Difference between vision, experience and realization.
- When you see Light, that is vision. The vision signifies a future realization.
- when you feel Light entering into you, that is experience;
- when Light settles in you and brings illumination and knowledge, that is a realisation. Repetition of experience leads to realisation.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Visions and Symbols)
An experience of a truth in the substance of mind, in the vital or the physical, wherever it may be, is the beginning of realisation. When I experience peace, I begin to realise what it is. Repetition of the experience leads to a fuller and more permanent realisation. When it is settled anywhere, that is the full realisation of it in that place or that part of the being.
(Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga, Experiences and realizations)
There are two classes of things that happen in yoga: realisations and experiences.
Realisations are the reception in the consciousness and the establishment there of the fundamental truths of the Divine, of the Higher or Divine Nature, of the world-consciousness and the play of its forces, of one’s own self and real nature and the inner nature of things, the power of these things growing in one till they are a part of one’s inner life and existence, – as for instance, the realisation of the Divine Presence, the descent and settling of the higher Peace, Light, Force, Ananda in the consciousness, their workings there, the realisation of the divine or spiritual love, the perception of one’s own psychic being, the discovery of one’s own true mental being, true vital being, true physical being, the realisation of the overmind or the supramental consciousness, the clear perception of the relation of all these things to our present inferior nature and their action on it to change that lower nature. The list, of course, might be infinitely longer. These things also are often called experiences when they only come in flashes, snatches or rare visitations; they are spoken of as full realisations only when they become very positive or frequent or continuous or normal.
Then there are experiences that help or lead towards the realisation of things spiritual or divine or bring openings or progressions in the sadhana or are supports on the way, – experiences of a symbolic character, visions, contacts of one kind or another with the Divine or with the workings of higher Truth, things like the waking of the Kundalini, the opening of the Chakras, messages, intuitions, openings of the inner powers, etc. The one thing that one has to be careful about is to see that they are genuine and sincere and that depends on one’s own sincerity – for if one is not sincere, if one is more concerned with the ego or being a big yogi or becoming a superman than with meeting the Divine or getting the Divine consciousness which enables one to live in or with the Divine, then a flood of pseudos or mixtures comes in, one is led into the mazes of the intermediate zone or spins in the grooves of one’s own formations. There is the truth of the whole matter.
(Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Experiences and realizations)
Question: Could a vision of the Mother or seeing her in dream or in waking be called a realisation ?
Answer: That would be an experience rather than a realisation. A realisation would be of the Mother’s presence within, her force doing the work ― or of the Peace or Silence everywhere, of universal Love, universal Beauty or Ananda etc., etc. Visions come under the head of experiences, unless they fix themselves and are accompanied by a realisation of which they are as it were the support ― e.g. the vision of the Mother always in the heart or above the head etc.
(Sri Aurobindo in the book “The Mother”)