Alok Pandey

We are all aware of the supramental ship of the Mother carrying different beings of the old creation as a prototype towards the New Creation. The beings are representative and at various levels in their individual evolution. Some are more ready; others ready in some parts but not in other parts; still others need to go back and prepare till they are ready for the great transit. Another interesting thing is that this great transit is a collective one. The ship is carrying different types of people from different parts of the world! How are these different samples of humanity linked to each other in time and space? Of course the central link, the true link is the Divine Mother who is the captain of the ship as well as the mediatrix between the old and the new creation. At least that is the work she has chosen to undertake in Her present avatara. But how are these different samples of humanity interlinked individually and collectively, even as they have gathered together around Her!

Here an image comes to us, the image of the Supramental tree. The image unfolds itself as follows:

The Mother brought down with Her the mantra of eternal life concealed in the higher hemisphere. It is the word of New Creation, the Real-Idea concealed in the folds of earthly darkness but revealed in the Supramental Truth-Consciousness. This word is the seed of New Creation which she brings down just as Shri Krishna in a previous age brought down parijata, the tree of aspiration for divine life, upon earth at the insistence of Satyabhama, who was herself an aspect or power of the Divine Mother hoping to plant upon earth the heavenly tree. This time, and for this age, the Divine Mother brings the seed of the New Consciousness and hands it over to Sri Aurobindo when she meets Him for the first time, in this embodiment, so to say. But the earth is not ready. ‘The debt to Rudra must be paid before the heart of man can be ready for peace.’ The first Great War follows and it shakes the earth and its nations and it shakes men and nations as if a thunderbolt or lightning strikes a field turning its foliage to ashes. The foliage of old creation is burnt down though the stump remains. The ash from the burning down of the old goes on to enrich the soil. Shiva and Kali dance over the earth; – he smearing the ash over his body and thereby sanctifying it, she drinking the poisonous blood of the old creation thereby purifying it.

The Mother returns in 1920 and for the next few years there begins an unprecedented work not witnessed before in earth’s history. For the soil of our earth – nature will not readily accept this new seed. It is not ready and has to be made ready by tilling and watering the soil. This first phase of the work is the early part of the Ashram. The soil of earth – nature is thoroughly tilled by the twin avatara. The soil is watered constantly by Divine Love so that it can have the right constitution, neither too hard as a rock nor too soft as sand, so to say. When the tilling is complete and the soil can hold the light of the sun and the air from higher regions then the next phase begins.

This first phase is largely over with the siddhi day. Six years of cleansing of the past and six years of ceaseless tilling of the soil brings down Sri Krishna’s Light into our earth-stuff to play freely with matter. This Light itself will now further prepare matter to receive the Supramental Sun necessary for the seed of New Creation to sprout. A great inner rite and ceremony of consecration follows. It is the formation of the Ashram formally, so to say. The digging is done deep into the soil so as to plant the seed. The digging takes long as it must be fairly deep, nay the very deepest. It must go right upto the very heart of inner darkness, the inconscient foundation of the earth. Once dug, the yajna must be performed so that the whole environment is purified and the toxic things kept out of harm’s way. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother light the fire of aspiration deep into the earth nature. The rites of this yajna is simple, – to put all of oneself into this fire of a new aspiration so that the descending Grace may purify the earth further. This is a long painstaking, laborious and thorough work. The Supramental seed cannot co-exist with any impurity. It is the seed of the immaculate truth, the purest diamond of God.

As They dug deeper, there came out from the chasm beings and creatures and forces that had taken shelter in the dark underbelly of the earth, the animal past imprinted in our subconscient nature. And as the descending Truth drew closer to the sap of life embedded within the earth as a hidden treasure, there rose up from earth the resistance of the vital forces that had held it in their sway. The seed cannot be implanted in such an atmosphere. Like Shiva, Sri Aurobindo drank this poison stuff and at once the ground was cleared for the deep sowing. The moment of Death became also the moment of eternal life:

‘A seed shall be sown in Death’s tremendous hour
A branch of heaven transplant to human soil
Nature shall overleap her mortal step
Fate shall be changed by an unchanging will.’

Sri Aurobindo

The digging deep in ‘a horror of filth and mire’ enduring ‘a thousand wounds’ in an effort to reclaim the land from the fiefdom of old for sowing the Tree Divine, led, as we know, to the other great war of the previous century. Nevertheless the seed was sown in matter or rather extracted out of it when Sri Aurobindo Himself chose to go down into the ‘bottomless pit’ for the battle with the forces of the Abyss. It would take another six years (29th Feb 1956) before the first rays of the descending Supramental Light touch the seed of Divine Life. The link is established, the higher mystery is joined to the lower, the betrothal of earth and heaven is accomplished and the New Consciousness begins to nurture and nourish the golden seed.

These three phases, the phase of a general preparation of the soil, the digging and the rite of purification, finally the sowing of the seed are accomplished on a small scale in Pondicherry. But now the seed begins to sprout and the earth is a little more ready (because of Their labour) to receive more seedlings. Branches extend themselves out of the plant, some main and others side branches that would serve as conduits to carry the sap of a New Life outwards and offer it through the sun to the earth atmosphere. These are a few of the main branches opened by the Mother after the Great Descent of the New Light upon earth. These in turn gave rise to more smaller branches and twigs that are the many centers spread across the world. Once these twigs grew strong enough, and as a natural consequence the leaves came out as foliage covering the branches and the main trunk. These leaves provide an interphase and an exchange with the earth atmosphere. It is through the leaves that the tree absorbs the energy of the earth and releases its own back into the earth atmosphere. This foliage of many colours supported on many a different twigs is Auroville, the first outwardly visible manifestation of the New Consciousness. More appropriately perhaps, it is the precursor to the emergence of flowers and fruits into the arena of the world.

Now the Supramental tree is still small. It is still not fully visible in the forest of this world though more and more of humanity is beginning to take notice of it. The first few phases of the work were not meant to be noticed and could not have been noticed or understood by the world at large, but the later few phases are bound to be noticed and cannot be ignored. And as the flowers and fruits bloom on this tree the seekers of Divine Life will be attracted more and more to it and in an increasing numbers. Some would make one part of the tree or other their home. Of these the most difficult part is the root and the main trunk. It is the largely unseen work wherein one has to be willing to bear the burden of the rest of the tree, to patiently extract the possibilities enclosed in the seed and pass it upwards for the world to manifest it through the touch of the sun and the exchange of forces with the outside world. This work needs an entire self giving, a self effacing spirit of glad sacrifice for the Work, a sincerity that is one-pointed and free of the taint of every ambition and desire, a strong adhara to bear the pressure from below and above without being crushed or broken apart, an unsleeping aspiration linking the seed with the sun and, a deep faith and will to sacrifice everything for this Work and for this Work alone. The Central Influence radiates from here, from this seed sprouting from within; the chief difficulties are represented here, in the roots sunk deep into the inconscient foundations of our nature. The burden is greatest here but so are the peace and delight supporting it. The close proximity with the seed means drinking from the possibilities concealed in It but also going down and sometimes struggling in the darkness below. The branches of the tree serve another purpose in the work of New Creation by freely transmitting the sap to and fro. The foliage serves as a cradle for the fruits and the flowers. The fruits and the flowers are the individual souls that have been prepared through all this labour to realize the Life Divine in some measure. Through these the fragrance and sweetness of the New Consciousness shall spread to all.

The full tree already exists in the subtle worlds and is trying to manifest here upon earth in the physical world. But there are missing pieces or misplaced cells. That is the source of disorder in this world. For the world to be perfect with each thing in its true place where it should be, this tree should also be perfect. For even the tree of Truth-Consciousness has to work itself out in the conditions and circumstances of our material existence that are very different from the Truth above where the Supramental tree exists in its native home. But as the tree grows it will come closer and closer to the Truth that it represents. The Divine gardener is busy bringing the earthly tree as close to its image of truth. Now He shifts this element, plucks away this leaf to put it back into the roots so as to nurture and nourish the whole tree. Now He pulls and draws the sap upwards and throws up the energy of the whole tree into a fresh leaf and a new shoot. And through all this falling and rising, shedding and springing, churning and mixing all is being drawn into a single plan. For a deep oneness is the truth and origin of life and a deep oneness shall be its high culmination as well.

‘O Sun-Word, thou shalt raise the earth-soul to Light
And bring down God into the lives of men;
Earth shall be my work-chamber and my house,
My garden of life to plant a seed divine.
When all thy work in human time is done
The mind of earth shall be a home of light,
The life of earth a tree growing towards heaven,
The body of earth a tabernacle of God.’

Sri Aurobindo: Savitri; p. 699