There is a verse in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which illustrates the essential principle of an evolutionary cycle of the development and growth of consciousness, when it indicates a progression ‘from the darkness to the light, from light to greater light.” The Upanishad foresees that eventually the darkness that shadows awareness, that dominates the material consciousness, is lifted somewhat in the successive stages of the vital and mental consciousness, will eventually disappear as further evolution of consciousness occurs. Eventually the light will be the controlling element, and yet, evolutionary progress can continue as we move ‘from light to greater light.”

The earth being an evolutionary, not a typal, world, we would not expect to see all life become supramentalised; rather, we would expect to see the supramental consciousness manifest and influence the action of the planes of Matter, Life and Mind, similarly, yet in a more direct and powerful manner, to the way Mind has already influenced and acted upon the planes of Matter and Life. This would bring about a vast transformation as the fragmented and linear process of mental development would be replaced by a unified and integrated global view provided by the higher expression of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “For according to all occult teaching the evolutionary creation could have been such but for the intervention of the Powers of Darkness — all traditions including that of the Veda and Upanishads point under different figures to the same thing. In the Upanishads it is the Daityas that smite with evil all that the gods create, in the Zoroastrian [teaching] it is Ahriman coming across the work of Ahura Mazda, the Chaldean tradition uses a different figure. But the significance is the same; it is the perception of something that has struck across the harmonious development of creation and brought in the principle of darkness and disorder. The occult tradition also foresees the elimination of this disturbing element by the descent of a divine Principle or Power on earth, but gives to it usually a sudden and dramatic form. I conceive that the supramental descent would effect the same event by a progressive elimination of the darkness and evolution of the Light, but with what rate of rapidity it would be rash to try to forecast or prefigure.”

“… I need only add that there is nothing to prevent the supramental creation, the creation in the higher Truth-Light from being evolutionary, a continuous efflorescence of the Divine Truth and Harmony in a manifold variety, not a final and decisive creation in a single fixed type. What would be decisive would be the crossing of the border between twilight and Light, the transference of the base of development from the consciousness in the Ignorance to the Truth-consciousness. That would be, on this level, final. The transition into a world of spirits would only effectuate itself, first, if the whole earth-consciousness became thoroughly supramentalised, secondly, if after that the turn were to a realisation here of the principle of those worlds of Sachchidananda where determination disappears in the interpretation of All-in-All. But that would be to look too far into the potentialities of the future. In short, if the supramental principle came down it would not be in order to reproduce Heaven here under celestial conditions but to ‘create a new Heaven and a new earth’ in the earth-consciousness itself, completing and transmuting but not abolishing the earth order.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, The Supramental Evolution, pp. 69-75

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog 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.