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At the Feet of The Mother

The Vital Being

How to liberate myself from the vital strife and struggle?

Allow no demand of the human vital to rise up — clamour of egoistic revolts — or if one rises see that you or no part of you identifies itself with it.

How is it that in spite of my rejection the suggestions are still troubling me and even stopping the sadhana?

There must be something in your consciousness (probably the vital physical) in which these things can still find a response, otherwise they would be felt but they would not stop all sadhana.

Does the cause of the fall from the state of light and truth belong to my own vital or is it from outside?

It is from outside but acquiesced in by part of the external vital. If there were no acquiescence anywhere, you would not feel it as your own and it would have no force.

You must get rid of the vital demands altogether — otherwise they would enter into the love and make a mess.

What to do when the vital refuses bluntly to assent to the true movement?

It must be made to assent — and the first thing is to detach yourself from it and refuse to accept its revolts and despairs as your own.

You said, “The tendency to be miserable is a matter of habit in the vital. It can come up at any time so long as the habitual movement has not been entirely disallowed.” Or was it due to the Force entering the lower vital to change it and the latter bringing out its resistance?

It may have been — but very often the lower Nature pushes these things across an experience in opposition to the working of the Force.

It is the obstruction of the lower consciousness that rises up as is its nature, to obstruct what is coming down.

Let us see if vital difficulties improve tomorrow. Otherwise I shall have to throw the last dice tomorrow. If tolerated still further, I think they may create a worse condition for me for good.

(Sri Aurobindo underlined with pencil the last twelve words.)

That is just the kind of idea to which you should never give acceptance. On the contrary you should regard all difficulties as only passing obstacles on the way.

Why does my nature tolerate the suggestion since it has no reasonable basis? It only creates a disturbance.

Because the vital nature from which the suggestion comes wants to be disturbed and creates a fictitious excuse for disturbance when no good reason (good from the vital point of view) actually exists.

The opposition of the vital is never reasonable, even when it puts forward reasons. It acts from its nature and habit of desire not from reason.

My present life has become so dull. Nothing interests me. It is as if there is no use continuing life like this. What are these life-feelings?

What life-feelings? What you describe is their absence, the entire quiescence of the vital. It is when the vital is inactive or non-cooperates and no higher force replaces it, then there is the feeling of absence of interest in everything.

What makes the vital inactive?

There are two conditions in which it becomes like that; (1) when its ordinary (ego) actions or motives of action are not allowed to it, (2) when one goes very much down into the physical, the vital sometimes or for a time becomes inert unless or until there is the Force from above.

What difficulty did the higher strength meet in its descent into my physical consciousness?

There was a rajasic element which you did not get rid of, though you kept it outside you. When you got into the physical consciousness and the inertia arose, the suggestions of this rajasic element became strong and between them and the inertia you came down from the right attitude.

Is not my vital itself affected by the inertia and do not the suggestions still enter because of this?

Yes, it is a certain effect of the inertia on the vital that makes it feel unable to throw them out.

It seems to me that so long as the vital does not join with the sadhana it will be difficult to throw out the inertia altogether from my system. The vital cooperation will make it easier for me to meet the lower resistance.

Certainly it is better if the vital is brought to the true movement — renouncing its wrong movements and asking only for growth of the self-realisation, psychic love and psychicisation of the nature. But it is possible to get rid from above of the more active forms of obstruction even with a neutral vital.

How do the small forces and beings of the vital plane come in just at the right time to interfere with one when he is about to achieve something in sadhana?

They act at all times when they see anything in the mind, vital or body off its guard.

I doubt if such a vital as mine can ever be changed.

It is no use saying it cannot be changed, it has to change. It is only a twist taken by the vital. It does not come from the psychic and is not a truth of the sadhana, only an obstacle.

If you can get rid of the inertia it is best, because then you will better be able to see what is wrong in the vital and deal with it.

Only a few weeks back the tamas was no less than now. And yet the Pranam was an occasion from which I derived so much joy and felicity that always strengthened and encouraged me whenever I was tired of fighting with the lower nature. And now what a change!

At that time the vital demand was kept in abeyance at the pranam and the other part of the vital which wanted the inner contact and not anything else was able to act and open the being to the inner experience.

When the physical inertia came and suspended the higher experience, the vital demand awoke, demand for the physical love and its satisfaction so the awakened inner part of the vital could not act and the confusion increased; all became prone and helpless and there was no aspiration, inner reaction or reaction against illness and inertia.

I can’t say I have become hopeless, but the vital feels that now the Divine does not love me and therefore there is no sense in continuing the sadhana.

It is a feeling that contradicts your former attitude and amounts to hopelessness. When you say that you have not become hopeless it means that the higher being in you has not, but something in you has broken up the attitude all the same.

The lower vital has begun to hate the yoga. It prefers ordinary life to sadhana. But I don’t care for its preferences and shall teach it what is to be hated and what is to be loved. Could I be informed how far the transformation has progressed and when it will be completed? When will the true consciousness be established?

If the vital is so strong in its reactions, we cannot speak of transformation having progressed or how long it will take until the true consciousness begins to work and drive it out.

At times the vital opens itself to the Mother and at other times to the ordinary human nature. Like this it goes on for long.

It is two parts of the vital. One becomes quiescent when the other is offering itself up.

Looking back, I may say that the higher working began years ago. Its first pressure was on the vital for change, and the vital always refused to budge. Is this long and laborious toil all in vain?

Part of the vital was still open to the suggestions and demands of the vital Nature, but your mind and higher vital were not accepting them. The lower vital was divided. All that was not useless. But if your mind consents to the outer vital invading and coercing and dominating the rest, it will do so, until you throw off this inertia and complete the work that was left unfinished.

The present absence of demand, struggle or despair is not because my vital has adopted any right attitude.

The point round which the condition revolves is this: “I can’t have any demands, very well, I abdicate.” Or, “How can I have any right of demands since I do practically no sadhana etc.” Is it not so?

It may be. The first is vital non-cooperation. The second is the usual vital reasoning; for the vital sadhana is only a basis for demands, satisfaction of pride, ambition or desire. But this is just the attitude which leads to shipwreck in the end, if not corrected.

Instead of adopting a true attitude I am afraid the vital ego might turn to pure neutrality or indifference, that is, no delight, no depression. Some central part of my being may accept this as an alternative to a constant struggling and despair.

It is certainly better than dissatisfaction, despair and depression. The main point is that the sadhana seems to refuse to go on on a vital basis and the vital or at least a part of it refuses to participate in the sadhana except on a vital basis.

People say that a dry and indifferent heart, feeling neither joy nor sorrow, is undesirable. Why then do you write: “It is certainly better than dissatisfaction, despair and depression?”

It is dangerous to have a heart insisting on its own vital emotions. Not to be the slave of the vital joy or sorrow is a condition one has to pass through in order to arrive at true Ananda. If people are right then there can never be any equality and we have even to say that equality is a bad thing. If so, then the whole of the Gita is a mass of nonsense.

Do most of the people, when they start sadhana, begin with a vital basis?

Many do. But in all there is a mixture — one has to get rid of the mixture either by silencing the vital or by purifying it and psychicising it.

Why does the Divine allow it? Can he not make us wait till we have the psychic as our basis?

Why should the Divine do miracles contrary to the conditions of the nature? Man has a vital and he brings it with him to the sadhana. In the course of the sadhana one has to transform it. You are asking the Divine to transform the vital without sadhana and then start the sadhana. As well ask him to dispense with sadhana altogether and transform the whole nature in the twinkling of an eye.

My heart and vital are really under a great stress. Although they do not enjoy it they go on suffering.

They remain suffering because they do not want to change their attitude.

Why do I miss real delight and joy in my life?

Because of the lower vital which wants other joys and does not care for these (true delight and inner joy). And being now very much in the physical mind, you are giving a value and therefore a voice to this vital which it had not before.

Should I take this period as a necessary condition for arriving at the true Ananda, leaving behind the vital joy and sorrow?

It seems the only thing to be done.

When the vital is repeatedly refused its demands and ‘indulgences’, it feels that the Divine is cold, cares little for our suffering. Instead of saving us from agony He leaves us to our wretched fate. All such thoughts and feelings affect our mind which results in obsession and doubt. Unless the psychic light comes to our rescue it would be a fall into an abyss. Is this not correct?

Yes, of course. The mistake of the vital is to think that the Divine exists only to satisfy its demands and indulge its desires. From that false premise it draws logically the conclusion that, if it is not satisfied and indulged, the Divine is not there.

The vital is much irritated, as it feels that the Mother does not respond even to its surrender.

What is this surrender to which there is no response? Surrender and demands don’t go together. Evidently the vital is not afraid of thinking illogical and self-contradictory nonsense. So long as the vital heaps up its demands, these things will come.

Could the higher experiences change the vital?

They must come down before they can change it.

Probably it wants something else and not higher experiences.

Could you not put strong pressure on my lower vital and turn it to the higher light as you have done with some other parts of my being?

Yes, certainly. But no support should be given to it by any part of the mind. It must always receive the answer of the higher Knowledge.

I don’t care if the inertia continues for years together. Only I can’t stand any active resistance against the Divine in any part of my being.

That of course ought not to last — especially if the vital has once surrendered to the Divine.

My vital seems to have realised that its demands, desires, dissatisfactions etc. are not good to hold on to — no one is going to fulfil them, and if it still clings to them suffering will be the only result.

I hope it has done that finally. If it has, then the next step is to get it to join entirely in the aspiration of the higher being.

What about the vital quiescence? Has not the vital decided yet what side to take — right or wrong?

If the sadhana is coming back it should mean that the vital quiescence is diminishing.

My vital was so particular up to yesterday about its bargaining attitude of ‘give’ only after ‘taking’. Today, I don’t know how it has changed so suddenly. It has now decided to offer itself even if the Mother does not seem to give anything in return. Is it not a great victory?

Yes, it is very good that the true movement in that respect has begun in the vital.

What lower stuff my vital emptied out of itself seems to have-become stored up in my physical or subconscient.

It is so probably. Only you have to see that it does not come in again, but remains outside.

I was under the impression that when my vital opened to the Divine Mother it would bring in heroism, enthusiasm, intensity and total and passionate self-giving, not only of itself but of all my human nature. And that it would no longer remain a mere witness as now, and let the outer being act through it.

The higher vital can be that but only when the true vital manifests itself — always calm, strong, ready for any action of the higher Force.

To express love and joy is a usual movement of the heart. How is it that now I experience this as if it were springing out from my navel centre?

It means that it is spreading through the vital.

During the morning meditation I felt a strong working on the navel centre. Was it not an action from above on the vital through the psychic?


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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.