On the Vital force

Q: What is the vital force?

It is the life-force in man; there is a certain energy you feel within you which meets the shocks of life. It is that which gives you capacity to overcome obstacles. It is very necessary for ordinary men. It can pull you through a prolonged illness. As the Prashna Upanishad says: prāṇasyedam vaśe sarvam tridive yat pratiṣṭhitam — Whatever there is in this universe is subject to Prana. Even mental activities are due to Prana, life-force. It is the life-force that keeps the world going.

Q: How to overcome vital depression?

By supplying the vital force. (Laughter)

(After a pause) You have to draw the vital energy from the infinite ocean of universal vital force that is all around you.

Q: The next question is: “How to draw it?”

You have something more than your hands and feet, with which you can lay hold on the vital energy from within.

Q:  How to draw the vital force? I mean I don’t know how to draw it consciously.

What you can do unconsciously you can always teach yourself to do consciously.

There are two main ways: passive and active. In the first you remain passive, waiting for the vital force to enter into you; then you find it rushes into you. In the other method you lay hold on the force and draw it in.

– Sri Aurobindo