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  Home > Excerpts from Other Books > Sri Aurobindo to Dilip Volume 1

S r i   A u r o b i n d o   t o    D i l i p    V o l 1


In the Gita, Sri Krishna says to Arjuna:

Yad-yad vibhuti matsatvam srimadoorjitamevava
Tat-tatdevavagachha tvam mamatejomsha sambhavam

That is:

"Wherever you find efflorescence of grace,
Opulence, grandeur or power that thrills the heart--
Know : it all derives from a gleam of my sun-splendour"
                          (Translated by Sri Dilip Kumar Roy)

Such a manifestation of sun-splendour that is Sri Aurobindo, "mighty and forceful" brought forth the flowering of grace, beauty and glorious opulence in a multifaceted form, in the life of Sri Dilip Kumar Roy--our Dadaji. This process is superbly documented for the first time, first hand, in the correspondence between the master and the disciple, spanning over two decades. With immense pleasure and grateful hearts we are bringing out this complete (as far as they are available) collection of the invaluable letters of Sri Aurobindo written to Dadaji in three volumes (vol. I, 1928-33; vol. II, 1934-36; vol. III, 1937-51, including letters of the Mother). The coming together of Dadaji, Sri Dilip Kumar the seeker, and Sri Aurobindo the mentor, is a most significant phenomenon which was predestined. Theirs is a unique relationship; Sri Aurobindo described it as that "which declares itself constantly through many lives. It is a feeling which is never mistaken and gives impression of the one not only close to one but part of one's existence. The relation that is so indicated always turns out to be that of those who have been together in the past and were predestined to join again."

Sri Aurobindo went into seclusion in 1926. Dadaji sorely missed and longed intensely for personal day-to-day contact with his guru. One cannot but admit on hindsight that this was perhaps preordained. Present also were three significant traits in Dadaji: first, his mastery of the languages and the ability to express; second, his sincere earnest quest and the power to draw out great people; and third, his generous nature which delighted in sharing anything that was worthwhile with all seekers. Circumstances, time and the persons were right. These invaluable letters got written and a veritable spiritual treasure became available not only for Dadaji alone but also for posterity.

Sri Aurobindo showed limitless patience, understanding, love and exquisite tenderness, sparing no effort--even giving up, at times, his much needed sleeping hours to write to his Dilip whom he called a "friend and a son." Sri Aurobindo wrote, "I have poured on you my force to develop your powers to make an equal development in the yoga." They discussed philosophy, literature, humanism, rationalist ideals and materialism and a plethora of topics--in short covering all the strands of human aspirations. Sri K. D. Sethna rightly said: "It is the intimacy implying not only the unhindered approach of the disciple but also the master's own enfolding movements, that sets the pattern, mixes the colours and constitutes the highlights of the picture."

Mention must be made of the humour that we find so deliciously interspersed in these volumes of correspondence: the banter of the master and the disciple, quick repartees, wit, hilarious word pictures, terse but delightfully expressed irony, are a joy to read. Perhaps it would not be an exaggeration to say that Dilip Kumar is one of the few (if not the only) disciples who took such liberties with his guru and brought out the human side of Gurudev.

In the Mahabharata, Arjuna was the recipient and became the channel through whom the Lord poured out the essence of Upanishadic wisdom of Sanatan Dharma in the form of the Bhagavad Gita. The modern-day intellectuals and seekers will find a close parallel in these volumes of Sri Aurobindo's letters to Dilip Kumar. However it is not a mere reiteration. There is a further evolution. Sri Aurobindo himself wrote (14 January 1932): "The traditions of the past are very great in their own place, -in the past; but I do not see why we should merely repeat them and not go farther. In the spiritual development of the consciousness upon earth the great past ought to be followed by a greater future." He further elaborated in a letter (December 1935) to Dadaji: "The spiritual life is not a thing that can be formulated in a rigid definition or bound by a fixed mental rule; it is a vast field of evolution, an immense kingdom potentially larger than the other kingdoms below it, with a hundred provinces, a thousand types, stages, forms, paths, variations of the spiritual ideal, degrees of spiritual advancement. It is from the basis of this truth, which I shall try to explain in subsequent letters, that things regarding spirituality and its seekers must be judged, if they are to be judged with knowledge.... It is only by so understanding it that one can understand it truly, enter in its past or in its future or put in their place the spiritual men of the past and the present or relate the different ideals, stages, etc. thrown up in the spiritual evolution of the human being."

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