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Study Notes

All things are self-deployings of the Divine Knowledge.

Vishnu Purana.1


     The reality is One. The Universe which is the manifestation of this Reality is the Many. But the One does not directly become the Many. It is Sat-chit-ananda, the Reality which comes down into manifestation. This Sat-chit-ananda is the Divine Knowledge which is in possession of the Truth to be manifested. Also, It is in possession of the process and goal of the movement. The Truth is the Real Idea. This Real Idea is at the core of each form and each movement that is manifested. This Idea is both Individual and Universal. Because, this Real Idea, the Knowledge is there at the heart of things, Nature fulfils herself invariably in accordance with the Divine Intention.
     This Knowledge has the Power to put into force itself in operation. It is this Knowledge-Will that carries out the manifestation of the One into the Many. It is the Seer (Divine)-Will that is instinct in each of the Many and leads each back to the One. Sri Aurobindo terms this Knowledge-Will the Supermind. It is the link between the upper hemisphere of Sat-chit-Ananda and lower one of our Mind-Life-Matter. The Supermind is the Sat-Chit-Ananda itself in its creative poise, self-gathered (concentrated) to make the infinite into finite. It is from this status that Sat-chit-Ananda deploys itself into multiple creation.
     At the origin and head of every existence is this Divine Knowledge. It is the same principle of Divine Knowledge that is deep seated in every existence guiding it on the right course of evolution. It is the Truth-Knowledge that organises and shapes the worlds and not any power of Ignorance or Falsehood.

(Source: Shri M.P.Pandit- Legends in the Life Divine- p.43-44 – Dipti Publications, Pondicherry)


     A PRINCIPLE of active Will and Knowledge superior to Mind and creatrix of the worlds is then the intermediary power and state of being between that self-possession of the One and this flux of the Many. This principle is not entirely alien to us; it does not belong solely and incommunicably to a Being who is entirely other than ourselves or to a state of existence from which we are mysteriously projected into birth, but also rejected and unable to return. If it seems to us to be seated on heights far above us, yet are they the heights of our own being and accessible to our tread. We can not only infer and glimpse
that Truth, but we are capable of realising it.


     Sachchidananda is self-possessed as One. It is also in the ever-changing Many. There is an intermediary power and state of being in between. This intermediary power is the principle of active Will and Knowledge. It is superior to Mind and the creatrix of the worlds.
     Is this intermediary principle totally different from us? Does it exclusively belong to a Being other than ourselves with Whom we cannot communicate? Sri Aurobindo says no. This intermediary Principle is a part of us. It is not some kind of an external existence from which we are mysteriously born and to which we cannot return.
     It is true that it seems to be seated far heigh above us. Yet this height is very much within our reach and accessible to our approach. We can not only get the glimpse of its truth but also realise it.

We may by a progressive expanding or a sudden luminous self-transcendence mount up to these summits in unforgettable moments or dwell on them during hours or days of greatest superhuman experience. When we descend again, there are doors of communication which we can keep always open or reopen even though they should constantly shut. But to dwell there permanently on this last and highest summit of the created and creative being is in the end the supreme ideal for our evolving human consciousness when it seeks not self-annulment but self-perfection. For, as we have seen, this is the original Idea and the final harmony and truth to which our gradual self-expression in the world returns and which it is meant to achieve.


     By expanding one’s consciousness progressively or by going beyond oneself in a sudden self-enlightenment, one can reach this highest summit of super-human experience. One can remain there for hours and days of unforgettable moments. Even after coming down to normal state one can re-open the communication with this summit state even though door to this higher region is kept shut.

     What is the supreme ideal of our evolving human consciousness? It is to dwell permanently in this highest summit of creative being. This is the logical goal of any one wishing to attain self-perfection and not self-abolition. Our gradual self-expression in the world returns at the end to this original Idea and the final harmony and truth. Our existence is meant to achieve this final result only.


     Still, we may doubt whether it is possible, now or at all, to give any account of this state to the human intellect or to utilise in any communicable and organisable way its divine workings for the elevation of our human knowledge and action. The doubt does not arise solely from the rarity or dubiety of any known phenomena that would betray a human working of this divine faculty, or from the remoteness which separates this action from the experience and verifiable knowledge of ordinary humanity; it is strongly suggested also by the apparent contradiction in both essence and operation between human mentality and the divine Supermind.


     Still, we may have the doubt. Whether is it possible to explain this state to the human intellect? Whether the divine workings of this state can be utilised in a communicable and organised way for betterment of human knowledge and action?
     Why does the doubt arise? Because such a divine faculty working in human is a rarity and a doubtful phenomenon; it is very remote from our normal experience and verifiable knowledge of ordinary humanity. We are only familiar with the working our mind. It is also because of the fact that there is an apparent contradiction between the working of human mind and the divine super mind in both essence and operation.


     And certainly, if this consciousness had no relation at all to mind nor anywhere any identity with the mental being, it would be quite impossible to give any account of it to our human notions. Or, if it were in its nature only vision in knowledge and not at all dynamic power of knowledge, we could hope to attain by its contact a beatific state of mental illumination, but not a greater light and power for the works of the world. But since this consciousness is creatrix of the world, it must be not only state of knowledge, but power of knowledge, and not only a Will to light and vision, but a Will to power and works.


     Sri Aurobindo says it would be possible to relate this Supermind to our human ideas. Because the Supermind is something which has relation with the mind and has an identity with the mental being.
     In its nature it is not only a vision in knowledge but a dynamic power of knowledge. If it is not a dynamic power, the contact with the Supermind will stop simply with mental illumination; it would not be source of greater light and power for the works of world.
     The supramental consciousness is the creatrix of the world. Hence it must be not only a state of knowledge but power of knowledge. It is not only a Will to light and vision but a Will to power and works.

And since Mind too is created out of it, Mind must be a development by limitation out of this primal faculty and this mediatory act of the supreme Consciousness and must therefore be capable of resolving itself back into it through a reverse development by expansion. For always Mind must be identical with Supermind in essence and conceal in itself the potentiality of Supermind, however different or even contrary it may have become in its actual forms and settled modes of operation. It may not then be an irrational or unprofitable attempt to strive by the method of comparison and contrast towards some idea of the Supermind from the standpoint and in the terms of our intellectual knowledge.


     Mind is created out of Supermind. We have earlier seen that it is the Supermind that creates finite out of infinite. Therefore, Mind is a limitation by development of Supermind. Mind is the result of the mediatory act of the Supreme consciousness. Hence by a reverse expansion Mind can go back to its source, the Supermind.
     Always Mind must be identical with Supermind is essence. It conceals in itself the potentiality of Supermind. But in its actual forms and settled nature of operations it might be different or even contrary to Supermind.
     Therefore, Sri Aurobindo says it would be quite a rational and useful attempt to understand the workings of Supermind by comparison and contrast from the stand point of our intellectual knowledge.

The idea, the terms may well be inadequate and yet still serve as a finger of light pointing us onward on a way which to some distance at least we may tread. Moreover it is possible for Mind to rise beyond itself into certain heights or planes of consciousness which receive into themselves some modified light or power of the supramental consciousness and know that by an illumination, intuition or a direct contact or experience, although to live in it and see and act from it is a victory that has not yet been made humanly possible.


     While trying to express the Supermind in intellectual terms the idea and the terms may well be inadequate. Because we try to express something infinite in terms of our finite mind. Yet, it will throw some light on the path by which we can travel to some distance.
     Mind has higher planes of consciousness. Sri Aurobindo termed them as Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind and Overmind. When mind rises to these higher planes, some modified power and light of Supermind can be received into these higher planes of consciousness. By illumination, intuition and direct contact Supermind can be known by these higher planes of Mind. However, to live in the Supermind permanently and to see and act from it, is a final victory which is not yet made possible by the Man.