The popular imagination about the existence and characteristics of vampires has developed from the famous novel by Bram Stoker, Dracula. From that book we get the picture of beings that survive many hundreds of years, who are shapeshifters , and who drink the blood of their victims, preferably the blood of young, innocent women, in order to gain sustenance and extend their lives. The blood-sucking concept appears to have come from the actions of a form of bat, the vampire bat. Countless motion pictures and extensions of these core concepts have fixed the idea of vampires in our mind as some kind of object of horror and an entire genre of literature and film has risen up and grabbed the attention of popular culture, particularly among the young.

Yet, this conception of vampires and the nature of vampirism is actually a caricature of the actual underlying phenomenon of vampirism. The essence of ‘vampirism’ is the drawing out and depleting of the vital energy of an individual, mostly done by beings through vital interactions, unseen, in most cases unnoticed, and only recognised by the state of the victim after the interaction, a state characterised by fatigue, exhaustion, depression, or dark moods and feelings, vital weakness, physical feeling of being drained. Most people have had some experience of meeting with someone and afterwards stating ‘I get so drained in the company of that person.’ Vampirism can take place on a relatively low level or, in the instance of a vital being actively feeding off of human energetic vibrations, it can take on a very powerful form.

A disciple inquires: “There are some human beings who are like vampires. What are they and why are they like that?”

The Mother notes: “They are not human; there is only a human form or appearance. They are incarnations of beings from the world that is just next to the physical, beings who live on the plane which we call the vital world. It is a world of all the desires and impulses and passions and of movements of violence and greed and cunning and every kind of ignorance; but all the dynamisms too are there, all the life-energies and all the powers. The beings of this world have by their nature a strange grip over the material world and can exercise upon it a sinister influence. Some of them are formed out of the remains of the human being that persist after death in the vital atmosphere near to the earth-plane. His desires and hungers still float there and remain in form even after the dissolution of the body; often they are moved to go on manifesting and satisfying themselves and the birth of these creatures of the vital world is the consequence. But these are minor beings and, if they can be very troublesome, it is yet not impossible to deal with them. There are others, far more dangerous, who have never been in human form; never were they born into a human body upon earth, for most often they refuse to accept this way of birth because it is slavery to matter and they prefer to remain in their own world, powerful and mischievous, and to control earthly beings from there. For, if they do not want to be born on earth, they do want to be in contact with the physical nature, but without being bound by it. Their method is to try first to cast their influence upon a man; then they enter slowly into his atmosphere and in the end may get complete possession of him, driving out entirely the real human soul and personality. These creatures, when in possession of an earthly body, may have the human appearance but they have not a human nature. Their habit is to draw upon the life-force of human beings; they attack and capture vital power wherever they can and feed upon it. If they come into your atmosphere, you suddenly feel depressed and exhausted; if you are near them for some time you fall sick; if you live with one of them, it may kill you.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 5 Occult Forces, pp. 120-121

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast located at
He is author of 20 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press