultaneously published on 4th April 2009 in All choice, Aspiration, Sulekha and Gaia.]
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