Book I – The Book of Beginnings Canto I – The Symbol Dawn

The Mother’s Explanation

It was the hour before the Gods awake.

There is an ancient tradition which describes the creation as done by some first emanations of the Supreme Mother, who were four emanations. In the sense and the feeling of their supreme Power, they cut connection with their Origin and became independent. And then, these emanations, being separated from their Origin, entered into darkness.
The first was Consciousness, Consciousness in Light, and by cutting Himself from His Origin He went down and down towards Unconsciousness.
The second was Bliss and turned into Suffering.
The third was Truth and turned into Falsehood.
The fourth one was Life and turned into Death.
This happened after they came down into the vital level. When this was seen, it was decided that  some second emanations would be made to repair the mistake of the first; and the second emanations were the Gods.
This first line refers to the condition of the world before the Gods were born.
Sri Aurobindo says, “It was the hour before the Gods awake.”

Across the path of the divine Event
The huge foreboding mind of Night, alone
In her unlit temple of eternity, 
Lay stretched immobile upon Silence’ marge.
Almost one felt, opaque, impenetrable,
In the sombre symbol of her eyeless muse
The abysm of the unbodied Infinite;
A fathomless zero occupied the world.

As a result of this separation between the first emanations and their Origin, the creation by these first emanations had become obscure, inconscient. And that is what Sri Aurobindo describes here. He says, “the divine Event”, that is creation,—the creation that will go on and on for eternity. It started with what He called the Night—the Night of a foreboding mind. It is unconscious, immobile, lifeless, blind. All these things—the obscurity and the unconsciousness, the immobility, lifelessness, the unbodied Infinite, and a fathomless zero—all these words are meant to express the Nothingness of the world.

A power of fallen boundless self awake
Between the first and the last Nothingness,
Recalling the tenebrous womb from which it came,
Turned from the insoluble mystery of birth
And the tardy process of mortality
And longed to reach its end in vacant Nought.

Even in the darkest Unconscious, there was something like the remembrance of the Divine Origin, and it had an urge to wake up to existence.

But all the habit of the Inconscient was so strong that it had a natural tendency to go back to Nothingness. It is just what preceded the beginning of a conscious creation in the world.
We saw that this emanation of Light and Consciousness had separated from its Origin and had naturally fallen into Inconscience. The result was that the world created was the world of Unconsciousness—a world of Nothingness, of obscure Nothingness.
But in spite of everything the Divine Origin was inside this and had an urge to bring up again a world of Consciousness. And this is like the first attempt of waking up in the Nothingness by something that was a faint expression of consciousness—but “Recalling,” as Sri Aurobindo says, “the tenebrous womb from which it came”. This had a tendency of going back to Unconsciousness. It is like the origin of Death.

As in a dark beginning of all things,
A mute featureless semblance of the Unknown
Repeating for ever the unconscious act,
Prolonging for ever the unseeing will,
Cradled the cosmic drowse of ignorant Force
Whose moved creative slumber kindles the suns
And carries our lives in its somnambulist whirl.
Athwart the vain enormous trance of Space,
Its formless stupor without mind or life,
A shadow spinning through a soulless Void,
Thrown back once more into unthinking dreams,
Earth wheeled abandoned in the hollow gulfs
Forgetful of her spirit and her fate.

For the sake of evolution and the ascension towards Consciousness, earth was formed. But it was formed naturally in the Unconscious, and so Sri Aurobindo says:
Athwart the vain enormous trance of Space,
Its formless stupor without mind or life,
A shadow spinning through a soulless Void,
Thrown back once more into unthinking dreams,
Earth wheeled abandoned in the hollow gulfs
Forgetful of her spirit and her fate.

That is when the earth was created in the Unconscious and the Nothingness, in order to concentrate the effort and the working of evolution—that is the description of the beginning.
Earth began—almost totally unconscious—as He says:

Forgetful of her spirit and her fate.

That is the beginning.

The impassive skies were neutral, empty, still.
Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred;
A nameless movement, an unthought Idea
Insistent, dissatisfied, without an aim,
Something that wished but knew not how to be,
Teased the Inconscient to wake Ignorance.

This is the description—a very wonderful description—of the beginning of Aspiration: how in the Nothingness, in the Inconscient, stirred the first movement of Aspiration.
There was no mind, so it did not think. Even the vital was not organised, so it did not know how to be.
But, It stirred slowly to wake up the Inconscient towards something—without knowing what it was.
This is the first vibration which preceded even form, the first beginning of Aspiration
towards the possibility of knowing.

A throe that came and left a quivering trace,
Gave room for an old tired want unfilled,
At peace in its subconscient moonless cave
To raise its head and look for absent light,
Straining closed eyes of vanished memory,
Like one who searches for a bygone self
And only meets the corpse of his desire.

This is still the description of the world created by division and becoming conscious. Its Origin being the perfect Truth-Consciousness, in spite of its division, in spite of its obscurity, it still contains the seed of its Consciousness and something like “the want” to return to It.

It was as though even in this Nought’s profound,
Even in this ultimate dissolution’s core
There lurked an unremembering entity,
Survivor of a slain and buried past
Condemned to resume the effort and the pang,
Reviving in another frustrate world.

The Origin of Light and Consciousness which it carried in itself could not die—because it is the seed, the very essence of Immortality. And that began waking up.

An unshaped consciousness desired light
And a blank prescience yearned towards distant change.

It is the very beginning of aspiration waking up in the Inconscient to return to its conscious Origin.

It is the starting-point, the first movement of evolution,—the evolution that is the turning back of the Inconscient to return to the full Consciousness.

As if a childlike finger laid on a cheek
Reminded of the endless need in things
The heedless Mother of the universe,
An infant longing clutched the sombre Vast.
Insensibly somewhere a breach began:
A long lone line of hesitating hue
Like a vague smile tempting a desert heart
Troubled the far rim of life’s obscure sleep.

This is the waking up of consciousness that Sri Aurobindo compares to a “smile”. He says “hesitating hue”—that is the first beginning of consciousness. It is like a very pale light and He compares to “a vague smile tempting a desert heart”.
It is like a very faint light at the border of the obscure sleep of life.

Arrived from the other side of boundlessness
An eye of deity pierced through the dumb deeps;
A scout in a reconnaissance from the sun,
It seemed amid a heavy cosmic rest,
The torpor of a sick and weary world,
To seek for a spirit sole and desolate
Too fallen to recollect forgotten bliss.

The first vision of Consciousness He compares to “An eye of deity” piercing “through the dumb deeps”. This look is like “A scout in a reconnaissance from the sun”—that is the symbol of Consciousness, in the heavy cosmic rest: “The torpor of a sick and weary world”. “Too fallen to recollect forgotten bliss”—that is, too unconscious to remember the Consciousness from which it came.

Intervening in a mindless universe,
Its message crept through the reluctant hush
Calling the adventure of consciousness and joy
And, conquering Nature’s disillusioned breast,
Compelled renewed consent to see and feel.

That is just coming out from the complete unconsciousness of the stone and mineral towards the beginning of life, and this “Compelled renewed consent to see and feel”.

And then He says, “its message crept”: this is the first sending of thought into the world.

A thought was sown in the unsounded Void,
A sense was born within the darkness’ depths,
A memory quivered in the heart of Time
As if a soul long dead were moved to live:
But the oblivion that succeeds the fall,
Had blotted the crowded tablets of the past,
And all that was destroyed must be rebuilt
And old experience laboured out once more.

And then,

A thought was sown in the unsounded Void,
A sense was born within the darkness’ depths,
A memory quivered in the heart of Time
As if a soul long dead were moved to live:

That is the memory of the Origin. Then He describes the resistance:

But the oblivion that succeeds the fall,
Had blotted the crowded tablets of the past,
And all that was destroyed must be rebuilt
And old experience laboured out once more.

In front all seems to have been destroyed—it is only a seeming because it is latent behind the Unconsciousness.

All can be done if the god-touch is there.

And then the comforting assurance:
All can be done if the God-touch is there.

So, in short, Sri Aurobindo is giving all the process of rebuilding the Consciousness in the Unconscious.He calls the separation “the fall”: that is truly a fall of the Consciousness into the Unconscious. And now He describes how a message sent from the Supreme to repair the harm done wakens up again the Consciousness—as by a kind of imperative influence—to begin to climb up, back to the Supreme Consciousness.
This ascent is the evolution that will take so many thousands and thousands of years. But for a very long time it was not measured. It is only when Mind took form in man, that time began to be measured. And, before that, who can know how long It took to wake up from the complete Unconsciousness?

He is speaking of the starting-point of this evolution.

And then He says:

All can be done if the God-touch is there.


A hope stole in that hardly dared to be
Amid the Night’s forlorn indifference.
As if solicited in an alien world
With timid and hazardous instinctive grace,
Orphaned and driven out to seek a home,
An errant marvel with no place to live,
Into a far-off nook of heaven there came
A slow miraculous gesture’s dim appeal.
The persistent thrill of a transfiguring touch
Persuaded the inert black quietude
And beauty and wonder disturbed the fields of God.

We may remember that Sri Aurobindo puts together Quietude, Beauty and Wonder—they seem to be at the beginning of the manifestation of the Divine in the Inconscient. It started like that: Quietude, Beauty and Wonder.

A wandering hand of pale enchanted light
That glowed along a fading moment’s brink,
Fixed with gold panel and opalescent hinge
A gate of dreams ajar on mystery’s verge.
One lucent corner windowing hidden things
Forced the world’s blind immensity to sight.

The darkness failed and slipped like a falling cloak
From the reclining body of a god.

Then through the pallid rift that seemed at first
Hardly enough for a trickle from the suns,
Outpoured the revelation and the flame.
The brief perpetual sign recurred above.

It is the most poetic way of describing the waking up of the Consciousness to invisible things. But why this waking up, what has created or given birth to this waking up?

Sri Aurobindo says:

The darkness failed and slipped like a falling cloak
From the reclining body of a god.

A god has come down upon earth to wake it up to the inner Consciousness. We could say that this was the first Avatar.

It is the coming down of the first Avatar to wake up the earth to Consciousness—that is, to bring an intensity of Consciousness and Realisation into this inconscient world.

This is obviously the description of the appearance of the first Avatar. It starts from that—because He puts:

Then through the pallid rift that seemed at first
Hardly enough for a trickle from the suns,
Outpoured the revelation and the flame.

The revelation and the flame.

The brief perpetual sign recurred above.

That is the sign of the Avatar coming down upon the earth.

A glamour from unreached transcendences
Iridescent with the glory of the Unseen,
A message from the unknown immortal Light
Ablaze upon creation’s quivering edge,
Dawn built her aura of magnificent hues
And buried its seed of grandeur in the hours.

An instant’s visitor the godhead shone:
On life’s thin border awhile the Vision stood
And bent over earth’s pondering forehead curve.

Interpreting a recondite beauty and bliss
In colour’s hieroglyphs of mystic sense,
It wrote the lines of a significant myth
Telling of a greatness of spiritual dawns,
A brilliant code penned with the sky for page.

This is the description of the first contact of the Light from above bringing an unknown message.

An instant’s visitor the godhead shone:
On life’s thin border awhile the Vision stood
And bent over earth’s pondering forehead curve.

It is the answer of the Divine to the condition into which had fallen the creation and the first contact of the Gods with Matter.

Interpreting a recondite beauty and bliss
In colour’s hieroglyphs of mystic sense,
It wrote the lines of a significant myth
Telling of a greatness of spiritual dawns,
A brilliant code penned with the sky for page.

It gives the idea that the story of the world, of the creation, was told while it was going on and it was inscribed, to be kept for ever.
It means that whatever happens is noted and kept in the memory of the earth.

He says:

It wrote the lines of a significant myth…

That is the story of Savitri.

It is at the time of first contact of the Emanation from the Divine with the atmosphere of the earth that the story of Savitri was decided.

Almost that day the epiphany was disclosed
Of which our thoughts and hopes are signal flares,
A lonely splendour from the invisible goal
Almost was flung on the opaque Inane.
Once more a tread perturbed the vacant Vasts;
Infinity’s centre, a Face of rapturous calm
Parted the eternal lids that open heaven;
A Form from far beatitudes seemed to near.
Ambassadress twixt eternity and change,
The omniscient Goddess leaned across the breadths
That wrap the fated journeyings of the stars
And saw the spaces ready for her feet.


It is the coming down of the Mother.

A lonely splendour from the invisible goal
Almost was flung on the opaque Inane.

It is Savitri coming down.

There is nothing to say—nothing comes. It is all complete as it is. There is nothing to
explain and nothing to add.

Once she half looked behind for her veiled sun,
Then, thoughtful, went to her immortal work.
Earth felt the Imperishable’s passage close:
The waking ear of Nature heard her steps
And wideness turned to her its limitless eye,
And, scattered on sealed depths, her luminous smile
Kindled to fire the silence of the worlds.

All grew a consecration and a rite.
Air was a vibrant link between earth and heaven;
The wide-winged hymn of a great priestly wind
Arose and failed upon the altar hills;
The high boughs prayed in a revealing sky.


That is to express how Nature was conscious of Her descent—because this descent was changing the attitude and nature of things.  She came down to kindle the fire of aspiration.

Nature was conscious of Her arrival. All that is considered as inanimate Nature—that is, the wind, the water and the trees and the flowers—everything received Her joyously.

It is only man who did not know…

Here where our half-lit ignorance skirts the gulfs
On the dumb bosom of the ambiguous earth,
Here where one knows not even the step in front
And Truth has her throne on the shadowy back of doubt,
On this anguished and precarious field of toil
Outspread beneath some large indifferent gaze,
Impartial witness of our joy and bale,
Our prostrate soil bore the awakening ray.

Here too the vision and prophetic gleam
Lit into miracles common meaningless shapes;
Then the divine afflatus, spent, withdrew,
Unwanted, fading from the mortal’s range.

Sri Aurobindo seems to say that a Ray of Knowledge, of Light, of Truth came down upon earth and was so badly received, transformed into such a commonplace thing that It simply withdrew.

This Ray from above changed into a prophetic gleam, changed into miracles even the most common meaningless shapes. But then, finding no response, It withdrew, unwanted, fading.

Many times it happened before It could come and stay. At least something like a response was needed to keep It. And It came many times, waking up the smallest thing, and then not having sufficient response It withdrew. Then, long periods of preparation, slow dull preparation; then, many times, an attempt to descend—a Ray—and things are lit up and suddenly they seem marvellous.  But, so many times they fell back into their usual, normal, meaningless ways.

But now, this time, there is a response—something seems ready and we shall witness the beginning of the change.

So we have only to be attentive, to be awake, to look, and we shall see the beginning of things.

Something is beginning to change in the world and, as Sri Aurobindo says, when it is like that, even the smallest thing becomes a living miracle.

A sacred yearning lingered in its trace,
The worship of a Presence and a Power
Too perfect to be held by death-bound hearts,
The prescience of a marvellous birth to come.
Only a little the God-light can stay:
Spiritual beauty illumining human sight
Lines with its passion and mystery Matter’s mask
And squanders eternity on a beat of Time.
As when a soul draws near the sill of birth,
Adjoining mortal time to Timelessness,
A spark of deity lost in Matter’s crypt
Its lustre vanishes in the inconscient planes,
That transitory glow of magic fire
So now dissolved in bright accustomed air.

That is the explanation of why the experience does not last. The atmosphere of the earth is too contrary to the magnificence of the Supreme Consciousness and veils it almost constantly. From time to time It can show and express Itself, but then again, this Inconscient atmosphere veils It.

It was like that when in 1956 the Supramental Power came down upon earth. It was coming in torrents of Light, wonderful Light and Force and Power, and from the earth b-i-g w-a-v-e-s of deep blue Inconscience came and swallowed It up. All the Force that was coming down was swallowed up and it is again from inside the Inconscient that It had to work Itself through. That is why things take so much time here. It is too much unconsciousness in the response that veils what earth has absorbed. Otherwise, it is long since the Light has poured down and things ought to have changed.

The message ceased and waned the messenger.
The single Call, the uncompanioned Power,
Drew back into some far-off secret world
The hue and marvel of the supernal beam:
She looked no more on our mortality.
The excess of beauty natural to God-kind
Could not uphold its claim on time-born eyes;
Too mystic-real for space-tenancy
Her body of glory was expunged from heaven:
The rarity and wonder lived no more.
There was the common light of earthly day.

Affranchised from the respite of fatigue
Once more the rumour of the speed of Life
Pursued the cycles of her blinded quest.
All sprang to their unvarying daily acts;
The thousand peoples of the soil and tree
Obeyed the unforeseeing instant’s urge,
And, leader here with his uncertain mind,
Alone who stares at the future’s covered face,
Man lifted up the burden of his fate.


He is saying that the earth, the world, is not yet ready to manifest the Divine in its purity. And spontaneously, naturally, the Divine gets veiled, hidden by the ordinary form, and even the difference of vibration is scarcely felt.

 Until now, in the creation, it is only man who looks at the future. All the rest of the creation is concerned only with the present; man looks at the future and is anxious about it, but the future is veiled—“The future’s covered face”. The next step in evolution will see the future.

And Savitri too awoke among these tribes
That hastened to join the brilliant Summoner’s chant
And, lured by the beauty of the apparent ways,
Acclaimed their portion of ephemeral joy.
Akin to the eternity whence she came,
No part she took in this small happiness;
A mighty stranger in the human field,
The embodied Guest within made no response.
The call that wakes the leap of human mind,
Its chequered eager motion of pursuit,
Its fluttering-hued illusion of desire,
Visited her heart like a sweet alien note.
Time’s message of brief light was not for her.

Here there is nothing to say. It is a description of Savitri’s nature. She came from above and did not share in the smallness of humanity. That is all.

In her there was the anguish of the gods
Imprisoned in our transient human mould,
The deathless conquered by the death of things.
A vaster Nature’s joy had once been hers,
But long could keep not its gold heavenly hue
Or stand upon this brittle earthly base.
A narrow movement on Time’s deep abysm,
Life’s fragile littleness denied the power,
The proud and conscious wideness and the bliss
She had brought with her into the human form,
The calm delight that weds one soul to all,
The key to the flaming doors of ecstasy.

Earth’s grain that needs the sap of pleasure and tears
Rejected the undying rapture’s boon:
Offered to the daughter of infinity
Her passion-flower of love and doom she gave.

She came to transform the world and make it fit to receive the Higher Light and Power. But in order to transform this world, one must come upon earth, accept it, and then accept at the same time its insincerity, its weakness, its incapacity to live this Higher Consciousness.

That gives me the impression, a strong impression, of what has been for ages and centuries, but it is not the final destiny of the earth. Life is expected to transform itself in order to be able to express the divine things—the Divine Consciousness. And that is why She has come upon earth to prepare it.

In vain now seemed the splendid sacrifice.
A prodigal of her rich divinity,
Her self and all she was she had lent to men,
Hoping her greater being to implant
That heaven might native grow on mortal soil.
Hard is it to persuade earth-nature’s change;
Mortality bears ill the eternal’s touch:
It fears the pure divine intolerance
Of that assault of ether and of fire;
It murmurs at its sorrowless happiness,
Almost with hate repels the light it brings;
It trembles at its naked power of Truth
And the might and sweetness of its absolute Voice.

This is the exact description of the condition of the earth in general. Only, little by little, the number of people who are accepting this Truth increases; that is why the Divine knows that with patience, repeating the effort, one day it will bring its result. In fact, it is by many repeated attempts and apparent failures that the work is done. And, it is the symbolic representation of this repeated effort that is given in Savitri. It is a symbolic work, not the telling of a story of something that happened; it is the illustration in a condensed and imaged form of this effort of the Divine to divinise the material creation. Actions that in appearance may seem failures are steps—and definite steps—towards Realisation. This is one of the things that has been expressed and represented in Savitri.

Inflicting on the heights the abysm’s law,
It sullies with its mire heaven’s messengers:
Its thorns of fallen nature are the defence
It turns against the saviour hands of Grace;
It meets the sons of God with death and pain.

A glory of lightnings traversing the earth-scene,
Their sun-thoughts fading, darkened by ignorant minds,
Their work betrayed, their good to evil turned,
The cross their payment for the crown they gave,
Only they leave behind a splendid Name.

That is the history of human life upon earth: each time that help has been sent to hasten the evolution, it has been received in that way. But each time the effort and the help are bigger, higher, truer; and each time a little work, some result, is achieved; and step by step, the world grows towards its Realisation.

The whole story has been shown under a symbolic form, in a symbolic story, and it is that that Sri Aurobindo gives in Savitri.

A fire has come and touched men’s hearts and gone;
A few have caught flame and risen to greater life.
Too unlike the world she came to help and save,
Her greatness weighed upon its ignorant breast,
And from its dim chasms welled a dire return,
A portion of its sorrow, struggle, fall.
To live with grief, to confront death on her road,—
The mortal’s lot became the Immortal’s share.
Thus trapped in the gin of earthly destinies,
Awaiting her ordeal’s hour abode,
Outcast from her inborn felicity,
Accepting life’s obscure terrestrial robe,
Hiding herself even from those she loved,
A godhead greater by a human fate.

This is to make humanity understand that a greater Purity, a greater Force, a greater Knowledge and a greater Ananda can be acquired through struggle and pain, suffering and difficulty more than through an easy and smooth life.

 It is not the cause of difficulties, but it is the result. That is to say, it would be a mistake to believe that these difficulties have been created in order to bring this marvellous result. It is not so. But, according to the action of the Grace, the difficulties having occurred, the Grace can change them into means of greater progress. That is the attitude to be taken towards life as it is, and it will allow the Grace to give Its maximum of help with the maximum result.

That is why we can always say, “From the worst the best will arise”. Not that we must purposely bring or attract the worst. But, when we are faced by it, we must keep this fact and go on without hesitation, without fear, never losing an absolute quiet and a sure faith.

A dark foreknowledge separated her
From all of whom she was the star and stay;
Too great to impart the peril and the pain,
In her torn depths she kept the grief to come.
As one who watching over men left blind
Takes up the load of an unwitting race,
Harbouring a foe whom with her heart she must feed,
Unknown her act, unknown the doom she faced,
Unhelped she must foresee and dread and dare.
The long-foreknown and fatal morn was here
Bringing a noon that seemed like every noon.
For Nature walks upon her mighty way
Unheeding when she breaks a soul, a life;
Leaving her slain behind she travels on:
Man only marks and God’s all-seeing eyes.

In the story this is because Savitri knows one year in advance what will be the fate of Her companion; but, like the rest of the story it is a symbol.

To know in advance what will be the circumstances of life one ought to have the strength of a God. It is a Supreme Grace for man that the future is not revealed to him; because most men would not have the courage to live their life, if they knew what it would be. The all-embracing Divine Consciousness is needed to have the knowledge and live in the present condition of the world and, at the same time, do what one is expected to do and act according to the Divine’s Will. When the consciousness of man becomes wide, strong and pure enough to know, or rather, to share the knowledge of the Divine, then this knowledge comes along with the consciousness.

A Supreme Wisdom governs all the world and each and every detail of this world. It is only through identification with the Supreme Consciousness that man acquires at once

the power to know and the power to bear and the power to do.

Even in this moment of her soul’s despair,
In its grim rendezvous with death and fear,
No cry broke from her lips, no call for aid;
She told the secret of her woe to none:
Calm was her face and courage kept her mute.
Yet only her outward self suffered and strove;
Even her humanity was half divine:
Her spirit opened to the Spirit in all,
Her nature felt all Nature as its own.
Apart, living within, all lives she bore;
Aloof, she carried in herself the world:
Her dread was one with the great cosmic dread,
Her strength was founded on the cosmic mights;
The universal Mother’s love was hers.
Against the evil at life’s afflicted roots,
Her own calamity its private sign,
Of her pangs she made a mystic poignant sword.
A solitary mind, a world-wide heart,
To the lone Immortal’s unshared work she rose. 

This is the correct and exact description of the condition of those who are united with the Divine. Once this union is realised fully, the reactions of the human being exist no more. It is the same Nature working in all, it is the same Divine conscious in all. There is no more the sense of ego, and the suffering—if there is any—is not personal suffering, but some universal feeling, some universal contradiction of the Divine Consciousness.

All that happens happens in the Divine Consciousness and no selfish or egoistic movement can exist.

There are all the movements that belong to the past and have to go, and it is because they have to go that they belong to the past. All the Divine movements that are luminous and progressive and creative of unity and beauty, belong to the future; and they have to live because they belong to the future. There is, in the world, a constant fading of all that belongs to the past and the constant growth of that which belongs to the future.

When we are conscious with the Divine Consciousness, there is no attachment for what belongs to the past and there is full collaboration with what belongs to the future.

Personal motives exist no more.

At first life grieved not in her burdened breast:
On the lap of earth’s original somnolence
Inert, released into forgetfulness,
Prone it reposed, unconscious on mind’s verge,
Obtuse and tranquil like the stone and star.
In a deep cleft of silence twixt two realms
She lay remote from grief, unsawn by care,
Nothing recalling of the sorrow here.
Then a slow faint remembrance shadowlike moved,
And sighing she laid her hand upon her bosom
And recognised the close and lingering ache,
Deep, quiet, old, made natural to its place,
But knew not why it was there nor whence it came.

This is the effect of the Consciousness when It descends into the material world. There is so much of inertia in this world that the Consciousness gets faint, remote, uncertain. It is a general happening. All the beings from above that take birth in this world have the same experience. It takes a l-o-n-g time to remember what they are, from where they came, and to get back their conscious movement and conscious knowing.

And even when they remember, there is a kind of dulling of the knowledge. It is no more so clear, so vivid, so intense. Everything gets dulled. But it is just by bringing more and more often something of the Higher Realms of Consciousness so as to wake up a response in Matter that little by little its very nature will change, and instead of being dull and unconscious, it will wake up to a conscious response.

This is just the work that is going on and will go on until this Matter is transformed andcapable of manifesting the Supreme Consciousness from which it comes.

The Power that kindles mind was still withdrawn:
Heavy, unwilling were life’s servitors
Like workers with no wages of delight;
Sullen, the torch of sense refused to burn;
The unassisted brain found not its past.
Only a vague earth-nature held the frame.
But now she stirred, her life shared the cosmic load.
At the summons of her body’s voiceless call
Her strong far-winging spirit travelled back,
Back to the yoke of ignorance and fate,
Back to the labour and stress of mortal days,
Lighting a pathway through strange symbol dreams
Across the ebbing of the seas of sleep.

This is the description of how the Consciousness works its way back, bringing back remembrance, waking the faculties—more conscious by night than by day, because the inner being is more active.  As the body goes to sleep, the inner being wakes up and, with it, comes back the memory of the past.

For those who are more developed in the inner being than in the body, those who come down upon earth fully conscious and had their consciousness veiled and dulled by the contact with Matter, sleep is often a revelation. Because the body is asleep, inactive, the inner consciousness is more free, and in contact with what it knows more directly.

So all those who have come down upon earth fully developed and fully conscious, at night when the body rests, remember what they were and what they can do. In fact, they actually continue to do their work at night when their body is immobile. They continue their activity and they do what they came to do upon earth, even before the body knows and can help in the work.

Her house of Nature felt an unseen sway,
Illumined swiftly were life’s darkened rooms,
And memory’s casements opened on the hours
And the tired feet of thought approached her doors.
All came back to her: Earth and Love and Doom,

The ancient disputants, encircled her
Like giant figures wrestling in the night:
The godheads from the dim Inconscient born
Awoke to struggle and the pang divine,
And in the shadow of her flaming heart,
At the sombre centre of the dire debate,
A guardian of the unconsoled abyss
Inheriting the long agony of the globe,
A stone-still figure of high and godlike Pain
Stared into Space with fixed regardless eyes
That saw grief’s timeless depths but not life’s goal.
Afflicted by his harsh divinity,
Bound to his throne, he waited unappeased
The daily oblation of her unwept tears.


All earth life is under the governing shadow of the vital beings. Even the Highest Divinity, when coming upon earth, cannot escape the consequence of this shadow governing all the events of the earth.

For life upon earth to become entirely divine, harmonious, happy, painless, these forces and beings of the vital world must be conquered or destroyed, transformed, or they must disappear—that is, return to the Nirvana of the Origin.

All the fierce question of man’s hours relived.
The sacrifice of suffering and desire
Earth offers to the immortal Ecstasy
Began again beneath the eternal Hand.
Awake she endured the moments’ serried march
And looked on this green smiling dangerous world,
And heard the ignorant cry of living things.
Amid the trivial sounds, the unchanging scene
Her soul arose confronting Time and Fate.
Immobile in herself, she gathered force.
This was the day when Satyavan must die.

It is this terrible story of the creation of earth and man as the means to save the world from suffering and destruction.

The death of Satyavan becomes the symbol of the misery of the earth’s creation, of its fate and, through Savitri, of its liberation. She faces the doom in order to give the solution.

The creation is plunged in misery, suffering and death. But it can and will be saved through Her intervention.

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