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object:3.2.01 - The Newness of the Integral Yoga
book class:Letters On Yoga II
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga

Old and New Truth

Well, I dont suppose the new race can be created by or according to logic or that any race has been. But why should the idea of the creation of a new race be illogical? It is not only my ideas that baffle reason, but Adhar Dass also! he must really be a superman,self-made of course, outside the laboratory. As for the past seers, they dont trouble me. If going beyond the experiences of the past seers and sages is so shocking, each new seer and sage in turn has done that shocking thingBuddha, Shankara, Chaitanya etc. all did that wicked act. If not, what was the necessity of their starting new philosophies, religions, schools of Yoga? If they were merely verifying and meekly repeating the lives and experiences of past seers and sages without bringing the world some new thing, why all that stir and pother? Of course, you may say they were simply explaining the old truth but in the right waybut this would mean that nobody had explained or understood it rightly beforewhich is again giving the lie etc. Or you may say that all the new sages (they were not among Xs cherished past ones in their day), e.g. Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhwa, were each merely repeating the same blessed thing as all the past seers and sages had repeated with an unwearied monotony before them. Well, well, but why repeat it in such a way that each gives the lie to the others? Truly, this shocked reverence for the past is a wonderful and fearful thing! After all, the Divine is infinite and the unrolling of the Truth may be an infinite process or at least, if not quite so much, yet with some room for new discovery and new statement, even perhaps new achievement, not a thing in a nutshell cracked and its contents exhausted once for all by the first seer or sage, while the others must religiously crack the same nutshell all over again, each tremblingly careful not to give the lie to the past seers and sages.
Spiritual Realisation and the Supramental Transformation

This Yoga aims at the conscious union with the Divine in the supermind and the transformation of the nature. The ordinary Yogas go straight from Mind into some featureless condition of the cosmic Silence and through it try to disappear upward into the Highest. The object of this Yoga is to transcend mind and enter into the Divine Truth of Sachchidananda which is not only static but dynamic and raise the whole being into that Truth.

The Divine can be realised on any plane according to the capacity of that plane, as the Divine is everywhere. The Yogis and saints realise the Divine on the spiritualised mind plane, that does not mean they become supramental.

But why should they [Yogis of the traditional schools] feel any pressure [of the supramental descent] when they are satisfied with the realisation they have? They live in the spiritual mind and the nature of the mind is to separatehere to separate some high aspect or state of the Divine and seek that to the exclusion of all else. All the spiritual philosophies and schools of Yoga do that. If they go beyond, it is to the Absolute and mind cannot conceive of the Absolute except as something inconceivable, neti neti. Moreover for getting samadhi they concentrate on one single idea and what they reach is that which is represented by that ideathe samadhi is in its nature an exclusive concentration on that. So why should it open them to anything else? There are only a few who are sufficiently plastic to escape from this self-limitation of the sadhanawhat they experience is that there is no end to the realisation, when you get to one peak, you find another beyond it. In order to see more than this one has to get into conscious waking touch with the supramental or at least get a glimpse of itand that means passing beyond spiritual mind.

Certainly, the realisation of the Spirit comes long before the development of Overmind or Supermind; hundreds of sadhaks in all times have had the realisation of the Atman on the higher mental plane, buddhe parata, but the supramental realisation was not theirs. One can get partial realisations of the Self or Spirit or the Divine on any plane, mental, vital, physical even, and when one rises above the ordinary mental plane of man into a higher and larger mind, the Self begins to appear in all its conscious wideness. It is by full entry into this wideness of the Self that cessation of mental activity becomes possible; one gets the inner Silence. After that this inner Silence can remain even when there is activity of any kind; the being remains silent within, the action goes on in the instruments and one receives all the necessary indications and execution of action whether mental, vital or physical from a higher source without the fundamental peace and calm of the Spirit being troubled.

The Overmind and Supermind states are something yet higher than this; but before one can understand them, one must first have the self-realisation, the full action of the spiritualised mind and heart, the psychic awakening, the liberation of the imprisoned consciousness, the purification and entire opening of the dhra. Do not think now of those ultimate things (Overmind, Supermind), but get first these foundations in the liberated nature.

By divine realisation is meant the spiritual realisationthe realisation of Self, Bhagavan or Brahman on the mental-spiritual plane or else the overmental plane. That is a thing (at any rate the mental-spiritual) which thousands have done. So it is obviously easier to do than the supramental. Also nobody can have the supramental realisation who has not had the spiritual.

It is true that neither can be got in any effective way unless the whole being is turned towards itunless there is a real and very serious spirit and dynamic reality of sadhana.

It is true that I want the supramental not for myself but for the earth and souls born on the earth, and certainly therefore I cannot object if anybody wants the supramental. But there are the conditions. He must want the Divine Will first and the souls surrender and spiritual realisation (through works, bhakti, knowledge, self-perfection) on the way.

The central sincerity is the first thing and sufficient for an aspiration to be entertaineda total sincerity is needed for the aspiration to be fulfilled.

There are different statuses (avasth) of the Divine Consciousness. There are also different statuses of transformation. First is the psychic transformation, in which all is in contact with the Divine through the psychic consciousness. Next is the spiritual transformation in which all is merged in the Divine in the cosmic consciousness. Third is the supramental transformation in which all becomes supramentalised in the divine gnostic consciousness. It is only with the last that there can begin the complete transformation of mind, life and bodyin my sense of completeness.

You are mistaken in two respects. First, the endeavour towards this achievement [the transformation of mind, life and body] is not new and some Yogis have achieved it, I believebut not in the way I want it. They achieved it as a personal siddhi maintained by Yoga-siddhinot a dharma of the nature. Secondly, the supramental transformation is not the same as the spiritual-mental. It is a change of mind, life and body which the mental or overmental-spiritual cannot achieve. All whom you mention were spirituals, but in different ways. Krishnas mind, for instance, was overmentalised, Ramakrishnas intuitive, Chaitanyas spiritual-psychic, Buddhas illumined higher mental. I dont know about B. G. [Bijoy Goswami]he seems to have been brilliant but rather chaotic. All that is different from the supramental. Then take the vital of the Paramhansas. It is said their vital behaves either like a child (Ramakrishna) or like a madman or like a demon or like something inert (cf. Jadabharata). Well, there is nothing supramental in all that. So?

One can be a fit instrument for the Divine in any of the transformations. The question is, an instrument for what?

Your Gurus teaching and that of this Yoga are essentially the same; what he called cittauddhi is what we mean by the psychic change. The teaching here is more developed because it includes the Supramental means of creating a divine life. Also the getting of the truth is different, since here it is put in such a way as to initiate men of all castes, races, creeds and cultures without distinction to share in the Truth and the Divine Life. But it is no use trying to draw those who received the earlier teaching, for their sight is still circumscribed by past forms and feelings and cannot extend itself beyond them. It is good that you have freed yourself from the desire to do so and taken an impersonal positionif any have to come they will come. Our concentration must be on all preparing themselves so that what was foreseen by your Guru may be fulfilled this time and here.
Depreciation of the Old Yogas

As for the depreciation of all the old Yogas as something quite easy, unimportant and worthless, and the consequent depreciation of Buddha and Yajnavalkya and other great spiritual figures of the past, is it not evidently absurd on the face of it?

It [self-realisation] is not a long process? The whole life and several lives more are often not enough to achieve it. Ramakrishnas guru took 30 years to arrive and even then he was not satisfied that he had realised it.

Wonderful! The realisation of the Self which includes the liberation from ego, the consciousness of the One in all, the established and consummated transcendence out of the universal Ignorance, the fixity of the consciousness in the union with the Highest, the Infinite and Eternal is not anything worth doing or recommending to anybodyis not a very difficult stage!

Nothing new? Why should there be anything new? The object of spiritual seeking is to find out what is eternally true, not what is new in Time.

From where did you get this singular attitude towards the old Yogas and Yogis? Is the wisdom of the Vedanta and Tantra a small and trifling thing? Have then the sadhaks of this Asram attained to self-realisation and are they liberated Jivan-muktas, free from ego and ignorance? If not, why then do you say, it is not a very difficult stage, their goal is not high, is it such a long process?

I have said that this Yoga was new because it aims at the integrality of the Divine in this world and not only beyond it and at a supramental realisation. But how does that justify a superior contempt for the spiritual realisation which is as much the aim of this Yoga as of any other?
The Old Lines and This Line

Plenty of people, I suppose, would go on with the old lines1for it is not likely that all would be able to take this line. As for the Darshanas most of them have fallen into disuse already except as a battlefield for Pandits. It is only the Vedanta and Patanjali and the later Bhakti Yoga that are still alive, not so much as darshanas but as traditional systems of Yoga.

  The correspondent asked, "Is it not likely that the Darshanas and Upanishads will be forgotten in the next hundred years as the New Yoga establishes itself in the world? If it is possible to get the necessary things from your writings and the Mother's, who would care to read the enigmatic sutras and concealed formulas of the Darshanas, Upanishads and Vedas?"Ed.


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