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How to overcome depression

Regular readers of our blogs may recollect that in one of our earlier issues (May 17th) we had referred to one of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother’s reflections on how to sleep. Given the state of uncertainty and anxiety we are passing through, the need to deliberate on depression in this issue is felt. Excerpts have been taken from the book Living Within (pp.56-58).

  1. Depression may come from two causes: either from a want of vital satisfaction or from a considerable nervous (physical) fatigue in the body.

  2. Depression arising from physical fatigue is set right fairly easily: one has but to take rest. One goes to bed and sleeps until one feels well again, or else one rests, dreams, lies down.

  3. The want of vital satisfaction is pretty easily produced and usually one must face it with one’s reason, must ferret out the cause of the depression, what has brought about the lack of satisfaction in the vital; and then one looks at it straight in the face and asks oneself whether that indeed has anything to do with one’s inner aspiration or whether it is simply quite ordinary movement. Generally one discovers that it has nothing to do with the inner aspiration and one can quite easily overcome it and resume one’s normal movement.

  4. To yield to depression when things go wrong is the worst way of meeting the difficulty. There must be some desire or demand within you, conscious or subconscious, that gets excited and revolts against its not being satisfied. The best way is to be conscious of it, face it calmly and steadily throw it out.

  5. Remorse, repentance, is the natural movement of the vital mind when it sees it has done a mistake. It is certainly better than indifference. Its disadvantage is that it disturbs the vital stuff and sometimes leads to depression or discouragement. For that reason what is usually recommended to the sadhak is a quiet recognition of the mistake with a sincere aspiration and will that it should not be repeated or at least that the habit of making such mistakes should be eliminated. At a higher stage of development when the inner calm is established, one simply observes the defects of the nature as defects of a machinery that one has to put right and calls down the Light and Force for its rectification.


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