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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

... Just see what you wrote – “The psychic is the first of two transformations necessary – if you have the psychic transformation it facilitates immensely the other, i.e. of the ordinary human into higher spiritual consciousness – ...” Evidently then, you speak of two transformations – one psychic, and the other human into something else.

But, hang it all, the psychic is part of the human nature or of ordinary nature, – it has been there even before the human began. So your plea does not stand for a moment.

By that accursed phrase making us “great sadhaks overnight”, as I said, I didn't mean anything precise. There might have been something in the subconscious, perhaps an idea about A.B, being a great sadhak.

There you go again! “Great sadhaks”, “advanced sadhaks”, “big sadhaks” like X, Y & Z!1 When shall I hear the last of these ego-building phrases which I have protested against times without number? And you object to being beaten!

I regret to find that this phrase has led to so much froth. If you take such things seriously you will find many occasions for beating me and one day in sheer despondency you might utter, “Useless! useless! All pains, all efforts in vain, in vain!”

It looks like it! “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” saith the Preacher! I fear all Preachers have to come to that in the end – especially the vanity of correspondence.

What “secret sin” did you insinuate? Joke or jest? Well, a few days ago I cooked a little “khichuri” here, but that is hardly a sin!

That's all? Only a “little” khichuri? Umph! The transformation seems to have begun already.

I am much tempted to quote to you a very fragmentary touching picture of your brother Monomohan: “Dressed in a grey suit, tall, well-built – the face mysterious like the night, dreamy and tired eyes, Monomohan came to the class and all were spell-bound. A cursed poet fallen from the heaven of beauty onto our dusty earth. He used to read poetry and his sad eyes flamed up in delight. The class would come to an end like a dream...”2

If any part of you has remained human, you will shed two drops of tears on reading this. But there seems to be some similarity between you and him as regards charming the students by an overwhelming personality.

Not even a fragment of a drop! Monomohan had a personality, but it was neither overwhelming nor sweetly pathetic. So even with this piece of honeyed rhetoric the tears refuse to rise.



1 Note that Sri Aurobindo wrote X, Y, Z in the MS. They are not here the usual editorial substitutions.


2 An abridged version of a portraiture originally in Bengali.











1935 09 21 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran