logo
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1932, January-February

January 14, 1932

I am not posted in musical technique, but I imagine I understand; in any case the Mother does and she finds the solution all right. But she does not take to the idea of an outside flutist.

No, you are not dwarfs or you would not be here; but you have all still to grow before you reach your full spiritual stature.

I shall have to take a little rest before going on with the “to be continued”; rest, of course, means doing other things that are pressing to be done! As for the other affair, you must not expect it all at once as there is something still to be done to make it presentable and it depends on my finding the time. But anyhow time will be made for both.

*   *   *

January 31, 1932

I suppose the footnote can be there.

There can be no objection to the inclusion of your poems in the Patna anthology of Bengali poets — or even to your being tortured in Hindi prose, if you do not find it objectionable. Who knows, the supramental might even work a premature miracle and your poetry transform the Hindi prose instead of the Hindi prose deforming your poetry!

The photographs you sent at first were rather bewildering, not to say startling. The earlier one of Mrs. Fülöp Miller seemed to indicate an almost alarming vital nature, the second was vital controlled and toned down but not reassuring. I was relieved to get your note saying that they were bad photographs and along with it the real photo of her which shows her as very near to what I saw of her through your letters. What has happened to Rene Fülöp Miller is more deplorable than surprising. People are living now so much in the vital when they do not live in the intellect, and so unguardedly and without restraint, the old mental conventions and restraints being in a state of deliquescence that catastrophes of this kind are likely to be common. The disappearance of conventions and the urge to a larger life are in themselves good things, but on condition that a greater control and a truer harmony are discovered. At present people are going about it in the wrong way — hence the perilous condition of Europe and of the world. Nor are these convulsed and insecure conditions a very favourable environment for the development of a spiritual life either. But it seems that it is in the midst of difficulties that it is destined to come.

You speak of “the photograph” which you ask the Mother to sign. Does that mean you are sending a photo for her to sign, or shall we send you one?

*   *   *

January 1932?

The poem is very good, — harmonious and delicate.

I just glanced at one or two of Buddhadev’s poems — excellent in form, but rather trifling in substance. I prefer his deeper note.

The meditation experience seems to be developing in the right direction. Before it was only an opening; but to get something settled, there must be this assimilation and the growth in stability in peace. Peace is the basis of the spiritual change, — all the rest falls into the peace and is sustained on it as on a sure foundation.

*   *   *

February 1932

I do not think Suhrawardy’s poem can bear correction — any alteration (from another) would probably spoil it. There might be an objection to the repetition “night” “night” in the second verse, but I do not see how to alter the first line of it without diminishing the force, and perhaps after all the objection would be hypercritical in a poem of this intense and simple character. Your translation is admirable.

The door is coming off because the sill has been removed, for it was only the sill that upheld it.[1] Chandulal’s dealings with the door qua door were scientifically impeccable — the only thing he forgot was that one of the uses of a door is that people (of various sizes) should pass through it. If you regard the door from the Russellian point of view as an external thing in which you must take pleasure for its own sake, then you will see that it was quite all right; it is only when you bring in irrelevant subjective considerations like people’s demands on a door and the pain of stunned heads that objections can be made. However, in spite of philosophy, the Mother will speak to Chandulal in the morning and get him to do what has (practically, not philosophically) to be done.

*   *   *

February 1, 1932

I don’t care for the idea of sending one of Purani’s[2] records[3] to Hungary. Besides, those records belong to ancient history. In the modern world it is only the up to date that is true.

I have read the letter with interest. What a world! Disorder, thy name is modern life! It reads like a Russian dance of l’être nerveux [the nervous being].

P.S. We send you the photograph signed.

*   *   *

February 3, 1932

I would have been surprised to hear that I regard (in agreement with an “advanced” Sadhak) Ramakrishna as a spiritual pigmy if I had not become past astonishment in these matters. I have said, it seems, so many things that were never in my mind and done too not a few that I have never dreamed of doing! I shall not be surprised or perturbed if one day I am reported to have declared, on the authority of “advanced” or even unadvanced Sadhaks, that Buddha was a poseur or that Shakespeare an overrated poetaster or Newton a third-rate college Don without any genius. In this world all is possible. Is it necessary for me to say that I have never thought and cannot have said anything of the kind, since I have at least some faint sense of spiritual values? The passage you have quoted[4] is my considered estimate of Ramakrishna.

It is also a misunderstanding to suppose that I am against Bhakti or against emotional Bhakti — which comes to the same thing, since without emotion there can be no Bhakti. It is rather the fact that in my writing on Yoga I have given Bhakti the highest place. All that I have said at any time which could account for this misunderstanding was against an unpurified emotionalism which, according to my experience, leads to want of balance, agitated and disharmonious expression or even contrary reaction and, at its extreme, nervous disorder. But the insistence of purification does not mean that I condemn true feeling and emotion any more than the insistence on a purified mind or will means that I condemn thought and will. On the contrary, the deeper the emotion, the more intense the Bhakti, the greater is the force for realisation and transformation. It is oftenest through intensity of emotion that the psychic being wakes and there is an opening of the inner doors in the Divine.

It is very insincere for anyone to claim prematurely to have possession of the supermind or even a taste of it. Such claim is usually accompanied by an outburst of superegoism, some blunder of perception or wrong condition or wrong movement. A certain spiritual humility, a serious un-arrogant look at oneself and quiet perception of the imperfection of one’s present nature, and instead of self-esteem and self-assertion a sense of the necessity of exceeding one’s present self, not from egoistic ambition, but from an urge towards the Divine, would be, it seems to me, for this finite [?] terrestrial and human composition better conditions for proceeding towards its supramental change.

Yes, you should learn not to be perturbed by talk of this kind from whomsoever it proceeds; I think I have already tried to put you on your guard against listening to “advanced sadhaks” or taking these pronouncements of theirs as authoritative statements of the aims and conditions of the Yoga. Why this claim to be an advanced sadhak and what is the sense of it? It resolves itself into an egoistic assertion of superiority over others which is not justified so long as there is the egoism and the need of assertion accompanied, as it always is, by a weakness and turbid imperfection which belie the claim of living in a superior consciousness to the “unadvanced” sadhaks. It is time these crudities disappeared from the Ashram atmosphere.

*   *   *


[1] Dilip had banged his head against the upper sill of the door of his room.

[2] Ambalal Balkrishna Purani was born (26 May 1894) in Surat, Gujarat. Revolution and Yoga were in his nature. His elder brother C. B. Purani became a revolutionary in 1907 under Barindra Kumar Ghose. With his brother, our Purani formed a secret revolutionary cell in Gujarat. He had seen Sri Aurobindo and heard his two lectures in Baroda in 1908. From then on he considered himself a disciple of Sri Aurobindo’s. When the Arya began publication in 1914, with Sri Aurobindo’s permission, Puraniji began translating into Gujarati some of its articles.

The British occupation of India was giving him sleepless nights, so in 1918 he finally went to Pondicherry. There Sri Aurobindo assured him that revolutionary activities were not necessary as the British would leave India on their own. That night, after two years, Puraniji slept.

He settled in Pondicherry in 1923. From then on he took notes of Sri Aurobindo’s informal talks with his disciples: Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo is a priceless document.

A dynamic personality, after 1950 he did a lot of research on Sri Aurobindo’s life, and procured many documents. Sri Aurobindo in England, Sri Aurobindo in Baroda, The Life of Sri Aurobindo are proofs of his hard labour.

He was unsparing of his energies, and his tours to the U.K., U.S.A., Africa, etc. took toll of his body. His heart failed him on 11 December 1965.

[3] Probably one of the Evening Talks, first published between 1959 and 1966.

[4] This probably refers to the following passage from The Synthesis of Yoga: “… In the life of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, we see a colossal spiritual capacity first driving straight to the divine realisation, taking, as it were, the kingdom of heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yogic method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realisation and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge.”

Related Posts

Back to ,