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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

Very well, Sir, whip the cats and dogs, bulls and hogs, to your heart's content! Only the whipping has been rather severe in my case, but no help since I have surrendered my life and death at your feet. O cruel one, I shall accept all whipping as a gift of your compassion.


I was grieved to see that after writing such a lot, you struck off all of it – it would have perhaps helped me. My difficulties run parallel to X's, I find; only there's a difference of degree.

Say rather that you have borrowed your difficulties from him or, say, run in his wake – a big steamer throwing a yacht into stormy waters.

But he has the great advantage of having a magnificent vital.

You have a sturdy but very sluggish one.

X has on the one hand your love, affection, letters, etc., on the other his sufferings, paroxysms of despair, depression, etc.

His paroxysms of despair were not caused originally by the Yoga but by disappointments of the vital, – this one's behaviour, that one's refusal to be under his influence, ingratitude etc. These things had nothing to do with Yoga. But the devil once admitted turned itself upon his sadhana also.

He has passed seven years here, Sir, and still he groans and groans.

And why please? Because he has never practised my Yoga, he has done his own. He has always put up some extremely traditional ideas about Yoga, japa, bhakti etc. etc. and challenged my own teachings with his reasoning mind which had no real conception of the things they meant. It is with great difficulty that I could sometimes get him to any direction by a secret pull and when I could do it he has always made some progress – which afterwards he refused to admit. And yet he made my incapacity as a Guru and the difficulty of my sadhana responsible for his failure – when he had never even given it a trial. That is a thing others beside him have done, also.

Don't tell me that because he takes butter and tea, enjoys good company that the Grace is afraid of coming down, for that would not solve the problem.

There is no problem at all. It is simply because he has been pulling his own way with a savage tenacity instead of allowing his Guru to lead him. He now speaks of making his surrender. If he does it inwardly as well as outwardly, there may well be some considerable change.

Just one word about his poetry. I admit he had no vestige of poetry before he came here and that the Force has done it. But how shall I forget that he had to labour a lot at it?

It is ridiculous to talk of his labouring at it. He has an easy flow which ninety-one poets out of a hundred would envy him. The only thing he laboured over was his prosody and metrical experiments, but prosody is not poetry. The rhythm, the capacity for chhanda came to him at once when he started writing here – although till then he had been absolutely and hopelessly inefficient in that respect.

I admit the Force, but you have to admit tire big personal contribution, the collaboration. If you aver that the contribution also was done by the Force you will throw me into shallow or deep waters.

I don't admit it. It is a legend he has foisted on you. If you mean his writing for many hours a day that is no labour when one has the capacity. That is use of the power given, it is not effort and straining to get the power.

Anyway, I suppose I am again talking rot. These are fundamental wooden-headed difficulties.

Terrible rot.

Lastly, I have embraced your waiting on the Grace. I'll now dance and prance. A little khichuri, ālubhājā,1 a little harmless platonic love. Agreed?

I have no objection to alubhaja, but to the devil with your platonic love!

Last night I dreamt that you were most affectionately patting me for a long time; but before that, somebody asked me to promise that I would never indulge in any lower vital movements. And I promised. What's this?

Quite natural. If your vital makes that promise, the pat is normal.

But why this promise at all when I had no intention of that sort of vital movement?

You may not have intended, but something in your vital may have had dark intentions of its own.

I send you a poem by Nishikanta. He says: “What is the use of writing if Sri Aurobindo doesn't read?”

I read and correct – so he has no cause for complaint. The Bengali ones – can't read them unless I have a clear time – even only quarter of an hour. I have not had it the last few nights.

What about N's complaints? Shall we then turn a deaf ear to them?

What complaints? Micturition and phosphates? Tell him to economise his phosphates instead of squandering them and he will become strong and healthy as a tiger.

I understand that Dr. Banerjee examined I.K. and told you of her case. Do you remember?

Good Lord, no. It is ancient history.



1 Fried potato.











1936 01 25 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran