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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

B.P. needs many injections out of which only 2 have been given.

By the way B.P. is said to be going to the reading room. Is that permissible? People may get nervous if he does that.

By the way, what do you think of Prof. R and his immortal homeopathic treatment? I had some respect for the man without knowing much about him, but when I saw what you wrote to Sarat – that R doesn't believe in allopathy at all and considers it almost quackery, I said – a man apparently with sense, having such insensible notions!

But there are and have been plenty with sense who have held that view about allopathy (and homeopathy also and all medicine). What about Molière? A man of sense, if ever there was one!

But our allopathic medicine is a science developed by painstaking labour – experiments, researches, etc.

To a certain extent. The theory is imposing, but when it comes to application, there is too much fumbling and guesswork for it to rank as an exact science. There are many scientists (and others) who grunt when they hear medicine called a science. Anatomy and physiology, of course, are sciences.

I don't decry his homeopathy, and I dare say there are very potent drugs which we don't have...

There are plenty of allopathic doctors who consider homeopathy, Nature-cure, Ayurveda and everything else that is not orthodox “medical science” to be quackery. Why should not homeopaths etc. return the compliment?

Let me quote one or two glaring instances of his ignorance: I) He said to X that the thyroid gland is at the back of the neck.

I think there are many homeopaths who don't know anatomy at all. I don't think there is any such thing as a homeopathic surgeon.

Poor X was thunder struck. He almost came to believe it and consulted the Anatomy book!

It does not seem to have destroyed his faith in R. He has demanded “no rice” on full moon and new moon days, to Dyuman's and Mother's great perplexity. I had to tell the Mother, about the Indian “moon” superstition.

2) After trying this and that for X's hydrocele which isn't so by his diagnosis, he applied strong irritants causing inflammation and ulceration, and gave some internal medicines to stop these poisoning symptoms.

His theory is that homeopathy first brings out the disease, then kills it. Something like Yoga, what? i.e. you have to become conscious of things inside you and then remove them. I never heard such a theory before, though from any homeopath.

The latest development is retrenchment of bananas and no rice on new moon and full moon days! Science or witchery?

No. Not witchery nor science, but I suppose the common Indian idea. But don't doctors often make recommendations which are quite as absurd?

3) About A.B. I hear, R has stopped his sun-treatment which caused him headache. R traced the headache to his hot water bath and admonished him to use cold water... And fancy calling my science quackery! But who knows you are not enamoured of his – pathy! I wish I could transfer all my patients to him, and enjoy heavenly freedom, closing my branch.

I don't know anything about R's homeopathic knowledge or capacities. There is an enormous amount of self-assertion, bluff and fantasia in him. But sometimes he seems to be remarkably effective. It is perhaps however due to a great power of suggestion or, if you like to call it so, induced auto-suggestion. But many doctors say it is more the confidence in the doctor and the medicine that cures than either the doctor himself or the medicine. All this is meant not to support R, but to throw some cold water on the “my” in “my science”. It sounds like Mussolini almost.


1935 10 25 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran