Guiding Light of The Month

THE result of all my reflections of yesterday is the finding that the only disturbance I experience comes from my fear of not having been or of not being perfectly identified with Thy law. - The Mother

Intuitive Mind Centre

                           The activity of correct perception.

- The Mother
Common Name:  Canna lily
Botanical Name: Canna Xgeneralis
Spiritual Name:  Intuitive Mind Centre


Light, its quality and intensity has always been used to describe states of the mind-consciousness, just as heat and warmth have been used to describe states of consciousness in the heart region. What is the nature of this Light in the ordinary mind, higher mind, illumined mind and mind of intuition? In moments of quietness, when we retract our feelers that reach outwards and consent to withdraw to the background and watch the movements within, we perceive something of the mind, which Sri Aurobindo describes as “…a faculty for the seeking of knowledge, for expressing…and for using it towards certain capacities of action. Even when it finds, it does not possess, it only keeps a fund of current coin of Truth – not Truth itself – in the bank of Memory to draw upon according to its needs. For mind is that which does not know, which tries to know and which never knows except as in a glass darkly.” In terms of Light, the ordinary mind lacks it or rather, appears ill-lit. Taking a minute to dwell in our ordinary mind, watching the thoughts clashing pell-mell in an ill-lit alleyway, at once noisy and disorderly, confirms this. How are the higher rungs of mind lit? If the mind is an ill-lit alleyway, sometimes lit with false lightings that flicker off as soon as they appear, or which progressively dim away into darkness, the higher mind is described as “… not illumined by any of the more intense upper lights but as if in a large strong and clear daylight…” In the higher mind, natural daylight begins to make its presence felt, but it is still not that something more that is possible, that we are promised. It is not the sunlight itself.

Then comes the description of the illumined mind with regards to the light that thus illumines it: “Here the clarity of the spiritual intelligence, its tranquil intense lustre, a splendour and illumination of the Spirit: a play of lightings of spiritual truth and power breaks from above into the consciousness …”

On Intuition, is written “… intuition leaps out like a spark of lightning-flash..” with further illustration from ‘Savitri’:

And like a sky-flare showing all the ground A swift intuitive discernment shone.

Intuition is portrayed as quick flashes of light, the intensity of which can illumine all the ground. There is a suggestion that it comes after the clouds come together and a storm is brewing. One strike and all is seen, is what comes to the mind. Further to this, Sri Aurobindo writes, “It acts in a self-light of the truth which does not depend upon the torch-flares of the sense-mind and its limited uncertain percepts; … it is a kind of truth-vision, truth-hearing, truth-memory, direct truth-discernment.”

What is the hope for us to be able to climb from rung to rung and reach the lightning flashes of intuition, or rather to have a sky prepared for their visitations? Sri Aurobindo gives us some very encouraging insights, which places the beginning as the “widening into the inner mind”, to grow beyond living in our surface mind into an inner mind which is able to put us in direct communion with the universal forces and have possible a direct action on our limited being and widen it into a higher existence.

As with all aspects of this Yoga, this calls for self-work, an inner scrutiny and a calling of Higher Forces which alone can help.


Mind’s quick-paced thoughts floated from their high necks
A glowing splendor as of an irised mane,
A parure of pure intuition’s light;
Its flame-foot gallop they could imitate.

(Savitri, Book 7 Canto 3)

An inspired Knowledge sat enthroned within
Whose seconds illumined more than reason’s years:
An ictus of revealing luster fell
As if a pointing accent upon Truth,
And like a sky-flare showing all the ground
A swift intuitive discernment shone.

(Savitri, Book 1 Canto 3)

There is a deeper seeing from within
And when we have left these small purlieus of mind,
A greater vision meets us on the heights
In the luminous wideness of the Spirit’s gaze.
At last there wakes in us a witness Soul
That looks at truths unseen and scans the Unknown;
Then all assumes a new and marvelous face.

(Savitri, Book 2 Canto 5)

Question of the month

Q: Mother, how can the faculty of intuition be developed?

A:  The Mother: There are different kinds of intuition, and we carry these capacities within us. They are always active to some extent but we don’t notice them because we don’t pay enough attention to what is going on in us.

Behind the emotions, deep within the being, in a consciousness seated somewhere near the level of the solar plexus, there is a sort of prescience, a kind of capacity for foresight, but not in the form of ideas: rather in the form of feelings, almost a perception of sensations. For instance, when one is going to decide to do something, there is sometimes a kind of uneasiness or inner refusal, and usually, if one listens to this deeper indication, one realises that it was justified.
In other cases there is something that urges, indicates, insists - I am not speaking of impulses, you understand, of all the movements which come from the vital and much lower still -indications which are behind the feelings, which come from the affective part of the being; there too one can receive a fairly sure indication of the thing to be done. These are forms of intuition or of a higher instinct which can be cultivated by observation and also by studying the results. Naturally, it must be done very sincerely, objectively, without prejudice. If one wants to see things in a particular way and at the same time practise this observation, it is all useless. One must do it as if one were looking at what is happening from outside oneself, in someone else.

It is one form of intuition and perhaps the first one that usually manifests.

There is also another form but that one is much more difficult to observe because for those who are accustomed to think, to act by reason—not by impulse but by reason—to reflect before doing anything, there is an extremely swift process from cause to effect in the half-conscious thought which prevents you from seeing the line, the whole line of reasoning and so you don’t think that it is a chain of reasoning, and that is quite deceptive. You have the impression of an intuition but it is not an intuition, it is an extremely rapid subconscious reasoning, which takes up a problem and goes straight to the conclusions. This must not be mistaken for intuition.

In the ordinary functioning of the brain, intuition is something which suddenly falls like a drop of light. If one has the faculty, the beginning of a faculty of mental vision, it gives the impression of something coming from outside or above, like a little impact of a drop of light in the brain, absolutely independent of all reasoning.

This is perceived more easily when one is able to silence one’s mind, hold it still and attentive, arresting its usual functioning, as if the mind were changed into a kind of mirror turned towards a higher faculty in a sustained and silent attention. That too one can learn to do. One must learn to do it, it is a necessary discipline.

When you have a question to solve, whatever it may be, usually you concentrate your attention here (pointing between the eyebrows), at the centre just above the eyes, the centre of the conscious will. But then if you do that, you cannot be in contact with intuition. You can be in contact with the source of the will, of effort, even of a certain kind of knowledge, but in the outer, almost material field; whereas, if you want to contact the intuition, you must keep this (Mother indicates the forehead) completely immobile. Active thought must be stopped as far as possible and the entire mental faculty must form - at the top of the head and a little further above if possible - a kind of mirror, very quiet, very still, turned upwards, in silent, very concentrated attention. If you succeed, you can - perhaps not immediately - but you can have the perception of the drops of light falling upon the mirror from a still unknown region and expressing themselves as a conscious thought which has no connection with all the rest of your thought since you have been able to keep it silent. That is the real beginning of the intellectual intuition.

It is a discipline to be followed. For a long time one may try and not succeed, but as soon as one succeeds in making a “mirror”, still and attentive, one always obtains a result, not necessarily with a precise form of thought but always with the sensations of a light coming from above. And then, if one can receive this light coming from above without entering immediately into a whirl of activity, receive it in calm and silence and let it penetrate deep into the being, then after a while it expresses itself either as a luminous thought or as a very precise indication here (Mother indicates the heart), in this other centre.

Naturally, first these two faculties must be developed; then, as soon as there is any result, one must observe the result, as I said, and see the connection with what is happening, the consequences: see, observe very attentively what has come in, what may have caused a distortion, what one has added by way of more or less conscious reasoning or the intervention of a lower will, also more or less conscious; and it is by a very deep study - indeed, almost of every moment, in any case daily and very frequent - that one succeeds in developing one’s intuition. It takes a long time. It takes a long time and there are ambushes: one can deceive oneself, take for intuitions subconscious wills which try to manifest, indications given by impulses one has refused to receive openly, indeed all sorts of difficulties. One must be prepared for that. But if one persists, one is sure to succeed.

And there comes a time when one feels a kind of inner guidance, something which is leading one very perceptibly in all that one does. But then, for the guidance to have its maximum power, one must naturally add to it a conscious surrender: one must be sincerely determined to follow the indication given by the higher force. If one does that, then... one saves years of study, one can seize the result extremely rapidly. If one also does that, the result comes very rapidly. But for that, it must be done with sincerity and... a kind of inner spontaneity. If one wants to try without this surrender, one may succeed—as one can also succeed in developing one’s personal will and making it into a very considerable power—but that takes a very long time and one meets many obstacles and the result is very precarious; one must be very persistent, obstinate, persevering, and one is sure to succeed, but only after a great labour.

Make your surrender with a sincere, complete self-giving, and you will go ahead at full speed, you will go much faster but you must not do this calculatingly, for that spoils everything!


Moreover, whatever you may want to do in life, one thing is absolutely indispensable and at the basis of everything, the capacity of concentrating the attention. If you are able to gather together the rays of attention and consciousness on one point and can maintain this concentration with a persistent will, nothing can resist it - whatever it may be, from the most material physical development to the highest spiritual one. But this discipline must be followed in a constant and, it may be said, imperturbable way; not that you should always be concentrated on the same thing - that’s not what I mean, I mean learning to concentrate.

And materially, for studies, sports, all physical or mental development, it is absolutely indispensable. And the value of an individual is proportionate to the value of his attention.

And from the spiritual point of view it is still more important. There is no spiritual obstacle which can resist a penetrating power of concentration. For instance, the discovery of the psychic being, union with the inner Divine, opening to the higher spheres, all can be obtained by an intense and obstinate power of concentration - but one must learn how to do it.

There is nothing in the human or even in the superhuman field, to which the power of concentration is not the key.

You can be the best athlete, you can be the best student, you can be an artistic, literary or scientific genius, you can be the greatest saint with that faculty. And everyone has in himself a tiny little beginning of it - it is given to everybody, but people do not cultivate it.

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 9, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)

Sri Aurobindo on Intuition

To have true intuition one must get rid of the mind’s self-will, and the vital’s also, their preferences, fancies, fantasies, strong insistences and eliminate the mental and vital ego’s pressure which sets the consciousness to work in the service of its own claims and desires. Otherwise these things will come in with force and claim to be intuitions, inspirations and the rest of it. Or if any intuitions come, they can be twisted and spoiled by the mixture of these forces of Ignorance.

Intuition is a power of consciousness nearer and more intimate to the original knowledge by identity; for it is always something that leaps out direct from a concealed identity. It is when the consciousness of the subject meets with the consciousness in the object, penetrates it and sees, feels or vibrates with the truth of what it contacts, that the intuition leaps out like a spark of lightning-flash from the shock of the meeting; or when the consciousness, even without any such meeting, looks into itself and feels directly and intimately the truth or the truths that are there or so contacts the hidden forces behind appearances, then also there is the outbreak of an intuitive light; or, again, when the consciousness meets the Supreme Reality or the spiritual reality of things and beings and has a contractual union with it, then the spark, the flash or the blaze of intimate truth-perception is lit in its depths.

(‘Our Many Selves - Selections from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’, Compiled, with an Introduction ,by A.S. Dalal, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

”If mankind only caught a glimpse of what infinite enjoyment, what perfect forces, what luminous reaches of spontaneous knowledge, what wide calms of our being lie waiting for us in the tracts which our animal evolution has not yet conquered, they would leave all and never rest till they had gained these treasures. But the way is narrow, the doors are hard to force, and fear, distrust and scepticism are there, sentinels of Nature, to forbid the turning away of our feet from her ordinary pastures.”

The Foundations of Psychological Theory in the Veda (contd.)

Function of the Gods:
Sri Aurobindo found that the systematic symbolism of the Veda was extended to the legends related to the Gods and their dealings with ancient seers and that in all probability had a naturalistic origin.   If this was so, the original sense was supplemented by psychological symbolism.

In Sri Aurobindo’s own words – “The gods I found to be described as sons of Aditi, of Infinity; and without exception they are described as increasing man, bringing him light, pouring on him the fullness of waters, the abundance of the heavens, increasing the truth in him, building up the divine worlds, leading him against all attacks to the great goal, the integral felicity, the perfect bliss”. He says, gods are not personifications of qualities of powers, but incarnations or emanations of conscious forces with whom one can enter into concrete touch. They can help man and show him the way to a divine consciousness and immortal life.
Rig Veda clearly mentions the nature and the role played by the Gods. Through this a deep understanding of spirituality will be possible. By reciting the mantras and performing meditation, human beings can enter into contact with these powers. Literally they can take birth in human beings and guide them from within. The Sanskrit word for the God is deva and this occurs in about 1300 out of 10,552 mantras. The root word here ‘div’ meaning ‘to shine’ or ‘illumine’. They are supra-physical beings without physical bodies endowed with consciousness, knowledge and power. They carry out the actions directly from their consciousness without the need for a body.

Every deva represents an outward aspect and an inner or psychological power. Outwardly, Agni is the physical fire or the fire of digestion. At a deeper level, Agni is the Divine Will. Sri Aurobindo and Sri Kapali Sastry explain that Agni in the esoteric sense stands for the principle of aspiration in man to achieve higher things than his present state. Progress is not possible without aspiration. Hence, only if Agni is active, can he bring other gods or powers and make them manifest in man. Consequently, these powers enter the human being and grow in him or her like a plant. This process of manifestation is called ‘the birth of the Deva’. These are indicated in hundreds of mantras by words like ‘janayan’ or ‘jajna̅na’.   Following table shows the description of the power of some of the Gods:


Fire; Cosmic power of heat and light. Will power united with wisdom. Human power is a feeble projection of this. Can be strengthened by Rig Vedic chants to Agni.
Lord of the Divine Mind and Action.  In Indian tradition, mind is not a source of knowledge. It manipulates the knowledge to aid action. Indra battles the evil forces on behalf of humans. He is of luminous intelligence.
Wind; He is the Lord of all the Life energies. Prana which represent passions, feelings, emotions and abilities.
The Lords of Bliss and Divine physicians. Renders human body free of disease, so that it can accept the divine Prana, the life-energy.
The Lord of Love and Harmony.


The Master of infinities who cannot tolerate restrictive thinking or actions. Only he can cut the three bonds which restrict the three aspects of every human being, namely – physical, vital and mental.   He is vast and pure.
The Goddess of inspiration.
The Goddess of inspiration.
The Goddess of revelation.
The delight of life-experience.
The Supreme Deity of Light and Force.

Difference  between ‘Vedic Gods’ and ‘Puranic Gods’:  In the Veda, all the Gods are pure, harmonious, and devoid of undesirable qualities. Though each Vedic God has a distinct power or personality, they carry the presence of the Supreme, ‘That One’. They work together in divinising the individual person by being born in him. When the age of Vedic Samhita came to an end, several centuries later the Upanishad period started to capture the truths of Vedic period. At a much later period, the Puranas started to state the esoteric truths of the Veda through stories and in a language that was easily accessible to the common man. In this process, the qualities of the Vedic Gods were mixed up with those of the lower Gods of the Prana and vital plane. Here we find that the various Gods, sometimes work together but also compete with one another.
Message of the Rig Veda:  Aim of both the riṣhis and devas is to systematically uplift every human being to higher and higher levels of perfection. The journey never stops till all round perfection is achieved.  This applies not merely to an individual level, but for the level of society at large. The Vedic seers realised that it is not possible to intellectually describe such a radical goal of all round perfection.  According to them there already exists the plane of  satyam ṛtam bṛhat  - the truth, the Right, the Vast -  incorporating the seed of perfect perfection to come, and to attain this state one has to get in touch with the consciousness of that plane. However, they were able to give detailed hints about the paths to be followed. They also realised that such a great task cannot be achieved by human effort only and the Gods must collaborate doing the actual work. 
Every time a human being does a task with some consciousness, he can feel the collaboration of the Divine Powers. Human journey towards perfection is often compared to climbing a mountain from peak to peak or to a journey in the uncharted waters of the ocean in a boat. With dedicated effort a stage will come where the person feels that all the work is done by the Gods themselves.  

Adverse cosmic powers in nature are also common posing obstacles in the path of human seeker. These are forces of darkness and falsehood called as Dasyu, Vṛtra, Ahi, Vala etc. The Veda has many references to the symbolic battles between the Forces of Light headed by Indra and Agni on one side and the forces of darkness on the other. The victory of the Gods is celebrated by the riṣhis through hymns dedicated to the deities.
Every mantra in the Rig Veda is either a prayer or an adoration addressed to a cosmic power or devata like Agni or a call for a Cosmic Power to manifest in the riṣhi or a call for some action by the Cosmic Power. Many mantras are celebrations of the actions of the devata including the gifts of powers of light and might.

In the next Chapter V of ‘The Secret of the Veda’, Sri Aurobindo deals with the Philological Method of the Veda. He realised that a mere psychological interpretation is not fully sufficient and at times must be backed up by a sound philological basis. This will not only account for the new sense, but explain how a single word came to be capable of so many different meanings, the sense attached to it by the psychological interpretation, those given to it by old grammarians and those, if any, are attached to later Sanskrit. We will be looking to all these as we move along further ……….


1.      The Light of Veda – A Practical Approach  ’ – by Sri T.V.Kapāli Sastry

2.    A New Light on the Veda ’ – by Sri T.V.Kapāli Sastry
(Originally written in Sanskrit under the name ‘Siddhānjana – Bhūmika’, translated into English by Sri M.P.Pandit and thoroughly revised by the author himself, in 1952.     Published by Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore.  (SAKSI))

3. ‘Agni in the Rig Veda’ - by Dr R.L.Kashyap

4. ‘Why read the Rig Veda’ – by Dr R.L.Kashyap
(Dr K.L.Kashyap is an Honarary Director & Trustee of SAKSI. He has to his credit 6 major books on the Veda and has undertaken a mission of writing a commentary on all the Veda mantras.)

- C. Krishnamurthy (