The Vital Soul In the Human Body

it is possible for the human individual to shift his standpoint from the physical to the vital, and thereby embody force and focus from the vital worlds that are ordinarily absent from the normal human life and vitality.

Sri Aurobindo elaborates: “In proportion as the power of this vital plane manifests itself in him and takes hold of his physical being, this son of earth becomes a vehicle of the life energy, forceful in his desires, vehement in his passions and emotions, intensely dynamic in his action, more and more the rajasic man. It is possible now for him to awaken in his consciousness to the vital plane and to become the vital soul, pranamaya purusha, put on the vital nature and live in the secret vital as well as the visible physical body.”

Such individuals, if they do not rise to more highly purified levels, take on characteristics that can appear to be those of beings devoured by desire, or at a higher level embodying an extraordinary ambition with the kind of ruthlessness and force of action that leads to attainment. In Indian tradition, these vital beings are known as Rakshasas or Asuras, a Titan in the language of the ancient Western world. “…a soul of sheer power and life-energy, magnified or racked by a force of unlimited desire and passion, hunted and driven by an active capacity and colossal rajasic ego, but in possession of far greater and more various powers than those of the physical man in the ordinary more inert earth-nature. Even if he develops mind greatly on the vital plane and uses its dynamic energy for self-control as well as for self-satisfaction, it will still be with an Asuric energism … although of a higher type and directed to a more governed satisfaction of the rajasic ego.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 21, The Ladder of Self-Transcendence, pp. 449-450