|Letters on Yoga - I
“The Hostile Forces and Hostile Beings”
PDF (8 pages)
|Questions and Answers 1929-1931|
May 12, 1929
PDF (8 pages)
- “Will a time come when the hostile forces will be there no longer?
When their presence in the world is no more of any use, they will disappear. Their action is used as a testing process, so that nothing may be forgotten, nothing left out in the work of transformation. They will allow no mistake. If you have overlooked in your own being even a single detail, they will come and put their touch upon that neglected spot and make it so painfully evident that you will be forced to change. When they will no longer be required for this process, their existence will become useless and they will vanish. They are suffered to exist here, because they are necessary in the Great Work; once they are no more indispensable, they will either change or go.
- Will it be a long time before that happens?
All depends upon your point of view. For time is relative; you can speak of it from the ordinary external human standpoint or from the deeper viewpoint of an inner consciousness or from the outlook of the Divine.
Whether the thing to be done takes a thousand years or only a year according to the human computation, does not matter at all, if you are one with the Divine Consciousness; for then you leave outside you the things of the human nature and you enter into the infinity and eternity of the Divine Nature. Then you escape from this feeling of a great eagerness of hurry with which men are obsessed, because they want to see things done.”
“In Yoga, difficulties are opportunities. No doubt, hostile forces are recognised as hostile, but from a special standpoint. Ultimately all powers are from the Divine, assisting in the work. They throw difficulties at us in order to test the strength.
It is the Divine that has created the opposition and sends you a defeat so that you may conquer hereafter. This is necessary in order to go beyond the ego's sense of its own responsibility.”
“In the jail I was proceeding by the old method and I found all the conventional ideas were broken. For eight or ten days all sorts of ideas, – of cruelty, hatred, and other disgusting thoughts came till the mind ceased to give any reaction to them and then all old ideas were broken. You can't have the Higher Consciousness unless the mind is very elastic and open and receptive.
You have also to accept Asuric and Rakshasik things, get the knowledge – know what they are, – and throw them away. Otherwise the ascent to the Supermind would be narrow and limited, not rich and varied and wide. But, of course, all cannot do that.”
“[W]hen the mind becomes silent, things may come from anywhere: from the Cosmic Vital or Cosmic Mind, from above — Intuition — or from within. Some people think that everything comes from the Mother or the Divine. It is a little dangerous to think, as the writer of one of these letters does, that whatever comes to us or passes through us has its source in the Mother.
- How to differentiate the sources?
You can only know by experience.”
- “Whatever comes to the silent mind – is it necessarily correct?
No. (Then with a little smile) People make two common mistakes. Whatever they hear within themselves, whatever comes to them, they say, is all from the Mother – and whatever they receive, they say, comes from above. If things were like that, it would all be very easy.”
“It is one thing to see things and quite another to let them enter into you. One has to experience many things, to see and observe, to bring them into the field of the consciousness and know what they are. But there is no reason why you should allow them to enter into you and possess you. It is only the Divine or what comes from the Divine that can be admitted to enter you.”
- “Have these vital beings a psychic being?
No, I said that the first thing they have to do to incarnate is to drive away the psychic being of the person whom they possess. That may happen from the very birth. There are children who are almost stillborn; they are taken to be dead and suddenly they revive — this means that a vital being has incarnated in them. I have known such cases. This may happen also in the course of an illness: someone is very ill and gradually he begins to lose contact with the psychic being, then, in a swoon or some other similar state, he cuts the contact entirely and the vital being rushes into the body. I have known cases of this kind also. Or it may be a slow action: the vital being enters into the atmosphere of the person, goes on influencing him and finally brings about illness, attacks, especially mental illness; then a time comes when the connection with the psychic being is entirely cut and the vital being takes possession of the body. There are cases of people falling very ill and coming out of the illness altogether different from what they were. Very often it is this that happens.”
- “You have said that these beings of the vital world are attracted by the spiritual life. Why?
They are attracted, but this does not mean that they have decided sincerely to follow the spiritual life. The chief characteristic of these beings is falsehood: their nature is made of deceit. They have a power of illusion; they can take the appearance of divine beings or higher beings, they can appear in a dazzling light, but truly sincere people are not deceived, they immediately feel something that warns them. But if one likes the marvellous, the unexpected, if one loves fantastic things, if one likes to live a romance, one is likely to be easily deceived.
Not long ago there was a historical instance, that of Hitler, who was in contact with a being whom he considered to be the Supreme: this being came and gave him advice, told him all that he had to do. Hitler used to retire into solitude and remain there as long as it was necessary to come into contact with his “guide” and receive from him inspirations which he carried out later very faithfully. This being which Hitler took for the Supreme was quite plainly an Asura, one who is called the “Lord of Falsehood” in occultism, but who proclaimed himself the “Lord of the Nations”. He had a shining appearance, he could mislead anybody except one who really had occult knowledge and could see what was there behind the appearance. He would have deceived anybody, he was truly splendid. Generally he used to appear to Hitler wearing a silver cuirass and helmet; a kind of flame came out of his head and there was an atmosphere of dazzling light around him, so dazzling that Hitler could hardly look at him. He used to tell Hitler everything that had to be done — he played with him as with a monkey or a mouse. He had decided clearly to make Hitler commit all possible extravagances till the day he would break his neck, which did happen. But cases like this are frequent, though on a smaller scale, of course.
Hitler was a very good medium, he had great mediumistic capacities, but he lacked intelligence and discrimination. This being could tell him anything whatever and he swallowed it all. It was he who pushed Hitler little by little. And he was doing this as a distraction, he did not take life seriously. For these beings men are very tiny things with whom they play, as a cat plays with a mouse, till finally they eat them up.”
- “Sometimes one cannot distinguish adverse forces from other forces.
That happens when one is quite unconscious.
There are only two cases when this is possible: you are either very unconscious of the movements of your being — you have not studied, you have not observed, you do not know what is happening within you — or you are absolutely insincere, that is, you play the ostrich in order not to see the reality of things: you hide your head, you hide your observation, your knowledge and you say, “It is not there.” But indeed the latter I hope is not in question here. Hence it is simply because one has not the habit of observing oneself that one is so unconscious of what is happening within.”
- “How is one to meet adverse forces — forces that are invisible and yet quite living and tangible?
A great deal depends upon the stage of development of your consciousness. At the beginning, if you have no special occult knowledge and power, the best you can do is to keep as quiet and peaceful as possible. If the attack takes the form of adverse suggestions try quietly to push them away, as you would some material object. The quieter you are, the stronger you become. The firm basis of all spiritual power is equanimity. You must not allow anything to disturb your poise: you can then resist every kind of attack. If, besides, you possess sufficient discernment and can see and catch the evil suggestions as they come to you, it becomes all the more easy for you to push them away; but sometimes they come unnoticed, and then it is more difficult to fight them. When that happens, you must sit quiet and call down peace and a deep inner quietness. Hold yourself firm and call with confidence and faith: if your aspiration is pure and steady, you are sure to receive help.”
- Questions and Answers 1929-1931, p.66
- Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.88, 1 January 1939
- Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.123, 10 July 1924
- Talks with Sri Aurobindo (Vol. 2), p.569, 21 March 1940
- Ibid., p.570
- Letters on Yoga – IV, p.801
- Questions and Answers 1950-1951, p.184
- Ibid., p.185
- Questions and Answers 1953, p.101
- Questions and Answers 1929-1931, p.33