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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo

Volume 2. 1937

Letter ID: 1995

Sri Aurobindo — Nirodbaran Talukdar

July 12, 1937

Here is Dilipda’s letter. Please solve the duel between the homeopath and the surgeon. He looks up to you for advice...

What’s this rash suggestion in the letter about ear? Surely even a specialist wouldn’t perforate the inside of the ear? Besides Dilip insists on his nose.

But who am I to decide between the two mighty opposites – homeopathic stalwarts (bigots is an unpleasant word) and allopathic stalwarts? The only safe course for a prudent layman is to shake his head wisely and murmur “There is much to be said on both sides of the matter.” But it seems to me that the thing is already done – he has started with the allopathic treatment and will have to go through to the end.

I can’t say much about the pumping and washing of the ear. Do you want him to undergo it?

Pumping and washing sounds very Hathayogic. Harmless therefore let us hope.

This B. Babu has some cheek, I must say, uttering nasty things about you.

Well, it is nothing new. He has been saying nasty things about us for some years past.

But is he really gifted with some power?

I suppose he has or had some powers, but his mind seems to be rather chaotic, accepting all sorts of mental, vital and other perceptions and suggestions as the truth, without discrimination. Barin told me a lot about his wonderful (prophecy and knowing everything about everybody) powers, but I was disappointed to find it a glowing jumble of truth and error both taken as the very truth. No harm in a mixture of truth and error if one observes and goes on steadily clearing out the mixture. But otherwise –

X writes that he can’t go to see K, though that was one of the motives of his going to Calcutta.

It is a pity he could not go to K.

... Why this bitterness against “Asramites”? From where has he really got this idea that we are unsympathetic towards him?

He says some of the Asramites!

On the other hand, I think, most of us have a deep and genuine feeling for him which he doesn’t see because our expression is so different from worldly people’s.

Yes, but X likes universal patting and patting is rare in the Asram, preaching is more usual.

You remember he said that he is a great believer in expression. Is expression the only real thing in life?

No. Expression is all right provided it is the right expression of the right thing. But it is not necessary to be always expressing and expressing.

What do you express when you come and sit like the immovable Himalayas at Darshan? Yet people feel joy, peace, etc., etc.

Of course. But X’s difficulty is that he is accustomed to live outside not inside and feel sensible impacts and react to them – expression you know – The inner silent feeling of things is not much in his line.

... At any rate I don’t believe that the sadhaks are in any way worse than worldly people whose affections and sympathy have blinded X. This place being small, one’s dejects stand out and criticisms come to one’s ears and get magnified.


Can he say that he has no enemies, no backbiters outside?

Well, outside being large, he can give them a wide berth.

I have heard it said that ordinary sadhaks – the Toms, Dicks and Harrys – who would be nowhere beside X in the outside world and who would have nothing if they did not have a shelter here – even such people criticise him.

? The quality of the sadhaks is so low? I should say there is a considerable amount of ability and capacity in the Asram. Only the standard demanded is higher than outside even in spiritual matters. There are half a dozen people here perhaps who live in the Brahman consciousness – outside they would make a big noise and be considered as great Yogis – here their condition is not known and in the Yoga it is regarded not as siddhi but only as a beginning.

They say – why, the sadhaks had nothing to sacrifice; they were beggars, and are kept so comfortably here. This is an exterior view of things, isn’t it?

Sacrifice depends on the inner attitude. If one has nothing outward to sacrifice, one has always oneself to give.

A visitor once said, “Oh, how happy you all are here, so comfortably kept, no thoughts and anxieties. Life is plain sailing.” When he was asked to come and stay here, he replied that he had no time!

The difficulty is that most of the sadhaks are still full of desires, so their renunciation is not a thing that becomes very perceptible. If they had the inner tyaga1, it would create an atmosphere that people coming here would feel.

... Now I have decided to keep aloof as much as possible from tea-table and music, especially before Darshan. It may hurt X, but I can’t help it.

Perhaps if he understands that it is a preparation for darshan, he may not be so hurt.


1 tyāga: renunciation.