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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

I don't really understand these paternal and filial loves. M-lal – a fellow who has been here for 7 or 8 years and doing Yoga, runs after such a thing as a paternal tail!

He says he has been attached to the paternal tail ever since he came here and he felt quite outraged when Mother hinted rather sharply that it was absurd to run after it.

K-lal, after 3 years stay, goes out for the marriage of a niece.

Ridiculous! Absolutely unthinkable! Who are these paters and maters and what's their place in your Yoga of surrender?

Quite agree with you. Hear! hear!

I think we have to look for the seat of the trouble somewhere else. Either your Yoga is extremely difficult or a sort of resistance manifests itself in this ridiculous way. A pressure which they are unable to bear compels them to escape it by running away to stroke somebody's tail. isn't that so?

If it is so, why should they want to come back to the pressure? They are very careful about that. “Must have an assurance that all my work will be given back to me when I return.” – (M-lal). “Want support while I am here. Will be back in June. (i.e. don't let any idea get into you that you have seen the last of me).” K – So on and so on.

In my idea it is simply the subconscient and sheepishness. Sheep always do what one sheep has started. K-lal started father business (it was not merely marriage) immediately 5 others sent in filial applications one after another. Subconscient in the sense that primal instincts and irrational difficulties or habitual ones are surging up, surging up, surging up.

Since you have to deal with general nature in this collective Yoga, one's difficulty is thrown on the other – one is dragged behind by another.

To some extent, it may be so – but the root difficulty is not there.

I can call these departures failures and nothing else.

Can't pronounce. Failure is only when they go off for good.

It is, as I say, an escape from the atmosphere of pressure! Are you beginning to kick? But how long will you go on doing so, Sir?

No need to go on – The sheep movement is stopped so far as fathers are concerned. Two half-kicks and one whole one were sufficient.

I sometimes wonder if anyone here is attaining anything at all; has anybody realised the Divine? Please don't ask me what I mean by the Divine. It is difficult to explain these things.

Why shouldn't I ask? If you mean the Vedantic realisation, several have had it. Bhakti realisation also. If I were to publish the letters on sadhana experiences that have come to me, people would marvel and think that the Ashram was packed full of great Yogis! Those who know something about Yoga would not mind about the dark periods, eclipses, hostile attacks, despairings, falls, for they know that these things happen to Yogis. Even the failures would have become Gurus, if I had allowed it, with circles of Shishyas! B did become one. Z of course. But all that does not count here, because what is a full realisation outside, is here only a faint beginning of siddhi. Here the test is transformation of the nature, psychic, spiritual, finally supramental. That and nothing else is what makes it so difficult.

X was lamenting that he has been 8 years here, yet no peace, at times only joy and that also joy of literary creation. These are his words: “But I haven't come here for that – it was available to me outside, plenty of it. If I complain, Sri Aurobindo says, ‘Write, write, write’. But, merciful heavens I What do I profit by writing? Through music, I feel a sense of offering and can think of it as work done as an offering to the Divine.”

8 years? Amateur Yogis! Those who know something about Yoga would count 5, 6, 7, 8,10 years as nothing for the preliminary work of preparation and self-purification. That was X's bane – He expected to conquer Heaven in a gallop, but there was only one way of doing it, complete abdication of self, and that he refused and probably could not do. Then when the gallop could not succeed, he has been wrestling and groaning ever since – meditation, jap, prayer with only one idea “When is it coming? when is it coming? Why is it not coming? why is it not coming? Of course, it won't come. It will never come, never, never.” And of course it doesn't – that is not the way.

Yet he had promised me he would drop all that and go on quietly getting rid of ego etc. till he was fit. The subconscient has been too strong with its unvarying orbits of repetition of the same obstinately irrational movement.

But poetry, he says, is1 If that could give the Divine realisation, any number of literary people would have it. So what's the use of that? “No experience, no realisation, can't even meditate. How can I surrender when I am so much absorbed in writing?...”

That is like him and most of the sadhaks. All hold grimly to their own ideas – follow their own conceptions about Yoga. Reasonings! logic! As for the ways pointed out by the Guru, all supramental nonsense. The surprising thing is that anyone succeeds here.

You seem to have again changed your front. Once you wrote that the Supramental descent may not depend on the condition of the sadhaks, and now you speak of the Supramental coming as fast as we will allow.

You have mistaken the sense altogether. It simply means if with the bother of your revolts, depressions, illnesses, shouts, quarrels and all the rest of it, I can get time to go on rapidly. Nothing more, sir.

If we fellows have to allow, you had better close down the shop and enjoy your impersonal supramental beatitude!

I am quite ready. I propose that you call a meeting and put it to the vote. “That hereby we resolve to release Sri Aurobindo into beattude and all go off quietly to Abyssinia.”



1 ayukta karma: work not in consonance with yogic sadhana.











1936 05 19 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran