Skip to main content |

Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -4



We are assembled today to celebrate the 87th Jayanthi of the Seer of the New Age or the Prophet of the superman, Sri Aurobindo. This also happens to be the birthday celebration of New India, the Free India for which Sri Aurobindo fought and lived and achieved through the tapasya or Yoga. This coincidence of the two birthdays is a divine one and so was it considered by Sri Aurobindo himself as the sanction of God to his first dream necessary for the realisation of his second dream, the dream of supramental humanity. His passing away nine years ago has only accentuated the realisation of that dream. His spirit is moving and shaping  the lives of innumerable individuals and it is not a little due to the loving service of the Mother who has been carrying on the Sri Aurobindonian burden and tradition illustriously.


During the past ninety years many mighty events have happened in India and the world. A very great age of science and economic and political history emerged and has reached peaks of achievement which no amount of criticism of materialism that has animated it can close its eyes to. The success of materialism is solid and even philosophy has become a hand maid of such shifts of the needs of the age. Side by side however mystic minds who saw the threat to spirituality in the areas of commerce and politics dominated by materialistic science and hedonistic goals, saw in this development an opportunity to transform these trends into vehicles of a higher consciousness that could wield power over the course of cosmic history. Their vision sub specie aternitatis  saw the possibility of historic materialism and scientism towards divine evolutionism which had been passing through the ages of natural, emergent  and creative evolutionisms. Such then is the slow interweaving of the threads of materialism and mysticism, which we have been witnessing in the movements known to us as Theosophy, Christian Science, and Sri Aurobindo’s divine evolutionism.


The old order has been severely and rudely shaken. The new order has been slowly defining its goals hesitantly and experimentally. Morals and ethical values are in the crucible. A new ethical theory is the need; and pragmatism does not provide except social and relativistic ideals. Small traditions built round ‘closed’ ethos or cultures are finding their dissolution. 

This is an age  that has also seen the collapse of empires and old regalia. This is an age that sought  to erect new  foundations for  democracy that was by ancient thinkers dismissed as self-contradictory to human Nature and utopian. The impossible ideal was sought for under the wings of science and evolution. A great thing indeed in an age when men of vision called for the birth of Hero (Carlyle), the Obermann, Superman, and Messiah and Avatar, and who


*    Address delivered at the 15th August  1959 celebration under the auspices of  Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir,  Calcutta.

 worshipped such men as Napolean, Hitler, Mussolini and other dictators who seemed to satisfy the craving for being worshipped and worshiping. As one  critic1 in the heyday of Dictatorships in the period between 1930-1940 wrote, it is not so much the dictators tending to become scupperers and it not so much an act of unfaith in the extraordinary man  but the faith in the ‘ordinary man’ that makes democracy a tremendous force.



That our extraordinary men of this age have fully justified disbelief in them is a fact of capital importance.  Mankind is sick of them. When the great thesis of superman was put forward as a biological desideratum or a spiritual fulfillment of man the world climate was all in its favour but the abortive manifestations of the same in the personalities of the political adventures who behaved already as ‘beyond all good and evil’ and ‘above morals meant for men’ had led to firm disillusionment. Supermen came under a cloud and there are so signs that it is passing. In the meanwhile the people or democracy of the people seeks to be stepping into the scupperers’ shoes. Indeed we have been discovering a new phenomenon—that the word ‘people’ has hardly a Reality, for behind all the camouflage there are intriguing men who seize power and hold it ‘for the people’. Dictatorship continues in a new grab. It is the inevitable phenomenon of power that it should be tied up in the hands of one or a few and never the all. The eclipse of the superman today only shows that the types of supermen we got so far or who were thrown up have not been truly such. Sri Aurobindo when he criticised Nietszche’s Superman perhaps hardly visualised that he would have experimental verification of his criticisms. There is all the difference between god-consciouness  and asura-consciousness. Mankind has chosen not to have the latter. Does it need the other? If not , can it ever realise the truly significant choice of democracy as the self-rule of the ordinary man? Man has been built  from below. He carries within him what our evolutionists have discerned as strains of his materialistic, plantistic, animalistic past. Some have withered as not so very useful but some others have been persisting even vestigially. May be there is an inner secret in such persistency of tendencies and organs. He has been discerning farther shores of being, as and when he had arrived at a particular stage. He has been given the credit for being able to adapt himself. This capacity to adapt himself to his new surroundings through apparently biological and placed in the life-impulse is not all. There is a stage when man discerns that not all kinds of adaptation give meaning and value to life. Life itself discovers other values to be its need than mere persisting in a vegetative stupor or animal turpitude. It is this apprehension of higher than life which life discerns however unconsciously that leads to the widening of its horizons. Mind itself  presages the same and  seeks the supermind on vijnana and the ananda as its  fulfillment. It is of course not to be expected that it has the full apprehension of what they are but it has the glimpse that enchants and encourages it to move


1 Y.Y. in New  Statesman  and Nation  (July  1934.)

forward  or upward to it. This  becomes its goal or ideal. All ideals are indeed in the last resort forms or functions that go to satisfy, assuage, complete or fill up the individual and such are true ideals that can really satisfy and others are false or chimerical when they cannot justify their claims. Indeed man has at his stage discovered that certain values are just chimerical. Indeed at one stage in India and elsewhere the world with all its glamour for wealth, sex and desires and power, and lordship, indeed all the basic perfection’s of Godhead such as aisvarya, virya, tejas, sakti, bala and jnana have turned out to be chimerical. They are virtues for the divine not the human-alas. The theory of illusion of the world is a reactive metaphysics of disillusionment of the threefold aims of man—dharma, artha, and kama. One virtue however was left with no content at all— namely, freedom itself from the snare of the world and its allurements.


However a modern reappraisal of the situation demanded a new and radical approach to the problems of human existence since all ancient modern solutions have tended to fail after initial success. To this situation Sir Aurobindo brought a radical integral vision.


Sri Aurobindo nearly forty two years ago in his Renaissance in India spoke about the eternal and permanent features of Indian Culture and stated that though they are spirituality, prolific abundance of life and energy and strong intellectuality, yet it is the first that is the directing principle in all her adventures in the fields of science and arts, logic and intellectuality. Truly her spirituality is basically related to the search for the infinite freedom coupled with the harmony of the whole. They never could fall apart from one another. In a sense here is an organic unity and organic infinity which is the supreme characteristic of Indian spirituality. Whatever trends of secularism were there—they have always been and still continue to be, even in India of today and once again,—they are just partial views of Reality or goals, chosen for pragmatic attainments. They always lapsed into inanities and puerilities. However the fundamental integrality of the Indian spiritual consciousness even during the periods of mayavada and other worldliness, revealed itself through the abundant multifarious urge for the infinite in the ‘finite’; the process of infinitising the finite has been one of the chief or dominant notes of great and eternal Art and nowhere has this been expressed than in Indian Art. Nor is it uniform multiplicity of manifestations. The very diversity of the manifestations of the Infinite in the finite many reveals that no real frontiers could be raised between the finite and the Infinite.



Already in those days Sri Aurobindo anticipated that the fascination of the Indian mind for western modes of thought and action and dress would pass away and throw up the resources of the Spiritual India to the front. It appeared for a while that anticipation would be justified. Forces indeed there were at the time that promised the reversal of the trend of europeanising of India or occidentalising of the Orient. However now it appears it was an optimism that is unproved by events after the world war II and the clock has been put back because of the so-called need to meet a global perspective.


A more basic return to Spiritual India that is the mother of the Universal culture is the need. Sri Aurobindo’s call for the restoration of satya and rta is indeed the call to dharma of the individual and the Divine in Yoga.


Today the problem of Indian crisis is being diagnosed more accurately, as not only comprising svadesi, svarajya but also svadharma and svatantrya.  These are basic concepts that have been most powerful in maintaining the unique tradition of India that realised wonderfully the harmony between cosmic dharma and individual dharma and value and worth that can only be realised in the context of his freedom. Sri Aurobindo saw most clearly that true spirituality depends on the significant metaphysical truth  realised and practiced by the ancient seers— the eternal manyness of the eternal One Being. The individual souls in a sense are the eternal many related to or inherent in or basically inseparable from or organic to the One Reality known to Indian Upanishadic thought as Brahman. That the basic Reality cannot be reduced to the mere abstract or absolute One nor could it be retained as a fulgurated many but as only as many in one and one in many.  This is the truth to which Sri Aurobindo had drawn our attention as inherent in the letter and spirit of the Vedanta.


Thus reconciliation of the many-one that Sri Aurobindo envisaged is unique and rescues his philosophy and ipso facto his sociology and political philosophy from becoming identified with the absolutism of either the idealistic or materialistic variety. His is an integral pluralism1, as it may appropriately be called, as indeed it has been as well as integral monism.


The integral pluralism of Sri Aurobindo insists on the supreme value of each individual in the many and seeks his evolution to the status or poise of the Supreme Divine of whose many it is one. Indeed India has been striving in her spiritual aspiration for the emergence of the individual divine. This is the real content of freedom or moksa ; for in it  is concealed the delight of existence that is the nature of the Divine Saccidananda.


There is resolved the apparent contradiction of the four poises of our development as a nation and as individuals, by the basic acceptance of their Reality and value, satya and dharma.


A new age has dawned with the crisis attending upon the individual.  The only true value the individual has is his svatantrya or independence according to his inward and spiritual dharma. A crisis like the present was not unanticipated by the great pioneers of spirituality. Quietly they had prepared the people for the


1 Integral  Pluralism means the real eternal many in the One.  It has been stated  similarly

   about Visistadvaita that it is visistadvaita.



return to spirituality by their life and teaching. Man has to change himself radically; his preoccupation with matter and hedonism should not degenerate into sense-found pursuits; a return to the ideal of the spiritual man who does not refuse to recognize and transform lower values of the mental, vital and the physical material or, in the context of the society, the intellectual, emotional and material values ( such as dharma, artha and kama) has been  discerned as the radical call of the inward spirit  of man. The inner man revolts against matter for matter as it is in the contradiction of his being. Yet the integral man is a necessity and he must either be born or made. The secret of transformation of the mental, vital and physical man (or the intellectual, emotional and mechanical man to use the language of the teachers of the Fourth Way) lies in the descent of a higher kind of force. This is the force that makes the human being rise to a level of awareness of the higher worlds of freedom open to man.  Mere appeals to our ancient traditions is of no use. A new force has to be brought into play in the world and a force far higher than what mankind has yet known. Our recent mantras of ‘Return to the Upanishads’, ‘Return to the Gita’ or  ‘the Veda’ or ‘Shakti’ or the more omnibus term ‘Return to Religion’ have left us almost with a sense of impotence though doubtless they have awakened man somewhat to his mighty past and may be a mightier future. However a new force is needed and it has to have the power to free man from his modern chains, the chains of pseudo-science and sense-bound methods of science and their ends.


However the spirit moves slowly conquering its territory by insinuating itself. The truth of the collective is now being annulled or corrected by the more basic truth of the individual. There is the call of the infinite and the eternal to the individual for something that should awaken and fulfil it. It is to this spiritual voice that Sri Aurobindo  had listened and obeyed  and he has given us the mantra of the New Man—the superman—one  who rejoices in the freedom of all individuals rather than strives to annihilate and absorb them all into Himself. The spiritual evolution of man to the status of the godhead who is a perfect being in and through the cosmic and transcendent consciousness and acts by the logic of the Infinite is the inevitable step. He is, if we adopt the ancient notions now revived, one who is characterised by svarajya, svatantrya  and svadharmya


Sri Aurobindo undoubtedly saw that great endeavours require true men of the highest spirituality, the yogins. He saw beyond India too and saw the grand possibilities of India becoming the saviour of the world. India is to be the cradle of a new race of supermen, who manifest in themselves the oneness–manyness in a harmony of action or dynamic existence. They would lead humanity in fellowship all over the Earth. The dream of all religions –the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven can only be truly realized when God-consciousness descends to transform all into its own nature, beyond the pleasure-principles and ego-principles that are dominating mankind.


Religions generally have failed, though individual men among them have not. It is the sadhana in and through individuals and their steady aspiration towards God consciousness or gnostic being that can rescue religions from being pompous institutions rather than real schools of spiritual training. The transformation of man cannot obviously be undertaken by the institutions of religions as they stand. It is therefore by a different technique that the divine consciousness is likely to descend to illuminate every heart and make it love the divine and detach itself from the lower values. Sri Aurobindo saw that nothing but the transformation of the earth consciousness can justify man’s faith in the omnipotence of the Divine force. It is not the will to power nor the will to imagine nor even the apparent sacrifices that man makes that lead to the transformation of the earth consciousness either individually or collectively. It is one of the profound intuitions of Sri Aurobindo that saw clearly the ancient truth that the divine force alone can change or modify human consciousness  and much more and that too in a shorter span of time. The unique and differentiating doctrine of Sri Aurobindo however is that though avatars have been many and they have brought down great realisation yet the evolutionary possibility of man is not exhausted; it as to be completed by the incorporation at first of a new kind of transmuted mind or the Supermind in the texture of the physico-psychic frame of man by means of Yoga. Such an incorporated mind divine shall have to become native to or ‘emerge’ in the future humanity. This phenomenon cannot be such as might make men think that it is not inheritable or transferable. On the other hand it can be inherited or transferred because of the changes that the Force is capable of moving in the very constitution of man which is governed by the three strands sattva,rajas and tamas   undergo change  and there such that not one of them remains as such. A fourth force transforms their ignorance into knowledge, their darkness into light, their changeableness into immutability.



Spiritual evolution and the birth of the superman is the only solution to our terrestrial maladies. It is in order to demonstrate its great possibilities and power that Sri Aurobindo dedicated himself to the bringing down of that divine supermind to integrate itself in the homo sapiens, not as a graft indeed but as an occult principle inherent in the yearning of man towards fulfillment and completion and freedom. The real truth of the individual yearning lies in this higher fulfillment. This fulfillment is its inevitable end or goal to which it has been moving through ignorance enjoying pain and pleasure, sorrow and frustration, disease and disaster. This goal however is not a prefigured plan already ready for being accomplished or already accomplished but a growth and evolution which proceeds diversely and not uniformly. The infinity of the Divine or rather the infinite manyness of the one Divine reveals the most varied and unpredictable possibilities for the very nature of the Supramental Reality or the Divine is that freedom which exhibits that the unique multiplicity of His oneness is also the harmony of the transcendent lila. The transformation of man thus is inevitable: the very vastness of the undertaking in the world, rolled into one with such speed and precipitousness, has posed  quite a challenge to the human mind. That the human mind has not hesitated to accept the challenge with its old and tested and tried instruments of its past and present manufacture in all fields of human life is a fact witnessed to by the innumerable international organizations. However there is an element of dialectical frenzy, altogether irrational, seizing the minds, and one is not certain at all whether there can be a solution to these problems except that man has indeed himself to undergo transformation.


It is undoubtedly pessimistic to say that man has to commit harakiri for the sake of his transformation and this  some serious thinkers do not wish to accept as a solution. But the human heart and man’s emotive and idealistic being, notwithstanding all their optimism, are facing an enormous crisis in mutual relations and dealings, both collective and individual. State policies cannot annul or assuage the sorrows of the human breast. Educational regimentation, by whatever name called, can hardly touch the core of the problem. There is something radically wrong in such optimism. What is wanted is a total change in the human logic or mind, in the human goals and means.


Nowhere has this been  more demonstrated than in the recent past.  Civilization is on trial. A mind that can grasp the problems in their complexity and unite the knots that have been tied is the need. Further the human tinkerings with Nature are bringing for the problems of greatest concern to mankind as a whole. A mind that works with division and separation, by analysis and opposition, can hardly cope with it. Thus we come back to the solution divined by Sri Aurobindo—the need for the emergence of the divine mind in man.


Clear and definite indeed was this conclusion, and Sri Aurobindo’s amazing intuition is incomparable in the sense of having anticipated that no other solution was possible, historically and ideologically; he saw that the sooner mankind seized this opportunity the better it was. A mere universal religion of humanity on either the socialistic or materialistic or any other form cannot lead man out of the critical danger.1 He himself believed that this solution is an undiscovered fact for all the ancient seers seem to have attained the truth- consciousness or bypassed it to the ultimate Saccidananda, but that did not permit itself to possess and inhabit man as he is. The Supermind did not come down to reside and modify the human species itself. The earlier rsi-consciousness did not see this possibility. We shall not here discuss the exact nature of their consciousness but this much can be said that their consciousness did not admit of the transformation of the lower levels of matter, life and mind but a dissolution of them. It was  transcendent to the terrestrial or the so-called phenomenal levels. Since it was seen that these dissolve at the touch of that consciousness they have been considered to be not only contradictory to the


1  In the words of Sri Aurobindo  "While it is possible to construct a precarious and quite a mechanical unity by political and administrative means, the unity of the human race, even if achieved , can only be secured and can only be made real if the religion of humanity which is the highest active ideal of mankind, spiritualises itself and becomes the general inner law of human life".   





Ultimate Spirit but, in a quaint sense, phenomenal and illusory. The Jivanmukta of the past conception is firstly not fully free for he patiently bears with his last links of karma whilst being internally free or has the assurance of being free. He has burnt to ashes his terrestrial connections. Not so the Jivanmukta of Sri Aurobindonian conception. He is not detached from the earth consciousness but he is not attached to it either as it is. He seeks its transformation in all its levels material, vital and mental. The very qualities of prakriti such as sattva, rajas, and tamas which act as reactive forces of Nature in the ignorance begin to function as powers of truth, consciousness and delight in the knowledge. He is cosmically directed even whilst being the individual many  of the One supreme. It is one who is born of the Divine—brahmaja—and knows himself to be such  (jna), and who in all his affairs and dealings is firmly devoted to that one supreme secret of integral unity in God with all else in creation and beyond – he knows himself to be the One Divine in the manyness of His Integral Being. Such is not merely the vision of man but his realisation.


The practical school for achieving yogic transformation was founded by Sri Aurobindo. The execution of this undertaking has been characterized by diligence and psychic power. His guidance of his disciples is characterised by faultless technique. His own verifications of ancient yogic practices of all levels coupled with his superb educational techniques suited to the genius of India and Spirituality is a landmark. The importance of ‘fronting the psychic being’ in education cannot be exaggerated – it is precisely this lack that has led to our modern educational institutions being merely what they are.


One more important aspect of psychic training or yogic trainings which has been not adequately realised even in interested quarters is the principle of spiritual transmission of the Highest energy or the transforming Spiritual force.  No one who has not reached that level can possibly be the conduit of that force. If a lesser personality or one who has reached a level that is not the very highest tries to bring down that energy it will not come and even if it does it will not flow in a continuous way or flow in a tortuous way.


In Yoga of the conscious path it becomes imperative that the individual himself has to open himself to the descending grace of God which can be the transmissional force. But the grace must be called to the transmutive or transformative function. An integral transformation of man into supermanhood is the minimum prayer that is needed on the part of the individual. Once this is available and the Master chooses his disciple for the transformation, he opens up lines of inner ascent progressively opening up the planes of being from which he had descended so that there can be integration, conscious or superconscious, so as to arrive at that gnostic being who is one with all in the Divine and for the Divine  or the Ultimate.


It is firstly therefore necessary that this divine transmissional force should work through the Master, secondly, that it should operate steadily and without weakening or lag in the individual removing all that obstructs the ascent. True, the Supreme can never be obstructed finally or definitively once He happens to take up the work of transformation. But it is this activity of that Divine transmitive force that grants the individual his faith in the Master in his own destiny. Man’s constant and continuous surrender and prayer to the Divine Master goes a wonderfully long way to achieve this descending power and draw it into himself till it fills him fully – this is the exeperience of ananda that is ananta.



Sri Aurobindo undoubtedly has created the very conditions for that great descent and transmission of the Spiritual Force divine. That it  is already at work in the consciousness of men all the world over is becoming increasingly clear. Men are finding the need for a larger,—diviner—vision that embraces and ennobles all reality.


Sri Aurobindo has provided a definite philosophy for this evolution of man which would prove to be more satisfying than mere philosophies of the intellect. Rightly, he has shown that an intellectual philosophy does not work. It is only a philosophy that embraces the whole man that can satisfy all and provide for his work in the world with intelligence and skill. The very applications of the psychic activity in a collective life will show how the higher kinds of force act. The activity loses its sting of attachment and suffering.


Slow though the process of divine evolution is it is yet under way. It is also quite true to affirm that great spiritual personalities are at work on other levels and although Sri Aurobindo has passed away, the Work is going on because his living Presence has not failed and the work is the Ultimate Master’s. The Power at work will produce powers and personalities commissioned to bring down the supramental and superconscious force without interruption for transforming man everywhere.


Can I predict that the centenary of the birth of Sri Aurobindo may well see the realisation of that Vision and Reality of a transformed society of divinised men? The Unity of the Human race cannot be achieved otherwise than when men find themselves in the Divine as inseparable many of that One. So may the Mantra of Sri Aurobindo taken from the Veda – om namo devaya janmano – ring in the Age of Supermen – divine men – who rejoice in universal truth, knowledge- power and delight for all..