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Working with Her Force

James Anderson

Editor ’s note

This article is a brief exposition of the writer's experience of working with the Mother's Force. This work is not only on the psychological but physical level too. An amazing world opens before us...

“You have been put upon earth, in a physical body, with a definite aim, which is to make this body as conscious as possible, make it the most perfect and most conscious instrument of the Divine” (1).

One afternoon, whilst resting, I drifted off to sleep. I dreamt that I was in a big, modern city, surrounded by tall buildings. Mother was teaching me to fly. Up we soared to the highest skyscrapers: I was having such a splendid time. However, much to my disappointment, Mother then signalled down to the ground. She brought me down to earth once more, drawing me along dark, narrow alleys. We finally stopped and Mother pointed down some steps that were leading to an obscure, dismal looking basement, saying to me, 'This is where I want you to work'.

I seldom get such emphatic instructions. The meaning became immediately clear to me. Moreover, the message evoked an essential aspect of the Yoga itself: we must overturn our lower nature and humbly offer it to Her Light. Each of us houses this basement of inconscience, it too is starved of light. Of the parts comprising it, the physical consciousness is often viewed as the most resistant of all.

One question comes forward, where do we begin? Invariably, we have to start with what we’ve got and build from there. Very often though, from personal experience, many parts have crashed to the ground and one has to painstakingly piece together the fragments. However we cannot look back to the past. Mother offers some salutary advice on this process of rebuilding,

“Concentrating on the lower nature is NEVER very good; you should concentrate on what you want to develop, not on what you want to destroy” (2).

We can call upon a higher force to achieve this long process of purification. We look forward, not back, to greater truths, more gleaming realms of possibility.


Embarking on the path of Yoga can bring intense difficulties. Because we are seeking to change, not to mention transform, our lower natures, immense obstacles confront us at every step. But to retreat or back out once begun is not the answer. Whatever the Grace bestows upon us, from that point, we must try our best and face the difficulties with a constant resolution.

“To run away from difficulties in order to conquer them is not a solution” (3).

Although this path can often be arduous, each difficulty contains the seed of its own realisation. With a firm will and imbued with a loving surrender to the Divine, these obstacles can eventually melt away to become the most luminous opportunities. But all this would be difficult, if we were not armed with Mother’s Force in the first place.

In The Supramental Manifestation, Sri Aurobindo writes,

“A divine life in a divine body is the formula of the ideal that we envisage” (4).

By opening to Mother’s Force, we have the supreme opportunity to ultimately achieve this ideal. The creation of a fit and healthy body is not the end in itself; it is only a preliminary, though necessary step.

All limitations and boundaries that hamper and bind the physical consciousness must be obliterated to make way for the full invasion of Spirit into Matter. Mother’s Force is the creative power behind this process and no perfection would be possible without it.

The language of the body

The physical consciousness is, generally speaking, encased in habit. Habit is the language of the body. It understands best, initially at least, the mutterings of mechanical repetition. Positive change can often only be induced by positive habit. It is a physical law and, to a certain extent, we must speak the same language in order to change it. Sri Aurobindo, at various instances, likened the whole process to one of straightening a dog’s tail. No matter how many times you do this, it curls back to its original form until one day, after dogged persistence, the final change is effected.

Two movements can be adopted, bringing together a synthesis of inner work and outer effort. Clearly, our Yoga would be incomplete if a higher Truth could not uplift the body too. By a continual opening to Mother’s Force, this greater Truth gradually descends to all the darker corners and ultimately prevails. Gradually the body becomes more plastic to Mother’s touch. But one has to persist:

“The smallest change in the nature especially in the physical needs a very long time to be realised — so the first condition is to be very patient “(5).

We must go the full distance in this work. Calling Her Force repeatedly will instil the ultimate of all positive habits. It can’t be tried a few times and shelved away for future reference.

Equally though, we obviously can’t lie around all day, in a state of indolence, idly calling for Mother’s help! That would only be a recipe for inertia. Concentrated outer effort, through physical exercise, must reinforce this inner unfolding.

This framework of methodical, repeated exercise is founded on steadfast perseverance. We must constantly seek to exceed our physical limitations, continually build a greater capacity for physical endurance. The body must be taught to obey a higher will, to be strong, supple and resilient, compliant to all the demands that life and the sadhana place upon it.


I find it a good habit to sit down every day, at a fixed place, to exclusively work in a state of intense concentration with Mother’s Force. This way, the body slowly gets accustomed to the continuity of practice. Eventually, I can sometimes even detect a certain joy springing from it as each shower of Light and Force approaches! With conscious repetition, the receptivity gradually increases and a certain vibration surrounds the appointed spot.

A while ago, I related, in this journal ( Calling Her Force. NAMAH, 15th July 2002, 10:2), a way of calling and working with Mother’s Force. But there are no rigid guidelines. Each must find his path. I myself have found considerable help from the regularity of work. The experience becomes ever richer.

So, after clearing away any surface agitation, I plunge as deep as possible behind the heart into the psychic region. In aspiration, I start by calling Mother and Sri Aurobindo, asking for their help. From that centre, the consciousness slowly spreads, like a searchlight, throughout the body — from top to bottom. With concentration, I only observe what is there. I constantly seek to widen myself, broadening the consciousness as much as possible.

I keep calling, constantly and inwardly repeating their name. I try not to invite difficulties, but neither do I run away if they emerge. I just trust that Mother will clear them if they show their face. I want the body to become a clear channel for Mother’s Force to work in its entirety.

One point is important. I disengage and detach myself from my observations.

I have seen that to identify myself with a difficulty only plunges me into further darkness. At the same time, it is important to stay grounded and remain focused on the body at all times. I watch the process unfold.

From experience, whilst sitting, I have often felt my consciousness being lifted above the body. I then view the body objectively from that perspective.

I don’t really ask for this, but when it happens, I take it as a sign from Mother. I sometimes find it tempting to drift in the skies but know the concentration must always remain fixed down below on the task at hand.

Our consciousness is really so minute compared to the immensities of Mother’s Force! The smallest aperture in the being immediately invites the necessary descent. To receive Her Force as fully as possible, one must adopt the practice of continually widening oneself. I notice that if I expand, the Force grows within me. It is much better to identify with the descending vasts rather than this limited frame.

“One must widen oneself, open the doors. And the best way is to be able to concentrate upon what one is doing instead of concentrating upon oneself (6)”.

Always the Force

She is everywhere and can act at all times, for any situation. Really, it is the ideal of each sadhak to always keep himself open to Her Force, in a constant state of receptivity. Fixed sittings are a boon for some, particularly at the beginning, but the ultimate objective, for each of us, is to always leave a clear channel and instrument for Mother to mould us as She wills. Even sleep, if one is conscious enough at the time, provides an opportunity to gather Mother’s presence.

Not only does the Force cure, it can prevent illnesses and disruptions from arising too. All illness and accidents, Mother says, are fundamentally caused by a lack of equilibrium in the being. The Force brings balance; it infuses a clear light into all mental disturbance, dispenses a corrective remedy to all vital afflictions. It also acts as a protective shield against accidents. One feels as if one is walking inside an impregnable bubble. But the calling or indwelling must be constant and sincere. However, human nature being what it is, we often forget and take this protection for granted, allowing ourselves to get pulled outside Mother’s arms. Then accidents sometimes happen.

Aspiration of the body

“Even the body shall remember God” (7).

One can reach a stage, Mother says, where the body consciously joins and participates in the progress of the Yoga. It becomes conscious when it finally surrenders to the government of the psychic being. But, whilst in transition, I have found that faint signs sometimes appear. Most significantly, a spontaneous aspiration in the body starts to intrude, bringing a deep joy that vibrates throughout the physical structure itself. To aspire means to invite the Force to invade our being. I have felt this particularly evident during or immediately after physical exercise. A heartfelt aspiration sometimes rises from the very fibres of the body, ascending as if to embrace the descending Force from above. In establishing the physical culture of the ashram and the school, Mother used to impress on the ashramites and children the importance of opening to Her Force whilst undergoing physical exercise.

Once the aspiration is fixed, the Force can work in any circumstance.

“Even if you make yourself an absolute blank, that does not change the nature of your aspiration or alter its domain... On the quality of the aspiration depends the force that answers and the work that it comes to do. To make yourself blank in meditation creates an inner silence; it does not mean that you have become nothing or have become a dead and inert mass. Making yourself an empty vessel, you invite that which shall fill it. It means that you release the stress of your inner consciousness towards realisation” (8). That stress, Mother later explained, is determined by our ‘habitual aspiration’. If the individual’s ‘habitual aspiration’ is fixed on healing the body, the Force will work on this until realisation(9).

For some, the aspiration of the physical consciousness can be intensified by the use of mantra or japa. Repeating their name with intense devotion creates a beautiful resonance in the inner being. Sri Aurobindo writes,

“As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that of the Mother or of my name and the Mother’s. The concentration in the heart and the concentration in the head can both be used— each has its own result. The first opens up the psychic being and brings bhakti, love and union with the Mother, her presence within the heart and the action of her Force in the nature. The other opens the mind to self-realisation, to the consciousness of what is above mind, to the ascent of the consciousness out of the body and the descent of the higher consciousness into the body” (10).

The mantra, regularly repeated, begins to repeat itself. But it must be expressed consciously, neither mechanically nor drily, to become an outpouring of the heart itself.

But with love and aspiration, and as the psychic influence gradually radiates through the being, the body too can share in the song of love for the Supreme. Mother’s Yoga of the Cells saw the culmination of this beautiful journey.

“Ah! I noticed that the cells, everywhere, you know, completely, all the time, were repeating OM NAMA BHAGAVATE, OM NAMO BHAGAVATE ... constantly, all the time” (11).

The certainty

Usually when we ask for something we expect to receive it. But do we really always know what we need? An important aspect of surrender is to leave all the results of one’s effort entirely to the Divine. But we must have faith.

“An unshakable faith is the sign of the presence of the Divine Will, an evidence of what shall be”(12).

Personally, I don’t find it helpful loading myself with expectations. Nevertheless, faith is essential, an unwavering faith that the best for my growth and progress in the Yoga will necessarily happen. After all, Mother has taken charge of me, as She has done for everyone else here, so I humbly leave the results to Her.

In a world of chaos and confusion, this single knowledge gives the ultimate certainty. Knowing that the best will always happen, removes all doubt and evaporates all potential suffering. Even the body’s limitations seem a trifling inconvenience when set against the vistas of a boundless Infinite that awaits us!

Leave the result to Mother. Will there be a miraculous leap after this long period of arduous labour? The answer is, I don’t know. But I do know that

“All can be done if the God-touch is there” (13).


1. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 4. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972, pp. 117-8.

2. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 17. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1987, pp.106-7.

3. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 3. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1977, p.276.

4. Sri Aurobindo. SABCL, Volume 16. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1970, p.20.

5. The Mother. Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, XLII:1. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, February 1990, pp. 80 & 82.

6. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 4. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972, p.365.

7. Sri Aurobindo. SABCL, Volume 29. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, p.707.

8. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 3. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, p. 98.

9. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 4. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972, p. 283.

10. Sri Aurobindo. SABCL, Volume 23. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1970, p. 746.

11. Satprem (ed.). The Mother’s Agenda, Volume 9. Paris; Institut de Recherches Evolutives, 1995, p. 236.

12. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 3. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1977, p. 97.

13. Sri Aurobindo. SABCL, Volume 28. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1970, p. 3.

Mr. James Anderson, a sadhak, is following the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and working at SAIIIHR, Pondicherry.

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