*This is a permanent exhibition on the first floor of the Visitor’s Centre, Auroville.
Evolution: Man is a transitional being
1. Man is a transitional being, he is not final; for in him and high beyond him ascend the radiant degrees which climb to a divine supermanhood.
Sri Aurobindo - Collected Works 12, p. 157
Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.
Sri Aurobindo - Collected Works 12, p. 443
The Life Divine
2. The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last,—God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.
Sri Aurobindo - The Life Divine - Collected Works 21/22, p.3
From Man to Superman
3. The animal is a living laboratory in which Nature has, it is said, worked out man. Man himself may well be a thinking and living laboratory in whom and with whose conscious co-operation she wills to work out the superman, the god.
Sri Aurobindo - The Life Divine - Collected Works 21/22, p.6
The step from man towards superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth’s evolution. There lies our destiny and the liberating key to our aspiring, but troubled and limited human existence—inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner Spirit and the logic of Nature’s process.
Sri Aurobindo - Collected Works 12, p. 157
The Contemporary Crisis
4. At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny; for a stage has been reached in which the human mind has achieved in certain directions an enormous development while in others it stands arrested and bewildered and can no longer find its way...
A life of unity, mutuality and harmony born of a deeper and wider truth of our being is the only truth of life that can successfully replace the imperfect mental constructions of the past... It is such a change and such a reshaping of life for which humanity is blindly beginning to seek, now more and more with a sense that its very existence depends upon finding the way.
Sri Aurobindo - The Life Divine - Collected Works 21/22, p.1090
5. At first sight this insistence on a radical change of nature might seem to put off all the hope of humanity to a distant evolutionary future... But what is demanded by this change is not something altogether distant, alien to our existence and radically impossible; for what has to be developed is there in our being and not something outside it...
Sri Aurobindo - The Life Divine - Collected Works 21/22, p.1096
Towards Human Unity
6. A spiritual religion of humanity is the hope of the future. By this is not meant what is ordinarily called a universal religion, a system, a thing of creed and intellectual belief and dogma and outward rite. A religion of humanity means the growing realisation that there is a secret Spirit, a divine Reality, in which we are all one, that humanity is its highest present vehicle on earth, that the human race and the human being are the means by which it will progressively reveal itself here. It implies a growing attempt to live out this knowledge and bring about a kingdom of this divine Spirit upon earth.
Sri Aurobindo - The Ideal of Human Unity, Collected Works 25, p. 577
The Heavens Within
7. The heavens beyond are great and
wonderful, but greater and more wonderful
are the heavens within you.
It is these Edens that await the divine worker.
Sri Aurobindo - The Hour of God, Collected Works 12, p. 353
I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; all that thought reveals in me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.
Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Glimpses, Collected Works 13, p. 200
The Key of Perfect Change
8. We may find when all the rest has failed
Hid in ourselves the key of perfect change.
Sri Aurobindo - Savitri, Collected Works 33, p. 256
In the depths, at the centre, at the summit of the being, there is a Supreme Truth of being, an Eternal Light, independent of all the circumstances of birth, country, environment, education; That is the origin, cause and master of our spiritual development; it is That which gives a permanent direction to our lives; it is That which determines our destinies...
The Mother, March 1933, Words of the Mother I, p. 237
9. The bliss of a myriad myriads who are one.
Sri Aurobindo - Savitri, Collected Works 33, p. 325
All this is Brahman immortal, naught else;
Brahman is in front of us, Brahman behind us,
to the south of us and to the north of us
and below us and above us; it stretches everywhere.
All this is Brahman alone, all this magnificent universe.
Mundaka Upanishad II.12
Revolution of the Atoms
10. I was very little (12) when I was told that everything was “atoms” (that’s how they put it in those days). They said, “You see this table? You think it’s a table—it’s solid and it’s wood—but it’s only atoms moving around.” I remember the first time I heard that, it caused a kind of revolution in my head, coupled with a feeling of the complete unreality of all appearances. All at once, I said, “But if it’s like that, then nothing is true!”
The Mother / Mother’s Agenda, December 14, 1966
Spirit and Matter
11. Sri Aurobindo and Mother are the story of a new relationship between Spirit and Matter, the discovery of a third fact that modifies both Spirit and Matter, and opens the door to a new species on earth.
Satprem: The Mother or The Divine Materialism p. 90
One can say that it is when the circle is truly completed and the two opposites are joined, when the highest manifests in the most physical the supreme Reality in the heart of the atom that the experience will reach its true conclusion. It seems that one never really understands unless one understands with one’s body.
The Mother - Questions & Answers, May 14, 1958
The Path of Yoga
12. The Mother made this drawing to explain to a child the meaning of Yoga. Man is at the bottom, the Divine at the top. The wavy line is the path of the ordinary life, the straight line of Yoga.
The Secret lies in Matter
13. The supreme height touches the most material matter.
The Mother / Mother's Agenda - January 9, 1962
All the splendours one can experience by going up, by getting out, by leaving are nothing! They’re nothing; they don’t have that concrete reality... they seem vague compared to here. That is truly why the world has been created.
It’s in terrestrial matter, on earth, that the Supreme becomes perfect.
The Mother / Mother’s Agenda, April 26, 1960
The Absolute is everywhere
14. The Absolute is everywhere...
Every finite is an infinite.
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga - Collected Works 23, p. 442
In every particle, atom, molecule, cell of Matter, there lives hidden and works unknown all the omniscience of the Eternal and all the omnipotence of the Infinite.
Sri Aurobindo, From Man to Superman - Collected Works XII p.247
15. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are not only the explorers of consciousness, They are the builders of a new world. After exploring the outermost frontiers of worlds not unknown to ancient wisdom, they discovered another world, as yet unmapped, which they called Supramental, and which they sought to pull down upon earth. For the Supramental, Sri Aurobindo tells us, brings a decisive change in the evolution of the earth-consciousness — in fact, it is the change of consciousness that will have the power to transform our material world, and to do so as thoroughly and lastingly as, and hopefully better than, the Mind did when it first appeared in Matter. Their Yoga, the Integral yoga, leads to a supramental yoga, or yoga of terrestrial transformation.
All life is Yoga
16. In the spiritual tradition the body has been regarded as an obstacle, incapable of spiritualisation or transmutation and a heavy weight holding the soul to earthly nature and preventing its ascent either to spiritual fulfilment in the Supreme or to the dissolution of its individual being in the Supreme. But...
If a total transformation of the being is our aim, a transformation of the body must be an indispensable part of it; without that no full divine life on earth is possible.
Sri Aurobindo, The Supramental Manifestation - Collected Works 13, p. 540
17. The work consists, I could say, in either removing or transforming all the body’s cells that are or have been under the influence of Falsehood, of the state contrary to the Divine. But since probably a radical purge or transformation would have resulted in nothing but the body's dissolution, the work goes on in stages, progressively.
The Mother / Mother’s Agenda - July 31, 1963 p 258
First Supramental Manifestation
18. This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that the time has come, and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.
The Mother / Mother’s Agenda - February 29, 1956, p. 35
The Supramental Boat
19. I was on a huge boat which was a symbolic representation of the place where people who are destined for the supramental life are trained. The boat itself was made of a supramental substance. The light was a mixture of gold and red, forming a uniform substance of a luminous orange. The atmosphere was full of joy, calm, order; everything went on regularly and in silence. On the boat the nature of objects was not the one we know on earth; for instance, clothes were not made of cloth and what looked like cloth was not manufactured: it formed a part of the body, it was made of the same substance which took different forms. Life created its own forms.
The Mother, Questions & Answers, February 19, 1958
20. At the very bottom of the hardest, most rigid, narrowest and most asphyxiating unconsciousness, I struck upon an Almighty Spring that cast me up forthwith into a formless, limitless Vast vibrating with the seeds of a New World.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda, November 11, 1958
A New World is Born
21. This could be a continuation with an improvement, a widening of the old world as it was but what has happened, the really new thing, is that a new world is born, born, born. It is not the old one transfor- ming itself, it is a new world which is born. And we are right in the midst of this period of transition where the two are entangled — where the other still persists all-powerful and entirely dominating the ordinary consciousness, but where the new one is quietly slipping in, still very modest, unnoticed — unnoticed to the extent that outwardly it doesn’t disturb anything very much, for the time being, and that in the consciousness of most people it is even altogether imperceptible. And yet it is working, growing — until it is strong enough to assert itself visibly.
The Mother, Questions & Answers, July 10, 1957
A divine Force
22. A divine force shall flow through tissue and cell
And take the charge of breath and speech and act
And all the thoughts shall be a glow of suns
And every feeling a celestial thrill…
A sudden bliss shall run through every limb
And Nature with a mightier Presence fill.
Thus shall the earth open to divinity
And common natures feel the wide uplift,
Illumine common acts with the Spirit’s ray
And meet the deity in common things.
Nature shall live to manifest secret God,
The Spirit shall take up the human play,
This earthly life become the life divine.
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Collected Works 33/34 - p 710
The Work is done
23. It was the formidable pulsations of the eternal, stupendous Love, only Love. Each pulsation of the Love was carrying the universe further in its manifestation. This was going on and on and on and on...
The heavens are ringing with chants of Victory. And the certitude that what is to be done is done and the supramental Manifestation is realized...
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda, April 13, 1962
You see, it’s not as if this world of Truth had to be created from scratch! It is all ready, it is here, like a lining of our own. Everything is here, everything is here... Just a little click would be enough.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda, October 6, 1959
The Sun-Eyed Children
24. I saw them cross the twilight of an age,
The sun-eyed children of a marvellous dawn…
The massive barrier-breakers of the world…
The architects of immortality.
Into the fallen human sphere they came,
Faces that wore the Immortal’s glory still,
Voices that communed still with the thoughts of God,
Bodies made beautiful by the Spirit’s light,
Carrying the magic word, the mystic fire,
Carrying the Dionysian cup of joy…
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Collected Works 33/34- p343
25. What Sri Aurobindo represents in world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda, February 18, 1961
Mother and I are one but in two bodies.
Born in Calcutta in 1872, SRI AUROBINDO had a thorough Western education in England. At the age of 20 he came back to India and soon became the first Indian leader to publicly call for India’s independence from the British Empire. In 1908 he was jailed on sedition charges and narrowly escaped the gallows. During his one year long imprisonment, Sri Aurobindo had major spiritual realizations. Later, following a divine order, he left Bengal and came to Pondicherry. He withdrew from active politics and for 40 years he devoted his energies to developing what came to be known as the “integral yoga”; a yoga that aims at embodying the next principle of consciousness beyond mental man: the supramental. Sri Aurobindo left his body in 1950.
* * *
Without him, I exist not, without me he is unmanifest.
THE MOTHER, Sri Aurobindo’s companion, was born in Paris in 1878 in a very materialistic family. As a child, she had spontaneous experiences of the past and the future. In 1914, she visited Pondicherry for the first time, met Sri Aurobindo who had sought refuge there, and recognized in him the figure in her childhood visions. She returned permanently to India in 1920 and soon took charge of the ashram that was growing up around Sri Aurobindo. Eight years after his passing in 1950, she withdrew to her room to concentrate on the work he had given her: transforming the cells of the body by opening them to the Divine Force. In 1968 she founded Auroville and gave it its Charter. She left her body in 1973.