Letters of Sri Aurobindo
Volume 2. 1934 — 1935
Letter ID: 512
Sri Aurobindo — Roy, Dilip Kumar
November 10, 1934
I see. It is quite natural for the poets to vaunt their métier as the highest and themselves as the top of creation and for the intellectuals to run down the Yogi and the Rishi who claim to reach a higher than intellectual consciousness. Moreover the poet who lives still in the mind and is not yet a spiritual seer-poet represents to the human intellect the highest point of mental seership where the imagination tries to figure and embody in words what can really be grasped only by spiritual experience. It is therefore natural for these intellectuals to exalt him as the real seer and prophet. There is always, of course, behind that the modern or European mentality which confuses the vital with the soul and the mind with spirituality. The poet imaging mental or physical beauty is for them something more spiritual than the seer or the God-lover experiencing the eternal peace or the ineffable ecstasy. The Rishi or Yogi can drink of a deeper draught of Beauty and Delight than the imagination of the poet at its highest can conceive, but what does your friend with his idea of the raskānā1 Rishi know of the things? (raso vai saḥ – the Divine is Delight). And it is not only the unseen Beauty that he can see but the visible and tangible also has for him a face of the All-beautiful which the mind cannot discover. It does not matter really what they say; but if a counter-blast had to be, you have done it pretty well and forcibly!
1 Raskāna: devoid of the sense of Rasa. Rasa is savour, a sentiment expressed or flavour contained in a writing.