SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION OF MAN

Spiritual Evolution of Man
(In the light of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy)

(Interactive session on 14.11.2014)
Keynote address by Mr. Ashok Kumar Sengupta
(Other participant speakers: Mr. Asim K. Banerjee, Mr. Paritosh Bandopadhyay, Mr. R. K. Gupta, Mr. Sujit Chatterjee, Mr. S.R. Das & Ms. Sharmila Bhawal)
[Devotional song by Ms. Mitali Ghosh]
Anchor, Introduction & Conclusive Remarks: Asish K.Raha

INTRODUCTION:

It is believed that man is the only rational animal having the ability to think, analyse, debate and meditate. Man also has the ability to transcend the limits of individuality and enter into the spiritual realm of selflessness. Our focus here is not on the physical evolution of man but on the mental and the spiritual one up to the level of supramental in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy as contained in his magnum opus, the Life Divine. However, questions and doubts do crop up when we try to understand a new concept or phenomenon, yet to be validated scientifically or empirically. The common posers while on the present subject are as follows:
i) Is the concept of superman or supramental a realistic phenomenon? Is there any predictable time line for supramentalisation?

ii) Is the concept of cessation of the cycle of life and death, evolution and involution, creation and dissolution after the descent of the Supramental, in conformity with any known philosophy such as Samkhya, Vedanta, Buddhism, Abrahamic religions etc., or a unique concept of Sri Aurobindo?

iii) Is the spiritual evolution of man necessarily progressive, as has been explained by Sri Aurobindo with reference to Dashavatar (ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu)?

We will dwell upon the above posers in our concluding remarks, after we have briefly gone through the basic tenets of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy.

EVOLUTION CONTINUES TILL THE EMERGENCE OF SUPERMAN:

“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.”
This statement from Sri Aurobindo indicates that the culmination of spiritual evolution of man will be the emergence of a superhuman race on the earth. But for to-day’s interactive session on “Spiritual Evolution of Man”, let us present the topic in a systematic manner.
A large segment of the Western world that accepts a literal meaning of the Biblical parable of Genesis condemns as false the very concept of evolution as the cause of creation of species. We have to see whether the historic statement by the present Pope last month that there is truth in the scientific theory of evolution as well as in the big bang theory of creation, alters the attitude of the Church faithfully towards evolution.

ANCIENT INDIAN VIEWS ON EVOLUTION:

But in India, the process of evolution seems to have been detected since ancient times. In the Rig Veda, the Nasodiya Sukta (I.129) refers to “the darkness wrapped in darkness” and points out that the breath stirred in that original darkness, there stirred the life-force as desire, and that desire was the seed of the mind. There is a fable in Aiitareya Upanishad that gods rejected the animal forms successively offered to them by the Divine Self and only when man was produced, cried out, “This indeed is perfectly made”, and consented to enter in the human body (I.2.1-3). In Sankhya philosophy, the infinite Force is figured as a sea, initially at rest and therefore, formless, but the first initiation of movement necessitates the evolution of forms of Matter which grow gradually from a subtle to solid states. Upon these forms of Matter depend all our sense experience. What we call the power of sensations, of vibrations of the mind, of the ego-sense and even of intelligence, which has the faculty of discrimination, is involved in Matter; and because of that involution, the evolution of what is involved takes place. In the Sankhya theory of Satkaryavada nothing comes out of nothing, the effect is already present in the cause, and whatever manifests is already inherent in the original state of the Force, the Prakriti. This Sankhyan view of involution and evolution is accepted by several other systems of Indian Philosophy including Vedanta.
Even the Puranic story of Dashavatar, from Matsya to Kalki, is considered to be a parable of evolution. First the Fish Avatar (Matsya) in water, then the amphibious animal (Kurma) then the land animal (Varaha) and then the man-lion (Narasimha) Avatar, bridges man and animal. Isn’t it the exact sequence of evolution that the scientists have postulated? The fifth Avatar dwarf (Vamana), a man not yet fully developed (tamasic) but containing in himself the godhead and taking possession of existence. Then came Parashuram and Ram Avatar, leading the human development from the vital rajasic to the sattwic mental man. The last three Avatars – Krishna, Buddha and Kalki – depicts the stages of man’s spiritual development, Krishna opening the possibility of reaching the highest level of spiritual mind (overmind), Buddha attaining the supreme liberation (Nirvana) but not returning to complete the evolution. Kalki is to correct this by bringing the Kingdom of Divine upon earth, destroying the opposing Asura forces. The progression of 10 Avatars is striking and unmistakably depicts evolution, including the spiritual evolution of man

SCIENTIFIC THEORY OF EVOLUTION:

The scientific theory of evolution began to develop in 18th century through the work of Linnaeus (1707-78) Buffon (1707-88), and in the 19th century by Charles Darwin (1809-82) and his followers. Charles Darwin, in his Origin of Species (1859), argues that life on earth evolved by a gradual and yet continuous process from the earliest form of living organism to the latest species, man. Natural selection, variation and heredity are said to be the factors through the operation of which new species arise out of the existing ones. When new characters are produced by the variability of organisms, natural selection decides their survival or death. If the characters do not adapt to their environment, they are eliminated in the competition. If, on the other hand, they equip themselves better for the struggle, they tend to survive. The off springs of the successful tend to resemble the parents in exhibiting the favoured variation to a greater degree than the parents and a new type gets established by a continuous piling up of small useful accretions through many generations.
There have been critics of Darwin’s theory even among the naturalists and scientists and the faithful even put a Theory of Intelligent Design to counter Darwin. But despite all opposition, particularly from the Church, the concept of evolution deeply influenced the thinkers all over the world including in India. Rabindranath Tagore wrote several essays on evolution of man; Swami Vivekananda referred to it in his speeches in the West and Sri Aurobindo propounded his philosophy of supramental evolution, although his views were based on the Vedantic knowledge of involution and evolution of consciousness

EVOLUTION THEORIES OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHERS:

Ancient Greek Philosophers had important ideas of evolution, but these were set aside later by the account of creation in Genesis. However, in last three centuries a number of Western Philosophers came out with new theories of evolution.
Henri Bergson (1859-1941) felt that there is something more in evolution than mere material urge. He talked of an inner urge or life-force’ (elan vital) that causes evolution. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) questioned the assumption that life always came from life. He also argued, if survival was the aim of nature, life would have never appeared. According to Samuel Alexender (1859-1938), the whole process of universe is an evolutionary growth from space-time. He enunciated a philosophy of emergent evolution, saying, out of a complexity in the physical structure, life and later mind emerged. Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936), who seems to agree with Alexander’s theory of emergent evolution, acknowledges God as the nisus through whose activity emergents emerge. He maintains that evolution is the expression of God’s purpose.
According to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) the evolutionary process cannot be evaluated in terms of its origin. What comes later is more than what was earlier. He feels evolution is pushing man towards an omega-point, or stage of collective divinity and foresees a cosmic divine manifestation in the making. While recalling the Platonie view of the cosmic process, Whitehead (1861-1947) put up a theory of “Ingressive evolution”. There is according to him, a progressive ingression and incorporation into the cosmic series of the eternal order which God embraces in Himself.
These philosophical theories depart in different degrees from the scientific concept of evolution, although they admit the world movement as an evolutionary process. They also try to explain in some ultimate terms, the rationale of evolution by a process of philosophical speculation.

SPIRITUAL THEORY OF EVOLUTION:

We have already depicted the vision of ancient India on the question of creation of universe and its gradual unfolding through a process of evolution. Be it in the Nasadiya Sukta, the Purusha Sukta and the Aghamarshana Sukta of Rig Veda, several texts of Sankhya and Vedanta, or in the Puranic story of Dashavatar, we can see that our Rishis had a clear idea of the evolutionary progression in the unfolding of consciousness. Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) enunciated his vision of a spiritual evolution of man, culminating in a Divine Life on earth and emergence of a god-like supramental species, based on this ancient knowledge of India. He accepts the Sankhya views that nothing comes out of nothing, and points to the Vedantric rationale for evolution, as an inevitable aftermath of involution of consciousness. The following lines from Sri Aurobindo’s magnum opus, the Life Divine, which tells the full story of the spiritual evolution of man – its past, present and future, are cited below:
“We speak of the evolution of Life in Matter, the Evolution of Mind in Matter, but evolution is a word which merely states the phenomenon without explaining it. For there seems to be no reason why Life should evolve out of material elements or Mind out of living form, unless, we accept the Vedanta solution that life is already involved in Matter and Mind in Life. ….. And then there seems to be little objection to a further step in the series and the admission that mental consciousness may itself be only a form and a veil of higher states which are beyond Mind. As the impulse towards Mind ranges from the more sensitive reactions of Life in the metal and the plant upto its full organisation in man, so in man himself there is the same ascending series, the preparation, if nothing more, of a higher and divine life. 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…..If it be true, that spirit is involved in Matter and apparent nature is secret God, then the manifestation of the divine in himself and the realisation of God within and without are the highest and most legitimate aim possible to man upon earth.”

THE EVOLUTIONARY STAIR:

The process of creation, the model of our evolutionary world, can be metaphorically represented by a stair of worlds manifested by the Supreme Diivine, first to descend (Involution) from the Superconscient to Inconscient, by which He objectively incarnated in every higher evolutionary forms and He now climbs up the stairs (evolution) physically manifesting Himself as new forms of species, back to his absolute perfection. The present human stage is evidently a mid-point in the staircase of evolution.
A little elaboration on these two poles of evolutionary ladder is called for. In Vedanta, the Superconscient is Sat-Chit–Ananda (Existence – Consciousness – Bliss). The other pole is Inconscient, the darkest end of the spectrum, which Sri Aurobindo has also termed as Inane, a total negation of Consciouness. And this is not an abstract term denoting philosophical speculation, but a concrete spiritual experience of many seekers of the spiritual, from Vedic Rishis to Sri Aurobindo. As pointed out earlier, Nasadiya Sukta (Rig Veda) describes it as darkness enveloping darkness, which was the beginning of creation and also the starting point of evolution.
In Vedic metaphor, the two poles – Superconscient and Inconscient – are described as two oceans. In Tantra, they are called Bindu and Visarga. Since Tantric tradition is deep-rooted in Bengal, these two words, signifying beginning and end of any subject, has become commonplace in Bengali language. In his epic poem Savitri, Sri Aurobindo describes these two poles as the “first and the last nothingness”.
In the climb up from Inconscient to Superconscient spanning aeons, man is, at this juncture, somewhere halfway in the stair of evolution. Sri Aurobindo says, the next level in the evolution will be the emergence of superman, a being whose consciousness is supermind. The question comes, what is supermind and how does it differ from mind, which is the centre of our consciousness?
We can give the answer with a little historical tale. In 1908-09, Sri Aurobindo, then a young revolutionary, Aurobindo Ghosh, was serving a jail sentence given by the then British rulers of India. In meditation in his solitary prison cell, he heard the voice of Swami Vivekananda imparting spiritual knowledge to him about the higher spiritual levels of mind for a fortnight (or about a month). Later, out of jail, Sri Aurobindo wrote about these higher levels of spiritual mind. Put in an ascending order, these are the Higher Mind, the illumined Mind, the Intuitive Mind and then the highest level, the Over mind. The Overmind is the abode of the gods, the inspired source of the great founders of religion. This is where all the religions we know were born, deriving from one overmental experience in one of its myriad facets. This is the plane described in the Vedas as “an ocean of stable lightning” and Vedic Rishis made Overmental consciousness their abode.
But Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual consort, the Mother discovered that overmind would not be able to bring about the desired transformation so that a new species of god-like beings evolve on earth. “In the terrestrial evolution itself the overmental descent would not be able to transform in each inner it touched the whole conscious being, inner and outer, personal and universally impersonal, into its own stuff and impose that upon the Ignorance illumining it into cosmic truth and knowledge”, Sri Aurobindo wrote in his Life Divine, the problem lies in the inconscience at the root of all existence including human existence. Giving an example from the world of astronomy he writes, “it would be as if a sun and its system were to shine out in an original darkness of Space and illumine everything as far as its rays could reach so that all that dwelt in the light would feel as if no darkness were there at all in their experience of existence. But outside that sphere the original darkness Inconscious would still be there and, since all things are possible in an overmind structure, could re-invade the island of light created within its empire.” He further explained that Overmental consciousness, by its very nature would develop all possibilities, one at a time, which may hamper the evolutionary ascent. “Also by this much evolution there could be no security against the downward pull or gravitation of the inconscience which dissolves all the formations that life and mind build in it, swallows all things that arise out of it or are imposed upon it and disintegrate them into their original matter.”
For all these levels, including the highest overmental level, belong to the lower half of the evolutionary stair, to the lower hemisphere of the Globe of Being. At the top of the upper hemisphere, there is the Supreme Divine, the Sat-Chit-Ananda of Vedanta. There is a barrier between the two halves, and men are not supposed to cross that barrier in the evolutionary sense, unless done by great yogis individually in their meditation. In Ishopanishad, this overmental line is called the golden plate which covers the face of Truth (Hiranmayena Patrena Satyasyapihitam Mukham).
Vedic Rishis who have crossed this barrier in their individual sadhana, found it difficult to bring it down to earth. A Vedic verse says, he who goes through ‘the gate of the Sun’ cannot come back.
Perhaps the time was not ripe for it in the ancient Vedic period. But Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, who always felt that ‘the time is now’ for the great evolutionary leap, have pierced this golden barrier and ultimately succeeded in bringing down the supreme consciousness from the higher hemisphere to the earth. This consciousness, where Sat-chit-ananda has fully manifested, was called by Vedic Rishis as Satyam, Ritam, Brihat, or the sun world. Sri Aurobindo called it Supermind, a technical, neutral term, to denote a level far above the highest reaches of the mind.
The Supermind – itself a resplendent prism of world – is essentially a principle of Unity. The mind looks at a thesis, and then considers its antithesis and labours to arrive at a synthesis, but in supermind, all contradictions are spontaneously harmonised. Apart from solving the fundamental problem of division and discord, a descent of the Supermind into the terrestrial formula would bring into it ‘the supreme law and light and dynamics of the Spirit’ and transform the inconscience.
According to Sri Aurobindo, only the Supramental Force can entirely overcome the difficulty of the resistance of the Inconscience. “The whole radical change in the evolution from a basis of Ignorance to a basis of Knowledge can only come by the intervention of the supramental power and its direct action in earth-existence,” Sri Aurobindo declares in his Life Divine.
At this stage, it is necessary to clarify one of the basic elements of the Aurobindonian philosophy of evolution. According to him, only earth is the chosen field for evolution. But in the creation, there are many type worlds and the beings that are unaffected by the march of evolution. Here no reference is being made to the physical universe with its galaxy of stars, but realms in the occult space, where beings belonging to what he has categorised as vital plane, mental plane, the overmental plane (the world of gods) and beyond, where beings having the appropriate consciousness exist. This is where the involution that we talked about, get stratified for all eternity, Thus a vital world, a mental world, an overmental world and a supramental world always existed before life or mind appeared on the earth or great yogis possessing the overmental or supramental consciousness, roamed the earth. The Mother has explained that beings in these typal worlds are satisfied with these levels of their consciousness and the state of their existence. But if they wish to transcend themselves and progress, they have to be born on earth and be part of the evolution.
The part of the man which evolves through successive births is their soul, that Shri Aurobindo called the psychic being. While Jivatman remains outside the cycle of births and deaths, the psychic being, which is a part of Jivatman, grows through successive rebirths. In Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga, stress is put on realisation of the soul. When the psychic being comes in the forefront and takes control of the mind, life and body of the individual, a process Sri Aurobindo called as psychic transformation, the real yoga sadhana of the individual begins. Then he can look forward to the other two stages of sadhana, the spiritual transformation and the supramental transformation, that would take the individual to the next level of evolution by becoming a superman.

DESCENT OF SUPERMIND:

But such an evolution has a pre-requisite condition to be fulfilled, the descent of the Supramental Consciousness on earth. Sri Aurobindo dedicated his whole life to hasten this supramental change, which, he said “is a thing decreed and inevitable in the evolution of the earth nature” When he left his body (on 5.12.1950), the supramental force was said to have descended in his body and kept the lifeless body shining and without any decomposition for five days, till the supramental percolated to the rest of the earth. The Mother took up his work thereafter and declared on 29.2.1956 that the supramental force has manifested on earth (shattering the golden barriers that separates the two hemispheres, of which a mention was made earlier) Mother’s Agenda , a book in 13 Volumes , records Mother’s spiritual experience for continuing the work of supramental transformation. In 1970, she declared that she has completed the work (Yoga) entrusted by Sri Aurobindo upon her. She left her body on 17.11.1973, but her talks during her final years give clear indication that the ‘decreed and inevitable’ evolutionary leap to a supramental species is near at hand.
But how near? Sri Aurobindo termed evolution as the yoga of Nature. It would have taken aeons for the life to appear on a lifeless material world, first as plants and then as animals. Paleonthologists say human beings made its appearance on the Earth between one and three million years ago, and according to Mother, a million years would have already elapsed between the descent of the mental principle on earth and the first material incarnation of the human being. But Sri Aurobindo says, the spiritual evolution of man to superman, would be far more accelerated, since man has the capacity to consciously collaborate and thus accelerate nature’s yoga, the process of evolution. He was asked about 90 years back, how long it would take for the suramental change to become apparent. Instead of replying in terms of million years, he said, ‘let us wait for three hundred years’. But that is also long enough for us who have to count their life-spans in decades or maximum around a century.
But then Sri Aurobindo talks about intermediate beings, like those with a human body and a mind of light, the spiritually advanced individuals who would emerge well before the arrival of the supramental species. The spiritual evolution of man is, therefore, a thing, not only of future, but realisable in our life-time, one that our inner heart can feel, our inner-mind can comprehend and inner eye see and our inner being touch and hold in a rapturous embrace. Sri Aurobindo has termed this period of history as the Hour of God. When a little effort produces big result and changes destiny. This is the period when the spiritual evolution of man makes rapid progress, takes a quantum leap.

CONCLUDING REMARKS:

Let us now deal with the posers made in the Introduction. These relate to some fundamental doubts about the validity of the concept of descent of the Supramental on our mortal world, as has been developed by Sri Aurobindo, one of the greatest Indian Yogis of modern time.

Poser 1: Is the concept of superman or Supramental a realistic phenomenon? Is there any predictable time line for supramentalisation?

The concept of Supramental in the sense of being Sat-Chit-Ananda is in conformity with Indian Vedantic philosophy according to which Brahman (The Divine) is Sat (Existence-Absolute), Chit (Consciousness-Absolute) and Ananda (Bliss-Absolute). Brahman in the Upanishads / Vedanta is verily described as indescribable, formless, without beginning and end, imperceptible, infinite mass of light, subtler than the subtlest and grosser than the grossest, immanent in every living being and non-being or in other words all-pervasive. When Sri Aurobindo talks of Supramental in conjunction or in juxtaposition with superman, there is obvious distinction between Brahman of the Vedanta and the Supramental or superman of Sri Aurobindo. The Upanishadic sages have envisioned Brahman as existing in every living being. The case in point is the famous anecdote of sage Uddalak and his son Shvetaketu in Chhandogya Upanishad narrating how Uddalak explained the concept of Tat Tvam Asi (Thou Art That) to his son Shvetaketu. The fact that Brahman is immanent in every living being has been postulated by the Vedanta several millenniums ago and is by no means a new concept. However, Sri Aurobindo’s concept of supramentalisation of this phenomenal world including humans in collective sense as a permanent phenomenon is unique inasmuch as such permanence at phenomenal level has not been conceptualized by the Vedanta. In other words, the phenomenal world, according to the Vedanta, is transient and destructible, and the spiritual liberation from the bondage of the cycle of birth and death can be attained only by detachment of the soul from the world of matter. To be more precise, unless a seeker kills or dissolves his ‘I’-ness or Aham, he/she cannot attain liberation.

Sri Aurobindo’s concept of supramentalisation is to materialize in this phenomenal world only when the Super-Mind is envisaged as descending on the world of matter. This, according to sri Aurobindo, is expected to happen in about three hundred years from the time he predicted, some ninety years ago, and that too for reason of his and the Mother’s joint efforts and austerity. However, sceptics have reason to doubt this vision of Sri Aurobindo in view of the fact that in last ninety years there has been no noteworthy spiritual progress in India or for that matter in the world as a whole. According to Sri Aurobindo, descent of the Supramental will happen at the last stage of spiritual evolution of man. Afterward, there will be permanence of the body and mind and no dissolution, as every cell in the body will be transformed or mutated into the Supramental.

It is patently clear that Sri Aurobindo’s concept of spiritual evolution is linear and not cyclical as in the Vedanta, the Samkhya, or for that matter, in the Buddhist philosophy.

As to the question whether the concept of superman or supramentalisation of this world of matter is a realistic phenomenon, we keep our mind open to the possibility of mutation of our cells, whether by Yoga or by science, to turn us into immortal spiritual beings in this material and transient world at some point of time in the future. But we find it difficult at this point of time to accept the proposition that the mutation of cells will bring permanence to the super-human body and the phenomenal world.

Poser 2: Is the concept of cessation of the cycle of life and death, evolution and involution, creation and dissolution after the descent of the Supramental, in conformity with any known philosophy such as Samkhya, Vedanta, Buddhism, Abrahamic religions etc., or a unique concept of Sri Aurobindo?

The cyclical evolution of the four Yugas, viz. Satya, Treta, Dvapar and Kali, without beginning or end is fundamental to all schools of Indian philosophy. Likewise, the cycle of evolution and involution is also fundamental to Indian philosophy. To elucidate the concept of cyclical evolution as in the Vedanta, each Yuga cycle is of 12000 years comprising Satya (4800 years), Treta (3600 years), Dvapar (2400 years) and Kali (1200 years). This cycle rotates alternately in descending and ascending order and is never- ending till the time of dissolution when entire creation gets involved in Brahman (refer: Holy Science by Sri Yukteswar). The above concept of evolution and involution is somewhat similar to the concept of Big Bang after Big Crunch, sans God or Brahman. However, according to Vedanta, the cycle of evolution and involution also has no end as it goes on seamlessly. It is difficult to reconcile this Vedantic concept of evolution-involution to the linear concept of evolution of Sri Aurobindo who rules out involution after Supramentalisation of earth existence.

It is conceived by Sri Aurobindo that after the descent of the Supramental on this material world, all men will become supermen and they will not perish or die. In other words, this phenomenal world will be everlasting. It is not that Sri Aurobindo has rejected the concept of Yuga Cycle of the Vedanta. As a matter of fact he has accepted the concept of Yuga Cycle which would mean that countless times in the past, the world has rotated from the state of the lowest degradation to the highest spiritual enlightenment and again going down from the zenith to the nadir to come up and go down, time and again, ceaselessly. A logical corollary to the above concept is that if supramentalisation has not happened at the pinnacle of the past cycle, it is not likely to happen in next cycle. Alternately assuming that man became superman in each of the preceding cycles, the obvious conclusion will be that there is no permanence in the status of superman also. But Sri Aurobindo has held in Life Divine that supramentalisation of the man will lend permanence to his phenomenal existence. This would pre-suppose that such futuristic phenomenon will be unprecedented, as it would mean an end to the Yuga Cycle as also to the cycle of evolution and involution.

According to Abrahamic tradition, however, on the Judgment Day, all the souls with their bodies shall rise from their graves and God shall determine in each individual case whether the person concerned by virtue of his or her deeds while living, deserves to be in permanent heaven or permanent hell with their erstwhile bodies, re-constructed by God. According to some school, the Heaven will descend on the earth, post-Judgment Day, permanently. Even though we find some similarity in Abrahamic concept of the heaven on earth to the concept of superman of Sri Aurobindo from the point of view of permanence, it is noteworthy that supramentalisation in Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine is a collective phenomenon while in Abrahamic traditions it is purely individualistic phenomenon, depending upon whether the man was good or evil while living. Since Abrahamic tradition did not generally subscribe to re-incarnation, there is also no scope of evolution of an individual soul in said tradition.

It would thus appear that Sri Aurobindo’s concept of superman and supramentalisation is unique.

Poser 3: Is spiritual evolution of man necessarily progressive, as has been explained by Sri Aurobindo with reference to Dashavatar (ten incarnations of the Lord)?

According to Sri Aurobindo, evolution of man, as is demonstrated by Dashavatar (Ten Incarnations of the Lord), beginning with Matsya (Fish) and followed by Kurma (Tortoise), the amphibious animal, Varaha (Boar), the land animal, Nrisimha (man-lion), who was not yet complete man, Vamana (Dwarf), the first complete man but Tamasic one, Parashuram (Axe-man), the Rajasic man, Rama, the Sattvik man, Sri Krishna, the Overman, Buddha, the Liberated Man and the Kalki, the Superman, was both at physical and spiritual level showing progression at each stage. However, even though at animal level, incarnations may match with Darwin’s sequence, same thing cannot be said about the human incarnations, as per the Hindu text. In the first place, there may be serious objection in categorizing Sri Krishna as Overman on two counts. First, Sri Krishna, according to one school of Hindu scholars was not included in the list of Dashavatar, his brother Balaram taking his place. However, the school that included Sri Krishna in the list of Dashavatar considered him as Purna Avatar (complete incarnation of Lord) while others were partial or fragmented and not complete incarnation. As Purna Avatar Sri Krishna was liberated from the very beginning, possessing supreme wisdom and all the attributes conceivable, and knew the past and the future. Thus, to describe such personality as Overman and not Superman may not be found acceptable.

Secondly, according to the concept of Yuga Cycle, spirituality of man is supposed to take a down-slide when the cycle is on its descending path and up-swing when on ascending path. In the time of Rama and Sri Krishna the cycle was believed to be on a descending path and spirituality collectively was on a down-slide. However, Avatars are believed to be an exception inasmuch as though they themselves were liberated, they came to this mortal world of their free will for good of the people.
Buddha also accepted Hindu Yuga Cycles and its alternate descending and ascending paths.
In Abrahamic religions, notably in Old Testament, spiritual decline of man has been amply demonstrated with help of several anecdotes.

Thus the concept of Sri Aurobindo that man as also the Avatars had been advancing spiritually with the passage of time does not find validation in any religious text. On the contrary, those texts rather suggest that man has become more materialistic and less spiritual in the current cycle.

Be that as it may, Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s Yogic austerity to achieve a near impossible goal of bringing down Supramental to earthly existence for the sake of collective immortality of entire mankind smacks of their boundless compassion for humanity. In the above context, the question whether they have been successful in their endeavour, or their goal is achievable by the projected time-line is not pertinent. What is worth remembering is that two great Yogis of present era dedicated their lives in utmost austerity in order to accelerate the process of liberation of the entire humanity without discrimination.

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12 Responses to SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION OF MAN

  1. RKGupta says:

    It was a wonderful session by Mr. Sengupta. Some of the concepts are strikingly similar to Islamic tradition, as revealed in the Holy Qur’an. To quote, the Holy Qur’an says that ‘We (the God-Allah) are the treasure of all knowledge, which is given to the humanity according to the need of time’ and it also says that ‘Everything has originated from Him and would return to Him’.
    Mr. Sengupta has mentioned “For all these levels, including the highest overmental level, belong to the lower half of the evolutionary stair, to the lower hemisphere of the Globe of Being. At the top of the upper hemisphere, there is the Supreme Divine, the Sat-Chit-Ananda of Vedanta”. In this context, I quote the Sufis’ tradition:
    “The Sufi saints, particularly those from the Islamic tradition, consider the macrocosm as the sphere of universal possibilities (or the Daira-e-Imkan), which contains in it the sum total of all present, future and past possibilities. This is divided into two parts, the upper hemisphere known as the ‘World of Order’ (or Alam-e-Amr) and the lower hemisphere known as the ‘World of Creation’ (or Alam-e-Khalq).
    The World of Order is also known as the ‘World of Light’ (or ‘Alam-e-Nur’), which came into existence immediately at the command of the God, without any temporal succession. The World of Creation on the other hand was subjected to creative process and it evolved gradually. The World of Order relates to the causal body (or the soul), which contains the principles and inner realities of all possibilities of manifestation. The World of Creation relates to both the subtle body and the gross body. The World of Creation is divided into two parts namely, the ‘World of Sovereignty’ (or ‘Alam-e-Malkut’) relating to the subtle body and the ‘World of Human Sovereignty’ (or ‘Alam-e-Mulk’), which relates to gross body and is perceivable through the senses. The highest reach of the World of Creation is the subtle heart and the lowest limit of the World of Order consists of the subtle principle of the heart organ.
    The causal body in the man is reflected in five constituent organs i.e. the five spiritual centres namely the Qulb, Rooh, Sirr, Khafi and Akhafa, which pertain to the World of Order and govern the inner aspects of the man. The subtle body is reflected in the Nafs (the psyche) i.e. the heart or the mind and the gross body is reflected in the physical body comprising of the gross elements. The five spiritual components pertaining to the World of Order are considered to be the principle of and bear a strong relationship with the individual elements pertaining to the World of Creation and directly derived from them. They bear the relationship of the cause and effect. These five energy centers (the spiritual Chakras) are all located in the Hridya Chakra of the man by the order of God”.
    According to the Hindu philosophy, the human body is made up of three bodies i.e. the gross body, the subtle body and the causal body. It is also considered to be made of different Koshas or sheaths. These are five in number, namely the ‘Annamay Kosha’, the ‘Pranmay Kosha’, the ‘Manomay Kosha’, the ‘Vigyanmay Kosha’ and lastly the ‘Anandmay Kosha’. These layers or sheaths got accumulated over the soul in order that the life may manifest in the form of various creatures. The souls covered with these Koshas are called the embodied souls. These five Koshas or the sheaths could also be equated with the five levels of manifestation namely, matter, energy, thought, consciousness and bliss.
    In my humble opinion, all these five co-exist. There is nothing in the entire universe, which is devoid of any of these five attributes (if I may call them as the attributes of beings) and depending upon the prominence of these in the being, these may be called sentient or insentient and so on. Even energy in various forms possesses the attribute of mass. Light also has mass, though it may be so miniscule, as being immeasurable. Gravitational force, magnetic force etc. all have mass and that is how the Black Holes can attract (or absorb) light. Energy is a state of matter in which the matter acquires the capability to work (produce an effect). In other words, every single particle possesses the qualities of Sat-Chit-Anand and thus the entire cosmos is nothing but the manifestation of the same Brahman.
    Slightly digressing from the subject, Brahman is made of two words-Bru, which in Sanskrit means to expand and Manan, which means thinking or contemplating. Brahman, thus means the one which is thinking and expanding. Similarly, Vishnu means the one, which is present in the entire cosmos (Vishva) in the form of Anu (the smallest particle) and when the Hindu philosophy says that Brahma originated from the naval of Vishnu, perhaps they are trying to say that the cosmos emerged from the bursting of the nuclei of this smallest particle, which would have been millions and trillions times more powerful than the modern days atomic bombs.
    Coming to the topic, the man has all the possibilities embedded in him. He can attain the highest status and, therefore, it is possible that the Supramental existence may become a reality one day when the time for it arrives.
    Once again my deep appreciation for Mr. Sengupta, Mr. Raha and other speakers.

  2. akraha1948 says:

    Guptaji, thanks for your erudite analysis of similar features in Hindu and Islamic philosophy. Even if there was none, it matters little as our traditional wisdom says that ‘paths may vary, but goal is the same, and all paths lead to the same destination’. You are indeed a true representative of our said traditional wisdom.

    However, we have travelled a long distance in our spiritual journey from the axiom of ‘God created man’ to the possibility of ‘man becoming God’, and Sri Aurobindo stands out as the champion of the said holistic phenomenon. The question is whether such phenomenon at physical level is feasible in this 3-dimensional world. What is the take of Islam on this aspect of Sri aurobindo’s philosophy?

  3. RKGupta says:

    Thanks for your kind comments, Sir.
    I would like to say that there is no question of man or for that matter anything else ‘becoming God’. If there is anything else existing, other than God, then there is duality and the “Brahman’ then is not all encompassing. You yourself have been many times quoting the ‘wholeness’ of God in the verse ‘Om Poorna…”. In my humble opinion, it is He and He alone, Who is manifesting in all forms. It is our ego, which does not allow us to realize our true nature.
    As far as Islam and Christianity are concerned, as far as I understand, their holy books do not talk of this wholeness of the Brahman, rather the man and God are considered as separate entities. A time may come when even scientifically we may realize that everything in the universe is made of the same fundamental particle and that they appear different because of the combination of the fundamental particles in different ways and because of the relativity between the seer and the scene. The grosser a thing is, it assumes a form, shape name and other characteristics and the subtler one goes, one start losing ego and start realizing the Truth. This wisdom may also dawn on man one day that essentially he is no different than anything else. Slight genetic variation may create different species with long lasting youth and wisdom. If this wisdom leads them in the right direction, they may also be on higher spiritual plane. I personally believe that even at the spiritual level, more and more wisdom is given with the time in order that man may attain still higher levels.

  4. akraha1948 says:

    Guptaji, if you accept as truth that nothing exists except God, your statement contained in your last sentence: “…….more and more wisdom is given with the time in order that man may attain still higher levels” does not fit into your axiom. Sohoham or Aham Brahmasmi realization is essentially at consciousness level and has nothing to do with the body. You are well aware of the anecdote of Mansoor who was brutally killed by the fanatics for uttering Anal Haq, somewhat similar to Aham Brahmasmi.

    Sri Aurobindo has conceived supramentalisation of every cell of the body, not merely at the level of consciousness, but at physical level also, which no sage or avatar, not even Sri Krishna or Buddha has foreseen. They have on the contrary subscribed to the axiom of Yuga Cycle. Sri Yukteswar in Holy Science has explained that in the course of rotation when the earth comes closest to the Centre of the Cosmos, called Vishnu Navi (navel of Lord Vishnu), man discovers Divine Magnetic Force and becomes scientifically & spiritually most advanced. This happens during ascending cycle of the earth. However, ascending cycle by the very rotation principle is followed by descending cycle when the man degrades spiritually & in science. If we accept this Yuga Cycle, we will find it difficult to reconcile ourselves to Sri Aurobindo’s linear evolution of man and the stoppage of evolution at a particular point when man becomes superman. I sincerely look forward to a satisfactory explanation in the matter from Mr. Sengupta.

    • RKGupta says:

      I agree with you Sir, since all the discussion, the mind exists only at a relative level. The highest knowledge or the wisdom is to know ‘Thou are That’ and at that level there is no duality. The wisdom is given to attain that level. It is like making the airstrip available for the plane to fly. Once it takes off, it does not need the airstrip. The wisdom or knowledge is given to attain that level of realization.

  5. akraha1948 says:

    Guptaji, your allegorical reference to airstrip is good. But one may point out that even after the plane takes off, it needs an airstrip to land. It cannot remain in air eternally. Perhaps the example of a rocket or spacecraft launcher may be more apt. However, the issue here is whether evolution of man will come to an end with spramentalisation when man as superman will not evolve any more and will become immortal.

  6. RKGupta says:

    There is nothing static in this universe. Everything, from the minutest particle to the celestial bodies, everything is constantly in a state of flux. Though all this movement keep on taking place within the Brahman, He is absolutely static.He can also be said to be in the absolute state of motion. If the speed is infinite (Param Gati), He would be present, as well as absent from every place every moment. Getting static or no further evolution is the sign of being dead. We, therefore, need to fully understand what exactly is the connotation of the ‘Supramentalisation’ as conceived by Shri Aurobindo?

    • akraha1948 says:

      Well said, Guptaji. Everything including the Supramental is in a flux, in case we make a distinction between the Supramental and Brahman. I agree with you that Brahman is the only One who is not in a flux inasmuch as Brahman is unchanging, immutable and infinite. Brhaman’s infinity would mean that Brahman exists in every being and particle. Sri Aurobindo does not hold a different view from the above Vedantic concept of Brahman. It is, therefore, necessary for us to know how Sri Aurobindo’s concept of Supramentalisation can be reconciled with our above understanding of the Vedantic concept.

  7. RKGupta says:

    In my understanding, putting it simplistically, Sri Aurobindo rejected a major conception of Indian philosophy of considering the World as Maya (illusion) and that renouncing the world was the only way out. He said that it is possible, not only to transcend human nature but also to transform it and to live in the world as a free and evolved human being with a new consciousness and a new nature, which could spontaneously perceive truth of things on the basis of inner oneness, love and light. According to Sri Aurobindo man could evolve spiritually to a state of spiritual and Supramental existence. This evolutionary existence he called a “Divine life on Earth”, characterized by a spiritualized, Supramental, truth-consciousness-oriented humanity.I do not think he talked about immortality in the physical sense?

  8. akraha1948 says:

    Guptaji, the uniqueness of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is that he did not reject any of the cardinal features of Vedantic philosophy, including Maya. He has only spoken of different levels of spiritual evolution of man. At lower levels, Maya holds out like a glass screen between the Truth and its distorted reflection, as Vivekananda had put it, and Shankaracharya long before Vivekananda had explained it. At the highest level of realization, which, according to Sri Aurobindo is the state of Supramentalisation and according to shankara and Vivekananda is self-realization or the state of Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman), the glass screen is broken and the Truth manifests itself. So far there is no difference. The difference surfaces when Vedanta says that this phenomenal world of matter, including the body of flesh & blood is mutable, transitory or impermanent and, therefore, untrue, while Sri Aurobindo, himself a Vedantist, has deviated from this Vedantic axiom to conceptualize a supramental world of particles or matter which is permanent and immutable. He has not stopped with supramentalisation of consciousness, but has extended it to supramentalisation of every cell in human body. Talking of supramentalisation of the phenomenal world, he has conceived supramentalisation of all the particles that make up this world of matter. His & Mother’s Yoga was all about that, and he predicted that their Yoga would make it possible in about 300 years (out of which 90 years have already elapsed). Once this happens, the Yuga cycle will come to an end and the said supramental state will be permanent, suggesting that there will be no further evolution or involution. This is where he deviates from the Vedanta and differs from his spiritual mentor Swami Vivekananda. Thus it will be seen that Sri Aurobindo has not confined his Yoga to individual level but has taken it to mass level, not merely to the level of consciousness but to the level of phenomenal existence. This is precisely why his concept qualifies to be called unique. But the credibility of this concept is open to question.

  9. A.K. Sengupta says:

    (Further input from A.K. Sengupta on the topic, ‘Spiritual Evolution of Man’; which was the subject at the interactive session held on 14.11.2014.)

    At the outset, I would like to congratulate the coordinator and anchor-person, Mr A.K. Raha, for presenting such a comrehensive ‘Concluding Remarks’ on the interactive meeting on 14.11.2014 and putting posers to the theory of spiritual evoluation of man, from the standpoint of various religio – spiritual-philosophical systems. I am tryng to frame brief responses.

    On Poser 1: Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the spiritual evolution of man, which would culminate in the emergence of a new species is described in his book, The Life Divine. The Integral Yoga that is required to be practiced for this great transformation, is described in his Synthesis of Yoga and other yogic writings. The manner in which Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator, the Mother would practice this yoga, is narrated in Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri and in Mother’s talks, particularly in the post-Sri Aurobindo (1950) period.

    Poser 1 enquires about the time-line for the supramentalization predicted by Sri Aurobindo. We do not find any definite time indicated by him in any of his books. His remark (‘Let us wait for three hundred years’) quoted in the Introductory paper for the interactive discourse on 14.11.2014, is from a conversation/letter of Sri Aurobindo, and it is not clear whether he is referring to the appearance of a supramental specie on the earth, or to some transitional man-superman specie, for this time period.

    How much time was taken for the earlier phases of evolution? The material universe, sans life, would have existed for billions of years,(after the Big Bang?). There have been estimates of the period when some forms of plant and animal life existed on the earth, running into millions of years. Paleontologists say, man appeared on earth between one and three million years ago, and according to the Mother, a million years would have elapsed between the descent of the mental principle on earth and the first material incarnation of the human being.

    Sri Aurobindo has indicated that the evolution from man to superman would be faster since unlike the animal, man has the capacity to consciously co-operate in the process. The Mother said ‘after the Supramental substance penetrated into the earth atmosphere’ (she had declard that the Supramental Manifestation upon earth took place on 29.2.1956), the new realization kept evolving at a lightning speed. Based on these, one may reasonably conclude that the time-line of billions or millions of years required for the earlier stages of evolution, has been reduced o millenia and centuries for the evolution of man to superman. This seems to be the bakround of Sri Aurobindo foreseeing an evoluntary outcome in three centuries.

    On Poser 2: Sri Aurobindo also refers to the cycle of life and death, of creation and dissolution in his various writings. But he does not find these contradictory to his theory that evolution is the yoga of Nature and is the secret gameplan of Divine (the words are mine) to manifest on earth increasingly higher levels of consciousness, which have been already there in a process of involution in the lower levels out of which the higher levels are evolving. The Mother, from her vast occult knowledge, talked about a number of creations which went into dissolution (pralaya), but said the present creation would continue.

    On Poser 3: Now, a point on Dashavatar and evolution. Sri Auroindo has said in a letter to a disciple, ‘Avatarhood would have little meaning if it were not connected wih the evolution. The Hindu procession of the ten Avatars is itself, as it were, a parable of evolution.’ Incidentally, he didn’t categorise Sri Krishna as Overman, Buddha as Liberated Man and Kalki as Superman. Sri Aurobindo’s view seems to be that each Avatar incarnated the consciousness required for that stage in evolution. Describing Krishna as ‘Nirguna Avatar’ (as he comes after Vamana 0 Tamasic, Parashuram – Rajasic and Rama – Satvic Avatars) and ‘overmental superman,’ he wrote, ‘Krishna, Buddha and Kalki depict . . . the stages of the spiritual development – Krishna opens the possibility of Overmind, Buddha tries to shoot beyond to the supreme liberation but that liberation is still negative, not returning upon earth to complete positively the evolution. Kalki is to correct this by bringing the Kingdom of the Divine upon earth, destroying the opposing Asura forces.’ He also makes the following comment about Krishna: ‘As for the lives in between the Avatar lives, it must be remembered that Krishna speaks of many lives in the past, not only a few supreme ones, and secondly that while he speaks of himself as the Divine, in one pasage he describes himself as a Vibhuti, Vrishninam Vasudevah. We may therefore fairly assume that in many lives he manifested as the Vibhuti veiling the fuller Divine Consciousness. If we admit that the object of Avatarhood is to lead the evolution, this is quite reasonable, the Divine appearing as Avatar in the great transitional stages and as Vibhutis to aid the lesser transitions.’

    There are a few more issues, raised in the concluding remarks, which need to be addressed to.

    1. There will be no cessation of the cycle of involution and evolution after the descent of the supramental. Involution of consciousness at various levels had taken place in the beginning and the evolutionary ascent from the zero of Inconscient to Matter, Lie and Mind, had taken place already. The Mother has said that the appearance of the supramental beings on the earth will not signal the end of evolution. There are levels of consciousness higher than the supramental and these would be manifested here in the process of evolution in future.

    2. Sri Aurobindo has not visualized that the entire humanity would be supramentalized. Onlythe spiritually advanced individuals would be able to raise themselves to the next evolutionary level.

    Finally, I want to deal with the question (in poser 1) on how realistic is ‘the concept of supramentalization in the world of matter’? Let me try to answer this question making use of a purely hypothetical scenario. Suppose some of us travel back in an improbable time machine and find earth populated by dinosaurs. If we were told that these gigantic reptiles would develop wings and float in the air, and one day one of these animal specieis would stand up on two legs, discover the hidden laws and powers of nature and try to control the earth, water and the sky, they would also venture in the inner space and reach spiritual realms, then the occupants of the time machines, would have found these predictions unrealistic and absurd. But that was what actually happened and the process which makes the impossible possible, is called evolution.

    Did Sri Aurobindo think that man would believe his visionof man evolving into superman? On this issue, Sri Aurobindo wrote in his epic poem Savitri:

    ‘A few shall see what none yet understands;
    God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
    For man shall not know the coming till its hour
    And belief shall be not till the work is done’.

    So the message is clear – Sri Aurobindo’s grand vision would appear unrealistic to people till it actually happen. But there are people who feel the time for a big change is near at hand. I quote two instances – one from a scientist and the other from a spiritualist.

    Science Researchr Kaddel Last has recently published his paper titled ‘Human Evolution, Life History Theory and the end of Biological Reproduction’ in a journal titled Current Aging Science. He predicts appearance of a new species of men by 2050 through applications of modern science and technology. His predictions includes men being able to control their ‘body clock’ and aging process, hve a life-span f more than 120 years. Kaddel feels that the human race is currently passing through a phase of tremendous evolutionary transition and the outcome would be visible in less than four decades. He feels this change would be comparable to the evolutinry transmission of apes to men that happened perhaps millions of years ago.

    The other prediction is from Gopinath Kaviraj, a scholar and sadhak, who had met dozens of great saints in his lifetime. In his last book titled Akhanda Mahayoga (perhaps written during 1960s / 1970s), Kaviraj quiotes a large number of saints, e.g., Bamakhyapa, Vishuddhananda Paramahansa, Pbhu Jagadbandhu, Swami Brahmashankar, etc. all predicting the coming of a spiritual age. The symbols and metaphore used bythese saints may not be the same with Sri Aurobindo’s. But all these may signify a period of tremendous evolutionay transition, looking at it from the standpoint of both the scientist and the spiritualist.

  10. akraha1948 says:

    I am indeed thankful to you, Mr. Sengupta, for explaining the philosophy of Supramentalisation of this material world in the course of evolution, as has been enunciated by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. You have also pointed out by citing the Mother that the state of Supermanhood is not going to be the end of the evolution, and the present evolution will continue even beyond superman. But, according to the Mother, the yogic process will reduce the normal time span of millions of years of evolution to a few hundred years. It is your case that like the evolution of modern man from dinosaurs was not conceivable millions of years ago, evolution of superman from modern man may not be conceivable at this point of time. You have also cited Kaddel and Gopinath Kabiraj in support of above contention from both science and spiritual angles.

    In case the state of supermanhood is taken as non-universal and impermanent, there is no deviation from the Vedantic philosophy which Sri Aurobindo has ardently followed. As for individual attainment of the supramental at both mental and physical levels, our ancient sages have adequately demonstrated its feasibility through Yoga and meditation, and from this point of view Sri Aurobindo’s concept is nothing new. As a matter of fact, Swami Yogananda in his Autography of a Yogi has explained the Science of Kriya Yoga at great length, stating that one thousand Kriyas practised in 8.5 hours gives the yogi in one day the equivalent of one thousand years of natural evolution: 365,000 years of evolution in one year. This science, according to Yogananda, was known to our ancient sages several millenniums ago, which was forgotten during dark ages and revived by Sri Babaji, the spiritual Master of Lahiri mahashay, in 19th century.

    This Kriya Yoga was referred to by Sri Krishna twice in Bhagvad Gita, in verse 29, chapter IV, and in verses 27-28, chapter V. Sri Krishna also mentioned in Chapter IV ibid that he imparted this yoga to Vivasvat, who passed it on to his son Manu and who in turn instructed his son Ikshwaku.

    Going by the present yuga cycle, Vaivasvat Manu, the son of Vivasvat, belonged to 13th millennium BC. Thus what Sri Aurobindo or Swami Yogananda stated in 20th century was supposed to be known in 13th millennium BC, though forgotten for a long time. I am not inclined to go into the controversy whether Indian history is that old. But the fact remains that if we go by the recorded evidence of the Gita and the Upanishads, some of our ancient sages undoubtedly rose to the level of the Supramental if not higher, several millenniums ago, which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have foreseen and envisioned as the event of the future. This by itself would validate the concept of cyclical evolution as has been postulated by the Vedanta. In other words, according to this Vedantic concept, as has been elaborately and scientifically explained by Sri Yukteswarji, the spiritual master of Swami Yogananda, in his “Holy Science’, the lowest and the highest states of evolution have been attained ceaselessly and seamlessly in the course of descending and ascending yuga cycles. Swami Vivekananda, the spiritual mentor of Sri Aurobindo, has also explained the cycle of evolution and involution while explaining the philosophy of the Vedanta.

    My difficulty in understanding the concept of the supramental in Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is that neither he nor the Mother has spoken of dissolution or involution after supermanhood is attained by human beings, if not by all, at least by a large number of them. It appears that Sri Aurobindo, while dwelling upon his theory of evolution in a linear manner, has ignored the dark ages in Indian history when the ancient yoga was clearly forgotten and the man degenerated spiritually. He has also not referred to the spiritual height that the man attained millenniums ago, which he and the Mother tried to reach in the 20th century by their integral yoga. After all, Sri Aurobindo interpreted and explained those ancient philosophies only and followed the path prescribed by our sages of yesteryears. Obviously such things do not happen in a linear evolution. It happens only when civilisation is on a cyclical rotation.

    As for the scientist Kaddel’s prediction for near future, it has nothing to do with spiritual or yogic evolution as was envisaged by Sri Aurobindo or the Mother. Michio Kaku’s ‘Physics of the Future’ as also ‘Holy Science’ of Yukteswarji elaborately deals with the enormous possibility of scientific advancement in near future. According to Swami Vivekananda, such material and spiritual advancement has been attained in the past in cyclical order. If one takes into consideration spiritual and scientific advancement attained by Indians in the remote past, one would appear more inclined to subscribe to the cyclical rather than Sri Aurobindo’s linear concept of evolution.

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