Act IX, Scene 7

(Shanker Chetty’s house. Some months later. Aurobindo in a room on the top floor. Moni and Bijoy.)

MONI: You have fasted for the last 23 days. When are you going to stop it?

AUROBINDO (with a smile): To-day.

MONI: To-day! What shall we prepare for you?

AUROBINDO: Nothing special. Normal food.

BIJOY: All your ways are strange. How was it possible for you to carry on your eight-hour walk, your literary activity and meditation, every day with no omission of any item during such a long fast? May I know? And now instead of starting with bits of fruit and suchlike things you’ll take a full normal meal!

AUROBINDO: Do Yoga and you will understand. You are aware that in the Alipore jail I fasted for ten days. I was then in the thick of Yogic practices. No doubt, I began losing weight. But I could easily lift above my head a big pail of water, which I could not do before.

MONI: Is it ever possible to prolong life without food?

AUROBINDO: Certainly.

MONI: But how?

AUROBINDO: By drawing energy from the Vital Plane instead of depending on the physical elements and nourishment.

MONI: I shall try it. Bijoy, do you want to follow me?

BIJOY: Most gladly, and by all means. But first you come out successful. After all, life is very precious.

MONI: Not for nothing did Rabindranath sing, Ekla Chalo Re [Walk your way alone].

BIJOY: But not for long are you to walk alone. I shall dog you the moment I see a particle of success in your risky adventure.

AUROBINDO (with a smile): Moni, it seems you are putting the cart before the horse.

(Bijoy bursts into a roar of laughter. Moni looks crestfallen.)