The Rishis of the Rig Veda place Agni at the beginning and in a central role in the spiritual development they described. The flame of aspiration, the ‘knower of all things born’, the mystic fire is the starting point for spiritual growth. This flame resides in the psychic being, the soul, hidden deep within the mystic heart center, and making itself felt to the external formation of the mind-life-body, until eventually it becomes the leader of the powers of the external being, guiding and directing them through multiple births and countless steps of growth along the way.

Dr. Dalal notes: “In Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, the Supreme Consciousness, Truth or Reality is spoken of as the Divine, [as described by Sri Aurobindo directly], ‘the Supreme Being from whom all have come and in whom all are’. The portion of the Divine Consciousness which develops in the process of evolution is called the soul or the psychic essence. It grows and becomes a distinct individuality, referred to as the psychic being. It is through the psychic being that the evolutionary dynamism inherent in the Supreme Consciousness brings about the inner growth of the individual. Explaining the nature of the psychic entity and the process of its evolution,”

Sri Aurobindo writes: “At the beginning the soul in Nature, the psychic entity, whose unfolding is the first step towards a spiritual change, is an entirely veiled part of us, although it is that by which we exist and persist as individual beings in Nature. The other parts of our natural composition are not only mutable but perishable; but the psychic entity in us persists and is fundamentally the same always; it contains all essential possibilities of our manifestation but is not constituted by them; it is not limited by what it manifests, not contained by the incomplete forms of the manifestation, not tarnished by the imperfections and impurities, the defects and depravations of the surface being. It is an ever-pure flame of the divinity in things and nothing that comes to it, nothing that enters into our experience can pollute its purity or extinguish the flame. The spiritual stuff is immaculate and luminous and, because it is perfectly luminous, it is immediately, intimately, directly aware of truth of being and truth of nature; it is deeply conscious of truth and good and beauty because truth and good and beauty are akin to its own native character, forms of something that is inherent in its own substance. It is aware also of all that contradicts these things, of all that deviates from its own native character, of falsehood and evil and the ugly and the unseemly; but it does not becomes these things nor is it touched or changed by these opposites of itself which so powerfully affect its outer instrumentation of mind, life and body….”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Introduction, pp. xvi-xvii

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 17 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.