The Physical Yoga (HH 232)

A Talk by Alok Pandey from the “Tuesday Talks” series (AUDIO)


The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have given an entirely new sense to the yoga. On the one side they have stretched the seeking vertically upwards beyond even the intuitive mind to the Supermind that could at best be glimpsed or melted into. But for them this became the touchstone for the transformation of life here upon earth into a Life Divine. On the other side they have stretched it vertically downwards to allow the glory of the Divine to reach out into the darkest layers of consciousness thereby redeeming the worst darkness and obscurity one could ever imagine. At the same time by extending the yoga horizontally into the cosmic consciousness they have ensured that not just a few individuals but a representative humanity is included in its vast ambit thereby creating a divine race upon earth. Vast and complex in its all-inclusive totality, its process remains easy and simple. Today we shall take up one aspect of just one dimension of this yoga, the physical yoga.


Words of the Mother

March 24, 1965

Let us assume you have a pain somewhere; the instinct (the instinct of the body, of the cells) is to tense up and try to reject – which is the worst thing to do: it invariably increases the pain. So the first thing that must be taught to the body is to stay still – not to have any reactions. Above all no tensing up, and not even a movement of rejection – a perfect stillness. That’s corporeal equanimity. A perfect stillness.

After perfect stillness, there is the movement of inner aspiration (I am always referring to the aspiration of the cells – I am using words to describe something wordless, but there is no other way to express oneself), the surrender, that is to say, the spontaneous and total acceptance of the supreme Will (which is unknown to us). Does the total Will want things to go this way or that way, that is, towards the disintegration of certain elements or towards …? And then again, there are endless nuances: there is the passage from one height to another (I am speaking of cellular realizations, of course, don’t forget that), I mean that you have a certain inner equilibrium, an equilibrium of movement, of life, and it’s understood that in order to go from one movement to a higher movement, there is almost always a descent, then a new ascent – there is a transition. So does the shock received impel you to go down in order to climb up again, or does it impel you do go down in order to abandon old movements? Because there are cellular ways of being that have to disappear in order to give way to others; there are others that climb down in order to climb up again with a higher harmony and organization. This is the second point. And you should wait and see without postulating in advance what has to be. There is especially, of course, the desire: the desire to be comfortable, the desire to be in peace and all that – that must cease absolutely and disappear. You must be absolutely without any reaction, like this (gesture of immobile offering Upward, palms open). And then, when you are like that (“you,” meaning the cells), after a while the perception comes of the category the movement belongs to, and you just have to follow the perception, whether it is that something must disappear and be replaced by something else (which one doesn’t know yet), or whether it is that something must be transformed.

And so forth. And it’s like that all the time….

All this to tell you that the thought is absolutely still, everything takes place directly: questions of vibrations. Well, that’s the only way to know what has to be done. If it goes through the mind – especially through that physical thought, which is absolutely idiotic, absolutely – you can’t know; as long as that works, you are always driven to do what you shouldn’t do, particularly to have the wrong reaction: the reaction that helps the forces of disorder and darkness instead of contradicting them. And I am not talking about anxiety because it’s a long, a very long time since my body stopped having any anxiety – a long time, years – but anxiety is like swallowing a cup of poison.

This is what is called physical yoga.

To get over all that. And the only way to do it is for all, every one of the cells, every second, to be (gesture of immobile offering Upward) in an adoration, an aspiration – an adoration, an aspiration, an adoration, an aspiration…. And nothing else. Then, after a time, there is joy, too, and then it ends with blissful trust. When that trust is established, everything will be fine. But … it’s much easier said than done. Only, for the moment, I am convinced that it is the only way, there is no other.

***

The truth, of course, is the cells’ conscious aspiration to the Supreme; it is the only thing that can actually transform the body; and it is very, very independent of the domain of sensations.

On the contrary, it’s good for the nerves to calm down, and I think that when the nerves strengthen, their first movement is to calm down, and that gives the impression of a heaviness, almost the impression of a tamas, but it’s a sort of quiet stability, which is necessary. There. That’s how I see it.

Basically, in order to cure the misdeeds of that physical mind, it’s not bad to become … we could say in jest, vegetarian in the sense of becoming a plant – the peaceful life of a plant, like that (gesture, stretched out in the sun).

Yes, there is a kind of vegetative immobility which is excellent for overcoming the agitation – the frantic agitation – of that physical mind…. Oh, look, it’s the sensation of a waterlily floating on water: those large leaves spreading out like that – a very quiet, still water, and a waterlily.

The waterlily is the white flower opening up to the light, above those large, floating leaves…. Oh, how good it is to be carried.

When the nerves have really calmed down because one has eaten well, one can go into a blissful contemplation – don’t be occupied with anything, above all don’t try to think: like this (gesture of floating, offered), invoking the Lord and his Harmony – a luminous harmony – and then lying like that at least half an hour, three quarters of an hour after the meal. It’s very good, it’s excellent. Don’t fall asleep: blissful – nothing, being nothing. Nothing but a blissful tranquillity. That’s the best remedy.

I think that’s easier after eating well!

Try to be a waterlily…. A waterlily, that’s pretty!

Even watching animals is very pretty – they know far better than men how to rest.

We could make a slogan: if you want to keep well, be a waterlily! (Mother laughs) … I see the picture of a pond in the sun.

***

So what’s wrong? Do you have difficulty breathing?

It’s a bit like that. And also hot, very hot.
In the evening especially, the body is something of a boiler. A little blood comes out, too.

Haven’t you tried this? You must get hold of the contact with the body’s cells and tell them it’s not necessary that blood should come out – (laughing) it’s not part of the game! You can make fun of them a little: “You don’t need to do that!” Believe me, it’s so ludicrous that the only way to deal with it is to laugh at it. Yes, we shouldn’t take any notice.

No, not that! If you don’t take any notice, the cells will go on with their dance and will on the contrary think you approve of their way of being. You must pull the Will, you must get hold of the Will – the Will, I am putting it into you, mon petit! I am not asking you to use something illusory: I am putting it into you, a for-mi-da-ble Will. And peaceful, you know, something which doesn’t use violence, which is like this (gesture of massive, imperturbable descent).

I can tell you at any rate that it’s as effective as medicines! And it doesn’t have the drawbacks of medicines, which cure you of one thing and give you another.

How long have you been taking medicines?

Since Vellore. The treatment takes two years.

They said two years? Then you should go on for two years! You should do as they say. They have, oh … they have a hypnotic power over the material consciousness, which is a bit … disturbing.

I could tell you all sorts of stories, but anyway, stories about doctors aren’t amusing; there are always ridiculous details. And it comes back: you throw their suggestion out of the window, you don’t bother about it, you think it’s all over, and it’s gone into the subconscient; and suddenly, one fine day, a tiny little incident, and it comes back, formidable: “The doctor said this … such and such a doctor said this – the Doctor with a capital D said this,” or “Medical Science said this,” and the cells begin to panic – a frightful hypnotic power.

No, it’s an interesting subject … (laughing) I seem not to be taking your misfortune seriously (!), but it’s a very interesting subject, I assure you. To me, it belongs entirely to the world of Disorder, it doesn’t have any deep truth – it doesn’t. So if one lets the power of Truth act, it must give way. I am not saying it gives way willingly, I am not saying it goes away as if by miracle, no, but it MUST give way. …

Well, I am convinced that’s how it is, that’s all. But the physical mind doesn’t believe in that. It believes that that’s all very well in the higher realms, but when we are in Matter things follow a law of Matter and are material and mechanical, and there is a mechanism, and when the mechanism … and so on and so forth (not with these words, but with this thought). And one has to keep forever working on that, forever saying, “Oh, put a stop to all your difficulties, keep quiet!”

Only, the Flame must be there – the Flame within, the flame of aspiration and the flame of faith; and then the something that truly wants it to stop. You understand, whether things are this way or that, there is no need for me to present them to my thought and for my thought to accept them; because that’s a very dangerous game: when you seek equanimity, you say to yourself, “Well, if this and that happens, what will my reaction be?” And you go on with the little game, till you say, “It’s all the same to me.” It is a very dangerous game. It’s still a way of circling around the goal instead of heading straight for it.

There is only one thing: a sort of flame – a sort of flame that burns all this falsehood. …

There are also mischievous spirits. Mischievous spirits that comeand suggest all kinds of things. There is a zone there, very near the physical, very near – a zone infested with worms, mon petit! All the bad suggestions of all possible catastrophes, of all malicious ill wills, of all desires…. It’s sickening. All that swarms as if you plunged your nose into a vase full of worms. That’s troublesome. Well, yes! I will try to make a cocoon for you. Before you go to sleep, when you lie down, you must summon the white Light, my white light, and then I will be listening. Wrapped like that: a cocoon, a nice little cocoon, all white. That way you can sleep peacefully.

***

(Mother sits concentrating, then asks:) Did your brother, the physician, tell you anything? Did he give you any advice?

Yes, indications on the number of tablets to be taken, that’s all.

Does he believe in tablets?

He says, “If one is going to follow a course of treatment, it should be followed in the best possible way.”

Ah, yes, I fully agree, and scrupulously, because it represents a formation. At least ninety percent of the doctors have goodwill, they want to cure you (some don’t care one bit, but not many – ninety percent of them want to cure you), so their formation should be given full power. It shouldn’t be contradicted because it loses all its effect and then it’s no use. …

And also, you know, as I have always said, with the enemies that want to scare you or want to sadden you or want to worry you, the only thing to do is laugh in their faces, that’s all. You get angry? They’re happy, they say, “He’s angry” – no, no. You hit out? They escape, they’re like jelly, it doesn’t affect them. But when you laugh in their faces, they are really annoyed! That’s the only thing: to make fun of them. Their stories may scare babies, but not us.
As for us, we live in eternity.

And I tell you (it’s the normal, natural state of consciousness), it didn’t take a minute last night: it took one second, brrf! finished. Then I entered a sort of peaceful joy, like that, which lasted three hours without a break. After that, the work was resumed.

But before you go to sleep, do this: you picture (picture it if you don’t see it), you picture a white light. It isn’t a crystalline light, mind you, it isn’t transparent: it’s white – absolutely white, a very bright white, a white light that looks solid. Picture it like that (and it is indeed like that, but you picture it): a white light. It is the light of the Creation, what is she called? … Maheshwari? (Laughing) The supreme Lady up there….

Yes, Maheshwari.

Maheshwari’s light. But it seems I always had it, because when Madame Théon saw me, it’s the first thing she told me; she didn’t speak of “Maheshwari,” but she said, “You have the white light” that automatically dissolves all ill will. And I did experience it: I saw beings crumble into dust. So you take that, picture that, and you build a cocoon around yourself – you know, just as insects build their own cocoons – you build a cocoon before falling asleep. I will do it here, but your “picturing” is to help it be better adapted, better adjusted. You build a cocoon, and when you are quite wrapped in that white cocoon, when the enemies cannot get through it, you let yourself go into sleep. Then all that comes from outside with a manifest ill will cannot get in. That’s certain. Naturally, there is what one carries in one’s subconscient … one must eliminate that by one’s own will, little by little.

But this Light is all-powerful, mon petit! (Speaking to Sujata:) You too can do the same thing if you have enemies at night.

So if you want to sleep peacefully, you make a little cocoon before going to sleep. Au revoir, mon petit.

And to you I recommend: the unreality of human notions of disease.

***

But Sri Aurobindo certainly meant that this Power or this Force is what does everything – everything. When you see It or are one with It, at the same time you know, and you know that That is the only thing that really acts and creates; the rest is the result of the field or the world or the matter or the substance in which It acts – it’s the result of resistance, but it’s not the Action. And to unite with That means that you unite with the Action; to unite with what’s below means that you unite with the resistance.

So then, because they fidget, stir, bustle, want to do this and that, think, make plans … they imagine they’re doing something (!) – they just resist.

Later, a little later, I’ll be able to give examples for very small things, showing how the Force acts, and what interferes and mixes in, or what is driven by that Force but distorts its movement, and the result, that is to say, the physical appearance as we see it. Even an example for a very small thing without any world importance gives a clear notion of the way in which everything occurs and is distorted here.

For everything, everything, all the time, all the time, that’s how it is. And when you do the yoga of the cells, you realize it’s the same thing: there is the action of the Force acting, and then … (Mother laughs) what the body does with that Action!
(silence)
There immediately comes the why and the how. But that belongs to the realm of mental curiosity, because the important fact is to put a stop to the resistance. That’s the important thing, putting a stop to the resistance so the universe may become what it must be: the expression of a harmonious, luminous, marvelous power, incomparably beautiful. Afterwards, once the resistance has ceased, if out of curiosity we want to know why it occurred … it will no longer matter. But right now, it’s not by looking for the why that we will be able to bring about the remedy: it’s by taking the true position. That’s the only thing that matters.

Putting a stop to the resistance through complete surrender, complete self-giving, in all the cells if one can do it.

They are beginning to have that intense joy of being only through the Lord, for the Lord, in the Lord….

When that is established everywhere, it will be fine.

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