Integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is also known as Yoga of Transformation. The word 'transformation' has a distinctive meaning, and it is to be distinguished from what is normally called conversion or mere change of attitude or from the state of sainthood or ethical perfection. To be transformed is to be totally transmuted in every part of the being so that every part of the being is able to manifest Gnostic or supramental consciousness.
In most of the systems of yoga, the aim is to arrive at the liberation of the soul from Nature, but there is no deliberate aim to liberate Nature itself from its own limitations. In the state of liberation of the soul from Nature, the soul can experience itself as distinct from Nature or even as a master of Nature, but Nature remains the same. Nature has three strands, Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. In the state of liberation of the soul from Nature there is some change in nature, in the sense that Satwa predominates, Rajas becomes quiescent and Tamas becomes obedient to the will of self and of the soul, but Satwa itself does not get changed, nor do Rajas and Tamas undergo any fundamental change. In the state of the transformation of Nature, Satwa, Rajas and Tamas are all transformed in their divine counterparts. Tamas is transfor- med into a divine calm, which is not inertia and incapacity of action, but a perfect power of Shakti, holding in oneself all its capacity and capable of controlling and subjecting to the law of calm even the most stupendous and enormous activity. Rajas becomes self-effecting, initiating sheer Will of the spirit,
which is not desire, endeavour, striving passion, but the same perfect power of being, Shakti, capable of an infinite, imperturbable blissful action. Satwa becomes not the modified mental light, but the self-existent light of the divine being. This transformation leads to the manifestation of a new Prakriti, Gnostic Prakriti or Gnostic Nature. To use the words of the Gita, this would mean the manifestation of Para Prakriti. The secret of the manifestation of Para Prakriti has been discovered by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and it is this discovery which constitutes the novelty of the yoga of the integral transformation. This has a great deal to do with the evolutionary intention of Nature, and the entire process has been divided into three major steps in the Integral Yoga, namely, psychic transformation, spiritual transformation and supramental transformation.
The aim of perfect perfection that the Integral yoga places before mankind can be accomplished only when there occurs in the evolutionary process the evolution of the supermind and the consequent transformation of mind, life and body. This would mean the manifestation of the supramental super manhood, a new step in evolution.
The idea of the superman has been spoken of in modem times, particularly by Nietzsche, but SriAurobindo's concept of superman is quite different, and as Sri Aurobindo points out, while Nietzschean superman would manifest barbaric strength and ruthlessness and force, — rakshasic or asuric, the supramental superman is a self-realised being, a building of the spiritual self, an intensity, an urge of the soul and deliverance and sovereignty of its light and power and beauty, —not an egoistic supermanhood seizing on a mental and vital domination over humanity, but the sovereignty of Spirit over its own instruments, its possession of body and its possession
of life in the power of the spirit, a new course in which humanity itself finds its own self-exceeding and self- fulfillment by the revelation of the divinity.
The divine way of supermanhood has been described by Sri Aurobindo as follows:
"When the full heart of Love is tranquillized by knowledge into a calm ecstasy and vibrates with strength, when the strong hands of Power labour for the world in a radiant fullness of joy and light, when the luminous brain of knowledge accepts and transforms the heart's obscure inspirations and lends itself to the workings of the high-seated Will, when all these gods are founded together on a soul of sacrifice that lives in unity with all the world and accepts all things to transmute them, then is the condition of man's integral self-transcendence. This and not a haughty, strong and brilliant egoistic self-culture enthroning itself upon an enslaved humanity is the divine way of super manhood." (The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth, Vol. 16, p. 281)
An attempt has been made in this book to provide a brief outline of the main steps of the triple transformation, but readers will do well to study the last six chapters of Sri Aurobindo's 'The Life Divine', as also Sri Aurobindo's, 'The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth'.