Supramental Speech

Sages and mystics have long understood and commented on the power of the “word”.  The New Testament of the Christian Bible begins with the ultimate statement of this creative power:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  Yogis describe the power of the Mantra, the word that is evocative, transformative and has the power to affect mind, life and matter through its action.  One of the aspects of the supramental transformation is the advent of what Sri Aurobindo calls the “supramental word” which utilizes the forms of language in the thought and in the expression, but embodies through that form, the higher truth of the supramental realisation.

For most people, speech originates at the mental level and it is derivative and representational rather than a creative power.  For the spiritual seeker, however, speech is the sound-body that carries the power of creation of forms, and thus, the mantra, for example is the sound that vibrates in the ether and manifests all the forms of the universe.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “There is also a speech, a supramental word, in which the higher knowledge, vision or thought can clothe itself within us for expression…. The supramental word manifests inwardly with a light, a power, a rhythm of thought and a rhythm of inner sound that make it the natural and living body of the supramental thought and vision and it pours into the language, even though the same as that of mental speech, another than the limited intellectual, emotional or sensational significance.  It is formed and heard in the intuitive mind or supermind and need not at first except in certain highly gifted souls come out easily into speech and writing, but that too can be freely done when the physical consciousness and its organs have been made ready, and this is a part of the needed fullness and power of the integral perfection.”

The supramental word may take various forms depending on the stage of its integration into the consciousness:  “At first this may come down as a word, a message or an inspiration that descends to us from above or it may even seem a voice of the Self or of the Ishwara….  Afterwards it loses that separate character and becomes the normal form of the thought when it expresses itself in the form of an inward speech.  The thought may express itself without the aid of any suggestive or developing word and only… in a luminous substance of supramental perception.  it may aid itself when it is not so explicit by a suggestive inward speech that attends it to bring out its whole significance.  Or the thought may come not as silent perception but as speech self-born out of the truth and complete in its own right and carrying in itself its own vision and knowledge.  Then it is the word revelatory, inspired or intuitive or of a yet greater kind capable of bearing the infinite intention or suggestion of the higher supermind and spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 22, The Supramental Thought and Knowledge, pp. 806-807