Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sri Aurobindo on Drugs, Illness and Yoga

11 September 1926 (Evening)

(X referred to the use of drugs by some Yogis.)

Sri Aurobindo: This has been greatly abused. The drugs give artificial stimulation which makes possible certain experiences, but these experiences do not bring any permanent change; on the other hand, the normal condition becomes more dull. Merely the throwing out of the consciousness from the body is not at all difficult but it brings no improvement. Those who are conscious of and can control such going out of the consciousness can make proper use of artificial drugs.

(X referred to certain drugs in America which, when

taken, are supposed to give clairvoyance.)

Sri Aurobindo: I do not know of such drugs but that is

quite possible, though this is not the proper method.

Salvation achieved through the use of drugs is not

worth having. The ancients found out some such drug

in the soma plant.

Disciple: What happens when a person becomes unconscious under chloroform?
Sri Aurobindo: The vital consciousness is thrown out of the body.
Disciple: What happens to the mind?
Sri Aurobindo: That, of course, goes with the vital consciousness.
Disciple: There remains certainly a connection with the body, by which the consciousness returns to the body.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes
Disciple: The medical explanation is that the nervous centres are disconnected.
Sri Aurobindo: That is the result of the going out of the vital consciousness.
Disciple: How high must a person rise in sadhana before he becomes free from the attack of illness?
Sri Aurobindo: Rather you should say how low the power is brought down. When the Supramental comes down to the physical, it becomes quite safe from illness. Before that illness is to be warded off by the vital and the mental powers.
Disciple: How is that done?
Sri Aurobindo: By a sort of vital and mental control. Even those who are not Yogis may have such powers.
Disciple: Is it a suggestion of the mind?
Sri Aurobindo: No, it is a mental and vital control which some persons can find out. Again, Yogis who practise Pranayama are not attacked with illness. When I practised Pranayama at Baroda I had excellent health and powers. But when I came to Calcutta and political work did not leave me any time for regular practice of Pranayama, I was attacked with malarial fever which almost carried me off. These are the consequences of Pranayama or control – whenever these protections are withdrawn, the forces of illness rush up in a sort of revenge.
Disciple: What is the proper attitude to be taken in cases of illness? (I myself had cold at the time.)
Disciple: In cases of cold? (Laughter)
Sri Aurobindo: You should expose yourself by… (Laughter)
Disciple: He wants to know the proper attitude.
Sri Aurobindo: The proper attitude is to localize the illness or the pain in the body and dissociate yourself from it, and then use the mental and vital will
to throw it away. In all cases, such dissociation is the proper attitude – the attitude that the illness is in the body, but not in you.
Disciple: How can one be safe from accidents?
Sri Aurobindo: There may be awakened a sort of vital and bodily consciousness which will forewarn you against coming accidents. Those who practise Yoga may have a protection from the higher power but that does not remove the theoretical possibility of accidents. But when you have the Yogic body, the body itself will be able to throw off all attacks.

(Interviews and Conversations with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Anilbaran Roy)