Thematic Index of the Collected Works of the Mother
© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

health and healing

  5.1    psychological factors in health and illness (27)
03, p. 085-87 “There are as many reasons for an illness as there are people who fall ill...” Mother tells some of the imbalances due to Yoga and explains how the body is not able to progress as rapidly as the mind and vital which often creates a dislocation or lack of harmony leading to a physical disorder.
03, p. 087-88 The body bound by the law of material nature moves slower than the mental and vital being in following the movement of the universal forces. This irresponsiveness of the body makes us grow old and die.
03, p. 088-89 “Each spot of the body is symbolical of an inner movement.” In case of illness “it indicates the treatment and the cure.” Before an illness can affect the physical body it must invade and penetrate the etheric body or the nervous envelope. Positive psychological states make this envelope strong.
03, p. 090-91 Fear for an illness often attracts the illness.
03, p. 096-97 There are many ways in which a cure can come. (3 examples are: to live in the consciousness of the complete cure or change and let the power of the inner formation slowly bring about the outward change; to call down the force, if you have the skill to handle it, and apply it where action is needed; to present your difficulty to the Divine and ask of It the cure, putting confident trust in the Divine Power.) The method by which you will be most successful depends on the consciousness you have developed and the character of the forces you are able to bring into play. “But whatever you do, whatever the process you use ... it is for the Divine to give you the fruit of your effort or not to give it.”
05, p. 122-24 “In reality illness is only a disequilibrium…among the various functions, a disequilibrium among the various forces.” Some people hold on to the disequilibrium and don't want to let it go and even if someone re-establishes it they will get into disequilibrium again. Others who may not have sufficient knowledge or power themselves can be cured by intervention because they want equilibrium. Mother sends the first kind to doctors. Story told of a doctor who prescribed such a complicated and time-consuming treatment that the patient decided to get cured.
05, p. 167-88 The two factors that have to be considered in the matter of causes of illness in those who do yoga are what comes from outside (environmental causes discussed pp. 179-80) and what comes from your inner condition. The inner condition becomes a cause when there is a resistance or revolt in it or when some part does not respond to the protection. Then comes a fine discussion (pp. 168-70) about the role of fear that causes illness and the difference between mental, vital and physical fear. People can observe and learn to distinguish these. Pages 177-188 cover organic and functional causes of illness and all the ways disequilibrium and imbalance can occur through unconsciousness--an excellent description. Also discussed is the factor of hostile forces (the famous Japanese epidemic story is here) and also how illness can occur when one has not developed enough receptivity to good forces when they come which results in a disequilibrium that causes illness.
05, p. 272 Each spot of the body is symbolical of an inner movement and the particular place affected by an illness is an index to the nature of the inner disharmony that has taken place. It points to the origin, is a sign of the cause and reveals the nature of the resistance that prevents the whole being from advancing at the same high speed and it indicates the treatment and cure.
05, p. 402-09 “Most of the time it is the mind that makes the body ill.” A good discussion of the relationship between the mental consciousness and the body and how an awakened consciousness can prevent illnesses and even accidents and also minimize their effects if they do come. The power of right attitude is illustrated with examples (including an aviation incident with the Mother’s brother in the Sahara).
06, p. 035-36 ”Why does the body get tired? We have more or less regular activities, but one day we are full of energy and the next day we are tired.” Because of a sort of disequilibrium between the different parts of the being. If the feelings or thoughts or the vital makes a progress, discovers something, receives a light that part takes a leap but all the rest remains behind. It is not really tiredness but something which makes you want to keep quiet, to concentrate, remain within yourself and build up slowly a new harmony.
06, p. 139-40 A body left to its natural spontaneity has an urge and aspiration to remain in equilibrium. “In the body there are invaluable and unknown treasures. In all its cells there is an intensity of life, of aspiration, of the will to progress, which one does not usually even realise.” If not spoiled by the mind and vital it is capable of restoring its balance because it likes harmony. (also under: 3.2.2)
06, p. 141 To prevent the mind from intervening (when there is disequilibrium in the body) you must first will it and then tell the mind to be quiet when it comes along with all its suggestions etc.You must not listen to it and then calmly (without making too much noise yourself) tell it to be quiet. (also under: 4.5.c)
06, p. 366-68 This is an excellent discussion of why illnesses recur, even sometimes cyclically at the same season or time. The role of memory and of the subconscient is explained.
06, p. 406-08 This is a discussion about physical pain, its purpose (warning one to attend to a disorganisation) and how the vital complicates things (by enjoying illness, feeling self-pity, feeling that it makes one interesting etc) and how one can cure illness and deal with pain by stopping the effects or by bringing immobility into the nerves. Examples are given.
07, p. 003-7 A discussion about Coué and his method of autosuggestion for curing his patients—the power of positive thoughts (right use of mind) and faith. Examples are given.
07, p. 130-32, 149-50 Here Mother tells about the various major and minor ways to deal with pain—from occult methods which require much development and training (rise above one’s body and from there direct healing rays and forces on it until it is cured) to things everyone can do such as automatically fainting when pain is too great or, when pain is less severe, to not concentrate on the pain but to think of other things (reading when one is not well is also given as a method). Pages 149-50 give a little bit more information about dealing with pain.
07, p. 144-45 This is about how one can stop an illness when one sees it coming. First one must absolutely not want it and nothing in the body must want it. You must have a very strong will not to be ill. That is the first condition. The second condition is to call the light of equilibrium, light of peace, quietude and balance, and to push it into all the cells of the body enjoining them not to be afraid. After refusing the illness with all your will and infusing trust and confidence to eliminate any fear, then you busy yourself with other things and think no more about the possibility of illness.
07, p. 146-48 Sri Aurobindo says that illness comes from outside; what exactly is it that comes? It is a kind of vibration made up of a mental suggestion, a vital force of disorder and certain physical elements which are the materialization of the mental suggestion and the vital vibration. These physical elements are what we have agreed to call germs, microbes etc. Developing the senses can help one detect (by subtle smell or feeling) an illness coming And one can protect oneself by creating an atmosphere around oneself—a protective envelope of calm—so that one is immune from all the unwanted vibrations of anger, fear or uneasiness that attract the illness.
08, p. 212-14 Mother tells how to open the physical consciousness to receive healing force. There is a preparation stage which one does before any illness has come during which time one explains things to the body as one would to a child. An example is given. Then one begins to infuse consciousness of the truth of the divine Presence into the cells, a work which takes time but produces an effect. Then Mother tells the process of how to specifically deal with physical pain or a localized illness when it occurs. Several methods are given. (also under: 4.5.a)
09, p. 120-23 A good general discussion which includes talking about the role of fear and also about the functioning of medicines, why they work, how they can help.
09, p. 125-26 “One of the most powerful means for acting on the body is faith.” Mother elaborates and tells how this is often easier for people with not too complicated minds.
11, p. 225 The power of faith heals and also enables avoidance of illness. Mother is commenting on Aphorism 389 of Sri Aurobindo.
14, p. 390 “There is a psychological health as much as a physical health; there is a beauty and harmony of the sensations as much as a beauty of the body and its movement.” Also here are 2 succinct summaries that tell the aim and the way to achieve it.
15, p. 147-77 These pages include general and specific statements of Mother relating to health and illness: topics included are inner causes of illness (p. 148), fear and worry and illness (p. 151), wrong thinking and illness (p. 155), need for control of desires for cures to work (p. 159), the power to cure of peace and quiet, faith and surrender (p. 160), cure by Grace (p. 163), statements about doctors, medicines and various types of treatment (p. 167).
16, p. 072 “In the psychological domain, only the patients who do not want to recover, do not recover. Perhaps it is the same for physical diseases?”
16, p. 194-95 Several short statements about health and healing given in response to a sadhak’s questions. Examples: “Health is the outer expression of a deep harmony, one must be proud of it and not despise it.” “It is fear which makes one fall ill and it is fear which makes healing so difficult. All fear must be overcome and replaced by a complete trust in the divine Grace.”
17, p. 064 “It is not remaining outside the body that cures illness, it is thinking in the true way and refusing everything in one’s thought that could give support to the illness.”
  5.2    maintaining psychological health (1)
06, p. 248 The best attitude for life and sadhana: “It is so good to be simply good-willed, to do the best one can, and in the best way possible; not to build anything very considerable but only to aspire for progress, for light, a peace full of goodwill, and let That which knows in the world decide for you what you will become, and what you will have to do. One no longer has any cares, and one is perfectly happy.” (also under: 4.5)
  5.3    the origin and nature of mental illness (2)
06, p. 437-38 A good short discussion of the different causes of mental imbalance.
07, p. 176 “Usually people who have a tendency for not altogether ordinary experiences find reason very troublesome; and even before being ready to surpass its action they reject it, and that is how usually they become absolutely unreasonable and end up by being half-mad. …You must keep reason active in yourself in order to prevent yourself from becoming derailed. This is very, very important.”
  5.3.1    spirituality and mental illness (1)
10, p. 041-42 In a brief discussion about hallucination and vision Mother explains how for all the subtle worlds there is a correspondence in the individual to that plane. She gives the example of the individual vital plane and the cosmic vital world. (also under: 2.1.4, 3.2.1)
  5.4    integral psychotherapy, increasing the light (6)
06, p. 016-17 Everyone possesses two opposite tendencies of character—Light and Shadow—“The Evil Persona”
06, p. 022-23 Three methods for getting rid of unpleasant thoughts: (1) the easiest is to think of something else, like concentrating on some creative work (2) requiring more mastery is to make a movement of rejection, push aside the thought as though it were a physical object (3) bring down a sufficiently great light from above which will enlighten, dissolve or transform it. Then not only does the thought not come back but the very cause is removed and one has made a permanent progress. (also under: 4.5.c, 6.3)
08, p. 286-88 Excellent description of what one’s difficulties are (egoistic reactions, incomprehension, limitations, anguish, revolts, pain, helplessness—all obstacles to the advance) and a method of dealing with them by widening the physical body consciousness. The method is to get the feeling of opening or unfolding oneself like one would do with a piece of cloth that is too tightly wrapped. One stretches out and widens with “face to the light” instead of curling back doubled up on the difficulty. And then you let the Light do the work.
11, p. 210-13 This is an excellent description. Mother tells how, in order to change them, wrong movements must not be suppressed and driven underground where they spring up (or are purged onto one’s children) but must be projected into the light. She describes how to do this. The movements resist the light but this resistance is diminished in the proportion as we can diminish in us our sense of disapprobation…replace it with a higher understanding. Then we can succeed. (also under: 4.3, 4.3.2)
16, p. 146-48 Here in several short letters Mother and Sri Aurobindo advise how to deal with the vital when it is troublesome. Mother talks here about “those whose vital is insufficiently developed and seeks violent sensations in the hope of escaping from its heaviness and inertia. But it is an ignorant movement…. The only remedy lies in opening to the higher forces in order to let them do in the vital their work of organisation and classification, of light and peace.” (also under: 4.5.b)
16, p. 246 “One clings to one’s [defects and] vices as one clings to a part of one’s body, and pulling out a bad habit hurts as much as pulling out a tooth. That is why one does not progress.” Mother gives the remedy which is to make an offering of one’s defects, vices and bad habits. Then one has the joy of offering and receives in exchange the force to replace what has been given by a better, truer vibration. “If one generously makes an offering of one’s defect, vice or bad habit, then one has the joy of making an offering and one receives in exchange the force to replace what has been given, by a better and truer vibration.” (also under: 4.2.2, 4.3.2.g)
  5.5    “helping others” (11)
05, p. 012-20 To serve humanity you must know better than the Divine what must be done for it. Wanting to help humanity is an ambition. Before being capable of helping one must discover that one does not exist, that one was only a bundle of habits. The only way to help is to offer yourself completely so that the material reality you represent can grow a little more like the Divine. (also under: 4.1.1, 7.2)
05, p. 303-04 To know oneself (this totality of substance constituting your inner and outer body) is the field of work given to each one; “it is as though one had gathered together carefully…a certain number of vibrations and put them at your disposal for you to work upon them fully.” Nobody can take it away from you, it is there day and night, a mass to be transformed. The most important thing to do is to learn to work upon it. Besides, you can never help or advise or change others until you have done so first with yourself. (also under: 1.3.4.b, 4.1.1)
06, p. 450-51 Sri Aurobindo says that if you want to prepare for the descent of the supermind, first of all your mind of ignorance must be replaced by a mind of light which sees and knows. This is the first step. This statement comes at the end of a discussion of the problem of wanting to help others for one can soon discover if one steps back a little that one has no true knowledge or certitude of what the person needs or about what one should do. (also under: 2.5.1.c, 3.2.4.a)
08, p. 149-50 Related here is the story of Mother’s experience with the shipboard clergyman who was on his way to convert the heathens in Japan.
08, p. 254-55 Mother tells how it is possible to help others by means of thought formations to which one adds the strength and persistence of emotion and will. She tells how the formation is a living entity which will try to realize itself. This method is within the scope of all who know how to think and even more of those who know how to love—but the power is limited. There is much more chance of success if one has faith in divine Grace and offers one’s mental formation to the Grace with trust then one has indeed a chance of success. (also under: 2.5.1.c)
08, p. 254-56, 256-58 Here Mother tells how to approach the divine Grace when one wants to help someone. After making one’s mental formation one offers it to the Grace, puts ones trust in it, asks it to intervene and has the faith that it will intervene, then one has a chance of success. When one is asking for oneself, has a special reason for invoking the Grace, it is best to formulate it precisely. And if you simply put yourself in the hands of the Grace, it is the Grace that will choose what it will do, not you. She gives examples of good things to ask for and how to react if the Grace doesn’t give what you ask for. More about the action of the Grace and how one will feel when one recognizes it is on pp. 256-58. (also under: 2.5.4.b)
09, p. 415-17 Mother explains how one can’t do much for others, either for life in general or for particular individuals until one lives in a spiritual consciousness. After the required reversal of consciousness (She describes it on pp. 414-15). Then: “If one sincerely wants to help others and the world, the best thing one can do is to be oneself what one wants others to be—not only as an example, but because one becomes a centre of radiating power which, by the very fact that it exists, compels the rest of the world to transform itself.” (also under: 2.5.1.c)
14, p. 289-315 These pages have passages about judging others, the best way of helping others, the attitude to take towards the words or actions of others, attachment to others, duty to others, friendship, the slavery of men and women to each other and how to get free from it, and some passages about marriage and children. (also under: 2.5.1.a)
15, p. 358 Mother tells how those who discover the truth of their being and conquer all that opposes it make it easier for others to make the same conquest. “These are the pioneers or elite who…help others towards their victory.” (also under: 2.5.1.c)
17, p. 026-27, 28-29 Brief examples and comments on influencing others, imposing one’s will on others. (also under: 2.5.1.b)
17, p. 079 On liking to help others: “It is the sign of a very good nature, but to be able to do it safely one needs to have complete control over oneself.” (also under: 2.5.1.c)