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At the Feet of The Mother

Inner and Outer Being


You always speak about turning to the inner being, so I would like to know if there is nothing good in the outer being?

Obviously the outer being cannot be all bad, but it is mixed and ignorant and full of ignorant movements.

What has the inner being to do with Yoga or spiritual life?

It is the outer being that has nothing to do with Yoga or spiritual life unless the inner awakens it.

When my outer being is busy with physical things or mechanical movements, what does my inner being do during that period?

It may be silent or it may be occupied with its own activities which are not felt by the surface mind.

This evening my consciousness was plunged into the inner depths. It aspired and received freely there. Is not even this insufficient? I mean without the inner being’s coming in front how can the two mutually complementary movements — the inner coming out and the outer going in — take place?

It will come in front if you persist. These things cannot be done in a day or without overcoming the resistance of the ordinary nature.

During the morning meditation, my being goes deep and receives well according to its openness. But as soon as it comes out of the meditation, even for a short time, all is covered up. Why so?

It depends on the state of the waking consciousness.

What should be done to maintain the inner gains throughout the day?

The waking consciousness has to be concentrated or receptive.

How to decide the movements of the sadhana (whether they are right or wrong) without mental ideas?

It is not a question of ideas but of the perception from within.

This morning there was a powerful activity in the inner being. Its outer effect was experienced as an intensity in the vital and in the spine. Can there be such an action in the spine also?


During a free reception, I feel the descent passing through my head, forehead and inner mind centre.

It is the inner mind centres that have become open and conscious.

While standing and looking at the Mother my eyes felt a burning pressure.

It may be to connect the outer with the inner vision.

The inertia is a thing of the subconscient nature and at most of the material body. My present sadhana is so much affected by the inertia. Are the sub-nature and physical parts of my being the only support of the sadhana? Is it on them that my inner being depends so much?

The inner being does not depend on the subconscient, but the outer has depended on it for thousands of lives — that is why the outer being and physical consciousness’s habit of response to the subconscient can be a formidable obstacle to the progress of the sadhana and is so with most. It keeps up the repetition of the old movements, is always pulling down the consciousness and opposing the continuity of the ascent and bringing the old nature or else the tamas (non-illumination and non-activity) across the descent. It is only if you live wholly and dynamically in the inner being and feel the outer as a quite superficial thing that you can get rid of the obstruction or minimise it until the transformation of the outer being can be made complete.

How did the tendency to inertia get into me and why did my nature accept it?

It was because of the nature, because the tendency to tamas is there, the outer being is not yet sufficiently transformed. When the inertia rises you have to keep your inner being separate from it and perfectly calm and not to acquiesce in any nervousness or accept any suggestions or allow yourself to lean towards any “active resistance” or dissatisfaction with what is written to you or done for you. If in addition you find it possible to use any of the active means suggested in past answers, it is well — but if not this at least what I have written above must be done. And always the aspiration firm and steady — not eager and excited — for the descent and the transformation of the whole nature must be preserved constant.

Sri Aurobindo[1]

It is always the identification with the outer being that causes difficulties on the path. So long as the inner separation was there I travelled like a prince luxuriating in the Mother’s Peace, Knowledge and Force. But when it was lost the same traveller turned into a vagabond. Is this not a fact?

Yes, that is correct. The outer being is a means of expression only, not one’s self. One must not identify with it, for what it expresses is a personality formed by the old ignorant Nature. If not identified, one can change it so as to express the true inner personality of the Light.

If one constantly supports the Mothers workings, won’t the inertia get transformed into peace without needing to rise up and veil the inner parts?

Yes, that is how it should happen — but it is difficult so long as the inner being is not conscious and receptive at all times and in all conditions — and it is difficult and takes time to establish such a condition.

During yesterday’s meditation, on one side I saw the inertia active in its usual way and on the other the inner consciousness receiving the Mothers working as usual! This is something new to me. For up to now, whenever there was tamas a free reception (from the Mother) was always disturbed. Also I noticed that the inner was rejecting the tamas at the same time that it was receiving the Mother’s action! — this it did as a distinct and deliberate process.

It is a great step forward which has to be confirmed. If the inner being can remain conscious and untouched whenever tamas or anything else rises, then half the victory over the other is won.

The day before yesterday the tamas was strong enough. Yet by merely coming near the Mother I could push it out and keep myself free for a long time. But this luck is lost since yesterday! Yet I should say that there is some part in me that detaches itself at once from all strife and struggle the moment I come into the Mother’s physical influence and then I become peaceful and quiet.

These are the things you had and which the inertia has been covering over. They have to return and I suppose they are trying to do so.

Because of the prolonged disturbed condition of my consciousness I feel depressed. Is it only the outer being or the inner also that is affected?

There is no reason why the inner being should become depressed, but the outer seems to become restless when the inertia is increasing or else it gives some kind of response. If the outer being becomes quiet, then the inner can act — otherwise more force is given to the adverse action of the inertia.

How is one to get rid of the tamas of the outer being and realise the inner permanently?

Not to identify oneself is the first necessity. Not to be depressed or disturbed is the second. Then a little sooner or a little later the change comes.

There are always two alternatives, either to remain calm and detached and aspire or pray or else to use the Will or other active means as you used to do sometimes before.

Does not physical fatigue disturb the march of the sadhana?

Even if there is physical fatigue sometimes it is not inevitable that it should interfere with the sadhana. The inner movement can always go on.

Recently I experienced an elevated condition of silence in spite of the inertia, and then after a while the silence disappeared and I was again plunged into obscurity.

It is the oscillation between the two consciousnesses which always happens, until one can so stabilise the inner that it remains calm and fixed behind even when there are surface movements of the vital or surface rising of the inertia.

This attitude is suggested to me from within: “It is not I who have fallen down. I am always above with the Mother. It is the lower nature which gives me the false impression of mixing me up with the Prakriti.”

Yes, that much at least everybody who has felt the inner consciousness should be able to do.

Your attitude is all right. It is only in some part of the external physical being that the difficulties seem to weigh too much.

The resistance is still there. It is directed against the Divine. The suggestions are its weapons. Does all that mean I am doing some mistake or wrong action?

No. It is simply a matter of the most external consciousness being sufficiently fortified so that there shall be no disturbance even there.

Regarding the “struggles” and the feelings of “helplessness” it was true that my physical and vital physical felt them. But while reporting about them to you I ought to have clarified that they were not the feelings of my true self.

Yes, that is best so as to keep the sense of separateness from these things strongly before you.

There are vibrations in your most external being, at least an uneasiness, which can be felt sometimes in your writing. If there were nothing there could be no real disturbance anywhere.

I now find that even during the bad periods, my inner being does not get identified with the inertia.

If the inner being is free, if the sadhana is not stopped, if the Force is at work preparing something then surely there is nothing to be anxious about.

The inertia will be worked out of the external being.

Are there not people here who are always in touch with their inner being and merged in the Divine?

To be always merged in the Divine is not so easy. It can be done only by an absorption in one’s own inner self or by a consciousness that sees all in the Divine and the Divine in all and is always in that condition. There is none who has attained to that yet.

If one remains merged in one’s inner self for long, will not the realisation of seeing all in the Divine and the Divine in all come by itself?

At least it will come easily, without the laborious meditation by which people usually try to arrive at it.

Is it not true that in the early stages one can have only intermittent experiences of one’s true self?

That is so, so long as the whole consciousness is not open or so long as one cannot live always in the inner consciousness, looking at the outer when necessary but not involved in it.


[1] Sri Aurobindo wrote me numerous letters during 1933 to 1937, but he was not in the habit of signing them. He did so in approximately a dozen letters only, perhaps when he wanted to put a particular emphasis of power on the substance he expressed in a letter.


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