4 – Let India be Guided by Sri Aurobindo

Related materal:

(1-Let India be guided by Sri Aurobindo)

(2-Let India be guided by Sri Aurobindo)

(3-Let India be guided by Sri Aurobindo)

(Introduction is given in part 1)

Here we reproduce Sri Aurobindo’s answers to varied questions relating to India, world and humanity, which were put to him by many public figures and ordinary persons from 1914 to 1950. Let India take cue from his vision of things to come in future and be guided in its actions and plans. These answers are recorded by Purani A. B., who was Sri Aurobindo’s co-revolutionary and an intimate disciple, in his book, “Purani A. B.: Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo”.

“But, though I had seen him from a distance and felt an unaccountable familiarity with him, still I had not yet met him personally. When the question of putting into execution the revolutionary plan, which Sri Aurobindo had given to my brother — the late C. B. Purani — at Baroda in 1907, arose I thought it better to obtain Sri Aurobindo’s consent to it. Barindra, his brother, had given the formula for preparing bombs to my brother, and I was also very impatient to begin the work. But still we thought it necessary to consult the great leader who had given us the inspiration, as the lives of many young men were involved in the plan.

Sri Aurobindo was sitting in a wooden chair behind a small table covered with an indigo-blue cloth in the verandah upstairs when I went up to meet him. I felt a spiritual light surrounding his face. His look was penetrating. He had known me by my correspondence. I reminded him about my brother having met him at Baroda; he had not forgotten him. Then I informed him that our group was now ready to start revolutionary activity. It had taken us about eleven years to get organised.

Sri Aurobindo remained silent for some time. Then he put me questions about my Sadhana — spiritual practice. I described my efforts and added: “Sadhana is all right, but it is difficult to concentrate on it so long as India is not free.”

“Perhaps it may not be necessary to resort to revolutionary activity to free India,” he said.

“But without that how is the British Government to go from India?” I asked him.

“That is another question; but if India can be free without revolutionary activity, why should you execute the plan? It is better to concentrate on yoga — the spiritual practice,” he replied.

“But India is a land that has Sadhana in its blood. When India is free, I believe, thousands will devote themselves to yoga. But in the world of today who will listen to the truth from, or spirituality of, slaves?” I asked him.

He replied: “India has already decided to win freedom and so there will certainly be found leaders and men to work for that goal. But all are not called to yoga. So, when you have the call, is it not better to concentrate upon it? If you want to carry out the revolutionary programme you are free to do it, but I cannot give my consent to it.”

“But it was you who gave us the inspiration and the start for revolutionary activity. Why do you now refuse to give your consent to its execution?” I asked.

“Because I have done the work and I know its difficulties. Young men come forward to join the movement, driven by idealism and enthusiasm. But these elements do not last long. It becomes very difficult to observe and extract discipline. Small groups begin to form within the organisation, rivalries grow between groups and even between individuals. There is competition for leadership. The agents of the Government generally manage to join these organisations from the very beginning. And so the organisations are unable to act effectively. Sometimes they sink so low as to quarrel even for money,” he said calmly.

“But even supposing that I grant Sadhana to be of greater importance, and even intellectually understand that I should concentrate upon it. — my difficulty is that I feel intensely that I must do something for the freedom of India. I have been unable to sleep soundly for the last two years and a half. I can remain quiet if I make a very strong effort. But the concentration of my whole being turns towards India’s freedom. It is difficult for me to sleep till that is secured”.

Sri Aurobindo remained silent for two or three minutes. It was a long pause. Then he said: “Suppose an assurance is given to you that India will be free?”

“Who can give such an assurance?” I could feel the echo of doubt and challenge in my own question.

Again he remained silent for three or four minutes. Then he looked at me and added: “Suppose I give you the assurance?”

I paused for a moment, considered the question with myself and said: “If you give the assurance, I can accept it.”

“Then I give you the assurance that India will be free,” he said in a serious tone.

My work was over — the purpose of my visit to Pondicherry was served.

It was time for me to leave. The question of Indian freedom again arose in my mind, and at the time of taking leave, after I had got up to depart, I could not repress the question — it was a question of very life for me: “Are you quite sure that India will be free?”

1 did not, at that time, realise the full import of my query. I wanted a guarantee, and though the assurance had been given my doubts had not completely disappeared.

Sri Aurobindo became very serious. The yogi in him came forward, his gaze was fixed at the sky that could be seen beyond the window. Then he looked at me and putting his fist on the table he said:

“You can take it from me, it is as certain as the rising, of the sun tomorrow. The decree has already gone forth it may not be long in coming.”

I bowed down to him. That day I was able to sleep soundly in the train after more than two years. And in my mind was fixed for ever the picture of that scene: two of us standing near the small table, my earnest question, that upward gaze, and that quiet and firm voice with power in it to shake the world, that firm fist planted on the table,— the symbol of self-confidence of the divine Truth.”

“The second time I met Sri Aurobindo was in 1921, when there was a greater familiarity. Having come for a short stay, I remained eleven days on Sri Aurobindo’s asking me to prolong my stay.

(But) the greatest surprise of my visit in 1921 was the “darshan” of Sri Aurobindo. During the interval of two years his body had undergone a transformation which could only be described as miraculous. In 1918 the colour of the body was like that of an ordinary Bengali — rather dark — though there was a lustre on the face and the gaze was penetrating. On going upstairs to see him (in the same house) I found his cheeks wore an apple-pink colour and the whole body glowed with a soft creamy white light. So great and unexpected was the change that I could not help exclaiming:

“What has happened to you?”

Instead of giving a direct reply he parried the question, as I had grown a beard: “And what has happened to you?”

But afterwards in the course of talk he explained to me that when the Higher Consciousness, after descending to the mental level, comes down to the vital and
even below the vital, then a transformation takes place in the nervous and even in the physical being.”

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 1 – Let India be Guided by Sri Aurobindo | Indian People's Congress
  2. Trackback: 2 – Let India be Guided by Sri Aurobindo | Indian People's Congress
  3. Trackback: 3 – Let India be Guided by Sri Aurobindo | Indian People's Congress

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