As with physical laws and laws of physics, laws of nature, there are laws of occultism which operate when there is vital interchange between people on an occult level. Knowledge of these laws is essential both to protect oneself and to ensure that occult powers are not being misused or misapplied. Practicing occultism is not something that can be taken up lightly or without proper training and preparation, and the consequences can be significant.

Spiritual aspirants are mainly advised not to focus on nor engage in such practices, as they tend to distract from the focus on spiritual development and, because they tend to be based in the energies of the lower chakras, tend to bind the individual at a relatively low level of energetic development.

One of the laws, or secrets, of occultism is described by the Mother, as the law of “rebound”. Essentially this means that if a particular occult formation is created and does not achieve its target, it comes back upon the person who created it in the first place, as something of a boomerang’ effect. There are lessons to be gained here for protection from such formations. To the extent that the target of such a formation is able to maintain a pure, clean and high vibratory level, such formations will not succeed on them and thus, the sender will wind up suffering the consequences. The target must be receptive to the energy of that formation in order for it to work on him. From the point of view of a creator of such a formation, there must be real care taken to ensure that it is a necessary and suitable formation that meets the energetic receptivity of the recipient.

The great Tibetan yogi Milarepa was subject to the jealousy of a local village priest late in his life. The priest determined to arrange to have Milarepa poisoned and in carrying out that intention, he offered a village woman money to provide poisoned curds to Milarepa. When the woman approached, Milarepa, as a fully realized soul at that stage, knew what was taking place and he told the woman that she should first ensure that she was fully paid by the perpetrator. The situation proceeded where Milarepa agreed to eat the poisoned curds and manifest his bodily death. The priest came to witness the situation and he saw Milarepa sitting calmly. Milarepa advised him that he was carrying an intense amount of pain but through his yogic practice he was able to keep it under control. The priest did not believe any of this and asked Milarepa to transfer the pain to him so he could see for himself the reality of it. Milarepa refused, indicating that it was more than the priest could bear, but he would transfer just a fraction of the pain to the door, which then started creaking and groaning under the intensity of the energy. The priest asked for forgiveness in doubting the yogic realisations of Milarepa. In this case, the priest created a formation which ordinarily would have rebounded upon him, but out of his vast compassion, Milarepa accepted the formation and refused to have it rebound upon the priest. His higher compassion opened the door for the priest to make progress spiritually which would not have occurred had it simply been allowed to rebound upon him.

There are innumerable tales in the texts about occult formations that are targeted and sent and which fail to find or fulfill their targeted intentions and the suffering that the creator of the formation then had to undergo. Those who try to manipulate the vital forces for various forms of self-interest or personal gain in some form frequently overlook the law of ‘rebound’ and the consequences of attacking those who have the natural state of high spiritual vibrations to maintain an aura of protection around themselves.

The Mother observes: “In occultism there is the ‘rebound’. You send out a bad thought, it returns to you as an attack. That is exactly one of the reasons why you must have a complete control over your feelings, sensations, thoughts, for if you become angry with someone or think badly of him, or if, still worse, you wish him ill, well, in your very dream you see this person coming with an extreme violence to attack you. Then, if you do not know these things, you say, ‘Why, I was right in having bad thoughts against him!’ But, in fact, it is not at all that. It is your own thought that comes back to you. And the person may be absolutely unaware of all that has happened, for — and this is one of the commonest laws in occultism — if you make a formation, for instance a mental formation that an accident or something unpleasant should happen to a certain person and you send out this formation, if it so happens that this person is in a very high state of consciousness, does not at all wish anything bad, is quite indifferent and disinterested in the affair, the formation will come up against his atmosphere and instead of entering will rebound upon the one who has made it. In this way serious accidents have taken place. There were certain people who practiced that low deformation of occultism which is called magic and they had made formations through magic against someone. But this person happened to be far above this and could not be touched by those formations. So they returned upon those people, fatally. If they had made a formation of death, it would have been they who died.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 5 Occult Forces, pp. 123-124

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.
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The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press