Accessing the True Source of Vital Energy

Access to the universal vital force and the renewal of one’s energy follows basic principles that can be seen in the action of another universal force that allows the creation of results in the external world, symbolised by what we know as ‘money’. In his book The Mother, Sri Aurobindo states that ‘money is the visible sign of a universal force’. Money sitting stagnant and being held without purpose puts a barrier to the flow of the money-force. When money is put into action, the force flows and creates a cycle of replenishment. This does not mean the careless spreading of the force that money represents to the winds and exhausting it; nor does it mean a miserly storing up of the force in an unwillingness to spend. The right use of this force sets in motion the universal action of force.

Various Chinese martial arts disciplines identify ki or chi as a force that can be gathered and utilized, and which is not sourced from food, but from the universal vital force. They concentrate the chi in the solar plexus and this enables them to energize the body in ways that go far beyond normal, providing strength, endurance and mastery at very high levels. Tibetan yogis practice development of psychic heat which enables them to withstand extremely cold temperatures without experiencing the cold, and this is done without reliance on food. Certain yogis in India are able to go for extended periods without eating and nevertheless retain their vitality, and even show an increased vital and mental force.

When it comes to applying the vital force in the body, neither spending that energy in wild abandon without positive purpose, nor the attempt to conserve it through restriction and lack of effort, leads to the kind of energetic flow and replenishment that is the natural state of vital energy.

The source of the energy also becomes important. When we try to gain vital energy through interchange with others, we remain in a limited and closed system and thus, the result is highly limited. The true source of all energy is the Divine and is manifested through universal Nature.

The Mother observes: “The energy must be spent to be renewed. The human body is not a closed jar that gets emptied by spending. The human body is a channel that receives only when it spends.”

Sri Aurobindo continues: “Men are constantly spending the vital energy and need to renew it; one way to do it is by pulling from others in a vital interchange. This however is not necessary if one knows how to draw from the universal Nature or from the Divine, i.e. from above. Moreover when the psychic is active — there is always more lost than gained by the vital interchange.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, General Methods and Principles, Recuperating One’s Energies, pp. 17-22

Contacting and Connecting With the Universal Vital Force, Part II

When we fixate on the fulfillment of the body-life-mind complex in our external being, the exclusive concentration involved helps us to temporarily lose sight of the larger Oneness of which all are a part. We then put ourselves in opposition to other aspects of the one Reality and treat each part as separate and distinct. This sets up a sense of competition, an artificial fight over control of limited resources, and a sense of self-aggrandisement that engages in a “win-lose” battle to survive and thrive, rather than a “win-win” participation in the universal manifestation by all. Modern day urban life tends to accentuate this feeling of separation and disassociation, and thereby exacerbates our feelings of isolation and disconnectedness. This is one reason that the Mother stresses the opportunity to commune with Nature and the universal forces that act through Nature, as these artificial distinctions disappear, the mind and emotions can open to the wider reality, and a new understanding, albeit not necessarily an intellectual understanding, has a chance to permeate the being.

The Mother writes: “I knew young people who had always lived in cities — in a city and in those little rooms one has in the big cities in which everyone is huddled. Now, they had come to spend their holidays in the countryside, in the south of France, and there the sun is hot, naturally not as here but all the same it is very hot (when we compare the sun of the Mediterranean coasts with that of Paris, for example, it truly makes a difference), and so, when they walked around the countryside the first few days they really began to get a terrible headache and to feel absolutely uneasy because of the sun; but they suddenly thought: ‘Why, if we make friends with the sun it won’t harm us any more!’ And they began to make a kind of inner effort of friendship and trust in the sun, and when they were out in the sun, instead of trying to bend double and tell themselves, ‘Oh! how hot it is, how it burns!’, they said, ‘Oh, how full of force and joy and love the sun is!’ etc., they opened themselves like this (gesture), and not only did they not suffer any longer but they felt so strong afterwards that they went round telling everyone who said ‘It is hot’ — telling them ‘Do as we do, you will see how good it is.’ And they could remain for hours in the full sun, bare-headed and without feeling any discomfort. It is the same principle.”

“It is the same principle. They linked themselves to the universal vital force which is in the sun and received this force which took away all that was unpleasant to them.”

“When one is in the countryside, when one walks under the trees and feels so close to Nature, to the trees, the sky, all the leaves, all the branches, all the herbs, when one feels a great friendship with these things and breathes that air which is so good, perfumed with all the plants, then one opens oneself, and by opening oneself communes with the universal forces. And for all things it is like that.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, General Methods and Principles, Recuperating One’s Energies, pp. 17-22