Pabulum (from the Latin) means food; psychic pabula (pl.) means “mental food” or “mental objects.”
Abhoga in Sanskrit is the proper term to describe this concept. The term “psychic pabula” is not comprehensive enough but it is the nearest English/Latin term in meaning.
Development results from clash and nourishment.
Clash: Body needs physical exercise, and mind needs challenges to develop. Spiritual development is accelerated through difficulties in life.
Nourishment: Body needs food, and mind needs mental objects to develop. Good company feeds the spiritual development.
The mind has to have an object. Mind depends on the acquisition of mental objects (psychic pabula). Shrii Shrii Anandamurti defines “abhoga” as “The object with which the mind is preoccupied or obsessed is its psychic pabulum or abhoga” and explains that in human development there are 4 stages:
1. Physico-Psychic stage: physical survival as human
2. Psychic stage: mythology, religion, philosophy, art, science, literature, poetry, music
3. Psycho-Spiritual stage: intuitional development, intuitional science
4. Spiritual stage: love, closeness to God, absorption of ego in the Cosmic Mind, liberation, salvation.
Abhoga implies expansion, the expansion of mind, using the nourishment of the mental objects of the universe. Abhoga is described as the rapid expansion phase and therefore there are dangers inherent in the speed of the unfoldment. As the mind expands the ego has to be controlled. Ego must understand that this rapid expansion of the mind is a gift from God. It is pure grace. During this rapid expansion phase it is important for the spiritual seeker to maintain his/her devotional feelings and help others as much as possible to avoid the trappings of the ego.