And first we may pause a moment and ask ourselves whether no light can be found from the past which will guide us towards these ill-explored domains. We need a name, and we need a starting-point. For we have called this state of consciousness the Supermind; but the word is ambiguous since it may be taken in the sense of mind itself supereminent and lifted above ordinary mentality but not radically changed, or on the contrary it may bear the sense of all that is beyond mind and therefore assume a too extensive comprehensiveness which would bring in even the Ineffable itself. A subsidiary description is required which will more accurately limit its significance.
The Supermind is something a new discovery. It is an area of spiritual knowledge no one has explored so far. Sri Aurobindo says we must look into our Vedic scriptures and see whether any knowledge is available regarding this, which may serve as a guiding light in our journey into this new domain.
We have called this state of consciousness as Supermind. This word needs clarity. It should not be mistaken for a superior status of mind. Also, it must not be considered something above ordinary mentality but not radically changed. One may mistake it as something beyond mind which includes everything even the indescribable Divine aspect. Therefore, a subsidiary description is required which will be more accurate limiting its significance.
It is the cryptic verses of the Veda that help us here; for they contain, though concealed, the gospel of the divine and immortal Supermind and through the veil some illumining flashes come to us. We can see through these utterances the conception of this Supermind as a vastness beyond the ordinary firmaments of our consciousness in which truth of being is luminously one with all that expresses it and assures inevitably truth of vision, formulation, arrangement, word, act and movement and therefore truth also of result of movement, result of action and expression, infallible ordinance or law. Vast all-comprehensiveness; luminous truth and harmony of being in that vastness and not a vague chaos or self-lost obscurity; truth of law and act and knowledge expressive of that harmonious truth of being: these seem to be the essential terms of the Vedic description.
The verses of Veda which contain the secret knowledge give us hints of Immortal Supermind. They convey the divine message through the veil which come to us in illumining flashes. We can understand from the Vedic messages that Supermind is a vastness (Brhat) beyond the ordinary realm of our consciousness. In Supramental consciousness Truth of being is one with all that expresses it. Truth (Satyam) is the basis of all movement and Truth is the result of all movement. Truth is the law. Truth of divine being is regulating the right activity (Ritam) of body, mind and life.
There is harmony of being in that vastness. There is a vast comprehensiveness which is different from our Mind where we exclude everything. It is not a field of chaos and obscurity. The truth of being is in harmony with what is expressed as truth of law, act and knowledge. Everything is well ordered and there is no chaos. This is how description of Supermind is given in Vedas. There is no duality in Supermind.
The Gods, who in their highest secret entity are powers of this Supermind, born of it, seated in it as in their proper home, are in their knowledge “truth-conscious” and in their action possessed of the “seer-will”. Their conscious-force turned towards works and creation is possessed and guided by a perfect and direct knowledge of the thing to be done and its essence and its law, —a knowledge which determines a wholly effective will-power that does not deviate or falter in its process or in its result, but expresses and fulfils spontaneously and inevitably in the act that which has been seen in the vision.
How are Vedic Gods are viewed in relation to Supermind? Gods in their highest secret nature are powers of Supermind. They are borne out of Supermind and seated in it as their proper home. Gods are Truth-Conscious in their knowledge. All their actions possess a self-directing will. They possess seer-will, meaning, a will that sees its actions. There is knowledge which determines a wholly effective will power. This will power does not deviate from its chosen goal.
Their conscious force is turned towards works and creation; it is possessed and guided by a direct knowledge of the thing to be done. Whatever it sees in its vision to be done, it is expressed and fulfilled inevitably in the act.
Light is here one with Force, the vibrations of knowledge with the rhythm of the will and both are one, perfectly and without seeking, groping or effort, with the assured result. The divine Nature has a double power, a spontaneous self-formulation and self-arrangement which wells naturally out of the essence of the thing manifested and expresses its original truth, and a self-force of light inherent in the thing itself and the source of its spontaneous and inevitable self-arrangement.
As per the Vedic description, in the Supramental plane, Light is one with Force (in mental world we think light and force are different) vibrations of knowledge and rhythm of will are one. They are perfectly aligned producing assured result. There is no seeking, groping and making effort which are characteristics of Mind. The divine Nature- Supermind has a double power. Power of self-formulation and self-arrangement which comes from the essence (truth) of the thing manifested and a self-force of light which is the source of its self-arrangement. That which is essence becomes a reality like a seed becoming a tree.
There are subordinate, but important details. The Vedic seers seem to speak of two primary faculties of the “truth-conscious” soul; they are Sight and Hearing, by which is intended direct operations of an inherent Knowledge describable as truth-vision and truth-audition and reflected from far-off in our human mentality by the faculties of revelation and inspiration.
Apart from the above important details, Vedic rishis talk of two primary faculties of the “truth conscious” soul. They are Sight and Hearing. Truth-vision (capacity to “see” the truth of things) and truth-audition (capacity to “hear” the truth of things) are the direct operations of an inherent Knowledge. Such knowledge is received through symbols. This is in contrast to our ordinary hearing and seeing where we hear and see through our physical ears and eyes, only what is apparent and false and not the real truth hidden deep inside. Yet, the truth-vision and truth-audition, can be reflected in our mind which is far-off from Supermind, as revelation and inspiration. Many Scientists and Artists have admitted that the source of their discovery and creations was the knowledge got through revelation and inspiration which have their origin in Supermind.
Besides, a distinction seems to be made in the operations of the Supermind between knowledge by a comprehending and pervading consciousness which is very near to subjective knowledge by identity and knowledge by a projecting, confronting, apprehending consciousness which is the beginning of objective cognition. These are the Vedic clues. And we may accept from this ancient experience the subsidiary term “truth-consciousness” to delimit the connotation of the more elastic phrase, Supermind.
Also, the Vedic clue makes a distinction between two kinds of knowledge of Supermind. One is a subjective knowledge by identity. This is obtained by a comprehending (all-inclusive) and pervading (spread-out in all) consciousness. This means, complete identification in consciousness with the thing about which we want to know. The knower and the known are one. Here Oneness is the basis of knowledge.
The other method of knowledge is by an apprehending consciousness. This means getting the knowledge of a thing, viewing it from outside, as an object. This is objective knowledge. The knower and the known are separate. Here the Multiplicity is the basis of knowledge.
Based on the Vedic knowledge, Sri Aurobindo says, we can choose a subsidiary term, Truth-Consciousness for Supermind. Supermind is a very elastic term, its meaning can be stretched to include even wider connotations. Whereas Truth-consciousness is a more precise term with well-defined boundaries of Supermind.