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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

I think U can come away from the hospital. If you permit, I can take him to Philaire tomorrow.


Please don't think that because I am silent on your “widening” theory, I have accepted it. All I may say is that you have been making a fool of me. I admit that I deserve no better, but still... well, still! I am in a damn rotten state... As soon as I enter the Dispensary, it seems some black forces ride on my shoulders. I want to escape and spend a few afternoon hours away in the loneliness of Nature's company till this melancholia lasts: Can a cycle be had for the purpose?...

Again Dilip! can't supply a cycle for every melancholiac. Would have to buy 20 new ones immediately and then the whole Ashram would turn melancholiac in order to have cycles.

From the tone of my letter you may imagine that I am making you responsible for my pathological condition. Not at all; it is my blessed nature or Man of Sorrows as you title it, though I don't understand why you say that I have borrowed them from Dilipda.

Your “not at all” is a delusion. You doubt like him in the same terms, write like him with the same symptoms similarly expressed, want to cycle into Nature like him etc., etc. – and still you say “No, Dilipda!”

Diffidence; self-distrust has always been my element from the very start...

Diffidence and self-distrust are quite another matter.

You call me lazy, but I am not lazy. When the inner condition is all right, I can work at a poem for hours...

Then why the hell don't you keep it right?

You say that Thompson doesn't deserve a public castigation. I wish he did, because he is again bombarding Dara, with his luminous theory on Indian English – apart from other things!

Not only so, but I refuse to figure as discussing with him on an equal platform. You will ask me next to enter into a debate with Chellu1 on Vedanta. There are limits.

A.K.'s poetry has caused a flutter. Another miracle, they say. How has this feat been possible? A fellow who has never written any bit of poetry produces, just after one or two pieces, a remarkable poem and a long one at that, which will have an abiding place in Bengali literature! How could he have produced it? It has really puzzled me a lot.

What a “hower” you are!

You are puzzled because you are always demanding a rational process familiar to the ordinary physical mind from a suprarational thing like Yoga. Yoga has its processes, but they can only be understood and detected by those who have Yogic experience. But you refuse to accept that experience as valid; you want everything to be explained according to your own field of reason which is that of the ignorant physical mind. If you persist in that you will remain puzzled to the end of the chapter.

Whereas I working for 3 years on Bengali poetry – what have I done? Nothing to speak of, compared with this piece.

That is because you are a “hower” and an “efforter” – So the Divine or the Overself or whatever people may like to call it has to pretend with you that it is done in you by your stupendous effort and the how has to be shown – the how being that you work 40 hours and produce 4 lines.

This piece of poetry is as mature a work as any great poet's. His success in painting is understandable, as he had to work and work a lot, before anything came out. Even then, I gather, painting here is only in its infancy.

Yes, but all the same very remarkable at times, e.g. for a boy of Romen's years with no systematic training some of the work he has done is quite unexpected. Only what has been done is not yet great and finished art. But if X is to be acclaimed as a mighty artist for his paintings.... I don't see why our artists should be modest any longer. Let us proclaim them also as epoch-making geniuses!



1 An Ashram servant.











1936 03 03 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran