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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

It is neither a discussion nor a medical report; but you may take it, if you like, as a medical report of my present mental-spiritual condition...

I am unhappy and I don't know why. To put it medically, there is some hidden focus of infection, disseminating slow and mild but constant toxins of unhappiness in the system.

Well, but hang it all! If there is no “why”, then “why” be “unhappy”?

Is it in “the system” or in the air? Endemic? epidemic? You seem to be only one of many cases.

I felt an immense joy at the Darshan,1 but it ebbed away as soon as I came down.

It sounds like facilis descensus Averno.2 But after all downstairs and Erebus are not the same thing.

There are some Yogis, I hear, who are in bliss during meditation, but when they come down they are swallowed up by the lower nature, and to escape from this they at once leap up to their static sublimity. Unfortunately I can't rush up again till August.3 Will you kindly come down and help the poor amateur Yogi out of these inexplicable meshes?

Come down? into Erebus? No, thank you – I might become like the said Yogis.

But what is all this? We count minutes and hours for the Darshans and when they come and go, what kind of reaction do they leave in the being? and why?4

It must be like your unhappiness – no why to it.

At present I am only sleeping and sleeping, no aspiration, no will, nothing – śūnyam, void! Have I set the devil on my track by my boasting?

Please save me from this Dilipian despair.

Which boasting?

But why hug despair without a cause – Dilipian5 or other? Come to your senses and develop a Nirodian jollity instead (not necessarily Mark Tapleyan,6 though that is better than none). Laugh and be fat – then dance to keep the fat down – that is a sounder programme.

The Overmind seems so distant from us, and your Himalayan austerity and grandeur takes my breath away, making my heart palpitate!

O rubbish! I am austere and grand, grim and stern! every blasted thing that I never was! I groan in unAurobindian despair when I hear such things. What has happened to the common sense of all you people? In order to reach the Overmind it is not at all necessary to take leave of this simple but useful quality. Common sense by the way is not logic (which is the least commonsense-like thing in the world), it is simply looking at things as they are without inflation or deflation – not imagining wild imaginations – or for that matter despairing “I know not why” despairs.



1 on February 2lst


2 In Latin: Easy the descent to Hell.


3 15th – the next Darshan


4 Sri Aurobindo underlined “why”


5 In the manner of another disciple, Dilip, well-known for his changing moods.


6 A light-hearted young man in Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit whose ambition was “to come out jolly” in the most unfavourable circumstances.











1935 02 23 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran