Remarks on the Current State
of the Sadhana, 1931
I am surprised at Tagore's remark1
about the two years; he must have greatly misunderstood or misheard
me. I did tell him that I would expand only after making a perfect (inner)
foundation here, but I gave no date. I did give that date of two years long
before in my letter to Barin,2 but I had
then a less ample view of the work to be done than I have now — and I
am now more cautious about assigning dates than I was once. To fix a precise
time is impossible except in the two regions of certitude — the pure
material which is the field of mathematical certitudes and the supramental
which is the field of divine certitudes. In the planes in between where life
has its word to say and things have to evolve under shock and stress, Time
and Energy are too much in a flux and apt to kick against the rigour of a
prefixed date or programme.
16 August 1931
You will say, "But at present the Mother has drawn back
and it is the supramental that is to blame, because it is in order to bring
down the supramental into matter that she retires." The supra mental is not
to blame; the supramental could very well have come down into matter under
former conditions, if the means created by the Mother for the physical and
vital contact had not been vitiated by the wrong attitude, the wrong
reactions in the Asram atmosphere. It was not the direct supramental Force
1 Rabindranath Tagore remarked to someone in 1931 that Sri
Aurobindo told him in
1928 that he would "expand" after two years. — Ed.
2 In a letter written in Bengali to his brother Barindra Kumar
Ghose in 1920, Sri Aurobindo said that it might take him "another two years" to
complete his sadhana. — Ed.
Page – 319
that was acting, but an intermediate and preparatory force
that carried in it a modified Light derived from the supramental; but this would
have been sufficient for the work of opening the way for the highest action, if
it had not been for the irruption of these wrong forces on the yet unconquered
lower (physical) vital and material plane. The interference was creating adverse
possibilities which could not be allowed to continue. The Mother would not have
retired otherwise; and even as it is it is not meant as an abandonment of the
field but is only (to borrow a now current phrase from a more external
enterprise) a temporary strategic retirement, reculer
pour mieux sauter.
The supramental is therefore
not responsible; on the contrary, it is the descent of the supramental that
would end all the difficulty.
12 January 1932
Our object is the supramental realisation and we
have to do whatever is necessary for that or towards that under the
conditions of each stage. At present the necessity is to prepare the
physical consciousness; for that a complete equality and peace and a
complete dedication free from personal demand or desire in the
physical and the lower vital parts is the thing to be established.
Other things can come in their proper time. What is the real need
now is not insistence on physical nearness, which is one of those
other things, but the psychic opening in the physical consciousness
and the constant presence and guidance there.
16 February 1932
If the attainment of supermind does not take us
to the last stage of perfection in the objective side of life, if
even after its attainment we have to satisfy ourselves with a little
more clarity with possibilities and probabilities (as you yourself
have said), how can it be called the last and the perfect truth?
I have never said that I wrote from the supermind, so the
question does not arise.
You seem to be very much in a hurry to get at the supermind.
I have said that it cannot be done like that, a patient preparation
Page – 320
of the nature is needed and I am concerned with that now.
If divinisation of life keeps us in the same
condition of death, disease and physical incapacity, how can it be
called divinisation at all?
What do you mean by divinisation of life? Death and
disease can only disappear by divinisation of the
body — and that is not yet here.
2 March 1932
I am not very impatient about the supermind, but
the patient preparation of the nature that you want will go on even
if other sides are developing.
I don't know what you mean by developing sides. I am
concerned with preparing the nature for the supramental possibility —
however long that may take — and I have no time or energy to waste on
side issues. That preparation is the only thing I can recommend to you; all
the "sides" necessary will come with it.
I know that the supermind is not near and I know
that I am impatient — but not especially for supermind.
My answer stands. I have repeatedly said recently that we
are trying against great difficulties to bring down the supramental into the
physical plane. If the supramental were already there, the body divinised,
matter transformed, there would be no difficulty and no need of the
I would recall to you what I said in my letter to X3
that it was not the direct supramental Force which was working up till now but a
preparatory Force that carried in it a modified Light derived from the
supramental. The direct Force can begin working only when the mind, vital and
physical are sufficiently ready.
3 March 1932
3 See the letter of 12 January 1932 on pages 319 20. —
Page – 321
I must remind you that I have been an intellectual myself and
no stranger to doubts — both the Mother and myself have had one side of
the mind as positive and as insistent on practical results and more so than any
Russell can be. We could never have been contented with the shining ideas and
phrases which a Rolland or another takes for gold coin of Truth. We know well
what is the difference between a subjective experience and a dynamic
outward-going and realising Force. So although we have faith — and who
ever did anything great in the world without having faith in his mission or the
Truth at work behind him? — we do not found ourselves on faith alone but
on a great ground of knowledge which we have been developing and testing all our
lives. I think I can say that I have been testing day and night for years upon
years more scrupulously than any scientist his theory or his method on the
physical plane. That is why I am not alarmed by the aspect of the world around
me or disconcerted by the often successful fury of the adverse Forces who
increase in their rage as the Light comes nearer and nearer down to the field of
earth and Matter.
If I believe in the probability and not only the possibility,
if I feel practically certain of the supramental descent — I do not fix a
date, — it is because I have my grounds for the belief, not merely a faith
in the air. I know that the supramental descent is inevitable — l
have faith in view of my experience that the time can be and should be now and
not in a later age.
But even if I knew it to be for a later time, I would not
swerve from my path or be discouraged or flag in my labour. Formerly I might
have been, but not now after all the path I have traversed. When one is sure of
the Truth, or even when one believes the thing one pursues to be the only
possible solution, one does not stipulate for an immediate success, one travels
towards the Light taking as well worth facing every risk of the adventure.
Still, like you, it is now in this life that I insist on it and not in another
or in the hereafter.
30 August 1932
Page – 322
I pray for the quiet strength, faith and wisdom I need to
help me pass over this exceedingly difficult period of worries and unquietness
and the feeling of physical unwellness and other unpleasantnesses.
But those are the ideas and feelings that always rise up
in you when the adverse force presses on you and you give ear or even partly
listen to its suggestions. You yourself have given the answer to it —
the solutions suggested by these forces are not solutions at all. No doubt,
the period is very difficult, not only for you but for everybody, —
but the struggle in the material plane was bound to be difficult and
prolonged, it is the cause of the whole problem, the critical stage of the
whole action, because the victory there would decide everything for good and
24 November 1932
Is it possible for you to give us an idea when
the supramental descent will come to pass? Will it be within a
decade? And will the result of the completion of your yoga be, as I
once asked Mother also, a power to transform us in spite of
ourselves? Even at present your power does nothing else, but you
leave us still the possibility to resist.
I suppose the (vital's) will to resist will disappear: I
don't know about the date — dates are things that one ought not to fix
too rigidly; but I certainly hope we won't have to wait for a decade! Let us
be more sanguine and put the beginning of the decade and not its end as the
era of the Descent. It is more likely then to make haste.
As for faith, you write as if I had never had a doubt or
any difficulty. I have had worse than any human mind can think of. It is not
because I have ignored difficulties, but because I have seen them more
clearly, experienced them on a larger scale than anyone living now or before
me that, having faced and measured them, I am sure of the results of my
work. Even if I still saw the
Page – 323
chance that it might come to nothing (which is impossible), I
should go on unperturbed, because I would still have done to the best of my
power the work that I had to do and what is so done always counts in the economy
of the universe. But why should I feel that all this may come to nothing when I
see each step and where it is leading and every week and day — once it was
every year and month and hereafter it will be every day and hour — brings
me so much nearer to my goal? In the way that one treads with the greater Light
above, even every difficulty gives its help and has its value and the Night
itself carries in it the burden of the light that has to be.
As for your own case, it comes to this that experiences come
and stop, there are constant ups and downs, in times of recoil and depression no
advance at all seems to have been made, there is as yet no certitude. So it was
with me also, so it is with everyone, not with you alone. The way to the heights
is always like that up to a certain point, but the ups and downs, the
difficulties and obstacles are no proof that it is a chimera to aspire to the
5 January 1933
I am afraid I cannot endorse your reading of the
situation, at least so far as the Mother and myself and the
prospects of the work are concerned. I can agree only that we have
had a heavy time of it recently and that there has been a strong
attack on the plane of the physical and material — but that
(heavy attacks) is a thing we have been accustomed to for the last
20 years and it has never prevented us from making any necessary
advance. I have never had any illusions about the path being
comfortable and easy — I knew all along that the work could
only be done if all the essential difficulties rose and were faced —
so their rising cannot tire or dishearten me — whatever
obstinacy there may be in the difficulties whether our own or in the
sadhaks or in Nature. . . .
No, I am not tired or on the point of giving up. I have made
inwardly steps in front in the last two or three months which had seemed
impossible because of the obstinate resistance for
Page – 324
years together and it is not an experience which pushes me to
despair and give up. If there is much resistance on one side, there have been
large gains on the other — all has not been a picture of sterile darkness.
You yourself are kept back only by the demon of doubt which bangs on you each
door as you are opening it — you have only to set about resolutely slaying the
Rakshasa and the doors will open to you as they have done to many others who
were held up by their own mind or vital nature.
12 January 1933
When shall the victory of Supermind manifest on
One can only say that it advances, but to fix — or
at least to proclaim — a time is not permitted — for which there
are many good occult reasons.
23 March 1933
What are the conditions for the descent of the
Higher Consciousness in the Asram atmosphere? Or is it already
there? Is it good to call it down for all?
The Higher Consciousness is there already — it
depends on the sadhak how much (or little) he receives of it and in what
way. The supramental consciousness is not yet down in the material, but it
is no use calling that for all, — hardly anyone could receive it at
present. But up to just below that all is there. It is a question of
receiving, not of calling down, for that each has to open — by whatever
degrees — and call it into himself.
30 June 1933
Is it mostly the Mahasaraswati aspect of the
Mother that works in our sadhana here?
At present since the sadhana came down to the physical
consciousness — or rather it is a combination of Maheshwari
25 August 1933
Page – 325
You wrote to me yesterday, "Now there is a sufficient descent
of Light and Power."4 Does this show that the
psychisation of the sadhaks is advancing?
Yes, there has been some progress in that respect and all
progress in the psychic or spiritual consciousness of the sadhaks makes the
descent more easy. But the main cause is that the Overmind principle which
is the immediate secret support of the present earth-nature with all its
limitations is more and more undergoing the pressure of the Supramental and
letting through a greater Light and Power. For so long as the Overmind
intervenes (the principle of the Overmind being a play of forces, each
trying to realise itself as the Truth) the law of struggle remains and with
it the opportunity for the adverse Forces.
10 November 1933
You say [in the preceding letter] that the
Overmind, as a result of a pressure of the Supramental, is "letting
through a greater Light and Power." Does this mean that a greater
spiritual movement is going on at present in various places on earth
where the people are receiving the new Light and Power?
No. It is only here that it can act for the present —
in the forces outside, there is no preparation to receive it.
10 November 1933
No, the supramental has not descended into the
body or into matter — it is only at the point where such a
descent has become not only possible but inevitable — I am
speaking of course of my own experience. But as my own experience is
the centre and condition of the rest, that is sufficient for the
I am not able to answer your letter just now for it is full
of bristling questions, but I shall do it today — in the course of the
day. Only my difficulty is that you all seem to expect some kind of miraculous
faery-tale change and do not realise that it is a rapid and concentrated
evolution which is the aim of
4 See the letter of 9 November 1933 on page 640. — Ed.
Page – 326
my sadhana and that there must be a process for it, a working
of the higher on the lower and a dealing with all the necessary materials —
not a sudden fiat of the Creator by which everything is done on a given date. It
is a suprarational but not an irrational process. What is to be done, will
happen — perhaps with a rush even — but in a workmanlike way and not
according to fancy.
However I will try to explain all that as far as possible —
in principle only of course — as far as it can be explained to the
physical mind which has not yet any notion of what the supramental is. For the
rest, I will try to meet the points you make.
14 November 1933
As the moment of the possibility of the
supramental Descent grows nearer, these forces have become more
eager to keep hold on the Asram atmosphere and break the sadhana of
anyone they can touch. Their main aim is to get as many as possible
to leave the Asram so that they may not share in the descent and so
that the descent itself may be delayed and disturbed by a constant
tempest in the atmosphere. That is why I put the notice5 suggesting
that the sadhaks should not admit these forces and need not. To be
on guard and admit no violent and irrational movements, to be calm
and insistent in faith and self-opening to us is all that is needed.
15 November 1933
Is there any occult significance of yesterday's
date — the succession 1-2-34? The next date in this series
will come in 11 years: 2-3-45.
1.2.34. It is supposed to be always a year of
manifestation. 2.3.45 is the year of power — when the thing manifested
gets full force. 4.5.67 is the year of complete realisation.
2 February 1934
5 The letter of 8 November 1933 on page 639 was posted on the
Ashram notice board.
Page – 327
It is true that there is an increasingly powerful descent of
the Higher Force. Many now see the lights and colours around the Mother and her
subtle luminous forms — it means that their vision is opening to
supraphysical realities, it is not a phantasy. The colours or lights you see are
forces from various planes and each colour indicates a special force.
The supramental Force is descending, but it has not yet taken
possession of the body or of matter — there is still much resistance to
that. It is a supramentalised Overmind Force that has already touched and this
may at any time change into or give place to the Supramental in its own native
14 September 1934
I dreamed that I was at the Pranam ceremony this
morning and at the time of making the usual obeisance to the Mother
I offered her some flowers which she took in her hands. At that time
she broke her customary silence and spoke to me some words of advice
and encouragement, the purport of which was that I should stay here
until a certain event which was to come after a few days (she
mentioned the event but I do not remember what it was), about when I
might return home and that even though I would not be living in the
Asram, the progress of my sadhana would be assured.
There is indeed something preparing to descend and the
dream was probably a suggestion to you to stay so as to receive its touch
after which your sadhana could proceed at home without difficulty, as there
would be Something else within you doing the sadhana with your constant
assent as the one necessity. The only difficulty in the way of health is a
certain obscurity in the body consciousness itself which makes it consent
readily to habitual touches of the force that makes for illness; otherwise
if the body consciousness as well as the mind and vital were open any
illness that came would immediately be dissipated. Keep a quiet and steady
will for the opening of the consciousness and the union and do not allow
depression or any idea of frustration. Keep also a concentrated call in the
heart. With those two things the result is sure.
18 September 1934
Page – 328
X told me that
this is the year of the manifestation of the Purushottama, Sri
Aurobindo.6 Also that the Supramental Force is just now coming down.
I feel my previous dream of darshan of Sri Aurobindo in a motor car
and another dream of Sri Aurobindo signify this manifestation and
the coming down of the Force before long. Am I right?
The motor car by itself only means a rapid progress. It
is true that the Supramental Force is preparing its descent.
20 September 1934
X speaks in very
definite terms about this descent that has already come so close. He
says it will bring about the final change. Is what he says true? If
so, why am I still ignorant of it?
It would not necessarily be known by everybody
beforehand. Besides even if the descent were here one would have to be ready
before one could get the final change.
14 October 1934
It feels as if the Pure Existence is descending
into the being. I can feel it manifesting — but then something
asks how this can be possible, for the vital and the physical are
not yet filled with it.
The Pure Existence is not something abstract but
substantial and concrete. Moreover it is descending into the body, so it is
quite natural to feel it materially.
16 October 1934
I do not know who was X's informant, but
certainly the Mother never said to anybody that the Supermind was to
descend on the 24th November. Dates cannot be fixed like that. The
descent of the supermind is a long process or at least a process
with a long preparation and one can only say that the work is going
6 The person referred to here as
X was the recipient of the letter of 2 February 1934,
published on page 327. — Ed
Page – 329
on sometimes with a strong pressure for completion, sometimes
retarded by the things that rise from below and have to be dealt with before
farther progress can be made. The process is a (spiritual) evolutionary process
concentrated into a brief period — it could be done otherwise (by what men
would regard as a miraculous intervention) only if the human mind were more
flexible and less attached to its ignorance than it is. As we envisage it, it
must manifest in a few first and then spread, but it is not likely to sweep over
the earth in a moment. It is not advisable to discuss too much what it will do
and how it will do it, because these are things the Supermind itself will fix,
acting out of that Divine Truth in it, and the mind must not try to fix for it
grooves in which it will run. Naturally, the release from subconscient ignorance
and from disease, duration of life at will, and a change in the functioning of
the body must be among the ultimate results of a supramental change; but the
details of these things must be left for the supramental Energy to work out
according to the truth of its own nature.
18 October 1934
When I wrote in my letter about the supermind and
the obstinate resistance,7 I spoke
of course of something I had already spoken of before. I did not
mean that the resistance was of an unexpected character or had
altered anything essential. But in its nature the descent is not
something arbitrary and miraculous, but a rapid evolutionary process
compressed into a few years which proceeds by taking up the present
nature into its Light and pouring its Truth into the inferior
planes. That cannot be done in the whole world at a time, but is
done like all such processes first through selected Adharas and then
on a wider scale. We have to do it through ourselves first and
through the circle of sadhakas gathered around us in the terrestrial
consciousness as typified here. If a few open, that is sufficient
for the process to be possible. On the other hand if there is a
general misunderstanding and resistance (not in all, but in many),
that makes it difficult and
7 See the letter of 17 October 1934 on pages 44 45. —
Page – 330
the process more laborious, but it does not make it
impossible. I was not suggesting that it has become impossible, but that if the
circumstances are made unfavourable by our being unable to concentrate enough on
this thing of capital importance and having too much work to do of an irrelevant
kind, the descent was likely to take longer than it would do otherwise.
Certainly, when the supramental does touch earth with a sufficient force to dig
itself in into the earth consciousness, there will be no more chance of any
success or survival for the Asuric Maya.
The rest that I spoke of about the human and the divine had
to do with the intermediate period between before it is down. What I meant was
that if the Mother were able to bring out the Divine Personalities and Powers
into her body and physical being, as she was doing for several months without
break some years ago, the brightest period in the history of the Asram, things
would be much more easy and all these dangerous attacks that now take place
would be dealt with rapidly and would in fact be impossible. In those days when
the Mother was either receiving the sadhaks for meditation or otherwise working
and concentrating all night and day without sleep and very irregular food, there
was no ill-health and no fatigue in her and things were proceeding with a
lightning swiftness. The power used was not that of the Supermind, but of the
Overmind, but it was sufficient for what was being done. Afterwards because the
lower vital and the physical of the sadhaks could not follow, the Mother had to
push the Divine Personalities and Powers through which she was doing the action
behind a veil and come down into the physical human level and act according to
its conditions and that meant difficulty, struggle, illness, ignorance and
inertia. All has been for long slow, difficult, almost sterile in appearance.
Nevertheless our work was going on behind that appearance and now it is again
becoming possible to go forward. But for the advance to be anything like general
or swift in its process, the attitude of the sadhaks, not of a few only, must
change. They must cling less to the conditions and feelings of the external
physical consciousness and open themselves to the true consciousness of the
Yogin and sadhaka. If they did that,
Page – 331
the inner eye would open and they would not be bewildered or
alarmed if the Mother again manifested externally something of the Divine
Personalities and Powers as she did before. They would not be asking her to be
always on their level, but would be glad to be drawn swiftly or gradually up
towards hers. The difficulties would be ten times less and a larger easier
securer movement possible.
This was what I meant and I suppose I manifested some
impatience at the slowness of so many to realise what is after all a logical
conclusion from the very principle of our Yoga which is that of a
transformation, all that is disharmonious in human nature being enlightened out
of existence, all that makes for harmony being changed into its divine
equivalent, purer, greater, nobler, more beautiful and much being added which
has been lacking to the human evolution. I meant that things could move more
swiftly towards this if the sadhaks had a less ignorant attitude, but if they
could not yet reach that, we had of course to go on anyhow until the supramental
descent came down to the material level.
Finally, you must get rid of this gratuitous tendency to
despair. The difficulty for you has been created by the indulgence given to this
formation I speak of; that finally dismissed, the difficulty would disappear.
Progress might be slow at first, but progress would come; it would quicken
afterwards and, with the supramental force here, there would be for you as for
others the full speed and certitude.
18 October 1934
I was reading a book about the Great War, which I
found interesting. I hope you don't mind if I read such books. Do
not punish me for that. I mean, there seems to be a counterpart of
punishment in the supramental, a withdrawing of its protection or
help which results in attacks, depressions, illnesses, etc.
But it is not the supramental that is acting at present —
the supra mental won't act until it is rooted and established in Matter. If
it were the supramental, you would not be having these difficulties. It is
at most the cosmic Overmind that is able to act now, but
Page – 332
even there there is no idea of punishment; it is a play of
forces and when the force of the physical consciousness becomes too prominent it
acts according to its dharma and the other forces are covered over for the time.
Our own force acts in this play of forces to help the sadhak through till he
gets himself into the silence within and the cosmic consciousness as a whole
with the Higher Force action to regulate and harmonise the progress —
after which it is plainer sailing. There can be no question of our withdrawing
protection and help. As for your reading these books, we have no objection at
all, so long as you feel the need of it. When the inner life becomes more active
again, you can either drop them again or make all mental activity a part of the
sadhana according to your condition and inner impulse at the time.
25 October 1934
I have felt bound to explain so much [about
the behaviour of certain sadhaks] though I would have
preferred not to write about these things. I do hope you will throw
all that behind you. I feel a great longing that the sadhaks should
be free of all that. For so long as the present state of things
continues with fires of this kind raging all around and the
atmosphere in a turmoil, the work I am trying to do, certainly not
for my own sake or for any personal reason, will always remain under
the stroke of jeopardy and I do not know how the descent I am
labouring for is to fulfil itself. In fact, the Mother and I have to
give nine tenths of our energy to smoothing down things, to keeping
the sadhaks tolerably contented etc. etc. etc. One-tenth and in the
Mother's case not even that can alone go to the real work; it is not
enough. It is not surprising either that you should feel it
difficult to get on in all this. But then why not push these things
away from you and keep a clear field in you for the Divine? That, if
everybody, or even a sufficient number could do it, would be the
greatest help I could receive.
26 October 1934
Page – 333
I have already spoken about the bad condition of the world;
the usual idea of the occultists about it is that the worse they are, the more
is probable the coming of an intervention or a new revelation from above. The
ordinary mind cannot know — it has either to believe or disbelieve or wait and
As to whether the Divine seriously means something to hap
pen, I believe it is intended. I know with absolute certitude that the
supramental is a truth and that its advent is in the very nature of things
inevitable. The question is as to the when and the how. That also is decided and
predestined from somewhere above; but it is here being fought out amid a rather
grim clash of conflicting forces. For in the terrestrial world the predetermined
result is hidden and what we see is a whirl of possibilities and forces
attempting to achieve something with the destiny of it all concealed from human
eyes. This is however certain that a number of souls have been sent to see that
it shall be now. That is the situation. My faith and will are for the now. I am
speaking of course on the level of the human intelligence — mystically
rationally, as one might put it. To say more would be going beyond that line.
You don't want me to start prophesying, I suppose? As a rationalist, you can't.
25 December 1934
What did you imply when you wrote to me that I
was in the physical consciousness? Did you mean that I am living
like an animal or vegetating like a plant and did you suggest that I
should come out of the physical consciousness and live on the mental
I am myself living in the physical consciousness and have
been for several years. At first it was a plunge into the physical — into
all its obscurity and inertia, afterwards it was a station in the physical
open to a higher and higher consciousness and slowly having fought out in it
the struggle of transformation of the physical consciousness with a view to
prepare it for the supramental change.
It is possible to go back to the mental level where one
receives all the mental realisations readily enough if the mind is
Page – 334
open and bright. But it is not the course that the sadhana
29 December 1934
When the sadhana is going on in the physical
plane, is it necessary for all the sadhaks to come down into the
physical consciousness, or only those who have much inertia and
impurity in them, as in my case?
It is a little difficult to say whether all have to come
down totally into the physical. The Mother and I had to do it because the
work could not be otherwise done. We had tried to do it from above through
the mind and higher vital, but it could not be because the sadhaks were not
ready to follow — their lower vital and physical refused to share in
what was coming down or else misused it and became full of exaggerated and
violent reactions. Since then the sadhana as a whole has come down along
with us into the physical consciousness. Many have followed — some
unluckily without sufficient preparation in the mind and vital, some holding
on to the vital and mind and living still between the three, some totally
but with a prepared mind and vital. The total descent into the physical is a
very troublesome affair — it means a long and trying period of
difficulty, for the physical is normally obscure, inert, impervious to the
Light. It is a thing of habits, very largely a slave of the subconscient and
its mechanical reactions. It is less open to violent attacks than the vital
except in the way of illness and some other movements, but it is dull and
dreary to have these — until the Light, the Peace, the Power, the Joy
can come down from above and fix themselves. We would have preferred to do
all the hard work ourselves there and called others down only when an easier
movement was established, but it did not prove possible.
I don't think it has anything to do with impurity. Only you
came down a little too soon. At the moment it happened, the peace and silence of
the Atman and the movement upward to realisation of the Self above the head in
the higher consciousness were about to establish themselves. If that had been
done first, it would have been less difficult. It means a great struggle
Page – 335
against the inertia to get these things done — but you
have only to persevere and done they will surely be. Then things will be much
more easy for you.
31 December 1934
After November the push for descent stopped and the
resistance of material Nature arose — that is always a sign of
something that has still to be conquered before the descent can be complete.
In the silence the necessary preparation is being done. No doubt, I expect
something to be done by the 21st, but I say nothing because I do not want to
raise the buzz again — it is not good for the realisation that there
should be any buzz about it.
2 February 1935
I hear you are having a tough fight with the
Very beastly — these forces. One can't advance a
single step without their throwing their shells and stink-bombs. However
like General Joffre, I advance. "Nous progressâmes."
1 March 1935
This [February] darshan day was not so marvellous
as November and I thought that during the interval I had not made
The period since November has been a general period of
difficulty and the resistance of the physical Nature to the change demanded
of it. That is the reason why there was not the same movement as before
November in you, — it is not due to any cause personal to you.
11 March 1935
Why so many illnesses all of a sudden? Is the
supramental too near?
No, it is the material which has become too uppish.
Page – 336
People are saying that the supramental has come
down into the physical, evidenced by greater peace and calm.
Into whose physical? I shall be very glad to know —
for I myself have not got so far, otherwise I would not have a queasy eye.
But if you know anybody who has got it (the Supramental in the physical, not
the eye) tell me like a shot. I will acclaim him "Grand First Supramental"
17 March 1935
It seems to take a lot more effort to free myself
from sexual and other problems now than ever before. Even in the
very beginning it was easier for me.
The greater difficulty is because the sadhana is now
taking place directly on the physical plane, where the force of a habit or
habitual movement once formed is very great. When the sadhana is taking
place on the mental or vital plane, it is more easy to control or change,
because the mind and vital are more plastic than the physical. But on the
other hand if something is definitely gained on the physical plane, there is
a more lasting and complete fulfilment than when it is on the mental or
19 March 1935
What does supramentalisation mean exactly? We
know by your own statements that you have achieved that. Is it then
supramentalisation in parts? You want transformation of everything —
mental to physical?
Achieved what? What statement? What are these wild
assertions? I spoke of an overmind Force which is getting supramentalised in
Does it mean that some parts of your being are
supramental but that the physical is not yet supramentalised?
Overmind in process of supramentalisation, not
Page – 337
How can it be possible — realisation in parts —
in your case?
Why not? Always the idea that there must be an
instantaneous absolute miracle or else nothing! What about process in
things? You are ignorant of all that is between supreme Spirit and matter,
it seems. You know nothing of the occult processes of mind, life and all the
rest — so you can think only of miraculous divinity or else law of
matter as known to Science. But for supramental Spirit to work itself out in
matter it must go through a process of transforming the immediate mental,
vital and other connections, must it not — so why should not the
process be in parts? Immortality also can come by parts. First the mental
being becomes immortal (not shed and dissolved after death), then the vital,
while the physical comes only last. That is a possible evolution, recognised
by occult science.
27 March 1935
Above all, you have the direct Intuition to fall
I haven't — not just now at any rate. I am too busy
handling the confounded difficulties of Matter. The material is subconscious
and I would have to be subconscious myself to get its true intuition. I
prefer to wait for the supramental.
4 April 1935
The way you are hammering the supramental on us
in every thing, every problem, every difficulty, as the solution to
all riddles, panacea for all ills, one almost thinks that its
descent will make all of us "big people" overnight.
My insistence on the supramental is of course
apo-diaskeptic. Don't search for the word in the dictionary. I am simply
imitating the doctors who when they are in a hole protect themselves with
impossible Greek. Peace, supramental if possible, but peace anyhow — a
peace which will become supramental if it has a chance. The atmosphere is
most confoundedly disturbed, that is why I am ingeminating "peace, peace,
peace!" like a summer dove or an intellectual under the rule of Hitler. Of
course, I am not asking you to become supramental offhand. That is my
Page – 338
business, and I will do it if you fellows give me a chance,
which you are not doing just now (you is not personal, but collective and
indefinite) and will do less if you go blummering into buzzific intensities.
don't consult the dictionary, but look into the writings of Joyce and
9 April 1935
It is you who will bring down the Supramental but
my question was whether that descent is quite independent of the
conditions of the sadhaks; whether our impurities, turmoil, crowings
for "buzzific intensities", our social talks, social dinners now and
then are going to stand in the way or whether it will come anyhow.
I presume it will come anyhow, but it is badly delayed
because, if I am all the time occupied with dramas, hysterics, tragi-comic
correspondence (quarrels, chronicles, lamentations), how can I have time for
this — the only real work, the one thing needful? It is not one or
two, but twenty dramas that are going on.
11 April 1935
People say that it will be one century, if not
more, before the supramental descends!
One day, one week, one month, one year, one decade, one
century, one millennium, one light year — all is possible. Then why do
people choose one century?
12 April 1935
It seems something very striking and luminous has
happened today. Have you achieved some great victory? How many
millions of hostile forces have you crushed? At evening meditation
the Mother had an appearance sparkling like gold beams. On other
days she looks tired, tired of the job, and would like to give it up
saying, "Oh, you sadhaks, you are all hopeless!"
It would be very natural if Mother felt like that! Never
has there been such an uprush of mud and brimstone as during the past
Page – 339
few months. However the Caravan goes on and today there was
some promise of better things.
19 April 1935
I was surprised to hear that such a bad time was
hanging over our head. But surely it means that the greater the
light descending, the greater the velocity, the greater the
resistance — law of physics, isn't it?
In a certain sense it is true, but it was not inevitable
— if the sadhaks had been a less neurotic company, it could have been
done quietly. As it is there is the Revolt of the Subconscient.
In one letter you wrote that you were able to
push on; in another that the hostile forces were out of date [p.
639]. That was a year ago. When we read this we thought that it
would be merry Christmas henceforth. But now I again feel a bit
despondent because you speak of the confounded atmosphere, "the
uprush of mud" and the attacks.
When I said "out of date", I did not mean that
they are not going on, but they ought not to be going on —
they were only kept up by the sadhaks opening themselves to them and
so retaining them in the atmosphere. I thought that was clear from
what I said — but the sadhaks seem always to put a comfortable
interpretation even on uncomfortable statements.
I have heard that even X
had a terrible attack recently. He almost left the Asram! Y wanted to
commit suicide, and Z is in revolt!
There are only 2 or 3 in the Asram to whom this word
"even" would apply. I won't mention their names less the devil should be
tempted to try with them also. A solid mind, a solid nervous system and a
steady psychic flame seem to be the only safeguard against "terrible
And all this despite your continuous day and night fight!
If such things did not happen, there would be no need of
Page – 340
day and night. You put the thing in an inverse order. (I take
no responsibility for the statements you make, of course. They stand on the
credit of the reporters.)
Since the descent of the Supermind will quicken
up all the processes, why not take an axe of retrenchment . . .
How? I am not Hitler.
and cut off all impeding elements ruthlessly so
that among a very few chosen disciples, the whole work may go on
most concentratedly and rapidly? When the miracle is achieved, all
of us will flock back and achieve everything as by a miracle!
Things cannot be done like that. You might just as well
ask the Mother and myself to isolate ourselves in the Himalayas, get down
the supramental, then toss everybody up in a blanket into the Supreme. Very
neat but it is not practical.
20 April 1935
Since yesterday evening there has been a strong uprising of
the subconscient inertia.
The subconscient difficulty is the difficulty now
— because the whole struggle in the general sadhana is now there. It
is in the subconscient, no longer in the vital or conscious physical that
the resistance is all massed together.
30 April 1935
Between last November and February I suffered a
good deal on account of my emotional and vital defect. Now the chief
difficulty is in the gross physical — weakness, pain, lethargy
The main difficulty in the general sadhana also is now in
the physical. From November last there has been much struggle and
obstruction on the most physical plane — the material consciousness.
7 May 1935
Page – 341
It seems another victory has been won by you? Some people saw
a red-crimson light around the Mother a few days back. What does it signify?
??? Great Heavens! which? who? But there is nothing new
in that. It was coming down before Nov. 24, but afterwards all the damned
mud arose and it stopped. But there are two red crimson lights. One is
supramental Divine Love. The other is the supramental physical Force.
14 May 1935
It seems to me that my sadhana has come to a
standstill. Is it because of the physical
It is probable that you have come in contact with a new
layer of the physical consciousness which is more material than the rest,
perhaps with the subconscient itself (it is with the subconscient that the
sadhana is now concerned in the Asram itself). The first result is the
purely negative or stand-still condition you describe. You have to call down
the Force and the Light here, so that this too may become a part of the
Divine Consciousness. If it is the subconscient, then you must be on your
guard against all negative feelings such as the sense that all is gone, or
the uselessness of life or the frustration or uselessness of sadhana,
helplessness, incapacity etc. These things come naturally to one who does
not understand. But they are false appearances. Remaining quiet and keeping
the faith that there is the Divine Guidance behind, one has to do what is
needed till the phase is over.
27 May 1935
We hear you are tremendously busy; hot
speculations are in the air about near descents.
No, thank you, sir! I have had enough of them — the
only result of the last descent was an upsurging of subconscient mud.
In the upshot many crashes and shipwrecks are apprehended.
What an appetite for crashes!
Page – 342
Please tell us something so that we may prepare ourselves in
time to bear the pressure of the descent.
No pressure! I am simply busy trying to get out of the
mud — in other words to see if the damned subconscient can be
persuaded to subside into something less dangerous, less complexful and more
27 May 1935
A number of people have left recently. Is it
"sifting", or is it the "pressure"? But does the pressure work to
oust people, or is it a corresponding pressure from other forces
which makes them go?
The "Pressure" from above does not work to send people
away — it is the pressure of the wrong forces. As for sifting, that is
an idea which is very widespread; — but what is meant by sifting? Were
the people who have gone out the most unfit for Yoga and are those who
remain the ones fit for Yoga — is that the idea? I don't think anybody
could make the facts work out to mean that. Then what is the idea? It is
true that this has been a very difficult time, but that is only because the
sadhana has proceeded by a de scent into a lower and lower plane where the
forces of Darkness are more and more at home, and it is now in the
subconscient where lies the root of all the difficulties. But on the other
hand the Power descending also is greater. If many people have gone and many
are having great difficulties, also many have opened to experience and
progress who were stagnant for years together. There is a loss account but a
gain account also.
8 June 1935
They say that you are now handling the lower
vital and so the general trouble. True?
Subconscient vital physical — the lower vital is
irrational, but not so utterly "without reason" as that.
8 July 1935
Page – 343
Some time back you wrote to me: "Never has there been such an uprush of mud and brimstone as during the past few
months. However the Caravan goes on and today there was some promise of better things."8 What about the uprush of
mud? Has it settled down, and are people now floating in the flood of the Supramental?
It is still there, but personally I have become superior to it and am travelling forward like a flash of lightning, that is to say, zigzag,
but fairly fast. Now I have got the hang of the whole hanged thing — like a very Einstein I have got the mathematical formula
of the whole affair (unintelligible as in his case to anybody but myself) and am working it out figure by figure.
As for people, no! they are not floating in the supramental — some are floating in the higher mind, others rushing up into
it and flopping down into the subconscient alternately, some swinging from heaven into hell and back into heaven, again
back into hell ad infinitum, some are sticking fast contentedly or discontentedly in the mud, some are sitting in the mud and
dreaming dreams and seeing visions, some have their legs in the mud and their head in the heavens, etc. etc., an infinity
of combinations, while many are simply nowhere. But console yourself — these things, it seems, are inevitable in the process of
16 August 1935
You say, "I have become superior to it and am travelling for
ward . . . fast," but you have been always superior and always travelling fast all your life.
[Underlining "always superior and always travelling fast":]
How is it going to affect us?
If my being able to solve the problem of the subconscient in
the sadhana is of no importance, then of course it won't affect anybody. Otherwise it may.
8 See the letter of 19 April 1935 on pages 339 40. — Ed.
Page – 344
From the condition of the people you enumerate, there is not much hope left nor does it show that your travelling fast has
speeded them up.
That is of no importance at present. To get the closed doors
open is just now the thing to be done and I am doing it. Speeding people through them can come in its own time when the doors
and the people are ready.
What is the mathematical formula that you have all of a
sudden found out? Let us have it in a tangible form, if possible.
I told you it was unintelligible to anybody but myself, so how
the deuce do you expect me to give it to you in a tangible form?
17 August 1935
I beg to be pardoned for one thing. Today I mentioned to
somebody what you said about yourself that you are travelling fast. Has it been a great mistake to let it out? Is it absolutely
No — only you must not tell it to too many people. It is only
because I don't want speculation or gossip about such things as that spoils the atmosphere.
20 August 1935
The darshan atmosphere and its influence seem to be waning away so soon! Old friends or foes are stepping in.
There is always an adverse movement after the darshan, the
of the lower forces. I had a stoppage myself, but I am
off again riding on the back of my Einsteinian formula.
23 August 1935
Do tell me please if you are getting anything solid from this
nebulous supramental. X9 tells me you have scaled and winged
9 The recipient of the letters of July and August 1935 on pages 343 45.
Page – 345
like lightning on its pinions. Have you really? Was it something like motion on a sort of marvellous Calm which seems
motion through some supramental jugglery of consciousness? Some enlightenment on this bewildering problem would be
highly edifying even to the mentals and humans, you may be sure. Also, Y
has to be gagged somehow. He talks of nothing
but the supramental. And what am I to answer?
You have created your own "bewildering problem" by supplying
your own data! There is nothing nebulous about the supramental, its action depends on the utmost precision possible. As for
solidity, since I have got many solid things from much lower forces, I do not see why the highest ones should only give nebulosities. But that seems the human mind's position, only what is earthy is solid, what is high is misty and unreal
— the worm is
a reality, but the eagle is a vapour!
However, I have not told X that I am scaling and winging
— on the contrary I am dealing with very hard practical facts. I only told him I had got the formula of solution for the difficulty
that had been holding me up since last November and I am working it out.
To return to the supramental — the supramental is simply the direct self-existent Truth-Consciousness and the direct self
effective Truth-Power. There can therefore be no question of jugglery about it. What is not true is not supramental. As for
calm and silence, there is no need of the supramental to get that. One can get it even on the level of Higher Mind which is the next
above the human intelligence. I got these things in 1908, twenty-seven years ago and I can assure you they were solid enough
and marvellous enough without any need of supramentality to make it more so! Again, a calm that "seems like motion" is a
phenomenon of which I know nothing. A calm or silence which can support or produce action
— that I know and that is what
I have had — the proof is that out of an absolute silence of the mind I edited the
Bande Mataram for four months and wrote 61
volumes of the Arya, not to speak of all the letters and messages etc. etc. I have written since. If you say that writing is not an
action or motion but only something that seems like it, a jugglery
Page – 346
of the consciousness, — well, still out of that calm and silence I conducted a pretty strenuous political activity and have also
taken my share in keeping up an Asram which has at least an appearance to the physical senses of being solid and material!
If you deny that these things are material or solid (which of course metaphysically you can), then you land yourself plump
into Shankara's illusionism, and there I will leave you.
You will say however that it is not the Supramental but
at most the Overmind that helped me to these non-nebulous motions. But the Supermind is by definition a greater dynamic
activity than mind or Overmind. I have said that what is not true is not supramental; I will add that what is ineffective is not
supramental. And finally I will conclude by saying that I have not told X
that I have taken possession of the supramental — I
only admit to be very near to it or at least to its tail. But "very near" is — well, after all a relative phrase like all human phrases.
I don't know how you are to "gag" Y. You might perhaps try my two formulas, but it is doubtful. Or perhaps you might tell
him that the supramental is silence — only, it would be untrue! So I leave you in your fix
— there is no other go. At least until
I have firm physical hold of the tail of the supramental and can come and tell the mentals and humans
— no doubt in language
which will be unintelligible to them, for they have totally misunderstood even the little I have already written about it.
23 August 1935
Are there many sadhaks here who are under the same spell of inertia as I?
Yes — it is a natural result of the consciousness's descent into the physical and the struggle with the subconscient resistance.
Only its form varies with different people.
4 September 1935
How curious it is that something prevents my ascension. For
everything in the lower nature can best be dealt with from above. So why does it hinder my ascent?
Page – 347
It happened in the same way with myself. I had to come down into the physical to deal with it instead of keeping the station
always above. Of course if you can keep the station above so much the better, but as almost everybody is down in the physical,
it is a little difficult perhaps.
5 September 1935
A suggestion has come to me that you are working directly
with the supramental power. That is why the resistance is so stormy and the attacks so violent. Is this true?
I suppose so. Only that must not be accepted as a reason for passive acquiescence.
7 September 1935
When will our difficulties be over?
That cannot be said. The difficulties are not likely to cease until
the material resistance has been entirely conquered in principle.
11 September 1935
X has made the following remark: "The present preparation
is going on to bring down the Supermind into the physical of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo." Is it correct?
[Sri Aurobindo bracketed "The present preparation is going on to bring down the Supermind into the physical", and wrote:]
Not quite correct in all points. The things to be brought down were in us no doubt
— but not all outwardly manifested, from
the beginning. Of course X's statement is altogether true only as far as the bracket goes.
14 September 1935
When you wrote "as far as the bracket goes", did you not notice that you cut off the last part of
Yes, of course. What is being done is meant to prepare the manifestation of the supermind in the earth consciousness down
Page – 348
to Matter itself, so it can't be for the physical of myself or the Mother alone.
Most of us know that the Supermind will be brought down into "the physical". But what
X means is that the present
preparation is going on to bring down the Supermind not into our physical but into yours and the Mother's.
If it comes down into our physical it would mean that it has come down into matter and so there is no reason why it should
not manifest in the sadhaks.
X says further: "The Supermind will not descend into any of
the sadhaks. I have read in the Arya about the nature of the Supermind. It is so great that no human being can bear it in
I do not know to what passage of the Arya the reference
is. It is certain that the Supermind is far above the human mind and cannot be grasped by the human mind. That is
the reason why this Yoga has to be undertaken — so as to make man grow out of the human mind and prepare him for
For myself all I have to say is that if you were not already
supramentalised you would never have called yourself a superman.
I don't know that I have "called" myself a superman. But certainly I have risen above the ordinary human mind, otherwise I
would not think of trying to bring down the supermind into the physical.
I refuse to accept what you wrote yesterday: "The things to be brought down were in us no doubt" [p. 348]. Those things
were not only in you but were created by you. If you put it like that it can only be because of the conditions of the earth
nature. From the point of view of the supramental truth, you are the creator of the supramental plane.
Page – 349
That is another matter. The supermind plane is a plane above, its nature is not yet manifested in the material world, which
has manifested matter, life and mind, and something of what is between mind and supermind, but not supermind itself.
15 September 1935
I don't think X was referring to any particular passage of the Arya. But he has the impression that you have said that the
supermind is so far above the human mind that the mind cannot grasp it. So he says that it is impossible for the supermind
to come down into a human being. Have you spoken to him about this?
No. It was the old idea that human consciousness can reach and merge in the Sun (Supermind)
— by Samadhi, I suppose — but
cannot redescend from there.
15 September 1935
You wrote a few days ago: "The difficulties are not likely to
cease until they are conquered in principle" [cf. p. 348].10
I do not remember having written "in principle" or if so, there
must have been other words also.
A week earlier you wrote: "as almost everybody is down in
the physical, it is a little difficult perhaps" [p. 348]. But I was under the impression that some, like
X, Y and Z, are always
on the intuitive plane.
I am not aware that they or anybody lives constantly on the
intuitive plane. All are at grips with the difficulties of the physical consciousness at present
— though of course to one like
suggestion of revolt cannot come — at least it has never done so up to now.
16 September 1935
What you wrote [on 11 September] was: "The difficulties
10 Quoting from memory, the correspondent omitted several words from Sri Aurobindo's reply of 11 September 1935. — Ed.
Page – 350
are not likely to cease until the material resistance has been entirely conquered in principle."
I see, but that was about another matter altogether. I meant that the difficulties in the physical (generally speaking, not in a particular case) could not be entirely absent so long as the material resistance to the supramental descent had not been overcome in
principle. In principle means in essence, not in every detail of the coming development.
17 September 1935
It seems to me that a direct Supermind Force is working, and that the lower nature is trying to accommodate itself to it.
Direct Supermind Force is not possible at this stage. It is only when the whole being down to the physical has accepted and
assimilated the higher consciousness that it can come.
I understand that the transformation of the lower nature is
not possible without the Supramental Force coming down and preparing the vessel for the complete perfection.
Complete perfection is another matter. What must first be done is the fullness of the higher consciousness between the mind and
17 September 1935
When I wrote recently about a "direct Supermind Force",
I was thinking about something you wrote a week or two ago. When I asked whether the direct Supermind Force was
acting in the Asram, you replied, if I remember correctly, "I suppose so, but it should not be an excuse for a passive acquiescence."11 Also, when I began to feel a powerful, fiery keen force, I took it to be the Supermind.
Acting in the Asram means only acting in the earth consciousness to prepare its own possibility. The forces above the human
11 See the question and answer of 7 September 1935 on page 348. Quoting from
memory, the correspondent made small but significant errors in his question and in Sri
Aurobindo's answer. — Ed.
Page – 351
mind, especially Overmind, Intuition, Illumined Mind can be very intense and fiery. They have divine powers in them.12
18 September 1935
You wrote that you are "trying to get the supermind down into the material".13 We understand from this that the ascent
has been done but the descent remains. It is something like our going up to you at Darshan and getting all the bliss, joy,
Ananda, and then trying to bring these things down and not lose them as soon as one leaves your room. Also, you say in
another letter that you have seen the supermind and are in contact with it without achieving it, while in your letter to
you write that you are very near the tail of the supermind. Sounds funny, no? Contact and no contact.
But supposing I reached supermind in that way, then under such conditions would it be probable that I should come down again
at the risk of losing it? Do you realise that I went upstairs and have not come down again? So it was better to be in contact
with it until I had made the path clear between S and M. As for the tail, can't you approach the tail of an animal without
achieving the animal? I am in the physical, in matter — there is no doubt of it. If I throw a rope up from Matter, noose or lasso
the Supermind and pull it down, the first part of Mr. S that will come near me is his tail dangling down as he descends, and that
I can seize first and pull down the rest of him by tail-twists. As for being in contact with it, well I can be in contact with you by
correspondence without actually touching you or taking hold even of your tail,
can't I? So there is nothing funny about it —
perfectly rational, coherent and clear.
15 September 1935
You know we are hanging our hopes and aspirations on the
invisible tail of the supramental. But do tell us how this
12 The preceding replies of 4 18 September were written to one correspondent. Those
of 15 and 18 September that follow were written to another. — Ed.
See the letter of 29 August 1935 on pages 270 72. — Ed.
14 See the letter of 23 August 1935 on pages 345 47. — Ed.
Page – 352
omnipotent Mr. S will make us great sadhaks overnight. Is he going to burn up all our impurities by his blazing flame as
Hanuman did Lanka or what?
If you expect to become supramental overnight, you are confoundedly mistaken. The tail will keep the H.F. [hostile forces] at a respectful distance and flap at you until you consent to do
things in a reasonable time instead of taking 200 centuries over each step as you seem to want to do just now. More than that I
refuse to say. What is a reasonable time in the supramental view of things I leave you to discover.
Your Overmental Force seems to have utterly failed in cases of idiots like us. Where then is the chance of this Mr. S which
is only one step higher?
Overmind is obliged to respect the freedom of the individual
— including his freedom to be perverse, stupid, recalcitrant and slow.
Supermind is not merely a step higher than Overmind — it is beyond the line, that is a different consciousness and power
beyond the mental limit.
18 September 1935
Someone has told me that at present the Mother and you have
started to send us down into the depth of the lower nature (for the purpose of transformation). Is it a fact?
We are sending nobody nowhere. The sadhana itself has come down into the depth of the physical and subconscient to make
them open to what has to come down from above. That is all.
Is it true that the nearer the supramental descent, the greater
the difficulties of those in whom it is to come down?
It is true, unless they are so surrendered to the Mother, so psychic, plastic, free from ego that the difficulties are spared to them.
4 October 1935
Page – 353
Why not write something about the Supermind which these people find so difficult to understand?
What's the use? How much would anybody understand? Besides the present business is to bring down and establish the Super
mind, not to explain it. If it establishes itself, it will explain itself — if it doesn't, there is no use in explaining it.
I have said some things about it in past writings, but without success in enlightening anybody. So why repeat the endeavour?
9 October 1935
To X's comment about "near descents", you replied: "No, thank you, sir! I have had enough of them
— the only result of
the last descent was an upsurging of subconscient mud."15 Are our present difficulties, attacks, etc. the result of the descent?
Not of the descent, but of the resistance to it.
What descent did you mean? The descent of what?
The general descent of the Supermind into Matter was the subject on which I was writing.
6 November 1935
Yesterday you said that the Supermind descent into Matter is what is being attempted. If that is so, has the Supermind
already conquered the mental plane, the vital plane and the subtle physical plane?
There can be no conquest of the other planes by the supermind, but only an influence, so long as the physical is not ready. Besides
the Supermind did not attempt — it is we who are attempting.
Unless the mind and the vital are perfectly prepared how is
it possible to bring the Supermind down into the physical or into Matter itself?
15 See the letter of 27 May 1935 on pages 342 43. — Ed.
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And how is it possible to perfect the mind and vital unless the physical is prepared
— for there is such a thing as the mental and
vital physical and mind and vital cannot be said to be perfectly prepared until these are ready.
7 November 1935
If the progress of the transformation of the body is so slow that it cannot keep pace with that of the higher parts, it seems
that at any given time it would always be behind the higher parts. For example, when the higher parts are overmentalised
the body would be just beginning to be intuitivised. In the same way, when the higher parts are supramentalised, the
physical consciousness would be just beginning to receive the overmental influence. The body would always be behind un
less one stopped at each stage in order to deal with the body at that level, and proceeded only when that work was finished.
That is hardly possible. The body consciousness is there and cannot be ignored, so that one can neither transform the higher
parts completely leaving the body for later dealing nor make each stage complete in all its parts before going to the next. I
tried that method but it never worked. A predominant overmentalisation of mind and vital is the first step, for instance, when
overmentalising, but the body consciousness retains all the lower movements unovermentalised and until these can be pulled up
to the overmental standard, there is no overmental perfection, always the body consciousness brings in flaws and limitations.
To perfect the overmind one has to call in the supramental force and it is only when the overmind has been partially supramentalised that the body begins to be more and more overmental. I do not see any way of avoiding this process, though it is what
makes the thing so long.
18 November 1935
Well sir, what about your brand new formula?16 How has it
worked out? Are you still stuck up in the middle? Judging
16 See the letter of 16 August 1935 on page 344.
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from my own experience this Darshan [24 November 1935], it is hard to say.
My formula is working out rapidly, but it has nothing to do with any Darshan descent. It is my private and particular descent, if
you like, and that's enough for me at present. The tail of the supermind is descending, descending, descending. It is only the
tail at present, but where the tail can pass, the rest will follow.
After so much expectation everything seemed so quiet. Already
it seems as if the Darshan passed away long ago!
Quiet was all I wanted — there were so many alarums and excursions. Just before that it looked as if the 24th would be a day of mud, whirlpools and tempests (in certain quarters of
course). However all quieted down by magic — and everything was peaceful, peaceful.
I hope others felt the Force, the Descent. Some say there was a descent; others say no.
How do they know either of them? Personal experience? Then it was a personal descent or a personal non-descent. No General
de Bono yet.
Some say there was so much resistance that Sri Aurobindo
could not do much in spite of himself.
Didn't try, sir, so that's bosh. The attempt to bring a great general
descent having only produced a great ascent of subconscient mud, I had given up that as I already told you. At present I
am only busy with transformation of overmind (down to the subconscient) into supermind; when that is over, I shall see
if I can beat everyone with the tail of the supermind or not. At present I am only trying to prevent people from making
hysterical subconscient asses of themselves, so that I may not be too much disturbed in my operations
— not yet with too much
25 November 1935
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We are very happy — I believe it is due to the joy and harmony you have brought down in the atmosphere. Are the Mitra and
Bhaga powers preparing to come down?
Well, it is what I am trying to bring down into the Asram atmosphere, for it is the condition for anything effective being collectively done.
25 November 1935
The descent of the Silence is not usually associated with sadness, though it does bring a feeling of calm detachment, unconcern
and wide emptiness, but in this emptiness there is a sense of ease, freedom, peace. The absorption as if something were drawing
deep from within is evidently the pull of the inmost being, the psychic. There is a psychic sadness often when this inmost soul
opens and feels how far the nature and the world are from what they should be, but this is a sweet and quiet sorrow, not
distressing. It must be something in the mind and vital which is not yet awake to what has happened within you and gives this
colour of dissatisfied and distressed seeking.
You have certainly made a great progress since you came
and there is no reason to fear any setback of the sadhana.
I don't think you need attach any value to what
to think about the supramental. The descent of the supramental is an inevitable necessity in the logic of things and is therefore
sure. It is because people do not understand what the supermind is or realise the significance of the emergence of consciousness in
a world of "inconscient" Matter that they are unable to realise this inevitability. I suppose a matter-of-fact observer if there had
been one at the time of the unrelieved reign of inanimate Matter in the earth's beginning would have criticised any promise of the
emergence of life in a world of dead earth and rock and mineral as an absurdity and a chimaera; so too afterwards he would have
repeated his mistake and regarded the emergence of thought and reason in an animal world as an absurdity and a chimaera.
It is the same now with the appearance of supermind in the stumbling mentality of this world of human consciousness and
its reasoning ignorance. I do not know that the descent depends
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on the readiness of the sadhaks of this Asram. It is likely that these things are determined from above rather than from below.
That the descent is preparing and progressing is a fact; it is that which you feel and are justified in feeling.
1 December 1935
A certain inertia, tendency to sleep, indolence, unwillingness or inability to be strong for work or spiritual effort for long at
a time, is in the nature of the human physical consciousness. When one goes down into the physical for its change (that has
been the general condition here for a long time), this tends to increase. Even sometimes when the pressure of the sadhana in
the physical increases or when one has to go much inside, this temporarily increases
— the body either needing more rest or
turning the inward movement into a tendency to sleep or be at rest. You need not, however, be anxious about that. After a time
this rights itself; the physical consciousness gets the true peace and calm in the cells and feels at rest even in full work or in the
most concentrated condition and this tendency of inertia goes out of the nature.
9 January 1936
Is there any direct Supramental action upon the earth consciousness? Is that the reason why the resistance has increased?
The earth consciousness seems to be too inert and obstinate. I gather that you started bringing down the Supramental into
it in 1923.
Why not 1623? or since the beginning of the evolution?
7 February 1936
I gave 1923 as the year for the bringing down of the Supermind because I read that in 1923 you said that you were bringing it
down. How can we presume that you started bringing it down much earlier unless we definitely know you have yourself
spoken to this effect?
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But who said that I started in 1923? The aim of bringing down the supramental was there long before. The effort to bring it
down into the physical is on the contrary quite recent, during the last few years only.
8 February 1936
X wrote to you that he saw the Supermind descending into the earth consciousness. You wrote to him in reply that his vision
and feeling were justifiable. But before the Supermind descends into the earth consciousness, do not the planes between mind
and Overmind have to descend first?
They descended long ago. It does not mean that they are avail
able to everybody or developed anywhere in their full power — only that they can be counted among the things to which one
can reach by tapasya. For Supermind, it may be descending, but it may take long before it is available to the race.
7 April 1936
A friend wants to know many things:
(1) Descent of the Supra M. Tail — on the slightest news of
which he will give a gorilla jump to Pondy to set his nerves right! Is the Tail in view?
Of course. Coming down as fast as you fellows will allow.
(2) He wants your remarks on him which will prove "precious".
Tell him I have grown chary of remarks. Remarks frighten the
17 May 1936
I shall see what can be done [about a promised piece of writing].
For some time however it has been difficult for me to put myself to any sustained intellectual work, because I am strongly taken
up by a push to finish inwardly in myself what remained to be done in the way of transformation of the consciousness and,
though this part of it is terribly difficult and arduous, I was
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making so unexpected a progress that the consciousness was unwilling to turn away from it to anything else. So much hangs
on this, the decisive victory, the power to remove the difficulties of others as well as my own (those that are still there, physical
and other) that I was pushing for it like Mussolini for Addis Ababa before the rains. However, any night when there is a lull,
I will see.
19 May 1936
No, it is not with the Empyrean that I am busy, I wish it were.
It is rather with the opposite end of things — in the Abyss that I have to plunge to build a bridge between the two. But that too
is necessary for my work and one has to face it.
29 May 1936
Is it true that a greater and vaster Force descended this Darshan [15 August 1936]?
It is not a question of descent. We are nurturing the Force and
it grows necessarily stronger and has more effect.
21 August 1936
The last Darshan was good on the whole. I am not now trying to
bring anything sensational down on these days, but I am watching the progress in the action of the Force and Consciousness
that are already there, the infiltration of a greater Light and Power from above, and there was a very satisfactory crossing
of a difficult border which promises well for the near future. A thing has been done which had long failed to accomplish itself
and which is of great importance. I don't explain now, because it forms part of an arranged whole which is explicable only when
it is complete. But it gives a sort of strong practical assurance that the thing will be done.
26 August 1936
All in the Asram are not suffering from the sense of dullness
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and want of interest, but many are because the Force that is descending is discouraging the old movements of the physical
and vital mind which they call life and they are not accustomed to accept the renunciation of these things, or to admit the peace
or joy of silence.
9 September 1936
We hear your Supermind is very near — not 50 years, we hope!
Time to push us up a little, Sir, so that we may give you a proper reception, what?
That's what the Force seems to be trying to do.
Don't forget to make us feel at least the Descent. 30 years'
sadhana,17 by Jove!
30 years too little or too many? What would have satisfied
your rational mind — 3 years? 3 months? 3 weeks? Considering that by ordinary evolution it could not have been done even
at Nature's express speed in less than 3000 years, and would ordinarily have taken anything from 30,000 to 300,000, the
transit of 30 years is perhaps not too slow.
10 September 1936
In the evening meditation I saw a white cock in the physical
and heard it crowing. I felt it as an indication of the dawn of the Supramental Descent. Was this a right feeling? What does
the symbol indicate?
That is of course a symbol of triumph. It is true that a Force
came down full of an intense white light which the Mother had never known to come down before and it seemed to have
a supramental authority. Your feeling therefore was probably right.
10 September 1936
Yesterday after dusk, I felt as if some welcome revolution
17 See the letter of 4 April 1935 on page 374.
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had taken place in the Divine order of things. I attended the meditation and felt the whole place filled with calm and silence. . . . Then descended a
virāt mahāpurusa, Himalayan in
proportions, in the form of Sri Aurobindo, who, as if finding the earth incapable of bearing his weight, stood behind the
Mother and placed his hands on her shoulders. The whole world was surcharged with silence and Ananda. The sight is
beyond my powers to describe. An immeasurable force rushed into me, wave upon wave. . . . Was my experience true?
The experience you had was a true one, for something came down at that meditation which had not come down before
and your experience was a translation of this descent in your consciousness. That you should have become aware of it in this
way shows that your stay here has been very profitable to you and prepared your consciousness for the true realisation. The
capacity for it is now there in you. Your future sadhana should be a development from the experience to the realisation.
11 September 1936
I hear that you are now trying more for transformation of nature than for experience.
Because without transformation of nature, the blessed experience is something like a gold crown on a pig's head
— won't do.
Picturesque perhaps, but —
16 September 1936
The awakening in the subconscient is now the great and urgent
necessity and it is that for which I am pressing most.
24 September 1936
If the pressure here has an effect on the outside world in
some way, have incidents here any connections with outside happenings? For example, I noted that on the day
X and Y
went from here the Italians finally conquered Abyssinia. There is a story about an occultist in Ahmedabad (in the 16th century
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or so) in which it is related that he was making and unmaking mats and accordingly the wall around the city which had been
built during the day fell down during the night — at the time when he was taking away the chips of the mat.
The story of the occultist contains a truth, and it would be a mistake to suppose that there is no connection between the
pressure here and outside happenings. But I don't know about particular coincidences. The departure of
X and Z does not seem
easily relatable to the event in Abyssinia.
10 October 1936
I have just received your telegram communicating your disapproval of my proposed visit in November. Is it due to any wrong attitude on my part that you have not sanctioned the
It is due to the fact that there have been for some time much
struggle and tense conditions in the forces working in the Asram and your stay here would not be profitable to you at the moment.
3 November 1936
One misgiving is pressing heavily on my soul. I sense and feel that the tone
of your letters has suddenly become very grave —
the owl-like severity with which you had once threatened me. I don't know what I have done to deserve such a punishment.
Or is it because you are getting supramentalised day by day that you are withdrawing yourself so? There must be a reason
if my "sense feel" is correct. Well, if you want to press me between two planks and pulverize me . . .
I think your sense feel has been indulging in vain imaginations, perhaps with the idea of increasing your concrete imaginative
faculty and fitting you for understanding the unintelligible. Anyhow disburden your soul of the weight. I am not owled yet, and
my supramentalisation is going on too slowly to justify such apprehensions. Neither am I withdrawing, rather fitting myself
for a new rush in the near or far future. So cheer up and send the
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Man of Sorrows with his planks to the devil.
8 January 1937
What have you kept in store for us, Sir? Will the sadhaks
tumble in this way one by one as your Supramental comes nearer and nearer? Then with whom will you enjoy your
Supramental? Night and day you are soaring and soaring.
Romantic one! I am not soaring and soaring
— I am digging and
digging. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard" sort of affair.
11 March 1937
Do you see the great Tail yet?
Tail is there — but no use without the head.
16 March 1937
Since we have to lead a life in a concentrated atmosphere,
all the ugly things become at once prominent, and add to it the action of the Force on the subconscient for purging of all
No doubt. Also in this atmosphere pretences and social lies are
difficult to maintain. But if things become prominent, it is that people may see and reject them. If instead they cling to them as
their most cherished possessions, what is the use? How is the purging to be done with such an attitude?
3 April 1938
You need not be afraid of losing anything great by postponing your return to Pondicherry. A general descent of the kind you
speak of is not in view at the moment and even if it comes, it can very easily catch you up into itself whenever you come if
you are in the right openness; and if you are not, then even its descending would not be of so urgent an importance, since it
would take you some time to become aware of it or receive it. So there is no reason why you should not in this matter cleave
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to common sense and the sage advice of the doctors.
1 August 1938
By the way, you had better hurry up with your Supermind
descent, Sir. Otherwise Hitler, Mussolini & Co. will gunfire it like — !
What has Supermind to do with Hitler or Hitler with Supermind? Do you expect the Supermind to aviate to Berchtesgaden?
How the devil can they gunfire S; their aeroplanes can't even reach Pondicherry, much less the Supermind. The descent of S
depends on S, not on Hitler or no Hitler.
16 September 1938
There is another cause of the general inability to change which
at present afflicts the sadhak. It is because the sadhana, as a general fact, has now and for a long time past come down to
the Inconscient; the pressure, the call is to change in that part of the nature which depends directly on the Inconscient, the fixed
habits, the automatic movements, the mechanical repetitions of the nature, the involuntary reactions to life, all that seems to
belong to the fixed character of a man. This has to be done if there is to be any chance of a total spiritual change. The
Force (generally and not individually) is working to make that possible, its pressure is for that,
— for, on the other levels, the
change has already been made possible (not, mind you, assured to everybody). But to open the Inconscient to light is a herculean
task; change on the other levels is much easier. As yet this work has only begun and it is not surprising that there seems to be
no change in things or people. It will come in time, but not in a hurry.
As for experiences, they are all right but the trouble is that they do not seem to change the nature, they only enrich the
consciousness — even the realisation, on the mind level, of the Brahman seems to leave the nature almost where it was, except
for a few. That is why we insist on the psychic transformation
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as the first necessity — for that does change the nature — and its chief instrument is bhakti, surrender, etc.
27 April 1944
I have explained to you why so many people (not by any means all) are in this gloomy condition, dull and despondent. It is the
tamas, the inertia of the Inconscient, that has got hold of them. But also it is the small physical vital which takes only an interest
in the small and trivial things of the ordinary daily and social life and nothing else. When formerly the sadhana was going
on on higher levels (mind, higher vital etc.), there was plenty of vigour and verve and interest in the details of the Asram
work and life as well as in an inner life; the physical vital was carried in the stream. But for many this has dropped; they live
in the unsatisfied vital physical and find everything desperately dull, gloomy and without interest or issue. In their inner life the
tamas from the Inconscient has created a block or a bottleneck and they do not find any way out. If one can keep the right
condition and attitude, a strong interest in work or a strong interest in sadhana, then this becomes quiescent. That is the
malady. Its remedy is to keep the right condition and to bring gradually or, if one can, swiftly the light of the higher aspiration
into this part of the being also, so that whatever the conditions of the environment, it may keep also the right poise. Then the
sunlit path should be less impossible.
16 June 1944
I have no intention, I can assure you, of cutting off connection
in the future. What restrictions there have been, were due to unavoidable causes. My retirement itself was indispensable; otherwise I would not now be where I am, that is, personally near the goal. When the goal is reached, things will be different. But
as far as you are concerned, I have given to you what I have not given to others; what you have quoted about my connection
with you is perfectly true; if it were false, why should I have persistently pressed you to remain with me always? Inwardly,
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I have been constant in my desire and my effort to help you, not only from time to time, but daily and always. If you had
an unprecedented peace for so long a time, it was due to my persistent inner pressure; I refuse to give up all the credit to my
14 August 1945
The extreme acuteness of your difficulties is due to the yoga
having come down against the bedrock of Inconscience which is the fundamental basis of all resistance in the individual and in
the world to the victory of the Spirit and the Divine Work that is leading toward that victory. The difficulties themselves are
general in the Ashram as well as in the outside world. Doubt, discouragement, diminution or loss of faith, waning of the vital
enthusiasm for the ideal, perplexity and a baffling of the hope for the future are the common features of the difficulty. In the world
outside there are much worse symptoms such as the general increase of cynicism, a refusal to believe in anything at all, a de
crease of honesty, an immense corruption, a preoccupation with food, money, comfort, pleasure to the exclusion of higher things
and a general expectation of worse and worse things awaiting the world. All that, however acute, is a temporary phenomenon
for which those who know anything about the workings of the world-energy and the workings of the Spirit were prepared. I
myself foresaw that this worst would come, the darkness of night before the dawn; therefore I am not discouraged. I know
what is preparing behind the darkness and can see and feel the first signs of its coming. Those who seek for the Divine have to
stand firm and persist in their seeking; after a time, the darkness will fade and begin to disappear and the Light will come.
9 April 1947
If I had been standing on the Supermind level and acting on the world by the instrumentation of Supermind, that world would
have changed or would be changing much more rapidly and in
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a different fashion from what is happening now. My present effort is not to stand up on a high and distant Supermind level
and change the world from there, but to bring something of it down here and to stand on that and act by that, but at the present
stage the progressive supramentalisation of the Overmind is the first immediate preoccupation and a second is the lightening
of the heavy resistance of the Inconscient and the support it gives to human ignorance which is always the main obstacle
in any attempt to change the world or even to change oneself. I have always said that the spiritual force I have been putting
on human affairs such as the War is not the supramental but the overmind force, and that when it acts in the material world
it is so inextricably mixed up in the tangle of the lower world forces that its results, however strong or however adequate for
the immediate object, must necessarily be partial. That is why I am getting a birthday present of a free India on August 15, but
complicated by its being presented in two packets as two free Indias: this is a generosity I could have done without, one free
India would have been enough for me if offered as an unbroken whole.
7 July 1947
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