LETTERS ON YOGA
Volume 3. Part Four
1. The Triple Transformation: Psychic Spiritual Supramental
I II III IV V
The fundamental realisations of this yoga are:
1. The psychic change so that a complete devotion can be the main motive of the heart and the ruler of thought, life and action in constant union with the Mother and in her Presence.
2. The descent of the Peace, Power, Light, etc. of the Higher Consciousness through the head and heart into the whole being, occupying the very cells of the body.
3. The perception of the One and Divine infinitely everywhere, the Mother everywhere and living in that infinite consciousness.
You know the three things on which the realisation has to be based:
(1) on a rising to a station above the mind and on the opening out of the cosmic consciousness;
(2) on the psychic opening; and
(3) on the descent of the higher consciousness with its peace, light, force, knowledge, Ananda etc. into all the planes of the being down to the most physical.
All this has to be done by the working of the Mother's force aided by your aspiration, devotion and surrender.
That is the Path. The rest is a matter of the working out of these things for which you have to have faith in the Mother's working.
When one speaks of the divine spark, one is thinking of the soul as a portion of the Divine which has descended from above into the manifestation rather than of something which has separated itself from the cosmos. It is the nature that has formed itself out of the cosmic forces mind out of cosmic mind, life out of cosmic life, body out of cosmic Matter.
For the soul there are three realisations: (1) the realisation of the psychic being and consciousness as the divine element in the evolution; (2) the realisation of the cosmic Self which is one in all; (3) the realisation of the Supreme Divine from which both individual and cosmos have come and of the individual being (Jivatma) as an eternal portion of the Divine.
The physical is of course the basis that of the overmind is in-between the two hemispheres. The lower hemisphere must contain all the mind including its higher planes, the vital, the physical. The upper hemisphere contains the Divine existence-consciousness-bliss, with the supermind as its means of self-formulation. The overmind is at the head of the lower hemisphere and is the intermediate or transitional plane between the two.
The psychic being stands behind the heart supporting the mind, life and body. In the psychic transformation there are three main elements: (1) the opening of the occult inner mind, inner vital, inner physical, so that one becomes aware of all that lies behind the surface mind, life and body (2) the opening of the psychic being or soul by which it comes forward and governs the mind, life and body turning all to the Divine (3) the opening of the whole lower being to the spiritual truth this last may be called the psycho-spiritual part of the change. It is quite possible for the psychic transformation to take one beyond the individual into the cosmic. Even the occult opening establishes a connection with the cosmic mind, cosmic vital, cosmic physical. The psychic realises the contact with all-existence, the oneness of the Self, the universal love and other realisations which lead to the cosmic consciousness.
But all that is a result of the opening to the spiritual above and it comes by an infiltration or reflection of the spiritual light and truth in mind, life and body. The spiritual transformation proper begins or becomes possible when one rises above the mind and lives there governing all from above. Even in the psychic transformation one can rise above by a sort of going above of the mental, vital, physical being and a return, but one does not yet live above in the summit consciousness where overmind has its seat with the other planes that are above the human Mind.
The supramental transformation can only come when the lid between the lower and higher hemispheres or halves of existence is removed and the supermind instead of the overmind becomes the governing power of the existence but of that nothing can be spoken now.
Between psychicisation and spiritualisation there is a difference. The spiritual is the change that descends from above, the psychic is the change that comes from within by the psychic dominating the mind, vital and physical.
Psychicisation means the change of the lower nature bringing right vision into the mind, right impulse and feeling into the vital, right movement and habit into the physical all turned towards the Divine, all based on love, adoration, bhakti finally, the vision and sense of the Mother everywhere in all as well as in the heart, her Force working in the being, faith, consecration, surrender.
The spiritual change is the established descent of the peace, light, knowledge, power, bliss from above, the awareness of the Self and the Divine and of a higher cosmic consciousness and the change of the whole consciousness to that.
28.09.1936 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
The two feelings are both of them right they indicate the two necessities of the sadhana. One is to go inward and open fully the connection between the psychic being and the outer nature. The other is to open upward to the Divine Peace, Force, Light, Ananda above, to rise up into it and bring it down into the nature and the body. Neither of these two movements, the psychic and the spiritual, is complete without the other. If the spiritual ascent and descent are not made, the spiritual transformation of the nature cannot happen; if the full psychic opening and connection is not made, the transformation cannot be complete.
There is no incompatibility between the two movements; some begin the psychic first, others the spiritual first, some carry on both together. The best way is to aspire for both and let the Mother's Force work it out according to the need and turn of the nature.
If the development of a higher consciousness did not bring things that were not before heard of by the mind, it would not be good for much. The unification of the psychic and the higher consciousness forces and activities is indispensable for the sadhana at one time or another.
In the Letters on Yoga the fragments from two different letters were joined here together.
19.09.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter see here
The psychic is the first of two transformations necessary if you have the psychic transformation it facilitates immensely the other, i.e., the transformation of the ordinary human into the higher spiritual consciousness otherwise one is likely to have either a slow and dull or exciting but perilous journey.
20.09.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter see here
I have never said anything about a ‘transformation of the psychic’; I have always written about a ‘psychic transformation’ of the nature, which is a very different matter. I have sometimes written of it as a psychicisation of the nature. The psychic is in the evolution, part of the human being, its divine part so a psychicisation will not carry one beyond the present evolution but will make the being ready to respond to all that comes from the Divine or Higher Nature and unwilling to respond to the Asura, Rakshasas, Pishacha or Animal in the being or to any resistance of the lower nature which stands in the way of the divine change.
I have read your account of your sadhana. There is nothing to say, I think, for it is all right except that the most important thing for you is to develop the psychic fire in the heart and the aspiration for the psychic being to come forward as the leader of the sadhana. When the psychic does so, it will show you the ‘undetected ego-knots’ of which you speak and loosen them or burn them in the psychic fire. This psychic development and the psychic change of mind, vital and physical consciousness is of the utmost importance because it makes safe and easy the descent of the higher consciousness and the spiritual transformation without which the supramental must always remain far distant. Powers etc. have their place, but a very minor one so long as this is not done.
Everything is dangerous in the sadhana or can be, except the psychic change.
The soul, the psychic being is in direct touch with the divine Truth, but it is hidden in man by the mind, the vital being and the physical nature. One may practise yoga and get illuminations in the mind and the reason; one may conquer power and luxuriate in all kinds of experiences in the vital; one may establish even surprising physical Siddhis; but if the true soul-power behind does not manifest, if the psychic nature does not come into the front, nothing genuine has been done. In this yoga the psychic being is that which opens the rest of the nature to the true supramental light and finally to the supreme Ananda. Mind can open by itself to its own higher reaches; it can still itself and widen into the Impersonal; it may too spiritualise itself in some kind of static liberation or Nirvana; but the supramental cannot find a sufficient base in a spiritualised mind alone. If the inmost soul is awakened, if there is a new birth out of the mere mental, vital and physical into the psychic consciousness, then this yoga can be done; otherwise (by the sole power of the mind or any other part) it is impossible.... If there is a refusal of the psychic new birth, a refusal to become the child new born from the Mother, owing to attachment to intellectual knowledge or mental ideas or to some vital desire, then there will be a failure in the sadhana.
The psychic being is always there, but is not felt because it is covered up by the mind and vital; when it is no longer covered up, it is then said to be awake. When it is awake, it begins to take hold of the rest of the being, to influence it and change it so that all may become the true expression of the inner soul. It is this change that is called the inner conversion. There can be no conversion without the awakening of the psychic being.
In using the expression ‘opening of the psychic’ I was thinking not of an ordinary psychic opening producing some amount of psychic (as opposed to vital) love and bhakti, but of what is called the coming in front of the psychic. When that happens one is aware of the psychic being with its simple spontaneous self-giving and feels its increasing direct control (not merely a veiled or half veiled influence) over mind, vital and physical. Especially there is the psychic discernment which at once lights up the thoughts, emotional movements, vital pushes, physical habits and leaves nothing there obscure, substituting the right movements for the wrong ones. It is this that is difficult and rare, more often the discernment is mental and it is the mind that tries to put all in order. In that case, it is the descent of the higher consciousness through the mind that opens the psychic, instead of the psychic opening directly.
Nobody said it [the opening of the psychic] must be done necessarily from above. Naturally it is done direct and is most effective then. But when it is found difficult to do it direct, as it is in certain natures, then the change begins from above and the consciousness descending from there has to liberate the heart- centre. As it acts on the heart-centre, the psychic action becomes more possible.
It [the dynamic descent from above into the heart] can help the psychic to come forward, but it does not always do so automatically it at least creates better conditions for the psychic.
The direct opening of the psychic centre is easy only when the ego-centricity is greatly diminished and also if there is a strong bhakti for the Mother. A spiritual humility and sense of submission and dependence is necessary.
What is meant by [the psychic's] coming to the front is simply this. The psychic ordinarily is deep within. Very few people are aware of their souls when they speak of their soul, they usually mean the vital + mental being or else the (false) soul of desire. The psychic remains behind and acts only through the mind, vital and physical wherever it can. For this reason the psychic being except where it is very much developed has only a small and partial, concealed and mixed or diluted influence on the life of most men. By coming forward is meant that it comes from behind the veil, its presence is felt already in the waking daily consciousness, its influence fills, dominates, transforms the mind and vital and their movements, even the physical. One is aware of one's soul, feels the psychic to be one's true being, the mind and the rest begin to be only instruments of the inmost within us.
The inner mental, vital, physical are also veiled, but much nearer to the surface and much of their movements or inspirations get through the veil (but not in any fullness or purity) in the lives of developed human beings, something even in the lives of ordinary people. But these too in yoga throw down the veil after a time and come in front and their action predominates in the consciousness while the external is no longer felt as one's own self but only as a front or even a fringe of the being.
It seems to me that you must know by this time about the psychic being that it is behind the veil and its consciousness also; only a little comes out in the mind and vital and physical. When that consciousness is not concealed, when you are aware of your soul (the psychic being), when its feelings and consciousness are yours, then you have got the consciousness of the psychic being. The feelings and aspirations of the psychic being are all turned towards truth and right consciousness and the Divine; it is the only part that cannot be touched by the hostile forces and their suggestions.
The psychic being emerges slowly in most men, even after taking up sadhana. There is so much in the mind and vital that has to change and readjust itself before the psychic can be entirely free. One has to wait till the necessary process has gone far enough before it can burst its agelong veil and come in front to control the nature. It is true that nothing can give so much inner happiness and joy though peace can come by the mental and vital liberation or through the growth of a strong samatā in the being.
There is no process for it [getting the psychic in front]. It comes like the other things you have to aspire for it and it can only happen when you are sufficiently advanced.
Then only can the psychic being fully open when the sadhak has got rid of the mixture of vital motives with his sadhana and is capable of a simple and sincere self-offering to the Mother. If there is any kind of egoistic turn or insincerity of motive, if the yoga is done under a pressure of vital demands, or partly or wholly to satisfy some spiritual or other ambition, pride, vanity or seeking after power, position or influence over others or with any push towards satisfying any vital desire with the help of the yogic force, then the psychic cannot open, or opens only partially or only at times and shuts again because it is veiled by the vital activities; the psychic fire fails in the strangling vital smoke. Also, if the mind takes the leading part in the yoga and puts the inner soul into the background, or if the bhakti or other movements of the sadhana take more of a vital than of a psychic form, there is the same inability. Purity, simple sincerity and the capacity of an unegoistic unmixed self-offering without pretension or demand are the condition of an entire opening of the psychic being.
Of course the ego and the vital with its claims and desires is always the main obstacle to the emergence of the psychic. For they make one live, act, do sadhana even for one's own sake and psychicisation means to live, act and do sadhana for the sake of the Divine.
If desire is rejected and no longer governs the thought, feeling or action and there is a steady aspiration of an entirely sincere self-giving, the psychic usually after a time opens of itself.
To bring the psychic forward, selfishness and demand (which is the base of the vital feelings) must be got rid of at least never accepted.
It [the flow of love and joy from the heart-centre] can be misused on a large scale only if there is a strong and vehement vital ego not accustomed to correction or else a vital full of the kāmavāsanā. On a small scale it can be misused by the small selfishnesses, vanities, ambitions, demands of the lower vital supporting themselves upon it. If you are on guard against these things then there is no danger of misuse. If the psychic puts forth psychic discernment along with the love, there is no danger, for the light of psychic discernment at once refuses all mixture or misuse.
Aspiration, constant and sincere, and the will to turn to the Divine alone are the best means to bring forward the psychic.
It [the psychic] comes forward of itself either through constant love and aspiration or when the mind and vital have been made ready by the descent from above and the working of the Force.
If there is the will to surrender in the central being, then the psychic can come forward.
The central being is above the Adhar most people are not aware of their central being (Jivatma) they are aware only of the ego.
The psychic is the soul, it is a portion of the Divine that supports the mind and body in the evolution. The psychic gets the Divine's help directly from the Divine.
The central being is that on which all the others depend. If it makes its surrender, that is, renounces its separate fulfilment in order to be an instrument of the Divine, then it is easier for the mind, vital and physical to surrender.
It has nothing to do with suitable circumstances. If the will of the central being turns towards union with the Divine, then it renounces its separate fulfilment.
It [the psychic being] has to be surrendered consciously and with more and more knowledge. The psychic aspires to the Divine or answers to things divine, it is surrendered in principle, but it has to develop its surrender in detail carrying with it the surrender of all the being.
Nothing done in the past or present can prevent the psychic from coming forward if there is the true will to get rid of these things and live in the psychic and spiritual consciousness.
Your first experience was that of the opening of the psychic; you became aware of the psychic being and its aspirations and experiences and of the external being in front, as two separate parts of your consciousness. You were not able to keep this experience because the vital was not purified and pulled you out into the ordinary external consciousness. Afterwards, you got back into the psychic and were at the same time able to see your ordinary vital nature, to become aware of its defects and to work by the power of the psychic for its purification. I wrote to you at the beginning that this was the way; for if the psychic is awake and in front, it becomes easy to remain conscious of the things that have to be changed in the external nature and it is comparatively easy too to change them. But if the psychic gets veiled and retires in the background, the outer nature left to itself finds it difficult to remain conscious of its own wrong movements and even with great effort cannot succeed in getting rid of them. You can see yourself, as in the matter of the food, that with the psychic active and awake the right attitude comes naturally and whatever difficulty there was soon diminishes or even disappears.
I told you also at that time that there was a third part of the nature, the inner being (inner mind, inner vital, inner physical) of which you were not yet aware, but which must also open in turn. It is this that has happened in your last experience. What you felt as a part of you, yourself but not your physical self, rising to meet the higher consciousness above, was this inner being; it was your (inner) higher vital being which rose in that way to join the highest Self above and it was able to do so, because the work of purifying the outer vital nature had begun in earnest. Each time there is a purification of the outer nature, it becomes more possible for the inner being to reveal itself, to become free and to open to the higher consciousness above.
When this happens, several other things happen at the same time. First, one becomes aware of the silent Self above free, wide, without limits, pure, untroubled by the mental, vital and physical movements, empty of ego and limited personality, this is what you have described in your letter. Secondly, the Divine Power descends through this silence and freedom of the Self and begins to work in the Adhara. This is what you felt as a pressure; its coming through the top of the head, the forehead and eyes and nose meant that it was working to open the mental centres especially the two higher centres of thought and will and vision in the inner mental being. These two centres are called the thousand-petalled lotus and the ājñā cakra between the eyebrows. Thirdly, by this working the inner parts of the being are opened and freed; you are liberated from the limitations of the ordinary personal mind, vital and physical and become aware of a wider consciousness in which you can be more capable of the needed transformation. But that is necessarily a matter of time and long working and you are only taking the first steps in this way.
When one goes into the inner being, the tendency is to go entirely inside and lose consciousness of the outside world this is what people call Samadhi. But it is also necessary to be able to have the same experiences (of the Self, the workings in the inner consciousness, etc.) in the waking state. The best rule for you will be to allow the entire going inside only when you are alone and not likely to be disturbed, and at other times to accustom yourself to have these experiences with the physical consciousness awake and participating in them or at least aware of them.
When the psychic being awakens, you grow conscious of your own soul; you know your self. And you no longer commit the mistake of identifying yourself with the mental or with the vital being. You do not mistake them for the soul.
Secondly, when awakened, the psychic being gives true bhakti for God or for the Guru. That bhakti is quite different from mental or vital bhakti.
In the mind one may have admiration or appreciation for the intellectual greatness of the man or Guru, but it is merely mental; it does not carry the matter very far. Of course there is no harm in having that also. But by itself it does not open the whole of the inner being; it only establishes a mental contact.
The vital bhakti demands and demands. It imposes its own conditions. It surrenders itself to God, but conditionally. It says to God, “You are so great, I worship you, and now satisfy my this desire or that ambition, make me great, make me a great sadhak, a great yogin, etc.”
The unillumined mind also surrenders to the Truth, but makes its own conditions. It says to the Truth, ‘Satisfy my judgment and my opinion’; it demands the Truth to cast itself in the mind's own forms.
The vital being also insists on the Truth to throw itself into its own movement of force. The vital being pulls at the Higher Power and pulls and pulls at the vital being of the Guru.
Both of them (the mental and the vital) have got an arriθre pensιe (mental reservation) in their surrender.
But the psychic being and its bhakti are not like that. Because it is in direct communication with the Divinity behind, it is capable of true bhakti. Psychic bhakti does not make any demand, makes no reservation. It is satisfied with its own existence. The psychic being knows how to obey the Truth in the right way. It gives itself up truly to God or to Guru, and because it can give itself up truly, therefore it can also receive truly.
Thirdly, when the psychic being comes to the surface, it feels sad when the mental or the vital being is making a fool of itself. That sadness is purity offended.
When the mind is playing its own game or when the vital being is carried away by its own impulses, it is the psychic being which says, “I don't want these things; what am I here for after all? I am here for the Truth, I am not here for these things.”
Psychic sadness is again different from mental dissatisfaction or vital sadness or physical depression.
If the psychic being is strong, it makes itself felt on the mental or the vital being, and forces them compels them to change. But if it is weak, the other parts take advantage of it and use the psychic sadness to their own advantage.
In some cases the psychic being comes up to the surface and upsets the mental or the vital being and throws everything into disorder. But if the mind or the vital being is stronger than the psychic, then it casts only an occasional influence and gradually retires behind. All its cry is in the wilderness; and the mental or the vital being goes on in its own round.
Lastly, the psychic being refuses to be deceived by appearances. It is not carried away by falsehood. It refuses to be depressed by falsehood nor does it exaggerate the truth. For example, even if everything around says, There is no God, the psychic being refuses to believe in it. It says, I know, and I know because I feel.
And because it knows the thing behind, it is not deceived by appearances. It immediately feels the Force.
Also, when the psychic being is awakened, it throws out all the dross from the emotional being and makes it free from sentimentalism or the lower play of emotionalism.
But it does not carry in it the dryness of the mind or the exaggeration of the vital feelings. It gives the just touch to each emotion.
[The signs of the psychic's coming forward:] A central love, bhakti, surrender, giving everything, a sight within that sees always clearly what is spiritually right or wrong and automatically rejects the latter a movement of entire consecration and dedication of all in one to the Mother.
That is one part of the psychic experience the other is a complete self-giving, absence of demand, a prominence of the psychic being by which all that is false, wrong, egoistic, contrary to the Divine Truth, Divine Will, Divine Purity and Light is shown, falls away, cannot prevail in the nature. With all that the increase of the psychic qualities, gratitude, obedience, unselfishness, fidelity to the true perception, true impulse etc. that comes from the Mother or leads to the Mother. When this side grows, then the other, the Presence, Love, Joy, Beauty can develop and be permanently there.
The conversion which keeps the consciousness turned towards the light and makes the right attitude spontaneous and natural and abiding and rejection also spontaneous is the psychic conversion. That is to say, man usually lives in his vital and the body is its instrument and the mind its counsellor and minister (except for the few mental men who live mostly for the things of the mind, but even they are in subjection to the vital in their ordinary movements). The spiritual conversion begins when the soul begins to insist on a deeper life and is complete when the psychic being becomes the basis or the leader of the consciousness and mind and vital and body are led by it and obey it. Of course, if that once happens fully, doubt, depression and despair cannot come any longer, although there may be and are difficulties still. If it is not fully, still fundamentally accomplished, even then these things either do not come or are brief passing clouds on the surface for there is a rock of support and certitude at the base, which even if partially covered cannot disappear altogether.
Mostly however, the constant recurrence of depression and despair or of doubt and revolt is due to a mental or vital formation which takes hold of the vital mind and makes it run round always in the same circle at the slightest provoking cause or even without cause. It is like an illness to which the body consents from habit and from belief in the illness even though it suffers from it, and once started the illness runs its habitual course unless it is cut short by some strong counteracting force. If once the body can withdraw its consent, the illness immediately or quickly ceases, that was the secret of the Couι system. So too, if the vital mind withdraws its consent, refuses to be dominated by the habitual suggestions and the habitual movements, these recurrences of depression and despair can be made soon to cease. But it is not easy for this mind, once it has got into the habit of consent, even a quite passive and suffering and reluctant consent, to cancel the habit and get rid of the black circle. It can be done easily only when the mind refuses any longer to believe in the suggestions or accept the ideas or feelings that start the circle.
Once the condition has come in which the thoughts that cross are not believed, accepted or allowed to govern the conduct, it must be understood that the vital mind is no longer dominant for the nature of the vital mind is always to cloud the true mind's perception and drive it towards action. Neither the vital mind nor the physical mind are things that have to be got rid of, but they must be quietened, purified, controlled and transformed. That will take place fully when the thinking mind becomes fully conscious and when the psychic comes forward and leads and governs both it and the vital and physical being. Your thinking mind is becoming more and more conscious; that is shown by what you write, for the perceptions there expressed are quite clear-seeing and correct and show an increasingly right understanding. Moreover what is making you conscious is the increase of pressure of the psychic behind to come forward. For what you felt as trying to come out from behind was the psychic itself. The feeling of flowers and fragrance and a coolness and peace are always sure signs that the psychic is becoming active. It has been developing in you for some time past, only it was covered over by rushes of the vital mind which did not want to lose its hold or its place. Now that the vital mind is quiet, it is again the psychic that is pressing to come forward and establish its influence.
The thoughts that came afterwards about the defects of your action towards others, repentance and the reasons why you could not establish proper relations with others were the result of this psychic emergence. For when the psychic comes forward or when it strongly influences mind or vital, then one begins to see clearly and rightly about one's own nature and action and about things and about others and to have the right feelings. It was under this pressure of the psychic also that while the mind got these right thoughts and perceptions, the vital felt repentance for what had been done and wished to ask forgiveness. But while this readiness to ask forgiveness was in itself a right feeling, to do so physically would not have been quite the wisest or best action. So the psychic itself at once told you what was the true thing to do, to ask forgiveness instead from the Mother. What was necessary having been done in the mind and vital, the psychic then cleared the whole consciousness and brought back its own quiet and peace. I explain all that to you so that you may begin to understand how these things work within and what is meant by the psychic and its action and influence.
The vision you had of the other luminous and peaceful and beautiful world was a sort of symbolic image of the true physical consciousness and the world in which it lives, the physical consciousness as it is when it is directly under the control of the psychic, and the character of the world which it tends to create for itself.
It is your psychic being which came in front, probably, or else it is the true vital being in you which was able to come in front because you took the psychic attitude. When the psychic being comes in front, there is an automatic perception of the true and untrue, the divine and the undivine, the spiritual right and wrong of things, and the false vital and mental movements and attacks are immediately exposed and fall away and can do nothing; gradually the vital and physical as well as the mind get full of this psychic light and truth and sound feeling and purity, and such violent attacks as you have are impossible. When the true vital being comes forward, it is something wide and strong and calm, an unmoved and powerful warrior for the Divine and the Truth, repelling all enemies, bringing in a true strength and force, and opening the vital to the greater consciousness above. It has to be seen which of the two it is you feel within.
It is the psychic being in you that has come forward and when the psychic being comes forward all is happiness, the right attitude, the right vision of things. Of course in one sense it is the same I that puts forward different parts of itself. But when these different parts are all under the control of the psychic and turned by it towards the reception of the higher consciousness, then there begins the harmonisation of all the parts and their progressive recasting into moulds of the higher consciousness growing in peace, light, force, love, knowledge, Ananda which is what we call the transformation.
It is the action of the psychic being, not the being itself, that gets mixed with the mental, vital and physical disabilities because it has to use them to express what little of the true psychic feeling gets through the veil. It is by the heart's aspiration to the Divine that the psychic being gets free from these disabilities.
If it is the sense of the Presence that you have, then you are living in the consciousness of the psychic centre. Thinking with the mind is good because it leads towards that, but it is not in itself that living in the psychic centre.
That is good. It means that the psychic has come up again. When the psychic is in the front, the sadhana becomes natural and easy and it is only a question of time and natural development. When the mind or the vital or the physical consciousness is on the top, then the sadhana is a tapasya and a struggle.
What you feel is the true psychic opening and it is that for which you should always aspire and reject other things until it becomes your normal base of consciousness. Once that is there, it is possible to call down through it a strength from above which will make the vital strong and remove the weakness. Your sadhana is still too mental and therefore difficult and slow; it is the psychic opening that makes a more satisfying and rapid progress possible.
10.09.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
I am going to riddle you with a volley of questions and I am prepared to receive the return-shots.
I was no tat all “floundering about” between “desire-soul” and the “true psyche”.
Well, if you were not, why did you represent the experience of the lower nature as such a rich and glorious thing? It is the desire-soul or the life-being which finds it (sometimes) like that.
If failures are due to the revolt of the lower nature, why should that revolt occur in A's case and not in B's? Past Karma? And by what1 is this Karma decided?
Because A is not B and B is not A. Why do you expect all to be alike and fare alike and run abreast all the way and all arrive together?
It is Prakriti and Karma, so long as the Ignorance is there. The hen lays an egg and the egg produces a hen and that hen another egg and so on ad infinitum – till you turn to the Light and get it.
And this Karma has its past and this past its own past and so on till we come to a state where there is no Karma but only the central being. This central being, it seems, chooses its particular sheath – mental, vital etc. – and upon that choice depend the evolutionary consequences. Is that correct?
What is this central being you are speaking of – the Jivatma or the psychic being? or an amalgam of both?
I don't quite understand. The psychic being is supposed not to choose, but rather to form in accordance with its past and future evolution a new mental, vital and physical sheath each time it is born. But the placid or tacit observation does not seem to apply to the psychic being, but to the Jivatman. Moreover you seem to say this is done at the beginning of the evolution and determines the whole evolution. But that has no meaning since it is through the evolution that the psychic does it. It has not got one fixed mental, vital, physical which remains the same in all lives.
My point then is that because the chicken-hearted central being – I suppose there is a hierarchy of these beings, some lion-hearted, some worm and some chicken – selected or had to select according to its own standard, that I have my own failures.
These words don't apply to the members of the hierarchy.
Since the soul descended into Ignorance through a process of devolution, it has to go back through evolution.
What is this devolution? Let me hear more about it, – for it is new to me. I know of an involution and an evolution, but not of a devolution.
Though the soul may repent for its misadventure, it can't take a leap into the Kingdom of Light or walk straight to its Father like the Prodigal Son...
A leap, no! But if it has got thoroughly disgusted, it can try its chance at Nirvana.
Again the soul gathers the essential elements of its experiences in life and takes up with the sheaths as much of its Karma as is useful for further experience in a new life.
This time it is all right – but what the deuce has that got to do with the original sin?
Now if I say that the soul has failed this time because it took “so much of its Karma” and requires farther evolution through farther experience before it can turn completely, how am I wrong?
Excuse me, – if it goes on with its Karma, then it does not get liberation. If it wants only farther experience, it can just stay there in the ordinary nature. The aim of Yoga is to transcend Karma. Karma means subjection to lower Nature; through Yoga the soul goes towards freedom.
It seems to me that the soul is searching, analysing, experimenting, through contraries and contradictories and thus proceeding by steps and stages. It will move towards the Light and retrace its steps again and by a series of ups and downs finally arrive at its Home. And so the revolts are only steps and stages on the way.
You are describing the action of the ordinary existence, not the Yoga. Yoga is a seeking (not a mental searching), it is not an experimenting in contraries and contradictories. It is the mind that does that and the mind that analyses. The soul does not search, analyse, experiment – it seeks, feels, experiences.
This is how I look at it. Is that all rot? No grain of truth in it?
Logical rot! The only grain of truth2 is that the Yoga is very usually a series of ups and downs till you get to a certain height. But there is a quite different reason for that – not the vagaries of the soul. On the contrary when the psychic being gets in front and becomes master, there comes in a fundamentally smooth action and although there are difficulties and undulations of movement, these are no longer of an abrupt or dramatic character.
You say that when the soul no more wants the Ignorance, it will turn to the Light; till then it can't.
Perhaps the better phrase would be “consents to” the Ignorance. The soul is the witness, upholder, inmost experiencer, but it is master only in theory, in fact it is not-master, anīśa, so long as it consents to the Ignorance. For that is a general consent which implies that the Prakriti gambols about with the Purusha and does pretty well what she likes with him. When he wants to get back his mastery, make the theoretical practical, he needs a lot of tapasya to do it.
This is very significant because, if so, I should say that the soul is the Master of the House and if it says categorically – “No more of Ignorance, vitals and mentals have no go” – it can refuse to go farther. Because the soul wants more fun in the mud of Ignorance, people follow their “round of pleasure and pain”.
That is contrary to experience. The psychic has always been veiled, consenting to the play of mind, physical and vital, experiencing everything through them in the ignorant mental, vital and physical way. How then can it be that they are bound to change at once when it just takes the trouble to whisper or say “Let there be Light”? They have tremendous go3 and can refuse and do refuse point-blank. The mind resists with an obstinate persistency in argument and a constant confusion of ideas, the vital with a fury of bad will aided by the mind's obliging reasonings on its side; the physical resists with an obstinate inertia and crass fidelity to old habit, and when they have done, the general Nature comes in and says “What, you are going to get free from me so easily? Not, if I know it,” and it besieges and throws back the old nature on you again and again as long as it can. Yet you say that it is the soul that wants all this “fun” and goes off laughing and prancing to get some more. You are funny. If the poor soul heard you, I think it would say “Sir, methinks you are a jester” and look about for a hammer and break your head with it.
Even their disbelief, lack of faith in Divine Ananda etc., is due to that!
Due to the soul's sense of fun? It seems to me more probably that it is due to the obstinacy of mental and vital sanskaras. Perhaps that is why the Buddhists insisted on breaking all sanskaras as the seeker of liberation's first duty.
But if you ask me, as you do, “Why then is there so much struggle and sorrow?” well, I am floundered, unless one can say that though the soul has given the last kick, still a longing, lingering look is bound to be there.
You call that a mere look! I suppose that if you saw an Irish row or a Nazi mob in action, you would say “These people are making slight perceptible gestures and I think I hear faint sounds in the air.”
My dear Sir, be less narrowly logical (with a very deficient logic even as logic) – take a wider sweep; swim out of your bathing pool into the open sea and waltz round the horizons! For anything that happens there are a hundred factors at work and not only the one just under your nose; but to perceive that you have to become cosmic and intuitive or overmental and what not. So, alas!
The soul in itself contains all possible strength, but most of it is held behind the veil and it is what comes forward in the nature that makes the difference. In some people the psychic element is strong and in others weak; in some people the mind is the strongest part and governs, in others the vital is the strongest part and leads or drives. But by sadhana the psychic being can be more and more brought forward till it is dominant and governs the rest. If it were already governing, then the struggles and difficulties of the mind and vital would not at all be severe; for each man in the light of the psychic would see and feel the truth and more and more follow it.
The experience you had of the wideness with many roads opening was an image of the higher consciousness in which all the movements of the being are open, true and happy the ignorance and incapacity of the lower nature disappear. It is that that the light from above is bringing.
The psychic, when it acts as the main power, acts through a certain feeling and inherent psychic sense which repels the falsehood. But the ranges of mind above mind do not act in that way there it is discrimination and will that act and their action is wider but less sure and less automatic so to speak.
When the concentration is at the top of the head, it means that the mental being is joining the higher consciousness there and there is not much resistance or none. The other place indicates the joining is of the psychic being to the higher consciousness, hence the greater silence, as the psychic is more central than the mental being; but also there is the attempt to join through the psychic the rest of the lower consciousness to the higher and there there is a resistance. The mental joining does not affect the vital and physical, so they remain quiet or can do so for the present the psychic joining puts on them a pressure to which the first reaction is the sense of fatigue and the last might be a turmoil. But the psychic joining if effectual is much more powerful for the change of the whole being.
The soul is the witness, upholder, experiencer, but it is master only in theory, in fact it is not-master, anīśa, so long as it consents to the Ignorance. For that is a general consent which implies that the Prakriti gambols about with the Purusha and does pretty well what she likes with him. When he wants to get back his mastery, make the theoretical practical, he needs a lot of tapasya to do it.
The psychic has always been veiled, consenting to the play of mind, physical and vital, experiencing everything through them in the ignorant mental, vital and physical way. How then can it be that they are bound to change at once when it just takes the trouble to whisper or say, “Let there be Light”? They have a tremendous negating power and can refuse and do refuse pointblank. The mind resists with an obstinate persistency in argument and a constant confusion of ideas, the vital with a fury of bad will aided by the mind's obliging reasonings on its side, the physical resists with an obstinate inertia and crass fidelity to old habit, and when they have done, the general Nature comes in and says, “What, you are going to get free from me so easily? Not, if I know it,” and it besieges and throws back the old nature on you again and again as long as it can. Yet you say it is the soul that wants all this ‘fun’ and goes off laughing and prancing to get some more!
There is always a part of the mind, of the vital, of the body which is or can be influenced by the psychic; they can be called the psychic-mental, the psychic-vital, the psychic-physical. According to the personality or the degree of evolution of each person, this part can be small or large, weak or strong, covered up and inactive or prominent and in action. When it acts the movements of the mind, vital or physical accept the psychic motives or aims, partake of the nature of the psychic or follow its aims but with a modification in the manner which belongs to the mind, vital or physical. The psychic-vital seeks after the Divine, but it has a demand in its self-giving, desire, vital eagerness. The psychic has not, for the psychic has instead pure self-giving, aspiration, intensity of psychic fire. The psychic-vital is subject to pain and suffering, which there is not in the psychic
Atma is not the same as psychic Atma is the self which is one in all, calm, wide, ever at peace, always free. The psychic being is the soul within that experiences life and develops with evolving mind and life and body. The psychic does not suffer like the vital or body, it has not pain or anguish or despair; but it has a psychic sorrow which is different from these things. There is a kind of quiet sweet sadness of yearning which it feels when things go against the Divine, when the obscurity and obstacles are too heavy, when the mind, vital and physical follow after other things, when evil and falsehood and darkness seem to be too strong for the Light. It does not despair, but feels that these things ought not to be and the psychic yearning for it to be otherwise becomes so intense that it is felt as if something akin to sadness
As for the psychic not being in front, that cannot be brought about all at once, the other parts of the being must be prepared for the change and the veil between must become thinner and thinner. It is for that experiences come and there is the working on the inner mind and vital and physical as well as on the outer nature.
The vision you had was of the way to the goal. Shiva on the way is the Power that pours the light but also scrutinises the sadhak to see whether he is ready for the farther advance. When he lets him pass, then is the rush of new and higher experiences, the march and progress of the divine forces, the Gods and their powers, the transformation of the nature into a higher consciousness. It was these powers that you saw passing in your vision.
The division of the being of which you speak is a necessary stage in the yogic development and experience. One feels that there is a twofold being, the inner psychic which is the true one and the other, the outer human being which is instrumental for the outward life. To live in the inner psychic being in union with the Divine while doing the outward work, as you feel, is the first stage in Karmayoga. There is nothing wrong in these experiences; they are indispensable and normal at this stage.
If you feel no bridge between the two, it is possibly because you are not yet conscious of what connects the two. There is an inner mental, an inner vital, an inner physical which connects the psychic and the external being. About this, however, you need not be anxious at present.
The important thing is to keep what you have and let it grow, to live always in the psychic being, your true being. The psychic will, in due time, awaken and turn to the Divine all the rest of the nature, so that even the outer being will feel itself in touch with the Divine and moved by the Divine in all it is and feels and does.
It was certainly an experience of great value, a psychic experience par excellence. “A feeling of velvety softness within an ineffable plasticity within” is a psychic experience and can be nothing else. It means a modification of the substance of the consciousness especially in the vital-emotional part, and such a modification prolonged or repeated till it became permanent would mean a great step in what I call the psychic transformation of the being. It is just these modifications in the inner substance that make transformation possible. Further, it was a modification that made a beginning of knowledge possible for by knowledge we mean in yoga not thought or ideas about spiritual things but psychic understanding from within and spiritual illumination from above. Therefore the first result was this feeling “that there was no ignominy in not understanding it, that the true understanding would come only when one realised that one was completely impotent”. This was itself a beginning of understanding a psychic understanding, something felt within which sheds a light or brings up a spiritual truth that mere thinking would not have given, also a truth that is effective in bringing both the enlightenment and solace you needed for what the psychic being brings with it always is light and happiness, an inner understanding and relief and solace.
Another very promising aspect of this experience is that it came as an immediate response to an appeal to the Divine. You asked for the understanding and the way out and at once Krishna showed you both the way out was the change of the consciousness within, the plasticity which makes the knowledge possible and also the understanding of the condition of mind and vital in which the true knowledge or power of knowledge could come. For the inner knowledge comes from within and above (whether from the Divine in the heart or from the Self above) and for it to come, the pride of the mind and vital in the surface mental ideas and their insistence on them must go. One must know that one is ignorant before one can begin to know. This shows that I am not wrong in pressing for the psychic opening as the only way out. For as the psychic opens, such responses and much more also become common and the inner change also proceeds by which they are made possible.
What was meant [by ‘plasticity within’] I suppose was the psychic plasticity which makes surrender possible along with a free openness to the Divine working from above. Plasticity within is opposed to the rigidity which insists on maintaining one's own ideas, feelings, habitual ways of consciousness as opposed to the higher things from above or from the psychic within.
If it was something in the heart it must be the psychic behind which is often felt as if deep down somewhere or rising out of a depth. If one goes to it, it is felt often as if one were going into a deep well.
The shock must have been the psychic force trying to open the mental and vital lid which covers the soul.
It is evidently the psychic it is often seen as a deep well or abyss into which one plunges; but here it is evidently the psychic penetrating down into all the lower planes and also rising up to the higher planes above.
The psychic being is in the heart centre in the middle of the chest (not in the physical heart, for all the centres are in the middle of the body), but it is deep behind. When one is going away from the vital into the psychic, it is felt as if one is going deep deep down till one reaches that central place of the psychic. The surface of the heart centre is the place of the emotional being; from there one goes deep to find the psychic. The more one goes, the more intense becomes the psychic happiness which you describe.
I hope the pain will have gone. When these things come always call the Mother and let her force act on you.
The place of the psychic is deep within the heart, but deep within, not on the surface where the ordinary emotions are. But it can come forward and occupy the surface as well as be within, then the emotions themselves become no longer vital things, but psychic emotions and feelings. The psychic so standing in front can also extend its influence everywhere, to the mind for instance so as to transform its ideas or to the body so as to transform its habits and its reactions.
The person you saw above was probably some form of myself. The sadhak can see us in vision not only in our physical form but in others that we have on different planes of being.
The experience... is one of those dream experiences that one gets in the vital plane, for there things good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant are very close to each other.
To recognise, as you have done, a fault in the nature does not indeed remove it altogether at once, but it is a great step towards it. It does not remove it at once because of the force of habit in the nature, but still to be conscious and have the will to remove it helps to weaken its force and assists the Mother's working very greatly.
The vision you had was of the mental plane and symbolic. It symbolised not so much your own position as the general difficulties which lie in the way of one's going deep inside into the psychic centre and living there. The maidān full of light was the inmost psychic centre; the dark place in between represents the veil of ignorance created by the gulf between this inmost psychic and the outer nature. The chakra turning round and round which prevents the approach from one side (the mental side) is the activity of the ordinary mind; when the mind becomes quiet, then it is easier. The serpent is the vital energy which covers up the psychic and prevents approach from another (the vital) side. There again if the vital becomes quiet, then the approach is easier.
The blows in the forehead were perhaps the working of a force to open the centre there for there between the eyes is the centre of the inner mind, will and vision. All these centres are closed in the ordinary consciousness or else only very slightly open on the surface. If the inner mind centre opens, then the peace etc. from above can enter easily into the mind and afterwards into the vital and both mind and vital will become quiet.
The difficulty about the two parts of the mind is one that everybody has when the tendency to go within begins. It is solved in this sadhana by a sort of harmony being established by which even in doing one's work and keeping the necessary outer activities one can still live within in the fullness of the inner life and experience.
Rely on the Mother always. These things are the first beginnings of yogic experience and the difficulties of the mind and vital (which are not the old ones you had but simply the ordinary difficulties of the adjustment and harmonisation of the different parts of the being) will get solved of themselves.
It is very good, all you write is a strong sign of the psychic emergence of which I spoke in yesterday's letter. There is at once the deep plunge into the psychic and the emergence of the psychic influence in mind and heart. The depth of the plunge is the reason why action has become so slow, because the consciousness is too much inside to act swiftly on outside things. This is a stage which one passes through in the process of the inner change. At the same time the ideas in the mind and the perceptions and the mental and vital attitude towards things and happenings and people are becoming more and more of a psychic character. Love and devotion to the Divine is the central feeling of the psychic nature and that is growing in you towards the Mother, pervading your being. A psychic love towards all is also emerging; this love is a thing inward and does not seek to express itself outwardly like the vital love which men usually have. The psychic and spiritual attitude is also not dependent on the good and bad in beings, but is self-existent regarding them as souls who carry the Divine in them however thickly concealed and are children of the Mother.
Let the sweetness and the happy feeling increase, for they are the strongest sign of the soul, the psychic being awake and in touch with us. Let not mistakes of thought or speech or action disturb you put them away from you as something superficial which the Power and Light will deal with and remove. Keep to the one central thing your soul and these higher realities it brings with it.
Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
It is the soul, the psychic being in you, behind the heart, that is awake and wants to concentrate the mind on the Divine. It is the nature of the mind to go out to other things, but now when it does that, there is the unease in the heart, the psychic sorrow because the heart feels at once that this is wrong and the head also aches because of the resistance to the Divine Force at work. This is a thing that often happens at an early stage, after the opening of the consciousness to the sadhana.
There is a psychic sorrow which usually comes when the soul feels how strong is the resistance in the world and how much the Forces in it rage against the Mother.
The vital took it [the psychic sorrow] up perhaps and gave it a more vehement and turbid expression otherwise there is nothing disturbing in a psychic sorrow.
The psychic sadness is of a purifying and not a depressing kind.
The uneasiness created by the psychic is not depression it is in the nature of a rejection of the wrong movement.
If the uneasiness causes depression or vital dissatisfaction, it is not the psychic.
The uneasiness is simply a reminder to you to be more vigilant in future.
The mind and the vital have always been dominant and developed themselves and are accustomed to act for themselves. How do you expect an influence [of the psychic] coming forward and for the first time to be stronger? The psychic is not uneasy, it makes you uneasy when you do the wrong thing.
You have been keeping the psychic in the background during a thousand lives and indulging the vital. That is why the psychic is not strong.
The weeping that comes to you comes from the psychic being it is the tears of psychic yearning and aspiration. At a particular stage it so comes to many and is a very good sign. The other feelings and tendencies are also from the same source. They show that the psychic is exercising a strong influence and preparing, as we say, to come in front. Accept the movement and let it fulfil itself.
It is quite correct that weeping brings in the forces that should be kept outside for weeping is a giving way of the inner control and an expression of vital reaction and ego. It is only the psychic weeping that does not open the door to these forces but that weeping is without affliction, tears of bhakti, spiritual emotion, or Ananda.
Your experience was a very beautiful one the inner being realises by such experiences that which must be established in the waking state as the foundation of the spiritual consciousness and spiritual life.
Obviously when there is that inability to control and over-eagerness, it must be a movement of a vital nature. The vital can take part in a movement but it must not be in control it must be subordinated to the psychic.
These are movements of the vital under the psychic touch. If there is the fixed psychic foundation underneath, it will be felt as an underlying quietude and confidence or a fixed spirit of surrender.
The yearning of the heart may be there but it should not disturb the peace.
I think it is better to stop it [the yearning of the heart] for the present. It is very possible that the vital is taking advantage of it to create dissatisfaction with the progress of the sadhana. The psychic yearning brings no reaction of impatience, dissatisfaction or disturbance.
The demands were there already when the psychic touches there is an intensification of love but the lower vital mixes up the love with all sorts of demands.
In the Letters on Yoga the fragments from two different letters were joined here together.
15.05.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter see here
The psychic fire is the fire of aspiration, purification and tapasya which comes from the psychic being. It is not the psychic being, but a power of the psychic being.
08.06.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter see here
The psychic being is a Purusha, not a flame the psychic fire is not the being, it is something proper to it.
It is the Agni fire that you feel. Agni is at once a fire of aspiration, a fire of purification, a fire of Tapasya, a fire of transformation.
Agni in the form of an aspiration full of concentrated calm and surrender is certainly the first thing to be lighted in the heart.
It is the Mother's Force that works in the Agni.
That the constant fire of aspiration has to be lit is true; but this fire is the psychic fire and it is lit or burns up and increases as the psychic grows within and for the psychic to grow quietude is needful. That is why we have been working for the psychic to grow in you and for the quietude also to grow and that is why we want you to wait on the Mother's working in full patience and confidence. To be always remembering the Mother and always with the equal unwavering fire within means itself a considerable progress in sadhana and it must be prepared by various means such as the experiences you have been having. Keep steadfast in confidence therefore and all that has to be done will be done.
The central fire is in the psychic being, but it can be lit in all the parts of the being.
It is just in the physical consciousness that it is difficult to keep the fire burning the physical can easily follow a constant routine, but not easily maintain a constant living endeavour. Nevertheless it can after a time be made ready to do so. All help will be given you.
It is egoistic if the ego thinks that it is the psychic fire. If the consciousness feels identified with the psychic fire and becomes conscious that the fire can burn out all impurities, then it is a true experience.
It is true that if the consciousness remains quiet, the psychic will manifest more and more from deep inside and a clear feeling will come of what is true and spiritually right and what is wrong or untrue and with it also will come the power to throw away what is hostile, wrong or untrue.
The experience of the Fire is quite correct, it is the great fire of purification and concentration (i.e. gathering up of the consciousness and turning it fixedly towards the Divine), the psychic fire which all must pass through so as to reach the Mother permanently and completely.
It [the feeling of warmth in the heart] comes sometimes from the approach of Agni fire, sometimes from that of love or Ananda, sometimes simply from a touch of the Force.
The fear of the fire you saw is misplaced, for it is the fire of purifying Agni that you see burning and that does no harm; it only clears away what should not be there. That is why it is followed by a lightness or an emptiness. You have only to be quiet and let the fire do its work. The heat one feels at that time is not the heat of fever or any other morbid heat. Afterwards, as you felt, all becomes cool and light.
All that is simply the burning of the Agni in various parts of the being. It prepares it for transformation. But the coming forward of the psychic is another matter and its signs are psychological.
It is some association in the mind probably coupling Agni with the psychic. Of course the individual Agni fire has its starting-point in the psychic, but the mere burning of the fire does not show that the psychic is coming forward.
When it burns in the heart it is the fire in the psychic. The psychic fire is individual and takes usually the form of a fire of aspiration or personal tapasya. This Fire is universal and it came from above.
The psychic fire may burn in the vital. It all depends on whether it is the fire of the general Force that comes from above or the fire of your soul's aspiration and tapasya.
All these things are signs, now often repeated, of the process that is going on. The heat is the result of the psychic fire burning away obstacles the coolness and complete quietude come as a result. The tendency to sleep is really a tendency to go inside into the depths of the inner consciousness due to the pressure for the change.
The wideness of light you saw was the wideness of the true consciousness liberated from the narrow limits of the human mind, human vital, human body consciousness. It is true that the mind is narrow, not only yours, but all human minds even the most developed, compared with the wideness of the true consciousness which has no limits. It is precisely this wideness which will come by the sadhana and which these processes are preparing. The rain of flowers means a plenty of the psychic qualities and movements and the white flower of mental victory indicates the step towards it which is now being led up to the victory of the mind of the inner light over the outer ignorance.
The heat in the body is due simply to the working that is going on within; it is what is called the heat of tapas there is nothing unhealthy in it as in the heat of fever. The beautiful scent that you get is a subtle or psychic fragrance, just as the vision of the lotus is a subtle or psychic sight.
The psychic being is often seen or felt within in the form of a child, it is perhaps that that you are feeling within you; it is calling for a complete sincerity, but sincerity is used here in the sense of opening to nothing but the divine influences and impulses. It does not mean that you have committed any fault, but only that the psychic in you wants you to be completely under its sole government, so that all in you may be for the Divine only. The feeling of sorrow is probably a response of the vital in you to this demand thinking that it must have erred; but such a feeling of sorrow is not necessary. The vital can quietly wait for the psychic working to do all that is needed in due time.
The fire you saw was again the psychic fire of purification and tapasya and the garland was the offering it was preparing for the Mother, the psychic and divine consciousness (pearl and diamond) in the sadhak. The beautiful place was also probably a symbol of the psychic and the lotus indicated the opening of the psychic consciousness.
The twelve-petalled lotus and the twelve-rayed sun indicate the same thing, the complete Truth-Consciousness of the Divine Mother. It was rising but only half risen. The red colour was the sign of Power.
The fire you saw was the fire of the psychic being, the fire of aspiration and tapasya, burning under the earth, that is to say, in the subconscient. It opens the earth, the physical consciousness to the Divine Light. Moonlight may symbolise the spiritual consciousness and the room your own personal being or individual physical consciousness. With these clues it will be easy for you to understand the significance of your experience.
Agni is the psychic fire it is not the Divine Presence. If the psychic is active and open, the Presence may be felt it is not necessary for that that it should be in the front. Also it may be in the front, but the Divine Presence in the heart may not be felt as yet, there may be only the aspiration, bhakti, self-giving. There is no fixed law about these things it develops differently in different natures.
If it is in the heart it may be psychic fire it is possibly not the joy that created the fire, but the decision you had come to to believe in the Mother's action whether the mind understood or not. Such an attitude encourages the opening of the psychic and would therefore bring at once the psychic joy and the kindling of Agni in the psychic centre.
The difficulty in giving up habits is common to the physical mind in all people; nothing is more difficult to it. The fire you feel must be what we call Agni, the fire of purification acting on the physical mind to change it.
The bridge you saw was the symbol of transition from the ordinary to the spiritual consciousness; the wide plain was a symbol of the large peace and silence which comes with the spiritual consciousness when one rests in the Divine.
The perfumes you felt were true perfumes but not of the physical world. This body of flesh and blood is not the whole of ourselves; there is unseen by the eyes a subtle body also and one becomes aware of it when the inner consciousness opens. It was from deep within there that the perfumes came, perfumes of purity, of love and surrender (rose) etc. It is there deep within that the psychic being dwells and it is there that you are trying to go when the inward-going impulse or pressure comes; it was why you felt more and more peaceful, because you were going deeper and deeper into the psychic from which these perfumes came.
Sudhā is nectar or amṛta, the food or drink of the gods. It is applied in yoga to something that flows down from the Brahmarandhra into the palate when there is strong concentration. But this is psychological, so it must be the psychic sweetness flowing into the system.
1 Sri Aurobindo drew an arrow from what to his reply.
2 in your statement (in the ‘Letters on Yoga’)
3 negating power (In the ‘Letters on Yoga’)