In the wake of the supramental descent the Mother made tremendous advances towards its manifestation upon earth. Here is a rapid survey of some of those events.
About what had happened during the Common Meditation on Wednesday 29 February 1956, the Mother writes:
‘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.’
To the question “When the Supreme Lord told you to make the world, how did you know what had to be done?”her answer was:
‘I had nothing to learn for that, because the Supreme Lord contains everything in Himself: the whole world, the knowledge of the world and the power to make it. When He decided that there should be a world, He first brought forth the knowledge of the world and the power to make it and that is me, and then He commanded me to make the world.
‘After the supramental manifestation on 29 February 1956 the new world was born, answers the Mother to a question that it was “half an hour later”. [Words of the Mother – III]
The first occurrence of the phrase “a new world” in the Mother’s writings is in her prayer dated September 25, 1914:
‘The Lord hast willed, and Thou dost execute;
A new Light shall break upon the earth.
A new world shall be born.
And the things that were promised shall be fulfilled.’
After the advent of 29 February 1956 she rewrote it as follows:
29 February—29 March
‘Lord, Thou hast willed, and I execute:
A new light breaks upon the earth,
A new world is born.
The things that were promised are fulfilled.’
She also wrote:
‘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 recognise it.’ [2 May 1956 Questions and Answers]
The intervening period was of the Yoga-Tapasyā to realise what was promised long ago, promised by the giants of spirituality.
In her Conversations the Mother reveals quite a few significant details. In the following is a brief compilation.
‘Whenever a god has donned a body, it was always with the intention of transforming the earth and creating a new world. Yet until now, he always had to give up his body without being able to complete his work. But it is the very imperfection of the incarnate god that makes the perfection of those about him indispensable.’ [April 1954]
‘The supramental descent has been promised for such a very long time—not only here in the Ashram, but ever since the beginning of the earth. There have been all kinds of predictions, by all kinds of prophets. It has been said, ‘There will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new race shall be born, the world shall be transformed…’ Prophets have spoken of this in every tradition.
‘The new race? Wait for something like… a few thousand years!
‘When the mind came down upon earth, something like a million years went by between the manifestation of the mind in the earth atmosphere and the appearance of the first man. But it will go faster this time because man is waiting for something.’ [2 May 1956]
Here is the Mother’s symbolic vision of a “Big Hotel” in perpetual demolition. It applies to what Sri Aurobindo has written in The Supramental Manifestation [SABCL, Vol. 16, pp. 33-36] regarding transformation of the body, transformation that has to take place for life to become a divine life. In it the “mother” is physical Nature as she is, and the “daughter” is the new creation. The “manageress” is the world’s organising mental consciousness as Nature has developed it thus far, in the present state of material Nature.
She narrates: ‘When I awoke, I immediately knew what could resolve this absolutely insoluble problem. The vanishing of the manageress and her key was an obvious sign that she was altogether incapable of leading what could be called ‘the creative consciousness of the new world’ to its true place.
‘I knew this, but I did not have a vision of the solution, which means it has yet to manifest; this ‘thing’ had not yet manifested in the building, this fantastic construction, although it is the very mode of consciousness which could transform this incoherent creation into something real, truly conceived, willed and materialised, with a centre in its proper place, a recognised place, and with a REAL effective power.
‘Sri Aurobindo tells us that a true community—what he terms a gnostic or supramental community—can be based only upon the INNER REALIZATION of each one of its members, each realising his real, concrete oneness and identity with all the other members of the community; that is, each one should not feel himself a member connected to all the others in an arbitrary way, but that all are one within himself.
‘This is why Sri Aurobindo has also written somewhere else that a double movement is necessary: the effort for individual progress and realisation must be combined with the effort of trying to uplift the whole so as to enable it to make a progress indispensable for the greater progress of the individual: a mass progress that allows the individual to take a step forward.’ [3 July 1957]
‘A completely new freedom has become possible with the Supramental Manifestation: it is the freedom of the body, a freedom and an autonomy it has never before known. It is a new phenomenon in the body, in the cells of the body. For the first time, the cells themselves have felt that they are free, that a new world was really taking birth.But with the supramental manifestation, something new has taken place in the body.
‘This new vibration in the body has allowed me to understand the mechanism of transformation. It is not something that comes from a higher Will, not a higher consciousness that imposes itself upon the body: it is the body itself awakening in its cells, a freedom of the cells themselves.’ [17 October 1957]
‘The supramental world exists in a permanent way, and I am there permanently in a supramental body. I had proof of this today when my earthly consciousness went there and consciously remained there between two and three o’clock in the afternoon: I now know that for the two worlds to join in a constant and conscious relationship what is missing is an intermediate zone between the existing physical world and the supramental world as it exists.
‘This zone has yet to be built, both in the individual consciousness and in the objective world, and it is being built. When formerly I used to speak of the new world that is being created, I was speaking of this intermediate zone. And similarly, when I am on ‘this’ side—that is, in the realm of the physical consciousness—and I see the supramental power, the supramental light and substance constantly permeating matter, I am seeing and participating in the construction of this zone.
‘I found myself upon an immense ship, which is the symbolic representation of the place where this work is being carried out. This ship, as big as a city, is thoroughly organised, and it had certainly already been functioning for quite some time, for its organization was fully developed. It is the place where people destined for the supramental life are being trained. These people had already undergone a supramental transformation because the ship itself and all that was aboard was neither material nor subtle-physical, neither vital nor mental: it was a supramental substance. This substance itself was of the most material supramental, the supramental substance nearest the physical world, the first to manifest.
‘The light was a blend of red and gold, forming a uniform substance of luminous orange. Everything was like that—the light was like that, the people were like that—everything had this colour, in varying shades, however, which enabled things to be distinguished from one another. The overall impression was of a shadowless world: there were shades, but no shadows. The atmosphere was full of joy, calm, order; everything worked smoothly and silently.
‘This immense ship had just arrived at the shore of the supramental world, and a first batch of people destined to become the future inhabitants of the supramental world were about to disembark. Everything was arranged for this first landing. A certain number of very tall beings were posted on the wharf. They were not human beings and never before had they been men. Nor were they permanent inhabitants of the supramental world. They had been delegated from above and posted there to control and supervise the landing.
‘I was in charge of all this since the beginning and throughout. I myself had prepared all the groups. I was standing on the bridge of the ship, calling the groups forward one by one and having them disembark on the shore. The tall beings posted there seemed to be reviewing those who were disembarking, allowing those who were ready to go ashore and sending back those who were not and who had to continue their training aboard the ship. While standing there watching everyone, that part of my consciousness coming from here became extremely interested: it wanted to see, to identify all the people, to see how they had changed and to find out who had been taken immediately as well as those who had to remain and continue their training.
‘After awhile, I began to feel pulled backwards and that my body was being awakened by a consciousness or a person from here—and in my consciousness, I protested: ‘No, no, not yet! Not yet! I want to see who’s there!’ I was watching all this and noting it with intense interest … It went on like that until, suddenly, the clock here began striking three, which violently jerked me back. There was the sensation of a sudden fall into my body. I came back with a shock, but all my memory was still intact. I remained quiet and still until I could bring back the whole experience and preserve it.
‘The nature of objects on this ship was not that which we know upon earth; for example, the clothes were not made of cloth, and this thing that resembled cloth was not manufactured—it was a part of the body, made of the same substance that took on different forms. It had a kind of plasticity. When a change had to be made, it was done by a working of the consciousness that gave the substance its form or appearance. Life created its own forms. There was one single substance in all things; it changed the nature of its vibration according to needs or uses.
‘Those who were sent back for more training their bodies seemed to have patches of a grayish opacity, a substance resembling the earth substance. They were dull, as though they had not been wholly permeated by the light or wholly transformed. They were not like this all over, but in places.
‘The tall beings on the shore were not of the same colour, they did not have orange tint; they were paler, more transparent. Except for a part of their bodies, only the outline of their forms could be seen. They were very tall, they did not seem to have a skeletal structure, and they could take on any form according to their needs. Only from their waists to their feet did they have a permanent density, which was not felt in the rest of their body. Their colour was much more pallid and contained very little red, it verged rather on gold or even white. The parts of whitish light were translucid; they were not absolutely transparent, but less dense, more subtle than the orange substance.
‘Just as I was called back, I had a quick glimpse of myself, of my form in the supramental world. I was a mixture of what these tall beings were and the beings aboard the ship. The top part of myself, especially my head, was a mere silhouette of a whitish colour with an orange fringe. The more it approached the feet, the more the colour resembled that of the people on the ship, orange; the more it went up towards the top, the more translucid and white it was, and the red faded. The head was a silhouette with a brilliant sun at its center; from it issued rays of light which were the action of the will.
‘As for the people I saw aboard ship, I recognised them all. Some were here in the Ashram, some came from elsewhere, but I knew them as well. Three or four faces were very clearly visible, and when I saw them, I understood the feeling that I have had here, on earth, while looking into their eyes: there was such an extraordinary joy … On the whole, the people were young.
‘Most of the people who had gone ashore were of a middle age—except for a few. Several times before this experience, certain individual cases had already been examined at a place where people capable of being supramentalised are examined; I had then had a few surprises. But those whom I disembarked today I saw very distinctly. They were of a middle age, neither young children nor elderly people, with only a few rare exceptions, and this quite corresponded to what I expected.
‘What I can say is that the criterion or the judgment was based exclusively on the substance constituting the people—whether they belonged completely to the supramental world or not, whether they were made of this very special substance. It is likely that their bodily substance was the result of an inner law or an inner movement which, at that time, was not in question.
‘When I came back, along with the memory of the experience, I knew that the supramental world was permanent, that my presence there is permanent, and that only a missing link is needed to allow the consciousness and the substance to connect—and it is this link that is being built. At that time, my impression was of an extreme relativity—no, not exactly that, but an impression that the relationship between this world and the other completely changes the criterion by which things are to be evaluated or judged.
‘It was very clear that everything depended upon the capacity of things and upon their ability to express the supramental world or be in relationship with it. It was so completely different, at times even so opposite to our ordinary way of looking at things!
‘I recall one little thing that we usually consider bad … actually how funny it was to see that it is something excellent! And other things that we consider important were really quite unimportant there! What is obvious is that our appreciation of what is divine or not divine is incorrect. I even laughed at certain things … Our usual feeling about what is anti-divine seems artificial, based upon something untrue, unliving; in any event, this feeling should be based upon our relationship between the two worlds and according to whether things make this relationship easier or more difficult.
‘This would thus completely change our evaluation of what brings us nearer to the Divine or what takes us away from Him. With people, too, I saw that what helps them or prevents them from becoming supramental is very different from what our ordinary notions imagine. I felt just how … ridiculous we are.
‘But one thing which now seems to me to be the most essential difference between our world and the supramental world: everything here, except for what happens within and at a very deep level, seemed absolutely artificial to me. Not one of the values of ordinary physical life is based upon truth.
‘A true, sincere, spontaneous life, as in the supramental world, is a springing forth of things through the fact of conscious will, a power over substance that shapes this substance according to what we decide it should be.’ [3 February 1958]
‘When one has emerged into Light above the lower hemisphere the term ‘hostile forces’ loses its meaning; they become only forces of progress, they force you to progress. It is precisely this state of perfect Harmony that will become possible with the supramental realisation.
‘The link between the two worlds has not yet been built, but it is in the process of being built.[ February 3, 1958] The two worlds are within each other, in two different dimensions. Only, there is no communication between them. In the experience of February 3, I saw certain people who already belong to the supramental world in a part of their being. But now the hour has come in universal history for this link to be built.
‘The experience of November 7 was a further step in the building of the link between the two worlds. Where I was cast was clearly into the origin of the supramental creation—all this warm gold, this tremendous living power, this sovereign peace.
‘In the supramental world there is a richness and a power that make all the difference. This whole spiritual life of the psychic being and of all our present consciousness that appears so warm, so full, so wonderful, so luminous to the ordinary consciousness, well, all this splendor seems poor in comparison to the splendor of the new world.’ [15 November 1958]
About something significant that had happened earlier, after the 24-November 1926 Overmind Realisation or Siddhi in the physical of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother narrates the following:
‘One day, I went as usual to relate to Sri Aurobindo what had been happening—we had come to something really very interesting, and perhaps I showed a little enthusiasm in my account of what had taken place—then Sri Aurobindo looked at me… and said: “Yes, this is an Overmind creation. It is very interesting, very well done. You will perform miracles which will make you famous throughout the world, you will be able to turn all events on earth topsy-turvy, indeed,…” and then he smiled and said: “It will be a great success. But it is an Overmind creation. And it is not success that we want; we want to establish the Supermind on earth. One must know how to renounce immediate success in order to create the new world, the supramental world in its integrality.”
‘With my inner consciousness I understood immediately: a few hours later the creation was gone… and from that moment we started anew on other bases.
‘Well, I announced to you all that this new world was born. But it has been so engulfed, as it were, in the old world that so far the difference has not been very perceptible to many people. Still, the action of the new forces has continued very regularly, very persistently, very steadily, and to a certain extent, very effectively. And one of the manifestations of this action was my experience—truly so very new—of yesterday evening. It could be expressed succinctly, in a rather linear way:
‘In any case, it could be said that characteristically the old world, the creation of what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind, was an age of the gods, and consequently the age of religions. And now, all these old things seem so old, so out-of-date, so arbitrary—such a travesty of the real truth.
‘These great divine beings themselves will be able to participate in the new creation; but to do so, they will have to put on the “supramental substance” on earth. And if some of them choose to remain in their world as they are, if they decide not to manifest physically, their relation with the beings of a supramental earth will be a relation of friends, collaborators, equals, for the highest divine essence will be manifested in the beings of the new supramental world on earth.
‘When the physical substance is supramentalised, to incarnate on earth will no longer be a cause of inferiority, quite the contrary. It will give a plenitude which cannot be obtained otherwise. But all this is in the future.’[10 July 1957]
About the glorious new world, triumphantly new, in the sense of the supramental manifestation as revealed by the Mother in her Conversations there is hardly anything of direct nature in the prose writings of Sri Aurobindo. Perhaps the nearest is in the following letter written by him in 1948:
‘But they must remember too that the new world whose coming we envisage is not to be made of the same texture as the old and different only in pattern and that it must come by other means, from within and not from without—so the best way is not to be too much preoccupied with the lamentable things that are happening outside, but themselves to grow within so that they may be ready for the new world whatever form it may take.’ Sri Aurobindo; 18 July 1948
In his Savitri, however, we have explicit clear and precise descriptions in several contexts. Here are some bearing direct mentions of a new world or a new creation.
With the entry of Life in Matter indeed started a new world:
Overflowing from her bright magnificent plane
On the rigid coil and sprawl of mortal space,
Here too the gracious great-winged Angel poured
Her splendour and her sweetness and her bliss,
Hoping to fill a fair new world with joy. ||36.17||
To enthusiastic youthful romantic-visionary Satyavan there is a sudden discovery of a new world in his very first meeting one early morning in the emerald groves of Shalwa country with beautiful and high-bearing Savitri. Of it perhaps he has no full grasp, absolutely no inkling of the glorious things to come:
For now another realm draws near with thee
And now diviner voices fill my ear,
A strange new world swims to me in thy gaze
Approaching like a star from unknown heavens;
A cry of spheres comes with thee and a song
Of flaming gods. I draw a wealthier breath
And in a fierier march of moments move. ||103.68||
And in their fate-loaded joining together
Thus were they in each other lost awhile,
Then drawing back from their long ecstasy’s trance
Came into a new self and a new world. ||104.16||
Each now was a part of the other’s unity. ||104.17||
The world was but their twin self-finding’s scene
Or their own wedded being’s vaster frame. ||104.18||
But the episodes have to move on with the rapidity of divine time. As forceful dynamic events have it, Savitri is engaged in the Yoga of Conquest of Death. At the very beginning the entire cosmic past unrolls before her and she is made aware of the possibilities of the future. She is to lead this struggling world to light, or she must discover a new world or create it. The alternatives can get resolved only after she has found her souls and she goes by its greatness.
‘All this the spirit concealed had done in her:
A portion of the mighty Mother came
Into her as into its own human part:
Amid the cosmic workings of the Gods
It marked her the centre of a wide-drawn scheme,
Dreamed in the passion of her far-seeing spirit
To mould humanity into God’s own shape
And lead this great blind struggling world to light
Or a new world discover or create.’ ||117.89||
But among these three alternatives it seems that it is the last that is going to be, yogically and pragmatically. It is that which has to be first established and then discovered. And it is established by the majestic imperial Yogi Aswapati, he the eternity’s delegate to earth, his fire assailing heaven, his will chasing the trajectories of light. He is up there in the House of the Spirit and there he does something most wonderful and dazzling, he creates a new and marvellous world, he creates it in the House of the Spirit, in Sachchidānanda, a supramental world in its perfection’s law, a world based on Oneness:
‘Then suddenly there came a downward look
As if a sea exploring its own depths;
A living Oneness widened at its core
And joined him to unnumbered multitudes.’ ||85.1||
A Bliss, a Light, a Power, a flame-white Love
Caught all into a sole immense embrace;
Existence found its truth on Oneness’ breast
And each became the self and space of all. ||85.2||
The great world-rhythms were heart-beats of one Soul,
To feel was a flame-discovery of God,
All mind was a single harp of many strings,
All life a song of many meeting lives;
For worlds were many, but the Self was one. ||85.3||
This knowledge was now made a cosmos’ seed:
This seed was cased in the safety of the Light,
It needed not a sheath of Ignorance. ||85.4||
Then from the trance of that tremendous clasp
And from the throbbings of that single Heart
And from the naked Spirit’s victory
A new and marvellous creation rose. ||85.5||
Incalculable outflowing infinitudes
Laughing out an unmeasured happiness
Lived their innumerable unity;
Worlds where the being is unbound and wide
Bodied unthinkably the egoless Self,
Rapture of beatific energies
Joined Time to the Timeless, poles of a single joy;
White vasts were seen where all is wrapped in all. ||85.6||
About this new and marvellous world,this is what he tells to the supreme Creatrix, the Divine Mother, urging her to send a living form of hers to earth for that world to manifest there:
This darkness hides our nobler destiny. ||87.5||
A chrysalis of a great and glorious truth,
It stifles the winged marvel in its sheath
Lest from the prison of Matter it escape
And, wasting its beauty on the formless Vast,
Merged into the Unknowable’s mystery,
Leave unfulfilled the world’s miraculous fate. ||87.6||
As yet thought only some high spirit’s dream
Or a vexed illusion in man’s toiling mind,
A new creation from the old shall rise,
A Knowledge inarticulate find speech,
Beauty suppressed burst into paradise bloom,
Pleasure and pain dive into absolute bliss. ||87.7||
A tongueless oracle shall speak at last,
The Superconscient conscious grow on earth,
The Eternal’s wonders join the dance of Time. ||87.8||
I saw the Omnipotent’s flaming pioneers
Over the heavenly verge which turns towards life
Come crowding down the amber stairs of birth;
Forerunners of a divine multitude
Out of the paths of the morning star they came
Into the little room of mortal life. ||90.28||
I saw them cross the twilight of an age,
The sun-eyed children of a marvellous dawn,
The great creators with wide brows of calm,
The massive barrier-breakers of the world
And wrestlers with destiny in her lists of will,
The labourers in the quarries of the gods,
The messengers of the Incommunicable,
The architects of immortality. ||90.29||
Into the fallen human sphere they came,
Faces that wore the Immortal’s glory still,
Voices that communed still with the thoughts of God,
Bodies made beautiful by the Spirit’s light,
Carrying the magic word, the mystic fire,
Carrying the Dionysian cup of joy,
Approaching eyes of a diviner man,
Lips chanting an unknown anthem of the soul,
Feet echoing in the corridors of Time. ||90.30||
High priests of wisdom, sweetness, might and bliss,
Discoverers of beauty’s sunlit ways
And swimmers of Love’s laughing fiery floods
And dancers within rapture’s golden doors,
Their tread one day shall change the suffering earth
And justify the light on Nature’s face. ||90.31||
Although Fate lingers in the high Beyond
And the work seems vain on which our heart’s force was spent,
All shall be done for which our pain was borne. ||90.32||
Even as of old man came behind the beast
This high divine successor surely shall come
Behind man’s inefficient mortal pace,
Behind his vain labour, sweat and blood and tears:
He shall know what mortal mind barely durst think,
He shall do what the heart of the mortal could not dare. ||90.33||
Savitri’s“mortal birth” is the glowing assurance and fulfilment of that invocation of Aswapati:
A morn that seemed a new creation’s front,
Bringing a greater sunlight, happier skies,
Came, burdened with a beauty moved and strange
Out of the changeless origin of things. ||98.1||
An ancient longing struck again new roots. ||98.2||
Out of the mind she rose to escape its law
That it might sleep in some deep shadow of self
Or fall silent in the silence of the Unseen. ||129.39||
High she attained and stood from Nature free
And saw creation’s life from far above,
Thence upon all she laid her sovereign will
To dedicate it to God’s timeless calm:
Then all grew tranquil in her being’s space,
Only sometimes small thoughts arose and fell
Like quiet waves upon a silent sea
Or ripples passing over a lonely pool
When a stray stone disturbs its dreaming rest. ||129.40||
And she wins the Boon of boons from the Supreme himself:
Descend to life with him thy heart desires. ||155.1||
O Satyavan, O luminous Savitri,
I sent you forth of old beneath the stars,
A dual power of God in an ignorant world,
In a hedged creation shut from limitless self,
Bringing down God to the insentient glow,
Lifting earth-beings to immortality. ||155.2||
The Truth shall be the leader of their lives,
Truth shall dictate their thought and speech and act,
They shall feel themselves lifted nearer to the sky,
As if a little lower than the gods. ||155.65||
A sudden bliss shall run through every limb
And Nature with a mightier Presence fill. ||155.69||
Thus shall the earth open to divinity. ||155.70||
Nature shall live to manifest secret God,
The Spirit shall take up the human play,
This earthly life become the life divine. ||155.71|
About the Author: Born on 17 April 1931 Dr. RY Deshpande is a professor, philosopher, author, poet and inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. After graduating from Osmania University, Hyderabad, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai as a research physicist in 1955 and worked in this organization till 1957. In 1957 he joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai where he worked till 1981 and headed several Atomic Energy and Space Projects in Advance Technology with Dr. Raja Ramanna. Having received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics in 1964, he worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California USA from 1964 to 1965. He has some fifty research papers published in national and international scientific journals. He was also an examiner for a number of Ph.D. theses in the field of Solid State Physics. In 1981 Deshpande joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Pondicherry. For thirty years, he taught physics and a few other subjects such as Astrophysics, Savitri, The Future Poetry, Science and Society at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. For eight years he was the associate Editor of Mother India, a Monthly Review of Culture, published by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. During 2007-2008 Deshpande was the editor of a web-magazine titled Science-Culture-Integral Yoga founded in Los Angeles. His published works in prose and poetry include titles like Sri Aurobindo and the New Millennium, Vyasa’s Savitri, The Ancient Tale of Savitri, “Satyavan Must Die”, All Life is Yoga, Nagin-bhai Tells Me, The Rhododendron Valley, All is Dream-Blaze, Under the Raintree, Paging the Unknown, The Wager of Ambrosia, Savitri: Notes and Comments, Elements and Evolution, Sri Aurobindo’s Narad, The Birth of the Sun-God, Hymns to Becoming, These Mountains, The Secret Knowledge, Savitri Talks: The Symbol Dawn, Islam’s Contribution to Science, Big Science and India, Running Through Savitri, A Look at the Symbol Dawn: Observations-Comments-Discussions, Savitri: The Poetry of Immortality, and Sanatana Dharma: An Aurobindonian Perspective to name a few. He has also edited the following books: Nirodbaran: Poet and Sadhak, Amal Kiran: Poet and Critic and Perspectives of Savitri.