Note, the following two posts (here combined in a single page), are taken from the auroconf mail list, and help to illustrate the fact that even most spiritual teachers and gurus absolutely do not understand what Sri Aurobindo was on about. I elsewhere refer to Da Free John (Adidam) in this regard. He was not the only one. Here is Osho's misunderstanding.
From Dave: Dear All I was searching the web for comments about Sri Aurobindo from various authors. I picked up the attached from www.Osho.org website.
Osho: I know about Sri Aurobindo, because he himself was teaching his whole life that his special work was to give methods to people to attain physical immortality. All old teachers have taught you spiritual immortality; that's not a big problem, because the spiritual element in you is already immortal. He used to say, "I am doing the real thing. The physical body, which is not immortal, I am going to make it immortal." And one day he died... The chief disciple, "the Mother" of the Sri Aurobindo ashram, finally found a solution to it. She said, "He is not dead, he has gone into deep samadhi, the deepest that anyone has ever gone. He will wake up again - he is simply asleep." So they made a marble grave for him, with all the comforts, because he was just sleeping and one day he was going to wake up...Then years passed, but he did not knock from the grave. People started suspecting, but the mother was over ninety, and she was still preaching physical immortality... Then one day she died. And it was very difficult for the believers, because the believers had some investment; their investment was their own immortality... I said, "But how long will it take? By that time you will all be dead! Even if they come.... You just go and open the grave, and you will know that it is no longer sleep. There are only skeletons, stinking of death, not the fragrance of immortality.
What are your intelligent thoughts on this?
from Prem: Mother and Sri Aurobindo never said that they were working on physical immortality. They said they were working on the next evolutionary step, the triple transformation: psychic transformation, spiritual transformation and supermental transformation . The first two are not new, and they stated that. The third has never yet been done in this universe or manifestation. Physical immortality would be a "minor consequence", it was not the goal...
The supermental transformation is about the consciousness beyond mind being as totally manifest as mind became in the animal. Supermental consciousness, is Truth consciousness, it is infinite and omnipotent. There are steps in that change and Mother said it would take 300 years after psychic transformation in the same body. Humanity was not willing to go as fast as was needed for Mother to achieve it in her current body. Sri Aurobindo sacrificed his body to avoid WWIII over Korea, and gave Mother the task to complete the transformation. Mother obviously did not complete it in that body. I was there the day she quote 'left', 17 Nov 1973, and when I went to the Ashram that morning to meditate there were all these long faced people. So I asked one of the students from the school who was helping people what happened. He said "Mother has left her body". He was very sad, but my heart knew and felt "Victory". She had achieved what was needed for the supermental transformation to still take place. When and how is to be unfolded. The Divine is in charge and yet humanity and each individual has free will.
There are still individuals who choose, the Great Peace, Unity, Oneness with God, and Service to the Work of Transformation, of the next evolutionary step. Is this some small miracle that takes place in a year or a decade? How hard is it for each of us to conquer anger? lust? jealousy? arrogance? ignorance? falsehood? On the other hand we have the help of the Divine, the promise that it shall be done, and in fact the promise that it is done, it must proceed in the time that it takes. I have no other reason to live. prem from the auroconf mail list Fri, 9 Apr 1999
from Kenny: There certainly is no accounting for what some sadly misinformed people will write or say, outside or inside the Ashram. Anyone who has taken the time to read what Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have written and said about this subject would know that the entire skreed was a gross misrepresentation of their work.
To put it as simply as possible, the goal of the Integral Yoga was, and is, transformation of the entire being so that it can manifest the Divine consciousness on Earth in increasingly undiminished forms on every level. Some of these had perhaps been achieved or attempted in the past and some, they contended, are new in the sense that they are part of an evolutionary process, whose time in the history of the Earth is just now beginning. Unlike many other spiritual paths that have consigned the body to being forever part of the duality, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's vision included the transformation of the physical being by the Divine so that the very nature of the cells could be transformed. They stated that such a transformation would likely include an infinite flexibility in reflecting a higher consciousness and that the body would no longer be subject to the evolutionary laws that have governed it for millennia. They further stated this would likely include the ability to prolong life at will and other attributes.
However, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother also stated boldly and clearly that such changes were not, per se, the goal of their work. The goal of their work is a spiritual realization and transformation: all of the other things would be worked out by the consciousness itself as it evolved and manifested. They also stated that there is a particular state, being and force of the Divine consciousness of Truth that would be goal of this path, one that would be able to bridge the gap between the unmanifested Brahman/Satchidanada and the forever dualistic worlds of the manifested universe. Sri Aurobindo named this consciousness the Supramental Consciousness and said that this consciousness is the raison d'etre of the next steps in evolution, just has the Physical, Vital and Mental consciousness had been the raison d'etre for the previous steps in evolution.It is the Supramental Consciousness that is the ultimate goal of the Integral Yoga. Whatever attainments other genuine yogis achieved in the past, both spiritual and physical, is wonderful and if some of them were able to achieve physical siddhis that prolonged their lives indefinitely, so be it. But unless these other past transformations were of the Supramental transformation, then they were different than what Sri Aurobindo and The Mother were envisioning and attempting. That is, if one chooses to accept Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's vision. If not, then everything is open to vastly different interpretation.
Of course, for human beings trapped in limited physical bodies, subject to decay and death and the fears and pain that are part of the human normal experience and condition, any hope for escape from an unwanted death and the loss that accompanies it, is supremely attractive. It certainly can be supposed that there have been those who have been attracted to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's work in the hope that they could achieve the fulfillment of their fantasies of physical immortality. While Sri Aurobindo and The Mother were in their bodies, I'm sure that there were also those that pinned such hopes on them staying around in their bodies forever and that there were many followers who projected all kinds of ideas on them. I'm sure that if most of us were completely honest with ourselves, we might find some small or large part of ourselves that has also played with these thoughts. Such hopes and fears are normal and it should be part of any yoga to face them. -Kenny from the auroconf mail list Mon, 12 Apr 1999