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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

I would like to know why the resistance rushed up on 15th August. You said it depends on one's condition. It is true that I indulged in food or in mental questionings and these last few months were very lax.

Laxity and a self-externalising consciousness more occupied with outer than with inner things.

I have resolved to abstain from Sunday indulgences or make them as infrequent as possible. I have already resisted many hankerings for a cup of tea.

About food, tea etc. the aim of Yoga is to have no hankerings, no slavery either to the stomach or the palate. How to get to that point is another matter – it depends often on the individual. With a thing like tea, the strongest and easiest way is to stop it. As to food the best way usually is to take the food given you, practise non-attachment and follow no fancies. That would mean giving up the Sunday indulgence. The rest must be done by an inner change of consciousness and not by external means.

After Darshan, I have been trying every day not to go to D's, but somehow find myself there...

If you get something by the darshan, it is better to go home and absorb it; if not, it does not matter. Only you have to take care not to absorb deleterious influences at the gathering – I mean, moods of doubt, depression, indifference to things spiritual etc., etc.

There are some people who are very free with their palate and yet are not the worse for it.

How do you know they are not any the worse in the Yogic sense?

This is what you mean, I suppose, by the term “complete attitude of the sadhak” – giving up all these things. If not, I would request you to elaborate it a little.

All these are external things that have their use. But what I mean is something more inward. I mean not to be interested in outward things for their own sake, following after them with desire, but at all times to be intent on one's soul, living centrally in the inner being and its progress, taking outward things and action only as a means for the inner progress.

The question of food is to some extent within one's control, but what to do with the habitual movement of the mind?

Detach yourself from it – make your mind external to you, something that you can observe as you observe things occurring in the street. So long as you do not do that, it is difficult to be the mind's master.

People say that one shouldn't read when one is at work. I have already told you that I read.

Usually reading when at work is not desirable. I don't remember just now what your work is.


1934 08 21 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran