Thursday, March 03, 2005

Observed without comment: Aurobindo smoked cigars.
I must tell you that I was born in a family in which nobody smoked: my father had never smoked and neither had his brothers - anyway, no one smoked. So since my early childhood, I hadn't been used to others smoking. Later, when I lived with artists ... Artists smoke, of course (it seems it gives them "inspiration"!), but I detested the smell. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to be unpleasant, but I detested it. Then I came here - Sri Aurobindo smoked. He smoked deliberately, he smoked in order to say: one can do the yoga while smoking, I say one can smoke and do the yoga, and I smoke. And he smoked. And naturally all the disciples smoked, since Sri Aurobindo smoked. For some time, I even gave them pocket money so they could buy cigars (they smoked cigars - it was ghastly!). Then I came to live in Sri Aurobindo's house, we spoke freely, and one day I told him, "How awful the smell of smoke is! (laughing) It's disgusting!" So he said to me, "Oh, you don't like the smell?" "Oh, no!" I said, "Not only that, but I had to make a yogic effort to stop it from making me feel sick!" The next day, he had stopped. It was over, he never smoked again.... That was kind. It wasn't on principle, it was because he didn't want to impose the smell on me. But I had never said anything: it was simply because he asked me just like that, while talking, so I told him. And when he stopped smoking, everyone had to stop too - smoking wasn't allowed anymore, since he didn't smoke anymore.

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