Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Session VII

Supermind as an Instrument of the Spirit

I think we finished the first paragraph of this chapter last time with a long, long introduction.

The last sentence of the first paragraph was: "The spiritual man has evolved but not the supramental being who shall thenceforward be the leader of that nature". A distinction is made between the spiritual man and the supramental being and we are told that while in the history of the world, spiritual men have evolved and come into existence and the world has benefited by them, but a greater being which Sri Aurobindo calls the supramental being is yet to come. Sri Aurobindo explains this (page 890):

This is because the principle of spirituality has yet to affirm itself in its own complete right and sovereignty; it has been up till now a power for the mental being to escape from itself or to refine and raise itself to a spiritual poise, it has availed for the release of the Spirit from mind and for the enlargement of the being in a spiritualised mind and heart, but not—or rather not yet sufficiently—for the self-affirmation of the Spirit in its own dynamic and sovereign mastery free from the mind’s limitations and from the mental instrumentation. The development of an other instrumentation has begun, but has yet to become total and effective; it has besides to cease to be a purely individual self-creation in an original Ignorance, something supernormal to earth-life that must always be acquired as an individual achievement by a difficult endeavour. It must become the normal nature of a new type of being; as mind is established here on a basis of Ignorance seeking for Knowledge and growing into Knowledge, so supermind must be established here on a basis of Knowledge growing into its own greater Light. But this cannot be so long as the spiritual-mental being has not risen fully to supermind and brought down its powers into terrestrial existence. For the gulf between mind and supermind has to be bridged, the closed passages opened and roads of ascent and descent created where there is now a void and a silence. This can be done only by the triple transformation to which we have already made a passing reference: there must first be the psychic change, the conversion of our whole present nature into a soul-instrumentation; on that or along with that there must be the spiritual change, the descent of a higher Light, Knowledge, Power, Force, Bliss, Purity into the whole being, even into the lowest recesses of the life and body, even into the darkness of our subconscience; last, there must supervene the supramental transmutation,—there must take place as the crowning movement the ascent into the supermind and the transforming descent of the supramental Consciousness into our entire being and nature.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine - II: The Triple Transformation

There are three things which are emphasised here. In the first place we are told that if you look at the history of the past there have come about certain people, individuals, who have been able to liberate themselves from the mind, life and body. This word is not used here but the important point is that there have been galaxies of individuals in the past who have achieved moksha. Mukti i. e. liberation, means that state of the spirit where it is liberated from the mind, life and body. So this has been achieved.

But what has not yet been achieved is the capacity of the spirit to use an instrument of action other than mind, life and body. The spirit separating itself from and withdrawing from mind, life and body is moksha; but if it has to act on the earth, it can act only through these instruments. But these instruments are not the proper instruments for the liberated spirit, it requires another instrument. The second point that Sri Aurobindo makes is that that instrumentation has not yet been produced, or even if it is produced, it is not yet complete and this incomplete instrumentation is available so far only to a few individuals and not to the collectivity. For example the mind is available to the collectivity of human beings, as an instrument. It is not as if only a few individuals can use the mind. Potentially every individual who is born as a human being is capable of using the instrumentality of the mind. But similarly, if there are some individuals who have been liberated from mind, life and body and have been able to produce another instrumentation, first it is incomplete and even that incomplete instrumentation has not been made available to collectivity. This is the record of the human history so far. This is the second point that is made.

The third point that is made is that that instrument, that new instrument is what Sri Aurobindo calls the supermind, above the mind. That instrument was developed in the past to some extent, though inadequately but what Sri Aurobindo wants is that that supermind must be made a permanent and full development here and it should be so developed that at least a larger number of human beings are capable of using it as an instrument. The third point is that therefore there must be a permanent ascension to the supermind, you should be able to rise from mind to supermind; not only liberated from the mind but a further program, you rise from mind to the supermind and develop it fully, then bring it down so that the mind, life and body are completely transmuted by the power of the supermind. This last process consists of three processes: the psychic transformation, the spiritual transformation, and the supramental transformation. When these three transformations take place, then only we can say that supermind will be now used permanently as an instrumentation of the spirit for action on the earth.

This is the programme that Sri Aurobindo said has not yet been affected, but which has to be affected. These are the three points made in this paragraph. In fact this is the elaboration of the first paragraph which we read last time where Sri Aurobindo has said that if it was the sole intention of nature to liberate men from the ignorance then that task has been done; roads have been built, ways have been cleared out, and now it is available for anybody to pursue and attain. But that is not the only intention, this is the important point. This world is created not only to liberate man from body, life and mind — moksha is not the only aim — but a greater aim is proposed, i. e. the return of the spirit after liberation, development of a new instrumentation, perfection of it, and the establishment of it in the same way in which mind is established on this earth.

Purusha and Prakriti

Just as in the process of evolution first there was only matter, then small organisms began to develop, life organisms, amoeba and others at that point of time there was body and life but no mind at all. In the process of evolution came mind.

How the human mind developed and enlarged its sweep in a large, human population is a long story. Similarly there has to be developed a new instrumentation and a new power which has to perfect itself and establish itself; as an instrument of the race, not only for one individual or two individuals. Sri Aurobindo had said that, this is the thing that has to be done; the spiritual man has come but not the supramental being. That was the end of the first chapter, first paragraph, and this is elucidated in the next paragraph. We shall dwell upon this second paragraph in a little detail.

What is the difference between moksha and this aim of the supramental transformation? This is very important because it is normally believed that moksha is the end of all our endeavour and we are all here on this earth only to attain to moksha. This has become such a widespread belief all over that if you want to say that there is a still higher aim, then we must first know what exactly is moksha and what is this higher aim which is being proposed. First of all you have to ask two questions. In this process of liberation, or moksha, one acute experience that one has is of one's bondage, bandhan. An acute experience of bondage is the starting point of looking for moksha. As it is said in all our great books, mumukshutva or the desire for liberation is the starting point of all your spiritual endeavour and this desire for liberation is acutely felt when you feel yourself really bound. Many human beings do not feel themselves bound at all. The sense of bondage is not present for them. They feel quite normal and go on doing their work in the world. It is only at a certain point of life that one really begins to feel a sense of bondage. In fact this is what we have spoken of last time when we said that every human being at a certain stage of life is confronted with a situation and begins to feel that he and the situation are at two poles, and at a given time he feels that he should deal with the situation. Either he should expand the field of the situation, make it more rich, more luxurious, or he should alter the situation, he should change the circumstances, he should modify the situation, or totally give up the situation and take another situation altogether and at a rare point, one feels that one should come out of all situations whatsoever. The situation in which we find ourselves at any time is in technical terms called the product of Prakriti. It is only a technical term. Any situation in which we find ourselves can be termed as a product of Prakriti—Kri means to work, to act, pra means forth. Prakriti means to act forth—that which has the tendency to act forth and produces so many products. There is one universal energy, which is constantly at work and produces all the products that you find in the world. The general term that is given for the whole universal movement is Prakriti, and the situation in which each individual finds himself is the product of this vast universal action that is going on.

Buddhist view of Moksha

The question is whether this particular energy is working on its own or is been impelled by somebody else. If there is a horse carriage in which the horse is being driven and if you do not see the driver for a long time you might feel that the horse is driving itself; but later on you may discover that there must be somebody to guide, there must be a charioteer. In the spiritual search it was found that behind Prakriti there is somebody who drives Prakriti, that is Prakriti is not self impelled, the motion of Prakriti is not self impelled; there is behind it another power which is capable of standing behind, guiding and controlling. That power is called Purusha. It experiences as a being, and the minimum capacity of which is to witness. The Purusha is capable of witnessing the situation. Of this we have talked last time already and we have said that if this is the relationship then it is further argued that the kind of situation in which you find yourself is actually a result of what Purusha wills and Purusha is yourself. But this Purusha which is yourself is not what you think is yourself and that is where the problem lies. If it was very easy and this Purusha was the same thing as we think is ourselves, then studying the situation would be very easy. You could manipulate the situation very easily. But what you think to be yourself is only a part of your situation, it is not yourself. Normally you think that your thoughts, your mind, your ego is yourself, but later on you discover that that is a part of Prakriti. They are all products of your situation, they are not yourself. There is still something beyond. When you discover that and if that Purusha wills that the situation should be changed, it will change. The secret of the situation is in that Purusha. You are in a given situation because for one reason or the other there was a will in Purusha which has led you to the present situation. So from this, one very important conclusion follows: never blame anybody else for your situation, your situation is a result of your will, not immediate will of which you are not immediately aware, but which has a long story and a long history as a result of which your present situation is what it is. If you can go back to that original Purusha, then you can have the power to change your situation.

Now the question is: how can you go back to the discovery of that will of the Purusha? How has Purusha come into this situation? On this question there is a bewildering confusion in the entire history of Indian thought. How has Purusha come into this situation? There are answers that have generally been given to this. Some people say, that you should not ask this question because it is unanswerable and others say that you should not press for the answer. Your pressing question is something else. Your pressing question is not how I have come into it but how I should come out of it. They say that they have the answer to this pressing question. The other question i. e. how I came into it perhaps has no answer to it or they cannot answer it or perhaps when you come out of it you will be able to answer it but at present, do not raise this question. There is a famous sentence that if you have been inflicted by a thorn in your foot, which is paining you unbearably and when you go to a doctor and he begins to ask you the question how this happened, you will say, "Please ask me this question later on! My pressing need is to remove the thorn first. So that is why it is said that your present situation is so pressing that you just come out of it and they can tell you how to come out of it. The third answer is that it is by the mistake of the Purusha that it has entered into this undesired situation. It should not have entered into it, but by mistake it has entered or it is by an accident that this has happened. A fourth answer that is given is that it is for the sake of play that some have entered into it. These are the different answers which have been given to this question. But let us return to the one which says that do not ask other questions. Only ask the pressing question because there is great merit in it. This second answer that is given which says that we should not ask the question of the origin of it but ask the pressing question, "how to come out of it?" is actually an answer of almost everybody, but prominently of the Buddhists. The Buddhists maintain that we may not realise but we are sitting on a volcano. Any time it can burst. They know how to take you out of this situation is the claim of Buddhists. Their answer is that your situation is a construction made of constructions which are going on indefinitely. One construction produces another construction that produces another construction and so on. It is a constant web. The whole life goes on constructing and this construction is basically painful. You may experience happiness now and then, just as people having a picnic on a volcano may enjoy for some time but basically all human beings are in a web which is painful, and sooner or later one comes to experience the pain. This world is a duhkhamaya samsara full of misery and suffering and this suffering is because of constructions. These constructions are made by the thread of desire and this desire becomes more complicated when there is a further construction of ego. Desire and ego are the two threads by which the constructions made become very powerful. No construction can be broken as long as these basic threads of desire and ego are maintained. This is the analysis of the Buddhists. Then what is the process of coming out? Buddhism only says that constructions are being built and in these constructions the threads of desire and ego are most prominent. If you want to come out of it, then you should destroy desire and ego but how to destroy desire and ego? The answer is: a process of right thinking, right judgment, right action and benevolent action. The answer is that you should do certain specific actions which are activated by compassion and you go on doing them repeatedly and do not begin any new desire. You start from whatever you have now and no new desire is to be added to your program. You start demolishing all constructions and for that you do only benevolent actions of compassion. Miraculously it is found that these compassionate actions have a dissolving power. They go on dissolving your constructions. The more you do compassionate actions, the more the constructions are gone. This may take a long time. It may not be done in one life. If you have started in this life, maybe you are born again because of the constructions. And when you really arrive at a point where you are mature, you achieve a state of buddhisatwa, not of buddhahood but of buddhisatwa. Then you are so compassionate, so kind that the action that proceeds from you creates no construction. Ultimately even compassionate action also ceases because that is a construct but a construct which has the capacity of dissolving constructions and ultimately it dissolves its own construct. Now that stage when reached where all constructs are gone, is moksha according to Buddhism. Since there is no construct in it at all, there is no misery left. You are delivered out of it forever and there is no birth because there is no ego and desire left, no construct left. All birth is a construct. It is all dissolved so there is no rebirth and you have come out of the whole wheel of constructs. This is the Buddhist answer by which the thorn is taken out of your flesh and you are free.

Advaita’s view of Moksha

Something not very different from this in pragmatic terms although quite different in fundamental terms, is the answer of Advaita philosophy which is a variant of Vedanta. Vedanta has many variations, Advaita, Vishishtadwaita, Dvaita, Purnadvaita, Achintya bheda bhed Vada and so on. But prominent among them is Adwaita. People normally think Advaita to be Vedanta itself. Although others also are there and they are also quite important but they are not so very well known. Advaita Vedanta does not say that you should not ask the question as to how you have entered into this situation where you are. It says first of all that basically you are neither ego nor desire nor anyone of the constructs in the same way as Buddhism tells you. But Buddhism does not tell you who you are. Buddhistic answer is that corresponding to you, really there is nothing; it is called shunya, nihil. That is why Buddhism is also called nihilism; you do not exist, there is nothing like you existing; your sense of you was only a construct and when that construct is dissolved nothing remains. This dissolution is called the state of nirvana when everything is annulled. But in Advaita, you are Brahman. When all the constructs get dissolved, you discover that you are not ego. Then there begins to arise in your consciousness an experience of a stupendous reality — not zero, not nothing, not nihil but a stupendous reality which in our present state you cannot imagine at all. It is more stupendous than any stupendity that you can imagine. That stupendous substance you will experience as substance. Solidity, durability and resistance to my touch are the normal experiences of a substance that we have. This stupendous reality is experienced even more substantially than this. And that universal and transcendental is indescribable, ineffable — that is yourself actually. That ego-construct is lost when you lose all ego-constructions. You experience behind it a stupendous reality, ineffably which you can express only as Sat. That is why one of the famous mantras that is given is: hari om tat sat, tat means "That". That is tat, but it is Sat, it is that which is real. And then you reach that reality, that experience. It is completely immobile, Akshara Brahman, Akshara means "that which does not move", kshara is "that which moves". It is akshara, that which does not move, and it is called Brahman. This is the word which is used to describe that, you can use the word aks even, any word, or you may not even describe it by any word at all that is why sometimes it is described as "neti, neti."They say any word and you say, "No, it is not that, it is not that'. And when you reach that point you find, "It was always immobile". But then what was all this? How did this construction come about? What is the origin of all this construction in which we were and which was troubling us? Advaita says that not only was it never there, it could never have been there. According to Advaita the reality is akshara and all construction is a movement. One cannot construct without a movement but akshara is without movement. If there is no movement, no construction could have been done. Construction was not there, it could not have been there and actually you are asking this question only because you are still in the construction. There was no construction ever made at all, so in that state of consciousness the question as to how the construction came about may not arise at all. So the question: "How did the construction arise?" has the following answer in Advaita, i. e. "There is no answer and there is no need to answer. This answer may be satisfying or may not be satisfying. If you press very hard, they will say: "Look, you can go on pressing, I can only tell you the method by which you can come out of it". This is something similar to the Buddhistic answer. Buddhists also say, "Do not ask this question, I can tell you only the method of coming out". And how will you come out of the knocking? The method is the following. Buddhists have one answer i. e., if you do compassionate actions you will come out of these constructions. According to Advaita, you first of all see that these constructions are all filled with goodness and evil, both of which are relative. There is evil in this world. There is good also in the world but even good, so-called good is not really good; it is all mixed with evil. Intensify this feeling that this world is full of the mixture of good and evil.

Secondly revolve in your mind the truth that really speaking it does not exist; really speaking it does not exist.

Questions & Answers—Advaitic Method

Question: Good and evil do not exist?

Even the whole world, the whole structure really does not exist. It seems to be existing to your mind, when you are knocking on the door. But Advaita says that it is giving you a formula because it is seated in the field of reality; from there it can tell you what to do so that you can come out of it. So from the point of view of that reality this does not exist and so revolve in your mind the idea that it does not really exist. Similarly you also do not exist and you should realise that you also do not exist. "You" means your mind, your stuff of consciousness, your ego sense — manah, chitta, ahankara.

Question: Even chit?

Chit is different from chitta. Chitta is the ordinary stuff of consciousness in which you are living, mind is the one sense which is coordinating all the senses, buddhi is intelligence and ahankara is ego sense. This is what you call yourself and all this also really does not exist. Revolve this idea in your mind, realise that all this does not exist and withdraw from it as much as possible. All the time realise that ultimately there is nothing. Even the good things are not really good. The intensification of the sense of meaninglessness of all that is here, the realization that this world does not exist, that you do not exist, this is the negative method. The positive method is the realisation that there is only one that exists and that is sat, tat. Constantly think that "That" only exists. Then you must intensify this negative practice and the positive practice and do not bother about anything. Of course for the purpose of living your life and for maintaining your body, which does not really exist (but you experience it to be there in your present condition) you will be obliged to do so many actions — even to breathe for example is an action — so do minimum actions. In Buddhism there is a prescription of compassionate actions. In Advaita even this is not obligatory. Minimise actions as much as possible. To become inactive, which is not easy, you have to train yourself to reach a point where you really have no inclination to work, no motivation to work. If you do have motivation, make those motivations as disinterested as possible.

Question: Does not the Gita say to keep on doing actions?

Therefore the Gita's teaching is different from this teaching. I will come to that teaching. This is Advaitic teaching I am giving at present. The Gita's teaching is much larger. I am giving the different answers which have been given to this question and Advaita is one of the answers, like Buddhism is another answer. According to Advaita, you should minimise your actions and even if you want to do action, you should do it as disinterestedly as possible and ultimately reach that state of mind where vairagya is perfect. Vairagya is a state of mind in which we know that all this world is flimsy, meaningless, that even the so-called good is not really good. There is nothing here to be attached to. You are allowed all kinds of things which may ultimately lead you to this. You may go to a temple, do a lot of worship of God, although according to Advaita, God also does not exist but for the time being, He's a kind of a crutch. So worship God, spend as much time as possible in puja, the longer you can do the better because at least it will take you out from a lot of actions, karma, and you will make no constructs. And of course you can give this teaching according to the capacity of each individual. You should not give all this teaching to everybody; everybody does not deserve to be given all these doses of the highest knowledge. To some people you should say that they must do only action and nothing else, because they are not capable of coming out of it yet and if you tell them, they will be worse than before, so Advaita does not believe in deluding them unnecessarily. This kind of teaching should not be given to everybody. Those who are very ignorant, for them we should say that you should go on working, kurvann eva iha karmani shatam samah jiji vishet, you go on doing action all the time, a hundred years you should go on living and doing actions only. To the most ignorant people you should give the message of action but action that is done disinterestedly. To others who are turned to devotion, Advaita advises them to do a lot of puja. Ultimately you reach a point when you feel vairagya. You really feel that everything is really meaningless. That will be a glorious day when you really have this vairagya. Then you concentrate on this negative idea and the positive idea—negative idea that this world is meaningless, that you are not the body, life and mind and the whole world is a construct, which does not exist.

And when you enter into a consciousness where the stupendous reality will be seen, will be experienced, where you will not even be the experiencer because even "you", will be lost completely, there will remain only tat sat, nothing else, that is the state of liberation. So here in the Advaitic sadhana the mind is the instrument, meditation is the instrument, samadhi is the instrument. The training of your mind to a point where you can reach this stage is the utility of your mind. As far as instrumentality is concerned the mind is an important instrument and the mind has to be used, it has to be subtilised, it has to be trained and refined so that it can reach this point and then you can make a jump out of it. This is the Advaitic method.

Dharma as a method for Moksha

There are other methods which are called the methods of dharma, where the emphasis falls upon the instrument of action. Here again you are not told as to how you have come into this trouble. You are told that if you want to come out of this trouble, then you take recourse to dharma. What is dharma? We are told that it is a very difficult subject but if you want to know in a minimum way, all is explained in the Veda. What is dharma, what is not dharma being a very difficult subject, the easiest answer is to open the Veda and whatever is prescribed there is dharma and you follow it and when you do it you will attain to liberation, moksha. This process is a very intricate process, a much longer process than the other processes which I have described so far. First it says that your mind should be so developed as to have the desire to avoid evil and to do good. This should be the least preparation. A human being should be so developed, his body, life and mind should be so developed that he arises at a point where he feels "I must avoid evil and I must do the good". Whatever thing may help you to arrive at this point is good for you, that is the first minimum condition. Training of the child right from childhood is good if you can succeed in doing so. Or else you reason with the child and tell him the consequences of doing good actions rather than evil actions. Or you may experience in your life sometimes after having done many evil actions that you really come into an abyss and then you realise, "My Lord, I will now never go into it, I will never do it again". Take for example what Othello did to Desdemona. Othello and Desdemona were deeply in love with each other and they married each other escaping from their own house and then somehow at a certain time Iago began to arouse jealousy in the mind of Othello saying that his wife is unfaithful to him. Othello would not believe it but ultimately he showed a handkerchief as a proof; the handkerchief given by Othello to Desdemona. He said that she gave it to somebody from where he obtained it. This proof was so clinching for Othello that he could not for a moment doubt it and he was filled with jealousy. He went straight home and asked for that handkerchief which she could not produce. When she began to give some kind of an answer about the presence of that handkerchief of which she was not aware because it was stolen by her maid servant for creating this kind of a trick, then his suspicion became so great that he became mad and in his rage he simply smothered and killed her. And after this, the maid servant came and told him the truth and in that situation he realised that he had done something really evil. This was a real realisation — and he felt that he should have never done it. For him at least, the only solution was to kill himself after that. But a person can reach a situation in which one finds really the experience of evil and feels that such a thing should never, never happen. The real nature of evil is that when it is realised you feel like blotting it out, that is the meaning of evil. Evil is a situation or an action or an instrument or a thing which seen in a particular light is felt to be so inconsistent with your highest. That which you would like to blot out, is evil. If from the beginning you were not trained in goodness perhaps in your experience you will reach the point where you will really ask yourself. "What is good? How can I avoid in my life in the future so that I will not be trapped again in that situation where I will do evil and have these consequences?" According to this teaching it is best that you are told what dharma is and then you follow very rigorously that dharma. You are told to read the Veda and to find out what dharma is from the Veda butVeda itself is so difficult. So it is said that the first dharma is to study Veda, because akhilo vedo dharmasya moolam, i. e. the entire Veda is the origin of the dharma. So study of the Veda is itself prescribed as dharma. But then when people have read the Veda, they have found so many interpretations of it that they get confused. In due course of time therefore in India we had a system of Smriti -Veda is called Shruti but then came a system of Smriti- and we are told that Veda being a very difficult thing, you just see what is written in the Smriti. Therefore, you have Manu Smriti, Narada Smriti, Mahayajnavalka Smriti and other Smritis in which dharma is given. But again if you read the Smriti today, you will find that there are so many things which are unacceptable, so it is said in India that Smritis have to be refreshed from age to age. Unfortunately today there is no new Smriti being written and that is one of the big difficulties. That is why, in India today, whenever anybody goes in search he gets perplexed because some people tell him that what is in the Veda is in the Ramayana. Some say that the Mahabharata tells you everything that is in the Veda and yet he does not get any satisfactory answers because Rama and Krishna themselves are quite different personalities. So who should be followed? Or he is told to read the Puranas because all the Puranas are expositions of the Vedas, or he is told to read the Smritis, but there are many Smritis and you do not know which Smriti to follow and then even the Smritis are out of date. Others advise him to follow the Bhagavad Gita, it being the smallest, text wise, but again the Bhagavad Gita is interpreted by so many different people that there is again a perplexity: whose Bhagavad Gita should be read? Whose teaching should be followed? Whose interpretation? That is another problem. So, for those who want to follow the path of dharma there is a tremendous difficulty today, and then added to the present anarchy we are told now that we have new values, a new dharma. Secularism, liberty, equality and fraternity are new dharmas of the present day and we are told to follow them and unless we have thought out quite vividly, deeply and subtly, we are all in a mess in fact, we do not know where to turn!

In any case the sum-total of the movement of dharma is only one thing: you clarify your nature by means of goodwill. Basically you might say the essence of all dharma is goodwill. Develop your goodwill to the utmost and anything that is opposed to goodwill is impurity, so clarify your impurities, throw them out. Your mind should be drenched as it were, in goodwill. When the question of acting out of goodwill is concerned there will be many, many difficulties. Some even prescribe that you should do works of charity. Among professions you are told that to be a doctor or to be a teacher and educate the children are called dharmic actions in the sense of goodwill. This does not satisfy the modern mind because it is more dynamic and more active. Why should a lawyer's work not be regarded as dharma? He is helping the society as much as anybody else. Why should a captain of industry not be regarded as a man who can do a lot of good to the whole society? The questions of the modern mind are much more complex. But even there, the general answer that should be given is that if anyone of them is doing work with goodwill then it is a good instrument. According to this dharma, once you have reached that point where the mind is drenched with goodwill then comes the point of liberation, then you begin to perceive the Supreme good which is not here in this world. You begin to perceive the Supreme good and then you are enabled to come out of the clutches of all that is here and you are liberated from the world merely by a perception of the good. By developing goodwill to the highest point you are enabled to perceive the good, the Supreme good and when you perceive the Supreme good there is a kind of a liberation that will be felt which will make you come out of this mess in which you are and you will be liberated. This is the third method.

Gita’s method of Bhakti and Karma

The fourth method is the method of bhakti in which it is said that you have entered into this as a sport. You as a soul, child of God, have entered into this mess as you may enter into a game, but while playing the game you forgot that you are playing the game. The game is so interesting that after having entered into the game you forget that it is a game. It is like an actor who starts playing a drama. When he enters the stage he remembers that he is himself and that he is only acting, but while acting he comes to a point of identification to such an extent that he forgets for some time that he is really acting, he becomes the role he is playing directly himself. So similarly what has happened to us is that while entering we knew that it was a sport, but having entered we forgot that it is a sport and we are taking everything so seriously now. So we are now taught that you just understand that this is only a game which is being played for the sake of the Divine's sport, it is a larger game. Your game is a small game which is a part of a larger game because the Supreme Reality is always in a state of play. There is a perennial rasa lila going on, Sri Krishna is present everywhere, Lord is present everywhere and each one is a gopi in this world and that experience is a constant experience of play, that is the real play. All that you are playing here is only by mistake; you are taking it too seriously. Even here you must realise that what you are doing is nothing but that play. For this, what is most important is smarana. You remember, nama smarana, you remember God, by name. Then kirtana, bhajana and then prapatti, you offer yourself to God, sharanagati, completely submit yourself to God. And when that will reach a climax you will be lifted out of this. Then you will no longer be so serious about this game and you will really realise that you are playing with the Supreme: that is moksha.

The other method is the method of karma. I spoke of dharma which is also a kind of karma but Karma Yoga has a larger field. In the marga of dharma you are told that there are certain things which are prescribed in the Veda or in Smritis which you have to follow out. In Karma Yoga in the beginning you may be told the same thing but a greater freedom is given in which you are told to do any action. First of all you are told to distinguish between action and the result. Having made a distinction, you free yourself from the desire to enjoy the fruits of action. Then a point will come when you will say to yourself that even the action that I am doing has its thread elsewhere, so you begin to search for the original thread of your action. The fruit is the future thread of your action and that you have to cut first and then you can go backward and find out the original thread from where your present action is proceeding. Then you will find that that thread covers the whole universe. The whole cosmos is at the back of the thread of your action. This is the stupendous realisation that even the little action that you are doing is actually part and parcel of the action of a stupendous machine of the whole universe and you find yourself mounted on a wheel which is mounted on a bigger wheel. So imagine your condition! You feel that you are doing action, but "you" means what? It is a speck of dust which is doing action as a result of mounting on a wheel which itself is mounted on another wheel, so your perception that "you are doing" will go away. The first perception that "you are the doer of action" will begin to disappear, then you will find that Prakriti is the doer of all actions. And when you go behind it still further, you find that behind Prakriti there is the stupendous Purushottama, a huge reality who is the real originator of action, the Supreme Lord Himself and then you realise that even this universe is not at the back of your action.

Then a more intricate search starts: for the relationship of that Purushottama, of the Supreme reality with the universe, and a search for the relationship of that Supreme with yourself. Then you realise that you are only a portion, a centration of the Supreme. This is actually described in detail in the Bhagavad Gita, which says that you are simply a portion, a direct portion from the Supreme. He is everywhere. Each one of us is a centration of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if you want to know the Supreme's will anywhere anytime, you can directly connect yourself with Him and you will find out. The answer of the Gita is that if you want to be free from this mess in which you are, then a lot of training is to be given to your mind to perceive the difference between action and the results, to find out that the actions are actually results of the whole stupendous Prakriti. Then you discover that you and this universe are both products of the Supreme and that you have a special facility of going to the Supreme because you are a centration of the Supreme yourself and then you will be able to discover the Divine's will at all times. Knowing and manifesting the Divine's will in every action will lead you to a condition where you will be all the time free, mukta, even while you are acting. You will not have to go out of the universe. That is why one of you was saying that the Bhagavad Gita says that we should be in the world and active and the answer is that even while you are in the world, and doing all actions in the world, you can be mukta. It is not obligatory upon you to leave the world but you will have the special capacity of being able to manifest the Divine's will, of knowing the Divine's will, of making your instrument capable of manifesting the divine will. That is also a state of moksha.

Sri Aurobindo and the Supermind

This last method is, you will find, much more richer than all others and it is in direct line with the teaching of the Veda which has been greatly lost. If you go to the original Veda, which is not understood today but if you really make a great effort to find out what the Vedic teaching is, then you will find that the Vedic method was to be able to arrive at a point where the instrument of the mind itself is transcended and a new instrument is discovered. A new instrument, a truth consciousness—which Sri Aurobindo calls the Supermind, had been discovered by the Vedic rishis—so they said that when you discover the Divine's will and when you become its instrument you no more are obliged to act only through the mind. You will be able to act through the Supermind and this was the Vedic discovery. And when you are able to act through the Supermind then that was regarded as perfection, because whatever manifests from there is perfect, the Divine consciousness is perfect and all actions that proceed from there are perfect actions. The same thing was taught in the Bhagavad Gita because Bhagavad Gita says that beyond the mind—which is the highest point of Aparaprakriti -there is a higher Prakriti: Paraprakriti. It is a very clear enunciation given in the Bhagavad Gita that the Supreme acts at present through the lower Prakriti but it is also capable of acting through a higher Prakriti. This higher Prakriti is a higher instrumentation which is higher than the mind. So this possibility was again made available to us in the Bhagavad Gita. In the Vedic teaching, you might say you reach the highest level that was possible in the history of Indian thought. Sri Krishna says: "I have taught this teaching, first to Vivasvan, then to Manu. It was lost and I am now repeating it again to you", that is why the Gita's importance is so great. Sri Aurobindo says that the highest point that was reached was that when the instrument was proposed to be perfected, even transcended so that a new instrumentation could come about, but there the work has remained. It has not yet proceeded further. Having reached the Supermind, to make a permanent possibility of residing the Supermind, to bring it down on the earth not only for one individual or few individuals but to make it available to the race, that work remains to be done and that work can be done by the triple transformation: the psychic transformation, spiritual transformation and Supramental transformation.