© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

The Overmind

Sweet Mother,

What is the work of the Overmind? (Note1)

The overmind is the region of the gods, the beings of divine origin who have been charged with supervising, directing and organising the evolution of the universe; and more specifically, since the formation of the earth they have served as messengers and intermediaries to bring to the earth the aid of the higher regions and to preside over the formation of the mind and its progressive ascension. It is usually to the gods of the overmind that the prayers of the various religions are addressed. These religions most often choose, for various reasons, one of these gods and transform him for their personal use into the supreme God.

In the individual evolution, one must develop in oneself a zone corresponding to the overmind and an overmind consciousness, before one can rise above it, to the Supermind, or open oneself to it.

Almost all the occult systems and disciplines aim at the development and mastery of the overmind.

27 November 1959


Sweet Mother,

What is meant by "a zone corresponding to the overmind" and how can one develop it in oneself? What is meant by the "mastery of the overmind"?

The individual being is made up of states of being corresponding to cosmic zones or planes, and it is as these inner states of being are developed that one becomes conscious of those domains. This consciousness is double, at first psychological and subjective, within oneself, expressing itself through thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations; then objective and concrete when one is able to go beyond the limits of the body in order to move about in the various cosmic regions, grow conscious of them and act freely in them--it is this that is called "mastery"; it is this that I spoke of when I mentioned the mastery of the overmind.

It goes without saying that all this is not done in a day, nor even in a year. This mastery, in whatever domain it may be, vital, mental, overmental, demands assiduous effort and a great concentration. These masteries are no easier than the mastery of the physical world; and everyone knows how much time and effort are needed merely to learn the things indispensable for leading one's life properly, not to speak of "mastery", which is truly something exceptional on earth.

28 November 1959

Note 1: This question and the three that follow are based on terms used by Sri Aurobindo in The Life Divine, especially in its final chapters.