Not many people are aware of the fact Mahatma Gandhi had visited Pondicherry on 17 February 1934. Ever since his return to India from South Africa in 1915, he was desirous to meet Sri Aurobindo. For the purpose of arranging a meeting with Sri Aurobindo, the Mahatma had written to Govindbhai Patel, a follower of Sri Aurobindo who was initially associated with him. But when the permission for an interview was refused by Sri Aurobindo, the Mahatma wrote directly to Sri Aurobindo on 2 January 1934.
Today we take the opportunity of sharing with you a portion of the letter Mahatma Gandhi had written to Sri Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo’s reply to him dated 7 January 1934.
With warm regards,
Mahatma Gandhi’s letter to Sri Aurobindo
…Perhaps you know that ever since my return to India I have been anxious to meet you face to face. Not being able to do that, I sent my son to you. Now that it is almost certain that I am to be in Pondicherry, will you spare me a few minutes & see me! I know how reluctant you are to see anybody. But if you are under no positive vow of abstinence, I hope you will give me a few minutes of your time…
Sri Aurobindo’s reply to Mahatma Gandhi
It is true that I have made no vow, for I never make one, but my retirement is not less binding on me so long as it—and the reason for it—lasts. I think you will understand that it is not a personal or mental choice but something impersonal from a deeper source for the inner necessity of work and sadhana. It prevents me from receiving you but I cannot do otherwise than keep to the rule I have adhered to for some years past.