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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo

Volume 4

Letter ID: 965

Sri Aurobindo — Roy, Dilip Kumar

June 27, 1943

I am grateful for your answer. I will only ask you one more question, please forgive me, as I feel Krishnaprem is not altogether right about it. I mean about “vivisection.” Is it unjustifiable? Take Pasteur’s anti-hydrophobic serum which effects a cent per cent cure. It has undoubtedly saved the lives of thousands. Can we seriously say such a serum is an evil and has to be “paid for” as Krishnaprem puts it? If not then vivisection is justified. If not please let me know. It seems to me Krishnaprem has erred here. You only know the full truth so to whom shall I appeal when I certainly don’t know? I leave a little space here.

I feel inclined to back out of the arena or take refuge in the usual saving formula, ‘There is much to be said on both sides. Your view is no doubt correct from the commonsense or what might be called the “human” point of view. Krishnaprem takes the standpoint that we must not only consider the temporary good to humanity, but certain inner laws. He thinks the harm, violence or cruelty to other beings is not compensated and cannot be justified by some physical good to a section of humanity or even to humanity as a whole; such methods awake, in his opinion, a sort of Karmic reaction apart from the moral harm to the men who do these things. He is also of the opinion that the cause of disease is psychic, that is to say, subjective and the direction should be towards curing the inner causes much more than patching up by physical means. These are ideas that have their truth also. I fully recognize the psychic law and methods and their prefer-ability, but the ordinary run of humanity is not ready for that rule and, while it is so, doctors and their physical methods will be there. I have also supported justifiable violence on justifiable occasions, e.g., Kurukshetra and the war against Hitler and all he means. The question then, from this middle point of view, about the immediate question is whether this violence is justifiable and the occasion justifiable. I back out.

I enclose Cohayne’s letter, which you will find interesting, I think. I am very glad he is turning in your direction. But tell me has Mother been really sending him force? I ask because I have heard that many indulge fancies, I trust he is not one of them. I found him a very brilliant and honest fellow though he used to be very vain, as he acknowledges now. Do you not think he is changing for the better? If so I would like to convey it to him. I am very contrite about conveying your remarks to Bharati. In future such mistakes will not be repeated. I will first get your permission before I communicate your remarks. One last question: Cohayne alters one line (he suggests, that is) of my war-song. My final version I send today, please tell me which you prefer.

I don’t know whether Mother is sending force in the accepted sense; I haven’t asked her. In any case anyone can receive the force who has faith and sincerity, whose psychic being has begun to wake and who opens himself – whether he knows or not that he is receiving. If Cohayne even imagines that he is receiving, that may open the way to a real reception – if he feels it, why question his feeling. He is certainly trying hard to change and that is the first necessity; if one tries it can always be done, in more or in less time.