How might one know if one has contacted the Supramentalised Consciousness? What marks would this leave on the individual, in their own consciousness, in their relation to otehrs, in their teachings? This is explained in this very important talk (footnotes and comments in the original are in smaller text
From the Agenda, February 25, 1961:
There's an American living in Madras, a rather important man, it seems, and an intimate friend of Kennedy, the new President. He has read and reread all of Sri Aurobindo's books and is extremely interested. He wrote to Kennedy that he would like him to come here so he can bring him to the Ashram. This man has posed a very interesting question, drawing an analogy.... Deep in a forest, a deer goes to quench its thirst; no one is aware of it, yet someone who has made a special study of deer hunting would know by the tracks that the deer had passed by - not only what particular type of deer, but its age, size, sex, etc. Similarly, there must be people with a spiritual knowledge analogous to that of hunters, who can detect, perceive, that a person is in touch with the Supermind, while ordinary people know nothing about it and wouldn't notice. So he asks, 'I would like to know by what signs such a person can be recognized?'
It is a very intelligent question.
I replied very briefly in English. I haven't brought my answer with me, but I can tell you right away that there are two signs - two certain, infallible signs. I know them through personal experience, for they are two things that can ONLY come with the supramental consciousness; without it, one cannot possess them - no yogic effort, no discipline, no tapasya can give them to you, while they come almost automatically with the supramental consciousness.
The first sign is perfect equality as Sri Aurobindo has described it (you must know it, there's a whole chapter on equality, samata, in The Synthesis of Yoga) - exactly as he described it with such wonderful precision! But this equality (which is not 'equanimity') is a particular STATE where one relates to all things, outer and inner, and to each individual thing, in the same way. That is truly perfect equality: vibrations from things, from people, from contacts have no power to alter that state.
In my reply I mentioned this first, though I didn't give him all these explanations. I put it in a few words as a kind of test of his intelligence, and in a somewhat cryptic form to see if he would understand.
The second sign is a sense of ABSOLUTENESS in knowledge. As I have already told you, I had this with my experience [of January 24]. This state CANNOT be obtained through any region of the mind, even the most illumined and exalted. It's ... not a 'certainty,' it's (Mother lowers both hands like an irresistible block descending), a kind of absoluteness, without even any possibility of hesitation (there's no question of doubt), or anything like that. Without (how to say it ?).... All mental knowledge, even the highest, is a 'conclusive' knowledge, as it were: it comes as a conclusion of something else - an intuition, for instance (an intuition gives you a particular knowledge, and this knowledge is like the conclusion of the intuition). Even revelations are conclusions. They're all conclusions - the word 'conclusion' comes to me, but I don't know how to express it. This isn't the case, however, with the supramental experience - a kind of absolute. The feeling it gives is altogether unique - far beyond certainty, it is ... (Mother again makes the same irresistible gesture) it is a FACT, things are FACTS. It is very, very difficult to explain. But with that ... one naturally has a complete power - the two things always go together. (In my reply to this man I didn't speak of 'power' because the power is almost a consequence and I didn't want to speak of consequences.) But the fact remains: a kind of absoluteness in knowledge springing from identity - one is the thing one knows and experiences: one is it. One knows it because one is it.
When these two signs are present (both are necessary, one is incomplete without the other), when a person possesses both, then you can be sure he has been in contact with the Supermind. So people who speak about receiving the Light ... well, (laughing) it's a lot of hot air! But when both signs are present, you can be sure of your perception.
It is quite evident that with these two things, you truly ... it's what Sri Aurobindo says: you step into another world, you leave this entire hemisphere behind and enter another one. That's the feeling.
The day it's established, it will be good.
And it results neither from an aspiration nor a seeking nor an effort nor a tapasya nor anything else: it comes, bang! (same irresistible gesture) And when it goes away, something like ... like an imprint in the sand remains - in the consciousness. The consciousness is like a layer of sand on which the experience has left an imprint. If you stir about too much, the imprint vanishes; if you remain very still, it.... But it's only an imprint. And it can't be imitated. What's marvelous is that it can't be imitated! All the rest, all the ascetic realizations, for example, can be imitated, but you can't imitate this, it is ... there is no equivalent.
It's like the extraordinary feeling I had in my experience that night [January 24] - the individuality, even in its highest consciousness, even what's known as the atman [Atman: the Self or Spirit. ] and the soul, had nothing to do with it. For it comes like this (same gesture), with an absoluteness. There is NO individual participation - it's a decision coming from the Supreme.
It's the same thing for the rest: all your aspiration, all your tapasya, all your efforts, all that is 'individual' - absolutely no effect. It comes, and there it is.
There is only one thing you can do - ANNUL YOURSELF as much as possible. If you can annul yourself completely, then the experience is total. And if your 'disappearance' could be constant, the experience would be constantly there - but that's still far away....
The following is the exact text of Mother's reply to this American gentleman:Two irrefutable signs prove that one is in relation with the Supermind:1. A perfect and constant equality.
2. An absolute certainty in knowledge.
To be perfect, the equality must be invariable and spontaneous, effortless, towards all circumstances, all happenings, all contacts, material or psychological, irrespective of their character and impact. The absolute and indisputable certainty of an infallible knowledge through identity.
Mother then made the following commentary regarding the 'impact' of circumstances, happenings, etc.: 'There is no longer this kind of opposition between what is an agreeable impact and what is a disagreeable one. There are no more "agreeable" things and "disagreeable" things: they are simply vibrations one registers. Usually when people receive a shock they do this (gesture of recoil), then they reflect, concentrate, and finally restore peace. But equality does not mean that! That's not what it is. The state must be SPONTANEOUS, constant and invariable.'