The Third Poise of the Supermind Provides Reality to the Individual Manifestations

The third poise of the Supermind would reverse the focus such that the Unity is put behind and the play of force through the individual form or manifestation becomes the primary focus. While the unity is never entirely lost, it is clearly in the background and the separation or dualism is the key component that allows the play of the multiplicity to begin and continue.

While the individual forms of the Divine would still be aware of the Oneness, they would be focused and absorbed in the play of the Multiplicity.

The three standpoints or poises of Supermind are not truly separate and independent from one another, but are aspects that allow the all-comprehending power of the Supermind to both be founded in the Unity while supporting and creating the manifested worlds and beings for the play of forces, forms and consciousness. There is a reality to the Multiplicity just as there is a reality to the Unity. One cannot be determined “real” and the other “unreal”. While human mentality easily gets fixated on one term or another of these three poises, and thereby erects a philosophy or religious standpoint based on whichever term it favors at a particular time, in fact, there can be no ultimate separation, division or opposition between these three poises.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 16, The Triple Status of Supermind


Supermind’s Second Poise Develops Multiplicity within Unity

The second poise of the Supermind both contains from the standpoint of the Unity, and apprehends the movement into the creation of forms, whereby the multiplicity is developed and manifested. It maintains its awareness of Oneness, even when distributing itself into the forms of the Multiplicity, and each element of the manifestation would maintain its inherent complete knowledge of the Oneness. This is the stage of manifestation of the individual soul-form, the “jivatman”. The various forms would enjoy their differences in terms of action, even while appreciating their ultimate Unity.

It is in this poise of the Supermind that we see the creative expression that allows the Sat-Chit-Ananda to manifest forms without being separated from those forms. The forms themselves still maintain their awareness of the source and at the same time find the enjoyment of exploring the differences in characteristic action and viewpoint developed through this manifestation process.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 16, The Triple Status of Supermind

Supermind’s First Poise Is Based In Transcendent Unity

The first of the 3 poises is based on the unity stemming from the connection to Sat-Chit-Ananda. This poise is outside of time and independent of space. Everything is in the form of a potentiality but not actually extended and manifested. We experience a touch of this in our consciousness at times and in those instances, we lose any sense of separate individuality. All names and forms are simply the Real-Idea of the transcendent consciousness. Consciousness and Force are unified and Spirit and Matter are themselves unified with matter simply showing the face of Spirit.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 16, The Triple Status of Supermind

The Triple Status of Supermind

It is quite clear that the power of creation that, on the one side, maintains its link and awareness to the ultimate Unity of Sat-Chit-Ananda; and on the other side, is able to divide, organize and frame the individual separate forms and formations of Mind, Life and Matter, is not a power of the mind. The mind, which operates within limits and feels itself separate from both the forms it observes and acts upon, and from the transcendent Oneness, is not a power of Knowledge and Creative Power.

“Therefore there must be a principle superior to the Mind which satisfies the conditions in which Mind fails.”

“this Knowledge and this Will must be one, infinite, all-embracing, all-possessing, all-forming, holding eternally in itself that which it casts into movement and form.” The Supermind manifests what its vision shows to be the real intention of the creation. Its action is precisely linked to its knowledge.

We define God necessarily as being “omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent.” These terms correspond to Sat–Existence, and Chit–Consciousness/Force. This implies that all forms are forms of the conscious Being of God. This Divine Consciousness can and does manifest many different things at the same time, things which to our human view are in conflict or contention with one another, but from a different view are simply essential pieces to a larger harmony and working beyond our mental framework’s capability of understanding.

This leads us to the three poises or statuses of the Supermind that all must be co-existent. First, a foundation in the unity of all things; second, a modification that allows the multiplicity to manifest within the Oneness and the Oneness to be inherent in the multiplicity; and third, an action that supports “the evolution of a diversified individuality which, by the action of Ignorance, (which may be called an exclusive concentration), becomes in us at a lower level the illusion of the separate ego.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 16, The Triple Status of Supermind

Supermind Manifests Defined Creation through Space and Time

If we assert that the Divine Transcendent Reality is other than and different from the world of Mind, Life and Matter, and that we can only attain to the one by the abandonment of the other, then we create a duality that forces us to choose, but which does not solve the riddle of existence and provide a satisfactory solution to the ultimate Unity.

In fact, in order for us to exist, there must be a reality to Mind, Life and Matter and that reality must originally proceed from the transcendent reality of Sat-Chit-Ananda. What is missing then is the link that translates the qualities and powers of consciousness of Sat-Chit-Ananda to the Mind-Life and Body. That missing link of consciousness must be able to bridge the gap and Sri Aurobindo has named it Supermind, or Truth Consciousness.

“We call it the Supermind or the Truth-Consciousness, because it is a principle superior to mentality and exists, acts and proceeds in the fundamental truth and unity of things and not like the mind in their appearances and phenomenal divisions.”

It is the role of the Supermind to turn the absolute of Sat-Chit-Ananda into an extension in Space and Time, to create patterns of causality that define specific forms and steps out of the realm of infinite possibilities. We call this the working of Divine Law, the working out of the essence of each “thing in itself” and it is the power of the Truth-Consciousness to develop these specific manifestations while holding the ultimate unity firmly in consciousness.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 16, The Triple Status of Supermind

Supermind Acts to Manifest the Mind

“Brahman is in all things, all things are in Brahman, all things are Brahman.” This formulation, in a nutshell, is the essence of the comprehensive consciousness known as Supermind. The universal Existence, Consciousness and Bliss is present in both the latent, unmanifest womb of existence, and in the extended, manifested cosmos expressed through Time and Space.

The question then arises, where does our limited mental view of things come from and what supports it? There is a power in the creative action of Supermind to project and create the apparently separate forms that occur in Matter, Life and Mind. This power of division or segmentation is one in which the Consciousness can stand back and observe the creations as if separate and different, while these forms are encapsulated and are unaware of their unity with the wider all-embracing consciousness.

While there is no ultimate distinction between the Creator and the Creation, or between the Knower and the Known, there is a relative distinction created by this action of the creative supramental power, what we have previously described as the creative power, the “maya” of the Supramental Knowledge-Force. The purpose of this self-division is to create a play of difference, even while based on underlying unity, which allows the joy and self-finding experience from the interchange, interaction and shock of forces and manifestations to occur.

This standpoint of relative separation based on an underlying unity, is the preparatory step of the Truth Consciousness readying the unique action and principle of the mental level of creation. “The one real change has been an unequal concentration of consciousness and a multiple distribution of force.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 15, The Supreme Truth Consciousness

Supermind Functions Through Knowledge By Identity

The mind looks at the processes of birth, growth in life, and death as a fixed “law of nature” and through its separative viewpoint, it is able to organize, categorize and analyze these laws. However, none of this actually provides any real solution as to why it should so occur, what intelligence formed it in that way, and what the significance of that particular manifestation happens to be. The mind is stuck simply reciting a series of facts or events, without ever seeing the bigger picture of which the particular process is just a small part.

The supramental consciousness does not look at these processes of nature in isolation. These laws of nature and the forms that are manifested are created “by the force of the cosmic existence”. No form, no being exists “on its own” without being part of the larger universal manifestation and it is defined within that larger framework as to its significance, meaning, role and exact working out of its form and its action. “The tree does not explain the seed, nor the seed the tree; cosmos explains both and God explains cosmos.” The Supramental Consciousness is self-aware of each form and within each form. It is a knowledge by identity, not by separation. Thus, the Knower, the Object of Knowledge and the Process of Knowing, are all in fact, one and identical.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 15, The Supreme Truth Consciousness

Mental Knowing and Supramental Knowledge

The mental awareness separates the knower, the object of knowledge, and the knowledge or act of knowing into 3 separate things. The very nature of the way we see and relate to the world in our ordinary state of awareness brings about this separation as an inevitable result. We process information this way.

The fact is that this way of knowing and experiencing things is artificial and brought about by the limiting consciousness of the mental instrument. In reality, the knower, the known and the process of knowing are all one unity, which the mind can logically understand, but which nevertheless remains beyond the reach of our normal mentality to actually experience and realize. This is very similar to the trouble we have holding in consciousness of our experience the fact that the earth revolves around the sun rather than vice versa. We may “know” the truth, but our daily experience is the opposite of that truth.

On the other hand, “Supermind sees the universe and its contents as itself in a single indivisible act of knowledge, an act which is its life, which is the very movement of its self-existence.” “This indivisibility of the comprehensive Supermind which contains all multiplicity without derogating from its own unity, is a truth upon which we have always to insist, if we are to understand the cosmos and get rid of the initial error of our analytic mentality.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 15, The Supreme Truth Consciousness

For more information on Sri Aurobindo visit our website at

The Truth Consciousness Manifests in All Forms

The mind, starting from its limited perspective of both Time and Space, sees the unfolding of the manifestation as a field of conflict and opposition, clashes of different forces, each fighting to come into the forefront against numerous other offsetting powers or opportunities.

But if we look at this same manifestation from the viewpoint of the Supramental Consciousness, what the Vedic Seers called the “Truth-Consciousness” we see an inherent harmony of manifestation that systematically brings forth all its various forms, aspects and inflections, using the modalities of Time and Space, but not losing the inner Truth of Oneness of what is manifesting. The clashes or oppositions from this viewpoint are simply aspects of a greater harmony, and there is no real conflict. The Truth-Consciousness is able to see the “big picture” and the role played by each element, while the mind cannot even remotely grasp all these elements and certainly cannot weave them into the larger pattern of the universal conscious Being which is manifesting itself through all these forms and events.

At the same time, this Supramental Consciousness dwells within the forms that are manifesting, and is able to express them within the limits it has set to achieve the greater pattern that needs to evolve. The Bhagavad Gita describes this conscious action of the one Conscient Being as “seated within everything as the Lord in the heart of all existences,–he who turns them as on an engine by the power of his Maya.”

“Each thing in Nature, therefore, whether animate or inanimate, mentally self-conscious or not self-conscious, is governed in its being and its operations by an indwelling Vision and Power, to us subconscient or inconscient because we are not conscious of it, but not inconscient to itself, rather profoundly and universally conscient.”

It is for this reason that we see the works of intelligence throughout Nature. We sometimes call these works of intelligence “animal instinct” or “natural law” but one way or the other, there can be no denying that some indwelling Intelligence is at work, moving, shaping and manifesting each form according to a predetermined Vision and Knowledge.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 15, The Supreme Truth Consciousness

For more information on Sri Aurobindo visit our website at

Supermind in Time and Space

The ancient sages described a consciousness that has all the characteristics of the supramental consciousness as we have noted in a previous post. The Mandukya Upanishad describes it thus “One seated in the sleep of Superconscience, a massed Intellligence blissful and the enjoyer of Bliss…This is the omnipotent, this is the omniscient, this is the inner control, this is the source of all.”

Supramental Consciousness is the Creator consciousness that translates pure Existence-Consciousness-Bliss into the names, forms and circumstances of the manifested universe. “This is the truth of that which we call God.” Through this power of Knowledge-Force the Self-Knowledge of the one Existent and the pure Existence is converted into the multiplicity and divisions of forms into extensions of both Time and Space. This manifestation takes place through the working of the “self-law” of the one Being such that it has orderly process and apparent causality.

This progressive development of the world from this creative Truth Consciousness is seen by us as an extension both through time and through space. “Time and Space are that one Conscious-Being viewing itself in extension, subjectively as Time, objectively as Space.” Mind sees Time as the extension of a measured sequence of past, present and future, with mind taking a standpoint where it can see these sequential steps and recognize “before” “during” and “after” as conceptual realities. Mind views Space in the framework of the division of substance into distinct parts which relate to one another in terms of a sequence of “distance”.

“In actual fact Mind measures Time by event and space by Matter”. However, in a deeper sense, both of these represent the working out of the Self-Knowledge and Self-Law of the Supramental creative consciousness to manifest its being. We can consider them to be the “warp and woof” of creation. Without the aspect of Time we would have an eternal, unchanging present. Without the aspect of Space one would have an undefined and indivisible extension of Infinity. In both cases, the ordered manifestation obviously cannot take place. There would be a perpetual unchanging harmony. This would however not permit the process of change, evolution, self-finding, play of consciousness which we have previously seen to be the purpose of the manifestation.

The Supermind is able to “embrace and unify” the successions of Time and the divisions of Space. The unchanging, infinite Real-Existence holds and supports the manifestation that we see as sequentially rolling out through Time and Space.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 15, The Supreme Truth Consciousness

For more information on Sri Aurobindo visit our website at