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At the Feet of The Mother

The Descent of the Supermind




The years 1933 to 1936

Naik has made the following remark: “The present preparation is going on to bring down the Supermind into the physical of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.” Is it true?

Not quite correct in all points. The things to be brought were in us no doubt but not all outwardly manifested from the beginning. Of course Naik’s statement is altogether true only as far as the bracket goes.[1]

But have you not noticed that you have cut off the last much-emphasised part of Naik’s statement?

Yes, of course. What is being done is meant to prepare the manifestation of the Supermind in the earth-consciousness down to Matter itself, so it can’t be for the physical of myself and the Mother alone.

We know the Supermind is to be brought down into the physical; at least most of us do, but what Naik means is that the preparation is going on for bringing down the Supermind not into our physical but into yours and the Mother’s.

If it comes down into our physical it would mean that it has come down into Matter and so there is no reason why it should not manifest in the sadhaks.

At ‘pranam’ time, after returning from the Mother, K felt an immense pressure on the head. Does this mean that a direct Supramental Force has started working and that our nature is now trying to accommodate itself to that action?

Direct Supermind Force is not possible at this stage. It is only when the whole being down to the physical has accepted and assimilated the higher consciousness that it can come.

I understand that the transformation of the lower nature is not possible without the Supramental Force coming down and preparing the vessel for the complete perfection. Am I right?

Complete perfection is another matter. What must first be done is the fullness of the higher consciousness between human mind and Supermind.

When I wrote to you about a direct supramental action I took help from your own statement; for when I had previously asked you, “Is it not true that at present a direct Supermind Force is acting in the Ashram?” you had replied, as far as I remember, “I suppose so, but it should not be an excuse for a passive acquiescence (inertia etc.).” Another reason for my thinking that it might be the direct Supermind Force was that the force felt after the Pranam was overwhelmingly powerful and fiery-keen.

Acting in the Ashram means only acting in the earth-consciousness to prepare its own possibility. The forces above the human mind, especially Overmind, Intuition, Illumined Mind can be very intense and fiery. They have divine powers in them.

You said that “the Supermind descent into Matter is what is being attempted”. In that case, has the Supermind already conquered the mental plane, the vital plane and the physical now that it is attempting to conquer Matter?

There can be no conquest of the other planes by the Supermind but only an influence, so long as the physical is not ready. Besides the Supermind did not attempt, — it is we who are attempting.

Unless the mind and the vital are perfectly prepared how is it possible to bring the Supermind down into the physical or Matter?

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.

Why cannot the Supramental be brought down stage by stage — that is, first into the mind and the vital till the physical is ready?

It 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.

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.

Does your bringing down the Supermind into the physical depend upon the sadhaks here?

No, except that they can act as obstacles.

I think that though the descent has to a large extent to do with the progress of the Ashram, yet mostly it deals with the physical consciousness in general.


And therefore I feel that when it has come down once every sadhak’s physical will not be automatically supramentalised. Its first descent will only make our sadhana less difficult and the path clearer; but our personal share will be necessary to bring it into our physical.

No part of the sadhaks will be automatically supramentalised.




To NB’s question: “Why not try one more descent?” You replied: “No, thank you, sir! I have had enough of them; the only result of the last descent was an upsurging of the subconscient mud.” What exactly was that descent?

The general descent of the Supermind into Matter was the subject on which I was writing.

Are our greater difficulties, struggles, attacks, etc. due to the result of the descent?

Not of the descent, but of the resistance to it.

Is there at present any kind of direct Supramental action on the earth-consciousness, and if so, is that the reason why the resistance has increased? The earth-consciousness seems to be too inert and obstinate. I gather that you started bringing down the Supramental into it in 1923.

Why not 1623? Or since the beginning of the evolution?

I gave 1923 as the year only because I have read that in 1923 you said that you were bringing down the Supermind. How can we presume that you started bringing it down much earlier unless we definitely know that you have yourself spoken to this effect?

But who said that? Started in 1923? The aim of bringing down the Supramental was there long before. The effort to bring it down to the physical is on the contrary quite recent — during the last few years only.

Z wrote to you that he saw some light of the Supermind descending into the earth-consciousness. You wrote to him in reply that his vision and feeling were justifiable. But before the Supermind’s descent into the earth-consciousness, have not the planes between Mind and Overmind to descend first into it?

They descended long ago. It does not mean that they are available to everybody or developed anywhere in their full power — only that they can be counted among the things to which one can reach by tapasya. For Supermind, it may be descending, but it may take long before it is available to the race.

When the Supermind descends into the earth-consciousness, will all the sadhaks be aware of it?

It would not necessarily be known by everybody. Besides, even if the descent were here one would have to be ready before one could get the final change.

After hearing of your letter to NB, people have begun to think that there is some implication in it that six souls are ready to make a first batch of the Supermen.

…I don’t know of any six souls ready for the S.D.[2]

If you say that you do not know of any such six souls, then all this talk about your having written to this effect to NB or anybody else must be untrue.

I suppose so — it hardly seems possible that I should have perpetrated such an absurdity, as there are no such six souls here and never were.

Is it true that the nearer the descent of the Supermind the greater will be the difficulties of those in whom it is to come down first?

It is true, unless they are so surrendered to the Mother, so psychic, plastic, free from ego that the difficulties are spared to them.




It is true that there is a latent possibility of Yoga in every human being. But are you sure that all of us here (in the Ashram) are sufficiently evolved for a Yogic life — especially for this, your Supramental Yoga?

They need not try for the Supramental. If they can give themselves and attain to the psychic and spiritual, that is sufficient for the present.

You wrote to me the other day: “The descent into the subconscient was a necessity of the general sadhana, i.e. of the Divine Work.” Will you kindly explain what work of the Divine is meant here? Is there any reference to the Supermind?

The work of the yoga which includes the preparation for the Supermind. There is no other divine Work being done here, so the question as to what work has no meaning.

Though we are helped here by the supramental planes — sometimes even by their direct action — we find it too difficult to detach ourselves totally from the mind, life and body.

Who here has a direct action from the Supermind? It is the first news I have of it. Even indirect from the supramental is rare. Whatever comes to most comes from the intermediate planes.

About the transformation of the subconscient what I meant to ask you was this: Is it necessary for it to send up thought after thought from its chaotic stuff stored since ages or can a flash of the Divine Light burn these up and then fill the subconscient with things divine?

The Yoga cannot be done in a minute. Some essential changes are made rapidly, but even these have to be worked out and confirmed in the detail of action. What you speak of, only the Supramental could do if it acted directly or some force fully supported by the Supramental, but that occurs rarely.

I would like to ask a question about the gunas. In the process of transformation, are the gunas transformed first or the Prakriti?

The Prakriti can be psychicised and spiritualised and the gunas yet remain but with the psychic dominant and the rajas and tamas enlightened by the sattwic. As the transformation increases the gunas change more and more towards their divine equivalents, but it is only when the supramental comes that there is the full change.

The transformation of the gunas is necessary for the perfection of the nature, not for liberation. Liberation comes by loss of ego and desire.

H often wrote in his poems his experiences of the Supermind already coming down. He said that he smelt its descent! He even realised that he was among the first hatch of Mother’s Supermen!

Others besides H have assumed that they had the Supermind because something opened in them which was ‘super’ to the ordinary human mind. It is a common mistake. Even the word Supermind (which I invented) has been taken up by several people (writers in the P.B. and elsewhere) and applied generally to the spiritual consciousness. I see no reason to doubt that H saw things in vision (hundreds of people do) or had experiences.

Some people seem to be quite misled in the matter of the higher planes. When they are in these planes or receive something from them, they begin to think that they have reached a great height, and that the higher planes have nothing to do with the Mother. Especially about the Supermind they have such queer notions — that it is something greater than the Mother.

If they have a greater experience or consciousness than the Mother, they should not stay here but go and save the world with it.

If the Supermind has not been established in Mother’s body-consciousness, it is not because she is not ready for it like us, but because in order to establish it she has to prepare first the physical of the Ashram people, and of the earth, to a certain extent. But some people here take it in the wrong way. They are under the misapprehension that the Supermind has not been established in her body because she has not yet reached perfection. Am I right?

Certainly. If we had lived physically in the Supermind from the beginning nobody could have been able to approach us nor could any sadhana have been done. There could have been no hope of contact between ourselves and the earth and men. Even as it is. Mother has to come down towards the lower consciousness of the sadhaks instead of keeping always in her own, otherwise they begin to say “How far away, how severe you were; you do not love me, I get no help from you, etc., etc.” The Divine has to veil himself in order to meet the human.

The Mother does not work on the sadhak directly from her own plane above, though she can do so if she wants to. She can even Supramentalise the world in a day; but in that case the Supramental Nature created here would be the same as it is above, and not the earth in Ignorance evolving into the Supramental Earth, a manifestation which will not be in appearance quite the same as what the Supermind is.

That is a very important truth.

In our sadhana, at times we experience seas of the Mother’s Peace, Force, Ananda, etc. But let not such heights or depths be usurped by our little human ego and make us feel, as some already do, that we shall belong to the Mother’s select band of Supermen.

I do not wish to be a Superman (with an ‘S’ big or small)! I shall be content to become her docile servant.

To want to be a Superman is a mistake. It only swells the ego. One can aspire for the Divine to bring about the supramental transformation, but that also should not be done till the being has become psychic and spiritualised by the descent of the Mother’s peace, force, light and purity.

Those who consciously carry in them ambitious ideas about developing in sadhana and becoming equal in status with the Divine Himself may have to stay back long — If not in the other planes, at least in the Overmind, as long as the ego is there.

They cannot get beyond unless they lose it. Even in these planes it prevents them from getting the full consciousness and knowledge. For in the Overmind cosmic consciousness too ego is absent, though the true person may be there.

The Supermind coming down on earth will change nothing in a man if he clings to the ego.

Some sadhaks say that as one enters into higher planes one meets with greater ego, ignorance and falsehood. How can this be?

It is because they go higher and higher in the same plane of consciousness as before and do not rise beyond — e.g. higher and higher in the realm of vital mental formations — not higher beyond mind into the planes that lead to the full supramental.

Only today a suggestion from outside advised me to ask the Mother whether the knowledge that comes down in me at present is from the Higher Mind or the Intuitive. I said to myself: “If it is the true knowledge that is descending it matters little for me if it is from the Higher Mind or the Intuitive Mind or any other plane. The important thing is that it should be a pure and unmixed knowledge, the transcription by the mind in no way distorting it.”

As for terms like Higher Mind, Intuitive Mind, Overmind, etc., it is necessary to make these distinctions in the sadhana only if one wants to foster one’s ego.

Rather it has to be analysed when one comes to the stage at which one has to pass from the psychic and spiritual to the supramental transformation. But that stage for all the sadhaks is still far off, so to think of these distinctions now can only foster the ego without serving any useful purpose.

One sadhak says, “When I rise above, at times I have an inclination to aspire and go straight to the Supermind.” Is this a right movement?

It is not possible to go straight to the Supermind. That should not be his preoccupation, but to become more and more strong in the higher consciousness so that it may be possible for it to become dynamic in the whole nature.

I asked you this question because I feel that it is too much for us, at the present stage of our sadhana, to aspire and rise to the Supermind. We all are yet too far away from it. In spite of this fact, if he or anybody else has such an inclination there must be something of the ego lurking in it.

That is partly true. It is only if the whole nature becomes dominated by the psychic and the higher spiritual consciousness that one can either reach the Supermind or bring it down.


[1] Sri Aurobindo bracketing a part of Naik’s sentence, left out the words: “of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo”.

[2] Supramental Descent

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