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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

I hear there are some who proceed through the heart, and and some through the mind, in sadhana. Those who proceed through the mind – vertically, receive Light, Knowledge etc. I would like to know if a vertical opening can be there without the opening of the heart centre.

It can – but that usually leads to mokṣa or to jāna only, what Ramakrishna called śuṣka jñāna.

I think that an intellectually developed man like N has an advantage over an emotional man like U; he will have a greater depth, wideness and vastness, and will most probably have also the experiences that U had, when his heart centre opened.

Leaving out individual comparisons, which are odorous,1 – if the intellectual will always have a greater wideness and vastness, how can we be sure that he will have an equal fervour, depth and sweetness with the emotional men?

I don't see why U's mind-power will be ultimately less because, as you say, when the inner mind or the head centre opens, there is a downpour of Knowledge. Then if we can expect a mental type's heart opening up, we can also expect the psychic type's head and inner mind opening up and thus bringing in the downpour of Knowledge.

That is more logical – but the logical is not necessarily true. It may be that homo intellectualis will remain wider and homo psychicus will remain deeper in heart.

I am still not sure. Can we say that Ramakrishna's mind or Christ's mind was as powerful as that of Buddha?

Buddha's mind as a mind was more powerful, but had he as much or as many-sided a spiritual knowledge as Ramakrishna? I leave out Christ, because his spiritual knowledge was from the heart only and intense but limited.

Or can we ever imagine that a supramental X will have the same mental range and altitude as the supramental Sri Aurobindo? Absurd!

Mental and supramental are two different things. How does the supramental come in here?

You may say that it is after all the realisation that is important and all three had that; nevertheless, I think that a powerful mind is an extra asset. In this intellectual age the mind is going to play a big part. Hasn't your great dashing intellect charmed many intellectuals of the age?

Which intellectual age? The intellectual age is dead. Intellectuals are becoming less and less important.

There is nothing dashing in my intellect. And what effect for the spiritual purpose has the charming of these ineffective intellectuals?

So I would like to know how far your supramental Yoga can develop the mental faculty of U, S, etc. and also of people like my humble self: whether the full opening of these inner centres will make everybody's knowledge the same.

Please do not confuse the higher knowledge and mental knowledge. The intellectual man will be able to give a wider and more orderly expression to what higher knowledge he gets than the homo psychicus; but it does not follow he will have more of it. He will have that only if he rises to an equal width and plasticity and comprehensiveness of the higher knowledge planes. In that case he will replace his mental by his above-mental capacity. But for many intellectuals, so-called, their intellectuality may be a stumbling-block as they bind themselves with mental conceptions or stifle the psychic fire under the heavy weight of rational thought. On the other hand I have seen comparatively uneducated people expressing higher knowledge with an astonishing fullness and depth and accuracy which the stumbling movements of their brain could never have allowed one to suppose possible. Therefore why fix beforehand by the mind what will or will not be possible when the Above-mind reigns? what the mind conceives as “must be” need not be the measure of the “will be”. Such and such a homo intellectualis may turn out to be a more fervent God-lover than the effervescent emotional man; such and such an emotionalist may receive and express a wider knowledge than his intellect or even the intellect of the intellectual man could have harboured or organised. Let us not bind the phenomena of the higher consciousness by the possibilities and probabilities of a lower plane.

Nirod, 9.5.35

What is the use and limitations of mercury powder? Is it not an unsafe thing which may do harm as well as good? In what illness can it be safely or effectively applied?

Sri Aurobindo



1 An allusion to Dogberry's malapropism in Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing, III.5: “Comparisons are odorous...”











1935 05 09 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran