Letters of Sri Aurobindo
Letter ID: 2951
Sri Aurobindo — Unknown addressee
April 16, 1936
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Vedanta and Other Paths of Self-Realisation 
When you write, “Certainly they can realise the self. It is not at all necessary to go to the supramental planes for that” [p. 303], I suppose what you mean is that in such cases it is the mind that realises the self; it is not an integral realisation. But when the mind alone realises the self, the vital and physical will constantly disturb it. A separation will become necessary. But can they be separated without the help of the supramental planes?
There are many planes above man’s mind – the supramental is not the only one, and on all of them the self can be realised,– for they are all spiritual planes.
Mind, vital and physical are inextricably mixed together only in the surface consciousness – the inner mind, inner vital, inner physical are separate from each other. Those who seek the self by the old Yogas separate themselves from mind, life and body and realise the self apart from these things. It is perfectly easy to separate mind, vital and physical from each other without the need of supermind. It is done by the ordinary Yogas.
The difference between this and the old Yogas is not that they are incompetent and cannot do these things – they can do them perfectly well – but that they proceed from realisation of self to Nirvana or some Heaven and abandon life, while this does not abandon life. The supramental is necessary for the transformation of terrestrial life and being, not for reaching the self. One must realise self first – only afterwards can one realise the supermind.
If any Yogi can bring about this separation without the supramental, that is really something. For here we are helped by the supramental planes, sometimes there is even a direct action, but still we find it difficult to detach our mind from the life and body.
Who here has a direct action from the Supermind? It is the first news I have of it. Even indirect action from the supramental is rare. Whatever comes to most comes from the intermediate planes.
16 April 1936
1 SABCL, volume 22; Letters of Sri Aurobindo. 4 Ser. on
2 SABCL, volume 22; Letters of Sri Aurobindo. 4 Ser. separated
3 SABCL, volume 22; Letters of Sri Aurobindo. 4 Ser. of it all as different
4 SABCL, volume 22; Letters of Sri Aurobindo. 4 Ser. aid
5 SABCL, volume 22; Letters of Sri Aurobindo. 4 Ser. this
6 Letters of Sri Aurobindo. 4 Ser. abandon life
[A letter: ] 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. Letters on Yoga. II // CWSA.- Volume 29. (≈ 22-24 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013.- 522 p.
Sri Aurobindo. Letters of Sri Aurobindo: In 4 Series.- Forth Series [On Yoga].- Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Sircle, 1951.- 652 p.