Act XII, Scene 1

(Early 1927. A Parsi youth of twenty-two, seeking out ochre-robed sadhus in various corners of Bombay. His studies, his own literary talents, his ultra-modern frame of mind, the ease and comfort of his home-life, all that is beautiful in the visible and the known have lost their charm for him. A sudden touch from somewhere has cut him off from his moorings. He is drifting about in a quest of the Unknown. Some method of meditation he has gathered and tried. Yet his thirst grows on unappeased. Now he comes across a Theosophist and questions him.)

THE THEOSOPHIST (after a little talk): Excuse me, young man, you are a complex problem.


THE THEOSOPHIST: There is a passion for poetry in you and there is also an urge towards philosophy.

THE YOUTH: But now I am swayed by neither. The one thing that is master in me at present is a pull towards the Unknown.

THE THEOSOPHIST: True. But the other things have only got pushed into the background. They are biding their time.

THE YOUTH: I don't think so.

THE THEOSOPHIST: Human nature is not so simple. All the elements in you will come up at their proper moment.

THE YOUTH: What am I to do, then?

THE THEOSOPHIST: Nobody can take you up in all your complexity, except one Master.

THE YOUTH (eagerly): Who, please?

THE THEOSOPHIST: Aurobindo Ghose of Pondicherry. He has the Cosmic Consciousness.

(The very mention of the name acts like another mysterious touch, a saving, answering touch. The Parsi youth stands still a few fateful moments. The Theosophist scans his face. Sometime later, the youth goes to Bombay's Crawford Market for a new pair of shoes. Back home, as he unwraps the shoe-box, right before his eyes falls that part of the newspaper sheet which bears in bold type the headline "The Ashram of Aurobindo Ghose". The third touch? Assuredly the youth takes it as a "sun-burst". He devours the long article written by a visitor and finds in it the needed fact: the prospect of a new existence, not rejecting but transforming common life and its concerns. Also, for the first time he comes across those words: "The Mother.")

K.D. SETHNA (speaking to himself): Here's the end of my search. I must write to the Ashram authorities. But will they accept me?