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At the Feet of The Mother

Experiences in the Subtle and Gross Physical


When H wrote in his poem that he felt peace in his body, some people commented that it was impossible to experience peace or anything spiritual in the body itself at such an early stage of the sadhana. According to them, a strong peace descending into the inner or subtle physical gives only an illusion of reaching the outer gross physical. What is the truth of the matter?

All experiences that penetrate the centres are recorded in the body and seem to be the body’s experiences, but one has to distinguish between the reflection of the experiences there and the experiences that belong to the physical body consciousness itself. It is a matter of consciousness and fine discernment. There is no absolute law about the time.

If one feels a fountain of Force rushing into the body, can it be a mere reflection of the inner being’s experience?

It can be a rushing of Force into the subtle body which the physical records and feels the effect. When Force descends into the head it means that it has come down into the mind, when it is felt in the heart it means it has entered into the emotional vital, when it is in the Muladhara and below it means it is acting on the physical consciousness. The centres are all in the subtle body although there are corresponding parts in the gross physical.

I understand from your answers that all experiences felt in the physical body are reflections of experiences of the subtle physical. What progress is needed to bring the experiences directly into the outer physical?

I spoke only of the fact that what one feels recorded in the physical body may be actually taking [place] only in the subtle body. Whether in a particular case it is that or a direct experience in the physical body also, is a matter to be seen in each case. One must distinguish for oneself which it is.

I would say this: the static Peace and the Force are sometimes felt in the outer body directly, and not merely as reflections from the subtle physical. Now it is for you to correct me.

Have you a clear feeling of the subtle body as separate from the outer body or of the mental and vital and subtle physical sheaths which comprise the subtle body? If not how can you say which is of the subtle body and which is of the physical?

The influence and action of the Mother’s Force is felt so tangibly in the outer physical; there can hardly be any doubt about it.

Any reflection or outflowing from the subtle body into the physical would also be felt as tangible.

For instance, when the Force is in the outer physical it is sometimes felt as a great mountain entering my external body.

But the same thing would be felt if it was acting massively in the subtle body.

When the Force and Peace descend into my body, I experience the power, swiftness and palpability as of a waterfall. Could such concrete sensations be a mere record of the experiences of the inner physical?

Why “mere” record? If you think the experiences in the subtle body are feeble vague things, you are mistaken — they can be quite as intense, swift, palpable, massive as those of the body.

How to distinguish a mere reflection of a subtle physical experience from a pure and direct experience of the outer body?

You cannot distinguish except either by intuition or by experience and established direct knowledge of the different sheaths.

Is the whole of the inner being made up of sheaths only?

Yes. Sheaths is simply a term for bodies, because each is superimposed on the other and acts as a covering and can be cast off. Thus the physical body itself is called the food sheath and its throwing off is what is called death.

Sometimes I feel the Force acting in the nerves, and also the nerves passing through different states of consciousness. Are there really nerves in the subtle physical sheaths?

Yes, there are nerves in the subtle body.

Yesterday not only my consciousness but the body also felt horizontally wide and vertically huge. And then I experienced that I was the Self. When the physical began to widen out still more, I was afraid of a possibility of ego aggrandisement, though the whole experience was taking place in an impersonal aspect.[1] So I called at once for the Personal and put my widened self on the Mother’s lap.[2] Was my fear a true one?

The feeling of the body enlarging and widening itself is of course an indication of widening out of the physical (body) consciousness and is a subtle material rendering in the body of the self-realisation. One has not to be afraid of it, but to keep the idea of the ego out of it, for it is not the personality that is in question but the realisation of the self, one in all.

There was a dynamic action of the Mother’s Force in my left arm. But why did the arm become especially red?

There is no reason why the arm should become physically red merely because there was Force in it. If the redness was a subtle physical phenomenon, that is different.

Today I felt for a long time a powerful action of the Mother’s Force in my feet. It was an experience in various phases. In order to describe it concretely, let us imagine the feet as a pebble. At times the pebble expanded to the size of a rock, at other times it was still a pebble but seemed as heavy as if filled with lead, and at other times it contained a tremendous energy and strength! During this condition, the mind, vital and higher parts of the being remained almost blank.

Action in the feet means action on the most physical consciousness.


[1] If it was an impersonal experience, how does the ego come in? Self (Atman) is one thing, ego is another. (Sri Aurobindo’s comment in margin)

[2] That is all right. (Sri Aurobindo)

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