The place where you were (in your dreams) is as much a world of fact and reality as is the material world and its happenings have sometimes a great effect on this world. What an ignorant lot of disciples you all are! Too much modernisation and Europeanisation by half!
-Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga, p1031
This is a synopsis of the Cosmology of the Universe based on various statements made by Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.
Note: This description should be used only for intuitive understanding and not as a fixed belief of what exists out there. When you develop occult insight, you will know for certain.
A Universe with many worlds (a Multiverse)
We see the world before our eyes, a world with its stars and galaxies and assume that this is the only world which exists. In reality, there also exist many occult worlds of varying gradations of consciousness which are invisible to our physical senses as well as our scientific instruments. A “world” in occult terminology is akin to an energy formation or a formation of consciousness, somewhat like a virtual world populated by beings of its own kind, where the laws of physics are more flexible and where the orders of Time and Space are unlike ours.
Our dreams are transcriptions of travels and interactions in these occult worlds. After death, we cast off our physical body and withdraw into these occult worlds where we reside until the next incarnation. A Yogi who gains occult insight is able to see this vast structure of the Universe. It is precisely this vision which has been described in Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Planes of the Universe
|Higher worlds||Sachchidananda||The triple worlds which embody the principles of Existence(Sat), Consciousness(Chit), Ananda(Bliss)|
|Supramental world||The power which creates and upholds manifestation.|
|Dividing Line||Golden Lid||This is the dividing line, the golden lid, between the Higher worlds and the Lower worlds.|
|Lower worlds||Overmental World||The world of the Cosmic Powers (Gods), all aspects of the Divine.
|Mental Worlds||The Universal Mind which is the channel for telepathy, the storehouse of our thoughts, the record of world history.|
|Vital Worlds||The region which influences our creative endeavours as well as our lusts and desires.|
|Physical worlds||Example is the Earth, a place for evolution.|
|Subconscient||Repository of all dead thoughts and formations.|
|Inconscient||Region of inconscience|
Note: These worlds shown below are not layered as shown but actually in a different dimension.
The Mother on the nature of the Universe
Question: What are the “invisible worlds”?
Mother: You have heard and read that we are made up of various states of being: physical, vital, mental, psychic, spiritual, etc. Well, all these inner states of being correspond to invisible worlds. There is a physical world, a vital world, a mental world, a psychic world, and many spiritual worlds, a whole range of more and more subtle worlds approaching nearer and nearer to the Supreme. So, since you carry within yourself a corresponding range, by studying and becoming aware of your inner being you gradually make yourself capable of becoming aware also of these invisible worlds. For example, the mind: if the mind is conscious, coordinated, well controlled, it can move about it in the mental world just as the body does in the physical world and see what this mental world is like, what is going on there, what are its characteristics and so on. These things are not invisible in themselves − they are invisible to the physical consciousness and the physical senses, but not to the corresponding inner states of consciousness or the corresponding inner senses. For, by a systematic development one can acquire senses in these worlds and one can then live a similar life with different characteristics. I mean that one can live an objective life in these worlds if one is sufficiently developed oneself. Otherwise, they wouldn’t exist for us. If we did not carry in ourselves something corresponding to all that exists in the universe, this universe wouldn’t exist for us. And it is only a matter of systematic and methodical development. Some people have it spontaneously for various reasons, usually as a result of a long preparation in previous lives, sometimes because of specially favourable circumstances − they are born in a certain environment, of parents who had developed these faculties, and they were helped to develop them from childhood. Other people have to acquire them systematically by inner discipline; it takes time, a long time, but after all it doesn’t take much longer than for the brain of a child to grasp abstract mathematics. That takes years.
Question: Do these invisible worlds exist in a fixed place in the universe?
Mother: They form part of the universe, of course. Yes, one can say that they exist in a fixed place. But to understand that, to understand these things requires a mind capable of understanding that there are other dimensions than the purely material dimensions. For when you are told that your psychic being is in your body, that doesn’t mean that if you open up your body you will find your psychic being inside. You will find your heart, your stomach and the rest, but not your psychic being. And yet it is correct to say that it is within you. It extends beyond you too, but it is in another dimension. And one can say that there are as many dimensions as there are different worlds. Certainly all these invisible worlds − so-called invisible worlds − are contained, so to say, in the material universe. But they don’t occupy the place of other things. To make an imperfect comparison − it is valid only as a comparison − you can hold countless ideas in your brain and you certainly don’t have the feeling that you have to drive one out so that another one can come in, do you? They don’t occupy any space in that sense.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 15, 30 january 1951)
Mother: The occult world is not one single region…but a gradation of regions, one could perhaps say, of more and more etherial or subtle regions, anyway, those farther and farther removed in their nature from the physical materiality we ordinarily see. And each one of these domains is a world in itself, having its forms and inhabited by beings with a density, one might say, analogous to that of the domain in which they live. Just as in the physical world we are of the same materiality as the physical world, so in the vital world, in the mental world, in the overmind world and in the supramental world – and in many others, infinite others – there are beings which have a form whose substance is similar to the one of that world. This means that if you are able to enter consciously into that world with the part of your being which corresponds to that domain, you can move there quite objectively, as in the material world.
(Collected Works of the Mother, vol 8, 11 July 1956)
Time and Space in the Universe
These three worlds are one in essence and are hence called triune. They embody the principles of Sat(Existence), Chit (Consciousness) and Ananda (Bliss). They are also referred to as the Satyaloka, Tapoloka and Janaloka.
Other names for the Supermind:
- Maharloka in the Vedas.
- Vijnana world in the Upanishads.
- rendered as Truth-Consciousness in English by Sri Aurobindo.
The Supermind is the Creator of the phenomenal universe, of the lower worlds of Mind, Life and Matter. It is the medium for self-manifestation of the Supreme or Absolute. It applies some fixed truths, some limiting principles to shape the lower worlds out of an Infinite Consciousness. It creates multiplicity out of unity, differentiation and separation out of pure being.
Three poises of the Supermind
The Supermind has three poises which together result in the creation of Maya (Illusion) in the lower worlds:
Comprehending consciousness(Vijnana) : It holds creation in Unity. This can also be described as the causal state (Karana Avastha)
Apprehending consciousness(Prajnana) : The process of differentiation begins in this poise; it brings about the One in Many and the Many in One. There is separation between Purusha and Prakriti, subject and object, self and not-self but all are still parts of the one. This may also be called the state of expression (Karya Avastha )
Projecting consciousness (Avidya) : Further modification of the second poise so as to support evolution of a diversified individuality. Multiplicity in creation is now fully expressed. This may be called the state of full manifestation (Purna Vyakta Avastha)
The Overmind is the domain of the Gods, and the origin of all revelations and the highest artistic creations. It is the line between the Higher Worlds (Para Prakriti) and the Lower Worlds (Lower Prakriti). In the words of the Upanishad, “The face of Truth is covered by a golden lid.”
Mother: Gods can be said to be Cosmic Powers, the beings of divine origin who have been charged with supervising, directing and organising the evolution of the universe; and more specifically, since the formation of the earth they have served as messengers and intermediaries to bring to the earth the aid of the higher regions and to preside over the formation of the mind and its progressive ascension. It is usually to the gods of the overmind that the prayers of the various religions are addressed. These religions most often choose, for various reasons, one of these gods and transform him for their personal use into the supreme God.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 16, 27 November 1959)
The psychic world is the home of the souls, where they go to rest between incarnations.
Mother: The psychic world or plane of consciousness is that part of the world, the psychic being is that part of the being which is directly under the influence of the Divine Consciousness; the hostile forces cannot have even the remotest action upon it. It is a world of harmony, and everything moves in it from light to light and from progress to progress. It is the seat of the Divine Consciousness, the Divine Self in the individual being. It is a centre of light and truth and knowledge and beauty and harmony which the Divine Self in each of you creates by his presence, little by little; it is influenced, formed and moved by the Divine Consciousness of which it is a part and parcel. It is in each of you the deep inner being which you have to find in order that you may come in contact with the Divine in you. It is the intermediary between the Divine Consciousness and your external consciousness; it is the builder of the inner life, it is that which manifests in the outer nature the order and rule of the Divine Will. If you become aware in your outer consciousness of the psychic being within you and unite with it, you can find the pure Eternal Consciousness and live in it; instead of being moved by the Ignorance as the human being constantly is, you grow aware of the presence of an eternal light and knowledge within you, and to it you surrender and are integrally consecrated to it and moved by it in all things.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 3, 26 May 1929)
Nolini Kanta Gupta: The mental world, the world of thoughts, is a world in itself. It is autonomous. It moves in its own way with its own laws. We human beings, we believe that it is we who think, that is, produce or create our thoughts. We are the makers of our notions and ideas. But in reality it is not so. Thoughts, ideas, notions, all movements of the mind are self-existent realities. They go about or flow on like the waves of a vast sea. Human beings are mere instruments, receptacles that capture or seize some undulations of this vast ocean. Man is man, that is to say, a mental being, because in him the brain has developed to such an extent and in such a manner that it serves as antennae or as an aerial to receive vibrations from the mental world. Indeed the ordinary human mind is a sort of crossroads where all kinds of thoughts from all places meet, cross one another and make an ideal market place. In fact, an individual does not possess any thought-movement which can be called his own. He only catches a contagion. And like a contagion thought-movements pass from one person to another although one may think or feel that the movement is one’s own.
(Nolini Kanta Gupta. Collected Works, Vol 4, Mind and the Mental Way)
Interpenetrating planes of the Mind
Mother: Mind is one movement, but there are many varieties of the movement, many strata, that touch and even press into each other. At the same time the movement we call mind penetrates into other planes. In the mental world itself there are many levels. All these mind-planes and mind-forces are interdependent; but yet there is a difference in the quality of their movements and for facility of expression we have to separate them from one another. Thus we can speak of a higher mind, an intermediary mind, a physical and even a quite material mind; and there are many other distinctions that can be made.
Now, there are mental planes that stand high above the vital world and escape its influence; there are no hostile forces or beings there. But there are others – and they are many – that can be touched or penetrated by the vital forces. The mind-plane that belongs to the physical world, the physical mind, as we usually call it, is more material in its structure and movement than the true mind and it is very much under the sway of the vital world and the hostile forces. This physical mind is usually in a kind of alliance with the lower vital consciousness and its movements; when the lower vital manifests certain desires and impulses, this more material mind comes to its aid and justifies and supports them with specious explanations and reasonings and excuses. It is this layer of mind that is most open to suggestions from the vital world and most often invaded by its forces.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 3, 26 May 1929)
Beings of the Mental worlds
Question: Are there beings in the mental worlds?
Mother: Yes, many. They are completely independent; they have their own life, their own relations among themselves, as in other worlds. Only for a physical consciousness, time and space are not the same in the vital or the mental worlds as in the physical world. For example, those who are in the physical consciousness have the impression that shiftings in the mind are instantaneous – compared with the higher consciousness they are not instantaneous, but compared with the physical consciousness, they are instantaneous, of an extreme rapidity.
The beings of the mental world also have an individuality of their own, even a form that can be permanent if they choose to keep one. Their form is the expression of their thought and is sufficiently plastic to be able to change with their thought, yet has a sufficient continuity to enable one to recognise them. If you go out of your body and enter the mental world, you can meet these beings, speak to them, even make an appointment with them for the next time !
Question: Can they exercise their influence on a human being, as the beings of the vital worlds do ?
Mother: Many mental formations try to realise themselves upon earth, but these are generally created by human beings; they then continue to work in the mental world with the intention of influencing the mind of human beings. But the beings of the mental plane proper are generally creators, and because they are creators of form, they are not much concerned with influencing other forms – they are satisfied with expressing themselves through the forms they have made.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 4, 19th Mar 1951)
The record of world history is kept in the mental world
Mother: In the mental world, for instance, there is a domain of the physical mind which is related to physical things and keeps the memory of physical happenings upon earth. It is as though you were entering into innumerable vaults, one following another indefinitely, and these vaults are filled with small pigeon-holes, one above another, one above another, with tiny doors. Then if you want to know something and if you are conscious, you look, and you see something like a small point – a shining point; you find that this is what you wish to know and you have only to concentrate there and it opens; and when it opens, there is a sort of an unrolling of something like extremely subtle manuscripts, but if your concentration is sufficiently strong you begin to read as though from a book. And you have the whole story in all its details. There are thousands of these little holes, you know; when you go for a walk there, it is as though you were walking in infinity. And in this way you can find the exact facts about whatever you want to know. But I must tell you that what you find is never what has been reported in history – histories are always planned out; I have never come across a single “historical” fact which is like history. This is not to discourage you from learning history, but things are like that. Events have been quite different from the way in which they have been reported, and for a very simple reason: the human brain is not capable of recording things with exactitude; history is built upon memories and memories are always vague.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 4, 15 Feb 1951)
Nolini Kanta Gupta: All that has happened upon earth, everything from the beginning of creation till now, everything without exception has been recorded somewhere in some particular world or region of consciousness. All that man has thought, his researches and discoveries, his findings and conclusions are kept intact, carefully stored. If you want to know anything of the past history of the earth, the happening at a particular time and place, you have simply to transplant yourself into that world and look into the records.
It is a very curious place, something like a vast library. It consists of an infinite number of cells, as it were, each containing all information on a particular subject. They seem to be squares in shape and they remain closed normally. If you have to consult a particular square, you press a button and it opens and out of it comes a roll of written matter. You unroll it and find out what you want. There are millions and millions and millions of these cells and rolls, around, above, every-where. Fortunately in the mental world you can move any-where as you like, you do not require lifts and ladders to go up.
The point, however, is how to go there at all. Well, the first thing is that you must completely silence your mind. Mental cogitations, agitations you must leave behind, no thoughts must enter your consciousness, it must be tranquil and still, like a tram parent sheet of water or smooth and polished like a mirror. The description I have given of a library is only an image, the real thing is something different. However, you have in this way some idea to go upon. In the silent mind you form a point of consciousness and send it out as an emissary to gather the required information. This point of conscious-ness must be absolutely detached and free to go as it likes; for if it were in any way kept tied to the normal movements of your own mind, then you will not go further than what is in your head. You must be able to make your brain a blank, you must have no preconceived notion, no idea that the solution of your problem might lie in this way or that. As I say, your mind has to be a thoroughly blank page, a clean slate, with nothing written on it, no mark even. There should’ be instead a sincere aspiration to know the truth, without postulating beforehand what kind of truth it might be; other-wise you will meet your own formation in the brain.
(Nolini Kanta Gupta, Collected Works, Vol 3, Record of World History)
Record of history described in Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri:
There in a hidden chamber closed and mute
Are kept the record graphs of the cosmic scribe,
And there the tables of the sacred Law,
There is the Book of Being’s index page;
The text and glossary of the Vedic truth
Are there; the rhythms and metres of the stars
Significant of the movements of our fate:
The symbol powers of number and of form,
And the secret code of the history of the world
And Nature’s correspondence with the soul
Are written in the mystic heart of Life.
(Savitri by Sri Aurobindo. Book 1, Canto 5, Yoga of the King, p 74)
The forces and beings of the vital world have a great influence on human beings. There are two parts of the vital world – Higher and Lower.
- The Higher Vital is a world of beauty − the poet, artist, musician are in close contact with it and gain their inspirations from it.
- The Lower Vital is a world of powers and passions, lusts and desires, − our own lusts and desires, and passions and ambitions can put us into connection with the vital worlds and their forces and beings. It is a world of things dark, dangerous and horrible. Nightmares are contacts with this side of the vital plane. Its influences are also the source of much in men that is demoniac, dirty, cruel and base.
(Sri Aurobindo, SABCL vol 24, Letters on Yoga, Page 1500)
Mother: It is a world peopled by beings of the vital proper, beings of great power and even great beauty. Most people who dabble in occultism without having a deep enough spiritual life are immediately deluded by them – some even take them as the supreme God and worship them. That’s generally how religions are created. They are a great success. They are the supreme God of many a religion – they are beings of the vital world, and can assume an appearance of overwhelming beauty. They are the biggest impostors in the world, and dangerous at that; it takes the spiritual instinct, the instinct of true spiritual purity, not to be deceived by them.
(Mother’s Agenda, March 11, 1962)
Mother: It is a world of all the desires and impulses and passions and of movements of violence and greed and cunning and every kind of ignorance; but all the dynamisms too are there, all the life-energies and all the powers.
The beings of this world have by their nature a strange grip over the material world and can exercise upon it a sinister influence. Some of them are formed out of the remains of the human being that persist after death in the vital atmosphere near to the earth-plane. His desires and hungers still float there and remain in form even after the dissolution of the body; often they are moved to go on manifesting and satisfying themselves and the birth of these creatures of the vital world is the consequence. But these are minor beings and, if they can be very troublesome, it is yet not impossible to deal with them. There are others, far more dangerous, who have never been in human form; never were they born into a human body upon earth, for most often they refuse to accept this way of birth because it is slavery to matter and they prefer to remain in their own world, powerful and mischievous, and to control earthly beings from there. For, if they do not want to be born on earth, they do want to be in contact with the physical nature, but without being bound by it. Their method is to try first to cast their influence upon a man; then they enter slowly into his atmosphere and in the end may get complete possession of him, driving out entirely the real human soul and personality. These creatures, when in possession of an earthly body, may have the human appearance but theyhave not a human nature. Their habit is to draw upon the life-force of human beings; they attack and capture vital power wherever they can and feed upon it. If they come into your atmosphere, you suddenly feel depressed and exhausted; if you are near them for some time you fall sick; if you live with one of them, it may kill you.
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 3, 12th May 1929)
Worlds created by mental formations (i.e. imagination)
Human imagination is very powerful and can create a world of its own (i.e. a mental formation) in the vast Universe.
Mother: In these invisible worlds there are also regions which are the result of human mental formations (i.e. imagination). One can find there all one wants. In fact, one very often finds there exactly what one expects to find. There are hells, there are paradises, there are purgatories. There are all sorts of things in accordance with the different religions and their conceptions. These things have only a very relative existence, but with a relativity similar to that of material things here; that is to say, for someone who finds himself there, they are entirely real and their effects quite tangible. human beings here are mostly convinced that the only reality is the physical reality – the reality of what one can touch, can see – and for them, all that cannot be seen, cannot be touched, cannot be felt, is after all, problematical; well, what happens there is an identical phenomenon. People who at the moment of death are convinced, for one reason or another, that they are going to paradise or maybe to hell, do find themselves there after their death; and for them it is truly a paradise or a hell. And it is extremely difficult to make them come out of it and go to a place which is more true, more real.
(Collected Works of the Mother, vol 8, 11 July 1956)
Does Paradise (Heaven) and eternal Hell exist?
Mother responds to a question regarding the existence of a Heaven where good people go and Hell where sinners land:
Mother: It is generally what religious priests say to the faithful to encourage them to do good. For it is a notorious fact that life is not more easy for the good than for the wicked; usually it is the contrary: the wicked succeed better than the good! So people who are not very spiritual say to themselves: “Why should I take the trouble of being good? It is better to be wicked and have an easy life.” It is very difficult to make them understand that there are many kinds of good and that sometimes it is worth the trouble perhaps to make an effort to be good. So to make this intelligible to the least intelligent, they are told: “There, it is very simple. If you are quite obedient, quite nice, quite unselfish, if you always do good deeds, and if you believe in the dogmas we teach, well, when you die, God will send you to Paradise. If you have sometimes good will, sometimes bad, if, sometimes you do good, sometimes you don’t and if you think very much of yourself and very little of others, then when you die, you will be sent to Purgatory for another experience. And then if you are thoroughly wicked, if you are always doing harm to others, doing all kinds of bad things and you do not care about the good of anyone and particularly if you do not believe in the dogma that we teach you, then you will go straight to Hell and for eternity.”
This is one of the prettiest inventions I have ever heard of: they have invented eternal hell. That is to say, once you are in hell, it is for eternity You understand what that means, for eternity? You will be tortured and burnt (in the hot countries you are burnt, in the cold countries you are frozen), and that for eternity. That is it. So I do not know who taught you those pretty things; but they are simply inventions to make people obey, to keep them under control.
There are teachings which are not like that. There are religions which are not like that. But still one can, in a poetic, picturesque, descriptive manner speak of a paradise; because this paradise means a wonderful place where there is utmost joy and happiness and comfort… And yet that depends upon the religion to which you belong. For there are heavens where you pass your time singing praises to God, you do nothing else – but in the end that must be somewhat wearisome; however, there you pass your time playing music and singing the praises of God. There are other heavens, on the contrary, where you enjoy all possible pleasures, all that you desired to have during your life, you have in heaven. There are heavens where you are constantly in blissful meditation but – for people who are not keen on meditating, that must be rather tiresome. However, that depends, you know: they have invented all kinds of things so that people may really want to be wise and obey the laws given to them.
(Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 5, p 131)
Beings of the Vital worlds
Sri Aurobindo: These are the forces and beings that are interested in maintaining the falsehoods they have created in the world of the Ignorance and in putting them forward as the Truth which men must follow. In India they are termed Asuras, Rakshasas, Pishachas (beings respectively of the mentalised vital, middle vital and lower vital planes) who are in opposition to the Gods, the Powers of Light. These too are Powers, for they too have their cosmic field in which they exercise their function and authority and some of them were once divine Powers (the former gods, purve devah, as they are called somewhere in the Mahabharata) who have fallen towards the darkness by revolt against the divine Will behind the cosmos. The word “appearances” refers to the forms they take in order to rule the world, forms often false and always incarnating falsehood, sometimes pseudo-divine.
(Sri Aurobindo. The Mother, SABCL vol. 25, p 62)
Amal Kiran: In addition, there are three other kinds of beings dwell in the hideous harmony of the vital worlds. The Indian terms are Asura, Rakshasa, Pishacha. In English they may be translated Titan, Giant, Demon. Each has his special function.
- The Asura is a being who comes with great powers of thought, not a beautiful and systematic turn but a formidable vehemence of it. He has also great “moral” powers, he can be self-controlled, ascetic and chaste in his own life, a sort of inverted Yogi, but all his gifts of tapasyā he uses for selfish and violent ends. His aim is to pluck civilisation from the roots, destroy all humane and progressive impulse, regiment the spontaneous diversity of life into a ruthless movement of robots, drink the exultation of triumph by breaking with an iron heel the dreaming heart of man.
- The Rakshasa is a devourer without brains, the ravager who builds nothing save a pyramid of skulls. He ploughs up the world into a myriad graves and leaves it a chaos of corpses. He is pure greed run amok.
- The Pishacha or Pramatha fouls and pollutes all things, he is the wallower in dirt and the necrophage, the inventor of obscene tortures, the mutilating maniac.
The Asura is the General, the Fuhrer of the army of darkness; the Rakshasa is the lieutenant, the henchman; the Pishacha is the private, the storm-trooper.
(K.D.Sethna, Vision and Work of Sri Aurobindo)
Sri Aurobindo: The subtle physical is closest to the physical, and most like it. But yet the conditions are different and the thing too different. For instance, the subtle physical has a freedom, plasticity, intensity, power, colour, wide and manifold play (there are thousands of things there that are not here) of which, as yet, we have no possibility on earth.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Planes & Parts)
Sri Aurobindo:In the subtle physical plane there are, not one, but many layers of consciousness and each moves in its own being, that is to say, in its own space. I have said that each subtle plane is a conglomeration or series of worlds. Each space may at any point meet, penetrate or coincide with another; accordingly at one point of meeting or coincidence there might be several subtle objects occupying what we might rather arbitrarily call the same space, and yet they may not be in any actual relation with each other. If there is a relation created, it is the multiple consciousness of the seer in which the meeting-place becomes apparent that creates it. On the other hand, there may be a relation between objects in different regions of space correlated to each other as in the case of the gross physical object and its subtle counterpart. There you can more easily reason of relations between one space and another.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Reason Science and Yoga)
Beings on the physical planes
Sri Aurobindo: On the physical plane the corresponding forces are obscure beings, more forces than beings, what the Theosophists call the elementals. They are not strongly individualised beings like the Rakshasas and Asuras, but ignorant and obscure forces working in the subtle physical plane. What we in Sanskrit call the Bhutasmostly come under this class. But there are two kinds of elementals, the one mischievous and the other not.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, The Divine and the Hostile Powers)
This is the world we see before our eyes, the world studied by science and explored by astronomy, the world where Einstein discovered his laws of relativity.
The subconscient lies between the Inconscient and the Lower Triple worlds (Mind, Vital, Physical). It contains the potentiality of all the primitive reactions to life which struggle out to the surface from the dull and inert strands of Matter and form by a constant development a slowly evolving and self-formulating consciousness; it contains them not as ideas, perceptions or conscious reactions but as the fluid substance of these things. But also all that is consciously experienced sinks down into the subconscient, not as precise though submerged memories but as obscure yet obstinate impressions of experience, and these can come up at any time as dreams, as mechanical repetitions of past thought, feelings, action, etc., as “complexes” exploding into action and event, etc., etc. The subconscient is the main cause why all things repeat themselves and nothing ever gets changed except in appearance. It is the cause why people say character cannot be changed, the cause also of the constant return of things one hoped to have got rid of for ever. All seeds are there and all Sanskaras of the mind, vital and body,—it is the main support of death and disease and the last fortress (seemingly impregnable) of the Ignorance. All too that is suppressed without being wholly got rid of sinks down there and remains as seed ready to surge up or sprout up at any moment.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Planes and Parts of the Being)
See also: Subconscient
The Inconscient is roughly equivalent to the Patala (underworld) defined in the Hindu scriptures.
Rishabchand: The Inconscient is the origin of the evolutionary creation. It is an apparent negation of the superconscient, an infinite abyss of absolute darkness in which the transcendent omnipresent Reality gets involved for playing at self-loss and self-finding, for the delight of a plunge and a subsequent emergence, a progressive evolution into multiple forms and a manifold self-expression. The engulfing darkness of the Inconscient turns the eternal effulgent substance of Reality into Matter, the dense and obscure primal substrate. In this fathomless night of existence or apparent non-existence, there is no stirring of life or mind, only a blind mighty Energy weaving stupendous systems of worlds and suns and moons and star-clusters and planets, as if in a dumb, creative sleep.
(Rishabchand, In the Mother’s Light, Subconscient and Inconscient)
Beings of the occult worlds
Distinction between evolutionary and typal beings
Amal Kiran: The characteristic mark of all these denizens of the vital plane is that the force they express is “typal” and not, like the earth’s “evolutionary”. The sign of a typal force is a drive towards mechanical uniformity, rigid regimentation, strict conformity to one type alone — a drive contrary to the many-sided, flexible and free movement of the evolving human soul striving, by means of trial, error, self-correction and through a thousand truths and innumerable impulses, to live and let live more and more abundantly, more and more profoundly.
[K.D. Sethna, Our Light and Delight]
Sri Aurobindo: There are Gods everywhere on all the planes. The Gods are Personalities and Powers of the dynamic Divine. You speak as if the evolution were the sole creation; the creation or manifestation is very vast and contains many planes and worlds that existed before the evolution, all different in character and with different kinds of beings. The fact of being prior to the evolution does not make them undifferentiated. The world of the Asuras is prior to the evolution, so are the worlds of the mental, vital or subtle physical Devas – but these beings are all different from each other. The great Gods belong to the overmind plane; in the supermind they are unified as aspects of the Divine, in the overmind they appear as separate personalities. Any godhead can descend by emanation to the physical plane and associate himself with the evolution of a human being with whose line of manifestation he is in affinity.
The Devas and Asuras are not evolved in Matter; for the typal being only a Purusha with its Prakriti is necessary – this Purusha may put out a mental and vital Purusha to represent it and according as it is centred in one or another it belongs to the mental or vital world. That is all.
While the Gods cannot be transformed, for they are typal and not evolutionary beings, they can come for conversion – that is to say, to give up their own ideas and outlook on things and conform themselves to the higher Will and supramental Truth of the Divine.
As to the gods, man can build forms which they will accept but these forms too are inspired into man’s mind from the planes to which the god belongs. All creation has the two sides, the formed and the formless, – the gods too are formless and yet have forms, but a godhead can take many forms, here Maheshwari, there Pallas Athene. Maheshwari herself has many forms in her lesser manifestation, Durga, Uma, Parvati, Chandi, etc. The gods are not limited to human forms – man also has not always seen them in human forms only.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, p 385)
Summary of beings of various planes