As the seeker traverses the unknown realms of the inner being, the various worlds of the physical, vital and mental planes and the spiritual heights and widenesses, he is confronted with many circumstances, events, beings, and actions which he simply does not have any reference point to understand. This can lead to errors, even fatal mistakes. The guidance of an experienced teacher, or guru, can help, yet the ultimate and essential aid is the psychic being coming out in front and taking charge of the direction and focus of the being. One can understand the psychic being, the soul, as something of a gyroscope that keeps the seeker in balanced and focused in the right direction even as he is being buffeted by all of these unknown forces and entities. Without this kind of centralising focus and unerring sense of “rightness”, the seeker has a hard time following the path successfully to the goal that is being sought.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “I have read your account of your sadhana. There is nothing to say, I think, — for it is all right — except that the most important thing for you is to develop the psychic fire in the heart and the aspiration for the psychic being to come forward as the leader of the sadhana. When the psychic does so, it will show you the ‘undetected ego-knots’ of which you speak and loosen them or burn them in the psychic fire. This psychic development and the psychic change of mind, vital and physical consciousness is of the utmost importance because it makes safe and easy the descent of the higher consciousness and the spiritual transformation without which the supramental must always remain far distant. Powers etc. have their place, but a very minor one so long as this is not done.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Psychic Transformation, pp. 203-209

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 editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.