The Supramental Action, Yoga and Human Evolution (HH 085)


We have entered an accelerated mode of evolution. It is at once individual and collective. As a part of this process we see certain tendencies that have long remained buried or else accepted as normal and natural are being raised up only to be exhausted or changed. The mind of the race that long accepted certain things is now disgusted with them and seeks to reject them completely. But what is the way and the process? Yoga is not about miracles but a steady climb towards new conquests, slow discovery of new possibilities, a victory over enduring difficulties and obstinate resistances.


Words of Sri Aurobindo

 

The end of a stage of evolution is usually marked by a powerful recrudescence of all that has to go out of the evolution. It is a principle of Nature that in order to get rid of any powerful tendency or deep-seated association in humanity, whether in the mass or in the individual, it has first to be exhausted by bhoga or enjoyment, afterwards to be dominated and weakened by nigraha or control and, finally, when it is weak, to be got rid of by samyama, rejection or selfdissociation. The difference between nigraha and samyama is that in the first process there is a violent struggle to put down, coerce and, if possible, crush the tendency, the reality of which is not questioned, but in the second process it is envisaged as a dead or dying force, its occasional return marked with disgust, then with impatience, finally with indifference as a mere ghost, vestige or faint echo of that which was once real but is now void of significance. Such a return is part of the process of Nature for getting rid of this undesirable and disappearing quantity.

Samyama is unseasonable and would be fruitless when a force, quality or tendency is in its infancy or vigour, before it has had the enjoyment and full activity which is its due. When once a thing is born it must have its youth, growth, enjoyment, life and final decay and death; when once an impetus has been given by Prakriti to her creation, she insists that the velocity shall spend itself by natural exhaustion before it shall cease. To arrest the growth or speed unseasonably by force is nigraha, which can be effective for a time but not in perpetuity. It is said in the Gita that all things are ruled by their nature, to their nature they return and nigraha or repression is fruitless. What happens then is that the thing untimely slain by violence is not really dead, but withdraws for a time into the Prakriti which sent it forth, gathers an immense force and returns with extraordinary violence ravening for the rightful enjoyment which it was denied. We see this in the attempts we make to get rid of our evil samskaras or associations when we first tread the path of Yoga. If anger is a powerful element in our nature, we may put it down for a time by sheer force and call it self-control, but eventually unsatisfied Nature will get the better of us and the passion return upon us with astonishing force at an unexpected moment…..

The law is the same for the mass as for the individual. The process of human evolution has been seen by the eye of inspired observation to be that of working out the tiger and the ape. The forces of cruelty, lust, mischievous destruction, pain-giving, folly, brutality, ignorance were once rampant in humanity, they had full enjoyment; then by the growth of religion and philosophy they began in periods of satiety such as the beginning of the Christian era in Europe to be partly replaced, partly put under control. As is the law of such things, they have always reverted again with greater or less virulence and sought with more or less success to reestablish themselves. Finally in the nineteenth century it seemed for a time as if some of these forces had, for a time at least, exhausted themselves and the hour for samyama and gradual dismissal from the evolution had really arrived. Such hopes always recur and in the end they are likely to bring about their own fulfilment, but before that happens another recoil is inevitable.

[12/16/2014]

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