LETTERS ON YOGA
Volume 3. Part Four
1. The Triple Transformation:
Psychic Spiritual Supramental
I II III IV V
The descent is that of the powers of the higher consciousness which is above the head. It usually descends from centre to centre till it has occupied the whole being. But at the beginning the action is very variable. It is only when the Peace from above has not only descended but established itself in the whole system that there is a continuous action. The descent comes in order to transform the consciousness but the transformation takes time. It is not done all in a moment.
I have said that the most decisive way for the Peace or the Silence to come is by a descent from above. In fact, in reality though not always in appearance, that is how they always come; not in appearance always, because the sadhak is not always conscious of the process; he feels the peace settling in him or at least manifesting, but he has not been conscious how and whence it came. Yet it is the truth that all that belongs to the higher consciousness comes from above, not only the spiritual peace and silence, but the Light, the Power, the Knowledge, the higher seeing and thought, the Ananda come from above. It is also possible that up to a certain point they may come from within, but this is because the psychic being is open to them directly and they come first there and then reveal themselves in the rest of the being from the psychic or by its coming into the front. A disclosure from within or a descent from above, these are the two sovereign ways of the Yoga-siddhi. An effort of the external surface mind or emotions, a Tapasya of some kind may seem to build up some of these things, but the results are usually uncertain and fragmentary, compared to the result of the two radical ways. That is why in this yoga we insist always on an ‘opening’ an opening inwards of the inner mind, vital, physical to the inmost part of us, the psychic, and an opening upwards to what is above the mind as indispensable for the fruits of the sadhana.
The underlying reason for this is that this little mind, vital and body which we call ourselves is only a surface movement and not our ‘self’ at all. It is an external bit of personality put forward for one brief life, for the play of the Ignorance. It is equipped with an ignorant mind stumbling about in search of fragments of truth, an ignorant vital rushing about in search of fragments of pleasure, an obscure and mostly subconscious physical receiving the impacts of things and suffering rather than possessing a resultant pain or pleasure. All that is accepted until the mind gets disgusted and starts looking about for the real Truth of itself and things, the vital gets disgusted and begins wondering whether there is not such a thing as real bliss and the physical gets tired and wants liberation from itself and its pains and pleasures. Then it is possible for the little ignorant bit of personality to get back to its real Self and with it to these greater things or else to extinction of itself, Nirvana.
The real Self is not anywhere on the surface but deep within and above. Within is the soul supporting an inner mind, inner vital, inner physical in which there is a capacity for universal wideness and with it for the things now asked for direct contact with the truth of self and things, taste of a universal bliss, liberation from the imprisoned smallness and sufferings of the gross physical body. Even in Europe the existence of something behind the surface is now very frequently admitted, but its nature is mistaken and it is called subconscient or subliminal, while really it is very conscious in its own way and not subliminal but only behind the veil. It is, according to our psychology, connected with the small outer personality by certain centres of consciousness of which we become aware by yoga. Only a little of the inner being escapes through these centres into the outer life, but that little is the best part of ourselves and responsible for our art, poetry, philosophy, ideals, religious aspirations, efforts at knowledge and perfection. But the inner centres are for the most part closed or asleep to open them and make them awake and active is one aim of yoga. As they open, the powers and possibilities of the inner being also are aroused in us; we awake first to a larger consciousness and then to a cosmic consciousness; we are no longer little separate personalities with limited lives but centres of a universal action and in direct contact with cosmic forces. Moreover, instead of being unwillingly playthings of the latter, as is the surface person, we can become to a certain extent conscious and masters of the play of nature how far this goes depending on the development of the inner being and its opening upward to the higher spiritual levels. At the same time the opening of the heart centre releases the psychic being which proceeds to make us aware of the Divine within us and of the higher Truth above us.
For the highest spiritual Self is not even behind our personality and bodily existence but is above it and altogether exceeds it. The highest of the inner centres is in the head, just as the deepest is the heart; but the centre which opens directly to the Self is above the head, altogether outside the physical body, in what is called the subtle body, sūkṣma śarīra. This Self has two aspects and the results of realising it correspond to these two aspects. One is static, a condition of wide peace, freedom, silence: the silent Self is unaffected by any action or experience; it impartially supports them but does not seem to originate them at all, rather to stand back detached or unconcerned, udāsīna. The other aspect is dynamic and that is experienced as a cosmic Self or Spirit which not only supports but originates and contains the whole cosmic action not only that part of it which concerns our physical selves but also all that is beyond it this world and all other worlds, the supraphysical as well as the physical ranges of the universe. Moreover, we feel the Self as one in all; but also we feel it as above all, transcendent, surpassing all individual birth or cosmic existence. To get into the universal Self one in all is to be liberated from ego; ego either becomes a small instrumental circumstance in the consciousness or even disappears from our consciousness altogether. That is the extinction or Nirvana of the ego. To get into the transcendent self above all makes us capable of transcending altogether even cosmic consciousness and action it can be the way to that complete liberation from the world-existence which is called also extinction, laya, mokṣa, nirvāṇa.
It must be noted however that the opening upward does not necessarily lead to peace, silence and Nirvana only. The sadhak becomes aware not only of a great, eventually an infinite peace, silence, wideness above us, above the head as it were and extending into all physical and supraphysical space, but also he can become aware of other things a vast Force in which is all power, a vast Light in which is all knowledge, a vast Ananda in which is all bliss and rapture. At first they appear as something essential, indeterminate, absolute, simple, kevala: a Nirvana into any of these things seems possible. But we can come to see too that this Force contains all forces, this Light all lights, this Ananda all joy and bliss possible. And all this can descend into us. Any of them and all of them can come down, not peace alone; only the safest is to bring down first an absolute calm and peace, for that makes the descent of the rest more secure; otherwise it may be difficult for the external nature to contain or bear so much Force, Light, Knowledge or Ananda. All these things together make what we call the higher spiritual or Divine Consciousness. The psychic opening through the heart puts us primarily into connection with the individual Divine, the Divine in his inner relation with us; it is especially the source of love and bhakti. This upward opening puts us into direct relation with the whole Divine and can create in us the divine consciousness and a new birth or births of the spirit.
When the Peace is established, this higher or Divine Force from above can descend and work in us. It descends usually first into the head and liberates the inner mind centres, then into the heart centre and liberates fully the psychic and emotional being, then into the navel and other vital centres and liberates the inner vital, then into the Muladhara and below and liberates the inner physical being. It works at the same time for perfection as well as liberation; it takes up the whole nature part by part and deals with it, rejecting what has to be rejected, sublimating what has to be sublimated, creating what has to be created. It integrates, harmonises, establishes a new rhythm in the nature. It can bring down too a higher and yet higher force and range of the higher nature until, if that be the aim of the sadhana, it becomes possible to bring down the supramental force and existence. All this is prepared, assisted, farthered by the work of the psychic being in the heart centre; the more it is open, in front, active, the quicker, safer, easier the working of the Force can be. The more love and bhakti and surrender grow in the heart, the more rapid and perfect becomes the evolution of the sadhana. For the descent and transformation imply at the same time an increasing contact and union with the Divine.
That is the fundamental rationale of the sadhana. It will be evident that the two most important things here are the opening of the heart centre and the opening of the mind centres to all that is behind and above them. For the heart opens to the psychic being and the mind centres open to the higher consciousness and the nexus between the psychic being and the higher consciousness is the principal means of the siddhi. The first opening is effected by a concentration in the heart, a call to the Divine to manifest within us and through the psychic to take up and lead the whole nature. Aspiration, prayer, bhakti, love, surrender are the main supports of this part of the sadhana accompanied by a rejection of all that stands in the way of what we aspire for. The second opening is effected by a concentration of the consciousness in the head (afterwards, above it) and an aspiration and call and a sustained will for the descent of the divine Peace, Power, Light, Knowledge, Ananda into the being the Peace first or the Peace and Force together. Some indeed receive Light first or Ananda first or some sudden pouring down of knowledge. With some there is first an opening which reveals to them a vast infinite Silence, Force, Light or Bliss above them and afterwards either they ascend to that or these things begin to descend into the lower nature. With others there is either the descent, first into the head, then down to the heart level, then to the navel and below and through the whole body, or else an inexplicable opening without any sense of descent of peace, light, wideness or power, or else a horizontal opening into the cosmic consciousness or in a suddenly widened mind an outburst of knowledge. Whatever comes has to be welcomed for there is no absolute rule for all but if the peace has not come first, care must be taken not to swell oneself in exultation or lose the balance. The capital movement however is when the Divine Force or Shakti, the power of the Mother comes down and takes hold, for then the organization of the consciousness begins and the larger foundation of the yoga.
The result of the concentration is not usually immediate though to some there comes a swift and sudden outflowering; but with most there is a time longer or shorter of adaptation or preparation, especially if the nature has not been prepared already to some extent by aspiration and Tapasya. The coming of the result can sometimes be aided by associating with the concentration one of the processes of the old yoga. There is the Adwaita process of the way of knowledge one rejects from oneself the identification with the mind, vital, body, saying continually “I am not the mind”, “I am not the vital”, “I am not the body”, seeing these things as separate from one's real self and after a time one feels all the mental, vital, physical processes and the very sense of mind, vital, body becoming externalised, an outer action, while within and detached from them there grows the sense of a separate self-existent being which opens into the realisation of the cosmic and transcendent spirit. There is also the method a very powerful method of the Sankhyas, the separation of the Purusha and the Prakriti. One enforces on the mind the position of the Witness all action of mind, vital, physical becomes an outer play which is not myself or mine, but belongs to Nature and has been enforced on an outer me. I am the witness Purusha; I am silent, detached, not bound by any of these things. There grows up in consequence a division in the being; the sadhak feels within him the growth of a calm silent separate consciousness which feels itself quite apart from the surface play of the mind and the vital and physical Nature. Usually when this takes place, it is possible very rapidly to bring down the peace of the higher consciousness and the action of the higher Force and the full march of the yoga. But often the Force itself comes down first in response to the concentration and call and then, if these things are necessary, it does them and uses any other means or process that is helpful or indispensable.
One thing more. In this process of the descent from above and the working it is most important not to rely entirely on oneself, but to rely on the guidance of the Guru and to refer all that happens to his judgment and arbitration and decision. For it often happens that the forces of the lower nature are stimulated and excited by the descent and want to mix with it and turn it to their profit. It often happens too that some Power or Powers undivine in their nature present themselves as the Supreme Lord or as the Divine Mother and claim the being's service and surrender. If these things are accepted, there will be an extremely disastrous consequence. If indeed there is the assent of the sadhak to the Divine working alone and the submission or surrender to that guidance, then all can go smoothly. This assent and a rejection of all egoistic forces or forces that appeal to the ego are the safeguard throughout the sadhana. But the ways of nature are full of snares, the disguises of the ego are innumerable, the illusions of the Powers of Darkness, Rakshasi Maya, are extraordinarily skilful; the reason is an insufficient guide and often turns traitor; vital desire is always with us tempting to follow any alluring call. This is the reason why in this yoga we insist so much on what we call Samarpana rather inadequately rendered by the English word surrender. If the heart centre is fully opened and the psychic is always in control, then there is no question; all is safe. But the psychic can at any moment be veiled by a lower upsurge. It is only a few who are exempt from these dangers and it is precisely those to whom surrender is easily possible. The guidance of one who himself is by identity or represents the Divine is in this difficult endeavour imperative and indispensable.
What I have written may help you to get some clear idea of what I mean by the central process of the yoga. I have written at some length but, naturally, could cover only the fundamental things. Whatever belongs to circumstance and detail must arise as one works out the method, or rather as it works itself out for the last is what usually happens when there is an effective beginning of the action of the sadhana.
The descent of Peace, the descent of Force or Power, the descent of Light, the descent of Ananda, these are the four things that transform the nature.
Presence, Peace, Force, Light, Ananda these are five things that most commonly come down.
Like everything else, Peace, Light, Power, so wideness descends also.
20.06.1934 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
You mean that these feasts are not good for me?
Is Ananda a major experience?
Light, Peace, Force, Ananda constitute the spiritual consciousness; if they are not among the major experiences, what are?
There is no doubt that there is a craving for relishing dishes and then it is not far to seek an excuse.
Probably the cessation of the meal would make your vital uncomfortable – so it may be better to continue.
It is not really the plane that descends, it is the Power and Truth of it that descends into the material and then the veil between the material and it no longer exists.
09.06.1934 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
My friend C, is extremely troubled by his own defects and is in utter despair and thinks of putting an end to his life. What should I tell him?
You have seen my answer I suppose. You can add that despair is absurd and talks of suicide quite out of place. However a man may stumble, the Divine Grace will be there so long as he aspires for it and in the end lead him through.
Last night I woke up suddenly in a condition of deep ecstasy. My room seemed to be quite different; it was pervaded by your presence. I felt I was lying in an immense cradle of that presence. I wonder if the condition was a stupefaction of the senses due to an interruption of sleep or a simple imagination.
What on earth is this nonsense? Do you mean that an experience of the pervading Presence can only be due to a stupefaction of the senses, an interruption of sleep or a simple imagination?
When you get experiences, especially such experiences, take them as they are. Why these mental mystifications?
If my Ananda was vital and mental, is there a psychic Ananda too?
I did not say it was vital and mental, but that it was Ananda manifesting itself in the mental and vital – a quite different thing; for the one Ananda (the true thing) can manifest in any part of the being.
It [the higher consciousness] descends on the atmosphere also, but for it to be effective the individual must receive and respond. It descends also in the individual independently of the atmosphere.
08.12.1934 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
During the evening meditation I was wondering why I was not able to find the rasa of life. Many have found it in poetry, some in painting, others in physical work through which they can offer themselves easily and joyously to the Divine. The consecration becomes ever so much easier through works for which they have an affinity whereas to people like me who have no definite tendencies in any single pursuit, consecration becomes doubly difficult. I was thinking of praying to you to let me find rasa in work, when I had this experience.
I felt that my mind was divided into two parts – the inner absolutely silent, not disturbed by anything; the surface mind (physical?) thinking at random of many things which were passing by like a cinema film. Previously the whole being was mixed up with all those thoughts with a resultant turmoil. But this time the inner mind seemed to be detached. As soon as the outer thoughts cropped up it tried to see if all this was a forced condition of mind, – but no, the silence was really there and intact. This continued as long as the meditation lasted. I would like to have your corroboration on the matter. I wonder how these experiences suddenly drop in. I don't know that I opened myself today specially to such an experience!
The consciousness from which these experiences come is always there pressing to bring them in. The reason why they don't come in freely or stay is the activity of the mind and vital always rushing about, thinking this, wanting that, trying to perform mountaineering feats on all the hillocks of the lower nature instead of nourishing a stronger1 and simple aspiration and opening to the higher consciousness that it may come in and do its own work. Rasa of poetry, painting or physical work is not the thing to go after. What gives the interest in Yoga is the rasa of the Divine and of the divine consciousness which means the rasa of Peace, of Silence, of inner Light and Bliss, of growing inner Knowledge, of increasing inner Power, of the Divine Love, of all the infinite fields of experience that open to one with the opening of the inner consciousness. The true rasa of poetry, painting or any other activity is truly found when these things2 are part of the working of the Divine Force in you and you feel it is that and it exists in the joy of that working.3
This4 condition you had of the inner being and its silence – separated from the surface consciousness and its little restless workings – is the first liberation, the liberation of Purusha from Prakriti, and it is a5 fundamental experience. The day when you can keep it, you can know that the Yogic consciousness has been founded in you. This time it has increased in intensity, but it must also increase in duration.
These things do not “drop” – what you have felt was6 there in you all the time, but you did not feel it because you were living on the surface altogether, and the surface is all crowd and clamour. But in all men there is this silent Purusha, base of the true mental being, the true vital being, the true physical being. It was by your prayer and aspiration that the thing came, to show you in what direction you must travel in order to have the true rasa of things, for it is only when one is liberated that one can get the real rasa. For after this liberation come others and among them the liberation and Ananda in action as well as in the static inner silence.
If the habit of the ordinary nature is not an obstacle to the descent, then what is the need of sadhana? What prevents the whole higher consciousness from coming down and changing you into a superman in one second? It is because the things of the lower nature offer an obstinate resistance that sadhana is necessary.
The general condition does not mean, in my sentence, the surface condition as known to you. It contains many things in it unknown to you. What comes from above can come when one is in a clear mind or when the vital is disturbed, when one is in meditation or when one is moving about, when one is working or when one is doing nothing. Most often it comes when one is in a clear concentrated state, but it may not, there is no absolute rule. Moreover, the pull or call may produce no concrete effect and yet there may be an effect when one is no longer actually pulling or calling. All these mental reasons alleged for its coming or going are too rigid sometimes they apply, very often they don't apply. One has to have faith, confidence, aspiration but one cannot bind down the Force as to when, how and why it will act.
It [the higher consciousness] may not come exactly according to the aspiration, but the aspiration is not ineffective. It keeps the consciousness open, prevents an inert state of acquiescence in all that comes and exercises a sort of pull on the sources of the higher consciousness.
Whenever there is a descent of the higher consciousness in the Adhar:
1. Part of it is stored up in the frontal consciousness and remains there.
2. Part of it goes behind and remains as a support to the active part of the being.
3. Part flows out into the universal Nature.
4. Part is absorbed by the inconscient and lost to the individual consciousness and its action.
The Force descends for two things:
1. To transform the nature.
2. To carry on the work through the instrument
At first one is not conscious of either working, afterwards one becomes conscious of the Force working but not of how it works. Finally, one becomes conscious entirely and in detail.
One feels the Force only when one is in conscious contact with it.
All these are different actions of the Force on the ādhāra with the one intention of opening it up from above and below and horizontally also. The action from above opens it to the descent of forces from above the Mind and the ascent of consciousness above the lid of the ordinary human mind. The horizontal action opens it to the cosmic consciousness on all its levels. The action from below helps to connect the superconscient with the subconscient. Finally the consciousness instead of being limited in the body becomes infinite, rises infinitely above, plunges infinitely below, widens infinitely on every side. There is besides the opening of all the centres to the Light and Power and Ananda that has to descend from above. At present, only the mind centres seem to receive fully the descent of the Force, while the upper vital centres are being prepared with a minor action on other parts of the body. It is a matter of time and perseverance for the way to be entirely open.
It is the universal experience of sadhaks that force or consciousness or Ananda like this first comes from above or around and presses on or surrounds the head, then it pierces the skull as it were and fills first the brain and forehead and then the whole head and descends occupying each centre till the whole system is full and replete. Of course there are, or can be, preliminary rushes occupying the whole body for a time or some part of the system most open and least resistant to the influence.
The descent into the body first in the head, then down to the neck and in the chest is the ordinary rule. For many there is a big stop before it gets below the navel owing to some vital resistance. Once it passes that barricade it does not usually take long to come down farther. But there is no rule as to the time taken. In some it comes down like a flood, in others it goes through with a methodical and deliberate increase. I don't think the peace descent is in the habit of waiting for companions more often it likes at first to be all by itself and then call down its friends with the message, “Come along, I have made the place all ready for you”.
If you mean the descent of the higher consciousness, that is felt in the heart region, not only in the centre, just as it is felt in the head. The touching of the head is only a first pressure. Afterwards there is a feeling of a mass of peace, force, light, Ananda or consciousness coming down in the head directly and descending further to the chest and so to the navel through the body. For some it takes weeks or months, in others it descends speedily.
11.05.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
I thought that since homo-psychics proceed from the heart, their knowledge aspect will be limited.
But Ramakrishna was a homo-psychicus with no atom of intellectuality – yet he had plenty of knowledge.
Mother says in the Prayers and Meditations that there is a knowledge which surpasses all other knowledge which means knowledge of the Divine. In that case, psychics or otherwise who realise the Divine, will have the same width, vastness of knowledge.
Certainly, there is nothing to prevent it.
By the higher knowledge, I understand, you mean spiritual knowledge about Atman, Brahman, etc. But can one deal with the problems of ordinary life with mastery by this spiritual knowledge? For instance, if I am asked to criticise Shaw or other literary figures, how am I to do it with this knowledge alone?
One can. What has all that to do with spiritual knowledge? Criticism of Shaw is not a part of Brahmajnana. If one has to do it, one does it with the mind, so long as one does not get into the intuitive overmind or supermind – then one does it with those. This is quite another matter – it has nothing to do with the main question which is about the spiritual realisation – through love or through knowledge.
I have been concentrating on both the head and the heart centres. In meditation the being falls silent, but the head gets heavy and I feel some working going on there.
That is all very good.
I hope I am not going to get knowledge only, because this is the centre for knowledge; I want bhakti and love too. Since I haven't felt them, I have been thinking that maybe the head centre is going to open and not the heart. Though I felt elated, I dreaded it also because I hear the head centre gives knowledge, no doubt, but no love, bhakti – so it is as dry as a nut.
Yes, obviously that is what it is trying to do. When things come in this order the head opens up first and the heart afterwards – finally all the centres. So what is there to be worried about? If you are satisfied only with peace, knowledge and mukti, then perhaps the heart centre may open to that only. But if you want the love, then the descending Power and Light will work for that also. So cheer up and don't get into a state of pother with imaginary difficulties.
S was taking Lithinιe according to your suggestion. For the last few days the pain which subsided by Lithinιe has come back. Shall I try my mental knowledge or leave her to the spiritual?
At least use your mental K. to know what is the matter with her.
It is possible that there may have been too much haste in this attempt to open the navel and the lower centre. In this yoga the movement is downward first the two head centres, then the heart, then the navel and then the two others. If the higher experience is first fully established with its higher consciousness, knowledge and will in the three upper centres, then it is easier to open the three lower ones without too much disturbance.
18.01.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
Today during meditation, again there was the sense of much pressure on the head, as if I would fall down. I was quite unconscious for some seconds and felt also very light, as if there was no body. Is it the same experience as the previous one? Why is the Force felt only on the head, and why opening of the eyes relieves the intensity?
Yes, it was the same experience. You went inside under the pressure of the Force – which is often though not always the first result – went into a few seconds' samadhi, according to the ordinary language. The Force when it descends tries to open the body and pass through the centres. It has to come in (ordinarily) through the crown of the head (Brahmarandhra) and pass through the inner mind centre which is in the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows. That is why it presses first on the head. The opening of the eyes brings one back to the ordinary consciousness of the outer world, that is why the intensity is relieved by opening the eyes.
The experience you had was simply the descent of the Divine Force into the body. By your attitude and aspiration you called for it to work in you, so it came. Such a descent brings naturally a deep inward condition and a silence of the mind, and it may bring much more peace, a sense of liberation, happiness, Ananda. It is very often attended as in this experience by a light or luminosity. It was felt enveloping the upper part of the body down to the cardiac centre, because it is these centres, the head and heart centres that are first invaded and occupied by whatever descends from above, Consciousness, Force, Light or Ananda. Usually, there is at first a pressure from above on the head, then one feels something entering the higher part of the head and then the whole head is occupied, as you feel now with the ‘fourmillement’ at the time of concentration. Once the head with its mental centres is open and occupied, the Force descends rapidly to the heart centre, unless there is some obstacle or a resistance in the higher vital parts. From there it sends its stream into the whole body and begins to occupy the vital and physical centres from the navel to the Muladhara. The coming of this experience, occupation of the body, by the Force from above, is a great step forward in the sadhana.
The fear of a syncope was due only to the saṃskāra in the mind; it must be dismissed. The Force can very well come down in the full waking consciousness; if it brings a kind of samadhi, it is usually a conscious inner condition the consciousness taken away from outward things, but in full power within. Even if a trance came, it would be a trance and not a swoon.
The more important of the experiences you enumerate are those below.
1. The feeling of calm and comparative absence of disturbing thoughts. This means the growth of quietude of mind which is necessary for a fully effective meditation.
2. The pressure on the head and the movements within it. The pressure is that of the Force of the higher consciousness above the mind pressing on the mind (the mind centres are in the head and throat) and penetrating into it. Once it enters there it prepares the mind for opening to it more fully and the movements within the head are due to this working. Once the head centres and spaces are open one feels it descending freely as a current or otherwise. Afterwards it opens similarly the centres below in the body. The physical movement of the head must be due to the body not being accustomed to the pressure and penetration of the Force. When it is able to receive and assimilate, these movements no longer take place.
3. The effect of the meditation in the heart extending itself to the head and creating movements there is normal in whatever centre the concentration takes place the yoga force generated extends to the others and produces concentration or workings there.
4. The sudden cessation of thought and all movements this is very important, as it means the beginning of the capacity for the inner silence. It lasts only for a short while at the beginning of its manifestation but increases afterwards its hold and duration.
The direction of the sadhana is the right one and you have only to continue upon it.
We cannot say anything definitively about the outside affairs I suppose in the circumstances you have to think about these things, but the sadhana has the greater importance.
We do not include Hathayoga practices in this sadhana. If you use only for health purposes, it must be as something separate from sadhana on your own choice.
An entire silence and inactivity of the mind cannot come at first what is possible is a quietude of the mind, that is to say, a cessation of its absorption in its restless miscellaneous activity of ill-connected or unconnected thoughts and a concentration on the object of the sadhana. The imagination which the Mother recommended to you was a means of such concentration. A mental idea of the omnipresence such as comes to you is a good help for that also, especially if it brings the strong faith and reliance. The feeling of the vibration of the Mother's Force around the head is more than a mental idea or even a mental realisation, it is an experience. This vibration is indeed the action of the Mother's Force which is first felt above the head or around it, then afterwards within the head. The pressure means that it is working to open the mind and its centres so that it may enter. The mind centres are in the head, one at the top and above it, another between the eyes, a third in the throat. That is why you feel the vibration around the head and sometimes up to the neck, but not below. It is so usually, for it is only after enveloping and entering the mind that it goes below to the emotional and vital parts (heart, navel etc.) though sometimes it is more enveloping before it enters the body.... To see the light in the heart one has to go deep, but one can see light elsewhere without going in deep there. Light is often seen between the eyebrows first, or in front or at that level for there is the centre of inner vision and a slight opening of it is sufficient for that so also light is often seen round the head or above it, outside.
The pressure from within upon the forehead centre begins very often after the pressure from above on the forehead something of the Force has come in sufficiently to exercise this second pressure. That on the back must be a direct pressure on the psychic region (if it is in or near the middle of the back) meant to prepare the action in the heart. When the centres begin to open, inner experiences such as the seeing of light or images through the subtle vision in the forehead centre or psychic experiences and perceptions in the heart, become frequent gradually one becomes aware of one's inner being as separate from the outer, and what can be called a yogic consciousness with all its deeper movements develops in the place of the ordinary superficial mental and vital movements.
It is good that you felt the peace within and the movement in the heart. That shows the force is working not only from above but inside you, and this promises a farther progress. The full opening will come in time the important thing is that you are on the right way and advancing more quickly than you realise.
It is what we call the pressure of the Force (the Force of the higher spiritual or divine consciousness, the Mother's Force); it comes in various forms, vibrations, currents, waves, a wide flow, a shower like rain etc. It passes to each centre in turn, the crown of the head, the forehead centre, throat, heart, navel centres down to the Muladhara and spreads too throughout the body. The rotatory movement is the movement of the Force when it is working and forming something in the being.
Whatever comes from above can come like that in waves whether it is Light or Force or Peace or Ananda. In your case it was the Force working on the mind in waves. It is true also that when it was like that, not in currents or as a rain or as a quiet flood, it is Mahakali's Force that is working. The first necessity when it is so, is not to fear.
Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
The stream which you feel coming down on the head and pouring into you is indeed a current of the Mother's force; it is so that it is often felt; it flows into the body in currents and works there to liberate and change the consciousness. As the consciousness changes and develops, you will begin yourself to understand the meaning and working of these things.
Vibrations are either of a Force or a Presence.
Pressure, throbbing, electrical vibrations are all signs of the working of the Force. The places indicate the field of action the top of the head is the summit of the thinking mind where it communicates with the higher consciousness; the neck or throat is the seat of the physical, externalising or expressive mind; the ear is the place of communication with the inner mind-centre by which thoughts etc. enter into the personal being from the general Nature. The sternum at the point indicated holds the psychic and emotional centre, with its apex on the spinal column behind.
It [the current like electricity] is the flowing of the force through the spine. In the Tantric system the spine is considered as the natural passage of the Force, because it is in the spine that all the six centres rest.
Electricity shock always indicates a passage of dynamic Force.
I am glad to hear that these experiences are coming they are a sign of rapid progress coming. The descent as of a drizzling rain is a very characteristic and well-known way of descent of the higher consciousness; it brings peace but it also brings all other possibilities of the higher consciousness too and, as you felt, the seeds of transformation of the physical consciousness by the coming in it of the seeds of the powers and qualities of the higher Nature.
I am very glad that the experience we have been working to bring to you has come with such force and is increasing. It is the concrete descent of the higher consciousness, which once it settles marks always a definite turning-point in the sadhana. Even if it does not settle with a full stability at once, yet when it has once come with so much strength, there cannot be the least doubt that it will come more and more till it has done its work and is your permanent consciousness. The shower and drizzle, the hold above the head and in the heart, the envelopment, the flaming of Agni within, the sense of firmness and solidity, the Peace and security and devotion, the sense of the Mother's hold are all signs of the descent eventually it will penetrate everywhere and become something solid and stable occupying the whole consciousness and body.
A sound does sometimes come with a particular descent of the consciousness or force from above.
Your experience while going to the lawyers was an opening to the Force from above which, if sudden, is often attended by this kind of loud sound and the sensation of the opening of the head it is in the subtle body that this opening of the head takes place though the sensation is felt as if physical. The Force came down and went up presided over by the Mother's forms of Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati and made the movement of ascent and descent (here in the spinal column which is the main channel of the yogic force passing through the centres) which helps to join the higher with the lower consciousness. As a result came the feeling of identity with myself in your body. The cough shows probably some difficulty against concentration in the physical mind. The best is not to force concentration, but to remain quiet and call and let things work out themselves through the force of the Mother.
That is some obstacle in the mind breaking under the pressure of Force, and each time there is a flash and a movement of the Force.
If it is a feeling of a covering being perforated, then that is a sensation one often has when the Force is opening a way for itself through some resistance here it must be in some part of the physical mind.
Keep full reliance on the Mother. When one does that, the victory even if delayed, is sure.
When there is a pressure of the Force on the Adhar to work on it or enter, this [heaviness in the centre of the head] is often felt, especially if there is a working of the Force in the head. This heaviness disappears if the system receives and assimilates the Force and there is a free flow in the body till then the pressure or some kind of heaviness is often felt at one centre or another where the Force is working.
A heaviness which gives strength is likely to be the indication of a descent. Sensations like a biting or pricking in the head often accompany it. It is usually a sign of some force from above trying to make its way through or to work in the physical stuff so as to prepare it for receiving.
The control over the thoughts and the power of seeing the image of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in the head are a very good beginning. The heat in the head is not fever, but the result of the action of the Force in the mental centres working to overcome the mental resistance which there always is in the human mind heaviness sometimes comes as a result of the pressure of the Force it passes away of itself usually when the mind receives freely the Force.
It [the feeling of swelling of the head] was a very usual experience of feeling of enlargement in the head of the subtle body.
The sensations you describe in the crown of the head and the upper part of the forehead are such as one often gets when the higher consciousness or Force is trying to make an open passage through the mind for itself. So it is possibly that that is happening. As for the uneasiness or feebleness there when you talk loudly etc., that also happens at such times. It is because the concentration of energy which is necessary for the inner work is broken and the energies thrown out, exhausting the parts by two inconsistent pullings. It is better when any working is going on inside to be very quiet in speech and as sparing as possible. At other times it does not so much matter.
18.10.1936 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter see here
There are sensations that are due to descent and not troublesome or dangerous at all, there are others that are physical. But the description is necessary in order to distinguish.
What you saw was indeed a sun, the sun of blue light which is the light of a higher mind than the ordinary human mind. The sun is the symbol of Light and Truth. This higher spiritual Mind is trying to wake in you, but at the beginning there is always a difficulty because the consciousness is not habituated to receive, so there is the sense of pressure deepening sometimes into a feeling of headache or this feeling of the head preparing to split. It is nothing but a sensation in the physical created by the inner mind (this part of the head is the seat of the inner mind) trying to open under the touch from above.
Your dream was not a sign of the worldly desire in you, but only a test or ordeal dream such as you have had before. Your absence of response in the dream shows that you have no such inclination towards these things as many have. The whole was only a formation or suggestion of outer forces on the vital plane to see what kind of response, if any, your consciousness would make.
The action of the Force does not always create pressure. When it does not need to press it acts quietly.
There is no necessity of feeling pressure. One feels force when something is being done or the force is flowing on or if it is there manifest in the body but not when what is manifesting is peace and silence.
One can be receptive without being conscious without knowing exactly what is given.
The quiet flow is necessary for permeating the lower parts. The big descents open the way and bring constant reinforcement and the culminating force at the end but the quiet flow is also needed.
Some have this swaying of the body when the Peace or the Force begins to descend upon it, as it facilitates for it the reception. The swaying ceases usually when the body is accustomed to assimilate the descent.
The Peace comes fully at the meditation time because the Mother's concentration at that time brings down the power of the higher consciousness and one can receive it if one is able to do so. Once it begins to come, it usually increases its force along with the receptivity of the sadhak until it can come at all times and under all conditions and stay longer and longer till it is stable. The sadhak on his side has to keep his consciousness as quiet and still as possible to receive it. The Peace, Power, Light, Ananda of the higher spiritual consciousness are there in all veiled above. A certain opening upwards is needed for it to descend the quietude of the mind and a certain wide concentrated passivity to the descending Influence are the best conditions for the descent.
That [shaking of the body] sometimes happens when the force is coming down. It must be allowed to pass off as the body becomes more quiet and assimilative.
If the pressure is too great, the remedy is to widen the consciousness. With the peace and silence there should come a wideness that can receive any amount of Force without any reactions, whether heaviness or compulsion to remain withdrawn or the difficulty of the eyes.
10.11.1934 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
My birthday falls on the 17th. Hope my name is there?
It is there. On the 17th after 12.
About five minutes before the end of the evening meditation, I felt such a pressure on the head as if it would burst or I would tumble down. I was then forced to open my eyes to relieve the pressure. Was it because my capacity to contain the Force was limited?
Probably the accumulated Force became more than the physical being could receive. When that happens, the right thing to do is to widen oneself (one can learn to do it by a little practice). If the consciousness is in a state of wideness, then it can receive any amount of Force without inconvenience.
I had a dream that I had gone home. My mother seeing me after a long time clasped me and pressed me so hard that I got afraid and began to call you. Is it that my vital went there or that the vital spirit of my mother came here and attacked me in this way?
It is probable that it was not your mother at all but a vital Force taking her shape so as to have a hold on you.
There are always pauses of preparation and assimilation between two movements.
To remain quiet for a time after the descent of Force is the best way of assimilating it.
There may be empty silence and peace satisfied with themselves. Reception is a separate power. Of course, all quietude of the mind makes good conditions for the receptivity to act.
As regards your own sadhana and those of others... I think it necessary to make two or three observations. First, I have for some time had the impression that there is a too constant activity and pressure for rapidity of progress and a multitude of experiences. These things are all right in themselves, but there must be certain safeguards. First there should be sufficient periods of rest and silence, even of relaxation, in which there can be a quiet assimilation. Assimilation is very important and periods necessary for it should not be regarded with impatience as stop-pages of the yoga. Care should be taken to make calm and quiet strength and inner silence the basic condition for all activity. There should be no excessive strain; any fatigue, disturbance, or inordinate sensitiveness of the nervous and physical parts, of which you mention certain symptoms in your letters, should be quieted and removed, as they are often signs of overstrain or too great an activity or rapidity in the yoga. It must also be remembered that experiences are only valuable as indications and openings and the main thing always is the steady harmonious and increasingly organised opening and change of the different parts of the consciousness and the being.
Physical fatigue like this in the course of the sadhana may come from various reasons:
1. It may come from receiving more than the physical is ready to assimilate. The cure is then quiet rest in conscious immobility receiving the forces but not for any other purpose than the recuperation of the strength and energy.
2. It may be due to the passivity taking the form of inertia inertia brings the consciousness down towards the ordinary physical level which is soon fatigued and prone to tamas. The cure here is to get back into the true consciousness and to rest there, not in inertia.
3. It may be due to mere overstrain of the body not giving it enough sleep or repose. The body is the support of the yoga, but its energy is not inexhaustible and needs to be husbanded; it can be kept up by drawing on the universal vital Force but that reinforcement too has its limits. A certain moderation is needed even in the eagerness for progress moderation, not indifference or indolence.
Yes, the ordinary physical consciousness is not able to hold the contact and it does get tired also it cannot assimilate much at a time. But it is not always the Divine who takes away the pressure; the lower consciousness itself loses it or gives it up.
Yes the system has to take rest so as to assimilate and renew its receptive power.
When one is assimilating, one is not receiving.
It is quite usual to have such periods in the day. The consciousness needs time for rest and assimilation, it cannot be at the same pitch of intensity at all times. During the assimilation a calm quietude is the proper condition.
Passivity must not lead to inactivity otherwise it will encourage inertia in the being. It is only an inner passivity to what comes from above that is needed inert passivity is the wrong kind of passivity.
One can assimilate in sleep also. Remaining awake like that is not good, as in the end it strains the nerves and the system receives wrongly in an excited way or else gets too tired to receive.
There is always a gain or progress at some point after these periods of assimilation if one takes them rightly however dull or troublesome they may be.
This sort of giddiness and weakness and disturbance ought not to take place. When it comes it shows that more Force is being pulled down than is assimilated by the body. At such times you ought to rest till this disturbance has passed and there is a proper balance.
I mean that you need not pull it [the Force] down, but you should aid its entry by your full aspiration and assent.
If one brings down more Force or Light than some part of the being is ready for and that part resists or if there is a struggle between descending and adverse forces in the body, then these things [burning sensation in the body etc.] can take place.
An uneasiness of that kind is always due to a resistance somewhere something that remains closed and does not open when it is touched by the Force. It is due probably not so much to yourself as to other conflicting influences that are acting upon you.
The feeling of resistance may be the result of the effort at response. When there is the free flow there is neither effort nor resistance.
Headaches “produced by a pressure from above”, as you put it, are not due to the pressure or produced by it, but produced by a resistance.
The pressure does not “bring” a resistance. “If there were no resistance there would be no headache” is the proper knowledge, not the reverse. So long as you think that it is the pressure that brings the resistance, the very idea will create the resistance. X's case is not an example either of headache due to resistance or of headache due to pressure it is due to ordinary physical and psychological causes.
21.06.1935 ▪ Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
I had a terrible headache today, especially worse after pranam, till meditation.
What is this really, I am having now and then? If it is yogic in origin, I will have some comfort. Are you breaking some resistances inside? But if you break them in this way, I am afraid, a lot of pains and aches await me!
No. To make people ill in order to improve or perfect them is not Mother's method. But sometimes things like headache come because the brain either tries too much or does not want to receive or makes difficulties. But the Yogic headaches are of a special kind, and after the brain has found out the way to receive or respond, they don't come at all.
I seem to be making some excursions into the world of music, in my dreams. Last night I heard a professional female singer singing and playing. It was so distinct that even when it ceased, the music was ringing in my ears. I thought it was a lower vital enjoyment. The other day I heard songs about you – a higher vital enjoyment, I believe.
Yes, these are excursions into the vital world (lower or higher) or rather worlds, for there are any number of domains there. They are not really dreams – dreams proper belong to the subconscient and are usually a jumble.
You asked me why the devil I opened to the Man of Sorrows. How can I help it when the atmosphere is thick I with doubt and depression? Human as we are, it is not easy to be free from them. They are inevitable in the very nature of things, aren't they?
No, not in this exaggerated form – and not with the vital luxuriating and wallowing in its misery. Attacks and perturbations on the surface, yes; but in some they are slight, in others rare and there is a clear mind or clear soul that looks at them and says, “O, you asses!” Mark that only a minority have allowed up the Man of Sorrows on their backs, though others have dallied with him. I admit that recently this minority has increased in numbers – the subconscient, I suppose!
We hear that you also had to undergo a lot of suffering and despair – to the extent of wanting to commit suicide!!!
What nonsense! Suicide! Who the devil told you that? Even if I knew that all was going to collapse tomorrow, I would not think of suicide, but go on to do what I still could for the future.
Give us a vision of your Vishwarupa or the flame or something to save us from being crushed by the Man of Sorrows. Let him be kicked into the dust-bin!
You indeed write very skilfully in the style of the Man of Sorrows! That is just his tone.
R has got back his headache! What do you say to my giving him sulphersenol, an arsenic compound injection?
You can; but R has again become irregular, – windows shut, breakfast shunned, evening meal shunned etc., etc. He is really the architect of his own headache. He speaks of sadness, but refuses to give the reason of his mysterious sadness. You will say “The Man of Sorrows”, but medically we can't admit this gentleman.
The first condition of progress in sadhana is not to fear, to have trust and keep quiet during an experience. What happened was simply that the Force came down and tried to quiet the mind and hold the body still so that it might work. If you had not feared, that would have happened. But your terror made the mind and body resist and get the impression that they were being tortured or in danger. The feeling of the tough body and great force like a hand upon it is quite usual in this kind of experience and does not terrify the sadhak, but brings a great joy and release. In future you must try to be quiet and not have any fear or imagination of danger. Naturally when you thought that you could not bear it, the Force withdrew as you are not ready to receive.
The periods of assimilation continue really till all that has to be done is fundamentally done. Only they have a different character in the later stages of sadhana. If they cease altogether at an early stage (you are still in a very early stage), it is because all that the nature was capable of has been done and that would mean it was not capable of much.
What I have written is perfectly clear. The periods of assimilation continue till all that has to be done is fundamentally done. If they stop early, it means that all has been done that could be done and nothing more is possible, the later and more advanced developments of the sadhana are not possible, if they were, the assimilation periods would continue until all was developed and not cease. The only reason for such a premature end of the sadhana would be that the sadhak is not capable of going farther.
The only change in the assimilation periods afterwards is that certain things remain settled while the assimilation applies to others that are not yet settled in the system, e.g., one feels always a constant peace in the inner being, but disturbances go on on the surface, till the surface also has assimilated peace. Or perhaps peace is settled everywhere and always there but knowledge comes and goes or strength comes and goes. Or all these are there but Ananda comes and goes etc., etc.
If the peace once becomes stable, there is no farther assimilation needed for that, as that means the whole system is sufficiently prepared to receive and absorb continuously. There may be periods of assimilation necessary for other things, but these periods need not interrupt the inner status. For instance if Force or Ananda or Knowledge begin to descend from above, there might be interruptions and probably would be, the system not being able to absorb in continuous flow, but the peace would remain in the inner being. Or there might even be something like periods of struggle on the surface, but the inner being would remain calm and still watching and undisturbed and, if there is knowledge established within, understanding the action. Only for that the whole being vital, physical, material must have become open and receptive to the peace. Peace would then go on perhaps deepening and becoming wider and wider, but periods of interruption and assimilation would not be needed.
Yes. This feeling of being able to break a stone with the hand or for that matter break the world without anything at all except the force itself is one that comes especially when the mind and vital have not assimilated the Power. It is the feeling of something extraordinary to them and omnipotent; the idea of breaking or crushing is suggested by the rajas in the vital. Afterwards when quietly assimilated this sensation disappears and only the feeling of calm strength and immovable firmness remains.
Yes, when things begin to descend, they must come down on a solid basis. That is why it is necessary to have peace as the first descent and that it should become as strong and solid as possible. But in any case to contain is the first necessity then more and more can come and settle itself. Once these two things are settled peace and strength, one can bear any amount of everything else, Ananda, Knowledge or, whatever it may be.
The Peace, Purity and Calm of the Self must be fixed otherwise the active Descent may find the forces it awakes swayed on by lower Powers and a confusion created. That has happened to many.
It is not a matter of any particular act or feeling, but a sort of excited vibration with which the vital and physical consciousness meets the vital disturbance it is evident in the tone and language of what you write when there is the stress of vital suggestion but it used also to rise when you got the experiences in excited vibration and bubbling of joy which would easily lapse into some rajasic movement or be replaced by the opposite excitement of suffering and disturbance. Quiet, quiet and more quiet, calm strength, calm gladness are what are needed in mind and nerves and body as a basis for the siddhi precisely because the Force, the Light, the Ananda that come down are extremely intense and need a great stillness in the body to bear and support.
By enforcing the peace of the higher being in the lower parts down to the physical it becomes possible to (1) create that separateness which would prevent the inner being from being affected by the superficial disturbance and resistance, and (2) make it easier for the Force and other powers of the higher being to descend.
When one has gone so far that peace from above can descend, that is a considerable progress.
It is good the strength is the next thing that has to come down after the peace and join with it. Eventually the two become one.
Peace and movement on the basis of peace are the first aspect of the One to establish themselves. Bliss and light do not fix so easily or so early they have to grow.
In what may be called the first silence, it is like that silence alone with no emotion or other inner activity. When it deepens one can feel the Nirvana of the Buddhists or the ātmabodha of the Vedantins. Both force and bliss or either can descend into the silence, filling it with calm Tapas or silent Ananda.
Nirodbaran ▪ Full text of the letter
There are two conditions, one of Ananda, another of great calm and equality in which there is no joy or grief. If one attains the latter, afterwards a greater more permanent Ananda becomes possible.
Ananda comes afterwards even if it comes at the beginning it is not usually constant. Wideness does not come because the consciousness is not yet free from the body. Probably when what is felt above the head comes down, it will be liberated into the wideness.
Who told you that whenever there was silence or genuine silence, knowledge would come down? The silence is a fit vessel for anything from above, but it does not follow that when there is silence, everything is bound to come down automatically.
There is no rule, but the most normal course is for a certain Peace and Force and Light which is above the mind to descend and as the result of its workings the cosmic consciousness opens and in it higher and higher levels above mind. Many people get an opening into the cosmic consciousness first but without the basis of the higher Peace and Light it brings only a mass of unorganised experiences.
The coming of the peace makes it easier to get the experience of the pure and free Self.
27.11.1935 ▪ Prithwi Singh
(Full text of the letter)
It must have been the descent of the higher silence, the silence of the self or Atman. In this silence one perceives, but the mind is not active, things are sensed, but without any responsive connection or vibration. The silent self is there as a separate reality, not bound or involved in the activities of Nature, aloof, detached and self-existent. Even if thoughts come across this silence, they do not disturb it; the self is separate from the thinking mind also. In this condition the feeling “I think” is a survival from the old consciousness in the full silence what one feels is that “thought occurs in me” the identification with thought as well as with the perception of objects ceases.
The experience you have is the experience of the true Self, untouched by grief and joy, desire, anxiety or trouble; vast and calm and full of peace, it observes the agitations of the outer being as one might the play of children. It is indeed the divine element in you. The more you can remain in that, the firmer will be the foundation of the sadhana. In this Self will come all the higher experiences, oneness with the Divine, light, knowledge, strength, Ananda, the play of the Mother's higher forces. It does not always become stable from the first, though for some it does; but the experience comes more and more frequently and lasts more till it is no longer covered by the ordinary nature.
There is no distinction between the Self and the spirit. The psychic is the soul that develops in the evolution the spirit is the Self that is not affected by the evolution, it is above it only it is covered or concealed by the activity of mind, vital and the body. The removal of this covering is the release of the spirit and it is removed when there is a full and wide spiritual silence.
When one becomes aware of the Self calm, silent, wide, universal, it is no longer covered over by the ignorance, when one identifies with the Self and not with the mind, life and body and their movements or with their small ego, that is the release of the Self.
The experience you feel is that of the Atman, the cosmic Self supporting the cosmic consciousness not yet clear but in its first impression. When the consciousness goes down from that condition, it brings something of it into the vital and physical consciousness and the result is either that these parts or at least the vital open and get into touch with what has been brought down. The inert tāmasikatā or the unease in the legs comes because the physical is not able to receive or assimilate. This will disappear when that part opens and receives and is able to assimilate.
It was there the occasional descent of the Force to establish a connection here the descent is taking another form intended to establish the fundamental experiences of the Realisation.
What is trying to come down in you is the silence and peace of the Self when that comes fully, then there is no ego-perception, it is drowned in the wideness of the silence and peace of the Self. But this realisation is at first in the static condition of the Self only in the dynamic movements the ego may still be there owing to past habits but each time the ego-movement is abandoned, the sense of the loss of ego becomes deeper and more complete. It is perhaps some impression of what is trying to come that has touched you.
Yes, the sense of individuality can disappear altogether when all is peace and wideness. One feels that the peace and wideness are oneself, but not in an individual sense for it is the “Atman” of everybody else also. Afterwards there can come an experience of another kind of I, but it is a universalised I which contains everybody else and is in unison with everybody else and is itself contained in the Divine. This is what yogins sometimes call the “large” as opposed to the small Aham. I have written of it as the true Person.
If the workings are really those of the higher consciousness or if these predominate the ego fades out but there is also often a wideness of opening to the universal mental, vital, physical existence and, if the sadhak responds more to this than to the higher consciousness, then he does not get free. Sometimes even the ego gets aggrandised. But if the psychic is awake, then there is not this danger; one finds one's true being in place of the ego.
The peace that descends from above can stop the lower action if it settles in all the being. But that is not sufficient if one wants to develop the dynamic side of the being also on the lines of yoga.
That is to say, the power is still working on the physical consciousness (the mechanical mind and the subconscient) to bring stillness there. Sometimes the stillness comes but not complete, sometimes the mechanical mind reasserts itself. This oscillation usually takes place in a movement of the kind. Even if there is a sudden or rapid transforming shock or downrush, there has to be some working out of this kind afterwards that at least has always been my experience. For most, however, there comes, first, this slow preparatory process.
If there is a strong activity of the higher parts of the consciousness, the possibility of the mechanical mind working is very much diminished. It may come up in moments of relaxation or fatigue but usually it is active only in a subordinate way that does not attract notice.
Your description of the solid cool block of peace pressing on the body and making it immobile makes it certain that it is what we call in this yoga the descent of the higher consciousness. A deep, intense or massive substance of peace and stillness is very commonly the first of its powers that descends and many experience it in that way. At first it comes and stays only during meditation or, without the sense of physical inertness or immobility, a little while longer and afterwards is lost; but if the sadhana follows its normal course, it comes more and more, lasting longer and in the end as an enduring deep peace and inner stillness and release becomes a normal character of the consciousness, the foundation indeed of a new consciousness, calm and liberated.
Your idea of psychic is certainly a mental construction which should be avoided. The psychic has indeed the quality of peace but that is not its main character as it is of the Self or Atman. The psychic is the divine element in the individual being and its characteristic power is to turn everything towards the Divine, to bring a fire of purification, aspiration, devotion, true light of discernment, feeling, will, an action which transforms by degrees the whole nature. Quietude, peace and silence in the heart and therefore in the vital part of the being are necessary to reach the psychic, to plunge in it, for the perturbations of the vital nature, desire, emotion turned ego-wards or world-wards are the main part of the screen that hides the soul from the nature. It is better, therefore, to be free from the mental constructions when you take the plunge and to have only the sense of aspiration, of devotion, of self-giving to the Divine.
It is the silence and calm of the higher consciousness pressing down into the body. When it comes down fully then there is the “still statue” feeling at first. Afterwards the calm or silence become free and normal.
I presume that [feeling peace very concretely in the lobes of the brain] would mean that the peace had become or was becoming very material and solid and physically tangible “peace in the cells”. Everything is a “substance” even peace, consciousness, Ananda, only there are different orders of substance.
Yes, surely the peace can come into the outer consciousness also; it is meant to do so. It is perfectly possible for the body to bear the peace and stillness. It is more difficult for it to bear the full play of the Force; but if the peace is first established in it, then there is no difficulty of that kind.
Peace can be brought down into the physical to its very cells. It is the active transformation of the physical that cannot be completely done without the supramental descent.
After the body is accustomed to the peace, the peace itself can become dynamic.
A sensation of coolness indicates usually some touch or descent of peace. It is felt as very cold by the human vital because the latter is always in a fever of restlessness.
The coolness is a very common experience, but the cool smell is unusual. Sometimes people get a fragrance but without this close connection perhaps they do not observe closely.
If the coolness passed into dullness, it may well have been only physical. But perhaps there was an inflow, only afterwards came a reaction of the lower inertia which is the physical Nature's characteristic retort to peace and quietude. When the inertia comes up the old movements which the subconscient is prepared to supply always can mechanically come up with it. In a certain sense this inertia and the peace are the bright and dark counterparts of each other, tamas and śama the higher Nature finding repose in peace, the lower seeking it in a relaxation of energy and a return towards the subconscient, tamas.
Silence need not bring lassitude; there is all possible strength in silence. But it is possible that in your trend towards silence there is a tendency to draw back the energy from the body consciousness. That would bring physical inertia.
Exactly. “The body felt fatigue” that is what I mean by the habit of tamas. The body cannot bear the continuous experience, it feels it as a strain. That is the case with most sadhaks. But in your case the obstacle seems to develop a great intensity when it comes. I have already told you the means of getting rid of it, but it cannot be done in a day because it is a fixed habit of the nature and a fixed habit takes time to remove. But it can be done in not too long a time provided you don't get disturbed when it comes and deal with it firmly and steadily.
When the mental will acquiesces in the inertia, becomes passive to it, as we say then one remains in the passive condition and there is no push against it until it of itself passes away. If the mental will or even the vital will or some dynamic part of the nature remains untouched and can react, then there is an effort to throw it off which may shorten the interim period.
There is no connection between the descent of Peace and depression. Inertia there may be if the physical being feels the pressure for quietude but turns it into mere inactivity but that cannot be called exactly a descent at least not a complete one, since the physical does not share in it.
There is very often a complaint of this kind [weakening of memory] made during the course of sadhana. I suppose that the usual action of memory is for a time suspended by the mental silence or else by the physical tamas.
By the change of consciousness there can be a more conscious and perfect functioning of the memory replacing the old mechanism.
When the inner being once thoroughly establishes its separateness, even oceans of inertia cannot prevent it from keeping it. It is the first thing to be done in order to have a secure basis in the yoga, to establish thoroughly this separateness. It comes most usually when the peace is thoroughly fixed in the inner parts, then the separateness also becomes fixed and permanent.
If the inner being is safe, then there is no longer any struggle or overpowering by inertia or depression or other fundamental difficulties. The rest can be done progressively and quietly, including the coming down of the Force. The outer being becomes merely a machinery or an instrumentation to be set right. It is not so easy to be entirely mukta in the inner being.
Tamas is to be transformed into śama, the peace and rest of the higher Prakriti, and then filled with tapas and jyoti. But this can only be done completely in the physical when the physical is finally transformed by the supramental Power.
You cannot drive out rajas and tamas, you can only convert them and give the predominance to sattwa. Tamas and rajas disappear only when the higher consciousness not only comes down but controls everything down to the cells of the body. They then change into the divine rest and peace and the divine energy or Tapas, finally sattwa also changes into the divine Light. As for remaining quiet when tamas is there, there can also be a tamasic quiet.
The three Gunas become purified and refined and changed into their divine equivalents: sattva becomes jyoti, the authentic spiritual light; rajas becomes tapas, the tranquilly intense divine force; tamas becomes śama, the divine quiet, rest, peace.
What you say is correct. All undesirable things are a mistranslation in the Ignorance of something that on a higher plane is or might be desirable. Inertia, tamas, is the mistranslation of the divine Shama, rest, quietude, peace; pain is a mistranslation of Ananda, lust of love etc. It is only when the lower perversions are got rid of that the higher things in their truth can reign.
Each defect of the nature of the Ignorance is a deformation of something in the higher nature a deformation which amounts to a perversion even. It is a symbolic perception of this that you got in your experience.
I don't think it is correct myself. It is supposed that when the three qualities [sattwa, rajas and tamas] are not in an equalised condition, when there is a diversity and movement of variation, then creation is active otherwise all becomes quiescent original Prakriti. It is doubtful if it is actually so.
The experiences you relate mark a great progress the passage from the perception of the ascending Force to that of the descending Shakti. For the spiral coils of Light you saw and whose effects you felt the merging in silence and peace, the peace of the Atman or the Brahman consciousness are usually a first effect, they are visual forms of the dynamic descent of the Divine Force from above; also the passage from the realisation of the static Brahman with the sense of the unreality of the world-existence to the realisation of the status of the dynamic one. This is a considerable step in the integral yoga.
The Brahman consciousness is sometimes described as a static one, but it has two aspects, static and dynamic, and it is when both are united that it becomes integral. This is the greater consciousness I speak of in the sentence quoted by you, greater than either that which perceives the Brahmic silence and immobility alone or that which perceives the cosmic existence and action alone.
By Force I mean not mental or vital energy but the Divine Force from above as peace comes from above and wideness also, so does this Force (Shakti). Nothing, not even thinking or meditating can be done without some action of Force. The Force I speak of is a Force for illumination, transformation, purification, all that has to be done in the yoga, for removal of hostile forces and the wrong movements it is also of course for external work, whether great or small in appearance does not matter if that is part of the Divine Will. I do not mean any personal force egoistic or rajasic.
Power means strength and force, Shakti, which enables one to face all that can happen and to stand and overcome, also to carry out what the Divine Will proposes. It can include many things, power over men, events, circumstances, means etc. But all this not of the mental or vital kind, but by an action through unity of consciousness with the Divine and with all things and beings. It is not an individual strength depending on certain personal capacities, but the Divine Power using the individual as an instrument. It has no special relation to occult siddhis.
What is meant by one's own force? All force is cosmic and the individual is merely an instrument a certain amount of the force may be stored in him, but that does not make it his own.
There are certain possibilities in the way of the experience. First there is the faith, or sometimes a mental realisation and this of itself is enough to make one open to the Mother's force so that it is always available at need or call. Even if one does not feel the Force coming, yet the results are there and visible. The next is when one feels oneself like an instrument and is aware of the Energy using it. A third is the contact with the Power above and its descent (spontaneous or at call) into the body this is the more concrete way of having it, for one physically feels the Force working in one. Finally there is a state of consciousness of close contact with the Mother (inward) which brings a similar result.
Force is the essential Shakti; Energy is the working drive of the Force, its active dynamism; Power is the capacity born of the Force; Strength is energy consolidated and stored in the Adhar.
A passive Force has no meaning Force is always dynamic. Only a Force can act on a basis of calm passivity just as in the material world the Force acts on the basis of inertia.
There is a force behind each action acting in a manner appropriate to that action. It takes all these many forms for the necessity of the working, but it is one Force.
I have never classified the different forms of Force; they can be hundreds or thousands in number. Force uses its form according to the work it has to do.
The knowledge comes from above like the light and peace and everything else.
As the consciousness progresses, it comes from a higher and higher level. First it is the higher illumined mind that predominates, then the intuitive, next the overmind, lastly the supermind; but the whole consciousness has to be sufficiently transformed before the supramental Knowledge can begin to come.
There are special forces of the Light and there is a play of them according to needs but the Light in itself can be lived in as much as one can live in Peace or Ananda.
As Peace and Ananda can pour through the whole system and finally stabilise themselves so that they are in the body, and the body and the whole being are in them one might almost say, are that, are the Peace and Ananda so it can be with Light. It can pour into the body, make every cell luminous, fix itself and surround on all sides in one luminous mass of Light.
It is not balls or flashes of light, but a flow or sea of Light entering into the body and surrounding it and illumining the whole field of consciousness. There can also be a vivid sense of Light and illumination without the vision. It can be seen or felt usually as an intense white or diamond or golden Light or something like sunlight or, for many, a blue or bluish white light.
Light or rays of light are always light of the higher consciousness working in the being to illumine or to purify or to awaken the consciousness or attune it to the Truth.
It depends upon the colour of the Light. In any case it is the Light of Force from above. All lights are indications of a Force or Power. It is the work of the Lights and the Forces they represent to act in their descent on the lower nature and change it.
It is not necessary or possible to define. Light is light just like the light you see, only subtle it clarifies the consciousness and works as a force and makes knowledge possible.
It [the Divine Light] has no function it is just Light of Divine Consciousness. If you mean the result, it is supposed to illumine, to remove darkness and obscurity, to make the nature fit for true consciousness, Knowledge etc.
It [Light] is the power that enlightens whatever it falls upon the result may be vision, memory, knowledge, right will, right impulse etc.
(1) The lid of the skull opening means that the mental being has opened to the Divine Light, and the flames indicate aspiration filled with the Light arising to join the mental part to what is above Mind.
(2) The Divine Light from above is of various colours. White is the divine Power of purity, blue the light of the spiritual consciousness, gold the hue of the supramental knowledge or of knowledge from the intermediate planes.
(3) OM (golden) rising to the sky means the cosmic consciousness supramentalised and rising towards the transcendent Consciousness.
(1) and (2) indicate either something that is happening at present or a potentiality that is trying to materialise. (3) symbolises the process of the yoga which will be followed if this potentiality is realised and pursued to its natural goal.
The fire is the divine fire of aspiration and inner tapasya. When the fire descends again and again with increasing force and magnitude into the darkness of human ignorance, it at first seems swallowed up and absorbed in the darkness, but more and more of the descent changes the darkness into light, the ignorance and unconsciousness of the human mind into spiritual consciousness.
It is good. The Power above the head is of course the Mother's it is the power of the Higher Consciousness which is preparing its way of descent. This Higher Consciousness carrying in it a sense of wide and boundless existence, light, power, peace, Ananda etc. is always there above the head and when something of the spiritual Force comes down to work upon the nature, it is from there that it comes. But nothing like the full descent of the peace, bliss etc. can come so long as the being is not ready. Very usually the first preparation is to work on the mind and vital and physical nature in such a way that the soul, the psychic being can have a chance of manifesting itself and influencing the rest of the nature; for that purpose all the main darknesses in the mind and vital have to be combated and thrown out and the physical also prepared in a material way so that the descent may be possible. This is what has been done so long in you. It has to be made stronger and more complete, but sufficient has been done for it to be possible to prepare the descent of the higher consciousness. There are two things that take place; an ascent of one's consciousness to the higher levels in and above the head, and a descent of the higher consciousness which is above into one's mind, vital and body. How it is done or by what stages or how long it will take varies with each person. But this new consciousness is very different from the ordinary one and many things happen in its coming which would not happen to the mind and might seem strange to it e.g. the dissolution of the ego and the opening into a wider self or spirit not limited by the body, to which the body is only a small instrument and nothing more. One must therefore dismiss all fear of new things and accept with calm and confidence each field of new experience, relying on the Divine Mother Force for guidance and support and protection throughout the change.
A word about your sadhana. It seems to me that the key to your future development is contained in the experience which you say you often attained for a few days at K. “A state which was full of knowledge, calm serenity, strength and wide consciousness all questions automatically solved a continuous stream of power passed into the body through the forehead centre extremely powerful, having undisturbed samatā, calm conviction, keen sight and knowledge.” This was the consciousness of the true Purusha in you aware of his own supramental being and it is this which must become your normal consciousness and the basis of the supramental development. In order that it may so become, the mind has to be made calm and strong, the emotional and vital being purified and the physical consciousness so opened that the body can hold and retain the consciousness and power. I notice that at the time you had it the body also expressed it. This is a sign that the capacity is already there in your physical being. The calm and strength will descend from above, what you have to do is to open yourself and receive it and at the same time reject all the movements of the lower nature which prevent it from remaining and which are ruled by desires and habits inconsistent with the true being, the true power and the true knowledge. Of course the superior power will itself reveal to you and remove all the obstacles in your nature. But the condition is that not only your mental but your vital and physical being must open and surrender to it and refuse to surrender themselves to other powers and forces. As you yourself experienced at that time, this greater consciousness will of itself bring the development of the higher will and knowledge. Psychic experiences of a proper kind are of course a great help but in your case it may be that any rich development of the psychic will only come after or in proportion as this consciousness with the calm knowledge, will and samatā takes possession of the different parts of the being.
All that you note in your letter is very encouraging, it shows that the force is working in you and in the right way. There are two things that are necessary the full connection of your mind and vital with your psychic being and the opening of the consciousness to Mother's consciousness above. Both of these are beginning. The voice that spoke was that of your soul, your psychic being, the impulse to go deep within was the movement to plunge into the depths of the psychic. The consciousness that rejected and threw away the anger and old movements was also that of the psychic.
The pressure you felt on the head comes always when there is the pressure from above of the Higher Consciousness, the Mother's consciousness, to come in and the coolness etc. you felt are also often felt at that time. The first result was the detachment from personal connections, the freedom, lightness, openness of heart, fearlessness, and also the sense of the Mother's presence. These things are signs of the true consciousness and part of the spiritual nature. They come first as experiences, afterwards they become more frequent, endure longer, settle into the nature.
Your experiences seem to be sound. The first is that of the higher (yogic or spiritual) consciousness coming down into the body from above the head. It is felt often like a current flowing through the head into the whole body and the first thing it brings is a descent of peace. One result of this descent is that one feels an inner being in oneself which is detached from the outer action, supports it from behind, but is not involved in it that is the second experience. The third about the sleep is also felt when one has confidence in the Mother and goes to sleep under her protection, as if in her lap, surrounded by her presence. As for the dream the legs indicate the physical consciousness which is still under a double pull, one upward to the higher consciousness so that the physical consciousness may unite itself with the spiritual, the other downward towards the lower consciousness. The looking towards me indicates the choice of the being for the upward movement.
The wideness is that of the higher consciousness, golden being the colour of the light of Truth, and the Cow is the symbol of the Light of the higher consciousness descending turning all into the Truth-light.
The state of wideness and of quietude unaffected by anything that happens is the natural result of the descent which you saw in this figure. The impartial condition towards work or not work is also a result of this descent. Usually it is the vital that pushes to work and without this vital push one can do very little. When the higher consciousness descends into the mind and vital, this push becomes silent, but the faculty of work remains, afterwards when the new consciousness is settled it takes up the work and carries it on with another force which replaces the push of the vital and is much greater.
The good condition of openness with the Force descending and the constant remembrance or whatever other form the condition takes is the beginning of the true consciousness and its duration is always short at the beginning because the ordinary consciousness is not accustomed to it, but to something else. But it always increases in duration and power until it is able to maintain itself even when the outer consciousness is occupied with other things. At first it remains there as something behind which emerges as soon as the outer preoccupation ends; afterwards it remains behind, but as something just felt, and in a later stage it is always there, so that there are two consciousnesses, the inner consciousness always connected with the Mother and full of her working or her presence or both and the surface consciousness occupied with outer things. Finally, even the surface consciousness begins to feel the direct connection in action itself. One need not mind if there are intervals when the true condition is not there. It does not prove that you are unfit; it is only a period in which what is not yet changed comes up to be worked upon and prepared for change. When the inner consciousness is well established, then these periods take place only in the surface consciousness and are no longer troublesome as before.
P.S. Probably the difficulty you feel is in the externalising mind the centre of which is in the throat. When there is no resistance there, the Force comes down to the heart level and below.
The action of the higher consciousness does not usually begin by changing the outer nature it works on the inner being, prepares that and then goes outward. Before that, whatever change is done in the outer nature has to be done by the psychic.
It is somewhat like that. That is to say, there are always alternations in the intensity of the Force at its work. It comes with great power and effects something that has to be done; then it is either concealed or retires a little or is felt but from behind a screen as you say, while something comes up that has to be prepared for illumination and then it comes in front again and does what has to be done there. But formerly while the support, help, even the deeper consciousness was always there, as you now rightly feel, yet when a veil fell, then it was all forgotten and you felt as if there was nothing but darkness and confusion. This happens to most sadhaks in the earlier stages. It is a great progress, a decisive advance if, at the time the Force is acting behind the screen, you feel that it is there, that the help and support, the more enlightened consciousness is there still. This is the second stage in the sadhana. There is a third when there is no screen and the Force and all else are always felt whether actively working or pausing during a transition.
Yes, it [the Force] is quite concrete. Usually at first it descends of itself from time to time and also one calls it in face of a difficulty. But eventually it is always there supporting or determining all the action of the being.
The Power and Peace that come down come down from the higher consciousness above your head, from a greater self of which your mind, the human mind generally, is unaware. They are the power and peace of the Divine. When they envelop you from outside the body (therefore you feel them external,) it is as a protection and an atmosphere. But also they descend into the body, into the head (mind), heart and navel (vital) and through the whole body working in you and doing what is necessary to change the consciousness. When you do not feel it there, when you feel it only as external, it is because you are very much in the external physical consciousness but in reality it is there in your inner being working in you. When you recover the inner consciousness, you feel it again within and it wakes in you your own true consciousness, the psychic and it is only the psychic that gives faith and devotion. It is however a great progress if, even when in the external physical consciousness, you feel the Peace enveloping you.
Why should it be an imagination? When the higher consciousness touches it creates so long as it is there an essential purity in which all parts of the being can share. Or, even if the exterior being does not share actively in it, it may fall quiescent so that there is nothing to interfere with the whole inner being realising the truth of a certain experience. The state does not last because it is only a preparatory touch, not the full or permanent descent; but while it is there it is real. The sex-sensation is of course the thing in the external being, the perversion or false representation in nature, that is the chief obstacle to the experience becoming frequent and then normal. It usually happens that such an opposite tries to assert itself after an experience.
You are dealing in the right way with the sex feeling. As to why it rose when you were using the name there are two reasons. One is that when you use the name, it is the Mother's power that you call there and the first result often is that the difficulty rises like a snake whose head is touched to resist the pressure or if you look at it from another point of view it rises to be dealt with. The other is that when what is to be brought down is the Ananda of the force, light etc., but especially of the love then the vital-physical passion rises up to try and mix with and get hold of the Ananda hoping to turn it to a sort of sublimated vital pleasure. It is well known that this happens to Vaishnavas very often when they do the saṃkīrtana. In your case it is probably the first reason, because the love-Ananda or any other is not yet coming, so that explanation is improbable. As for the Force descending into the head, it has two sides to it one is peace and when that is prominent, there is the sense of coolness; when there is a strong dynamic action instead, the feeling may be of heat, Agni-power. Most people feel these two things; they are not imagination.
You speak of a struggle (yuddha) beginning when the Force comes down, but such a result is not inevitable it is not necessary that the progress should be through a struggle. That rather takes place before the Force is there in the being, while one is still making efforts to open oneself to it or when it is still pressing from above or has taken up something of the nature but not the whole. When the Force is there at work, the imperfections and weaknesses of the nature will necessarily arise for change, but one need not fight with them; one can look on them quietly as a surface instrumentation that has to be changed. It is not with “indifference” that one has to look at them, for that might mean inertia, a want of will or push or necessity to change; it is rather with detachment. Detachment means that one stands back from them, does not identify oneself with them or get upset or troubled because they are there, but rather looks on them as something foreign to one's true consciousness and true self, rejects them and calls in the Mother's Force into these movements to eliminate them and bring the true consciousness and its movements there. The firm will of rejection must be there, the pressure to get rid of them, but not any wrestling or struggle.
When you felt the Force, the concentration, the peace, it meant evidently the true consciousness coming; that could not produce the restlessness at night. If the restlessness were the result of the Force coming, it would follow that the more the Force comes down, the more the restlessness must increase. But that would be absurd and is not the case. What happened was simply that with the Force came a beginning of the inner or spiritual peace; in the nerves the old restlessness which was lying dormant rose up as a resistance, trying as all these habitual things of the nature do to prolong itself. As the peace enters the vital and the nervous being, these things naturally diminish and are eliminated. One has only to remain quiet and detached and let the Force in its working bring in the peace there also. If the difficulty persists, you will let us know so that we may see to it.
The attitude which he describes, if he keeps it correctly, is the right one. It brought him at first the beginning of a true experience, the Light (white and golden) and the Force pouring down from the Sahasradal and filling the system; but when it touched the vital parts it must have awakened the prana energies in the vital centres (navel and below) and as these were not pure, all the impurities arose (anger, sex, fear, doubt, etc.) and the mind became clouded by the uprush of impure vital forces. He says that all this is now subsiding, the mind is becoming calm and in the vital the impulses come but do not remain. Not only the mind but the vital must become calm; these impulses must lose their force of recurrence by rejection and purification. Entire purity and peace must be established in the whole Adhar; it is only then that he will have a safe and sure basis for further progress.
The reason why the force flows out of him must be because he allows himself to become too inertly passive and open to everything. One must be passive only to the Divine Force, but vigilant not to put oneself at the mercy of all forces. If he becomes passive when he tries to see God in another person, he is likely to put himself at the disposal of any force that is working through that person and his own forces may be drained away towards the other. It is better for him not to try in this way; let him aspire for the Peace and Strength that come from above and for entire purity and open himself to that Force only. Such experiences as the feeling of the Divine everywhere (not in this or that person only) will then come of themselves.
Our object is the supramental realisation and we have to do whatever is necessary for that or towards that under the conditions of each stage. At present the necessity is to prepare the physical consciousness; for that a complete equality and peace and a complete dedication free from personal demand or desire in the physical and the lower vital parts is the thing to be established. Other things can come in their proper time. What is the need now is not insistence on physical nearness, which is one of these other things, but the psychic opening in the physical consciousness and the constant presence and guidance there.
The opening of the vital mind (or any part) does not mean that the vital mind is absolutely open or wholly converted so that there shall never again be any darkness or ignorance or error or resistance or anything else but the consciousness there. It only means that the higher consciousness is able to come down there and work and establish something of itself in that part. Each plane, one after the other, has to open initially in that way down to the physical. So long as this initial opening is not made in all the parts, there can be no complete and final descent of the higher consciousness anywhere. If the nervous being and other physical parts are not open, even the thinking mind cannot be finally open, for it can be affected by resistance, darkness, etc. from below. If the vital mind is open, that does not mean that it is open so wholly that it is already divine and is not feeling pride or other wrong movements.
As for the nervous being, it is part of the physical consciousness, below the physical mind and not above it the nerves are part of the body.
It [the coming of disturbances] is not the result of any pressure from above. If there were nothing coming from above, there would be no peace and clarity and the disturbances would still come and come more often.
The cravings once belonged to the vital physical, but when there is a sufficient force of peace in the being, then they go out and the vital physical is free and under the influence of the quietude. The forces of disturbance do not belong any longer to the personality, but although they have gone out, they wait in the atmosphere and, if they get a chance, try to come back and resume hold of the exterior being so as either to break or, if they can no longer do that, cover up the inner peace. Because the physical vital has been accustomed to respond to them for a time willingly, now unwillingly, they are still able to make it answer to their vibrations. The peace and clarity must acquire such a force that they will remain even if these forces come back then there will be the phenomenon of the inner peace remaining undisturbed in the inner being even while the outer is superficially disturbed. This is a well-marked stage in the progress. Afterwards a force can be brought down strong enough to fill the outer being also with so strong a peace and clarity that the disturbances can no longer enter there. One may feel them still sometimes in the atmosphere but is no longer touched by them at all.
As for the vital physical readmitting the forces of disturbance, it is not always because it wants; it may happen also because in spite of itself certain impacts or suggestions revive the old vibrations and the habit of responding has been so strong in it that it responds in spite of itself, and for a time it is unable to recover its balance. This happens in all parts of the being, but it is especially true of the physical parts physical mind yielding to habitual thoughts, physical vital yielding to habitual desires and impulsions, body yielding to habitual sensations, illnesses etc. etc. Often sadhaks write “But I don't want these things, even my vital and body feel uncomfortable and wish them away, then why do they come”. It is because of this long established habit of response which is too strong for the yet too quiescent and passive will (if it can be called will) of rejection in the part affected. It is especially true of the physical parts because a passive quiescence, a habit of being driven by forces is their very nature, unless they are controlled from above or made to share in the idea and will of the higher parts.
It must be the vital-physical that is in action. It is under the pressure of the Force that the resistance recedes lower and lower down and manifests so as to have the pressure brought there also specifically for its expulsion.
It is the pressure of the higher consciousness (planes of blue light beyond the ordinary mind) that has come down and is pressing upon the resistances down to the body and below. At the same time the weight of the subconscient nature is being lifted up for release that is the sense of these experiences.
That is good progress. As for the resisting part, there is for a long time a resistance from some layer of the physical one layer opens, another beneath remains obscure. But if the pressure from above is continuous, the resistance gets exhausted at last.
The stillness of which you speak in the meditation is a very good sign. It comes usually in that pervading way when there has been sufficient purification to make it possible. On the other side, it is itself the beginning of the laying of the foundation of the higher spiritual consciousness.
I think you are right about the change coming in many. Still chequered by remnants and returns of the old nature, it is proceeding.
In the first condition you are receiving through the mind and it is drawn back upon itself to receive the Presence and grow in the Light and Power from above. The body or external consciousness is probably not sharing in its outward-going parts, there is no effectuating energy for any work other than what the external consciousness is habituated to do.
In the second, the vital is receiving directly and transforming immediately into kinetic energy; for it is the direct reception by the vital or else the active participation of the vital in the Light, Power or Ananda that makes externalisation, effectuation, all kinds of work and action possible and easy.
What you have written is quite correct. The body is not connected ordinarily with the higher consciousness, it only receives what it can from the mind. It is being prepared for the direct connection by the ascent of the inner or subtle body into that plane and the descent from it of the higher Light.
It [the higher Force] can come into the physical consciousness direct in the sense that the rest can remain passive, but it must pass through the subtle to reach the material.
All experiences that penetrate the centres are recorded in the body and seem to be the body's experiences, but one has to distinguish between the reflection of the experiences there and the experiences that belong to the physical body-consciousness itself. It is a matter of consciousness and free discernment. There is no absolute law about the time.
I spoke only of the fact that what one feels recorded in the physical body may be actually taking place only in the subtle body. Whether in a particular case it is that or a direct experience in the physical body also, is a matter to be seen in each case. One must distinguish for oneself what it is.
Why “mere” record? If you think the experiences in the subtle body are feeble vague things, you are mistaken they can be quite as intense, swift, palpable, massive as those of the body.
Any reflection or outflowing from the subtle body into the physical would also be felt as tangible.
All experiences can be brought into the smallest constituents of the being.
It is the approach of the higher consciousness to the subconscient through the psychic and vital which are the connecting links. Without the vital the action would not be complete, without the psychic it would not be possible.
These are some of the effects of the descent of higher Consciousness into the most physical. It brings light, consciousness, force, Ananda into the cells and all the physical movements. The body becomes conscious and vigilant and performs the right movements, obeying the higher will or else automatically by the force of the consciousness that has come into it. It becomes more possible to control the functions of the body and set right anything that is wrong, to deal with illness and pain, etc. A greater control comes over the actions of the body and even over happenings to it from outside, e.g., minimising of accidents and small mishaps. The body becomes a more effective instrument for work. It becomes possible to minimise fatigue. Peace, happiness, strength, lightness come in the whole physical system. These are the more obvious and normal results which grow as the consciousness grows but there are as many others that are possible. There is also the unity with the earth-consciousness, the constant sense of the Divine in the physical, etc....
It is, of course, not easy to make the physical entirely conscious in this way for it is the seat of unconsciousness and obscurity and inertia but a partial and sufficiently effective introduction of the higher Consciousness can be established as a basis and the rest of the ground conquered as its force increases on the body.
Your recent experiences are of considerable importance: the triple condition of the being, the sense of the Divine everywhere, that of the Divine Child in the universe. The last two are self-evident in their significance. As to the triple condition, it indicates the proper direction of the realisation of the sadhana in three parts of the being. The mind has to emerge in the one infinite consciousness of the silent self which will then envelop the whole being; the heart has by adoration and love and surrender to live in the dynamic Divine and be its dwelling-place; the vital and physical (below the navel) have to be the instruments of the Divine Will, instruments pure, surrendered, expressing nothing but that Will.
The Blue Light coming below the level of the Muladhara means that it has entered into the physical (physical-mental, physical-vital, material) consciousness. The two main obstacles here are the mechanical mind with its memories and desires of the past and the most outward sex-movements; these have to be overcome (especially the mechanical mind, for the other may be easily overcome if not supported by the vital proper) for the Light to possess all the physical consciousness. It is probably why it rose so strongly when the Light came to these parts.
Dynamism is everywhere, because the Force (Shakti) is everywhere. The perfect dynamism is there in the supermind; no other can be unfailing.
How the body receives the higher dynamism depends on the condition of the body or rather of the physical and most material consciousness. In one condition it is tamasic, inert, unopen and cannot bear or cannot receive or cannot contain the force; in another, rajas predominates and tries to seize on the dynamism, but wastes and spills and loses it; in another, there is receptivity, harmony, balance and the result is a harmonious action without strain or effort.
A dynamic descent brings tapas not śama. It is a greater and greater descent of peace that brings śama the dynamic descent helps it by dispersing the element of rajasic disturbance and changing rajas into tapas.
The inertia itself is not a dynamic principle. The nature of inertia is apravṛtti the action of the mechanical mind is a pravṛtti, though a tamasic obscure pravṛtti.
By the descent the inertia changes its character. It ceases to be a resistance of the physical and becomes only a physical condition to be transformed into the true basic immobility and rest.
1 strong (in the ‘Letters on Yoga’)
2 activities (ibid.)
3 as that and you feel in it the joy of that working. (ibid.)
4 The (ibid.)
5 the (ibid.)
6 is (ibid.)