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Notes on counselling

Meditations on the current pandemic

Dr. Soumitra Basu


Among the many parallel dimensions behind the present pandemic, there is an occult dimension too. As the next evolution in consciousness is programmed in the cellular consciousness, an attack by a vital entity is not unexpected. A meditative exercise, invoking illumination and strengthening of the subtle physical, would have a protective value.


Any pandemic has many parallel lines that sustain it. There is an immediate causative viral factor. There is a psychological perspective of fear and apprehension that perpetuates it. There are human vital factors, like enormous greed, aggression, mistrust, jealousy and ill-will that create a milieu for the pandemic to be overwhelmingly omnipotent. There are social factors, like the mentality of the mob, hygienic attitudes and lackadaisical norms, that aggravate the problem. All these require different types of interventions that have to be simultaneously carried out.

There is another important dimension that is seldom considered. It is the occult perspective. The Mother’s description of the Spanish Flu a century back provides an understanding of the enormity of the occult influence. She had explained that the negative energies released from the grotesque killings of World War 1 soldiers had created an occult milieu for the virus to multiply.

“There was an epidemic of influenza, an influenza that came from the war (the 1914 war) and was generally fatal. People would get pneumonia after three days, and plop! finished. In Japan they never had epidemics (it’s a country where epidemics are unknown) so they were caught unawares; it was an ideal breeding ground, absolutely unprepared —incredible: people died by the thousands every day, incredible! Everybody lived in terror, they didn’t dare to go out without masks over their mouths.

Then somebody, whom I won’t name, asked me (in a brusque tone), ‘What is this?’ I answered him, ‘Better not think about it’. ‘Why not?’, he said. ‘It’s very interesting! We must find out, at least you are able to find out whatever this is.’ Silly me, I was just about to go out; I had to visit a girl who lived at the other end of Tokyo (Tokyo is the largest city in the world, it takes a long time to go from one end to the other), and I wasn’t so well-off I could go about in a car: I took the tram… What an atmosphere! An atmosphere of panic in the city! You see, we lived in a house surrounded by a big park, secluded, but the atmosphere in the city was horrible. And the question, ‘What is this?’ naturally came to put me in contact – I came back home with the illness. I was sure to catch it, it had to happen! (laughing). I came home with it.

Like a bang on the head — I was completely dazed. They called a doctor. There were no medicines left in the city— there weren’t enough medicines for people, but as we were considered important people (!) the doctor brought two tablets. I told him (laughing), ‘Doctor, I never take any medicines.’ ‘What!’ he said. ‘It’s so hard to get them!’ ‘That’s just the point,’ I replied, ‘they’re very good for others!’ Then, then … suddenly (I was in bed, of course, with a first-rate fever), suddenly I felt seized by trance — the real trance, the kind that pushes you out of your body — and I knew. I knew: ‘It’s the end; if I can’t resist it, it’s the end.’

So I looked. I looked and I saw it was a being whose head had been half blown off by a bomb and who didn’t know he was dead, so he was hooking on to anybody he could to suck life. And each of those beings (I saw one over me, doing his ‘business’!) was one of the countless dead. Each had a sort of atmosphere — a very widespread atmosphere — of human decomposition, utterly pestilential, and that’s what gave the illness. If it was merely that, you recovered, but if it was one of those beings with half a head or half a body, a being who had been killed so brutally that he didn’t know he was dead, was trying to get hold over a body in order to continue his life (the atmosphere made thousands of people catch the illness every day, it was swarming, an infection), well, with such beings, you died. Within three days it was over — even before, within a day, sometimes.

So once I saw and knew, I collected all the occult energy, all the occult power, and …(Mother bangs down her fist, as if to force her way into her body) I found myself back in my bed, awake, and it was over. Not only was it over, but I stayed very quiet and began to work in the atmosphere… From that moment on, mon petit, there were no new cases!

It was so extraordinary that it appeared in the Japanese papers. They didn’t know how it happened, but from that day on, from that night on, not a single fresh case. And people recovered little by little (1).”

Now also we may consider that an unending greed emanating from a materialistic world-view that denies any role of a personal growth in terms of consciousness can be responsible for creating a conducive backdrop to the pandemic. All this might be true. There is also another perspective worth understanding.

We know that it is an occult fact that at any level of life and at any plane of consciousness, any positive movement is initially opposed by negative forces. It is as if they have been decreed to oppose! As Sri Aurobindo described:

“To this world’s inconscient Power Thou hast given the right
To oppose the shining passage of my soul:
She levies on each step the tax of Night.
Doom, her unjust accountant, keeps the roll (2)”.

Now this opposition by the adverse forces, represented by the virus of the present pandemic, is specifically directed at the cell, as we know that the virus which is non-living enters a cell to become living and replicate itself.

Sri Aurobindo was well aware of the primacy of the virus. In Book 2, Canto 4 of Savitri, Aswapati comes to view the evolutionary trajectory initiated when Life animated Matter. As a result living forms began to emerge from what so long was the matrix of the Inconscience — “the dim gulf of things (3).”

The most primitive forms were “Existences half-real and half-dream (4).” How true! We still consider viruses to represent the grey area between living and non-living as they cannot replicate on their own but can do so when they are lodged in living cells and yet are fundamental players in civilisation as pandemics show. Sri Aurobindo describes that “Beings were born who perished without trace (5)”, which corroborates with the concept of a primitive RNA world where life-forms could exist as individual entities without any species.

The virus is thus a primitive player who has witnessed the unravelling of the evolutionary process that culminated in the human being. And therefore it is the virus which is going to oppose any shift of status of the cell to a new denouement.

That shift of status of the cell is exactly the need of the hour as the world is preparing for a transformational change initiated by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. And that change which is to herald the appearance of a new species of human beings is to start from the transformation of the cells. The new creation in consciousness that is going to manifest will be programmed in the cells. It is exactly for that purpose that the Mother had to pursue her great sādhanā in the matrix of the cellular consciousness.

In fact, cancer itself is also a phenomenon of opposition to the cell’s status. Cancer involves abnormal cell growth. But the virus is one step ahead of cancer in its opposition to the change of status of the cell that must now be prepared for the great transformation. This is because cancer spreads to other parts of the body but is not contagious while the viral pandemic is horrendously contagious. This is significant as the phenomenon of contagion is to be worked at a higher denouement in the saga of transformation.

The Mother described that while all past spiritual perspectives considered that a conscious divine life was not possible with the body, Sri Aurobindo did not think so. On the contrary, He believed that the body could be the basis for manifesting the Divine. And once the body began to be transformed, the phenomenon of transformation would spread like a contagion.

Speaking of bodily transformation, the Mother describes:

“But once it is done — that’s what Sri Aurobindo had said — once one body has done it, it becomes capable of passing it on to others…. It’s contagious. I know it! And that’s the only hope, because if everybody had to go through the same experience…. (6).” That is why the virus in attacking the cell and facilitating contagion is a more formidable opponent to the change in status of the cell required for the evolutionary transformation of the cellular consciousness!


We could do a relevant meditation. In Sri Aurobindo’s world-view, the outer being or ego-bound surface personality is supported by an inner being, that is in turn supported by an ego-surpassing soul-principle and is in communion with the universal consciousness. The inner being has an inner mind, an inner vital and an inner or subtle physical.

The subtle physical surrounds our gross body — indeed it became denser and denser to become the gross physical. All that happens in the physical consciousness — the physical body in particular and the physical consciousness in general has antecedents in the subtle physical.

We could meditate on the subtle physical envelope that not only surrounds the gross body but surrounds each organ in the body. And then we could extend our individual subtle physical to the universal subtle physical. And invoke The Mother’s Light, Peace and Protection from above to permeate the subtle physical, illumining and strengthening it so that it is not penetrated by vital entities ensuing from what Sri Aurobindo calls, “the dim gulf of things” (vide supra).


1. The Mother. Mother’s Agenda, Volume 4. Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives; English Translation 1987, pp. 116-17.

2. Sri Aurobindo. The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, Volume 2. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 2009, p. 614.

3. Sri Aurobindo. Complete Works, Volume 33; 1997, p. 141.

4. Ibid., p. 142.

5. Ibid.

6. The Mother quoted in: Satprem, Venet L. Life without Death. New York: Institute for Evolutionary Research; 1985, pp. 78, 79.

Dr. Soumitra Basu, a practising psychiatrist and member of SAIIIHR, is the Director of a school of psychology, Integral Yoga Psychology. He is also one of the editors of NAMAH.

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Cellular consciousness


Spanish Flu


The tax of Night



The Mother’s Light