[From "Sectarianism or Loyalty": the first two
paragraphs and the last one]
"Modern culture demands that one should not be bound to one creed
or dogma, swear by one principle or rule of life or be led blindly by
one man. Truth, it is said, has many facets and the human being is also
not a Cyclops, a one-eyed creature. To fix oneself to one mode of seeing
and believing and even behaving is to be narrow, restricted, sectarian.
One must be able to see many standpoints, appreciate views of variance
with one's own, appraise the relativity of all standards. Not to be able
to do so leads to obscurantism and fanaticism.
The Inquisitors were monomaniacs, obsessed by an idée fixe. On
the other hand, the wisest counsel seems to have been given by Voltaire
who advised the inquirers to learn from anywhere and everywhere, even
Science from the Chinese. In our Indian legends we know that Uddhava did
not hesitate to accept and learn from more than a dozen gurus. That is
as it should be if we would have a mind and consciousness large and vast
And yet there is a question. While attempting to be too liberal and catholic
one may happen to turn a dilettante. Dilettante is one who takes an interest,
an aesthetic, a dispassionate and detached interest in all things. His
interest is intellectual, something abstract and necessarily superficial;
it is not a vital interest, not a question of his soul, an urgent problem
of his living."
"Uddhava might have had numberless teachers and instructors, but
the Guru of his soul was Sri Krishna alone, none other. We may learn many
things from many places, from books, from nature, from persons; intuitions
and inspirations may come from many quarters, inside and outside, but
the central guidance flows from one source only and one must be careful
to keep it unmixed, undefiled, clear and pure. When one means nothing
more than playing with ideas and persons and places, there is no harm
in being a globe-trotter; but as soon as one becomes serious, means business,
one automatically stops short, finds and sticks to his Ishta, even like
the Gopis of Sri Krishna who declared unequivocally that they would not
move out of Brindaban even by a single step."
Nolini Kanta Gupta
in Volume 3 of "Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - The Yoga of
Sri Aurobindo: Sectarianism or Loyalty", pp 99-101
The works of Nolini can generally be ordered at SABDA
- Pondicherry - India.