Sujata Nehar & Shankar – Bandyopadhyay: Sri Aurobindo to Dilip, Hari Krishna Mandir Trust, Pune & Mira Aditi, Mysore, 405 pp, Rs 200.00
This book is the second of a set of four volumes and includes the correspondence of Sri Aurobindo with his disciple, Dilip Kumar Roy who was a singer, musician, poet and writer, from 1934-35 ? a period of two years. This collection of letters highlights the divine bond that flourished between the Guru, the Messianic ?treasurer of superhuman dreams? and his cherished and receptive disciple, whom the Guru called ? a friend and a son, part of my existence?.
Some letters, like that of 17 February 1934, tug at the heart. These letters were penned at a time when little noticed by the common man, Hitler and Mussolini, Nazism and fascism were gathering force before breaking into a furious whirling maelstrom that would soon hit the world, sweeping all before it. And in the invisible, occult plane, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were fighting the rising of the unspeakable horror of the Dark.
We all harbour in us conflicting and contradictory persons. In Dilip Kumar Roy'scase too there was a constant tussle between his Western-educated disbelieving intellect and his ancestral Hindu emotions of Vaishnava bhakti. In his letter of 17 February 1934 to Dilip, Sri Aurobindo writes:
I had no intention of sarcasm or banter, but simply meant to say that such deprivations can be used as opportunities for evolving the necessary capacity of the inner being.
I have not wantonly stopped the books or free letter-writing nor have I become impatient with you or anyone. I am faced with a wanton and brutal attack on my life-work from outside and I need all my time and energy to meet it and do what is necessary to repel it during these days. I hope that I can count not only on the indulgence but on the support of those who have followed me and loved me, while I am thus occupied much against my will?
On June 8, 1934, Sri Aurobindo writes:
?I will try again? is not sufficient; what is needed is to try always ? steadily, with a heart free from despondency, as the Gita says, anirvinna cetasa. You speak of five and a half years as if it were a tremendous time for such an object, but a yogi who is able in that time to change radically his nature and get the concrete decisive experience of the Divine would have to be considered as one of the rare gallopers of spiritual way. Nobody has ever said that the spiritual change was an easy thing; all spiritual seekers will say that it is difficult but supremely worth doing.
Another interesting letter is dated simply December 1935 in which Sri Aurobindo says:
I think this saying of Ramakrishna's(with the Guru'sgrace all difficulties can disappear in a flash even as age-long darkness does the moment you strike a match) expresses a certain characteristic happening, sadhana, and cannot be interpreted in a general and absolute sense, for without sense, it is hard for it to be true. All difficulties disappear in a minute? Well, Vivekananda had the grace of Ramakrishna from the beginning, but I think his difficulty of doubt lasted for some time and to the end of his life, the difficulty of control of anger was there?making him say that all that was good in him was his Guru'sgift, but these things (anger, etc.) were his own property. But what could be true is that the central difficulty may disappear by a certain touch between the Guru and the disciple?
What shines through these letters is Sri Aurobindo'spatience in guiding Dilip Kumar Roy through his turbulence, his despondency and nurturing with tender care his latent talents. Sri Aurobindo does not preach or sermonise, nor does he insist on toeing of his line, nor does he pronounce any judgement. With a clarity of vision, comprehension and compassion, the guru utters to his disciple, ?It is only divine love which bear the burden I have to bear.?
(Hari Krishna Mandir, Hari Krishna Mandir Road, Model Colony, Pune-411016.)