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Read more about Illness from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What Is Illness?

Illnesses are falsehoods of the body. In every case it's a disequilibrium in the being: a disequilibrium between various functionings, a disequilibrium between forces. It as an imperfection of the body. [1] [2] [3]

What are the Causes?

If the nervous being is weak, unstable, over-sensitive, vehement or excitable, then there is much fluctuation, restlessness, exaltation and depression in the being which brings in disorders into the body. [4]

In the subconscient there is an obscure mind full of obstinate Sanskaras [imprints or habits], impressions, associations, fixed notions, habitual reactions formed by our past, an obscure vital full of the seeds of habitual desires, sensations and nervous reactions, a most obscure material which governs much that has to do with the condition of the body. It is largely responsible for our illnesses. [5]

Some of the other causes are:


If there is one mental disorder which can bring about all illnesses, it is fear. Fear always brings what one fears. In the ordinary consciousness of the body there is a more or less hidden anxiety about the consequences of the slightest physical disturbance. It can be translated by these words of doubt about the future: "And what will happen?" It is this anxiety that must be checked. [6] [7] [8]

Adverse Forces

Attacks of illness are attacks of the lower nature or of adverse forces taking advantage of some weakness, opening or response in the nature,—like all other things that come and have got to be thrown away, they come from outside. [9]

One may have opened the door through spiritual error, through a movement of vanity, of anger, of hatred or of violence; even if it is merely a movement that comes and goes, that can open the door. There are always germs watching and only waiting for an occasion. [10]


The mind with its dogmas, its rigid and arbitrary principles, the vital with its passions, its excesses and dissipations soon destroy the natural balance of the body and create in it fatigue, exhaustion and disease. [11]

How to Deal with Illness?

First, not to want to be ill, and then not to be afraid of illness. One must neither attract it nor tremble. One must not want illness at all. But one must not because of fear not want it; one must have a calm certitude and a complete trust in the power of the Grace to shelter one from everything, and then think of something else, not be concerned about this any longer. [12]

The best way is to call for the Divine Presence of Truth and Harmony, to replace the vibrations of disorder and confusion. [13]

Mental faith is not sufficient; it must be completed and enforced by a vital and even a physical faith, a faith of the must reach down to the most subconscious, you must fix the faith in the very cells of the body. [14]

All illness should be rejected and all suggestions of illness. One must not accept with the physical mind and so help the body consciousness to throw off the suggestion. If necessary, make a counter-suggestion, "No, I shall be well; I am and shall be all right." [15] [16]

In most cases the use of medicines—within reasonable limits, that is, when one doesn't poison oneself by taking medicines—is simply to help the body to have confidence. It is the body which heals itself. When it wants to be cured, it is cured. Even the most traditional doctors tell you, "Yes, our medicines help, but it is not the medicines which cure, it is the body which decides to be cured." Very well, so when the body is told, "Take this", it says to itself, "Now I am going to get better", and because it says "I am going to get better", well, it is cured! [17]

Helpful Practices

Suppose that as a result of some illness or other, there is some sort of pain at a precise spot. Do not stress the pain. The more you go on thinking like this and feeling like this and the more your attention is concentrated on it, the pain increases.

If you know how to concentrate, to be quiet, and if you can bring into yourself a certain peace, of any kind―it may be a mental peace, it may be a vital peace, it may be a psychic peace; they have different values and qualities, this is an individual question―you try to realise within yourself a state of peace or attempt to enter into a conscious contact with a force of peace.

If you can add to that a movement of complete and trusting surrender to the Grace, then I am sure that within five minutes your suffering will disappear. [18]

The knowledge of the power to cut the connection between the suffering part and the recording brain. One cuts the connection, then the brain does not register. That's what one does, what the doctors do with anaesthetics. They cut the connection of the nerves between the spot that's ill and the brain; so the brain no longer perceives anything or it is reduced to a minimum… there is one thing that one can try to do: it is not to concentrate on one's pain, to turn the attention away as much as possible. [19] These auto-suggestions [of being restored to good health]—it is really faith in a mental form—act both on the subliminal and the subconscient. In the subliminal they set in action the powers of the inner being, its occult power to make thought, will or simple conscious force effective on the body—in the subconscient they silence or block the suggestions of death and illness (expressed or unexpressed) that prevent the return of health. [20]

Content Curated by Radhika Pillai

Read more about Illness from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.