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(Sri Aurobindo, 1926:) “The animal has its consciousness held and imprisoned by the vital; and when it is ready the consciousness changes to the mental and the animal reincarnates as the human being. Some of our cats are ready for the human birth. In man that transition has taken place, he has crossed the border.”[1]

(Pranab:) “Mother was very fond of animals and birds. One day She told me:
         “In animals there is a simple, natural and strong beauty. Because of the remarkable resonance between their physical and vital beings – there is a beautiful balance and harmony. Wild birds and beasts have it no doubt, but tigers and snakes too have an ancient original beauty and grace derived from Nature's creation – a marvellous harmony. This is so because in each one of them there is a miraculous harmony in the creation of their body and life. It is because of this that animals have an inborn, abiding feeling that we call instinct. The mind has not intruded into their system and destroyed this equilibrium as it has done in men. That is why they have neither maladies nor griefs. There is no distortion in their own nature. If they happen to fall ill then they can very easily restore the harmony in their body and life, and for this they don't need great effort.
         “But man is unable to do so because mind has come into him. Mind has disrupted the inborn, effortless harmony of his physical and vital.
         “But again when Supermind enters man and takes charge of his being then man too will become capable of a higher harmony. The result will be a new equilibrium of his mind, life and body. He will gain a nobler beauty and grace and all the modern crookedness and distortion will disappear. He will gain with ease an infallible direct Knowledge that is beyond the senses. We can discern some of it among Yogis and great men – this we call spiritual intuition. But the Supermind will bring into play a harmony that is far superior.” ”[2]

(Mother, 1961:) “The subconscient of plants or animals, for example, isn’t individualized; what we call an animal’s behavior doesn’t arise from individualization but from the genius of the species.”[3]

(Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle:) “Man, the mental being in Nature, is especially distinguished from her less developed creatures by a greater power of individuality, by the liberation of the mental consciousness which enables him finally to understand more and more himself and his law of being and his development, by the liberation of the mental will which enables him under the secret control of the universal Will to manage more and more the materials and lines of his development and by the capacity in the end to go beyond himself, beyond his mentality and open his consciousness into that from which mind, life and body proceed.”[4]

About the vital world described in “Love and Death” you said that “those who live exclusively in the physical and the vital go there after death”. Does it follow that even animals and plants have to go there? How do they manage to come out from there?

(Mother:) Except for very rare cases, the animals are not individualised and when they die they return to the spirit of the species.”[5]

(Medhananda:) “Only an old-fashioned mechanistic conception of the universe looks at life as merely the sum of living beings. Like all fields in this universe, the field of life is not a mechanical aggregate of parts. Life is a whole, a system, a totality of lines of forces: of the bliss of life.
         In such a field an animal is the area in which the strength of the field assumes a summit value, an intense concentration of force, of bliss. And this bliss is a continuum of flowing changes which become visible to our eyes as flowers and trees, as insects, birds and animals.”[6]

(Mother, 1931:) “You have no idea of the almost magical effect of staring fearlessly into the eyes of a vital being. Even on earth, if you deal in this way with all those incarnations of the vital powers which we ordinarily call animals, you are assured of easy mastery. A physical tiger will also flee from you, if without the least tremor you look him straight in the eyes. A snake will never be able to bite you if you manage to rivet its gaze to yours without feeling the slightest dread. Merely staring at it with shaking knees will not help. There must be no disturbance in you: you must be calm and collected when you catch its gaze as it keeps swaying its head in order to fascinate you into abject fear. Animals are aware of a light in the human eyes which they are unable to bear if it is properly directed towards them. Man’s look carries a power which nullifies them, provided it is steady and unafraid.”[7]

  1. Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.457, “On the Gods and Asuras”, 1 June 1926
  2. Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, I Remember...', p.23
  3. Mother's Agenda 1961, 2 August 1961
  4. The Human Cycle, p.64, “The Ideal Law of Social Development”
  5. More Answers from the Mother, p.286
  6. =1 "Animal" (Issue 1966-3)
  7. Questions and Answers 1929-1931, p.166

See also