The Supramental Realisation, the Supramental Descent & the Avatar

Vishnu on Sheshnag's coils - the coils representing
vast cycles of Time in the cosmic ocean.

Recently I've been told by a few people who write to me, that to speak of Sri Aurobindo as an avatar is woefully contrary to his yoga, that it is akin to making a new religion which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother clearly never wanted. In one such instance, the idea put forth was that everyone is an avatar of the divine and that it is not correct to single out one avatar. If one understands avatar to mean an expression of the divine will, this would seem to be true enough. But if one comes to understands the real significance of the Daśāvatāra (10 Avatars) of Vishnu, then one must acknowledge that no, everyone is not an avatar of Vishnu.

Few may bother to attempt to understand this ancient Vedic tradition, encompassing and tracking tens of thousands of years of the evolution of consciousness and form on Earth, to the cyclic tune of the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Astrological Ages. I've heard from some students or at least admirers of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother that it is deleterious to try to associate them and their Supramental yoga with such OLD ideas and that the yoga they introduced was something NEW that needs no sanction from or association with the past. In my mind this conclusion is the result of a mind that has yet to have the inkling that everything that happens in Time and Space is connected ... that past, present and future are a wholeness, a seamless totality, a Oneness. The tradition of the Daśāvatāra of Vishnu, stretching over aeons, indicates that this was not a limitation of the Vedic mind. For those who would like to understand how the Vedic SEERS understood or SAW the Avatars of Vishnu in terms of the Earth's consciousness and its evolution, please read Secrets of the Earth - Questions and Answers on the Line of Ten Avatars of Vedic Tradition. Without understanding the Vedic gnosis put forth in this book, the arguments over Sri Aurobindo's Avatarhood or non-Avatarhood are hopelessly hollow and bound to go nowhere of any significance.

I recently came across some words of the Mother in Questions and Answers, Volume 3 about the Supramental Realisation, the Supramental Descent and the Avatar, together with an entry from her Agenda give a pretty clear idea of how the Mother held and understood Sri Aurobindo's avatarhood in terms of the Supramental Descent and the ensuing Supramental Epoch.


The Mother on 'The Supramental Realisation'

In order to know what the Supramental Realisation will be like, the first step, the first condition is to know what the supramental consciousness is. All those who have been, in one way or another, in contact with it have had some glimpse of the realisation to be. But those who have not, can yet aspire for that realisation, just as they can aspire to get the supramental knowledge. True knowledge means awareness by identity: once you get in touch with the supramental world, you can say something about its descent, but not before. What you can say before is that there will be a new creation upon earth; this you say through faith, since the exact character of it escapes you. And if you are called upon to define realisation, you may declare that, individually speaking, it means the transformation of your ordinary human consciousness into the divine and supramental.

The consciousness is like a ladder: at each great epoch there has been one great being capable of adding one more step to the ladder and reaching a place where the ordinary consciousness had never been. It is possible to attain a high level and get completely out of the material consciousness; but then one does not retain the ladder, whereas the great achievement of the great epochs of the universe has been the capacity to add one more step to the ladder without losing contact with the material, the capacity to reach the Highest and at the same time connect the top with the bottom instead of letting a kind of emptiness cut off all connection between the different planes. To go up and down and join the top to the bottom is the whole secret of realisation, and that is the work of the Avatar. Each time he adds one more step to the ladder there is a new creation upon earth.... The step which is being added now Sri Aurobindo has called the Supramental; as a result of it, the consciousness will be able to enter the supramental world and yet retain its personal form, its individualisation and then come down to establish here a new creation. Certainly this is not the last, for there are farther ranges of being; but now we are at work to bring down the supramental, to effect a reorganisation of the world, to bring the world back to the true divine order. It is essentially a creation of order, a putting of everything in its true place; and the chief spirit or force, the Shakti active at present is Mahasaraswati, the Goddess of perfect organisation.

The work of achieving a continuity which permits one to go up and down and bring into the material what is above, is done inside the consciousness. He who is meant to do it, the Avatar, even if he were shut up in a prison and saw nobody and never moved out, still would he do the work, because it is a work in the consciousness, a work of connection between the Supermind and the material being. He does not need to be recognised, he need have no outward power in order to be able to establish this conscious connection. Once, however, the connection is made, it must have its effect in the outward world in the form of a new creation, beginning with a model town and ending with a perfect world. 

[bold emphasis added]
Q&A, Vol. 3, pp. 178-179
 dated 1930-1931

The Mother on 'The Supramental Descent'

Do you know what the flower which we have called “Successful Future” signifies when given to you? It signifies the hope—nay, even the promise—that you will participate in the descent of the supramental world. For that descent will be the successful consummation of our work, a descent of which the full glory has not yet been or else the whole face of life would have been different. By slow degrees the Supramental is exerting its influence; now one part of the being and now another feels the embrace or the touch of its divinity; but when it comes down in all its self-existent power, a supreme radical change will seize the whole nature. We are moving nearer and nearer the hour of its complete triumph. Once the world-conditions are ready the full descent will take place carrying everything before it. Its presence will be unmistakable, its force will brook no resistance, doubts and difficulties will not torture you any longer. For the Divine will stand manifest—unveiled in its total perfection. I do not, however, mean to say that the whole world will at once feel its presence or be transformed; but I do mean that a part of humanity will know and participate in its descent—say, this little world of ours here. From there the transfiguring grace will most effectively radiate. And, fortunately for the aspirants, that successful future will materialise for them in spite of all the obstacles set in its way by unregenerate human nature!

Q&A, Vol. 3, p. 180
dated 1930-1931

The Mother's Agenda, Volume 1
10 Oct 1958

... those who want to flee [physical manifestation] in order to realize the divine Will are in error. What must be done is exactly opposite! The two [the Eternal Truth and the development in manifestation] must be combined in a perfect way. ...
There are two parallel things that, from the eternal and supreme point of view, are of identical importance, in that both are equally essential for the realization to be a true realization.
On the one hand, there is what Sri Aurobindo ‒ who as the Avatar, represented the supreme Consciousness and Will on earth ‒ declared to me to be, that is, the supreme universal Mother; and on the other hand, there is what I am realizing in my body and through the integral sadhana. ... Sometimes one predominates, sometimes the other (I don't mean successively in time, but ... it depends on the moment), and they are trying to combine in a total and perfect realization: the eternal, ineffable and immutable Consciousness of the Executrice of the Supreme, and the consciousness of the Sadhak of the integral Yoga who strives in an ascending effort towards an ever increasing progression.
To this has been added a growing initiation into the supramental realization which is (I understand it well now) the perfect union of what comes from above and what comes from below, or in other words, the eternal position and the evolutionary realization. ...

[bold emphasis added]

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