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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

I was not at all speaking of the whole world, neither am I concerned with it. I was asking why my prayers were not answered by the Above as in others' cases.

Good Lord! you are not part of the world? Then you must be a Jivanmukta and no need of prayer.

Specially when that Above lives opposite my house1 and encourages my writing.

The Above may encourage your writing, but it does not follow that he will deal with you in the same way as with D. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante.

I admit that my vital is lazy, because it is afraid of too much labouring, 4 lines in 40 hours!

Yes, but if the vital were not lazy you would not have to labour like that. It is lazy in labouring but it is also lazy in responding – it is a slow-mover.

Not only that, but also my mind does not know precisely how to silence itself. This second point applies to D too. How then does he manage to receive from Above?

The difference is that as his mind has opened to the Above, the Above can turn its activity into an activity of the Inspiration – its quickness, energy, activity enable it to transcribe quickly, actively, energetically what comes into it from the Above. Of course if one day it becomes silent also, it may probably become the channel of a still higher Inspiration.

Did D's vital become active and magnificent because somehow he could more easily draw in the Inspiration?

No – that is inborn in D. It was the first thing Mother said about D (long before he came here for Yoga) when she saw him through the blinds of the door “What a powerful vital!”

I can tell you that my own vital has done that feat when a flow was felt.

Yes, but D's vital strength is inborn, though it may not have at first been open to the poetic inspiration. When it did it could leap at once with full energy and gave itself entirely to the flow – It was not the flow that made it “magnificent”.

I find that D didn't have to struggle as much as I – his magnificent vital magnificently and easily worked away as the Inspiration was not jerky and halting as in my case. My lazy vital is perforce lazy because the stream of Inspiration descends by drops. At the same time I confess that I am by nature rather indolent.

As usual, you are putting the thing upside down – Your last admission does away with the whole two pages of special pleading.

Is silencing the mind to be done only at the time of writing or at other times too, or one can't be done without the other?

Silencing the mind at the time of writing should be sufficient – even not silencing it, but its falling quiet to receive.

Suppose I find two lines:

Forgive me. Master, if I doubt thy Light

Guiding my destiny, through a long trail,

without any pre-formed idea of the poem, I think what can rhyme with light or trail – bright, height, sail, fail, etc., and try to fit in an idea with the rhymes...

Just the thing you should not do. Let the rhyme come, don't begin dragging all sorts of rhymes in to see if they fit.

Do you want to say that if I have discovered some lines I must not think of the next lines, but try instead to keep absolutely silent so that with a leap I find the greater Mind has simply dropped the necessary rhymed lines, like a good fellow, and I finish off excellently without a drop of black sweat on my wide forehead?

That is the ideal way; but usually there is always an activity of the mind jumping up and trying to catch the inspiration. Sometimes the inspiration, the right one, comes in the midst of this futile jumping, sometimes it sweeps it aside and brings in the right thing, sometimes it inserts itself between two blunders, sometimes it waits till the noise quiets down. But even this jumping need not be a mental effort – it is often only a series of suggestions, the mind of itself seizing on one or eliminating another, not by laborious thinking and choice, but by a quiet series of perceptions. This is method no. 2. No. 3 is your Herculean way, quite the slowest and worst.

From the very start N K has been a prodigious writer. He and Jasimuddin – now a renowned poet – used to sit together to write poetry. N K would finish 3 or 4 poems and go to bed, get up in the morning to find his friend still struggling with a few lines.

While one person breaks his head over a few lines, another composes three or four poems.

That is fluency, not necessarily inspiration. Southey used to write like that, I believe, but you don't call Southey an inspired poet, do you?

I cite all this to show that it is not primarily the silencing of the mind or the dynamic vital, but cases born with a wide opening somewhere...

The activity of the vital is there in N as well as in Dilip.

I don't see why you brought in “the organisation of the Supermind in the physical consciousness” into the talk about your poetic inspiration. The first is collective, the second individual.

Excuse me, it was you who brought in overmind etc. in connection with my poetry and asked why having these things I had to rewrite Savitri many times instead of pouring out 24,000 lines a day.

L wants her little growth in the cheek to be excised. She forgets to apply medicine, regularly. A simple operation is the only alternative.

Mother considers it better to go on with the medicine.



1 I lived in the Dispensary nearly opposite Sri Aurobindo's room.











1936 03 31 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran