Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
Is there no truth behind animal sacrifices to Kali, or are they useless inhuman practices like vivisection in the name of Science (according to anti-vivisectionists)?
If animal sacrifices are to be made, they may just as well be made to Kali as to one's stomach, – the Europeans who object to it have no locus standi.
Buddhism says the killing of mosquitoes, bugs, snakes and scorpions may be done mercifully or mercilessly for self-protection.
Certainly. One might just as well object to the killing of germs by fumigation or otherwise.
What about the sacrifice of harmless animals to Kali?
Useless and therefore inadvisable. External sacrifices of this kind have no longer any meaning – as so many saints have said, sacrifice ego, anger, lust etc. to Kali, not goats or cocks.
One can massacre men and nations for the Divine, but what about this then for the Divine's sake?
How does the Divine benefit by it? Very hungry, I suppose – would like a nice goat-chop?
I wonder if you know that some Sharma has gone on hunger-strike to stop the sacrifices at Kalighat. Tagore supports him.
Of course, I know. But he objects to animal sacrifice; why does he make a goat-offering of himself to Kali? Is human sacrifice better than animal sacrifice?
The argument is: what does the loss of one life matter if by it other lives can be saved?
I know the South African saying “How glorious if the whole world were to destroy itself to save the life of a single mosquito”. I used always to wonder what would become of the poor mosquito if the world were destroyed. It seems to my poor common sense that it would perish also in the glorious holocaust.
I suppose you are watching with great apprehension the war-clouds that are gathering?
No, I am not trembling, but I agree that it is a beastly affair.
I hope Mussolini got no indirect impetus from your Essays on the Gita.
He never read them, I suppose.
But however much one may deplore war, that seems to be the only opportunity for India's liberation.?1
1 Sri Aurobindo put a big question mark.