In his retirement Sri Aurobindo kept a close watch on all that was happening in the world and in India and actively intervened whenever necessary, but solely with a spiritual force and silent spiritual action; … this [dynamic spiritual] power is greater than any other and more effective. – Sri Aurobindo
Written in the third person
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 65
What I am attempting is to establish the normal working of the Siddhis in life i.e. the perception of thoughts, feelings and happenings of other beings and in other places throughout the world without any use of information by speech or any other data; 2nd, the communication of the ideas and feelings I select to others (individuals, groups, nations) by mere transmission of will-power; 3rd, the silent compulsion on them to act according to these communicated ideas and feelings; 4th, the determining of events, actions and results of action throughout the world by pure silent will-power. When I wrote to you last, I had begun the general application of these powers which God has been developing in me for the last two or three years, but, as I told you, I was getting badly beaten. This is no longer the case, for in the 1st, 2nd and even in 3rd I am now largely successful, although the action of these powers is not yet perfectly organised. It is only in the 4th that I feel a serious resistance. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 181
This [retirement from political activity] did not mean, as most people supposed, that he had retired into some height of spiritual experience devoid of any further interest in the world or in the fate of India.… In his retirement Sri Aurobindo kept a close watch on all that was happening in the world and in India and actively intervened whenever necessary, but solely with a spiritual force and silent spiritual action; for it is part of the experience of those who have advanced far in Yoga that besides the ordinary forces and activities of the mind and life and body in Matter, there are other forces and powers that can act and do act from behind and from above; there is also a spiritual dynamic power which can be possessed by those who are advanced in the spiritual consciousness, though all do not care to possess or, possessing, to use it, and this power is greater than any other and more effective. It was this force which, as soon as he had attained to it, he used, at first only in a limited field of personal work, but afterwards in a constant action upon the world forces. He had no reason to be dissatisfied with the results or to feel the necessity of any other kind of action. – Sri Aurobindo
Written in the third person
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 65
Man is a transitional being, he is not final; for in him and high beyond him ascend the radiant degrees which climb to a divine supermanhood. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 12, p. 157
The step from man towards superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth’s evolution. There lies our destiny and the liberating key to our aspiring, but troubled and limited human existence—inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner Spirit and the logic of Nature’s process. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 12, p. 157
I began my Yoga in 1904 without a Guru; in 1908 I received important help from a Mahratta Yogi [Lele] and discovered the foundations of my sadhana; but from that time till the Mother came to India I received no spiritual help from anyone else. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 98
The day after the Mother met Sri Aurobindo for the first time in 1914, she wrote:
It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth. – The Mother
CWM Vol 1, p. 113
Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator, the Mother, was born Mirra Alfassa on 21 February 1878 in Paris. A student of the Academie Julian, she became an accomplished artist. Conscious of her spiritual mission even as a child, she was guided in her visions by one whom she called Krishna. When she met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry in 1914 she at once recognised him as the Krishna of her visions.
The Mother stayed in Pondicherry for a year and had to return to France on account of the First World War. She returned to Pondicherry for good in 1920 after four years in Japan. In 1926 when Sri Aurobindo withdrew into seclusion to concentrate on the fulfillment of his Yoga, he entrusted the full charge of his disciples to her, always supporting her quietly from behind. This was the beginning of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
The rapid growth of the Ashram was the direct result of the Mother’s vision and dynamic energy. After the Master’s passing away on 5th December 1950, she continued to nurture with her unfathomable love the numerous seekers who came to her thirsting for light.
In 1952 she started the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, an experiment in developing a system of integral education. In 1968 she founded the international township of Auroville which is dedicated to the ideal of human unity. The Mother left her body on 17th November 1973
A prolific writer, Sri Aurobindo has covered a wide range of subjects. He is best known for his works on spiritual life, philosophy, social psychology and his commentaries on Indian scriptures. His major prose works, first published in the monthly journal Arya, include The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita, The Secret of the Veda, A Defence of Indian Culture, The Human Cycle and The Future Poetry. His major poetic work is the epic Savitri.
Besides the major works mentioned, there are volumes containing his early cultural and political writings, his translations, dramas, poems and thousands of letters covering Yoga, arts, culture, literature, science and philosophy.
All these works are currently published in the 37–volume Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. Together, these works set forth Sri Aurobindo’s vision of life and constitute his written legacy for humanity.
About the Arya journal (1914–1921) Sri Aurobindo commented:
X proposed to me to co-operate in a philosophical review and as my theory was that a Yogi ought to be able to turn his hand to anything, I could not very well refuse; and then he had to go to the war and left me in the lurch with sixty-four pages a month of philosophy all to write by my lonely self. Secondly,—I had only to write down in the terms of the intellect all that I had observed and come to know in practising Yoga daily and the philosophy was there automatically. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 35, p. 70
The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consiousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.
– Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 547
It is not his [Sri Aurobindo’s] object to develop any one religion or to amalgamate the older religions or to found any new religion—for any of these things would lead away from his central purpose. The one aim of his Yoga is an inner self-development by which each one who follows it can in time discover the One Self in all and evolve a higher consciousness than the mental, a spiritual and supramental consciousness which will transform and divinise human nature.
– Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 549
The highest truth is truth of the Spirit; a Spirit supreme above the world and yet immanent in the world and in all that exists, sustaining and leading all towards whatever is the aim and goal and the fulfilment of Nature since her obscure inconscient beginnings through the growth of consciousness is the one aspect of existence which gives a clue to the secret of our being and a meaning to the world. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 552
Until I went to Pondicherry I took no disciples; with those who accompanied me or joined me in Pondicherry I had at first the relation of friends and companions rather than of a Guru and disciples; it was on the ground of politics that I had come to know them and not on the spiritual ground. Afterwards only there was a gradual development of spiritual relations until the Mother came back from Japan and the Ashram was founded or rather founded itself in 1926. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 36, p. 98
Sri Aurobindo described the stage of his yoga before he came to Pondicherry in 1910 as ”preliminary or preparatory“. That is to say it was a preliminary stage of the supramental yoga. ”The Guru of the world who is within us then gave me the complete directions of my path—its complete theory, the ten limbs of the body of this Yoga. These ten years [1910–1920] He has been making me develop it in experience, and it is not yet finished.…
”If we cannot rise above, that is, to the supramental level, it is hardly possible to know the last secret of the world and the problem it raises remains unsolved.
This is no easy change to make. After these fifteen years I am only now rising into the lowest of the three levels of the Supermind and trying to draw up into it all the lower activities.“ – Sri Aurobindo
Letter to Barin, 1920
From the beginning of November 1926 the pressure of the Higher Power began to be unbearable. Then at last the great day, the day for which the Mother had been waiting for so many long years, arrived on 24 November.…
There was a deep silence in the atmosphere after the disciples had gathered there. Many saw an oceanic flood of Light rushing down from above. Everyone present felt a kind of pressure above his head. The whole atmosphere was surcharged with some electrical energy.…
In the interval of silent meditation and blessings many had distinct experiences. When all was over they felt as if they had awakened from a divine dream. Then they felt the grandeur, the poetry and the absolute beauty of the occasion. It was not as if a handful of disciples were receiving blessings from their Supreme Master and the Mother in one little corner of the earth. The significance of the occasion was far greater than that. It was certain that a Higher Consciousness had descended on earth.…
That 24 November should be given an importance equal to that of the birthdays of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is quite proper because on that day the descent of the Higher Power symbolic of the victory of their mission took place. The Delight consciousness in the Overmind which Sri Krishna incarnated as Avatar descended on this day into the physical rendering possible the descent of the Supermind in Matter.
Of this descent Sri Aurobindo wrote on several occasions afterwards. In October 1935 he wrote as follows:
”It [the 24th November 1926] was the descent of Krishna into the physical
Krishna is not the supramental light. The descent of Krishna would mean the descent of the Overmind Godhead preparing, though not itself actually bringing, the descent of Supermind and Ananda. Krishna is the Anandamaya; he supports the evolution through the Overmind leading it towards his Ananda.“ – Sri Aurobindo
A. B. Purani, The Life of Sri Aurobindo, pp. 210–17
The descending triangle represents Sat-Chit-Ananda.
The ascending triangle represents the aspiring answer from matter under the form of life, light and love.
The junction of both—the central square—is the perfect manifestation having at its centre the Avatar of the Supreme—the lotus.
The water—inside the square—represents the multiplicity, the creation. – The Mother
CWM Vol. 13, pp. 28–29
The realisation of the Divine is the one thing needful and the rest is desirable only in so far as it helps or leads towards that or when it is realised, extends or manifests the realisation. Manifestation or organisation of the whole life for the Divine work: first, the Sadhana personal and collective necessary for the realisation and a common life of the God-realised men, secondly, for help to the world to move towards that and to live in the Light, is the whole meaning and purpose of my Yoga. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 35, pp. 784
I am concerned with the earth, not with worlds beyond for their own sake; it is a terrestrial realisation that I seek and not a flight to distant summits. All other Yogas regard this life as an illusion or a passing phase; the supramental Yoga alone regards it as a thing created by the Divine for a progressive manifestation and takes the fulfillment of the life and the body for its object. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 29, p. 482
The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.
Sri Aurobindo’s teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.
But while the former steps in evolution were taken by Nature without a conscious will in the plant and animal life, in man Nature becomes able to evolve by a conscious will in the instrument. It is not, however, by the mental will in man that this can be wholly done, for the mind goes only to a certain point and after that can only move in a circle. A conversion has to be made, a turning of the consciousness by which mind has to change into the higher principle. This method is to be found through the ancient psychological discipline and practice of Yoga. In the past, it has been attempted by a drawing away from the world and a disappearance into the height of the Self or Spirit. Sri Aurobindo teaches that a descent of the higher principle is possible which will not merely release the spiritual Self out of the world, but release it in the world, replace the mind’s ignorance or its very limited knowledge by a supramental Truth-Consciousness which will be a sufficient instrument of the inner Self and make it possible for the human being to find himself dynamically as well as inwardly and grow out of his still animal humanity into a diviner race. The psychological discipline of Yoga can be used to that end by opening all the parts of the being to a conversion or transformation through the descent and working of the higher still concealed supramental principle. – Sri Aurobindo
Written in the third person
CWSA Vol 36, pp. 547–48
What I received about the Supermind was a direct, not a derived knowledge given to me; it was only afterwards that I found certain confirmatory revelations in the Upanishad and Veda.
– Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 28, p. 309
I know with absolute certitude that the supramental is a truth and that its advent is in the very nature of things inevitable. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 35, p. 334
The Guru is the channel or the representative or the manifestation of the Divine, according to the measure of his personality or his attainment; but whatever he is, it is to the Divine that one opens in opening to him. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 29, p. 201
What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme. – The Mother
CWM Vol. 13, p.3
The Mother’s consciousness and mine are the same, the one Divine Consciousness in two, because that is necessary for the play. Nothing can be done without her knowledge and force, without her consciousness—if anybody really feels her consciousness, he should know that I am there behind it and if he feels me it is the same with hers. – Sri Aurobindo
CWSA Vol. 32, p. 79