Sri Aurobindo’s Concept of Evolution and Superman – 2

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Sri Aurobindo’s Concept of Superman

According to Sri Aurobindo, this state of consciousness for the individual is prepared by a long and conscious development of fourfold personality of knowledge, power, harmony and skill. The individual moving towards the growth of complete person will not only continue to transcend the limitations of inertia, obscurity, of tamas, but also the limitations of rajasic feverish and egoistic and blind impulse of egoistic assertion and dynamism, and even the limitations of light and balance or equilibrium that are limited to the narrow grooves of mental consciousness that manifests in rationality, ethical character and aesthetic sensitivity and creativity.

In the course of the development towards ever-progressive completeness, the individual will break the limitations of what Indian psychology terms the rajasic and sattvic nature.

There will be the growth and development of what can be called super-nature or of what Bhagavadgita terms as parā prakriti. Powers of knowledge, heroism, harmony and skills will manifest the super-nature that is marked by calm strength, luminous love and will that is guided by illumination and enthused by the motive of service to be rendered to all and to uplift all by developing and utilising skills that can remove progressively the causes of suffering and ignorance.

The fourfold personality will mark not any static poise of stagnation but a continuous dynamic poise of equilibrium expressing internal integrality of all the parts and planes of being.

Such an integral personality may properly be called a member of a growing nucleus of a new humanity or even of super-humanity. The complete person is an evolutionary being, but a stage will be reached where the evolutionary process crosses the limitations of Ignorance which is a constant movement from error to knowledge and will dwell more and more in a new consciousness that will be liberated from ignorance so as to permit movement from knowledge to knowledge.

Such a being that lives in knowledge and manifests dynamics of knowledge integrally may properly be described as superman.

But Sri Aurobindo’s concept of superman is totally different from the superman conceived by Nietzsche. Nietzcheian superman manifests an enlarged personality, a magnified and exaggerated ego, an increased power of mind, an increased power of vital force, a force that aims at domination over humanity, and enlarges but does not transform the forces of human Ignorance.

The superman conceived by Sri Aurobindo will be a self-realised being which serves humanity to find its own self-exceeding and self-fulfilment by the revelation of the divinity that is striving for birth within it.

While describing supermanhood, Sri Aurobindo states:

Unity is the secret, a complex, understanding and embracing unity. When the full heart of Love is tranquillised by knowledge into a calm ecstasy and vibrates with strength, when the strong hands of Power labour for the world in a radiant fullness of joy and light, when the luminous brain of knowledge accepts and transforms the heart’s obscure inspirations and lends itself to the workings of the high-seated Will, when all these gods are founded together on a soul of sacrifice that lives in unity with all the world and accepts all things to transmute them, then is the condition of man’s integral self-transcendence.

This and not a haughty, strong and brilliant egoistic self-culture enthroning itself upon an enslaved humanity is the divine way of supermanhood.

CWSA Vol. 13, p. 157


New dimensions in spirituality
Author: Sisirkumar Ghose


~ Design: Raamkumar

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