When an individual leaves the relative safety of the physical being and traverses other domains and interacts with other beings, including vital beings both beneficent and maleficent, he is faced with the reality that the vibrations which he carries with him, or that resonate with him, draw to him beings and forces that are themselves able to respond on those levels. Thus, if an individual goes into a vital domain with all kinds of desire, passions or fears, he is bound to interact with beings who either feed upon such vibrations or who act to stimulate such vibrations. This can create tremendous psychological suffering for the individual. Many have reported encountering powerful entities whose very form invoked fear in them. Goethe, in Faust, has a scene where Doctor Faust invokes the Earth Spirit and was able to manifest that spirit through the intensity of his seeking and the power of the formulas he recited. He felt he was the equal of the being because he could call it forth, yet when it manifested it was so overwhelming that he cowered in fear and tribulation. He was not prepared for the being he encountered.

We see in the yoga sutras the requirement to undertake purificatory disciplines preliminary to any strenuous yogic practice. These purifications are not intended to be ‘moral’ rules, but are intended to prepare the human instrument, physical, vital and mental, for the advent of forces, powers and beings far beyond what he normally encounters, while ensuring that he can hold the force that comes and he can be protected from beings that are attracted in order to take advantage of his naive and basically arrogant view of his ability to meet any being, handle any force, and respond to any situation, when he has little if any experience of the magnitude, power and vastness of the forces and beings that act in various vital, mental or spiritual domains. There are too many instances of seekers who went prematurely into these domains, unprepared, and became imbalanced in their minds and emotions, disrupted in their vital energies or harmed or weakened in their physical being.

The Mother writes: “Only, as I have already told you, it is not very prudent to venture into these domains without a previous initiation and, above all, a purification of nature which prevents you from entering there all weighed down and deformed by your desires, your passions, egoisms, fears and weaknesses. Before undertaking these activities one needs a complete preparation of self-purification and widening of the consciousness which is absolutely indispensable.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 5 Occult Forces, pg. 110

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast located at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky
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 https://www.youtube.com/@santoshkrinsky871
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at www.aurobindo.net
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press www.lotuspress.com