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Namah Journal

Integral health

Moving beyond fear

Dr. Soumitra Basu

We are always told that fear is that which invites catastrophes, precipitates illnesses and robs the possibility of a graceful exit from life.

We make up our mind to be fearless, we pray to rise above fear and make New Year resolutions that we won’t be scared anymore.

Yet we continue to be stalked by fear, hunted by insecurities, overwhelmed by uncertainties and threatened by death.

Faith and doubt

Perhaps one of the main reasons for this dilemma is that we try to be fearless at the level of the mind. But the function of the mind is to reason and analyse, and that inevitably leads to doubts and denials, to conflicts and contradictions. That is a legitimate functioning of the mind or else we would be saddled by superstitions. But the end-result is that we cannot construct the edifice of faith and fearlessness on such shifting sands.

Thus it is not surprising that it is difficult to get our prayers answered unless we have a monumental faith. If one starts to doubt the next moment after one has prayed, the whole endeavour loses value!


The concept of fearlessness needs to be grounded on an unshakeable faith that must be poised in a consciousness not overridden by divisions. It is only the consciousness that is sheltered in the soul-space that can nurture such an unwavering faith and indomitable courage where fear has no place. But the soul-space is in the fourth dimension and not easily reached by our material senses. One has to travel to the depths of the being to grasp the inner essence of the soul entity or psychic being and build a strong foundation of soul-faith. It is an inner journey that is totally different from our outer endeavours to harness strength, showcase muscles, amass money and wield power — enterprises that we think can make us fearless but actually land us into new types of anticipatory fears and insecurities.

The Mother describes the inner journey:

“Beyond all the emotions, in the silent and tranquil depths of our being, there is a light shining constantly, the light of the psychic consciousness. Go in search of this light, concentrate on it: it is within you. With a persevering will you are sure to find it and as soon as you enter into it, you awake into the sense of immortality. You have always lived, you will always live; you become wholly independent of your body; your conscious existence does not depend on it; and this body is only one of the transient forms through which you have manifested. Death is no longer an extinction. It is only a transition. All fear instantly vanishes and you walk through life with the calm certitude of a free man (1).”

Fear of death

This brings us to another significant perspective. Of all fears the greatest is the fear of death. If we could learn the trick of not fearing death, we could at once surpass many other fears that cause illnesses and insecurities in life.

When we go to sleep, we never think that we would not wake up the next day. On the contrary, we make plans for the next day. We carry a natural optimism. If we could keep this attitude always, casually and therefore without any element of fear and insecurity, death when it comes would be just another kind of sleep from where one wakes up in another realm of consciousness.

The Mother describes other ways to overcome the fear of death. One such way is a total, dynamic and integral surrender of all one’s being, consciousness and life to the Supreme. But this surrender must be absolutely unconditional which makes it difficult to achieve. The sine qua non of surrender is that one has to accept that whatever happens is for the best and has the sanction of the Lord and has to be accepted with equanimity. The Mother describes what happens to such subjects who can make the integral surrender:

“There is no longer any room in their consciousness for fear, anxiety or torment; all that has been replaced by a calm and delightful bliss (2).”

Mind and faith

But the mind must get its due in its role to support fearlessness. After all, we are mental beings and though the mind is besieged with doubts, there must surely be some other way to carve out a niche for a steady faith and fearlessness.

This is why yogis in India discovered the inner space corresponding to the middle of the eyebrows that held the famous AAjñaa cakra. It is the space in consciousness that holds the ‘will’ and makes one a visionary. If one can concentrate and activate this plane of consciousness, one can develop an invincible willpower that can be linked with the Supreme Will. It would automatically instil the fearlessness needed to confront all adversities in life.

And this is not all. Once the plane of Will is consolidated, one can surpass the usual cognitive space to reach a higher supra-cognitive plane. From that plane, the whole perspective of life changes and the same problems are viewed from a different denouement. What would have appeared fearful at a preceding stage would now present as a natural affair that could be spontaneously tolerated.

Only such an invincible will, that is a servitor of the Supreme Will, can alone fight against the huge collective suggestion of illness and particularly death. In fact this collective suggestion, accumulated through ages, is the source of our undue fear and especially of the fear of death. The power of this collective suggestion is so much that it has succeeded in making death, which is as natural as birth, to be an unnatural subject — a taboo topic, something that is sought to be denied. This is what led Yudhistira in the Mahābhārata to say that the greatest riddle in the world was the denial of death that was an inevitable destiny. The Mother described that one had to be a hero-warrior to fight this formidable battle:

“It is the mental battle against a collective suggestion that is massive, overwhelming, compelling, a suggestion based on thousands of years of experience, on a Law of Nature that does not yet seem to have had any exception (3).”

One must be a warrior to wage this formidable battle at the many fronts of consciousness, buoyed by the aspiration of immortality. The conquest of the fear of death would lead to a real fearlessness in all walks of life.


1. The Mother. The Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 12. 2nd ed. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 2002, pp. 83-84.

2. Ibid., p. 84.

3. Ibid., p.85.

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A transition