The “fountain of youth”, the elixir of immortality, attaining eternal life… these are various ways the aspiration of humanity has found expression for the conquest of death. Some who take up the integral Yoga latch on to the eventual idea of the supramental transformation leading to immortality and believe that they will become immortal in this body in this life. Sri Aurobindo, however, has made it very clear that this does not represent his view of the matter. He repeatedly focuses the attention on the immediate need for the psychic change and its ability to adapt mind, life and body to be prepared to receive and accept the supramental transformation; the consequence of potential immortality in the body is considered by him to be a minor potential future eventuality and not something that should be striven after nor expected in the practice of the yoga. He even goes further by indicating that any prolongation of life brought about by the supramental transformation is not for the purpose of ego-gratification in the normal mode of life, but to carry out the divine intention in the world that is bringing forth the next phase of evolutionary development beyond the mental level.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “To merge the consciousness in the Divine and to keep the psychic being controlling and changing all the nature and keeping it turned to the Divine till the whole being can live in the Divine is the transformation we seek. There is further the supramentalisation, but this only carries the transformation to its own highest and largest possibilities — it does not alter its essential nature.”

“Immortality is one of the possible results of supramentalisation, but it is not an obligatory result and it does not mean that there will be an eternal or indefinite prolongation of life as it is. That is what many think it will be, that they will remain what they are with all their human desires and the only difference will be that they will satisfy them endlessly; but such an immortality would not be worth having and it would not be long before people are tired of it. To live in the Divine and have the divine Consciousness is itself immortality and to be able to divinise the body also and make it a fit instrument for divine works and divine life would be its material expression only.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Supramental Transformation, pp. 229-237

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.