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object:4.26 - The Supramental Time Consciousness
book class:The Synthesis Of Yoga
author class:Sri Aurobindo
class:The Synthesis Of Yoga

Chapter XXVI

The Supramental Time
[Version A]
The supermind in its supreme status is the truth-consciousness of the Infinite, the inherent light and power of self-knowledge and all-knowledge of the Supreme who is the self of all, the living eternal truth of all that is and of whom all objects and beings, all the universe and motion of things and happenings in time is a partial continually proceeding manifestation. The
Supreme organises through the power of self-realisation and self-manifestation that resides in this self-knowledge and allknowledge all truth of his being that he has the will and delight to put forth in his universal existence, - to create, as we say from our standpoint. But this creation is not a making or bringing into being of that which was non-existent, neither is it a construction of illusory phenomena in a self of dream, but a revelation in condition of being, substance of consciousness, movement of force, name, form, idea, significance, of the truths of being of the
Eternal. All that manifests itself in time, is the coming into play, effective disclosure, result, form, power, evolution, movement of some truth of being, a truth of Sat, of the eternal existence of the Supreme and Eternal.

The power that brings it into play is the infinite consciousness of the Supreme aware of itself and all that is itself, not a limited mental consciousness like ours but supramental and illimitable, not bound by this or that condition, but determining out of an infinite truth of self-existence its own conditions, nor by this or that relation or step and sequence, but capable of all possible relations and steps and sequences. It is a power or force inherent in that consciousness which spontaneously, sovereignly


The Yoga of Self-Perfection
and imperatively compels into manifestation the truth it sees and dwells on and evolves its play, combinations, sequences, not a limited mental will and power like ours, but a conscious force supramental and illimitable, Tapas, Chit-shakti, not bound to this or that movement and result of energy, but ordering out of the infinite truth of self-existence the movement and result of all possible energies. And it is finally an Ananda of the being that deploys itself, that ranges at will among the infinities of consciousness and of its power of manifestation, not a limited mental joy or pleasure like our chequered delight of being and action and feeling, but supramental and illimitable, not subject to a given set of reactions, but embracing and taking a free and sovereign and compelling delight of all that is possible in the truth of the infinite consciousness and existence.

[Version B]
It is necessary in order to understand the phenomena of the supramental time consciousness to realise very firmly certain truths which are strange to our ordinary mentality or presented to it only as constructions of the metaphysical intellect, intelligible but unsubstantial abstractions as all mere philosophical statements must be, but to the supermind are realised experience and the normal and natural truth of the consciousness in which it lives, moves, acts and manifests its being. It is only in their light that we can grasp the truth and reality and the manifestation of things in time, otherwise only an illusion or else a flux of transient, inexplicable and incalculable actualities, and the law, source and order of their manifestation, otherwise only a process of inscrutable Law or else a play of chance and probabilities and possibilities. The truths that reveal the inner meaning and way of the universe are of a spiritual and supramental order. It is difficult however to express them at all in a language adapted to the mental intellect and one can at most try to indicate.

The first of the truths that thus becomes real to the consciousness is the truth of infinite being, a thing abstract to

The Supramental Time Consciousness

our present sense and intelligence to which only phenomena are concrete and real, but to the supramental being always and absolutely and intimately present and real. This indeed is that which to its knowledge, sense, vision, idea, feeling is most concretely real and the phenomena which are now so close and all-important to us, are to it less concrete, not self-existent at all but dependent on the support of the infinite consciousness and its force of presentation: there is thus a complete reversal of the order in the conception of realities. It is not that the phenomena in their turn become abstract, unreal, unsubstantial creations of consciousness, - that is only the result of a certain exclusive realisation, when there is an identification with the essence of absolute being to the exclusion of its power, - but that they are felt as existing here only in a certain movement of the infinite, real only because they are made, as it were, out of the substance of infinite being. That which determines them, the truth of their essence and nature, svarupa, svabhava, that which gives them the power to be, is not originally here, but above in the supreme being and consciousness of the infinite. All their true truth, all their real reality is there in that supreme consciousness and here only hidden in the inmost heart of their existence, guhayam, but not fully expressed in their overt outward phenomena. Therefore to know them only through the externals or through superficial inner movements which is all that our mind now does, is to miss their true truth and reality and to know them only with a partial and mistaken knowledge subject to the limitations, errors, incapacities of the mental ignorance.

All that determines their manifestation in our time and space is also beyond and here only in the hidden secrecy within them, and therefore the mind following their line of manifestation misses that which determines them and can only see a part of the actually present outward executive play of forces that help to give them their immediate character and direction. It is only the consciousness that reigns above, that of the supreme Ishwara, and is present in their secret heart, hr.ddese tis.t.hati, that knows and determines all their true truth and their manifestation in eternal time.


The Yoga of Self-Perfection

This supreme of infinite being is supreme in the sense of being above the manifestation in time, its eternal origin, support, control, itself beyond time and space. It is this of which the supermind, itself a luminous power of this supreme of infinite being, is always and fundamentally conscious.

Note on the Text

Note on the Text
THE SYNTHESIS OF YOGA first appeared in seventy-seven monthly instalments in the philosophical review Arya, beginning with its first issue, August 1914, and continuing until its last, January 1921. The Arya text of the Synthesis consisted of five introductory chapters numbered
I - V and seventy-two other chapters numbered I - II and IV - LXXIII
(the number III was inadvertently omitted). Each of the instalments was written immediately before its publication.

In the Arya the division of the main series of chapters into four parts, corresponding to the yogas of Works, Knowledge, Devotion and
Self-Perfection, was not marked explicitly until the fifth year, when the heading "The Yoga of Self-Perfection" began to be added above the chapter numbers.

The Synthesis of Yoga was left incomplete when the Arya ceased publication in January 1921. Before abandoning the work,
Sri Aurobindo wrote part of a chapter entitled "The Supramental
Time Consciousness", which was meant to follow the last published chapter of "The Yoga of Self-Perfection". He never completed this chapter and never published the portion that he had written.

A letter that Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1936 gives some idea of his purpose in writing The Synthesis of Yoga and his overall plan for the work:
The Synthesis of Yoga was not meant to give a method for all to follow. Each side of the Yoga was dealt with separately with all its possibilities, and an indication [was given] as to how they meet so that one starting from knowledge could realise
Karma and Bhakti also and so with each path. It was intended when the Self-Perfection was finished, to suggest a way in which all could be combined, but this was never written.

One can gauge how much of The Synthesis of Yoga remained to be written by comparing the actually completed chapters of "The Yoga


The Synthesis of Yoga
of Self-Perfection" with the outline of this part found in chapter X of
Part IV. The "elements and requisites of perfection, siddhi" which are set forth discursively in that chapter are listed more explicitly in Sapta
Chatusthaya, a text of 1913 published along with Record of Yoga in volume 10 of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SRI AUROBINDO. The system of seven (sapta) sets of four elements (catus.t.aya) evidently underlies the structure of Part IV of The Synthesis of Yoga. The last and most general catus.t.aya, the siddhi catus.t.aya, is taken up first, in chapters I to IX.

Chapters XI to XVIII correspond to the santi and samata catus.t.ayas, the first two of the seven. Chapters XIX to XXV, and the incomplete chapter "The Supramental Time Consciousness", correspond to the first two elements of the third or vijnana catus.t.aya. By breaking off at this point, Sri Aurobindo left untreated the rest of the third and all of the fourth catus.t.ayas. He had covered the fifth and sixth catus.t.ayas to some degree in the rest of the Synthesis, but undoubtedly intended to deal with them in more depth before concluding.

When Sri Aurobindo turned his attention to The Synthesis of Yoga during the 1930s after a gap of more than a decade, he made no effort to complete "The Yoga of Self-Perfection". Instead he applied himself to the revision of already existing chapters.

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  author class:Sri Aurobindo

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