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Sri Aurobindo's Humour >> Correspondence .. ...

 

1935

 

MYSELF: By the way, people get poems, pictures in meditation and I seem to get only letters and points for letters! Since letters and discussions are interdicted I have been obliged to draw inspiration from sleep. And I find that sleeping has a decided advantage in this Yoga!

SRI AUROBINDO: You get letters in meditation! that would be fine—it would save me the trouble of writing then, simply project into your meditation instead of sending through Nolini! No objection to sleep—the land of Nod has also its treasures.

 

MYSELF: But do you really mean that till 7 a.m. your pen goes on in aeroplanic speed? Then it must be due more to outside correspondence. I don't see many books or envelopes now on the staircase. Is the supramental freedom from these not in view?

SRI AUROBINDO: Your not seeing unfortunately does not dematerialise them. Books are mainly for the Mother and there is sometimes a mountain, but letters galore. On some days only there is a lull and then I can do something.

 

MYSELF: I've heard your poem on 'Tautology' to Dilip da, and I felt rather bad for your sake. So if you like, I can write Only 3 days a week.

SRI AUROBINDO: The poem was not aimed at you—you need have no qualms of conscience.

MYSELF: Another thing—if you mind me way I have written the last few letters—the humorous vein—I shall stop it. But I may say that it was by some gracious movement of yours that I dared to do this and I have really wondered how I dared!

SRI AUROBINDO: Not necessary to stop, unless you are afraid of word punctures in the skull. My indignations and objurgations are jocular and not meant to bum or bite.

MYSELF: They were saying that 'a sweet relation' has been established between you and me. I only hope and pray that

it'll be sweeter and sweetest.

SRI AUROBINDO: The sweet relation is all right, but let it be nameless.

I have brought down a verse from heaven on the correspondence like Bahaullah—which proves that if I am not an Avatar, at least I am prophet. It is, I fear, full of chhandapatan and bhashapatan, but it expresses my feelings:

 

(Translation: If the sadhaks had not in their hearts a craving for correspondence, I would live with a smiling face, merged in supramental bliss. Alas, alas, where is such a hope?)

For heaven's sake, don't show this undivine outbreak to any- body! They will think I am trying to rival Dara—in his lighter poetic moods.

MYSELF: I am simply dying to show your divine verse to Dilip da. 'Heaven's sake' I can't take seriously, you don't mean it either; besides, I am no believer in Heaven. So you will excuse me. No one in our group will think Dara's influence is acting on you!

SRI AUROBINDO: Well, under careful limitation and in all confidentiality you may risk the indiscretion.

MYSELF: Dilip da finds it faultless in rhythm. Oh, how he laughed! Because of your lines I am feeling a little guilty about my correspondence.

SRI AUROBINDO: I don't mind your correspondence. It is a relief. But when people write four letters a day in small hand—running to some ten pages without a gap anywhere and one gets twenty letters in the afternoon and forty at night (of course not all like that, but still!) it becomes a little too, too...

Correspondence suspended till after 2ist and resumable only on notice. But under cover of your medical cloak, you can carry on. Only mum about it. Otherwise people might get ideas and give you a headache.

 

MYSELF: I am surprised and sad to hear that you can still be affected by these physical ailments!

SRI AUROBINDO: What I am surprised at is that I have any energy left at all after the last two or three years of half- day and all night work. The difficulty for resting is that the sadhaks have begun pouring paper again without waiting for the withdrawal of the notice—not all of course, but many. And there is a stock of* correspondence still unanswered. I am persuading my eye, but it is still red and sulky and reproachful. Revolted, what? Thinks too much is imposed on it and no attention paid to its needs, desires, preferences etc. Will have to reason with it for a day or two longer.

MYSELF: Now I wish, as a medical man, I mean, I could enforce absolute rest to the eyes and issue a bulletin.

[Sri Aurobindo underlined 'absolute rest' and replied]:

It does not exist in this world—not even in the Himalayas— except of course for the inner being which can always be in

absolute rest.

 

* One word could not be deciphered.

 

1936

 

MYSELF: As there is no correspondence now, please send one or two poems from your old or new ones, if possible.

Will you. Sir?

Asking for the file would be too much I suppose!

[Sri Aurobindo underlined 'no correspondence' and wrote in the margin]:

What a rash statement!

MYSELF: I am waiting for the original and the remarks to send Jatin a reply. You may be waiting for a Sunday, perhaps?

SRI AUROBINDO: I am waiting for a day when I will have time to finish everything before 7 a.m. in the morning.

 

MYSELF: People are already saying that I take too much correspondence liberty with you. I forgot that J was put in contact with you through his photo. So was P, but there was apparently no action in his case.

 SRI AUROBINDO:  And I return the compliment—I mean reply without restraint, decorum or the right grave rhythm. That is one reason why I indulge so freely in brackets....

Plenty of people have sent their photographs—some mad, some sane, some good, some bad, some indifferent. You don't expect all to get the contact, do you? That would be too too even for a Vishwarup.

 

MYSELF: I hear from all quarters that you are buried in letters. In the near future there will be millions of letters heaped upon your Supramental segregation, if you don't relinquish it and come out boldly.

SRI AUROBINDO: Come out and have millions and millions of admirers heaped upon my promiscuity? Thank you for nothing! The letters can be thrown into the W. P. B. more easily than the admirers can be thrown out of the window.

MYSELF: What about the poem sent you the other day?

SRI AUROBINDO: Shall send it back.... Fact is, I am trying to get some damned thing done—have a chance of success if I keep at it—so can't afford to turn aside to anything else. Just check off in a hurry daily things, but as for arrears!

MYSELF: Now that your correspondence is reduced, you can work on Savitri.

SRI AUROBINDO: Where is the reduction of correspondence? I have to be occupied with correspondence from 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. (minus one hour), again after bath and meal from 2.30 a.m. to 7 a.m. All that apart from afternoon work. And still much is left undone. And you think I can write Savitri? You believe in miracles!

 

MYSELF: You will find something in my famous bag, which may startle you! Well, the pen is a present from A. The size and everything will suit you best, though the nib may not, and I send it to you that your writing may flow in rivers from the pen, in my book, not in a few stingy lines.

SRI AUROBINDO: Good Lord! what a Falstaff of a fountain pen!

But it is not the pen that is responsible for the stinginess, the criminal is Time and with a fat pen he can be as niggardly as with a lean one.

 

MYSELF: Please do write something tonight. I request you, I beseech you, I entreat you, I pray to you. Do find out the letter from that heap—I can see it from here and just a few marks and remarks will do. That's like the Divine! Give that time you would have spent on reading the long letter I was hoping to write, but I hold it for getting this chance!

SRI AUROBINDO: Sorry, but your luck is not brilliant. Had a whole night—i.e. after 3, no work—was ready to write. Light went off in my rooms only, mark—tried candle power, no go. The Age of Candles is evidently over. So "requests, beseeches, entreats" were all in vain. Not my fault. Blame Fate. However, I had a delightful time, 3 hours of undisturbed concentration on my real work—a luxury denied to me for ages. Don't tear your hair. Will be done another day with luck.

MYSELF: By the way, I thought you have a kerosene lamp with a pumping business and burner—God knows the name.

SRI AUROBINDO: Who gives these wonderful news? Of course I have a lamp but it is not available at 2.30. Do you think I am going to wake up the whole house at that hour?

MYSELF: I intended long ago to procure one for your emergency use. Shall I try?

SRI AUROBINDO: No, sir, no pumping business for me !

MYSELF: But concentration on real work? Good Lord, you do that from 9 or 10 a.m.—3 p.m. God alone knows what you do then.

SRI AUROBINDO: What is this transcendental rubbish?

MYSELF: Perhaps you send Force to Germany etc...?

 SRI AUROBINDO: That is not my real work. Who except the devil is going to give force to Germans? Do you think I am in liaison with Hitler and his howling tribe of Nazis?

MYSELF: We speculate and speculate. Next, you concentrate from 6 p.m. to midnight. Still not enough?

SRI AUROBINDO: Who gave you this wonderful programme? Invented it all by your ingenious self? From 4 p.m.**”6.30 p.m. afternoon correspondence, newspapers.Evening correspondence 7 to 7.30—9 p.m. From 9—10 concentration, 10—12 correspondence. 12—2.30 bath, meal, rest. 2.30—5 or 6 our correspondence unless I am lucky. Where is the sufficient time for concentration?

MYSELF: Please don't fall flat again. So much depends on your curvilinear position, especially when you are bringing down the supramental tail.

SRI AUROBINDO: Now look here, do you think I fell flat on purpose? No, sir. Sudden rush of correspondence, interruption of campaign—consequent breakdown of road to Addis Abbaba, retreat necessary, consolidation of back position, road repair—feat, but I suppose, necessary.

MYSELF: I suppose all "lacks" will be removed by the descent of Force?

You promised to write about Intuition but like all your promises.... God knows what you are busy with now, with the correspondence also reduced.

SRI AUROBINDO: Obviously, obviously!

I promised to do so in some future age when I had time. That promise stands—if a promise Stands. What more can you ask of it?

Who says it was reduced? For a few days it was—now it has increased to half again its former size and every morning I have to race to get it done in time—and don't get it done in time. Thousand things are accumulating; inner work delayed.

 

MYSELF: You write—'for me all are only outward means, and what really works are unseen forces!' Can you amplify this a little further?

SRI AUROBINDO: Sir, do you think I have time for your interesting questions? I have had three nights work to do in a single night—and with my table lamp gone. In other perhaps fre-a-er off times.

 

1937

 

MYSELF: What about my book? Haven't decided where you will begin and where you will end? or keeping it for Sunday?

SRI AUROBINDO: My dear sir, if you write a Mahabharat, you can't expect the answer however scrappy to be finished in one or two nights among a mass of other work? nous pragressâmes—that's the state of things.

MYSELF: You perhaps had a hope that at least some respite you would have with no longer Dilip da's voluminous correspondence. Much mistaken. Sir! much mistaken.

SRI AUROBINDO: So long as I have not to write voluminous answers.

 

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Sri Aurobindo

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When someone is destined for the Path, all circumstances through all the deviations of mind and life help in one way or another to lead him to it. It is his own psychic being within him and Divine Power above that use to that end the vicissitudes both of mind and outward circumstance.

Sri Aurobindo