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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

The qualities you enumerate of the rajasic man's instrumentalism are more inborn than acquired, it seems to me.


I doubt whether they can be acquired to the same extent, except by Yoga.

If they are acquired to a sufficient extent, that is enough.

Even if acquired by Yoga, won't there be a difference between the instrumentalism of the one born with them and the other who has acquired them?

There may be a difference, but this is after all not a competitive examination. If one can be a good and strong instrument, that is enough.

These qualities seem very well on a piece of paper, but not so easy to get in practical life.

They are not easy for those who have not got them; quite easy for those who have.

For instance, the intuition you speak of, is a deuced difficult thing to make out, and in the field of application all mobility, plasticity, observation play false, or make a mess unless one knows the business very well.

Naturally one must know the business. But there is an enormous difference between a man who knows his business and has confidence and intuition and one who knows his business but has not. I have known doctors with an excellent knowledge of medicine who succeeded much less than others who had far less but had dash, decision and drive.

At times I try to analyse myself to find out my defect – lack of adequate knowledge? Lack of experience? Lack of confidence?

Even if you had knowledge and experience, you would still hesitate. There would be always an “after all”, “is it this or that?”, “I may be off the mark”, “Is it this, is it that?” etc.

I blame the first two, but you seem to think they are secondary, and confidence is the essential requisite. Suppose I am given a case whose exact nature I don't know, and without knowing it I can't cure. How will my self-confidence help in such a case?

The self-confident doctor decides as best he can and acts – if he finds he is making fausse route, he retraces his steps and corrects. He develops in himself the coup d'oeil which does not depend only on reasoning and finally manages to be right in the majority of cases. You may say that he may kill his patients when he is wrong. But so does the hesitant doctor by his hesitation – e.g. by not taking a step which is urgently required.

All this is of course, general. I am not asking you to imitate the quick step people – because without their confidence and savoir faire you would only bungle it. Svadharme nidhanaṁ śreyaḥ (of the patient, of course), paradharmo bhayāvahaḥ1

I had hoped that the Force would drop in one day and dynamise the being. That illusion has gone. Now I find that I shall have to work for it slowly, slowly, bit by bit till one day, one year, one decade my labour culminates in what I hope for now. That is how, I suppose, the faith in the Force, higher Shakti, etc. fulfil themselves.

“One century, one millennium”- – be complete please in your enumeration.

That is just it. It is the “slowly slowly” mind and “let us consider all the facts and reason the whole thing and its possibilities and impossibilities” mind, that stands in your way.

You have said, “A sattwic fellow would do it also, but on other lines.” Will you tell us how?

I would prefer to wait till I have the said sattwic man in my hand. The sattwic man would have less vital rush, more balance, harmony, even working out of the Force – He might do less surprising things or rather give them a less surprising appearance, but possibly he would be more quietly sure.

You have said to J that my natural bent is pessimistic. But why then is there such an ambition, aspiration, desire to be pure and per feet in life as well as in literature? What a paradox!

It is two different portions of your being – One wants to climb mountains, the other which stands at the foot or is climbing or rather being haled up the first steps of ascent, pulls back, groans, grunts, growls, wails and cries “That? all that height? Tchah! pooh! I'll never be able to negotiate one ten thousandth part of that! Let me sit down and lament.”

Took H to hospital. Oculist says atropine not necessary.

His eyes seem to be worse rather than better.

What about asking R to take up B. P.'s trachoma case, if he is free now?

I would rather not for the moment. R has Ambu on his hands, two heavy baggages still in the town and other lighter items.



1 “Death in one's own law of being is better; perilous it is to follow an alien law of being”. (Gita, 3.35)











1936 04 21 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran