Jealousy is one of those deeply rooted vital reactions that are not amenable to being “convinced” to change by mental logic. Highly educated, refined individuals are also subject to jealousy when appropriate circumstances arise, and as with other such deeply rooted reactions, the vital overpowers the mental will. As Sri Aurobindo has pointed out elsewhere, the vital also has the ability to convince the mind to ‘understand’ and ‘support’ its wishes, and thus, we see numerous justifications coming up for why jealousy is actually a manifestation of some positive characteristic, or is at the very least, a basic and unchangeable element in human nature. For many, this means that there cannot be any real change that does away with the jealous reaction.

Sri Aurobindo, however, reminds us that these vital reactions are intimately connected to the ego-personality. Thus, the true solution to overcoming jealousy and other similar vital reactions is to shift the consciousness away from the ego to the divine consciousness. This occurs through the coming forward of the psychic being to guide the mind, life and body, and through the shifting of the awareness to the witness consciousness that has its basis in the divine consciousness.

When an individual no longer associates himself with a specific ego-personality, but with the divine manifestation, there is no basis for any feelings of jealousy. He sees all movement of forces, all relationships from this new standpoint and understands the play of forces and energies without the attachment of any of them to his own existence or reality.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “It is of course the old reaction — jealousy is certainly there, or you would not feel this violent sorrow. That it subsists still in the recesses and rises with such vehemence shows how deeply rooted this movement was in your physical consciousness. You have not been able to root it out because when it comes you associate yourself entirely with it and abandon yourself to its outcries and violence. You must have the strength to stand back from it in that part of your nature which is free — only then will you be able to push it away from you; and it is only if it is pushed away from you each time it rises that it will consent to disappear and return no more.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Vital, Jealousy, pp. 68-69

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.