How to Overcome the Obstructions of the Vital Being

As has been shown time and again when individuals have attempted to change the vital nature, the attempt is doomed to only partial success, if not ultimate failure, if the struggle is carried out under the conditions of the vital being. Almost any method, process, technique, control mechanism or exertion of will-power can be turned by the vital nature into something that nevertheless fulfills its desires and aggrandises its sense of self and importance. The attempt to control the vital through the power of the mind also has not been successful, as the vital is quite capable of finding ways to justify its desires and motives to the mental power. Outright suppression does not work as it increases the power of the obstructions and keeps the being focused on the very area that needs to be reduced in focus.

What is required is the advent of a new force of knowledge and action, which comes through the psychic, spiritual and supramental transformations as identified and described by Sri Aurobindo. The process of Nature generally involves a growing ‘existential crisis’ that culminates in an opportunity to exceed the limits at that time imposed by the capacities of the instruments, and which creates pressure for a new development to occur. In today’s world, we are in the midst of an existential crisis of unprecedented magnitude, and we see a variety of responses. Those who are locked into the old ways simply close their eyes and try to find a way to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. However, we also see another phenomenon occurring. The awakening of large numbers of people to the need to exceed the mental-vital-physical framework that has ruled our existence in the past, and the opportunity to discover and embody new, higher forces of consciousness to bring about the needed changes. We see an awakening to the needs of the global environment and the inter-relations of things and events at a level not consciously recognised by more than a few unique individuals in the past. This shows the direction for the needed change of consciousness and provides us Nature’s solution to the current crisis.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “There is only one way of escape from this siege of the lower vital nature. It is the entire rejection of all egoistic vital demand, claim and desire and the replacement of the dissatisfied vital urge by the purity of psychic aspiration. Not the satisfaction of these vital clamours nor, either, an ascetic retirement is the true solution, but the surrender of the vital being to the Divine and a single-minded consecration to the supreme Truth into which desire and demand cannot enter. For the nature of the supreme Truth is Light and Ananda, and where desire and demand are there can be no Ananda.”

“It is not the vital demand but the psychic urge that alone can bring the nature towards the supramental transformation; for it alone can change the mental and vital and show them their own true movement.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 9, Transformation of the Nature, Transformation of the Vital, pp. 246-259

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