The Standard Bearer

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(Sri Aurobindo letter to Motilal Roy, end 1919:)
“Dear M.
         About your scheme of a weekly paper — as for the name it is not difficult to find; it could be called the “Standard-bearer”. But are you quite sure you will be able to live up to the name and carry the thing on in the requisite manner? Nalini and Suresh are not likely to be able to write; one does not write at all in English, the other can do it if he likes, but is even more মন্থরগতি than in Bengali. To write for an English weekly would be beyond his present energies. As for myself, I am at present unable to write or do anything substantial, because of the extreme pressure of my Yoga, which has entirely occupied my time, — except for what I am obliged to give to the “Arya” and even that I have cut short as much as possible, — for the last few months. This state of things is likely to go on for the rest of the (English) year; whether it will be changed in the beginning of the next is more than I can tell with any certainty. The whole work might fall on your two Chandernagore writers. An English weekly cannot be conducted like a Bengali monthly or fortnightly. And it is not going to be a political paper of the ordinary kind which can be filled up anyhow. It will have to maintain a high reputation to be at all successful. These things however are for you to consider; you know your own strength and how far the field in Bengal is ready. As to the symbol, none has come to me. I am not altogether favourably inclined to the Uttara Yogi idea, nor anyone else here. It sounds too like the old style of spiritual pretension, and, when it is put in a current English production, suggests bujruki. Plain colours and as few symbols as may be are what we want at the beginning. Indian spirituality has lost itself in a jungle of symbols and shlokas and we have to get out of them on to the plain and straight ways and the open heights, where we can see the “much work that has still to be done”. Why any editor? Let the Shakti herself be the editor.”[1]

Essays in Philosophy and Yoga
published in the first issue of The Standard Bearer, 15 August 1920

Essays In Philosophy and Yoga - Ourselves.jpg
PDF (3 pages)

(Sri Aurobindo to Motilal Roy, 2 September 1920:) “The Standard Bearer is, I am afraid, subject to the criticism passed on it; the criticism is general and I felt it myself. It is a sort of weekly Arya; but the Arya style and method are not what is wanted for a weekly paper. What you need to do, is to make the ideas easy to the people and give them a practical direction. At present you give only a difficult philosophy and abstract principles. I shall write more about this matter hereafter as soon as I find time.”[2]

See also