A kind of certitude that the solution
lies deep down in matter.

The Mantra

I have come to realize that for this sadhana of the body, a mantra is essential. Sri Aurobindo gave none. He said one should be able to do all the work without resorting to external means. Though had he reached the point where we are now, he would have found that the purely psychological method is inadequate and that a mantra is necessary, because only a mantra has a direct action on the body. Of all the formulas or mantras, the one that has the most direct effect on this body is the Sanskrit mantra:


The first word, OM, represents
the supreme invocation, the invocation to the Supreme.

The second word, NAMO, represents
total self-giving, perfect surrender.

The third word, BHAGAVATEH, represents
the aspiration,
what the manifestation must become — Divine.

When I sit in meditation or I have a minute of quiet for concentration, this mantra arises from the solar plexus, and there is a response in the cells of the body: they all start vibrating. Everything gets filled with Light!

The other day, in my bathroom, it came and took hold of the entire body. It rose and rose and all the cells were trembling. So I remained still and let the movement develop by itself. The vibration kept mounting and mounting, expanding as the sound itself mounted, and all the cells of the body were seized with an intensity of aspiration . . . as if the entire body was swelling. It became so overwhelming I felt the body was about to burst.

Had I continued, something might have happened, in the sense that the cells' balance would have been affected.

Unfortunately, I was unable to continue because . . . I didn't have time; I was going to be late. So I slowly withdrew. I put on the brakes and the effect was interrupted. But since then, whenever I repeat this mantra everything starts vibrating.

* * *

I repeat my mantra constantly, when I am awake and even when I sleep. I say it when I get dressed, when I eat, when I work, when I speak with people. It is there all the time, in the background of everything.

That is the normal state. It creates an atmosphere of intensity almost more material than the subtle physical. And it has a great effect: it can prevent an accident.

Sometimes, one can go from a state of more or less mechanical and efficient repetition to a state of true repetition, full of power and light. For example, the other day I came down with a cold. Each time I opened my mouth, there was a spasm in my throat and I coughed and coughed. Then came the fever. I looked at it, saw where it came from, and decided it had to stop.

So I got up as usual and started to walk back and forth in my room while repeating my mantra. I had to apply a certain willpower. Naturally, I could have walked in trance while repeating the mantra, because then one feels nothing, none of the body's troubles. But the work has to be done in the body! Well, each word uttered brought in the Light, the full Power, a power that cures everything. I began tired, ill, and came out refreshed, rested, and cured.

I understand why some tantrics advise saying the mantra in the heart center. When one applies a certain enthusiasm, when each word is uttered with a certain warmth of aspiration, it changes everything. I could feel the difference in myself. Perhaps for the mantra to become true, it needs to be repeated with a kind of joy, of elation, of warmth — especially joy.

The Little Things

The major difficulty in this physical yoga stems from very small things, which may seem quite commonplace, totally insignificant, yet they block the way. They come for no earthly reason — a detail, a word grating on a sensitive spot, an ailment in someone close to me, anything at all — and suddenly something inside contracts. And all the work has to be started again as if nothing had been done before.

Sri Aurobindo had made it clear to me that this yoga in matter is the most difficult of all. For the other yogas, the paths are well traveled. You know where to walk, how to proceed, what to do in such-and-such a case. But in the yoga of matter, nothing has ever been done, so you must make up everything as you proceed.

Of course, things are better since Sri Aurobindo has settled in the subtle physical world. But there are still plenty of question marks. The Enemy's opposition is nothing, because I see it comes from outside, that it's hostile, so I do what's necessary. But the difficulty lies in all the little things of daily material life.

The body is a wonderful instrument, supple, capable of widening, of becoming vast; and then the slightest gesture, the least task is accomplished with extraordinary harmony and plasticity. But suddenly, for some trifle, a draft, almost nothing, it forgets, it no longer understands. It shrinks back onto itself, afraid of disappearing, afraid of not being, and everything has to be started again from scratch.

Yet it's happy. It loves doing the work. It lives only for that. To change, to transform itself is its raison d'Ítre. And it is such a docile instrument, so full of good will! Once it even started to wail like a baby: "O Lord, give me the time, the time to transform myself!"

It has such a simple fervor for the work, but it needs time. It wants to live only to conquer, to live in order to win the Lord's Victory.

In the Flood

Last night, for about three hours — and for the first time in such a total way — the physical ego had disintegrated.

Not just in the consciousness, but in the physical sensation, there was nothing left but the Force, nothing left but the divine Satchidananda endlessly flooding the universe.

When these experiences come, they are always absolute. Then, through certain signs I have learned to recognize, I notice the body-consciousness coming back again. Or rather, "something" — evidently a Supreme Wisdom — decides that the body has had enough for this time.

This transition comes in several small stages that I know quite well. The final one is always a bit unpleasant because my body gets into rather peculiar positions as a result of the work, and I have some difficulty straightening my knees, for example, or opening my fingers.

But during approximately three hours, the consciousness was completely different.

However, it was here on earth, not beyond the earth. But it was completely different — even the body-consciousness was different. All the power of consciousness that for more than seventy years I have gradually pushed into every cell of this body — all that seemed to be gone. There only remained an almost lifeless object.

I was able to raise myself from my bed and even drink a glass of water, but it all felt so . . . bizarre. And when I went back to bed, it took nearly forty-five minutes for the body to regain its normal condition. Only after I had entered another kind of trance and come out of it did my consciousness fully return. It is the first time I have had an experience of this kind.

During those three hours, there was nothing but the Supreme manifesting through the eternal Mother.

But there was no awareness of being the Mother; there was the continuous and all-powerful flood, and so incredibly varied, of the Lord manifesting Himself.

It was as vast as the universe and in a continuous motion, the movement of manifestation of something that was everything at once and without division. And with an incredible variety of colors, vibrations and power.

It was one single movement containing everything.

It moved and it didn't move. How can you explain that? It was in motion, a constant, unceasing motion, yet there was no movement. I had the perception, or rather there was the perception, of something that was forever, that never repeated itself, that neither began nor ended, that didn't move yet was always in motion.

Words cannot express it. No translation, not even the subtlest mental translation can express this. Even now, the memory I have of it is inexpressible.

Yet, to the consciousness, it was very, very clear. It was neither mysterious nor incomprehensible, though untranslatable through our mental consciousness.

When I went back to bed, the transitional period lasted for about forty-five minutes, during which I tried to place the role of the individual consciousness on the earth. Indeed, as long as the experience lasted, there was no feeling that individuality was at all necessary for this supreme flood to manifest. But in a flash, I understood that the purpose of the individuality is to put into contact, in that flood, what is called "I," this individualized representation of the Divine, so it can receive help and support from it. I did not say "put into contact with that flood," but "in that flood," because nothing is outside that flood, nothing exists outside it.

What was really lovely was the accuracy and power with which the forces were aimed. I watched it for three quarters of an hour: for each thing happening (it could have been someone thinking, something taking place, anything at all), a specific little concentration of that flood went precisely toward that point with a special insistence.

And all this was absolutely free of ego, free of any personal reaction. There was nothing but the awareness of the Supreme Activity.

During the time the experience lasted, I had no feeling of anything exceptional, just the realization that after all its preparation the body-consciousness was now ready for a total identification with That.

Toward the end of the night, at about two in the morning, all that was left was a vague suggestion: How can this state — a state I have known in trance, which necessitates lying down — become permanent in a living physical body? And what form will it take?

That's where something needs to be found.

That perpetual, constant and eternal state is always present in my consciousness, but the problem is in the body.

Fate and the Power of Control

I saw the realm that is under the influence of thought — the power of thought over the body - it is enormous! One cannot imagine how enormous it is. Even a subconscious or sometimes unconscious thought has an effect and produces incredible results! I've been studying this in detail for the last two years. It is incredible!

Even the tiniest mental or vital reactions — so infinitesimal that to our ordinary consciousness they don't seem to have the least importance - have an effect on the cells of the body and can create disorders. When we watch very carefully, we may become aware of a slight uneasiness, and by tracking down its origin, we realize it stems from something that to our active consciousness is quite imperceptible and "insignificant" — yet it's enough to create a disorder in the body.

One is under the impression that certain circumstances in the body are independent, not only of our will, but of our consciousness — but it isn't true.

Then there is everything that comes from outside, and that's the most dangerous. It's constant - even when you eat, you catch something — oh, what a mishmash of vibrations! The vibrations of what you eat when it was alive (they always remain), the vibrations of the person who cooked the food, and so on. When you talk to another person or mix with people, of course you are a bit more conscious of what comes in; but even when you sit still, minding your own business, it comes in!

There is almost complete interdependence, and isolation is an illusion. By reinforcing your own atmosphere, you can hold things off to some extent, but the very effort to keep them at a distance creates disturbances.

Yet I know in an absolute way that once this whole mass of the physical mind is brought under control and the highest consciousness is brought into it in a continuous way, one can have control over one's health.

This is why I tell people that this is not a matter of fate, not something that escapes our control altogether, not some "Law of Nature" over which we have no power. We are truly the masters of everything that has been brought together to create our transitory individuality; we have been given the power of control, provided we know how to use it.

It is a tremendous discipline.

But it's worth remembering if only to escape this sense of fatality and subjugation that things are outside our control. "We're born, we live, we die; Nature is bearing down on us and we are the playthings of something much bigger and stronger than we are."

That is the Falsehood.

In my yoga, only after I knew that I am the Master of everything (provided I know how to be this Master and let myself be this Master, provided the outer stupidity accepts to stay in its place) did I know that one could gain control over Nature.

Whatever the effort involved, whatever the difficulty, whatever time it takes, you know you are the Master, that the Master and you are one and the same. All that's necessary is to know it integrally with nothing denying it.

This is why I tell people that their health depends on their inner life.

The Roots of Illness

I went down into a place in the human consciousness, hence necessarily in my body — I have never seen anything more shaky, fearful, weak, and small! It must be a part of the cellular consciousness, something that lives in apprehension, dread, anxiety. It was really, really terrifying.

And we all carry that within us! We are unaware of it; it's almost subconscious, because the consciousness is there to prevent us from yielding to it. It is so cowardly, it can make you fall sick in a minute. I saw it. I saw things that had been cured and overcome in myself (cured in the true manner, not in an external way), and then they return!

So I went in search of the cause.

It is something in the subconscient, in the cells' subconscient. That's where the roots are. And it is very, very ingrained.

For example, you can be feeling very good, the body can feel perfectly harmonious; suddenly the clock strikes or someone utters a word, and you have just a faint impression: "Oh, it's late; I'm going to be late" — a split second and the whole harmony of the body falls apart. Suddenly you feel uneasy, weak, drained.

It's really terrible to be at the mercy of such things!

To change that, one has to go down at that level, which is what I am in the process of doing.

In the Quagmire

The situation remains the same.

Right in the subconscient — a subconscient, oh, hopelessly weak and dull and enslaved to everything. It unfolds before me night after night, night after night.

Last night, it was indescribable! It seems to have no limits!

Of course, the body is affected by all this, poor thing! It is its subconscient, yet it isn't personal. It is personal and not personal: it becomes personal when it affects the body.

The accumulation of impressions recorded and stored on top of one another in the subconscient is unbelievable. Outwardly, it isn't even noticeable; the waking consciousness is unaware of them. But they keep on coming and coming, piling up on top of one another.


So I understand why people have never tried to change that. Stir up that quagmire? No thanks! It takes a lot, a lot of courage! Oh, it's so much easier to escape, to say, "This isn't my problem. I belong to higher spheres."

Anyway, so far it's obvious that no one, not a single person has succeeded.

And I understand why!

When you find yourself confronted to that, you wonder how anything could withstand it.

My body was strong, solid, full of endurance and energy, and it's beginning to feel a bit uneasy.

Of course, by acting from above, from a higher consciousness, one can keep these things somewhat under control, hold them in place, as it were, prevent them from taking unpleasant initiatives. I have been acting from above for more than thirty years! But it changes nothing — or if it changes, it doesn't transform anything. It remains in the air, ethereal. It isn't the real thing, the new creation, the next step of terrestrial evolution.

For the transformation, one must descend at that level, and that is the terrible thing. Otherwise, the subconscient will remain as it is, unaltered

Some will say, "Why the hurry? Wait for Nature to do it." Yes, Nature will do it in a few million years, wasting countless lives and things in the process. To her, a few million years are nothing, a passing breeze.

Anyhow, I was sent here to do it, so I am trying to do it. That's all. If it hadn't been for this, I would have left with Sri Aurobindo. This is the only reason I stayed on — because it had to be done and he told me to do it. So I am doing it.

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