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Chapter 8: The First Principle

Rabindranath tried. He worked for many days on single pieces. Then he translated it completely. But, not confident, he asked C. F. Andrews for help. C. F. Andrews was one of the colleagues of Mahatma Gandhi; he worked for India’s independence very deeply. C. F. Andrews looked through it and he said, “It is wonderful, beautiful! Only at four places would I like to change it, because at four places it is not grammatical.” So he changed it at four places, just four words, and Rabindranath was very happy. Andrews said, “It is okay now.”

So Rabindranath took it to London. Before it was to be published he called a small gathering of poets at the house of Yeats, one of the great poets of England. Almost twenty poets, all known, had gathered. They listened, then Rabindranath asked, “Do you feel that something is missing?”

Yeats stood and he said, “At four places something is wrong.” Rabindranath was surprised. He couldn’t believe it because nobody else knew that C. F. Andrews had changed the book at four places. He asked, “What are those four places?” - and they were exactly the same places. Yeats said, “At these four places the flow has stopped. Someone else has put in those four words, not you.”

Yeats was a very perceptive poet; he could feel that the river had somewhere become a pond, that someone else from a different plane of being had entered, that something had become like a block; the river was not flowing as easily afterwards as it had been flowing before. There was a stone, a rock somewhere. Grammar is like a rock - it is dead.

Rabindranath then said, “Yes, C. F. Andrews suggested these words, and he is an Englishman, so he knows better. English is not my mother tongue.” He added, “These were the four words I had used before Andrews corrected it.”

Yeats said, “They are ungrammatical but they are poetic, they have the flow, so forget the grammar and retain the flow.”

At the very center, the flow is the thing. Grammar is irrelevant, grammar exists on the surface; at the center, only a flow of energy. A different plane of being is needed. When something from the beyond descends into you, you are needed to be one.

These are the two planes of humanity: duality, the plane of duality, what Hindus call dwaita, the plane of two; and non-duality, the plane of one, the plane of the non-dual. When you are divided you are in this world; when you are undivided you have transcended - you are no longer here, you have penetrated into the beyond. Then boundaries meet and the boundaries meet in you. So the whole effort is how to become undivided, how to become one.

Just the other night a girl came to me and she said, “I am already a sannyasin inside.” Why divide the outside from the inside? Is there really a division between inside and outside? Where is the demarcation line? Can you draw a line and say, “Beyond this is inside”? Where? - at the body can you draw a line? If the body dies, you die. If the body is not there, where are you? At the mind then? - if the mind becomes unconscious you become unconscious. Who are you without the mind? Where do you divide? - everything is linked.

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