November 24, 1971
I always have the impression I had something to tell you....
(Mother tries vainly to remember. Then Satprem goes on to
read several letters by Sri Aurobindo,
and in particular this
one, addressed to a Muslim disciple who
wanted to leave the
Ashram to practice his religion exclusively,
taking with him
and against their will his young brother, X, and
his sister, Y.)
"... As for X and Y, you have no claim over them and no right to control their thoughts and actions. X is of an age to choose and decide; he can think and act for himself and has no need of you to think and act for him. You are not his guardian, nor Y's; you are not even the head of the family. On what ground do you claim to decide where he shall go or where he shall stay? Your pretension to have the responsibility for him or her before God is an arrogant and grotesque absurdity. Each one is responsible for himself before God unless he freely chooses to place the responsibility upon another in whom he trusts. No one has the right to impose himself on others as a religious or spiritual guide against their free will. You have no claim at all to dictate to X or Y either in their inner or their outer life. It is again the confusion and incoherence of your mind in its present state that prevents you from recognising these plain and simple facts.
Again, you say that you ask only for the Truth and yet you speak like a narrow and ignorant fanatic who refuses to believe in anything but the religion in which he was born. All fanaticism is false, because it is a contradiction of the very nature of God and of Truth. Truth cannot be shut up in a single book, Bible or Veda or Koran, or in a single religion. The Divine Being is eternal and universal and infinite and cannot be the sole property of the Mussulmans or of the Semitic religions only, -- those that happened to be in a line from the Bible and to have Jewish or Arabian prophets for their founders. Hindus and Confucians and Taoists and all others have as much right to enter into relation with God and find the Truth in their own way. All religions have some truth in them, but none has the whole truth; all are created in time and finally decline and perish. Mahomed himself never pretended that the Koran was the last message of God and there would be no other.
God and Truth outlast these religions and manifest themselves anew in whatever way or form the Divine Wisdom chooses. You cannot shut up God in the limitations of your own narrow brain or dictate to the Divine Power and Consciousness how or where or through whom it shall manifest; you cannot put up your puny barriers against the divine Omnipotence. These again are simple truths which are now being recognised all over the world; only the childish in mind or those who vegetate in some formula of the past deny them.
You have insisted on my writing and asked for the Truth and I have answered. But if you want to be a Mussulman, no one prevents you. 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...."
23 October 1929
On Himself, XXVI.482
* * *
(In another letter, Sri Aurobindo replies to a journalist who
wanted to bring out, 27 years later, an article on "The Ideal of
the Karmayogin." This book is made up of a series of political
articles written by Sri Aurobindo
between 1909 and 1910 when
he was leading the
struggle against the British.)
"Yes, I have seen it, but I don't think it can be published in its present form as it prolongs the political Aurobindo of that time into the Sri Aurobindo
of the present time. You even assert that I have 'thoroughly' revised the book
and these articles are an index of my latest views on the burning problems of
the day and there has been no change in my views in 27 years (which would surely
be proof of a rather unprogressive mind). How do you get all that? My spiritual
consciousness and knowledge at that time was as
nothing to what it is now -- how would the change leave my view of
politics and life unmodified altogether?..."
21 April 1937
On Himself, XXVI.372
That is very important. That is very important.
I knew it, but no one believed me! He had completely changed his point of view.
I am glad.