From Rational to Suprarational: An Essential Evolutionary Movement for Collective Well-being

Date: February 11, 2024

Venue: Sri Aurobindo Uni(Di)versity, Aurovalley Ashram, Uttarakhand


On February 11, Dr. Beloo Mehra was invited to deliver a talk at a National Seminar held in Uttarakhand. The 2-day (Feb 11-12, 2024) National Seminar on Synthesis of Science and Spirituality for the Highest Welfare of Society was jointly organized by Sri Aurobindo UniDiversity, Aurovalley Ashram and Sri Aurobindo Chair of Integral Studies and CSC Yogic Science and Wellness Initiative, Sardar Patel University. The seminar was sponsored by Uttarakhand Council of Science and Technology and saw enthusiastic participation from students and faculty from regional universities. 

Dr. Mehra spoke on the topic – “From Rational to Suprarational:  An Essential Evolutionary Movement for Collective Well-being.” In her address, she highlighted that in the integral vision of Sri Aurobindo, understanding the evolutionary movement of the collective life in which an individual moves, evolves and progresses is just as important a piece as the individual life. Reason using the intelligent will for the ordering of the inner and the outer life is undoubtedly the highest developed faculty of man at his present point of evolution.

But the whole difficulty of reason in trying to govern our existence is that because of its inherent limitations it can create what Sri Aurobindo refers to as “either a series of more or less empirical compromises or else a series of arbitrary and practically inapplicable or partially applicable systems.”  

Reason itself recognizes that the real sovereign capable of guiding life must be something another than the rational intelligence. The earliest and perhaps perpetual contender of Reason has been Faith, whose commonest expression is in Religion. As far as religion identifies with its essential, spiritual core, it may help humanity by giving a discerning light and a harmonizing law. But can Religion be an effective and right governor of life? Can it serve as a force for both collective harmony and individual free progress? In what ways do Reason and Religion intersect or collide?

Is there something beyond reason and religion which could give us some keys to resolve the deeper problems of human life, and solve the mystery of life and existence. Dr. Mehra in her talk explored some of these questions in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s social evolutionary paradigm which speaks of a necessary evolution from the rational to a suprarational stage as an essential transition for a deeper harmony and greater individual and collective well-being.  

At the seminar, Dr. Mehra also had a wonderful opportunity to meet with and listen to Shri Kiran Vyas ji, founder-director of Tapovan Open University of Yoga and Ayurveda in France. He was recently conferred Padma Shri by GoI for his great contribution in spreading the light of yogic teachings and integral wellbeing. He was a Guest of Honour at the seminar.

Dr. Mehra had an opportunity to present Shri Kiran Vyas a copy of her book ‘Understanding Contemporary India in the Light of Sri Aurobindo’ published by Auropublications, Sri Aurobindo Society. She also presented a copy of her book to Prof. Durgesh Pant, Director-General of Uttarakhand Council of Science and Technology, and Dr. Bhalendu Vaishnav, Sri Aurobindo Chair at Sardar Patel University.


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