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At the Feet of The Mother

Letters to a Young Disciple

Sri Aurobindo’s correspondence with Nagin Doshi from 1933-1937.


What is the proper function of the intellect? Is it helpful in Sadhana? Before the psychic being takes hold of the Adhar, which part governs our mind, vital and physical? I feel that it is time I became aware of Her presence during intellectual activity also. How to start doing it?
A lack of strength or power in my consciousness to react against the movements of the ordinary nature. What is the matter with me? Why did my consciousness relax the mental control?
To remain concentrated during a talk is very difficult.

That is very usual. It is only when the consciousness is very strongly established that it remains while talking.

"It is often better to wait for experience and then ask, because to form mental notions beforehand does not help, it becomes an obstacle to getting the real thing — you either remain with the idea only or you get something limited by the idea you have formed, not the force and full action of the power."
Why is there no place for even good desires in the spiritual life?

If there are good desires, bad desires will come also. There is a place for will and aspiration, not for desire. If there is desire, there will be attachment, demand, craving, want of equanimity, sorrow at not getting, all that is unyogic.

... today I found for the first time that my heart took certain things very deeply. I don’t know how to keep it under the psychic control

The heart is part of the vital — it has to be controlled in the same way as the rest, by rejection of the wrong movements, by acceptance of the true psychic surrender which prevents all demand and clamour, by calling in the higher light and knowledge.

What makes the physical so weak that it can’t do without the vital’s help?

The physical is not weak, it is inert, because inertia is its principle — it is meant to be an instrument.

I could not understand this — “peace we must have, but not the peace of a devastated nature or a mutilated capacity incapable of unrest because it is incapable of intensity.”

Not tamasic peace which is at rest because it does not aspire after anything, is too tired by suffering and misfortune etc. to care for anything.

During the state of self-realisation very little sense remains of my body. I do not know what it does or where it lies.

That is usual. I was in that way unconscious of the body for many years.

I would very much like to bring out my inner being and live in it.

If you call down the higher consciousness, its descent of itself will show you your inner being as separate from the outer. Until then you can only go on observing yourself and the movements of your nature till you see the difference.

"The feelings and aspirations of the psychic being are all turned towards truth and right consciousness and the Divine; it is the only part that cannot be touched by the hostile forces and their suggestions."
"The heart is part of the vital — it has to be controlled in the same way as the rest, by rejection of the wrong movements, by acceptance of the true psychic surrender which prevents all demand and clamour, by calling in the higher light and knowledge."
What is required for the psychic to emerge?

Aspiration for devotion, and refusal of egoistic movement. When the psychic touches there is an intensification of love but the lower vital mixes up the love with all sorts of demands.

You wrote a few days back that the signs of the psychic’s coming forward are psychological. What are these signs?

A central love, bhakti, surrender, giving everything, a sight within that sees always clearly what is spiritually right or wrong and automatically rejects the latter — a movement of entire consecration and dedication of all in one to the Mother.