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At the Feet of The Mother

On the Nature of Illness

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have written a lot on this subject to ponder and practice. One of the best compilation.is ‘Integral Healing’. It is a vast subject and it is difficult to generalise since a number of complex factors, both inner and outer, are involved.

To put it briefly the universe is a delicately maintained balance governed by the principle of harmony. This harmony and balance is maintained by the play of the threefold modes of nature, termed as tamas (the principle of inertia and disintegration), rajas (the principle of kinetic movement) and sattwa (the principle of equilibrium).

The condition of all creation in the material world is matter which is governed primarily by the principle of inertia or tamas. The emergence of life brings rajas with tendency to replicate and move and expand. The emergence of mind brings the tendency towards balance and equilibrium. This is the basic plan of creation. However there is always a downward pull of gravitation towards the inert base out of which matter seems to have emerged by the action of some tremendous Force, Shakti, anterior and superior to this inertia. This Shakti acts to pull creation upwards towards higher and newer forms of manifestation. This creates a difficult and delicate balance.

Still it is relatively easier to keep this balance in purely material creation. But with the emergence of complexity that the play of life brings and the tendency to individualise and crystallise that the mind brings this delicate balance tends to break down more readily. Matter is unable to adapt and respond with the required plasticity to the dance of Shakti. It is unable to keep pace and begins to break down under the pressure. Mind (and man) itself is a part creator but unable to comprehend the vast stage and cosmic theatre, and its creations and formations end up only adding to the disequilibrium that manifests as diseases.

When the forces of tamas and disintegration combined with the lower forms of rajas (lower vital movements) such as fear, anger, greed, lust, feverish haste and excitement draw near or surround a person then it can rapidly bring about an illness. But if the principle of sattwa intervenes and the mind enters into quietude and opens above to higher divine forces of harmony and peace and light then the equilibrium is restored.

Since our body is largely built of matter and does not easily open to higher forces it is readily pulled down by forces of disintegration and inertia. It is only by the progressive awakening of the Body’s consciousness to the higher divine forces that it can eventually escape the law and need of illness. Of course heredity and other environmental factors further complicate matters but that is a vast subject.

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There is nothing sentimental in the true weeping that comes from the soul. All that you feel now is the blossoming of the psychic being in you and the growth of a real bhakti.