People speak about an aura surrounding the physical body. Because many people cannot physically see the aura, they remain skeptical about its existence. This however is not a proof of its non-existence. Occultists and those who have developed subtle sense perception have described the aura around the body over the course of thousands of years. Western science has confirmed the existence of many unseen things, including electricity, atomic radiation and gravity, and in recent decades, through the use of Kirlian photography, and meters which can measure subtle electrical impulses, they have shown that the aura indeed exists.

An example of such an experiment took place in India at Jipmer hospital, where a researcher invited a lay person to visit his laboratory. There he showed Kirlian photographs illustrating the aura of various beings and objects. Since Kirlian photography was treated by many as somehow a ‘pseudo science’ he proposed an experiment to prove its validity. A subject had his hand photographed and there was a visible, but weakly outlined aura. He was then asked to chant or pray for a few minutes, which he did. The next photograph showed a very strong and vibrant aura radiating off the fingers. This showed not only the impact of chanting on the aura, but also showed that Kirlian photography was able to show differences, thereby validating its process.

Extensive research on the aura has shown that various forms of illness are related to a weak aura, or as the Mother calls it the ‘vital envelope’. Various emotional states have been shown to strengthen or weaken this vital envelope. Fear, doubt, anger, rage, and various other emotional states may either create ‘holes’ in the aura, or may create an artificial spike which later, when it recedes is shown to sap the energy, thus, compromising the integrity of the aura.

The Mother indicates that this envelope is a strong protection for the physical body, so that when it is weakened, it allows various forces or vibrations to enter and attack the integrity of the physical being. Actions done to strengthen the coherence and integrity of the aura are therefore protective of the physical body.

The Mother writes: “The vital body surrounds the physical body with a kind of envelope which has almost the same density as the vibrations of heat observable when the day is very hot. And it is this which is the intermediary between the subtle body and the most material vital body. It is this which protects the body from all contagion, fatigue, exhaustion and even from accidents. Therefore if this envelope is wholly intact, it protects you from everything, but a little too strong an emotion, a little fatigue, some dissatisfaction or any shock whatsoever is sufficient to scratch it as it were and the slightest scratch allows any kind of intrusion. Medical science also now recognises that if you are in perfect vital equilibrium, you do not catch illness or in any case you have a kind of immunity from contagion. If you have this equilibrium, this inner harmony which keeps the envelope intact, it protects you from everything. There are people who lead quite an ordinary life, who know how to sleep as one should, eat as one should, and their nervous envelope is so intact that they pass through all dangers as though unconcerned. It is a capacity one can cultivate in oneself. If one becomes aware of the weak spot in one’s envelope, a few minutes’ concentration, a call to the force, an inner peace is sufficient for it to be all right, get cured, and for the untoward thing to vanish.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Body and Physical Consciousness, Rest, Quiet, Goodwill, pp. 86-88

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 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.