The Nature and Role of the Supramental Thought

The mental consciousness develops thought as a form of representational knowledge.  It formulates concepts into word-forms to act as a marker and organizer for what the consciousness experiences from the impressions of the senses and as a result of the application of the higher intellectual reason on the data presented.  The mental thought acts as a limitation to the higher knowledge as it is based on fragmentation and separation and does not integrate the entire unity of existence into its framework of knowledge.  it thus becomes necessary to silence the thought-mind in order to move the standpoint to a higher level.  This does not mean, however, that there is no role or process of thought that has any validity at the higher ranges of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo describes the nature and role of thought at the supramental level:  “The supramental thought is a form of the knowledge by identity and a development, in the idea, of the truth presented to the supramental vision.  The identity and the vision give the truth in its essence, its body and its parts in a single view: the thought translates this direct consciousness and immediate power of the truth into idea-knowledge and will.  It adds or need add otherwise nothing new, but reproduces, articulates, moves round the body of the knowledge.  Where, however, the identity and the vision are still incomplete, the supramental thought has a larger office and reveals, interprets or recalls as it were to the soul’s memory what they are not yet ready to give.  And where these greater states and powers are still veiled, the thought comes in front and prepares and to a certain extent effects a partial rending or helps actively in the removal of the veil. Therefore in the development out of the mental ignorance into the supramental knowledge this illumined thought comes to us often, though not always first, to open the way to the vision or else to give first supports to the growing consciousness of identity and its greater knowledge.  This thought is also an effective means of communication and expression and helps to an impression or fixation of the truth whether on one’s own lower mind and being or on that of others.  The supramental thought differs from the intellectual not only because it is the direct truth idea and not a representation of truth to the ignorance,–it is the truth consciousness of the spirit always presenting to itself its own right forms, the satyam and rtam of the Veda,– but because of its strong reality, body of light and substance.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 22, The Supramental Thought and Knowledge, pp. 804-805