Act I, Scene 8

(Darjeeling. Benoy, Mano and Auro are returning from school. On the way they happen to meet a sannyasin. Many people have gathered about him. He smokes profusely.)

A VILLAGER: Sadhuji, please give me some religious knowledge.

SANNYASIN: All I can give you is a bit of advice. I am afraid, although my advice will reach your sceptic ears, you will never apply it in the practical field. (Some of the villagers burst into a peal of laughter.) My advice, you know? The world is an illusion. Have no link with it!

A MERCHANT: Be pleased to read my palm.

SANNYASIN: You, you wallow in the pleasure of wealth. Am I right?

MERCHANT: Absolutely perfect. But, Sadhuji, I have not seen the face of peace even for a fleeting second.

SANNYASIN: Ah, peace! Peace is not to take birth here in this world. It is the offspring of another world. This world is made of din, dust and dizzying demonstrations.

MANOMOHAN: Please run your eyes over my palm, and drop a few hints about my years to come.

SANNYASIN: Ah, a poet, a fine poet. This is what your future says.

MANOMOHAN (pointing at Auro): And how does the fate of my younger brother run?

SANNYASIN (looking ahead he meets Aurobindo’s curious eyes; but in the twinkling of an eye Auro, frightened, sprints off.): His future is at his command.

Now you are afraid of me, but a day will come when you will become a great Yogi.3

MANOMOHAN: Only a few days back Auro composed a beautiful poem on Kanchanjunga. The teachers have appreciated it greatly.

SANNYASIN: No wonder, he is not a common boy. He will be a great Yogi who has to play a great part on the world scene! Brahman! Brahman! O Lord of my breath, Thou art verily Thy unfathomable mystery.

DB 9,12. Sri Aurobindo’s translation.