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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set


Nirodbaran's correspondence with Sri Aurobindo began in February 1933 and continued till November 1938 when Sri Aurobindo injured his right leg in an accident as a result of which, the correspondence came to a stop, and Nirodbaran became one of his attendants.

We felt that it would be interesting to present the entire correspondence just as it has taken place, in its chronological order, showing the gradual development of this unique Guru-Shishya relationship. The chronological arrangement, moreover, allowed us to include a great number of letters or fragments which were not included in the earlier editions.

From the facsimiles, the reader will observe that Sri Aurobindo usually answered Nirodbaran's questions in the margin and at times long answers followed at the end. But since we cannot reproduce this form in print, the device adopted here is to arrange the questions and answers in paragraphs.

Nirodbaran sent 3 notebooks at a time: private, medical and literary. So the reader may sometimes find a single day's correspondence jumping from one subject to another.

The correspondence was left for Sri Aurobindo before the head of the staircase in the Meditation Hall.

Sri Aurobindo used to consult the Mother on questions regarding the sadhana and practical matters. He sat up in an armchair, going through the correspondence of the disciples till the early hours of the morning, in the hall below the Mother's second-floor room (which was built much later). The next day the "divine post" was handed over to Nolini for distribution to the disciples.

For the publication of Nirodbaran's Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo a thorough checking was done with the original manuscript as well as with the typescripts of those letters that Nirodbaran had sent to Sri Aurobindo for revision (more than a hundred typed sheets). In earlier editions the questions were either condensed (at times to such an extent that they were given a different turn) or omitted altogether. Here all the relevant questions are being published, mostly verbatim. They help to show the great liberty the Shishya took while writing to the Guru. But the main purpose is to bring out the full sense of Sri Aurobindo's responses, which can often be better appreciated and understood if the reader has an opportunity to read Nirodbaran's letters just as Sri Aurobindo did. Many are new and those already published can be seen in a new light because all is now in its actual sequence and reads virtually as it did when the notebooks were passing between Sri Aurobindo and Nirodbaran.