The first of the three major transformations of consciousness that Sri Aurobindo describes as required to actually effect the needed change in human nature, is the psychic transformation. With this transformation, the soul comes forward, takes control of the mind, life and body and turns them towards the Divine. There is an opening to the Divine and one becomes aware of the inner ranges of awareness behind the surface personality and its actions. There is a shift from the ego-standpoint to the standpoint of the soul inhabiting the body-life-mind complex. It is from this new standpoint that it becomes possible for the seeker to open to the spiritual, and eventually, the supramental transformations safely and effectively. Gaining powers or experiences before this change has been effected can distort the understanding, lead to aggrandisement of the ego-personality and disrupt the balance of the mind, life and body.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “In the psychic transformation there are three main elements: (1) the opening of the occult inner mind, inner vital, inner physical, so that one becomes aware of all that lies behind the surface mind, life and body — (2) the opening of the psychic being or soul by which it comes forward and governs the mind, life and body turning all to the Divine — (3) the opening of the whole lower being to the spiritual truth — this last may be called the psycho-spiritual part of the change. It is quite possible for the psychic transformation to take one beyond the individual into the cosmic. Even the occult opening establishes a connection with the cosmic mind, cosmic vital, cosmic physical. The psychic realises the contact with all-existence, the oneness of the Self, the universal love and other realisations which lead to the cosmic consciousness.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Psychic Transformation, pp. 203-209

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 editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.