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object: - The Descent of Force or Power
book class:Letters On Yoga III
author class:Sri Aurobindo

The experiences you have had are very clear evidence that you
have the capacity for Yoga. The first decisive experiences in this
Yoga are a calm and peace that is felt, first somewhere in the
being and in the end in all the being, and the descent of a Power
and Force into the body which will take up the whole adhar
and work in it to transform mind, life and body into the instrumentation of the Divine Consciousness. The two experiences of
which you wrote in your letter are the beginning of this calm
and the descent of this Force. Much has to be done before they
can be established or persistently effective, but that they should
come at this stage is a clear proof of capacity to receive. It must
be remembered however that the Yoga is not easy and cannot
be done without the rising of many obstacles and much lapse
of time - so if you take it up it must be with a firm resolve to
carry it through to the end with a whole-hearted sincerity, faith,
patience and courage.
It is the Mother's force that descended to work in the system.
There are two things that have to be established in order to make
a foundation for the workings of the sadhana in the waking
consciousness, 1st a descent of Peace from above, 2nd a descent
of the Force. If one has these two things permanently established
in the consciousness, then one has the basis.
By Force I mean not mental or vital energy but the Divine Force
from above - as peace comes from above and wideness also, so
does this Force (Shakti). Nothing, not even thinking or meditating can be done without some action of Force. The Force I speak
of is a Force for illumination, transformation, purification, all
that has to be done in the Yoga, for removal of the hostile forces
and the wrong movements - it is also of course for external
work, whether great or small in appearance does not matter -
if that is part of the Divine Will. I do not mean any personal


Letters on Yoga - III

force egoistic or rajasic.
Yes, it [the Force] is quite concrete. Usually at first it descends of
itself from time to time - and also one calls it in face of a difficulty. But eventually it is always there supporting or determining
all the action of the being.
The Force comes down as soon as it finds an opening and acts
in the Adhara whenever it is ready. What determines the descent
cannot always be mentally fixed. Aspiration, call, will, prayer,
etc. create a favourable precondition in the head or heart or
anywhere else and are sometimes the determining cause.
What you feel in the head is probably the first conscious descent
into the body of the divine Force from above. Up to now it
must have been working unfelt by you from behind the heart.
If the concentration takes place naturally in the head you must
allow it to do so, but the possibility of this has been prepared
by the previous concentration in the heart, so that also need
not be discontinued unless the force working in you insists on
the upper concentration only. Aspiration can be continued in
the same way until the conduct of the sadhana by the Mother's
power is clearly felt and becomes to you the normal thing.
The experience you had was simply the descent of the Divine
Force into the body. By your attitude and aspiration you called
for it to work in you, so it came. Such a descent brings naturally a deep inward condition and a silence of the mind, and it
may bring much more - peace, a sense of liberation, happiness,
Ananda. It is very often attended as in this experience by a
light or luminosity. It was felt enveloping the upper part of the
body down to the cardiac centre, because it is these centres, the
head and heart centres that are first invaded and occupied by

The Descent of the Higher Powers


whatever descends from above, Consciousness, Force, Light or
Ananda. Usually, there is at first a pressure from above on the
head, then one feels something entering the higher part of the
head and then the whole head is occupied, as you feel now with
the fourmillement at the time of concentration. Once the head
with its mental centres is open and occupied, the Force descends
rapidly to the heart centre, unless there is some obstacle or a
resistance in the higher vital parts. From there it sends its stream
into the whole body and begins to occupy the vital and physical
centres - from the navel to the Muladhara. The coming of this
experience, occupation of the body by the Force from above, is
a great step forward in the sadhana.
The fear of a syncope was due only to the sanskara in the
mind; it must be dismissed. The Force can very well come down
in the full waking consciousness; if it brings a kind of samadhi, it
is usually a conscious inner condition - the consciousness taken
away from outward things, but in full power within. Even if a
trance came, it would be a trance and not a swoon.
The good condition of openness with the Force descending and
the constant remembrance - or whatever other form the condition takes - is the beginning of the true consciousness and its
duration is always short at the beginning, because the ordinary
consciousness is not accustomed to it, but to something else. But
it always increases in duration and power until it is able to maintain itself even when the outer consciousness is occupied with
other things. At first it remains there as something behind which
emerges as soon as the outer preoccupation ends; afterwards it
remains behind, but as something just felt, and in a later stage it
is always there, so that there are two consciousnesses, the inner
consciousness always connected with the Mother and full of her
working or her presence or both and the surface consciousness
occupied with outer things. Finally, even the surface consciousness begins to feel the direct connection in action itself. One
need not mind if there are intervals when the true condition is
not there. It does not prove that you are unfit; it is only a period


Letters on Yoga - III

in which what is not yet changed comes up to be worked upon
and prepared for change. When the inner consciousness is well
established, then these periods take place only in the surface
consciousness and are no longer troublesome as before.
P. S. Probably the difficulty you feel is in the externalising
mind the centre of which is in the throat. When there is no
resistance there, the Force comes down to the heart level and
As for the dynamic descent, you say that the Force has descended
to your forehead (inner mind) centre. It seems to be very slow
in coming through. It has to come down to the heart centre
and below before it can begin to be fully effective. Probably
there must be something either in the physical mental (throat)
or the emotional vital that obstructs the descent. That may be the
reason of the union of the upper Agni and the psychic fire and
the push on the psychic centre - something is trying to remove
the difficulty.
The Power above the head is of course the Mother's - it is the
power of the Higher Consciousness which is preparing its way
of descent. This Higher Consciousness carrying in it a sense of
wide and boundless existence, light, power, peace, Ananda etc. is
always there above the head and when something of the spiritual
Force comes down to work upon the nature, it is from there that
it comes. But nothing like the full descent of the peace, bliss etc.
can come so long as the being is not ready. Very usually the first
preparation is to work on the mind and vital and physical nature
in such a way that the soul, the psychic being can have a chance
of manifesting itself and influencing the rest of the nature; for
that purpose all the main darknesses in the mind and vital have
to be combated and thrown out and the physical also prepared
in an initial way so that the descent may be possible. This is what
has been done so long in you. It has to be made stronger and
more complete; but sufficient has been done for it to be possible
to prepare the descent of the higher consciousness. There are two

The Descent of the Higher Powers


things that take place; an ascent of one's consciousness to the
higher levels in and above the head, and a descent of the higher
consciousness which is above into one's mind, vital and body.
How it is done or by what stages or how long it will take varies
with each person. But this new consciousness is very different
from the ordinary one and many things happen in its coming
which would not happen to the mind and might seem strange to
it - e.g. the dissolution of the ego and the opening into a wider
self or spirit not limited by the body, to which the body is only a
small instrument and nothing more. One must therefore dismiss
all fear of new things and accept with calm and confidence each
field of new experience, relying on the Divine Mother-Force for
guidance and support and protection throughout the change.
The sadhana is a difficult one and time should not be grudged; it
is only in the last stages that a very great and constant rapidity of
progress can be confidently expected. As for Shakti, the descent
of Shakti before the vital is pure and surrendered, has its dangers.
It is better for him to pray for purification, knowledge, intensity
of the heart's aspiration and as much working of the Power as
he can bear and assimilate.
Power can be everywhere, on any plane. What descends from
above is power of the higher Consciousness - but there is a
Power of the vital, mental, physical planes also. Power is not a
special characteristic of the psychic or of the spiritual plane.

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1, #Letters On Yoga III, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object: - The Descent of Force or Power
  author class:Sri Aurobindo

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