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Impact on Hindu Spiritual Leaders


From A.B. Purani’s “The Life of Sri Aurobindo”, Chapter ” Pondicherry 1910-1926″, page 209

1926 – 10 July:

Remark in a talk: “Vivekananda came and gave me the knowledge of the intuitive mentality. I had not the last idea about it at that time. He too did not have it when he was in the body. He gave me detailed knowledge illustrating each point. The contact lasted about three weeks and then he withdrew”.


From a “note kept by Anilbaran of a talk with Sri Aurobindo in July 1926” [10 July?] as quoted in an addition from the Editors in Nirodbaran’s “Talks with Sri Aurobindo” (volume 1) page 164

Sri Aurobindo: [.] Then there is the incident of the personality of Vivekananda visiting me in jail. He explained to me in detail the work of the Supramental – not exactly of the Supramental, but of the intuitivised mind, the mind as it is organised by the Supramental. He did not use the word “Supermind”, I gave this name afterwards. That experience lasted for about two weeks.
Nirodbaran: Was that a vision?
Sri Aurobindo: No, it was not a vision. I would not have trusted a vision.


From “Evening Talks” of A.B. Purani – Second series (online version)

18th December 1938 (4-30 P. M.)

Disciple: Have you realized Supermind?
Sri Aurobindo: You know I was talking about the tail of the Supermind to Y. I know what it is, I had flashes and glimpses of it. I have been trying to Supramentalize the Overmind. Not that the Supermind is not acting. It is doing so through Overmind and Intuition and the intermediate powers have come down. Supermind is above the Overmind (He showed it by placing one palm above the other) so that one may mistake one for the other. I remember the day when people here claimed to have got it. I myself had made mistakes about it in the beginning, and I did not know about the many planes. It was Vivekananda who used to come to me in Alipore Jail and showed to me Intuitive plane and for about two to three weeks or so gave me training as regards Intuition. Then afterwards I began to see still higher planes. I am not satisfied with only a part, or a flash of Supermind but I want to bring down the whole mass of the Supermind pure, and that is an extremely difficult business.


From Nirodbaran’s “Talks with Sri Aurobindo” (volume 1) pages 161-162
(also partly quoted in K.R. Srinavasa Iyengar’s “Sri Aurobindo – a biography and a history”, page 372)

10 January 1939

Sri Aurobindo: [.] I had no idea of the Supermind when I started and for long it was not clear to me. It was the spirit of Vivekananda who first gave me a clue in the direction of the Supermind. This clue led me to see how the Truth-Consciousness works in everything.
Nirodbaran: Did he know about the Supermind?
Sri Aurobindo: He didn’t say “Supermind”. “Supermind” is my own word. He just said to me, “This is this, this is that” and so on. That was how he proceeded – by pointing and indicating. He visited me for 15 days in Alipore jail and, until I could grasp the whole thing, he went on teaching me and impressed upon my mind the working of the Higher Consciousness – the Truth-Consciousness in general – which leads towards the Supermind. He would not leave until he had put it all into my head.
Nirodbaran: Do Gurus come in that way and give teachings?
Sri Aurobindo: Why not? That is traditional experience from ancient times. Any number of Gurus give initiation after their death. [.] But I had another direct experience of Vivekananda’s presence when I was practising Hathayoga. I felt this presence standing behind and watching over me. That exerted a great influence afterwards in my life.


From Nirodbaran’s “Talks with Sri Aurobindo” (volume 1) pages 245-246

25 January 1939

S (disciple): Vivekananda had a sort of Nirvanic experience. He has himself mentioned something about it.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, that experience is the only one definitely known.
Purani: He also had visions at Amarnath. But he seemed always torn between two tendencies: world-work and direct sadhana.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes. And he used to put more intuitive flashes into his conversations than into his writings. That’s what I found on reading Nivedita’s book “Vivekananda – The Master As I Saw Him”. As a rule too, it is in talk that such flashes come – at last in his case it was so.
Nirodbaran: You said the other day that his spirit visited you in Alipore Jail and told you about the Higher Consciousness from where, I suppose, these intuitive flashes come.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, he did tell me. I had no idea about things of the Higher Consciousness. I never expected him and yet he came to teach me. And he was exact and precise even in the minutest details.
Nirodbaran: That is very interesting. He has nowhere in his books or conversations spoken of those things. Could his spirit know after death what he didn’t know in life?
Sri Aurobindo: Why not? He may have got it afterwards.
S (disciple): Can the spirit evolve after death?
Sri Aurobindo: Of course. But either he may not have known in life or else he may have known and kept silent. A Yogi doesn’t say all that he knows. He says only what is necessary. If I wrote all that I know, then it would be ten times the amount I have written.
S (disciple): People will judge you by what you have written.
Sri Aurobindo (laughing): That doesn’t matter.
Nirodbaran: Then we shan’t know all that you know?
Sri Aurobindo: Well, realise first what I have written.


From Nirodbaran’s “Talks with Sri Aurobindo” (volumes 2 & 3) page 243

25 February 1940

Nirodbaran: When M. asked you what Vivekananda had taught you during your inner contact with him in jail, you replied that he had taught you about Intuition as a first step to Supermind.
Sri Aurobindo: I may have said it like that, but I didn’t mean it as you understand it. What I meant is that one can get a glimpse of Supermind from the Intuition-level, and such a glimpse was my first step..


From a letter published in “On Himself”, Section “Life before Pondicherry “, page 68

13 September 1946

Sri Aurobindo writes:
It is a fact that I was hearing constantly the voice of Vivekananda speaking to me for a fortnight in the jail in my solitary meditation and felt his presence [.] The voice spoke only on a special and limited but very important field of spiritual experience and it ceased as soon as it had finished saying all that it had to say on that subject.


A.B. Purani “The Life of Sri Aurobindo” (revised edition 1978) and
Sri Aurobindo “On Himself” , SABCL volume 26
are published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Pondicherry

Nirodbaran “Talks with Sri Aurobindo” in 3 books containing 4 volumes (1985 – 1986 & 1989) are published by Sri Aurobindo Society Calcutta (1) & Madras (2 & 3)