Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture. (SAIIC) Shillong workshop, 26,Oct -7 Nov, 2006 - 12. Avatarhood: Discovery of the Supermind

Particular word he has used as text and then he has written about the supermind later on, in his book called The Supramental Manifestation on the Earth, it is plenty actually, you might say that he has written elaborately. Now to understand this supermind, Sri Aurobindo’s description begins with what he calls the higher mind. According to Sri Aurobindo between our mind as we understand and supermind there are many layers. There is first, the higher mind, and then there is the illumined mind, then there is intuitive mind, then there is overmind and then there is supermind; all these levels and both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had already crossed all these levels had reached supermind by the time Mother met Sri Aurobindo both of them had reached the supermind.

Now the significance of reaching the supermind had three aspects: one was the discovery of the significance of the experiments made by the Vedic Rishis. Why The Secret of the Veda was necessary, was because of this reason, the work of reaching the supermind began with the Vedic Rishis. According to Sri Aurobindo’s own exposition Vedic Rishis had already reached the supermind, therefore, reaching supermind was not the first time in the case of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. But Sri Aurobindo discovered that Vedas had discovered the supermind, not by reading the Veda he had experiences of the supermind already and when he read the Veda he found that here also the same thing was mentioned. This is how we discovered that the Vedic Rishis had discovered the supermind. It is like a scientist who discovers something and finds out but this is also here. Therefore, he confirms it, reaffirms it and brings it out. Now Sri Aurobindo says that the Vedic Rishis were experimenters. They were, of course, poets, but they were supreme yogis. Now how supreme yogis came to develop in that ancient age, historically is a very difficult proposition to make because normally we believe in history there is a linear development from the age of barbarism growing to civilization and then super civilization and then in future they may still go farther. So if somebody says that some tremendous knowledge was already discovered in ancient times, we had to revive it, but that is the theory of history, how history develops. In any case what is important is that this theory of history maybe anything? The fact is, Vedic text exists, that is an indubitable statement. You can even now read Vedic verses ‒ the text exists. When that text is now interpreted for us by Sri Aurobindo, you find that yes, this is the knowledge, which we find in the Veda and when you read this interpretation you find that the supreme knowledge was present. All the ideas that are expounded, this is not the time to expound the theory of the Veda but if you read The Secret of the Veda and if you read the original text of the Veda, you will testify to yourself that what Sri Aurobindo speaks of the supermind was known to the Vedic seers quite well. Not only that he says that the Vedic Rishis were themselves like scientists, they were making experiments. Experiments in what? To what extent human consciousness can reach its highest level. To what level human consciousness can reach and how you can reach, the methodology of it.

Now the important point is that the Vedic Rishis had not only scaled heights but they like experimenters were also trying to show how you can repeat going to those heights, and therefore methods were necessary. It was not as if politically sometimes something happens, that is one thing that can also happen. Sporadically suddenly somebody can have a vision, and you say I saw something. That is one account of spiritual experience, but the Vedic exposition of experience of spirit, is not of that kind. The exposition itself shows that they had already discovered the methods, perfected those methods, which means there must have been a tremendous experimentation to perfect the methods, and they have shown that if you follow this method, this result will come. If you follow this method this result will come and if you have to reach supermind, then these methods have to be followed and these methods were being transmitted from generation to generation, there was a tradition therefore.

There are verses of Vishwamitra, then there are verses of the son of Vishwamitra, then there are verses of the son of Vishwamitra’s son. So at least three generation’s verses are available in the Rigveda itself, and then there are so many others. Vashishtha and the sons of Vashishtha and his grandsons and his great grandsons. Their experiences have also been recorded, Atri similarly the same thing, Bhardwaj the same thing. So all these experiences have been recorded in the Veda itself, so these were the methods which were transmitted and they were developed. It’s not as if once for all it was found, and that was the end of it. No, like all experimental science there's a development of it and therefore you might say that Veda is also the history of the Vedic development of knowledge. And then you can also mark out the climax as it is reached.

As Sri Aurobindo points out if you read some of the descriptions of Ribhus, (Ribhu is supposed to be a group of people in the ancient Vedic times) and they were supposed to have reached the climax of attaining immortality. And if you read the verses written about Ribhus, you get a confirmation that yes, this is immortality and it is confirmed by many other verses of Parashar, Vamadeva and many others. It’s a huge body of knowledge which is available, it’s a historical fact. Now, however, you interpret historically how it could have happened, it has happened. Now you can have a theory by which you can interpret and say that, yes, it has happened because of that reason.

Sri Aurobindo points out that that experiment reached up to a certain point and they had attempted not only to reach the supermind but to bring the light of the supermind into earthly life, there was an idea and an attempt on it, why? Because they found that this world in which we live is Anritasya bhure ‒ it’s full of falsehood, this is the description of the Rigveda. Anritasya bhure, it is full of Anrita. Now in this world therefore has to be moved free from greed, from jealousy, from imperfections of all kinds, ‒ ignorance, death, suffering, pain. If this will has to be a real divine life on the earth, this cannot happen unless the supermind is brought down on the earth and made operative in the earth's consciousness, that is to say the brain something should be bombarded on the brain itself so that this can happen.

This was an attempt on the part of the Rigvedic Rishis, but their experiment had been arrested, this is Sri Aurobindo’s own conclusion after studying everything that their attempt got arrested. In the succeeding period this knowledge got lost, that is in the period of Brahamanas and then came the next period of the Upanishads, which was the period of revolts of the Brahamanas, and they tried to bring back the experiments that were going on in the other Veda and continued here in the Upanishads. That is why we find that the Upanishads once again repeat, confirming the Vedic experience. But even the Upanishadic seers ultimately could not go beyond that particular limit which was reached. It’s something very formidablely difficult or impossible and thereafter the knowledge of the Upanishads also was lost until we come to the time of the Gita, where Shri Krishna himself says: ‘I have now brought back that knowledge and I am giving it to you’. But even that knowledge has been lost. The teaching of the Gita, as said today there are so many interpretations; actually when you read the interpretations you find that none of them actually explains a fundamental problem with which the ultimate end of the Gita comes about, where Shri Krishna speaks of the trigunatita this is the highest concept of the Gita that if develop yourself on the higher and higher planes then you could go from Apara Prakriti to Para Prakriti. The Apara Prakriti consists of three gunas, but you can go beyond it and then you can go to trigunatita. Now how you can go to trigunatita is explained in detail in the last 6 chapters of the Gita. Chapter 13 to Chapter 18 if you read the interpretations of the Gita, you won't find a clue to this point, this is missed. It has been so explained that it is as if it is some kind of a hotchpotch of the whole of Gita in the last six chapters. So it was not explained and then so many things but this trigunatita which is the main point target, is lost. There is a whole purpose of the last six chapters to expound the way by which can go from triguna condition to trigunatita, that is from the ordinary consciousness to supramental consciousness, but even there how to bring that about, down on the earth that problem still remained unresolved.

Unless we know the history of this we won't understand the significance of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. I took so much of your time only in expounding what may sometimes be regarded as something irrelevant but it is so relevant that unless we understand this important point that there is great work to be done on the earth. We are all partners in that work and that work is to be shared by all of us.

Last time I told you that Rigveda, the last portion of Rigveda gives you the two most important ideas, Manur bhava janaya daivyam janam and then saṃgacchadhwaṃ saṃvadadhwaṃ saṃ vo manāṃsi jānatām ‒ these two propositions were made by the Veda they are for the future, they are to be worked out. If you want harmony, if you want complete understanding in the mankind and unity of mankind, then that knowledge which was there and which was attempted to be brought down that work is remaining, unaccomplished. It is that work in which both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother right from 1914, when they met together and the Mother says: ‘Now the thing will be done’ what is that thing that will be done? They both realised that now that this is the moment when supermind can come down on the earth and supramental consciousness can be established on the earth. This is the program and from 1921 onwards, you can say that from 1921 to 26, both of them were together.

In fact, Mother has said: the most splendid period of life, when Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Divine Mother on the earth, sitting together and preparing the whole mankind to reach supermind and to bring down the supernatural descent on the earth for the establishment of the real divine life on the earth, this great work. It is only when some of the statements of Mother has made to Satprem in the Agenda of the Mother that you know now a little what kind of work was being done by them day after day, day after day, what kind of accomplishments are being recorded? In one of the talks Mother says that on this particular occasion, we crossed what could be achieved in one million years. Now this may seem an exaggeration but if you know how humanity moves so slowly and has to be brought as it were, to a very hastening process of development, then you can appreciate what kind of strides were taken by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother during that period. It was an attempt to bring down the supermind; this is the whole point.

The Vedic experience also wanted as Mother herself has said: the process of Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the process of yoga in the Veda is the same, namely the process of ascent to supermind and the process of descent of the supermind. Basically, the system is the same, but their process of descent, as I said earlier, was arrested. They had reached up to a very high point in fact Sri Aurobindo himself has pointed out the highest point to which Vedic experiences had reached. There is one very important verse I can only recite one verse to you so that to understand very authentically, ā ye viśvā svapatyāni tasthuḥ kṛṇvānāso amṛtatvāya gātum. So first two lines of that verse. It says all those ā ye viśvā, viśvā means all, all those who were tasthuḥ, who were stabilised, in svapatyāni in the highest truth of the wisdom that it refers to those seekers who had reached that stabilisation ‒ tasthuḥ, where kṛṇvānāso they were the makers of amṛtatvāya gātum, gātum means the path, amṛtatvāya, immortality. They were the makers of the path of immortality. This was the first verse and now comes the last two sentences where the whole secret is given, what is it that they had achieved? mahnā mahadbhiḥ pṛthivī vi tasthe, Important word is pṛthivī vi tasthe ‒ they had done by the help of mahadbhiḥ. mahadbhiḥ means the supreme Gods, the divine powers, the cosmic powers. By the help of the cosmic powers, mahnā means by the great powers of mahadbhiḥ of the great ones, the great powers of the great ones, by the help of them pṛthivī vi tasthe the supreme power of the supermind was brought to the pṛthivī to the earth, to the physical consciousness. So with the physical consciousness vi tasthe not only tasthe but vi tasthe. Vi means vistrat ‒ widely, tasthe means established, widely stabilised in the physical and at that time it was mātā putrair aditir dhāyase veḥ. That is to say it was at that time that the great ones were supported by mātā Aditi, by the Supreme Divine Mother, Aditi ‒ the Supreme Divine Mother ‒ mātā, She herself came forward, dhāyase leaned forward to support it.

The function of the gods, functions of the Rishis, the function of the Divine Mother in the world movement of yoga and ultimately arriving at the point where the physical is established. Physically, you can sustain the supramental force. You might say that this was the highest point at which the Vedic Rishis had reached because it's a fact, the text is available, you can read it and Sri Aurobindo has translated it very clearly and made a comment on it. So we can be quite sure that there is a textual proof that this was achieved in the Vedic times, and what was more to be done? Now, this whole thing was attempted, could not be stabilised, and could not be brought about in such a way that this entire achievement would be made a permanent establishment in the earth consciousness, so that it can move forward.

What’s that point, how to bring it about? What the Vedic Rishis were not able to find, now this was the discovery, an attempt, what was it, how could it be done? It’s a scientific question; it’s not a question of achieving some great state of ecstasy. It’s a scientific fact: how to establish it, to stabilise the supermind on the earth so that it may become a principle of evolution. Between 1920 and 1921-26, this great work was being done. They found out a process of descent of the supermind in such a way that methodically the supramental consciousness could be brought down step by step towards the consciousness and even there how it could be injected was not yet discovered, this was a great search.

In 1926, they had reached the point where the overmind could be fixed in the body in the physical, not the supermind but the overmind. So from 1920-21 to 26, both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother worked together scientifically so as to bring down at least the overmind in the physical plane. Now this is a very important event and it's called the Siddhi Day in Sri Aurobindo’s life. We should explain what exactly is this? What is the role of the Mother in this great enterprise?

Session 3: Mother’s Yoga

I had said that both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had already reached the level of the supramental consciousness. By the time the Mother met Sri Aurobindo for the first time, she had reached the supermind. I would like to show what Mother had reached at that time, this was before her coming to Pondicherry. I had no time to point out the sadhana which she did in Algeria, it's a very important stage of her sadhana, and it is only in the Mother's Agenda that you find Mother herself describing her experiences and thereafter from 1911 onwards we know something about her life through the Prayers and Meditations, because her book of prayers starts with 1911. So 1911, going on up to the time that she came to Pondicherry in 1920. All these are described in her Prayers and Meditations and they are wonderful, prayers and meditations describing her achievements during the period, they are superlative achievements already. The question that Mother had put in 1914 itself was that the supermind was already reached, that is a period of ascent to the supermind. One question which was not yet answered to her—this is why Sri Aurobindo’s work and Mother’s work is a work of research, something to be discovered—how will the supermind descend on the earth? That was her question. When I said about overmind yesterday, it was the descent of the supermind on the earth, that process had started already but gradually. Now this gradual descent of the supermind is preceded by the lower levels being first set up in the earth. So in 1926, overmind was established on the earth. So it is true what we spoke of overmind is correct. Overmind got established on the earth ……