This is the third stage of the transformative process Sri Aurobindo set on its way in 1872, when he took birth on Earth as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu. Its first two stages were carried out as a joint mission by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, his co-worker in the Yoga. Ostensibly the focus during those early first two stages was to lay the foundations for what came to be known as the Integral Yoga. The newness this added to the vast array of yogic disciplines in India was precisely its integral character. But this was in service of a higher purpose.
As I have pointed out many times, almost the entire focus during those decades was to reverse the direction of the quest assumed by all yogas approximately after the time of the Buddha. It was a joint mission to turn the tide – a tide virtually with the power of a tsunami – in that all the great realisers over the past 2000 years, barring very few, had opted for an escape out of the material dimension so as not to face the challenges posed by a creation in matter which appeared insurmountable given the totality of circumstances at that stage of the evolution of the species. To bring about this shift the collaboration of the Mother was essential; without it his mission could not have succeeded. And in order to succeed in the reversal, the planes of consciousness contained in the physical had to be brought into the process: the spiritual, the mental, the vital, down to the physical. Thus was born the Integral Yoga. It was the first stage of the reversal that would change life on Earth forever. The physical vessel had to be poised to receive the more potent forces in their descent, a physical that had been abandoned to its unavoidable destiny of disintegration, closed to the luminosity of the higher regions.
After Sri Aurobindo’s passing in 1950, the Mother continued the process he was also engaged in, but on the subtle plane; and finally, six years after his passing, the long-awaited breakthrough occurred. It set the transformative process on to its third stage. But for the Mother on this material plane there was still much to do. Mainly, it was an overlapping period to prepare the field for the Third to enter. This overlapping, if it may be so called, lasted for 21 years; without it there would not have been a successful completion of the first two stages, nor the adequate field readied within which the Third was to take up the baton, as it were, of the critical third stage – corresponding to the vital in the four planes of consciousness; up to that point only the first two planes had been brought into the ambit of the transformation. Throughout the years the Mother remained physically incarnate after Sri Aurobindo’s withdrawal, the focus of her yoga was to create conditions for the transition to the Supramental Yoga from the Integral. Everything she did from 1950 onwards had this objective. The crucial turning-point came when the breakthrough finally arrived.
It was on 29 February 1956, 59 years ago, that the yogic breakthrough took place releasing the descent of a power that would ultimately bring about an entirely new principle operating within the evolutionary process. After it occurred the Mother made this statement:
‘This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that “the time has come”, and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.’
This was the beginning. Significantly it was a 3-Power year, because much of what was to manifest thereafter was an intertwining of action between all the parts of the Solar Line, converging on the Third, opening the way to the 0 and the integrating power of the Fourth, the One. From then on evolution of the human species has been undergoing critical changes in the realm of consciousness; above all, these have had an accumulative effect, with the speed of change experiencing acceleration, like the tightening of a spiral. The technological developments in communication are responsible in large part for this accelerated progress; in itself this reveals a key feature of the new manifestation that can be more easily understood by visualising the methodology as circular; progress therefore is made by convergence. In the course of this message, I will explain the system in depth because it is a distinguishing feature between the Integral and the Supramental Yogas.
The task of the Third in the Line is to facilitate a vision of the Divine in action on Earth. The result is ‘seeing in understanding’ whereby all creation is her Being.
The capacity to observe the play of circumstances differently is one of the Third’s key additions. It requires an ability to perceive always the parts within the whole as a harmonious display, as order and no longer chaos. Succinctly this means a consciousness poised centrally, as if in the centre of the circle whose periphery would be that play. One thus becomes the Sun, or reproduces in perceptive awareness the astrological symbol of the luminary of our System ☉. In this circular methodology the issue of convergence introduces quite a new operation, never before experienced on Earth; it is unique to the Supramental Shakti as the prime mover of the evolution of consciousness. The principle characteristic of convergence, as opposed to linear processes, is that transformation is contingent on a simultaneous progress that as a harmonised action among the parts and the whole can then be integrated or drawn into the net, as it were, attached to the Centre of the new supramental cosmos.
From this central position we observe the harmonious relation between the parts of the periphery. This integrated perception of harmonised parts within the whole is attracted to the Centre that HOLDS – that is, this centralised play is the key to order. The harmony we perceive and measure in our solar system is because of the Sun’s ‘holding power’, if it may be so called. In the language of contemporary science it would be the gravitational pull of the Sun that keeps the family of planets in defined orbits or specific boundaries. The nine planets must display this Order because they extend into the system the harmony that is the essence of our Sun. It cannot be otherwise. The ancient text on sacred architecture, the Mayamata, describes the same principle of perception, revealing in the process the role the Hindu Temple has played across the ages: If the measurement of the temple is in every way perfect, there will be perfection in the universe as well. (XXII.92)
The temple in this verse is equivalent to the eye of perception of the transformed human being. Based on that centering of consciousness, order is perceived throughout the universe. This is not to be confused with the centering acquired within one’s consciousness-being as attained in the practice of the Integral Yoga, involving the transformation of the four major parts of the being within one’s individual cosmos. Centering in that scenario does not extend beyond. The Mayamata, on the other hand, points to a poise that extends beyond the confines of the individual consciousness: the entire universe is drawn into that central point by contraction – or the same ability ‘to hold’ as the Sun possesses by its gravitational pull. In the Sun’s case no exertion of will is involved: it is simply a state of being; the individual aspires to that same condition of Being – not an exertion of will, just Being, or Sat of the trinity Sat-Chit-Ananda.
But contraction as a cosmic direction acting on the material dimension is not alone. Its origin is in the subtle plane and carries the properties of the Unmanifest across the borderline where it meets the expanding field of space. The joining of the two directions lies at the heart of the universal manifestation as we know it on this side of the border. Without the harmonisation of the two, there could be no material manifestation. The balance between contraction/vertical and expansion/horizontal is the great secret of a creation in matter.
This is the same message in Leonardo’s famed drawing of the Man in a Circle and Square. The process he describes graphically is the same attributed to the Hindu Temple: remaining pinned to the Square the aspirant is boxed in, quite literally, within the limits the sex-centred individual experiences in life. Everything is self-serving, contaminated by vested interests of various sorts and degrees of severity. The reason for this cramped, cut-off condition is the imbalance as in the off-centred cross ✝. Contraction is not balanced by expansion. This unbalanced condition describes the state of the human consciousness in the recently-concluded Age of Pisces. Indeed, the most iconic symbol that had imprinted itself on the collective consciousness during that Age was the off-centred cross, the meaning of which is that the final stage of the Supramental Descent symbolised in the birth of the victorious – not crucified – Son had not occurred. Put another way, the Piscean Age was one in which shadows had to be dissolved – as in the ‘shadow’ of the 9thAvatar of Vishnu, and also the shadow-Son. These were the two ‘redemptions’ Sri Aurobindo had to attend to by his birth as the 9th Avatar, combined with his return as the 10th in an unbroken line of time. These shadows required his direct intervention.
In a word, the Man in the Square is poised around the ego – the off-centred axis – and regardless of the hours spent in meditation or psychotherapy, there is no escape from that constricted box: awareness is always conditioned by an axis stemming from the sex-centre and therefore bound to the atavistic purpose of evolving humanity. In such a poise perceptive capacity can never reach the extended boundaries figured in Man within the Circle – that is, incorporating the entire universe. In the words of the Mayamata, the Circle Man is integrated into the cosmic manifestation which then becomes perfection. It is perfection precisely when that extended integration occurs. This is the heart and soul of the Supramental Yoga. What is truly awe-inspiring is that individual incarnation, birth on this third planet of the System, offers the potential of expanding one’s consciousness to encompass the entire universe. The issue is therefore just how far can this take us. Can this new poise cover all planes of consciousness-being, down to the physical?
All of these elements are essential parts of the Supramental Manifestation. They have been elaborated one by one in the Keys of Knowledge presented in our website – the only site where the contours of the Supramental Yoga are presented to an aspiring humanity eager to collaborate in the great change the new Power of Gnosis has introduced.
In the new dispensation we cannot remain satisfied with the poise of the ‘crucified’ man in Leonardo’s divinely-inspired drawing. We want more now; we need more if the things promised by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are to manifest on Earth. The Integral Yoga they established in their Ashram in Pondicherry, India, can no longer suffice as a channel for the manifestation of the promised Life Divine. We must move ahead to the Circle Man and integrate the entire universe by means of a consciousness-being so poised that we can ‘become the Sun’, or become the new temple for the new age by realising the poise described by the Mother as ‘the symbol of the future realisation’. In that image we see the vertical solar ray (that casts no shadows), the luminous globe, the supporting pedestal; all of which are upheld by the Mother’s horizontal symbol. The entire gnostic content of the Supramental Manifestation is contained in these conjoined elements. They give rise to the main key of the new cosmology, the Geometry of Time. This new revelation encourages that process of realignment to ‘become the Sun’ because all these parts are drawn into the centred consciousness and they then make sense, as in ´seeing in understanding’.
Only when the four members of the Solar Line are perceived to form one whole, each member covering one of the four planes of consciousness that constitute the reality of existence on Earth – Transcendent (Sri Aurobindo), Cosmic (the Mother), Individual/Soul (Thea), and the Fourth as the integrating power of the Supermind in the physical – can the first phase of the Manifestation be considered successfully completed. Likewise, in the fourfold Solar Line we understand the most important ingredient for a conscious participationin the Supramental Manifestation. It is the simultaneous perception of parts within the whole as a harmonised reality of life. Put another way, it is the combined vertical (Solar Line) and horizontal (the field provided by the collectivity) as the lived experience on Earth that the Supermind made possible.
In the subtle plane, which the Mother called the creative plane of the physical, the transformed Earth already exists. Our task is to be the instruments for that higher reality to become established on Earth as an indelible feature of the evolution – that is, to imprint it through extended Time, the first step in the transformation of the physical since Time is the congealing constituent of Matter.