Guiding Light of The Month

IN Peace and Silence the Eternal manifests; allow nothing to disturb you and the Eternal will manifest; have perfect equality in face of all and the Eternal will be there. . . . - The Mother

Supramental Manifestation

It will be welcome. - The Mother 

Common Name: Blood lily
 Botanical Name: Salvia farinacea
Spiritual Name: Supramental Manifestation

From the editor's desk

In this issue of our newsletter, we arrive at the Supermind. We dwelt awhile, in previous issues on the Mind, Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind and Overmind. An essential difference between the Supermind and all these levels of minds is that in the worlds of the those other Minds, there is a mixture of light and darkness; whereas the “Supermind is the Truth-Consciousness, totally devoid of Ignorance.” It is then a region of Light, endless Light.

Since there is this essential difference between the other levels of mind and Supermind, does it mean that one has to make a super leap to another realm apart from this existence we know of here? Does it mean that the continuum of evolution from level to higher level stops at Overmind?

The philosophy and psychology of Integral Yoga explains that this need not be the case. Sri Aurobindo raises this doubt in The Life Divine (pg. 159) : “…it might reasonably be doubted whether such a divine living would be possible with this limitation of bodily form and this limitation of form-imprisoned mind and form-trammelled force which is what we now know as existence.”

He suggests a process that we might have to go through in order to arrive at a right perception and possible dissolution of this doubt : “…till we have woven the missing cords of connection, our world is still unexplained to us and the doubt of a possible unification between that higher existence and this lower life has still a basis.”

He invites us to study the connections between the four terms, Maya, Truth-Consciousness, Real-Idea and Existence and the “three others with which our human experience is alone familiar, - mind, life and body.” Essentially, for the Supermind to be perceived here in Existence as Master and King of all movements, a certain knowing of the play of Divine Principles in the way of existence as we know it to be here is needed.

Sri Aurobindo draws the connection between this world and the higher divine principles: “…But in reality all that we call undivine can only be an action of the four divine principles themselves, such action of them as was necessary to create this universe of forms. Those forms have been created not outside but in the divine existence, conscious-force and bliss, not outside but in and as a part of the working of the divine Real-Idea…. Mind, life and body must then be capable of divinity; ... They work as they do because they are by some means separated in consciousness from the divine Truth from which they proceed. Were this separation once abrogated by the expanding energy of the Divine in humanity, their present functioning might well be converted, would indeed naturally be converted by a supreme evolution and progression into that purer working which they have in the Truth-consciousness.” TLD, Pg. 160.

Perceiving the Supermind and collaborating with its action on our plane of existence must be a ceaseless, dedicated work of inner scrutiny and preparation and a simultaneous opening upwards. The time-frame seems inconsequential. The mind as it is, cannot postulate.


The supermind shall claim the world for Light
And thrill with love of God the enamoured heart
And place Light’s crown on Nature’s lifted head
And found Light’s reign on her unshaking base.
A greater truth than earth’s shall roof-in earth
And shed its sunlight on the roads of mind;
A power infallible shall lead the thought,
A seeing Puissance govern life and act,
In earthly hearts kindle the Immortal’s fire.
A soul shall wake in the Inconscient’s house;
The mind shall be God-vision’s tabernacle,
The body intuition’s instrument,
And life a channel for God’s visible power.

(Savitri, Book 11 Canto 1)

Question of the month

“Men run after pleasure and clasp feverishly that burning bride to their tormented bosoms; meanwhile a divine and faultless bliss stands behind them waiting to be seen and claimed and captured.

Men hunt after petty successes and trivial masteries from which they fall back into exhaustion and weakness; meanwhile all the infinite force of God in the universe waits vainly to place itself at their disposal.

Men burrow after little details of knowledge and group them into bounded and ephemeral thought­systems; meanwhile all infinite wisdom laughs above their heads and shakes wide the glory of her iridescent pinions.

Men seek laboriously to satisfy and complement the little bounded being made of the mental impressions they have grouped about a mean and grovelling ego; meanwhile the spaceless and timeless Soul is denied its joyous and splendid manifestation.”

Q: This state of things must change for the supramental consciousness to reign on earth. But although the supramental consciousness has been at work on earth for more than a year, has anything changed in this miserable condition ?
-          28 February 1970

Q: Since the supramental consciousness is at work on earth, won't these miserable conditions change in spite of everything?
A:  The Mother: Naturally, the first effect will be a change of consciousness, first among the most receptive, and then in a greater number of people.

A change in the general conditions of collective life can only come later, perhaps long after individual reactions have been transformed. The first noticeable result is a heightening of the general confusion, because the old principles have lost their authority, and men (except for a very few) are not ready to obey the Divine Command, because they are incapable of perceiving it.
-          1 March 1970

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)

“God is infinite Possibility. Therefore Truth is never at rest; therefore, also, Error is justified of her children. To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs; Heine was nearer the mark when he found in Him the divine Aristophanes.”

A:  The Mother: Yes, he means that what is true at one time is no longer true at another. And this is why “Error is justified of her children.”

Q: Perhaps he means that there is no error?

A:  The Mother: Yes, it is the same thing, another way of saying the same thing. That is to say, what we call Error was Truth at a certain time.

Error is a concept in time.

Q: Some things may really appear to be errors ?

A:  The Mother: For a moment.

The impression is this: all our judgments are momentary. They are... one moment, it is like this; the next moment, it is no longer like this. And for us they are errors, because we see things one after another. But to the Divine they cannot appear like this, because everything is within Him.

Now just try to imagine that you are the Divine, for a moment! Everything is within you; you simply amuse yourself by bringing it out in a certain order. But for you, in your consciousness, everything is there at the same time; there is no time -- neither past nor future nor present -- everything is together. And every possible combination. He amuses Himself by bringing out first one thing and then another, like that. So the poor fellows down below who can see only a tiny part -- they can see only so much of it -- say, “Oh, that is an error!” In what way is it an error? Simply because they can only see a tiny part.

This is clear, isn't it? It is easy to understand. This concept of error is a concept that belongs to time and space.

It is like the feeling that something cannot be and not be at the same time. And yet this is true, it is and it is not. It is the concept of time which introduces the concept of error --- of time and space.

Q: What do you mean, that a thing is and is not at the same time? How is that ?

A:  The Mother: It is, and at the same time there is its opposite. So, for us, it cannot be yes and no at the same time. But for the Lord it is all the time yes and no at the same time.

It is like our concept of space; we say, “I am here, therefore you are not here.” But I am here, you are here and everything is here! (Mother laughs.) Only you must be able to leave the concept of space and time behind in order to understand.

This is something that can be felt very concretely, but not with our way of seeing.

Certainly, many of these aphorisms were written at the point where the higher mind suddenly emerges into the Supermind. It has not yet forgotten how it is in the ordinary way, but it also sees how it is in the supramental way. And so the result is this kind of thing, this paradoxical form. Because the one is not forgotten and the other is already perceived.

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)

Q: Here it is written: “It is very unwise for anyone to claim prematurely to have possession of the supermind or even to have a taste of it.” What is a foretaste of the supermind ?

A:  The Mother: It is still more unwise to imagine that one has it. That’s it. Yes, because some people, as soon as they find a phrase in a book, in a teaching, immediately imagine that they have realised that. So, when Sri Aurobindo began speaking about the supermind in what he was writing—everyone wrote to him: “I have seen the supramental Light, I had an experience of the supermind!” Now, it is better to keep the word “supermind” for a later time. For the moment let us not speak about it.

Somewhere he has written a very detailed description of all the mental functions accessible to man. Well, when we read this, we say that merely to traverse the mental domain to its highest limit there are so many stages which have not yet been crossed that truly we don’t need to speak about the supermind for the time being.

When he speaks of the higher ranges of the mind, one becomes aware that one very rarely lives in these places. It is very rare for one to be in this state of consciousness. On the contrary it is in what he calls the altogether ordinary mind, the mind of the ordinary man, that we live. And to the ordinary consciousness the reason seems to belong to a very high region; and the reason for him is one of the average faculties of the human mind. There are mental regions very much higher than that, which he has described in detail. And it is quite certain that those correspondents, if they had... Suddenly they said that they were having wonderful supramental experiences, because one is rarely in these regions which lie beyond the reason, which are regions of direct perception intuition and other faculties of intuition of the same kind, which go far beyond the reason; and these are still mental regions, they have nothing of the supramental.

Q: Mother, you said that between the supermind and the mind there are many stages, didn’t you? And it is written that the next logical stage in the evolution of Nature is the superman. Why not a race which is...

A:  The Mother: Intermediary? We shall see that later.

Q: Does this mean that from the mind we can go to the supermind without passing through the intermediary stages?

A:  The Mother: I did not say that they were between the mind and the supermind. I said it is in the mind itself, without coming out of the mind, that there are all these regions which are almost inaccessible for most human beings. I did not say between the mind and supermind. You mean this evening or at some other time? What are you speaking of, of something I said this evening or something I said on another day?

Q: This very evening, you were saying...

A:  The Mother: No, you did not hear. I said in the mind itself. Before reaching the extreme limit of the mind, there are so many regions and mental activities which are not at all accessible to most human beings. And even for those who can reach them, they are not regions where they constantly live. They must make an effort of concentration to get there and they don’t always arrive. There are regions which Sri Aurobindo has described which only very rare individuals can reach, and still he speaks of them as mental regions. He does not use for them the word supramental.

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 6, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)

Sri Aurobindo on the Supermind

The Supermind is in its very essence a truth-consciousness, a consciousness always free from the Ignorance which is the foundation of our present natural or evolutionary existence and from which nature in us is trying to arrive at self-knowledge and world-knowledge and a right consciousness and the right use of our existence in the universe. The Supermind, because it is a truth-consciousness, has this knowledge inherent in it and this power of true existence; its course is straight and can go direct to its aim, its field is wide and can even be made illimitable. This is because its very nature is knowledge: it has not to acquire knowledge but possesses it in its own right; its steps are not from nescience or ignorance into some imperfect light, but from truth to greater truth, from right perception to deeper perception, from intuition to intuition, from illumination to utter and boundless luminousness, from growing widenesses to the utter vasts to the very infinitude. On its summits it possesses the divine omniscience and omnipotence, but even in an evolutionary movement of its own graded self-manifestation by which it would eventually reveal its own highest heights it must be in its very nature essentially free from ignorance and error: it starts from truth and light and moves always in truth and light.

Footnote: The term “Supermind” is apt to convey the sense of a super-eminent mind which is far above the ordinary mind. However Sri Aurobindo means by it a superconscient plane of being which is not only above the mind but also beyond mind and radically different from it. It is beyond and different not only in relation to the ordinary mind but also in comparison with the superconscient planes of mind, namely, Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuition and Overmind. For whereas all these superconscient planes of mind are blends of light and darkness, Knowledge-Ignorance, Supermind is the Truth-Consciousness, totally devoid of Ignorance.

(‘Our Many Selves - Selections from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’, Compiled, with an Introduction ,by A.S. Dalal, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

A lovely garden

An august atmosphere exists in silence. And in this atmosphere, a beautiful path is laid out that leads to an ancient building where the King and Queen are present in all richness and glory. The path is adorned with lovely flowers on either side – there are marigolds, jasmines, hibiscus and colourful varieties of bougainvilleas blooming.  A little further ahead, there is a little pond with lilies dancing around a statue of Krishna. A beautiful rhythm from his flute invites us into this magical place.

With that invitation, we stride in to the place where there is a serenity of burning incense sticks. A sweet sense of belonging fills us as we walk through the passage to the little rooms within. The building, with its highrise ceilings, fans and huge windows resembling so much the atmosphere of Ashram at Pondicherry takes us there by a moment’s flight. Touching the cool marble of the Samadhi touches our heart and the little tulasi leaves fill us with their devotion. The meditation room has a soft golden carpet covered with white cloth and just stepping into it gives a calm embrace. There is a staircase leading to further secret rooms and they all seem to have a mystical bliss – surely, a place where many beautiful changes have occurred, many lives touched.

This is how it is, each time I visit the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan at Ulsoor. It was a pleasure to get to know about this place and its royal atmosphere pierces through me. It makes me wonder whether I am in some other world away from the noisy, traffic filled Bangalore. And last time I went there, I just walked in little further to have a glimpse of the school growing there. The buildings were in the shape of flowers wide open – each one had a classroom at the bottom and a terrace for the same at the top. What a unique design, I thought.
- Sandhya

March-April Sunday Activities at Centre – A glimpse

7 April 2013 – Readings from The Mother’s Works and OM Choir

In the attempt to expose ourselves on readings, especially by The Mother, on going within, we examined the article titled, “The Science of Living” written by The Mother. This piece was an extract from On Education, by The Mother. After a brief introduction to the day’s activities by Jayanthy, the group, seated in a circle, started reading the passages in the article. Some exercises were done prior to the start of our reading, like breathing and centring of the consciousness with the inhaling and exhaling process. The reading proceeded slowly and quietly in a circle till the whole article was completed. Some silence was observed before the group proceeded on with OM choir, for another session of experimentation with the voice, while trying to raise the consciousness to another realm. It was a rather quiet evening and everyone proceeded home quietly after the session was concluded with meditation with New Year Meditation Music.

14 April 2013 - Talk by Jared Quek (Psychic Transformation Part II)

We continued with Psychic Transformation for this week of April. There was unanimous consensus that this topic should be carried out at a slow pace to allow the essence of the passages to sink in. Members seated in the circle were involved in the discussions that followed as well as contemplation. We dwelt on “The Entry into the Inner Countries” and the danger that await us therein, some of the pitfalls. But even before the inner countries could be visited, we read that it was necessary for the outer nature to undergo “a change of poise, a quieting, a purification and fine mutation of its substance and energy by which the many obstacles in it rarefy, drop away or otherwise disappear;” (pg. 938, ‘The Life Divine’). The passage continues to explain that it is then that one is able to reach the depths of our being where the formation of a new consciousness is possible, a consciousness that would join the surface to the depths.

21 April 2013 - Talk by Jared Quek (Psychic Transformation Part II)

1.      We continued with The Psychic Transformation. This time round, we diverted our attention to words of The Mother on the Psychic entity and its several forms. The discussion centred awhile on the definitions of these phrases that bear the term “psychic”. Then leaving behind the seeking after meaning-making, the group moved forward by reading the passages from The Mother compiled in “The Psychic Being”.  We began our reading with a focus on the need for the ego to disappear in order to give way to the psychic being. Any further progress on the spiritual path called for the finding of one’s psychic being and uniting with it an be and act according to its dictates. We ended Psychic Transformation on a high note of affirmation :A highest spiritual transformation must intervene on the psychic or psycho-spiritual change; the psychic movement inward to the inner being, the Self or Divinity within us, must be completed by an opening upward to a supreme spiritual status or a higher existence. (The Life Divine, Pg. 943)

- Jayanthy

How to read Mother and Sri Aurobindo

In this edition, as an aid to all readers of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, we publish words of The Mother on “How to read Mother and Sri Aurobindo”. It is an answer Mother gives to a question raised:

Sweet Mother, 

How should we read your books and the books of Sri Aurobindo so that they may enter into our consciousness instead of being understood only by the mind?
To read my books is not difficult because they are written in the simplest language, almost the spoken language. To get help from them, it is enough to read with attention and concentration and an attitude of inner good-will, with a desire to receive and live what is taught.
To read what Sri Aurobindo writes is more difficult because the expression is highly intellectual and the language far more literary and philosophic. The brain needs a preparation to really be able to understand and generally this preparation takes time, unless one is specially gifted with an innate intuitive faculty.
In any case, I always advise reading a little at a time, keeping the mind as quiet as one can, without making an effort to understand, but keeping the head as silent as possible and letting the force contained in what one reads enter deep inside. This force, received in calm and silence, will do its work of illumining and will create in the brain, if necessary, the cells required for understanding. Thus, when one re-reads the same thing some months later, one finds that the thought expressed has become much clearer and closer and even at times quite familiar.
It is preferable to read regularly, a little every day and at a fixed hour if possible; this facilitates the brain's receptivity.
- The Mother

Along The Way……Reflections on the April 2013 Morning Walk at Mc Ritchie Reservoir

It was a fine, pleasant Sunday morning—not too sunny, not too hot, but just perfect! The entrance to MacRitchie Reservoir was abuzz with activity, as always. There were flocks of people getting in at 8am and then there were the early birds who were done with their exercise routine and all set to leave the place. All of us, from, the centre, who were present at that point of time, formed a circle and started off with our warming-up exercises. After a quick round of warming up and stretching, we chanted OM 3 times. During this activity of chanting the OM, while closing our eyes, we could soak in the wholesome environment of the MacRitchie reservoir, complete with the smell of the flowers on the trees, climbers and bushes around, and the chirping of the morning birds, not to forget the buzz caused by the human activity around.

Once done, we set out on our walk. Since we had done the board walk quite a few times in the past, we decided to take the path less travelled. We walked towards the kayak rental point and headed off towards the path that led to the Tree Top trail. As we walked past, we saw several enthusiastic kayakers cutting though the water as if they were on a motor boat! The coordination required while rowing is definitely a challenging task, and we were in awe at the balance and the coordination exhibited by all those who were kayaking. Soon, we went past the path around the water and headed off on a trail behind the board walk, running parallel to it at the start, and then eventually diverting towards the Tree Top trail. This trail had a thick canopy on top, thanks to all the giant trees lining the trail on either side. It was a muddy trail, with a lot of ups and downs. There were a lot of dry leaves lying on our path. The trail was quite narrow and could not accommodate more than 3 people simultaneously. We had to walk in 2s, keeping in mind the steady line of joggers coming in from the opposite side. As mentioned earlier, it was not sunny, but the air was heavy with moisture and we could feel it weighing on us heavily. As we briskly walked along, a few of us walked in silence while there were some of us catching up with one another. After walking for about half an hour, we took a U-turn and retraced our path. We were back near the water at the end of the trail. There were many more kayakers now, all of them enthusiastically wading through the water. We assembled near the Car Park and were all set to go to Jayanthy and Rama Uncle’s place. A quick drive later, we were all at their serene and beautiful house, which always has an air of calm around it. After the meditation and the cake cutting and the delicious brunch, we all felt fortunate that yet another lovely walk and brunch had come to a close, leaving us all waiting for the next one next month.
       - Preethi