The Spirit’s breath: the divine Force

Now I am going to send you what mi Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with the power from on high, (Luke 24.49).

The “power from on high” is a Divine force that can descend over us. The great yogi, Sri Aurobindo, explains this very well in his writings, in which he calls this force the Divine Mother. In India they call God’s energetic and dynamic aspect “Shakti,” or Mother, and His static aspect or pure consciousness they call “Shiva,” or Father. The Divine Mother of Sri Aurobindo would be the equivalent of the Holy Spirit of Jesus (in fact, the Hebrew word “ruaj”, Spirit, is feminine in gender):

“This (divine) influence is there, above you, and if you manage to be conscious of it, even if it is only once, you need to call it so it comes to you. It will descend to your mind and your body like a flow of Peace, of Light, of operating force, as a divine Presence with or without form, like Joy. Before having obtained this consciousness, you need to have faith and aspire to open up. The aspiration, the invocation, the prayer…they are different forms of the same thing, and all of them are effective. You can adopt the form that presents itself to you, or the one that is easier for you,” (The Integral Yoga, Lotus Press, 2003, Twin Lakes, EEUU, p. 68).

In this quote, Sri Aurobindo is not writing about metaphysics, but describing a yogic experience that everybody could have. This opening towards the Holy Spirit happens in the crown chakra, from where this divine force descends from “on High,” bearing different gifts: Wisdom, peace, power, bliss.

For this descent to occur it is necessary that the spiritual aspirant prepares himself through an internal cleansing. Sri Aurobindo, for example, recommends the constant practice of aspiring to the Divine, rejecting all movements that are inferior to the own ego and surrendering to the Divinity, both in thought and in actions. The spiritual practice, which can be this one or another one, is called “sadhana” in Yoga. The more sadhana we practice, the more prepared we will be to accept the descent of the Divinity and to welcome it in our day to day lives.

Again Jesus said: ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’ (John 20.21-22).

Reading the Gospel, it does not seem like if the apostles, rough fishermen, would practice any sadhanas. Rather, it was the grace of Jesus that allowed them to receive and experiment drastically the descent over them of this divine Force. This is the miracle that can be made by a realized teacher who, only with his presence and vibration, can transform the lives of his disciples.

Jesus pointed out that he needed to die so the Spirit could descent over his apostles. He even sacrificed his own life for the spiritual development of his disciples. How many so called “spiritual leaders” can do the same?:

But very truly I tell you: it is for your own good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you, (John 16.7).

What we can highlight is that, apart from dogmas, creeds or religious affiliations, this divine Force is available equally to all human beings. We only need sadhana – and perhaps a good guide – to reach it and experimenting its blessing.

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him !, (Luke 11.9-13).

Who can boast about having exclusivity on God? Can property rights be invoked before God? Jesus’ Kingdom of God is above institutions and hierarchies, above social, political or even religious considerations, and available to anyone wishing to open up to the divine Force. It is available to anyone, no matter their background, who is willing to make the effort of receiving it. Nobody can pretend owning the Holy Spirit; the only option they have is giving themselves to It:

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit, (John 3.8).

The Divine Grace cannot be restrained, nor can be possessed by anybody. The only way of attracting it is through our own devotion and love; love that wants nothing in return but the Divine Truth itself:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God, (Matthew 5.8).

The yogic sadhana is the hearth, the hammer that hits the incandescent iron of devotion until it eliminates all the slag, until one becomes a hard recipient, without cracks, capable of receiving the waters of the Truth.

Oh Arjuna, become a Yogi! Because the real Yogi goes beyond those who only follow the path of austerity, or the path of mere wisdom or action. And the greatest of all yogis is the one who has a total and unconditional faith, and who loves Me with all his heart, (Bhagavad Gita VI.46-47).