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At the Feet of The Mother

Vital Masquerades and Imitations of Spirituality (HH 213)

It is well-known since the Age of the Vedas that just as there are quacks as well as true physicians, so also there are fake and false persons who imitate spirituality. They are everywhere and not limited to any particular geographical area. While some dubiously help feed the spiritual hunger, most, unfortunately, damage faith and lull the soul. Still men become an easy prey to them. It is important to distinguish these and know the subtle reasons and the forces working behind them.

Words of the Mother


There are some human beings who are like vampires. What are they and why are they like that?

They are not human; there is only a human form or appearance. They are incarnations of beings from the world that is just next to the physical, beings who live on the plane which we call the vital world. 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…

But how is one to get such creatures out of one’s environment when they are once there?

The vital power incarnated in these beings is of a very material kind and it is effective only within a short distance. Ordinarily, if you do not live in the same house or if you are not in the same company with them, you do not come within their influence. But if you open some channel of connection or communication, through letters, for example, then you make possible an interchange of forces and are liable to be influenced by them even from a far distance. The wisest way with these beings is to cut off all connection and have nothing to do with them—unless indeed you have great occult knowledge and power and have learned how to cover and protect yourself—but even then it is always a dangerous thing to move about with them….

The beings of the vital world are powerful by their very nature; when to their power they add knowledge, they become doubly dangerous. There is nothing to be done with these creatures; you should avoid having any dealings with them unless you have the power to crush and destroy them. If you are forced into contact with them, beware of the spell they can cast. These vital beings, when they manifest on the physical plane, have always a great hypnotic power; for the centre of their consciousness is in the vital world and not in the material and they are not veiled and dwarfed by the material consciousness as human beings are.

Is it not a fact that these creatures are drawn by some peculiar fascination towards the spiritual life?

Yes, because they feel they do not belong to this earth but come from somewhere else; and they feel too that they have powers they have half lost and they are eager to win them back. So whenever they meet anyone who can give them some knowledge of the invisible world, they rush to him. But they mistake the vital for the spiritual world and in their seeking follow vital and not spiritual ends. Or perhaps they deliberately seek to corrupt spirituality and build up an imitation of it in the mould of their own nature. Even then it is a kind of homage they pay, or a sort of amends they make, in their own way, to the spiritual life. And there is too some kind of attraction that compels them; they have revolted against the Divine rule, but in spite of their revolt or perhaps because of it, they feel somehow bound and are powerfully attracted by its presence….

This is how it happens that you see them sometimes used as instruments to bring into connection with each other those who are to realise the spiritual life upon earth. They do not purposely serve this use, but are compelled to it. It is a kind of compensation that they pay. For they feel the pressure of the descending Light, they sense that the time has come or is soon coming when they must choose between conversion or dissolution, choose either to surrender to the Divine Will and take their part in the Great Plan or to sink into unconsciousness and cease to be. The contact with a seeker of Truth gives such a being his chance to change. All depends upon how he utilises his chance. Taken rightly, it may open his way to liberation from falsehood and obscurity and misery, which is the stuff out of which these vital creatures are made, and bring him to Regeneration and to Life.

Have not these beings a great control over money power?

Yes. The power of money is at present under the influence or in the hands of the forces and beings of the vital world. It is because of this influence that you never see money going in any considerable amount to the cause of Truth. Always it goes astray, because it is in the clutch of the hostile forces and is one of the principal means by which they keep their grip upon the earth. The hold of the hostile forces upon money-power is powerfully, completely and thoroughly organised and to extract anything out of this compact organisation is a most difficult task. Each time that you try to draw a little of this money away from its present custodians, you have to undertake a fierce battle. And yet one signal victory somewhere over the adverse forces that have the hold upon money would make victory possible simultaneously and automatically at all other points also…..

In those who are slaves of vital beings, the desire for truth and light and spiritual achievement, even if it at all touches them, cannot balance the desire for money. To win money from their hands for the Divine means to fight the devil out of them; you have first to conquer or convert the vital being whom they serve, and it is not an easy task. Men who are under the sway of vital creatures can change from a life of ease, cast away enjoyment and become intensely ascetic and yet remain just as wicked as ever and even by the change turn worse than before.

12 May 1929


* * *


Last night I had two consecutive experiences showing with extreme precision that black magic is at the root of all this (Mother is speaking of both general and personal difficulties, in the Ashram and in her body).

First of all, on the mental plane (the physical-mind, the material mind) I saw an individual…. I am not entirely certain of his identity (when I saw him last night I didn’t associate him with anyone in particular) but from his outer appearance he is evidently a sannyasi. He was pursuing me, blocking my way and trying to stop me from doing my work (it was a long, long affair). But I was very conscious and could foresee everything he was about to do, so it had no effect. After a long while I emerged from this – I had something else to do and I left – and on my way home he was everywhere, hiding and trying to catch me; but he didn’t succeed in doing anything. And I knew he had been acting in this manner for a long time…..

March 21, 1961


* * *


There are a great many of those so-called swamis and sadhus who are quite simply tricksters, but they have a rudimentary occult knowledge in a field where, unfortunately, it takes very little knowledge to be able to do a lot of mischief. There are lots of them – not one or two, but lots. And I know people who went and saw them, who begged them and tried to make them intervene [against Mother]. They have turned either against people around me or against myself. Not many against myself, but one or two of them think they are the “lords of the world,” and therefore completely immune, so they have tried, but … It can cause a little friction, that’s all, it’s nothing. But when it’s directed towards people around me, it’s more difficult to counter because there is always … there’s always a slight response. They aren’t pure enough. Then it gives me a lot of trouble. That’s what happened last time, it was towards all those around me: it gave me a lot of work.

November 30, 1966


* * *


To begin with, I said that the vital is peopled by small entities, small formations, the remnants of human beings who have died. But there is a whole vital world which has nothing to do with that one, 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.

Many religions and sects are founded on revelations and miracles, and every bit of it comes from vital beings.

It’s one of the greatest problems in human life; I don’t mean spiritual life, but the life of people who deal with the beyond.

There are skies (not heavens) in the vital world that are truly paradises. Naturally the real divine element is lacking, but only spiritual purity and the true spiritual sense can show you the difference. All who remain within the vital or mental worlds are completely deluded. They see marvelous things, miracles in profusion (that’s where you find the most miracles!).

By neglecting to explain this aspect [in this Talk], I passed over a large part of the topic in silence. I usually don’t speak of those things, or else mention them only in passing – it terrifies people and they immediately start wondering, “Oh, is it really a god? Is it this … is it that? Could it be a devil in disguise?” They panic.

Only it’s perfectly true that to deal with those realms one must either be fully protected by a guru, a real guru, a man with knowledge, or else have purity (not saintliness), an unmixed vital and mental purity. Very, very often, bhaktas [devotees] of Sri Aurobindo or me – when they are sincere, truly sincere, that is, people of great spiritual purity – have dozens of beings appear to them, saying, “I am Sri Aurobindo.” It happens all the time, with all the right external appearances – it’s very easy for such beings to put on a disguise. It takes the inner psychic purity not to be deceived – you invariably FEEL something that makes it impossible for you to be duped. But otherwise, many, many people are taken in.

I don’t like to talk about this because people here have no discrimination; they would be left with nothing but fear and would no longer believe in anything, forever asking me, “Oh, isn’t this a trick?” … Which paralyzes everything. That’s why I didn’t speak about that in this Talk.

You do say a couple of words about it.

It should at least be mentioned that some beings in the vital world can take on completely deceptive appearances at will – all the most dazzling lights are found in the vital, but with a particular quality. So those who have truly approached THE Light can’t be deceived. Because … it’s indefinable, something the spiritual sense alone can feel: perfect security, perfect peace, perfect purity (although I hesitate to use the word “purity,” which has taken on such an idiotic meaning); what I mean is the absence of all admixture.

To those with the spiritual sense, the most dazzling vital lights always seem to have something artificial about them – they FEEL artificial and cold, hard, aggressive, deceptive. But that’s the point: you yourself must be beyond all this. Not to be fooled, you mustn’t fool yourself!

Actually, that’s the main reason I don’t like to talk about occultism. It puts people in touch with an extremely dangerous world which can’t be safely entered unless one is (I can’t even say a saint, because it’s not true; some saints enter the vital world and get right into it!) … unless one is transformed, unless one has the true spiritual consciousness. On this condition alone are you perfectly safe. So where are the people with the spiritual consciousness? There are really very few of them, very few. And above all, in those who have this occult curiosity there are also all sorts of vital movements, which make it dangerous for them to enter that world. Unless, of course, they go shielded by the guru’s presence; with that, you can go anywhere, it’s the same as going there with him. And if you do go with him, all is well; he has the knowledge and he protects you. But going there all on your own is … you need the Divine Protection itself! Or the protection of the guru who represents the Divine. With the guru’s protection you are safe.

March 11, 1962


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