In Paradise Lost, John Milton describes at great length the intentions and motivations of the fallen angels as described by the Christian tradition, and their attempt and need to influence and control the human world and thereby to defeat God’s intention and plan for humanity. This story is in fact not unique to the Christian tradition. Each culture, each tradition addresses the fight between those forces that have a vested interest in maintaining and perpetuating Darkness, Ignorance and Death and opposing the advent and growth of Light, Knowledge and Life. These universal tales arise from actual experiences that occurred to individuals, who clothe those experiences in the symbols and images of their own background.

An example occurred in the mid-1970’s, as privately reported and memorialized in writing contemporaneously with the event. An individual, a spiritual seeker dedicated to practice of yoga and focused on the growth of consciousness in the Light, awoke from a vivid, “real” dream-rc[rtormvr in a cold sweat, and in a state of utter exhaustion. He recounted how he had been confronted in what was more than a dream, but a real experience, by a being who took the shape and form and image of Adolf Hitler. The being apparently was not destroyed by Hitler’s demise, but simply abandoned Hitler and migrated into new forms and took up its project in new places, primarily in the United States, the ‘victor’ in the 2nd World War! They had a dispute and a long battle ensued, Eventually, the battle was won and the formation was defeated. That experience was so vivid that it stayed with the seeker for decades afterwards and he recognised that it was a transcription of an ongoing battle that would take place in his lifetime and of which he would necessarily be a participant to confront the force of darkness that was appearing in that form. He in fact sees corresponding elements in the Hitler force working still in today’s world and feels like this battle is still ongoing. Forces seeking domination, which use intimidation, bullying tactics, falsehood and propaganda to gain ascendancy are active in many parts of the world, seeking to undermine and control the world’s resources regardless of the impact on huge numbers of people and the environment itself, and reveling in the creation of suffering, fear and pain.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The theory of this traditional knowledge is perfectly rational and verifiable by inner experience, and it imposes itself if we admit the supraphysical and do not cabin ourselves in the acceptation of material being as the only reality. As there is a cosmic Self and Spirit pervading and upholding the universe and its beings, so too there is a cosmic Force that moves all things, and on this original cosmic Force depend and act many cosmic Forces that are its powers or arise as forms of its universal action. Whatever is formulated in the universe has a Force or Forces that support it, seek to fulfil or further it, find their foundation in its functioning, their account of success in its success and growth and domination, their self-fulfillment or their prolongation of being in its victory or survival. As there are Powers of Knowledge or Forces of the Light, so there are Powers of Ignorance and tenebrous Forces of the Darkness whose work is to prolong the reign of Ignorance and Inconscience. As there are Forces of Truth, so there are Forces that live by the Falsehood and support it and work for its victory; as there are powers whose life is intimately bound up with the existence, the idea and the impulse of Good, so there are Forces whose life is bound up with the existence and the idea and the impulse of Evil. It is this truth of the cosmic Invisible that was symbolised by the ancient belief of a struggle between the powers of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil for the possession of the world and the government of the life of man; — this was the significance of the contest between the Vedic Gods and their opponents, sons of Darkness and Division, figured in a later tradition as Titan and Giant and Demon, Asura, Rakshasa, Pisacha; the same tradition is found in the Zoroastrian Double Principle and the later Semitic opposition of God and his Angels on the one side and Satan and his hosts on the other, — invisible Personalities and Powers that draw man to the divine Light and Truth and Good or lure him into subjection to the undivine principle of Darkness and Falsehood and Evil. Modern thought is aware of no invisible forces other than those revealed or constructed by Science; it does not believe that Nature is capable of creating any other beings than those around us in the physical world, men, beasts, birds, reptiles, fishes, insects, germs and anmalculae. But if there are invisible cosmic forces physical in their nature that act upon the body of inanimate objects, there is no valid reason why there should not be invisible cosmic forces mental and vital in their nature that act upon his mind and his life-force. And if Mind and Life, impersonal forces, form conscious beings or use persons to embody them in physical forms and in a physical world and can act upon Matter and through Matter, it is not impossible that on their own planes they should form conscious beings whose subtler substance is invisible to us or that they should be able to act from those planes on beings in physical Nature. Whatever reality or mythical unreality we may attach to the traditional figures of past human belief or experience, they would then be representations of things that are true in principle. In that case the first source of good and evil would be not in terrestrial life or in the evolution from the Inconscience, but in Life itself, their source would be supraphysical and they would be reflected here from a large supraphysical Nature.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, The Hidden Forces of Life, Ch. 4 Cosmic and Universal Forces, pp.87-89

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast located 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.
Video presentations, interviews and podcast episodes are all available on the YouTube Channel
More information about Sri Aurobindo can be found at
The US editions and links to e-book editions of Sri Aurobindo’s writings can be found at Lotus Press