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SRI AUROBINDO – Nirodbaran

Correspondence with
Sri Aurobindo

Volume 2. 1938

January 4, 1938

In B’s case, I find a small vein is tender and knotty, the muscles are quite free. So has it affected the vein now or was it so from the beginning?

[The Mother:] So, most likely it is varicose.

“The wandering waters of my life Wash thy eternal shore... But thy impregnable silence bears With calm their passionate moans.”

[Sri Aurobindo:] Good Lord! don’t moan like that.


January 9, 1938

[the Mother]

Laxmi is complaining of obstinate constipation. Is she not taking the castor oil recommended by André?


January 14, 1938

[the Mother]

... I don’t see that S’s general health is worse.

He does not look so bad.

Don’t you find him better? or shall we show him to André?

Not necessary.


January 19, 1938

[the Mother]

You have seen our indents for this year, sent by Rajangam. You must have observed that R has asked for 30 or 40 allopathic drugs, and you have sanctioned them. I was wondering how, being a homeopath, he should require these. For what purpose? Is it legal, etc., etc.?

[The Mother marked “30 or 40 allopathic drugs”.]

Are they poisons? Because in that case it cannot be given and the best way would be to delay the order – until he writes to me and explains for what purpose he wants them.


January 20, 1938

[the Mother]

In that list of indents, there are at least 8 or 10 which come definitely under the act of poisonous drugs... Rajangam said that these will be potentised by R, in alcohol. I asked, “Then, why doesn’t he get them directly from the Homeopathy pharmacy? That would be very safe in every way...” Rajangam replied that as we have got a contributor from Alembic, it’s easy to get them; but if he gets from the Homeopathy pharmacy, Mother will have to pay for them...

Rajangam’s explanation is satisfactory. So they can be bought.


February 1, 1938

[the Mother]

K’s scabies and asthma are almost all right. Shall we give him some sodium cacodylate injections as tonic?

Yes, if there is no “contre-indication”.

Perhaps you have noticed that there is still a little swelling in B’s leg. Do you want André to be called?

We can wait a few days more.


February 2, 1938

[the Mother]

What about L? She says she had no motion for 7 days!


February 3, 1938

[the Mother]

What do you think of Rushi’s cyst? It is not a wart.

It is nothing much. I suppose it will fall by itself.


February 8, 1938

[the Mother]

... L doesn’t like enema as it has bad after-effects.

[The Mother underlined “as it has bad after-effects”.]

What bad effects?

I don’t know if habitual laxatives will be good.

Habitual laxatives are harmful and purgatives still worse.

R has difficulty in swallowing. She is another case of constipation. She hasn’t got a healthy colour, has she?

Neither good nor very bad.


February 9, 1938

[the Mother]

L – The bad effects of enema are weakness, windiness and loss of appetite. Dr. B asked Iter if she would like to go to Bombay. She is very willing and says she will come back after some time. So shall we ask her to arrange for it?

Yes, certainly.

P has come with a doubtful skin disease – It is better to take him to the hospital and ascertain what it is.


February 11,1938

[the Mother]

Dr. André says that P has leucoderma, and it is not contagious. But it’s better to examine the blood... Could it be done?

Yes –


February 12, 1938

[the Mother]

K [suffering from asthma] wants to take curds...

He might try.


February 14, 1938

[the Mother]

We examined Rangachari – his heart seems to be dilated. It is also weak. I understand he has come here with the idea of doing Yoga. If we have to bear his responsibility. André had better be consulted.

We have no responsibility, he is living outside. But if the case is serious advise him to go to the hospital.


February 15, 1938

[the Mother]

J says that she has dandruff and consequently losing her hair badly. She has heard that you have suggested a “Lemon cream” for such cases, to some others. Will it be good for her also?

I’m sending her a bottle.


February 18, 1938

[the Mother]

You have asked Benjamin to take some vegetables. How to give them? Only boiled? They can’t be fried, can they?

I suppose he can take fried things, but you might ask André about it.

It is pepper and spices he fears, not oil or ghee.


February 19, 1938

[the Mother]

For Benjamin, are the vegetables to be fried here? Or we can ask Lakshmi to do it as she too would like to take some.

You might offer him boiled vegetables. We shall see how he likes them.


February 20, 1938

Mother, in the last two Pranams, you seemed to have indicated to me that I have done something wrong somewhere.


Coming on just before Darshan it is weighing on me. May I know what it is, if anything?

Nothing at all – quite imaginary.

“Brilliance breaking the night-shell Like laughter-peels of a ringing bell.”

Lord, sir! A bell is not an orange.


February 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Should we give Romen treatment for his enlarged liver?

[The Mother:] You can start the treatment.

Benjamin has been advised to take raw tomatoes. Can he buy them himself from the bazaar?

[The Mother:] The tomatoes can be bought from the Bazaar, but surely Benjamin has no strength to go himself to buy them.

Guru, please have a look at this poem...

What the deuce is the meaning of “lineage” here? Lineage means ancestry. And what the greater deuce is “liege”?


February 25, 1938

“The deliverance from the grave –

Earth’s crucifixion of the Light

That is bound like passion’s galley-slave –


[After Sri Aurobindo’s correction on 20.2.38:]

For thy deliverance from the grave –

Earth’s crucifixion of the Light

In the earth-bound, Nature’s galley-slave –


You have repeated “earth”.

I should have thought it clear that the repetition is intentional. Earth does that crucifixion in the earth-bound – once the earth-binding ceases, the soul is free. Cf. St. Paul, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

I am much delighted and relieved to find that you have not lost your sense of humour by your Supramental transformation, Sir!

Where the deuce do you get these ideas? From Dilip? The Supramental being the absolute of all good things, must equally be the absolute of humour also. Q.E.D.


February 26, 1938

[the Mother]

Benjamin doesn’t like boiled vegetables. He wants them fried. The other day Dr. André took the vegetables home and had them fried for him.

Is it not possible to have them fried in the dispensary?


February 27, 1938

[the Mother]

Shall we give a bottle of Lithiné to Charupada? Cost? Free?

It can be given but he will have to pay customs.

I have a mind to try some injections of liver extract on S, if you permit...

Yes, you can do.


March 4, 1938

Here is N’s letter. I don’t like his tone at all.

Neither do I.

He asks, “Won’t Sri Aurobindo see my poems even after 5 or 6 days?”

Can’t promise anything.

Have you any answer to give to his letter?



March 5, 1938

“Nature is apparelled with a poise

Like the wings of a drowsy bird...”

Sir, if you walk through Pondicherry apparelled only with a poise, the police would arrest you at once. What would happen to Nature if she tried a similar eccentricity, I don’t know.


March 6, 1938

O dear, dear, what have you done, Sir? Havoc, indeed! You couldn’t get the trochaic rhythm in yesterday’s poem1?

My God, that was intended for trochaic? You are sure it was not anapaestic or dactylic or all three together + iambic? That would be a more accurate description of it. I couldn’t make out what metre was intended so I reduced all to a single one, octosyllabics.

“Incense-woven words thy heaven-reveried.”

Words can be woven with incense?

They may be but can’t be woven by incense, but what the deuce is the construction of this line? and the meaning?

Woven-incense words and heaven-reveried.


March 7, 1938

[The poem of 6.3.38.] Why, the construction is quite clear; you can take “words” referring to prayer, if you refer “it” to seed, it can be made “word”. What do you say? And words are “heaven-reveried”, of course. Not clear? But “woven-incense words” don’t get me.

Incense-woven words (or word) thy heaven-reveried – has absolutely no coherence, meaning or syntax, in English at least. In German, Sanskrit or Japanese it might perhaps do. The reference of words is quite clear, but that does not save the Bedlamic syntax. “Woven-incense” words is a Hopkinsian compound – that and my alteration of “thy” to “and” gives the line a clear and poetic sense, and it is the best I can do with it. Otherwise the whole will have to be changed. If you dislike Hopkinsese (though your line is ultra-H), you can do it in straightforward English “Words like woven incense heaven-reveried.”

NK’s poem? Please see if you can manage it so that I can write at least that you have seen it, what?

Nishikanta later on. Have done too much for one night.

[Chand’s wire:] “Why silent great struggle protection.” Guru, I don’t know why he says “silent”. I have sent the Darshan blessings on 23rd or 24th which he must have received.

But you have not given him protection.


March 7, 1938

[the Mother]

Reddy’s relative has got urticarial rashes all over the body. André asks us to wait and see.

[The Mother underlined “urticarial rashes”.]

Is it not that she has been given too strong medicines?

Benjamin wants onions also in the vegetables. As you don’t favour onions, I hesitate.

You can give him.


March 8, 1938

“In my soul’s still moments you bring

A rapture from the vast untrod

Spheres of Light through slumbering

Arches of misty groves...”

Why “misty”? and why is the rapture brought through groves? A woodland promenade? I think both the mist and the groves ought to disappear.

“The scented air your gold locks leave

Haunts like a heavenly piece of art.”

Doesn’t it suggest that she was using a fragrant hair-oil?

Plenty of romanticism and incoherence and outburst, perhaps.

R and I are there in plenty, but O is not in evidence.

Should the word “frost” go?

No, it might be left to freeze.

Is this fellow Hopkins or Hopkensise? Whoever he may be, I am for the new stuff, so I keep your “woven-incense”.

Hopkinsese is the language of Hopkins – quite a famous poet now in spite of your not having heard of him – a fore-runner of present day poetry. He tried to do new things with the English language. A Catholic poet like Francis Thompson.

What’s Bedlamic, please? Never heard of him, I’m sure!

Bedlam is or was the principal lunatic asylum in England. You have never heard the expression “Bedlam let loose” etc.? Bedlamic syntax = rollickingly mad syntax.


Dilipda requests me, as you will see, to type this letter [Dilip’s letter written to Sri Aurobindo, from Allahabad], for your facility. I will certainly type it out, if required. Kindly send it in the afternoon. I have helped you here and there – in pencil. Surely the Supramental is a greater decipherer than the inframental, what?

Read – very interesting.


March 9, 1938

You said that I have found myself in English poetry [13.9.37]. Now it seems I have lost myself, what?

You are flopping about a bit, but not lost.


March 10, 1938

“The rich sun-mirrored fuming blood

Running through choked earth-laden pores.”

What’s this bloody fuming phenomenon? Won’t do at all. Pores too! It suggests a bloody sweat like Charles IX’s (of France).

Is the construction all right?

No, can’t make out head or tail of the beast.


March 11, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, you must admit that I have hit this time, what?

Bull’s eye!

André has prescribed some medicine for S’s suspected enlargement of thyroid gland. I send you the prescription.

[Mother:] Considering S’s character I do not think it is quite safe to try this medicine.


March 14, 1938

“O symbols of His jewelled reverie

Burn myriad-hued

On my diamond altar a prophecy

Of His solitude.”

You shift the accent on “prophecy”?

I don’t see how shifting the accent on prophecy (quite impossible) would make it better. There would be no rhyme as écy can’t rhyme with rie, but only with “greasy” or “fleecy” and the whole thing would sound like an Italian talking English. I take “altar a” as a dactyl – a light dactyl can sometimes replace a trochee.


March 15, 1938

[the Mother]

Today I missed meditation as the boy whom we operated upon for tonsil stopped breathing; after half an hour’s struggle, we succeeded in restoring the pulse. I wish I could know if you had heard my call so that in the future I may call with greater faith.

Forgot to tell you yesterday that I heard your call all right.


March 16, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Shine on their path O star-hearted Dawn

With your gold-crested sun

The quest of dumb centuries burn upon

Their dim flame-pinion.”

This stanza is no good, I think.

The first two lines are all right, the last two not. It is a devil of a job to get a true rhyme for dawn! and a true rhyme is badly needed here. “drawn” “fawn” “pawn” “lawn” “sawn” – none will do, not even Bernard-Shawn. Got a stroke of genius with a hell of a compound adjective. For the rest I have sandwiched some of your words in here and there and got out a something. I think it does well as a close.

Shine on their path, O high-hearted Dawn;

Let your gold-crested sun

Crown the dumb quest of centuries dim-withdrawn

With its flame-union.

I understand S is taking mercury ointment for a long time. I hope she is not using it continuously.

[Mother:] For what is she taking the ointment? and who is giving it to her? Is it not better to stop it?

Guru, Mother is supposed to have said to X that I am one of those who have done harm to him. I would like to know how so that I may correct myself in the future... My impression was quite the contrary, for I thought he felt lonely, so he should ask Mother for permission to come for tea in the morning and how much he should associate himself with me. If he wants to come, I should at least be careful not to harm him.

Mother never said anything of the kind about you. On the contrary she has always approved of his going to you because you give him a physical support, encourage him to eat, etc. What she said was about Y (she has told Y himself to that effect) because of his wrong ideas, advocacy of all kinds of self-will and self-indulgence, etc., and recently to X himself about Z.


March 17, 1938

“Heart-beats of a lustrous life, In myriad images unfurled.”

Good Lord! How do you unfurl a heart-beat?


March 18, 1938

[the Mother]

Dyuman has sprained his finger. There is evidently no dislocation. Still if you want screen-exam, we can do it.

I think it is not necessary.

Angamathu’s swelling and ulcers on feet are better. He is not working in the smithy now, but he has to come all the way from near the station, for dressing. wouldn’t it be better for him to go to the hospital as it is nearer?

Yes, it is better.


March 19, 1938

“... Floating like a nightingale’s moon-crested song On the enamelled ocean-floor.”

Nobody can float on a floor. Try it and see!


March 20, 1938

[the Mother]

Bala’s2 stye burst. He didn’t turn up in the afternoon.

He was driving the car.


March 21, 1938

I’m afraid “God” is coming too much in this poem.

Where is he?

Seen my scansion? Too great, perhaps?

Never heard of such scansion in a trochaic metre. Is it the new prosody?

Much too great.

Besides, what kind of grammar is “a myriad” with a singular noun?


March 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Flowing like the rays of gold impregnable

Sun, on sky-blue dome.”

Ugh, sir! Sky-blue dome is as stale as hell.

Could you tell X to make some time for taking soup? Today it got spoilt. After seeing you he can come this way.

[Mother:] I shall tell him but I’m not quite sure he will listen.


March 23, 1938

Chand writes: “... I shall try to come to Pondicherry after joining service..”.

[Sri Aurobindo underlined the word “try”.]

“Try!” What about our permission?


March 26, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Voices of some birds are heard...”

Some birds? Very vague and weak – unless some in American sense! Put anything else, e.g. sky-birds –

“... Pouring from their luminous-rhythmed feet Songs of a magic-hearted moon.” Songs from feet?

Never! If people began to sing with their feet, the world would be startled into a magic-hearted swoon.

Mulshankar has headache and vomiting. They are recurrent nowdays. I am thinking of trying to find a remedy by the method you suggested [“energetic sadhana”, 8.12.37]. But has it the possibility of success? I raise the question because some diseases seem to have no remedy at all, e.g. S’s, L’s and A’s. Can’t say definitely about Mulshankar’s. It is also a chronic thing from his childhood. Of course it doesn’t mean that for that reason it has no cure. Anyway, I shall try; please give your help.

[Mother:] Nothing is incurable but it is the hidden cause of the illness that must be discovered. I’ll put in French what I mean:

C’est un fonctionnement qui est mauvais quelque part, pas une lésion – et l’origine de ce mauvais fonctionnement est probablement nerveuse (due à quelque chose de faussé dans le vital – ceci est l’ultime cause psychologique).3


March 28, 1938

Guru, I hope this poem4, will pass.

Exceedingly fine.

Well, that’s some inspiration! (American sense of some!) O.K. to the nth degree...


March 29, 1938

[the Mother]

Mrs. Sankar Ram has a very bad defect of the eyes – The ophthalmologist suspects something wrong in the fundus of rt. eye (she had an accident). To be sure, he wants to dilate the eyes with Homatropine – but he doesn’t promise a cure. Shall we dilate and see?...

No, it is better no!


March 30, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Mrs. Sankar Ram wants me to ask you whether new glasses should be taken.

[Mother:] I suppose so.

We are thinking of giving S: 1) Some iodine, 2) Bromides, 3) Quinine and 4) Thyroid extract. If you approve of any of these, kindly let us know which. Of course, they have their somewhat uncertain and harmful side-effects.

[Mother:] All these drugs seem to be more dangerous one than the other. It is safer to abstain from them.

Can the Flute be metaphored as a bird, or can it be taken as a mysterious Bird?

Good Lord! no! A flute can’t wander about like a bird and have a flaming heart and all. Better leave it vague as it is, to be taken as any blooming mysterious bird.

||| My life is veiled in a sleep of light,

|| A hush that nothing breaks;

||| The world before my inward sight

||| Into pure beauty wakes.

||| Life that is deep and wonder-vast,

||| Lost in a breath of sound;

|| The bubbling shadows have been cast

|| From its heart’s timeless round.

||| In its lulled silver stream now shines

||| A lustrous smile of God

|| Whose brilliantly curved outlines,

|| Flashing on the memory-trod

|| Caverns of slumbering earth, there bring

|| A glow of the Infinite,

||| While my soul’s diamond voices wing

||| Into a heaven of light5.

Guru, I fear this is only a sprat – not even a perfect one, perhaps; for “earth” has strayed away from “my” without any link between them.

It is not a sprat, sir; it is a goldfish. You seem to be weak in poetical zoology. It is perfect, except for the one fault you have detected. The only alterations, (except the “pure”) I find needful, are meant to obviate that defect, by going back to “my”, so connecting the first and last lines (also aided by the repetition of “light”) and making the rest appear as closely connected with it. Like that it makes a very well-built and finely inspired poem. If you can produce more sprats like that, there will be much wealth in your fisheries. It is much better than the other recent ones, except the stress poem – nothing decorative,– all there!


March 31, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

About yesterday’s poem, I am still “weak” in finding the “gold” you found in my fish. I don’t see what beauty is there to make you mark certain lines thrice – e.g. “Into a heaven of light”, which is a very simple, ordinary sort of line, I should say. I admit it is well-built and devoid of decoration, but to see it as you see it – hum! well, could you explain a bit? But I can increase this sort of “wealth” if you are at my back!

There is probably a defect in your solar plexus which makes it refuse to thrill unless it receives a strong punch from poetry – an ornamental, romantic or pathetic punch. But there is also a poetry which expresses things with an absolute truth but without effort, simply and easily, without a word in excess or any laying on of colour, only just the necessary. That kind of achievement is considered as among the greatest things poetry can do. The three lines are put in yesterday’s poem wherever that happened.

A phrase, word or line may be quite simple and ordinary and yet taken with another phrase, line or word, become the perfect thing. If you look you will see that my 3 lines are put against the two last lines taken together and not this one only by itself. So taken they express with perfect felicity something that can be seen or felt in spiritual experience. The same reason for the other three line encomiums. E.g. A line like “Life that is deep and wonder-vast” has what I have called the inevitable quality, with a perfect simplicity and straightforwardness it expresses something in a definitive and perfect way that cannot be bettered; so does “Lost in a breath of sound”, with less simplicity but with the same inevitability. The two lines that follow are very fine but they have to labour more to express what they want and express it less absolutely – still they do so much that they get 2 lines, but not three. The same distinction applies to the next two lines “In the lulled silver stream etc.” and the four that follow. I don’t mean that highly coloured poetry cannot be absolutely inevitable, it can e.g. Shakespeare’s “In cradle of the rude imperious surge” and many others. But most often highly coloured poetry attracts too much attention to the colour and its brilliances so that the thing in itself is less felt than the magnificence of its dress. All kinds are legitimate in poetry. I only wanted to point out that poetry can be great or perfect even if it uses simple or ordinary expressions – e.g. Dante simply says “In His will is our peace”6 and in writing that in Italian produces one of the greatest lines in all poetic literature.

“And thy magic vastness wraps my secret hours

With its conquering breath of flame...”

Breath won’t do. You have breathed once already.

Benoy got a scorpion bite at 8.30 p.m. Luckily he didn’t get violent pain as one would expect from the size of the scorpion. Should such cases be reported to you at once?

[Mother:] Not necessary unless it is a serious case.


April 2, 1938

Guru, D has suddenly stopped writing to me though it’s two weeks since he went to Calcutta... I wrote in one of my short replies that I have nothing to write about. He might have taken it in a different light. But is he really as sensitive as all that? God!

Quite possible with D. He might think that you mean “what a nuisance it is to have to write to this fellow” or “what can I find to write to a fellow like you?” Must be careful with D – and in fact with most people, if you can judge from the sadhaks here.


April 3, 1938

Tomorrow I shall write D a mild, sweet letter. Alas, Guru, what you say is so true, so true! One has to be a perfect and complete Yogi – no joke, not a word in excess... Do you believe that people here are more sensitive than people outside? Some persons think that the Asram is a “rotten” place with jealousy and hatred rampant among the sadhaks.

Outside there are just the same things – The Asram is an epitome of the human nature that has to be changed – but outside people put as much as possible a mask of social manners and other pretences over the rottenness – What Christ called in the case of the Pharisees the “whited sepulchre”. Moreover there one can pick and choose the people one will associate with while in the narrow limits of the Asram it is not so possible – contacts are inevitable. Wherever humans are obliged to associate closely, what I saw described the other day as “the astonishing meannesses and caddishnesses inherent in human nature” come quickly out. I have seen that in Asrams, in political work, in social attempts at united living, everywhere in fact where it gets a chance. But when one tries to do Yoga, one cannot fail to see that in oneself and not only, as most people do, see it in others, and once seen, then? Is it to be got rid of or to be kept? Most people here seem to want to keep it. Or they say it is too strong for them, they can’t help it!

Dr. Sircar once told me, after that stove incident, that this Asram lacks “fraternity”, while the Ramakrishna Mission is ideal in that way.

I am afraid not. When I was in Calcutta it was already a battle-field and even in the post-civil-war period one hears distressing things about it. It is the same with other Asrams...7

D was disgusted with the sadhaks here, and N also wrote about it, and many others think that the world outside is not so bad.

If so, then I suppose they will stay there?

D finds the world outside much better, to which I would reply that here we don’t believe in appearances.

D associates only with the people who like and praise him and even so he does not know what they say behind his back. For a man who has knocked about so much he is astonishingly candid and easily deceived by appearances.

– And life is precisely inner here...

Is it? If people here were leading the inner life, these things would soon disappear.

Since we have to lead a life in a concentrated atmosphere, all the ugly things become at once prominent, and add to it the action of the Force on the subconscient for purging of all dross.

No doubt. Also in this atmosphere pretences and social lies are difficult to maintain. But if things become prominent, it is that people may see and reject them. If instead they cling to them as their most cherished possessions, what is the use? How is the purging to be done with such an attitude?


April 4, 1938

I shall be very careful with D, and even if I have nothing to write to him, I shall write rubbish!

Right! Rubbish is usually better appreciated than things worth saying.

Formerly I heard that X didn’t much appreciate D’s singing, but now – just see! Is it a change in D or a “pretence” of X?

Everybody agrees that D’s singing has undergone a great change – so it may be that.

Doesn’t X, a great intellect, realise that whatever D has achieved, has been done because of some inner gain through your Force?

A man may have a great intellect and yet understand nothing about spiritual things or spiritual force. X’s knowledge in these matters does not seem to go beyond closing his eyes and feeling nice and peaceful.

I wonder why these people don’t understand the work you are doing.

How the deuce do you expect them to understand something quite foreign to their own nature and experience?

I suppose they don’t recognise your spirituality. Otherwise how to explain X’s and others’ love for Buddha and their miscomprehension regarding you?

Love for Buddha is an established tradition, so anybody can follow it. Even the Europeans praise Buddha.

I read the other day a talk between a Moslem and Sarat Chatterjee about our Asram. The Moslem says that the whole Asram has grown up from abnormal circumstances as it were; by which he means that you fled away from the political field: “defeated, discouraged, disheartened”, a failure, in one word, and started on Asram.

Have read it. The Moslem was K.N., if I remember right – a flaring atheist and God-beater. So what do you expect?

And he says that the Asram, judging by the ideals it stands for, is a great enemy to the society... It doesn’t recognise the “individual entity”; somebody gets “Light” and everything has to be done according to his dictates.

Very bad that. To do according to the dictates of the masses i.e. ignorance multiplied to the millionth is so much better!


April 5, 1938

“They are, at thy touch, reborn

Into new shapes and thoughts;

And my soul’s prayer adorn

With their bright starry dots.”

This is decoration with a vengeance dottily so. One might just as well write

“And my soul’s verandah adorn

With starry-red rose-pots.”

Then the soul of Donne would rejoice. But Donne should be doffed here.

Do you find any meaning in my stanza?

Yes, except that the dots have too much meaning.


April 6, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

You have spoken of the original inspiration becoming “mentalised”. Could you tell me how it gets mentalised?

This mentalisation is a subtle process which takes place unobserved. The inspiration, as soon as it strikes the mental layer (where it first becomes visible) is met by a less intense receptivity of the mind which passes the inspired substance through but substitutes its own expression, an expression stressed by the force of inspiration into a special felicity but not reproducing or transmitting the inspired beat itself.

P has a dry cough. Some sedative cough mixture will do her good. She wants your approval before we give her medicine.

[Mother:] Yes, I told her already to go to you for medicine.


April 7, 1938

Guru, this property business has been redirected to me. All I understand about it is that the zamindars are now claiming our property. Chand and his mother are also partners. Shall I ask Chand to do what he thinks best or approach my people to do something? My people won’t do anything, I fear, and I don’t rely on Chand either; he is lazy except for his own matters.

I can’t say your exposition of the matter is clear. It is your family property? If so, your family ought to look after it. However you can tell Chand as you propose.

“Dressed in white robes she came

A figure of purity...”

This is not very impressive, these two lines – sounds too much like a lady’s visit.

“O rare figure of Light

I pray for thy measureless boon:

The yearning of the night

For the splendour of thy moon.”

It breathes a little of Intuition, perhaps?

Good Lord, no! This is not intuition,– it is mind manufacture.


April 8, 1938

“Murmuringly I roll

Along a grey beech...”

What the deuce? Why a beech and not an oak or pine-tree? Or do you mean beach?

Guru, I bade the mind keep quiet and allow intuition to flow in and by golly, it has! what?

By Jove, yes!


April 9, 1938

I cherished a wish to flourish as a story-writer long before the English and Bengali Muse sat on me. Now English poetry has caught me and Bengali poetry has gone to sleep. It seems my English poems are much better and deeper than the Bengali ones... Should I try my hand at story-writing?

Your Bengali poems seem to me to be very good, though less vividly original than the English, except at times. Don’t know anything about your stories. Why not keep to poetry at present, writing English usually and Bengali when you can?


April 10, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

By the way, you are sitting comfortably over Nishikanta’s poem. He will make my life uncomfortable when he comes back, saying I have done nothing for him!

To be able to be comfortable is so rare in this world of discomfort! However I may see whether I can sit up one day and look into the thing.

P’s cough is less, but she feels rather weak. Shall we wait a few days more for screen-exam or take it tomorrow?

[Mother:] It is better to wait one or two days more.


April 12, 1938

[the Mother]

As far as I can see P’s is a simple case of bronchitis neglected for 15 days! Still as one should always exclude T.B. and screen-exam helps in that, I proposed it.

Yes, but be very careful not to frighten her.


April 14, 1938

I hesitate to write in this high tone: “I am the Light of the One, Voice” etc. It sounds high and grand. Some don’t like this tone at all. D is one. They call it insincere. A poet-sadhak has no justification for using this tone?

If such poems are put as a claim, or vaunted as a personal experience of Yoga, they may be objected to on that ground. But a poet is not bound to confine himself to his personal experience. A poet writes from inspiration or from imagination or vision. Milton did not need to go to Heaven or Hell or the Garden of Eden before he wrote Paradise Lost. Are all D’s bhakti poems an exact transcription of his inner state? If so, he must be a wonderful Yogi and bhakta.


April 16, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

N.P. showed me Sri Aurobindo’s letter to him regarding his ailment. How interesting to know all these factors! We think the Divine can cure us, even magically, if he wanted, but don’t see that it is our own resistance that comes in the way. But suppose we had given one injection of morphia, the pain would have subsided and he would have gone to sleep. The subconscient would have failed to act then. I suppose morphia will act on the body and thus stop the subconscient which acts through the body?

The morphia stuns locally or otherwise the consciousness and its reaction to the subconscient pressure and so suspends the pain or deadens it. Even that it does not always do – Manilal took five morphine injections in succession without even diminishing his liver inflammation pains. What became of the power of the drug over the subconscient in that case? The resistance was too strong just as the resistance of N.P.’s subconscient to the Force.

If the patient had been outside and a doctor had cured him, how would he have conquered this subconscient resistance? If you have no time, could I have a few lines on this subject, from Sri Aurobindo?

In much the same way as Coué’s suggestion system cured most of his patients, only by a physical instead of a mental means. The body consciousness responds to the suggestion or the medicine and one gets cured for the time being or it doesn’t respond and there is no cure. How is it that the same medicine for the same illness succeeds with one man and not with another or succeeds at one time with a man and afterwards doesn’t succeed at all? Absolute cure of an illness so that it cannot return again depends on clearing the mind, the vital and the body consciousness and the subconscient of the psychological response to the Force bringing the illness. Sometimes this is done by a sort of order from above (when the consciousness is ready, but it cannot always be done like that). The complete immunity from all illness for which our Yoga tries can only come by a total and permanent enlightenment of the below from above resulting in the removal of the psychological roots of ill health – it cannot be done otherwise.

P is about the same. Pavitra has sent us a bottle of Pneumogein, and one of Pulmoserum. Shall we try Pulmoserum as it contains Codein which may be more useful?

[The Mother drew a line indicating “Shall we try” and underlined “Pulmoserum”.]

[The Mother:] Yes.


April 17, 1938

[the Mother]

Dr. André asked me if I had any communications from Sri Aurobindo on medical things. May I show him yesterday’s letter?



April 18, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

[Mother:] K is complaining of weakness. I told him to ask you for a tonic (not medicine).

I hope Dilipda is writing to you!

Telegraphing – Musical conference and still greater musical conference!


April 19, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, the Muse is too whimsical. Still, I suppose, there is some way, what?

I don’t know that there is, except to catch the inspiration by the hair when it comes, and keep it till the poem is done.

If I could know what time you send in the Force or what’s your best time, I could get an optimum result.

I have no best or worst time – it depends on God’s mercy.

Sitabala’s boil looks like a carbuncle... We have a good anti-vaccine for it, to be applied locally, which we had tried in Parkhi’s case. But it gave him a severe general reaction – fever 104 °. So, should we try?

[Mother:] It may not be prudent to try.


April 20, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Purani brought Mrs. Sahmeyer here. She had an accident in Moscow: suspected fracture of a rib on the left side, but the doctor said none,– without X-ray. The pain subsided, but it has recurred here. I said X-ray is best. But who will pay or shall we pay considering her as an Asram member?

[The Mother cancelled “Sahmeyer” and wrote below . “Sammer”8.]

It is better to pay – I will pay – Nothing must be asked from her –


April 21, 1938

“Through the night’s pendulous haze

Stars wane and glow...”

Pendulous! You might just as well write “suspensive”.

In the last stanza, instead of “whorl”, shall I put “unfurl”?

Good heavens, no! Don’t unfurl.

The rest of the poem I leave at your mercy, Sir!

I have had no mercy upon it, as you can see. I have not put double lines because it would be an encomium on my own ravages, but you can consider the lines to be there.

You seem to be in an illusion as regards my inspiration! Do you think it comes in a rush or that I feel its glow?

Never nursed such a thought.

No, Sir, no – or exceedingly rarely! I have to wrestle, Sir!

So have I.


April 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“A withering ball

Of fire on the wide canvas of time

Fades to a dot...”

What’s this ball of fire on a canvas? Have you reflected that the canvas would be burned away in no time?

We have caught a parrot which can’t fly. What to do with it?

[Mother:] Feed it with grains and fruit until it can fly away.


April 24, 1938

“With myriad titan hosts

That gather and conspire...”

Look here, I say! You seem unable now to write a poem without dragging in the word “myriad”!!


April 25, 1938

Then you will see no “myriad”, Sir, though “many” is peeping like a coward! But I don’t understand why you are so wry over “myriad”. In that case, heaven, spirit, luminous, shadow, dream, etc. have to go and I shall be left with what?

“Myriad” is an epithet, not a key-word like heaven, spirit or dream. An epithet recurring in every poem (even if it were luminous!) ends by sounding poor.


April 26, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, I feel rather dry and barren! The other poem you have uplifted twice.

Excuse me, no! You uplifted once, I repeated the operation. Changed back the second uplift to a mere lift.

[Chand’s wire:] Inspectors contact uncongenial Trying avoid.

What the hell! He seems to have plenty of money to waste on unnecessary telegrams! Why wire about the Inspector’s contact?

H had pain in the eyes last night... Looks like a mild attack of iritis. If you want, we can take him to the ost. tomorrow.

[Mother:] You can wait one or two days.


April 28, 1938

“Mystery’s heavenly fane” all right?

Get rid of this fane, please. So long as we keep it, all emendations will be in vain.

“The flames of a timeless dawn...” Can “flames” be made singular?

No, it can’t be singularised, as intuition will then walk off in a huff.

“... the wan shadows are cast

From its sleepless whirl...”9

... End of 1st stanza all right? and the repetition in the last stanza?

I can’t make out for the life of me what are these wan shadows and why they poke their pale noses in here!

As you wrote it it is a dream-poem. I have tried by a few alterations to wake it up – now, I think it is truly excellent as a vision-poem. It must be “thy sky” [instead of “the sky”] – for otherwise it is the ordinary sky and since Science has shown us that that does not exist – it is only a hallucination of blue colour created by azotes or some other such chemical entity, anything written about the ordinary sky can only be either unconvincing or purely decorative. So!

Repetition all right and very effective.


April 29, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

[Chand’s wire:] “Progressing again debt case Tomorrow.» Voilà, another, Sir! I wrote to him not to waste money on unnecessary registered letters and telegrams, but Chand is Chand! So!

Well, well, let us accept the inevitable প্রকৃতিং যান্তি ভূতানি10 which means All animals follow their nature.

K – [18.4.38] Melatone didn’t give him much good effect. As it looks like nervous fatigue, Kola may do him good. If you have any more Nergine, he could resume it, perhaps.

[Mother:] I have no nergine.


April 30, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Haunted by wild desires...” Wild is all right?

No, too wild!

H has slight pain in the eyes today. [Maybe iritis due to T.B. Prescribed cod-liver oil.] If you have no objection, we can try salicylates by mouth.

[The Mother drew a line indicating “salicylates”.]

[The Mother:] It is so bad for stomach!


May 2, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“I have seen in thy white eyes

A spark unknown,...”

White eyes = eyes without pupils which would be rather terrifying.

By the way, yesterday while meditating, I saw clearly that you wrote “excellent” for yesterday’s poem11 – almost the same as “exceedingly fine”. This is the third or fourth time I had such a prevision. Some faculty growing, Sir? Or a coincidence?

“Coincidence” is a quack scientific word which like many such words states the fact that two things coincide (here your prevision and my opinion coincide) but does not explain the fact – If a man sees a snake in dream in the night and each time crosses one in the day, that would be a coincidence of dream and snake. But to say so leaves the real question untouched, viz. why the coincidence?

... Don’t know how J will react to your remark that you are too busy to see her poetry now. That is the Lord’s business.

It is rather her business.

She has given up Bengali poetry thinking that you haven’t much time to take it up. Perhaps English will be easy for you. Well?

She tells me I can do her poem for her in 3 minutes. I have told her it would take half an hour or 20 minutes at the least – which is a fact as it is in a terrible mess.

I asked her to take up some other work so long as poetry can’t be done. But her sadhana can only be done through her own line, i.e. literature, not through sweeping etc. Alas, alas! Even R and K [artists] have taken up some other work, she can’t!

Of course not – because she is not sincere about it. The idea of sadhana through her own line is a mere excuse – it is a vital satisfaction she is after.

What exactly is vital interchange?

Difficult to specify. There is always a drawing of vital forces from one to another in all human social mixture that takes place automatically. Love-making is one of the most powerful ways of each drawing up the other’s vital force, or of one drawing the other’s which also often happens in a one-sided way to the great detriment of the “other”. In the passage come many things good and bad, elation, feeling of strength, and support, infiltration of good or bad qualities, interchange of psychological moods, states and movements, depressions, exhaustion – the whole gamut. People don’t know it – which is a mercy of God upon them – but when one gets into a certain Yogic consciousness, one becomes very much aware and sensitive to all this interchange and action and reaction, but also one can build a wall against, reject etc., etc.

Dr. Rao thinks that it is better to isolate R. L. from public work. We shall have to see the blood result.

[Mother:] Let her be examined first.

The mischief is that she is very useful in the D.R. just now, but I shall see if I can have her replaced as, evidently, it would be better if she did not do public work.


May 3, 1938

Guru, I learned from Ishwarbhai that you want me to send up this letter [on vital interchange]. I wonder if you can deal with the subject a little more liberally on the typed sheet, as it is rather an important and interesting phenomenon.

My impression was that I had written much more – but that is probably an adhyaropa12 from the copiousness of my other reply on the feminine woman. Anyhow I have added a little to the rather stumpy note. You can type and give a copy to Ishwarbhai.

[Sri Aurobindo’s revised version of the letter of 2.5.38:]

There is always a drawing of vital forces from one to another in all human social mixture; it takes place automatically. Love-making is one of the most powerful ways of each drawing up the other’s vital force,– or of one drawing the other’s, which also often happens in a one-sided way to the great detriment of the “other”. In the passage come many things good and bad, elation, feelings of strength, fullness, support or weakness and depletion, infiltration of good and bad qualities, interchange of psychological moods, states and movements, ideas helpful and harmful, depression, exhaustion – the whole gamut. In the ordinary consciousness one is not aware of these things; the effects come into the surface being, but the cause and process remain unknown and unnoticed because the interchange is subtle and covert, it takes place through what is called the subconscient, but is rather a behind-consciousness covered by the surface waking mind. When one gets into a certain Yogic consciousness, one becomes very much aware of this covert movement, very sensitive to all this interchange and action and reaction; but one has this advantage that one can consciously build a wall against them, reject, refuse, accept what helps, throw out or throw back what injures or hinders. Illnesses can also pass in this way from one to another, even those which are not medically regarded as contagious or infectious; one can even by will draw another’s illness into oneself as did Antigonus of Macedon accepting death in this way in order to save his son Demetrius. This fact of vital interchange, which seems strange and unfamiliar to you, becomes quite intelligible if one realises that ideas, feelings etc. are not abstract things but in their way quite concrete, not confining their movements to the individual’s mind or body but moving out very much like the “waves” of science and communicating themselves to anyone who can serve as a receiver. Just as people are not conscious of the material waves, so it is and still more with these mental or vital waves; but if the subtle mind and senses become active on the surface – and that is what takes place in Yoga – then the consciousness becomes aware in its reception of them and records accurately and automatically their vibrations.

Mother has said in “Conversations” that one can lose everything (I don’t remember the exact words) by just a look from another.13

Did she deal with this subject at any length? If so and if you remember where, you can indicate the passage to Ishwarbhai.

Or one can lose even by passing by somebody unfavourable. That is something dreadful, Sir!

Quite true, it often happens. It is the reason why Mother looked with some uneasiness on tea parties and things.

Is that one of the reasons why Anilbaran down-casts his glance as soon as he meets our eyes?

It may be – to minimise interchange.

As if he has seen a “sin” – to quote D, and which D deeply resents and complains of.

D could never bear that Yoga and spiritual inner life could have any claims as against social intercourse.

Is that the way to “build a wall” against anything undesirable?

It is a wall of consciousness that one has to build. Consciousness is not something abstract, it is like existence itself or ananda or mind or prana, something very concrete. If one becomes aware of the inner consciousness, one can do all sorts of things with it, send it out as a stream of force, erect a circle or wall of consciousness around oneself, direct an idea so that it shall enter somebody’s head in America etc., etc.

Can it be said also that people who are “powerful” love-makers have a need in some part of their being or part of their make-up? D surely has no need, he has enough vital strength and all that to spend.

People with vital force are not only always throwing it on others but also always drawing it from others. D does it in the form of praise, affection, submission to his influence, sexual surrender, etc. Otherwise why did he feel so much and become miserable, if he was criticised, refused affection or submission, etc., etc.? If he had no need, it would not have affected him.

I wonder if transmission of diseases also plays a part in this interchange.


I don’t understand why you call it “the mercy of God”; just as there is exhaustion, depression, there is also elation.

Because ignorance is bliss and they would feel very uncomfortable if they felt these things or were at all aware of them. As for the elation they get it without needing to know the cause.

[Chand’s telegram:] “Great inertia again letter follows.”

Guru, another bombardment! What an impulsive fellow! Almost unparalleled. I think he is another fellow who will find life extremely difficult here.

Well, there’s no inertia in his wrong activities at any rate. He is full of energy there.

“Replete with the essences...” how do you like it, Sir?

Great Scott! Replete! essences? petrol? This line is terribly philosophic, scientific and prosaic.


May 4, 1938

[the Mother]

S has had a terrible cough and high fever since yesterday noon. Any mixture to be given?

[The Mother marked the last portion of my question, with a line.]

It might be better to know first what it is – – – –


May 5, 1938

Guru, I have absolutely gone for the Muse today in a terrible vengeance against her uncharitableness. The weather is splendidly hot and if the Muse makes me perspire still more, well, I shall be turned into a “perspiring idiot”!

But is a perspiring idiot worse than a dry idiot? I don’t think so.

“A purple shadow walks along...”It sounds rather like a sentry walking along, no? Seems funny!

“Walking along” suggests not a sentinel but someone taking a constitutional stroll on the beach in the hope of getting a motion. Too colloquial.

“Life is a lonely journey...”

? For most it is a chattering peopled journey – Besides “lonely” comes at the end.

I’ve already told Sahana that I shall give her that letter [on vital interchange].

In that case you can do so, but it is better if she does not show it to others.

In the future, I will take her.

? take her where?

N.P. came to me with a letter from Agarwal. I asked him to forward it to you, for your advice.

Don’t know anything about this.

On grounds of medical ethics I can’t give any opinion, I said, especially as he has approached Agarwal who is more competent than I. One thing struck me in his note, when Agarwal says that he cured N.P. in a day because Mother’s force works actively through him. It may be that the force works, but so actively as to cure him in a day?

Why not? If there is sufficient receptivity, then time does not matter.

Alas, the force works through me in months, if at all!

Agarwal has self-confidence and with that one can always succeed. If there are failures, nobody notices, because they are covered up by the high notes of the song of self-confidence.

Don’t understand at all these subtle things. The same disease, the same treatment, except hip-bath, purging 20 times, fruit diet, etc., and he cures in a day!

But even without the force, in ordinary cases, with the same disease and the same treatment there is sometimes cure and sometimes no-cure.

By the way, it is very interesting to note the difference of appreciation between D and T regarding the famous singer Kesarbai. T says, “I am forced to say it is good, though I can’t say that I like it,” while D is absolutely beyond words in praise of her.

Well, doesn’t criticism boil down to that “I like it” or “I don’t like it”? What more do you expect?

But then T is also a connoisseur!

My dear sir, what is the use of connoisseurs if they don’t have opinions entirely different from every other connoisseur?


May 6, 1938

“Eternities come and go

Like clouds of drowsy time...”

How can Eternities come and go like clouds of Time – they wouldn’t be eternities any longer.

Guru, this is another specimen of “thoughtless” writing, though I had to doze for about an hour. It is a great bother to concentrate on every line and finish a poem, perspiring like an “idiot”. I think I shall try the habit of rushing down whatever comes, and then widen or narrow it as required.

That is my own method – I put down what comes and deal with it afterwards in the calm light of intuitive reflection.

Where is this Intuition gone in my case? No chance of returning? What does it mean by giving a flying visit?

That kind of hide and seek is a frequent phenomenon of poetic inspiration.


May 7, 1938

Guru, when I read that your method of writing poetry is the same as mine, I said: “The shishya’s method must be the same as the Guru’s,» but when I read the rest of your letter, I sat down! “Calm light of intuitive reflection”! O Lord, how to do that? Your Intuition says everything to you? Have you nothing to think whether right or wrong? Alas! how then can the shishya follow the Guru!

Good Heavens! After a life of sadhana you expect me still to “think” and what is worse think what is right or wrong. I don’t think, even; I see or I don’t see. The difference between intuition and thought is very much like that between seeing a thing and badgering one’s brains to find out what the thing can possibly be like. Intuition is truth-sight – The thing seen may not be the truth? Well, in that case it will at least be one of its hundred tails or at least a hair from one of the tails. The very first step in the supramental change is to transform all operations of consciousness from the ordinary mental to the intuitive, only then is there any hope of proceeding farther, not to, but towards the supramental. I must surely have done this long ago otherwise how could I be catching the tail of the supramental whale?


May 8, 1938

“My soul keeps its wide calm

Amidst the surge...”

For heaven’s sake don’t bring calm in at the end of a line. One has to rhyme with balm, palm or psalm, and to bring any of these in without an obvious effort of manufacture is a Herculean feat. Of course if you slam in an Imam or warm up to an alarm, it becomes easier but at the cost of an uneasy conscience.


May 9, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

These two poems followed as if one piece. But I find some difference. Both seem to have a similarity in thought.

They seem to me separate. Probably the broadcaster above forgot to announce “Here I begin some new stuff.”

Don’t get into a fit over the rhyme – it can be done once in a way.

Nolini wants a very good recent poem of mine, to try in Viswabharati (Tagore’s paper). I wonder if they will publish it. Would an “intuitive” poem be better or a coloured or stressed one?

Depends on the poetic taste of the Viswabharati editor about which I know nothing.

Roch (an Atelier worker) came today after 4 or 5 days! Diarrhoea stopped the very day, but no motion since then. He has pain in the abdomen, fever, weakness. What to do with these people? They don’t want to go to the hospital, neither do they come here regularly. How to treat such cases?

[Mother:] I suppose you have to threaten them with a refusal of treating them if they do not come regularly – We used to be very strict that way before and it had some effect.


May 10, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Though I didn’t get into a “fit”, I couldn’t escape a slight fine tremor over two “beyonds”. How do you explain that?

Well, to silence the tremor, the best is to substitute “above” for the second “beyond” – peace be with you!

And is there a suggestion of 3 vertical lines in the 4th stanza, or cancelled as an after-thought?

No, it was a vain attempt to substitute one line for two.

Guru, this fellow Chand wants a power of attorney. It is a bother to find out Notaire Public, buy a French (?) form and all that. Shall I wait for Doraiswamy’s coming?

There is no certainty about the time of Duraiswami’s coming and meanwhile Chand may have gone to join himself to his better half, the Calcutta Corporation. Why does not Chand send you the power of attorney ready drawn up; you can go with Purani and sign it before the Consul.

Nateshan (a painter in the carpentry dept.) has syphilis. He has ulcer on the foot – an open wound. Rishabhchand says that his habits are also dirty. I’m afraid we shall have to send him to the hospital for injections. I asked Rishabhchand to give him an outside work till we hear from you.

[Mother:] Yes the man must go for treatment to the hospital and we cannot give him work until he is cured.


May 11, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“The moon then rises from the grave

Of earth...”

Lord, sir, and what of the astronomers? A moon rising out of the earth. If it is an irresponsible occult moon, that should appear more evidently.

Mr. Raymond14 says he had an attack of influenza and now feels very weak – no appetite, no taste for food. I think he will profit by some bitter tonic. I didn’t suggest it to him, though.

[Mother:] You might suggest.


May 12, 1938

[the Mother]

... André gave Mr. Raymond a tonic – Carnine Lefranco, which, I find, is a concentrated meat extract. I would have preferred something else...

[The Mother underlined “meat extract”.]

Better not give it – meat is not good for him –


May 13, 1938

[the Mother]

We want a large vessel for preparing soup. What about an aluminium vessel (if you have one in stock), just the kind we have for the milk in D.R.? Soup can’t be prepared in such vessels? Enamel ones have been specially ordered from France, I hear. But I don’t think there is any chance of getting a fresh stock now.

Aluminum vessels can be used for soup quite well, but I fear there are none in stock. However we can have one from Madras or Calcutta.


May 14, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

R. L. had vomiting sensation in the afternoon. Wonder if it is due to small doses of arsenic... I have stopped it.

[Mother:] Yes beware of the arsenic. Some people cannot stand it at all.

I am tired of these moons, stars, suns, etc. It seems as if spiritual poems can’t do without them.

Excuse me, they can. ন তত্র ভাতি চন্দ্রতারকাং15


May 15, 1938

You say “ন তত্র ভাতি চন্দ্রতারকাং”, that may be a spiritual experience, but to express it in poetry is rather difficult. Hariri has sun and moon in plenty. Amal has “stars” coming in almost every one of his poems, said his friend Saranagata.

That was Amal’s own preference, not the spiritual poems’ necessity. I read the other day a comment on Keats’ poetry that he always writes about stars and that there is a spiritual reason for it.

We haven’t had many of your poems to go by. This is one point against spiritual poetry. Another, it seems to me that spiritual poetry is bound to be limited in scope and less full of “রস বৈচিত্র্য16 (to quote Tagore) and a little monotonous, every time soul, spirit, etc. coming in in slightly different garbs.

Ordinary poems (and novels) always write about love and similar things. Is it one point against ordinary (non-spiritual) poetry? If there is sameness of expression in spiritual poems, it is due either to the poet’s binding himself by the tradition of a fixed set of symbols (e.g. Vaishnava poets, Vedic poets) or to his having only a limited field of expression or imagination or to his deliberately limiting himself to certain experiences or emotions that are dear to him. To readers who feel these things it does not appear monotonous. Those who listen to Mirabai’s songs, don’t get tired of them, nor do I get tired of reading the Upanishads. The Greeks did not tire of reading Anacreon’s poems though he always wrote of wine and beautiful boys (an example of sameness in unspiritual poetry). The Vedic and Vaishnava poets remain immortal in spite of their sameness which is in another way like that of the poetry of the troubadours in mediaeval Europe, deliberately chosen. প্রেরণা [prepaṇā] is all very well, but it is the power of the poetry that really matters. After all every poet writes always in the same style, repeats the same vision of things in “different garbs”.

In connection with J’s poetry, you had said long ago that there is a danger of repeating in mystic poetry.

The danger but not the necessity.

You know when Sahana sent some of her poems to Tagore, he said that the world creation is full of a variety of rasa. The poet’s mind should not be confined to one single prepaṇā17, however vast it may be18.

[Sri Aurobindo underlined “however vast it may be”.]

But Tagore’s poetry is all from one প্রেরণা. He may write of different things, but it is always Tagore and his prerana repeating themselves interminably. Every poet does that.

He hints that only spiritual inspiration dealing with things spiritual and mystic should not bind a poet’s creation. Well?

Well and if a poet is a spiritual seeker what does Tagore want him to write about? Dancing girls? Amal has done that. Wine and women? Hafez has done that. But he can only use them as symbols as a rule. Must he write about politics,– communism, for instance, like modernist poets? Why should he describe the outer aspects of বিশ্ব প্রকৃতি19 for their own sake, when his vision is of something else within বিশ্ব প্রকৃতি or even apart from her? Merely for the sake of variety? He then becomes a mere littérateur. Of course if a man simply writes to get poetic fame and a lot of readers, if he is only a poet, Tagore’s advice may be good for him.

Nishikanta and Harin have more variety, perhaps. But on the whole don’t you think we are likely to be lacking in this rasa and variety?

It is not a necessity of spiritual poetry; but if it so happens, I don’t see that it matters so terribly.

Tagore says that it is unbecoming for a poet to mention that his discovery of a metre is new or difficult.

That is a matter of etiquette. Tagore popularised the স্বরবৃত্ত20 and there was a big row about it at first; he left it to his admirers to shout about it. Dilip being a prosodist prefers to do the fighting himself, that is all.

I wonder why one should not mention that a chhanda is new, if a poet discovers one. He may not say that it is difficult, but why shouldn’t he speak of its newness? For instance the discovery of your stress rhythm had to be mentioned in order to be grasped.


Tagore being a master of chhanda, says this?

Also an inventor of new metres.

Dilip seems to have made chhanda a mathematical business; that’s why many complain that his poems can’t be read.

Is it true?

Once Tagore wrote to Sahana that he couldn’t appreciate Dilipda’s language and style (didn’t say whether of prose or poetry).

Why did he praise him (to Dilip himself) now?

Can’t you send some of your poems? You owe me one, you know.

What poems? I am not writing any, except occasionally my long epic (Savitri) which cannot see the light of day in an embryonic state.

“The zephyr from an inscrutable height

Blowing like strains of a lyre...”

Zephyr from an inscrutable height? The zephyr is a sweet little romantic wind incapable of heights.

With difficulty I have avoided moon, stars, etc., but in one place I have put “sun” which I hope you will kick out.



May 16, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“No more the dark world calls

With its alluring voice...”

Lord, sir – let this dark world and its alluring voice be far from us. It jars here, bringing in the note of the often heard obvious.

K feels fatigued again. It may be better for him to take another bottle of the tonic. Shall we buy one?

[Mother:] I have sent to the Dispensary a bottle of Wincarnis; you might try it on K.


May 17, 1938

Guru, again with a Herculean effort I have kept out most of my blessed “dear” terms, with what effect, you know.

Yes, only aureole remains. There is of course immortal – and eternal, but these we have allowed. Also “glow, wine, splendour” perhaps; but if we go too far in exclusiveness, your inspiration may cease to glow also. So we will be moderate in our exactions on the Muse.

T has fever (two days) and pain on the left side which makes it difficult to move or even turn on the bed. Better see her and it may be best to call André to see what is the matter with her, for she has been complaining of bad health for long – weakness, inability to work, lassitude, etc.


May 18, 1938

[the Mother]

T’s X-ray taken, and André says that it may be T.B. He says that injection at present is not desirable. I wonder if she could be spared from the kitchen work, for she has become very weak.

The best seems to me that she should stop the kitchen work at least for a few weeks until she becomes stronger –

André has prescribed Tricalcine (calcium), shall we buy it?


He has also prescribed some extra alimentation: oranges, milk, butter, soup, etc.

For a long time I was giving her orange juice, she herself asked that it should be stopped. I am still giving her biscuits every day. She was getting butter and also asked to stop it, because it was making her fat! In fact she had stopped the orange juice because she was taking much milk and her stomach cannot stand both at the same time.


May 19, 1938

[the Mother]

... T’s diet is strikingly poor. She has agreed to take 2 or 3 oranges a day. But I hear you are short of oranges. If available, papaya will be good, and mangoes and other fruits.

Oranges are difficult but “mandarines” (loose jackets) can be found at the bazaar. I suppose it will do – papaya and mangoes can be given daily for the moment.

Then if you have no objection, she should have some other vegetable. At present she has a little distaste for D.R. curry, so she doesn’t take much of it. She can either prepare it herself or L can do it. We could even ask Lakshmi.

She has dislike of the D.R. food because she is cooking it herself. So I do not think it is quite safe to ask her to cook for herself.

About work, it will be decidedly better to stop cooking, but she must have some other light work to occupy herself.

She is doing embroidery. Is there any objection to that?

She seems not to want to stop the cooking work although we wrote to her to stop it. It might be better to tell her that she must stop it.

As for medicine, what do you think of Chyavanprash? It is widely used in India for lung trouble, and is very effective, they say. She can take it with Tricalcine.



May 19, 1938

[A note from the Mother later in the day:]


It is better not to press T to take Lakshmi’s food, but perhaps L would agree to prepare some food for T – You might ask her – and if she agrees perhaps she could come to the dispensary for cooking as she may not have the needed things with her.


May 20, 1938

... André said he fears T has T.B... At present she has no taste at all due to fever. So I have asked her to take more fruits.

When it becomes necessary to have special food for her, you will have to arrange directly with L about it.

“Lonelily like a sheep I go

Along the watermark of time...”

How is this sheep? “Lonelily” Harinian?

I don’t know if it is Harinian, but it is certainly impossible. Sheep is too sheepish,– you might just as well say, “like a mouse”.

Guru, do you find any blessed progress?21 Getting rather “hopeless”!

A very fine poem, sir. Progress blessed, not hopeless.


May 21, 1938

“Lonelily” is impossible? or it’s impossible in this context? Surely you have seen H using it very often. If you haven’t, then I’ll show it to you tomorrow, or only H can do it?

The word simply doesn’t exist, any more than “lovelily” or “sillily” or “wilily”. You can say “lonesomely” if you think it worth while, not “lonelily”. H is no authority for the use of English words. I did not correct his English when I saw his poems – I left the responsibility of his departures to himself, except when he himself asked on a particular point.


May 22, 1938

“A strange intensity glows

Through its wild frame

Sweeping all barriers flows

Its mystery-flame.”

What is this domestic broomstick work on barriers? If you mean, sweeping away, you have to say so.

Guru, I was rather depressed not to find any double lines in yesterday’s poem.

I said it was a fine poem – that is the equivalent of lines.

I have tried to drag the Muse out; has she come out?

She has come out but trailing three cliché tails behind her. Most reprehensible conduct for a self-respecting Muse.

I am caught by a fear that the store is over and nothing new will come.

No fear!


May 23, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I don’t understand why Lele told you that because you are a poet, sadhana will be easy for you through poetry, or why you quote it either. Poetry is itself a damn hard job and sadhana through poetry – well, the less said the better! Or perhaps he saw within your soul the Sri Aurobindo of future Supramental glory?

Because I told him I wanted to do Yoga in order to get a new inner Yogic consciousness for life and action, not for leaving life. So he said that. A poet writes from an inner source, not from the external mind, he is moved by inspiration to write, i.e. he writes what a greater Power writes through him. So the Yogi karmachari has to act from an inner source, to derive his thoughts and movements from that, to be inspired & impelled by a greater Power which acts through him. He never said that sadhana will be easy for me through poetry. Where is “through poetry” phrase? Poetry can be done as a part of sadhana and help the sadhana – but sadhana “through” poetry is a quite different matter.

Dr. André said that he saw T walking one day. She should take complete rest for a week.

[Mother:] Rest is all right provided she remains in the open (on a terrace or in a garden). To remain all day shut up in a room is not so good.


May 24, 1938

[the Mother]

T is much better today. But what about some prunes (tinned) to help her motion?

Yes, you can ask from Dyuman.

K found Wincarnis very good. It is over, should he have another bottle?

One bottle costs more than Rs. 3. It must be taken only if it is quite indispensable.

What about the man (B.S. worker) who fell and got wounded? is he not to come for treatment?


May 25, 1938

Guru, why for some time has my poetic inspiration waned? Does the Divine want me to stop for the time being or is it a temporary phase? At times I strongly suspect that you have left me to shift for myself, perhaps relieved very rarely whenever your Supramental leisure allows, by a little whiff. Is that so?

It is probably because you had hitched on to a certain province of insight and inspiration from which the poetry came. Your abandonment of its “standing terms” (which was quite right, for one can’t go on writing the same subject and language for ever) has pitched you off and now you are trying to hook on elsewhere but have not quite grappled your “moorings” into the right spot. Sometimes it catches on, sometimes it doesn’t. E.g. in stanzas 1 and 3 hooked, in stanzas 2 and 4 dishooked, stanza 5 half-hooked, half-dishooked.

Which or what?

Neither and nought.


May 26, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, your theories are irrefutable, Sir! O wonderful, they are! I have hitched, I have pitched, I have hooked and dishooked!

But that is not a theory. It is a fact.

You take a fancy to hook me on to some “insight” and “inspiration” at very little expense of your Force and “golden sprats” are caught! Then suddenly you cut off the threads from below or above and my net is gone!

Excuse me – did nothing of the sort. It was you who got dissatisfied with the sprats because of the sameness in the shine of their eyes, fins, tails and other accessories.

Showing me a future possibility, you shut partially at least, the opening. Now I knock and knock – nothing!

Not at all! It is you have started tunnelling in another direction.

Can’t make things so damn cheap, that’s your idea, I suppose.

I don’t “make” anything cheap or dear. They are so by nature. These, sir, are the usual vicissitudes of the poetic career and unless you are a Dilip or a Harin writing away for dear life every day with an inexhaustible satisfaction and producing tons of poetic matter, you can’t escape the said vicissitudes.

How far does this poem go in the hooking business?

Much better. Only one stanza hookless.

Now a little about my prose [property]. Doraiswamy said that the mere fact of the property being in my name is not enough; for though the joint family is now disjointed, the other partners can claim a share in that property unless they have allotted it to me...

But what was the understanding when it was put in your name?

You see a tangled business. I don’t think then even a pie will come to me. I don’t know why creditors are not taking up the property. Has it not been allotted to me then?

You will have to get reliable information as to what is the real situation.

If it is left, it will simply be swallowed up by zamindars for nothing. If sold at least the creditors will get some amount and my “fair name” not fouled!

Certainly, to sell is the only thing – only your right of property in it must be put beyond doubt. There is no profit in letting the zamindars get hold of it – except of course the profit to the zamindars. But why should you be philanthropic to that now much abused class? Get what you can out of it; even if it is only for your creditors.

Engineer (Mr. Sammer) has hardly had any motion for some days. No pain or mucus. Free purging by salts would have done good, perhaps, but I held off, giving a simple mild laxative. Enema not effective, he says.

[Mother:] Yet it is only “guimauve” enema that would do him good. Laxative is not advisable as he is working hard and must not be weakened. It must be due to exposure to the midday sun.22


May 27, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, some consolation that you realise I am “tunnelling”. Please realise too that at some time the “tunnelling” may come to a bursting point!

Hold hard! hold hard!

The blessed stars have appeared again in this poem.

Never mind! Once in a way they can peep in provided they don’t overdo it.

[Mother:] When is André expected to come back?


May 28, 1938

André will be going on the 3rd or 4th and will be back within a week. He is not allowed a longer leave as there are all new hands at the hospital.

Chand says that one day he will commit suicide due to lack of faith! My Gracious, are you specialising in a lot of sentimental screw-loose fellows as disciples?

It looks like it! What a museum! But this kind of collectioning has been my luck and not my intention.


May 29, 1938

In view of my present obstinate difficulty, sometimes I think if it wouldn’t be better to go out for a while and come back perhaps changed, transformed. If it is so, please allow me and many others to go every year. Your Supramental work will be made half easier!

Logically, that would mean everybody in the Asram taking a month’s trip to the Himalayas, Calcutta, Cape Comorin etc. and returning, if not as supermen, yet as fully-fledged psychic angels. Easy!


May 30, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I’ve marked that at times Mulshankar doesn’t like my interference or “orders”.

That will not [do]. He must accept your orders, as he is there only as your assistant.

Reading Y’s letter, if you have any suggestions to make regarding Mulshankar’s work, please let me know. I am not satisfied with the way we are going on at present.

I don’t know that there is anything to change. Datta and others give very good reports of Mulshankar’s behaviour and attention to them when they go to the Dispensary in your absence. I am not prepared to believe otherwise on the strength of Y’s solitary statement.

A hospital clerk requested me to speak to Dr. R to treat him for his heart-disease. If he is treating cases, shall I ask the clerk to approach him directly?

[Mother:] R is not taking cases just now –

[Sri Aurobindo:] S is complaining of a mysterious illness (fever) in which she gets very cold in the full heat of the day and her skin is cold outside but as hot as chillies inside. Perhaps as she is always complaining of catastrophic physical states like this, she might be shown to André like the other specimens.


May 31, 1938

S had slow fever for the last few days with plenty of perspiration. André finds nothing in the lungs. He thinks it is neurasthenia...

That was the Doctor’s (Dr. Banerji’s) view also.

He has given urotropine and gardinal for her nervousness, shall we give them?

She refuses medicines with contumely. She has by the way always had exceedingly scanty and difficult menstruation.

Here is a letter from X. You will see that a portion of it is addressed to Z. But Z told me I must not give her X’s letters. So I hesitated to give it before asking you. I find that one has to be careful at every step to see on which sentiment, emotion etc. one is trampling. So, Sir, shall I give it to her?

I couldn’t decipher X altogether. But if there is anything Z has to know (there is something about copies of something that has come out?) you can tell her without giving the letter – It is better to shut up about the rest. Z and X both in talk and otherwise have always upset each other and caused crises and shindies – no use risking a disturbance now that in his absence she is going on very nicely.

“Oceans or rocks of solitude

For a winged release aspire...”


It is not weak, but rather obscure. What is a winged release of oceans and rocks? However, it sounds well.


June 1, 1938

Why can’t you understand oceans and rocks aspiring to winged release? Haven’t you read Tagore’s Balākā where the earth, hills, rocks yearn to fly also, seeing the flight of a flock of cranes? Surely you have!

I am not an expert in Tagore. In English, rocks might just manage to aspire to be birds, but it would be regarded as fanciful – if oceans started that sort of thing, it would be regarded as beginning to be excessive.


June 2, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

In yesterday’s poem, you seem to have put paeon in 3 or 4 places. Is that so?

Paeon? I don’t think I did it consciously,– don’t remember. In this metre I generally run to anapaestic-iambic, but I may occasionally plunk in a paeon or two in the exuberance of my soul.

R.B.’s pain is more marked just below the apex. I couldn’t touch a single spot without her crying “Pain, pain.” I can’t make head or tail of the thing. It has been with her for 7 years, she says. I might consult André.

[Mother:] Yes, it is better.


June 3, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

B’s piles still quite the same.

[Mother:] What “pommade” are you giving him? is it Anthémor? He was complaining that the pommade was increasing his pain.

Should we stop giving K honey? He has taken it for quite a long time.

[Mother:] No harm, he can continue.

J has a small pimple in the left eye. I think saline eye bath and drops of argyrol will do. What does Mother say?

Yes, I suppose it is all right.

We have no kājal.

If kajal is wanted, why not have some prepared? People are asking, but Mother can’t supply everybody.

I am sending you the power of attorney draft sent by Chand. It’s in Bengali; you will see how difficult it is to translate the terms into English. What the hell am I to do?

I have not the hell of an idea!

Doraiswamy is coming this Sunday, I hear. Shall I ask him?

He may be coming, but as yet he has not announced it.

Or your I.C.S. knowledge would be help enough? I.C.S. people are supposed to be Gods, you know, knowing everything!

Good Lord, sir! I was a probationer only and had nothing to do with these elaborate idiocies. If I had been a practising civilian, I might have had to do it, but probably I wouldn’t have done it and they would have chucked me out for insubordination and laziness.

With whom am I to go to the Consul? nothing to pay?

Purani will take you and find out everything and arrange everything.


June 4, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Any influence of Wordsworth in my poem?

Good Lord, any? There are whole chunks of Wordsworth – esp. the childhood’s days and growing years etc.

This poem has opened a new vista for me and gives me the hope that perhaps long poems and new things are not impossible, what?

If I can improve it further, give me the suggestions, and I shall do it.

It is a very uncertain mixture. Some lines and stanzas are so merely Wordsworth that they can’t pass. The whole childhood and fading business is Wordsworth and everybody would ask, what’s this old stuff copied here for? Much of the rest is Wordsworth romanticised. On the other hand there are blocks of mysticism. The poetry is good and there are very fine lines and stanzas, but as a whole it must be more inspired and Wordsworth chucked out and replaced by Nirod.

R.B. has very little pain [below the navel] even while walking. But no appetite at all.

[Mother:] I find her rather yellow in colour.


June 6, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Yes, I also marked R.B.’s coloration. She was better in the morning, but her pain has increased. I can’t find out at all what sort of trouble it is. It has been with her for the last 7 years!

[Mother:] Have you seen if it is not a moving kidney?

Guru, I have come to the end of my tether. Blessed Wordsworth took all the worth out of my words. So I have kicked out every blessed remnant and sentiment, lakes and rills and years, I hope. How do you find it23 now?

It is a true রূপান্তর24, the Deformed Transformed – the whole poem is now exceedingly fine throughout. No need of lines; all would have to be double-lined.


June 7, 1938

Thank you, Sir, for yesterday’s unexpected success. I was raging against you that you have left me alone! Even a dribbling Inspiration can be miraculous, what?

Often more miraculous than the flowing ones.

Did you receive the letter Dilipda mentions?

I had a letter from him some days ago.


June 8, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Slowly unfold before my vision

World after world of light...”

These 2 lines seem to be a theft from your sonnet.

No. Anybody can see worlds unfolding before the vision. It is only if the language is reproduced that it can be called a theft.

I think it is better to open Bala’s abscess. Shall we do it here or in the hospital?

[Mother:] It might be better to take him to the hospital.

P.S. Arjava told me to-day that he had gone to you, almost a week ago, for a tonic and that you had given one which did him a lot of good, and then you told him that there was no more of it in the dispensary and gave him something else which had not a good effect. Can you tell me what was this first tonic and if it is available here?


June 9, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

R.B. says she has no pain today even while walking. She can take more oranges.

[Mother:] I fear we cannot go on increasing oranges like that. They are not easily found in the market and they are costly.

We gave Arjava an Ayurvedic tonic called “Lohasava» containing iron. It is available in Madras.

[Mother:] It is better to order for some.

[Sri Aurobindo:] S has started taking douches daily – she writes that she is taking salt lotion (is it permanganate?) in the douche, and has taken from the dispensary but not in liquid form and has to melt in hot water “till she gets the right colour”. Now in the old Doctor’s time S once as an experiment took a tenfold dose of permanganate in her douche just to see whether it would not cure her at once in a trice! So Mother considers she cannot be trusted in these matters (she believes too much in her own cleverness) and she says the exact amount needed should be given her every day so that no “mistakes” may be possible.

X came to me with the letter you have written to him. He said that he showed the letter to D but D had not done anything, not even spoken to Mother about it saying that he had to make some changes and arrangements. I was much surprised that D hadn’t put it before the Mother. He should have at least done that.

But why on earth should things be done in a slap-dash hurry just to please X? Mother said nothing to D and did not ask him to make the new arrangement at once. There are many things beside the mere displacing of one sadhak by another that have to be considered and he was quite entitled to consider all that was involved before placing the matter definitely before the Mother for orders.

I thought that perhaps D did not want X in the kitchen, as he would not be able to do with him as he did with N and that your praise of X’s cooking might not be palatable to him.

It would be quite natural if he felt like that. Since N and S are working, there has been a halcyon peace in the kitchen (in the D.R. also for different reasons) which are unprecedented in their annals. For years and years it has been a cockpit of shouts and quarrels and disagreements, all the “big” workers quarrelling with each other, each trying to enforce his own ideas and all (except Charu) trying to ignore and push aside D, all getting furious against the Mother because she did not “side” with them (X has also written that if Mother “sides” with D in a clash between them, he would not stand it), and the “little” workers quarrelling with each other or with some big worker. It was like the present state of Europe or worse. Things got so bad that Mother had to eliminate J, M and others and quiet down other would-be-bosses in order to still the uproar, for each time somebody who was till then less boisterous arose to take up the inheritance of quarrel and revolt. Finally we had arrived, as I say, at a halcyon peace – it might have been the tail of the supramental, it might have been only a lull; but anyhow it was precious. When we got X’s letter showing by signs with which we were familiar that he was preparing to take up the inheritance, our immediate reaction was “No, thank you!” – hence my letter. We were determined to put our foot down at the first sign and not wait for farther developments.

X told me that he has definitely told D that he won’t make any independent move; whatever D gives, he will cook with that.

In his letter to us he wrote that he did that because he did not want to increase his own disquietude. He said that his idea was after a month or so to improve the cooking after his own ideas. He spoke of independence in the work and intimated that D’s duty should be only to give whatever the রাঁধুনী25 asked for and not exercise any farther control as he was quite ignorant of these matters. His whole tone was that of one preparing for militant self-assertion. Now he seems to deny or forget all that and wonders why I wrote any letter to him at all.

X seems to be going off the trail altogether. His letters are full of the kind of stuff we used to get from B, Y at his worst, and many others. Abhiman, revolt, demands, challenges, ultimatums, commands “You will give me the D.R. upstairs room or I won’t remain; you will answer without delay; you ought to have done this, you must do that,” charges against the Mother of falsehood, bad treatment meted out to him alone and to no other, etc., etc., also the wickedness of other sadhaks against him (P.S., S etc.); announcement of his coming departure etc. Announcements also that he will stop eating. Also a vital mind taking up partial and misrepresented facts stated by others and without any knowledge of the real situation making false inferences (e.g. that the Mother had not spoken in truth) etc., etc. All that built up into a dark and dismal farrago of which we have had a hundred examples in the past. But it is now long since I have decided not to answer letters of that kind, leave the revolters to their own devices. They expect us to flatter them, soothe them, fall at their feet and beg them not to go, comply with their demands, inundate them with anxious love and affection of the vital kind and generally dandle and pet their vital ego. We have seen that to do anything of that kind is disastrous and makes things a thousandfold worse; the vital ego and its movements increase and reach an Asuric stature. So no more of that. I wanted to answer X and put the truth of his state plainly before him in the most quiet and temperate way because it was his first outbreak; I have already pointed out to him that there is one remedy and only one, for him to reject and fight out his vital mind and ego. But he listens only for a moment and the next day “cela continue”. I have no time now to go on answering this kind of letter. If he wants to do what I say, there is a chance for him; but if he doesn’t, we are not responsible for his failure.

Because I did not at once assure him of the increase of his work, he has now written announcing fasting and departure, refusal of the work – accompanied by some damn fool nonsense about Mother’s frowning eyes, and serious face which is his own imagination. Et voilà.


June 10, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Didn’t you receive my private note-book yesterday? I positively sent it. It must be mysteriously lying somewhere there. I hope it hasn’t gone to someone else!

I kept it because I thought of writing something about X and his antics but had no time.

R.L. wants half a cup of extra milk as she feels hungry in the morning... Can she have it?

[Mother:] Yes, for a time.

L has again a vomiting sensation and a headache. Last time we gave her Santonin twice with no apparent effect. Shall we repeat?

[Mother:] May not be advisable.


June 11, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, oh Lord! what a lot you have written! I feel called upon to respond to it a little. I had a talk with X and asked him all that he had written to you and Mother. First he said it wasn’t anything much; then I told him about your letter to me and he said: “I wrote that I had a mind to try to improve the D.R. cooking gradually, but I realised it is impossible, so I have given up the idea...”

? I saw nothing in that letter about giving up the idea of improving the cooking.

“And that if D goes against Mother and Mother supports him against me, then it will be natural for me to have abhiman...”

Why should Mother support D against herself?

X came to me today with your letter which has pacified him.... I am almost sure if you hadn’t replied, he would have gone away, and he did express such a desire, I hear.

He says he went up to the station and came back.

He had decided already not to come back to Pondicherry after he went out – so it is not new. He came back because when at Cape Comorin he meditated on Shiva and Krishna, they none of them showed up and he could only see Mother and myself!

From what I learn from you and Kanai, I find that things have not been very well with X, from the beginning. His asking for a room in D.R. etc. was revealed to me only now. This incident only set the flame to his heaped-up grievances; otherwise I don’t see how a man could write like that from a single instance of this sort...

He had any number of grievances

(1) not getting an easy chair,

(2) not getting an almirah,

(3) not getting the D.R. room on the terrace (reserved especially for visitors),

(4) my letter which was quite general about poetry, Yoga etc., he says I told him that his poetry was all humbug (ভণ্ডামি26) and that his sadhana was humbug and all our efforts on him were পণ্ডশ্রম27 – Needless to say I never wrote or suggested anything of the kind and in fact wrote nothing about his poetry or his past sadhana. There were other grievances, but I have forgotten them.

God allow that I may be left some common sense even in the vortex of my troubles. You surprise me by saying that Y also wrote such letters to you!

At least a dozen in which he was going to take the next train to commit suicide decently in some distant place. You don’t know what a tug of war it was for some years together. Of course his letters were not so crude as X’s but they were bad enough. All that was very confidential however. We both “kept up appearances” outwardly, and saved his face as much as possible.

I hope it is a lesson enough for X.

One can never be sure – when a thing like that has seized a fellow, it is apt to turn up again and again. But I hope for his sake it won’t – for I have no longer my old unwearied patience which I showed to B, R or Y and many others. Also I have no longer time for endless soothing letters. However his present attitude in his last letter is blameless – he seems to have understood.

Z has a slight temperature. Given her an Ayurvedic drug galoye. Should we give her soup?

[The Mother underlined “soup”.]

Yes, it is better.

Our rose water is exhausted. Pavitra asked me to enquire if you have any.

[Mother:] I have some but it arrived from France in an iron drum. In spite of filtering there is still in it a slight tinct of rust. For any toilet preparation it is not harmful, but for eyes?– – – If you want I can send you a bottle –


June 12, 1938

[the Mother]

T says the oranges are very sour.

No good oranges can be found and we are receiving no more from Bombay.

Please send us one bottle of rose water. We can try it.

I am sending one bottle.


June 13, 1938

Guru, I am not lucky enough to be able to follow your method [6.5.38]. This little piece has taken me about 2 hours and after an hour’s slumbering concentration, mind you! After every line I had to stop for 10 or 15 minutes to concentrate for the next line – so it went on...

Let me remind you that Virgil would sit down and write nine lines, then spend the whole morning perfecting them. Now just compare yourself with Virgil; you have written 16 lines in 2 hours. That beats Virgil hollow.


June 14, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

You flatter me by comparing me with Virgil, Sir. But you forget that my 16, 20 lines are nowhere beside his 9 lines and that he didn’t require Sri Aurobindo’s corrections!

That is why he spent the greater part of the time, trying to correct them himself.

Today’s poem has turned into “prosaic” philosophy. All philosophies are, I fear, prosaic. But in poetry it is inadmissible. What’s to be done?

The only remedy is to extend the philosophy through the whole poem so as to cure the disparateness. Also it must be a figured philosophy. Philosophy can become poetry, if it ceases to be intellectual and abstract in statement and becomes figured and carries a stamp of poetic emotion and vision.

R.B. is much better today, but is taking very little food. Shall we give her an extra cup of milk?

[Mother:] In that case you will have to stop the oranges because much milk with oranges can give pains again.

She wants to join work. We advised her to take rest a few days more.

[Mother:] Yes, it is better.


June 15, 1938

[the Mother]

I want to take up French again, especially conversation, as I find it will be very useful now. To begin with grammar and verbs will be rather dry, perhaps. Can you give me a few practical hints?

The best is to speak – – – courageously at every opportunity.


June 16, 1938

[the Mother]

Dr. André has prescribed for Z the same medicine as for T, plus Arsenic. Do you sanction Arsenic?

It is to be seen if she can stand arsenic. Perhaps you might make a very careful trial.

As an alternative, he has suggested sodium cacodylate injections.

If the arsenic fails, this might be tried –

Her diet is very poor, she feels very weak. I don’t know what to do. Can you suggest something?

But, evidently, the most important is the food – Unhappily these young ladies are very fanciful with their food; it is the palate and not the hunger that governs their eating.

Have you any honey in stock, or shall we buy some from the bazaar?

We have just received honey; you can ask from Datta.


June 16, 1938

[A separate note: ]

Guru, please read T’s medical report tonight. I am absolutely staggered at her sudden voracious appetite. Finished one cabbage in the evening! Have you pumped some Supramental Force into her stomach or what?

I have of course put pressure for no fever and a good appetite, but did not expect any supramental effects in the latter direction.

By the way, I find her quite sweet and simple...

You seem to be easily impressed by surfaces. You ought to know by this time that “girls” are almost always complex and often psychoanalytically so. Someone whom I know might tell you if he answered sincerely to the question that he had found her one damned incarnate complex. She is simple of course in the sense that she has not a sophisticated mind or intentions.


June 17, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

It would be advisable to give Z now and then some vegetables like karela, cucumbers, potatoes – which she can eat raw or boiled, at home; extra milk too.

[The Mother marked the whole question with a vertical line.]

[Mother:] You can propose to her any of these things. She may choose. If there is any objection to her eating spices, it is better not to let her cook because she likes food when it is terribly hot.

I think it would be better to screen-examine Bala’s lungs.

[Mother:] Yes.

He is very nervous and his diet is very poor.

[Mother:] Yes, he needs badly a tonic – what about Cacodylate injections?

Guru, even after writing 200 poems, my poetic sense hasn’t developed! On the contrary, barring those intuitive poems, these later poems aren’t as good as the sonnets and lyrics of the first glorious days. Decadent genius?

No decadence, but the throes of an attempt at change of cadence.


June 18, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

This poem is either exceeding or damned – which?

Damned! that is to say, romantic.

Let me say again that in condemning things as romantic, it is because they are of the wilted echo kind. “Nectarous flow” “fountain music” “bright ethereal voices” “echoing notes” “far wind-blown lyre” “break upon my listening ear” etc. are perhaps new to you and full of colour, but to experienced readers of English poetry they sound as old as Johnny; one feels as if one had been reading hundreds of books of poetry with these phrases on each page and a hundred and first book seems a little superfluous. If they had not been written before, the poem might be pronounced very fine, but – I have tried my best with three of the stanzas to organise them, but except for stanza 2 out of which a very fine image can be made and the two lines marked, with no entire success. The third and fourth stanzas are hopeless. Where the deuce does your inspiration draw these things from? From remembered or unremembered reading? Or just anyhow? It looks as if some unknown nineteenth century poet from time to time got hold of you to unburden himself of all his unpublished poetry.

If you could spare, please send those cherries for T. I tasted one; they’re very good.

[Mother:] Sending 2 boxes –


June 19, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I was the 19th century poet myself, perhaps, trying to take revenge!... The lines are coming just anyhow, even after a head-breaking concentration! To see things happen this way after so much labour is very disappointing and discouraging.

If it is a rebirth effect, it will obviously take time to get rid of it; no use grudging the labour.

I couldn’t understand clearly whether Z could take the vegetables or milk or both.

[Mother:] Both can be given if she is ready to take.

S (a new-comer) complains of weakness, loss of appetite... He requires some “pick-me-up”, I suppose. Shall we give him something?

[Mother:] Yes.


June 20, 1938

[the Mother]

R.B. has again a slight continuous pain... I wonder if it is a gynaecological case. But how to find it without examination? Will she agree to be examined in the hospital?

You can ask her.


June 21, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, nearly the whole of yesterday’s poem came in the evening meditation – hence its intuitive character! Today’s came through perspiring trance!

Not intuitive but a very well-inspired perspiration. You seem to have got back your swing.

The mangoes given to T are spoilt usually. Are they bought or sent by somebody?

[Mother:] Mangoes are not bought. They must be coming from one or another garden.

She proposes to take more rice and bread instead of fruits.

[Mother:] If she takes bread and butter it will help.

R.B. has no pain today. Can she begin work?

[Mother:] She may try.

Does Benjamin still require special cooking?

[Mother:] Ask André –

We have a meat extract lying here, bought for Raymond. Shall we give it to Bala?

[Mother:] Yes, but it is better if he takes it in the dispensary itself as a medicine. Because if he takes it to his home, his mother may very well take it instead of he –


June 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I fear it is a surrealistic business.28 I don’t, understand anything of it!

As Baron says, “Why do you want to understand?” It is very fine poetry – according to Housman “pure poetry”, for his view is that the more nonsense, the greater – or at least the purer – poetry. Of course it must be divine nonsense or let us say not “nonsense” but “non-sense”. So there you are. The last stanza is a masterpiece in that line – the clustered memories in the tree of night make also an exceedingly fine and quite original image. But the whole thing is perfect in its type. There is however nothing really unintelligible – only the transition (e.g. from day to the abyss and night and again to the heart and the caves) can be followed only on the lines of the logic of mystical experience – it is nonsense only to the intellect, to the inner feeling everything is quite clear. You have to look at it not from the brain but from the solar plexus! Anyhow the rise of light is a spiritual illumination to the silent day of the inner consciousness – the night and the abyss are the outer ignorance, its brief mortal existence, but even there it brings a momentary relief and an after-effect (trace on the clustered memories of the dark outer consciousness); within the heart there is the beginning of a trance, of change opening to the caves of the luminous deep of the psychic (hridaye guhāyām)29 with its psychic fires. See? But that is only a clue for the mind to follow – this significance can rather be felt than understood.

R.B. has no pain, but no appetite at all! Shall I try small doses of arsenic? It may give good effects.

[Mother:] You can try – with prudence.

Dr. André says that cooking for Benjamin is no longer necessary. I shall inform him tomorrow.

[Mother:] But it must be ascertained that he eats the asram food. It is by not taking it (he does not like it) that he got so bad –

For my piles, local injection or operation is the only remedy!

[Mother:] Beware of operation: it does not cure –

Purani showed me your reply. Since we are giving Iron to R.B., there is no objection to Purani’s preparation.

[Mother:] Then if she takes that preparation, it is better to postpone the arsenic –


June 23, 1938

[the Mother]

Dr. André suggests that ওল কচু30 (what you call Indian potato) is very good for piles. Can it be given twice a week in the D.R.? It is not for myself only, but for many others who are also suffering from the same complaint.

You might ask Dyuman if they can be found in the market.

Bala is getting on very well, so I have postponed the screen exam. But if you think it’s better to do it, I can take him for it.

No, it is better not to have it done as it might make him anxious for his health.

Benjamin says that he can’t take Asram food at all. He has taken it before “with difficulty and against his heart”! I suppose, we have to continue?



June 25, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Lalita came with your message to call Dr. André. Do you suspect something else than just boils?

[Mother:] No, but she is a bit nervous about it and is very anxious that all that should disappear quick. The last one in the armpit was very painful. Also she cannot stand medicine internally.

For Benoy’s artificial eye, Nagaswami writes to Rajangam that it will be absolutely necessary for Benoy to go to Madras as each specimen varies from person to person, though we mentioned about sending our sample.

Our oculist says that the Madras firms are no good. We should send a sample to Bombay and ask from there. So it’s better to enquire there, isn’t it?

[Mother:] Yes.

The same process [in writing poetry] gives wonderful results sometimes and foolish ones at others!

It depends on the consciousness-Source you strike; the same method will have different results according to the inspiration fount (or level) you get at.


June 26, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I suppose Lalita has told you André’s opinion and treatment regarding auto-vaccine. You have no objection, I hope.

[Mother:] No, it is all right.

D’s bag and letter. I have to help you (helping Guru, I chuckle!) wherever you are likely to stumble in reading the letter.

In spite of your help I had a slow struggle with D’s hieroglyphics – but half way through Intuition came to my rescue and I swam through the rest.

You will find from the letter that he is a little or much upset by P.S.’s remark...

It seems to be more much than little. I don’t see why he should be upset by it at all.

I can’t say if P.S. has said it, nor can I judge D’s capacity to understand your Yoga.

The difficulty with D was that he had caught up ideas about Yoga from various quarters and stuck to his ideas like grim death, his mind refusing to understand my ideas and wilfully misunderstanding them. Thus he took Supermind for the Vedantic Nirguna Brahman, something dry and high and cold, and the psychic for a pale udasin nirlipta31 business with no flame in it and persisted in such absurd ideas in spite of my denials. That obviously was not helpful.

I fear my capacity also is very poor in that direction. But is it necessary to “understand” your Yoga in order to practise it? As far as I understand, it is only your Supermind business that baffles us and some of us are sceptical about it...

Well, it may not be necessary to understand it, but it is advisable not to misunderstand it.

The scepticism is stupid, because how can one pronounce for or against about something one does not know or understand at all?

And some think it not worth while at present to bother about it.

Certainly it is better not to bother about it and to do what is immediately necessary. The attempt to understand has led many to take for the Supermind something that was not even spiritual and to suppose themselves supermen when all they were doing was to go headlong into the ultravital.

You have said that nobody knows or understands anything about it – but I think it is not even necessary, what?

Not at present.

If that is what was meant by P.S. I can see, but to say that D doesn’t understand your Yoga is rather – !

I don’t know what P.S. meant. I have explained in what sense D did not understand it. But how many do?

But – I ask you again – does one need to understand your Yoga in order to practise it? Or, how far should one understand, grasp and assimilate it?

If one has faith and openness that is enough. Besides there are two kinds of understanding – understanding by the intellect and understanding in the consciousness. It is good to have the former if it is accurate, but it is not indispensable. Understanding by the consciousness comes if there is faith and openness, though it may come only gradually and through steps of experience. But I have seen people without education or intellectuality understand in this way perfectly well the course of the Yoga in themselves, while intellectual men make big mistakes – e.g. take a neutral mental quietude for the spiritual peace and refuse to come out of it in order to go farther.

I admit that D, at times, was sceptical about some well-accepted things of Yoga, e.g. Force curing diseases etc. But that was scepticism rather than lack of understanding.

Well, but his scepticism was founded on ignorance and non-understanding.

Could you give some light for him and for me?

This is for you, not for him.

N and others are interested to see your answers to D. Will it be advisable to show them?

They might talk and it would reach P.S. and make matters worse.

Anilbaran gave me his novel to criticise. He says it is very impressive and he has seen my criticism of J’s poetry.

He says his own novel is very impressive? Or your criticism?

He says that I have a good critical faculty. So, Sir, that’s something, what?



June 28, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“The sudden resurrection comes

Within the slow

Fire of unremembered history

In its clustered snow.”

Now, look here, look here! There is a limit – some coherence there must be! This means nothing either to the brain or the solar plexus.

“... That longs like a winged spirit to fly

Beyond the pale

Zone of terrestrial pathways

Under a veil.”

This flying under a veil is an acrobacy that ought not to be imposed on any bird or spirit. Besides the bird was on the moon – how did the terrestrial pathways come in then?

Guru, this is a direct effect of reading Amal’s lyrics which you praised so much.

A terrible effect!

I am damned puzzled and baffled!


The first two and a half stanzas are very fine, but the rest!! Well, well, well, this is nonsense with a vengeance; but the poetry is too pure for any plexus to stand. Something might be done with the fourth stanza if the feathers disappear out of remerrbered history and the clustered snow goes the same way. But I fear the last 2 stanzas are hopeless. I tried but my inspiration remained weary and unstirred by any rhythmic wave.

“And melts the snow

From its chilled spirit and reveals

Before its gaze

Columns of fire immensities...”

Why should the bird want to go into fire? Hot bath after cold one?

“... The awakened bird

Now voyages with foam-white sails,

That vision stirred!”

A bird with sails is unknown to zoology! Or do you mean that the bird hires a sailing vessel to go into the fires? Lazy beast! And what is it that is stirred by the vision, the bird or the sails? I don’t think the last line can stand. You can say of the bird “Flies like a ship with foam-white sails,” but then how to end?

If this poem doesn’t stir your plexus, I am undone! The expressions may not be apt and felicitous but coherence there is, what?

Yes, except at the end where you make the bird a surrealistic animal with sails and stir the sails with a vision.

Guru, Chand has sent me the power of attorney. But out of laziness I didn’t move. Is it necessary to show it to you or to Doraiswamy after typing it?

To me, no. You can show it to Duraiswami. Better get the thing done.

The oculist advised N to take cod-liver oil. N wants to have your opinion.

[Mother:] He can take it.

Whatever Z wants for her diet, e.g. vegetables, fruits, shall I ask Dyuman to get? He has agreed to buy them if you permit.

[Mother:] All right –

The honey we got from Datta is exhausted. I think K can discontinue it now.

[The Mother underlined “discontinue it now”.]

[Mother:] Yes.

1) Arjava says that the Asram food is too rich and too spiced for him. Would it be possible to provide him with some boiled vegetables – beetroots, cabbage, potatoes, etc., once a day, at midday?

2) Madanlal since a very long time has a cold which is refusing to go – he is still coughing; it has become almost chronic, I fear. It would be better to interfere and get him rid of it.

I would like you to see to it, even if he says: it’s nothing, etc. –


June 29, 1938

Dilipda has asked for a poem. I am sending the one enclosed, but how much of your remarks should pass?

If it is only for Dilip, it doesn’t matter. But there’s something wrong. What’s “this brief mystical experience” coming in without any syntactical head or tail? Either I have dropped something or you have dropped or else misread. Please look again at my original hieroglyphs.


June 30, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I am sending you “the original hieroglyphs”. I think you have dropped one “of” before “this brief... experience.”

I haven’t, but as I thought you have transmogrified what I wrote – It is not mystical but mortal and not experience but existence, “this brief mortal existence”.

I am sure you have read the eulogies crowned upon Doraiswamy’s head, on his retirement, and enjoyed them immensely at the same time feeling proud of him and saying, “Ha, ha, here is the fruit of my Force!” What? It is indeed a great pleasure to see the prestige of the Asram elevated by at least one man, though I suppose you care a damn for prestige.

Queer idea all you fellows seem to have of the “prestige” of the Asram. The prestige of an institution claiming to be a centre of spirituality lies in its spirituality, not in newspaper columns or famous people. Is it because of this mundane view of life and of the Asram held by the sadhaks that this Asram is not yet the centre of spirituality it set out to be?

I have been really struck by his many-sided qualities. Is that all achieved by your Force alone?

These qualities are all Duraiswami’s own by nature. But all that has nothing to do with spiritual achievement which is the one thing needful here.

His legal genius, social charm, uprightness, noble character, etc., were all there or are they your Force’s gifts? How far can one be changed by your or the spiritual Force?

Changed in what way? There are plenty of upright people (uprightness, straightforwardness, a certain nobility of character are D’s inborn gifts) and plenty of able and successful people outside this Asram or any Asram and there is no need of my spiritual Force for that.

He told me that he began practice with only Rs. 15-30 a month. But that is not unusual.

Certainly not. It’s done in America every day.

It was the same with C.R. Das. Apart from legal acumen, I want more to see how far Doraiswamy’s character has been changed and moulded by the Force.

Lord, man, it’s not for changing or moulding character that this Asram exists. It is for moulding spirituality and transforming the consciousness. You may say it doesn’t seem to be successful enough on that line, but that is its object.

I suspect, however, that you are closing in your Supramental net and bringing in all the outside fish!

Good Lord, no! I should be very much embarrassed if all the outside fish insisted on coming inside. Besides D is not an outside fish.

But what about our X? When do you propose to catch him or a still longer rope required? I would call that your biggest success, Sir, and the enrichment of your Fishery.

I would not. You seem to have an exaggerated idea of X’s bigness (an example of Einsteinian relativity, I suppose, or the result of his own big view of himself.) Whatever bigness he has is my creation, apart from the fact that he was a popular singer when he came. He would have been nothing else (even in music) if he had not come here. The only big thing he had by nature was a big and lusty vital.

We are all watching with interest and eagerness that big operation of yours. But I don’t think you will succeed till your Supramental comes to the field in full-fledged colours, what?

What big operation? There is no operation; I am not trying to hale in X as a big fish. I am not trying to catch him or bring him in. If he comes into the true spiritual life it will be a big thing for him, no doubt, but to the work it means only a ripple more or less in the atmosphere. Kindly consider how many people big in their own eyes have come and gone (B, Q, H to speak of no others) and has the work stopped by their departure or the Asram ceased to grow? Do you really think that the success or failure of the work we have undertaken depends on the presence or absence of X? or on my hauling him in or letting him go? It is of importance only for the soul of X – nothing else.

Your image of the Fishery is quite out of place. I fish for no one; people are not hauled or called here, they come of themselves by the psychic instinct. Especially I do not fish for big and famous and successful men. Such fellows may be mentally or vitally big, but they are usually quite contented with that kind of bigness and do not want spiritual things, or, if they do, their bigness stands in their way rather than helps them. The fishing for them is X’s idea – he wanted to catch hold of S.B., S.C., now L.D. etc., etc., but they would have been exceedingly troublesome sadhaks, if they ever really dreamed of anything of the kind. All these are ordinary ignorant ideas; the Spirit cares not a damn for fame, success or bigness in those who come to it. People have a strange idea that Mother and myself are eager to get people as disciples and if any one goes away, especially a “big” balloon with all its gas in it, it is a great blow,– a terrible defeat, a dreadful catastrophe and cataclysm for us. Many even think that their being here is a great favour done to us for which we are not sufficiently grateful. All that is rubbish.

I gather from NK that Nirmala doesn’t take vegetable at all at noon. Only rice and curds, and that too not much. She is injuring her health!

[Mother:] You might, perhaps, explain that to her –


July 2, 1938

I understand that the prestige of the Asram is in its spirituality, but at the same time when a member of the Asram behaves caddishly, doesn’t it naturally reflect on us a little, or does it reflect because we are accustomed to take a mundane view of life and its usual code of morals and behaviour? Is it not natural for us to feel proud when praises are bestowed on Doraiswamy or feel embarrassed when things are said against X?

Natural, but mundane.

If the praise and blame of ignorant people is to be our standard, then we may say good-bye to the spiritual consciousness. If the Mother and I had cared for praise or blame, we would have been crushed long ago. It is only recently that the Asram has got “prestige” – before it was the target for an almost universal criticism, not to speak of the filthiest attacks.

For instance we feel a little “embarrassed” when things are said against X (if they are true) especially mentioning that after staying so many years in a spiritual place, he should behave so.

“Behave so” means behave how? I suppose people complain of him because he mixes on one side in “high society” and on the other with cinema girls and singers. But that is from the point of view of social respectability. It is the spirit that matters. If X did it in the right spirit, it wouldn’t matter whom he mixed with. It is true that he puts on a Sanyasin’s dress which is absurd if he wants to go into that society – but that is an incongruity only.

I admit that it is a mundane view, and it doesn’t stop your bringing down the Supermind, but it affects us favourably or adversely. In what way should we then look at it?

Look at what? What you are looking at is the praise and blame of people, not at any “it”. One has to look at “it”, not from the point of view of whether it is praised or blamed by the public, but from its inherent relation to the spiritual life.

I know uprightness, honesty, etc. have nothing to do directly with spiritual achievement. But when a lax and loose sadhak develops the contrary qualities, won’t that be a change of character and a way to the change of nature by your Force?

Who said so?

Spirituality, in order not to defeat its own object, must develop these.

Develop what? A change of consciousness and nature, yes; but it is not a question of moralising the character, but of psychising it.

A liar can’t realise the Divine, can he?

A liar does not usually realise the Divine, because one is seeking for Truth and lying comes across Truth; it is not because lying lowers his prestige with the public. Sometimes a liar realises the Divine and stops lying.

Isn’t it because of his change of consciousness resulting in a change of values of life that Doraiswamy could discard all fame, post of honour, etc.?

I don’t think so. He never wanted to be a judge etc., he was never an office-hunter. His weakness was of a social character, desire to be generous, liked, scrupulous in the discharge of social duties, attachment to family, friends etc.

Just as you have developed poetry, music, etc., in X, I thought these gifts which Doraiswamy is endowed with, may have been due to your Spiritual Force, not knowing what his born or unborn gifts were.

No, Duraiswami was always a sattwic man, a very fine sattwic type. But for spirituality one must get beyond the sattwic.

Then by X’s bigness or big fishness, I didn’t mean “big fish” in that sense, nor your biggest success. I meant that he is such a complicated formula –

Not so complicated as others I have had to deal with.

– There are so many warring and contrary elements in him that it will be a job for you to change him, as it has been.

Mainly two – but quite at war with each other. The others in him lean to one side or the other.

With sadhaks like us, it is, perhaps, an easy walk-over for you! But him?

It is easy with nobody, not even with Anilbaran or Khirod or Shankararama or Duraiswami who are yet all sattwic people without any adverse vital element in them.

I read a story by the Mother where she says that the joy lies in taming a turbulent and wild horse.32 Such is X’s case, and catching him and taming him will be your biggest success! I hope it’s clear?

It isn’t.

Anyhow you are working on him to change his nature, his mind, vital, etc., etc. Well, if that succeeds, it means he will come and live here.

Certainly; but that is a different thing from fishing or pulling in. It is a quite disinterested spiritual idea without any idea of a “big success” or “prestige”.

You said that if people like S.B. came here, they would be extremely troublesome.

Damnably so!

On the contrary I thought and argued that if such vitally strong people once turned to Yoga, they could put all their vital will on one point and all the other things would become minor problems for them.

X also is vitally strong.

For example, for S.B. country is the one thing that matters and nothing else.

Excuse me – country is not the only thing for S.B. – there is also S.B. and he looms very large. You have illusions about these political heroes – I have seen them close and have none.

But you say their bigness will come in the way. Then is our smallness a great privilege?

Bigness = vanity, ambition, self-assertion, a self-confident inability to surrender etc., etc.

Smallness at least gives you a chance.

Do the unbracketed parts in your replies mean that they are public?

No – only that they are not excessively private.

I have shown the document to Doraiswamy and he advises not to go to this Consul who will charge for every erasure, but to go to the Sub-Registrar’s office – 5 miles from here, in the British territory. Well? In either case I have no money to pay.

Where is it? and are you to go alone or with witnesses or with whom? Let us know a little more clearly. Find out the charges in either case and we can decide and arrange.


July 3, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, the place I mentioned in the British territory is out of the question. It’s only the Sub-Registrar’s office, it won’t do.

There are two ways:

1) British Consul. Purani enquired. They charge Rs. 6/8, and 6 annas for every erasure. It’ll come to about Rs. 8.

2) French Notaire Public whose signature is also valid. His charges are Rs. 6-8... He says we’ll get the form in 24 hrs. Purani suggests Cuddalore. Doraiswamy believes that it will be cheaper by a couple of rupees... He has friends who will introduce me to the Magistrate, a witness he can arrange for, etc...

The simplest way is to go to the British Consul and have it done there. It is a difference of a couple of Rs. only – not worth the trouble of going to Cuddalore and all the arrangements. Ask Purani to arrange.

Before Dr. André goes, I think we can have R.B.’s X-ray. André has agreed, shall we take her to the hospital?

[Mother:] Yes.

We have to buy barium meal, if you sanction. I enclose a chit.

[Mother:] Where is the chit?

M has hard stools, and passes blood sometimes. May be the beginning of piles. Shall we give him haritaki?

[Mother:] Yes.

S asks for some more liver injections. We have 3 or 4 ampoules. If you like, we can give them to him.

[Mother:] Is it not too much?

Tajdar complains of becoming more and more weak and lifeless (?). She says her stomach refuses to work, her blood has become very poor, her heart is weak, her liver is out of order, etc., etc. – She wishes to have her blood examined, her liver X-rayed, her urine analysed. I was thinking (yesterday) of asking André to do all that, but now that he is on the point of going I hesitate to give him all that trouble. But in case you see that it will not bother him you can take Tajdar to him –

[Sri Aurobindo put 3 marginal lines against two lines of the disciple’s poetry with some of his corrections –]

|||And the cry of the centuries

|||Pass from your ears.

This triple line is a compliment to my correction, not to your version.


July 4, 1938

[the Mother]

I showed Tajdar to André. He says the heart is all right. All her trouble is due to indigestion and constipation... I don’t know if it is worth while doing the blood examination.

She was asking blood examination for anaemia.

Today André gave an injection to Lalita. Another due on Wednesday.

Wednesday is a very busy day for her – she is asking it on Thursday.

What is meant By your “too much” in relation to S? We shall give him only one injection at a time as done before. We gave him 7, if you remember.

Has it not a cumulative effect?


July 5, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

No, it has no cumulative effect as it is not a medicine, but only liver extract. But I was wondering whether it will do him any good.

[Mother:] If he thinks it will do him good there is a chance.

For Tajdar, is it necessary to examine blood for anaemia? It can be done any day, if necessary.

[Mother:] She believes it very necessary as she is convinced “she is fast declining” (her own words). Of course all I tell you is confidential.

Mrs. Sankar Ram has a lot of sugar in urine even after giving up rice. Shall we analyse her blood to see how much blood-sugar she has?

Perhaps. But is not the illness the result of a rheumatic tendency and if this is treated will not that get better?

Bala found the meat extract very good and wants to buy one more bottle himself.

[Mother:] We can buy one more for him. After that he will do as he likes.


July 6, 1938

[the Mother]

R.B. was X-rayed today. There seems to be a beginning of ulcer in the duodenum, the radiologist says. If it is that she has to stop all solid food. But you had asked me not to stop it... She is also so ridiculous, what to do?

Before saying anything One must be sure that it is an ulcer.

Shall we buy a bottle of Listerine for J?


She also wants cocogem. Shall we supply it?



July 7, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“The growing heart of day

Is lily-white...”

Lily-white cheap?

Not only cheap but gratis.

Guru, this again is a riddle of a poem!

Not very cogent, whether realistically or surrealistically. But see how with a few alterations I have coged it. (Excuse the word; it is surrealistic it). I don’t put double lines as I don’t want to pay too many compliments to myself. I don’t say that the new version has any more meaning than the first. But significance, sir, significance! Fathomless!

As for the inspiration it was a very remarkable source you tapped – super-Blakish, but your transcription is faulty e.g. lily-white rising out of the clay, that horrible “various”, and constant mistakes in the last four stanzas. Only the third came out altogether right subject to the change you yourself made of destiny to ecstasy and shot to wrought. But obviously the past tense is needed instead of the present so as to give the sense of something that has been seen.

How to be sure about R.B.’s ulcer? X-ray was the one definite way. It may be sound to take it as ulcer. André has given a medicine, Histidine, which won’t do any harm even if it is not ulcer. It has to be given either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

[Mother:] Give subcutaneously.

Dyuman buys vegetables for the soup, once a week. It would be good if Z could have a “garde-manger” for storing them.

[Mother:] Yes – ask Sahana for one –

Mrs. Sankar Ram doesn’t want to go to the hospital since her nail pain is gone and sugar less, she feels better. I explained that it’s better to ascertain [diabetes], but to no avail. So, shall we wait?

[Mother:] Yes.


July 8, 1938

The “garde-manger” given to Z is rather small. Perhaps it will be better to have a special one prepared.

[Mother:] Yes, but it may take some time. Meanwhile ask Sahana if it is not possible to exchange this one for one in the room of an absentee.

Guru, I have seen how your little touches have “coged” the poem. Does it then show that if my transcription becomes perfect some day, the whole thing will drop perfectly O.K.?

Of course. At present the mind still interferes too much, catching at an expression which will somehow approximate to the thing meant instead of waiting for the one true word. This catching is of course involuntary and the mind does it passively without knowing what it is doing – a sort of instinctive haste to get the thing down. In so doing it gets an inferior layer of inspiration to comb for the words even when the substance is from a higher one.

Even if I revised it, do you think I could have made it better?

Not necessarily.

But how can I when I don’t understand at all what I am writing? How to correct? By inner feeling?

No; by getting into touch with the real source. The defects come from a non-contact or an interception by some inferior source as explained above.

If I try to understand the thing, every bit of it seems ridiculous.

Because you are trying to find a mental meaning and your mind is not familiar with the images, symbols, experiences that are peculiar to this realm. Each realm of experience has its own figures, its own language, its own vision and the physical mind not catching the link finds it all absurd. At the same time the main idea in yesterday’s poem is quite clear. The heart of day evolving from clay and night is obviously the upward luminous movement of the awakened spiritual consciousness covering the intermediate worlds (vital, mental, psychic) in its passage to the supreme Ananda (unknown ecstasy transparence wrought, the transparence being that well known to mystic experience of the pure spiritual consciousness and existence). In the light of the main idea the last four stanzas should surely be clear – the stars and the sun being well known symbols.

“Super-Blakish” you say? And what “remarkable source” please, inner or over? Looks something damnably mystic, but neither inner nor overhead.

Can’t specify – as these things have no name. Inner – over also in imagery, but not what I call the overhead planes. These belong to the inner mind or inner vital or to the intuitive mind or anywhere else that is mystic.


July 9, 1938

[the Mother]

Z is asking again and again if she can join her work. Do you advise it?

She may try a small amount of work. Days must seem dull to her if she is doing nothing.


July 10, 1938

Guru, I am puzzled! Your additional stanza of yesterday’s poem is magnificent. But how can a “body” be born, either God’s or an animal’s, even if we admit God has a body?

[“From which the cosmic fire

Sprang rhythmic into Space

That God’s body might be born

And the Formless wear a face.” 9.7.38]

It is I who am awfully puzzled by your puzzlement. A body is not born? When the child comes out of the womb, it is not a body that comes out and the coming out is not birth? It has always been so called in English. You have never heard the expression “the birth and death of the body”? What is it then that dies after having been born? The soul doesn’t die, nor is it the soul that comes out of the womb! You think God cannot have a body? Brahmo idea? Then what of the incarnation – is it impossible? And how does the Divine appear in vision to the bhakta except by putting on a form = a body? But if you object to God having or getting a body, you must also object to the Formless wearing a face; so the whole significant stanza becomes nonsense. And therefore, I suppose, pure poetry. All the same one can understand a metaphysical (not a poetic) objection to God having a body if one believes that the Infinite cannot manifest the finite or as finite, but that an animal’s body is not born is new to me.


July 11, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“A fire leaps from range to range

And touches a height

Unshadowed by time’s sudden change

Or the bulk of night.”

Night has a bulk?

It may have, but it is not polite or poetic to talk about it – gives the idea that she is corpulent.

[Chand’s telegram:] “Embarkment enquiry 13th July protection.” Guru, is he embarking for Mecca? Looks like embankment which, he said, he demolished, of a tenant.

It is the telegraph office here that is embarking him – otherwise there would be no enquiry. He must be in trouble over his arbitrary abolition of his neighbours’ embankment.

Here is Dilipda’s royal mail! I have copied out the whole letter for you. Hope it is not worse than his original!

For this relief much thanks!

What about Darshan permission for Kalyan, and his staying in Dilipda’s house? Both granted?


D is facing a lot of criticism, but he says he has resolved not to mind it.

I hope he will keep to his resolution of not minding what people say. It is a sage resolve and, if kept, will make a huge difference.

Any remarks on his songs?

Nothing particular. They have the usual qualities.

Padmasini seems much reduced. She has no appetite... May we give her small doses of arsenic with stomach tonics?

[Mother:] Yes.


July 12, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I suppose what you wrote yesterday on D’s “sage resolve” is meant for my ears only? Or his also?

It can reach his, but not in that language which he might take as ironic. You can say that I was very pleased to read what he had written on that point; the resolution is a good one and I hope he will keep strength to carry it out. It would make a great difference.

“I dive into the fathomless

Riches of God...”

One doesn’t dive into riches – a tankful of bank notes!

T is quite all right now and can do some light work for a couple of hours or so.

[Mother:] She is doing some embroidery work. I think it is sufficient for the moment.


July 14, 1938

X calls me now and then in the afternoon to taste something she has prepared. So I spend about 15-20 minutes on my way to the hospital.

I like X’s smile. It’s innocent, childlike – nothing coquettish or sophisticated or trying to captivate.

Very dangerous! especially if you begin to luxuriate in the idea of her unsophisticated simplicity. Unsophisticated or not, if once the vital attachment is made, she will hold you as tightly as the other and with a greater violence of dabi33, abhiman and the rest of it and, finally when the connection is cut, she will say and think that it was all your fault and that you are a very wicked person who took advantage of her foolishness and innocence. Well, well, you know about as much of women as a house-kitten knows about the jungle and its denizens and it is you who are in this field amazingly naïve.

What exactly is meant by a “sophisticated” mind and “naïveté” in English?

“Sophisticated” means well up to everything, artificial and without simplicity; naïve means ignorantly artless, amusingly simple, not up to things.

... If you think I had better stop this social relationship and check the unyogic enjoyment – I shall.

I certainly think that you should stop while there is yet time. It is no use getting out of one net to fall into another.


July 15, 1938

Guru, you have castigated me for my inexperience, calling me sheep, lamb, house-kitten and what not. You will exhaust the whole zoology on me, methinks!

Why not? man has all the animals within him as he is an epitome of the universe.

Am I really as naïve as all that?

Certainly, there is the naïveté, otherwise you would not have relied on X’s simplicity.

Perhaps if X blames me even now, she may be right, for I can’t swear that I didn’t try to draw her...

But if she joined in, she would have no right to blame anybody but herself. There is no reason why she should allow herself to be drawn; it would be a proof that she wants it. Besides she is quite capable of drawing herself even if she does it in an unsophisticated manner.

I have resolved that next time X and Y call me, I shall go and “cleverly” tell them that it is the last time. Will it do, Sir?


I’ve given them mangoes and things before, as once you said regarding S’s offer of curry, that it was quite trifling and absolutely harmless.

In S’s case it was harmless, but similar things in another case might not be. All depends on the inflammability of the human materials in relation to each other. If they are mutually inflammable, a mango or a curry can be the match to light the flame.

I was alert regarding Z, because I felt she had definite intentions. So I am not altogether naïve, Sir. But as regards X, I wanted to keep just a friendly relation.

... It is certainly naïve to think that because a girl is simple i.e. instinctive and impulsive and non-mental in her movements she can be relied upon to be an asexual friend. Some women can be, but it is usually those who have a clear mental consciousness and strong will of self-control or else those who are incapable of a passion for more than one person in their life and you are lucky enough not to be that person.

[Chand’s telegram:] “Partial sex failure must succeed.” Guru, after the “embarkment”, “partial failure”!

What the deuce does he mean by “partial sex failure” – beginning of the operation but no conclusion? “Embarkment for Cytherea” (land of Venus), and disembarcation in mid-sea? What a phenomenon of a fellow!


July 16, 1938

[the Mother]

What about the workman who had his eye wounded?


July 17, 1938

I don’t understand how I compare myself to a star, and then the sun.

Well, the Sun is a star, isn’t it? and the stars are suns?

What’s the name of that place in the “land of Venus” – Lytheria?

Cytherea, Venus is called Cytherea = the Cytherean in Latin poetry.


July 19, 1938

“... Until an omnipotence

Crowned with a white

Immaculate destiny.”

Don’t white and immaculate have the same meaning?

No, one can be immaculate without being white; but it reminds of Gandhi’s “spotless white khaddar”. Your emendation is quite the right thing.


July 20, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

I am most disappointed with this poem34, Sir! What do you think of it?

Doubly damned fine! Close all right. It is only the two “withs” that are objectionable, but that is soon mended.

By God, I am absolutely staggered by your dragon image! Such things have been done before?

Not before, but worse things than that are done nowadays.

If at any time I face public criticism, I will say that my Guru is to be blamed.


May I know why you object to dilatation by atropine drops in N’s case? Is it due to inconvenience to sight? If so it is only for a few days and that too can be shortened by dropping eserine which contracts the pupil. Otherwise I don’t know that there is any other risk.

[Mother:] I know of people who never recovered fully the sight they had before. But in his case there is nothing much to lose, I suppose.

About his deafness, the specialist finds nothing in the ear. But that there is some defect of hearing is certain. It may be either due to a bad throat – he has a bad pharyngitis and some sign of tonsillitis or otosclerosis.

[Sri Aurobindo:] Psychologically it is due to his extreme self-centredness. So shut up in himself that his ear is retiring from outward action. Of course that does not exclude the physical cause which is instrumental.

If it is due to the throat, a tonsil operation... If it is due to otosclerosis which can be a remote effect of rheumatism (he had it) then there is no specific cure for it, though Iodine in some form sometimes gives a good effect...

One can’t iodine him on the basis of an “if” for a problematically occasional good effect.

Blood can be tested for hereditary syphilis.

Can always see.

Adenoids and tonsils, you know, to a great extent dull the intellect.

Aided by self-imprisonment, I believe.

So whatever you sanction, please write against each one, otherwise he will bother me about your sanction and permission first.

What to sanction, when the doctors can’t say what’s what?


July 21, 1938

Why did you say, in N’s case, that doctors can’t say?

Because you say “It may be either” and “if” and “if”. According to any ordinary logic that means “We” doesn’t know but either guesses or infers.

As regards his eyes, it is quite definite – he has trachoma for which the said treatment can be instituted.

No objection to that. I wrote in reference to the doubtful ear.

And as regards his deafness, it is either due to bad throat or otosclerosis, i.e. sclerosis of the bones of the middle ear; in either case iodine can be given.

You didn’t say that. You said “if throat, operation” – if osteo-scl. iodine.

It may be does not = is.

Iodine is very often given, especially collosal iodine injection which is very good. But I heard from Dr. Banerjee that you don’t favour internal iodine medication; is it true?

What’s this word? Cousin of colossal?

Mother does not favour in certain cases; as in those cases it has a bad effect. Can’t say for N. But his subconscious is contradictory like S’s and inclined to say No to any medicine.

And if it is due to his extreme self-annihilation, why not tell him so?

Where did you get this self-annihilation? I wrote self-centredness. N’s self is not annihilated; it is there alive and kicking and governing everything.

What’s the use of telling him? It won’t go by the mere telling.

He comes and bothers and bothers, saying that medicine has no effect, “You are not looking carefully...”

Is his sight really so bad that he can’t take up any work the whole day? I don’t know that eyes have to be much used in his electric supervision work.

So he believes.

You don’t allow for the potency of auto-suggestion.

Kantilal had sudden pain on the left side of the chest... I don’t find any localising sign, but I suspect he is going in for pleurisy.


Guru, what sayest Thou to this poem? Staggered simply, what?

Exceedingly fine again. Often the intuitive again and throughout almost that.


July 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Can’t this intuitive faculty grow in my medical sphere and make me see both the disease and the cure?

But in medicine you don’t hook on to the intuitive source.

Self-annihilation is my own diagnosis. For, I think, N will revolt if I call him “self-centred” when he is considering himself preparing for self-annihilation.

Anyhow, is there any use of internal medication against that subconscient “No”?

His subconscient is not contradictory to medicines alone. One has to go on in the firm faith that one day it will change. T and others were also like that, but by perseverance something has been arrived at as far as treatment goes.

That word is collosal – from colloidal. I suggested that N should take up some work in the afternoon to which he replied he wrote to you and your answer was – let his eyes get better and best. Otherwise if Sri Aurobindo says, he will surely take up work. Well?

If I tell him to work in the afternoon, he will after a time say his eyes are very bad, very strained, shall he stop? What’s the use then?

... S is really extremely difficult to deal with.

He always has been.

Is it his disease that has made him so or his nature?

His nature made the disease.

His friends and his mother say that at home he was quite another person: doing sadhana so well, not caring for worldly things, etc. An admirable fellow in all respects. But something has happened, God knows what, by which he is now completely changed. What can really be the matter, may I know? What sort of difficulty in sadhana is likely to set up such a perverse psychology?

In appearance perhaps he was like that, though it seems to me that there is something of a legend in that. So long as I have known him he has always been sharp and obstinate in pursuing his own idea or interest and the claims of his ego. Maybe, in his first stage of experience, something mental-psychic was there, that gave him the appearance his friends describe, but the vital was not changed, and as always happens, the vital came up for change – and he did not change it, but allowed the old unregenerate vital ego to take hold of him. Hence constant quarrels, resentments, obstinate feuds and hatred, fancies of persecution, neurasthenia, a disorganised nervous system, devastation of the organs by his anger, etc. (liver especially affecting stomach etc.).

The other day his mother was saying that he pines for his past spiritual experiences and visions. Is that then the reason or what? and I am afraid till he or you put that right, nothing is any good.

How can he have them while he indulges and obeys his vital ego to such an excessive extent? The difficulty is that he is self-righteous and priggish in his self-righteousness. Speaks of himself as an angel of meekness and forbearance and all others as wicked devils tormenting this angel martyr. What’s to be done with an attitude like that? How can he come out if he does not recognise the necessity of change? It is not that he has not been told, but –

... He has then to shut himself up in his room to escape all disturbances. Even then he will quarrel with the air, light and trees!

Of course.

But if you ask me to do according to what he wants for his health, I will surely and ungrudgingly do it. But you understand how difficult it is!

Do the best you can, knowing that he is both physically and psychically ill.

Romen needs a pair of wooden sandals as the leather ones irritate the patches of eczema he has. Could you please sanction a pair?

[Mother:] Surely he must have. It is to be asked from Benjamin.

Romen was telling me to-day that he always feels tired, very tired, and very often he has head-ache. Is it due to liver? Can nothing be done to relieve him?


July 22, 1938


I send you X’s latest epistle, as my capacities are not equal to reproduction – please return the precious document. But mark that it is confidential, you are not supposed to have received it as it contains psychological as well as medical confidences.

I may admit that we are rather inclined to sympathise with her about the guimauve and purgatives and weekly laxatives. Well, what about André’s “miksar”?35 Warranted harmless and directed to the purpose she cherishes?

Sri Aurobindo


July 23, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

R’s tiredness can be easily accounted for; he works like a Canadian lumberman and eats like a Tamil labourer, or even less... Today he came at about 2 p.m., saying that his head was reeling, the whole body aching. Looked like a heat-stroke. I advised him rest.

[Mother:] Is it not better to give him aspirin or something of the kind?

He says he has no appetite in the evening, which may be true and due, I think, to over-exhaustion. How to remedy that? Something to eat or drink at 4 p.m., or an extra cup of milk at bed-time, perhaps?

[Mother:] For a number of days I gave him something to eat at 4 P.M., a fruit or chocolate or biscuits. After a time he refused saying that his stomach was aching – To-day I once more gave him as he told me what you had said.

... I am sure this headache will go if he takes enough food. I wish some fruits could be given.

[Mother:] I shall give him fruits. I hope he will take them.

Guru, today from 1.30 p.m. to 3.45, I waited and waited, but not a line dropped. So I gave up in disgust... Wasting so much time sitting idle! Or is that sort of idleness as valuable as activity?

No. But you can do something else that may be helpful or useful.

Anyway, there is some tendency to think the same words, expressions, rhymes and thoughts. Everything is repeated.

Can’t be avoided in everyday writing – or at least, if you avoid, you will be a phenomenon.

So, Guru, another star [Naik] dropped from your firmament? And after 6 years’ luminous presence too!

Luminous? Not very, and rather a shooting or at least tendency to shoot star. He was always going, going and twice or thrice gone – but – returned; now he is gone.

In spite of his violent temper, we liked the fellow.

He had a very nice side to him as well as an insupportable side.

Sometimes it puzzles me to think that you couldn’t save a fellow who had worked so well, keeping himself busy almost the whole day.

Busy in too many directions, unfortunately.

Was his vital so turbulent that you couldn’t manage to change him?

Vital turbulence? If that were all, it would be nothing much. It was the intermittent possession by a dark violent force that was the trouble. It was becoming so frequent that I had when he asked to go this time to advise him to do so. But the real cause was deeper down. As for saving, one can’t save if the patient cherishes the illness, justifies it and refuses to part with it. It was only recently that he began to admit that it was regrettable and had bad consequences, but even so he was unable to make an effort when the fit came. The shock of having to go may perhaps have a salutary influence.

There is no doubt that he truly loved the Mother; but in this world nothing saves, except those who are blessed extraordinary souls.

What does save is the true will to be saved accompanied by a reliance on the Divine. Those who have gone, did they have it?

I fear moreover, that fate has decreed that doctors must quit! You see three doctors have gone already, R doesn’t seem to be on very sure grounds. Rajangam and my dear self remain! Ah, the bullet is passing very close, Sir!

Medical profession can’t be based on Naik’s case – He dropped it with a joyful grunt as soon as he came here and had nothing to do with it afterwards.

I heard an interesting thing that you gave him a big shout! Ah, I wish I had heard it! But I thought you had lost your capacity to shout?

The supramental (even its tail) does not take away any capacity, but rather sublimates all and gives those that were not there. So I gave a sublimated supramental shout. I freely admit that (apart from the public platform) I have shouted only four or five times in my life.

My yesterday’s outburst [with S in the dispensary] seems to be part of a general movement; for I hear that our Benjamin had the courage to slap M yesterday. The fellow has some guts, I must say. The Supramental seems to be descending this time, the head, I mean! But it is really striking that M kept calm when he could have easily pulverised the fellow!

Well, that is a result of the supramental also! But perhaps M felt that Benjamin was too small and weakly a figure to demolish. He apologised to the Mother for having lost his control as far as to speak violently to Benjamin!!


July 24, 1938

There is some trouble now about Benoy’s glass eye that we ordered from the Company in Bombay. It does not suit him; he says we should return this one and he will ask friends in Calcutta to send one. I don’t think the Company will return us the money. We can only place an order for something else equivalent to its price – 1/8.

If you need things from the Company, there is no objection.

Our stock of Sudarshan is nearly over. Punamchand said it is ready, he would send it from Bombay, but no news from him. Many people are taking it now. So shall we get some from Madras for the present?

Can wait and see.

The other day I gave S a new drug, Incretone, as Haemogen was not giving sufficiently good results. That very night I had a dream that the medicine had a good effect: urinary and other troubles were much less. Today the very thing happened...

... R.B.’s pain has given place to burning... Shall we try Histidine injection subcutaneously, or wait?


Guru, the same fate today! No poem! You ask me to do something useful or helpful. You mean some reading – poetry or philosophy?

But it seems to me that I have exhausted my source and nothing new will come till after some time, i.e. by some growth of consciousness. Occasionally I may write when even a sameness won’t matter much. But to be a “phenomenon” is impossible.

The sameness does not matter much. The use of your writing is to keep you in touch with the inner source of inspiration and intuition, so as to wear thin the crude external crust in the consciousness and encourage the growth of the inner being. The dream you speak of in your medical report shows that the inner being is beginning to awake somewhat, as a result, even in things not having to do with the literary inspiration. For this purpose the “sameness” does not much matter.

In spite of repetitions and sameness, if I persist, I might strike again a new source.

That is right.

Time seems to press very heavily. But to write poetry because of heaviness of time is an unyogic attitude probably. Well!

Neither Yogic nor unyogic.

Today Mother appeared to show some displeasure (or disapproval?) either to me or to the forces acting through me. Cause there must be: my outburst of temper against S, depression due to Naik’s departure and my doubt regarding my own fate, etc., etc. Don’t know which.

It is the usual false imagination. Perhaps you got it by thinking too much of Naik – for whenever his vital wanted to go wrong or was dissatisfied with itself or people, that was always its movement, to imagine the Mother displeased and then to revolt against her. In that way it succeeded in getting itself into a fit. The fit passed he realised his mistake – but did it again the next time.

It’s not important, but the effect is still worse. The blessed vital gets into a revolting attitude and plays mischief by wrong suggestions – the result being as you can expect: all aspiration is clogged up.


I ought to know by now that Mother has no likes or dislikes and whatever she does is absolutely for my own good. But the vital – does it listen? I consider it a dangerous spot in my sadhana. I must cut it out root and branch.

Cut what out root and branch? The habit of wrong imagination and revolted attitude? For that your mind must separate itself from the vital and be able to tell it when it goes wrong, that it is making a fool of itself and that the mind refuses to go with it even one step in that direction. It is always the mind allowing itself to be clouded by the vital that makes these recurrences possible.


July 25, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, ah, you do relieve me! If you had said that the first day, I would have written a poem! Your first day’s answer gave me the impression that it doesn’t matter much if I can’t write every day.

I said nothing about that, except that the repetition couldn’t be avoided in constant writing. My answer was about the idleness – saying it was not good, but if you find writing poetry impossible every day, you must do something else and not keep the time vacant.

I think you enjoy playing with us a little, Sir, or perhaps that’s your divine way?

I have no such bad intentions.

... Freed from the long-standing obstacle, I have been feeling extremely happy these two days... The thought that I shall be able to send you poems again and get back a touch from you is apparently the main cause of joy. I wonder if behind this there is the awakening of the inner being as well.

It is certainly the inner being that has the feeling.

Today I wrote a poem and it gave me great joy – but I couldn’t write the last two days, so I feel gloomy. How do you explain it?

The joy is good, but the gloom is not.

My days would have been still brighter, perhaps, if I had kept my vital free!...

The vital needs something to hook itself on to, but for a sadhak women are obviously the wrong things for it to hook itself on to – it must get hold of the right peg.

Twice X brought something to eat for me and Mulshankar. I couldn’t ask her to stop it. Is it necessary to tell her? Won’t it drop by itself if I keep myself right?

If you keep yourself right, yes – but if the attachment continues, then it is better to break off the occasion.

“Worlds have begun

To unroll like a time-wave,

Each measured beat

Filled with an ecstasy

Of its golden heat.”

I fear you will shout against this “heat”.

Certainly, the heat would make anyone shout.

Kantilal is steadily improving. He joined work today. Has been advised not to strain himself.

[Mother:] He came back immediately. Could not stand it. Did you tell him that it is bad to sleep in the vérandah? He is asking for a room on medical grounds.

You didn’t say anything about S’s extra milk. Shall I ask him to resume soup leaving it to his choice?

[Mother:] He has got his milk all right. But it seems to me that the soup was better for his health.


July 26, 1938

[the Mother]

We are supplying bowls to those who take soup here in the Dispensary. Some others also come from time to time, so shall we keep a few in stock or shall we ask them to bring their own bowls?

You can ask a few bowls from Purushottam.


July 27, 1938

“A rapturous throb of stars

I feel in my heart, ...”

I think the stars might just as well not be there. It is difficult for a heart-throb to be a star.


July 28, 1938

“A silver-throated nightingale

Has to my spirit brought

Unimaginable ecstasy...”

What’s this nightingale doing here?

Damned if I know, but let her sing.

“My rock-white will manifests now

Through grey barrenness of time

Infinities crowned with the sun-glow

Of the withdrawn Sublime.”

“Rock-white” would mean “white as a rock”, but a white rock is rarer than a white elephant.


July 29, 1938

“My heart yearns now for thy divine

Primeval Word,

Bringing a sense of crystalline

Fire-ecstasy, stirred

In every cell and lifted high

Into a gold

Vision of thy Infinity,

Fold after fold.”

I don’t think infinity can be rolled about like that, but it can be unrolled, that is revealed progressively and continuously before the sight.

Guru, I am afraid this poem has many defects in detail. It was written after a lot of castor-oil drugging!

The castor-oil seems to have been effective at any rate. Very fine poem – only three lines (in themselves very poetic) lack original force (5th stanza).


July 30, 1938

This “correspondence ban” – how far does it affect me?

It doesn’t affect your poetry; the medical report also can come, but it should be quite concise during this period.

“My heart is steeped in that reverie

And drinks a passionless wine...”

Being steeped, can one drink?

Well, you can drink when you are wet.


July 31, 1938

[the Mother]

Rajangam writes that J’s chronic complaint of nose and throat has increased. He has suggested douching the nose slowly with cold water and applying menthol-vaseline at the nostrils. She should practise slow breathing exercises, drawing in breath with one nostril and letting it out with the other. She is ready to follow the treatment, if you approve of it.

She can do.

Bala (Atelier) has finished the other bottle of meat extract. He feels very well. Wants to be without any drug for some time.

All right.


August 2, 1938

[the Mother]

T asks whether it is any more necessary to continue her special diet. She fears she will grow very fat.

It is better if she goes on with her present diet for the moment.


August 3, 1938

I seem to have an easier flow of inspiration now, but the product is not of such a superior quality, I don’t find striking lines and expressions. Is it because of the ease of flow?

Yes, partly. The ease is that of practice in this metrical form and a certain achieved level of style and flow. But that level is not one of constant striking lines and expressions – that is not possible without some effort – not effort of construction, but vigilance to keep the inspiration up to the mark.

Don’t you think I should now try some other form?

Yes, perhaps. I was thinking so the last 2 or 3 days.

[I sent Dilip’s letter at the end of which I wrote:] Guru, so permission for Darshan given to S. Majumdar and staying with Dilipda too? I also know him, he is really a very fine man.

Dilipda promises me a kingdom for a wire. If I can get your answer today, well, the kingdom will be one day earlier, as the wire will go today.

Can wire and become a king at once.


August 4, 1938

Guru, thank you for making me a king! But a king without a queen wouldn’t look nice, would he?

I tried the new form today, but found it extremely difficult.

That is natural after confining yourself so long to one form. You have to grow a facility in the new one.

R says that you think it wise not to remove the crust of his eczema, but press out the pus and apply medicine over it. But the crust is not healthy; it is formed by the pus itself...

[The Mother marked the first sentence with a vertical line.]

It is his own interpretation of the sympathy I showed to his pains. I never intended to interfere with the treatment.


August 5, 1938

[the Mother]

While Agarwal was examining Sundaranand’s eyes, he found that his digestive junction has not been at all right for a long time. There are poisons accumulated in his intestine, therefore piles and loss of appetite. He wants to know what may be the cause of the derangement and if it will get all right.

It is sure to get all right – the derangement must have been the result of the summer’s heat, I suppose –


August 6, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, I got this letter from Jatin today. I don’t know how far he wants to keep connection with me, whether he expects me to receive him at the station. If you think I had better, I shall. Will you put in an advice?

I suppose since he has written informing you of his arrival, you might go to the station.

The other day I dreamed that we had gone to the seaside. We found that the embankment had tumbled down, and a boy of 12 or 13 lay dead upon the rocks; though his limbs were caught in the cracks, they weren’t mutilated. Suddenly I found his limbs stirring. Then the scene changed: I called my tired friends who were swimming, to rest on a floating bridge. After a while we swam a race and I came first. Now, what’s the link between the two? The boy = the psychic? But the psychic is usually a baby! Any personal significance?

Looks more like a happening in a vital world than symbolic. The psychic does not always appear as a baby, but this is evidently not the psychic – as the whole thing is in the vital. If it is symbolic it could only mean a formation of some vital framework or breakdown of limitations and some inner formation at first overcome by the change, then recovering – the second dream would mean a dealing with the new structure, a swimming to cross the vital, first in fatigue then after rest a renewed vigour in crossing.

But all that is doubtful; for the symbolism of these is not sufficiently marked to be unmistakable.

Annapurna’s eyes are watering, and there’s a burning sensation. Trachoma. Shall I send her to Agarwal?

[Mother:] Yes.


August 7, 1938

[the Mother]

I hear from Agarwal that you have sanctioned boiled vegetables from here for Sundaranand.

I said to ask you if it would be possible.

If so, for the noon, it can be boiled with Arjava’s, and for the evening, it can be simply fried (without any spice) with Benjamin’s.

Yes, it is all right.


August 8, 1938

“The whole universe seems to be a cry

To the apocalypt vision of thy Name.”

Damn fine, sir!


August 10, 1938

[the Mother]

Padmasini has a dry cough. Perhaps it will be better to see her lungs under the screen.

Yes, provided she does not get frightened –


August 11, 1938

“My heart lies now at rest; it has begun

To live within a vast kingdom of soul,...”

Well, “lies” had better change; for one can’t live much lying down; but one can be at rest (inwardly) and live.


August 13, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Dining Room servant’s legs scalded by hot water... don’t you think it will be advisable to keep some tannic acid solution (which is not a poison) in D.R., so that in emergencies like small burns it can be applied? It is very effective and simple in application.

[Mother:] Yes, it is better but contents and use must be clearly written on the bottle with a red label (for external use only) to prevent all possibility of mistake.

Is not picric acid more effective?

Guru, I became desperate and brought down this poem. God knows whether its head is in normal condition or is lacerated.

No harm has happened to the poetry (whatever be the case with the head) except that rhythm and metre are rather lacerated in some lines of the last 3 stanzas.


August 17, 1938

[I sent a long report regarding Dr. Manilal’s treatment for Z’s suspected T.B. There was no reply.]


August 19, 1938

You didn’t say whether you approved of all that Dr. Manilal recommended for Z as regards the treatment.

No objection.

Guru, I expected something new after the Darshan touch, but the same old stuff (in poetry) with the same difficulty in writing!

It is very good stuff.

The difficulty is perhaps due to these few days’ interval?


Did you see “the seas of rapture in my heart”? All right?

Seas have not to be seen so much as swum on.

And how did you find the Bangalore scientists? They seem to have been much moved, God knows by what!

The supramental, I suppose!

One of them, the hardest nut and a “jewel” of the group, Govinda, was on the point of tears at the farewell! Just think!

Again the supramental! The supramental is beyond all thinking.


August 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Please have some divine compassion and give me something new.

Well, well, well! We’ll see.

How long can one keep this Yogic attitude?

Why not? A Yogi must always have Yogic attitude.

I asked Rajani for some cheese, butter, jam and coffee, for R. But R has suddenly stopped coming here for tea in the morning. What then am I to do with these articles? May I send them to you? R doesn’t want them?

[Mother:] Keep the things; he may come back again after some time.


August 26, 1938

“Lost in an ecstasy of germinal sound

That wanders through the night’s shadowy bars...”

The deuce! what’s an ecstasy of germinal sound? And a wandering one at that?

Please sprinkle your supramental humour now and then. A too matter-of-fact dealing takes our breath away, or at least makes life damned harder, you know. Or are your humours also decided by Supramental Truth-sight?

It depends on the state of my inner humerus.

God, alas! What a queer fellow your Supramental will be!

Can’t be queerer than the mental human! But I suppose he will seem queer to the queer mental human just as the queer human seems queer to the queer vital monkey and the queer monkey to the queer material jelly-fish. All queer together! and to each other!


August 27, 1938

“O dream of solitude, visionary flame,

Make the lone deeps of my heart thy home...”

“Visionary” O.K.?

No, it isn’t very complimentary, means usually an unpractical fellow who has unreal “visionary” ideas.

“Travelling through hollow spaces of day and night Towards its rich fruition in the Sublime...”

Fruition! would fructify in prose.

The last two stanzas are logical tails, I hope.

The last three hairs of the tail needed a little combing and brushing.


August 28, 1938

Guru, the last stanza took me an hour and yet I fear I couldn’t get an original idea or expression.36

On the contrary, it is eminently successful and well worth the hour spent on it.

You said that you would “see” about giving me something new in poetry. Well, it does not seem that you have “seen” yet, does it?

I simply said that we will see, i.e. how things develop. The idea of these poems is the same as before, but in expression the poetry is becoming more and more authentic, more “seen” than before and that after all is the main thing. The last two stanzas are Al.


August 29, 1938

I wonder if you could recast or rewrite the whole poem so that I may be fortunate enough to preface my 2nd volume of poems with it. Enclosing a paper,– at your leisure.

Very difficult. In that case I have to keep the two papers and wait for illumination.


August 30, 1938

Please ask Sri Aurobindo to go through Jyoti’s letter... Please advise what to do.

Shoot Becharlal at her as requested.


August 31, 1938

By writing that letter, everything has disappeared, and Jyoti is happy.

Guru, this poem37 is really disappointing. I am sure you will find plenty of hurdles...

These are indeed very difficult hurdles but I have leaped them all – only in the process the poem has got considerably reshaped. So I don’t put lines except for a few that have remained almost as they were. The last line is magnificent [“A fathomless beauty in a sphere of pain”] – the others mostly needed a revision which they don’t seem to have got.

Day by day things are getting so difficult – more than your Yoga, Sir! My head will break one day. Be prepared for it, please!

Well, well, when the head is broken, a passage for a superior light is often created – so either way you gain, a safe head or an illumined one.


September 1, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Z has broken our thermometer. She wants to pay, shall we accept?

[Mother:] If she goes on taking her temperature she must pay as it will make her more careful in future – But is it wise to attract so much her attention on her temperature? It does not seem to help her to cure – – – –

In yesterday’s poem, you have hurdled very well indeed! You call this line, “A fathomless beauty in a sphere of pain,” a magnificent one, but I did not feel its magnificence when I wrote it and am unable to see where you find it. I think you find behind these things some inner truth which magnifies everything to you, no? Otherwise the rhythm and the word music aren’t very striking, what?

Well, have you become a disciple of Baron and the surrealists? You seem to suggest that significance does not matter and need not enter into the account in judging or feeling poetry! Rhythm and word music are indispensable, but are not the whole of poetry. For instance lines like these

In the human heart of Heligoland

A hunger wakes for the silver sea;

For waving the might of his magical wand

God sits on his throne in eternity,

have plenty of rhythm and word music – a surrealist might pass them, but I certainly would not. Your suggestion that my seeing the inner truth behind a line magnifies it to me, i.e. gives it a false value to me which it does not really have as poetry, may or may not be correct. But, certainly, the significance and feeling suggested and borne home by the words and rhythm are in my view a capital part of the value of poetry. Shakespeare’s lines “Absent thee from felicity awhile And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain” have a skilful and consummate rhythm and word combination, but this gets its full value as the perfect embodiment of a profound and moving significance, the expression in a few words of a whole range of human world-experience. It is for a similar quality that I have marked this line. Coming after the striking and significant image of the stars on the skyline and the single Bliss that is the source of all, it expresses with a great force of poetic vision and emotion the sense of the original Delight contrasted with the world of sorrow born from it and yet the deep presence of that Delight in an unseizable beauty of things. But even isolated and taken by itself there is a profound and moving beauty in the thought, expression and rhythm of the line and it is surprising to me that anyone can miss it. It expresses it not intellectually but through vision and emotion. As for rhythm and word music, it is certainly not striking in the sense of being out of the way or unheard of, but it is perfect – technically in the variation of vowels and the weaving of the consonants and the distribution of longs and shorts, more deeply in the modulated rhythmic movement and the calling in of overtones. I don’t know what more you want in that line.


September 2, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, no, I don’t suggest that significance doesn’t matter. On the other hand, I said it is more probably because of the significance of the line than rhythm etc. that you call it magnificent. “Magnifies” was used jokingly, of course. As I don’t yet understand much of longs, shorts, narrows and thicks of your prosody, I laid the beauty of the line at the door of significance or inner vision. So “false value” is not what I meant. I am rather limited, or my solar plexus is inhibitory to profound things told in a bare and rugged way. For instance, your three lines against:

“A rhythmic fire that opens a secret door,

And the treasures of eternity are found,”

don’t stir my mortal plexus very much, while perhaps your penetrating eyes see all the treasures of eternity behind the door and exclaim with rapturous delight, “How rich!” But the other three-lined one: “My moments pass with moon-imprinted sail” makes me say: “Ah, here is something real, wonderful, flashing!” You will admit that this line is more poetic than the previous two lines, though perhaps the force of poetic vision and truth is less? That will indicate to you probably that I am a bit of a romantic sentimental type who wants to see colour blend with vision before getting the plexus stirred from its depth, what?

I am afraid the language of your appreciations or criticisms here is not apposite. There is nothing “bare and rugged” in the two lines you quote; on the contrary they are rather violently figured – the osé image of a fire opening a door of a treasure-house would probably be objected to by Cousins or any other purist. The language of poetry is called bare when it is confined rigorously to just the words necessary to express the thought or feeling or to visualise what is described, without superfluous epithets, without imagery, without any least rhetorical turn in it. E.g. Cowper’s

Toll for the brave –

The brave! that are no more –

is bare. Byron’s

Jehovah’s vessels hold

The godless Heathen’s wine;

does not quite succeed because of a rhetorical tinge that he has not been able to keep out of the expression. When Baxter (I think it was Baxter) writes

I spoke as one who ne’er would speak again38

And as a dying man to dying men!

that might be taken as an example of strong and bare poetic language. I have written of Savitri waking on the day of destiny –

Immobile in herself, she gathered force:

This was the day when Sathyavan must die. –

that is designedly bare.

But none of these lines or passages can be called rugged; for ruggedness and austerity are not the same thing; poetry is rugged when it is rough in language and rhythm or rough and unpolished but sincere in feeling. Donne is often rugged,–

Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see

That spectacle of too much weight for me.

Who sees God’s face, that is self-life must die;

What a death were it then to see God die?

but it is only the first line that is at all bare.

On the other side, you describe the line of your preference

My moments pass with moon-imprinted sail

by the epithets “real, wonderful, flashing”. Real or surreal? It is precisely its unreality that makes the quality of the line; it is surreal, not in any depreciatory sense, but because of its supra-physical imaginativeness, its vivid suggestion of occult vision; one does not quite know what it means, but it suggests something that one can inwardly see. It is not flashing – gleaming or glinting would be nearer the mark – it penetrates the imagination and awakens sight and stirs or thrills with a sense of beauty but it is not something that carries one away by its sudden splendour.

You say that it is more poetic than the other quotation – perhaps, but not for the reason you give; rather because it is more felicitously complete in its image and more suggestive. But you seem to attach the word poetic to the idea of something brilliant, remotely beautiful, deeply coloured or strikingly imaged with a glitter in it or a magic glimmer. On the whole what you seem to mean is that this line is “real” poetry, because it has this quality and because it has a melodious sweetness of rhythm, while the other is of a less attractive character. Your solar plexus refuses to thrill where these qualities are absent – obviously that is a serious limitation in the plasticity of your solar plexus, not that it is wrong in thrilling to these things but that it is sadly wrong in thrilling to them only. It means that your plexus remains deaf and dead to most of the greater poetry of the world – to Homer, Milton, Valmiki, Vyasa, a great part even of Shakespeare. That is surely a serious limitation of the appreciative faculty. What is strange and beautiful has its appeal, but one ought to be able also to stir to what is grand and beautiful, or strong and noble, or simple and beautiful, or pure and exquisite. Not to do so would be like being blind of one eye and seeing with the other only very vividly strange outlines and intensely bright colours.

I may add that if really I appreciate any lines for something which I see behind them but they do not actually suggest or express, then I must be a very bad critic. The lines you quote not only say nothing about the treasures except that they are found, but do not suggest anything more. If then I see from some knowledge that has nothing to do with the actual expression and suggestion of the lines all the treasures of eternity and cry “How rich” – meaning the richness, not of the treasures, but of the poetry, then I am doing something quite illegitimate which is the sign of a great unreality and confusion in my mind, very undesirable in a critic. It is not for any reason of that kind that I made a mark indicating appreciation but because I find in the passage a just and striking image with a rhythm and expression which are a sufficient body for the significance.

In today’s poem the philosophy is old and poetry poor, what?

A poet is not bound to create a new philosophy – he may adopt an existing philosophy, only his expression of it must be his own, individual and true.

René wants tasteless castor-oil. We have plenty of “tasty” castor-oil, but he doesn’t fancy that. So shall we buy it?

[Mother:] Yes.


September 3, 1938

“... As if I had become infinity

And God his mystery to me confides...”

Is the link missing?

No. If God confides his mystery to you, the rest follows as a natural consequence of that portentous act of His.

I have become a Father Confessor to God, what?

That’s not a father confessor but only a confidant. A father confessor would be one to whom God confesses His sins, but perhaps you think the creation is a big enough sin in itself?


September 4, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

You found no answer to my questions, so the delay in sending my notebook?

Well, your arguments are not so overwhelming that I would find it difficult to answer; it was the time to answer that I did not find.

You may note that you quoted some time back [31.3.38] Dante’s line: “In His will is our peace” and said that written in Italian it is one of the greatest lines in all poetic literature. Well, judging by the translation (not knowing Italian rhythm), I fear again it doesn’t stir me much, but it stirs you much more because you see the profound significance behind it.

How can you judge a line of poetry from a translation? That would be an astonishing feat. I simply gave the meaning of the line in order to point out that poetry can be simple and straightforward in expression and yet rank as the greatest poetry. Its not stirring you would only prove that your plexus is not receptive to great and stirring poetry, it would not prove that the poetry is not great and stirring.

R is going tonight, I hear. I would like to offer the coffee tin and cheese to you, if you won’t take the jam and butter. But I will be really glad if you accept everything. R won’t take them back.

[Mother:] Send me the coffee and cheese and keep the butter and jam.


September 5, 1938

“... Sharing its rapturous wine with every thing

Till all creation be a soliloquy...”

What’s this blessed soliloquy doing after a bout of wine?

Well, what else do you expect when a fellow is drunk? But it is more decent to change it into an ecstasy.

Still you have no time, now when the correspondence has gone down?

Who told you that? Since the first it has gone up or rather swelled up and my table is covered with 4-volume letters from one third of the Asram.

I suppose you are busy doing something high and mighty!

I would like to do something high and mighty, but God knows how I shall do it at this rate.


September 6, 1938

“The magic breath of God’s omnipotent Grace Comes blowing from his soul’s fathomless deep.”

It sounds as if God had lost his breath and was panting in a vast distress!

Also soul’s / fathomless does not make a good rhythm.

The first six lines are very perfect and beautiful, but after that histories begin39. I think the histories might be replaced by geography or anything else and God must really stop blowing and panting.

“Now grows a universe of beauty, crowned

With diamond fruits of everlasting ecstasy.” O.K.?

No; rhythm awkward. I think I should object to a crown of fruits (apples? oranges? jack-fruit?).

Govinda, the Bangalore scientist [19.8.38] writes that he has written to the Mother, but no reply! Asks me to enquire. What is the mystery, please? Usual timelessness or uselessness?

What mystery? Do you imagine I am conducting a voluminous correspondence with people outside? Put that pathetic mistake out of your head. It would have been a marvel and a mystery and a new history begun in the invisible (upstairs) spheres of the Infinite40 if I had answered him! I don’t even remember what he wrote.

In the letter to me, he challenges God to give him peace, force and faith in this life. Only then will he admit its মূল্য41, otherwise no good.

But what মূল্য is he prepared to pay for these fine things? Does he imagine that it is God’s business to deliver these goods on order? Queer kind of business basis for the action of the Divine!

He seems to think that we are striving for মোক্ষ42 or some bliss in the next life! But he does not desire that.

[Sri Aurobindo underlined “next life”.]

Why don’t you disabuse him of the idea and assure him that we don’t care a damn for मोक्ष43 and less than a damn for the next life?

He wants peace, Force and nothing more; but in this life. Well, can the Divine give them?

Even if he can, why the deuce should he?


September 7, 1938

That was precisely what I had thought of writing to Govinda Das. Now I can quote you, toning it down, of course.

No, sir, you mustn’t make it a quotation from me, but you can unload it as your own original merchandise on your unwary customer.-

Dilipda has presented me with a fine pen as you can judge from my writing!


I fear what was being more and more “seen” in recent poems, is now getting more and more “unseen”, but, at the same time, giving the same amount of trouble. I can’t, for the life of me, get new expressions or thoughts. What can be done? I break my head over them but they remain as damned hard and unprofitable as the Divine! I am paying the penalty of trying to become an English poet and of facing a hard task-master!

What the deuce are you complaining about? You are writing very beautiful poetry with apparent ease and one a day of this kind is a feat. If the apparent ease covers a lot of labour, that is the lot of the poet and artist except when he is a damned phenomenon of fluency. “It is the highest art to conceal art.” “The long and conscientious labour of the artist giving in the result an appearance of divine and perfect ease” – console yourself with these titbits. As for repetitions, they are almost inevitable when you are writing a poem a day. You are gaining command of your medium and that is the main thing. An inexhaustible original fecundity is a thing you have to wait for – when you are more spiritually experienced and mature.


September 8, 1938

“The silent spheres of thought have opened now

Their hidden gates; I enter like a god

In triumphal majesty; upon my brow

Is crowned an eagle-sun, infinity-shod.”

Look here now! neither eagles nor suns are in the habit of wearing shoes. Besides this idea of somebody’s shoes on your head is extremely awkward and takes away entirely from the triumphal and godlike majesty of your entrance.

Please don’t give a start when you see me entering like a god! Too much to bear even in poetry?

Sorry! couldn’t help starting. But the start was worse when I got the vision of somebody’s shoes on your godlike head.

“The starry light of earth grows suddenly pale...” Does this starry light grow pale because of the sun?

Yes. Besides the starry light is below and the sun is on your godlike head above.

Something queer happened when I was concentrating on these lines:

“I have known the fathomless beauty of the soul,

That moon-like shines upon a universe”.

I suddenly saw a very bright full moon, and a feminine figure walking between me and the moon. The face was indistinct.

I think the vision had nothing to do with the poetry. It was an independent phenomenon.

Well, it gave me joy, but means what?

Depends on the significance of the feminine figure; but as the face was indistinct, how to know?

“The footprints of time slowly fade away

From the threshold of my life...”

These 2 lines, you say, have a “prose rhythm”. What’s that? Can’t be explained?

How can rhythm be explained? It is a matter of the ear, not of the intellect. Of course there are the technical elements, but you say you do not understand yet about them. But it is not a matter of technique only; the same outer technique can produce successful or unsuccessful rhythms (live or dead rhythms). One has to learn to distinguish by the ear, and the difficulty for you is to get the right sense of the cadences of the English language. That is not easy, for it has many outer and inner elements.


September 9, 1938

“Mortality fades away with dim footfalls

From the measureless beauty of my life divine.”

“Life” is not the right word; but if you get upon the mysterious silence of your height divine, all comes in pat enough. Obviously mortality has to walk off when you become so uppish as that.


September 11, 1938

Guru, so I am installed in X’s palace! But my reaction was positively unpleasant. I spent 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon and all the time I was feeling lonely, as if I were far away from you. I was quite happy in my little nook! My medical work may suffer. Mother didn’t object because I didn’t object!! All these thoughts smashed my Muse...

Mother would much prefer that you should be in your own room and she pointed out the objection about your work, but X said you were quite agreeable and, when both you and he seemed to desire the arrangement, she could not very well go on with her objections. Also what she agreed to was your staying there at night, not all the time.

The atmosphere also seemed so foreign to me, I don’t know due to what.

The atmosphere of X’s room is not likely to be good for you; I should say – it cannot be a quiet one at any rate.

I almost feel my old room is preferable to this kingdom. If you could find some trustworthy fellow to stay, I would rather go back to my room.

You should find somebody to replace you and go back to your own room.

At the same time I don’t see what was the necessity of this guardianship. Is it against theft or against Y entering his rooms and arranging?

Doesn’t Mother think my medical work may suffer?

She does.

Couldn’t you write something in my notebook tonight?

I don’t expect I shall be able to do so, but will see.

Chand writes there is no letter from you. So, one word, Guru!

Well, well! (That’s one word twice repeated).


September 12, 1938

Mother must have told you all about the room incident, so I needn’t go more into it.

You must have seen in today’s paper the great news: Prof. Sanjib Chowdhury of Dacca (belonging to Chittagong, hip-hip hurrah!) has got the Nobel Prize in literature – for his book Songs from the Heights.

Didn’t see it. Who the devil is he? The title of the book doesn’t sound encouraging; but I suppose it can’t be merely Noble Rubbish.

But it is extremely surprising that we have heard very little about him! Have you?


This book has hit!

Hit whom?

Anyway, a great success for India, Bengal, Chittagong! I wonder if you have read it.

Never set eyes on it. No use of success unless it is deserved. Can’t forget that Kipling for whose poetry I have a Noble contempt (his prose has value, at least the Jungle Book and some short stories) was illegitimately Nobelised by this confounded prize. Contemporary “success” or fame is a deceit and a snare.


September 14, 1938

In yesterday’s poem, why do you fear the snow will melt when there is no snow? Only the spaces are white like snow, aren’t they?

No doubt, but snow and sun together still suggest the incongruity. However it can remain – sun on snow but a non-melting sun.


September 16, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“The fathomless beauty on the soul’s blue rim

Wakes with a heaven-stirring cry

And mirrors on the heart’s horizon glass...”

Lord Christ! what a yell for beauty to emit! Besides the correlation waking with a cry and mirroring is not very convincing. For heaven’s sake do something about this.

What is a horizon glass? cousin of opera-glass?

“All drunken shadows of thought fade and pass...”

“Drunken shadows”!! If even shadows become bibulous and stagger, what will become of the Congress and its prohibition laws? Besides Rajagopalachari is sure to pass a law soon forbidding the publication of any book with the words “wine” and “drunken” in it.

You may damn as many lines as you like and find as many rabid utterances as you may, but I can’t every day go on looking at the void for a line! I have drunk “the wine of Fire”, and you see the result!

I have damned only one line and rearranged others. I have even 3 lined the wine of Fire.

I wait for your crushing strokes and then shall see if I can do the repairs.

One line please.

Otherwise down will it go into the W.P.B.

No need.

By the way, you had better hurry up with your Supermind descent, Sir. Otherwise Hitler, Mussolini & Co. will gunfire it like – !

What has Supermind to do with Hitler or Hitler with Supermind? Do you expect the Supermind to aviate to Berchtesgaden? How the devil can they gunfire S; their aeroplanes can’t even reach Pondicherry, much less the Supermind. The descent of S depends on S, not on Hitler or no Hitler.

Things look damnably bad, what?

Bad enough unless Chamberlain finds a way to wriggle out of it.

Sahana says you have advised her and Amiya to take calcium. We have calcium lactate which is as good. Shall we give that?

[Mother:] She did not speak of a medicine but of some food which is usually taken in Bengal, but I do not remember its name.44


September 17, 1938

You are neither writing in my notebook nor sending me the poem. The “illumination” hasn’t yet descended [29.8.38].

These things rest on the knees of the gods.


September 18, 1938

“Into aflame of vision my heart has grown

And leaves behind this frail mortality...”

What follows is not very favourable, what?

It is the result of your taking French leave of mortality – quite natural.


September 19, 1938

Chand writes: “You have said ‘Well, well!’ The meaning has appeared quite clear to me.” [11.9.38]

Queer! He seems cleverer than myself.

About the property tangle, he writes that if I share the sale money with my cousins, they will at once sell the propetry with Chand’s help. They are 4 partners. My share should be half. So?

A large sum of money?


September 20, 1938

“Thy Presence wraps around my revened sense

An air burdened with heavenly frankincense...”

I say, this sounds like making a perfumed package. Reveried?

“And in my soul I feel an awakening

Of thy eternal Beauty ring on ring.”

Guru, I smack my lips today in satisfaction, because I find the poem damn fine! Though there are a few anomalies, e.g. heavenly, ring on ring, etc. What do you say?

Umph! Smack away but I smack also with my hand of correction. However the first stanza is O.K. and the last stanza the same when relieved of reveried and heavenly and unwrapped.

Perhaps you find the Presence of my romantic-sentimental self?

Well, there are certainly traces of both romance and sentimentality in the 4th line and the lines 9-11 are as weak as they are incomprehensible. I have corrected but it keeps the romantic touch.

Ah, what a hard Master you are and what a tough customer!

Can’t help being that, otherwise you would fall back into a lax and feeble imitative romanticism which would be quite inadvisable. By “romanticism” I mean really “pseudo-romanticism” or sometimes “reproductive romanticism”.


September 21, 1938

Guru, I’ve prepared myself for further smacks or whips!

Well, well – it doesn’t catch exactly – you haven’t put enough verbal or rhythmic vim into it. Lacks vitamin. Have put some vit. A and B into it. Some lines not lined because too much mine.

Oh dear, dear, what a travail to produce a mouse

The mouse was all right in intention, but its tail was not frisky enough in fact.


September 22, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“The rich magnificence of the wandering sun

Reflects my splendour from still height to height...”

I say, there ought to be a limit to your splendour.

If we transfer the splendour from you to God, it becomes all right – results of your extraordinary condition.

Can you tolerate God twice?

I can’t – once is enough for him, so I have turned him out of one line, but brought him by pronominal implication into the whole poem throughout. I think that gives it more consistence.

I send you one of Nishikanta’s recent Bengali poems, to share my joy with you. The lines I have marked seem to have your O.P. touch, don’t they? He seems to have struck a new grandeur and beauty, no?

It is certainly very powerful and beautiful. By O.P. I presume you mean Overhead Poetry. That I can’t say – the substance seems to be from there, but a certain kind of rhythm is also needed which I find more difficult to decide about in Bengali than in English.

Didn’t you find Vasanti [suffering from anaemia] better than before?

[Mother:] Much better.

I saw Sankar Ram limping. I called him and examined him... The symptoms point towards Purpura. But the treatment is simple, which as you know, is more dietetic: fresh fruits and vegetables; iron and arsenic by mouth. We can examine his urine also.

[The Mother marked “fresh fruits... urine also”.]

[Mother:] Yes.

I fear a simple local treatment won’t be very effective. Of course, if you want us to leave him alone, we can.

[Mother:] It is better to treat him.


September 23, 1938

“I gather from the fathomless depth of the Mind

Transparent thoughts that float through a crystal (trancèd) wind

To a spirit-sky and weave a memory

Around the starry flames (glimpse) of Infinity.”

I read your variation [glimpse] first as “stumps”. What a magnificent and original image! the starry stumps (or star-stumps) of infinity! But I fear alas that it would be condemned as surrealistic. I can’t make out the variation for “crystal”. Wearied? Tired of carrying tons of transparent thoughts? Surely not!

“... A sun-plumed Bird made of immortal Breath.”

A bird made of breath! Too surrealistic.

I have got some joy out of this poem. God knows whether that joy will be justified in your hands, or crucified! What more do you demand, Sir? Now please, fire away!

Exceedingly fine all through. The other 3 linings are mainly for the splendour and truth of the image (including of course the perfection in the expression, without which no image would have any value), but the outstanding lines are 8-1245 which have an extraordinary beauty. I might have put 4 lines, but remembering how you shouted against my first four lining effort, I curled back the impulse into myself and put three only.

We are sorry to hear that you can’t decide about Bengali overhead poetry. I consider it a defect, Sir, in your poetic and supramental make-up, which you should try to remove or mend. A defect in the Supramental Avatar is – is – well, doesn’t fit!

Why a defect? In any case all qualities have their defects, which are also a quality. For the rest, by your logic I ought to be able to pronounce on the merits of Czechoslovakian or Arabic poetry. To pronounce whether a rhythm is O.P. or not one must have an infallible ear for the overtones and undertones of the sound music of the language – that expertness I have not got with regard to Bengali.


September 24, 1938

In yesterday’s poem, I am much tempted to take the “stumps”, even if it is surrealistic. Who cares what it is when you find it magnificent? It was not “wearied wind” but “tranced wind”. Oh dear, dear!

Don’t do it, sir, or you will get stumped. The “star-stumps” are “magnificent” from the humorous-reckless-epic point of view, but they can’t be taken seriously. Besides you would have to change all into the same key, e.g.

“I slog on the boundless cricket field of Mind

Transparent thoughts that cross like crystal wind

God’s wicket-keeper’s dance of mystery

Around the starry-stumps of infinity.”

I am sorry that you didn’t put 4 lines. My shout, you see, was due to a shock – seeing 4 lines – a shock of delight.

It didn’t sound like it!

You are surprised at Chand’s cleverness! Well, Sir, your non-committal Supramental answers are sometimes damned puzzling, so I wouldn’t blame him. Anyhow, shall I pass on the remark to him?

You can if you like. But he ought to have known that “Well, well” in English is not a shout of approbation, but philosophically non-committal.

It seems he has disposed of his mother’s ornaments which were trustingly deposited with him, to pull out a friend from difficulty. His mother has detected the “robbery” by his own admission.

Obviously it must be that – unless he robbed her more than once which is always possible.


September 26, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“My life grows day by day into a deep

Reverie broken by no mortal dream,

For the mysterious will of the Supreme

Has made it a mirror of His awakened sleep.”

... Why the devil do I feel so sleepy when I try to write at night?

Probably your inspiration comes from a part of His awakened sleep and goes back to it.

S again complains of frequent micturition. Once we had given him a gland-product containing pituitary, and it had a goos effect, though temporary. Shall we try again?

[Mother:] Is it worth while if it has only a temporary effect?


September 27, 1938

“... For thy immutable silences abide

Like vast glaciers behind my body’s door.”

A vast glacier behind a door seems rather impossible. But frozen snow behind a door would convict the housekeeper of negligence.

The doctor in place of Valle asked me about vaccination. I replied that we had done it already last year. He said that there might be a few new-comers who might not have been vaccinated. I think we can say “no” about the inmates, and about workers, they can be done at their own place.

[The Mother marked the last sentence with a vertical line.]

[The Mother:] This is right.

I do not think we have new workmen since last vaccination. If required, we have the letter written by Valle and signed by Gaffiero thanking for the help we gave for vaccination.


September 28, 1938

I hear that J is now shedding tears of joy at the sight of apples, oranges and prunes. Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, oh dear!

“fruity” tears of joy. They move me to poetry

“O apples, apples, oranges and prunes,

You are God’s bliss incarnate in a fruit!

Meeting you after many desolate moons

I sob and sniff and make a joyous bruit.”

Admit that you yourself could not have done better as a poetic and mantric comment on this touching situation.

Any chance for my book or poem [17.9.38]?

The poem not yet illuminated, can’t find anything that would be on the same level as the two opening and one closing stanza. Book in same condition – virgin of an answer.


October 1, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“From the grapes of sleep”, “God’s vineyard” sound funnily delightful, Sir! You seem to be trying to be modernistic!

Well, I’m blowed! What is there modern about “vineyard”? Vineyards are as old as Adam or almost, at any rate they existed before the flood.

By what modern alchemy do you make – “In God’s vineyard of ecstasies” 3 foot?

Why not? I have anapaestised the line, that is all. No alchemy needed modern or ancient. I don’t see what is the difficulty.

With “all” you use the verb in singular – harbours? Possible? We say “All are mad”, not “All is mad”.

What the deuce! You don’t know that all can be used collectively in the singular, e.g. “All he does is mad.” “All is beautiful here.”?

I have been asked to inform the workers that Thursday (8 a.m.) has been fixed for vaccination. Shall I tell Chandulal to circulate it among the workers so that those who want to be vaccinated may go there?

[Mother:] Yes.


October 2, 1938

[the Mother]

[About T convalescing from T.B.:] It will be better to continue her usual butter, extra milk and tomatoes and fruits. She also feels very hungry.

[The Mother marked this paragraph with a vertical line.]

Yes, better continue.

As for work, she says she is ready to take up anything you give. She will welcome it if given by you.

I have no intention of giving work other than the one she is doing now.


October 3, 1938

Guru, so after so much trouble and pain, yesterday’s poem was maimed! What a capricious Goddess is the Muse! But how partial to you!

Not at all. I have to labour much more than you, except for sonnets which come easily and short lyrics which need only a single revision. But for the rest I have to rewrite 20 or 30 times. Moreover I write only at long intervals.

The glacier image is a theft from Mallarmé, and not a clever one, perhaps?

It is quite effective here. Thefts from other languages are habitual in poetry.


October 4, 1938

“A tranced silver flame of thy delight,

Within my rapturous solitude I bear

The occult mysteries of the Infinite

Hidden in a bright seed of tranquil prayer.”

A flame bearing mysteries in a seed is a mixed metaphor.

“Life breaks no more with multitudinous waves

Upon my luminous silence; its irised fire

Lights only the forlorn shadowy caves

On the edge of time with foams of moth-desire.”

A fire lighting a cave with foam and a moth foaming! In English one must be careful to avoid mixture of metaphors whether implied or explicit.

Where are the sonnets or lyrics you have written? We have seen very few of them!

Unseen they count, but not in numbers.

And what did you mean by “for the rest” which you rewrite 20 or 30 times? Did you mean your “Savitri”?

Of course.

Do you think it will greet us one day?

Well, perhaps after ten years if I get time.


October 6, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

What’s this romantic nightingale doing here?

The nightingale perhaps came in answer to the need of a rhyme. However it can stay perched there provided it ceases to be white. It has no connection with the preceding lines, so the semi-colon must go.

We have no Camomille you have prescribed for Lalita. Shall we get it from the Pharmacy?

[Mother:] What they have there is generally old and badly kept. Perhaps we might try a light decoction of boldo instead. (She has pain 15 to 20 minutes after taking food.)


October 7, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“The agelong faceted memory of life

Is strewn with silences of the Infinite...”

Lord! sir, what on earth do you mean? “agelong faceted” is “strewn”?

“I live like a rock of diamond trancehood...”

A rock doesn’t live.

Seeing this incomplete piece of fire-work, you are sure to swear at me at every step!

Haven’t sufficient energy or time to swear at every step,– only where blasphemy is needed.

I want now to play a different game with the Muse: just note down whatever comes; not the old tedious game of waiting, straining and praying for every line till it descends after half an hour! What’s the result of the new process?

Very much the same as in the old.

Last night N had shivering with bad joint pains. Today (5 p.m.) fever 103° and a “hammering” headache. He wants your sanction for any internal medication.

[Mother:] Better if he takes medicine.

When I went to foment Lila’s leg last night, I just enquired about Nirmala and found her very feverish with a bad headache. I washed her head with cold water and asked Lila to sponge the body with warm water today. My little interference, I hope, wasn’t bad.

[Mother:] No, you did well to help.


October 8, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

This time I have kicked out “infinite, eternal, solitude, etc.” from my poem. God be thanked!


Lila’s swelling of the leg is still there. Should I leave all treatment now and let it disappear by itself, or continue a few days more the present treatment?

[Mother:] You can go on for a few days more.


October 9, 1938

Guru, I fear you will find the poem46 suffering from the first signs of flu! There is no harmony at all. It is all because of my “hammering headache”.

Well, sir, your flu has made you fluid and fluent, and the hammering headache has hammered out a fine poem. Wa Allah!

It doesn’t seem to know what it’s talking about.

I don’t see what’s wrong with it. It seems to know what it is talking about; although you may not know it.


October 10, 1938

What the deuce, Sir! Are you aware of the raging epidemic [flu, dengue] havoc in the Asram? Too busy with the Supermind to bother about these trifles? How is it that the Asram has become so vulnerable to it this time – the first?

There has been a “progressive” increase in that respect during the last ten years and this seems to be its (present) culmination. In that respect more people are being “advanced sadhaks”.

Better stop this epidemic now, Sir! I hear that Vedabrata is the latest victim!

Ramkrishna is promising to join the dance.


October 11, 1938

Guru, do you see the overhead reflected in this poem? I’ve hammered it!

I don’t know but the overheadache is also reflected, which accounts for the number of alterations that have to be made.

What’s this, Sir? My feverishness persists!

Why on earth is your body so attached to the headache and fever?

I don’t suppose an illness has any salutary effect on sadhana, that it should linger, what?

Not in the least – needn’t keep it on with that idea!


October 12, 1938

[the Mother]

A cernent barrel fell on Mohanlal’s foot. It’s swollen considerably, and there is a wound too. Purani says that fomentation will cure the swelling.

The wound will never close if it is fomented.

Miss Wilson47 is to come for treatment tomorrow. Should we postpone it as Dr. Becharlal is not well and neither am I?

Yes, it is better to postpone.

Dr. Becharlal was proposing today that we should try to get another helping hand in the Dispensary, as the work has increased a lot...

Quite ready to give you a helping hand – but is it a Sadhak or a servant?

Mulshankar says the present oven is too small, as people are increasing for soup. Can a big one be ordered from the smithy?



October 13, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“A touch of thy hand, a brief glitter of thy eyes

Releases unknown springs from my body’s earth...”


“He held him with his glittering eye”? But this is not the Ancient Mariner. “Glitter of eye” suggests anger, greed, etc.

“Thy vigilant caress leads pace by pace

The lonely caravan of my God-desire...”

A caress can’t lead a caravan.

Guru, how is this poem?

Well, the scansion and rhythm seem rather forced at places and some of the ideas are rather headachy e.g. a caress leading a caravan and the suggestion of profuse perspiration and the smile of snow-cool fire. However, being free from headache, I have made a fine thing out of it.

There doesn’t seem to be any improvement in the medical atmosphere, Sir!

None. Even all the three Doctors gave the example of getting ferociously ill! The city population follow মহাজনো গতো যেন পন্থা48

By the way, I hope you received my prayer for poetry and your poetic chord was touched.

I did, but my Muse refused to work.

Dr. Becharlal says that a sadhak would be better for work in the Dispensary, as a servant won’t be able to do the nursing work.

[Mother:] Do you have some name to suggest?

[Sri Aurobindo:] Arjava is insisting on having paraffin oil in stock in the Dispensary (it appears there is none) to be available in case of (his stomach’s) emergency. Ask Rajangam to procure it.


October 14, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Arjava has finished 1 lb. of paraffin in 15 days! ... I don’t know any emergency requiring paraffin so badly. It is not emergency, but his continuous consumption that we have to see about...

[Mother:] All the same you can buy the paraffin – – – –

We have no name to suggest for our helper, as it is very difficult to choose. I think whomever you send will be good.

[Mother:] Just now I see nobody whom I can send, but someone may turn up.

Guru, I almost wanted to stop writing as my recent poems turned out unsatisfactory either due to my head or due to the study of modern English verses.

You are too easily discouraged. Such drops in the Inspiration are inevitable when one constantly writes poetry.

But why should the study of verses have a wrong influence?

It depends on what you are studying. There are verses and verses.

Today’s poem won’t fare any better, I fear.

It is better.


October 15, 1938

Can a “closed door” seal anything?

No – never did.

You say I am easily discouraged. Oh Lord! in spite of my heroic pulling on, you say that?

Heroic in spite of easy and frequent discouragement.

However, please give me a few names of poets – especially modern poets, whom I should study.

In what sense modern?


October 16, 1938

By “modern poets” I meant those of the 20th century, i.e. writers who have made a name and are trying to do something new.

I have very little familiarity with the names of modern poets subsequent to A.E. & Yeats and De La Mare, all of whom you know. There are about a hundred of them moderns, Spender + x + y + z + p2 etc. Before that they were Hopkins and Fletcher and others and before that Meredith and Hardy and Prancis Thompson. You can tackle any of them you can lay your hands on in the library. Watson and Brooke and other Edwardians & Georgians would not be good for you.


October 17, 1938

[After making the corrections in my poem:49]

Ahem! What do you say to that? It seems to me that between us we have produced something remarkable.

After being poised, how can anything travel, and with eagle-wings at that?

But that is what the eagles do. They beat their wings to give themselves an impulsion and then sail for some time with wide wings poised on the air.

I find that I have written about 186 poems from March to August, of which only 15 are “exceedingly fine”.

15 poems exceedingly fine in 6 months! It is a colossal number!

But in any case, compared to last year’s poems, there has been a very satisfactory progress, I think. What do you say?



October 18, 1938

15 – a colossal number! Joking? I am tempted to say like Monodhar – “I beg to differ with you in this respect.”

Not at all; quite serious. If you take the short lyrics and sonnets (not longer poems) of great poets like Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, how many are there of the first class written in a whole lifetime? Thirty or forty perhaps at the outside. And you have written 15 in 6 months.


October 22, 1938

Ah, here am I again! You had three days’ respite, no more, Sir! Now you will have to scratch your head to find the right words and expressions!

I don’t need to scratch my head – I have only to look at it from above and the words bubble up of themselves – at once or after a time. When they don’t, all the scratching in the world is of no avail.

I don’t expect anything great here, for the head is dry, mind is weary and the soul languorous, so?

Well, it isn’t either dry or weary or languorous.


October 24, 1938

After a long time my old self is trying to assert itself: lethargy, depression, ennui, lack of interest in everything, aftermath of fever!

Obviously – a stage of it like the rash – a sort of psychological dengue-fall.


October 25, 1938

When one will take up my file of poems and turn over the pages, he will be sick of these poor repetitions. And yet I don’t know how to avoid them. I admit that in daily writing this is bound to happen, still it annoys me!

Well, naturally, if the book had to be published, a selection would have to be made. But as you are writing in order to open yourself more to the source of full inspiration, it doesn’t matter so much.


October 27, 1938

Guru, you say that I have “a much greater mastery of expression” now; that’s something. I am now trying to read some English poems of poets suggested by you.

Which of them?

I have doubts here about the lines 4, 7, 12 and the last.

[“Whence leaps the splendour of the Infinite”,

“My human heart begins to understand”,

“The secret Truth hidden in thy heart’s sphere”,

“Upon the sombre shore of memories”.]

They seem to be simple!

My dear sir, these lines are simply exquisite (simply in both senses) – all four indeed, precisely because they are so simple that the emotion and experience go straight through without a veil.

You asked me to read Hardy, Spender, Meredith, Hopkins, besides De la Mare, A.E. and Yeats ... But how will Meredith and others help? Their poetry has nothing in common with ours, except the turn of expression, if that’s what you mean. Please tell me whom I should take up first and how I should proceed.

[No reply.]


October 28, 1938

Guru, you will find in Satya’s letter a doubt that you don’t read their letters!

The doubt is whether the letters reach me – they reach me all right; do they imagine that Nolini intercepts letters? What the devil does this N mean by saying that Mother has asked her to wait there.

Mother is not in correspondence with her and never asked her to do anything.


October 29, 1938

[the Mother]

This rainy weather makes it difficult for me to go to the hospital. Shall I hire a rickshaw when necessary?

[The Mother underlined the last sentence.]



October 30, 1938

“Stubborn clay” – influence of Meredith?

Meredith? I don’t know. By the way, I forgot to answer your comments on your reading the other day [27.10.38]. I thought you wanted to read the modern poets in order to help your style, so I suggested the names. Naturally their substance has little kinship with the things we try to write. They say Thompson’s has, but I don’t know his poetry very well.

By the way, do you know why Arjava has stopped writing?

He wrote a beautiful poem the other day – but his inspiration has become fitful and far between.


October 31, 1938

Today I faithfully surrendered myself to inspiration, hence I can’t make any head or tail. I hope it has a head and a tail. But I fear, you will chop them off and replace them by something new. If by fluke you find the poem O.K., then please tell me what the 2nd and 3rd stanzas mean50.

Well, the result is very creditable and it has an obvious head even if there is no tail to make. It is only the irruption of the nightingale to which I object, as that is cheap and obvious. The first two stanzas are very fine; the second develops an admirable image. I don’t see what there is to explain in it. A sleep full of dreams, a fantasia of half-forgotten memories as it were, can be very well called “half-forgetful sleep”, and such a sleep filled with the importunities of dream-delight (a beautiful phrase) can very well seem like the vastness etc. What is there so difficult to catch in that? The 3rd stanza is also very fine with its idea of the dreams coming up from a mysterious or miraculous depth of nothingness into the silence of the sleep-trance, revealing all that was hidden darkly behind a veil – it is an admirably profound description of the happenings of deep sleep-samadhi. It seems to me perfectly plain, true and simple. But the nightingale won’t do; it spoils the depth of the utterance.

I didn’t want to read the modem poets only to help my style, but also to get acquainted with their various ways of expression. For instance Meredith says, “... to drill the stubborn earth to shape”. I would have hesitated a thousand times to use “stubborn” if I hadn’t seen its use.

Why? it is an admirably apt epithet in that place.

But while I profit in this way, I get an unconscious influence in other ways. Should I then drop reading these poets?

No, you should be able to read and profit by the beautiful language without losing your own inspiration.

Did I send an English poem of Dilip’s along with the Bengali ones yesterday?


November 1, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

No, you didn’t send me Dilipda’s English poem.

What the deuce has happened to it then? These dematerialisations are very annoying.

Tripura has a nutlike swelling just on the wrist. Looks like bursitis. I wonder if 7 or 8 hrs. of embroidery daily should not be somewhat curtailed.

[The Mother underlined “7 or 8 hrs.”]

[The Mother:] It seems to me also that it is too much and I have said so already several times.


November 2, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

[I sent Sri Aurobindo the typescript of his comment of 31.10.38, leaving a blank for a word I could not read.]

You have forgotten a word in the other poem. You will see a blank remains. Or you can’t make out your own writing? That’s fine, Sir!

The word looks like “fantasia” but I am not at all sure – it might be anything else. It is altogether irrational to expect me to read my own writing – I write for others to read, not for myself – it is their business to puzzle out the words. I try to read when I am asked, but I have to make a strong use of second sight with a mélange of intuition, reasoned conjectural speculation and random guessing.

Lila’s ankle is still swollen. Some pain on deep pressure and on walking. No fracture is likely. Would it be advisable to see it under screen?

[The Mother marked the last sentence with a vertical line.]

[The Mother:] Yes.


November 3, 1938

Guru, this poem51 is so simple (and bare at places?) that I fear it approaches flatness.

Well, sir – well, sir – well, sir! I force myself not to break out into strong and abusive language; but really, really, you must mend your defective sense of poetic values. This is another triumph. You must have had, besides the foiled romantic, a metaphysical poet of the 17th century latent in you who is breaking out now from time to time. Donne himself after having got relieved in the other world of his ruggedness, mannerisms and ingenious intellectualities, might have written this poem.

In English does “journey to God” mean anything?

It means everything.


November 4, 1938

I am afraid it will take me some time to mend my defective sense of poetic values. I am too much imbued with 17th century influence! Perhaps I would have appreciated this poem more, if it had been written by another person.

What influence? Nobody spoke of any influence.

The merits and defects of poetry remain the same whether written by oneself or another.

I had written the first line of this poem before [“With outstretched arms of prayer I cling to thee” ], but it didn’t stir you so much perhaps because, though beautiful, the necklace of which it was one jewel, wasn’t harmoniously beautiful?

Naturally – poetry is not a matter of separate lines – a poem is beautiful as a whole – when it is perfect each line has its own beauty but also the beauty of the whole.

But why metaphysical? Romantic, I understand. Where do you find metaphysics? I hate metaphysics! and who are these 17th century poets?

“Metaphysical poets of the 17th century school” is a standing description of the group or line of poets, Donne, Vaughan, Traherne, Herbert, Quarles, Crashaw and a number of others who wrote poetry of a religious and spiritual character – metaphysical here means that (truth beyond the physical) and has nothing to do with the “metaphysics” of Kant or Hegel or Bradley.


November 5, 1938

Please throw a glance over the names of the metaphysical poets – I couldn’t make out one name which I have underlined.

You seem to have got the names all right.

Have you really put 4 lines against

“Or a delicate tune out of the heart of a lyre

Borne by the magic air of eternity”?

I had missed them first, then I saw and stared and gulped – Really four?

The fourth line is a duplicate – it is really three.


November 6, 1938

Chandradeep wants an English poem of mine for Kalpataru magazine. Should I give it?

If you like, though it does not, I think, usually drop into poetry.

Last night I got stuck at every stanza and had to send you and Mother frequent S.O.S.’s to rescue me. Do you really receive these signals, or do your impersonal Forces intercept them and do the necessary?

As we receive some hundreds of such signals daily, we are obliged to be impersonal about it, otherwise we would have no time for anything else.


November 7, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, ah, now I see! That’s why my poems are not always uniformly super-successful or even successful, some being crippled, some mentally defective, some consumptive and so on. Only when your personal Force intervenes, they turn out miracles. I thought so, Sir, I thought so!

Man! Your explanation is too neat to be quite the thing.

5 has broken 2 eye-cups in 9 months! She wants another now.

[Mother:] You can give her one more.


November 8, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Beyond the flickering lamps of thought our mind

Soars like an eagle from height to greater height...”

An eagle flying beyond lamps! No, sir!

Guru, ah, what a difficulty I had in writing this poem52! And yet it is not satisfactory!

I am afraid not. As it stands it is a struggling failure. Now just look at my alterations and see how finely easy it was all the time! Wa Allah! It seems to me at the moment one of the finest poems we have yet written. Praise be!

Guru, you seem to be in a mood of swallowing all the Bengali poems – Dilip’s and NK’s. Mine too the same fa te? Please don’t swallow it, je vous prie.

Actually I had Dilip ready last night, but was too lazy to fish out your thing and put him inside you. Here he is now.

Have you any honey or shall we get it from the bazaar?

[Mother:] I have some. Shall send after a day or two.


November 9, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

This time, Sir, the poem53 looks to me damn fine. I know you will say, “Well, well!” – but we have very rarely agreed on any point! But does it really leave your plexus cold?

Very fine, yes, and perfect in expression; but I don’t know about damn fine, for that is a tremendous superlative. Such a solemn phrase should only be used when you write something equalling Shakespeare at his best.

Yes, Sir, your alterations appear extremely easy, but the fact that they didn’t come to me even after struggling breaths, proves them otherwise. Of course if I had been the Lord of all Inspiration, I would have told you the same thing. Anyway I am glad that “we” have achieved something. But do you still stick to your yesterday’s remark?

Well, my enthusiasm has abated a little except for the first 2 stanzas and line 3 of the third. The rest is not quite equal to the first two stanzas not having quite the same stamp of original authenticity. There is more in it of fine writing, which makes it less perfect. All the same it is very successful. Still some changes suggest themselves to me as necessary. Like that my first glow of appreciation begins to return, as the last 2 lines are so lifted up more naturally on the wave of what comes before. The “distances of air” and the “tune” brought in a wrong note and the “Are” of the 12th line is weak and does not convey the full significance.

Tripura’s finger is getting worse. We can’t stop the pus-formation. Shall we take her to the hospital?

[Mother:] I have no confidence in the people who are now in charge of the hospital. It would be better to consult Duraiswami’s friend Srinivas Rao who is at Cuddalore.


November 10, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

[Mother:] By mistake yesterday I wrote Bangalore54 when I meant Cuddalore. Srinivas Rao comes often here, that is why I mentioned his name.

Guru, “Shakespeare at his best”? The very name of Shakespeare makes my breath shake with fear, and to talk of equalling him at his best, oh, people will call me mad, Sir. If someone else had told me that, I would have called him mad! But I don’t know what to say to you! You stagger me so much!

Well, but look at logic. G.B.S. declares himself the equal, if not superior, of Shakespeare. You write better poetry than Shaw ever did (which is easy because he never wrote any). So you are the equal (if not the superior) of Shakespeare.

But, if I remember aright, some of my lines you have called “damn fine”! So?

Did I indeed? Then, logically, it must have been equal to the best of Shakespeare, otherwise it couldn’t have been so damned. This also is logic.

Now about this poem, I fear to ask you about the merit, as it is so simple, and written so easily.

Simplicity is not the test. There can be a supreme beauty of simplicity and there can be the opposite.


November 11, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Honey? [8.11.38]

[Mother:] Ask from Pavitra – He must have forgotten – I have told him the very same day to send a bottle to you.

Guru, not at all satisfied! nothing flashing!

Well, well, you are difficult to satisfy – It may not flash but it gleams all right.

Besides, you broke my power of judgment on yesterday’s poem which I thought was a triumph!

Well, perhaps I shall consider it a triumph if I read it again after six months. I won’t insist on Horace’s rule that in order to judge poetry rightly that has been newly written, you must keep it in your desk unseen for ten years and then read it again and see what you then think of it!

I give you the lines which you have called “damn fine”, Sir!

“While the whole universe seems to be a cry

To the apocalypt-vision of thy Name.”

Mm, yes, I can’t deny the fineness – but perhaps I ought not to have damned it without proper regard to Shakespeare.

I know your enthusiasm will abate now, and perhaps you will only say, “Yes, they are very satisfying!”

Why do you object to a poem being called satisfying? It is high praise.

Or you will say that yesterday’s “damn fine” can’t be equal to today’s, what? I find your remarks exceedingly mysterious, which justifies your being a “Mystery-Man”!

Which remarks? On Shakespeare? They were logical, not mystic.

What about the poem I requested you to write? No head or tail?

Which poem?


November 12, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Which poem?” indeed! My poem I requested you to rewrite, Sir!

Oh that! It is still in cold storage. No flame as yet for cooking it.

“I gain the summit of thy loneliness

In whose vast spaces like an eagle I dwell

And drink from thy Spirit-cup a measureless

Delight, O Mystery inscrutable!”

– I hope you won’t say, “Drink like an eagle?”

I am afraid I have to – an eagle drinking in vast spaces from a cup is too extraordinary a phenomenon.

By the way, I am surprised to see that in spite of 3 marginal lines over the whole poem, you call it only “very fine”. Not a mysterious remark?

How is it mysterious? What do you expect three lines to come to then? Damn fine? That would be Shakespeare.

You seem to have told Doraiswamy that nobody has told you anything about Tripura. How is that? In yesterday’s report there was her condition stated!

[Mother:] I never said such a thing to Duraiswami. I simply asked him how Tripura was to-day.

Venkatram and Nagin continue the soup. Is it necessary?

[Mother:] They might be asked if they still want it.


November 14, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, three poems in one day! What do you think of it?


I am thinking of giving a little pāyas to a few friends on the occasion of my birthday [17th November]. It will be done on Thursday and not Saturday at Anilkumar’s place. But if you don’t approve of the idea, I will gladly give it up.

[Mother:] It is all right.


November 15, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

Guru, this is the 3rd poem I spoke of. I hope you will find it satisfying.


But I fear “Beauty” is coming too much in my poems.

Perhaps it had better be suspended for a time.

Do you find something new in most of my recent poems?


Or are they repetitions? The expressions and words are yet the same perhaps.

Well, many words and ideas appear frequently, but it does not give the impression of mere repetition.

If we prepare the Ayurvedic drug Sitopaladi here, one pound will come to Rs. 2/8; whereas the patent rate is Rs. 1/8. So shall we buy?

[Mother:] Yes.

I had a talk with Ravindra about preparing Ayurvedic drugs here. He asked me what were the drugs we required. I replied that we didn’t require any particular ones, but we now and then tried preparing some, following the directions on the labels. Moreover we find that whatever Ayurvedic drugs we indent, are contributed by somebody from Alembic. It is only when our stock gets exhausted in the middle of the year, that we have to buy.

He says it is not worth while to prepare any drug less than 10 pounds at a time, which is a huge quantity and runs a risk of getting spoiled. So, I think, under the circumstances we have to give up the project.

[Mother:] Yes.


November 16, 1938

Guru, I wrote this poem today. It gave me such a damn thrill that I thought I must share it with you tonight. don’t you think the thrill is justified?

The thrill but not the damn.

It seems tomorrow’s affair is going to be a regular feast. But this is the last one.


November 17, 1938

Guru, Chand writes to me to ask your opinion on the “tampering with figures”. Can there be any opinion? Really, I don’t know what to do with this fellow. But I suppose in worldly life such things are necessary?

Not in the worldly life, but perhaps in the Corporation life. All this promises a bad look out when India gets purna Swaraj. Mahatma Gandhi is having bad qualms about Congress corruption already. What will it be when purna Satyagraha reigns all over India?


November 18, 1938

[A note from the Mother:]



Have no fear, it is not because of your feast that the pranam was stopped and I shall give you your interview to-morrow.

with love and blessings.


November 19, 1938

Guru, I am afraid nothing great is here; all old stuff and expressions rather poor.

I have changed the order of the last stanza’s lines, making the first, part of the passion affair and not of the tranquillities. Also I have made slight changes everywhere. I rather fancy the resulting “stuff” – not poor, I think. I am inclined to give it three cheers, I mean three lines.

Dilipda asks me to inform you that K is a little sad to hear that he has to stay out. He is coming here for good.

Is he? Has he got permission for that? I thought it was only for darshan.

Is it not possible to give him a room? If not, would it be advisable to share mine with him till Mother can give him a room?

Mother has no separate room for him, but if Hiren Bandhu wants to share his room with K, that can be done. You have not to share your room with K.


November 20, 1938

[Sri Aurobindo and the Mother]

“Creation born from his motionless delight ...”

Motionless delight? Have you experienced it, Sir?

Of course. Why on earth shouldn’t delight be motionless? What kind of delight should the immutable Brahman have, for instance, if not an immobile delight?

[Dilip’s telegram:] “Nirod Asram Pondicherry Arriving tomorrow evening train Heldil”.

Guru, this is from Dilipda – Heldil is not he, of course. But who is it then? Can your Supramental Intuition solve it? But mine has: it is H of Hashi, e of Esha, l of Lila,– Dil of course, you know. What do you think, Sir, of my Intuition? He perhaps thought he would beat us!

I don’t see how he could with the Dil there to illume the Hel.

Sanjiban has pain in the throat: tonsillitis and pharyngitis. I don’t know if I should give him any gargle, as I understand you like to leave things more to Nature.

[Mother:] In some cases gargles can be quite useful.


November 21, 1938

So Dilipda is coming tomorrow morning... I shall be obliged to minimise my contact with him as X will be there most of the time. Dilipda doesn’t know perhaps that we have no connection at all; but of course he will know from others.

Well, if he finds out from others, he ought to understand and if he doesn’t you can explain to him the situation.


November 22, 1938

Guru, I couldn’t give much time today, as I was all the time thinking of finishing the poem, to catch your train! I hope it is not altogether a bad business, what? Most of it looks like repetition.55

It may be repetition but is an exceedingly fine repetition. I was going to say “damned” but Shakespeare only withdrew the expletive. Lines 4-6, also to a less degree lines 11-12 have an overhead accent in their substance and turn of expression. If you go on like that, some day you may find yourself writing overhead poetry without knowing it.

About yesterday’s poem56, I dreamt that it was exceedingly fine – only a dream!

But who said it wasn’t?

I am sorry I don’t understand where you get “lower and supreme consciousness” in yesterday’s poem, nor how you make “magic bars separate” them...

I don’t get these things anywhere “in” the poem – naturally, because the poem is not a treatise on metaphysics or spiritual philosophy, but only a series of mystic images, but I get it “from” the poem. You asked what was the meaning and I gave you what I gathered from it or, if you like, what it would have meant if I had written it. But anyone can put another intellectual version to it, if he likes.

Bars usually divide something and as they can’t very well be dividing the Spirit or supreme Being itself, it must be dividing the supreme from the lower, especially as you have shadow-spaces of sky immediately afterwards filling with transparent peace which can only come from the removal of the “lid” well-known to shut mind from what is beyond mind. Especially as there is an infinity of “thought”, the sky must be the sky of mind and mind is part of the lower (non-supreme) consciousness. If that is not the meaning, I am damned if I know what the meaning can be – at any rate, if there is any other, it surpasses my capacity and range of spiritual or occult knowledge. As for the superconscient, the Supreme is the superconscient, so that there can be no doubt of that – the tranquil spirit’s deep and the beatitude of sleep are not part of the ordinary consciousness but can only come in the superconscient or by the meeting of the superconscient and subconscient. You speak of Nature being a song of eternity which it can’t be (its roots being in the subconscient) unless there is the meeting of the superconscient and subconscient – the latter being a part of the fathomless deep of the spirit. That meeting is effected through the subtle or inner planes and the inarticulate prayer can only be the aspiration that rises from inconscient and half-conscious Nature calling for the union. That’s all.

Complete Index to Volumes 1 and 2

Abyssinia, 564, 584, 595, 597, 604, 702

Achilles, 249

Action/Activity, 83-4, 132 and right spirit, 1108 as part of sadhana, 41

danger in every great attempt, 29, 94

fluctuating eternally, 683, 684

three sources of, 252

see also Works; Karmayoga

Adhar Das, 341-3

Aeschylus, 355, 779, 780

Affection, human, see Love, human affection

Agarwal, R.S., 1065


killing mosquitoes etc., 339

truth of, 225-6, 230

Allopathy, see Homeopathy, and allopathy

Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna), ix, 333, 402, 403, 453, 493-4, 507, 516, 895, 909, 911, 929, 930, 931, 944, 945, 970, 982, 991, 1070, 1071, 1102

America, 499, 789

Amrita, 920

Anacreon, 1070

Ananda, 98, 277, 482, 637, 774

Brahmananda, 793, 794, 795

Brahman’s immutable delight, 1186

experience of, 36, 52, 53, 54, 71, 461, 560-1

and lower nature, 304

of existence, 279

source of all pleasures, 795

see also Happiness

Ananda [disciple of Buddha], 256

Anecdotes, incidents and illustrations,

Antigonus accepts death to save his son, 1061

ass into elephant, 133, 136, 137

a Tamilian and Nirod at the pier, 684

badger in its hole, 532

British Medical Council refusing validity to Sir Herbert Barker’s cure, 427

chess: move in, 150; pawns in, 312

child of 9: Vice Chancellor, 454

chisel’s pride in being used by sculptor, 363

cleaning nose with string and with water, 996

Communist in a Nazi concentration camp, 482, 756

dog pulling at his leash, 848

dried liver case, Mother’s acquaintance, 1013

egg and hen, 308

“Go to the ant...”, 852

guidance: to Chandulal and Punjalal, 885; to General Miaja, 885-6

Guru Govind Singh and Pathan boy, xi

Japanese agriculturist, barren land, 147

labelling or dissecting a symbol, 763

Mahapurush with a woman for 3 years, 75

mountains in labour, 398

mulish sadhika, 317-8

murder of Muse, 399

Muslim fanatic, 349

Nazi mob in action, 311-2

open-air zoos, 323

opening up a man for “Appendix”, 434, 437

Parsi with debts, 8

Pavitra, Khitish and the bother, 920

reaching the top without Guide, 143

rejuvenation by monkey-glands, 191, 195

sadhika attacked by a ruffian, 45-6

saving life of a mosquito, 340

Simpson’s discovery of chloroform, 314

sorting sheep from goats, 363

Sri Aurobindo’s grandfather and cousin, 429, 695-6

Sri Aurobindo’s uncle’s daughter, 129

Sultan of Johore ... shot the wrong man, 565-6

Sun’s rays of use to somebody, 172-3

system of lollipops, 543

unreal numbers in mathematics, 142

woman operated on for cancer, 346

Yuvarani’s visit, 663

see also Medical matters, (5)

Anger, 216-7, 223, 227, 748 see also Work, loss of temper in

Anilbaran Roy (A. B.), 276-7, 279, 280-2, 353-4, 518, 1062, 1102, 1110

Animal(s), 1058, 1120

and man, 323

Bushy, Ashram cat, 448, 466

cats fighting, 960

monkey-glands, 191, 195

sacrifices of, 339-40, 349, 397

Antigonus of Macedon, 1061

Arjava (J. Chadwick), 684, 775, 983, 1175

Arjuna, xi, 171, 256, 479-80

Art, 208, 352, 666

beauty and Ananda in, 774

finest, appreciation of, 448, 778

greatness of different branches of, 447-50

highest, to conceal art, 1152

taking up, with Mother’s approval, 245

Artist(s), 23, 261, 284, 394-5, 512, 745-6, 775

Arya Publishing House, 296-7, 301-2, 312-3, 812, 859-60, 899fn Arya [review], 77, 80, 86, 202, 369, 992

Ashram (Asram), Sri Aurobindo, 17, 481, 667, 887

accommodation in, 15, 549, 550-1, 632-3, 634, 636, 1007-8, 1009, 1186

and big people, xii, 285, 912, 1106-7, 1109-10

and common sense in, 156-7

and other Asrams, 348, 879, 1048

artists of, 512

atmosphere: a Force in, 307, 405, 750; and increase of numbers, 705; concentrated, 1048; disturbed, 210, 707; doubt and depression, 264, 271, 702, 705-6; gossip, 290; hostile forces, 221; hostile suggestions, 24; panic, 702, 704, 707, 708-9; peace, 653; rows, 602; sorrows. 263, 264-5; Sri Aurobindo’s presence, 313; suggestion of ghost, 724; vital forces, 45; vital troubles, 212, 271

cars, 1023

chances & possibilities, 221

changing people, 564-5

complaint about eating at home, 670

considerable ability and capacity in, 987

cyclo-mania, 510, 556

Darshan days, 20, 36, 55, 57, 58, 71, 134, 155, 156, 283, 289-90, 291, 315, 388-9, 499, 501, 502, 516-7, 660, 757-8, 759, 840, 984, 986, 1006-7; significance of 24th November, 293-5, 320

death in, see Death, in Asram

departures from (leaving, going out of), 14, 19-20, 26-7, 51, 90, 120, 122-3, 133, 222, 243-4, 269, 297-8, 299-301, 302, 463, 468, 517, 518, 521, 551, 591-3, 725-6, 727-8, 852, 911-4, 1106-7, 1128-30, 1132; Mahakali’s intervention, 848; X’s bigness, 1106; X’s going out, 846-51, 856, 869, 1002

Dining Room (Aroumé), 43, 285-7, 580-1, 669-70, 918, 921, 948, 1060, 1069, 1087-8, 1140

Divine, not J, brought you here, 267-8

Divine realisation in, 80, 234, 593, 879; experiences that are summit of old yogas, 750, 879; living in Brahman Consciousness, 987, 993

doctors and faith, 705

epitome of human nature, xii-xiii, 93, 1047

establishing, at Pondicherry, 711

false notions in, 899

gate duty, 15, 17; talking, 1026

growth of capacities (poetry etc.) in, 69, 369-70, 459, 468, 491, 515, 543, 596-7, 600, 661, 678, 850, 1106

individual affairs, 408-11

many descents in old days, 209

object of, 1106

organisation of, by the Mother, vol. 2, vi-vii

patting rare, preaching more usual, 986

people in, and outside, 455, 716-7, 899-900, 1047

people pushing their way in, 122, 301, 551, 727, 1005

pocket money, 124

prestige of, 1105, 1108

protection, conditional, 45-6

sadhaks here, 74, 84, 92-3, 95, 139, 156, 157, 163, 189, 220, 221, 222, 233, 237-8, 267, 285, 287-8, 304, 348, 393, 401, 485, 541-2, 544-5, 611, 653, 704, 705, 740, 748, 879, 986-7, 1047, 1048

sex-force in, 1000, 1001-2, 1004, 1015

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and, target of public criticism, 985, 1049-50, 1108

survives and grows, 912, 1107

uprush of mud ... promise of better things, 220

view of a well-known atheist, 1049-50

what a mad Asram!, 238

why revelation of inner story, xii

what a museum!, 1081

Aspiration, 31, 36, 48, 67, 73, 216, 217, 315, 346, 347, 479, 606, 628, 754, 823, 870, 902

for poetry, 25, 47-8, 50, 62, 217, 641, 840, 841; demand on the source of poetry, 835, 836-7, 839, 841

for Supermind, 215-6, 219-20

nourishing, 72

(prayer) for patient’s cure, 121, 681

Atman, 81, 82, 276

Attachment, double, 730

Augustine, St., 347

Aurobindo Bose, 290

Aurobindo, Sri, see Sri Aurobindo

Avatar, 140-1, 151, 197, 739, 1117

can a Muthu, Tom or Dick be changed into an Avatar?, 140, 147, 148

death and failure of, 168-9, 170, 175, 229

finding fault with predecessors, 223-4, 225

his example and humanity, 135, 138-9, 148-50, 166-77, 351

sufferings and struggles of, 165, 169, 174-5, 176, 177, 739

working of, 224, 226-7

see also Humour, (1); Sri Aurobindo, (5)

Badoglio, Pietro, 607

Bahaullah, 126

Balzac, Honoré de, 50, 366

Bande Mataram [anthem], 487

Bankim Chandra Chatterji, 487

Barin (Barindra Kumar Ghosh), 102-3, 374

Barker, Sir Herbert, 427

Baron, F., 829, 834, 836, 837, 838, 1097

Bates, Dr. W. H., 577

Baudelaire, Charles, 817, 818, 828, 829, 830

Baxter, Richard, 1146

B. Babu, 329, 985-6

Becharlal, Dr. (Dr. B), 103, 104, 125, 305, 306

Bedlam, 1038

Beecham, Sir Thomas, 448


better, getting a, 243

division in, 270, 614, 725

double, 97-8, 300

hypocrisy in, 725-6, 727-8

made of many parts, 650; see also Nirodbaran, (8): different parts of

true, will prevail, 614

see also Central being; Psychic being; Surface being

Bejoykrishna Goswami, 75, 218, 219

Benjamin, 556, 742

Bhakta, 530, 531

Bhakti, 80, 238

vital, emotional, 222-3

Bhishma [Pitamah], 349

Bible, 506

Bilwamangal, 347, 364

Binyon, Lawrence, 404, 505

Blake, William, 448, 631, 635, 636, 640, 763-4, 770, 776, 780, 801, 831

Body, 11-2, 431, 732, 884

and soul, 81, 488, 560, 739

exercise and weight, 578, 580

gross and subtle, and

chakras, 560-1

liberation from body-consciousness, 81, 192-3

response of, to the Force, 181, 193, 200, 381, 385, 445, 613, 620, 881, 1054

Brahmacharya, 391-2

Brahman consciousness, 987, 991-2, 993

living in, necessary condition for supramental descent, 992

Brunton, Paul, 483, 557, 673

Buddha, 107, 114, 115, 117, 152, 167, 169, 172, 173, 218, 219, 256, 334, 343, 575, 576, 738-9, 859, 1049

action on disciples, 335

Christ and, 235-6

death of, 169, 229, 738-9

denial of God, 224, 229

doctrine of Ahimsa, 225-6, 229, 230

Ramakrishna and, 224, 235

Buddhist sadhana, 229, 311, 334-5

Buddhist teaching, 226, 979-80

Byron, Lord George, 280, 1146

Calm, 11, 36, 750, 754-6

like a Daniel, 852

see also Peace; Silence

Catullus, Gaius Valerius, 779

Central being, 303

adventure of, 277

and harmonisation, 97, 650, 651

getting into touch with, 652

Centres (chakras), 560

Chaitanya, 170, 172, 218, 219, 256, 343

Champaklal, 228-9

Chamberlain, Neville, 1157

Chand (C), 53, 75, 289, 291, 307, 308, 524-5, 540, 541, 590, 806, 838, 866-7, 890, 898, 900-1, 904, 983, 989-90, 996, 1037, 1042, 1051, 1057, 1058, 1063, 1068, 1080-1, 1118, 1121, 1154-5, 1157, 1162, 1185

Chandulal Shah, 87, 121

Change, 644, 726, 1105, 1106, 1108-9

of hostile mind, 16

of humanity, 303, 564-5

outward, 745, 750;

see also Nature, human, change of see also Supramental change

Charles IX (of France), 1039

Charu, 1087

Chaucer, Geoffrey, 498

Cheerfulness, 33, 68, 110, 605, 618, 754, 756, 923; gladness, 523


infant mortality in India, 884

purgative to, 875, 883-4, 892

with rare gift, and elders, 599-600

Christ, 137, 152, 165, 167, 172, 173, 234, 235, 236, 576, 843, 914, 1047

Coincidence, 147, 313, 1059

Columbus, Christopher, 143

Compassion, 226, 229, 334

Concentration, 11, 40, 459

and work, 78, 79, 80

before sleep and after rising, 8-9

on the Divine, 679, 872, 873

packed ... striped, 607

see also Meditation

Confidence (self-confidence), 33

doctors’ success and, 361, 384, 420, 421, 422, 426, 428, 433, 570, 824, 825, 894, 1065

Confucius, 575, 576

Consciousness, 3, 991

a concrete thing, 1063

environmental, 252

fall of, and remedy, 37

gets cut up into two, 227

growth of, and opening of capacities, 204

intuitivising the operations of, 1067

social, 301, 302

supramental change of, is vital, 704

see also Dream-consciousness; Inner consciousness; Physical consciousness; Surface consciousness

Conrad, Joseph, 505, 506, 508

Coué, Emile, 1053-4

Courage, 168, 684, 685, 708

Cousins, James, 746, 749, 1146

Cowardice, 92, 684-5, 687

Cowper, William, 1146

Creation, see Manifestation

Criticism, 1065

(dispute) and lecture, 846, 964

literary, 214, 240, 404, 492, 745-6, 809-10, 1147-8

of others (paranindā), cause of, 233-4

of the Mother, 234, 411, 733, 1088, 1090, 1108

public, 216-7, 1108, 1118, 1122

see also Sri Aurobindo, (5): criticism against

C.V.Raman, 313, 314

Dante Alighiori, 926, 1046

Danton, G., 186

Datta (Dorothy Hodgson), 294, 295, 373, 374

Death, 168-9, 248, 812, 1061

conquest of, 189, 193-4, 702-4, 712-3

immunity from, 194-5

in the Asram, 188-9, 697, 702-3, 1027

recession of, 189

those who died had to die, 1027

warding off, 694, 712, 713

see also Vital, the, becoming ghost, after death

De la Mare, Walter, 404, 505


and despair, remedies for, 17, 47, 71, 156, 185, 231, 232, 243, 338, 376-7, 390, 399, 573, 605, 649, 854, 984-5

and opposite forces, 533

and T. B., 698-9

contagious, 6, 7, 264

opening to nightmares, 23

see also Despair; Dilip, depression; Man of Sorrows; Nirodbaran, (2)

Descartes, René, 307

Descent (of Light, Power, etc.), 36, 98, 104, 129, 210, 660, 700, 902

all “lacks” will be removed by, 678

and dark Force, 720

and fear, 718, 719, 721, 728, 734; see also Experience (s), and fear

and illness, 718, 720-1

and sex, 555; see also Supramental descent, and sex-force

and uprush of subconscient mud, 220, 221, 242, 246, 265, 287-8, 389, 502

“blocky” feeling in, 647, 651; feeling it like rain or fall of snow, 533, 555

determining causes of, 36

giving peace in cells, even if body ill, 752-3

horizontal, 700

see also Experience (s), of descent of Power; Supramental descent

Despair, 45, 75, 176

and suicide, 53, 265, 748, 749

doesn’t help, 215, 870

remorse useless, 399

shake off the hump, 232, 461

wailing, 94, 943, 975

worrying no good, 215 see also Depression; Nirodbaran, (3)

Destiny, see Fate

Detachment, 47, 59, 606, 646, 657-8

Devil, 154-5, 172, 680

Dharma, 226, 570

Diana, 107

Dickens, Charles, 50, 156, 366, 681, 682

Difficulties, see Yoga, and difficulties; Life, misfortunes in

Dilip Kumar Roy (D), 69, 73, 290, 504, 514, 515, 517, 580, 618, 640, 667, 689, 728, 770, 829, 831, 954, 985, 1048, 1049, 1054, 1062, 1100, 1104, 1118, 1119, 1180

depression, 156, 510, 516-7, 623, 660, 721, 749

Man of Sorrows, 649, 656

hyper-sensitive, 526, 746-7, 1047

Mother’s remarks about, 546

Tagore’s description of, 369, 661

see also Nirodbaran, (3): affiliation and differences with Dilip; Nirodbaran, (7): and Dilip; Poetry, (1): Dilip’s

Disease, see Medical matters, (3)


twisting round one’s own, 790

see also Nirodbaran, (3): about...

Divine, the (God etc.), 49, 267-8, 564, 739, 1117, 1151

and old vital moorings, 278, 622

“As people approach me”, 545

bears the world-burden, 175, 176; endures burden of human nature, 169

coming down of, 138-9, 169

concentration on, 679, 872, 873

(divinity) in man, 173-4, 175, 176-7

does not recede, 32

D’s treatment of, 517, 602; X’s treatment of, 593-4, 964, 1002

establishing possibilities of, 303

fit instrument of, 219; see also Force, instrumentation

for the Divine’s sake, 344

Impersonal, 229, 477

leads us through sorrow and suffering, 276-7

love for, see Love

not many, 477, 479

particular about contagion, 540-1

prayer for, 822

protection of, 532; see also Ashram, protection ...; Sadhana, and hostile forces ...

rasa of, 72

response of: to aspiration, 479; to prayers, 73, 542, 545

seeing, everywhere, 872

seeking, 33, 65-6, 92, 231, 344, 528, 529-31, 964

separation of soul from, 333

smiles equally on all, 551

success and failure of, 137; see also Divine omnipotence, and conditions ...

soul’s turning towards, 303, 454

turning one’s back on (kicking), 28, 465, 468, 532, 728

understanding the working of, 269-70, 277, 312, 675, 680, 886, 897

see also Doubt, in the Divine

Divine action,

and sadhak’s surface consciousness, 275

method of, 128-9, 337-8

Divine Force, see Force, the

Divine Grace (Grace), 468

action of, 118, 119, 142, 147

defects and, 53; see also Yoga, and fitness ...

effort and, 459, 460, 461, 465-8, 469, 471

necessity of aspiring to get, 48; see also Divine Presence, necessity to...

soul and, xiv-xv, 461, 465, 580

state of, 48, 465 see also Doubt, in the Divine or Grace

Divine Love,

bearing the pressure of, 209

universal and a special relation, 256-7, 258-9

Divine omnipotence, 27, 29, 896

and conditions of the game, 109, 128-9, 131, 133, 136-8, 140, 141-2, 146, 602, 768

and latency theory, 145-8, 151-4

“He makes the dumb talk”, 147

Muthu into an Avatar, 136, 139, 140, 141, 142, 146-7, 150

Divine Power, see Descent (of Light, Power, etc.); Force, the

Divine Presence, 316

experience of, 53, 81, 870-3

necessity to concentrate and call the, 872; see also Divine Grace, necessity of

Divine realisation (Realisation), 86, 217-8, 455

and a liar, 1109

and supramental realisation, 215-6

complete, Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo on, 624

through love or through knowledge, 235-7, 239-41

through work, 77-80, 84-6

yoga realisation, 132

see also Ashram, Divine realisation in; Realisation

Doctor (s), see Medical matters, (2)

Donne, John, 938, 1050, 1147, 1177, 1178

Doraiswamy, S., 1105, 1109, 1110

Doubt, 33, 176, 333, 639, 707, 750, 752, 872

in the Divine or Grace, doing everything, 457, 458, 459, 465-6

see also Nirodbaran, (8): doubt

Dreams, 248, 686, 1005

discrimination in, 244

on vital plane, 13-4, 48-9, 54, 63, 163, 163-4, 264, 368, 481, 640, 663, 760, 772, 828, 832, 1138 see also Nirodbaran, (4)

Dream-consciousness, 829, 831-2, 838

D.S. (Esculape), 90, 93-4, 99, 104, 108, 122, 193

see also Medical matters, (5): D.S. (Esculape)

Durga, 66, 229, 299

and Asuras, 226

Duryodhan, 137

Effort, personal, 47, 542

and reliance; 64, 65-6, 67, 215, 269, .458-9, 461

and use of will, 42, 651, 659, 1129

Divine Grace and, 459, 460, 461, 465-8, 469, 471

Force and, 370-1, 512-6, 611-2, 659, 776, 867

Herculean, 459, 460, 466, 467, 513, 604

in Buddhism, 229, 334, 335

liking not enough, get the thing done, 316

place of, in poetry, 774; see also Inspiration, waiting for, and effort; Poetry, (1): place of ...

sadhana and, 243, 522, 651, 865

without demand of result, 522

Ego, 341, 514

clash of, 408-11

effacement of, 85, 339, 406, 594

exaggerated, 440-1

Intuition and, 358, 363, 364

of bigness, 123, 330-1, 332, 337, 364, 384-5, 724, 746, 861

of instrument, 363

poetry and, 405, 407, 865, 867

rajasic and tamasic, 332, 461

sadhana and, 28, 85, 258, 304, 344, 411, 465, 468, 519, 520, 605, 858, 860, 1089, 1126

Egypt, 673-4

Eliot, T.S., 507

Einstein, Albert, 205, 287, 993

English language, 161, 405


and language, 507

Essays on the Gita, 151, 340

Europe, 187, 198, 323, 437, 446, 596, 653, 914, 949-50

Evolution, 348, 392

earthly, 139, 148, 624-5

psychic being and, 140, 308-9, 311, 329, 333

Experience(s), spiritual, 123, 183, 514, 724-5

and fear, 11, 735, 736-7; see also Descent

and Herculean labour, 460

and married life, 476

and over-reading, 52-3

and significance, 760

and stillness (stabdhatā), 67-8, 603, 655, 735-6

and subtle body, 561, 760

and widening, 69, 97, 503

belittling, 23, 53, 66-7; doubt about, 872

complaints about, 458, 503, 594, 601-2, 879, 956

conditions for gaining, 755

feeling in, see Descent, “blocky” feeling ...

gets shut off, 71, 461, 603, 878-9

in intermediate zone, 90, 519-20

in meditation, 67, 81, 91, 104

judging, from description, 719, 721

let it grow, 872-3

like gold crown on pig’s head, 677-8

love for the Divine before, 528, 529-31

mystical, 793, 794

of Ananda, 36, 52, 53, 54, 71, 461, 560-1

of ascent to Infinite and descent to Muladhar, 750

of cosmic Force ... feeling of being clutched by the Divine, 455

of descent of Power, 555; see also Descent

of divided mind, 72-3

of going inside, 91, 104, 725

of liberation, 73, 81, 192-3

of peace, 23, 52-3, 601

of people outside and of Asramites, 455

of pervading Presence, 53, 81, 870-3

of rays trying to pierce the brow, 261

of samadhi, 104, 735-6

of Self, 367-8, 530, 560

of silence, 72, 81

of warm touch on forehead, 390-1

reason for not coming, 72, 603, 755

relief of pressure by ..., 104, 871

settling of, 74, 205-6, 503-4

speaking of, 324, 878-9, 898

Sri Aurobindo’s visit, 82

subjective sense of, 872

testing the, 81

trirkle of, 460, 461

versus more important things, 22, 289

willed by the Divine, 49

see also Sri Aurobindo, (1): experiences

Faith (belief), 137, 158, 177, 460, 508, 530, 652, 705, 755, 851, 870

and difficulties, 33, 278

and sadhana, 33, 208, 323-4, 459, 572, 625, 912, 1101

in the Force, 428, 429, 431, 572, 612

living, and death, 703, 713

of doctor, 121, 422, 426, 428, 431

of patient, 345-6. 385, 431, 707, 1125

Falstaff, 500, 671

Fame, 25, 70, 217, 224, 483, 646, 1107

Fate (destiny, luck), 432, 581, 674-5, 733

Fear, 34, 213, 685, 737, 738, 775, 999

and anger at the same time, 960

and illness, 619, 738, 951

call the Mother in, 736

descent and, 718, 719, 721, 728, 734

experiences and, 11, 735, 736-7

in concentration, 11

in dreams, 13-4, 54

Flowers, see Mother, the, flowers given by

Food (diet), 34, 91, 272-3, 431, 565, 648, 672, 800, 977, 1003, 1093

and sadhana, 18, 37-8, 53-4, 54-5, 58, 76-7, 108-9, 204, 274-5, 538, 859, 729-30

and whim, 627, 628

coconut, green, 957

curry 884; pot-au-feu, 791-2, 796

eggs, 523-4, 613

Indian “moon” superstition, 360, 361

Indians and Europeans, 796

onions, 1010-1

pān-supāri, 785-6

soup, 124, 617-8, 627, 1024, 1025, 1091, 1134

tea and sadhana, 6-7, 16, 18, 33, 34, 37, 58, 59-60, 62, 162, 163, 213-4, 227-8, 302, 710, 878

see also Medical matters, (8): Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s care ...

Force, the (Divine or spiritual Force), 129, 315, 316, 579, 580, 884

action of, 36, 128-9, 130, 131, 132, 306, 337-8, 372, 480, . 626, 639-40, 673, 750, 755, 894-8, 957-8; and exact knowledge of circumstances, 182, 626; behind the veil, 647, 648, 753; on the subconscient, 1048; without physical contact, 478

and departures from the Ashram, 856, 913

and harmonisation, 199, 201

and intuition, 907

and Knowledge, 645

and knowledge of its working, 886, 894, 897; see also Divine, the, understanding the working of

and personal effort, 370-1, 512-6, 611-2, 659, 776, 867

and Supramental Force, 713-4

and Supramental Nature, 192

application of, its efficacy and success, 596, 906-7

applying, in work, 87, 99-100

bringing down, 99-100, 678, 680-1

calling for, and being heard, 508-9, 595, 617, 678, 679, 681, 1040, 1170, 1179; see also Mother, the, calling; Work, calling in ...

canalisation of, 673, 677, 679

communication of, 596, 896-8

contact with, 475-6, 478, 480, 595-6, 662

cure by, (or Sri Aurobindo’s Force), xiii-xiv, 67, 118, 119, 120, 122, 128, 157, 181, 182, 183, 211-2, 249, 284, 345-6, 380-1, 385-6, 422-3, 443, 445, 481, 520, 524, 613, 615, 617, 618, 619, 714, 724, 731, 737, 760, 853, 874-5, 973, 975, 1094; and body’s response, 181, 193, 200, 381, 385, 445, 613, 620, 881, 1054; and critical antagonism, 510, 701; and illness of skin, hair, etc., 999; and infants, 880-1; and need of accurate report, 200, 379, 382; and need of diagnosis, doctors and medicines, 120-1, 182, 200-1, 384, 385, 420, 438, 440, 647; and opening, 345, 1014; and receptivity, 67, 119, 881; and resistance of the subconscient, 1053; and right or wrong medicine, 187, 384, 385, 422, 645; prevents the working of, 812, 1014; three ways of, 200-1; through symptoms, 200, 420, 425, 436, 737; see also Medical matters, (3): cure of...

descent of, see Descent

Divine, and Yogic-Force, 129, 132

faith in, see Faith

general operation of, 130, 133-4, 896-8

in Asram atmosphere, 307, 405, 750

instrumentation (mediumship), 121, 128, 129, 260, 261, 337, 419, 421, 436; rajasic man, 568-9; sattwic man, 571; requisites and defects of a medium, 429-30, 897

intervention of, 129, 524; see also Mahakali

joy of being used by, 44

not miraculous, 128, 337; see also under Divine omnipotence

pulling down, 208, 701, 718, 720, 724, 726

wrong Force, 906

see also Sri Aurobindo, (3): application of his Force...; Supramental Force; Yoga-Force


and germs, 738

and suggestions, 24, 30, 724, 734

opposing, 906

play of, 121, 252, 268, 269, 270, 300, 306, 312, 313-4, 315, 317, 329-30, 334, 532, 698, 733, 906

ready to answer a call, 520

see also Hostile force (s)

Francis of Assisi, St., 173

Frankenstein, 298


individual, xiv, 325, 327, 409, 912

of India, 323, 325, 327, 329-30, 340-1, 1185

Free will (will), 28, 269, 270, 298, 300

French language, 777, 778, 780, 781

Freud, Sigmund, 247

Friendship, 267, 615, 963

Gandhi, Mahatma, 177, 624

Gandhian resistance, 228, 243, 532

qualms about Congress corruption, 1185

Genius, see Literary activity, geniuses

Gita [Srimad Bhagavad Gita], 256, 289, 807

Gods, 162, 299, 447-8, 565, 874, 1003, 1157

Goldsmith, Oliver, 405

Gosse, Edmond, 505, 506

Gossip, 233, 290

Govinda Das, 1141, 1150, 1151

Govind Singh, Guru, xi

Grace, see Divine Grace

Gratitude, 267, 374

Gray, Thomas, 779

Greatness (bigness),

and morality, 817

and spirituality, 171, 176, 224, 344, 1107, 1111

extraordinary powers and sincere heart, 301

question of, 141, 143, 312, 748, 779 see also Ego, of bigness

Hafez Shirazi, 1071

Happiness, 289, 290, 523, 750, 754

and sorrow in life, 279-80

motive power in life, 482-4, 486

the vast is the, 637

Harin (Harindranath Chatterji), 70, 404, 491, 839, 971, 982, 1076, 1079

Hathayogic processes, 996

Henry IV (of France), 685, 688

Heredity, 169, 203, 251, 253

Higgins, Captain John, 143

Hirendranath Dutt, 793-4

Hitler, Adolf, 210, 222, 508, 518, 553, 1156-7

Holmes, Sherlock, 536

Homeopathy, 586-7, 695, 696, 1014

and allopathy, 360-1, 383, 420, 423-8, 433-40

Homer, 885, 926, 929, 965-6, 970, 988, 1147

Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 779, 1037, 1038, 1172

Horace, 252, 662, 1182

Hostile force (s), 60, 112, 161, 324, 533, 675, 700, 736, 906, 911

and departures from Ashram, 913, 1129

and lower nature, 27-8

awareness of, 532-3

calling back, 28, 732

hostile suggestions, 24, 30, 724, 733-4

marks of, 28

opening to, 203, 221 “out of date”, 221

possession by, 203, 732, 1129 see also Sadhana, and hostile force (s)

Housman, A.E., 449, 491, 631, 763-4, 775, 781-2, 830, 833, 836, 1097

Hugo, Victor, 50

Hukumchand, 368

Human affection, see Love, human affection

Human nature, see Nature, human

Human relation, 276

see also Sadhana, relationship in

Humour, Sri Aurobindo’s,

(1) Avatar:

feeding on germs, 540-1

getting frightened, 197

irrational answers, 165, 177-8

Rolls Royce machine, 149

typescript, hibernating, 180, 184, 242, 243, 525, 715

(2) Medical:

abduction of a joint, 579

Achilles’ heel, 249

Allah is great, 826

Anglo-Indians, peg, 786-7

Artful Dodger, 1011

bare clothing, 354

“beaten” by a rat, 664

bottle to keep baby quiet, 1003

chart of fever temperature, 535-7, 555, 557

cod-liver oil: divine nectar, 676

counter-smoking injection, 258

cow dung handy, 157

dispensary to devil, 122

doctors: address in heaven, 378; angels!, 581, hit or miss, 119; human motorcars, 677; ill, 1170; throwing stones at a dog, 355

Durvasa, 456

eye-cases, optical illusion, 180

fallen stomach, angel, 990

“God moves in a mysterious way”, 179

God’s Force, Codein Phos!, 524

Golden Age: doctors – pooh!, 598

guinea-pig, luck for, 282, 284, 390

Hail, Reason, holy Light!, 186

hard to satisfy these people, 1007

injections into fountain-pens, 993-4

ladies wanting quick service, 799-800

medicine like Brahman, 185

Meibomian cyst, 182-3, 183-4

modern Mithridates!, 158, 160

Mother occupying the stomach, 710, 714

nothing without a cause, 908

“O apples, apples”, 1163

Pancrinol, 714

patients’ surrealist poetry. 847

phimosis, 473, 488

physician-priest, 112

Prasanna, aprasanna... dharna, 393

Rajangam kicking down Dispensary, 518

recommending smoke and wine?, 302

sending Asram to next world, 887, 892-3

servant asserting sovietic equality, 368

supramental and swelled things, 690

supramental hospital, 711

tablet of aspirin and aspiration, 307

thinking with fat, 163

tympanum-piercing howl, 874-5

weeping machine, 443

“whites”, 246

(3) Nirod:

Aeschylean expressions, 354-5, 386. 539, 550, 573, 866: aphoristic style, 855; Delphic oracles, 297; mysterious language, 196, 211, 355, 366, 538, 561, 562, 572, 573; Tacitean writer, 550, 973, 1012

“almost” for accuracy’s sake, 232

and Nishikanta, 292, 401, 440, 620-1

Asram doctor going mad, 209

Avatar!, 168

avoided railway train, 91, 94

being: solid?, 228

blockhead, 647

boil, 327, 553-4, 556, 562, 563, 668, 669, 686, 690, 760, 761, 983, 989, 993, 994

born supramental, 366

bourgeois mind, 142

break your head, 311; broken head, 756, 1144

bullying Sri Aurobindo, 979

butter and milk-tea, 162, 163

“By the Guru”, 757-8

candid baby, 502

“Cast your bread...”, 372

cease to Hamletise, 396

centenary of arrival, 37

chubby cherub, 297, 298

circle M.V. Ph., handle sticky, 336

coagulate, 469

conscious ass, 390

correspondence: a Mahabharat, 854-5, 867-8

critic, easiest, 214; logician, not easy, 194

Dance of Harmony!, “De l’audace, ...”, 186

deserve only a cane, 359

Dhanwantari overnight, 205

diagnosis, Paradise, 973, 974-5

don’t blow up Asram, 655

don’t tear your hair, 549, 550, 947

easy the descent to Hell, 155

English poetry such, what of Bengali?, 262

Falstaff-like, 671

Fascist Yogi, 359

father confessor to God, 1148

forsake never, beat a lot, 151, 154

Gandhilike logician, 862

gigantic forehead, 328

golden age: 32nd year, 373

Hail, Rishi: past lives, 466

hair-raising proposal, 214

handwriting, 246, 355, 725, 751, 801

Homer etc. not a patch on you, 953-4

ignorance no defence, 145, 298

Iliad or Nirodiad, 398

“infinity-shod”, 1152

“jack-in-the-boxing”, 503-4

Jivanmukta, no need of prayer, 545

kicked along, 269, 285-6

laugh and grow fat, Nirodian jollity, 156

letters in meditation, 161

licking the lips, 802, 803

low current: dynamo, 315

Madam Doubt, 423

Mahomed perhaps will help?, 268

mantra: OM Tut tut, 554, 558, 562, 563, 572, 766

many ingredients, 228, 582

medical explanation of experience, 91

medical profession, use of Rs. 20000, 99, 121

merciless whipping, 762

mess of explanation, 164

Micawber, 355

mighty hero at the pier, 684

misfortunes, 881-2

modest poet, 548, 549

mosquitos, Manubhai’s mercy, 676

mules useful animals, 607

naive about women, 1119-20

neighbour of the Divine, 109, 545

Nirvana, 579

obligatory pursuits, 390

O favoured unappreciative, 317

O happy blindness, 212

Old Man of the Sea, 531, 533

O logical baby, 294

O Nirod of little faith, 318

other cats to whip, 469

“overnight”, 328

Peace, fiery furious spirit, 141

“peace” like a summer dove. 210

persiflage, 143-4

perspiring idiot, 1064, 1066

petition to Inspiration, 805, 807, 808

photo, 328, 376, 442, 667

photo’s treatment, 561, 562

pity for “browning”, 412

poor Nirod, 92, 96, 442

“Portrait of Nirod”, 449

prescription, 156, 231, 573, 937

private “goāk”, 212

profitless debate in your stomach, 399

pulverised, 799

pummelled, 620-1

queer card, 999

read Mark Twain, 701

reading The Life Divine, 354-5

say nothing, will sound less foolish, 467

secret sin: khichuri, 330, 331

shipwreck in a teacup, 376

sky’s my book, 212

smelling salts, 126

smell of lime, 539

spare the poor people’s eyes, 337

spelling mistakes, 198, 241, 359, 450, 664, 740, 775, 781-2, 928, 1034, 1051

stupendous financial pressure, 232

supramental species, go forward, 342

surrealist poetry, too much for owls, 827

swan tumbling into dream of medicine, 910

swearing at, 905, 1166

sword at your service, 239, 867-8

system of lollipops, 543

Talukdar, 355, 414, 415

timber throne, 98

tummy and baldness, 998-9

Tut, tut, see above mantra: Om Tut tut

“walnut” shell, 161

wealth in fisheries, 1045

weight, 578, 580

we weep before and after, 578

whipping boy, 152

why bother about being anything?, 214

word-punctures, 102, 103, 154

W. P. B., 834

you are Brahman, 478, 991

your tail, 321

(4) Poetry:

alchemist taking opium, 346

Baron plexus, 837-8

bird with sails, 1103

bones safe, 1012

broadcaster’s announcement, 1067

calm, slam, Imam, 1067; dawn, Bernard Shawn, 1040

carle blanche, 574, 575

champagne bottle, 202

“Clamo, clamavi”, 777

clouded soul, 758

condensed milk, 932

Congress prohibition law, 1156

constipation, 262

constitutional stroll, 1064

constructions ... dancing-hall, 819

coupletitis, 904, 906

crown of fruits, 1150

damn fine, tremendous superlative, 1180, 1181, 1182, 1183, 1187

Dara’s style, 127, 354

defect in solar plexus, 1045, 1147, 1149

doggerels, 359, 541, 554; see also Sri Aurobindo, (2): doggerels Donne doffed, 1050

don’t understand: instand, overstand, 836

dots too much meaning, 1050

dragged out by hair, 255

“Drunken shadows”!!, 1156

every poet a fool, 884

explain the inexplicable ... Christ, 843

fish: gleaming, 835; gold, 1044-5; pentametric, 574; sprat, 967, 1045

fisheries, 1045

flu and headache, 1167-8, 1170

forceps, 245, 254, 255, 263, 286

funniness in, 842-3, 844

Goddesses teasing tails, 356, 357

gulp the whole whale, 305, 306-7

hairs of tail need combing, 1142

illegitimate children, 414

metre: horror for a prosodist, 759; Hitlerian violences to, 552, 761

miraculous run-down store, 1010

misstressing “intestine”, 453; “transparent”, 497-8

moon’s songs toffee, 978, 980

Nature apparelled with a poise, 1036

new soporific, 581

100 million poets writing away, 542

original, aboriginal, co-original, 609

overheadache, 1168

pangs of delivery, 52, 245, 254

parent of irregular menses, 666, 667-8

poem trans-mogrified, 1104-5

poet like a peacock, 954

poets queer cattle, 787

posterity, reaction of, 801-2

refrain, 662

remarks on poems, 809-10, 845, 916-7; “grood”, 809

“sea-shells she sells”, 924

Shakespeare into shade, 398; spear shake, 490

sing with feet, 1043

sitting behind pardah, 680

sleeve empty, 691

soul’s verandah, 1050

“Starry stumps” of Infinity, 1160, 1161

tankful of bank notes!, 1119

weary cat, 972

(5) Sadhana:

advanced sadhaks, 332

ālubhājā and platonic love, 472

ass’s bridge, 326, 328

big steamer throwing a yacht, 470

burst on fell day, 655

calling, not opening, 678, 681

catching head or tail, 681

crying for progress, 26, 644

departures like Japhet, 591-2

devolution, 309

disjointed machines in the lumber-shed, 149

dogs of depression bark, 444; menagerie, 445

Epstein’s statues, 315

fall from Purushottama heights, 700, 701

Govt. post, 92

Grand’mère Depression, 609-10

hunting for shaktis, 117

Hurrah for the Himalayas!, 78

kerosene stoves, 852

knocks and shocks, 285

“let us be married”, 503-4

Mahomedan with tuft. 755

Maya and fit of the blues, 273

middle Narayan oil, 139, 140, 141

Namo Namo Dilipaya, 515

never to the fruits thereof, 572

not a place to graze in, 266

out of joint, 423

quickening the descent of Supermind, 222

sadhaks: happy-go-lucky, 544; lazy lot the Supramental, 213; rose-leaf princess, 879; superrational men, 230-1; what delicate people, 740

seeking for safety, 91, 92, 94

seven tails, 321, 322

soul’s fun in mud, 305, 311

spiritual culinary joy, 729-30

spree, 919; trip to the Himalayas, 1081

“stand and wait”, 319

Supramental ass, 996; in 50 days, 319

supramental police, 197

3 ways of meeting the collision, 607

trials of God-seekers, 231

Yudhishthir’s dog, 95

(6) Sri Aurobindo:

“Above” lives opposite, 545

Ahimsuk!, 103

all is well, if it ends well, 604

am I Matter?, 194, 320

and Mother: isolate in the Himalayas, 222; release into beatitude, 594-5; take tickets, 515

“Avataric” sadhana, 151

beast of burden, 905

Beauty’s acquaintance, 1025

bewildered by your surrealist prose, 866

biographer’s knowledge of, 79; impeccable biography, 101

blessings without garland, 653

calling Sri Aurobindo to bow down, 700

chary of remarks, 590

come down into Erebus?, 156

comfort rare, 1052

cryptic because becoming supramental, 660, 663-4, 665

curvilinear position: fell flat, 597-8

debate with Chellu, 511

Delphic oracles, my monopoly, 297

dharma pāgal, 575

dilate ... delectations, 452

Expatiate, excavate, 715

father, 123, 126

floating on infinite plasticities, 141

fool being myself, eh?, 167, 173; imbecile, 168, 171

gone off to x loka?, 126

gone out of mind, 247

“Grand First Supramental”, 179-80

groan in unAurobindian despair, 156

handwriting, 81, 86-7, 241-2, 246, 247, 538-9, 549, 572, 669, 689, 711, 714-5, 725, 729-30, 783, 788, 803, 855, 860, 868, 953, 1104-5, 1177

hats off, 507

head for Pacific Ocean, 622-3

imitating doctors, 210, 906

insinuate impurity, 211

Joycean neologisms, 463; apo-diaskeptic, 210

mathematics: sleep, 400

menu, pudding and mutton-pie, 541

millions of admirers, 541

modern-minded disciples, kismet!, 859

mukti, 184

my devils: expletive, 155; “why the hell”: ejaculation, 1004, 1005

no pumping business for me, 553

off the list of candidates for this Yoga, 231

“overnight”: inability to grasp, 328

pineal gland, 559

plague of Prasads, 525

poor in selves?, 808

promise: fulfilment of in 1997, 525; stands, 678

pure and simple, 480

quasi-Greek, 1007

respected person, more than 2 feet, 556

samata, 717, 809

shorthand, 336

stood but not delivered, 295

stylish portfolio, 180

subconscient, my King Charles’s head, 254

teaified cells, 228

“Time and I both are shy”, 715

verse on correspondence, 126-7

vise and revise, not previse, 722

!!!!!!!!, 101

(7) General:

adhyāropa, 123, 731, 1061

“All animals follow their nature”, 1058

all animals in man, 1120

animals and Supermen, 323

baptism of S, 563

“big” balloon with gas, 1107

“Blessed be they...”. 234

clout on the head, 824-5

common sense uncommon, 157

dictates of masses, 1050

Divine hungry: goat-chop, 339

ejaculations and swearwords, x, 94, 155, 164, 197, 246, 302, 388, 401, 468, 474, 531, 539, 545, 578, 579, 662, 700, 713, 857, 967, 968, 980, 991, 1004, 1005, 1156, 1180; Donner-wetter! Tausend Teufel, 85; Great Jumble-Mumble, 367; Great Muggins, man, 164; Jehoshaphat, 322; Shobhanallah, 139, 973

élites swarming, 860

embarking for Mecca, 1118

Englishman’s right to grumble, 947

erratic genius, 838

everything done, useful, 307-8

feast and bali, 206

Gandhi’s, “spotless white khaddar”, 1122

glory be to English language!, 161

Glory to human reason, 139

God knows, 266, 425, 443, 461, 505, 560, 580, 675, 972, 982

God’s ways, 675

heat meets heat, 229; shout at heat, 1134

Heldil, 1186-7; Psh, 996

hieroglyphs, 355, 443, 535, 699, 868, 1104

Hitler gunfiring Supermind, 1156-7

human beings making the universe, 277

husband-god, 117

Krishna’s Bronchitis, 526

look here, 143, 145

men: exceedingly silly, 108; rational idiots, 109

mosquito curtain, 34

Mother’s look at Pranam, 237

paranindā: heavenly Ananda, 233

penal servitude for Avatars, 149

pin-points, 293, 295, 296, 312

Purusha jumps up with an Ooah!, 561 “Queen Mary”, 569

rubbish better appreciated, 1049

saving young brains of India, 691

scorpion incident and Socrates, 306

some day, some night, 534

stop being fools, 163

such is life, 145, 853, 874

Supermind may twirl its mustache, 327

super-Tom ..., 148

Supramental, absolute of humour, 1035

Supramental, a queer fellow, 1142

Thompson’s tongue, 504, 507

ticket for Nowhere, 727

time can’t stand still, 608

time: one lock of hair, 215

touching proof of unanimity and solidarity, 138

tricks of the Lila, 557

use of connoisseurs, 1066

“Wait and see”, 719

What cheer, brothers?, 919, 920

Why one century?, 213

woman will wait, 107-8, 115

women: preservation of species, 116

Hutchinson, Dr. J., 824, 825

Ignorance, 248, 253, 277, 298, 303, 304, 308, 310, 334, 624, 850, 1063

Illness, see Medical matters, (3), (4)

Immortality, 191-2, 196, 197, 713

Impurity (ies), 164, 211, 218, 409, 754, 984

Inconscient, 247, 253, 303

India, 187, 230, 487-8, 691, 884, 914

freedom of, 323, 325, 327, 329-30, 340-1, 1185

people in, keep the books of others, 564

railways, 94

Swadeshi times, 351

Inner being, 38, 146, 153, 178, 183

and the psychic, 82

has to change first, 745

opening of, main thing, 62

Inner consciousness, 171, 829, 833, 1063


guidance from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, 885-6, 894-8

Inspiration (poetic), 21, 25, 50, 161, 408, 574, 886

and poetry, 21, 25, 31, 47-8, 260, 292, 513, 516, 542-7, 639, 661-2, 833, 839, 923, 1077, 1099, 1137, 1171, 1173

and widening, 493, 501-2, 503, 513

becoming mentalised, see Poetry, (1): mind coming in the way

change in, 818

confinement to one single, 1071

flow of, 371-2, 405, 547, 748, 767-70, 774, 839

getting the, 22, 40-1, 47, 262, 373, 396, 398, 402, 405-6, 413, 546, 547, 1055

going off to another person, 358, 641

hide and seek in, 1066

letting it come through, 43-4, 405-6, 412-3, 634-5, 641, 766, 767

perilous to meddle with, 644

receptivity and, 40-1, 372, 894

transcription of, 22, 396, 405, 490, 516, 545, 635, 641, 769, 831, 1114

vigilance to keep it up to the mark, 1137

waiting for, and effort, 292, 372, 512-6, 547, 678, 743, 747, 768-9

Word comes out of the Silence, 891

see also Mind, silent: and inspiration; Opening...

Integral Yoga, see Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga

Intellectuals, 236

Intermediate zone, 90, 519

drawing one out of, 519-20

Intuition, 113, 134, 204, 205, 206-7, 246, 282, 678, 885, 886, 907, 909

and thought, 1066-7

bubble and squeak method, 886-7

conditions for getting, 207, 356. 357-8, 364

discrimination in, 338, 358, 363, 365; for poetry, 358

ego in, 358, 363, 364

in medical field, 200, 201, 205, 338, 364-5, 421, 422, 425, 569-70, 887, 893, 1125

poetic and yogic, 487

pseudo-intuitions, 364-5

silent mind and, 356, 357-8, 364

without book-knowledge and experience, 894

Involution, 333

Italy, 564

J [a Sadhika], 604, 804, 977

novel of, 284, 296-7, 301-2, 372, 377, 619-20, 1012

see also Poetry, (1): J’s

Jadabharat, 219, 579

Jagai and Madhai, 256, 347

Jatakas, 169-70

Jatin Bal (J. B.), 375-6, 442, 475-6, 477-8, 480, 531, 532-3, 534, 548-9, 550-1, 555-6, 611-2, 614, 617, 618, 622, 629, 632-3, 634, 636, 653, 660, 663, 665, 772, 776, 798-9, 976, 1007-8, 1009, 1138; Anjali (J. B.’s wife), 566, 660, 663, 1008

Jeans, Sir James, 540

Jekyl, Dr., and Mr. Hyde, 97-8

Joffre, General Joseph, 161

John, St., 256

Joyce, James, 210, 463

Kabir, 558

Kali, 335, 339, 340, 397

Kalidasa, 395, 399, 498, 926

Karma [past], 308-10, 334, 432, 581, 605-6, 979

Karmayoga, ix, x, 84-8, 411, 557, vol. 2, v, 859, 1077

Kastner, L. E., about Mallarmé, 777-81

K. D. Sethna, see Amal Kiran

Keats, John, 448, 500, 747, 770, 923, 926, 988, 997, 1070, 1172

Kemal Pasha, Mustafa, 421, 426

Khagananda, 158, 160

Khirod, 100, 915, 1110

Kipling, Rudyard, 448, 1155

Knowledge, 80, 83, 213, 240, 334, 624, 625, 645

Divine realisation through love or through, 235-7, 239-41

higher, and mental, 236

higher, and problems of ordinary life, 240

outer, and yogic, 88-9

sacrifice of, 350

supramental, and faith, 625

see also Force, the, and knowledge

Krishna (Sri Krishna), xi, 137, 141, 170, 172, 173, 177, 218, 219, 227, 256, 283, 294, 320, 477, 479-80, 522, 529, 602, 859, 1001, 1003

Krishnalal, 23

Krishna Prem, 478

Kundalini, 560

Lawrence, D.H., 682, 743, 746, 747

Lele, Vishnu Bhaskar, 467, 1077

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, 129

Liberation, 311, 344

and past karma, 309-10, 334

from body consciousness, 81, 192-3

from Prakriti, 73, 85

Life, 14-5, 139, 145, 239, 240, 278, 435, 625, 653, 853, 874, 1064, 1185

creation of, by man, 148

happiness motive-power in, 482-4, 486

misfortunes in, 881, 882

ordinary and yogic, one’s own energy in, 132

petty pleasures of, 303-4, 350, 474, 873

rasa of, 72-3

sorrow and suffering in, 276-7, 279-80, 285-6, 311-2, 981

strife and struggle in, 277, 311, 350, 984; see also Avatar, sufferings and struggles of

too complex for simple affirmations, 106, 348; see also Mind, mental statements and the truth

worldly, 93, 1185

see also Happiness

Literary activity (pursuits),

and acquaintance with best literature, 686

and age, 789

and sadhana, 5, 21, 41, 49, 72-3, 89, 451, 683, 744; see also Poetry, (1): sadhana and

best creations, 743

desire for fame, 5, 25; ambition for success, 683

geniuses, 70, 392, 491, 731, 746; great novelists, 687

growth of capacities, see Ashram, growth of capacities; Yoga-Force, growth of capacities

literary man, 61, 284, 744, 745

reading and reliance, 681, 682

reading big writers, 682

reading for style, 52, 61, 365, 366

reading, separate oneself while, 365, 366

sensibility and hyper-sensitiveness, 745-6

story writing: method and style, 395-6, 688-9

writers and insincerity, 352

writers and life-experience, 50-1, 686-7, 1053

writing and rasa, 642

writing as a passion, 743-4

see also Criticism, literary

Literature, 217, 666

and transformation of nature, 744

hapax legomenon, 803

impressionist method in, 781

modern novels, 366

publication and public-appreciation, 631

religious and secular, 351-2

stealing in, 284, 293, 646; see Poetry, (1): theft in

Lloyd George, David, 171, 274

Lombroso, Cesare, 731

Loneliness, and isolation, 463

Love, 591-2, 615, 637

and devotion for Mother, 268, 281, 750

and sex, 793-5

Divine realisation through love or through knowledge, 235-7, 239-41

for the Divine, 209, 240, 530, 755; before experience of the Divine, 528, 529-31

human and real, 452

human affection, 961-4, 986-7; see also Sadhana, relationship in

vital, 19, 1060

vital, for the Divine, 793 see also Divine love

Madhusudan, Michael, 404-5, 936

Mahakali, intervention of, 517, 848

Maheshwari, 299

Mallarmé, Stéphane, 632, 776-82, 801, 828, 829, 830

Man/Men, 148, 286, 430, 1058, 1120

and women, 95, 100, 104-7, 112-5, 116-8, 181-3, 581-3, 684

coating of Prakriti over, 166-7, 169, 175, 176

contradictory elements in, 582

denying the possibility of change or progress in, 142, 150-1, 154, 166-7, 173-4, 175; see also Nature, human, change of

Divine (divinity) in, 173-4, 175, 176-7

everybody is a problem, 454

he-man, 341; and she-women, 492-3

nature of, see Nature, human

not a steam-engine, 460

not indifferent to animals, 323

possibilities of, 430, 624-5

reasoning animal but not reasonable, 717

sattwic, 347, 348, 571, 1109, 1110

unconscious of his hidden self, 460

uneducated and big brains, all alike, 717

see also under Being

Manifestation (creation),

and forms, 299

object of, 277, 303

Manilal, Dr., 438, 662, 887, 1053

Man of Sorrows, 263, 264, 265, 278, 280, 317, 338, 445, 457, 461, 521, 531, 601, 649, 650, 656, 673, 680, 775, 799, 802

Old Man of the Sea, 531, 533

Old Nick, 244, 533

strain of, 531, 775, 802

Mantra, 486-7; see also Humour, (3): mantra

Mark Tapley, 156

Marlowe, Christopher, 923

Marriage, 476, 611, 861

of Dharmagurus, 575-6

Marx, Karl, 101

Matter, 121, 194, 205, 294-5, 320-1, 561

Medical matters,


management, 109-12, 178, 182, 206, 211, 254-5, 266-7, 286-7, 368-9, 386-7, 478-9, 502-3, 518, 521, 524, 535, 561-2, 666, 668, 798, 909, 1030-1, 1067-8, 1069, 1081, 1134, 1140, 1169, 1184-5

medical reports, 159-60, 253, 307, 379, 443

reports confidential, 577

(2) Doctors: 119, 120, 210, 423, 705, 874

death by the mistake of, 429, 695-6

differ, 120, 433, 435, 437, 892

function of, 824, 825

method of, 119, 677, 883, 893

Mother dealing with, 186, 482, 590, 1137

Mother’s epigram on, 456

need of, for Divine Force, 120-1

soft like butter, soothing like .... 489, 492, 824, 825

success and intuition, 887, 893

successful qualities of, 121, 186, 384, 422, 426, 428, 429, 431, 489, 568-9, 570, 677, 894, 1065

see also Humour, (2): doctors

(3) Illnesses: 220, 248, 488, 705, 713, 1129

and fear, 619, 738, 951

and flies, 738, 739

and germs, 738

and imagination, 248, 767, 788, 970

and pain-bearing, 180

and peace in the cells, 752-3

and physical consciousness, 508

and physical mind, 517-8

and prayer, 129, 181, 183, 681, 961

and quarrels etc., 1014

and sadhana, 60, 823, 1168

and the subconscient, 248, 518, 738, 1053, 1054. 1124, 1175

cause of infection, 738

clapping a big word on, 488

conquest of, 189, 191

constant change of medicaments, 1006

cooking at home, 34, 283-4, 788, 1094

cure of: 1065; absolute, 1054; caused by spirits, 203; doubts about, 333; many factors – drugs, diagnosis, symptoms, confidence, Force, etc., 361, 422, 426, 428, 430, 431, 432-40; without medicine, 613, 617, 717; see also Force, the, cure by

Descent of Force and, 718, 720-1

feeling it coming, 191

help to a patient, 618, 812

human nature as cause of, 1126

interchange of, 1061, 1063

knowing results of examination, 508, 811, 813

most, are connected, 436

Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s ways of dealing with, 434, 435

need of external treatment, 11-2, 183, 270, 438, 617, 707-8, 729, 877, 880, 881

nothing is incurable, 1043

prognostications are confidential, 822

something takes interest in, 230, 508, 620

ultimate psychological cause of, 1043

wrong attitude in, 1013

see also Mother, ailments of; Sri Aurobindo, (5): illness

(4) Illnesses, specific:

cancer, 345-6

cholera, 738

constipation, 595, 613, 620, 866, 892

dandruff, 1033

deafness, 1123

diarrhoea, 40; see also below (5): K’s baby

dysentery, 739

dyspepsia, 800

eczema, 456, 531, 535, 958-9, 975, 1137; and asthma, 389, 390, 998; see also below (5): J

elephantiasis, 942

epilepsy, 187-8, 203

fever, 116, 120

flatulence, 124

hydrocele, 951, 954; see also below (5): N.P.

hysteric fits, 196, 198, 203

insanity, 201, 203, 439; see also below (5): D. S., madness; M, mental disturbance

“internal discharges”, 862-4, 866, 875

jaundice, 614-5, 618, 619, 621, see also below (5): S (2)

leprosy, 662-3

lipoma, 509-10, 520-1, 526-7, 716

menstruation: irregular, 198; vicarious, 438-9

phlebitis, 1027-8

plague, 738

pleurisy, 118, 119

skin trouble, 456, 959, 975, 976

stomach ulcer, 67, 241, 630; see also below (5): S (3)

T. B., 118, 439, 698-9, 811, 813; see also below (5): A (2), K, N (2), T (3)

varicose veins, 949-50

(5) Illnesses, cases:

A(l): enlarged liver, 668, 676, 690, 844-5, 928, 934, 937-8, 946, 947, 955, 966-7, 970, 971-2, 973-4, 1003, 1010

A(2): T.B., 711, 715, 730-1, 800, 801, 811, 812-3, 881, 959, 1009

B.P.: scorpion sting, 305-6, 313; syphilis and eye-trouble, 319-20, 345, 352-3, 359, 361-2, 534, 535, 553, 571, 583, 584, 585-90

D [a child]: colitis, 892, 906, 908, 909, 911, 914-5, 916, 917, 918, 919, 927, 928, 932

D.L.: intestinal affection, 630, 633, 642, 643-4, 647-8, 650, 651, 652-3, 692, 693-4, 695, 696, 697, 701, 722-4, 732-4

D.S. (Esculape): madness, 720-1, 723, 731-2, 856, 858, 861

G: dying patient with high blood-pressure, xiii-xiv, 418-28, 433-6, 441, 443, 444-5, 464

J: eczema, 389, 390, 445-6, 456-7, 494-5, 531, 535, 958-9, 975, 976, 981, 982, 1006, 1007, 1017-8, 1019, 1020-2, 1023

K’s baby: diarrhoea, 875, 876-7, 878, 879-81, 882-4, 886, 892

K: T.B., 430-1, 432-4, 438-9, 489, 581, 582, 595, 597, 601, 694-5, 698-9, 729, 735

M: mental disturbance and D.L.’s ghost, 709, 710-1, 722-4, 731

Mulshankar’s accident, xiii, 473, 474-5, 482, 496-7, 528-9, 578, 579, 583, 654, 761

N(l): eye-trouble and deafness, 1104, 1122, 1123, 1124, 1125-6

N(2): T.B., 112, 115, 116 118, 120, 123-4, 144, 151, 155, 181, 202, 203, 272-3, 868, 1017, 1019, 1020, 1021, 1022-3, 1024 1026, 1027

N.P.: eye-trouble, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 287, 588, 619, 796, 798, 1065; hydrocele, 945, 951, 952, 954, 1029

P: needle stuck in her palm, 917-8, 919-20, 924

S(l): cerebral haemorrhage, 179, 181, 182, 184, 185-9, 193

S(2): jaundice and dried liver, 613, 614, 617, 618, 619, 621, 622, 626-7, 628, 630, 631, 632, 644, 645, 648, 654, 660, 666, 672, 674, 688, 689, 690, 699, 706, 710, 714, 719, 722, 729, 740, 767, 783, 977, 980, 981, 982, 983, 989, 990, 998, 1005, 1011-4, 1021-2, 1024, 1030, 1035, 1039, 1044, 1112, 1126-7, 1131, 1134, 1162

S(3): stomach ulcer, xiii, xiv, 228, 230, 253-4, 283-4, 377-83, 384, 385-8, 389, 394, 395, 397, 401, 517

T(l): atony of the stomach (ptosis), 706-7, 710, 711-2, 714, 715-6, 717-8, 719, 722, 741, 742, 989, 1112, 1113

T(2): kidney infection, 708-9, 716, 718

T(3): T.B., 1073, 1074-5, 1077, 1092, 1096, 1119, 1136, 1164-5

Y: descent and physical disturbance, 718, 719-22

(6) Medicines: 187, 384, 385, 422, 613, 617, 717, 877, 878

and Mother’s body, 816, 820

effects of strong, 145, 184, 438, 446, 456

Indian, 1015

not a science, 213, 360, 883

(7) Medicines, specific:

arnica, 654

arsenic, 265, 633, 1069, 1093, 1098

atropine, 184, 1027, 1122-3

bismuth, 159, 241, 613

boric solution, 185

bovril, 381, 1020

bromide, 179, 1019, 1044

calomel, 617, 618, 880

camphor lotion, 185

castor-oil, 892, 909, 1030

chicory, 784

coconut (green), 957

cod-liver oil, 671-2, 676, 784

collosal iodine, 1124

eau de cologne, 574

eau sédative, 574

emetine, 444, 876, 877

Fandorine, 874

gland medicines, 976

“guimauve” enema, 159, 927, 1080

kājal, 1084

laxatives, 1032, 1080

Listerine, 1018, 1020

Lithinée, 120, 565

liver extract, 1011

medical salts, 990-1

mercury ointment, 179, 716, 773-4, 1040

morphia, 1053

nux vomica, 632, 633, 937

onions, 1010-1

pān-supāri, 785-6

pastilles charbon, 911

picric acid, 286-7, 1140

pomegranate juice, 463-4, 613, 614

purgatives, 181, 184, 577, 614, 621, 875, 1032

quinine, 184, 446, 752, 788, 1044

salicylates, 185, 249, 1059

Santonin, 1089

soup, 124, 617-8, 627, 1024, 1025, 1091, 1134

spinach soup, 387

Sudarshan, 946, 1010, 1015

sulphersenol, 265

thyroid pills, 248, 976, 1044

yeast, 620, 631

(8) General:

activity of glands, 523, 711

aluminium vessels, 1069

Bates’ system, 577

blood-examination, 119, 928, 938-9, 970

book-knowledge useful with practice, 677

breast-milk, 880

diagnosis not infallible, 420, 697

disinfecting a house, 1021, 1024

epidemics in Asram, 202, 322, 1168

eye-glasses, 248, 796, 798

hieroglyphs, 535, 699

medical etiquette, 178, 335-6, 378-9

medical examination of candidates, 693, 699, 742

medical knowledge and Yogic Force, 213

medical theories and some other power behind, 696, 698; surgical operations and Yogic Force, 337-8

Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s care about hygiene, 118, 207, 271, 345, 352-3, 359, 361-2, 496-7, 583, 606, 651, 875-6, 889, 948, 1021, 1022, 1060, 1091

Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s care about sadhak-patients’ diet, 124, 159, 228, 230, 253-4, 254-5, 259, 283-4, 345, 382-3, 387, 481, 496-7, 565, 583, 606, 614, 617-8, 619, 626, 627, 628-9, 630, 631, 632, 644, 648, 651, 671, 672, 688, 689, 693, 695, 783, 784-5, 800, 875-6, 889, 892, 915, 917, 918, 926, 948, 955, 957, 977, 1003, 1015, 1020, 1021, 1022, 1024, 1025, 1026, 1028, 1033, 1034, 1035, 1037, 1042, 1060, 1074, 1075, 1077, 1089, 1091, 1093, 1095, 1096, 1098, 1104, 1107, 1128, 1164

Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s views on, 125, 151, 158-9, 181, 185, 259, 266, 375, 401, 408 426-7, 438, 444, 473, 497, 523-4, 548, 587-8, 589, 611, 618, 621, 622, 631, 633, 642, 666, 668, 671-2, 682, 688, 691, 694, 707, 709, 711-2, 715-6, 722, 740, 742, 773, 783, 784-5, 786, 792, 826, 844, 875, 876, 880, 882, 883, 887, 888, 902, 918, 920, 928, 945, 952, 959, 981, 990-1. 1011, 1015, 1016, 1017-37, 1039, 1040, 1041. 1044, 1046, 1052, 1054. 1055, 1059, 1069, 1074, 1075, 1077-8, 1083, 1085, 1086-7, 1094, 1097, 1099, 1112, 1114, 1115, 1117, 1127, 1128, 1134, 1136, 1138, 1144, 1149, 1157, 1164-5, 1167, 1169, 1176, 1187

Mother’s views on, far removed, 882

Pondicherry Hospital, 711, 1181

practice here illegal, 250, 336

Presse Médicale, 822, 953, 954-5

sedentary invalids, 670, 691, 730-1

surrealistic method in, 364-5, 886-7, 892-3; see also Intuition, in medical field

vaccination in the Asram, viii, 888-92, 896, 900-3, 909, 911, 915-6, 918, 919, 920, 921, 923, 926, 1163, 1164

washing work and nails, 187

see also Humour, (2)

Meditation, 6, 33, 65, 86, 122, 155-6, 161, 240, 526, 602, 607, 735, 820, 821

after rising, 8-9

a kasrat, 486

and adverse forces, 736

and work, 77-80, 82-6, 484-6

disturbing thoughts in, 65, 66, 68

experiences in, 67, 81, 91, 104

pressure on the head, 11, 68-9, 97, 104

sitting or walking, 2, 249

sleep in, 1-2, 7, 91

utility of, 40, 64, 83, 484-6

when one cannot do, 7

Mental formation, 872

Mental plane, forms in, 299

Meredith, George, 935, 1172

Miaja, General José, 885-6, 895, 906

Middle path, 469, 859

Milton, John, 319, 448, 498.

500, 743, 747, 749, 923, 926, 935, 1053, 1147

Mind, 139, 162, 236, 252, 259, 362, 367, 404, 625, 738, 795

and mystic poetry, see Poetry, (1): mystic: intellectual understanding of

and vital world, 772, 828

developing into Supermind, 139, 625

divided, 72-3

gathering of, 1

immortality of, 196

mastery of, 59

mental control, removal of, 14

mental statements and the truth, 106, 112-3, 189, 191, 675, 743, 1179; logical not necessarily true, 235, 347

mind-fag and rest, 654

misleading logic, 387; see also Nirodbaran, (8): bad logic

nature of, 639

physical, 64, 65, 66, 517-8, 828, 851

plummet and reality, xi-xii, 257, 259

resistance of, 311

silent (passive): 886; and inspiration, 514, 542, 546, 547, 634, 637, 641, 769, 891, 950; and intuition, 356, 357-8, 364; and receptivity, 753; and sadhana, 11-2, 48, 82, 637, 873; and thinkers, 362

sophisticated and naïve, 1120

struggling with vital, 350

stumbling-block in sadhana, 72, 205, 236, 318, 571, 603, 637, 912

supporting the vital, 311, 611, 1132

see also Poetry, (1): mind coming in the way

Mirabai, 1070

Miracle (s), 29, 129, 138, 143, 149, 195, 337, 423, 874, 943, 1024

see also Sri Aurobindo, (5): and miracles

Mithridates, 158, 160

Mohitlal Majumdar, 824fn

Molière, 360, 427

Monomohan Ghosh, 286, 331-2, 401, 988-9

Monoranjan Guha Thakurtha, 476

Money, 101, 102, 869

property, 856

Morality, 432, 817

Mother, the, 49, 74, 84, 165, 168, 177, 220, 222, 228, 282, 349, 350, 400, 434, 723, 737, 885, 956, 1008, 1062

achievement of indifference, vol. 2, vii

activity and withdrawal from activity, 83-4

ailments of, 813, 924; and medicines, 816, 820; and prognostications, 819, 822

“Always behave as if the Mother was looking at you”, 274

at Pranam and sadhaks’ reactions, 2, 10, 12, 13, 15, 19, 31-2, 37-8, 55-6, 76, 162, 237-9, 332, 518, 537-8, 539, 551, 577, 588, 657, 704, 732, 759, 773, 1033, 1089, 1132; misuse of the Pranam, 820-2; no Pranam henceforth, 819, 848; remaining silent after Pranam, 485

body-transformation, vol. 2, vi

calling, 7, 9, 54, 87, 651, 736, 1040; see also Force, calling for ...

castor-oil in childhood, 892

concentration on, before writing, 783, 807, 840; see also below her photograph ...

conquest of death and illness, 189, 190

criticism of, 234, 411, 733, 1088, 1090, 1108

dealing with doctors, 186, 482, 590, 1137

dealing with sadhaks, 151, 237-8, 264, 920, 922, 924, 1186; see also Medical matters, (8): Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s care ...

effecting transition between human and supramental consciousness, vol. 2, vii

emanations of, 274, 275-6, 278

flowers given by, 30-1, 274-5

Force of, 475, 694, 697, 724, 734, 853; see also under Force, the

her photograph: bowing down before writing, 402, 405-6; contact through, 475-6, 480; looking at, 2-3

how many Mothers’?, 475-6, 477-8

knowledge about happenings, 273-5, 313, 721-2

knowing Sri Aurobindo, vol. 2, vi

love and devotion for, 268, 281, 750

misunderstanding statements of, 721, 887, 899

multitudinous manifestation, 244

on this correspondence, ix, vol. 2, v-vii

organiser of the Ashram, vol. 2, vi-vii

personal relation with, 257, 275, 276

physical nearness of, 224-5, 951; value of personal touch, 225, 820

pressure for change, 299, 850

protection of, xii, 736; see also Sadhana, and hostile force (s)...

pulling at her Force, 208, 726

remembering, in work, 16-7, 99, 313, 451

seeing the Divine in, 281, 282

supramental descent in, 214-5

taking up medical correspondence, 1016

treachery to, 725-6, 727-8

views of, on medical matters, far removed, 882

wrong report to, 1040-1

see also Sadhak (s), wanting to be equal ...; Vision, Mother’s, about ..., of Mother

Mother, The, 865, 867

Motilal Roy, 557

Mudgaokar, G. D., 996

Muladhara, 453, 560

Mulshankar, 473, 474-5, 823, 1081; see also Medical matters, (5): Mulshankar

Music, 146, 147, 208, 217, 795

highest art?, 447-50

Mussolini, Benito, 147, 340, 361, 377

Mysticism, see Poetry, (1): mystic

Naik, Dr. M., 391, 1130, 1132

Napoleon Bonaparte, 231, 421, 426, 962

National mentality, 508

Nature, human, 45, 169, 272, 279-80, 297, 374, 564, 874, 1047, 1126

change (transformation) of, 86, 132, 138, 150-1, 233, 243, 248, 252, 275, 285, 292, 311, 744, 745, 898, 981, 993, 1127; and freedom, 409; and inner experiences, 677-8; see also Man, denying the possibility of change

double, 97

harmonised, rare, 269, 270

influence of atmosphere on, 264-5

lower, and hostile forces, 27-8; see also Sadhana, and lower nature; Soul, and Ignorance

psychisation of, 327, 329

same, everywhere, 270, 285

Nature, universal, 311, 434, 739

and subconscient, 247-8, 251-3

and surface being, 252

Universal Energy, and individual, 514

Nevinson, W. Henry, 144fn

New race, 342, 343

Nietzsche, Friedrich, 101, 102


(1) Correspondence

with Sri Aurobindo and Mother: vii-viii, IX, X

complaint about playing pranks with, x, 480

Mother’s remarks on, ix, vol. 2, v-vii

need (purpose) of, xi, xiv, 2, 10, 20, 76-7, 103, 208, 281, 1002

showing it to others, 71, 75, 207-8, 276, 339, 345, 509, 600, 714, 900, 1064, 1102, 1111

soul-stirring, 595

special favour, 103, 127, 281, 641, 1135-6

subject-matter, x

(2) Depression: 13, 715, 750, 1173

and J.B.’s letter, 531-2

from exaltation to, 47, 766; Darshan atmosphere waning, 71, 155-6, 291; rosy things and poetry died, 266

inner unquiet, 185

Jeremiad, 458-62

moribund, gasping, 376-7

no faith in effort, 65-6, 323-4

no peace, joy, energy, 578, 605, 622, 624, 655, 790, 984

not personal: “regulation lathi” attack, 271, 272

sadness caused: by a dream, 48; by a poem, 787; by better things, 787

three Ds, 371, 390; and Dilip’s best creation, 372-3

unhappy, 984; don’t know why, 155, 156, 157, 271, 715, 855

upsurge of vital thoughts and desire, 17, 231, 474

(3) Despair and dissatisfaction: 680

about poetry, 31, 64, 263, 266, 317, 346, 407, 457, 498, 504, 578-9, 581, 597, 642, 649, 680, 684, 767-8, 790, 802, 826, 833-4, 854, 885, 891, 942-3, 974, 1151-2

about sadhana, 23-4, 35, 154, 231-2, 315, 316, 317-8, 336, 605, 628, 637, 638-9, 644, 655-9, 715, 730, 744, 748, 752, 790-1, 974, 984, 994-5

affiliation and differences with Dilip, 372-3, 374, 511, 516, 521, 523, 622-3

apprehension of failure, see Yoga, failures in, and apprehension

borrowed your difficulties from X, 470, 605-6

Dilipian, 54, 156, 622-3

life seems a washout, 277-8

(4) Dreams: 3, 6, 13, 23, 48, 54, 69, 244, 727, 1131

about Buddha, 46

about Mother, 44, 163, 164-5, 215, 368, 481, vol. 2, v, 664, 665, 726-7, 956

about Sri Aurobindo, 63, 76, 186, 244, 472, 481-2, 664, 665, 916

curing an incurable disease in, 1010

music in, 264, 640, 760

of a beautiful boy (higher being), 956-7, 975

of father, 34, 35

of hospital, 993-4

of Shiva’s ansha, 38

of silver coins, 356

of snakes, 64-5

see also Dreams

(5) Learning:

esraj, 20-1

French, 4, 18, 199, 441, 798, 841, 1093

occult science, 199, 728, 730, 913-4

reading The Life Divine, 161, 353, 354-5, 356, 730

sitar, 86

study of the English language, 161

tabla, 20-1

(6) Literature: 687

critical faculty, 214, 1102

desire to be a good writer, 5, 25, 61

literary gift, 25, 42

prose writing, 39-40, 52

resistance in expression, 63-4

story writing, 395, 688-9, 709, 744, 1052

(7a) Poetry:

18, 21, 23, 25, 35-6, 38, 39, 45, 246, 262, 263, 291, 401, 407, 412-3, 452-3, 496, 533, 580, 606-7, 657, 692, 743, 744-5, 761, 788, 809, 833, 845, 868, 884, 904, 914, 918, 924-5, 933, 948, 951, 952, 956, 959, 960, 964, 966, 968, 972, 977, 995, 1003-7, 1011-2, 1013, 1030, 1034, 1036-8, 1039, 1041, 1042, 1044, 1051, 1055, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1059, 1064, 1066, 1073, 1075, 1076, 1080, 1102, 1114, 1118, 1134, 1135, 1139. 1140-1, 1142, 1156. 1158, 1159, 1163, 1164, 1166, 1173, 1185

“A fathomless beauty in a sphere of pain”, an estimate, 1143-5

and Amal, 982, 1102-3

and Arjava, 679, 680

and Dilip, 545, 683, 767-8, 769

and Harin, 971, 982

and J, 744, 745, 767, 768, 943

and NK, 286, 292, 401, 440, 620-1

and Romen, 915, 917

and X, 468

anticipating trouble, and right attitude, 790

attempt at lyrics, 960, 965

Baudelairean fame, 815, 817-8

be a spider, 262, 984; try try again, 262, 372

beaten Virgil hollow, 548, 1092; equalling Shakespeare, 1180, 1181; and Homer, Milton, Keats, etc., 455, 548, 549, 747, 885, 953-4, 1172-3

Bengali, 249, 254, 440, 446, 608-9, 620-1, 637, 907-8, 909, 931; translated into English: by Nolini, 804, 808; by Sri Aurobindo, 835-6

between us we have produced something remarkable, 926-7, 1170, 1172, 1179-80

cease to Hamletise, 396

discouraged easily, 1171

dissatisfaction with his own poems, 787, 790; self-depreciation, 415, 775; see also above (3): about poetry

dozing while writing, 775, 921, 932, 1162

English poems better than Bengali, 490, 1052

expression becoming authentic, 1143; found yourself in English poetry, 1016, 1038-9; gaining command of medium, 1152; getting hold of language, 933; got back your swing, 1096; maturity of poetic power, 647-8, 649; newness, 1184; possibility of finished product, 978

15 poems in 6 months, 1172-3

foiled romantic and metaphysical poet, 1177; nineteenth century poet getting hold of, 1095-6

for the good of others, 598, 843

gift in grave things, 960

grumbler, 338, 802, 942-3, 1152

highway robbery, 965, 1009, 1086

“hower”, efforter, 511, 512, 513, 542; plodding vitality, 373

immortalising depression, 537

infant in, 766, 767

joy of creation (enthousiasmos), 43-4, 45, 371, 412-3; no joy of creation, 263, 542, 642, 649, 774; refuse to enthuse, 768, 769

logical, medical man writing poems, 263, 972, 980

magnificent poem without knowing it: Gaudeamus igitur, 948

marginal lines, 936, 956, 1068, 1076, 1112, 1114, 1143, 1156, 1159, 1160-1, 1162, 1171, 1172, 1178, 1183, 1186

Matra-brittas, 919

melancholy Jacques interfering, 965

Muse’s response, 288, 317, 597, 650, 1064, 1076; exaction on the Muse, 1073

phenomenon, 1128, 1131, 1152

poet born, now turn of yogi, 254, 255, 286, 647

poetic sense in, 415

poet in the making, 398

poet undeniable, 288

possible verse-maker outside, 596-7, 600

queer moods, 943

remarks on, 249, 606-7, 641, 765-6, 809-10, 845, 902. 916-7, 918, 921, 946, 948, 950-1, 968, 999, 1043-5, 1084-5, 1125, 1139, 1167, 1174, 1180, 1181, 1182, 1183, 1184, 1187

repetition of ideas, 1007

repetition of words, 600, 971, 1056, 1173, 1184

resistance in, 263, 371, 407; see also Poetry, (1): mind coming in the way romanticised Wordsworth, 1084-5

romanticism, 1095, 1158

Sri Aurobindo hard master, 1158

super-Blakish poem. 1114, 1116-7

surrealist, 804-8, 813, 814, 818-9, 826-7, 828, 830, 834, 837, 864, 934, 1097, 1160; transition from, 862

syntax, Bedlamic, 1036-8

theme not clear, 766

use of writing, 1131, 1132-3, 1173

Victorian and spiritual strains, 969

vs. idleness, 1128, 1133

whole thing dropped, 43-4, 975-6

(7b) Specific poems:

ālor gandha”, 902fn

ālor pākhi” (“The Bird of Light”), 608. 637

“A Throb of the Vast”, 1122fn

bhatiyālī, 608-9

“Childhood Dream”, 1085fn

“Cry from the Dark”, 977fn

Fifty Poems of Nirodbaran, 933fn, 948fn, 1167fn, 1175fn, 1179fn

“Figure of Trance”, 997fn

“First Word”, 921fn

“Flames of Vision”, 1188fn

“Haloed Face”, 1043fn

“In Moonlit Silence”, 999fn

“Lonely Tramp”, 1076fn

“My Thoughts”, 1036fn

Nirbhar”, 650fn

“O Light Inviolable”, 1172fn

“Primal Source”, 1187fn

“Quest Fulfilled”, 1177fn

“Reunion”, 1143fn

“Secret Hands”, 1016fn

“Seeds of Vision”, 1142fn

“Seeking Thy Light...”, 1059fn

“Silver Wonder”, 1097fn

“Sky Transcendent”, 1058fn

“Sleep of Light”, 1045fn

“Soul’s Pilgrimage”, 976fn; Sri Aurobindo’s success, 977

“Thy Presence”, 1180fn

“Your Face”, 1010fn

(8) General:

bad logic, 142, 144, 145, 150, 176, 193-4, 196-7, 396-7

birthday, 26. 68, 70, 373, 751, 752, 1184, 1186

breaking the old being, 228

can’t understand a joke, 143, 144, 526

chubby chap: ego, 337, 341, 384

complaint from the D.R., 580-1, 669-70

coward, 92

cycle for melancholiac, 510; cyclo-mania, 556

date of arrival, 494

decision to stay in the Ashram, 1

“devil of despair” to “angel of hope”, 870

different parts of, 199, 228, 571, 582, 610, 650

difficulties are not yours alone, xiii, 272, 461, 658, 748

doctor’s confidence lacking, 186, 892

doctorship, disappointment in, 213, 677-8

doubt, 263, 371, 395-6, 431-2, 638; about urge for the Divine or spirituality, 23, 209, 232, 454, 466-7, 468-9, 523, 609-10, 623-4; Hamlet, St. Thomas, etc., 396; Madam Doubt etc.. 423; see also under Doubt

elixir, 376-7

fatness, seeking from .... 163, 671, 934-5

firebrand doctor, 489

fulfilling conditions without knowing, 741

future hope, 46, 57, 71, 287, 315-6, 328, 610, 647, 784, 1002; see also above (7a): poet born...

Gandhian resistance, 228, 243, 532

growth of yogic consciousness, 73, 74, 82

humorous element in, 351

illness, 36, 40, 59-60, 264, 273, 327, 330, 756, 757-8, 902, 924, 937, 983, 989, 996, 1167, 1168; see also Humour, (3): boil

inertia of physical nature, thick crust, 609-10, 755

installed in X’s palace, 1154

“laugh and grow fat”, 156, 163, 520, 523

leechlike tenacity lacking, 457, 461

love for Sri Aurobindo, 209

meditation and poetry, collision between, 607, 683

mind (mentality, brain) of, ix-x, 161, 325, 423, 466, 755; active, 48, 542, 767, 769; clear with deliberate strength, 199, 238; confounded and hesitant, 316, 318, 533, 683, 684; logical brain box, 312, 886; obstructive, 571. 637, 639; wooden head, xi, 467

not a Sri Aurobindo, 457, 461

opening of heart centre, 68, 240

opening of inner being, 66, 647, 1131

opening up medical channel, 916; see also Intuition, in medical field

prestige, and saving the face, 108, 119

property affairs, 7, 1051, 1068, 1079-80, 1084, 1103-4, 1111-2, 1157-8

putting up a friend in one’s room, 1009, 1186

quite decent, 898

receptive, 752, 753

relation with Sri Aurobindo, x, xi-xii, 126, 232, 256, 257, 259, 268-9, 270, 480, 624; apprehension of Sri Aurobindo’s withdrawal, 623, 799; do not forsake me, 154, 158, 824

result is gratifying, 628, 629

samatā, exercises in, 29, 717, 809

sea-bath, 934-5

soul-stirring communications, 595

studying medical books, 927

testing a raw doctor, 119, 198

thirst for Knowledge, x, 208

3 mules, 607

triangle of confusion, 395-6

vairāgya, training in, 605, 606, 608

vital of, 278, 373, 638, 639, 755; lazy, 470, 503, 511, 542, 545, 546, 605, 1132

wanting only peace, 326

weakness, 108

what Sri Aurobindo wants him to be, 217

work in Ashram: gate duty, 17, 18; garden, 19, 35; House-painting Dept., 35; timber-go-down, 36, 55, 59, 86, 87, 98, 109; talk about Dispensary charge and the actual charge, 98-9, 103-4, 108, 109, 486; attending the Hospital, 193, 202, 227-8, 312, 313, 742, 815-6, 1040

yogic strand in, 637

see also Humour, (3)

Nirvana, 80, 115, 117, 206, 309, 317, 579, 902, 979

Nishikanta (NK), 70, 286, 551, 641, 649, 684, 691, 945

and Dilip, 490-1

Bengali poetry, 292, 440, 472, 527, 642, 1159

Brahmaputra of inspiration, 661

English poetry, 402-4, 405-8, 411-2, 413-4, 472, 490-1, 492

fluency in poetry, 401, 405, 543, 547, 748

new channel opened, 642

prodigious and unusual poet, 401, 543, 547

“The Rat and the Cat”, 492

vision-poems of, 453-4, 462

Nitai, 256

Nobel Prize, 70, 1155

Nolini Kanta Gupta, 63, 113, 161, 496, 518, 818

Non-violence, 226

Occult faculty, 283

Opening (openness), 16, 36, 62, 72, 203, 205, 211, 258, 270, 338, 601, 647, 649, 678, 680-1, 774, 873, 897, 902, 912, 1101

and cure, 345, 1014

and inspiration, 40, 47, 50, 490, 491, 493, 514, 635, 661-2, 684

meaning of, 12, 21

of mind and other centres, 240-1

passivity and, 514

to hostile forces, 203, 221

vertical, 235

Ouspenski, P.D., 793

Overmind, 141, 156, 477

and Supermind, 141, 325, 327

descent of, into Matter, 294-5, 320

in process of supramentalisation, 189, 195, 389

Oxford Dictionary, The, 497, 498, 499, 682

Painting, 72, 88, 146, 148, 202, 208, 369, 447, 448

in Asram, 512

modern, 449

Pallas Athene, 107, 299

Paramhansa, various forms of, 219, 223

Patriotic sentiments, 348-9, 487-8

Paul, St., 1034

Pavitra (P.B. Saint-Hillaire), 211, 891, 892, 920, 926, 1015

Peace, 47, 72, 85, 98, 209, 210, 223, 289, 316, 326, 409, 637, 653, 655, 659, 750, 752, 753, 754, 773, 959, 986

and mental quietude, 1101

experiences of, 23, 52-3, 601

see also Calm; Silence; Stillness

Peter, St., 147

Physical, the, 76, 201, 321, 841

resistance of, 303, 304, 311

supramental descent into, 179-80, 214-5

Physical consciousness, 252, 303, 453, 483, 508, 544

fall in, 336, 337, 461, 840, 995

obscurity of, and its effects, 821, 822-3

Physical mind, 64, 65, 66, 517-8, 828, 851

Physical world,

and vital world, 163, 164, 314, 664-6, 828

expression of the supraphysical, 739

Pineal gland, 558-60

Plato, 143, 167

Poet(s), 261, 401, 487, 775, 779, 781, 1006

and dreamer, 832-3

born, and made by yoga, 458-9, 491

can’t always write well, 885, 1005

epic writers, 926, 935; metaphysicals, 1178; modernists, 448; moderns, 1171-2

greater Power writes through, 1077

greatest, with labour, 922

judgment of one’s own poetry, 415, 460, 468, 542, 649, 775, 790, 810, 884; Horace’s rule, 662, 1182

limitation of appreciation-faculty of, 1147

manufacture of, 459; see also Ashram, growth of capacities in

new chhanda, mentioning of, 1072

vicissitudes of poetic career, 1079

works in exalting excitement, 884


(1) General: 72, 208, 358, 447, 449, 450-1, 488, 666, 794, 795

A.K.’s, 511

and ego, 405, 407, 865, 867

and novel-writing together, 626

and time factor, 401

appreciation of, 778, 1144-5, 1147-8; see also Poet (s), judgment of...

aspiration and passivity, 641

bare and rugged, 1146-7

beautiful, as a whole, 1178

Bengali, 643; laghu guru chhanda, 586; of Mohitlal, 824; overhead, 943; possibility of epic style, 936

best, 490, 637-8, 743

blank verse, 921-3; epic style, 910-1, 925, 935, 937, 955, 957, 969-70

“body” being born?, 1117

coining words, 803

decisive rule for, 50

different minds catching similar things, 358, 641

Dilip’s (D’s), 50, 69, 369, 512, 513, 515, 543, 547, 631, 644, 661, 684, 767-8, 999-1000, 1072, 1079; and Nishikanta’s, 490-1

does not give love and peace but Ananda, 637

dozing while writing; see Nirodbaran, (7a): dozing ...

dream-poetry, 813, 827, 830, 831-3, 838, 982

ear, question of, 414, 495, 643, 943, 944, 945, 1153

effort in, see below place of Force ...

epics, 926; see also above blank verse

epithet, recurring, 1056-7

exceptional circumstances, 490, 493, 501-2

expecting success (exceedingly fine), 626, 810, 885

expression main thing, 1143

fear obstacle in, 775

feelings and imaginations in, 599

fine things can come without knowing, 766

fluency and inspiration, 547; see also Inspiration (poetic), flow of

Grand Trunk Road, 542

greatest thing in, 1045-6, 1149

growth of capacities, see Ashram, growth of capacities (poetic etc.); Yoga-Force, growth of capacities

high tone, objection to, 1053

hooking on to the right place, 915, 969, 976-7, 1078, 1079

image: excessive, 1082-3; richness of, 415-6, 491

imitation and reproduction, 552

importance of words, 598

improvement: and egoism, 865, 867; ways of, 516, 835, 839, 840, 841, 842, 845-6, 870, 923, 943, 1116

infancy in, 767

inspiration, poetic, see Inspiration (poetic)

intermittent drops, 490

joy of writing (enthousiasmes), 43-4, 636-7, 769, 774, 923, 927

J’s, 585, 634-6, 639, 641, 642, 643, 660-2, 734, 748, 761, 764, 774, 775-7, 791, 801-2, 812, 822, 826, 843-4, 869-70, 902, 921-3, 943, 969-70, 1059-60, 1071

labour not enough, 774

lyrical, 965, 966, 982

mass of works in, 779

matter of factness, 293, 527; see also below, sincerity and verisimilitude

method of writing, 249-50, 262, 372, 396, 398, 547, 839, 840, 953, 1066; each his own technique, 923; same method, different results, 1099

metre (chhanda): 412, 643; variety and Time-spirit (yugadharma) in, 864

mind coming in the way, 371, 413, 637, 767, 768, 775, 840, 904, 937, 949, 950, 1050, 1051, 1115-6; see also Mind, silent, and inspiration

modern, 449, 864, 980; and our poetry: difference in substance, 1175

moon, stars, sun in, 504, 964, 1009-10, 1068-9, 1070, 1080, 1121-2, 1134-5

mystic: exact meaning not forte of, 632; intellectual understanding of, 762-5, 770-1, 827, 830, 834-5, 836, 966, 997, 1116; subjective vision, 599; two methods of writing, 782-3; use of sex-imagery, 793

Napoleonic efforts, 468

narrative, 935, 965-6, 988

new technique, 827

not metaphysical treatise, 1188

originality in, 25

overhead, 929-31, 939-40, 943, 944-5, 1117

philosophy in, 35-6, 1092, 1148

place of Force, inspiration and personal effort in, 468, 512-6, 542, 1137, 1152

plodding and easy gallop, 201-2, 204, 206, 207, 215

“poetic power”, 652

progress in, and in yoga, 649

pure, 775, 830-1, 1097

reading, help by, 61-2, 768, 925, 943

rhythm: 877, 1153; revolutions of, 979

right words in the right places, 944, 950

rocks aspiring, 1082-3

sadhana and, 22, 62, 70, 72, 217, 283, 410, 594, 784, 1077

sameness in, 1071-2, 1128, 1131, 1133

shunting the train, difficulty of, 869-70; transitional difficulty, 840

significance and feeling in, 1144-5

simple, 415-6

simplicity no test, 1182

sincerity and verisimilitude, 626, 910, 944, 946-7, 955, 958, 959, 968, 1004, 1009-10, 1011, 1013, 1025, 1036, 1038, 1041, 1043, 1059, 1066, 1075, 1076, 1082, 1102, 1103, 1134, 1135, 1141, 1152, 1156, 1163, 1166, 1169-70, 1171, 1172, 1179, 1183

“sky”, use of, 1058

sources of, 832, 833

spiritual: plane of source, 941; monotony and variety in, 1070-2

sterile periods, 647

striking different sources, 810-1

style, 415-6

supermind plane of, 806, 939

Surawardy’s, 965, 978, 997-8, 1000

surrealist, 813, 827-33, 838; letters to Dilip, 829-33

symbolism and impressionism, 779, 829

technique in, 1153

theft in, 965, 1009, 1086, 1165; see also Literature, stealing in

thought-power in, 47

value of a poem, 291, 639

vulgarity in, 816, 817

waking up of something necessary, 42, 52

yoga is skill in works, 808, 915

(2) English poetry:

accent in, 497-9, 1039

and Bengali poetry, 643

by Orientals, 404, 504-8

cadences, right sense in, 1095, 1153

conceit in, 938

metrical rules and rhythm, 402-3, 412, 414, 417-8, 495, 573-4; errors in rhythm, 552, 960, 1140

mixture of metaphors, 453, 934, 1165

overtones and undertones, 933-4 “red tears”, 634

rhymes, 403, 500, 546-7, 922, 1067

scansion, 495, 1042

sonnet scheme, 403, 500, 922

spiritual expression in, 405

stresses: fictitious, 453, 497-8, 574; shifting of, 950

see also Amal; Arjava; Literary activity; Nirodbaran, (7a); Nishikanta

(3) Specific poems:

“Ahana”, 746

“Baji Prabhou”, 925

“Bird of Fire, The”, 763, 782-3, 925fn, 940, 1009fn

“Crimson Rose”, 764

“Divine Comedy, The”, 926, 1046fn

“Flowers of Evil”, 817

Gitānjali”, 505, 770fn

“In the Moonlight”, 746

“Jackal”, 847

Kumārsambhav”, 926, 935, 936

“Le Cygne”, 779fn, 780-1

“Les Fleurs”, 779fn, 786

“Love and Death”, 746, 925, 988

Meghnādbodh”. 926, 957, 970

“Nirvana”, 782, 789fn, 925fn

“Ode to a Nightingale”, 770

“Paradise Lost”, 749, 925, 926, 1053

“Paradise Regained”, 749, 925

Rājhansa”, 527

Rāmāyan”, 926, 957

“Rape of Lucrece, The”, 988

“Rishi, The”, 746, 749

“Rose of God”, 544, 925fn

Shonār Tari”, 770fn

“Skylark”, 770-1

“Songs to Myrtilla”, 960

“Surrealist”, 790fn, 816-7

tārā ... nata āpan hāra” (“Millions of stars...”), 598-9

“Transformation”, 782, 789fn, 925fn

“Urvasie”, 925

“Venus and Adonis”, 988

see also Nirodbaran, (7b)

Pondicherry, 7-8, 46, 50, 459, 711, 758, 979, 1157

Hospital, 711, 1181

pier, 13, 684

Pope, Alexander, 770, 771

Poverty, 101, 102


coating of, over man, 166-7, 169, 175, 176

liberation from, 73, 85

separation of Purusha from, 73, 81, 82, 85

Pranam, see Mother, the, at Pranam

Prayer, 36, 416, 602

and illness, 129, 181, 183, 681, 961

and rejection, 659

(aspiration) and response, 73, 479, 542, 545

before going to bed, 56-7

call and recession of death, 189

for a friend, 11, 24

for the Divine, 822

Predestination, and chance, 268, 269-70, 313-4

Psyche, 329, 832

and desire-soul, 304, 308

Psychic atmosphere, 533

Psychic being (the psychic), 2, 56, 174, 259, 327, 330, 336, 337, 745, 821, 964, 1100, 1138

a flame, not a spark, 140, 329

and Atman, 276

and evolution, 140, 308-9, 311, 329, 333

and inner being, 82

and Jivatman, 308

and personal relation with the Mother, 276

and psychic fire, 242, 255

and Purusha, 82

awakening of, 174, 363

bringing to the front, 85, 753-4

more developed in some, 329

retracing steps to, 33

taking the lead, 14, 45, 176, 223, 231, 522, 611

weak, 519

see also Soul

Psychic opening, 902

Psychic transformation, 218, 327, 329, 330


criminal, 484

hedonistic, 483

modern, and hidden forces, 460

Punnuswami, 67

Purification, 555, 611, 1048


and the psychic being, 82

“in the heart”, figurative language, 560, 561

power of, 270, 310-1

separation of, from Prakriti, 73, 81, 82, 85

Pyramids, 674

Pythagoras, 167

Radhaswami sect (of Dayalbagh), 557-61

Rama, 141, 143, 477

and the Golden Deer, 224, 226-7

Ramakrishna, 52, 89, 94, 107, 114, 115, 136, 142, 143, 147, 170, 217-8, 219, 222, 223, 224, 226, 235, 238, 256, 335, 528, 530, 576, 739, 906, 958

Ramakrishna Mission, 1048

Raman, C.V., 313, 314

Raman Maharshi, 298, 477, 483-5, 525

yogi, not Rishi, 486, 487

Raymond, Antonin, 1069fn


of the Self, 82, 215, 367, 530, 992, 993; and Brahman realisation, 991-2

yogic, 132

see also Divine realisation; Supramental realisation

Reason, 29

or feelings as guide, 134-5

Rebirth, 38-9, 308

change of sex, 117

Receptivity, 100, 363, 753, 897, 1009

and cure, 67, 119, 881

and inspiration, 40-1, 372, 894

wideness and, 69, 502, 503

Rejection (of wrong movements), 3, 24-5, 30, 33, 56, 67, 85, 610, 657, 659, 848, 912, 1047, 1048

procedure, 252-3

Relation, human, 276

see also Sadhana, relationship in

Reliance (nirbhar), 650, 651, 657, 658, 914, 1129

and reading literature, 681, 682

effort and, 64, 65-6, 67, 215, 269, 458-9, 461

Religious fanaticism, 349

Religious literature, 351-2

R (homeopathic doctor), 359-61, 378-88, 389, 418-40, 441, 445-6, 464, 493, 508, 510, 563-4, 568-9, 584, 585-90, 679, 691-2, 693-7, 701, 742, 995, 1011, 1030-1

Riddle of this World, The, 277, 280

Rimbaud, Arthur, 829, 830


and yogi, 486-7

Romen, 512, 914, 915, 917, 955

Rooserelt, F.D., 171, 289

Rudrabhava, 227

Rules, observance of, 685

Sacrifice, 206, 339

depends on inner attitude, 987

of animals, 339-40, 349, 397

self-sacrifice, 349

spiritual, 350-1

(yajna) of works and knowledge, 350

Sadhak(s), 301, 710

advanced, 330, 332, 1168

amateur Yogis!, 593, 748

and the supramental descent, 142-3, 197-8, 210, 212, 221, 388-9, 440-1, 544-5, 594, 604, 705, 712-3, 852

and women, 1133; see also Sadhana, relationship in

becoming supramental or great “overnight”, 324, 328, 330-1

bodies abnormally sensitive, 884

civilising the, 669

complete attitude of, 57, 58-9, 289

fashion not to sleep, 206, 700, 772

favourite phrase: “indicate”, 1013

following their own ideas about Yoga, 470-1, 522-3, 593-4, 602, 847, 849, 1100, 1101

homo-intellectualis and homo-psychicus, 235-7, 239-40

intelligence and interest rare in, 524

lion-hearts, 531

living in inner self, 253, 750, 751, 753, 819, 820

modern-minded, 859

no Force can take a man away, 1002

quarrel among, 212, 228-9. 257-8, 408-11, 502, 598, 628-9, 676, 1087, 1130

revolt and upsetting of: D.S., 93-4; K, 851; Naik, 1129-30, 1132; U, 911-2; X (kitchen), 1087-91; Y(l), 297-8, 299-301; Y(2), 725-6, 727-8; Y(3), 1091; remedy for revolters, 1089, 1132

sheepishness, 592

shindy in, 653

speeding the, 288

supposing themselves supermen, 1101

supramentalised, greater than Krishna?, 140-1

surface consciousness of, and divine action, 275

three possibilities for, 469

wanting to be equal to Mother and Sri Aurobindo, 140, 141, 142-3, 300, 400, 700

yet they arrive, 316, 755, 914

see also Ashram, sadhaks here; Humour, (5): sadhaks; see also under Mother, the; Sri Aurobindo, (3)

Sadhana, 110, 273, 720

alternations in, 11, 45, 47

“Always behave as if the Mother was looking at you”, 274

and appearances, 750, 1048

and conquest of death, 704, 712-3

and contact with the world and hostile forces, 532-3, 555-6

and difficulties, see Yoga, and difficulties; Vital, the, source of difficulties

and hostile forces, 23-4, 30, 55, 56, 532-3, 555-6, 700, 720, 757, 821, 914, 1002; and Divine’s protection, 27-9, 109, 275, 299-301, 468, 728, 732, 1129; and safeguards, 29, 96, 222, 253, 555, 914

and illness, 60, 823, 1168

and lower nature, 72, 75, 86, 302, 303, 304, 308, 726, 847-8, 914

and personal effort, see Effort, personal

and sex, 19, 51-2, 476, 532 555, 992-3

and silent mind, 48, 82, 637, 873

and wideness, 69, 97, 312, 503, 639

Buddha’s maxim and Krishna’s injunction, 859

building up an inner life, 750-1

comfortable doctrine in, 194-5, 197, 213

conditions for getting things, 48, 85, 185, 208, 211, 216, 243

conscious at every step, 522

conversion of sinners, 347

dark periods in, 593

descent of, into physical consciousness, 705

dryness in, 35, 231, 243, 603, 604

dull moments in, 14-5, 605

effective way of, 216

emptiness in, 7, 243, 841

energies directed to, 70

Epicurean austerity in, 197

essential thing: change of consciousness, 704; inner touch, 820

formula in, 199, 316, 465, 651

fruits by the measure of the soul, 215, 217

getting back the thread, 8

Grand Trunk Road, 542

harmonisation: of different elements, 97, 199, 201, 269, 650, 651; of literature (poetry) and, 607, 683

Heaven in a gallop, 594

increasing pressure for, 710

interruption to, 856

literary activity and, 5, 21, 41, 49, 72-3, 89, 451, 683, 744

living in Asram and outside, 899-900

necessary things in, 10, 14, 35, 48, 57, 112, 166, 210, 217, 268, 281, 465, 681, 710, 841, 853, 870, 873, 907, 914, 975, 1101

need of doing, 129, 273, 703, 704, 712-3, 897, 907, 943

need of perfectioning the instrument, 128, 337, 419, 897

newspapers and, 5

nirbhar, see Reliance

of vital plane, 793

Path (Way), 93, 96, 165, 231, 914; following the, 166, 168, 172-5, 177

peace, balance, sanity, 209, 210, 223, 376

poetry and, 22, 62, 70, 72, 217, 283, 410, 594, 784, 1077

priggishness in 1126-7

progress in, 47, 57, 281, 601, 751

rational attitude, 219

reading and, 3, 52-3, 60-1, 681, 682

relationship in, 8, 19, 114-5, 266-7, 376, 463, 610, 615-6, 629, 729-30, 852-3, 873, 1000-1, 1119-21, 1133

relatives and, 3, 30, 410, 492

resistance in, 58, 63-4, 311; strong resolution and resistance, 243, 757; see also Vital, the, resistance of

Rome was not built in a day, 605

satisfaction of desire, 75, 848; lingering look, 311-2

sattwic deeds, 334

secret of, 650, 651, 750

sensible attitude, 24, 376-7, 755

serious mood, 3

singing on the way, 745, 748, 749

slow laborious work, 745

sticking on, xiv-xv, 3, 24, 243, 318, 461, 462, 466, 610, 741, 975, 995

swiftness in, 210

taking, by the right end, 750, 755

talk and, 35

tamasic stage in, 995

through heart, 964

through heart or through mind, 235-7, 239-41

through literary activity or through work, 451

through one’s own line: an excuse, 1060

time taken in, 210, 217, 231, 316-7, 454, 593-4, 673, 755, 912; rule of 12 years, 744, 745, 748, 879

trance, falling down in, 958

ugly things in, 1048

waiting for things to happen, 579-80

wrong way of, 594, 602, 700, 858-9

zeal and patience, 199

see also Ego, sadhana and; Faith, and sadhana; Food, and sadhana; Mind, stumbling block in sadhana; Sri Aurobindo, (3): application of his Force for sadhana; Yoga

Sahana, 1071, 1072

Samata (equanimity), x, xiv, 29, 170, 605, 717, 809, 1001

Sammer, Francicheck, 1055fn, 1080

Sanjiban, 16

Sanjib Chowdhury, 1155

Sannyasi, bad temper of, 223, 227

Santayana, George, 505

Sarojini Naidu, 505, 506

Schopenhauer, Arthur, 828

Science, 122, 191, 427, 523, 559, 822, 892, 903

and truth, 561

medical, 813

Self, see Experience (s), of Self; Realisation, of the Self

Sex (sexuality), 33, 75, 117, 215, 366, 519, 582, 610, 687, 748, 754

and death, 476

and love, 793-5

and self-control, 21, 796-7

and women, 107, 114, 115, 616

emissions, 56-7, 862-3, 866

for the preservation of species, 116, 582-3, 795

freedom from, 611-2

malpractice, 212-3

sex-energy, 391-5

sex-glands, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396-7

sex-pleasure and Brahmananda, 793-5

see also Ashram, sex-force in; Sadhana, and sex

Shakespeare, William, 224, 398, 490, 500, 631, 639, 794, 803, 922, 923, 929, 940, 954, 988, 1046, 1145, 1147, 1180, 1181, 1182, 1183, 1187

Shankara [Shankaracharya], 78, 343

Shaw, G.B., 240, 1040, 1181

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 404, 599, 770, 794, 935, 1172

Silence, 72, 73, 74, 81, 891

see also Mind, silent

Sincerity, 19-20, 29, 217, 270, 352, 910, 911-2, 914; earnestness, 281, 755

sincere heart and extraordinary powers, 301

Sircar, Dr. Mahendranath, 591, 722, 730, 1048

Sleep, 59-60, 80, 108-9, 116, 161, 206, 408, 707, 772 859, 871

best time for, 38

conscious, 4-5

in meditation, 1-2, 7, 91

pass into, in concentration, 8-9, 10, 11

Smiles, Samuel, 102

Socrates, 306

S of Dayalbagh, 557

Somnath, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351

Sophocles, 498, 779, 789

Sorrow, 263

see also Life, sorrow and suffering in

Soul, 560

and body, 81, 488, 560, 739

and Grace, xiv-xv, 461, 465, 580

and Ignorance, 303-5, 310-2, 333-4, 606, 850

and Karma, 309-10, 334

turning of, towards the Divine, 303, 454; see also Psychic being, awakening of

see also Psychic being; Sadhana, fruits by the measure of the soul

Southey, Robert, 547

Spirit-entity, and pineal gland, 558-61

Spiritual consciousness, 54, 173, 639

and praise and blame, 301, 1108

and reading Dickens, 681, 682

Spiritual experience, see Experience (s), spiritual


and greatness, 171, 176, 224, 344

and marriage, 476, 575-6, 611

and moralising the character, 1106, 1108-9

and sattwic man, 1109

and work in the world, 557-8

high qualities and, 1105

understanding, not by the intellect, 770, 1049

vs. social scale and university education, 142, 144, 145

Spiritual light, and idealistic or religious notions, 352, 363

Sri Aurobindo,

(1) Yoga/Sadhana: 80, 142, 150, 177, 204, 316

accident to carriage, 368

achieving Overmind, 150, 194

and the Divine’s help (Grace), 149, 170

anger, upsurge of, 748, 749; shouting, 1130

beginning of Yoga, 367-8; motive behind, 1077

bore every attack, 176; worked on each problem, 204

concentration 4-5 hours a day!, 457, 459

doubt and despair, 176

dropped several times, 879; if I fall out, 95

dull moments, 605

experiences: after contact with Lele, 170, 459-60, 467; of Brahman, 467; of Nirvana, 80, 170, 202, 206, 902; of Self, 367-8, 530; of Vasudeva, 367; spiritual, 371

getting out of mind, 170, 247; have never anything in my head, 538; I don’t think, 578, 1066, 1141

growth of capacities by Yoga, 62, 70, 88, 133, 148-9, 202, 204, 205, 366, 369-71, 683

Integral Yoga not easy even for me, 149, 282

joyous sacrifice, 350

meditating while walking, 249

mukti, 138, 185, 1151

no spirituality before taking up Yoga, 206

no struggle about Self, 530

physical work, 73-4, 80

Pranayam, 370, 371, 459, 467

retirement, 79, 125-6, 295, 663; question of coming out, 663, 789

samatā (equanimity), x, xiv, 170, 605, 717, 809; not upset, 188

subtle images, 65

suicide, no thought of, 265

vairagya period, 605

see also below (3): his sadhana ...

(2) Poetry/Prose: 165, 204, 416, 684, 1143

aim in writing poetry, 405, 543-4

alterations in poetry, 544, 846, 929

Cousins’ criticism, 746, 749

doggerels, 126-7, 489-90, 493, 494, 497, 520, 668, 756, 1163

fluency in poetry, 748

inspiration, capricious, 260, 516, 1170

labour for, 516, 1056, 1165

method of writing, 62, 1066

must be a bad critic, 1148

mystic poetry, 782-3

no expert: in Bengali chhanda, 416, 633, 634, 636, 903, 911, 923; in Bengali overhead poetry, 943, 1159, 1161

not follower of yuga-dharma, 864

no time for creative production, 398-9, 544, 686

overhead poetry, 939

poetry and sadhana, 1077

reading, 61, 62, 366; ignorance of other literature, 682

Savitri, 464, 939, 1072, 1146; writing and rewriting of, 543-5, 548, 929, 1165, 1166

scratching my head for words, 1173

self-depreciatory criticism, 775

sonnets, 418, 500, 501, 544, 789, 1165

surrealism, limited province, 815, 838

Surrealist poetry, 489, 790, 807, 814, 816-7

time taken for a poem, 401, 791

“12 recent poems”, 925

writing out of silent mind, 356, 362, 370

writing style, 242-3, 366, 370

wrote a lot in England, 748

(3) Help to others: 28-9, 79, 82, 92, 96, 263, 268, 300, 624, 842, 885, 1009

application of his Force: 127-9, 133, 553, 596; for cure, see Force, the, cure by ...; for poetry, 130, 260, 459, 468, 471, 490, 511-2, 520, 543, 579, 595, 597-8, 602, 604, 621, 625-6, 628, 640, 660, 662, 672, 765, 769, 895, 1010; easier for English, 496; inspirer not the supramental Self, 806, 807-8; metrifying, 826; not responsible for results, 807; running the Poetry Department, 765; strike against many, 843; time and labour on others’ poetry, 411-2, 413, 574, 791, 936-7, 961, 1060, 1076, 1114, 1143, 1166; for sadhana, 131, 133, 317-8, 522, 532, 602, 721, 731-2, 849, 1015; and change of character, 1105, 1108-9; tried the impossible, 325; for story-writing, 709, 744

correspondence, 78-9, 103, 126-7, 178, 187, 206, 212, 296, 326, 331, 353, 367, 370, 454-5, 469, 473, 501, 509, 525, 541, 553, 584, 597, 604, 609, 618, 623, 641, 655, 678-9, 722-3, 762, 795-6, 799, 800, 804, 811, 812, 921, 1149-50; answers cryptic, 660, 663-4, 665, 679; envelope system, 43; getting letters in vernacular, 589, 658; help through reading letters. 183, 595, 874-5; inner work delayed, 679; misinterpreting (misunderstanding) his writings, 221, 275, 329, 467, 543, 682, 837, 982, 1090-1; no light, 549, 676, 702, 1003-4; no time, 80, 130, 206, 260, 295, 423, 441, 465, 472, 500, 533, 618, 678, 701, 806, 858, . 887, 903, 1091, 1149; poem, Bengali, 126-7; poem, “Tautology”, 103; slip of pen, 305, 460, 527-8; Sundays, 138, 295, 418, 534; suspension of, 127, 134, 281, 501, 641, 658, 664, 1016, 1025; telling the Mother, 418; writing (one day) about: the Avatar, 243; Force, 130, 133-4, 192, 338, 596, 600-1, 714; Intuition, 204, 205, 206-7, 246, 678, 909; physical transformation, 321; Supermind, 295, 344, 907; women, 107-8, 115; work, 80; see also Nirodbaran, (1)

dealing with sadhaks, xii, 75, 93, 256, 284, 296, 298, 300, 389, 409-11, 502, 600, 851, 861, 924, 1087-9, 1091, 1109; see also Ashram, departures ...; Medical matters, (8): Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s care...; Sadhak (s), quarrelling ..., revolt...

doesn’t profess to transform men against their will, 298

his sadhana and terrestrial consciousness, 135, 138-9, 144, 148-9, 151, 166, 216, 288, 704; his difficulties and struggles, 165, 167-8, 174-5, 176, 177; his own example as proof, 80, 135, 138, 140, 148-9, 151, 165, 172-3, 351

meeting, in dreams, 663, 664-5, 772; see also Nirodbaran, (4)

receiving S.O.S.’s, 1179; see also Force, calling

“Trust in Me” ..., 232

(4) Work [mission]:

advancing (travelling forward), 161, 220, 287, 289, 291, 604

aim of, not Divine Rule, 479

and common clay, xi, xii

and hostile forces, 161, 911

and humanity (world), xii-xiii, 61, 79, 93, 139, 171, 285, 303

and new race, 341-3

and past seers, 343

and the subconscient, 246, 247, 254, 271, 287, 288, 289, 388, 389, 840-1

and the supramental, 79, 121, 131, 137, 142-3, 171, 179-80, 194, 195-6, 197-8, 205, 210, 211, 212, 216, 220, 222, 287-8, 293-5, 301, 320-1, 322, 342, 344, 388, 544, 590, 594, 660, 663-4, 698, 759, 903; Einsteinian formula, 287, 288-9, 291, 388

concentration on work, 78-9, 549, 553

concerned with getting things done, not with words, 192, 344, 852

digging, 852

everything depends on my success, 704

falling flat and recovery, 597-8

not understanding his work, 1049

opened the way, 138, 165, 166, 168, 172, 288

quarrel with Matter, 121, 205; am I Matter?, 194, 320

stillness and march, 604, 608

transformation of Overmind, 389

trying to get: a new consciousness in the world, 119, 177; some damned thing done, 584, 1150; supramental Light down, 903, 913; see also above and the supramental

what is in the mind of the sadhaks, matters, 301

working easy with nobody, 1110

work of, and big personalities, 1106-7, 1110-1

work of. and Dayalbagh sect, 557-8

(5) General:

and miracles, 119, 128, 135, 148, 204, 283, 300, 317-8, 464, 798, 973, 974

aspiration by post, 479

austere, grave!, 144-5, 156-7, 162

autobiographical hints, 367

Avatar, 138, 139, 165, 169, 174, 177, 748

body-transformation, vol. 2, vi

brilliant career!, 170-1

call (fish for) nobody, 92-3, 171, 1107, 1110

“catch you”, 634

choose to be deceived, 557

coming to Pondicherry, 203-4, 549fn, 711

common sense, 157, 340

contact with political heroes, 1111

cowards changed into heroes, xi, 133, 136

criticism against, 149, 296, 297, 341-3, 411, 570-1, 602, 691, 789, 851, 1108

daily programme, 295, 296, 464, 553, 595, 628, 672, 765

delightful time, 549

dhotis, 653

did what the Divine wanted, 683

Divine largesse, xiv, xv, vol. 2, v don’t believe in complexes, 732

emanations of, 275

Englishman does not terrify me, 507

facsimiles of, 1, 78, 134

feast, 757

Goddesses and the Vedas, 356

heredity, 169, 253

horoscope of, 444

humour, 103, 143, 318, 351, vol. 2, vii, 1035, 1141-2; can’t joke in public, 489; remarks and criticisms not meant to hurt, xiv, 103, 827; see also Humour, Sri Aurobindo’s

I.C.S., 942, 1084

illness: eczema, 456, 959; eye-trouble, 178, 180, 186-7, 190, 1016; fragments of, 190; giddiness, 179, 190; pain in heels, 249; smallpox, 901

illness, way of dealing with, 435

immortality, 193-4, 196; conquest of death and illness, 189-94, 712-3; fancy to die, 196, 199-200, vol. 2, vi

inconsistencies in statements, 83, vol. 2, vii

independence and revolutionary movement, 102-3, 170, 488; Swadeshi times, 351

India as the Mother, 487-8

Indian mind and spirit, 506

ink, pad, pen, 496, 500. 521, 525, 541

intellect not dashing. 236

joking all the time, vol. 2, vi

judging, 296, 301

knowledge ineffable, 762

laughing all the time, ix

lifting things from his writings, 646

lived dangerously, 92. 100-3

many-sided Guru, ix, xiv

marriage, 575, 576

Master, 221, 285, 1158

menu, 541, 973

military capacity, 895

misfortunes usual, 881

modern Guru, x

multitudinous manifestations, 244, 808

need nothing, 138, 148

no latent medico, 200, 204-5, 645, 885; not a doctor, 123, 678, 868

no spree, 857

not a moralist, 565

no time to laugh, 667

not jumping at conclusions, 440

occult faculty, 283

opening to Force of Inspiration, 684

outside world for, vol. 2, vii

pān-supāri, 786

pomegranate juice, 464

poverty no terror, 102

publication of his literary work, 631-2

reaction to criticism, 809-10

“reading” photographs, 328, 375-6, 566

safety I would like, 92

science in school, 941, 942

scientific person, 164

seen much of the world, 437

Shiva element, 76

source of Peace, 773, 986

suffering the Divine Law, 984

Supreme!, 478

tea-habit, 228, 878

understanding of, flexible, vol. 2, vii

Upanishads untiring, 1070

vairagya and samatā, 605

vishwarup pacifist (amiable), 162, 480

weight, 578

witnessing plague, 738

see also Sadhak (s), wanting to be equal ...; Vision, of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, see Ashram, Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga (Integral Yoga), 80, 84, 86, 141, 149, 150-1, 231, 681, 848, 1054

accepts life, xii, xiii, 86, 1077

and former Yogis, 218-9, 993

and Man of Sorrows, 263-5

and old Yogas, 77-80 223, 593, 750

and other Yogas, 879, 898

and paternal or filial love, 591-2

and psychic transformation, 327

cardinal principle of, xii, xiv

denial of, 149, 151

for the Divine, 342, 343-4

Grand Trunk Road, 231, 282

need of balance, 223, 376

no short cuts in everything, 204

not a Vaishnava Yoga, 264

privacy better for work, 860

queer, cold and strange, 858-9

realisation of the Self, a beginning only in, 593, 993

scepticism stupid, 1100, 1101

test in, 593, 993

two kinds of understanding, 1101

why so difficult, 593

Stillness (stabdhatā), 67-8, 603, 604, 655, 735-6

Subconscient, the, 254, 592, 594, 829

and illness, 248, 518, 738, 1053, 1054, 1124, 1125

and the general Nature, 247-8, 251-3

revolt of, 221; see also Descent, and upsurge of subconscient mud

subconscious belt, 831

see also Sri Aurobindo, (4) Work: and the subconscient

Subliminal, the, 146, 147, 252, 665, 829, 833

Success, 137, 224, 355, 683, 1107

and “blue moon”, 432, 523, 572

and morality, 432

contemporary, 1155

see also Medical matters, (2)

Suffering, see Life, sorrow and suffering in

Suicide, 53, 265, 608, 616, 674-5, 748, 749

Sukhdev, 107

Sultan of Johore, 565-6

Superman, 93

and man, 323

Supermind (the Supramental), 141, 192, 236, 1100, 1101

and freedom of the individual, 327, 912

and Krishna etc., 219

aspiration for, 215-6, 219-20

does not take away any capacity, 1130

fixing the possibilities of, by the mind, 236-7, 323, 999

highest planes not so accommodating, 544

in physical consciousness, 544

language, 243

mind developing into, 139, 625

nature of, 625

no jurisdiction, 584

only “dead cert” for physical things, 201

peace, poise and sanity first, 209, 210

supramentalisation and divinisation, 342

supramentalisation in parts, 189, 195, 294

tail of, 321, 324, 325, 327, 328, 388, 389, 590-1, 857-8, 1067, 1088, 1130

taking anything other as, 342, 455, 1101

understanding of, 1100-1

will respect Truth only, 327

see also Overmind, and Supermind; Sadhak (s), becoming supramental; Sri Aurobindo, (4): and the supramental

Supramental change, 704

first step in, 1067

Supramental Consciousness,

and human consciousness, vol. 2, vii

Supramental descent (bringing down the Supermind), 79, 195-6, 301, 344, 388, 590, 905-6, 999, 1130

and death and illness, 189, 191-4, 703, 704, 712-3

and departures from the Ashram, 913

and human race, 171

and necessity of sadhana, 703, 704, 712-3, 907; 30 years not too slow, 673

and sex-force, 1000, 1004; see also Descent, and sex

and time factor, 213, 214-5, 673, 679

help by, 210, 324, 326-7, 703

in Sri Aurobindo, 194, 293-4, 320

into earth consciousness, 705, 712-3

into the material, 294, 320-1

into the physical!, 179-80, 214-5

necessary condition for, 992

postponement of, 913

why first in Sri Aurobindo and Mother?, 142-3

see also Descent; Sadhak, and the supramental descent

Supramental Force, 907

and Divine Force, 713-4

Supramental Knowledge, and faith, 625

Supramental race, see New race

Supramental realisation, 216, 219-20

Surface being, 147, 252

Surface consciousness, 12, 73, 275

Surrender, 29, 177, 208, 344, 466, 471, 522, 652, 859, 865

Swinburne, A.C., 652


bird, 527

Blue Bird, 822

colours: blue, 686; gold, 686; pale blue, 51; pink, 51; red, 289; violet, 454; white, 686

colours, play of, 31

cross, 76

east, 31

full moon, 76

golden cup, 454

incense sticks, 356

lights: red-crimson, 242; White, 764-5

sea, 33, 208, 1138

silver, 356

silver coins, 356

snakes, 65, 643

Sphinx, 674

sun, 33

swan, 527, 782, 910

wire, 643

Synthesis of Yoga, The, 242-3

Tagore, Rabindranath, xi, 39, 70, 125, 129, 369, 505, 631, 661, 770, 803, 850, 1070, 1071, 1072, 1083

Tennyson, Alfred, 398, 412

Theory, 698

Thomas à Kempis, 173

Thompson [a visitor], 504, 509, 511

Thompson, Francis, 448, 1038, 1172, 1175

Thought (s), 17, 474, 738, 1066

coming of, 357, 358, 362-3, 1062

disturbing, in meditation, 65, 66, 68

hostile, 3, 23-4 “I think, therefore I am”, 307

thought-substance in different persons, 362-3

Tota Puri, 335

Transformation, xi, xiii, 135, 166, 173, 223, 288, 298, 321, 593, vol. 2, vi, 900, 993

complete, 218

of defects, 10

of the nature, see Nature, human, change (transformation) of

of the whole nature, required in Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, 593, 993

personal, and of world and hostile forces, 555

physical, 321

psychic, 218, 327, 329, 330

psychic, spiritual and supramental, 218

supramental and spiritual-mental, 219

see also Supramental change

Truth, 83, 226, 304, 327, 483

and error, 986

and shocked reverence for the past, 343

essential and conditional, 142

home-truths, 823

in every proposition, 506, 961

intellectual and real, 764, 771

lies, and observance of, 873, 1001, 1048, 1109

see also Mind, mental statements and the truth

Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, ix

Underhill, Evelyn, 793

Universal Nature, see Nature, universal

Urvasi, 528

Vairagya, 605-6, 637, 638, 995

Valéry, Paul, 829

Valle, Dr., 379, 383, 386, 418, 435, 697, 877, 888, 890, 891, 892, 926

Valmiki, 201, 202, 498, 1147

Verlaine, Paul, 781, 828, 829

Vidyasagar, Ishwarchandra, 374

Virgil, 401, 548, 743, 747, 926, 970, 988

Virtue, 347, 432

Vision, 31, 33, 208, 643, 686, 689, 832, 1153

Mother’s, about Sri Aurobindo and Nirod, xi

of complexion becoming golden, 685-6, 687-8

of J lying dead, 616

of Mother, 617

of Mother and Sri Aurobindo at Cape Comorin, 1090

of Sri Aurobindo, 67

of Sri Krishna, 39

of Sun-Goddess, 415

of violet stream and golden cup, 453-4

Vital, the, 55, 252, 453, 483, 616, 665, 793, 1002

becoming ghost, after death, 723, 733

dealing with, 17, 21, 33, 278, 657, 658, 1089, 1132

magnetic, 961-2

mind struggling with, 350

mind supporting, 311, 611, 1132

nature of, 271, 615, 653, 730, 787

needed qualities of, 164

needs something to hook on to, 1133

non-cooperation, 655-6, 995; Gandhian, 228, 243, 532

old vital moorings, 278 622

resistance of, 14, 64, 278, 303, 304, 311, 655-6, 849, 850, 851, 1129

source of difficulties in sadhana, 56, 72, 113, 463, 470, 519, 605, 606, 1126, 1132

Vital attraction, double, 730

Vital interchange, 7, 1060-2

building a wall against, 1062-3

Vital love, see Love, vital

Vital plane (world), 793

and physical world, 163, 164, 314, 664-6, 828

forms in, 298-9

truth of happenings on, 664-6

understanding, by mind, 772, 828

see also Dreams, on-vital plane

Vivekananda, 252, 256, 277, 394, 478, 737, 906

Voronoff, Serge, 191, 195

Vyasa, 498, 1147


and India, 340-1

and justice, 565

Will, 36, 42, 522, 651, 652, 659, 1129

see also Free will

Wodehouse, P.G., 365

Woman/Women, 492-3, 581, 616, 708, 716-7, 735, 1119-20, 1133

and sex, 107, 114, 115, 616

asexual friend, 1121

eternal and Real, 270

“feminine women”, 749

“girls” almost always complex, 1094

womanly woman, 823

see also Man, and women

Wordsworth, William, 498, 599, 966, 1084, 1085, 1172

Work, 35, 72

and happiness, 486

and meditation, 77-80, 82-6, 484-6

anticipating trouble, and the right attitude, 790

as an offering, 12, 70, 73-4, 859

calling in the Force for, 87, 99-100

concentration and, 78, 79, 80

getting interest in, 55

highest realisation through, 77-80, 84-6

loss of temper in, 87, 257-8, 287, 368-9, 1130

physical, 73-4, 80

physical, and literary, 87, 451

reading when at, 15, 59

remembering the Mother in, 16-7, 99, 313, 451

sacrifice of, 350

spiritual value of, 49

yogic, 73, 85-6, 87

see also Action; Effort; Karmayoga; Sri Aurobindo, (4)

World, 94, 128, 175, 239, 454, 555, 582, 602, 1002, 1052

at present, 279, 280, 292, 826

Divine’s way of acting upon, 128-9, 602

Law and Great Wheel, 564

outside, for Sri Aurobindo, vol. 2, vii

riddle of this, 277, 280

things look bad enough, 322-3, 1157, 1185

see also Physical world; Vital plane (world)

Yoga, 24, 29, 231, 239, 361, 649, 764, 808, 872, 915, 1001

aim of, 58, 70, 310, 344, 376, 460, 683, 704, 964

and brilliance, 858

and difficulties, xiii, 14, 17, 32, 33, 92, 93, 96, 113, 168, 263, 264-5, 278, 297, 409, 502, 532-3, 555, 592, 614, 651, 657, 658, 898, 914, 981, 1081; of sattwic and rajasic man, 346-7

and fear, 737

and great personalities (bigness), 171, 176, 1107, 1111

and headache, 264, 718

and moral obligations, 904

and past karma, 309-10

and physical science, 559, 561

and quarrels, 411

and sociability, 851, 858, 861-2, 1108

and sound body, 11-2; health not enough, 735

and tea-talk etc., 851, 858, 861-2, 907, 988, 1062

becoming conscious: of forces by, 306, 314, 532-3; of one’s pretences by, 1047, 1048

building up of a new consciousness, 975

Charvak’s way, 858

demanding rational explanation from, 511-2, 514

denial of all possibilities of, 129, 167, 173

effects of, 14, 40, 306, 314, 362, 1060, 1062; see also Yoga-Force, growth of capacities by

failures in, and apprehension, xiv, 26-30, 90-1, 94-5, 298, 302, 303, 308, 592-3, 700-1, 726, 727, 741-2, 748, 750-1, 851-2, 858, 912, 1089

fall in, 95, 96, 593, 700, 748, 797, 914, 975

fitness and unfitness in, 461

food and sleep, 58, 108-9

good “adhar” in, 281, 282

higher being (things) once gained can be regained, 956-7, 975

if absolute surrender, faith, etc. from the beginning were essential ..., 177

Integral Yoga, see Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga

interest in, 72

lila-attitude, 882

not devoid of all reason, 29, 602

not safe or easy, 29, 94-6, 170, 272, 582, 914

one man doing yoga for all, xiii

pressure of, xiii, 14, 30, 592-3, 851

presumptuous demand in, 460

safeguards in, see Sadhana, and hostile force (s) ...

seeking for safety, 29, 91, 92-6, 1129; see also above failures in, and apprehensions

Sound-Yoga, 558

steps in, 112

ties and, 43, 267, 1000-1

turn for, each has his own time, 11, 24

ups and downs in, 45, 310, 975

see also Sadhana; Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga

Yoga-Force (Yogic Force), 133

growth of capacities by, 69-70, 88, 133, 138, 146, 148-9, 202, 204, 206, 207, 208, 369-71, 405, 491, 661, 850, 1106; and inborn qualities, 260, 261, 491, 569; price for, 207, 1151

pressure of, 639-40, 643

producing spiritual results more easily than mental results?, 371

Yogi, xiv, 155-6, 158, 219, 307, 486, 487, 514, 539, 559, 993

Yogic poise, 646, 652

Yogic strand, 637, 638

Yogic vision, about patients, 201, 205

Yogic work, 73, 85-6, 87

Yudhishthir, 95


In the early thirties Nirodbaran joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry after returning from England as a qualified doctor. He came to the Ashram with the intention of practising Yoga, and here he found to his surprise that poetry was one of the vocations taken up by some disciples as means of sadhana. Sri Aurobindo was giving inspiration to them and taking active interest in their writings. Nirodbaran, too, indulged in his “eccentric innovations” without knowing anything about English metrical forms. Beginning in a mystic-surrealistic vein, the poems progressed towards “Overhead Poetry” for it was Sri Aurobindo who guided the poet to perfection in his work. Some of the outstanding publications of Nirodbaran are Talks with Sri Aurobindo, Vols. I, II, III; Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, Vols I and 2; Sri Aurobindo’s Humour; Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo; Memorable Contacts with the Mother; Sun-Blossoms; Fifty Poems with Corrections and Comments by Sri Aurobindo; and some works in Bengali.


1 “My Thoughts”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 39.


2 A local boy who used to help Pavitra in Atelier.


3 There is a functional disorder somewhere, not a lesion – and the origin of this functional disorder is probably nervous (due to something wrong in the vital – this is the ultimate psychological cause).


4 “Haloed Face”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 45.


5 “Sleep of Light”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 46.


6 “E’n la sua volontade è nostra pace”.

La Divina Commedia, “Paradiso”, canto 3, 85.


7 MS mutilated from this point.


8 Mrs. Sammer, the wife of Francicheck Sammer, one of the Czech architects of Golconde.


9 “Sky Transcendent”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 79.


10 prakṛtiṃ yānti bhūtāni.


11 “Seeking Thy Light....”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 60.


12 Mental imposition.


13 Mother’s Centenary, vol. 3. p. 6.


14 Antonin Raymond – a Czech architect of Golconde, settled in the U.S.A.


15 na tatra bhāti candratārakāṃ: “There the moon and the stars shine not.”


16 rasa vaicitrya: a variety of sentiments or feelings.


17 preraṇā: inspiration.


18 Original in Bengali.


19 viśvaprakṛti: world nature.


20 svarabṛtta: one of the principal metres of Bengali poetry.


21 “Lonely Tramp”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 56.


22 In the construction work of Golconde.


23 “Childhood Dream”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 61.


24 rūpāntar: transformation.


25 rāṁdhunī: cook.


26 bhaṇḍāmi.


27 paṇḍaśrama: useless efforts.


28 “Silver Wonder”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 63.


29 In the cave of the heart.


30 ol kacu.


31 Indifferent, aloof.


32 Mother’s Cent. vol. 2, p. 169.


33 Claim.


34 “A Throb of the Vast”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 87.


35 X’s pronunciation of the word “mixture”.


36 “Seeds of Vision”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 75.


37 “Reunion”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 77.


38 The original line reads: “I preach’d as never sure to preach again”.


39 Two lines of my poem that day were:

“Each moment new histories are begun

In the invisible spheres of the Infinite.”


40 Two lines of my poem that day were:

“Each moment new histories are begun

In the invisible spheres of the Infinite.”


41 mūlya: value, price.


42 mokṣa: liberation.


43 mokṣa: liberation.


44 Kalzana food: a patent form of calcium.


45 “Of a Presence in the heart of a diamond prayer.

No whirling tide of mortal dreams there brings

Waves of a silver passion on foam-wings:

Only in the eternal hush of space

Abides the beauty of the changeless Face.”


46 Fifty Poems of Nirodbaran, p. 98.


47 The daughter of President Woodrow Wilson of the U.S.A.


48 mahājano gato yena panthā: the path followed by great men.


49 “O Light Inviolable”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 97.


50 Fifty Poems of Nirodbaran, p. 102.


51 “Quest Fulfilled”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 91.


52 Fifty Poems of Nirodbaran, p. 110.


53 “Thy Presence”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 108.


54 The Mother in fact had written “Cuddalore”.


55 “Primal Source”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 99.


56 “Flames of Vision”, Sun-Blossoms, p. 106