Spiritual Theory of Evolution
In contrast to these theories, the spiritual theory of the evolutionary process expounded by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is not speculative in character, but it is based upon the results that they obtained through a rigorous experimentation in the domain of yogic experiences and realizations. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, having made detailed yogic study of consciousness and of the methods of their operations in the material world and in the worlds that lie beyond the material world, arrived at the conclusion (i) that the mysteries and laws of evolution, when thoroughly understood and mastered, indicate that a divine supramental consciousness and power is secretly at work in the world, (ii) that this working has reached a point of crisis at the present juncture of evolution, which can be resolved only if (a) some knowledge that has been missing so far is discovered, attained and utilized for arriving at a new synthesis of yoga, and (b) the resultant synthetic or Integral Yoga can be successfully employed so as to discover the as-yet undiscovered new knowledge and new processes of developing supramental consciousness on the earth conditions and in the physical consciousness of the human body itself. The resultant spiritual theory of evolution is experimental in character and involves a long process of
yogic development and research.15
An important discovery that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had made is that various systems of yoga can best be understood as accelerated processes of evolution and that although all those systems of yoga have resulted in verifiably true knowledge, and although some of the past systems of yoga are in many ways synthetic or integral, there is yet something radically new to be discovered, something new to be experimented upon, and something new to be accomplished. According to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the knowledge that was gained through the past systems of yoga consisted, at its highest, of the discovery and realization of a supramental consciousness and the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality as Sachchidananda (Existence - Consciousness - Bliss), which has been so authoritatively expounded in the Upanishadic Vedanta. There was, according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, a great attempt to scale the heights of the supermind and even an effort to connect the supramental consciousness with the material body by certain processes and methods, but the utmost that was attained could not succeed in bringing about the descent of the supermind in the human body. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother acknowledge that the Veda had advanced far enough in the discovery of the Supermind and arrived at a point where the supramental consciousness could come down in the human instrument, and, as a result, the consciousness of the human body could attain wideness and universality. There was, however, according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, arrestation in the Vedic experiment and, therefore, the possibility and inevitability of the penetration and permeation of the supramental consciousness in the human body could not be explored. What is new, therefore, in Sri
Aurobindo's and the Mother's experiments in evolutionary yoga is (i) the discovery of the evolutionary intention of the supramental consciousness to penetrate through the blockade between the descending supermind and the physical consciousness in the human body and (ii) consequently, the development of new methods (which included or incorporated also the methods of the past systems of yoga) by means of which the blockade could be removed and the supramental consciousness could be made to permeate the physical consciousness of the human body for its permanent establishment as a grade of evolution on the earth. The entire experiment of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother has resulted, as can be seen from the relevant records of the entire experiment, in the fullness of the knowledge of the supermind, the knowledge of the secrets of the evolutionary process, and eventual accomplishment of establishing supramental consciousness in the physical consciousness in the human body. According to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as a result of this accomplishment, the evolutionary process itself is bound to undergo a change, and this would inevitably lead to the development of the next supramental species. As all this work is not speculative but experimental, and as the accomplishments of this experiment are actually at work according to what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have indicated and expressly stated,16 and since their accomplishments have a direct relevance to the resolution of the crisis through which humanity is passing today, it would be truly useful and fruitful to expound, briefly but in comprehensive essentials, the theoretical and practical aspects of evolution and of the evolutionary experiments conducted by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.