The Link Between Mind, Emotions, Vital Being and the Physical Body

The link between the body, the vital and nervous being, the emotions and the mind is well-recognised nowadays. The food we eat, and the way we eat it clearly affects our mood and our mental status. Similarly, stress, tension, emotional disturbance all impact the ability of the body to digest food. The mechanism behind these interactions is the release of chemical neurotransmitters and hormones triggered by the emotional state. Similarly, there is a direct link between the breathing, the emotions, the mind and the body. The breath, or Prana, varies based on our mental or emotional state. Through conscious modulation of the breath, it is also possible to bring a sense of peace to the mind, quiet the emotions and enhance the feeling of well-being in the body.

All of these subtle interactions are illustrated in the process of digestion. When we eat food in a state of upset or negativity, we tend to not digest it well. This in turn builds chemical reactions in the body that can trigger bad moods as well as physical discomfort. Thus, the mood creates a self-perpetuating and increasing response in the body which then plays it back on the mind, the emotions and the vital being. To escape this endless loop, the Mother provides a solution.

The Mother observes: “It is particularly noticeable that all the digestive functions are extremely sensitive to an attitude that is critical, bitter, full of ill-will, to a sour judgement. Nothing disturbs the functioning of the digestion more than that. And it is a vicious circle: the more the digestive function is disturbed, the more unkind you become, critical, dissatisfied with life and things and people. So you can’t find any way out. And there is only one cure: to deliberately drop this attitude, to absolutely forbid yourself to have it and to impose upon yourself, by constant self-control, a deliberate attitude of all-comprehending kindness. Just try and you will see that you feel much better.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Body and Physical Consciousness, Rest, Quiet, Goodwill, pp. 86-88

The Vital Envelope, the Aura, and Its Protection of the Physical Body

People speak about an aura surrounding the physical body. Because many people cannot physically see the aura, they remain skeptical about its existence. This however is not a proof of its non-existence. Occultists and those who have developed subtle sense perception have described the aura around the body over the course of thousands of years. Western science has confirmed the existence of many unseen things, including electricity, atomic radiation and gravity, and in recent decades, through the use of Kirlian photography, and meters which can measure subtle electrical impulses, they have shown that the aura indeed exists.

An example of such an experiment took place in India at Jipmer hospital, where a researcher invited a lay person to visit his laboratory. There he showed Kirlian photographs illustrating the aura of various beings and objects. Since Kirlian photography was treated by many as somehow a ‘pseudo science’ he proposed an experiment to prove its validity. A subject had his hand photographed and there was a visible, but weakly outlined aura. He was then asked to chant or pray for a few minutes, which he did. The next photograph showed a very strong and vibrant aura radiating off the fingers. This showed not only the impact of chanting on the aura, but also showed that Kirlian photography was able to show differences, thereby validating its process.

Extensive research on the aura has shown that various forms of illness are related to a weak aura, or as the Mother calls it the ‘vital envelope’. Various emotional states have been shown to strengthen or weaken this vital envelope. Fear, doubt, anger, rage, and various other emotional states may either create ‘holes’ in the aura, or may create an artificial spike which later, when it recedes is shown to sap the energy, thus, compromising the integrity of the aura.

The Mother indicates that this envelope is a strong protection for the physical body, so that when it is weakened, it allows various forces or vibrations to enter and attack the integrity of the physical being. Actions done to strengthen the coherence and integrity of the aura are therefore protective of the physical body.

The Mother writes: “The vital body surrounds the physical body with a kind of envelope which has almost the same density as the vibrations of heat observable when the day is very hot. And it is this which is the intermediary between the subtle body and the most material vital body. It is this which protects the body from all contagion, fatigue, exhaustion and even from accidents. Therefore if this envelope is wholly intact, it protects you from everything, but a little too strong an emotion, a little fatigue, some dissatisfaction or any shock whatsoever is sufficient to scratch it as it were and the slightest scratch allows any kind of intrusion. Medical science also now recognises that if you are in perfect vital equilibrium, you do not catch illness or in any case you have a kind of immunity from contagion. If you have this equilibrium, this inner harmony which keeps the envelope intact, it protects you from everything. There are people who lead quite an ordinary life, who know how to sleep as one should, eat as one should, and their nervous envelope is so intact that they pass through all dangers as though unconcerned. It is a capacity one can cultivate in oneself. If one becomes aware of the weak spot in one’s envelope, a few minutes’ concentration, a call to the force, an inner peace is sufficient for it to be all right, get cured, and for the untoward thing to vanish.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Body and Physical Consciousness, Rest, Quiet, Goodwill, pp. 86-88