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At the Feet of The Mother

Correspondence 1933, March

March 1933?

Buddhadev can come; but you speak of a room. In the Ashram? That would hardly be possible, since he is neither a sadhak nor an intending sadhak, nor even an embryonic sadhak. Perhaps you hope he will tumble into Yoga or Yoga will tumble into him? but these are things possible but not to be counted on beforehand. If your description of him is accurate, he must be a complex nature and not prone to tumble.

Buddhadev has certainly remarkable powers; there are only two things that he has to acquire still, if he is to fulfil your prophecy, more of the “inevitable” in his language and rhythm, a greater power of what has been called architectonics in poetry — something that corresponds to design in painting and the arrangement of masses in architecture… [incomplete].

*   *   *

March 9, 1933

The translation seems quite feasible — at sight. But the points you mention may present difficulties; I think they can be overcome. One or two of your lines in the English version are too metaphorical for an occidental tongue. I shall see to all that — these things are never insuperable difficulties, one can either dynamite them, cut through or go round them or over.

*   *   *

March 10, 1933


A registered envelope came in which there was a receipt for the last quarterly tax of one of the houses which amounts to about Rs. 60 and Rs. 70 in banknotes, which makes Rs. 130. May I see you tomorrow for a minute to offer at your feet this Rs. 70?

Yes, just a little before [?].

The other tenant has suddenly promised to send me a big cheque. I am glad for the rent has been steadily running into arrears.

Could you send me a chit for Sarala.[1] You see the silk my sister bought for me has more than sufficed for one punjabi, so that a little remains over, with which a simple cap could be made, of a very simple sort and shape. I will send this shape or rather send Sarala a cap of mine so that she can make one exactly similar with the little piece that is left over.

Yes, a chit is enclosed.

Today I meditated well too, besides working rather hard.

I am in good spirit. Only a slight granule still remains, it lessens but again grows big. No pain. I expect it will be all right in a few days. I am very careful.

I am translating the song on Saraswati and also writing its music as I want Nandini[2] to play the accompaniment with Sahana, Maitreyi and Nalina who three will sing it together. They are singing it exquisitely. You will be pleased, I am sure.

I am looking forward to see the corrected version of the translation of my song on Shiva. I hope I’ll get it tomorrow. Then I will send my translation of Saraswati.

I will see tonight but I have my doubts whether I can finish.

*   *   *

March 20, 1933

(from Mother)

Dilip, (I almost feel inclined to add: big child!)

You are quite mistaken. I enjoyed your music very much; indeed it was quite beautiful. But as I am to see you tomorrow, I was keeping the subject for then — as I have some rather interesting details to give which, I think will please you, but would be somewhat too long to write. I can also explain better these things orally, give them with the voice a life that the pen can’t give. But I never expected that you would take such a short silence for a sign of indifference — as this was extremely far from my consciousness!

À demain done, joyeusement [Tomorrow then, happily].

P.S. I leave to Sri Aurobindo to answer for himself — but meanwhile I can tell you that he praised your music very much.

*   *   *

March 20, 1933

Your sadness is without any real cause. Far from being without interest in your music, my interest was so great that I sat up during my time of sleep translating the “Saraswati” so that it might be in time for the occasion, — as I could not make any time for it in my working hours. And I had already written to someone who asked the question that the music yesterday (your song especially and Sahana’s) had even exceeded in feeling and significance anything we had yet had and that he was right in feeling in it the effective invocation of the earth-consciousness for the Divine’s descent. As for our expression to you of our appreciation, it was delayed — for the reason the Mother has told you — not denied. Written words are pale and lifeless things when one has to express the feelings raised by superb music and seem hardly to mean anything — not being able to convey what is beyond word and mere mental form — that is, at least, what I have felt and why I always find it a little difficult to write anything about music.

*   *   *

March 25, 1933

Up till now we know nothing of what happened at the music party except what you have told us in your letter. Nolini came to ask from Sahana whether she could sing or not before Charu Bose for which she seemed to be unwilling, but at the same time we heard that the matter was over — he had been sent away arid she had been called back to the party. Anyhow Mother will see what he is like tomorrow at Pranam and his status will be decided.

At Subhash’s conscientious hesitations between Krishna and Shakti and Shiva I could not help indulging in a smile. If a man is attracted by one form or two forms only of the Divine, it is all right, — but if he is drawn to several at a time he need not torment himself over it. A man of some development has necessarily several sides in his nature and it is quite natural that different aspects should draw or govern different personalities in him — he can very well accept them all and harmonise them in the One Divine and the One Ādyā Śakti [original Power] of whom all are the manifestations.

Buddhadev’s poem is very fine poetry — the thought forceful though in places a little raw and confused, as is natural at so early an age, but phrase and rhythm are magnificent and very powerful. He certainly stands head and shoulders above the ordinary run of facile verse-makers.

P.S. I will look up Buddhadev’s letter and send it to you.

*   *   *

March 30, 1933

I trust that the rafale [gust] is practically over and we can now have the sunlight or at least some sunlight on the scene. As for the disproportion between cause and effect, that is part of the mathematics of this astonishing universe. You kick a little harmless stone and a mountain descends on your head in answer — although you never thought you were inviting such an avalanche. You have either to learn how to duck a descending mountain — which is not safe or easy, — or be careful about kicking stones. This of course is only a parable.

I am glad to see that your metrical gambols with Tagore (pulling his solemn throne of reputation as a prosodist from under him) has not come in the way of his expressing his appreciation of your poetry.

I have only had just time to read the first stanza of your poem but I see it is in your finest manner.

*   *   *

[1] Sarala, a good tailoress, lived with her husband Suchi. This French couple were given Indian names in the Ashram.

[2] Nandini, an English lady, played cello wonderfully well. Mother loved it tremendously. And Sri Aurobindo said that she was a “born musician.”

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