Hands can become independently conscious

One of the pleasures of studying dual Gurus like Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is that sometimes one can find spontaneous and fascinating coincidences in their records.  It is as if they had independently experienced the same occult phenomenon. In a previous article “Does Nature revolt against machinery?“, we saw an example where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother independently perceived that some machinery failures could be due to the action of occult forces.  While Sri Aurobindo alluded that occult forces could be behind large air and sea disasters, the Mother saw that the vital forces released during sugarcane crushing could cause a breakdown of machinery.

Drawing Hands.  Lithograph by M.C. Escher

Drawing Hands. Lithograph by M.C. Escher

This is another instance where they made the same observation independent of each other.

During his early years in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo kept a diary, now published as The Record of Yoga, in which he jotted down observations on his expanding occult vision and steadily growing yogic powers.  Once Sri Aurobindo noted that his hands had become so conscious that they could act independent of his mind :

Nov 21, 1914: Trikaldrishti (triple time perception) is proving true even when it reveals itself to the body, the physical sensations, the obscure mind etc. Eg. an object sought in the darkness, the hand instinctively seeks the right place, if not interfered with by the mind. A physical consciousness presents itself of a certain fact or event, the mind being without a clue is unable to specify, although the kind of fact or event is felt or known. The fact or event justifies or produces itself. There are, also, wrong impulsions & perceptions which translate tendencies, possibilities, intentions, past facts or future events into present fact or immediate eventuality. But these are being more & more sorted out from the rest & stripped of sanction [1].

More than fifty years later, the Mother independently described the same ability of the hands during a 1967 conversation in which Satprem (a disciple) was asking her for tips to make the body more conscious.

Mother: … When you do music or when you do painting, you very clearly notice how the consciousness permeates the cells and those cells become conscious. This experience, for instance: there are objects in a box, and you say to your hand, “Take twelve of them.” The hand goes like that, without your bothering about it, and it finds the twelve (without counting, just like that), it takes the twelve and gives them to you. That’s an experience I had long ago; when I was twenty I began with experiences of that kind. So I know, I knew how the consciousness works. You understand, it’s impossible to learn the piano or painting without the consciousness coming into the hands, and the hands become conscious INDEPENDENTLY of the brain – the brain may be busy elsewhere, it doesn’t matter in the least. Besides, that’s what happens in those people who are called “sleepwalkers”: they have a consciousness belonging to their body, which makes them move about and do things quite independently of the mind and the vital [2].

A skeptic might retort with alacrity that my independence assumption is flawed because Sri Aurobindo and the Mother could have easily talked to each other in the interim about this ability, but for the moment, lets assume the Mother’s memory of her own spiritual development is accurate and honest.  The probability of her having read or browsed the 1500+ pages of the Record of Yoga is also minimal because she was always busy spending eighteen hours a day running the Ashram and taking care of disciples.  As I pointed out in the previous post, the Mother herself was amused by these coincidences: “Nirod (a disciple) is reading me his correspondence with Sri Aurobindo. Strangely enough, there are all sorts of things that I said much, much later, I had no idea he had written them! Exactly the same things.  I found that very interesting. [3]”

There seem to be a few more such coincidences that shall be covered in subsequent posts.  If you keep reading the 37 volumes of the Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo and the 17 volumes of the Collected Works of the Mother, you might also find some more!


  1. Sri Aurobindo, Record of Yoga, CWSA vol 10-11, p 692.
  2. Mother’s Agenda, Nov 22, 1967
  3. Mother’s Agenda.  Jan 19, 1972.

Related Posts

  1. Spacetime in occult worlds
  2. On Multitasking, Avadhana-Kala and Multiple Samyama
  3. On absent-mindedness, instinctive and willful actions
  4. The greater powers of the sense-mind (Manas)
  5. Latent Consciousness within Matter
  6. Pancha-mahabhutas: the five subtle constituents of matter
  7. Are earthquakes due to Divine retribution?
  8. Perception of Time changes with the concentration of consciousness
  9. Physical marks appearing after injuries sustained in dreams
  10. The occult forces behind artistic movements
  11. Ghosts explained
  12. Insights into animal cognition
  13. Embodied cognition in Yoga psychology
  14. Predictions of Sri Aurobindo
  15. Isaac Newton, mind-reading and the scholar-gypsy
  16. On spirit possession and mental imbalances
  17. Can a brain stroke victim experience Nirvana?
  18. The phenomenon of double consciousness
  19. Linguistic abilities of babies
  20. Memory transference in organ transplant recipients

4 thoughts on “Hands can become independently conscious

  1. Aaron Asphar

    God I love u man!!x! Great points you rip from these works (thanx for those Mother/Sri Aurobindo). Sri Aurobindo is my total hero at the moment: I’m reading his works, and hadn’t found the Mother’s work so what a goldmine this is! Great blog many thanks.

  2. Pingback: The Consciousness in Things « Lab of Evolution

  3. Pingback: Reading and writing books in a dream | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  4. mike

    l had a strange dream last night about SA and M involving their Hands.
    l saw them seated somewhere [probably subtle physical] with people who were either dancing or chanting. SA and M were in front and they were both making all these weird Hand gestures all over the place in a very controlled way, though; apparently in rhythm with what was being done behind them.
    l’ve never seen or read anything like it before, and l’m pretty sure l wouldn’t conjure this image from my own mind, because as l said, l haven’t seen anything like it before.. Also, they weren’t dressed in their normal attire. They were both in greyish robes; clothing that l’ve never seen them in before – strange!
    My impression is that they’re manipulating some event [possibly Global Event].
    Have to wait for comfirmation, l suppose.


Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s