Devotion becomes a magnet

Once Nolini gave me about two hundred of Sri Aurobindo’s letters in Bengali. My job was to select sixty or seventy letters and translate them into English. It was a very difficult task. I had devotion. How to make the selection? When you have devotion, you are in trouble, because you do not know which ones to choose. If you do not have devotion, you just use your mind and immediately decide: this one is good, this one is not as good. But if you use the heart, you are in serious trouble. According to the heart, which letter is not good? Devotion, like a magnet, is drawn to all two hundred letters. But I was supposed to choose seventy letters, so devotion was struggling with reality.

I did it, and the selection came out in a magazine. When it came out in book form, there was a note that said “translated from Bengali.” They did not mention by whom it was translated! Then, for six or seven years, every month my job was to translate Nolini’s writings from Bengali into English.

When you have devotion, devotion becomes a magnet. Love can make a selection, but devotion finds it very difficult to choose one thing and discard another.

20 December 2004, Xiamen, China.