Unless otherwise indicated all definitions are taken from the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library.  The volume number and page number are in brackets after each definition.  Definitions given by Douglas McElheny or Donny Duke will have their initials in brackets.

ARCHETYPE (Note: these definitions come from the works of Medhananda, a disciple of Sri Aurobindo)
Our archetypes, which are the subject of this book,
are not the imaginary and glorified entities
of some higher world.
They are vibratory constituents of the soul,
energy quanta, the psychodynamics of all living beings [Archetypes of Liberation, p. 17]

What is called in different cultural environments our true self or our soul–that which remains when we pass from one life to another–is not a simple single entity.

It is like a giant 'molecule' built around a centre and made up of many psychological aspects or archetpes which connect, each in its own invisible way, the one with the many, involution with evolution, eternity with time.

Called in Egypt 'neteru' and later in religions 'angels' or 'gods' and imagined outside of ourselves they are possibilities, capacities, and potentialities which man must discover and develop if he wants to be really himself and live in peace with himself. [Archetypes of Liberation, p. 9]

They are self-aware master patterns, cosmic functions

principle and forces, modes of functioning in us. [The Way of Horus, p. 46]

The Divine is that from which all comes, in which all lives, and to return to the truth of the Divine now clouded over by Ignorance is the soul's aim in life. [23:1081]

The Divine has three aspects for us:
1.  It is the Cosmic Self and Spirit that is in and behind all things and being, from which and in which all is manifested in the universe–although it is now a manifestation in the Ignorance.
2.  It is the Spirit and Master of our own being within us whom we have to serve and learn to express his will in all our movements so that we may grow out of the Ignorance into the Light. 
3.  The Divine is transcendent Being and Spirit, all Bliss and Light and divine Knowledge and Power, and towards that highest divine existence and its Light we have to rise and bring down the reality of it more and more into our consciousness and life. [23:509-10] 

The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet so many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence.  The Mother is the consciousness and force of the Supreme and far above all she creates. [25:19]

There are three ways of being of the Mother of which you can become aware when you enter into touch of oneness with the Conscious Force that upholds us and the universe.  Transcendent, the original supreme Shakti, she stands above the worlds and links the creation to the ever unmanifest mystery of the Supreme.  Universal, the cosmic Mahashakti, she creates all these beings and contains and enters, supports and conducts all these million processes and forces.  Individual, she embodies the power of these two vaster ways of her existence, makes them living and near to us and mediates between the human personality and the Divine Nature. [25:49-50]

There is a higher consciousness above you, not in the body so above the headwhich we call the higher spiritual or divine consciousness, or the Mother's consciousness. [24:1130]

The higher consciousness is that above the ordinary mind and different from it in its working; it ranges from Higher Mind through illumined Mind, Intuition and Overmind up to the border line of the Supramental. [22:308]

Higher vital usually refers to the vital mind and emotive being as opposed to the middle vital which has its seat in the navel and is dynamic, sensational and passionate and the lower which is made up of the smaller movements of human life-desire and life-reactions. [22:325]

The hostile forces are those that try to pervert everything and are in revolt against the Divine and opposed to the Yoga. [22:397]
The hostile forces are those whose very raison d'etre is revolt against the Divine, against the Light and Truth and enmity to the DIvine Work. [24:1733]

Ignorance is the consciousness of being in the successions of of time, divided in its knowledge by dwelling in the moment, divided in its conception of self-being by dwelling in the divisions of space and the relations of circumstance, self-prisoned in the multiple working of the unity.  It is called the Ignorance because it has put behind it the knowledge of unity and by that very fact is unable to know truly or completely either itself or the world, either the transcendent or the universal reality. [18: 506]

(the part of the vital) which is occupied with small desires and feelings, such as make the greater part of daily life, e.g. food, desire, sexual desire, small likings, dislikings, vanity, quarrels, love of praise, anger at blame, little wishes of all kinds–and a numberless host of other things. [22:344]

Mirra Alfassa, the human incarnation of the Divine Mother. [DM]

There is one divine force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe.  The Mother stands for all these, but she is working here in the body to bring down something not yet expressed in this material world so as to transform life here–it is so that you should regard her as the Divine Shakti working here for that purpose.  She is that in the body, but in her whole consciousness she is also identified with all the other aspects of the Divine. [25:49-50]

It is the Divine Force which works to remove the Ignorance and change the nature into the divine nature. [25:139]

There is a force that accompanies the growth of the new consciousness and at once grows with it and helps it to come about and to perfect itself.  This force is the Yoga-Shakti.  It is here coiled up and asleep in all the centers of our inner being (chakras) and is at the base what is called in the Tantras the Kundalini Shakti.  But it is also above us, above our head as the Divine Force–not there coiled up, involved, asleep, but awake, scient, potent, extended and wide; it is there waiting for manifestation and to this force we have to open ourselves–to the power of the Mother. [25:139-140]

Sri Aurobindo distinguishes four planes of consciousness that lie between our normal human mental consciousness and the supramental. They are Higher Mind, illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, and Overmind. [DM]

Between the Supermind and the human mind are a number of ranges, planes or layers of consciousness–one can regard it in various ways–in which the element or substance of mind and consequently its movements also become more and more illumined and powerful and wide.  The overmind is the highest of these ranges; it is full of lights and powers; but from the point of view of what is above it, it is the line of the soul's turning away from the from the complete and indivisible knowledge and its descent towards the ignorance.  For although it draws from the Truth, it is here that begins the separation of the aspects of the Truth, the forces and their working out as if they were independent truths and this is a process that ends, as one descends to ordinary Mind, Life, and Matter, in a complete division, fragmentation, separation from the invisible Truth above.  There is no longer the essential, total, perfectly harmonising and unifying knowledge, or rather knowledge for ever harmonious because for ever one, which is the character of supermind.  In the supermind, mental divisions and oppositions cease, the problems created by our dividing and fragmenting mind disappear and Truth is seen as a luminous whole.  In the overmind there is not yet the actual fall into the Ignorance, but the first step is taken which will make the fall inevitable. [22:257]

The overmind sees calmly, steadily, in great masses and large extensions of space and time and relation, globally; it creates and acts in the same way–it is the world of the great Gods, the divine Creators. [24:1154]


one who follows a spiritual discipline in order to achieve siddhi (perfection) [DM]

Sadhana is the practice of yoga [23:541]
Sadhana (means) the practice by which perfection, siddhi, is attained [20:40]

SHAKTI (see The Mother's Force)

The nervous or life part of the being.  It is the origin of emotions and desires in us. [DM]

There are four parts of the vital being–first, the mental vital which gives a mental expression by thought, speech or otherwise to the emotions, desires, passions, sensations and other movements of the vital being; the emotional vital which is the seat of various feelings, such as love, joy, sorrow, hatred, and the rest; the central vital which is the seat of the stronger vital longings and reactions, e.g. ambition, pride, fear, love of fame, attractions and repulsions, desires and passions of various kinds and the field of many vital energies; last, the lower vital which is occupied with small desires and feelings, such as make the greater part of daily life, e.g. food, desire, sexual desire, small likings, dislikings, vanity, quarrels, love of praise, anger at blame, little wishes of all kinds–and a numberless host of other things.  Their respective seats are: (1) the region from the throat to the heart, (2) the heart (it is a double centre, belonging in front to the emotional and vital and behind to the psychic), (3) from the heart to the navel, (4) below the navel. [22:344]