The human range of perception is bounded on both sides and thus, forces that are active in ranges above or below our own field of perceptions are able to act without our ability to direct know what they are doing, or interact with them consciously. To the extent that they wield influence on our lives, it is something that takes place for us basically unconsciously. Additionally, there are forces that act on the various planes, which encompass ranges outside our ability to perceive, and ranges within our frame, but which are obscured to us because of the wall of protection that the physical body and the vital energy field, or aura, provide for us. These forces thus do not act with their full power and result in the material world to the extent that their vibrational impact is partially blocked or watered down by the gross physical sheath.

Some of the forces at work in these other planes or realms are what we would consider to be maleficent to us, hostile or at least contrary to what we see as our own interests and needs; while others may be beneficent and help us grow and thrive and potentially provide some level of protection from those that are inimical to us.

Some of the forces, particularly vital forces, feed on vital and emotional energy that we throw off, so their interest lies in provoking us to anger, rage, lust, passionate outbursts, etc. in order to harvest the energy we expend.

Sri Aurobindo describes the action of these forces in Savitri. The following passages take up a description of some of them which are more forcefully opposed to us, and which need to be understood and fended off if we are to remain unharmed on the inner path of yogic development.

Sri Aurobindo writes in Savitri: a Legend and a Symbol [Book VI, Canto 2]: “There is no visible foe, but the unseen Is round us, forces intangible besiege, Touches from alien realms, thoughts not our own Overtake us and compel the erring heart; Our lives are caught in an ambiguous web.”

and “A grisly company of maladies Come, licensed lodgers, into man’s bodily house, Purveyors of death and torturers of life. In the malignant hollows of the world, In its subconscient cavern-passages Ambushed they lie waiting their hour to leap, Surrounding with danger the sieged city of life: Admitted into the citadel of man’s days They mine his forces and maim or suddenly kill.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 3 Hidden Forces Around, pg. 54

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast 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.
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