Sattwic ego, Rajasic ego and Tamasic ego

When we say someone is egoistic, we often imply that the person is proud. Sri Aurobindo observed that egoistic movements are actually of three types – sattwic(illumined), rajasic(kineticism) and tamasic(indolent).  The sattwic ego revels in the brilliant power of its intelligence, the rajasic ego is eager to dominate, and the tamasic ego wallows in self-pity.

Sri Aurobindo’s essay on these three movements

The meaning of the word, ahankāra(ego), has become so distorted in our language that often a confusion arises when we try to explain the main principles of the Aryan Dharma. Pride is only a particular effect of the rajasic ego, yet this is the meaning generally attributed to the word Ahankara; any talk of giving up ahankāra brings to the mind the idea of giving up pride or the rajasic ego. In fact, any awareness of ‘I’ is ahankāra. The awareness of  ‘ I ‘ is created in the higher knowledge Self and in the play of the three principles of Nature, its three modes are revealed: the sattwic ego, the rajasic ego and the tamasic ego.

The sattwic ego brings knowledge and happiness. ‘I am receiving knowledge, I am full of delight’— these feelings are actions of the sattwic ego. The ego of the sadhak, the devotee, the man of knowledge, the disinterested worker is the sattwic ego which brings knowledge and delight.

The rajasic ego stands for action. ‘I am doing the work, I am winning, I am losing, I am making effort, the success in work is mine, the failure is mine, I am strong, I am fortunate, I am happy, I am unhappy’— all these feelings are predominantly rajasic, dynamic and generate desire.

The tamasic ego is full of ignorance and inertia. ‘I am wretched, I am helpless, I am lazy, incapable and good for nothing, I have no hope, I am sinking into the lower nature, my only salvation is to sink into the lower nature’— all these feelings are predominantly tamasic and produce inertia and obscurity. Those afflicted with the tamasic ego have no pride though they have the ego in full measure but that ego has a downward movement and leads to death and extinction in the void of the Brahman. Just as pride has ego, in the same way humility also has ego; just as strength has ego, in the same way weakness also has ego. Those who have no pride because of their tamasic nature are mean, feeble and servile out of fear and despair. Tamasic humility, tamasic forgiveness, tamasic endurance have no value whatsoever and do not produce any good result.

Blessed indeed is he who perceiving Narayana(Divine) everywhere is humble, tolerant and full of forgiveness. Delivered from all these impulsions coming from the ego, one who has gone beyond the spell of the three modes of Nature has neither pride nor humility. Satisfied with whatever feeling is given to his instrumental being of life and mind by the universal Shakti(Energy) of the Divine and free from all attachment, he enjoys invariable peace and felicity. The tamasic ego must be avoided in every way. To destroy it completely by awakening the rajasic ego with the help of knowledge coming from ‘sattwa’ is the first step towards progress. Growth of knowledge, faith and devotion are the means of liberating oneself from the grip of the rajasic ego. A person predominantly sattwic does not say, ‘I am happy’; he says, ‘Happiness is flowing in my heart’; he , does not say, ‘I am wise’ he says ‘Knowledge is growing in me.’ He knows that this happiness and this knowledge do not belong to him but to the Mother of the Universe. Yet when in all kinds of feelings there is bondage to the enjoyment of delight, then the feeling of the man of knowledge or the devotee is still proceeding from the ego. Simply by saying ‘It is happening in me’ one cannot abolish the ego-sense. Only the person who has gone beyond the modes of Nature has completely triumphed over the ego. He knows that the ‘Jiva‘, the embodied being, is the witness and enjoyer, the Supreme is the giver of sanction, and that Nature is the doer of works, and that there is no ‘I’, all being a play in knowledge and ignorance of the Shakti of the sole Brahman without a second. The sense of ego is only a feeling born of illusion in the nature established in the ‘Jiva’, the embodied being. In the final stage this feeling of egoless ness merges into Sachchidananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. But having gone beyond the modes of Nature one who still stays in the divine play by the will of the Lord respects the separate existence of the Lord and the ‘Jiva‘, the embodied being, and, considering himself a portion of the Divine in Nature, he accomplishes his work in the Lila, the divine play. This feeling cannot be called the ego. Even the Supreme has this feeling. There is no ignorance or attachment in Him, but His state of beatitude instead of being self-absorbed is turned towards the world. One who possesses this consciousness is indeed a soul liberated in life. Liberation by dissolution can be gained only after the fall of the body. The state of liberation in life can be realised in the body itself [1].

True humility

Question: What is the right and the wrong way of being humble?

Mother: It is very simple, when people are told “be humble”, they think immediately of “being humble before other men” and that humility is wrong.  True humility is humility before the Divine, that is, a precise, exact, living sense that one is nothing, one can do nothing, understand nothing without the Divine, that even if one is exceptionally intelligent and capable, this is nothing in comparison with the divine Consciousness, and this sense one must always keep, because then one always has the true attitude of receptivity – a humble receptivity that does not put personal pretensions in opposition to the Divine[2].

Letters to a disciple on this topic

Nagin: For the last few months nearly all the parts of my being have felt that there is no need of living on earth. Interest and joy in life are now gone. Once the Divine thought of making me His instrument and therefore there was some sense and delight in going ahead. Because of my constant tamas and illness He seems to have lost that hope. Now I am only a burden to Him.

Sri Aurobindo: These are the feelings of the tamasic ego — the reaction to a disappointment in the rajasic ego. Mingled with the true attitude and experience or running concurrently along with it was a demand of the vital “What I am having now, I must always have, otherwise I can’t do sadhana(askesis); if I ever lose that, I shall die” — whereas the proper attitude is “Even if I lose it for a time it will be because something in me has to be changed in order that the Mother’s consciousness may be fulfilled in me, not only in the self but in every part.” The lower forces attacked at this weak point, made demands through the vital and brought about a state of inertia in which what you had clung to seemed to be lost, went back behind the veil. So came the tamasic reaction of the ego, “What is the use of living, I prefer to die.” Obviously it is not the whole of you that says it, it is a part in the disappointed vital and tamasic physical. It is not enough that the active demands should be broken and removed; for this also is a passive way of demand “I can’t have my demands; very well, I abdicate, don’t want to exist.” That must disappear.

Nagin: What is the tamasic ego?

Sri Aurobindo: The tamasic ego is that which accepts and supports despondency, weakness, inertia, self-depreciation, unwillingness to act, unwillingness to know or be open, fatigue, indolence, do-nothingness. Contrary to the rajasic it says “I am so weak, so obscure, so miserable, so oppressed and ill-used — there is no hope for me, no success, I am denied everything, I am unsupported, how can I do this, how can I do that, I have no power for it, no capacity, I am helpless; let me die; let me lie still and moan” etc. etc. Of course not all that at once or in every case; but I am giving the general character of the thing.

It is now that the tamasic ego has been manifest, it showed itself in the tone of what you wrote about your illness, helplessness, also the  recent suggestions of hopelessness and dying etc.

Nagin: In spite of my vigilant eye how on earth could the ego get in?

Sri Aurobindo: So long as you had fully the attitude of surrender, the rajasic ego could only take the form of suggestions from outside, uprisings from the subconscient. It was suppressed in the vital. When the inertia rose and the energy of will receded, it began to try to come in again.

Nagin: I had thought that at least the rajasic ego had been eliminated!

Sri Aurobindo: Do you mean to say that you never had any rajasic element in you? There is not a human being who has not got it in him so long as he is not divinised in his vital. What were all the vital suggestions coming to you so insistently always, except appeals to the rajasic ego? When you threw out sex, jealousy, vanity etc. what were you throwing out but the rajasic ego? What was the demand at the pranam(obeisance) or the disturbance caused there but a movement of the rajasic ego? Some of these things you threw out successfully — others still kept a response.

Nagin: Since you saw wrong things entering me and myself being unconscious of them, why did you not warn me about them?

Sri Aurobindo: Here again is the rajasic ego in you, dictating to us what we should have done and showing us our mistake [3].


  1. Sri Aurobindo.  Writings in Bengali.  Ahankar.
  2. Collected Works of the Mother. vol.5, p 46
  3. Nagin Doshi.  Guidance from Sri Aurobindo, vol. 2, p 90-92, Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1976

Related Posts

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  2. Jnana Yoga : the ego blocks that have to be dissolved
  3. How to distinguish between right and wrong
  4. The spiritual ego which can develop
  5. Obsessive-compulsive spirituality
  6. Four epistemic methods of consciousness
  7. How does the Mind change with Yoga?
  8. Why spiritual experiences do not repeat?
  9. The ability to withstand hardships in the spiritual path
  10. Interplay of faith and doubt in Yoga
  11. Transcending the work-leisure cycle
  12. Rising above ennui or boredom

82 thoughts on “Sattwic ego, Rajasic ego and Tamasic ego

  1. ipi

    Question:Sweet Mother, When one is very sensitive, one easily suffers. Since this sensitivity is the sign of a strong ego, how can one eliminate the ego?

    Mother: Why do you say that sensitivity is the sign of a strong ego? It does not seem to be evident at all. Moreover, there are many different kinds of sensitivity: some stem from weakness, others — the best — are the result of refinement. The ego generally governs the development of the individual, but the most developed individualities are not necessarily those in whom the ego is strongest — on the contrary. As the individuality perfects itself, the power of the ego diminishes, and indeed it is by perfecting himself that the individual arrives at that state of divinisation which liberates him from the ego.

    (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 16, p 304, 2 September 1964)

  2. ipi

    Question: Sweet Mother, For a long time I have noticed that I am rather shy.I always have an inferiority complex. I think I am afraid that people will discover my ignorance. Why am I like that? And how can I come out of it?

    Mother: Behind all that and this famous inferiority complex, there is the ego and its vanity which wants to cut a good figure and be appreciated by others. But if all your activity were an offering to the Divine, you would not care at all about the appreciation of others.

    (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 16, p 269)

    Question: Confidence in the Divine I do not lack, but it is perhaps my ego which unceasingly says that I cannot accomplish what the Divine wants of me.

    Mother: Yes, and as soon as the ego surrenders and abdicates, this fear disappears giving place to the calm assurance that nothing is impossible.

    (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 16, p 186)

  3. ipi

    You must get out of certain wrong ideas that you seem to have about yoga, for these are dangerous and ought to be thrown away by every sadhak:

    1. The object of yoga is not to become “like” Sri Aurobindo or the Mother. Those who cherish this idea easily come to the further idea that they can become their equals and even greater. This is only to feed the ego.

    2. The object of yoga is not to get power or to be more powerful than others or to have great siddhis or to do great or wonderful or miraculous things.

    3. The object of yoga is not to be a great yogi or a superman. This is an egoistic way of taking the yoga and can lead to no good; avoid it altogether.

    4. To talk about the supramental and think of bringing it down in yourself is the most dangerous of all. It may bring an entire megalomania and loss of balance. What the sadhak has to seek is the full opening to the Divine, the psychic change of his consciousness, the spiritual change. Of that change of consciousness, selflessness, desirelessness, humility, bhakti, surrender, calm, equality, peace, quiet sincerity are necessary constituents. Until he has the psychic and spiritual change, to think of being supramental is an absurdity and an arrogant absurdity.

    All these egoistic ideas, if indulged, can only aggrandise the ego, spoil the sadhana and lead to serious spiritual dangers. They should be rejected altogether.

    (Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga, SABCL vol 23, p 503)

      1. Sandeep Post author

        The object of Yoga is to become the Object ! 🙂
        As Jiddu Krishnamurti said: “The observer is the observed”.

      2. amsha

        The object of the yoga is to enter into and be possessed by the Divine Presence and Consciousness, to love the Divine for the Divine’s sake alone, to be tuned in our nature into the nature of the Divine, and in our will and works and life to be the instrument of the Divine. Its object is not to be a great yogi or a Superman (although that may come) or to grab at the Divine for the sake of the ego’s power, pride or pleasure. It is not for Moksha though liberation comes by it and all else may come, but these must not be our objects. The Divine alone is our object.
        Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, vol.2

  4. ipi

    … Humility before the Divine is also a sine qua non of the spiritual life, and spiritual pride, arrogance, or vanity and self-assurance press always downward. But confidence in the Divine and a faith in one’s spiritual destiny (i.e. since my heart and soul seek for the Divine, I cannot fail one day to reach Him) are much needed in view of the difficulties of the Path. A contempt for others is out of place, especially since the Divine is in all. Evidently, the activities and aspirations of men are not trivial and worthless, for all life is a growth of the soul out of the darkness towards the Light. But our attitude is that humanity cannot grow out of its limitations by the ordinary means adopted by the human mind, politics, social reform, philanthropy, etc. — these can only be temporary or local palliatives. The only true escape is a change of consciousness, a change into a greater, wider and purer way of being, and a life and action based upon that change. It is therefore to that that the energies must be turned, once the spiritual orientation is complete. This implies no contempt, but the preference of the only effective means over those which have been found ineffective.

    Sri Aurobindo
    (Letters on Yoga; Part I; PP 553)

  5. Sandeep Post author

    Family ego !

    There is a family ego, and it is very interesting because it is the family ego which makes all the members of a family resemble each other in some way or other; they are not the same but resemble one another. One knows that they belong to the same family and if one goes far back to the ancestors, one sees that there is a similarity all down the line. Well, it is the family ego, which is much more lasting than the individual ego; and there is a national ego. And the families which are not much intermixed, you see, which have remained without intermixing very much, as for example, in the time of the aristocrats, the aristocracy did not mix much, they remained in one lineage, well, the characteristics of the ego are very clear; for instance, the Bourbon families, the families of… in France it is like that; from top to bottom, we find them very similar among themselves in their appearance. Naturally, as soon as races, species, nationalities intermix, it produces a mixture of egos. And then the horizon begins to widen. It is as when one tries to widen his mind, to understand many different things, study many languages, the knowledge of many countries and ages, one widens his ego very much, one begins to grow less narrow-minded. Naturally, with yoga one can overcome all this consciously.

    (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 7, p 13)

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  7. mike

    “I cannot fail one day to reach Him) are much needed in view of the difficulties of the Path. A contempt for others is out of place, especially since the Divine is in all. Evidently, the activities and aspirations of men are not trivial and worthless, for all life is a growth of the soul out of the darkness towards the Light.”

    Yes, l need to remember all that.

  8. huta

    but why is that even when one is aware of one’s faults its very difficult to make the smallest of changes? simple things like refraining from uttering negative words that undermine self or others? how does one overcome this inertia?

    1. Sandeep Post author

      We are unable to change quickly because there are many recalcitrant parts in our personality as explained here. To put it simply, the mind may be convinced but the heart refuses to go along, or the other way around.

      That is why Sri Aurobindo & the Mother insisted on “psychicisation” of the whole personality (i.e. the whole personality has to be brought under the influence of the psychic being). One has to remember the Divine and offer every action to it.

      Why can’t we refrain from using negative words?
      Because we lack self-awareness (free energy).

      Why do we lack free energy?
      Because our energy is trapped in our subconscious habits and desires. We also continuously absorb new degenerate tendencies from the collective humanity around us. The mass consciousness is pretty low – if you look around you, human beings prefer to waste their lives in trivial things like chatting, eating in different restaurants, etc.

      How to recover our will ?
      We have to conserve our energy by reducing conversation and speaking only when necessary, by practicing meditation for longer and longer amounts of time.

      See Self-control over speech and other articles under Techniques

      1. huta

        we have to conserve our energy by reducing conversation and speaking only when necessary,by practicing mediatation for longer….

        isn’t abhyasa a form of mediatation?

      2. huta

        what is meant by mental silence? is it possible for a layperson busy in the humdrum of life to cultivate mental silence ?

      3. Sandeep Post author

        Yes, it is possible, but it can’t happen instantly (unless you have worked on it in your past life) because the mind is not strong enough to sustain the silence. The Chakras in the head have to open up in order to neutralize the thought process which keeps running in the brain.

        One has to gradually strengthen the mind, first by learning to think logically, then by concentrating on an object, and so on. These things are preparatory for mental silence as explained under Types of meditation.

        To relax the mind during the day, try Walking with eyes unfocused.

        Since the mind can’t fall silent on its own, there are various techniques which have been invented as props (supports) to keep the mind still – like chanting a Mantra, listening to devotional music, identifying yourself with the sky or ocean. Also see Taming the monkey mind where this is discussed.

        You might also like to read How to maintain Witness Consciousness and all the other articles listed under Meditation.

    2. Sandeep Post author

      In the play Hippolytus by Euripides, Phaedra observes that even people who are otherwise considered wise can commit mistakes due to laziness or because they prefer other pleasures to virtue. (“…some from sloth, others from preferring pleasure of some kind or other to duty”)

      Phaedra: Women of Troezen, who dwell here upon the frontier edge of Pelops’ land, oft ere now in heedless mood through the long hours of night have I wondered why man’s life is spoiled; and it seems to me their evil case is not due to any natural fault of judgment, for there be many dowered with sense, but we must view the matter in this light: by teaching and experience to learn the right but neglect it in practice, some from sloth, others from preferring pleasure of some kind or other to duty. Now life has many pleasures, protracted talk, and leisure, that seductive evil; likewise there is shame which is of two kinds, one a noble quality, the other a curse to families; but if for each its proper time were clearly known, these twain could not have had the selfsame letters to denote them.

    3. Sandeep Post author

      A response from Sri Aurobindo to your cri de coeur:

      The moral of the condition you describe is not that Yoga should not be done but that you have to go on steadily healing the rift between the two parts of the being. The division is very usual, almost universal in human nature, and the following of the lower impulse in spite of the contrary will in the higher parts happens to almost everybody. It is the phenomenon noted by Arjuna in his question to Krishna, “Why does one do evil, even though one wishes not to do it, as if compelled to it by force?”, and expressed sententiously by Ovid, “video meliora proboque, Deteriora sequor” (“I see the better and approve of it, I follow the worse.” Metamorphoses 7.20). By constant effort and aspiration one can arrive at a turning point when the psychic asserts itself and what seems a very slight psychological change or reversal alters the whole balance of the nature.

      (Letters on Yoga, CWSA vol. 28, p 121)

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  10. ipi

    In our yoga the evolution through sattwa is replaced by the cultivation of equanimity,samata, and by the psychic transformation.

    -Sri Aurobindo
    (Letters On Yoga)

  11. K

    The article was insightful regarding the workings of the Ego.Fighting against the Ego to dis empower is futile, understanding the mode of operation through in these varieties will be helpful.Able to identify the mechanism of working in these three modes.I think recognizing the different types will be helpful in the work towards the Ego.

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  13. Roshni

    Thanks for this, I was thinking this morning about how to overcome the tamasic ego, and ofcourse here is Sri Aurobindos solution-to move into a rajasic ego sense… do you know if Sri Aurobindo or Mother has said anything further on this? I find myself very much identified with these kinds of thoughts and would very much like to get out of this. But to do this in a positive way, not shrinking away from actions but facing them head on…

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Roshni: here is Sri Aurobindos solution-to move into a rajasic ego sense

      There is some misunderstanding. Where did you read Sri Aurobindo saying that one has to move to a rajasic ego? He recommended cultivation of equanimity through the practice of Yoga, but that transformation won’t happen in one day. People have been working on it for centuries and lifetimes

      To overcome the Tamasic ego, you need to develop self-confidence and assertive energy, which might create other manifestations of the ego. You have to make a start and let things develop.

      Roshni: do you know if Sri Aurobindo or Mother has said anything further on this?

      They have said plenty.

      You can read Sri Aurobindo’s Letters on Yoga or the Collected Works of the Mother (PDFs online).

      Since their works are voluminous, it is easier to start with the small introductory booklets published by SABDA. See the catalog @

      On this blog, you can browse the articles under Techniques

      1. gopal

        hi sandeep,
        may be roshini is referring to this particular sentence from The above posted passage.
        “To destroy it completely by awakening the rajasic ego with the help of knowledge coming from ‘sattwa’ is the first step towards progress.”
        Often these [rajasic ego] things you do not realize, while they are happening, but slowly you hope to arrive, and that process is helped by this statement.

      2. Sandeep Post author

        Yes, thanks. I missed that sentence. Too many things to read these days!

        So here is an example of why its good to provide citations 🙂

  14. gopal

    object of yoga

    i have had to make a list of what yoga can do and what yoga cant do at this point of time. this helped me giving a perspective at the same time, a chance for progress. the most important point [me thinks] there Sri Aurobindo says is your starting aim is not to be a yogi, that gives enough room for the play, even if it be with mistakes. you always want to give yourself a chance, for that future, as luminous as Sri aurobindo has predicted. Also you try to enjoy the good things in the process first , because placing too much emphasis on the result spoils the fun and makes it stressful.

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  17. sukanya

    hi sandeep,
    even after reading the article multiple times i am still not able to understand what sattwic ego is. is it good to have sattwic ego? could you please explain.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      The sattwic ego is the pride which comes from being a “good or virtuous person”. It is a necessary evil – a step towards the final transformation.

      1. Arpan

        Sandeep: Till now I have been confused between 2 meanings of sattwic ego:
        1. The principle of individuation or Ahamkar that arises out of Mahat(in samkhya terms) due to the action of Satogun. This is what locks us away from a constant experience of cosmic consciousness, and gives us a sense of I-ness, of exisiting as this small personality.
        2. the one you mentioned.
        Now, if 2 is true according to you, then do we have a specific term for 1 ? or does Ahamkar as a generic term (sat, raj and tam) refer to this ?
        (I had posted this question earlier too, got deleted.)

      2. Sandeep Post author

        I would have to go through Sri Aurobindo’s works to find out what he meant by the term. I don’t have the time for that. If you can find a conclusive reference, please post.

        I don’t recall seeing this question earlier…maybe wordpress acting up

  18. mike

    The blog is being a pain today. l wrote out some posts and got that silly msg about ‘posting too quick. Slow down’ lol. Remember to copy your posts before posting.

  19. Alan

    My friends, I need some advices because at this stage of Sadhana, I don’t really feel guidance from my purusha or from the mother and I am affraid to be misleaded by my ego and not to be able to do the right action, having the consciousness of truth or let her will be done.

    When I stay silent and surrender, if I stay like that everytime and I can’t be no more active in this world, I don’t do my work that has to be done in the time to allow me to eat, everything is abandonned and my vital is no more directed. But as soon as I go back into the world, old things in my personality are still there and if I try to remain still or silent I can’t react to what I have to like I should, people in this nowaday society need to be very reactive and performant but trying to remain silent makes you quite slow and not “competitive”, people don’t like to be with you because they don’t have the social auto-stimulation from you and criticize your attitude.

    And if I choose to do something (so it is not an impulsion from my purusha) or not to do it, it would be an ego decision, like for example someone tell me to do something, I think about it and say to myself that it would be lowering myself or not an ethical choice, but I have ethical standards that are very high compared to the “norm” and people might judge me saying that I am very proud or odd. There is a coertion a lot of time to do things that is not right and I don’t know how to react. And it is almost impossible to not react to the “body” stress that is generated from this kind of situation (difficulty to breathe, feeling stressed or embarassed).

    I have difficulties with others too because I am quite young and other people from my generation are really into vital stimulation and don’t understand why I am not into the same kind and might judge which activates stress reactions from my body.

    The more I am observing that, the more I think mens are different from the times of Sri Aurobindo because we have been exposed to really bad processed food (that alter the brain and makes parasites grow into your G.I tract that is the emotional brain!), drugs, bad habits, toxins and more pollution, overpopulation, to a society that promotes consumerism and hedonism and to a very exigent and stressful life.
    I totally feel the distinction between the parts of our beings (vital, physical and mental) but I feel that the physical part of our consciousness is like the foundation of the whole being in this incarnation and that we are full of toxins that may disrupt our evolution/consciousness. In traditional yoga, they put a big value to detoxification and have a lot of kriya, asanas and pranayama techniques for that purpose and to clean the chakras too.
    It feels like the body has a retro-action on all the parts of our beings. Myself, I had my first spiritual opening after improving a bit my diet!
    I know Sri Aurobindo says that everything you eat is transmutated but didn’t he die young and in bad health? They were exceptional beings and transmuted their consciousness, but If they failed to evolve in their body, wasn’t it for that?
    In my case, since I take more care of my body my tolerance to stress has improved a lot as well as my emotions/intellect/inner peace/ability to meditate and I think it will improve more so I wondered…

    How to deal with these problems at this stage of my transition? Does the Mother and Sri Aurobindo adressed these questions or have you yourself think about it? Thank you very much :)!

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Sorry for the delay in approving your comment. I and probably other blog readers will respond to your comment soon.

  20. mike

    Alan, thanks for the article. lt’s a good reminder of how important ‘Humility’ is in sadhana. When the Force descends we can feel very powerful, especially in the body (at least in my experience). We can start feel ‘Special’ or ‘Chosen’ because of this. As SA says many have succumbed to this delusional state – as He clearly warned in His famous letter on the ‘lntermediate Zone’ where many get trapped.

    “Many have succumbed to the lure of the ego’s aggrandisement at some point in their spiritual pursuit, even to the extent of imagining that they are the “chosen” successor to a great prophet, teacher or religious leader, or that they are themselves singled out and “called” to deliver a new teaching or realisation to humanity, or even, in some cases, believing that they are the “return” of a great leader.”.

    Even just answering questions on here can be frought with dangers, if we prēsume to have me kind of authoritative knowledge, when in reality we are mostly quoting SA and M.
    Also, we have to be careful when describing our own experiences – that can easily open the doors to ‘aggrandisement’. That’s why it’s warned against – we can even lose the experience by discussing it. l’ve probably made that mistake a lot, lol. We can’t assume anything on this Path – not until we’ve attained the Highest.

    There have been many examples of the above. Quite a few women have claimed to be The Mother’s successor (mentioned in another blog article).

    “and I can’t understand why the ego survives after the supramental enters into consciousness.”

    l don’t believe the ‘ego survives after the supramental enters into consciousness’. l think this would be impossible. l don’t think the Supramental can enter our consciousness until it’s free of ego as it was in SA and M.

    “Is the free will/karma/destiny a fruit of vital, physical or mental ego?”

    Personally, l’m not sure the majority actually have True Free Will. Most are not conscious enough IMO to be adequately free of all the things that influence our decisions – we are more like mind-controlled robots than free agents.
    Anyway, l think karma, destiny etc. are probably a combination of all the different parts of our being. Everything is stored in our subconscious as a karmic seed which is carried forward into each lifetime. Probably the Psychic will use what is necessary for us to evolve.

    l know how stressful it can get. l’ve had to learn the hard way, too.
    l was foolish enough to discuss these spiritual things (years ago) with people who were only interested in ordinary life and as SA warned, they will turn on you like ravenous wolves. And if you mention things like abstinence from sex to most of them, you’ll attract real hostility – sex is a religion to these kind of people.
    l’ve never been a good mixer or socialiser, and when l have tried to be, lt usually turns out bad – although, l have always been somewhat anti-social by nature.
    lt’s totally different being in an enclosed community like an ashram or a monastery etc.. ln wordly life it’s a constant assault, which results in much stress – sometimes l feel l’m in the middle of a raging storm, battered from all sides, but perhaps l’m too sensitive lol.. These days l keep to myself, because l know no-one else around me who is interested in the Yoga. l’ve had to sever relations with certain friends because l felt they were dragging me down – my immediate family IS more understanding, though. lf we work around ordinary people everyday, we can only try to have as much good-will as possible (and say as little as possible, probably lol). This is where the Psychic Realisation is so important, l think.
    l wouldn’t worry about peoples opinions of you. Outsiders usually think people who are different are either aloof or proud, but it shouldn’t bother us if we believe in the Spiritual Life. That should be our main and only concern.
    Mother told Nolini at the ashram, once when he was stressed by the conflict going on there – ‘Forget the World and just think of Me’.
    Concentrating at the Psychic Centre is helpful, l find.

    Yes, there are a lot of extra problems around these days, but that just means it’s a greater challenge that will perhaps lead to a Greater Realisation – we have to be Spiritual Warrior’s (even more these days perhaps) and never let them drag you down.
    We have to find the Strength within and Their Grace will be with us if we sincerely call on Them.
    As for food, l just offer it to the Divine when l eat – l use the Mother’s mantra. l believe that’s enough.
    Also, l believe the Force will deal with everything once it Descends and starts working on our being – even though we might not be aware of this, it’s always working behind the veil.
    And SA always stressed that His Yoga is the most difficult. Whether we’re chosen or not, l think we’ve all chosen to be where we are in this life.
    All we can really do is follow Sri Krishna’s advice and act without thinking about ‘results’.

    1. mwb6119

      I have been predominately rajasic/tamasic my entire life. And I see this Q&A from above:

      “hi sandeep,
      even after reading the article multiple times i am still not able to understand what sattwic ego is. is it good to have sattwic ego? could you please explain.

      Reply ↓

      Sandeep Post author
      May 29, 2014 at 7:31 am
      The sattwic ego is the pride which comes from being a “good or virtuous person”. It is a necessary evil – a step towards the final transformation.”

      SA affirms Sandeep’s statement [from article above]:

      “The tamasic ego must be avoided in every way. To destroy it completely by awakening the rajasic ego with the help of knowledge coming from ‘sattwa’ is the first step towards progress. Growth of knowledge, faith and devotion are the means of liberating oneself from the grip of the rajasic ego. A person predominantly sattwic does not say, ‘I am happy’; he says, ‘Happiness is flowing in my heart’; he , does not say, ‘I am wise’ he says ‘Knowledge is growing in me.’ He knows that this happiness and this knowledge do not belong to him but to the Mother of the Universe.”

      A couple questions:

      Clearly sattwic is a step to the transformation. I believe I can safely admit to experiencing sattwic to some degree, more or less. Then where does the psychic come into this? How is the psychic influencing this process? and yes, I have read the articles here on the psychic several times, read about it in the letters, etc, just want a fresh view point. 🙂


      Once the Psychic is forward and firmly established, then the person is above the 3 gunas? And it is the 3 gunas that separate the person from the Divine Will? And the Divine Will is a state of Oneness – among other things? *I am finding that a lot of the articles here actually interweave with each other. …And sometimes I wish SA & M did not write so much, it is so hard to go through it all and not get lost in it. 🙂

      PS: The benefits of being with a guru is having a witness who may be able to assist the sadhak while going though the said transformation. When we are alone, it is very difficult to know otherwise ‘what is what’ – there is a lot of guessing, a lot of study, and perusing of books and letters – “Is this it, is that it, am I here, or there, I thought this happened already, but no, why is this happening now, I thought I was beyond that already, but this is coming up again…?????”. The process feels nothing like a straightforward set of stages once reached of the person merely checks things off the list. Rather, it is more like being in a hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, tornado, lost at sea, abandoned, stripped and robbed, all at once! 🙂

      1. amsha

        ‘Once the Psychic is forward and firmly established, then the person is above the 3 gunas?’

        Above three gunas rather means beyond sahasrara chakra, so far as I know three gunas are psychological correspondence of three lower planes of existence i.e. subliminal mental, vital(astral) and physical but ordinary thought or action are not the same thing as direct perception and action from these planes or any higher. It is not articles conflict with each other but your own conceptions or misconceptions.

      2. mwb6119

        Thank You Amsha. I had not heard of the guna’s described this way before.

        “but ordinary thought or action are not the same thing as direct perception and action from these planes or any higher. It is not articles conflict with each other but your own conceptions or misconceptions.”

        This makes perfect sense.

        “Above three gunas rather means beyond sahasrara chakra”

        Is this suggesting the superconscient, and the higher levels of mind? Also, can you direct me to more information regarding your statement, perhaps in SA’s letters or elsewhere?

      3. amsha

        The Mind Proper
        Above the physical mind and the vital mind is the mental intelligence, the mind proper. Beyond the ordinary thinking mind or intellect is the higher mind; beyond the higher mind is the illumined mind and beyond that is the intuitive mind. Above the intuitive mind are the Intuition and the Overmind.
        The Mind proper is divided into three parts—thinking Mind,
        dynamic Mind, externalising Mind—the former concerned
        with ideas and knowledge in their own right, the second with
        the putting out of mental forces for realisation of the idea, the
        third with the expression of them in life (not only by speech, but
        by any form it can give).
        The Mind 177

        The thousand-petalled Chakra or centre of the higher
        (head) lotus will and knowledge
        The lotus in the forehead Will, vision, mental dynamism
        The lotus in the throat Expression—external mind
        The System of the Chakras 229

        Letters on Yoga—I
        Sri Aurobindo

      4. amsha

        trigunatita; trigunatitam—beyond the triguna, “superior
        to the three qualities and master of them and therefore at once
        capable of action and unaffected, undominated by its own action”;
        brahman manifesting in “the repose, kinesis, illumination of the divine
        Nature” above “this nature of the Ignorance with its unquiet unbalanced
        activity of the three modes”.
        Glossary to the Record of Yoga

        I am sure there is more to it so have a look for yourself.

      5. mwb6119

        Amsha: Thank you very much. As well, I found two chapters in Essays on the Gita specifically on the topic of the gunas. Your initial comment assisted me in better understanding the gunas.

  21. mike

    “Clearly sattwic is a step to the transformation. I believe I can safely admit to experiencing sattwic to some degree, more or less. Then where does the psychic come into this? How is the psychic influencing this process?”

    l believe ipi quoted SA on this in the ‘Sattwic ego, Rajasic ego and Tamasic ego section’ – in that sattva is simply ‘replaced’:

    “In our yoga the evolution through sattwa is replaced by the cultivation of equanimity,samata, and by the psychic transformation.”

    -Sri Aurobindo
    (Letters On Yoga)

    “Sattva guna is the “spiritual quality”. When sattva guna is dominant, a person has inherent desire to be good and caring. There is a resolute constancy of mind and senses.When sattva is prevalent, the light of wisdom shines through the individual. Sattvic intellect clearly understands the difference between desirable and undesirable, undutiful and dutiful action. When sattva is dominant a person does his work as a duty. An action is done with calm understanding and the person is free from doubts. When sattva is dominant a person pays homage to divine and spiritual values.Strength Respect for Gurus, nonviolence, meditation,kindliness, silence, self-control, and purity of character are the motive force of sattvic action. One of the limitations of sattvic guna is that it binds a person through attachment to happiness and knowledge. The sattva guna also brings with it the problem of goodness”

    1. mwb6119

      “Sattvic happiness is that in which you are never disturbed. Whatever the ups and downs of life, you are always tranquil, you have equanimity. And this happiness turns, when you cross the sattvic belt, into joy, a joy which is not caused by any external factors but which is self-existent. That is a joy which is a mild form of spiritual bliss. … Today nobody is entirely a tamasic creature, a rajasic one, or a sattvic one. We have moods. It is all inextricably bound up, so any particular Guna may be predominant. But basically these are the various categories which pursue a man as long as he consents to be a creature of lower Nature, Prakriti. Once he decides to withdraw from the hold of the lower nature and aquire a status in his impersonal Self and opens to the action of the universal impersonal power, the Para-Prakriti, there is a total change in the situation and the gates are opened for transcendence of the Guna’s.
      The Gita’s ultimate call is to transcend the Gunas but you have to pass through the rule of the Gunas, you cannot hope to turn your back on the Gunaas and transcend them all at once: you have to pass through the yoke of the successive Gunas, the triple Gunas, experience them, work them out, correct the tamasic excesses by rajasic induction, the rajasic excesses by sattvic injections and then acquire a spurt over the sattvic also.” Thoughts on the Gita, M.P. Pandit, p307

      1. mwb6119

        “A passionate will ignorant yet but sincere
        may break the lid that shuts off
        that Higher from this Lower Nature
        and open the floodgates.”
        Sri Aurobindo

        “… Mental knowledge is not true knowledge; true knowledge is that which is based in the true sight, the sight of the Seer, of Surya, of the Kavi. Mental thought is not knowledge, it is a golden lid placed over the face of the Truth, the Sight, the divine Ideation, the Truth-Consciousness. When that is removed, sight replaces mental thought, the all-embracing truth-ideation, mahas, veda, drsti, replaces the fragmentary mental activity. True Buddhi (vijana) emerges from the dissipated action of the Buddhi which is all that is possible on the basis on the basis of the sense-mind, the manas. Vijana leads us to pure knowledge (jnana), pure consciousness (cit0. There we realise our entire identity with the Lord in all at the very roots of our being. ….” The Upanishad’s, p96-7
        ref. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.180

  22. mike

    ” There is a coertion a lot of time to do things that is not right and I don’t know how to react.”

    Alan, l know exactly what you mean, because years ago l would let others dare me into doing stupid things, for which l suffered much humiliation.
    Even after taking up Yoga l would allow myself to be bullied in this way. But, l only allowed it because l was weak and cowardly. lt takes a lot of courage to stand your ground against fools, because we’ll be cast out by the majority, but if we believe the Spiritual Life is all-important, then we’ll find the courage. Look at what the saints and prophets went through. There are many who are not on a spiritual path who have these problem, too – bullying is rampant, but we have the Divine Grace to help us – big difference.

    “I know Sri Aurobindo says that everything you eat is transmutated but didn’t he die young and in bad health? They were exceptional beings and transmuted their consciousness, but If they failed to evolve in their body, wasn’t it for that?”

    This is not true as far as l understand it. SA didn’t die in the normal sense, He chose to leave – The Mother confirmed this. He had to leave in order for the Work to continue through the Mother, and He could protect Her better from that side, l believe.
    The Yoga has never been about physical immortality IMO, and l don’t think it was going to be accomplished through their physical bodies. l believe new Supramental bodies were created at the subtle level (on the subtle physical plane closest to this one) and are just waiting for the right time to manifest here. People have claimed to have seen the Mother’s new ‘Body of Light’ close to the physical plane – l haven’t myself, so l don’t know, but it sounds feasible. SA has also said He would be the first to return here in a Supramental Body created in the Supramental way.
    Many say they failed, but l believe they probably succeeded in a way that exceeds our comprehension (at least it exceeds mine lol).
    A Supramental body would be immortal, l think, but what people expected to happen was that their (SA and M) physical bodies would live forever, incorruptible – not the same thing. Even though the Supramental form would be immortal, and it could be changed or replaced at will, it would have a completely new composition, l think, unlike any we’ve seen before. Probably a fundamental change in the cells – something that physical bodies don’t have at present.

  23. Arborescence

    Thank you everyone for your answers, it feels really great to have such a community in this hard transition of my life :).
    In fact, what I am in disconfort with at the moment is that I only feel that I’m “doing the right thing” when I meditate, that’s to say when all my muscles are relaxed and still and that my attention is pointed towards one thing.
    This is almost the only moments where I feel a spiritual connection or experiences, but I don’t really feel my psychic, just in some spontaneous moments but quite rare ones, so I feel a bit trapped and that I stagnate in my sadhana at the moment because if I try to stay in meditation and silence everytime, I just stay still and do nothing (and as my body is unhealthy I feel that the kundalini rising is too strong, my nerves are weak and blood circulation too so I stop the rising because I am a bit affraid that it may have bad consequences on the body) but I have to act in the external world to earn my life and keep my body healthy, so as my psychic is not guiding me, when I do something I just try to do it right with ethic or organisation (mental standards) but I do a lot of mistakes. I am trying to open my psychic but it is hard, it is easier to concentrate in the mental center and Sri Aurobindo prefered that we open the purusha and so I am a bit lost…

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Arborescence: I am trying to open my psychic but it is hard, it is easier to concentrate in the mental center and Sri Aurobindo prefered that we open the purusha and so I am a bit lost…

      Thats not true. He said both methods are equally useful. You can start from which ever one works for you. The psychic opening takes a long time.

  24. mike

    l’ll post this again because l think it might help you.

    “Once one opens oneself to the Shakti (Force or Energy that enters us) – the work goes on ceaselessly whether one perceives it or not. When this goes on behind the surface one has the feeling, naturally enough, that nothing is being done; actually it is never so.
    Between the advance achieved within and the appearance of its perceivable results on the surface there is a necessary time lag.
    lf this working were to proceed in a way perceptible to the outer senses the mind and the vital would interfere at every step, insist on giving their own self-chosen direction to the development and altogether act as blocks to the Power at work. That is why the work is carried on mostly underneath so as to proceed uninterruptedly. It is only when the results appear in their own time that we see how things had been moving in that direction all along and how circumstances were developing to favour that culmination. It is also seen how nothing has been in vain.
    The progress has been going on within all the time irrespective of whether one has been conscious of it or not.Most of the progress – especially in the earlier phases – is worked out behind the curtain. And that is done on purpose; because, otherwise the limited ignorant mind tends to interfere at every step. Thus one is not normally aware of the movement of progress that goes on within until its results reach out to the surface. But because one cannot see or grasp with the physical senses, it does not mean that the thing is not there.”.

  25. mike

    (and as my body is unhealthy I feel that the kundalini rising is too strong, my nerves are weak and blood circulation too so I stop the rising because I am a bit afraid that it may have bad consequences on the body)

    Arborescence, l don’t know if your aware, but in this Yoga the traditional tantric method of kundalini awakening is not used.
    This is M’s description of how it works:

    “Satprem: But then what is this consciousness we feel like a force inside us? For instance, sometimes in meditation it rises, then descends; it’s not fixed anywhere. What is this consciousness?

    Mother: The Shakti!

    Some receive it from above; for others, it rises from below (gesture to the base of the spine). As I once told you, the old system always proceeds from below upwards, while Sri Aurobindo pulls from above downwards. This becomes very clear in meditation (well, in yoga, in yogic experience): for those who follow the old system, it’s invariably the kundalini at the base [of the spine] rising from center to center, center to center, until the lotus (in an ironic tone) bursts open here {gesture at the crown of the head). With Sri Aurobindo, it comes like this (gesture of descending Force) and then settles here (above the head); it enters, and from there it comes down, down, down, everywhere, to the very bottom, and even below the feet – the subconscient – and lower still, the inconscient.

    It’s the Shakti. He said, you know (I am still translating it), that the shakti drawn up from below (this is what happens in the individual process) is already what could be called a “veiled” shakti (it has power, but it is veiled). While the Shakti drawn down from above is a PURE Shakti; and if it can be brought down carefully and slowly enough so that it isn’t (how shall I put it?) polluted or, in any case, obscured as it enters matter, then the result is immediately much better. As he has explained, if you start out with this feeling of a great power in yourself (because it’s always a great power no matter where it awakens), there’s inevitably a danger of the ego meddling in. But if it comes pure and you are very careful to keep it pure, not to rush the movement but let it purify as it descends, then half the work is done.

    (Mother’s Agenda, July 25, 1962)”

    From this section of sandeep’s blog:


  26. mike

    l feel this is important to. Satprem was complaining to M about not having any experiences. She also explains how the Full Psychic Realisation takes place (not the partial glimpses that some people report. With the Full Psychic Realisation, there is a Complete Cange in our being).

    “I’ve never managed to consciously leave my body.
    It’s a gift.
    Sometimes I seem to have vibrations going out through the top of my head.

    That’s something else.

    What is it? Sometimes I feel a pulling: something vibrating intensely that seems to be pulling me out through the top of the head.

    It’s the opening to the higher mind.
    It’s more like part of the kundalini method. It’s not an exteriorization, but the mental opening to higher realms.

    Sometimes it happens just when I’m falling asleep.

    That’s how you make contact. It is indispensable.
    But that results from yoga. It may be developed over lifetimes, or it may be accomplished in one lifetime, if one is ready for it. To tell the truth, it is the important part: to get through that lid at the top of the skull which keeps you shut in; there’s a kind of cover there you have to get rid of. If you can do it, it’s the sure sign that the time is ripe and you are ready for yoga – “yoga,” I mean Sri Aurobindo’s yoga.
    The other things, exteriorization and so forth, are innate, just as some people are born artists or painters or aviators. It’s one of Nature’s special combinations. I’ve known some downright stupid girls who could exteriorize remarkably well and be fully conscious of their experiences in the subtle physical or the mind or the material vital (when one is undeveloped it’s more often in the material vital than the subtle physical). And they would tell you all about what they saw. But incapable of yoga. Nature’s fancies, I tell you.
    Too bad she has no such fancies for me! It’s not indispensable for the yoga.

    Obviously, but all the same….
    But it does carry a lot of weight with materialists, for it confronts them with something that looks “supernatural.”

    Yes, that’s mainly what makes it interesting: it shows them that consciousness can exist outside the body.
    That’s it. But it’s not at all indispensable for one’s development.

    No. But I’d still like….

    It would amuse you!

    Well, yes! It wouldn’t just amuse me – I’d get the feeling that my consciousness was developing.

    Not necessarily.
    If you aren’t open up there (above the head), you don’t benefit from it. Those girls I mentioned (I’ve known three like that; not just one: three), well, they weren’t making progress. They weren’t making progress. Perhaps they could see better and better, but they weren’t making an inch of inner progress.

    But personally, for example, why is it I never have any experiences?

    No! It’s not true you don’t have experiences. It’s not true. I know it’s not true, you do have experiences –I can see them.

    But I can’t!

    You just don’t remember.
    I have already told you the reason (there are many reasons): one tiny undeveloped level in the being is enough. It obviously has to do with atavism, with the way the body was built, the milieu one was born in, one’s education, the life one has led. But it’s mainly how much one has been drawn to higher things. It is clear that your energies have been far more concentrated on breaking through that lid and touching the Source of Truth than on having mediumistic experiences – far more. And for what you have come to do, that was INFINITELY more important. Minor experiences such as exteriorizing and
    the like are just diversions along the way – that’s how I have always seen them.

    Yes, Mother, that’s all right. But there’s no outer encouragement. I have the feeling that nothing is happening – I wake up each morning and there’s nothing. I meditate, there’s nothing – there’s never anything! Just the certainty that it’s the only thing worth doing.

    But don’t you see, mon petit: the unwavering Light above you… (Mother gazes above Satprem’s head). Thousands of people would give anything for that!
    The truth is, we are never satisfied with what we have…

    But nothing is happening!

    … and we always want what we don’t have. Because we are made for an integral perfection, and until it becomes integral, we won’t be satisfied.
    It may comfort you to know that it will come to you – in its own time.

    It will come – really?

    Yes, oh, yes! It may come to you all of a sudden one day.

    I feel that nothing’s happening, that’s the discouraging thing.

    Of course! I too went through a very long period when I believed nothing was happening.
    I never had an experience for the joy of it – never. They came only when it was necessary. Nothingever happened in my life that wasn’t absolutely indispensable for my work. But to know this, you understand, you must know exactly what your work is and be conscious of the divine Will; and many years may go by before you reach that point.
    I remember that one of the first things I asked Sri Aurobindo when I came here, after innumerable experiences and innumerable realizations, was, “Why am I so mediocre?… Everything I do is mediocre, all my realizations are mediocre, there’s never anything remarkable or exceptional – it’s just average. It isn’t low, but it’s not high either – everything is average.” And that’s really how I felt. I painted: it wasn’t bad painting, but many others could do as well. I played music: it wasn’t bad music, but you couldn’t say, “Oh, what a musical genius!” I wrote: it was perfectly ordinary. My thoughts slightly excelled those of my friends, but nothing exceptional; I had no special gift for philosophy or whatever.
    Everything I did was like that: my body had its skills, but nothing fantastic; I wasn’t ugly, I wasn’t beautiful… you see, everything was mediocre, mediocre, mediocre, mediocre. Then he told me, “It was indispensable.”
    All right, so I kept quiet – and very quickly, within a few weeks, I understood.
    But I had that feeling throughout my childhood. I was a good student, but no genius…. And so on. Ever since I was very young, I have always thirsted for the same thing: I have always wanted to be conscious. So what makes me furious is that I am not conscious – it infuriates me.
    For a long, long time, that was also the one thing I felt was worth living for – Consciousness. When I met Théon and came to understand the mechanism, I also understood why I wasn’t conscious at a certain level. I think I’ve told you how I spent ten months one year working to connect two layers – two layers of consciousness; the contact wasn’t established and so I couldn’t have the spontaneous experience of a whole spectrum of things. Madame Théon told me, “It’s because there’s an undeveloped layer between this part and that part.” I was very conscious of all the gradations: Théon had explained it all in the simplest terms, so you didn’t need to be, as I said, a genius to understand. He had made a innumerable divisions of the being; but with that mental simplification you could make in-depth psychological studies of your own being. And so by observation and elimination I eventually discovered that between this and that (gesture indicating two levels of Mother’s consciousness), there was an undeveloped layer – it wasn’t conscious. So I worked for ten months on nothing but that:
    absolutely no results. I didn’t care, I kept right on, telling myself, “Well, it may take me fifty years to get anywhere, who knows.” And then I left for the country (I was living in Paris at the time). I lay down on the grass, and all at once, with the contact of earth and grass, poof! There was a sort of inner explosion – the link was established, and full consciousness came, along with all the ensuing experiences. “Well,” I said to myself, “it was worth all the trouble!”
    And I am sure that’s how the work is done, slowly, imperceptibly, like a chick being formed in the egg: you see the shell, you see only the shell, you don’t know what’s inside, whether it’s just an egg or a chick (normally, I mean – of course, you could see through with special instruments) and then the beak goes peck-peck! And then cheep! Out comes the chick, just like that. It’s the same thing exactly for the contact with the psychic being. For months on end, sometimes years, you may be sitting before a closed door, push, push, pushing, and feeling, feeling the pressure (it hurts!), and there’s nothing, no results.
    Then all at once, you don’t know why or how, you sit down and poof! Everything bursts wide open, everything is ready, everything is done – it’s over, you emerge into a full psychic consciousness and become intimate with your psychic being. Then everything changes – everything changes – your life completely changes, it’s a total reversal of your whole existence.
    In the end, it’s best not to worry, not to get agitated or depressed (that’s the worst of all), not to get worked up or impatient or disgusted – just be calm and say, “It will come when it comes,” but with an unyielding stubbornness. Do what you feel has to be done, and keep on with it, keep on even if it seems utterly futile.

    But if I only had a method!?

    There are methods – books are full of them. I don’t recommend any of them: it’s always the method the author uses or has heard of. Everyone has to find his own method.
    One can get certain hints, one can find one’s own method.
    But one has to…. Look, it’s the same as for japa. Your japa is given to you, isn’t it? You receive it (unless you find it on your own, but that’s harder and already requires another level of realization); you receive your japa along with the power to do it – but you have to learn how to do it, right? For a long while you don’t fully succeed; all sorts of things happen – you forget it right in the middle or fall asleep or grow tired, get a headache, all sorts of things; or even outer circumstances interfere and disturb you.
    Well, here it’s the same: you tell yourself, “I’ll do it,” and you will do it, even if…. You have to go at it just like a mule: everything blocks the way but you keep going. You said you’d do it and you will do it.
    There are no results – I don’t care. Everything is against me – I don’t care. I said I’d do it and I will… I said I’d do it and I will. And you keep on going like that.
    It’s the same thing in your case. It depends on what you want to achieve. Simply what I told you about sleep or resting, for example, ought to be enough. On that, you base your own discipline – or on words that were uttered, or gestures that were made, or ideas you’ve received. You establish your own discipline. And once you have chosen your discipline, you keep on with it.
    That’s my experience.
    Stubbornly. You have to be stubborn – stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. You’re up against all the resistance of unconsciousness and ignorance, up against all the power of unconsciousness and ignorance – something obstinate and unyielding. But it’s like the story of the drop of water on the rock:a matter of time. The water will eventually wear its way through the rock. It takes ages, but it will succeed, for it falls persistently, drop after drop. First it runs off, eventually it makes a hole, and you have a wide river flowing below. Nature gives us this wonderful example to follow. That’s it: we must be like the water dripping on the rock.
    Water is vital energy. The rock is unconsciousness.
    There you are, mon petit.”.

    From Mother’s Agenda, Volume 3, 1962.

  27. arya

    I observe myself and realise that there is too great a need for mental stimulation at all times. This clearly shows I am predominantly rajasic by nature. Is there any hope for people who are mostly rajasic, constantly seeking mental stimulation? I guess spirituality is easy for satvic souls.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      What kind of mental stimulation do you need ? Do you suggest that sattvic souls sit around doing nothing ? 🙂

      1. arya

        Any sort of mental stimulation … it could be reading Aurobindo’s books or even tweeting or watching tv. Point is, the mind doesn’t want to be calm and seeks some kind of stimulation all the time. I am assuming that’s a rajasic tendency. Wouldn’t a satvic mind prefer calmness to incessant stimulation?

      2. Sandeep Post author

        I understand the question now. Agree, the mind needs to learn to stay in repose.

        Perhaps the problem is that the inner mind has acquired some radiance due to Yoga, but the surface mind has not yet quiesced. As a result, the surface mind is drawing/misusing the brilliance of the inner mind to continue its incessant activities.

        The surrender to the Purusha within needs to be perfected. Maybe staring at the sky or sea for long periods of time will help as described here

  28. mike

    The ‘Calm’ comes down as a Descent in my experience. lt’s not something the surface mind can achieve on it’s own. Even with Sri Aurobindo, it just came without asking.The Calm enters from above when called, but for me it has come down without warning or as l prefer to call it, an ‘Act of Grace’. lt stills the incessant mind, which is what your seeking, l think.
    l think the vital mind (which might be what your referring to) is always seeking satisfaction – even The Mother had an overactive mind (She complained about it’s constant chattering) until Sri Aurobindo gave Her the Silent Mind.

  29. arya

    Thanks, Mike and Sandeep. One more thing. Did Aurobindo say anything about nervous disposition of a person? I don’t mean ‘being nervous’ as in the English word … more like the nervous system being weak. Being tired, over sensitive bladder, anxiety attacks … is it about the VITAL being weak, are Vital and Central nervous system connected?

      1. arya

        This is amazing, thanks so much. Dharana sakti is essential, but for extremely weak bodies like mine, it is hard. Also isn’t everything, even negatives like anger, energy? Do we hold them as energy and then transform them instead of rejecting them outright?

      2. Sandeep Post author

        Negative movements must first be rejected before they can be transformed.

        First one has to discover the Purusha within, the true center, otherwise you will keep getting carried away by the negative movements.

        You may want to read through all “Letters of Yoga” by Sri Aurobindo, where he painstakingly explains these issues to his disciples.

      3. arya

        ALso another thing i forgot to add. Being restless (where you move your legs or fiddle with something with your hands) … does this all point to too much vital energy that the body is unable to maintain?

      4. Sandeep Post author

        Too much vital energy would result in wrath, dominance over others, performance of great physical feats.

        Restlessness can be attributed to lack of concentration, just like you describe in the mental sphere.

        Some things can be changed by diet and Pranayama as well. Eat foods suited to your Dosha as per Ayurveda. Practice Pranayama which will stabilize the vital body.

  30. arya

    Can you please post a link which contains more instructions on discovering the purusha or psychic centre within oneself?

  31. arya

    I read this and other links too on the blog (related to psychic centre). But there is nothing about the various steps involved. Do we just focus in the heart centre and leave it at that?

  32. Mark

    Sandeep, there is also two books by A.S. Dalal:

    Emergence of the Psychic


    The Psychic Being.

    Also, M.P. Pandit’s book tittled “The Yoga of Transformation”

  33. Mark W

    Hi Sandeep, under Related Posts (above) if you click on number 3: Developing Discernment on which Actions are Spiritual, you will see that it goes to a different blog: How to Distinguish Between Right and Wrong.

    Thank You!

    1. Mark W

      Or perhaps the title had been changed? I noticed that the second sentence matches the missing blog title: “…This frequently creates confusion as to which actions are spiritual in nature.”


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