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Sri Aurobindo on Himself

Part One

Section Five

The Master and the Guide

Conditions of Acceptance as Disciples

I do not very readily accept disciples as this path of Yoga is a difficult one and it can be followed only if there is a special call.


Free Choice of the Truth1

If the Truth I bring is too great for you to understand or to bear, you are free to go and live in a half-truth or in your own ignorance; I am not here to convert anyone; I do not preach to the world to come to me and I call no one. I am here to establish the divine life and the divine consciousness in those who of themselves feel the call to come to me and cleave to it and in no others. I am not asking you and the Mother is not asking you to accept us. You can go any day and live either the worldly life or a religious life according to your own preference. But as you are free, so also are others free to stay here and follow their own way. You are not entitled to try to make yourself a centre of disturbance and an obstacle to their peace and their spiritual progress.



If he wishes to accept my Yoga the conditions are a steady resolve and aspiration towards the truth I am bringing down, a calm passivity and an opening upward towards the source from which the light is coming. The Shakti is already working in him and if he takes and keeps this attitude and has a complete confidence in me, there is no reason why he should not advance safely in the sadhana.



As for the Zamindar he seems to expect some dīkṣā of the traditional kind from me, but this I cannot give. He will have to be told that I do not and that my method is different. It may be a little difficult to explain to him or for him to understand what it is. Perhaps he may be told that those who come to have the Yoga are not accepted at once and there is sometimes a long period of trial before they are. We can see how he takes it and decide afterwards if he persists in his desire to come here.



If he had a true Yogic capacity it would be different, but we see no trace of it. Tell him he needs another kind of guidance – he will not be able to stand this Yoga.

It is not possible for me to give him help and guidance – for that would mean an Influence put on him and in the present stage of his development he has not the necessary strength and balance to receive it and bear it.

  I have said he cannot do this Yoga. He needs something else that he can assimilate.



I have read and considered your letter and have decided to give you the opportunity you ask for – you can reside in the Ashram for two or three months to begin with and find out whether this is really the place and the path you were seeking and we also can by a closer observation of your spiritual possibilities discern how best we can help you and whether this Yoga is the best for you.

This trial is necessary for many reasons, but especially because it is a difficult Yoga to follow and not many can really meet the demands it makes on the nature. You have written that you saw in me one who achieved through the perfection of the intellect, its spiritualisation and divinisation; but in fact I arrived through the complete silence of the mind and whatever spiritualisation and divinisation it attained was through the descent of a higher supra-intellectual knowledge into that silence. The book, Essays on the Gita, itself was written in that silence of the mind, without intellectual effort and by a free activity of this knowledge from above. This is important because the principle of this Yoga is not perfection of the human nature as it is but a psychic and spiritual transformation of all the parts of the being through the action of an inner consciousness and then of a higher consciousness which works on them, throws out their old movements or changes them into the image of its own and so transmutes lower into higher nature. It is not so much the perfection of the intellect as a transcendence of it, a transformation of the mind, the substitution of a larger greater principle of knowledge – and so with all the rest of the being.

This is a slow and difficult process; the road is long and it is hard to establish even the necessary basis. The old existing nature resists and obstructs and difficulties rise one after another and repeatedly till they are overcome. It is therefore necessary to be sure that this is the path to which one is called before one finally decides to tread it.

If you wish, we are ready to give you the trial you ask for. On receiving your answer the Mother will make the necessary arrangements for your residence in the Ashram.


Write to your friend that we do not ask for any financial help from your father and therefore you are not called upon to answer the questions in his letter. It is not everyone who has the adhikāra to help in the work of the Ashram.

Those only can do so who have faith in it, or sympathy or at least confidence in Sri Aurobindo....

Sri Aurobindo is not anxious to increase the number of his disciples and only those are accepted usually who have the call and capacity for Yoga and are ready to satisfy the conditions.



If I said only things that human nature finds easy and natural, that would certainly be very comfortable for the disciples, but there would be no room for spiritual aim or endeavour. Spiritual aims and methods are not easy or natural (e.g., as quarrelling, sex-indulgence, greed, indolence, acquiescence in all imperfections are easy and natural,) and if people become disciples, they are supposed to follow spiritual aims and endeavours, however hard and above ordinary nature and not the things that are easy and natural.



Q: Here is a man of fifty intending vānaprastha, who thinks our Ashram will just be the place for him. He says he has prepared himself for Ashram life; his only fault being taking a little opium for the sake of health. What should I write to him?

A: Declined with thanks. Opium not allowed here. Also this is not a vānaprastha Ashram.



Q: Here is a village girl, a young widow, who has heard your call in a dream and is eager to come here.

A: Too young – such dreams are not decisive and there is too much of the vital tone in her remarks; you need say nothing about that however.


Impersonal Approach and Personal Touch

Well, what I am considering is this, whether it would not be wiser, as far as concerns England or America, to start impersonally with the philosophical side and the side of the Yoga, and leave the person a little behind the scene, for the present, until people there are ready as individuals for the personal touch; that is the course we have been following up to now. In India it is different, for here there is another kind of general mentality and there is the tradition of the Guru and the Shishya.

May, 1943

The Disciples and the Master

Q [Nirodbaran]: What disciples we are of what a Master! I wish you had chosen or called some better stuff – perhaps somebody like X.

A: As to the disciples, I agree! – Yes, but would the better stuff, supposing it to exist, be typical of humanity? To deal with a few exceptional types would hardly solve the problem. And would they consent to follow my path – that is another question? And if they were put to the test, would not the common humanity suddenly reveal itself – that is still another question.


Harm in Going out of the Ashram

Q: Does your allowing people to go out from here mean that now there is no harm in their doing so?

A: No, it does not; it simply means that we can't always be holding back people whose vital says “I want to go, I want to go” and they side with the vital. They are allowed to go and take their risk.


Interest in Yoga and Giving Money

Q: X wants to approach rich people for money, but does not know how to do it.... He says that if people are directly approached for money, there may not be any response. His plan is to somehow...make them take interest in our work so that they may themselves offer money without any asking. ...He asked me to take your advice in this matter.

A; If it is done in that way, X will have to wait for a result for years together. Even if they are interested, even if they are practising Yoga, people don't think of giving money unless they are asked, except a few who have a generous vital nature. It is all right to interest people in the work and the Yoga – but of itself that will be rarely sufficient, they must know that money is needed and the idea of giving must be put into them.


Correspondence with Sadhaks

About the correspondence, I would be indeed a brainless fool if I made it the central aim of my life to con an absurd mountain of letters and leave all higher aims aside! If I have given importance to the correspondence, it is because it was an effective instrument towards my central purpose – there are a large number of sadhaks whom it has helped to awaken from lethargy and begin to tread the way of spiritual experience, others whom it has carried from a small round of experience to a flood of realisations, some who have been absolutely hopeless for years who have undergone a conversion and entered from darkness into an opening of light. Others no doubt have not profited or profited only a little. Also there were some who wrote at random and wasted our time. But I think we can say that for the majority of those who wrote there has been a real progress. No doubt also it was not the correspondence in itself but the Force that was increasing in its pressure on the physical nature which was able to do all this, but a canalisation was needed, and this served the purpose. There were many for whom it was not necessary, others for whom it was not suitable. If it had been a mere intellectual asking of questions it would have been useless, but the substantial part was about sadhana and experience and it is that that proved to be of great use.

But as time went on the correspondence began to grow too much and reached impossible proportions, yet it was difficult to stop the flood or to make distinctions which would not have been understood; so we have to seek a way out and as yet have only found palliatives. The easy way would be if those who have opened would now rely on the inner communication with only a necessary word now and then – some have begun to do so. I suppose in the end we shall be able to reduce the thing to manageable proportions.



I do not understand your point about raising up a new race by my going on writing ‘trivial’ letters ten hours a day. Of course not – nor by writing important letters either; even if I were to spend my time writing fine poems it would not build up a new race. Each activity is important in its own place – an electron or a molecule or a grain may be small things in themselves, but in their place they are indispensable to the building up of a world; it cannot be made up only of mountains and sunsets and streamings of the aurora borealis – though these have their place there. All depends on the force behind these things and the purpose in their action – and that is known to the Cosmic Spirit which is at work; and it works, I may add, not by the mind or according to human standards but by a greater consciousness which, starting from an electron, can build up a world and, using a tangle of ganglia, can make them the base here for the works of the Mind and Spirit in Matter, produce a Ramakrishna, or a Napoleon, or a Shakespeare. Is the life of a great poet either made up only of magnificent and important things? How many trivial things had to be dealt with and done before there could be produced a King Lear or a Hamlet? Again, according to your own reasoning, would not people be justified in mocking at your pother – so they would call it, I do not – about metre and scansion and how many ways a syllable can be read? Why, they might say, is he wasting his time in trivial prosaic things like this when he might have been spending it in producing a beautiful lyric or fine music? But the worker knows and respects the material with which he must work and he knows why he is busy with ‘trifles’ and small details and what is their place in the fullness of his labour.

December, 1933


But I do not understand how all that can prevent me from answering mental questions. On my own showing, if it is necessary for the Divine purpose, it has to be done. Sri Ramakrishna himself answered thousands of questions, I believe. But the answers must be such as he gave and such as I try to give, answers from higher spiritual experience, from a deeper source of knowledge and not lucubrations of the logical intellect trying to co-ordinate its ignorance. Still less can there be a placing of the Divine Truth before the judgments of the intellect to be condemned or acquitted by that authority, for that authority has no sufficient jurisdiction or competence.


Q: Is it not true that the letters we receive from you are full of power?

A: Yes, power is put into them.


Q: It seems as if those who are not writing to you daily are not worse off for it. What is that due to?

A: Either they have not that same push for the sadhana or they feel less need to lay open their difficulties because they have some line of positive experience which they confidently follow.



Q: Even for those who do not write to you often and confidently follow a line of positive experience, is there not the danger of wrong suggestions and constructions coming to them and also of an absence of variety or integrality of experience?

A: Yes, there are both these dangers. Those even who are not visited by serious difficulties, are exposed to the latter danger of remaining always in the same plane of experience. But again many do not write because they are not yet prepared for the pressure on them to progress rapidly which that would mean.



Q: Is the asking of questions a help to Yoga?

A: Questions are meant for getting light on the things that are going on in one. It is the statement of what is going on that helps to surrender.



Q: Many times questions come to the mind like: “What is the Divine?” Is it not better to write them to you?

A: Provided you do not expect me to answer always. People write to me not for getting mental information or answering questions but to lay before me their experiences and difficulties and get my help. When it is necessary, I answer questions, but I cannot be doing it all the time.


I cannot undertake to be telling you all the time all that is hot perfectly Yogic in the details of your action from morning to night. These are things to see to yourself. It is the movements of your sadhana that you place before me and it is this that I have to see whether they are the right things or not.



When what you write is correct, I say nothing – when it is your physical mind that brings in wrong ideas, I correct.



Q: Before reading Your answers to my letters I feel as if I would be unable to read or understand them. What is this activity in me?

A: A useless activity of the vital mind. You should keep it quiet and receive with a silent mind waiting for light. In the silent mind one can receive an answer even if I write nothing.



Q: When I wrote that while reading your answers I experienced something coming out of my heart, you replied, “It depends on the nature of the movement. Something from the psychic?” Well, it was something from the psychic. But how did it get connected with the answers?

A: The psychic can be connected with anything that gives room for love or bhakti.

It is the psychic contact with what is in or behind the answers – what comes out into them from myself.



Q: When you make a fresh opening in me, is it not possible to inform me one day in advance, so that I may keep myself ready?

A: No. Certainly not. Such a mental method would be of no use whatever. The experience must come of itself.


The Outer Guidance and the Inner Help

The outer guidance is meant only as an aid to the inner working, especially for the correction of any erroneous movement and sometimes in order to point out the right road. It is not meant, except at a very early stage, to satisfy mental questionings or to stimulate a mental activity.


What I write usually helps only the mind and that too very little, for people do not really understand what I write – they put their own constructions on it. The inner help is quite different and there can be no confusion with it, for it reaches the substance of the consciousness, not the mind only.

Sri Aurobindo's Touch

My touch is always there; but you must learn to feel it not only with the outward contact as a medium – a touch of the pen – but in its direct action on the mind and heart and vital and body. There would then be very much less difficulty – or no difficulty at all.



The outward touch is helpful; but the inward is still more helpful when one is accustomed to receive it with a certain concreteness – and the outward touch is not always fully possible, while the inward can be there all the time.

Sri Aurobindo's Compassion

Q: Why is the flower symbolising your compassion so delicate and why does it wither away so soon?

A: My2 compassion does not wither with its symbol – flowers are the moment's representations of things that are in themselves eternal.


Spiritual Change and the School-Master Method

I never point out to anybody his defects unless he gives me the occasion. A sadhak must become conscious and lay himself before the light, see and reject and change. It is not the right method for us to interfere and lecture and point out this and point out that. That is the school-master method – it does not work in the spiritual change.


Shutting up Doors Against Help

I am not aware of refusing help; but to receive the help is also necessary. When you are in this condition you seem at once to shut yourself up against those from whom you seek help by a spirit of bitterness and anger. That is not an attitude which makes it easy to receive or be conscious and it is not easy either for the help to be effective. All I can do is to send you the Force that if received would help you to change your condition; it is what I have always done. But it cannot act effectively – or at least not at once – if the doors are shut against it.


The Worst Hostile Suggestion

The worst of the hostile suggestions is that you are partial in your dealings. When this is accepted a wall comes between you and the sadhak and there is a revolt and then there may be an end of the sadhana!

A: Yes, it is their aim – for it is their one short cut to success, to separate the sadhak from his soul.


Work and Time

You do not realise that I have to spend 12 hours over the ordinary correspondence, numerous reports, etc. I work 3 hours in the afternoon and the whole night up to 6 in the morning over this. So if I get a long letter with many questions I may not be able to answer it all at once. To get into such a disturbance over it and want to throw off the Yoga is quite unreasonable.



As to the book, I am afraid I have no time for such things. The twenty-four hours are already too short for what I have to do.



Good Lord! What can one write in 1 or 1.5 hours? If I could only get that time for immortal productions every day! Why in another three years Savitri and Ilion and I don't know how much more would be all rewritten, finished, resplendently complete.



Q: What has happened to my typescript? Hibernating?

A: My dear sir, if you saw me nowadays with my nose to paper from afternoon to morning, deciphering, deciphering, writing, writing, writing, even the rocky heart of a disciple would be touched and you would not talk about typescripts and hibernation. I have given up (for the present at least) the attempt to minimise the cataract of correspondence; I accept my fate like X with the plague of Prasads and admirers, but at least don't add anguish to annihilation by talking about typescripts.


Sri Krishna and Correspondence

Q: Sri Krishna must have had more leisure than you have. In those days the art of writing had not developed so much and so he had not to reply to questions, though sometimes he had sudden calls as when Durvasa came with a host of thousands of disciples asking for food when there was not a morsel. Perhaps Sri Krishna had to perform more miracles than you have to, though I should not forget that constant calls must be coming to you also for help in illnesses and many others in many ways. Moreover, Sri Krishna never actually became a Guru of several people.

A: Well, he may have been rather wise in that and fortunate in the infrequency of correspondence in those days – but that did not save him. There is a poignant chapter in the Mahabharata describing his miseries and bothers with his people in Dwarka which is very illuminating – unfortunately I have forgotten where it is. The calls don't matter much, for putting the Force is a subjective thing which does not take time, except in cases when it is a daily or frequently recurring difficulty. As for Durvasa if he turned up, it would be met by an order to X “Go and manage” or else an intimation to Durvasa not to be unreasonable.


Reasons for Retirement

My retirement is nothing new, even the cessation of contact by correspondence is nothing new,– it has been there now for a long time. I had to establish the rule not out of personal preference or likes or dislikes, but because the correspondence occupied the greater part of my time and energies and there was a danger of my real work remaining neglected or undone if I did not change my course and devote myself to it, while the actual results of the outer activity were very small – it cannot be said that it resulted in the Ashram making a great spiritual progress. Now in these times of world-crisis when I have to be on guard and concentrated all the time to prevent irremediable catastrophes and have still to be so, and when, besides, the major movement of the inner spiritual work needs an equal concentration and persistence, it is not possible for me to abandon my rule. (Moreover, even for the individual sadhak it is in his interest that this major spiritual work should be done, for its success would create conditions under which his difficulties could be much more easily overcome.) All the same I have broken my rule, and broken it for you alone: I do not see how that can be interpreted as a want of love and a hard granite indifference.



No, there is no obligation of gloom, harshness, austerity or lonely grandeur in this Yoga. If I am living in my room, it is not out of passion for solitude, and it would be ridiculous to put forward this purely external circumstance as if it were the obligatory sign of a high advance in the Yoga or solitude the aim. So you need not be anxious; solitude is not demanded of you.



I have no intention, I can assure you, of cutting off connection in the future. What restrictions there have been, were due to unavoidable causes. My retirement itself was indispensable; otherwise I would not be now where I am, that is, personally, near the goal. When the goal is reached, it will be different. If you had an unprecedented peace for so long a time, it was due to my persistent inner pressure; I refuse to give up all the credit to my double, Krishna.



The psychic is not responsible for my aloofness or retirement – it is the mass of opposition that I have to face which is responsible for that. It is only when I have overcome by the aid of the psychic and (excuse me!) your other bÍte noire, the Supermind, that the retirement can cease.


Q: I pray for Sri Aurobindo's Darshan once more before I leave. I know that it is against the rule but I hope you won't mind relaxing it for the sake of a bhakta.

A: I am afraid it is impossible. No separate personal Darshan can be given at this stage – it is not a rule, it is a necessity for the work that Sri Aurobindo is doing.



Q: When will you come out of your retirement?

A: That is a thing of which nothing can be said at present. My retirement had a purpose and that purpose must first be fulfilled.



Q: It would be very good if you could come out to give Darshan once a month instead of only three times a year. Is it possible?

A: If I went out once a month, the effect of my going out would be diminished by one third.



Q: Will you come out of your retirement after the supramental descent?

A: That will be decided after the descent.



Q: Sardar Vallabhbhai asked X when you would come out and guide people. X replied that that was not to be expected. But perhaps Vallabhbhai had a meaning in his question which X did not understand.

A: Perhaps not. Vallabhbhai is not likely to understand more than others that a spiritual life can be led by me without a view to a come back hereafter for the greatest good of the greatest India (or world). Tagore expected the latter and is much disappointed that I have not done it.


Sri Aurobindo's Light

Sri Aurobindo's light is not a light of the illumined mind – it is the divine Illumination which may act on any plane.



Q: Two days back in a dream I saw Sri Aurobindo coming towards me. His body and dress were of blue colour. Why did I see him in this colour and not any other?

A: It is the basic light Sri Aurobindo manifests.



If it is pale blue, it may be my colour. Pale lavender blue, pale but very brilliant in its own shade.



It [the significance] depends on the shade of the blue. Ordinary pale blue is usually the light of the Illumined Mind or something of the Intuition. Whitish blue is Sri Aurobindo's light or Krishna's light.


There are many blues and it is difficult to say which these are. Usually the deeper blue is Higher Mind, a paler blue is Illumined Mind – whitish blue Sri Krishna's Light (also called Sri Aurobindo's Light).


The different blues mean different forces (the real blue has nothing to do with poison). The whitish blue is specially called my light – but it does not mean that that alone can come from me.



Q: Nowadays I see Sri Aurobindo's light for most of the time but in different forms – sometimes like a big star, sometimes like a moon, sometimes like a flash of light. Why do I not see it in the same form?

A: It varies according to the circumstances. Why should it be always the same?



Q: How can I receive Sri Aurobindo's light in the mind?

A: It can always come if you aspire patiently. But the basic condition, if you want that light, is to get rid of all other mental influences.


Q: What is the meaning of “to get rid of all other mental influences”? Is it this that I had better not read any other books except Sri Aurobindo's or not try to learn anything by hearing or admiring others?

A: It is not a question of books or learning facts. When a woman loves or admires, her mind is instinctively moulded by the one she loves or admires, and this influence remains after the feeling itself has gone or appears to be gone. This does not refer to X's influence merely. It is the general rule given to keep yourself free from any other admiration or influence.



Q: As one approaches your photograph in the Reception Room, there is a feeling that it is an emanation of yours. There seems to be a special light in it.

A: The sadhaks may themselves bring this light by approaching me through the photo.


Some Visions of Sri Aurobindo

Q: I looked at your photograph in the Reception Room after meditation and clearly saw the portrait move its shoulders and as if breathing.

A: There was a movement in the vital plane and you opened to an inner vision of it.



Q: As I was sitting in prayer, I saw Sri Aurobindo in a vision coming down the staircase till he came just near to the floor. What does this mean?

A: It indicates perhaps the bringing of the Divine Consciousness down from level to level till it is now near the material.



Q: Today while meditating I saw in a vision that in Sri Aurobindo's light Nataraja Shiva was manifesting with many hands. What does this signify?

A: It is the sign of the manifestation.


Q: Then I saw that in the sky Sri Aurobindo's light and red light were manifesting in the form of a globe. Does this signify the manifestation of Sri Aurobindo's divine light on the physical plane?

A: Yes.


Q: Then I saw that Sri Aurobindo's light was manifesting on a sea along with another light of pale blue colour. Does this mean that in the vastness of consciousness Sri Aurobindo's divine light is manifesting through the Intuitive Mind consciousness?

A: Yes.



Q: I saw Sri Aurobindo last night in a vision seated on a chair and writing something. Behind his head there was a circular green light. What does this mean?

A: The green light is that of a dynamic vital energy (of work). As I was writing – at work – it is natural that that light should be behind my head.



Q: Last night I had a dream that you had come out of your seclusion for once; you were tall, quite young, but very dark. I began to wonder if this was Sri Aurobindo of former years!

A: No. It is not likely. It is probably some subtle physical form – that one corresponding to the Shiva element in me. I have seen myself like that sometimes and it was always the Shiva formation.


Right Use of Visions and Voices

Q: The visions and voices can help us to see or hear our Guru, to receive constant directions from you or the Mother for our sadhana. Well, why can't you open me to them? I shall then have to trouble you much less with my crowd of questions. With this faculty you will always appear before me and talk to me!

A: I shall have first to be sure that you will make the right use of them. I prefer that you should get higher discrimination and knowledge first.



X discouraged his disciples because his aim was the realisation of the inner Self and intuition – in other words the fullness of the spiritual Mind – visions and voices belong to the inner occult sense, therefore he did not want them to lay stress on it. I also discourage some from having any dealing with visions and voices because I see that they are being misled or in danger of being misled by false visions and false voices. That does not mean that visions and voices have no value.


The 15th August Darshan

Q: X told me that only ten days were left for the August 15th Darshan. I replied that every day should be considered as the 15th.

A: That is the right attitude. Every day should be regarded as a day when a descent may take place or a contact established with the higher consciousness. Then the 15th itself would be more successful.



Q [Nirodbaran]: During this Darshan, instead of Ananda, Force or Light I felt a great dryness.

A: It depends upon your condition whether the Ananda or Force or Light descends or whether the resistance rises. It is the resistance of the ordinary physical consciousness ignorant and obscure that seems to have risen in you. The period of 15th is a period of great descents but also of great resistances. This 15th was not an exception.

Evaporation of an Experience after Darshan

[November Darshan]

Q [Nirodbaran]: When I came for your Darshan, it seemed as if it was Shiva himself I was seeing. I felt Ananda too. The consciousness of these things remained for two or three days, and then as if evaporated.

A: There is no reason to be discouraged by what you call the evaporation of the consciousness that you got on the Darshan day. It has not evaporated but drawn back from the surface. That usually happens when there is not the higher consciousness or some experience. What you have to learn is not to allow depression, but remain quiet allowing time for the assimilation and ready for fresh experience or growth whenever it comes.

Use of Sri Aurobindo's Force

Certainly, my force is not limited to the Ashram and its conditions. As you know it is being largely used for helping the right development of the war and of change in the human world. It is also used for individual purposes outside the scope of the Ashram and the practice of Yoga; but that, of course, is silently done and mainly by a spiritual action. The Ashram, however, remains at the centre of the work and without the practice of Yoga the work would not exist and could not have any meaning or fruition.


Use of Rudra Power

I have dropped using the Rudra power; its effects used to be catastrophic, and now from a long disuse the inclination to use it has become rusty. Not that I am a convert to Satyagraha or Ahimsa: but Himsa too has its inconvenience. So the fires sleep.

Spiritual Strength and Rajasic Vehemence

Zeal and enthusiasm are all right and very necessary but the spiritual condition combines calm with intensity. Psychic fire is different – what you are speaking of here is the rajasic vital fire of self-exertion, aggressive self-defence, exerting lawful rights, etc.

I speak from my own experience. I have solid strength, but I have not much of the fire that blazes out against anybody who does not give me lawful rights. Yet I do not find myself weak or a dead man. I have always made it a rule not to be restless in any way, to throw away restlessness – yet I have been able to use my solid strength whenever necessary. You speak as if rajasic force and vehemence were the only strength and all else is deadness and weakness. It is not so – the calm spiritual strength is a hundred times stronger; it does not blaze up and sink again – but is steady and unshakable and perpetually dynamic.


Concreteness of Yogic Force

The invisible Force producing tangible results both inward and outward is the whole meaning of the Yogic consciousness. Your question about Yoga bringing merely a feeling of Power without any result was really very strange. Who would be satisfied with such a meaningless hallucination and call it Power? If we had not had thousands of experiences showing that the Power within could alter the mind, develop its powers, add new ones, bring in new ranges of knowledge, master the vital movements, change the character, influence men and things, control the conditions and functionings of the body, work as a concrete dynamic Force on other forces, modify events, etc., etc., we would not speak of it as we do. Moreover, it is not only in its results but in its movements that the Force is tangible and concrete. When I speak of feeling Force of Power, I do not mean simply having a vague sense of it, but feeling it concretely and consequently being able to direct it, manipulate it, watch its movement, be conscious of its mass and intensity and in the same way of that of other, perhaps opposing forces; all these things are possible and usual by the development of Yoga.

It is not, unless it is supramental Force, a Power that acts without conditions and limits. The conditions and limits under which Yoga or sadhana has to be worked out are not arbitrary or capricious; they arise from the nature of things. These including the will, receptivity, assent, self-opening and surrender of the sadhak have to be respected by the Yoga-force, unless it receives a sanction from the Supreme to override everything and get something done, but that sanction is sparingly given. It is only if the supramental Power came fully down, not merely sent its influences through the Overmind, that things could be very radically directed towards that object – for then the sanction would not be rare. For the Law of the Truth would be at work, not constantly balanced by the law of the Ignorance.

Still the Yoga-force is always tangible and concrete in the way I have described and has tangible results. But it is invisible – not like a blow given or the rush of a motor car knocking somebody down which the physical senses can at once perceive. How is the mere physical mind to know that it is there and working? By its results? But how can it know that the results were that of the Yogic force and not of something else? One of two things it must be. Either it must allow the consciousness to go inside, to become aware of inner things, to believe in the experience of the invisible and the supraphysical, and then by experience, by the opening of new capacities, it becomes conscious of these forces and can see, follow and use their workings, just as the Scientist uses the unseen forces of Nature. Or one must have faith and watch and open oneself and then it will begin to see how things happen, it will notice that when the Force was called in, there began after a time to be a result, then repetitions, more repetitions, more clear and tangible results, increasing frequency, increasing consistency of results, a feeling and awareness of the Force at work – until the experience becomes daily, regular, normal, complete. These are the two main methods, one internal, working from in outward, the other external, working from outside and calling the inner force out till it penetrates and is visible in the exterior consciousness. But neither can be done if one insists always on the extrovert attitude, the external concrete only and refuses to join to it the internal concrete – or if the physical mind at every step raises a dance of doubts which refuses to allow the nascent experience to develop. Even the Scientist carrying on a new experiment would never succeed if he allowed his mind to behave in that way.


Well, I made the mistake of “thinking aloud with my pen” when I wrote that unfortunate sentence4 about the force I had put for the success of the gramophone records.5 As my whole action consists of the use of force,– except, of course, of6 my writing answers to correspondence which is concrete, but even that I am made to do by and with a force, otherwise I can assure you I would not and could not do it,– I am sometimes imprudent enough to make this mistake. It is foolish to do so because a spiritual force or any other is obviously something invisible and its action is invisible, so how can anyone believe in it? Only the results are seen and how is one to know that the results are the result of the force? It is not concrete.

But I am myself rather puzzled by your instances of the concrete. How are the schemes of a schemer concrete? Something happens and you tell me it was the result of a schemer's scheme. But the schemer's scheme was a product of his consciousness and not at all concrete; it was in his mind and another fellow's mind is not concrete to me unless I am a Yogi or a thought-reader. I can only infer from some things he said or did that he had a scheme, things which I have not myself seen or heard and which are therefore not to me concrete. So how can I accept or believe in the scheme of the schemer? And even if I saw or heard, I am not bound to believe that it was a scheme or that which happened has7 the result of a scheme. He may have acted on a chain of impulses and what happened may have been the result of something quite different or itself purely accidental. Again, how did you control the music choir? By word and signs etc. which are of course concrete. But what made you use those words and signs and why did they produce a control? And why did the other fellows do what you told them? What made them do that? It was something in your and their consciousness, I suppose; but that is not concrete. Again, scientists talk about electricity which is, it seems, an energy, a force in action and it seems that everything has been done by this energy, my own physical being is constituted by it and it is at the base of all my mental and life energies. But that is not concrete to me. I never felt my being constituted by electricity, I cannot feel it working out my thoughts and life-processes – so how can I believe in it or accept it? The force I use is not a sweet blessing – a blessing (silent) certainly is not concrete like a stone or a kick or other things seizable by the senses; it is not even a mere will saying within me “let it be so” – that also is not concrete. It is a force of consciousness directed towards or on persons and things and happenings – but obviously a force of consciousness is not seizable by the physical senses, so not concrete. I may feel it and the person acted on may feel it or may not feel it, but as the feeling is internal and not external and perceivable by others, it cannot be called concrete and nobody is bound to accept or believe in it. For instance, if I cure someone (without medicines) of a fever and send him fresh and full of strength to his work, all in the course of a single night, still why should any third person believe or accept that it was my force that did it? It may have been Nature or his imagination that made him cure (three cheers for those concrete things, imagination and Nature!) – or the whole thing happened of itself. So, you see the case is hopeless, it can't be proved at all – at all.


Sri Aurobindo's Force, Divine Force and Yogic Force

The mistake is to think that it [Sri Aurobindo's Force] must be either a miraculous force or else none. There is no miraculous force and I do not deal in miracles. The word Divine here is out of place if it is taken as an always omnipotently acting Power. Yogic Force is then better; it simply means a higher consciousness using its power, a spiritual and supraphysical force acting on the physical world directly. One has to train the instrument to be a channel of this force; it works also according to a certain law and under certain conditions. The Divine does not work arbitrarily or as a thaumaturge; He acts upon the world along the lines that have been fixed by the nature and purpose of the world we live in – by an increasing action of the thing that has to manifest, not by a sudden chance or disregard of all the conditions of the work to be done. If it were not so, there would be no need of Yoga or time or human action or instruments or of a Master and disciples or of a Descent or anything else. It could simply be a matter for the tathāstu and nothing more. But that would be irrational if you like and worse than irrational – ‘childish’. This does not mean that interventions, things apparently miraculous, do not happen – they do. But all cannot be like that.



What is Sri Aurobindo's force? It is not a personal property of this body or mind. It is a higher Force used by me or acting through me. Of course it is a Divine Force, for there is only one force acting in the world, but it acts according to the nature of the instrument. Yogic Force is different from others because it is a special power of the spiritual consciousness.

There was an obvious intervention in the case he speaks of – but the agent or process could only be determined if one knew all the circumstances. Such interventions are frequent; e.g. my uncle's daughter was at her last gasp, the doctors had gone away telling him that there was no more to be done. He simply sat down to pray – as soon as he had finished, the death symptoms were suspended and the girl recovered without further treatment (it was a case of typhoid fever). Several cases of that kind have come within my personal observation.

I have marginalised on the Force – to write more completely would need more time than I have tonight. Of course, if it depended on a few cases of illness, it would be a thing of no certitude or importance. If the ‘Force’ were a mere freak or miracle, it would be equally trivial and unimportant, even if well-attested. It is only of importance if it is part of the consciousness and the life used at all times, not only for illness but for whatever one has to do. It manifests in various ways – as a strength of the consciousness evenly supporting the life and action, as a power put forth for this or that object of the outward life, as a special Force from above drawn down to raise and increase the scope of the consciousness and its height and transform not only by a miraculous but by a serious, steady organised action following certain definite lines. Its effectiveness as well as its action is determined first by its own height and intensity or that of the plane from which it comes (it may be from any plane ranging from the Higher Mind upward to the Overmind), partly by the condition of the objects or the field in which it acts, partly by the movement which it has, to effect, general or particular. It is neither a magician's wand nor a child's bauble, but something one has to observe, understand, develop, master before one can use it aright or else – for few can use it except in a limited manner – be its instrument. This is only a preface.



I used the word preface to characterise the nature of what I had written, not in a prophetic sense.

There are two things – Yoga Force in its original totality which is that of the Divine spiritual Force, always potentially all-powerful, and Yoga Force doing its work under the conditions of the evolutionary world here.

It is not a question of ‘can’ or ‘cannot’ at all. All is possible, but all is not licit – except by a recognisable process; the Divine Power itself imposes on its action limits, processes, obstacles, vicissitudes. It is possible that an ass may be changed into an elephant, but it is not done, at least physically, because of the lack of a process. Psychologically such changes do take place.

I have myself in my time changed cowards into heroes and that can be done even without Yoga-Shakti, merely by an inner force. How can you say what is latent in man or what is incurably absent? I have developed many things by Yoga, often even without any will or effort to do so, which were not in my original nature. I may even say that I have transformed my whole nature and it is in many respects the opposite of what I began with. There can be no question about the power to change, to develop, to awaken faculties that were not there before; this power exists already, but it can be raised to an acme by being lifted to the spiritual plane....

The rest is for the indefinable future. One day I shall certainly try to explain methodically and by examples what the spiritual force is; how it has worked on the earth-plane, how it acts and under what conditions – conditions not rigidly fixed, but plastic and mutable.


Elementary Notions about the Action of Sri Aurobindo's Force

As to Force let me point out a few elementary notions which you ignore.

1. The Force is a divine Force, so obviously it can apply itself in any direction; it can inspire a poet, set in motion the soldier, doctor, scientist, everybody.

2. The Force is not a mental Force – it is not bound to go out from the Communicator with every detail mentally arranged, precise in its place, and communicate it mentally to the Recipient. It can go out as a global Force containing in itself the thing to be done, but working out the details in the Recipient and the action as the action progresses. It is not necessary for the Communicant to accompany mentally the Force, plant himself mentally in the mind of the Recipient and work out mentally there the details. He can send the Force or put on the Force, leave it to do its work and attend himself to other matters. In the world most things are worked out by such a global Force containing the results in itself, but involved, concealed, and working them out in a subsequent operation. The seed contains the whole potentiality of the tree, the gene contains the potentiality of the living form that it initiates, etc., etc., but if you examine the seed and gene ad infinitum, still you will not find there either the tree or the living being. All the same the Force has put all these potentialities there in a certain evolution which works itself out automatically.

3. In the case of a man acting as an instrument of the Force the action is more complicated, because consciously or unconsciously the man must receive, also he must be able to work out what the Force puts through him. He is a living complex instrument, not a simple machine. So if he has responsiveness, capacity etc. he can work out the Force perfectly, if not he does it imperfectly or frustrates it. That is why we speak of and insist on the perfectioning of the instrument. Otherwise there would be no need of sadhana or anything else – any fellow would do for any blessed work and one would simply have to ram things into him and see them coming out into action.

4. The Communicant need not be an all-round many-sided Encyclopaedia in order to communicate the Force for various purposes. If we want to help a lawyer to succeed in a case, we need not be perfect lawyers ourselves knowing all the law, Roman, English or Indian and supply him with all his arguments, questions etc., doing consciously and mentally through him his whole examinations, cross-examinations and pleading. Such a process would be absurdly cumbrous, incompetent and wasteful. The prearrangement of the eventual result and the capacity for making him work his instruments in the right way and for arranging events also so as to aid towards the result are put into the Force when it goes to him, they are therefore inherent in its action and the rest is a question of his own receptivity, experience etc. Naturally the best instrument even is imperfect (unless he is a perfected Adhar) and mistakes may be committed, other suggestions accepted etc., etc., but if the instrument is sufficiently open, the Force can set the thing to rights and the result still comes. In some or many cases the Force has to be renewed from time to time or supported by fresh Force. In some directions particular details have to be consciously attended to by the Communicant. All that depends on circumstances too multitudinous and variable to be reduced to rule. There are general lines, in these matters, but no rules; the working of non-mental Force has necessarily to be plastic, not rigid and tied to formulas. If you want to reduce things to patterns and formulas, you will necessarily fail to understand the workings of a spiritual (non-mental) Force.

5. All that I say here refers to spiritual Force. I am not speaking of the supramental.

6. Also please note that this is all about the working of Force on or through people: it has nothing to do with intuition which is quite another matter. Also it does not preclude always and altogether a plenary and detailed inspiration from a Communicant to a Recipient – such things happen, but it is not necessary to proceed in that way, nor below the Supermind or supramentalised Overmind can it be the ordinary process.

If it [the latent medico] were there, I would develop that and run the Dispensary myself. What would be the need of a A or B or C?... What logic? Because Mother and myself are not engineers, therefore D can't develop the right intuition in engineering? or because neither I nor Mother are experts in Gujerati prosody, therefore E can't develop the inspiration for his poems?

Oh Lord! what a question! To guide internally is a million times easier than to guide externally. Let us suppose I want General X to beat Y's fellows back at Guadalagasu (please pronounce properly). I put the right force on him and he wakes up and, with his military knowledge and capacity, does the right thing and it is done. But if I, having no latent or patent military genius or knowledge in me, write to him saying ‘do this, do that’, he won't do it and I would not be able to do it either. It is operations of two quite different spheres of consciousness. You absolutely refuse to make the necessary distinction between the two fields and their processes and then you jumble -the two together and call it logic.

Intuition and revelation are inner things – they don't belong to the outer mind.... Do you imagine that I tell you inwardly or outwardly what expressions to use in your Bengali poems when you are writing? Still you write from an inspiration which I have set going.


Q: When we were discussing a Spanish General you used the words: ‘the right Force’. Why did you say ‘right’? Is there also a wrong Force?

A: Don't remember exactly what I wrote – can't say very well. But of course there can be a wrong Force. There are Asuric Forces, rajasic Forces, all sorts of Forces. Apart from that one can use a mental or vital Force which may not be the right thing. Or one may use the Force in such a way that it does not succeed or does not hit the General on the head or is not commensurate with the opposing Forces. (Opposing Forces need not be Asuric, they may be quite gentlemanly Forces thinking they are in the right. Or two Divine Forces might knock at each other for the fun of the thing. Infinite possibilities, sir, in the play of the Forces.)

What is a mistake? Evidently the Force used is always the Force that was destined to be used. If it succeeds, it does its work in the whole and if it fails it has also done its work in the whole. Na tatra śocate budhaḥ.8

In what way? A Force may be applied without any intuition – an intuition can come without any close connection with a Force, except the Force of intuition itself which is another matter. Moreover a Force may be applied from a higher plane than that of any Intuition.


The Divine's Use of Doctors

Q: I still can't understand why you should bother to follow us doctors. The Divine can very easily act from the supramental consciousness directly; you don't really need a diagnosis given by ordinary men!

A: If things were like that, why the devil should we have doctors or a dispensary at all? And what would have been the use of your 20,000? We don't propose to do the whole business of the inside and outside off our own bat. You are as necessary for this as X for the building or others for their work.

Who told you we are acting from supramental consciousness? We are not and cannot until the confounded quarrel with Matter is settled.



Q: What is this ‘confounded quarrel with Matter’ you mention? Does this refer to the lower vital and physical movements of the sadhaks?

A: I am not speaking of the sadhaks, but the resistance of the Earth nature itself in its material parts. But these are things you people cannot understand unless you have less childlike notions about things.



Q: I am still wondering why there should be doctors and a dispensary at all! Isn't it a paradox – the Divine sending his disciples to the human physician?

A: Rubbish! This is a world of the play of the forces, sir, and the Doctor is a force. So why should not the Divine use him? Have you realised that if the Divine did everything, there would be no world, only a show of marionettes?


Use of Spiritual Force for Curing Illnesses

I might say a word about Ramakrishna's attitude with regard to the body. He seems always to have regarded it as a misuse of spiritual force to utilise it for preserving the body or curing its ailments or taking care for it. Other Yogis – I do not speak of those who think it justifiable to develop Yogic siddhis – have not had this complete disregard of the body: they have taken care to maintain it in good health and condition as an instrument or a physical basis for their development in Yoga. I have always been in agreement with this view: moreover, I have never had any hesitation in the use of a spiritual force for all legitimate purposes including the maintenance of health and physical life in myself and in others – that is indeed why the Mother gives flowers not only as a blessing but as a help in illness. I put a value on the body first as an instrument, dharmasādhana, or, more fully, as a centre of manifested personality in action, a basis of spiritual life and activity as of all life and activity upon the earth, but also because for me the body as well as the mind and life is a part of the Divine Whole, a form of the Spirit and therefore not to be disregarded or despised as something incurably gross and incapable of spiritual realisation or of spiritual use. Matter itself is secretly a form of the Spirit and has to reveal itself as that, can be made to wake to consciousness and evolve and realise the Spirit, the Divine within it. In my view the body as well as the mind and life has to be spiritualised or, one may say, divinised so as to be a fit instrument and receptacle for the realisation of the Divine. It has its part in the Divine Lila, even, according to the Vaishnava sadhana, in the joy and beauty of Divine Love. That does not mean that the body has to be valued for its own separate sake or that the creation of a divine body in a future evolution of the whole being has to be contemplated as an end and not a means – that would be a serious error which would not be admissible. In any case, my speculations about an extreme form of divinisation are something in a far distance and are no part of the preoccupations of the spiritual life in the near future.



It is no doubt possible to draw the illnesses of others upon oneself and even to do it deliberately, the instance of the Greek king Antigonus and his son Dimitrius is a famous historical case in point; Yogis also do this sometimes; or else adverse forces may throw illnesses upon the Yogi, using those round him as a door or a passage or the ill wishes of people as an instrumental force. But all these are special circumstances connected, no doubt, with his practice of Yoga; but they do not establish the general proposition as an absolute rule.... On the other side, there can be an opposite use and result of the Yogic consciousness: illness can be repelled from one's own body or cured, even chronic or deep-seated illnesses and long-established constitutional defects remedied or expelled and even a predestined death delayed for a long period. Narayan Jyotishi, a Calcutta astrologer, who predicted, not knowing then who I was, in the days before my name was politically known, my struggle with Mlechchha enemies, and afterwards the three cases against me and my three acquittals, predicted also that though death was prefixed for me in my horoscope at the age of 63, I would prolong my life by Yogic power for a very long period and arrive at a full old age. In fact, I have got rid by Yogic pressure of a number of chronic maladies that had got settled in my body. But none of these instances either on the favourable or unfavourable side can be made into a rule; there is no validity in the tendency of human reason to transform the relativity of these things into an absolute.



As for the Force I use to cure people I shall see also whether I can explain what I mean by Force (the one I refer to is neither supramental nor omnipotent nor guaranteed to work like Beecham's pills in every case) and how it acts and in what conditions. I have tried it in hundreds of cases besides X's (on my own body first and always) and I have no doubt of its efficacy or reality under these conditions.

May, 1933


I have not yet written about the Force because it is too complex to be adequately stated in a short space and I had no time these days for anything long. Anyhow, the clue is that the Force does not act in a void and in an absolute way, like writing on a blank paper or on the air the: “Let there be Light and there was Light” formula. It comes as a Force intervening and acting on a very complex nexus of Forces that were in action and displacing their disposition and interrelated movement and natural result by a new disposition, movement and result.

It meets in so doing a certain opposition, very often a strong opposition from many of the forces already in possession and operation. To overcome it three factors are needed: (1) the power of the Force itself, i.e., its own sheer pressure and direct action on the field of action (here the man, his condition, his body); (2) the instrument (yourself); and (3) the instrumentation (treatment, medicine).

I have often used the Force alone, without any human instrument or outer means, but here all depends upon the recipient and his receptivity – unless, as in the case of healers, there are unseen beings or powers that assist.

If there is an instrument in direct touch with the patient, whether the doctors or one who can canalise the Force, then the action is immensely assisted,– how much depends on the instrument, his faith, his energy, his conveying power. Where there is a violent opposition, this is frequently not enough, or at least not enough for a rapid or total effect, the instrumentation (treatment or medicine) is needed. It is especially where the resistance of the body or the forces acting on the body-consciousness is strong that the medicine comes in as an aid.

But if the doctor is non-psychic or the medicine the wrong one or the treatment unplastic, then they become added resistance which the Force has to overcome.

This is a summary and a very inadequate statement, but it gives the main points, I believe.


P.S. I forgot to say that the surroundings, especially the people around the patient, the atmosphere, the suggestions it carries or they give to him, are often of a considerable importance.


Speaking semi-seriously, I am not here to do miracles to order, but to try to get in a new consciousness somewhere in the world – which is itself however to, attempt a miracle. If physical miracles happen to tumble in in the process, well and good, but you can't present your medical pistol in my face and call on me to stand and deliver. As for the Force, application of my force, short of the supramental, means always a struggle of forces and the success depends (1) on the strength and persistency of the force put out, (2) the receptivity of the subject, (3) the sanction of the Unmentionable – I beg your pardon, I meant the Unnameable, Ineffable, Unknowable. X's physical consciousness is rather obstinate, as you have noticed, and therefore not too receptive. It may feel the Mother inside it, but to obey her will or force is less habitual for it.

January, 1935


As for me, I have no medico in me, not even a latent medico. If I had, I would not need the external one but diagnose, prescribe and cure all by my solitary self. My role in a medical case is to use the force either with or without medicines. There are three ways of doing that – one by putting the Force without knowing or caring what the illness is or following the symptoms – that however needs either the mental collaboration or acquiescence of the victim. The second is symptomatic, to follow the symptoms and act on them even if one is not sure of the disease. There an accurate report is very useful. The third needs a diagnosis – that is usually where the anti-forces are very strong and conscious or where the patient himself answers strongly to the suggestions of the illness and unwittingly resents the action of the Force. This last is usually indicated by the fact that the thing gets cured and comes back again or improves and swings back again to worse. It is especially the great difficulty in cases of insanity and the like. Also in things where the nerves have a say – but in ordinary illnesses too.



Q: In the case of an illness, how do you...decide whether it is the recrudescence of an old illness or the action of a dark force or even some experience? From the description supplied to you?

A: Yes, certainly – just as you go by the symptoms of a case as seen by you and as related by the patient.


Homeopathy, Allopathy and Other Medical Systems

Q: How fan homeopathy cure diseases through merely the symptoms and without diagnosis?

A: Is it not the very principle of homeopathy that it cures the disease by curing the symptoms? I have always heard so. Do you deny that homeopaths acting on their own system, not on yours, have cured illnesses? If they have, is it not more logical to suppose that there is something in their system than to proclaim the sacrosanct infallibility of the sole all-allopathic system and its principle? For that matter I myself cure more often by attacking the symptoms than by any other way, because medical diagnosis is uncertain and fallible while the symptoms are there for everybody to see. Of course if a correct indisputable diagnosis is there, so much the better – the view can be more complete, the action easier, the result more sure. But even without infallible diagnosis one can act and get a cure.


Q: A symptomatic treatment can't be applied in cases where the same symptom is produced by two or three different diseases.

A: Why can't it? There is a possibility that you can strike at the cure, whatever it be, through the symptoms and you can kill the root through the stalk and leaves and not start by searching for the roots and digging them out. That at any rate is what I do.


The universe is not shut up in the four walls of allopathic medicine. There are plenty of cases of illnesses being cured by other systems (not homeopathy alone) when they had defied the allopaths. My experience is not wide but I have come across a great number of such cases.

23-12-1935 – 26-12-1935


Q: X [a homeopath] gives a high-blood-pressure patient on the verge of heart-failure ‘moderate’ licence in eating, drinking etc. He calls it ‘leaving to Nature!’

A: Well, I have followed that system with myself and others and gone on the basis that Nature is very largely what you make of her or can make of her.



The Force needs an instrument and an instrumentation also sometimes. The instrument was X, the instrumentation partly at least his drugs. I don't believe in the story of the inefficiency of homeopathic drugs only because they are homeopathic. Also, I don't believe that X knows nothing about them and can't properly apply them. I have noted almost constantly that they have a surprising effect, sometimes instantaneous, sometimes rapid and this not in X's evidence alone, but in the statement of his patients and the visible results. Not being an allopathic doctor, I can't ignore a fact like that.


Tumour, syphilis etc. are specialities, but what I have found in my psycho-physical experience is that most disorders of the body are connected, though they go by families, but there is also connection between the families. If one can strike at their psycho-physical root, one can cure even without knowing the pathological whole of the matter and working through the symptoms as a possibility. Some medicines invented by demi-mystics have this power. What I am now considering is whether homeopathy has any psycho-physical basis. Was the founder a demi-mystic? I don't understand otherwise certain peculiarities of the way in which X's medicines act.


Q: Why ignore wonderful things due to thousands of right diagnoses and let sporadic cases of error loom large in your eyes?

A: Sporadic cases! I have heard of any number of them, they are as plentiful as blackberries in Europe. And as for the difference of diagnosis it is almost the rule except when doctors consult together and give concessions to each other. Don't try to throw allopathic dust in my eyes, sir! I have lived a fairly long time and seen something of the world before my retirement and much more after it.


I have put down a few comments to throw cold water on all this blazing hot allopathism. But all these furious disputes seem to me now of little use. I have seen the working of both the systems and of others and I can't believe in the sole truth of any. The ones damnable in the orthodox view, entirely contradicting it, have their own truth and succeed – also both the orthodox and heterodox fail. A theory is only a constructed idea-script which represents an imperfect human observation of a line of processes that Nature follows or can follow; another theory is a different idea-script of other processes that also she follows or can follow. Allopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, Kaviraji, Hakimi have all caught hold of Nature and subjected her to certain processes; each has its successes and failures. Let each do its work in its own way. I do not see any need for fights and recriminations. For me all are only outward means and what really works are unseen forces from behind; as they act, the outer means succeed or fail – if one can make the process a right channel for the right force, then the process gets its full vitality – that's all.

Birthday-Messages to a Sadhak

A veil behind the heart, a lid over the mind divide us from the Divine. Love and devotion rend the veil, in the quietude of the mind the lid thins and vanishes.



May the inner Sun tranquillise and illumine the mind and awaken fully the heart and guide it.



In a quietude of the mind open to the presence of the Divine in your heart and everywhere; in a still mind and heart the Divine is seen like the sun in still water.



Rise into the higher consciousness, let its light control and transform the nature.



By the heart's self-giving the Presence and the Influence will be there even in the inconscience and prepare the nature for the true light and consciousness through the whole range of the being.



Put stress always on the aspiration within; let that get depth and steadiness in the heart; the outer obstacles of mind and the vital will recede of themselves with the growth of the heart's love and aspiration.



Keep the mind and heart open and turned inward and upward so that when the touch comes from within or the flow from above, you may be ready to receive it.



To persevere in turning towards the Light is what is most demanded. The Light is nearer to us than we think and at any time its hour may come.



To keep the soul ready for the Divine Grace so that it may be ready to receive it when it comes.



A persistent will for the work to be done in us and in the world is what is most needed; there is a sure spiritual result, the growth of the consciousness and the soul's readiness for the touch of the Divine's Light and Power.


When the Light enters into the Inconscience which hedges in all our being and prevents or limits the manifestation of the true consciousness in us, when it inhibits the habits and recurrences and constant repetition of the same stimuli which besiege us and rise from the subconscient, then only can the nature be wholly free and respond only to the Truth from above.



Clarity of knowledge and inner self-vision, subjugation of the ego, love, scrupulousness in selfless and dedicated works, are the four wheels of the chariot of Yoga. One who has them will progress safely on the path.



1 This text was omitted in Sri Aurobindo Birth Century Librarry in 30 Volumes. It was present, however, in Sri Aurobindo International Univercity Centre Collection .- Vol.1.- Pondicherry, 1953.- P.254.


2 No, the (later edition)


3 9-3-1935 (earlier edition)


4 X had written to Sri Aurobindo that his gramophone records were proving a great success and were fast selling out, to which Sri Aurobindo had replied: ‘I am glad of that as I put much force for that result.’ X wrote back questioning the possibility of the force producing such a result, to which this letter is a reply.


5 Word records present only in earlier publication


6 Word of present only in earlier publication


7 was (later edition)


8 The wise man grieves not over that.