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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

I can quite understand that the inner knowledge comes with the growth and heightening of consciousness. But what about the outer knowledge – what we ordinarily call knowledge?

The capacity for it can come with the inner knowledge, E.g. I understood nothing about painting before I did Yoga. A moment's illumination in Alipore jail opened my vision and since then I have understood with the intuitive perception and vision. I do not know the technique, of course, but I can catch it at once if anybody with knowledge speaks of it. That would have been impossible to me before.

Suppose you had not studied English literature: would it be still possible for you to say something about it by Yogic experience?

Only by cultivating a special siddhi, which would be much too bothersome to go after. But I suppose if I had got the Yogic knowledge (in your hypothetical case) it would be quite easy to add the outer one.

I hope you won't say like Ramakrishna that these things – outer knowledge, beauty of expression, thought-power, etc., don't matter since they don't lead us to the Divine. But you have said we are children of an intellectual age. Should we not follow in the footsteps of the Master?

Essentially Ramakrishna was right. The literature etc. belongs to the instrumentation of the Divine Life – It is of importance only if one accepts that aim and even so, not of importance to everybody. It is not necessary for instance for everybody to have a mastery of English literature or to be a poet or a scientist or acquainted with all science (an encyclopaedia in knowledge). What is more important is to have an instrument of knowledge that will apply itself accurately, calmly, perfectly to all that it has to handle.

Chand has sent a rupee to buy something for you on New Year's day. I don't know what to buy.

Nor do I.


1934 12 29 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran