Supramentalisation is the Supreme state of transformation; the culmination of the entire planetary (and even cosmic) evolution; the drawing down of the Manifest Absolute Godhead and consequent Divinisation of the planetary consciousness (initiating the Mature Theosophere)
It should be emphasised, this is something absolutely new, especially in the Indian tradition (frequent mythopoetic refernces do occur in western religion and occultism however). In contrast to Da Free John's and other Gurus' teachings concerning Monistic Enlightenment, Sri Aurobindo's concept of Supramentalisation is unique.
Basically, what Supramentalisation means is physical Divinisation: the culmination of the ascent along the vertical dimension toward the totally Transcendent or "higher" Radiant Source of Being, and the drawing down of that Source into the physical organism, as opposed to the simple realisation of that Absolute in the heart-centre.
According to Sri Aurobindo and Mirra, the world in which we exist, and not only the physical world but all the subtle or psychic and spiritual worlds as well, is a world dominated by ignorance and nonconsciousness; by what Sri Aurobindo called the Inconscient, the utter lack of Consciousness in matter and in the lowest existence. It is because of all this Ignorance and Inconsciousness that the world is so imperfect, so ruled by negativity, so full of suffering and disharmony.
Here we see a modern version of the old Gnostic and Manichaean dualism; the contrast between the world of Light and Spirit above, and the world of darkness and evil (matter) here.
Previous spiritual teachers, thus interpreting the nature of the world as one of ignorance and suffering, saw the only solution to be a radical transcendence of this existence, through a return to the Absolute; what the Hindus call "Liberation" and the Buddhists "Nirvana".
But Sri Aurobindo and Mirra suggested another, far more magnificent, but also far more difficult, alternative. Rather than go from Here (this world) to There (Nirvana, the Absolute), why not bring There down Here? In other words, why not draw the Divine or Absolute Consciousness - what Sri Aurobindo calls the "Supermind" or "Supramental" because it is totally beyond mind and mental activity - down into this world, into this gross physical world of matter, into one's physical body (the individual centre of inconscience), and by doing so transform, perfect, and Divinise it.
The result would be the "glorified body", the Supramental Body, the Divinised Body, the Perfected Body free of illness and imperfection. With this there would be the elimination of ignorance and negativity. Suffering would be replaced by Divine Harmony.
And having achieved this state in one's own self, the next stage is to extend it out to the world as whole, and so bring about a collective evolutionary transformation.
Sri Aurobindo was of course not the only the Sage to teach such a thing. For more than two millenia, Zoroastrians (the ancient Persian dualists), Jews, and Christians spoke of the coming Cosmic restitution; speaking in mythological language of the apocalypse, the coming of the Messaiah or Saviour, the Day of Judgment, Resurrection, Kingdom of God, etc). Esoterically developing this idea, the Kabbalist Isaac Luria and his successors taught that the rectification of the present cosmic order could be brought about through the prayers and meditations of the kabbalist himself. While Rudolph Steiner defines the Christ in us as our Higher Self, who draws flashes of spiritual light down to the Earth body. One recent follower of Steiner describes his meditation as helping plants, birds, and other creatures of nature.
The Jesuit philosopher Teilhard de Chardin, perhaps the most popular thinker in the New Paradigm movement, spoke of evolution towards "the Omega Point"; the state of planetary Christ-consciousness, when all human minds are united with each other and with the Christ, while still at the same time retaining their diversity. While in "New Age" thought itself there is a tremendous amount of enthusiastic mythology about planetary transformation, transmutation of the body and the DNA gene structure, "a raising of the vibratory level", and so on, including frequent quoting of the Revelation of John's reference to "a new heaven and a new earth".
So, the idea of the establishment of Divine Consciousness upon Earth is nothing new. The advantage of Aurobindo and Mirra's teachings on this subject is their marvelous lack of religious distortion. Rabbi Luria and his followers, despite their profound mythopoetic insights, could only interpret things within a rigid Judaic framework, and the same applies to Teilhard himself as regards Christianity. And Rudolph Steiner had to continually refer back to his theosophically modified version of the European Christ.
And since one is working to change this world, rather than simply to transcend it, one must contend with, and therefore one must understand, the occult-psychic and "spiritual" forces which do not want change, but rather seek to perpetuate their own rule. That is why, out of all the Indian philosophers and teachers, only Sri Aurobindo really attempts the analysis of the situation from an occult, rather than - as is the case with Buddhism, Yoga, etc - a merely psychological viewpoint.
How then is Supramentalisation acheived?
Supramentalisation is the ultimate stage in the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo. It refers to the bringing down of the Supramental consciousness, and the resulting transformation of the entire being, and ultimately, the divinization of the material world.
Supramentalisation requires both a spiritual and a psychic transformation as their necessary prerequisites.
Sri Aurobindo considered that most yogas and religions were concerned with the process of ‘ascent' or the process of ascending beyond the body and beyond time into a formless and timeless absolute or transcendent self. He wrote that the ‘old systems' arrived at an ‘infinite empty Negation or an infinite equally vacant Affirmation'. [Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga] He introduced the imperative for and the process by which the supramental (or greater than mental) consciousness would ‘descend' or firmly establish itself in Earthly life.
The supramental transformation is the final stage in the integral yoga, enabling the birth of a new individual fully formed by the supramental power, the same power that enabled the universe to be created in the first place from out of a Divine Source. Such individuals would be the forerunners of a new truth-consciousness based supra-humanity. Among their capacities are: a total oneness and identity with the environment and with others; total integral knowledge replacing our essential ignorance, i.e. knowledge by identity; a unification of knowledge and will (what one knows is automatically created, what is willed is fully known in its truth); the Force of creation reunited with the Consciousness; and a complete unity of the Individual, Universal, and Transcendent purpose expressed through the person. Also, all aspects of division and ignorance of consciousness at the vital and mental levels would be overcome, replaced with a unity of consciousness at every plane, and even the physical body transformed and divinised. A new supramental species would then emerge, living a supramental, gnostic, divine life on earth. (The Life Divine book II ch.27-28)
This then must be the nature of the third and final transformation which finishes the passage of the soul through the Ignorance and bases its consciousness, its life, its power and form of manifestation on a complete and completely effective self-knowledge. The Truth-Consciousness, finding evolutionary Nature ready, has to descend into her and enable her to liberate the supramental principle within her; so must be created the supramental and spiritual being as the first unveiled manifestation of the truth of the Self and Spirit in the material universe.
Sri Aurobindo wrote that whereas the mind is unable to establish a ‘truth relation between the timeless and things in time,' that the supramental consciousness is "founded upon the supreme consciousness of the timeless Infinite, but has too the secret of the deployment of the infinite Energy in time". [Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga] The last chapter of his book The Synthesis of Yoga, called ‘Towards a Supramental Vision of Time', discusses the matter of time in terms of the evolution of a trikaladristi or ‘knowledge of the three times'. ‘This unified and infinite time consciousness and this vision and knowledge are the possession of the supramental being...'
On February 29, 1956, Sri Aurobindo's co-worker the Mother, announced,"The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality. It is at work here, and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognize it.' [The Mother's Agenda, 1956, Volume 1.]
On January 1, 1969, the Mother (at age 90) announced the ‘arrival' of the ‘superman consciousness' – ‘the intermediary between man and the supramental being' [The Mother's Agenda, 1969, Volume 10: from January 1, 1969.].
‘The aim of supramental Yoga is to change into this supreme Truth-consciousness, but this truth is something beyond mind and this consciousness is far above the highest mind-consciousness. For truth of mind is always relative, uncertain and partial, but this greater Truth is preemptory and whole. Truth of mind is a representation, always an inadequate, most often a misleading representation, and even when most accurate, only a reflection, Truth's shadow and not its body. Mind does not live in the Truth or possess but only seeks after it and grasps at best some threads from its robe; the supermind lives in Truth and [is] its native substance, form and expression; it has not to seek after it, but possesses it always automatically and is what it possesses. This is the very heart of the difference.-– Sri Aurobindo 'Seven drafts on Supramental Yoga [for "The Path"] from 1928-1929 to late 1930's as found on 'Bernard's Site for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother'
'The change that is effected by the transition from mind to supermind is not only a revolution in knowledge or in our power for knowledge. If it is [to] be complete and stable, it must be a divine transmutation of our will too, our emotions, our sensations, all our power of life and its forces, in the end even of the very substance and functioning of our body. Then only can it be said that the supermind is there upon earth, rooted in its very earth-substance and embodied in a new race of divinised creatures.
'Supermind at its highest reach is the divine Gnosis, the Wisdom-Power-Light-Bliss of God by which the Divine knows and upholds and governs and enjoys the universe.'