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Agni is the will for progress, the flame of purification that burns up all obstacles and difficulties. [1]


A flame in a white voiceless cupola Is seen and faces of immortal light, [2] And the Flame is a flame not of effective thought, but of invincible and inviolable Power. … This may mean that the force of this flame of the divine Will in the sacrificial thought and action overcomes every other hostile force or, more simply and generally, it dominates all surrounding powers and makes the sacrifice master of a movement which nothing can resist, degrade or violate. [3]


But one can be like that, like a great flame rising in aspiration, and at the same time as though this flame formed a vase, a large vase, opening and receiving all that comes down. And the two can go together. And when one succeeds in having the two together, one can have them constantly, whatever one may be doing. Only there may be a slight, very slight displacement of consciousness, almost imperceptible, which becomes aware of the flame first and then of the vase of receptivity—of what seeks to be filled and the flame that rises to call down what must fill the vase—a very slight pendular movement and so close that it gives the impression that one has the two at the same time. [4]


Aspiration is the only remedy—an aspiration that rises constantly like a clear flame burning up all the impurities of the being.[5]


Broke forth in flame to recreate the world, And in that flame to new things she was born. [6]

~ be constantly the true flame that burns like an offering. That intense joy of existing only by the Divine and for the Divine and feeling that without Him nothing exists, that life has no longer any meaning, nothing has any purpose, nothing has any value, nothing has any interest, unless it is this call, this aspiration, this opening to the supreme Truth, to all that we call the Divine (because you must use some word or other), the only reason for the existence of the universe. Remove that and everything disappears. [7]

Column of Light

There was no longer any body, no longer any sensation; only a column of light was there, rising from where the base of the body normally is to where usually is the head, to form there a disk of light like that of the moon; then from there the column continued to rise very far above the head, opening out into an immense sun, dazzling and multicoloured, whence a rain of golden light fell covering all the earth. [8]


And when I sat down here, the consciousness of the column of Light started coming. There was no more personality, no more individuality: there was only a column of Light descending right into the very cells of the body—and that’s all. Then it gradually became conscious of itself, conscious of BEING this column of Light. [9]


In the creation there is a progressive, a greater and greater materialisation. But we could take another image (I am taking an approximate image): the universe is a circle or rather a sphere (but for the convenience of explanation, let us take a circle). There is a progressive descent from the most subtle to the most material. But the most material happens to touch the point of origin of the most subtle. Then, if you understand the image, instead of going all the way round to change matter, it is much more easy to do the thing directly, for the two extremities meet—the extremely subtle and the extremely material touch, since it is a sphere. Hence, instead of doing all that (Mother draws a circle), it is much better to do this (Mother touches the extreme material end of the circle). In fact, psychologically it is that. The rest will follow quite naturally. If that is done (Mother touches the same extreme material end), all the rest will get settled as a matter of course. And it is not even like this! It is precisely for the convenience of work that all has been concentrated or concretised at one point so that instead of having to spread oneself out in the infinite to change things, one can work just on the point that serves as the symbol of the whole universe. And from the occult standpoint, earth (which is nothing from the astronomical standpoint; in the immensity of the astronomical skies, earth is a thing absolutely without interest and without importance), but from the occult and spiritual point of view, earth is the concentrated symbol of the universe. [10]


As a starry heaven encircles happy earth, He shut her into himself in a circle of bliss And shut the world into himself and her. [11]


Flowers indicate a blossoming in the consciousness, sometimes with special reference to the psychic or the psychicised vital, mental and physical consciousness.

The vision of flowers is a symbol usually of psychic qualities or movements whether a potentiality or promise or an actual state of development.

It is usually when the psychic is active that this seeing of flowers becomes abundant.

The flowers indicate always an opening (usually psychic) in some part of the consciousness.

The flowers are the symbols of psychic movements. The sun is the Divine Consciousness. It is the awakening of the psychic consciousness and its activity under the Divine Influence.

Red flowers would ordinarily indicate an opening of the consciousness either in the physical or some part of the vital according to the shade. [12]


A lotus flower indicates open consciousness.

A lotus signifies the opening of the (true) consciousness.

The lotus is always the sign of the consciousness opening somewhere—when the consciousness opened from above, you became aware of a new plane of being of which you were not aware before.

It [the lotus] means consciousness. The opening of the lotus is the opening of some part of the consciousness.

The opening of the lotuses means, I suppose, the opening of the true vital and physical consciousness in which the spiritual being (the Swan) can manifest with all the consequences of that opening.

The lotus must represent owing to its numerous petals the “thousand petalled” lotus above the head which is the seat of the higher consciousness above the thinking intelligence. The vision may mean the opening of the consciousness there and in it the adoration of the Divine.

A lotus usually indicates an opening into the spiritual. The white and red are symbols of the Mother and the incarnating Divine.

The white lotus is the symbol of the Mother’s consciousness,—it does not indicate any part of the individual consciousness.

The red lotus is the flower of the Divine Presence.

The red lotus is the presence of the Divine on earth—the sun is the Divine Truth. It indicates the Divine manifestation on earth raising earth consciousness towards the Truth.

The red lotus signifies the presence of the Divine on the Earth.

It [the blue lotus] can be taken as the (Avatar) incarnation on the mental plane. [13]


Why he speaks about the bud and the flower? I am asking this because the bud opens into a flower without any effort, but we have to make an effort, haven’t we? He says that this happens when one is ready; it is precisely to make you think “but the bud opens without effort”; so, when the nature is ready, the same thing happens as with the bud.

“Effort”, I don’t know what we call effort, it is not certain whether the plant makes an effort or not. And in any case, it has an aspiration; plants grow because they aspire for the light, for the sun, for open air. And it’s a kind of petition. If one goes into a wood, for instance, into a park where there are many different plants, one can observe very clearly that there is a sort of petition among plants to pass each other and reach the light and open air above. It is indeed quite wonderful to see.

Now, Sri Aurobindo means that when one is well prepared and the nature is ready, then the last movement is like a spontaneous blossoming—it’s no longer an effort, it’s an answer. It is a truly divine action in the being: one is prepared and the moment has e, then the bud opens. [14]


Water is the symbol of a state of consciousness or a plane.

Sea or Ocean

The sea with the sun over it is a plane of consciousness lit by the Truth. To enter into the rays is to be no longer merely lit by it, but in one’s own conscious being to begin to become part of the Truth.

A sea in tumult usually indicates a vital upheaval or a period of strain and stress and struggle.

The blue ocean is often a symbol of the spiritual consciousness in higher Mind one and indivisible.

Normally, the ocean of higher consciousness is above the head (mind) and all below is that of the lower consciousness. Your seeing of the two oceans rather means that in the descent the influence of the higher consciousness reaches down to the heart (emotional being with the psychic behind it), but does not yet reach below in the lower vital and physical—but it is dissolving the knot in the heart centre which prevents the descent into the lower vital and physical centres. The joy in the śānta svarūpa is indeed a sign of the release of the heart centre. But the phrase in the Upanishads refers more particularly to the breaking of the knots of desire, attachment, sanskara, ego in the heart, which stand in the way of spiritual liberation and ascension—not to the knot which prevents the descent. [15]


..water always represents the vital. When everything is harmonious with the water, it means the vital is harmonious. [16]


Fire, lights, sun, moon are usual symbols and seen by most in sadhana. They indicate movement or action of inner forces. The Sun means the inner truth.

The sun is the symbol of the concentrated light of Truth.

The Sun is the Truth-Light of the One Existence and the flame the dynamic power of action (Yogic) of that Truth-Light.

The Sun is the divine Truth-Light on whatever plane of consciousness. It is, I suppose, the original cosmic Truth that is here indicated.

The Sun is the Truth from above, in the last resort the Supramental Truth.

The sun is the symbol of the Supermind.

The sun in the Yoga is the symbol of the supermind and the supermind is the first power of the Supreme which one meets across the border where the experience of spiritualised mind ceases and the unmodified divine Consciousness begins the domain of the supreme Nature, parā prakṛti. It is that Light of which the Vedic mystics got a glimpse and it is the opposite of the intervening[p.142] darkness of the Christian mystics, for the supermind is all light and no darkness. To the mind the Supreme is avyaktāt param avyaktam but if we follow the line leading to the supermind, it is an increasing affirmation rather than an increasing negation through which we move.

Supermind is not mind at all, it is something different. The Sun indicates Truth directly perceived in whatever plane it may be. It is the symbol of Supermind but the Truth may come down into the other planes and then that is no longer supramental but modified to the substance of the other planes—still it is the direct Light of Truth.

The sun rising on the horizon is the direct light of the Divine Truth rising in the being—the ray upwards opens the being to the Truth as it is above mind, the ray in front opens it to what we call the cosmic consciousness, it becomes released from the personal limitation and opens and becomes aware of the universal mind, universal physical, universal vital. The action on the heart was the pressure of this Sun on it to have this direct opening, so that the consciousness may become free, wide and wholly at peace.

There are different suns in the different planes, each with its own colour. But there are also suns of a similar colour above, only more bright, from which these minor suns derive their light and power.

The golden [Sun] is the Light of the Truth on the higher planes. The white [Sun] is the Sun of the Mother‘s consciousness (the Divine Consciousness) which manifests on all the planes.

The white sun indicates the purity and peace of the Divine Consciousness.

The red sun is a symbol of the true, illumined physical consciousness which is to replace the obscure and ignorant physical consciousness in which men now live. Red is the colour of the physical; the red diamond is the Mother’s consciousness in the physical. [17]


The moon signifies the light of spirituality or of the spiritual consciousness.

The moonlight indicates the light of the spiritual consciousness. The moon indicates different things according to circumstances—most often spiritual consciousness in the mind. [18]

Hand/Folded hands

The Mother‘s hand was the symbol of her presence and help which will draw you up and lead you… [19]


...instead of lighting a candle and kneeling before it with folded hands, light a flame in your heart and have a great aspiration for ‘something more beautiful, truer, nobler, better than anything I know; I ask that tomorrow I begin knowing all those things and begin doing all that I cannot do—and every day a little more.’[20]


He outstretched to her his folded hands of prayer. Then in a sovereign answer to his heart A gesture came as of worlds thrown away, And from her raiment’s lustrous mystery raised One arm half-parted the eternal veil. A light appeared still and imperishable. [21]

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