Search for Light
...the creation by the Word. - SriAurobindo

About this Section


"Letters on Poetry and Art" comprises letters
written by Sri Aurobindo on poetry and other
forms of literature, painting and the other arts,
beauty, aesthetics and the relation of these to
the practice of yoga,

He wrote most of these letters to members of
his ashram during the 1930s and 1940s,
primarily between 1931 and 1937.




A born poet is usually a genius, poetry with any
power or beauty in it implies genius.

13 February 1936

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Lotus Red Sri Aurobindo

Part one

Poetry and its Creation

Section One

The Source of Poetry

Poetic Creation

Sources of Inspiration

Overhead Poetry

Examples of Overhead Poetry

Section Two

The Poetry of the Spirit

Psychic, Mystic and Spiritual Poetry

Poet, Yogi, Rishi, Prophet, Genius

The Poet and the Poem

Part Three

Literature, Art, Beauty and Yoga

Section Two

On the Visual Arts

General Remarks on the Visual Arts

Problems of the Painter

Painting in the Ashram

Lotus Red Sri Aurobindo

Part Two

On His Own and Other's Poetry

Section Three

Practical Guidance for Aspiring Writers

Guidance in writing Poetry

Guidance in writing Prose

Remarks on English Pronunciation

Remarks on English Usage

Remarks on Bengali Usage

Part Three

Literature, Art, Beauty and Yoga

Section One

Appreciation of Poetry and the Arts

Appreciation of Poetry

Appreciation of the Arts in General

Comparison of the Arts

Appreciation of Music

All Life is Yoga - Sri Aurobindo

Creation by the Word

The word is a sound expressive of the idea. In the supra-physical plane when an idea has to be realised, one can by repeating the word-expression of it, produce vibrations which prepare the mind for the realisation of the idea. That is the principle of the Mantra and of japa. One repeats the name of the Divine and the vibrations created in the consciousness prepare the realisation of the Divine. It is the same idea that is expressed in the Bible, “God said, Let there be Light, and there was Light.” It is creation by the Word.

Sri Aurobindo
6 May 1933

To get the psychic being to emerge is not easy, though it is a very necessary thing for sadhana and when it does it is not certain that it will switch on to the above-head planes at once. But obviously anyone who could psychicise his poetry would get a unique place among the poets.

Sri Aurobindo
20 October 1936


Mystic poetry can be written from any plane, provided the writer gets an inspiration from the inner consciousness whether mind, vital or subtle physical.

Sri Aurobindo
20 October 1936

A Rishi may be a Yogi, but also he may not; a Yogi too may be a Rishi, but also he may not. Just as a philosopher may or may not be a poet and a poet may or may not be a philosopher.
Poetic intuition and illumination is not the same thing as
Rishi intuition and illumination.

Sri Aurobindo
11 February 1936

I shall leave my dreams in their argent air,
For in a raiment of gold and blue
There shall move on the earth embodied and fair
The living truth of you.

-Sri Aurobindo (A God's Labour)