Transformation of the vital nature in man is a key and essential part of the transformation that must come with the evolution of the next stage of consciousness. Past yogic paths did not focus to any great degree, if at all, on transformation of the external being and life in the world; rather, it was highly intent on achieving spiritual realisation or liberation, with little emphasis given to the body-life-mind individuality or the mode of living in the world. For a yoga that takes up the integration of the inner growth with the outer expression, at some point the vital needs to be transformed to act under the guidance and impulsion of the higher consciousness.

While there are two major methods of separating oneself from the ego consciousness, one by bringing the soul, the psychic being forward, and the other by rising above into the spiritual consciousness, in terms of the transformative action, the soul-element, the psychic being, which is directly in touch with the body-life-mind complex while maintaining its connection with the Divine, is clearly the right instrument to effect this change.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “Your difficulty in getting rid of the aboriginal in your nature will remain so long as you try to change your vital part by the sole or main strength of your mind and mental will, calling in at most an indefinite and impersonal divine power to aid you…. If you want a true mastery and transformation of the vital movements, it can be done only on condition you allow your psychic being, the soul in you, to awake fully, to establish its rule… impose its own way of pure devotion, whole-hearted aspiration and complete uncompromising urge to all that is divine on the mind and heart and vital nature.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Vital, Transforming the Vital, pp. 69-85

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.