Hostile forces

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Letters on Yoga - I
“The Hostile Forces and Hostile Beings”

Letters on Yoga I - The Hostile Forces and Hostile Beings.jpg
PDF (8 pages)


(Sri Aurobindo:) “Yes, of course, there is always a fight between the forces of Light and Darkness.
         In sadhana it becomes concentrated and conscious to us.”[1]


(Sadhak:) “Will a time come when the hostile forces will be there no longer?

(Mother:) 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.”[2]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “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.”[3]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “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.”[4]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “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.”[5]


(Mother to Satprem, 1959:) “I spent a night – a night of battle – when, for some reason or other, a multitude of vital formations of all kinds entered into the room: beings, things, embryos of beings, residues of beings – all kinds of things ... And it was a frightful assault, absolutely disgusting.
         In this swarming mass, I noticed the presence of some slightly more conscious wills – wills of the vital plane – and I saw how they try to awaken a reaction in the consciousness of human beings to make them think or want, or if possible, do certain things.
         For example, I saw one of them trying to incite anger in someone so that this person would deliver a blow – a spiritual blow. And this formation had a dagger in his hand (a vital dagger, you see, it was a vital being: gray and slimy, horrible), he was holding a very sharp dagger which he was flaunting, saying, “When a person has done something like that (pretending that someone had done an unforgivable thing), this is what he deserves ...” and the scenario was complete: the being rushed forward, vitally, with his dagger.
         I, who know the consequences of these things, stopped him just in time – I gave him a blow. Then I had enough of all this and it was over, I cleaned the place out. It was almost a physical cleaning, for I had my hands clasped together (I was in a semitrance) and I threw them apart in an abrupt movement, left and right, powerfully, as if to sweep something away, and frrt! ... immediately everything was gone.
         But had that not happened ... I was watching, not exactly with curiosity, but in order to learn – to learn what kind of atmosphere people live in! And it is ALWAYS like that! They are always pestered by HORDES of little formations that are absolutely swarming and disgusting, each one making its ... nasty little suggestion.
         Take these movements of anger, for example, when someone is carried away by his passion and does things which, in his normal state, he would never do: he is not doing it, it is done by these little formations which are there, swarming in the atmosphere, just waiting for an occasion ... to rush in.
         When you see them, oh! it's ... suffocating. When you're in contact with that ... Really, you wonder how anyone can breathe in such an atmosphere. And yet people CONSTANTLY live in that atmosphere! They live in it. Only when they rise above are they NOT in it. Or else there are those who are entirely below; but those are the toys of these things, and their reactions are sometimes not only unexpected but absolutely dreadful – because they are puppets in the hands of these things.
         Those who rise above, who enter into a slightly intellectual region, can see all this from above; they can look down at it all, keep their heads above and breathe; but those who live in this realm ...
         Sri Aurobindo calls this realm the ‘intermediate zone’, a zone in which, he says, you can have all the experiences you wish if you enter into it. But it isn't (laughing) very advisable! - and I understand why! I had that experience because I had just read what Sri Aurobindo says on this subject in a letter in this latest book, On Yoga; I wanted to see for myself what it was. Ah, I understood!”[6]





See also