Question: What do you mean when you say that something touched the physical?

Sri Chinmoy: It means that it has touched the body-consciousness. Let us take doubt and fear, for example. First they enter into the mind, then they come into the vital and then into the gross physical. When they touch someone's gross physical, then tremendous fear controls his actions. The physical is scared because wrong forces have entered. But if the wrong forces exist only in the mind or the vital, then you can still go on. It is when they touch the physical that you become terrified, as if you were guilty of a crime and the police or someone are coming to catch you. At that time, you are terrified right from your mind to your physical.

It is as if a rat or some other destructive animal has eaten holes in a tree trunk right from the top to the bottom. The whole tree may collapse at any moment. But if it has been destroyed only at the top, then that part can be cut off. The tree becomes shorter, but it is not completely destroyed. Similarly, if a force enters into the vital, you can cut it out there. But if it enters the gross physical, the tree is so destroyed that you have to cut and cut until only the root remains.