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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

From your definition of a Rishi am I to understand that a Rishi may not necessarily be a Yogi because a truth may not always be the Ultimate Truth?

A Rishi may be a Yogi, but also he may not; a Yogi too may be a Rishi, but also he may not. Just as a philosopher may or may not be a poet and a poet may or may not be a philosopher.

A Rishi will have 2 things: I) Seeing or discovering a truth – new or old, 2) putting it in mantra. These two things are quite possible in a man not doing Yoga at all, because intuition and sudden illumination can come to poets, literary people, artists, etc.... can't they?

Yes, but poetic intuition and illumination is not the same thing as Rishi intuition and illumination.

You have called Bankim a Rishi. Do you think his Bande Mataram is a real mantra?

Well, the Bande Mataram acted as a mantra and so I suppose I gave him the credit of Rishihood.

Did he actually see the country as the Mother?...

Can't say whether he saw. Must ask him.

When you wrote that you look upon India not as an inert, dead mass of matter, but as the very Mother, the living Mother in bones and flesh, I believe you saw that Truth – or was it just the expression of a poetic or patriotic sentiment?

My dear sir, I am not a materialist. If I had seen India as only a geographical area with a number of more or less interesting or uninteresting people in it, I would hardly have gone out of my way to do all that for the said area.

Merely a poetic or patriotic sentiment – just as in yourself only your flesh, skin, bones and other things of which the senses give their evidence are real, but what you call your mind and soul do not self-exist being merely psychological impressions created by the food you eat and the activity of the glands. Poetry and patriotism have of course the same origin and the things they speak of are quite unreal. Amen.

Mulshankar had no sleep last night due to pain in the leg. But It stopped in the morning. Temperature normal. Otherwise too all right. Is it necessary to visit him once in the morning at 7?

Why not?

There is a chronic difficulty with Benjamin's phimosis.

My dear sir, if you clap a word like that on an illness, do you think it is easy for the patient to recover?

A complains of nausea. Worms? Liver? Liver pain better.

She says you spoke wrathfully to Becharlal and Becharlal spoke wrathfully to her and accused her of high crimes and misdemeanours (like irregularity in eating) of which she was not guilty. So she is very wounded and won't go to Doctors any more!! Fact? or liver?


1936 02 11 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran