When we flip a light switch, we have faith that there is electricity flowing through the wires and the lights will turn on. We do not actually know or perceive the electricity, but we can see its effects in operation. Similarly, our surface being may see effects of the Divine Force at work in the being, without necessarily having a direct perception of that Force in action. The direct perception comes through the inner being which is able to perceive the Divine Force and recognise it, and so long as we are isolated on the surface of our being and not in touch with the inner depths, our understanding of the Divine Force remains inferential rather than direct.

Once the inner perception opens, sadhaks report various experiences of the Divine Force, or the Divine Presence. Some report a descent of force, either in a massive way, or in a steady drizzle of light coming down from above into the being. Others report the opening of the heart and an upwelling of love and adoration. Still others report a brilliant light in the consciousness, while others describe the opening up of new powers of understanding, perception or intuition.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “The outer being can grow in faith, fidelity to the Divine, reverence, love, worship and adoration, great things in themselves, — though in fact these things too come from within, — but realisation can only take place when the inner being is awake with its vision and feeling of things unseen. Till then, one can feel the results of the divine help and, if one has faith, know that they are the work of the Divine; but it is only then that one can feel clearly the Force at work, the divine Presence, the direct communion.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 7, Experiences and Realisations, The Inward Movement, pp. 174-179

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at http://sriaurobindostudies.wordpress.com and podcast at https://anchor.fm/santosh-krinsky He is author of 16 books and is editor in chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.