Supramental State – Part One

Posted: July 19, 2010 / in: Spirituality / 22 comments

The supramental state – a key to superior understanding

Often we are confronted with life situations and dilemmas that we cannot solve from the mental perspective for the simple reason that we have the impression we need more data. At a closer look we realize that lost in the labyrinth of the mind, we find it very difficult to make a decision not because we do not have the information but because there are so many viewpoints upon the same information.

Yet the outcome is always clear in the end and sometimes we say: “i should have said that”, or “i should have done this”… And there are some blessed moments in life when we feel great, we feel in high spirits and we see things with a kind of eagle eye view, accurately getting all the details and in the same time having an extraordinarily broad perspective that allows us to take the right decision in no time.

From that perspective everything appears very clear, nothing is foggy or too complex anymore. The question often arises is “how can one access this eagle-eye view?”.

The answer is in a special state of consciousness that is only accessible  in some specific conditions. Generally we can call this: the supramental state. In this supramental state the mental structure is transcended, the discursive mind (the producer of all the dualistic thoughts) is silenced because we no longer feed it with our attention. For many this supramental state might appear very difficult to obtain but with little effort we can easily realize (at least to a certain extent) the reality of this state which is “one blink away” from our normal states.

This supramental state is a state which is characterized by the awareness upon what is called Vijnana MayaKosha the energetic structure behind the inferior mind (the discursive mind manas).This is the energetic structure of your being responsible for integrating you in the universe, making the subtle connections that translate the individuality into universality in its right  time and place. Everyone have this energetic structure otherwise we will disintegrate, be pulled apart by the universal forces that will “ignore” we are here and now. However not everyone has it awakened to the level of conscious awareness, for most people it is just a potential that is still to be consciously awakened.

universal-mindTherefore the participation of our life to the universal life – in absence of the awareness upon this supramental level – is just at the level of survival and from our limited perspective life is governed by chance. When awakening the awareness at the level of supramental structure vijnana mayakosha we become aware of the permanent interaction that take place between the individuality and the totality, making everything coherent and synchronized. One simple characteristic of this Vijnana MayaKosha energetic level of our being is that it doesn’t depend on any particular aspect of life, it is that universal part of our being that is specifically designed for us. Normally this supramental structure is concealed to our normal level of awareness; it doesn’t appear directly in our perception because our awareness is completely locked into details, reducing all that is general and universal to something that is particular. For example when you stay here in this room, you stay here in this particular room. Now, what is particular about this room? Is it the address? Is it the color of the walls or the floor? Or is it the particular memories that we have attached to it?

In reality its just a mental box that we have created and associated all these particular attributes to. In reality its just a room like any other one but we see it not just a room, we see it as being this particular room only. Its universality is hidden behind the particular details attached to it by our inferior mind manas.

For us this is what we usually call reality and therefore we are “locked” into this particular room. And also because the senses are “shouting” all these details to us we unconsciously associate them with this particular room and create this reality in the mind. Thus the supramental level, from where the whole concept of being here was born, is covered by all the specific details and as a result we can’t perceive it at all. This will happen with all details of our life.

It is possible to realize the supramental state right now

Even if concealed by the details of reality, it is possible for anyone to realize this supramental state right now. Even while you are reading these lines you are formulating your ideas and fundamental experiences at the supramental level in the shape of some intuitions and intentions, but they get immediately “swallowed” at the mental level where you just assign them to the particular personality you have – you give them the personal flavor of your thoughts until everything becomes the very detailed  personality, that cannot be distinguished from its basic elements.

Its is exactly like for example when you look at a painting but you cant see the colors because the colors are contained already in the images that create the whole painting. Therefore you can’t see only the red for example, you are looking at the particular painting as a whole. Analogically speaking this is how the supramental state is concealed in the normal daily states we have.

There are some elements related to the mental work that we usually ignore (and we pay a great price for this ignorance): the associative power of the inferior mind (manas) that combines the past experiences with the present perceptions to create a predictable future through projections. From this perspective we can say that the inferior mental structure is working with the domains of the past and future. In the absence of these two dimensions of time (past and future) the inferior mind is blocked because there is nothing to associate the perceptions from the present moment with. With this observation, you can easily understand why the present moment can be – when attentively observed – a genuine gate to the supramental state. When the inferior mind stops, the supramental state comes forth without difficulty.

At the supramental level you only see colors and the idea that will be represented as the painting. Therefore you cannot make a confusion between styles, between paintings and so on but the same idea can become a different painting when combined with another character, with other details from the past or other expectations from the future. For this reason at the supramental level we can see clearly, we can discern between fundamental ideas and we cannot be fooled with misleading details anymore.

In the present moment there is no room for the inferior mind, you are mindless and when you are mindless the supramental, which means what is beyond the mind, starts to appear

picasso-weeping-womanAnother analogy that is often used in the spiritual tradition is the surface of a lake. When the water is disturbed by waves created by exterior factors or by inner movements of the water, then you can see the reflections of the light and of the sky on the water but they will only show the surface of the water with millions of sparks of shattered images reflected on it. When the water is very still, then we cannot see its surface anymore because we see only the bottom of the lake. The reflective surface apparently disappears disclosing what was concealed by the chaotic reflection in the agitated surface: the lake bed that supports the lake itself. Analogically the supramental is the lake bed that is supporting all the mental activities and it is concealed by the result of these activities.

Just like the surface of the water reflects entire images when it is still and shattered images when agitated, the inferior mind cuts the reality into small pieces proportionally with its degree of agitation. The result will be a very strange collection of bits of images and in order to make sense the mind is interconnecting these bits of information in previously learned patterns. And here is what is the result:

This is how our reality usually looks when subjected to the logical inferior mind. No wonder we often have this sensation that the world is an absurd theater. With such a system of processing the information … it is a miracle we can find the way home after being at work.In these conditions we are an easy prey to any attempts of manipulation or to induce any combination that “stimulates” a certain view upon reality in us. The only reliable solution to this is to silence the mind until the image reflected into it doesn’t need adjustments from the inferior mind because it is perfectly accurate. The silenced mind no long appears to us, as it becomes still.

There are many methods to silence the mind and they are quite easy to practice but the difficulty is to make the sacrifice of all the meaningless but apparently useful details that we keep in the inferior mind, these will vanish once the mind is still. For most people meditation and mental training fails in the moment they have to give up the content of the inferior mind, for many the inferior mind looks like the house of an old lady, filled with all the old stuff  she cannot throw away because of their “emotional value”.

There is also another method for accessing (at least for a short while) the supramental state: the focus of the attention upon the present moment. As shown above the inferior mind exists only in the context of using the past and future as a basis of its associations. When focusing only upon the present moment, the inferior mind is still, locked in the golden moment of now. At that moment the supramental state shines. Training this focus upon the present moment even just for few moments a day will start to awaken the awareness at the level of the supramental structure. It will become easier to relate to this “beyond the mind” state since becoming familiar with it in moments of confusion, in moments we need an objective view upon things , the supramental state will be accessible with all its benefits.

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Advaita Stoian

Comments (22)

  1. cmack55 says:

    great post…. so what do you think about the subconscious mind?

  2. Alice says:

    Dear Mihai,
    thank you for the article about the supramental state.. and I have some questions..
    First I want to mention an excellent documentary about the mind. Available in Italian with Romanian subtitles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSTEQdkaRls&feature=related
    I have noticed that sometimes I know and understand things without having read or heard them before. Once I understood and was able to translate a joke directly from Portuguese, a language I do not speak at all. In such moments the mind seems to connect spontaneously to something bigger than my individual memory. Sometimes I do not need to make an effort to remember or plan things because in exactly in the moments I need it I have all the information. It feels like a kind of integration into a mental field.
    I have also noticed a connection between my mind and the outer circumstances – an alignment. My thoughts seem to have reflections outside – the same subject I think of appears in a conversation or in a movie, or in an article on your blog. Sometimes the questions I think of are answered spontaneously inside my mind, without any process of reasoning. This also gives me the feeling of a mental field. I wonder – does it mean that our mind could function very well even in the complete absence of reasoning?
    Is this mental field connected to the supramental state?
    Thank you again.

    • Mihai Stoian Mihai Stoian says:

      @ alice
      That state of integration into a mental field, as you call it, is what for your experience was the touch with the supramental level. Aim to become aware about the specific conditions that trigger for you this connection with the supramental level and you can remake this connection every time, by accurately evoking that state. Indeed in that specific supramental state your mind is in synchrony with the universal mind and it is not interfering anymore in the process of communication, in a way you become just the channel of manifestation of this universal mind. Now you know how the state is and all you have to do is to learn cu consciously have access to it every time you need.
      Then look upon a simple, daily event from the supramental level and compare the state and the understandings that appear with the same experience that you have in normal conditions… 😉 it will be a great reason to continue further the training.

  3. Cristian says:

    I loved the image of the old lady hanging on to her possessions! We are exactly like this. We live our life just going through albums full of old photos instead of throwing out the old photos and living life exactly as it is in the present moment. Perhaps we are afraid that if we give up the old photos there will be nothing left for us..

  4. Alice says:

    Dear Mihai
    My perception of the “mental field” I mentioned was more like an intuition of something which is always there, like an invisible friend who was constantly assisting me. Reading your article and your reply to my comment, I realize that I would like to get to know this friend and to pay more attention to the way she manifests and to be able to see the world from her perspective..
    The conditions in which I was aware of the work of this friend were of relaxation and trust, a sort of receptivity and surrender at the mental level. The information I receive in this way comes either spontaneously, when I do not have the time to think, or when the “normal” mind cannot help at all because it reaches a dead end or an impossible situation.
    Thank you. I am looking forward to read more about the supramental.

    • Mihai Stoian Mihai Stoian says:

      @Alice
      The best way to know this silent “friend” as you call it is to focus (without tensing) upon the present moment, to remain aware only of the present moment activities. You will discover that the discursive mind – that is one of the causes of the supramental being hidden – will not be able to work in the present moment. Try it now.

  5. Cristian says:

    @ Mihai Stoian

    What is the connection between the supramental and the right hemisphere of the brain? Is there an association between the left hemisphere and the mind, and between the right hemisphere and the supramental?
    What do you think about the connection between the brain and the mind? I know modern science is still trying to figure this one out..
    What exactly is the spiritual function of the so called inferior mind? since it seems to be giving us so much trouble..
    Are there any good books you recommend on the subject of the supramental?
    Thank you.

    • Mihai Stoian Mihai Stoian says:

      @ Cristian
      About the supramental you can start by reading the work of Sri Aurobindo, an indian master that was presenting this issue very well adapted to the modern mind. If you want to have a practical experience of it (which is in fact the real experience) i recommend you signup to a yoga class in one of the yoga schools that is following Grieg’s teachings because it is the system that can provide a direct guidance and practical experience of awakening the supramental structure and experience it for yourself. There are some notions about this subject on the internet but in most of situations the practical experience is lacking almost completely.
      The connection between brain and mind is done by resonance, the structure of the brain becoming a complex resonator where the mind can manifest. It is easy to understand this connection if you analogically consider the example of a radio set: the radio is producing all the music or talk (in accordance to which radio station you tune the radio set). But if you try to look inside you will not find the one that is talking or the orchestra that is singing. The whole program is produces somewhere else and comes through resonance into the radio. In the same way the mind is not located into the brain but it is in resonance with the brain, animating it. Now the radio can be turned off and the radio station will not disappear. IN the same way, if the brain is turned off the mind and the individual will not disappear. Start from this analogy and things will become more clear. As for the role of the inferior mind in the whole mental architecture i can give you another simple analogy: think about a librarian that is arranging the books in the municipal library. Without that work nobody will access any experience, any information and it will become more difficult to evolve. But the problem in most cases is that the librarian is considering himself being the mayor of the city. The library of feelings, experiences and so on is a mess because the librarian is now busy taking decisions … for which he is not at all qualified. In time the librarian starts to make us believe that he wrote all the books from the library, and the we give him much more credit than deserved…. We repeat the same mistakes again and again because we cannot relate to any experience we have had in the past… because the librarian – mayor is busy finding solutions (that in fact were contained in the books he was supposed to arrange and make easily accessible for us). In this way we are busy but inefficient on the path of evolution. This is the situation when the inferior mind is not in the right place, doing the right thing. I hope this example will be useful for you to understand the role of the inferior mind. Send the librarian back to work and let the heart to fly high.

  6. Gabriella says:

    Thank you for this article! – and the analogy with the librarian; it made it very clear how the drama in our lifes starts when we rely on the mind instead of the heart to guide us.. It made me laugh out loud when i think of (apropo 🙂 ) how many times i hanged on to the advises of my mind which new nothing really – how we can waste so much time; it continously seeks and seeks but doesn’t find. And what relieve the heart brings in its silent knowing, when i am able to rest in this vast space. It was good to be reminded again how the only real valuable experience resides in the here and now. I will dive into the practice you adviced, and see what it brings further..

    Love, Gabriella

  7. Maxim says:

    hi,I’m practicing yoga for several years and I like doing meditation.I started to meditate every day and for some time I started to experience, I think, supramental state for a short period.Mental clarity,and no thougts for a short period,but unfortunatelly the thoughts are reappearing .Can give some advices to remain longer in the supramental state? thank you.

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ Maxim
      In order to remain for longer time in a supramental state you can use an “anchor” for your attention at that level. One very strong such “anchor” is the focusing into the present moment. The present moment is one of the most effective ways to enter and maintain yourself into the supramental level since it is only in the present moment the inferior mind (manas) will be blocked.
      Another easy anchoring of the attention is to focus upon a perceptive act since according to one of the fundamental universal principles any act of perception happens now. Try to continuously focus upon an act of perception and notice the effects …
      Enjoy!

  8. rupert says:

    Hello Advaita,
    l like this article about supramental state.I like to write lectures about spirituality. Now reading your article it becomes clear for me that when I am writing I have access to the supramental. How can I have access to supramental during spiritual practice,meditation,asanas.
    Thank you

  9. maxim says:

    thanks for this advice. Something very interesting happened while I was reading your response yesterday morning. While reading and watching him carefully to understand your words,something in me instantly clarified ,in a direct way just beyond thoughts, on the meaning of the concept of “anchor”.I heard some time ago about the concept of “anchor”, then I forgot about it, but just now while I was reading at that point, direct, I clarified what actually means.I felt beyond thoughts the practical meaning to the concept of “anchor” on the spiritual path,it was as I directly felt in all its complexity, how a stabilizing anchor a boat in the water.This effective transfer of knowledge, direct, and beyond words instantly gives me the opportunity to apply this concept in meditation and now realize it actually. Thank you and I will keep you updated with what is happening now further.

  10. Stefan says:

    According to last comments something that helps me a lot when i reach states and want to stay or continue from that level is to evoke the highest one I’ve had before on each new meditation, also i used to have an alarm on my phone ringing at different times per day and every time it rings i stop what i’m doing and try to focus ” I’m here and now. ”
    For me it is difficult to find out which possessions I am attached …

  11. maxim says:

    Hi again,since my last post I began to meditate almost daily. In these meditations I tried to apply what you adviced me. I think I’m wrong because I try to fix the mind in the present moment. But as you said”it is only in the present moment the inferior mind (manas) will be blocked “. What should I do now?

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ maxim
      You are focusing the mind upon the present moment and gradually the mental agitation start to diminish and disappear. Just continue to do that and stop thinking about the mind … because this is just a mental trick. When you are focusing the mind upon the present moment its like you are taking a car to take you to go and visit a friend, but once you are there you leave the car in the parking because you cannot bring the car into the apartment at the seventh floor. If you start thinking that your car will never make it to the seventh floor where your friend is living you will never take the journey. The mind is an instrument, a vehicle for your consciousness. The present moment where only consciousness “live” and no vehicles can go there.
      Follow the silence and to not be concern where the noise is left on the way.

      • stein says:

        Thank you Advaita,note that this example traveling by car helped me understand what to do now in meditation . I will keep you informed about progress in meditation, which now committed to achieving daily.Also which for me is extrordinary is that can easily achieve to use the concept of anchor that you explained jut before and sent me directly, amazing

  12. Elina M. says:

    Hello Advaita
    I´ve been experiencing in my last meditations some kind of very nice “ideas” or understandings… Even though i try not to get seduced by them and maintain the focus, my question is how can you recognize the difference between an inspiration coming from reaching maybe the supramental level or a simple distracting thought?
    Thank you 🙂

  13. maxim says:

    Yes indeed the spiritual heart knows its way into the present moment . I understand now the last meditations as you said it was just a mental trick. Now I try in meditation to calm my mind,only to go in the silence and to focus in the present moment:are functioning…

  14. maxim says:

    I traveled these days for my business and actually being all the time in the car or encountering my business partners . Therefore I had no time to do my daily meditation for two consecutive days,and tonight when I did my meditation I could barely focus ,not to mention to center in the present moment. I feel like I have to repeat everything from the beginning. It’s so important to meditate daily ???

  15. maxim says:

    Slowly I began to regain the spiritual states which I’ve had before intrerrupting the daily meditation. However I admit that the additional concentration daily work was required. Also I increased with 1 hour the daily meditation.I could not imagine that this shortly intrerruption of daily maditation will have this”devastating”effect…

  16. maxim says:

    about my meditation : the way I see things now for me now it is necessary to realize a daily meditation of at least 2 hours,performed continuously.why if I interrupt several days and no longer realize the daily meditation then is so difficult to resume meditation at the same level as before?

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