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(Sri Aurobindo:) “This Yoga is a spiritual battle; its very attempt raises all sorts of adverse forces and one must be ready to face difficulties, sufferings, reverses of all sorts in a calm unflinching spirit.
         The difficulties that come are ordeals and tests and if one meets them in the right spirit, one comes out stronger and spiritually purer and greater.
         No misfortune can come, the adverse forces cannot touch or be victorious unless there is some defect in oneself, some impurity, weakness or at the very least ignorance. One should then seek out this weakness in oneself and correct it.”[1]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “There is always a struggle going on between the forces of Light and the opposing forces — when there is a true movement and progress the latter try to throw a wrong movement across to stop or delay the progress. Sometimes they do this by raising up old movements in yourself that have still the power to recur; sometimes they use movements or thoughts in the atmosphere, things said by others to disturb the consciousness.”[2]

(Mother to Mona Sarkar:) “You know, one could say that there are three stages of the consciousness in relation to the storm.
         The first stage is when one is in the storm, and one is subdued by the storm and is at its mercy, a victim, like an ordinary person. This is the first one.
         The second one is – one is in the storm but one has control over oneself, but not on the storm. One is calm and detached but one is in the storm.
         The third stage is when one is in the storm but the storm does not touch one. It passes and one remains outside it, as if one has control over oneself and over the storm; one sees the storm but it has no effect on us. It passes but it does not touch. One is absolutely master of the situation.
         But there is yet another stage which is much more superior. That is for later on, when one would have advanced greatly on the path. It is not necessary that I tell you now. For it is the last stage. It will be for later on, when you will have progressed. It is a very high stage. When the time comes, I shall tell you.

(Mona Sarkar:) But, Mother,...

No, I do not tell you, it is not for now.

Mother, at least to know what that stage is.

To know?

Yes, Mother.

Ah. Yes, come... come, I will tell you.
         The fourth stage is when one is united with the Supreme, and the Supreme commands you to enter the storm to do His work. You enter the storm on the order of the Supreme to save the people who are in the danger of the storm, and you bring out those people out of the storm without their being hurt. And it has no effect on you.
         This is the Divine state.”[3]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “The heaviness of these attacks was due to the fact that you had taken up the sadhana in earnest and were approaching, as one might say, the gates of the Kingdom of Light. That always makes these forces rage and they strain every nerve and use or create every opportunity to turn the sadhak back or, if possible, drive him out of the path altogether by their suggestions, their violent influences and their exploitation of all kinds of incidents that always crop up more and more when these conditions prevail, so that he may not reach the gates. I have written to you more than once alluding to these forces, but I did not press the point because I saw that like most people whose minds have been rationalised by a modern European education you were not inclined to believe in or at least to attach any importance to this knowledge. People nowadays seek the explanation for everything in their ignorant reason, their surface experience and in outside happenings. They do not see the hidden forces and inner causes which were well-known and visualised in the traditional Indian and Yogic knowledge. Of course, these forces find their point d’appui in the sadhak himself, in the ignorant parts of his consciousness and its assent to their suggestions and influences; otherwise they could not act or at least could not act with any success.”[4]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “One must take it as a trial of strength, a call for gathering all one’s capacities of calm and openness to the Light and Power so as to make oneself an instrument for the victory of the Divine over the undivine, of the Light over the darkness in the world tangle. It is in this spirit that you must face these difficulties till the higher things are so confirmed in you that these forces can attack no longer.”[5]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “When the vital forces or beings throw an influence, they give it certain forms of thought-action and put them in the minds and vital of people so that they feel, think, act, speak in a particular way. Whoever opens to the influence acts according to this formation, perhaps with variations due to his own vital temperament.”[6]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “Once you begin listening they confuse your mind, cover up the understanding and then torment you with their false suggestions. Always remain quiet, always open to the help of the Force, always call for the peace.”[7]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “Your higher vital must refuse to accept them, telling it, “I do not want these alien things; I do not recognise them as part of myself or my nature.” ”[8]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “There are men and women who are the vehicles of these adverse Forces and if you come in contact with them when you are off your guard and have a movement … which gives them an opportunity for a grip, then some adverse Force can leap upon you and hold, and the attack takes either the form of a mental unsettling, a moral disturbance (loss of character etc.), a vital upheaval or nervous breakdown or, as in this case, a physical illness. These things are well known to all who are acquainted with the working of occult forces and the details in the letter are quite unmistakable signs; such attacks are always happening to people, but most are unconscious and feel only the results but not the movements that attended the attack or their causes. When the consciousness has opened by Yoga one becomes aware and it is easy to fix the source of the attack and its nature.”[9]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “In such circumstances you have to be like a cliff attacked by a stormy sea but never submerged by it.”[10]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “The Truth remains the Truth in spite of all denial and it is to that you will have to give your assent and allegiance, not to confusion and darkness.”[11]

  1. Letters on Yoga – IV, p.780
  2. Ibid., p.771
  3. Mona Sarkar, Throb of Nature: Conversations with the Mother on Flowers and Nature, p.120
  4. Letters on Yoga – IV, p.772
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., p.776
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid, p.781
  10. Ibid., p.793
  11. Ibid., p.777

See also