Letters of Sri Aurobindo
Fragment ID: 7689
I would have been surprised to hear that I regard (in agreement with an “advanced” sadhak) Ramakrishna as a spiritual pigmy if I had not become past astonishment in these matters. I have said, it seems, so many things that were never in my mind and done too not a few that I have never dreamed of doing! I shall not be surprised or perturbed if one day I am reported to have declared, on the authority of “advanced” or even unadvanced sadhaks, that Buddha was a poseur or that Shakespeare an overrated poetaster or Newton a third-rate college Don without any genius. In this world all is possible. Is it necessary for me to say that I have never thought and cannot have said anything of the kind, since I have at least some faint sense of spiritual values? The passage you have quoted1 is my considered estimate of Sri Ramakrishna.
1 “And in a recent unique example, in the life of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, we see a colossal spiritual capacity, first driving straight to the divine realisation, taking, as it were, the kingdom of heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yogic method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realisation and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge.” The Synthesis of Yoga (Centenary Edition, 1972), p. 36.