Nolini-da and Amrita-da drink tea together1

At the very end of his life, Sri Ramachandra said,

Deshe deshe kalatrani
Deshe deshe cha bandhabah
Tantu desha na pashyami
Yatra brat a sahodara

It means: "In all countries there are wives, in all countries there are friends, but I shall not find a brother like Lakshmana anywhere in this world."

In the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Nolini-da and Amrita-da were like that. Amrita-da was like a younger brother to Nolini-da. If Nolini-da went one side, Amrita-da went that side. With my own eyes I saw it. Nolini-da was the Ashram Secretary and Amrita-da was the Manager. Amrita-da would not find any fault with Nolini-da. If Nolini-da said, "This is Heaven," Amrita-da would say it was Heaven. If Nolini-da said, "This is hell," Amrita-da would say it was hell. He did not keep any individuality whatsoever.

The story of Rama and Lakshmana did not only happen ten thousand years ago. Even in this century, this Manager and Secretary proved it to be true. The Manager only followed the Secretary everywhere, everywhere. And he would never argue with Nolini-da. Only occasionally they would cut jokes together. I would be working inside and they would be drinking tea. Others were working there also.

Sometimes I heard them cutting jokes. One day Nolini-da was bragging that his health was perfect. His only problem was that he could not increase his height. He was at that time sixty-five years old. So Amrita-da said to him, "Oh, it is very easy. Just stand on your toes and you will become taller instantly!"

How faithful, how obedient and how self-giving Amrita-da was to Nolini-da! If Nolini-da said anything, he accepted it implicitly. I have not seen and I will not see again in this incarnation any two persons who are so sincerely surrendered and sincerely obedient to each other.


  1. TCE 22. 12 May 1994