Gender differences between men and women

Someone inquired if Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had made any remarks on differences between men and women.  This is a compilation of remarks that I was able to find right now.  It addresses topics such as : What are the cosmic origins of gender?  Are women less polyamorous than men? Are women better at Yoga?  Can gender change across incarnations?  If I find more remarks, I will add them in the comments section to this blog post.

Cosmic origins of gender

Question: Why has there been, since the beginning of creation, this difference between male and female?

Mother Mirra Alfassa: Since the beginning of which creation ? Of which creation do you speak ? Of the earth ?

First of all, it is not exact. There are species in which there is no difference. And in the beginning there was no difference, number one. Number two, earthly creation is a purely material creation, it is a sort of conclusion and condensation of the universal creation, but in the universal creation this difference does not exist as a matter of necessity. All possibilities are there, all possible things have existed and still exist, but this differentiation is not at all at the basis of creation.

So your question does not stand, because it is incorrect.

A zoologist could tell you that there are species which are not like that at all. Nature has tried this method tries many things, it has made all possible species, made the two in one, made every possible thing… It tries like this because probably this appears more practical to it! I don’t know. That’s all.  But on other planes, even in the terrestrial world, in the subtler planes of the terrestrial world, even in the subtle physical, in the vital and in the mental, if there are beings who are so differentiated, there are also others who are neither male nor female. This exists. For example, in the vital world, it is extremely rare to come across sex difference, the beings there are generally without sex. And I strongly suspect that the world of the gods as described to us by men, has been largely influenced by human thought. In any case, there are many deities who are without sex. In all the stories told of the pantheons of all countries, there is a good deal that has been strongly influenced by human thought. So, this difference is simply a means used by Nature to achieve its aim, that’s all, nothing more than that. We must take it like that. It is not an eternal symbol – not at all.

Now, there are many people who are very keen on this distinction – they may keep it if they like! – but it is not at all something final or eternal…or perfect in itself. [1]

Brass Sculpture depicting the androgynous Ardhanarishvara (combination of Shiva and Shakti).  Click image for the seller’s website.

Gender change across incarnations

Question: X asked me if in the course of rebirths a woman can become a man, and a man a woman. He thought of certain feminine traits in him that could be explained thus. I would also like to know if there is in the psychic being itself something like sex?

Sri Aurobindo: Not sex exactly, but what might be called the masculine and feminine principle. It is a difficult question [whether sex is altered in rebirth]. There are certain lines the reincarnation follows and so far as my experience goes and general experience goes, one follows usually a single line. But the alteration of sex cannot be declared impossible. There may be some who do alternate. The presence of feminine traits in a male does not necessarily indicate a past feminine birth – they may come in the general play of forces and their formations. There are besides qualities common to both sexes. Also a fragment of the psychological personality may have been associated with a birth not ones own. One can say of a certain person of the past, “that was not myself, but a fragment of my psychological personality was present in him.” Rebirth is a complex affair and not so simple in its mechanism as in the popular idea. [2]

(For elucidation on the remark “a fragment of my psychological personality was present in him” , see the first comment below)

The Mother on the same question:

Mother: All depends on the category to which one belongs, and the degree of the psychic being’s development. If the psychic being is in an advanced stage, near maturity, the choice before death, about which I spoke to you the other day, is quite real and this choice means that everything is possible; but in other cases, the rebirth takes place almost automatically. The will of the psychic being is not developed and it does not choose. Hence, there are no rules. It depends very much on circumstances, and especially on the line of formation which the psychic being will follow, and that depends on its origin. It is difficult to say.  In the matter of sex, that may vary for a long time. As the consciousness grows and gains some unity of action, of consciousness, it can choose to follow one line to the exclusion of another, but before this choice, through innumerable creations you have been undoubtedly of different sexes. That is why perhaps some women have a masculine character, and vice versa, or have tendencies opposite to their sex.  But at the time of the “choice” one may decide to belong to the creatrix Consciousness or to the immobile Witness. That depends upon the origin. [3]

Ramana Maharshi

Mercedes de Acosta: Can sex change in rebirth?

Ramana Maharshi: Oh, surely. We have all been both sexes many times. [4]

Madame H.P. Blavatsky

Madame Blavatksy of the Theosophical society:

Question: By the way, you mention “he or she”. Could I have been one of the opposite sex in a previous reincarnation?

Blavatsky: Yes, definitely. The soul is sexless. It may reincarnate in either sex and it may change from one to the other gender in different lives. [5]

Why are there gender differences in practice?

Disciple: From the point of view of the idea of sex, that there are two different sexes. That still exists.

Mother: The idea! But that’s the fault of the person who thinks! One can very well dispense with thinking. You know, these very petty limits of thought are things which ought to disappear before you can even attempt to transform your body. If you still have these very petty ideas which are purely animal, there is not much hope that you could begin the least process transformation of your body. You must first transform your thought…. For that is something which is still far down below. if you are not able to feel that a conscious and living being can be quite free, even in a certain definite form, from all feeling of sex, it… it means that you are still up to your neck in the original animality.

Disciple: In the inner thought one feels it, but in the actuality of material life……..

Mother: What about the actuality?

Disciple: In the Outer life I have not yet realised that. In the inner..

Mother: You spend your time thinking about it?

But one may live twenty-four hours out of twenty-four without giving a single thought to this difference! You must really be hypnotised by this affair. Do you suppose that when I Speak to You I think that you are a man and when I speak to Tara I think she is a woman?

Disciple: Still there is a difference!

Mother: Ah! but it is not at all necessary

Disciple:In theory I understand.

Mother: In theory! What theory?

Disciple: That there is no difference. But when I am in contact with someone, either I am speaking to a man or a woman.

Mother: Well, it’s a great pity both for you and for the other person.

No, it is just the very opposite of what ought to happen! When you are in contact with someone and speaking with him, it is precisely to what surpasses all animality that you should speak; it is to the soul you must speak, never to the body. Even more is asked of you, for you are asked to address the Divine – not even the soul – the one Divine in every being, and to be conscious of that [6].

Another remark by the Mother

…This masculine-feminine business is a trick of Nature, it has arranged things here like that. Now, let me tell you: when one descends from above, well, right up there one has no idea of masculine and feminine and all that nonsense; as you come down and arrive here, it starts to become something real. So you tell yourself, “Well, well! That’s how Nature has arranged things.” Good! But what I say is that these conceptions—these very conceptions which make one element masculine and the other feminine— this is a conception which has come from below, that is, has come out of man’s brain which cannot think otherwise than of MAN and WOMAN —because he is still an animal [7].

Sri Aurobindo’s exchanges with a disciple Nirodbaran

(Since Sri Aurobindo lived in seclusion for much of his life from 1926-1950, disciples had to communicate with him via letters.  This has the unexpected benefit of leaving written records for later generations.)

Nirodbaran (1903-2006), a medical doctor by training

Nirodbaran: You laughed away my medical statement about ladies. Is it not true that women are more receptive and psychic than men? All outward signs would direct that way, at any rate.

Sri Aurobindo: Rubbish! Neither more receptive nor even more hysteric. Men, I find, can equal them even at that. It is true they declare hunger-strikes more easily, if you think with Gandhi that that is a sign of psychicness (soul force). But after all Non-cooperation has taken away even that inferiority from men.


Nirodbaran: My last questions on women were a prelude to a bigger question on them in general…I will quote the view of a medical man of experience who seems to represent the popular opinion “Women are, as a rule, more intelligent than men, but their intelligence is of a different order. Man’s brain is superior to woman’s in size and weight… We are told that it can be explained by our keeping all culture as a sex-monopoly to ourselves, that they have been in constant subjection, that they have never had a fair chance.” Then he adds that in Greece and Rome during the Middle Ages women had great freedom and a superior form of instruction, yet they did nothing outstanding. In his own profession, though there have been women professors since the 17th century infamous Italian Universities — in Bologna, Naples, etc.— they have done nothing to advance their special science.

Sri Aurobindo: In Greece woman was a domestic slave — except the Hetairae (prostitutes) and they were educated only to please. In Rome “She remained at home and spun wool” was the highest eulogy for woman. It was only for a brief period of the Empire that woman began to be more free, but she was never put on an equality with man. Your medical man was either an ignoramus or talking through his hat at you.

(Other exceptions in Greece were the warrior queen Artemisia and the seer Diotima.  For others, see ancient Greek women philosophers and ancient Greek women writers)

Nirodbaran: Then again, there have been no women of first rank in painting, music, literature, etc., except Rosa Bonheur, who however had to shave her chin and dress as a man.

Sri Aurobindo: What an argument! from exceptional conditions as against the habits of millenniums! What about administration, rule, business, in which women have shown themselves as capable and more consistently capable than men? These things need no brains? Any imbecile can do them?

Nirodbaran:You will then agree that that is the consensus of opinion.

Sri Aurobindo: The consensus of masculine opinion, — perhaps.

Nirodbaran: Of course no one can dispute that in another sphere they are angels. By the side of death and disease, sorrow and suffering… which means apparently that they live more in their heart than in the head… Isn’t history full of immortal tragedy of their self-sacrifice for mortal love?…

Sri Aurobindo: It means that is what men have mainly demanded of them — to be their servants, nurses, cooks, children-bearers and rearers, ministers to their sex-desires etc. That has been their occupation, their aim in life and their natures have got adapted to their work. All that they have achieved else than that is by the way — in spite of the yoke laid on them. And then man smiles a superior smile and says it was all due to woman’s inferior nature, not to the burden laid on her.

Nirodbaran: Whatever may be the reason of the difference between a man and a woman, it can’t be gainsaid that women can efface themselves more completely or more easily for the sake of love. Is it because their heart is full and strong that their head is weak (if true) ?

Sri Aurobindo: They have been trained to it through the ages — that is why. Subjection, self-effacement, to be at the mercy of man has been their lot — it has given them that training. But it has left them also another kind of ego which is their spiritual obstacle — the ego which is behind the abhiman and the hunger-strikes.

(Women might get understandably outraged by Sri Aurobindo’s remark above that submissive women can have “abhimana”(ego).  It is not known what he was referring to but one can hazard a guess.  He might be alluding to the fact that people who have sacrificed something reluctantly make demands in other spheres of life as a form of compensation.   In Indian joint families, for instance, mothers who have sacrificed for their son feel entitled to control the life of their daughter-in-law and often do so.)

Nirodbaran: Can it be said that because they live more in their heart than in their head, their path is easier ?

Sri Aurobindo: All these clear-cut assertions are mental statements — and mental statements are too clear-cut to be true, as philosophy and science have now begun to discover. Life and being are too complex for that.

Nirodbaran: Here I have noticed that out of sheer love some women have followed their husbands into the travails of the Unknown, but when the husbands have been assailed with doubts and depression, they have been sitting happily and confidently  in the lap of the Divine.

Sri Aurobindo: Great Scott! what a happy dream!

Nirodbaran: It seems that in Yoga women have one advantage, the sex-instinct in them is not as strong as in men

Sri Aurobindo: There is no universal rule. Women can be as sexual as men or more. But there are numbers of women who dislike sex and there are very few men. One Sukhdev in a million, but many Dianas and Pallas Athenes. The virgin is really a feminine conception; men are repelled by the idea of eternal virginity. Many women would remain without any wakening of the sexual instinct if men did not thrust it on them and that cannot be said of many, perhaps of any man. But there is another side to the picture. Women are perhaps less physically sexual than men on the whole,— but what about vital sexuality? the instinct of possessing and being possessed etc., etc.?

(Sukhdev mentioned above was the son of Vyasa (the author of Mahabharata) who was famous for his purity. Even the Apsaras (dancers of Heaven), when they were bathing, did not feel the need to cover themselves before him, but they quickly covered themselves when Vyasa passed by, for Vyasa was aware of being in the presence of women. )

Nirodbaran: How is it that Ramakrishna always used to ask his disciples to avoid kamini-kanchan (women and gold)? Buddha was no less strict.

Sri Aurobindo: That is the old monastic idea. It arises from the extreme sexuality of men. They see in women the Narakasya Dwar (door to hell) because that door is so wide open in themselves. But they prefer to throw the blame on women.

Nirodbaran: Was not man’s fall from heaven due to woman?

Sri Aurobindo: That was not due to sex, but to woman’s desire for new experience and knowledge.


(Since Sri Aurobindo refused to admit any clear-cut gender differences, Nirodbaran decided to ask the Mother!   This is the advantage of having two Gurus.  You can play their remarks against each other.  Read on…)

Nirodbaran: Apropos our discussion on women, let me put before you Mother’s opinion on the matter. She says that women are not more bound to the vital and material consciousness than men. On the contrary, as they do not have the arrogant mental pretensions of men, it is easier for them to discover their psychic being and be guided by it.

Sri Aurobindo: No doubt, they can discover their psychic being more easily,— but that is not enough. It is the first step. The next is to live in the psychic. The third is to make the psychic the ruler of the being. The fourth is to rise beyond the mind. The fifth is to bring what is beyond mind into the lower nature. I don’t say it is always done in that order. But all that has to be done.

Nirodbaran: Then why do you say that these are my clear-cut mental assertions? [19.1.35]

Sri Aurobindo: Perhaps if you give full weight to my marginal answers, you will realise why. The truth is too complex for such assertions to be reliable.

Nirodbaran: Mother also says that women are conscious in their sentiments, and that the best of them are conscious in their acts. If that is so, there is no more question about it, I think

[Sri Aurobindo underlined the words “no more question”]: That is too much to say. There may not be so much mental questioning but there may be a lot of vital questioning and resistance.

Nirodbaran: You will agree then that women are more intuitive than men ?

Sri Aurobindo: Yes, that of course — but it is the spontaneous intuition of the heart or of the vital mind, not the Intuition with a capital I.

Nirodbaran: As they live in the vital, their difficulties in the sadhana (askesis) will be less, I suppose.

Sri Aurobindo: Not at all. How can living in the vital make things easier? The vital is the main source of difficulties in the Yoga. The difficulty with men is not purely mental. There too it is vital — only men call in their intellect to defend their vital against the coming or the touch or the pressure of the Divine. Women call in their vital mind to do the same thing.

Nirodbaran: Nolini writes in his book, “Woman’s whole being is concentrated on the thing she clings to, but man’s vision is not so exclusive. Nishtha (dedication) is the very nature and ideal of woman.”

Sri Aurobindo: It depends on the spirit in which she is concentrated. There is the psychicised spiritual and there is the unregenerate vital. The unregenerate vital way creates enormous difficulties, and its desire to possess means a vehement vital egoism. How can a vehement egoism be helpful for the spiritual life?

Nirodbaran: Since ancient times women have been trained to accept  a position of subjection by Manu and others. Is it because men are more sexual? It would be rather hard on us to be accused of this

Sri Aurobindo: It is because of man’s desire to be the master and keep her in subjection,— the Hitler and Mussolini attitude. The sex is an additional stimulus. Not more hard than you deserve.

Nirodbaran: Then again, it is said that woman’s centre of life and consciousness is in the vital, whose nature is to pull the jiva (soul) down to earth.

Sri Aurobindo: Woman’s living in material and vital is not the cause — it is man’s living in the vital and material that is the cause of his finding her an obstacle. She also finds him an obstacle and could say of him that he is Narakasya dvāram (gates of Hell). The assumption that man lives less in the vital and material than woman is not true. He makes more use of his intellect for vital and material purposes — that is all.

Nirodbaran: Is it not because of this fundamental trait in her being that she has been so sacrificed and tied to man, and also incapacitated from any spiritual endeavour in conjunction with man ?

Sri Aurobindo: Man has taken advantage of it to keep them under his heel.

Nirodbaran: Can we not then justify Buddha, Ramakrishna and others who advocated isolation from women ? After all, is it not essentially the same principle here, because if vital relations  are debarred, nothing remains except a simple exchange of words?

Sri Aurobindo: What about the true (not the pretended) psychic and spiritual — forgetting sex? The relation has to be limited as it is because sex immediately trots into the front. You are invited to live above the vital and deeper than the vital — then only you can use the vital aright. Buddha was for Nirvana, and what is the use of having relations with anybody if you are bound for Nirvana? Ramakrishna insisted on isolation during the period when a man is spiritually raw — he did not object to meeting when he became ripe and no longer a slave of sex [8].

Another exchange between them:

Nirodbaran: Today D and I had a discussion on women. D said that by nature Indian women are very attached and devoted.

Sri Aurobindo: By habit and education, not by nature, except with a minority.

Nirodbaran: Whereas men, by nature, are quite the opposite.

Sri Aurobindo: What rash generalisations!


Nirodbaran: Why is there this difference between man and woman? Why is man made more polygamous ? why do his attachment, love, desire, fleet from one object to another, where as woman’s nature is more one-pointed, devoted to one?

Sri Aurobindo: To one at a time perhaps, at least with the majority. There are plenty who are polyandrous by nature.

Nirodbaran: Why are we made up of so many contradictory elements: one aspect has aspiration towards Him, religion, morality, aesthetic qualities; the other, a tremendous pull towards baser elements, especially sex?

Sri Aurobindo: It takes many ingredients to make a nice pudding [9].


  1. Mother.  Collected Works of the Mother, vol 9, p 103
  2. Mother’s Agenda.  Oct 31, 1970.
  3. Mother.  Collected Works of the Mother, vol 4, p 183.
  4. Mercedes De Acosta. Here Lies the Heart. New York: Reynal, 1960.  online at
  6. Mother.  Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 9, pp 131-133.
  7. Mother.  Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 6, p 119.
  8. Nirodbaran. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, pp 100 – 114, passim.
  9. Nirodbaran. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, May 1936, p 582.

Related Posts

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  2. Sublimation of the sexual urge through Yoga
  3. The foundation of spiritual relationships
  4. Further remarks on sexuality
  5. What exactly is a “crush” or “love at first sight”?
  6. Four stages of human love
  7. How to choose the right life-partner
  8. Should women dress modestly?
  9. How to bring up a child?
  10. Raising a child prodigy
  11. The rationale behind vegetarianism
  12. On suicide, euthanasia, and capital punishment
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  15. Cases of reincarnation between Hindus and Muslims

58 thoughts on “Gender differences between men and women

  1. Sandeep Post author

    In the section on “Gender change across incarnations” above, Sri Aurobindo states “… Also a fragment of the psychological personality may have been associated with a birth not ones own. One can say of a certain person of the past, “that was not myself, but a fragment of my psychological personality was present in him.” ”

    One might ask – what does this mean? How can a fragment of my personality have come from another person who had lived in the past? This is a brief explanation.

    Human beings have five sheaths. After death, the physical body inevitably decomposes but in case of highly influential people, their mental-vital sheaths can continue to exist in the higher worlds. These sheaths then exert an influence on people who are susceptible to occult influences. We may unconsciously inherit these personality archetypes and begin to behave like those who have lived in the past. In that sense, life is like a masquerade ball – we are wearing masks of past personalities.

    This concept is elucidated in the following passage by the Mother:

    Authors, writers, who were inspired and serious in their creative work, that is to say, who were concentrated in a kind of consecration of their being to their literary work, form within themselves a sort of mental entity extremely well-constituted and coordinated, having its own life, independent of the body, so that when they die, when the body returns to the earth, this mental formation continues to exist altogether autonomously and independently, and as it has been fashioned for expression it always seeks a means of expression somewhere. And if there happens to be a child who has been formed in particularly favourable circumstances — for instance, the mother of this little girl is herself a poetess and a writer; perhaps the mother herself had an aspiration, a wish that her child would be a remarkable, exceptional being — anyway, if the child who is conceived is formed in particularly favourable circumstances, an entity of this kind may enter into the child at the time of birth and try to use him to express itself; and in that case, this gives a maturity to the child’s mind, which is quite extraordinary, exceptional and which enables him to do things of the kind we have just read…

    (Collected Works of the Mother, vol 8, page 319)

    There is another place where this perpetuation of the past is discussed by the Mother:

    You see, what seems to be perpetuated or preserved isn’t individuals: it’s states of consciousness – states of consciousness. Those states of consciousness manifest through many individuals and many different lives, and those states of consciousness are what progress towards a more and more luminous perfection. There are now, at present, all kinds of “categories” of states of consciousness that come one upon another in order to be put in contact with the Truth, the Light, the perfect Consciousness, and at the same time they have retained a sort of imprint (like a memory) of the moments when they manifested.

    (Agenda October 26 1966)

  2. Gordana

    Hi Sandeep. Your provided just one possible explanation about the ” a birth not ones own’… To a careful reader the Mother hints other possibilities too… in one place in the Agenda she mentioned to Satprem that his own brother was his own emanation in the same life….which only means at some higher level (probably at the level of the oversoul) they are one soul having two simultaneous lives on Earth..In this case the fragment is the soul.There is much more to this topic which touches the concept of time…

    1. Sandeep Post author


      Well, I don’t know enough of what exists “out there” so I proposed the most reasonable explanation 🙂

      The second paragraph by the Mother is more encompassing because it opens other possibilities : “what seems to be perpetuated or preserved isn’t individuals: it’s states of consciousness – states of consciousness.”

      For others, the text being referred to is as follows: “Strange, there’s a child beside you. A child who must be between one and two years old — blond. And he is looking, he is putting his hand on your shoulder…. He’s…. He seems very, very intelligent. ….It means he would have a two-year old psychic being (you see, they don’t have age per se, only in terms of development). And he grew up at your contact.[[Once, several years ago, Mother had received both Satprem and his brother together, and they had sat at her feet, side by side. Then, after the interview, Mother told Satprem: “It’s strange, he seems to be like an emanation of you.” ]] It’s interesting. ” (Agenda Sept 15, 1971)

      Satprem’s brother is also mentioned in the Agenda July 18, 1964

    2. Sandeep Post author

      Here is something relevant to this topic

      Question: Can a psychic being take birth in two bodies?

      Mother: It is not quite so simple as that…. The psychic being is the result of evolution, that is to say, evolution of the divine Consciousness which spread into Matter and slowly lifted up Matter, made it develop to return to the Divine. The psychic being was formed by this divine centre progressively through all the births. There comes a time when it reaches a kind of perfection, perfection in its growth and formation. Then, most often, as it has an aspiration for realisation, for a greater perfection to manifest yet better the Divine, it generally draws towards itself a being from the involution, that is to say, one of those entities belonging to what Sri Aurobindo calls Overmind, who comes then to incarnate in this psychic being. It can be one of those entities men generally call gods, some kind of deities. And when this fusion occurs the psychic being naturally is magnified and shares in the nature of the being incarnated in it. And then it has the power to produce emanations. These beings have the power to produce emanations, that is to say, they project out of themselves a part of themselves which becomes independent and goes into others to incarnate itself. So there can be not only two, but three, four or five emanations. That depends upon cases, it can happen thus. That is to say, one can have the same origin, psychodivine, we might say. And generally when there are a number of emanations, the different persons feel themselves to be that being, and rightly so, for they carry in themselves something of that godhead: it is as though a part of the godhead has cast itself out of itself and become independent in another being. It is not a self-duplication but a kind of self-projection.

      (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 5, p 264)

      1. Gordana

        I haven’t read this very explanation of the Mother but based on the answer given to Pavitra I came to the similar realisation by reasoning.
        I have come across two claims of two Gurus (who were contemporaries) – that Budha Maitreya descended into them (although they were contemporaries I am not sure that this phenomenon happened at the same time).
        Of course we may presume that they consciously o lied r they were under some subjective self-deception, but I have felt that the possibility of descent of one particular consciousness in more than one physical body shouldn’t be disregarded …
        Also, the issue of reincarnation shouldn’t be considered in linear perspective -there is no past and future – everything is now.
        And if we add the fact that the vertical scale of consciousness is multi-multi-multidimensional – what an amazing play – well, I will leave to the reader to come to the conclusion – either by reasoning or even better by wild imagination……………………!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. mike

    l don’t think a ‘fragment’ is the same thing as the ‘SOUL’ or ‘Psychic Being’ putting out several emanations of itself… Also, in the Agenda the Mother mentions that in one contemporary lifetime Her Psychic Being had manifested through two people.

  4. mike

    That entry in the Agenda is interesting. The aging process of the Psychic Being is a little hard to understand. The Mother says in that text:
    “He [the psychic being] seemed to be completely independent. And when he came — I saw him come — he was there beside you, he put his hand — his little hand — on your shoulder, and he looked at you like this (same wide-eyed gesture), and then slowly he grew and grew to about eight or ten years of age and then stopped. It is not a fully formed psychic being…. Perhaps it has left him. Perhaps he left it.”

    So, what would be a fully formed psychic being – what would be it’s age for instance?

    ls it possible to have a psychic being that is 75 tears old?

  5. mike

    l think the Mother explains in more detail below:

    ” When the psychic is fully developed and very conscious, when it becomes a conscious instrument of the divine Will, it organises the vital and the mind in such a way that they too participate in the general harmony and can be preserved.
    A high degree of development allows at least some parts of the meqtal and vital beings to be preserved in spite of the dissolution of the body. If, for instance, some parts- mental or vital- of the human activity have been particularly developed, these elements of the mind and vital are maintained even “in their form” -in the form of the activity which has been fully organised -as, for example, in highly intellectual people who have particularly developed their brains, the mental part of their being keeps this structure and is preserved in the form of an organised brain which has its own life and can be kept unchanged until a future life so as to participate in it with all its gains.
    In artists, as for instance in certain musicians who have used their hands in a particularly conscious way, the vital and mental substance is preserved in the form of hands, and these hands remain fully conscious, they can even use the body of living people if there is a special affinity -and so on.”,%20mother,%20soul,Savitri,%20Integral%20yoga,%20psychic%20being,growth3.html

  6. mike

    l’ve had some strange things with my two-year old neice relating to the Psychic Being, l think.
    l was thinking about her one day quite intently, and l suddenly saw her with very bright eyes and she told me mentally ‘l am conscious’.
    And the other night l was lying in bed half asleep [this was late] and l saw her enveloped in a bright white light. l don’t think l’m hallucinating lol.
    Even just after she was born l saw a ray of Force coming down to her [l’ve seen this with other ppl so l think it must be the Force or perhaps the Grace helping someone. She did need help at the time because she was premature]. She’s strong as a horse now, though lol.

  7. Mansee

    Sandeep, when i read the word ‘abhiman’, i was reminded of the literature by Tagore, where some women characters were portrayed as such. Taking pride in their sufferings. Recently i read a novel ‘Sugar street’ by Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz and came across an interesting description which goes something like – That woman had more authority on others coming from her sorrows which were bigger than theirs.
    There surely exists a perversion to the meaning of suffering. One suffers and feels good about it. Instead of trying to change the conditions – which is a more difficult option, one accepts living in sufferings and glorifies oneself in the chosen difficulties. Secretly basking in the praise/sympathy of others and becoming highly dependent on it.
    To get out of it surely is a big spiritual challenge.
    *As for hunger strikes they are a way of moral/emotional violence.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      True. thanks for validating my interpretation of Sri Aurobindo’s fleeting reference to abhimana!

  8. Gordana

    These comments actually do not cover the question of changing the sex during the reincarnation. I have been following this issue for quite some time, and have read the ‘insights’ of dozens of Gurus. So far only one Guru claims that there is no possibility of changing the gender and most of the Gurus say it happens. At first glance one get that conclusion by reading some of the writings(lectures) of SA and the Mother. But upon a deeper research I came upon their comments (as the one posted above) that when one exhaust the experience along one line of gender during many incarnation, he/she may decide on incarnation with oposite sex(more info on this is presented in some of the pdf books – lectures by the Mother)

    Regarding my yesterday’s comment here is some excerpts from Pavitra’s Notebook. I think there is more about this in the Pavitra’s Notebook, but I have to check the material (which is unfortunatelly incomplete):
    Saturday, November 6, 1926
    Interview with Mother
    (The beginning of this conversation with Mother is torn out.)
    Mother : … manifestation.
    It is not possible that some mental elements come from one source and others from another?
    Yes, but this is not generally important. In some cases, as in Egypt for instance, there was an advanced occult knowledge. Certain men accumulated a mental occult knowledge which remained there, quite ready. And when you enter into contact with it, it is at your disposal. But such cases are rare. Generally, these are tendencies or perhaps it is a faculty or some more or less important remembrance.
    This divine aspect is, in short, the individual Higher Self?
    You are speaking of the jiva, the individual element which persists and presides over the reincarnations ? It is more than that. These jivas, mostly, except for certain very rare cases, are like emanations of divine beings who have put forth outside themselves numerous jivas. And it is these jivas that incarnate.
    In your case the divine aspect in question has put itself forth in jivas. But there is one of these which represents more directly this aspect—as the direct projection or emanation by which it will find its fulfilment. And this jiva, from what I can see, has already incarnated thrice upon earth, you would be the fourth. When an emanation like this prepares and chooses its vehicle, that preparation is made all the same under the distant guidance of this force. And often there are certain tendencies in childhood which cannot be understood till the day one becomes conscious of the aim of one’s life. Then these tendencies, sometimes quite opposed to the milieu, to heredity, take on their raison d’être. Besides, it is only when one penetrates the depths of consciousness that one really becomes aware of the reason of things.
    And what is there behind you is your real Self, clothed with all the experiences of a terrestrial life.
    (The folloaring note is part of a preceding page torn from Pavitra’s notebook:
    Mother: At the beginning it (the jiva in question or the real “Self”) remained behind. But gradually as your consciousness grew clear, it came close. I spoke to yo

    1. Sandeep Post author

      I wasn’t aware of Pavitra’s conversation in this context. You seem to have studied the works of Sri Aurobindo and Mother quite well. Hopefully, you can contribute more comments to the blog in the future 🙂

      With regards to reincarnation, there is also the concept of group souls described below

      The Mother avers: “To understand rightly the problem of what is popularly called reincarnation, you must perceive that there are two factors in it which require consideration. First, there is the line of divine consciousness which seeks to manifest from above and upholds a certain series of formations, peculiar to itself, in the universe which is its field of manifestation. Secondly, there is the psychic consciousness which climbs up from below, the seed of the Divine developing through time till it meets the Force from above and takes the impress of the supramental Truth.” (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 3, p 148)

      Rishabchand, a disciple of SA&M, has a chapter “THE ODYSSEY OF THE PSYCHIC” in his book “In the Mother’s light”, where he writes:

      The souls are not, as is maintained by Sankhya and Jainism, and, more or less, by the consensus of philosophical opinion in India, absolutely separate entities, like Leibnitz’s monads, coming down to earth and departing in perfect isolation, having nothing to do with one another. According to the Mother, there are groups or families of souls, bound together by an inner. affinity, that come down more or less at the same time or epoch for a particular type of work in their earthly life. They follow each a certain basic line of development and are intimately connected with certain aspects and phases of the evolution of the earth-consciousness. Each soul, being a spark or ray of the divine Consciousness, plays its individual part, as a constituent of its group, in the work of the illumination of the material inconscience. The coming together of many kindred souls under the prophet’s banner, or round the revolutionary presence of the Avatara or Vibhuti testifies to the fact of the existence of groups or families of souls. One such group, it is said, gathered round the personality of Sri Chaitanya, and another round Sri Ramakrishna, who had seen it in vision before it came to him physically. Sri Ramakrishna would often say in regard to a sadhaka or yogi that he belonged to this house or that, meaning, evidently, this line or that of the manifesting divine Consciousness. All this proves that there is a universal Will and a universal plan behind the apparent phenomenon of the soul’s coming and going, a community and solidarity of purpose, and a complex interplay of evolutionary interests, which are ignored by the simplistic theory of the individual soul’s transmigration in perfect insularity. The theory of karma, as it is expounded from different standpoints, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jaina, errs on the side of oversimplification, and bypasses the important truth that karma is not only individual, but collective; that there is a constant intermingling of all karmas, and that no individual karma can pursue its solitary course completely uninvaded and unaffected by the environmental and collective karma.


      We have already seen how the psychic, a tiny, pulsing spark, develops through many births into a full-fledged psychic being in man. When it is fully formed, it often feels an aspiration for a greater realisation, a higher ascent, in order to manifest the Divine more perfectly on earth. “As a result of this pull, it generally draws towards itself a being of a higher order, from a higher plane, from the Overmind, as Sri Aurobindo calls it, a being of involution who incarnates in the psychic being. These overmental entities are termed gods or divinities by men. Now when the fusion takes place of a god into a psychic being, the latter naturally increases in stature and partakes of the nature of the god and acquires also the capacity to produce emanations; that is to say, it throws out of itself a pan which possesses an independent existence and can incarnate in others. In this way there may be not only two but several emanations or projections of the same original being. In other words, there may be a single psycho-divine origin but many personalities coming out of it…. If you emanate a being out of you, you remain whole and entire without losing anything of yourself and the emanation too is a being whole and entire living its independent life.”

      The subject is somewhat difficult, because occult to our ordinary ideas, and rather unfamiliar. But the fact of the higher gods or a ray of the divine Consciousness entering into exceptional men and investing them with a superhuman greatness, majesty or valour, is not quite unknown to readers of the ancient myths. But what is original and very illuminating from the standpoint of the soul’s evolutionary purpose is the Mother’s Statement that there are different lines of divine Consciousness seeking to manifest from above and upholding various series of formations here below for their diverse self-expression. The statement establishes the teleological significance of the soul’s evolution. It makes it clear that the end of the soul’s evolution is not flight from the material world, or nirvana, but letting the divine Consciousness descend into and flow out of its liberated and perfected individuality and manifest its infinite glory upon earth. The soul’s aspiration from below and the divine Grace from above combine to fulfil what the soul seeks through many births and the earth is made for.

      (Rishabchand. In the Mother’s Light, p 102)
      You can read the above passage online at this link

      1. Gordana

        Rudolf Steiner: about soul’s group
        “What a person develops in his present life in the way of soul faculty through friendship of a purely soul nature, in Devachan is wisdom, the possibility of experiencing the spiritual in action. To the extent to which someone enters livingly into such connections he is well prepared for Devachan. If he is unable to form such relationships he is unprepared; for just as colour escapes a blind man, so does soul experience escape him. To the degree to which man fosters purely soul relationships do organs of vision develop in him for Devachan. So that the statement holds good: Whoever lives and moves here in the life of the spirit, will over there perceive just as much of the spiritual as he has gained here through his activity. Hence the immeasurable importance of life on the physical plane. In human evolution no other means of awakening the organs for Devachan exists other than spiritual activity on the physical plane. All this is creative and comes back to us as devachanic sense organs for the devachanic world. As preparation there is nothing better than to have a purely soul relationship with other human beings, a relationship whose origin is in no way based upon natural connections.
        This is why people should be brought together into groups, in order to unite on a purely spiritual basis. It is the will of the Masters to pour life in this way into the stream of humanity. What takes place with the right attitude of mind signifies for all the members of the group the opening of a spiritual eye in Devachan. One will then see there everything which is on the same level with what one had united oneself with here. If on the physical plane one has attached oneself to a spiritual endeavour, this actually is among those things which retain their existence after death. Such things belong just as much to the dead as to the one who has survived him. He who has passed over remains in the same connection with the one still on earth and is indeed even more intensely conscious of this spiritual relationship..”

  9. Gordana

    Here is some additional information to your first comments, (by Rudolph Steiner) and I might add more comments after reading your new reply:
    “The Chela can remain on the astral plane; he is able to renounce Devachan because through his pure thoughts he has so clarified and strengthened his astral body that he can continue to make use of it. With us everything is dissolved in Kamaloka which has not yet been worked upon and ennobled by the ego. With savages the greater part is dissolved, with highly developed people the smallest. The ennobled astral body is taken with us into Devachan. Everything we have developed as our feeling life prepares us for a new life, works upon us. When we have united ourselves with all our deeds we are impelled towards our next incarnation. The part of the ego that has been made eternal, the I and the ennobled astral body, now returns and in the astral world unites itself again with a body that corresponds to what has not yet been ennobled. The preparation for union with an unfamiliar astral body is undertaken in Devachan. Then the etheric is added as a member. As a result of this arises the pre-vision of everything that awaits the human being. Just as when forsaking the physical body, memory awakens in the etheric and astral bodies of the immediate past and back to the time of birth, so now we have a preview of what is to come. Here something quite specific can occur: one can receive a shock which brings about idiocy. With a further descent the physical body is added. “…

    In this chapter he states: “When someone has become a Chela he begins to establish peace in the etheric body. Then the etheric body too survives. The Masters also establish peace in the physical body; thus in their case the physical body also survives. The important thing is to bring into harmony the different bodies, which consist of separate warring parts, and transmute them into bodies having immortalit”

  10. Gordana

    Yes the idea of group souls and families of souls is present in other esoteric schools too (e.g. Theosophy).
    Before posting a short clip of Mother’s comment and a link with more info, I would dare to mention one interesting statement of ‘a New Age Source. I will not reveal the reference, and I am not eager to defend nor to refute the idea in question – (since I have no direct insight to validate it, plus its validity or absurdity is of no importance to my spiritual growth) – but I will mention it anyway, because it sounds quite interesting: “all the present 7 billion alive people on the planet Earth, have ‘only’ 300 000 ‘souls’ at the level of the over-soul, and at the even higher level only few. My intuition tells me that when the Mother speaks about the emanations of Satprem and Pavitra, she refers even to lower (more close) level. …
    As I said before, I do not bother to find information for confirming or refuting this preposterous claim, but I will add one more very important thing. Those who have beliefs (on conscious or subconscious level) opposite to the above will attract valid information to refute, and vice versa, those who would be consciously or subconsciously attracted to the above idea will easily come upon information of confirmation. Simply because that’s how one very powerful occult law works in our lives. From one standpoint both sides might hold the truth, but people do not know about this occult law and so, argue and even fight for their ideas and ideals. I had to add this comment perhaps irrelevant to the main topic, as an important note for those who like argumentative battles …not that I am afraid of any battles ..go ahead… 😉

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Gordana: Yes the idea of group souls and families of souls is present in other esoteric schools too (e.g. Theosophy).

      Did the theosophists refer to group souls for humans as well or just for animals?

      Gordana: As I said before, I do not bother to find information for confirming or refuting this preposterous claim, but I will add one more very important thing. …I had to add this comment perhaps irrelevant to the main topic, as an important note for those who like argumentative battles …not that I am afraid of any battles ..go ahead

      Yes, I hold the same aporetic attitude towards many of these “occult truths”, even if they come from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Accepting and debating such facts is not directly relevant to spiritual progress, as I told someone else in another comment and also in this article on interplay of faith and doubt

      Gordana: “all the present 7 billion alive people on the planet Earth, have ‘only’ 300 000 ‘souls’ at the level of the over-soul, and at the even higher level only few.

      That’s an interesting theory, which can be added to this article I wrote earlier on the topic: “Does population growth invalidate reincarnation

      1. Gordana

        I think you can find something about reincarnation of animals in the above mentioned Steiner’s book. I will now post something by another Christian Mystic, Daniil Andreev who in his book Rose of the World depicted(mapped) his vision of the astral world(s) around the Earth (or its atrsl counterpart Ernof) :
        “All living beings, including protozoa, possess what we have provisionally termed shelts, or, if the reader prefers, souls – that is to say, a fine variomaterial coating that the immortal monad fashions for itself. Material existence is impossible without a shelt, just as any existence whatsoever is impossible without a monad. The monads of animals abide in Kaermis, one of the worlds of Higher Purpose, while their souls complete a lengthy journey up an ascending spiral through a special sakwala of several planes. They incarnate here, in Enrof, but many of them do not undergo a descent after death. They, too, live under the law of karma, but it works differently for them. It is only in Enrof that they unravel their knots at an extremely slow pace during journeys of countless incarnations within the limits of their class.
        The Providential powers had originally intended Enrof to be the exclusive abode of the animal realm-that is, of the host of monads that had descended here in shelts to undertake the great creative task of enlightening the materiality of the threedimensional plane. Gagtungr’s meddling wrecked that original design, increased the complexity of the task, twisted fates, and lengthened time frames to a horrifying degree. That was all accomplished primarily by subjecting organic life in Enrof from its very beginnings to the law of the jungle.
        Why are almost all baby animals so endearing and cute? Why do even piglets and baby hyenas, let alone wolf or lion cubs, evoke such warmth and tenderness? Because the demonic in animals only begins to make its presence known the minute they are forced to enter into the struggle for survival-that is, when they fall under the law of the jungle. Baby animals in Enrof resemble animals as they appeared in the adjacent world they left when they first came to Enrof. Even snakes were beautiful, vibrant, and extremely playful beings on that plane. They danced, giving glory to God. If not for Gagtungr, in Enrof they would have become even more beautiful, intelligent, and wiser. “

  11. Gordana

    Now the Mother’s info:
    Questions and Answers 1929 (28 April)
    You must always distrust people who go rambling in some kind
    of mental or vital domain, and then tell you stories imagining
    that they remember their past lives. You know the classical example of that well-known lady who narrated her lives from the
    time she had been a monkey! I may assure you that it is pure
    imagination, for it is impossible to remember like that.

    here is more and more…,%20mother,%20soul,Savitri,%20Integral%20yoga,%20psychic%20being,growth3.html

  12. Gordana

    I read the Agenda seven years ago (or perhaps even earlier), and I forgot many conversations…yet, I do remember once (or perhaps 2-3 times) she mentions about her pas-life experience as Murat (there are several historical figures named Murat, one in France). As you might know, she briefly narrates her experience as woman in ancient Egypt, the one in France, when he mentions her incarnation as a Yogi who left the body in a Himalayan cave maybe she says that she was a woman(I don’t remember), but I do clearly remember my impression when she mentioned Murat – as if she was surprised by that experience?!? At that time I was under influence of another Guru who claimed that there is only one line of incarnation – female or male … from the beginning up to God Realization, so I was under impression that perhaps the Mother is surprised because of that …so maybe it was my subjective feeling..and that’s why I said that at first glance it seems that according to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, there is only one-sex-line of reincarnation… only recently I found out that she spoke about the possibility of having incarnation of the opposite sex..

    1. awordwhoisreal

      I have read Mother saying that generally one incarnates as the same sex in each life, but as in all things there can be exceptions. I’m sorry, I do not remember where I read it. It may have been in a Question and Answers; here are some: I strongly encourage anyone interested in what Mother Sri Aurobindo have to say on a topic, refer to Their own words, as it gives a solid base from which to take what another says of what They say. If you want for instance to find Mother speaking on reincarnation and gender, you Will find it.

  13. mike

    lt looks like SA is probably right when He said that in the main we follow the same gender line. lt’s probably only if a special experience is needed that we incarnate as the opposite sex.
    We only have about 3 or 4 of SA’s incarnations, but considering He said ‘in His own experience’ we normally follow the one line, l think that’s good enough for me.
    Most [like 7 out of 8] of the Mother’s lives were female as well, so that proves it for me.
    l can’t really take steiner or the theosophists seriously.
    Mother didn’t think too highly of steiner in the Agenda, but l’ve been told that might be a mis-translation from the french.
    Yes, gordana, their are a lot of ppl out there claiming to have complete memories of past-lives. l believe Mother said we can only get a true memory of a past lives when we are conscious at the psychic level. The only thing that is hard to explain is when someone has past-life regression therapy and afterwards they investigate some of the details, it gets verified – that’s strange. And of course, very young children having past-life memories [but they would still be in close touch with the Psychic Being].

    1. MT

      Mike said: “Mother didn’t think too highly of Steiner in the Agenda, but I’ve been told that might be a mistranslation from the French.”

      He is probably referring to this passage from 14th February 1968:
      “Though there was Steiner who had much power over his disciples, but in his case, it was without doubt an adverse force with all the power of the Asuras.”
      The original in French says:
      “Oui, il y a eu Steiner qui avait beaucoup de pouvoir sur ses disciples, mais ça, c’était carrément une force adverse avec toute la puissance des asouras.”

      I understand both languages and I must say the translation is actually good.

      1. Gordana

        Concerning the issue of animals, you can find more information in this book, but I want to mention a strange explanation of Andreev that the animals sacrificed their evolution for the sake of the humanity. It sounded subjective…And last week when I read the book by Rudolf Steiner, there was the same claim…I don’t think that it’s due to the some copying of the information…no…it’s not the case …oh, after this long reply I should go to feed the poor cats…

      2. Gordana

        sorry I mixed the comments this one is for you:
        I find no problem that Steiner was labeled Asura by the Mother. Wasn’t the Mother married with one, and was taught by another (whose wife was described by the Mother with only praiseful words).
        I do not take the words for granted anyway, but I also practice not-labeling – it’s very important principle in my sadhana.
        By the way, if you read the Agenda, Evening Talks and other books, you can came across of many examples about direct disciples of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, who in their own way were full of devotion and dedication, still had slipped and fallen on the path and perhaps even sink… -(although there is a standpoint from which even these kind of occurrences are just experience and experience is all that matters)… but my point is that the seekers should be open, brave and aspire for sincerity, for the Truth and for the Divine guidance…if they are afraid and closed they might protect themselves from the darkness but they might miss the light too…….all is in the hands of the Divine…
        Now back to the book of lectures by Rudolf Steiner.
        I read just a little bit of his texts and was never attracted to his literature. As for this book, recently I felt inwardly that I should take a peek into it…
        What can I say…it provided interesting answers for many questions who at time would run through my head and were unanswered for many years. I don’t know if they are final answers but I was surprised that they pretty much correspond with the information encountered in the writings of the Mother, Sri Aurobindo, (e.g. the Steiner’s comments posted yesterday are not contradictory with Mother’s,) and also with the teaching of Gurgieff, Shivananda and many others.
        I will mention some of the topics of the booklet hereby, because maybe someone might find it useful, inspiring or intriguing:
        1The Topic of Passion; As all of you know, many Yogis advice to discern, discard, transmute passions (including of course sexual passions). George Gurgieff even said that sexual passions are ‘food for the Moon’. I often wondered, – how can a Master say such a ‘ridiculous’ thing (even if this is true he shouldn’t mentioned it). It is very well explained in this book.
        2. The Question of Desire; I do understand why we shouldn’t grant each desire which come but if we are sincere with ourselves we will admit that with a total lack of desires we will be like minerals. It’s somewhat paradoxical…..oh, yes, and this theme is indeed ‘scientifically’ explained in one of the lectures of the book.
        It also covers the topic of:
        3. Moon, the astral world and correspondence with our Vital Being; 4. The Moon and the Sun and the question of nutrition. 5. The Moon and the Sun: Manas and Budhi (i.e. our vital and lower mental bodies)…and much more.
        • For example, one of my inner dilemmas and quests was about Ekadashi. In a addendum of a book about Kali (I think the title was ‘Kali the Mother’, written by someone from Ramakrishna Math) – which I read some years ago, I come across a strange explanation about the ‘behavior’ of the non-incarnated souls during the Ekadashi (and reasons why people should be focused on sadhana, fasting…on that day). (You can easily find some similar explanation on internet.) Although I strongly feel the influence of the Moon, this book was a bit superstitious to me, .plus I was wondering why Some Yogis of India speaks of the Moon which separated from the Earth.. well until I read the Steiner’s book which explained the topic from a different metaphysical angle.
        • The Moon is astrologically connected with nutrition, emotion, reproduction, ‘the mind” …(you know that there are statistical data which confirmed the influence of the Moon on the ‘Mind”: a fast Moon in a natal horoscope provides quicker mind, – and I was wondering which mind – Sri Aurobindo talks about many minds?). I understand why it is connected with the human reproduction and I see why people plant and saw in accordance with the Moon phases, but I was puzzled of its connection with the milk? There are stories in Srimad Bhagavatan about the Moon who fed people (babies). Similar myths about the Moon are present in other parts of the world too. All of the above is explained in the book, and also the difference between Manas and Budhi in terms of the their substances, their origin,as well as the different meta-physical process on the Manas(the Moon) plane and the Budhi(the Sun) plane.
        • As all of you know the Mother used to say that we are actually several beings constituted in one, so called man. There is a chapter where the ‘process of assembling’ of two different human parts is explained and it says that these parts are still not harmonized but the evolution will ‘handle it’ …so, to me, this and other info do correspond with what the Mother and SA say… which indeed surprised me …of course there is another terminology in the book, but one can easily find analogous terms…….
        More examples,… oh..maybe, maybe later…the thread is already too long (sorry)….and it will take dozens pages to post for the references, and with my level of English to explain the analogies, plus as I said I have absolutely no intention to debate, argue, refute or confirm …but anyone interested plus not afraid of reading a book from an Asura may read it.

      3. Sandeep Post author

        Gordana:There are stories in Srimad Bhagavatan about the Moon who fed people (babies). Similar myths about the Moon are present in other parts of the world too.

        Not everything in the Srimad Bhavatam (Bhagavata Purana) is true or pertinent for spiritual development.

        Gordana: More examples,… oh..maybe, maybe later…the thread is already too long (sorry)….and it will take dozens pages to post for the references, and with my level of English to explain the analogies, plus as I said I have absolutely no intention to debate, argue, refute or confirm …but anyone interested plus not afraid of reading a book from an Asura may read it.

        That’s fine 🙂 Its easy to get sidetracked trying to straighten out all these myths and allegories.

        That is why the Buddha refused to answer fourteen questions concerning the world, afterlife, etc. because he felt these can trap the aspirant into irrelevant discussions.


      4. MT

        Just wanted to clarify that my comment had no further intentions than to give the reference to Mike’s affirmation.

        My father used to be into theosophy and during my teenage years I read a lot of his books (Steiner, Blavatsky and the like). I wouldn’t have read them if I didn’t find any value in them but, to be perfectly honest, I took everything they said with a grain of salt.

        I don’t have the impression that the theosophists had spiritual realisations of the calibre of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and I wouldn’t read those books now.

        When I accidentally came across the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s writings I knew I had found the true thing.

      5. a_dt

        “When I accidentally came across the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s writings I knew I had found the true thing.” One sign of somebody truly spiritual is that s/he can say “I don’t know”. I appreciate how both the “Mother” and Sri Aurobindo can say “I don’t know” (in conversations or correspondance with disciples.)
        In some books I get the impression that the authors got insights of some truths and that this piece of truth gets distorted here and there by filling in the gaps in a linear way (and / or the vital “urge” to “share” it with others)…

      6. solanah

        “In some books I get the impression that the authors got insights of some truths and that this piece of truth gets distorted here and there by filling in the gaps in a linear way (and / or the vital “urge” to “share” it with others)”
        So well said!

  14. mike

    “Gordana: “all the present 7 billion alive people on the planet Earth, have ‘only’ 300 000 ‘souls’ at the level of the over-soul, and at the even higher level only few.”

    That sounds like some new-age channeling nonsense that l’ve seen all over the internet.
    Somehow l doubt it’s coming from the highest Truth-Plane.
    Even the 7 billion is just an estimate. How can they possibly do a census on every birth and death in the world. l don’t think we can trust these figures.

  15. mike

    Two ppl that should be mentioned are probably E.Cayce and Aron Abrahamsen who did thousands of past-life readings. l’m not sure what they say about alternating genders and reincarnation, though.
    Aron Abrahamsen would reveal about 10 past lives when he started, but cut it down to 5 because, apparently, in his opinion, most lives are repeats!

  16. Pingback: Gender differences and physical training for women | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  17. solanah

    I’d like to share what I know from different sources.

    Re reincarnation. Initially, there was not such thing as reincarnation. A soul were to come to this world, have an experience and depart. This experience was supposed to go along one single line (a male or a female experience). After the soul departed, it could perfectly have any other experience.
    Then, due to the fact that people’s life spans became shorter because people deviated from the original plan of creation, the Universe began sending the souls that had not completed their planned experiences back to Earth to complete those experiences.
    Each experience is dated with astonishing preciseness. Say, a person’s experience should last for 890 years, 5 months, 2 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes. So, these days, to complete their programs, most souls have to get born several times. At least, I haven’t seen many 800 year olds among us lately. 🙂

    Re gender during incarnation. As I said earlier, one incarnation (which normally includes several re-incarnations) goes along the lines of one gender experience. At the same time, gender is unity of one’s physical body and certain non-physical characteristics. These characteristics create magnetism between women and men (angelic love), so that they are drawn to one another in the physical world, too. This lets life continue, because this way people then have offsprings 🙂

    Re “a fragment of the psychological personality may have been associated with a birth not ones own”
    Unfortunately, there is too much consciousness around the planet right now that’s not supposed to be there. So many people have died a violent, unnatural death that there is a lot of derailed (for the lack of a better word) consciousness surrounding the etheric body of the planet at the moment.
    And, this consciousness may influence those who are incarnated in Earth. In some instances, very strongly. That’s why we have homosexuality ( a female consciousness influencing an incarnated male being), vice versa, and hermophrodites (two polar consciousnesses sqeezed into 1 body). Apart from creating social inconveniences to those who experience it, there is nothing wrong with it, of course. Also, one can change it by developing one’s consciousness.
    I also think there are other so to say “planned” or beneficial influences. Some people are open to positive influences and become prophets, healers, etc. They help the humanity this way. But in general, I think any consciousness can choose to become receptive and help. It’s up to the individual. 🙂
    Peace, Love and Light ))

    1. solanah

      A lot of the information in the long comment I’ve made comes from Doctor Konovalov. He is a Russian doctor, healer and scientist. Unfortunately, only 2 books by him have been translated into English, to the best of my knowledge.
      But it doesn’t really matter. There is a source of such info in each country, the point is to identify it, since there is a lot of psychic spam.
      What I wrote is in accordance with what Sri Aurobindo had said, isn’t it? Some thing may seem to contradict one another, but very often it’s just the limitation of one’s minds that makes one think so. For example, 1+1 is 2, but if you take mother+father, 1+1 can be 3 (+ the baby).
      I’m a big fan of Edgar Casey’s. A great number of his readings were correct. As for predictions.. It is in their nature not to come 100% true. Because the future is never 100% predefined. If it was, what would be the point of doing anything, then? 🙂
      I like to say that every prophecy has an expiration date, and it normally expires in less than a second. 🙂
      BTW, a very nice blog, stumbled on it by chance. Much thanks to the author. Sandeep, right?

      1. Sandeep Post author

        A lot of the information in the long comment I’ve made comes from Doctor Konovalov.

        See Dr Konovalov online @

        What I wrote is in accordance with what Sri Aurobindo had said, isn’t it?

        There is a chapter in Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine called Rebirth and Other Worlds where he goes into reincarnation in some detail.
        Also see Does population growth invalidate reincarnation and the comments below it.

        Much thanks to the author. Sandeep, right?

        yes, that’s the name! thanks

  18. mike

    l mentioned E.Cayce and Aron Abrahamsen but apparently a lot of their predictions were wrong, so they might be unreliable.

  19. Sandeep Post author

    Few more comments by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on this topic

    Sri Aurobindo on the subjugation of women:

    So too the subjection of woman, the property of the man over the woman, was once an axiom of social life and has only in recent times been effectively challenged. So strong was or had become the instinct of this domination in the male animal man, that even religion and philosophy have had to sanction it, very much in that formula in which Milton expresses the height of masculine egoism, “He for God only, she for God in him,”— if not actually indeed for him in the place of God. This idea too is crumbling into the dust, though its remnants still cling to life by many strong tentacles of old legislation, continued instinct, persistence of traditional ideas; the fiat has gone out against it in the claim of woman to be regarded, she too, as a free individual being. (Human Cycle, CWSA vol. 25, p 630)

    The Mother on evolution of forms:
    Evolution is openly moving towards diminishing the difference between the female and the male forms: the ideal that’s being created makes female forms more masculine and gives male forms a certain grace and suppleness, with the result that they increasingly resemble what I had seen all the way up, beyond the worlds of the creation, on the “threshold,” if I can call it that, of the world of form. At the beginning of the century, I had seen, before even knowing of Sri Aurobindo’s existence and without having ever heard the word “supramental” or the idea of it or anything, I had seen there, all the way up, on the threshold of the Formless, at the extreme limit, an ideal form that resembled the human form, which was an idealized human form: neither man nor woman. A luminous form, a form of golden light. When I read what Sri Aurobindo wrote, I said, “But what I saw was the supramental form!” Without having the faintest idea that it might exist. Well, the ideal of form we are now moving towards resembles what I saw. (Mother’s Agenda, April 21, 1965)

  20. mike

    Not sure if this belongs here, but it is, in part, to do with a ‘new species’, so could be about an androgynous gender called the ‘overman’ – although the use of ‘man’ might need to be reviewed.
    Georges Van Vrekhem made several lectures at Auroville and a couple of these things are new to me [l don’t know if this is known on here by anyone. l haven’t seen it]. They’ve been converted to audio so l’ve posted the links below.
    He discusses the ‘overman’ [something l haven’t heard about before] at number 6:

    “6) The Overman

    The aim of the Sri Aurobindo-Mother avatar was to establish the foundations of a new species beyond the human: superman. In The Supramental Manifestation (1949) Sri Aurobindo wrote that, for the superman to be incarnated on the Earth, an intermediary range of transitory beings would be necessary. The Mother called these beings surhommes, overmen. Moreover, she said explicitly that to realize the transitory beings in their presumably huge variety was our task.”

    Anyway there are some very interesting talks at that site:

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Mike: Not sure if this belongs here, but it is, in part, to do with a ‘new species’, so could be about an androgynous gender called the ‘overman’ – although the use of ‘man’ might need to be reviewed.

      FYI…The androgynous gender has appeared in USA

      Suburban Mom Wows Family With Most Androgynous Look Yet

      “Wow, I thought she looked completely genderless before, but now she’s really taken it to a whole new level,” said DiPietro’s daughter Katie, praising her mother’s style combination of formless brown fleece pullover, button-down blue-and-white-checked shirt, and relaxed-fit khakis. “I can’t get over how her short-cropped hair spikes up in front, and how what little makeup she wears only serves to de-emphasize any discernibly feminine facial features.”

      “Who is this androgynous being, and what has it done with my mom?” she added. “Terrific stuff.”

      In addition to her clothes, which effusive family members said were “the blandest arrangement of earth tones they’d ever seen,” DiPietro’s new indeterminate-gender look was accessorized with a black unisex watch and a cavernous hunter-green all-purpose day bag that is said to enhance the boxiness of her already distinctly squarish body type.


      After breakfast, DiPietro reportedly left to go power-walking with a similar-looking group of amorphous, middle-aged humans

      Read more @

      1. mike

        Yes lol, apparently there are many synonyms for ‘androgynous’ – none which could be applied to Overman/woman l think. Although, l’m sure if this new mid-term species would reproduce in our present animalistic way..

        “You can see the meaning of androgynous in its parts: In Greek, andros means “male” and gyn means “female.” Someone who is androgynous has both male and female characteristics, and therefore may be mistaken for being a member of the opposite gender. Don’t confuse androgynous with unisex, which describes objects or places used by both males and females, like a unisex restroom.

        adj having both male and female characteristics
        bisexual, epicene
        having an ambiguous sexual identity

        gynandromorphic, gynandromorphous
        having both male and female morphological characteristics

        hermaphrodite, hermaphroditic
        of animal or plant; having both male female reproductive organs

        having sexual characteristics intermediate between those of male and female

        pseudohermaphrodite, pseudohermaphroditic
        having internal reproductive organs of one sex and external sexual characteristics of the other sex

        not distinguished on the basis of sex

      2. awordwhoisreal

        The Onion is satirical- everything in it is satire. I do not imagine Mother meant that someone who dresses neuter, does their hair and makeup neuter is anywhere near the form she spoke of. Do you really? At most, it may be an external trend in humans expressing, however subliminally and poorly, the ideal’s future expression.
        Best Regards

  21. mike

    it’s a bit strange, but last two days l’ve come across this business about Mother’s New body.
    G Van Wrekhem says that he believed that Mother moved into her New body on the subtle physical and that the physical body was just a cocoon [something like that] that She left behind.
    And now in this quote apparently M.P.Pandit believes the same. Satprem, it seems, didn’t believe this.

    “We know that before the Mother left her physical frame, she was trying to coalesce her supramental body with her physical body but she was unable to do so. In M.P. Pandit’s book Mother and I there is an interesting paragraph on page 220 which runs: ‘This morning, while praying, it flashed on me that Mother might discard the physical body and assume the new body and function in it for the furtherance of the work from the subtler plane. She might get the work executed through her chosen instruments. But she would be here in that body close to the field of her work.’ This diary-note was dated 24 July 1973. In another book of his titled The Mother and Her Mission, he writes (pp. 16-17):
    ‘Then on the morning of 17th November at about nine o’clock, a particular friend of mine–he has a certain grounding in occult experience, occult knowledge, and normally when we meet we exchange notes–told me, “I have seen the Mother’s body of light.” I got interested. He said, “The new body is full of light but it is not yet dense enough to function in the earth conditions. It is there, and as I as looking at it I got the feeling that the Mother would enter this body the moment it became dense enough to stand and function in the earth atmosphere, seen or unseen. But there is no question of revival of the material body.” And he added, “Those who are capable of seeing the Mother’s halo, aura, they will be able to see that luminous body.” It confirmed what I had perceived some four months earlier; I told him as much.’
    Therefore we must note that on 17 November 1973 at 7:25 p.m. the Mother did not die; she just walked into her new, luminous body ‘without dying’, that is, there was no gap in consciousness. To quote M.P. Pandit’s words: ‘They say the cause [of the Mother’s passing] was heart failure, but let me tell you the heart failure was not the cause, the heart failure was the result of her withdrawal. She had decided; the moment things were ready, she walked into that body.’ (The Mother and Her Mission, p. 17)
    So my friends, Jhumur-di’s experience corroborates the fact that the Mother is, all the time, with us and watching us and guiding us silently in our sadhana. Let’s all become a little more sincere so that she can manifest in us. Let’s all try to be her worthy children.
    With love and regards,
    Anurag Banerjee”

    1. Sandeep Post author

      G Van Vrekhem says that he believed that Mother moved into her New body on the subtle physical and that the physical body was just a cocoon [something like that] that She left behind. And now in this quote apparently M.P.Pandit believes the same. Satprem, it seems, didn’t believe this.

      I don’t get involved in this debate because there is lot of speculation involved 🙂
      It doesn’t matter to me right now.

  22. mike

    l see. l thought there might be a lot of speculation involved. Although, that occultists vision doesn’t appear to be speculative, unless he misinterpreted it.
    Anyway, l’ll wait until l see it for myself 🙂

  23. Gordana

    This text does not provide much additional information to the topic. Yet, it’s nice to read this gentle Sufi style of Hazrat Inayat Khan:
    Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul
    3. Manifestation (2)
    The soul gathering impressions first builds up the astral being, then attracts both sexes towards each other, manifesting to them first in ether, feeling; then in air, thought; then in fire, desire; manifesting after this into water and earth elements, gathering and grouping the substance from both, choosing a clay suitable for its formation. Generally a soul chooses also its birthplace and family. The soul inherits the father’s qualities and the mother’s form, in other cases the reverse; attracting the heredity on the father’s and the mother’s side until it steps on earth as an infant. A mother seeing the growth of her child, says that her child has gained so many pounds. In fact it has lost as much, for the soul of the child has produced from its immortal nature mortal unconsciousness in order to experience life, and the more the earthly substance is built up, the more the heavenly being is lost, the more feeble it has become and the more the almighty power is lessened.Sex is determined in every plane where the soul forms its vehicle; first on the plane of consciousness where it emerges as dynamic force or intelligence, then on the plane of the abstract as sound or light, which gives power to man and wisdom to woman. In man this manifests as influence and in woman as beauty. In the spiritual plane it manifests as expression and response, which gives man the fatherly and woman the motherly quality.When and why was the difference of sex produced in manifestation? One cannot say that the soul of woman or the soul of man was made first, as the soul is neither male nor female. When the soul reaches the point where the distinction of sex arises, it is first male; then if it wishes to become finer, it becomes female. We can see in the kernel of the almond and of other nuts, that where there are two kernels in one shell the female form has been formed from the male.One sometimes calls men and women who love each other very much two parts of one soul; but this can only be said in the sense that we are all parts of one soul. Between man and woman there can be affinities of the angel plane, of the jinn plane and of the physical plane; many different ties and affinities attract them to each other. This whole world of illusion could only be produced by duality. In reality there are not two, but one. In order to produce this world, the one Being had to turn Himself into two, and the two had to be different. We have two eyes but one sight, two ears but one hearing, two nostrils but one breath. According to whether the breath flows through the one or the other nostril, it has distinct qualities and faculties; but it is the same breath.If we hold a mirror in the sunshine, and turn it about, some of the flashes will be stronger, others weaker; some therefore positive, others negative. In the same way the rays of consciousness differ from one another in their energy from the very beginning. Then the ray on its course towards manifestation at once meets the male and the female soul, and the impression of the male and female is made upon it. It may have great creative forces and yet appear as woman because of this impression, or it may be of feminine quality and appear as man because of the impression it has received. When the soul reaches the physical plane, its sex depends upon the parents, upon the planets, and upon the time. The sex that it takes at the time of formation is not changed later. In the Gulman and Peri sex exists also, though in a lesser degree. We have passed through the plane of Gulman and Peri, but we are not Gulman and Peri; just as we might pass through Germany on our way to Russia, yet we would not be Germans because we had passed through that country. Those who settle in the world of Gulman and Peri, are Gulman and Peri. They have either no inclination or no power to go further.”

  24. Kai

    “As a result of this pull, it generally draws towards itself a being of a higher order, from a higher plane, from the Overmind, as Sri Aurobindo calls it, a being of involution who incarnates in the psychic being.”
    In that case what happens to the Individuality of the Psychic Being, will it get dissolved and loses itself in the Individuality of the Divine Being which Incarnates in Itself or will it get Integrated with the Divine and become a new Individual.Many Saints request the Deity to come in to them, I think this is about the Incarnation of the Deity in the psychic being of the Saints.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Kai: In that case what happens to the Individuality of the Psychic Being, will it get dissolved and loses itself in the Individuality of the Divine Being which Incarnates in Itself or will it get Integrated with the Divine and become a new Individual

      The psychic being becomes magnified in its capacity. It is answered in the rest of the passage you quoted from above. Rishabchand writes:

      “…Now when the fusion takes place of a god into a psychic being, the latter naturally increases in stature and partakes of the nature of the god and acquires also the capacity to produce emanations; that is to say, it throws out of itself a pan which possesses an independent existence and can incarnate in others. In this way there may be not only two but several emanations or projections of the same original being. In other words, there may be a single psycho-divine origin but many personalities coming out of it…. If you emanate a being out of you, you remain whole and entire without losing anything of yourself and the emanation too is a being whole and entire living its independent life.”

  25. Pingback: Rape victims and Karma | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  26. Mansee

    Please check out her interview if you have time, else for the part pertaining to this thread, she tells very simply that the women through their compassion and feeling of motherhood can advance very fast on spiritual path but their greatest difficulty comes in renouncing as they are possessive by nature. Men can renounce more easily than women but they need to develop more compassion in general. That is why in Baul tradition it has been stressed to find the feminine part in a male and masculine part in the female to become more complete.
    *they are not her exact words but the essence of what she said.

    Ramakrishna himself dressed and lived as woman for sometime to uncover the genderlessness of soul.
    Then came to him the conviction that to be perfect, the idea of sex must go, because the soul has no sex, the soul is neither male nor female. It is only in the body that sex exists, and the man who desires to reach the spirit cannot at the same time hold to sex distinctions. Having been born in a masculine body, this man wanted to bring the feminine idea into everything. He began to think that he was a woman: he dressed like a woman, spoke like a woman, behaved like a women, and lived as a member of the household among the women of a good family, until, after months of this discipline, his mind became changed and he entirely forgot the idea of sex. Thus the whole view of life became changed.

    We hear in the West about worshipping woman, but this is usually for her youth and beauty. This man meant by worshipping woman that to him every woman’s face was that of the Blissful Mother, and nothing but that. I myself have seen him standing, bathed in tears, before those women whom society would not touch, and saying with utmost humility: “Mother, in one form thou art in the street, and in another form thou art the universe. I salute thee, Mother, I salute thee.” Think of the blessedness of that life from which all carnality has vanished, which can look upon every woman with that love and reverence, to which every woman’s face becomes transfigured and only the face of the Divine Mother, the blissful one, the protectress of the human race, shines instead! That is what we want. Do you mean to say that the divinity back of a woman can ever be cheated? It never was and never will be. It always asserts itself. Unfailingly it detects fraud, it detects hypocrisy; unerringly it feels the warmth of truth, the light of spirituality, the holiness of purity. Such purity is absolutely necessary if real spirituality is to be attained.

    1. awordwhoisreal

      Ramakrishna was not acting as a woman to uncover the genderlessness of the soul, but as sadhana to Radha and Krishna. He practiced several sadhanas one after another wanting to experience the Universal Mother in a multitude of ways. I realize what you say comes from a Ramakrishna website, but I am glad I first ever read only the words of Mother Sri Aurobindo themselves for many years before I ever read anything by other people speaking of what They said, as it has made me acutely aware of the subtle differences between what They Themselves say and what others have to say of what They said. I have been reading recently some books on Ramakrishna, because i read Sri Aurobindo refer to him. These books also are a mixture of what Ramakrishna said, and what others say about what he said.

  27. mike

    Sorry typo. Should be:

    ” Although, l’m NOT sure if this new mid-term species would reproduce in our present animalistic way..”

  28. 01

    Nirodbaran’s comments… that perfect reflection of unconditional love – hate for the sole reason you exist.

    Heh, I don’t like doctors, they’re just selling medicines that scientists create, so they’re basically like shopkeepers (I’m not talking about surgeons here, of course) and they have that huge ego, size of a mountain. I’m medical manager (is that how it’s called?) so I have to ignore them, lol. When I got to the description saying he’s a doctor I was like, of course! Aurobindo’s responses are great, never heard anyone speaking so positively about women! It’s easier to focus on the negative, though.


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