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The body

The physical yoga*

The Mother

Yes, I am very much sunk in Matter.

It is that.

It is not funny.

No, but can't you get out of it?

I am harassed. And my body does not help me much either.

Ah, no, the body never helps; now I am convinced of it. You can to a certain extent help your body -- not very much, but still to an extent you can help your body. But the body does not help you. Always its vibration is on the ground.

Yes, it is heavy.

Without exception. Without exception it is a lowering and, above all that, it is something that makes you dull, dull — it does not vibrate.

It is heavy.

But with this sadhana that I am following, there are some leading strings which one can pursue. I have some phrases of Sri Aurobindo.... For the other sadhanas I had the method: whatever he said was clear; that showed the way, one had not to search. But here he has not done it; only he has said or made some remarks from time to time and these remarks are useful to me (also there is the night when I meet him, but I do not want to count too much upon that, for... you become too anxious to have this contact and that spoils everything). There are a few remarks that have been so retained by me and they are, yes, like leading strings; for example, “Endure... endure.“

Suppose you have a pain somewhere; the instinct (the instinct of the body, the instinct of the cells) is to shrink and to seek to reject — that is the worst thing, that increases it invariably. Therefore, the first thing to teach the body is to remain immobile, to have no reaction; above all, no shrinking, not even a movement of rejection — a perfect immobility. That is bodily equality.

A perfect immobility.

After the perfect immobility comes the movement of inner aspiration (I always speak of the aspiration of the cells — I use words for what has no word, but there is no other way of expressing it), the surrender, that is to say, the spontaneous and total acceptance of the supreme Will (which one does not know). Does the All-Will want things to go this way or that way, that is to say, towards the disintegration of some elements or towards...? And there also, there are infinite shades: there is the passage between two heights (I speak of cellular realisations, do not forget that); I mean one has a certain inner poise, a poise of movement, of life, and it is understood that while passing from one movement to a higher movement, almost always there occurs a descent and then an ascent — it is a transition. Then, does the shock you receive push you downward to make you rise again or does it push you downward to abandon the old movements? — for there are cellular ways of being that should disappear in order to give place to other ways. There are others that tend to rise upward again with a higher harmony and organisation. This is the second point. And one must wait and see, without postulating in advance what should be. Above all, there is the desire — the desire to be at ease, the desire to be in peace, all that — which must absolutely cease, disappear. One must be absolutely without reaction, like this (gesture with palms open, of motionless offering upward) And then, when one is like that ("one" means the cells), after a time comes the perception of the category to which the movement belongs, and one has only to follow in order to see whether it is something that has to disappear and be replaced by another thing (which is not known for the moment) or it is something that has to be transformed.

And so on. All the while it is like that.

All this is to tell you that the thought is absolutely immobile; everything happens directly: a matter of vibration. Well, it is only in this way that one can know what one should do. If the thing passes through the mind, especially this physical thinking which is absolutely imbecile, absolutely, you cannot know; so long as it is working you are always led to do what you should not do, to have particularly the bad reaction — the reaction that helps the forces of disorder and obscurity instead of counteracting them. And I am not speaking of anxiety, because for a very long time now there has been no anxiety in my body — a long time, many years – but anxiety is like swallowing a cup of poison.

This is what is called physical yoga.

One must overcome all that. And the only way to do it: at every second all the cells must be (gesture of motionless offering upward) in an adoration, in an aspiration – an adoration, an aspiration, an adoration... and nothing else. Then after a time there is also delight, then that ends in blissful trust. When this trust is established all will be well. But... it is easy to say, it is much more difficult to do. Only, for the moment I am convinced that this is the only means, there is no other.

* Heading provided by the Editor.

The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 11. Cent. ed. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1980, pp. 12-5.

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A perfect immobility