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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

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Naik and I had an interesting discussion about the prognosis of sex-glands in consequence of Yogic abstinence, or any abstinence, for that matter. Naik said that since sex has no place here, there is a possibility of the sex-glands undergoing, atrophic degeneration. I could not agree with him and told him that had it been the case, people who practised Brahmacharya, would lose all their virility, energy, radiance, etc. don't the Yogis say that ojas and tejas can only be produced by such abstinence?

That is correct. The whole theory of brahmacharya is based upon that by the Yogis. If it were not so, there would be no need of brahmacharya for producing tejas and ojas.

Naik argued that what is seen as vigour, energy, etc., may be due to the spiritual force descending and flooding the system, and have nothing to do with the sex-gland secretions at all.

It is not a question of vigour and energy per se, but of the physical support – in that physical support the ojas produced by brahmacharya counts greatly. The transformation of retas into ojas is a transformation of physical substance into a physical (necessarily producing also a vital physical) energy. The spiritual energy by itself can only drive the body, like the vital and mental, but in driving it it would exhaust it if it had not a physical support – (I speak of course of the ordinary spiritual energy, not of the supramental to be which will have not only to transmute retas into ojas but ojas into something still more sublimated.)

How is it then that scientists attach no value to sex energy except its use for procreation? The current theory is that sex is a physiological necessity. If the sex-glands run the risk of an atrophy due to abstinence, you see how dangerous it would be medically. What does your spiritual science say on the matter?

You mean the doctors. But even all doctors do not agree on that; there are many (I have read their opinions) who say that sex-satisfaction is not an absolute necessity and sex-abstinence can be physically very beneficial and is so – of course under proper conditions.

As for scientists, the product of the sex-glands is considered by them (at least so I have read) as a great support and feeder of the general energies. It has even been considered that sex-force has a great part to play in the production of poetry, art etc. and in the action of genius generally. Finally, it is a doctor who has discovered that the sex-fluid consists of two parts, one meant for sex-purposes, the other as a basis of general energy, and if the sex-action is not indulged the first element tends to be turned into the second, (retas into ojas, as the Yogis had already discovered). Theories? So are the statements or inferences of the opposite side – one theory is as good as another. Anyhow I don't think that the atrophy of the sex-glands by abstinence can be supported by general experience. N's contention is however logical if we take not individual results but the course of evolution and suppose that this evolution will follow the line of the old one, for these useless organs are supposed to disappear or deteriorate. But will the supramental evolution follow the same course as the old one or develop new adaptations of its own making – that is the uncertain element.

1. What about P's eyes? She complains that they only repeat ancient history – cure and recure and you seem to be quite callous about her hard hard case. What?

2. What about N? He writes that he has realised he was having fever all the time, though it did not occur to him that it was fever. I hope this is not the result of the tuberculous suggestion of Manilal.

3. What happened about A? He was to have another urine examination by Becharlal. Did it take place?

Dr. Valle suggests a radiogram to be taken of S's stomach and intestine.

It might be better. But I understand it can't be properly done here. Must be done at Madras or Calcutta.


1935 12 03 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran