The full manifestation of the supramental consciousness in the world is the objective of the integral Yoga. This does not mean, however, that such a radical change in earthly life is expected to come about quickly or without any preliminary steps to be taken. In terms of the evolutionary procession of Nature, changes tend to take place gradually, measured in hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. The concept of the integral Yoga is that the evolved human being can consciously participate in the evolutionary development and thereby dramatically speed up these changes, so that millions of years is not required. In fact, we can already observe that each progressively higher step in the evolution from Matter to Life and from Life to Mind, took a dramatically shorter time to first appear, then spread broadly and then become integrated into earthly life. So the idea of a shortening of the way is not at all an unusual or impossible expectation. Sri Aurobindo describes several steps that needs must take place in order for the full action of the supermind to occur and to spread its influence broadly across the world. Elsewhere Sri Aurobindo speculated this would potentially take hundreds of years, which is already a very fast time-frame. In the interim, the preceding steps are certain to occupy the full attention of the seekers who have dedicated themselves to the realisation of this next stage of evolution for the benefit of all in the future.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “All should understand that the true direct supramental does not come at the beginning but much later on in the sadhana. First the opening up and illumination of the mental, vital and physical beings; secondly, the making intuitive of the mind, through will etc. and the development of the hidden soul consciousness progressively replacing the surface consciousness; thirdly, the supramentalising of the changed mental, vital and physical beings and finally the descent of the true supramental and the rising into the supramental plane.”

“This is the natural order of the yoga. These stages may overlap and intermix, there may be many variations, but the last two can only come in an advanced state of the progress. Of course, the supramental Divine guides this yoga throughout but it is first through many intermediate planes; and it cannot easily be said of anything that comes in the earlier periods that it is the direct or full supramental. To think so when it is not so may well be a hindrance to progress.”

“One has to know about overmind and supermind but there should be no ambition to reach them – it should be regarded as a natural end of the sadhana which will come of itself. The concentration should be all on the immediate step — whatever is being done at the time. So have the working of the Power and let it work all out step by step.”

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