Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
I beg to submit my apologies. I committed this folly because of ignorance of facts. Believe me, I did not know that you were the brain behind the revolutionary movement and its real leader till I read the other day what Barinbabu has written about you (that does not minimise my guilt, I know). But even then I couldn't persuade myself to believe it, though I was very glad to hear it. I only knew that you were an extremist Congress leader for which the Govt. was shadoing and suspecting you. Now that it is confirmed by you I know (not by experience) what is meant by the phrase “living dangerously”. Of course I was not referring to anything about Yoga or the inner life. But why put me to shame by dragging my poor self into it? My dangers don't prove anything, do they?
Wait a sec. I have admitted nothing about “Barinbabu” – only to having inspired and started and maintained while I was in the field a movement for independence. That used at least to be a matter of public knowledge. I do not commit myself to more than that. My dear fellow, I was acquitted of sedition twice and of conspiracy to wage war against the British Raj once and each time by an impeccably British magistrate, judges or judge. Does not that prove conclusively my entire harmlessness and that I was a true Ahimsuk?
I read your poem on “Tautology”1 written to Dilipda, and I felt rather bad for you. So if you like I can write only three days a week.
The poem was not aimed at you – you need have no qualms of conscience.
If you mind the way I have written the last few letters, I mean the humorous vein in them – I shall stop it and keep to the point. But let me say that it was by some gracious movement of yours that I dared to do this, and I have really wondered how I dare! I have told you already how I enjoy and feel happy by your kindly jokes and humour...
Not necessary to stop. Unless you are afraid of word-punctures in the skull. My indignations and objurgations are jocular and not meant to burn or bite.
To come to serious matters. What would you say if the Mother actually proposed to you to exchange the timber-trade for medicine? E.g. (1) to transfer your worldly and unworldly goods and your learned and noble person to the Dispensary and take physical charge of keeping it in order. (2) to help Becharlal in ministering to the physical ills of the sadhaks – with the provision that you may have hereafter to take the main charge, if he takes a trip to Gujerat.
The Mother is rather anxious that you should take up this work; she had the idea, as I told you, when D.S. broke down (which was a pity because he was in many respects the ideal man for the charge), but she did not propose it because she was not sure you would like it. As yet the suggestion is confidential, for pending your answer, we have said nothing to Becharlal.
1 Sri Aurobindo referred humorously to the letters of the disciples where they often repeated the same points again and again.