Letters of Sri Aurobindo
Fragment ID: 8636
(this fragment is largest or earliest found passage)
Sri Aurobindo — Unknown addressee
June 11, 1936
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Descent and the Supramental Yoga 
Such a concrete process of ascent and descent could not have escaped notice if other Yogis had it. They do mention a rising of Kundalini to the Brahmarandhra. Why then do they not mention a coming down of, say, a current of brahmānanda or of light from the Brahmarandhra into the Kundalini to the Muladhara? If we suppose they did not mention it because it was a secret, then how could they mention the rising up of the Kundalini? If there is nothing new in this Yoga, those who believe so should quote something which is similar to descent – either in Patanjali or the Hathayoga Pradipika or in the Panchadashi and other Vedantic books wherein experiences are mentioned.
So I have always thought. I explain this absence of the descent experiences myself by the old Yogas having been mainly confined to the psycho-spiritual-occult range of experience – in which the higher experiences come into the still mind or the concentrated heart by a sort of filtration or reflection – the field of this experience being from the Brahmarandhra downward. People went above this only in samadhi or in a condition of static mukti without any dynamic descent. All that was dynamic took place in the region of the spiritualised mental and vital-physical consciousness. In this Yoga the consciousness (after the lower field has been prepared by a certain amount of psycho-spiritual-occult experience) is drawn upwards above the Brahmarandhra to ranges above belonging to the spiritual consciousness proper and instead of merely receiving from there has to live there and from there change the lower consciousness altogether. For there is a dynamism proper to the spiritual consciousness whose nature is Light, Power, Ananda, Peace, Knowledge, infinite Wideness and that must be possessed and descend into the whole being. Otherwise one can get mukti but not perfection or transformation (except a relative psycho-spiritual change). But if I say that, there will be a general howl against the unpardonable presumption of claiming to have a knowledge not possessed by the ancient saints and sages and pretending to transcend them. In that connection I may say that in the Upanishads (notably the Taittiriya) there are some indications of these higher planes and their nature and the possibility of gathering up the whole consciousness and rising into them. But this was forgotten afterwards and people spoke only of the buddhi as the highest thing with the Purusha or Self just above, but there was no clear idea of these higher planes. Ergo, ascent possibly to unknown and ineffable heavenly regions in samadhi, but no descent possible – therefore no resource, no possibility of transformation here, only escape from life and mukti in Goloka, Brahmaloka, Shivaloka or the Absolute.
11 June 1936
1 SABCL, volume 26: upward
2 SABCL, volume 26: usually
3 SABCL, volume 26: reason
[Largest or earliest found passage: ] Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram // CWSA.- Volume 35. (≈ 26 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011.- 658 p.
Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.
Sri Aurobindo. On Himself // SABCL.- Volume 26. (≈ 35 vol. of CWSA)
Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga. II // CWSA.- Volume 29. (≈ 22-24 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013.- 522 p.