Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
During the evening meditation I was wondering why I was not able to find the rasa of life. Many have found it in poetry, some in painting, others in physical work through which they can offer themselves easily and joyously to the Divine. The consecration becomes ever so much easier through works for which they have an affinity whereas to people like me who have no definite tendencies in any single pursuit, consecration becomes doubly difficult. I was thinking of praying to you to let me find rasa in work, when I had this experience.
I felt that my mind was divided into two parts – the inner absolutely silent, not disturbed by anything; the surface mind (physical?) thinking at random of many things which were passing by like a cinema film. Previously the whole being was mixed up with all those thoughts with a resultant turmoil. But this time the inner mind seemed to be detached. As soon as the outer thoughts cropped up it tried to see if all this was a forced condition of mind, – but no, the silence was really there and intact. This continued as long as the meditation lasted. I would like to have your corroboration on the matter. I wonder how these experiences suddenly drop in. I don't know that I opened myself today specially to such an experience!
The consciousness from which these experiences come is always there pressing to bring them in. The reason why they don't come in freely or stay is the activity of the mind and vital always rushing about, thinking this, wanting that, trying to perform mountaineering feats on all the hillocks of the lower nature instead of nourishing a stronger and simple aspiration and opening to the higher consciousness that it may come in and do its own work. Rasa of poetry, painting or physical work is not the thing to go after. What gives the interest in Yoga is the rasa of the Divine and of the divine consciousness which means the rasa of Peace, of Silence, of inner Light and Bliss, of growing inner Knowledge, of increasing inner Power, of the Divine Love, of all the infinite fields of experience that open to one with the opening of the inner consciousness. The true rasa of poetry, painting or any other activity is truly found when these things are part of the working of the Divine Force in you and you feel it is that and it exists in the joy of that working.
This condition you had of the inner being and its silence – separated from the surface consciousness and its little restless workings – is the first liberation, the liberation of Purusha from Prakriti, and it is a fundamental experience. The day when you can keep it, you can know that the Yogic consciousness has been founded in you. This time it has increased in intensity, but it must also increase in duration.
These things do not “drop” – what you have felt was there in you all the time, but you did not feel it because you were living on the surface altogether, and the surface is all crowd and clamour. But in all men there is this silent Purusha, base of the true mental being, the true vital being, the true physical being. It was by your prayer and aspiration that the thing came, to show you in what direction you must travel in order to have the true rasa of things, for it is only when one is liberated that one can get the real rasa. For after this liberation come others and among them the liberation and Ananda in action as well as in the static inner silence.