Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
P.S. was telling me that cultivation of literature here hasn't much sense, since none will be able to get first class, or outclass Tagore. He must always remain the only brilliant star in literature. Others won't even get a chance to shine by his side, not to speak of outshining him. Only Dilip can be somehow given a second class privilege, but that too for his prose, and not for poetry.
He further asserts that Yoga has no power to bring any pursuit – literature, painting, etc. to a height of perfection.
I don't agree with P.S. If a man has a capacity for poetry or anything else, it will certainly come out and rise to greater heights than it would have done elsewhere. Witness D who was unable to write poetry till he came here though he had the instinct and the suppressed power in him, N whose full flow came only here. A, P whose recent poems in Gujerati seem to me to have an extraordinary beauty – though I admit that I am no expert there. H wrote beautifully before but the sovereign excellence of his recent poetry is new. There are others who are developing a power of writing they had not before. All that does not show that Yoga has no power to develop capacity. I myself have developed many capacities by Yoga. Formerly I could not have written a line of philosophy ― now people have started writing books about my philosophy to my great surprise. It is not a question of first class or second class, One has to produce one's best and develop – the “class” if class there must be will be decided by posterity. Tagore himself was once considered second class by any number of people and the nature, of his poetry was fiercely questioned – until the Nobel prize and consequent fame ended their discussions. One has not to consider fame or the appreciation of others, but do whatever work one can do as an offering of one's capacity to the Divine.
Of course, P.S. qualified his statement by saying that Supramental Force may do miracles. Such being the case, why not then direct one's energies towards spiritual achievements?
Certainly the energies should be directed towards spiritual achievement here – other things can only be a corollary or else something developed for the service of the spiritual Force.
I suppose he didn't mean born poets like Harindra and Nishikanta but the common herd like us who have no inborn talents, but who nevertheless aspire to be literary men. But even then, one cannot agree, for if Yoga can only raise geniuses to super-geniuses and cannot make crowns out of clay, well –
Well, of course the first business of Yoga is not to make geniuses at all, but to make spiritual men – but Yoga can do the other thing also.