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object:4.4.5.03 - Descent and Other Experiences
book class:Letters On Yoga III
author class:Sri Aurobindo
class:chapter

The more important of the experiences you enumerate are those
below.
(1) The feeling of calm and comparative absence of disturbing thoughts. This means the growth of quietude of mind which
is necessary for a fully effective meditation.
(2) The pressure on the head and the movements within it.
The pressure is that of the Force of the higher consciousness
above the mind pressing on the mind (the mind centres are in
the head and throat) and penetrating into it. Once it enters
there it prepares the mind for opening to it more fully and the
movements within the head are due to this working. Once the
head centres and spaces are open one feels it descending freely as
a current or otherwise. Afterwards it opens similarly the centres
below in the body. The physical movement of the head must be
due to the body not being accustomed to the pressure and penetration of the Force. When it is able to receive and assimilate,
these movements no longer take place.
(3) The effect of the meditation in the heart extending itself to the head and creating movements there is normal - in
whatever centre the concentration takes place the Yoga force

Descent and Other Kinds of Experience

467

generated extends to the others and produces concentration or
workings there.
(4) The sudden cessation of thought and all movements -
this is very important, as it means the beginning of the capacity
for the inner silence. It lasts only for a short while at the beginning of its manifestation but increases afterwards its hold and
duration.
The direction of the sadhana is the right one and you have
only to continue upon it.
We cannot say anything definitively about the outside affairs
- I suppose in the circumstances you have to think about these
things, but the sadhana has the greater importance.
We do not include Hathayoga practices in this sadhana.
If you use only for health purposes, it must be as something
separate from sadhana - on your own choice.
*
The last experience carries its own meaning. The first is a dreamexperience in which the figures of the dream are probably symbols, - unless the Tibetan priest is an impression from a past
life. The experience itself is that of concentration in a flame
of aspiration with the result of an ascension into the higher
planes of consciousness where the separative self disappears
into the universal. The second is an experience of the descent
of the higher consciousness through the spinal cord from the
mental to the vital centres with the result of a momentary experience of that higher consciousness in its wide universality. The
experience once had repeated itself but always with the same
momentariness. It is the permanence of this experience that is
in this Yoga the foundation of the spiritual consciousness and
the spiritual transformation - as distinguished from the psychic
which proceeds from the inner heart.
*
They are elementary experiences in the practice of Yoga and
there is not much to be said about them, - still I will say this
much, if it can help him.

468

Letters on Yoga - III

(1) What does he mean by concentrating in the heart? I
suppose not the physical heart? When we speak of concentrating
in the heart in Yoga, we are speaking of the emotional centre
and that like all the others is in the middle of the body in a
line corresponding to the spinal cord. The places he speaks of
are four centres - (1) crown of head = higher mental centre,
(2) between the eyebrows = centre of will and vision, (3) throat =
centre of externalising mind, (4) heart = (mental-vital) emotional
centre with the psychic behind it (the soul, Purusha in the heart).
(2) The lights he sees indicate not some mere "physiological" phenomenon, but the first opening of an inner subtle vision
which sees things that are not physical. At a later stage a descent
of Light is one of the capital phenomena of the opening of the
greater Yogic experience and of the working of the Divine Power
on the adhar.
(3) What does he mean by chitta when he speaks of the
force? Chitta as opposed to Chit or Vijnana etc. is only the basic
mind-life consciousness out of which rises the stuff of (ordinary)
thought, feelings, sensations etc. The Force which he feels is
something quite different; it is the larger force exceeding the
individual and when one feels it in its fullness, it is experienced
as the cosmic force or something out of the cosmic force or else
the Divine Force from above, according to its nature. His mind
is not yet ready for the action of a greater Force, because it is
full of mental notions and activities and it is for this reason that
heat is generated in the friction between the two; when the other
force withdraws and no longer tries to lay hold of the brain then
the personal mind-action feels released (that is the reason for
the sense of coolness) and goes about its ordinary motions. It
is only in a silent (quiet - not necessarily empty) mind that the
greater force can be received and work upon the system without
too much reaction and resistance.





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