The vital worlds are generally unseen and unrecognised by us, as they do not take physical forms in the same way as our external world within which we live and act. This does not imply, however, that they do not have interaction with our world and the beings, including ourselves, that inhabit this physical world. Almost everyone has the experience of some event that occurs in a dream-state or in other circumstances where our mind and senses are shifted away from the focus and attention demanded by the outer world. The phenomenon of astral projection is one such circumstance. When one enters one of the vital worlds, there is an interaction with the beings who inhabit the particular locus that one is visiting. These could be fierce and dangerous interactions, but they can also be uplifting, such as interacting with a sage or teacher and being guided and educated in a non-physical setting. The physical body, and our awake mental attention, combined with a strong vital sheath, or aura, are protections for us from the total control by these vital forces.

Just as there are circumstances whereby we can enter into one of the vital worlds, so also vital beings from those worlds can, and do, enter into our world. In some cases it is with beneficent intention; in others, it is to seek to create vital reactions that feed their hunger, or lust, or passionate desire. The physical body, and our awake mental attention, combined with a strong vital sheath, or aura, are protections for us from the total control by these vital forces. The interaction of vital beings in our lives adds another layer of complexity to the issue of identifying and overcoming the power of suggestion that arises within us and moves our actions and reactions.

The Mother writes: “If that were the end of the problem, one could yet come out of the mess; but there is a complication. This terrestrial world, this human world is constantly invaded by the forces of the neighboring world, that is, of the vital world, the subtler region beyond the fourfold earth atmosphere (consisting of the four principles: physical, vital, mental and psychic), and this vital world which is not under the influence of the psychic forces or the psychic consciousness is essentially a world of ill-will, of disorder, disequilibrium, indeed of all the most anti-divine things one could imagine. This vital world is constantly penetrating the physical world, and being much more subtle than the physical, it is very often quite imperceptible except to a few rare individuals. There are entities, beings, wills, various kinds of individualities in that world, who have all kinds of intentions and make use of every opportunity either to amuse themselves if they are small beings or to do harm and create disorder if they are beings with a greater capacity. And the latter have a very considerable power of penetration and suggestion, and wherever there is the least opening, the least affinity, they rush in, for it is a game which delights them.”

“Besides, they are very thirsty or hungry for certain human vital vibrations which for them are a rare dish they love to feed upon; and so their game lies in exciting pernicious movements in man so that man may emanate these forces and they be able to feed on them just as they please. All movements of anger, violence, passion, desire, all these things which make you abruptly throw off certain energies from yourself, project them from yourself, are exactly what these entities of the vital world like best, for, as I said, they enjoy them like a sumptuous dish. Now, their tactics are simple: they send you a little suggestion, a little impulse, a small vibration which enters deep into you and through contagion or sympathy awakens in you the vibration necessary to make you throw off the force they want to absorb.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 3 Hidden Forces Around, pp. 60–61

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 20 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.
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