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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo


Fragment ID: 8661

Vedanta and Other Paths of Self-Realisation [5]

With your help I have been able to make this progress: whatever my state, I can rise into the higher consciousness and, so long as I am inactive, remain there undisturbed by revolt, resistance, impulses or desire.

The men who live in the Self are always there at all times. Nothing in the outer nature can affect that.

You write, “Those who seek the self by the old Yogas separate themselves from mind, life and body and realise the self apart from these things.” How do they manage to separate themselves from mind, life and body so easily? Will not these things interfere with their realisation? In allowing them to do this, will not the mind, vital and physical have to withdraw from their ordinary movements of tamas, rajas and sattwa?

Of course they will – it can only be prevented by the lower movements if you assent to the lower movements; one who refuses to accept them as his real being, can always withdraw from them to the self. The movements of Nature become for them an outer thing not belonging to their true being and having no power to pull them down from it.

Is there any difference between our way of seeking the self and that of the old Yogas?

Only that they often sought it by one line alone, the line varying in different Yogas, while in ours it may come in several ways.

I suppose that one who wants to realise the self can only do it by separating himself from mind, life and body.


You write, “It is perfectly easy to separate mind, vital and physical from each other without the need of supermind” [p. 305]. But you should have seen that by “supramental planes” I did not mean supermind, but any of the spiritual planes above the mind. Is there no need of the higher spiritual planes for separating the mind, vital and physical from one another?

Spiritual and supramental are not the same thing. The spiritual planes from higher mind to Overmind are accessible to the old sadhanas so there is no difficulty about that. If they were not accessible there would have been no Yoga at all and no Yogis in the past in India.

17 April 1936