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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo

Volume 1. 1935

Letter ID: 1412

Sri Aurobindo — Nirodbaran Talukdar

September 1, 1935

What is happening really, Sir? Have you stirred sleeping snakes and monsters that are rushing up now?

Excuse me, they were not sleeping at all; they are simply coming into light.

Now I hear that Y is leaving you to go to Raman Maharshi. What next?

You are astonished? Really, you seem to be living like a cherub chubby and innocent with his head in the clouds ignorant of the wickedness of men. I thought by this time the revolts of Y were common knowledge.

Not only that, he is hurling abuses, threats, most offensive words at you!

In his “periods” he was doing that all the time privately among his friends. Now it is publicly that is all. Afterwards he puts on the airs of a saint and howls reproachfully at us for having believed lying reports. Another specimen of humanity.

He had said that he’d die if he went away from here – he’s united with you for ever. Are all these mere words? Really, have you touched some Frankenstein monster?

My dear sir, he was much worse than that before he came to Pondicherry. I have not touched anything, for the Frankenstein was already there, not of my creation.

No, Sir, I am not reproaching you, but this is an absolutely inconceivable and unimaginable phenomenon, and makes my head reel...

O dear me! Cherub! cherub!

A vast abyss has opened its jaws to swallow Y for ever.

Do you mean Raman Maharshi? He is not an abyss and he has no desire to swallow.

I tell you, Sir, it will be a pathetic failure on the part of the Divine!

Rubbish! It will be a failure on the part of Y. I don’t profess to transform men against their will.

Is all this fury not excusable?

Very ignorant at least. Ignorance may be bliss, but it is not a defence or excuse.

On the planes that are above the mind (Overmind and those above it), do the forms exist as we have them on the planes relating to the material creation? The forms of gods we have here in icons etc., do they actually exist on the higher planes? My question is: Do the forms actually exist in those planes, or is it the creation of the mind which gives the forms to those powers, in the sense that it is half the creation of the mind and half the acceptance of our forms by the God-powers?1

There are no planes of manifestation without forms – for without form creation or manifestation cannot be complete. But the supraphysical planes are not bound to the forms like the physical. The forms there are expressive, not determinative. What is important on the vital plane is the force or feeling and the form expresses it. A vital being has a characteristic form but he can vary it or mask his true form under others. What is primary on the mental plane is the perception, the idea, the mental significance and the form expresses that and these mental forms too can vary – there can be many forms expressing an idea in different ways or on different sides of the idea. Form exists but it is more plastic and variable than in physical nature.

As to the Gods, men can build forms which they will accept; but these forms too are inspired into men’s mind from the planes to which the God belongs. All creation has the two sides, the formed and the formless,– the Gods too are formless and yet have forms, but a Godhead can take many forms, here Maheshwari, there Pallas Athene. Maheshwari herself has many forms in her lesser manifestations, Durga, Uma, Parvati, Chandi etc. The Gods are not limited to human forms – man also has not always seen them in human forms only.


1 This question was put by a sadhak who left the Ashram long ago.