LETTERS ON YOGA
Volume 3. Part Four
1. The Triple Transformation:
Psychic Spiritual Supramental
I II III IV V
He is using the word supermind too easily. What he describes as supermind is a highly illumined consciousness; a modified supramental light may touch it, but not the full power of supermind; and, in any case, it is not the supermind. He speaks of a supramental part which is unreceptive that is impossible, the supramental cannot be unreceptive. The supermind is the Truth-Consciousness itself; it already possesses the Truth and does not even need to receive it. The word Vijnana is sometimes used for the higher illumined Intelligence in communication with the Truth, and this must be the part in himself which he felt but this is not the supermind. One can enter into supermind only at the very end of the sadhana, when all difficulties have disappeared and there is no obstacle any longer in the way of the realisation.
1. Karana 2. Hiranyagarbha 3. Virat
The parallel between Vijnana or Karana Jagat of the Upanishad presided over by Prajna and equated with Sushupti, as the Hiranyagarbha world with Swapna and things subtle does not altogether equate with my account of the supermind. But it might be said that to the normal mind approaching or entering the supramental plane it becomes a state of Sushupti. If the writer had put the superconscient sleep of supermind for so the supramental state appears to the untransformed mind when it touches or apprehends it, for it falls inevitably into such a superconscious sleep then the difference would be cured.
You were quite right in what you wrote about the supermind people here do indeed use the “big word” much too freely as if it were something quite within everybody's grasp. The first thing to be done is the psychic change and until that has progressed sufficiently, supermind is a far-off thing and people need not think of it at all. You have certainly progressed, but the change of the outer nature is always a slow movement, so that need not distress you.
All should understand that the true direct supramental does not come at the beginning but much later on in the sadhana. First the opening up and illumination of the mental, vital and physical beings; secondly, the making intuitive of the mind, through will etc. and the development of the hidden soul consciousness progressively replacing the surface consciousness; thirdly, the supramentalising of the changed mental, vital and physical beings and finally the descent of the true supramental and the rising into the supramental plane.
This is the natural order of the yoga. These stages may overlap and intermix, there may be many variations, but the last two can only come in an advanced state of the progress. Of course the supramental Divine guides this yoga throughout but it is first through many intermediary planes; and it cannot easily be said of anything that comes in the earlier periods that it is the direct or full supramental. To think so when it is not so may well be a hindrance to progress.
The psychic when sufficiently developed can be strong enough to make the preliminary clearance.
It is the supramental alone that can transform the material being, but the physical mind and the physical vital can be very much changed by the action of the psychic and of the overmind. The entire change however is made only when there is the supramental influence. But for the present the psychic is the force that may be relied on for the preliminary purification of the lower nature.
One has to know about overmind and supermind but there should be no ambition to reach them it should be regarded as a natural end of the sadhana which will come of itself. The concentration should be all on the immediate step whatever is being done at the time. So have the working of the Power and let it work all out step by step.
The action that took place was not supramental; the fact that you were aware of a centre in the brain shows that it was through the mind that it was done. The force that acted was the Divine Power which can work in this way on any plane, supramental, mental, vital or physical or on all the planes together. The supramental action can only be achieved after a long discipline of yoga directed towards that end; it cannot be an initial experience.
That there was no mental expectation was all to the good; if there had been an expectation, the mind might have been active and interfered and either perverted the experience or else stood in the way of its being pure and complete.
What you say about your sadhana is probably the right interpretation of your experiences. The two things of which you speak are really two sides of one movement. The opening and clearing of the lower strata can only be effectively done in proportion as this relative or mentalised supramental can lay hold on the consciousness and open to and bring down the higher or intermediate supramental from above, and this in its turn can only settle in the being in proportion as the psycho-vital and physical open and clear and change. The interaction must go on until a certain balance between the two movements is created which will enable the higher to hold the being without interruption and open it more and more to the true supramental activities. The action into which you have been cast was probably necessary because it is the dynamic part of your being in which the defects of the lower nature have the greatest hold and are most prominent.
The question arose and always arises because of an eagerness in the vital to take any stage of strong experience as the final stage, even to take it for the overmind, supermind, full Siddhi. The supermind or the overmind either is not so easy to reach as that, even on the side of Knowledge or inner experience only. What you are experiencing belongs to the spiritualised and liberated mind. At this stage there may be intimations from the higher mind levels, but these intimations are merely isolated experiences, not a full change of consciousness. The supermind is not part of mind or a higher level of mind it is something entirely different. No sadhak can reach the supermind by his own efforts and the effort to do it by personal tapasya has been the source of many mishaps. One has to go quietly stage by stage until the being is ready and even then it is only the Grace that can bring the real supramental change.
The gate of the supramental cannot be smashed open like that. The Adhar has to be steadily prepared, changed, made fit for the supramental Descent. There are several powers between the ordinary mind and the supramental and these must be opened up and absorbed by the consciousness only then is the supramental change possible.
To speak of “receiving power from the supramental when we are not conscious” is strange. When one is not conscious, one can still receive a higher force, the Divine Shakti works often from behind the veil, otherwise in the ignorant and unconscious condition of the human being she would not be able to work at all. But the nature of the force or action is modified to suit the condition of the sadhak. One must develop a very full consciousness before one can receive anything from the direct supramental Power and one must be very advanced in consciousness even to receive something of it modified through the overmind or other intermediate region.
It is very unwise for anyone to claim prematurely to have possession of the supermind or even to have a taste of it. The claim is usually accompanied by an outburst of superegoism, some radical blunder of perception or a gross fall, wrong condition and wrong movement. A certain spiritual humility, a serious unarrogant look at oneself and quiet perception of the imperfections of one's present nature and, instead of self-esteem and self-assertion, a sense of the necessity of exceeding one's present self, not from egoistic ambition, but from an urge towards the Divine would be, it seems to me, for this frail terrestrial and human composition far better conditions for proceeding towards the supramental change.
One must have already become intuitively conscious, to know about the overmind and the supermind. To give “signs” is useless, for the mind would only make mistakes in trying to judge by the “signs” one has to become conscious within and know directly.
Who told you that it [the supermind] was descending in the physical consciousness without touching the mind and vital?
Certainly no part of the nature has been supramentalised that is not possible until the whole being has been put under the supramental influence. The supramental influence must come first, the supramental transformation can only come afterwards.
A touch or influence of the supramental is not the same thing as the supramentalisation. To suppose that the physical can be supramentalised before the mental and vital is an absolute absurdity. What I said was that the mind and vital could not be supramentalised so long as the physical was left as it was, untouched by the supramental descent.
No. I have not said that at all. It is quite impossible for the supramental to take up the body before there has been the full supramental change in the mind and the vital. X and others seem always to expect some kind of unintelligible miracle they do not understand that it is a concentrated evolution, swift but following the law of creation that has to take place. A miracle can be a moment's wonder. A change according to the Divine Law can alone endure.
It [the supermind] cannot be brought down to the mind and vital without being brought down into the physical also one can feel its influence or get something of it but bringing down means much more than that.
The supermind is a luminous whole it is not a mixture of light and ignorance. If the physical mind is not supramentalised, then there will be in mind a mixture of ignorance, but then it will not be supermind there, but something else so also with the vital. All that can manifest in the mind separately is a partly supramentalised overmind
If the supramental can stand in the mind and vital, then it must stand in the physical also. If it does not stand in the physical, it cannot stand in the mind and vital also; it will be something else, not the supramental.
Q: If the progress of the transformation of the body is so slow that it cannot keep pace with that of the higher parts then it is clear that at all stages it would always be lagging 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. Would not this disparity be unavoid¬able unless one leaves the body for dealing with it later or at each stage one stops till the body is completely transformed before proceeding farther?
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.
When a higher force comes down into a lower plane, it is diminished and modified by the inferior substance, lesser power and more mixed movements of that lower plane. Thus, if the overmind Power works through the illumined mind, only part of its truth and freedom manifests and becomes effective so much only as can get through this less receptive consciousness. And even what gets through is less true, mixed with other matter, less overmental, more easily modified into something that is part truth, part error. When this diminished indirect force descends further down into the mind and vital, it has still something of the creative overmind Truth in it, but gets very badly mixed with mental and vital formations that disfigure it and make it half effective only, sometimes ineffective.
There can be no conquest of the other planes by the supermind but only an influence, so long as the physical is not ready.
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.