Nirodbaran’s talk at the inauguration of Savitri Bhavan on August 8, 1999:
Dear Friends, Savitri Bhavan team-members particularly…
We were very happy to receive your invitation, and share your happiness at the completion of the first section of the complex, your successful endeavour. It reminds me of the year when you invited me to lay the Foundation Stone of the Savitri Bhavan. This time the Bhavan has become a building, and once again I have the honour of inaugurating it … because I was ‘the scribe of Savitri’, as it says here on the invitation. But I’m not sure what a scribe has to do with the inauguration. The answer may follow, if I have found the right one.
Some of you may be curious to know why here on the invitation it mentions Dr. Nirodbaran. So what has Dr. Nirodbaran got to do with the scribe? I remember when I first came to meet Sri Aurobindo as a doctor, after his accident: he said, “Nirod is no doctor to me. He has come to serve me.” Those were his very words. How I have served, well or ill, I don’t know who will judge. But I have done my best, in spite of many pitfalls and errors.
Now we come to the next step, when I became a scribe. It happened because, as you know, after all his voluminous writing Sri Aurobindo’s eyesight was failing. He could not see properly, he could not see even the big clock on the wall. So then Mother came to the rescue as she always does and said “Nirod will help you. You will dictate and Nirod will write now.” I don’t think she used the word scribe. So from then on, Sri Aurobindo used to dictate, I would write down his words, copy them, and then the matter would go to Nolini-da, to make a fair copy or to type. This was the procedure. I have written about all this [in Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo], but still quite a number of you may not know all these interesting details. And then when it was almost finished, Sri Aurobindo asked me, if I remember correctly “Is there anything more to be done?” I answered, “Yes – the Book of Death.” He said “That we shall see later.” That is the way in which, avoiding the straight answer, he kept us in suspense. But he knew that he would not see it again: whatever remained, remained.
This is what he has done. And these are the two things he has said about me; first “He has come to serve me”; and second “Nirod is no doctor to me.”
So doctoring I did, scribe I have also been, in the best way I could. I have the satisfaction, whatever anyone may say, that I have done the scribing to the best of my capacity. Today as you know, there is a big storm going on in India: people are saying that the sanctity of Savitri has been lost, because we have interfered here and there. You know what is happening, but we don’t care for it. We have done our work, and we are responsible to the Mother and to Sri Aurobindo. This is the way the thing has been done. That is all I have to say.
I am very happy to see that a large number of people have responded to the invitation from these wonderful workers, very sincere people, who have done their best, so that as we can see in a very short time the Savitri Bhavan is coming up. And there is no doubt about it that the Savitri Bhavan will go on growing, and soon we shall all be very happy to receive again another invitation in four or five years time. But I’m sorry, by that time my soul will be, I hope, with the Lord. That is all I have to say.