Spiritual experience

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“Butterfly of Light” by Emanuele
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PDF (39 pages)
      “My First Sunbeam” by Emanuele
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PDF (28 pages)


“Nirodbaran: Does the Force work all the time, even when there is no aspiration in the being?

Sri Aurobindo: Yes, in those who have an inner urge. The intermittent bouts of aspiration may be due to the action of the Force behind.

Dr. Manilal: We request you to tell us how to get all that peace, joy, light, power.

The secret is to want it and nothing else. (Smiling) Too difficult, isn’t it? Well then, you have to wait. Yoga demands patience. The old Yogas say that one has to wait for twelve years before one can hope to get any experience. Only after such waiting can one complain. But you once said that you had many experiences. You have no right to complain.

True, Sir. I told you how meditation used to come spontaneously at Baroda at any time and I simply had to sit down to meditate, it used to come with such force! Occasionally it would come when I was just about to go to the hospital, and the experiences of peace and of other things would last for days. And then came the period of lull: nothing happened at all. But surely meditation should visit us once a fortnight? Sometimes I feel a pull on the head upwards.

Of course, it isn’t the physical head. It is a happening in the subtle body, the mind trying to ascend towards the higher consciousness.

Nirodbaran: One sees things like hills or seas in dreams or visions. What is their significance?

They are symbols: the sea of energy and the hill of being with its different planes and parts, with the Divine at the summit. They are quite common. When one feels the wideness, a vastness as if one were expanding, that increases the opening. The heart can expand just as the mind can. (Turning to Dr. Manilal) Have you never felt your inner being?

Dr. Manilal: I have, Sir. I told you how I had found it and then lost it through fear. I felt as if I were going to die.

(Laughing) Ah, I forgot that tragedy!

At one time I felt as if my head were lying at the Mother’s feet. What does that mean, Sir?

It is the experience of the psychic being. So you had the psychic experience.

But unfortunately I couldn’t recognise it. (Laughter)

It is this ‘I’ that comes in the way. One must forget it, as if the experiences were happening to somebody else. If one could do this, it would be a great conquest. When I had the experience of Nirvana, I forgot myself completely. I was a sort of nobody. What’s the use of Dr. Manilal So-and-so living with this ‘I’? If in discovering your inner being, you had even died, it would have been a glorious death.

What happens when the human consciousness is replaced by the divine consciousness?

One feels a perpetual calm, a perpetual strength, one is aware of Infinity and lives not only in Infinity but also in Eternity. One feels Immortality and does not care about the death of the body. And then one has the consciousness of the One in all. Everything becomes the manifestation of the Brahman. For instance, as I look round this room, I see everything as the Brahman. No, it is not mere thinking, it is a concrete experience. Even the wall, the books are the Brahman. I see you no more as Dr. Manilal but as the Divine living in the Divine. It is a wonderful experience.”[1]


“All these experiences of yours belong to what I have called the intermediate zone; a large proportion of them are of the vital plane. In the vital plane there are all kinds of things, good and bad, helpful and dangerous, true, half true and false, genuine and deceptive. One has therefore to be very careful and be always vigilant and turned towards the true source of Light. The difficulty is that here one may have a true spiritual experience and afterwards all sorts of imitative deceptions come in and bring with them the danger of a false experience. One has to watch, observe one’s experiences and try to discriminate and understand, — waiting for two things, the opening of a wider higher consciousness from above and the coming forward of the psychic being from behind. When these two things happen, then the chance of error is diminished and the true inner guidance begins to make itself more and more felt in the sadhana.”[2]


“Those things are strange.... You don't remember actively, that is, you can't find any thought whatsoever to express the experience; even the active sensation of the experience fades away. And yet you are no longer the same person – that's the remarkable thing! I experienced this phenomenon several times (I don't remember clearly enough to tell you exactly how many times), several times in my life, it was always the same thing: no longer the same person, you've become someone else. All the relationships with life, with consciousness, with movement – everything changes. Yet the central thing is just a vague impression. At the moment of the experience, for a second, it's so clear, so precise – a thunderbolt. But then ... probably the cerebral and nervous system is incapable of preserving it. But all the relationships are changed, you are another person.”[3]




  1. Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.18, 13 December 1938
  2. Letters on Yoga, p.304
  3. Agenda, 16 March 1963


See also