People are not generally consciously aware of the energy interchanges that take place to fuel their bodies and drive their live energies. They understand that they need to eat food as a form of ‘fuel’ for their energy, and they count ‘calories’ that are produced by various food sources. Clearly, the connection between matter (in the form of food) and energy (in the form of life action and biochemical processes) is recognised and accepted. We also recognise that Einstein’s famous equation about the convertibility of Matter and Energy in physics also holds true in the field of life. And for most people, the entire subject of life-energy comes down to food and various stimulants.

Stimulants provide an artificial short-term apparent energy boost, not by bringing in new energy sources, but by prodding the biochemical systems to overproduce compared to their natural status. In fact, stimulants tend to eventually weaken the system by using stored energy for short-term requirements at the expense of longer-term balance, wellness and harmonious functioning of the body.

Food of course has its limitations as an energy source. There may be insufficient food, or it may be of poor quality, or it may have offsetting side effects depending on its composition and purity. The ability to convert food into life-energy also tends to weaken over time as various organ systems reduce their efficiency in action through ‘wear and tear’. Thus, we see the decline of the bodily systems, eventual weakening of the organs and the immune system, and the advent of disease, suffering and eventual death.

There are other sources of energy, and those who have figured out how to access and utilize them can find ways to extend both the length of life and the health and wellness experienced during that time. Certain yogic practices, and in particular hatha yoga and the practices of pranayama, can dramatically benefit the body both short- and long-term.

Some individuals have learned how to draw energy from others, and there are cases of individuals feeling drained or exhausted after meeting with such an individual. Those people tend to thrive at the expense of others, with the only issue here being the fact that energy sources other than material food actually exist.

Some people are ‘energized’ by any subject that holds their interest, by joyful or uplifting experiences, or through emotional interactions of a positive nature. This is actually part of a vital interchange that occurs all the time, although mostly unnoticed.

Spiritual practitioners also frequently report the descent of a force coming down from above the head and filling their being with force, light or energy. This represents yet another way that energy interchange can take place other than through the use of food.

The Mother notes: “Some people don’t know how to receive the forces at all. These live on the energies concentrated in the body — for there is some concentrated energy in all the cells of the body. They live upon that, but after some time, they are drained out completely if they don’t know how to recuperate; when they have spent all the energies which were concentrated inside them either they fall ill or they never recuperate them. So this cannot last very long; it lasts the average lifetime of human beings, and yet, at the end of a certain number of years they are no longer able to make the same effort or to produce as much, or above all to make any progress.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 4 Cosmic and Universal Forces, pg. 94

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