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Illness and Health

You ask me whether your illness comes from yoga. By no means—far from damaging health, yoga helps to build up a health that is robust and unfailing.

29 June 1942


Do not forget that to succeed in our yoga one must have a strong and healthy body.

For this, the body must do exercise, have an active and regular life, work physically, eat well, and sleep well.

It is in good health that the way towards transformation is found.

18 April 1971


It is good to do exercises and to lead a simple and hygienic life, but for the body to be truly perfect, it must open to the divine forces, it must be subject only to the divine influence, it must aspire constantly to realise the Divine


Good health is the exterior expression of an inner harmony. We must be proud if we are in good health and not despise it


As yet happiness and good health are not normal conditions in this world.

We must protect them carefully against the intrusion of their opposites



Inner Causes of Illness

I have been having various kinds of small accidents and hurts, and I feel troubled because all my efforts to avoid them seem to go in vain. What should I do?

You need not torture yourself about these small things—they have no importance in themselves and their utility is to show us where inconscience is still to be found in our nature so that we may put light there.

13 July 1937


You must take this illness as a sign that in spite of all your convictions, perhaps even resolutions, you have to do sadhana and to add to your outer consecration in work the inner consecration of deep understanding and psychological transformation and make use of your seclusion for that purpose.

My love and help are with you.

6 April 1952


Physical ailments are always the sign of a resistance in the physical being; but with surrender to the Divine's Will and a complete trust in the working of the Grace, they are bound to disappear soon.

22 May 1957


Sri Aurobindo says,

“Disease is needlessly prolonged and ends in death oftener than is inevitable, because the mind of the patient supports and dwells upon the disease of the body”,fnThoughts and Aphorisms, in SABCL, Vol. 17, p. 126.

and I add,


“An illness of the body is always the outer expression and translation of a disorder, a disharmony in the inner being; unless this inner disorder is healed, the outer cure cannot be total and permanent.”

1 October 1959


Physical troubles always come as lessons to teach equality and to reveal what in us is pure and luminous enough to remain unaffected. It is in equality that one finds the remedy.

An important point: equality does not mean indifference.

11 December 1965


The illness has come like a test and gone like a purification carrying away all that was standing in the way of the joy of an integral consecration.

2 February 1967


This illness has been put upon you by the hostile forces as a strong test.

You have not met it with the proper attitude.

That is why it lingers.

Your going back to Madras does not ameliorate the attitude—on the contrary.

You yield to a movement of fear and distrust in the Divine.

I cannot see that it will lead to anything good for you


Your illness was not a mere accident. You did not give sufficient attention to the inner change, a psychological change with a broadening of your consciousness. You were satisfied with yourself. You were shut up in your small shell and did not try to make any progress. You said sadhana did not interest you 139and you thought that the little work that you were doing was quite sufficient for you and nothing more was needed. It was this attitude that took you out of my protection. I gave you a warning, but you challenged Nature by saying that nothing could touch you. All these things combined and brought your mental difficulties, weakness and illness.

You must change. You must try to fulfil the conditions of Mahasaraswati, make your work more and more perfect, make progress and try for a psychological transformation. Less than this will not help you. This is the minimum and if you try sincerely, my help will always be there.

These days my work is going on at such a speed that unless you make a serious effort, you will be left far behind and not be able to remain with me. But if you do as I say, everything will be all right.§


Your illness gave you an opportunity to open your eyes towards the need for an inner change. You must take advantage of this and progress.§


Things that do not want to change in your nature join together and come out in the form of illness. The only thing to be done is to have a strong aspiration and a total change. Then everything will be all right.§


Fear and Illness

Be on your guard. There was on X a formation of fear—fear of cold, fear of bad health, etc.—take care that this formation does not jump upon you; you must reject it resolutely.




You must not fear. Most of your troubles come from fear. In fact, ninety per cent of illnesses are the result of the subconscient fear of the body. In the ordinary consciousness of the body there is a more or less hidden anxiety about the consequences of the slightest physical disturbance. It can be translated by these words of doubt about the future: “And what will happen?” It is this anxiety that must be checked. Indeed this anxiety is a lack of confidence in the Divine's Grace, the unmistakable sign that the consecration is not complete and perfect.

As a practical means of overcoming this subconscient fear each time that something of it comes to the surface, the more enlightened part of the being must impress on the body the necessity of an entire trust in the Divine's Grace, the certitude that this Grace is always working for the best in our self as well as in all, and the determination to submit entirely and unreservedly to the Divine's Will.

The body must know and be convinced that its essence is divine and that if no obstacle is put in the way of the Divine's working, nothing can harm us. This process must be steadily repeated until all recurrence of fear is stopped. And then even if the illness succeeds in making its appearance, its strength and duration will be considerably diminished until it is definitively conquered.

14 October 1945


When physical disorder comes, one must not be afraid; one must not run away from it, must face it with courage, calmness, confidence, with the certitude that illness is a falsehood and that if one turns entirely, in full confidence, with a complete quietude to the divine grace, it will settle in these cells as it establishes itself in the depths of the being, and the cells themselves will share in the eternal Truth and Delight


For some time I have been really worried about the skin-trouble on my legs. Please, Mother, throw this disease out of my body and the fear out of my mind.

The real disease is fear. Throw the fear away and the disease will go.

My help is with you.




As for cancer, the first thing is that you should drive off all fear


If you want to get cured there are two conditions. First you must be without fear, absolutely fearless, you understand, and secondly you must have a complete faith in the Divine protection. These two things are essential.§


Worry and Bother About Illness

The doctor has seen my blood. He has given me this little paper to show you how weak the blood is and to communicate it to you. The tiredness seems to increase rather than grow less.

You must not worry; you will soon be back on your feet, especially as your vitality has remained very strong. Have no fear and keep your full trust in the Divine Grace.

18 February 1938


X told me, “It was a mistake on your part not to inform the Mother about your body which is so thin and weak.” Kindly tell me what to do to improve it.

Do not bother about it and increase your faith in the Divine's Grace.


4 July 1939


People say that one gets this attack [of illness] on account of working too hard and exposing oneself to the sun and cold winds during the course of it. This suggestion is worrying me.

This attack is not due to work or exposure but to the suggestion of an old habit rising from the subconscient. Do not listen to what people say and keep your faith in the Divine's Grace. Everything will become all right in the course of time.

My blessings.

8 January 1940


Do not worry and rest your hand. That is the best way to get better quickly


My advice is not to worry. The more you think of it, the more you concentrate upon it and, above all, the more you fear, the more you give a chance for the thing to grow.

If, on the contrary, you turn your attention and your interest elsewhere you increase the possibilities of cure


Why give so much importance to these material workings of the body? It is better to feel absolutely free of them and let them go their own way without bothering about it, until we have the force and knowledge necessary to intervene in their obscurity 143and to compel them to change and become the true expression of the Supreme Light and Consciousness


Health: not to be preoccupied with it, but to leave it to the Divine


Think less of yourself and your health.

Surely you will become stronger.

But if you are convinced that you have an illness, go to the hospital, surely there they will find one


If parents could leave their children alone, they would not fall ill so often, perhaps not even once out of ten times. Yes, you have not said anything to the child, but how worried you were about its health. It appeared as if a catastrophe had happened or the child had suddenly developed cancer. It is your worry that spoils the whole atmosphere and increases the trouble.§


If you are ill, your illness is looked after with so much anxiety and fear, you are given so much care that you forget to take help from the One who can help you and you fall into a vicious circle and take a morbid interest in your illness.§


When I was twenty, a doctor told me that in cases of troubles of the stomach or intestines, the best thing is to continue eating as usual and not to bother about the trouble. He said, “If you have acidity, it will come from whatever food you take and the more you bother about it, the more it will increase. If you go on changing your food, in the end you will find that you cannot 144even drink a drop of water without getting into trouble. But if you remain normal and don't worry, you will become all right.”

And I have found this advice to be quite true.§


Wrong Thinking and Illness

In fact I can assure you that the pain in the stomach as well as many other discomforts are due 90% to wrong thinking and strong imaginations—I mean that the material basis for them is practically negligible.

With love and blessings.



Do not torment yourself and do not worry; above all try to banish all fear; fear is a dangerous thing which can give importance to something which had none at all. The mere fear of seeing certain symptoms renew themselves is enough to bring about this repetition.

24 July 1945


I have a notion that much protein and starchy food aggravate eczema.

In the effect of food on the body 90% belongs to the power of thought. If you follow with confidence the treatment of Dr. X, it will cure you.


6 October 1962


You may have been told that certain bodily complaints will give you a great deal of pain. Things like that are often said. You 145then make a formation of fear and keep expecting the pain. And the pain comes even when it need not.

But in case it is there after all, I can tell you one thing. If the consciousness is turned upward, the pain vanishes. If it is turned downward, the pain is felt and even increases. When one experiments with the upward and the downward turnings, one sees that the bodily complaint as such has nothing to do with the pain. The body may suffer very much or not at all, although its condition is exactly the same. It is the turn of the consciousness that makes all the difference.

I say “turned upward” because to turn towards the Divine is the best method, but what can be said in general is that if the consciousness is turned away from the pain to one's work or anything that interests one, the pain ceases.

And not only the pain but whatever damage there may be in an organ is set right much more easily when the consciousness is taken away from the trouble and one is open to the Divine. There is the Sat aspect of the Divine—the pure supreme Existence above or beyond or behind the cosmos. If you can keep in contact with it, all physical complaints can be removed.§

25 November 1962


Beloved Mother:

I am suffering with quite a severe recurrence of swollen ankles due to Dengue fever.

Dr. X is treating me, but I beg your Healing Force and am doing my best to open so that our work may progress at this crucial time.

Stop imagining wrong things and your miseries will stop at the same time.


10 December 1964



His vital force is very poor and mental suggestions rather strong.

Do what he asks for a time. He may find out that it is all his imagination, for it is his imagination that makes him sick or rather gives him the impression of sickness


Will to Conquer Illness

Wake up in yourself a will to conquer. Not a mere will in the mind but a will in the very cells of your body. Without that you can't do anything; you may take a hundred medicines but they won't cure you unless you have a will to overcome the physical illness.

I may destroy the adverse force that has possessed you. I may repeat the action a thousand times. But each time that a vacuum is created it will be filled up by one of the many forces that try to rush in. That is why I say, wake up the will to conquer.

20 October 1957


Do not love your ill health and the ill health will leave you.

28 August 1966


Both the things are correct. You must put a strong will for getting rid of your illness and you must remain quiet and unperturbed by the results. The two are not contradictory. One should accompany the other. When you are completely cured, it will be an indication of some inner progress.

Sri Aurobindo's compassion is always there to help you, but some effort is needed from your side also.§



She must take the resolution to get well, otherwise she will never be all right.§


The body is cured if it has decided to be cured


The body should reject illness as energetically as we reject falsehood in the mind


Control of Desires

In order to be cured, my child, not only is it necessary to stop all these unseemly practices completely, but it is necessary to get rid of all these unhealthy desires from your thought and sensation, for it is desires that irritate the organs and make them ill. You must ruthlessly clean up everything and your will is not strong enough for that; invoke my will, call it sincerely and it will be there to help you. You are right when you say that with my help you will surely be able to conquer. That is true, but you must sincerely want this help and let it work within you and in all circumstances


[A sadhak asked the Mother to use her spiritual power to cure a serious illness.]

The power cannot work if you have no control over your desires.

6 September 1959



Your readings are correct.

In my last note I was referring to food desires. Unless you control the food you take, you will always be ill.

14 September 1959


Conquest over the greed for food: a promise of good health


Peace and Quiet, Faith and Surrender

To keep quiet and to concentrate, leaving the Force from above to do its work, is the surest way to be cured of anything and everything. There is no illness that can resist that if it is done properly, in time and long enough, with a steady faith and a strong will.

6 December 1934


I am having fever. What is the best way to get rid of it?

Remain peaceful and confident and it will soon be over


I have a severe pain in my throat, neck and the back of my head. The attacks are intolerable and I am losing patience.

You must not lose patience, this does not hasten the cure. On the contrary, you must keep a peaceful faith that you are going to be cured.

5 October 1935



Establish a greater peace and quietness in your body, that will give you the strength to resist attacks of illness.

22 October 1935


The only thing I can suggest about diseases is to call down peace. Keep the mind away from the body by whatever means—whether by reading Sri Aurobindo's books or meditation. It is in this state that the Grace acts. And it is the Grace alone that cures. The medicines only give a faith to the body. That is all


My dear child, now it is time for the faith to become truly active and to stand unshaken against all contradictions. Have the faith, the true faith, that you will be cured and the cure is bound to come.

My love and blessings.

2 February 1949


Instead of being upset and struggling, the best thing to do is to offer one's body to the Divine with the sincere prayer, “Let Thy Will be done.” If there is any possibility of cure, it will establish the best conditions for it; and if cure is impossible, it will be the very best preparation for getting out of the body and the life without it.

In any case the first indispensable condition is a quiet surrender to the Divine's will.

With love and blessings



Turn your mind completely away from your difficulty, concentrate exclusively on the Light and the Force coming from above; let the Lord do for your body whatever He pleases. Hand over to Him totally the entire responsibility of your physical being.

This is the cure.

With my blessings.

5 March 1959



The imperative condition for cure is calm and quietness. Any agitation, any nervousness prolongs the illness.

26 November 1969


[To someone suffering from stomach and intestinal trouble]

It is due to restlessness and agitation. What is the matter? Bring down peace, the Divine Peace, in your stomach and it will be all right


Catch hold of a peace deep within and push it into the cells of the body. With the peace will come back the health


Peace and stillness are the great remedy for disease.

When we can bring peace in our cells, we are cured


Peace in the nerves: indispensable for good health


Cure by the Divine Grace

[Someone with rheumatism wrote:]

Am I destined to be an invalid? I have given the best part of my life to the Divine. Is this to be my fate? Is there no way out?

Have faith. There is no disease which cannot be cured by the Divine Grace



Do not think you are invalid for ever, because the Grace of the Lord is infinite


I am enclosing a portrait of two birds with keen eyesight to encourage you to have faith that your eyes will be cured.

I shall see what can be done.

28 January 1932


What to do about illness?

Be passively confident: let me do it and it is done


When one is caught in an illness, how should one pray to the Mother?

Cure me, O Mother!


Her mental disease was congenital, that is to say, caused by her physical constitution, and it would have happened to her wherever she would have been and whatever life she would have lived. In fact, I made her last here one-and-a-half years more than she would have lasted elsewhere.

These congenital diseases can be cured only by an integral transformation of the body itself and we have not reached yet that period in the sadhana; otherwise it is only a so-called “miraculous cure” that can take place and that kind of “miracle” can happen only as the result of an absolute sincerity in the consecration to the Divine and an unshakable faith in the Divine Grace. This was not the case, she was full of fears, desires and demands and terribly concentrated on her exterior being and 153what she called its needs. This is just the opposite of a sincere consecration.

25 March 1935


My dear child,

Let your receptivity increase this year, to the extent of giving you the power to fully utilise the force that is at work for restoring perfect good health in you.

With my love and blessings.

2 February 1948


X has written again. Two letters to you from his friend Miss Y (who met you on her last visit here some months back) have gone unnoticed—to all appearances at least. She has asked for a blessing-packet for some trouble of hers. She got none. But in her second letter she reported good news.

How “unnoticed”? She got cured! Man of little faith!

31 May 1967


Before sleeping I told you, “This won't do. If this boil remains, I will have to remain in bed during the darshan week. I am not sure that this is possible.” In the morning the boil had moved about three inches away, giving me full freedom of movement, and in a day or two it burst and now it is dried up. I wonder whether actually the boil could move in this way.

Anything may happen. It is only our “logical” minds which put limitations. I must congratulate your body for its receptivity.

February 1970


With your blessings my disease gets partially cured but does not go.

This gives the exact measure of your body's receptivity. Concentrate the force on the diseased parts and they will improve


About others I inform you in silence and it works, but about my own illness I have to inform you physically—why?

It depends on the physical reception of each one, and that receptivity depends on the more or less dominating mind


It is a question of receptivity. I am doing the best that can be done for him, but he goes on thinking that he is ill. All the time he is busy with that idea and he has made a strong formation of illness around him. He is unable to receive my help because of this formation. Let him discard the idea of illness and more than half the trouble will be over and it will be easy to cure him.§


Doctors and Medicines


Truth is supreme harmony and supreme delight.

All disorder, all suffering is falsehood.

Thus it can be said that illnesses are falsehoods of the body and, consequently, doctors are soldiers of the great and noble army fighting in the world for the conquest of Truth



If we take the human body as a tabernacle of the Lord, then medical science becomes the ritual of worship and doctors the priests who officiate in the temple.

Thus considered, the medical career is a priesthood and should be treated as such


A broad mind, a generous heart, an unflinching will, a quiet steady determination, an inexhaustible energy and a total trust in one's mission—this makes a perfect doctor


After all, an illness is only a wrong attitude taken by some part of the body.

The chief role of the doctor is, by various means, to induce the body to recover its trust in the Supreme Grace


To medical knowledge and experience, add full faith in the Divine's Grace and your healing capacity will have no limits


Spiritual power of healing: opening and receptivity to the divine influence


The material power to heal demands a great sincerity in one's goodwill


I am still not through with this second spell of heart trouble. The first was in June 1938, owing to a gigantic overdose of a stimulant tonic powder. This time it is strain of the heart-muscle. The doctors have advised complete rest in a supine position. Not even the head 156is to be lifted. They also warn me that if I don't take extreme care I may develop more serious trouble. But I feel full of your presence and do what my suddenly and abundantly released poetic inspiration leads me to do. I sit up frequently, get excited with the passage of the poems through me—especially when the lines seem to come from wide, far-off spaces—and my heart starts beating fast at that time and if the doctors could then put their stethoscopes to my chest they would begin to shake their heads at the prospect of a quick cure. But I am unconcerned. I trust implicitly in your power and feel like laughing away the black future with which they—of course, with the best intentions and for my own good—threaten me in case of carelessness about my heart. I feel certain, Mother dearest, the Divine Power can help—can't it?

My dear child, I quite agree with you that there is a power other and much more powerful than that of the doctors and the medicines and I am glad to see that you put your trust in it. Surely it will lead you throughout all difficulties and in spite of all catastrophic warnings. Keep your faith intact and all will be all right.

28 May 1948


[About medicines]

I am not specially interested in these things which are only exterior help for the exterior consciousness and not essential for the yoga.


The whole value of a medicine is in the Spirit it contains.

22 February 1961



To go from one doctor to another is the same mistake as to go from one Guru to another. One is on the material plane what the other is on the spiritual. You must choose your doctor and stick to him if you do not want to enter into physical confusion. It is only if the doctor himself decides to consult another or others that the thing can be done safely.

14 March 1961


I sent you to the doctor and expect you to do what he asks you to do.

1 April 1961


Do you think that I could take treatment from Dr. X—after all, it is not any system of medicine but your Grace that cures.

It is true that the faith cures more than the treatment. You might take Dr. X's treatment and call for the Divine's help.

5 August 1962


Will you ask Kali to burn me with a fire of fever? I have become rather desperate. Shall I take simple ayurvedic medicines?

Before being so desperate, try ayurvedic treatment and take it with a concentration on Kali's Force.


6 May 1965



In every case, it is the Force that cures.

Medicines have little effect; it is the faith in medicines that cures.

Get treated by the doctor whom you trust and take only the medicines that inspire trust in you.

The body only has trust in material methods and that is why you have to give it medicines—but medicines have an effect only if the Force acts through them.

Allopaths ordinarily cure one thing, only to the detriment of another.

Ayurvedic doctors do not usually have this drawback. That is why I recommend them.

20 December 1965


Whatever the ordeal for the purification of my nature, I must pass through it with or without medical help.

You are quite right. Stick to your faith and you will get cured.

With blessings.

5 July 1967


Messages for Ashram Medical Services

[Message for the inauguration of the Ayurvedic Section]

In this new activity the knowledge of the past must be illumined by the revelation of today.

With my blessings.

22 February 1957



[Message for the inauguration of the Children's Dispensary]

Children's Dispensary

As many cases
so many cures.

The most important thing in therapeutics is to teach the body to react properly and reject the illness.


2 July 1963


[Message for the inauguration of the School for Perfect Eyesight]

The more the mind is quiet, the more the sight is good.

5 May 1968


[Message for the Nature Cure Section]

Nature is the all-round Healer.

2 July 1968


[Message for the Main Dispensary]

Finally it is Faith that cures.


9 August 1969

* *


[Message for the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), near Pondicherry]

Veritas curat.fnTruth cures.




Mother, for several days I have been sun-bathing regularly. The cough is slowly going away. Now there is a little coughing but it does not bother me any more. Would it be good to continue the sun-bathing?

Yes, you should do it every day; it gives strength and maintains one's energy


You must avoid coughing as much as you can. Coughing can be controlled by the will, and you should always try to achieve this control, because coughing is unnecessarily tiring


Mother, this cough is making me suffer a lot. It is becoming difficult to control it. It gets less when I write to You, but it comes back again after a few days. Mother, what is the cause of it?

Probably some bad suggestions which you must learn to drive away



[After a slight bout of fever:]

Mother, I feel as if the heat in my body comes from the fire of purification. Is this true?

The fire of purification ought to purify without causing fever, and it is quite possible to be purified without falling ill.

28 March 1935


An old and very weak man has an enlarged prostate. The doctors advise operation. He wants your guidance.

Most probably the end is approaching. All depends on his nature and will. If he prefers to go away quietly without struggle, let him be quiet and pull on as long as he can. If he likes to fight let him be operated upon and see what happens. My blessings in any case are with him


I was rather depressed on hearing of X's death after an operation. He was one of your workers with an exceptional ability. How is it that he passed away although under your influence and guidance?

The operation was quite successful, done by a very skilful surgeon, but X's heart was weak beyond expectation and he died of heart failure five days after the operation. It has been a sad event and a big loss for the work. But for some time he suffered much and felt tired of it. He had several times expressed the wish to change his body for a better one. It is surely this wish that is responsible for what happened.

22 November 1945



It is difficult to say exactly which of the two possibilities would be more helpful to recover your health. But in a general way a change is more helpful for the body at the beginning than in the long run, as the thing most detrimental to the body's welfare is the lack of interest in life and surroundings. Anything new can wake up this interest for the time being—but the effect is never very lasting.

21 February 1946


These contradictory impressions are quite natural.

The material consciousness naturally rejoices when circumstances combine to satisfy what it considers to be its need; in any case, they will help it to recover its balance and confidence in life.

The soul witnesses yet another victory of Matter over spirit (for every illness that resists the inner cure is for the spirit a defeat, which may only be short-lived but which is nonetheless a defeat). The soul can neither be troubled nor unhappy, for it has faith in its own eternity and is aware of it; but it may sometimes feel a certain melancholy.

19 June 1960


Please tell Mother that I feel all the time as if life and energy were flowing away from me out of my hands and feet and I cannot stop it.

Why does he complain? The energy must be spent to be renewed. The human body is not a closed jar that gets emptied by spending. The human body is a channel that receives only when it spends.

Let him eat well, sleep well, avoid wrong thinking and spend normally. He will soon be all right.

20 April 1968



It is only by correcting your way of living that you can hope to secure good health


It is because of all your quarrels, shouting, restlessness, nervousness, agitation, discords and disputes, that X is unwell. I said from the beginning that she needed rest and quietness. It was especially indispensable, but she has been surrounded by the opposite atmosphere—no wonder if she is ill. She weeps and trembles because her nerves are overtaxed and they are overtaxed because all of you have no mastery over yourselves and no control over your speech.

Cooking for her is quite nice, but it is not sufficient; you must let her have enough peace and quietness to be able to eat


When I am sympathetic with a sick person my body begins to feel the symptoms of his disease.

The best way is to call for the Divine Presence of Truth and Harmony, to replace the vibrations of disorder and confusion


It is not very difficult to get rid of headache and giddiness. However bad your condition may be, call the light from above. Try to feel that the light is entering into you from the crown of your head bringing with it calm and peace. If you do it seriously, your headache and giddiness will disappear in no time.§


Tumours always indicate some difficulty in the nature; certain cells decide to be independent of the discipline of the body. They do not remain in harmony with the other parts and begin to grow out of all proportion. Generally this is the result of a very 164strong greed in the nature. It may be greed for material things or for power or any other subtle object.

By performing an operation you may remove the tumour, but if the inner nature remains unchanged, it will come up in some other part and all the trouble that the patient has to undergo for the operation and its after-effects will be in vain.§


The cells of the body get the habit of increasing without cause. This is cancer. If you change the consciousness in the cells and get rid of their habit, cancer can be cured.§