Letters of Sri Aurobindo
6. The Divine and the Hostile Powers
Fragment ID: 619
The Asuras are really the dark side of the mental, or more strictly, of the vital mind plane. This mind is the very field of the Asuras. Their main characteristic is egoistic strength and struggle, which refuse the higher law. The Asura has self-control, tapas and intelligence, but all that for the sake of his ego. On the lower vital plane the corresponding forces we call the Rakshasas which represent violent passions and influences. There are also other kinds of beings on the vital plane which are called the Pishachas and Pramathas. They manifest more or less in the physico-vital.
On the physical plane the corresponding forces are obscure beings, more forces than beings, what the Theosophists call the elementals. They are not strongly individualised beings like the Rakshasas and Asuras, but ignorant and obscure forces working in the subtle physical plane. What we in Sanskrit call the Bhutas mostly come under this class. But there are two kinds of elementals, the one mischievous and the other not.
There are no Asuras on the higher planes where the Truth prevails, except in the Vedic sense – “the Divine in its strength”. The mental and vital Asuras are only a deviation of that power.