classes ::: George_Van_Vrekhem, Integral_Yoga, chapter,
children :::
branches :::
see also :::

Instances, Classes, See Also, Object in Names
Definitions, . Quotes . - . Chapters .

object:1.08 - Sri Aurobindos Descent into Death
book classPreparing for the Miraculous
author class:George Van Vrekhem
subject class:Integral Yoga

The time is very serious 2
In June 1946, less than a year after the unconditional
surrender of Japan, Sri Aurobindo wrote: There was a
time when Hitler was victorious everywhere and it seemed
certain that a black yoke of the Asura would be imposed on
the whole world; but where is Hitler now and where is his
1 This talk was given in Savitri Bhavan on 4 December 2010, in com-
memoration of the 60th anniversary of Sri Aurobindos passing.
See also talk 2: The Development of Sri Aurobindos Thought.172
e l e v e n ta l k s
rule? Berlin and Nuremberg [where in those days German
top Nazis stood trial] have marked the end of that dread-
ful chapter in human history. Other blacknesses threaten to
overshadow or even engulf mankind, but they too will end
as that nightmare has ended. If one has the faintest notion
of Sri Aurobindo and the Mothers decisive interventions
in the Second World War, the fiercest and most deadly of
all wars, and of its significance in human history, one has
to be moved by these words. (The phrase where is Hit-
ler now? may well be the softest worded victory bulletin
ever.) But then, now that the war was won, why the somber
talk about other engulfing blacknesses which nobody else
seemed to see? Yet the threat apparently increased, for in
April of the following year Sri Aurobindo wrote: Things
are bad, are growing worse and may at any time grow
worst or worse than worst if that is possible. 3
At that point, when Sri Aurobindo was seventy-five
years old and after a lifetime of revolutionary avataric Yoga,
something at the root of things was blocking the Work. Sri
Aurobindo stated forcefully: I have no intention of giving
my sanction to a new edition of the old fiasco a partial
and transient spiritual opening within with no true and
radical change in the external nature. 4 The old fiasco was
the effort of the previous Avatars to change human nature
and make spiritual progress in the material evolution pos-
sible. In his Essays on the Gita Sri Aurobindo had already
written: Not till the Time-Spirit in man is ready can the
inner and ultimate prevail over the outer and immediate
reality. Christ and Buddha have come and gone. But it is
Rudra who still holds the world in the hollow of his hand.
And meanwhile the fierce forward labour of mankind, tor-
mented and oppressed by the Powers that are profiteers of
3 Sri Aurobindo: On Himself, pp. 168 and 169.
4 Sri Aurobindo: Letters on Yoga, p. 1306.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
egoistic force and their servants, cries for the sword of the
Hero of the struggle and the word of the prophet.
It is said that Sri Aurobindo never explicitly stated that
he was an Avatar. To expect such a statement would de-
mand that Sri Aurobindo broke with his inborn and spir-
itual discretion. The quotations in the previous paragraph,
however, make it abundantly clear, as do many other pas-
sages in his writings and acts in his workings, that he con-
sidered his yogic effort to be that of an Avatar, and even the
most decisive of all avataric missions. On the other hand,
where does one ever find a sign of the slightest awareness
that in 1947 the Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, on
which the future of humanity depended, was threatened
with annulment?
Nirodbaran, in those days with Champaklal the clos-
est assistant of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, wrote in his
priceless Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo: We observed a
noticeable change in his mood. Our talks ... diminished.
He was no longer expansive; humour, wit, sally, fun, all
had shrivelled up and we were in front of a temple deity,
impassive, aloof and indifferent. However much we tried
to draw him out from his impregnable sanctum of silence,
we were answered with a monosyllabic yes or no, or at
most a faint smile. ... One day taking courage in both hands,
Dr. Satyendra asked: Why are you so serious, Sir? Sri Au-
robindo answered gravely: The time is very serious. The
answer left us mystified. 5
The decision
Things must have grown worse than worst, for a
drastic act became imperative. Of Sri Aurobindos deci-
sion to perform this act nobody knew at the time. It is only
5 Nirodbaran: Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, pp. 263-264.174
e l e v e n ta l k s
afterwards that some sayings and facts could be seen as
indicative of what was to happen. So for instance the fol-
lowing words of the Mother spoken to Dr. Sanyal on the
very morning of Sri Aurobindos passing: About a year
ago, while I was discussing things, I remarked that I felt
like leaving this body of mine. Sri Aurobindo spoke out in
a very firm tone: No, this can never be. If necessary for this
transformation, I might go. You will have to fulfil our Yoga
of supramental descent and transformation. ... After that
this took place early in 1950 he gradually let himself fall
ill. For he knew quite well that, should he say I must go,
I would not have obeyed him and I would have gone. For
according to the way I felt, he was much more indispensa-
ble than I. But he saw the matter from the other side. And
he knew that I had the power to leave my body at will. So
he didnt say a thing he didnt say a thing right to the very
last minute. 6
Later the Mother would concede: It is absolutely un-
deniable that my body has that capacity [of endurance]
infinitely more than the body of Sri Aurobindo. This re-
minds us of her former saying that she had consciously
chosen her parents not only for their mental but also for
their physical qualities. She also said later: I told him that,
as to me, it would be absolutely without regret and with-
out difficulty that I would leave my body to go and join
him ... And he answered: Your body is indispensable for
the Work. Without your body the Work cannot be done.
This is something that was said in 1949, which means a lit-
tle more than a year before he left. 7
Then there is the amazing avowal of the Mother that
she does not seem to have known that Sri Aurobindo, step
6 Prabhat Sanyal: A Call from Pondicherry, in Mother India, December
7 Kireet Joshi: Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, p. 103.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
by invisible step, let death approach. She has confirmed
this more than once herself. For instance: You see, he had
decided to go. But he didnt want me to know that he was
doing it deliberately. He knew that if for a single moment
I knew he was doing it deliberately, I would have react-
ed with such violence that he would not have been able
to leave. And he did this: he bore it all as if it was some
unconsciousness, an ordinary illness, simply to keep me
from knowing and he left at the very moment he had to
leave. Sri Aurobindo had created a blind spot, as it were,
in the perception of her who was the Mother of the worlds
and had access to all knowledge everywhere if she so de-
sired! Once she said: I did not believe till the last moment
that Sri Aurobindo was going to leave his body. And K.D.
Sethna commented: This is correct. On December 3th [Sri
Aurobindo passed away on the 5th] the Mother told me
that Sri Aurobindo would soon read my articles. Later,
when I asked her why she had let me go to Bombay on
December 3th, she said that Sri Aurobindos going had not
been decided yet. 8
Initially, except for some minor symptoms of kidney
trouble, there were no signs of serious health problems
whatever. Besides, Sri Aurobindo continued his (outwardly)
daily routine as if nothing was the matter. He still wanted to
write on modern poetry and a search was on to provide him
with volumes of such poetry to read. (He appreciated Mal-
larm, Whitman, Yeats and Eliot.) He also dictated, at the
Mothers request, the important series of articles published
under the title The Supramental Manifestation upon Earth.
In these articles he expounded the state of affairs at that
time of his Work, of his Yoga of Transformation, explaining
the realization of the Mind of Light, and the necessity of
8 K.D. Sethna: The Passing of Sri Aurobindo, p. 5.176
e l e v e n ta l k s
a range of intermediary beings between the present human
and the future supramental species. These transitional spe-
cies or subspecies in the making he gave no name, calling
them in general a new humanity. The Mother, however,
did give them a name in French, surhommes, literally
meaning overmen. She said: This was certainly what he
expected of us: what he conceived of as the overman, who
must be the intermediate being between humanity as it is
and the supramental being created in the supramental way
... It is quite obvious that intermediary beings are neces-
sary, and that it is these intermediary beings who must find
the means to create beings of the Supermind. And there is
no doubt that, when Sri Aurobindo wrote this, he was con-
vinced that this is what we have to do. 9
Somewhere in October, solicited from many sides, Sri
Aurobindo said to Nirodbaran: My main work is being
delayed. For, as Nirodbaran wrote: Many interruptions
came in the way. The preliminary work of reading old ver-
sions, selections, etc. [of Sri Aurobindos own writings being
prepared for publication], took up much time before we ac-
tually could start [i.e. continue working on Savitri]. Still the
urgency in Sri Aurobindos remark startled Nirodbaran, as
he had never seen Sri Aurobindo hurry for anything. When
the last revision was made and the Cantos were wound up,
I said: It is finished now. An impersonal smile of satisfac-
tion greeted me, and he said: Ah, is it finished? How well
I remember that flicker of a smile which all of us craved for
so long! What is left now? was his next query. The Book
of Death and the Epilogue. Oh, that? We shall see about
that later on. That later on never came and was not meant
to come. 10 For the subject matter of Savitri were the ex-
periences of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Death had not
The Mother: Questions and Answers 1957-58, p. 57.
10 Nirodbaran: Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 266.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
yet been experienced. And the Epilogue, the happy ending
which in this case will be a life of fulfilment on Earth, lies
somewhere in the future. Thus reached Savitri, in the words
of Nirodbaran, its incomplete completion.
The worse than worst situation did not subside. The
uraemic symptoms increased, for the moment of the great
master act of the Avatar had come. After all the work Sri
Aurobindo and the Mother had done, after all the burdens
and the suffering, the black passages and the dawns of
light, something had to be done which is unknown of in
the history of humankind. As the Mother would say later:
For the Will of the Supreme to be expressed as it were in
contradiction with the totality of the laws of the Manifesta-
tion, that happens just at the last moment at the ultimate
limit of possibility. 11
The descent into death
Sri Aurobindos death was interpreted by most as
the natural result of illness and/or advanced age.
In 1924 Sri Aurobindo had said that there were three
causes that [then] could still bring about his death: 1. vio-
lent surprise or accident; 2. the action of old age; 3. his own
choice, when finding it not possible to accomplish his [ava-
taric] endeavour this time, i.e. establishing the supramen-
tal Consciousness on Earth, or if something would prove
him that it was impossible. What happened in 1950, how-
ever, was a fourth possibility not foreseeable in 1924: that
he would have to descend into death voluntarily, having
in the meantime acquired the powers to do so, in order to
make that his endeavour would not end in failure.
Who realized in December 1950 and even now
that at that time, in that place on Earth, a mystery without
11 Mothers Agenda 1961, p. 289.178
e l e v e n ta l k s
precedence was enacted on which humanitys future de-
This tactical move was possible because the Avatar
was present on Earth in his/her physical completeness, i.e.
in a male/female body. If the Avatar had been present in
only one body, the death of this body would have cancelled
out any possibility of accomplishing the present mission
successfully. (This illustrates how the planning and the
completion of the mission of an Avatar is decided upon and
pre-exists outside the dimensions, outside the theatre of
the material world.)
Sri Aurobindo let himself gradually become more
and more ill. In the last few days before his departure the
Mother said: He is losing interest in himself. The faithful
Nirodbaran, gathering his courage in both hands, ventured
at last to ask him: Are you not using your force to cure
yourself? No! came the stunning reply. ... Then, Nirod-
baran writes, we asked: Why not? How is the disease go-
ing to be cured otherwise? Cant explain. You wont un-
derstand, was the curt reply. On this Nirodbaran reflects:
The big mystery as to his strange attitude and non-inter-
vention still remains. 12 None understood, then as now,
that Sri Aurobindo descended voluntarily into death to do
something in the Inconscient which only the Avatar could
execute, in order to prevent that his mission on Earth, in
the short or the long term, would come to nothing.
According to the testimony of Nirodbaran, a medical
doctor, Sri Aurobindo was never unconscious in the course
of his illness. It was during this period [on the very last
day] that he often came out of the trance and each time
leaned forward, hugged and kissed Champaklal who was
sitting by the side of his bed. Champaklal also hugged him
12 Nirodbaran: Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 274.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
in return. A wonderful sight it was, though so strangely
unlike Sri Aurobindo who had rarely called us even by our
names in these twelve years. 13 The Avatar took leave of
humanity in one of its purest representatives.
At 11 p.m. on the 4th of December the Mother helped
Sri Aurobindo take a drink. At midnight she came again
into his room. This time he opened his eyes and the two
looked at each other in a steady gaze. We were the silent
spectators of that crucial scene, writes Nirodbaran.
At 1 a.m. on the 5th of December the Mother came
again. Her face was calm, there was no trace of emotion. Sri
Aurobindo was indrawn. The Mother asked Dr. Sanyal in a
quiet tone: What do you think? May I retire for an hour? ...
Call me when the time comes. On this Nirodbaran reflects:
It may appear strange to our human mind that the Mother
could leave Sri Aurobindo at this critical moment. Yet, the
Mothers clarification is quite different: As long as I was in
the room he could not leave his body. I used all my power to
prevent him from departing. So there was a terrible tension
in him: the inner will to leave and then this kind of thing
[i.e. the Mother] that was holding him there, like that, in his
body because I knew that he was alive ... He had to give
a sign so that I would go into my room, supposedly to rest
(which I didnt do). And as soon as I had gone out of the
room, he left. He drew up his arms and put them on his
chest, one overlapping the other. Then they called me back
immediately. 14
Soon afterwards the main personalities in the Ashram
were informed and the Ashram photographers called before
the endless queue would form to pay their last homage. Two
of the photographers testimonies are worth comparing.
13 Id., p. 275.
14 Mothers Agenda, vol. II, p. 288.180
e l e v e n ta l k s
The first one recalls: I remember clearly that Mother was
sitting in the middle room beside Sri Aurobindos, where
the tiger skins and the Mothers paintings are displayed.
She looked very dejected. She was stooping with a hand on
her forehead, and did not notice me as I entered.
The second photographer, on the contrary, recalls:
When I entered Sri Aurobindos abode through the door at
the top of the staircase leading from the Meditation Hall, I
instantly became petrified by the sight of the Mother sitting
on a chair in the central room the room in which her paint-
ings adorn the walls and the tiger skins decorate the divan.
She was seated between the two doors on the southern side
of the narrow room with her eyes shut, lost in deep medita-
tion. I have never seen her like that again. To me she looked
like the personification of Mother Kali herself, so powerful
was the appearance. I stood before her for some time.
The Mind of Light
On the last day before Sri Aurobindo left his body the
Mother said: Each time I enter the room, I see him pulling
down the Supramental Light. And later: All the supra-
mental force he had accumulated in his body, he passed on
to me and I received it. 15
In his memoir A Call from Pondicherry, Dr. Prabhat San-
yal wrote: She stood there, near the feet of Sri Aurobindo,
her hair had been undressed and was flowing about her
shoulders. 16 Once again, to know what really happened
in those climactic hours, we have to turn to the Mother her-
self. He had accumulated in his body much supramental
Force, and as soon as he left ... You see, he was lying on his
bed, I stood by his side, and in a way altogether concrete
15 Id., vol. X, p. 320.
16 Prabhat Sanyal: op. cit.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
concrete with such a strong sensation as to make one think
that it could be seen all this supramental Force which was
in him passed from his body into mine. And I felt the fric-
tion of the passage. It was extraordinary. It was an extraor-
dinary experience. ... When he left, there was a whole part
the most material part of the descent [the formation in Sri
Aurobindo] of the supramental body up to the [physical]
mental which visibly came out of his body, like this [ges-
ture], and entered into mine. And this was so concrete that
I felt the friction of the forces passing through the pores of
the skin. It was as concrete as if it had been material. 17
Here it should be recalled that Sri Aurobindo and the
Mother had divided the tasks for the accomplishment of
their mission. Sri Aurobindo, secluded in his apartment,
took upon him the Yoga of bringing down the Supermind
into his physical body. As his physical body, like any other
human body, was a formation of the terrestrial evolution,
this also meant that he was bringing down the Supermind
in the very stuff of the Earth.
The Mother had taken upon her the building up of the
Ashram, materially as well as spiritually, and the yoga of the
sadhaks and sadhikas who, as she once said, were enclosed in
her consciousness as in an egg. Yet every new realization
in his Yoga Sri Aurobindo transmitted to her, and every-
thing that went on in the Ashram the Mother submitted to
Sri Aurobindo. This division of the tasks is essential to
understand what happened between them at the time of Sri
Aurobindos departure.
As soon as Sri Aurobindo withdrew from his body,
what he has called the Mind of Light got realized in me,
the Mother said afterwards to K.D. Sethna. The Supermind
17 Mothers Agenda, vol. VIII, p. 311.182
e l e v e n ta l k s
had descended long ago very long ago into the mind and
even into the vital; it was working in the physical also but
indirectly through those intermediaries. The question was
about the direct action of the Supermind in the physical.
Sri Aurobindo said it could be possible only if the physi-
cal mind received the supramental light: the physical mind
was the instrument for direct action upon the most mate-
rial. The physical mind receiving the supramental light Sri
Aurobindo called the Mind of Light. 18
Sri Aurobindos leaving the body meant a traumatic
change for the Mother in ways we cannot even try to im-
agine. Which human can have an idea of the relationship
between the embodied Ishwara and Shakti? There are no
words which can describe the collapse that has been for it,
said the Mother later, and by it she meant her body. It had
been un coup de massue, a sledgehammer blow ... When Sri
Aurobindo had left, I saw that I had to cut the connection
with the psychic being, otherwise I would have gone with
him. And as I had promised him that I would stay on and
do the work, I had to do that: I literally closed the door on
the psychic. 19 It would take almost two decades before
she could venture, in 1969, to open that door again.
18 K.D. Sethna: The Vision and Work of Sri Aurobindo, p. 105.

Here again we have a glimpse of the formation of what the Mother
has called the overman. The supramental transformation of the physi-
cal mind, although enormously important in itself, was still far from the
total transformation of the body, but it was a considerable first step in
the formation of the overman, the intermediary between the human and
the supramental being. This highlights the significance of the Mothers
words spoken in 1958: When leaving his body and entering into mine
he said: You will continue. You will go to the end of the work. ... Then
I have told my body: You will realize that intermediary more-than-
humanity [surhumanit] between man and the supramental being, in
other words what I call the surhomme [overman]. And this is what I have
been doing for the last eight years. (Mothers Agenda, vol. I, p. 160)
19 Id., p. 162.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
What was threatening
the accomplishment of the avataric mission?
In The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo wrote: There can be
no artificial escape from this problem [evil, suffering and
death] which has always troubled humanity and from which
it has found no satisfying issue. The tree of the knowledge
of good and evil with its sweet and bitter fruits is secretly
rooted in the very nature of the Inconscience from which
our being has emerged and on which it still stands as a
nether soil and basis of our physical existence ... There can
be no final solution until we have turned our inconscience
into the greater consciousness, made the truth of self and
spirit our life-basis and transformed our ignorance into a
higher knowledge; a complete and radical transformation
of our nature is the only true solution. 20 Only Supermind
would do. But the bringing down of the Supermind into the
body of the Earth, the complete and radical transformation
of our nature, was precisely what the hostile forces were
trying to prevent at any cost, for it would mean the end of
their dominion over the Earth and humanity.
One reads of many masters in several yogic disciplines
who possessed the power to lay down their body at will.
The difference with Sri Aurobindos master act was that
he went into death in full consciousness and while keep-
ing the vital and mental sheaths which, let us not forget it,
were supramentally transformed. And this he did not in
search of escape or dissolution, but to intervene and effect
a change somewhere at the bottom of existence, in what
he called the Inconscient, worse than hell. He was not
compelled to leave his body, said the Mother. He chose
to do so for reasons so sublime that they are beyond the
reach of human mentality.
20 Sri Aurobindo: The Life Divine, p. 650.184
e l e v e n ta l k s
But why? The Mothers Pourquoi? resounds in so many
of her conversations. He has left before telling us what he
was doing. I am absolutely busy making a path in a virgin
forest more than a virgin forest. 21 (Perhaps she was not al-
lowed to know because she her body had to do the job. It
may not have been permitted to have a knowledge beyond
its effort.) He told me: The world is not ready. It looks as
if the world here means the whole of the manifestation at
this point of its evolution. For that was the burden the Ava-
tar had to take upon him, which needed to be transformed
in its foundations, and which kept resisting him.
In his marvellous poem A Gods Labour which might
also be called The Avatars Song or The Ballad of the Ava-
tar Sri Aurobindo had described exactly this problem.
A voice cried, Go where none has gone!
Dig deeper, deeper yet
Till you reach the grim foundation stone
And knock at the keyless gate.
I saw that a falsehood was planted deep
At the very root of things
Where the grey Sphinx guards Gods riddle sleep
On the Dragons outspread wings.
True, the keyless gate, the grey Sphinx, and the
Dragons outspread wings, all concrete elements of his
experience, are little more than poetic metaphors to us. But
Gods riddle sleep is clearly the dark Inconscient, and
that was what Sri Aurobindo descended into for an opera-
tion which only the Avatar, the very Divine, could perform.
We find something similar in his sonnet The Inconscient
My soul regards its veiled subconscient base,
All the dead obstinate symbols of the past,
21 Mothers Agenda, vol. II, p. 285.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
The hereditary moulds, the stamps of race
Are upheld to sight, the old imprints effaced.
In a downpour of supernal light it reads
The black Inconscients enigmatic script
Recorded in a hundred shadowy screeds
An inert worlds obscure enormous drift ...
There slept the tables of the Ignorance,
There the dumb dragon edicts of her sway,
The scriptures of Necessity and Chance. ...
In Savitri we find Sri Aurobindo again confronting the
black inertia of our base and seeking for the secret key of
Natures change:
The ordeal he suffered of evils absolute reign ...
Incapable of motion or of force,
In Matters blank denial goaled and blind,
Pinned to the black inertia of our base
He treasured between his hands his flickering soul ...
Into the abysmal secrecy he came
Where darkness peers from her mattress, grey and nude,
And stood on the last locked subconscients floor
Where Being slept unconscious of its thoughts
And built the world not knowing what it built. ...
He saw the secret key of Natures change.
Then ...
Torn were the formats of the primal Night
And shattered the stereotypes of the Ignorance ...
He imposed upon dark atom and dumb mass
The diamond script of the Imperishable ...
Matter and Spirit mingled and were one. 22
As the Mother said: All goes well as long as there is
not the will of transformation. It is the protest against the
will of transformation. ... It is the introduction of something
totally new into Matter, and therefore the body protests ...
22 Sri Aurobindo: Savitri, pp. 230-32, passim.186
e l e v e n ta l k s
There is a whole part of Nature which is collaborating, but
not in this. Distinctly, clearly, it wells up from the subcon-
scient and the inconscient. ... Its something that wells up
from below ... All the time it comes up from below. 23 This
was the reason why Sri Aurobindo had to descend into
death. That he was successful, that he found the key to the
impossible and cured the source of darkness at the bottom
of things, we know from the fact that hardly six years later
the Supermind manifested in the Earth atmosphere, and a
new world was born.
There is no known person who at the time of Sri Auro
bindos passing had the slightest inkling of what was hap-
pening. You wouldnt understand, he had said. We have
seen how, during that extraordinary episode, the behaviour
of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother also was time and again
misinterpreted in a too human way misinterpretations
which, written down by the eye-witnesses, would become
part of the standard story built around the event. If we know
a little better now, if we have at least some ground for a more
meaningful interpretation, it is because the Mother in later
years has reminisced about those days on several occasions.
The result of the lack of understanding was, in many,
doubt and desperation. What use was it to continue dedi-
cating ones life to a supramental transformation and the
conquest of death when the Guru, or Master, or Avatar and
bringer of the new vision had succumbed himself to death?
Therefore the Mother gave the following message on the
14th of December: To grieve is an insult to Sri Aurobindo,
who is here with us, conscious and alive.
At least there had been signs that Sri Aurobindo had
not left in the ordinary way. Nirodbaran wrote in his Twelve
23 Mothers Agenda, 15 July 1961.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
Years: I also saw, to my utter wonder and delight, that the
entire body was suffused with a golden crimson hue, so
fresh, so magnificent. It seemed to have lifted my pall of
gloom and I felt light and happy without knowing why. ...
Pointing to the Light the Mother said: If this Supramental
Light remains we shall keep the body in a glass case. It did
not remain and on the fifth day, on the 9th of December in
the evening, the body was laid in a vault. 24
And K.D. Sethna, many years afterwards, would write
in Mother India, the Ashram periodical of which he was the
editor: I marked that there was nothing like what people
usually speak of when they stand before someone dead.
They refer to the expression of peace on the face. I saw the
very opposite. Certainly not any stamp of agitation but the
unmoving source of a sovereign dynamism. A tremendous
power seemed to emanate from the face and figure. Wave
after wave of it filled the room and surrounded me. I per-
ceived an overwhelming air of Conquest ... From the flar-
ing nostrils to the way in which the legs were stretched out,
slightly apart, there was a natural aspect of domination.
Spontaneously, effortlessly an assertion of empire could be
experienced. Here was a silence, transcendent of all crea-
tion an ultimate absolute of the ineffable from which
originally had flowed forth a creative energy and which
now was sending out a power of re-creating all life. Such
was the mysterious death of Sri Aurobindo. 25 The poet
that was K.D. Sethna had seen better than most of his less
intuitive co-disciples.
What we are doing will be a beginning, not a complet
ion, Sri Aurobindo had written in a letter. 26 He, as no one
else, knew how difficult his envisioned transformation of
24 Nirodbaran: Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 280.
25 Mother India, December 1991, p. 5.
26 Sri Aurobindo: Letters on Yoga, p. 10.188
e l e v e n ta l k s
Homo sapiens actually was, beginning with the bringing
down of the Supermind into the body of the Earth and
continuing with the transformation of the human body, as
it were petrified in its evolutionary structures. The mani-
festation of the Supermind had been felt to be imminent in
1938-39, a possibility which may be reckoned as the main
reason of the fierce counteraction by the hostile forces: the
Second World War. At that point Sri Aurobindo was not
even confronted by the possibility of the fiasco which
threatened his and the Mothers mission. This may give
us at least some idea of the dimensions of the whole en-
terprise and of the greatness of the two Protagonists who
stood up, Sri Aurobindo in 1950 and the Mother in the fol-
lowing years, against the assembled Powers still holding
the entire manifestation in the palm of their hand.
Now we are further again. Sri Aurobindos intervention
at the root of things has enabled the manifestation of the
Supermind in 1956. His words about the capability of the
Mothers body have proved true, and in the following years
she has gradually realized the archetype of the supramental
body by means of her physical body. By these two realiza-
tions the appearance of the next step in the evolution, the
supramental being, has been brought nearer centuries if not
millennia. Ours, humans of goodwill and aspiration, is the
task of the intermediaries between the two species, of build-
ing the bridge over an enormous evolutionary gap.
In this we are not alone. If we can tune ourselves to
them, we are helped by four powerful aids: the Supra-
mental Force, active since 1956; the Consciousness of the
Overman, active since 1 January 1969 27 ; Sri Aurobindos
presence; and the Mothers presence. For Sri Aurobindos
and the Mothers Work of building the New World cannot
27 See Notes on the Way, pp. 117 ff.sri aurobi ndos de sce nt into death
have been limited to their years of incarnation in a physical
body. Helpers of the progress of the Earth and humanity
during the whole of the past 28 , they are undoubtedly there
to help them now, after their initiation of the new evolution
in its critical present phase.
28 The footnote corresponding to this call is missing.

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