- The Divine Presence is living consciously in us
- April 24th Darshan
- The Divine is seated within — Mother
- What is mastery — Mother
- The right attitude — Sri Aurobindo
- Message on Mother’s 144th birth anniversary.
- Learning to listen within — Mother
- Why am I here — Mother
- The Mystery of Creation — Mother
- WORRY AND BOTHER ABOUT ILLNESS — Mother
- New Year’s message 2022
- Aspire to do the will of the Divine — Mother
- Become free from all difficulties — Mother
- The stillness of the mind in the Gita — Sri Aurobindo
- Nov 24, 2021 Darshan
- Message for Nov 17, 2021
- Evolution of the species — Mother
- Universal Consciousness and Sympathy — Mother
- Leave all to the LORD — Mother
- The heart has wings, not the head. — Mother
- The most important thing in your life — Mother
- Universal Consciousness — Mother
- Another type of meditation — Mother
- Book I – The Book of Beginnings Canto IV – The Secret Knowledge
- Book I – The Book of Beginnings Canto III – The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul’s Release
- Book I – The Book of Beginnings Canto II – The Issue
- Book I – The Book of Beginnings Canto I – The Symbol Dawn
- The most interesting game — Mother
- Psychic Being on earth — Mother
- The psychic attitude in discussions — Sri Aurobindo
23 October 1957
Mother begins the reading of the last six chapters of The Life Divine.
“A spiritual evolution, an evolution of consciousness in Matter in a constant developing self-formation till the form can reveal the indwelling Spirit, is then the key-note, the central significant motive of the terrestrial existence. This significance is concealed at the outset by the involution of the Spirit, the Divine Reality, in a dense material Inconscience; a veil of Inconscience, a veil of insensibility of Matter hides the universal Consciousness-Force which works within it, so that the Energy, which is the first form the Force of creation assumes in the physical universe, appears to be itself inconscient and yet does the works of a vast occult Intelligence.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p. 824
I didn’t understand, Sweet Mother, what this Consciousness-Force was, so I did not understand anything!
The first thing to understand is precisely this first sentence which states the fact, the raison d’être and the very principle of universal existence. You see, we are beginning here at the end of the volume, these are the last six chapters. Throughout the beginning of the book Sri Aurobindo has taken one after another all the theories explaining the how and why of the universe and of existence; he has carried them to their extreme limits in order to explain fully what they mean, and at the end he has shown how far they were incomplete or imperfect and given the true solution. All that is, as it were, finished with; it lies behind our reading. It would have taken us something like ten years to go through all that! And you would have required all kinds of knowledge and a great intellectual development to be able to follow it with any profit. But for our part, we are beginning from where he has shown, from the purely intellectual point of view, what the purpose of existence is, and he formulates it like this: “the central significant motive of the terrestrial existence.” For he is not concerned with the entire universe, he has taken terrestrial life, that is, our life here on Earth, as a symbolic and concentrated representation of the purpose of the entire universe. In fact, according to very old traditions, the Earth, from the deeper spiritual point of view, has been created as a symbolic concentration of universal life so that the work of transformation may be done more easily, in a limited, concentrated “space” – so to say – where all the elements of the problem are gathered together so that, in the concentration, the action may be more total and effective. So here he speaks only of terrestrial existence, but we can understand that it is a symbolic existence, that is, that it represents a universal action. It is a symbolic, concentrated representation. And he says that “the central motive”, that is, the purpose of terrestrial existence is to awaken, to develop and finally to reveal in a total manifestation the Spirit which is hidden at the centre of Matter and impels this Matter from within outwards towards a progressive development which will liberate the Spirit working from within.
So, in the outer appearances as you see them, at first you find the mineral kingdom with stones, earth, minerals which to us, in our outer consciousness, appear absolutely unconscious. Yet, behind this unconsciousness there is the life of the Spirit, the consciousness of the Spirit, which is completely hidden, which is as if asleep – though that is only an appearance – and which works from within in order gradually to transform this Matter that is completely inert in appearance, so that its organisation may lend itself more and more to the manifestation of consciousness. And he says here that at first this veil of inert Matter is so total that, to a superficial glance, it is something that has neither life nor consciousness. When you pick up a stone and look at it with your ordinary eyes and consciousness, you say, “It has no life, no consciousness.” For one who knows how to see behind appearances, there is, hidden at the centre of this Matter – at the centre of each atom of this Matter – there is, hidden, the Supreme Divine Reality working from within, gradually, through the millennia, to change this inert Matter into something that is expressive enough to be able to reveal the Spirit within. Then you have the progression of the history of Life: how, from the stone there suddenly appeared a rudimentary life and through successive species a sort of organisation, that is, an organic substance capable of revealing life. But between the mineral and vegetable kingdoms there are transitional elements; one doesn’t know whether they belong to the mineral or already to the vegetable kingdom – when one studies this in detail one sees some strange species which belong neither here nor there, which are not quite this and yet not quite that. Then comes the development of the vegetable kingdom where naturally life appears, for there is growth, transformation – a plant sprouts up, develops, grows – and with the first phenomenon of life comes also the phenomenon of decomposition and disintegration which is relatively much more rapid than in the stone: a stone, if protected from the impact of other forces, can last apparently indefinitely, whereas the plant already follows a curve of growth, ascent and decline and decomposition – but this with an extremely restricted consciousness. Those who have studied the vegetable kingdom in detail are well aware that there is a consciousness there. For instance, plants need sunlight to live – the sun represents the active energy which makes them grow – so, if you put a plant in a place where there is no sunlight, you see it always growing up and up and up, trying, making an effort to reach the sunlight. In a virgin forest, for instance, where man does not interfere, there is this kind of struggle among all the plants which are always growing straight upwards in one way or another in their effort to catch the sunlight. It is very interesting. But even if you put a flower-pot in a fairly small courtyard surrounded by walls, where the sun doesn’t come, a plant which normally is as high as this (gesture), becomes as tall as that: it stretches up and makes an effort to find the light. Therefore there is a consciousness, a will to live which is already manifesting. And little by little, with species that are more and more developed, you again reach another transitional passage between what is no longer entirely a plant and still not yet an animal. There are several species like that, which are very interesting. There are those plants which are carnivorous, plants like an open mouth: you throw a fly inside, snap! they swallow it. It is no longer quite a plant, it is not yet an animal. There are many plants of this kind.
Then you come to the animal. The first animals, yes, it is difficult to distinguish them from plants, there is almost no consciousness. But there you see all the animal species, you know them, don’t you, right up to the higher animals which, indeed, are very conscious. They have their own completely independent will. They are very conscious and marvellously intelligent, like the elephant, for instance; you know all the stories about elephants and their wonderful intelligence. Therefore, it is already a very perceptible appearance of mind. And through this progressive development, we suddenly pass on to a species which has probably disappeared – traces of which have been found – an intermediate animal like a monkey or of the same line as the monkey – something close to it, similar, if not the monkey as we know it – but already an animal that walks on two legs. And from there we come to man. There is an entire beginning of the evolution of man; we can’t say, can we, that he shows a brilliant intelligence, but there is already an action of the mind, a beginning of independence, of independent reaction to the environment and the forces of Nature. And so, in man there is the whole range, right up to the higher being capable of spiritual life.
That is what Sri Aurobindo tells us on this page.
That is all. Now, if you have a question to ask?…
Sweet Mother, here he says: “This consciousness… reaches its climax of intelligence and exceeds itself in Man….”
Yes, that is what I have just told you: at his highest stage, man begins to be altogether independent of Nature – “altogether” is an exaggeration: he can become altogether independent. A man who has realised the spiritual consciousness in himself, who has a direct relation with the divine Origin is literally independent of Nature, of the force of Nature.
(It begins to rain.) Ah! That is to cool down our minds! (Laughter)
And that is what he calls “exceeding itself”, that is, that the Being, the inner divine Consciousness, the supreme spiritual Reality in its effort to develop…(It rains harder.) Oh, oh! We shall have to stop talking…in its effort to develop a conscious means of manifesting itself has arrived at a being capable of having a direct contact with It without going through the whole process of Nature.
The Universal Consciousness
Q: “I have encountered in my life several examples of people living or trying to live in the universal consciousness and it seemed to me that it rendered them less compassionate, less humane, less tender to the sufferings of others. It seems to me that if it is necessary not to remain in the individual consciousness whey it is a question of our-own sufferings it is otherwise when it is a question of sympathising with the sufferings of others. In my opinion we feel more keenly the troubles of our brothers in humanity if we remain in the individual consciousness. But I may be mistaken and ask only to be enlightened by you on this point.”
Mother: IS IT certain that such people are living in the universal consciousness? or, if they are, is it certain that they are really less humane and compassionate? May they not be exercising their humanity in another fashion than the obvious and external signs of sympathy and tenderness?
If a man is really insensible to the experiences of others in the world, he is not living in the full universal consciousness. Either he has shut himself up in an experience of an individual peace and self-content, or he is absorbed by his contact with some universal principle in its abstract form without regard to its universal action, or he is living inwardly apart from the universe in touch with something transcendent of world-experience. All these states are useful to the soul in its progress, but they are not the universal consciousness.
When a man lives in the cosmic self, he necessarily embraces the life of the world and his attitude towards that world struggling upward from the egoistic state must be one of compassion, of love or of helpfulness. The Buddhists held that immersion in the infinite non-ego was in itself an immersion in a sea of infinite compassion. The liberated Sannyasin is described in the Gita and in other Hindu books as one whose occupation is beneficence to all creatures. But this vast spirit of beneficence does not necessarily exercise itself by the outward forms of emotional sympathy or active charity. We must not bind down all natures or all states of the divine consciousness in man to the one form of helpfulness which seems to us the most attractive, the most beautiful or the most beneficent. There is a higher sympathy than that of the easily touched emotions, a greater beneficence than that of an obvious utility to particular individuals in their particular sufferings.
The egoistic consciousness passes through many stages in its emotional expansion. At first it is bound within itself, callous therefore to the experiences of others. Afterwards it is sympathetic only with those who are identified in some measure with itself, indifferent to the indifferent, malignant to the hostile. When it overcomes this respect for persons, it is ready for the reception of the altruistic principle.
But even charity and altruism are often essentially egoistic in their immediate motive. They are stirred by the discomfort of the sight of suffering to the nervous system or by the pleasurableness of others’ appreciation of our kindliness or by the egoistic self-appreciation of our own benevolence or by the need of indulgence in sympathy. There are philanthropists who would be troubled if the poor were not always with us, for they would then have no field for their charity.
We begin to enter into the universal consciousness when, apart from all individual motive and necessity, by the mere fact of unity of our being with all others, their joy becomes our joy, their suffering our suffering. But we must not mistake this for the highest condition. After a time we are no longer overcome by any suffering, our own or others’, but are merely touched and respond in helpfulness. And there is yet another state in which the subjection to suffering is impossible to us because we live in the Beatitude, but this does not deter us from love and beneficence, – any more than it is necessary for a mother to weep or be overcome by the little childish griefs and troubles of her children in order to love, understand and soothe.
Nor is detailed sympathy and alleviation of particular sufferings the only help that can be given to men. To cut down branches of a man’s tree of suffering is good, but they grow again; to aid him to remove its roots is a still more divine helpfulness. The gift of joy, peace or perfection is a greater giving than the effusion of an individual benevolence and sympathy and it is the most royal outcome of unity with others in the universal consciousness.
Why should you get disturbed ? You must leave everything to the Lord, It is He who knows —not only knows but sees and looks after everything, arranges everything. It is His responsibility and not the responsibility of human beings. The more they get disturbed and upset by Falsehood, the more it will come under various forms and take a quick chance to enter their consciousness, hearts and brains and make them miserable. Here the body and true consciousness are not separated, so naturally the body too suffers from Falsehood.
You must try constantly to ignore the Falsehood by remembering the Lord’s Love only. Whatever thing may happen to you, do not get upset——just pray to the Lord.
Adverse forces are much amused when you listen to them and they take great joy in breaking up faith in the Divine. At that time do not think, do not write and do not speak anything —–just keep quiet.
You must endure and let the storm pass. Thus you will be cured of falsehood in this very birth.
There are people in whom the psychic movement, the emotional impulse is stronger than intellectual understanding. They feel an irresistible attraction for the Divine without knowing, without having the slightest idea of what it is, of what it can be, what it represents — nothing, no intellectual notion — but a kind of impulse, attraction, a need, an inevitable need.
And these people who have that, if, I may say as a result of the Grace, they have a mind which does not trouble them, does not question, does not discuss, go very fast….
There are others who understand first, who are very intellectual, have studied, can play with words and ideas, who will give you brilliant lectures on all the philosophies, all the religions, all human conceptions and who, perhaps, will take years to advance one step. Because all that goes on in the head.
Many things go on in the head. I have told you this already several times, the head is like a public square. Anything at all can enter there, come, cross over, go out, and create a lot of disorder. And people who are in the habit of playing with ideas are the ones most hampered from going farther. It is a game that’s pretty, attractive; it gives you the impression that you are not altogether ordinary, at the level of ordinary life, but it cuts the wings.
It’s not the head which has wings: it’s the heart.
22 June 1955
Mother reads from Lights on Yoga, “Planes and Parts of the Being”.
Q: How can one awaken his Yogashakti?
Mother: It depends on this: when one thinks that it is the most important thing in his life. That’s all.
Some people sit in meditation, concentrate on the base of the vertebral column and want it very much to awake, but that’s not enough. It is when truly it becomes the most important thing in one’s life, when all the rest seems to have lost all taste, all interest, all importance, when one feels within that one is born for this, that one is here upon earth for this, and that it is the only thing that truly counts, then that’s enough.
One can concentrate on the different centres; but sometimes one concentrates for so long, with so much effort, and has no result. And then one day something shakes you, you feel that you are going to lose your footing, you have to cling on to something; then you cling within yourself to the idea of union with the Divine, the idea of the divine Presence, the idea of the transformation of the consciousness, and you aspire, you want, you try to organise your feelings, movements, impulses around this. And it comes.
Some people have recommended all kinds of methods; probably these were methods which had succeeded in their case; but to tell the truth, one must find one’s own method, it is only after having done the thing that one knows how it should be done, not before.
If one knows it beforehand, one makes a mental construction and risks greatly living in his mental construction, which is an illusion; because when the mind builds certain conditions and then they are realised, there are many chances of there being mostly pure mental construction which is not the experience itself but its image. So for all these truly spiritual experiences I think it is wiser to have them before knowing them. If one knows them, one imitates them, one doesn’t have them, one imagines oneself having them; whereas if one knows nothing – how things are and how they ought to happen, what should happen and how it will come about – if one knows nothing about all this, then by keeping very still and making a kind of inner sorting out within one’s being, one can suddenly have the experience, and then later knows what one has had. It is over, and one knows how it has to be done when one has done it – afterwards. Like that it is sure.
One may obviously make use of his imagination, imagine the Kundalini and try to pull it upwards. But one can also tell himself tales like this. I have had so many instances of people who described their experiences to me exactly as they are described in books, knowing all the words and putting down all the details, and then I asked them just a little question like that, casually: that if they had had the experience they should have known or felt a certain thing, and as this was not in the books, they could not answer.
Sweet Mother, what is the significance of the thousand-petalled lotus?
That is how they describe it. It is because there’s a centre there, very, very complicated. I think it means the countless powers of thought, it is the multiplicity of knowledge in all its forms. It must be that. Why, this is still another instance: people who have read, studied, and have the experience afterwards, well, they always describe it like that, with names they have picked up in books and with descriptions of the lotuses as they are given in books; but those who have the spontaneous experience without having read or learnt anything before having it, they describe it altogether vividly, with an individual reality, so to say. Each one approaches the experience in his own way. When these centres awake… it is a fact that there are centres, and it’s a fact that they awake, and it’s a fact that this changes vastly the whole working of the consciousness and energy, but the description, if it is spontaneous and sincere, is different for everyone. One can have the feeling of a similarity with something, but giving a fixed and precise description of what happens is always an intervention of the mind.
This phenomenon is very real, concrete, it is felt with all the reality and intensity of even a physical phenomenon. But each person describes it with a form particular to himself, except as I say, when he has read and studied, and his brain is full of all that is written in books; then automatically what he has read gives a form to his experience, and this takes away from it something of the spontaneity which gives such an impression of being sincere and truthful; it becomes a mental construction. If you have read and read much that it is like a serpent which is coiled up, well, quite naturally when you concentrate and try to awaken it, you see a serpent which is coiled, because you think about it like that. If you are told about a thousand-petalled lotus, you see a thousand-petalled lotus. But it is a mental superimposition upon the fact of the experience itself. But the feeling of something that’s innumerable, that’s one and innumerable at the same time, and that kind of impression of something opening, awakening, beginning to vibrate, responding to the forces and giving you an intensity of light, of understanding, of opening to higher regions, this is… the substance of the experience. Yet when you begin to describe it with images which you have found in books, it is as though suddenly you were making it either superficial – fossilised, so to say – or artificial or even insincere.
Always the most interesting cases for me have been those of people who had read nothing but had a very ardent aspiration and came to me saying, “Something funny has happened to me, I had this extraordinary experience, what can it mean truly?” And then they describe a movement, a vibration, a force, a light, whatever it might be, it depends on each one, and they describe this, that it happened like that and came like that, and then this happened and then that, and what does it all mean, all this? Then here one is on the right side. One knows that it is not an imagined experience, that it is a sincere, spontaneous one, and this always has a power of transformation much greater than the experience that was brought about by a mental knowledge.
Sweet Mother, what does “cosmic spirit and cosmic Nature” mean?
Universal. Cosmic is the synonym of universal.
But what does “cosmic spirit” mean?
Cosmic spirit? It is the cosmic spirit, it is the universal spirit, it is the spirit that’s in the whole universe. There is a universe. You know what the universe is? Well, this universe has a spirit, and this spirit is the cosmic spirit; this universe has a consciousness and its consciousness is the cosmic, universal consciousness.
One may very well imagine that the universe is only an entity in something which is still vaster, as the individual is only an entity in a much vaster totality. Now, each unit has its consciousness and its own spirit which contains all the others, as a group consciousness is made up of all the individual consciousnesses which constitute it and as a national consciousness is made up of all the individual consciousnesses which constitute it, and something more. The individual is only an element in the whole, even as the earth is a part of the solar system, and the solar system makes a part of all the systems of the universe. So just as there is an individual consciousness, there is a group consciousness and a consciousness of the system, a universal consciousness which is made up of the set of all the consciousnesses composing it, plus something, something – something more subtle. Just like you: you have lots of cells in your body; each cell has its own consciousness and you have a consciousness which is the consciousness of your total individuality, though made up of all these small cellulary consciousnesses.
Mother, here it is written: “… there is a wall of separative ignorance between” the individual and the cosmic consciousness. Then how to break down this wall?
Get rid of the ignorance, enter the knowledge.
First of all you must know what I have just told you, that you are a part of the whole, that this whole is a part of a greater whole, and that this greater whole is a part of a still greater whole, right up to its forming one single totality. Once you know that, you begin to become aware that in reality there cannot be any separation between you and something greater than you of which you are a part. This is the beginning. Now, you must come to the point not only of thinking this but of feeling it and even living it, and then the wall of ignorance tumbles: one feels this unity everywhere and realises that he is only a more or less fragmentary part of a whole much vaster than he, which is the universe. Then one begins to have a more universal consciousness.
There is another kind of meditation which consists in being as quiet as one can be but without trying to stop all thoughts, for there are thoughts which are purely mechanical and if you try to stop these you will need years, and into the bargain you will not be sure of the result; instead of that you gather together all your consciousness and remain as quiet and peaceful as possible, you detach yourself from external things as though they do not interest you at all, and all of a sudden, you brighten the flame of aspiration and throw into it everything that comes to you so that the flame may rise higher and higher, higher and higher; you identify yourself with it and you go up to the extreme point of your consciousness and aspiration, thinking of nothing else – simply, an aspiration which mounts, mounts, mounts, without thinking a minute of the result, of what may happen and especially of what may not, and above all without desiring that something may come – simply, the joy of an aspiration which mounts and mounts and mounts, intensifying itself more and more in a constant concentration. And there I may assure you that what happens is the best that can happen. That is, it is the maximum of your possibilities which is realised when you do this. These possibilities may be very different according to individuals. But then all these worries about trying to be silent, going behind appearances, calling a force which answers, waiting for an answer to your questions, all that vanishes like an unreal vapour. And if you succeed in living consciously in this flame, in this column of mounting aspiration, you will see that even if you do not have an immediate result, after a time something will happen.
On a height he stood that looked towards greater heights.
Our early approaches to the Infinite
Are sunrise splendours on a marvellous verge
While lingers yet unseen the glorious sun.
What now we see is a shadow of what must come.
The earth’s uplook to a remote unknown
Is a preface only of the epic climb
Of human soul from its flat earthly state
To the discovery of a greater self
And the far gleam of an eternal Light.
This world is a beginning and a base
Where Life and Mind erect their structured dreams;
An unborn Power must build reality.
A death-bound littleness is not all we are:
Immortal our forgotten vastnesses
Await discovery in our summit selves;
Unmeasured breadths and depths of being are ours.
Akin to the ineffable secrecy,
Mystic, eternal in unrealised Time,
Neighbours of Heaven are Nature’s altitudes.
To these high-peaked dominions sealed to our search
Too far from surface Nature’s postal routes,
Too lofty for our mortal lives to breathe,
Deep in us a forgotten kinship points
And a faint voice of ecstasy and prayer
Calls to those lucent lost immensities.
That is an assurance of what is waiting for us when we shall know how to liberate our consciousness from the slavery to the outward appearance of things.
Even when we fail to look into our souls
Or lie embedded in earthly consciousness,
Still have we parts that grow towards the Light,
Yet are there luminous tracts and heavens serene
And Eldoradoes of splendour and ecstasy
And temples to the Godhead none can see.
A shapeless memory lingers in us still
And sometimes, when our sight is turned within,
Earth’s ignorant veil is lifted from our eyes;
There is a short miraculous escape.
This narrow fringe of clamped experience
We leave behind meted to us as life,
Our little walks, our insufficient reach.
It is the condition of the body because for centuries none took care to give to the body the right Consciousness, but now this Consciousness has come down upon earth and is working to give to the body that same experience as many have got already in the mind, and the aspiration towards the true self and the true life which depends on a higher and more divine Consciousness. The time has come when this marvellous change can be effected and we must hope that many will take advantage of this exceptional hour.
Our souls can visit in great lonely hours
Still regions of imperishable Light,
All-seeing eagle-peaks of silent Power
And moon-flame oceans of swift fathomless Bliss
And calm immensities of spirit Space.
In the unfolding process of the Self
Sometimes the inexpressible Mystery
Elects a human vessel of descent.
A breath comes down from a supernal air,
A presence is borne, a guiding Light awakes,
A stillness falls upon the instruments:
Fixed sometimes like a marble monument,
Stone-calm, the body is a pedestal
Supporting a figure of eternal Peace.
Or a revealing Force sweeps blazing in;
Out of some vast superior continent
Knowledge breaks through trailing its radiant seas,
And Nature trembles with the power, the flame.
A greater personality sometimes
Possesses us which yet we know is ours:
Or we adore the Master of our souls.
Then the small bodily ego thins and falls;
No more insisting on its separate self,
Losing the punctilio of its separate birth,
It leaves us one with Nature and with God.
These are the experiences that precede the transformation.
For many years these experiences could be had; for many centuries some human beings had them, preparing thus the material world for the manifestation of a higher Consciousness.
In moments when the inner lamps are lit
And the life’s cherished guests are left outside,
Our spirit sits alone and speaks to its gulfs.
A wider consciousness opens then its doors;
Invading from spiritual silences
A ray of the timeless Glory stoops awhile
To commune with our seized illumined clay
And leaves its huge white stamp upon our lives.
In the oblivious field of mortal mind,
Revealed to the closed prophet eyes of trance
Or in some deep internal solitude
Witnessed by a strange immaterial sense,
The signals of eternity appear.
The truth mind could not know unveils its face,
We hear what mortal ears have never heard,
We feel what earthly sense has never felt,
We love what common hearts repel and dread;
Our minds hush to a bright Omniscient;
A Voice calls from the chambers of the soul;
We meet the ecstasy of the Godhead’s touch
In golden privacies of immortal fire.
This is the continuation of the description of the experiences that the human being, prepared for getting in contact with his soul, can have and has had for many centuries. They are just the preparation of the condition in which the Presence of the Divine is always and constantly felt.
These signs are native to a larger self
That lives within us by ourselves unseen;
Only sometimes a holier influence comes,
A tide of mightier surgings bears our lives
And a diviner Presence moves the soul.
Or through the earthly coverings something breaks,
A grace and beauty of spiritual light,
The murmuring tongue of celestial fire.
Ourself and a high stranger whom we feel,
It is and acts unseen as if it were not;
It follows the line of sempiternal birth,
Yet seems to perish with its mortal frame.
Assured of the Apocalypse to be,
It reckons not the moments and the hours;
Great, patient, calm it sees the centuries pass,
Awaiting the slow miracles of our change
In the sure deliberate process of world-force
And the long march of all-revealing Time.
It is the origin and the master-clue,
A Silence overhead, an inner Voice,
A living image seated in the heart,
An unwalled wideness and a fathomless point,
The truth of all these cryptic shows in space,
The Real towards which our strivings move,
The secret grandiose meaning of our lives.
A treasure of honey in the combs of God,
A Splendour burning in a tenebrous cloak,
It is our glory of the flame of God,
Our golden fountain of the world’s delight,
An immortality cow led in the cape of death,
The shape of our unborn divinity.
It guards for us our fate in depths within
Where sleeps the eternal seed of transient things.
This is the seed of the creation of tomorrow and it is already in the centre of the human being.
All the possibilities are already included in what is manifested, and it is by the long process of evolution that little by little these possibilities take shape and become living realities.
We are approaching the time of one of these new revelations, and the world is preparing for this eventful manifestation which will be more true, more luminous, more divine.
Always we bear in us a magic key
Concealed in life’s hermetic envelope.
A burning witness in the sanctuary
Regards through Time and the blind walls of Form;
A timeless Light is in his hidden eyes;
He sees the secret things no words can speak
And knows the goal of the unconscious world
And the heart of the mystery of the journeying years.
When we withdraw from the surface and look inside with the subtle eyes, we see what is the goal of the world and the transformation through which it will be realised.
But all is screened, subliminal, mystical;
It needs the intuitive heart, the inward turn,
It needs the power of a spiritual gaze.
Else to our waking mind’s small moment look
A goalless voyage seems our dubious course
Some Chance has settled or hazarded some Will,
Or a Necessity without aim or cause
Unwillingly compelled to emerge and be.
In this dense field where nothing is plain or sure,
Our very being seems to us questionable,
Our life a vague experiment, the soul
A flickering light in a strange ignorant world,
The earth a brute mechanic accident,
A net of death in which by chance we live.
All we have learned appears a doubtful guess,
The achievement done a passage or a phase
Whose further end is hidden from our sight,
A chance happening or a fortuitous fate.
Out of the unknown we move to the unknown.
This is just the existence of those who live on the surface. All seems unreal, useless, boring. The only way to get out of this incertitude is to find the Divine and to live for the Divine. All the rest is a mechanical law.
Perhaps now, after much trouble and much misery, after much hope and much failure, the world will at last turn towards the Light and the Truth. And the Supreme Power will answer in such a way as to enable us to find it and to live in it.
Ever surround our brief existence here
Grey shadows of unanswered questionings;
The dark Inconscient’s signless mysteries
Stand up unsolved behind Fate’s starting line;
An aspiration in the Night’s profound,
Seed of a perishing body and half-lit mind,
Uplifts its lonely tongue of conscious fire
Towards an undying Light for ever lost.
Only it hears, sole echo of its call,
The dim reply in man’s unknowing heart
And meets, not understanding why it came
Or for what reason is the suffering here,
God’s sanction to the paradox of life
And the riddle the Immortal’s birth in Time.
*So long the physical, the body itself did not have the contact with the Divine and consequently it does not have the hope that one day its consciousness also will be transformed and be the right expression of the Divine Life.
[On rd April the Mother, while revising the above explanation, remarked that what She had said was not true now.
She asked Huta to put a note, thus:]
“This can no more be used.”
Along a path of aeons serpentine
In the coiled blackness of her nescient course
The Earth-Goddess toils across the sands of Time.
A Being is in her whom she hopes to know,
A Word speaks to her heart she cannot hear,
A Fate compels whose form she cannot see.
In her unconscious orbit through the Void
Out of her mindless depths she strives to rise,
A perilous life her gain, a struggling joy;
A Thought that can conceive but hardly knows
Arises slowly in her and creates
The idea, the speech that labels more than it lights;
A trembling gladness that is less than bliss
Invades from all this beauty that must die.
Alarmed by the sorrow dragging at her feet
And conscious of the high things not yet won,
Ever she nurses in her sleepless breast
An inward urge that takes from her rest and peace.
Ignorant and weary and invincible
She seeks through the soul’s war and quivering pain
The pure perfection her marred nature needs,
A breath of Godhead on her stone and mire.
A faith she craves that can survive defeat,
The sureness of a love that knows not death,
The radiance of a truth for ever sure.
A day will come when all these hopes will be living realities, all these marvels that have tempted and made us survive and fight against all negations will be visible and concrete.
A light grows in her, she assumes a voice,
Her state she learns to read and the act she has done,
But the one needed truth eludes her grasp,
Herself and all of which she is the sign.
An inarticulate whisper drives her steps
Of which she feels the force but not the sense;
A few rare intimations come as guides,
Immense divining flashes cleave her brain,
And sometimes in her hours of dream and muse
The truth that she has missed looks out on her
As if far off and yet within her soul.
A change comes near that flees from her surmise
And, ever postponed, compels attempt and hope,
Yet seems too great for mortal hope to dare.
A vision meets her of supernal Powers
That draw her as if mighty kinsmen lost
Approaching with estranged great luminous gaze.
Then is she moved to all that she is not
And stretches arms to what was never hers.
It describes the difficulties of the waking of the Consciousness in a body that is not fully conscious and has to learn by experience what it is and what it can do.
Outstretching arms to the unconscious Void,
Passionate she prays to invisible forms of Gods
Soliciting from dumb Fate and toiling Time
What most she needs, what most exceeds her scope,
A Mind unvisited by illusion’s gleams,
A Will expressive of soul’s deity,
A Strength not forced to stumble by its speed,
A Joy that drags not sorrow as its shade.
For these she yearns and feels them destined hers:
Heaven’s privilege she claims as her own right.
Just is her claim the all-witnessing Gods approve,
Clear in a greater light than reason owns:
Our intuitions are its title-deeds;
Our souls accept what our blind thoughts refuse.
Earth’s winged chimeras are Truth’s steeds in Heaven,
The impossible God’s sign of things to be.
But few can look beyond the present state
Or overleap this matted hedge of sense.
Coming from the highest world, Savitri knew intuitively what should and would be the possibilities of the beings who will live upon earth. But the possibilities were already in Her because She had them from Her Origin. But, for the beings born upon earth and of earth-origin, they are to be acquired after a long transformation.
She came to announce what could be and to show that it would be possible. But all the work upon earth was to be done and is yet mostly to be done and that means a long effort and serious preparation.
To know not only that it is a possibility but that it is a certitude and will surely be when the time comes, helps the consciousness to make the necessary effort to hasten the advent of the right time.
She came to show what could be and would be. And that gives the energy to fulfil.
All that transpires on earth and all beyond
Are parts of an illimitable plan
The One keeps in his heart and knows alone.
Our outward happenings have their seed within,
And even this random Fate that imitates Chance,
This mass of unintelligible results,
Are the dumb graph of truths that work unseen:
The laws of the Unknown create the known.
The events that shape the appearance of our lives
Are a cipher of subliminal quiverings
Which rarely we surprise or vaguely feel,
Are an outcome of suppressed realities
That hardly rise into material day:
They are born from the spirit’s sun of hidden powers
Digging a tunnel through emergency.
But who shall pierce into the cryptic gulf And learn what deep necessity of the soul Determined casual deed and consequence? In its superficial appearance this world is chaotic and haphazard.
In reality it is the marvellous consequence of an all-mighty and all-combining vision which puts each thing in its place, each event at its moment.
In our crude and limited understanding we believe that things have no meaning and no purpose, but when we can rise to a higher and vaster vision we come to know that each thing is in its place, each event at its proper moment and that the whole universe is going by a tremendous and unopposable movement towards the goal of the Divine Realisation.
It is our limitation, our ignorance that create the incoherence.
But behind this ignorance there is a Will that knows and does.
Never judge and never despair. These are the first things human beings must learn.
Absorbed in a routine of daily acts,
Our eyes are fixed on an external scene;
We hear the crash of the wheels of Circumstance
And wonder at the hidden cause of things.
Yet a foreseeing Knowledge might be ours,
If we could take our spirit’s stand within,
If we could hear the muffled daemon voice.
Too seldom is the shadow of what must come
Cast in an instant on the secret sense
Which feels the shock of the invisible,
And seldom in the few who answer give
The mighty process of the cosmic Will
Communicates its image to our sight,
Identifying the world’s mind with ours.
Our range is fixed within the crowded arc
Of what we observe and touch and thought can guess
And rarely dawns the light of the Unknown
Waking in us the prophet and the seer.
The outward and the immediate are our field,
The dead past is our background and support;
Mind keeps the soul prisoner, we are slaves to our acts;
We cannot free our gaze to reach wisdom’s sun.
This is a very exact expression of what is the usual condition of man. Indeed, extremely few escape this lot. The possibility of knowing in advance and seeing things all over the world is indeed in man, but very few care even to discover it and still less to take the trouble to develop and cultivate the capacity.
It is only by withdrawing into the depths of the being, by giving more importance to the intuitive capacity, that we can be free from the prison in which our consciousness is shut up. And to give us this liberty all the blows of life fall upon us. They come to wake us up to the necessity of discovering it. But few listen to the Call, few understand the purpose and they like better to believe in Chance and Fate then in a Wisdom governing the universe.
The first step is the certitude that all is the result of an infinite Wisdom which we cannot understand unless by the inner process and with the Light within.
Inheritor of the brief animal mind,
Man, still a child in nature’s mighty hands,
In the succession of the moments lives;
To a changing present is his narrow right;
His memory stares back at a phantom past,
The future flees before him as he moves;
He sees imagined garments, not a face.
Armed with a limited precarious strength,
He saves his fruits of work from adverse chance.
A struggling ignorance is his wisdom’s mate.
He waits to see the consequence of his acts,
He waits to weigh the certitude of his thoughts,
He knows not what he shall achieve or when;
He knows not whether at last he shall survive,
Or end like the mastodon and the sloth
And perish from the earth where he was king.
He is ignorant of the meaning of his life,
He is ignorant of his high and splendid fate.
This is the description of man at large, with only very few and limited exceptions. Those who know are not often believed and still less followed. And the world goes to its destiny with the ignorance of its inhabitants.
Some have said, very few have been believed and still less have been followed. And yet steadily the world is going to its destiny.
Only the Immortals on their deathless heights
Dwelling beyond the walls of Time and Space,
Masters of living, free from the bonds of Thought,
Who are overseers of Fate and Chance and Will
And experts of the theorem of world-need,
Can see the Idea, the Might that change Time’s course,
Come maned with light from undiscovered worlds,
Here, while the world toils on with its deep blind heart,
The galloping hooves of the unforeseen event,
Bearing the superhuman rider, near
And, impassive to earth’s din and startled cry,
Return to the silence of the hills of God;
As lightning leaps, as thunder sweeps, they pass
And leave their mark on the trampled breast of Life.
In the events of the earth, the most important factors, the Powers that are most effective are those that men cannot see and generally do not know.
These Forces, conscious and master of circumstances, arrange things according to their vision and not according to human wishes.
Only those who can communicate with the Powers and what they intend to do can prepare not only themselves but those around them to deal with the forthcoming events.
Above the world the world-creators stand,
In the phenomenon see its mystic source.
These heed not to the deceiving outward play,
They turn not to the moment’s busy tramp,
But listen with the still patience of the Unborn
For the slow footsteps of far Destiny
Approaching through huge distances of Time,
Unmarked by the eye that sees effect and cause,
Unheard mid the clamour of the human plane.
Attentive to an unseen Truth they seize
A sound as of invisible augur wings,
Voices of an unplumbed significance,
Mutterings that brood in the core of Matter’s sleep.
In the heart’s profound audition they can catch
The murmurs lost by life’s uncaring ear,
A prophet-speech in thought’s omniscient trance.
Above the illusion of the hopes that pass,
Behind the appearance and the overt act,
Behind the clock-work chance and vague surmise,
Amid the wrestle of force, the trampling feet,
Across the triumph, fighting and despair,
They watch the Bliss for which earth’s heart has cried,
On the long road which cannot see its end
Winding undetected through the sceptic days
And to meet it guide the unheedful moving world.
Thus will the masked Transcendent mount his throne.
The true world is ready behind the apparent confused and chaotic world that we know. It is ready and it is waiting for the time of manifestation when Matter will be in such a condition that it can express this Higher Truth.
When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast
And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,
As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread
Of one who steps unseen into his house.
A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey,
A power into mind’s inner chamber steal,
A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors
And beauty conquer the resisting world,
The truth-light capture Nature by surprise,
A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss
And earth grow unexpectedly divine.
In Matter shall be lit the spirit’s glow,
In body and body kindled the sacred birth;
Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,
The days become a happy pilgrim march,
Our will a force of the Eternal’s power,
And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.
A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done.
This is the magnificent promise that cheers you up in whatever difficulties come on the way.
It is these happy words that put certitude in the soul, in the mind, in the will, and then everything becomes easy.
A consciousness that knows not its own truth,
A vagrant hunter of misleading dawns,
Between the being’s dark and luminous ends
Moves here in a half-light that seems the whole:
An interregnum in Reality
Cuts off the integral Thought, the total Power;
It circles or stands in a vague interspace,
Doubtful of its beginning and its close,
Or runs upon a road that has no end;
Far from the original Dusk, the final Flame
In some huge void Inconscience it lives,
Like a thought persisting in a wide emptiness.
As if an unintelligible phrase
Suggested a million renderings to the Mind,
It lends a purport to the random world.
A conjecture leaning upon doubtful proofs,
A message misunderstood, a thought confused
Missing its aim is all that it can speak
Or a fragment of the universal word.
It leaves two giant letters void of sense
While without sanction turns the middle sign
Carrying an enigmatic universe,
As if a present without future or past
Repeating the same revolution’s whirl
Turned on its axis in its own Inane.
This is the world as it seems to the eyes of an ignorant vanity that lives without knowing, sees without understanding and is cut off from its Origin.
The why of all this is hidden, and unless it is discovered and lived consciously, life will always be an incoherent horror.
But we are here to discover, to know and to live, and we can bear the horror with the certitude that the Light, the Knowledge and the Purpose will be one day manifested.
With patience and firmness and quiet assurance we must go on, we must endure and we must realise.
The Mother’s Explanation
A World’s desire compelled her mortal birth.
One in the front of the immemorial quest,
Protagonist of the mysterious play
In which the Unknown pursues himself through forms
And limits his eternity by the hours
And the blind Void struggles to live and see,
A thinker and toiler in the ideal’s air,
Brought down to earth’s dumb need her radiant power.
His was a spirit that stooped from larger spheres
Into our province of ephemeral sight,
A colonist from immortality.
This is the description of the One through whom Savitri was born.
Sri Aurobindo says that it is through the intermediary of somebody who did not belong to the earth but came from the higher and freer regions.
A pointing beam on earth’s uncertain roads,
His birth held up a symbol and a sign;
His human self like a translucent cloak
Covered the All- Wise who leads the unseeing world.
Affiliated to cosmic Space and Time
And paying here God’s debt to earth and man
A greater sonship was his divine right.
Although consenting to mortal ignorance,
His knowledge shared the Light ineffable.
A strength of the original Permanence
Entangled in the moment and its flow,
He kept the vision of the Vasts behind:
A power was in him from the Unknowable.
Sri Aurobindo says there, that all the world is governed by what He defines as the “All-Wise”; and this king, who became the father of Savitri, was sufficiently transparent and conscious so that the wisdom from above could, through his Consciousness, touch the inconscient world.
It is because, in spite of his incarnation in this world of ignorance, he had kept sufficient consciousness of his Origin that he could not only aspire to bring down the Divine upon earth, but have the power to realise it.
An archivist of the symbols of the Beyond,
A treasurer of superhuman dreams,
He bore the stamp of mighty memories
And shed their grandiose rayon human life.
His days were a long growth to the Supreme.
A skyward being nourishing its roots
On sustenance from occult spiritual founts
Climbed through white rays to meet an unseen Sun.
His soul lived as eternity’s delegate,
His mind was like a fire assailing heaven,
His will a hunter in the trails of light.
An ocean impulse lifted every breath;
Each action left the footprints of a God,
Each moment was a beat of puissant wings.
The little plot of our mortality
Touched by this tenant from the heights became
A playground of the living Infinite.
This is the description of one of those who are not purely human, but whose origin is far higher, far greater, and whose existence much longer than the existence of the earth. When these come upon earth, it is to help the whole of humanity to rise towards the highest Consciousness.
This bodily appearance is not all;
The form deceives, the person is a mask;
Hid deep in man celestial powers can dwell.
His fragile ship conveys through the sea of years
An incognito of the Imperishable.
A spirit that is a flame of God abides,
A fiery portion of the Wonderful,
Artist of his own beauty and delight,
Immortal in our mortal poverty.
This sculptor of the forms of the Infinite,
This screened unrecognised Inhabitant,
Initiate of his own veiled mysteries,
Hides in a small dumb seed his cosmic thought.
In the mute strength of the occult Idea
Determining predestined shape and act,
Passenger from life to life, from scale to scale,
Changing his imaged self from form to form,
He regards the icon growing by his gaze
And in the worm foresees the coming god.
Those who come from above and know the Divine Plan, know also that this present existence of man is only a transition between the animal and the Superman, more perfect, more developed, more conscious, more divine.
Man can bear the limitations because he knows that they will pass away and be replaced by capacities more apt to express the Divine in life.
At last the traveller in the paths of Time
Arrives on the frontiers of eternity.
In the transient symbol of humanity draped,
He feels his substance of undying self
And loses his kinship to mortality.
A beam of the Eternal smites his heart,
His thought stretches into infinitude:
All in him turns to spirit vastnesses.
His soul breaks out to join the Oversoul,
His life is oceaned by that superlife.
He has drunk from the breasts of the Mother of the worlds;
A topless supernature fills his frame:
She adopts his spirit’s everlasting ground
As the security of her changing world
And shapes the figure of her unborn mights.
Immortally she conceives herself in him,
In the creature the unveiled creatrix works:
Her face is seen through his face, her eyes through his eyes;
Her being is his through a vast identity.
Then is revealed in man the overt Divine.
You see, in this first line what is described is the transition – the opening to the new reality and the transition in man.
Now, here is the description of what happened.
A static Oneness and dynamic Power
Descend in him, the integral Godhead’s seals;
His soul and body take that splendid stamp.
A long dim preparation is man’s life,
A circle of toil and hope and war and peace
Tracked out by Life on Matter’s obscure ground
In his climb to a peak no feet have ever trod,
He seeks through a penumbra shot with flame
A veiled reality half-known, ever missed,
A search for something or someone never found,
Cult of an ideal never made real here,
An endless spiral or ascent and fall
Until at last is reached the giant point
Through which his Glory shines for whom we were made
And we break into the infinity of God.
Across our nature’s border line we escape
Into supernature’s arc of living light.
This now was witnessed in that son of Force,
In him that high transition laid its base.
This is the prophetic announcement of the transition from man to Superman.
This is what will happen and what is being prepared now.
Original and supernal Immanence
Of which all Nature’s process is the art,
The cosmic Worker set his secret hand
To turn this frail mud-engine to heaven-use.
A Presence wrought behind the ambiguous screen:
It beat his soil to bear a Titan’s weight,
Refining half-hewn blocks of natural strength
It built his soul into a statued God.
The Craftsman of the magic stuff of self
Who labours at his high and difficult plan
In the wide workshop of the wonderful world,
Modelled in inward Time his rhythmic parts.
Then came the abrupt transcendent miracle:
The masked immaculate Grandeur could outline,
At travail in the occult womb of life,
His dreamed magnificence of things to be.
A crown of the architecture of the worlds,
A mystery of married Earth and Heaven
Annexed divinity to the mortal scheme.
Out of Divinity the creation seemed to have gone towards a complete oblivion of Divinity. But at one moment, the possibility of manifesting this Divinity had been foreseen and the conditions created for it to be possible, – for the Divinity to manifest in creation.
A Seer was born, a shining Guest of Time.
For him mind’s limiting firmament ceased above,
In the griffin forefront of the Night and Day
A gap was rent in the all-concealing vault;
The conscious ends of being went rolling back:
The landmarks of the little person fell,
The island ego joined its continent:
Overpassed was this world of rigid limiting forms:
Life’s barriers opened into the Unknown.
Abolished were conception’s covenants
And, striking off subjection’s rigorous clause,
Annulled the soul’s treaty with Nature’s nescience.
All the grey inhibitions were torn off
And broken the intellect’s hard and lustrous lid;
Truth unpartitioned found immense sky-room;
An empyrean vision saw and knew;
The bounded mind became a boundless light,
The finite self mated with infinity.
His march now soared into an eagle’s flight.
Out of apprenticeship to Ignorance
Wisdom upraised him to her master craft
And made him an arch-mason of the soul,
A builder of the Immortal’s secret house,
An aspirant to supernal Timelessness:
Freedom and empire called to him from on high;
Above mind’s twilight and life’s star-led night
There gleamed the dawn of a spiritual day.
He is describing the first descent of an Avatar upon the earth and the stupendous change that it made in the atmosphere.
Instead of this slow endless course of the Divinity that is buried in Matter and has slowly to wake up and to rebuild the conscious being, instead of this endless process, a sudden descent of a Supernal Consciousness from the Supreme into a being of the manifestation, made a hastened growth possible and almost a sudden change in the evolution.
As so he grew into his larger self,
Humanity framed his movements less and less,
A greater being saw a greater world.
A fearless will for knowledge dared to erase
The lines of safety reason draws that bar
Mind’s soar, soul’s dive into the Infinite.
Even his first steps broke our small earth-bounds
And loitered in a vaster freer air.
In hands sustained by a transfiguring Might
He caught up lightly like a giant’s bow
Left slumbering in a sealed and secret cave
The powers that sleep unused in man within.
He made of miracle a normal act
And turned to a common part of divine works,
Magnificently natural at this height,
Efforts that would shatter the strength of mortal hearts,
Pursued in a royalty of mighty ease
Aims too sublime for Nature’s daily will:
The gifts of the spirit crowding came to him;
They were his life’s pattern and his privilege.
The continuation of what can become the life of man, if he consents to be divinised.
A pure perception lent its lucent joy:
Its intimate vision waited not to think;
It enveloped all Nature in a single glance,
It looked into the very self of things;
Deceived no more by form he saw the soul.
In beings it knew what lurked to them unknown;
It seized the idea in mind, the wish in the heart;
It plucked out from grey folds of secrecy
The motives which from their own sight men hide.
He felt the beating life in other men
Invade him with their happiness and their grief;
Their love, their anger, their unspoken hopes
Entered in currents or in pouring waves
Into the immobile ocean of his calm.
He heard the inspired sound of his own thoughts
Re-echoed in the vault of other minds;
The world’s thought-streams travelled into his ken;
His inner self grew near to others’ selves
And bore a kinship’s weight, a common tie,
Yet stood untouched, king of itself, alone.
This is the exact description of what happens when a human body is receiving the Superhuman Consciousness for its transformation.
It is described in all details with an e-x-t-r-e-m-e exactness.
This is a very accurate description of the working of the New Consciousness, this New Consciousness that has come upon earth and is working in all those who are receptive and ready to listen.
A magical accord quickened and attuned
To ethereal symphonies the old earthy strings;
It raised the servitors of mind and life
To be happy partners in the soul’s response,
Tissue and nerve were turned to sensitive chords,
Records of lustre and ecstasy; it made
The body’s means the spirit’s acolytes.
A heavenlier function with a finer mode
Lit with its grace man’s outward earthliness;
The soul’s experience of its deeper sheaths
No more slept drugged by Matter’s dominance.
In the dead wall closing us from wider self,
Into a secrecy of apparent sleep,
The mystic tract beyond our waking thoughts,
A door parted, built in by Matter’s force,
Releasing things unseized by earthly sense:
A world unseen, unknown by outward mind
Appeared in the silent spaces of the soul.
Again it is the very exact and correct description of what happens when the consciousness is united with the Higher Consciousness, when man is no more limited to just his vital-mental self. The inner opening puts you in connection with all the inner worlds and then the knowledge becomes quite different and changes into a direct vision of everything.
He sat in secret chambers looking out
Into the luminous countries of the unborn
Where all things dreamed by the mind are seen and true
And all that the life longs for is drawn close.
He saw the Perfect in their starry homes
Wearing the glory of a deathless form
Lain in the arms of the Eternal’s peace,
Rapt in the heart-beats of God-ecstasy.
He lived in the mystic space where thought is born
And will is nursed by an ethereal Power
And fed on the white milk of the Eternal’s strengths
Till it grows into the likeness of a god.
This is the promised successor of man upon earth, the being that will be to man what man is to the animal; the successor that humanity has hoped for, the expression of all the aspirations of humanity; a being that can grow out of suffering and limitations and unconsciousness, and can rise into Light and Knowledge and Power; the creature that will be the raison d’ etre of the creation, the legitimation of the creation; the being that will be the coming back of the Divine Consciousness towards the Divine.
All the sufferings, all the hardships, all the miseries of humanity will be effaced, annulled, conquered by a true and powerful Consciousness: the next step that is to be made the expression of all our aspirations.
In the Witness’s occult rooms with mind-built walls
On hidden interiors, lurking passages
Opened the windows of the inner sight.
He owned the house of undivided Time.
Lifting the heavy curtain of the flesh
He stood upon a threshold serpent-watched,
And peered into gleaming endless corridors,
Silent and listening in the silent heart
For the coming of the new and the unknown.
He gazed across the empty stillnesses
And heard the footsteps of the undreamed Idea
In the far avenues of the Beyond.
He heard the secret Voice, the Word that knows,
And saw the secret face that is our own.
It is the imaged description of the inner vision and the inner life, what is seen when we are no more tied by the physical consciousness.
This is a necessary development for the advent and the growth of the New Race.
The inner planes uncovered their crystal doors;
Strange powers and influences touched his life.
A vision came of higher realms than ours,
A consciousness of brighter fields and skies,
Of beings less circumscribed than brief-lived men
And subtler bodies than these passing frames,
Objects too fine for our material grasp,
Acts vibrant with a superhuman light
And movements pushed by a superconscient force,
And joys that never flowed through mortal limbs,
And lovelier scenes than earth’s and happier lives.
A consciousness of beauty and of bliss,
A knowledge which became what it perceived,
Replaced the separated sense and heart
And drew all Nature into its embrace.
This is a very exact, complete and poetic description of what happens under the influence of the New Consciousness, the Consciousness that has the mission to bring down the Superman upon earth.
All this was seen and felt by Sri Aurobindo and described in Savitri
in a poetic form, long before this New Consciousness had touched the world. And now this Consciousness here is beginning to spread the new way of living, preparing the earth for the advent of the New Race.
The mind leaned out to meet the hidden worlds.
Air glowed and teemed with marvellous shapes and hues,
In the nostrils quivered celestial fragrances,
On the tongue lingered the honey of paradise.
A channel of universal harmony,
Hearing was a stream of magic audience,
A bed for occult sounds earth cannot hear.
Out of a covert tract of slumber self
The voice came of a truth submerged, unknown
That flows beneath the cosmic surfaces,
Only mid an omniscient silence heard,
Held by intuitive heart and secret sense.
It caught the burden of secrecies sealed and dumb,
It voiced the unfulfilled demand of earth
And the song of promise of unrealised heavens
And all that hides in an omnipotent Sleep.
This is the continuation of the description of what will be the life of the next race, what Sri Aurobindo has called the Supramental Being. The senses will be transformed in such a way that they will live in harmony with the Supreme Consciousness and all this constant suffering, disharmony, unpleasantness, inharmonious feelings that are there now in life will be replaced by a constant harmony and the expression of the Higher Life.
In the unceasing drama carried by Time
On its long listening flood that bears the world’s
Insoluble doubt on a pilgrimage without goal,
A laughter of sleepless pleasure foamed and spumed
And murmurings of desire that cannot die:
A cry came of the world’s delight to be,
The grandeur and greatness of its will to live,
Recall of the soul’s adventure into space,
A traveller through the magic centuries
And being’s labour in Matter’s universe,
Its search for the mystic meaning of its birth
And joy of high spiritual response,
Its throb of satisfaction and content
In all the sweetness of the gifts of life,
Its large breath and pulse and thrill of hope and fear,
Its taste of pangs and tears and ecstasy,
Its rapture’s poignant beat of sudden bliss,
The sob of its passion and unending pain.
This is a description of life as it is, the description of life as it appears to those who love it for itself. There is in it a hidden promise of what it can be – beyond the satisfaction of those who accept it as it is without hoping for its transformation.
The murmur and whisper of the unheard sounds
Which crowd around our hearts but find no window
To enter, swelled into a canticle
Of all that suffers to be still unknown
And all that labours vainly to be born
And all the sweetness none will ever taste
And all the beauty that will never be.
Inaudible to our deaf mortal ears
The wide world-rhythms wove their stupendous chant
To which life strives to fit our rhyme-beats here,
Melting our limits in the illimitable,
Tuning the finite to infinity.
A low muttering rose from the subconscient caves,
The stammer of the primal ignorance;
Answer to that inarticulate questioning,
There stooped with lightning neck and thunder’s wings
A radiant hymn to the Inexpressible
And the anthem of the superconscient light.
There are worlds of sound, of consciousness, of movement, of knowledge, of power that have to be manifested and which are far beyond the possibility of all human beings.
All these things that are waiting in their own World are waiting for the Supramental Consciousness to manifest, in order to become visible, audible, active in this world.
All was revealed there none can here express;
Vision and dream were fables spoken by truth
Or symbols more veridical than fact,
Or were truths enforced by supernatural seals.
Immortal eyes approached and looked in his,
And beings of many kingdoms neared and spoke:
The ever-living whom we name as dead
Could leave their glory beyond death and birth
To utter the wisdom which exceeds all phrase:
The kings of evil and the kings of good,
Appellants at the reason’s judgment seat,
Proclaimed the gospel of their opposites,
And all believed themselves spokesmen of God:
The gods of light and titans of the dark
Battled for his soul as for a costly prize.
The first contact with the Invisible that is just beyond our mortal consciousness is the contact of the fight between Light and obscurity. That is in the vital world.
In every hour loosed from the quiver of Time
There rose a song of new discovery,
A bow-twang’s hum of young experiment.
Each day was a spiritual romance,
As if he was born into a bright new world;
Adventure leaped an unexpected friend,
And danger brought a keen sweet tang of joy:
Each happening was a deep experience.
There were high encounters, epic colloquies,
And counsels came couched in celestial speech,
And honeyed pleadings breathed from occult lips
To help the heart to yield to rapture’s call,
And sweet temptations stole from beauty’s realms
And sudden ecstasies from a world of bliss.
It was a reign of wonder and delight;
All now his bright clairaudience could receive,
A contact thrilled of mighty unknown things.
Awakened to new unearthly closenesses,
The touch replied to subtle infinities,
And with a silver cry of opening gates
Sight’s lightnings leaped into the invisible.
Ever his consciousness and vision grew;
They took an ampler sweep, a loftier flight;
He passed the border marked for Matter’s rule
And passed the zone where thought replaces life.
Out of this world of signs suddenly he came
Into a silent self where world was not
And looked beyond into a nameless vast.
That is the inner discovery when the consciousness withdraws from the outer experience and goes deep inside towards the invisible Goal.
Beyond the sensations and the thoughts there is a silent world of contemplation and power where all is prepared for manifestation.
These symbol figures lost their right to live,
All tokens dropped our sense can recognise;
There the heart beat no more at body’s touch,
There the eyes gazed no more on beauty’s shape.
In rare and lucent intervals of hush
Into a signless region he could soar
Packed with the deep contents of formlessness
Where world was into a single being rapt
And all was known by the light of identity
And spirit was its own self-evidence.
The Supreme’s gaze looked out through human eyes
And saw all things and creatures as itself
And knew all thought and word as its own voice.
There unity is too close for search and clasp
And love is a yearning of the One for the One,
And beauty is a sweet difference of the Same
And oneness is the soul of multitude.
There all the truths unite in a single truth,
And all ideas rejoin Reality.
There knowing herself by her own termless self,
Wisdom supernal, wordless, absolute
Sat uncompanioned in the eternal Calm,
All-seeing, motionless, sovereign and alone.
There knowledge needs not words to embody Idea;
Idea seeking a house in boundlessness,
Weary of its homeless immortality,
Asks not in thought’s carved brilliant cell to rest
Whose single window’s clipped outlook on things
Sees only a little arc of God’s vast sky.
The boundless with the boundless there consorts;
While there, one can be wider than the world;
While there, one is one’s own infinity.
Nothing to say or to add. It is the supreme experience of identity with the Supreme.
His centre was no more in earthly mind,
A power of seeing silence filled his limbs:
Caught by a voiceless white epiphany
Into a vision that surpasses forms,
Into a living that surpasses life,
He neared the still consciousness sustaining all.
The voice that only by speech can move the mind
Became a silent knowledge in the soul;
The strength that only in action feels its truth
Was lodged now in a mute omnipotent peace.
A leisure in the labour of the worlds,
A pause in the joy and anguish of the search
Restored the stress of Nature to God’s calm.
A vast unanimity ended life’s debate.
The war of thoughts that fathers the universe,
The clash of forces struggling to prevail
In the tremendous shock that lights a star
As in the building of a grain of dust,
The grooves that turn their dumb ellipse in space
Ploughed by the seeking of the world’s desire,
The long regurgitations in Time’s flood,
The torment edging the dire force of lust
That wakes kinetic in earth’s dullard slime
And carves a personality out of mud,
The sorrow by which Nature’s hunger is fed,
The oestrus which creates with fire of pain,
The fate that punishes virtue with defeat,
The tragedy that destroys long happiness,
The weeping of Love, the quarrel of the Gods,
Ceased in a truth which lives in its own light.
This is a very powerful description of the opposition between the absolute peaceful Consciousness of the Supreme and the constant agitation of the creation.
His soul stood free, a witness and a king.
Absorbed no more in the moment-ridden flux
Where mind incessantly drifts as on a raft
Hurried from phenomenon to phenomenon,
He abode at rest in indivisible Time.
As if a story long written but acted now,
In his present he held his future and his past,
Felt in the seconds the uncounted years
And saw the hours like dots upon a page.
An aspect of the unknown Reality
Altered the meaning of the cosmic scene.
This huge material universe became
A small result of a stupendous force:
Overtaking the moment the eternal Ray
Illumined that which never yet was made.
Thought lay down in a mighty voicelessness;
The toiling thinker widened and grew still,
Wisdom transcendent touched his quivering heart:
His soul could sail beyond thought’s luminous bar;
Mind screened no more the shoreless infinite.
Across a void retreating sky he glimpsed
Through a last glimmer and drift of vanishing stars
The superconscient realms of motionless peace
Where judgment ceases and the word is mute
And the Unconceived lies pathless and alone.
There came not form or any mounting voice;
There only were Silence and the Absolute.
It continues the description of the Supreme, the Supreme Consciousness where all is peace and unity. It is this Supreme Consciousness that has to be manifested in the world and change the nature of the world.
Out of that stillness mind new-born arose
And woke to truths once inexpressible,
And forms appeared, dumbly significant,
A seeing thought, a self-revealing voice.
He knew the source from which his spirit came:
Movement was married to the immobile Vast;
He plunged his roots into the Infinite,
He based his life upon Eternity.
Only a while at first these heavenlier states,
These large wide-poised upliftings could endure.
The high and luminous tension breaks too soon,
The body’s stone stillness and the life’s hushed trance,
The breathless might and calm of silent mind;
Or slowly they fail as sets a golden day.
The restless nether members tire of peace;
A nostalgia of old little works and joys,
A need to call back small familiar selves,
To tread the accustomed and inferior way,
The need to rest in a natural poise of fall,
As a child who learns to walk can walk not long,
Replace the titan will for ever to climb,
On the heart’s altar dim the sacred fire.
An old pull of subconscious cords renews;
It draws the unwilling spirit from the heights,
Or a dull gravitation drags us down
To the blind driven inertia of our base.
This too the supreme Diplomat can use,
He makes our fall a means for greater rise.
This is the great difficulty in the physical life. It is the strength of the old habit that pulls down the body to its old way. Then comes the struggle, and if the faith is sufficient, if the ardour for progress is there, then out of this fall we can rise to a higher receptivity and a better achievement.
In fact, there is nothing in this experimental life that is not meant to push the whole creation towards the luminous, marvellous Divine End that is promised to our effort and to our faith.
Never despair. Never lose courage. Never, never lose faith. The Grace is there and marvellously uses everything to reach, as quickly as possible, the Goal that is promised to our effort.
If we can enlarge our consciousness sufficiently, we see that even the apparent defeats are marvellous steps towards the final Victory.
For into the ignorant nature’s gusty field,
Into the half-ordered chaos of mortal life
The formless Power, the Self of eternal light
Follow in the shadow of the spirit’s descent;
The twin duality for ever one
Chooses its home mid the tumults of the sense.
He comes unseen into our darker parts
And, curtained by the darkness, does his work,
A subtle and all-knowing guest and guide,
Till they too feel the need and will to change.
All here must learn to obey a higher law,
Our body’s cells must hold the Immortal’s flame.
Else would the spirit reach alone its source
Leaving a half-saved world to its dubious fate.
Nature would ever labour unredeemed;
Our earth would ever spin unhelped in space,
And this immense creation’s purpose fail
Till at last the frustrate universe sank undone.
Things had got So wrong that the possibility of failure was becoming more and more evident. To prevent the realisation of this possibility, a direct descent from the Supreme came upon earth, organised for the work of redeeming.
This earth has been created as a concentrated centre for the Supreme to come down and save the universe.
Even his godlike strength to rise must fall:
His greater consciousness withdrew behind;
Dim and eclipsed, his human outside strove
To feel again the old sublimities,
Bring the high saving touch, the ethereal flame,
Call back to its dire need the divine Force.
Always the power poured back like sudden rain,
Or slowly in his breast a presence grew;
It clambered back to some remembered height
Or soared above the peak from which it fell.
Each time he rose there was a larger poise,
A dwelling on a higher spirit plane;
The Light remained in him a longer space.
In this oscillation between earth and heaven,
In this ineffable communion’s climb
There grew in him as grows a waxing moon
The glory of the integer of his soul.
A union of the Real with the unique,
A gaze of the Alone from every face,
The Presence of the Eternal in the hours
Widening the mortal mind’s half-look on things,
Bridging the gap between man’s force and Fate
Made whole the fragment-being we are here.
This is the description of the inner work that made possible the constant ascent of the world towards its Origin. All the body’s cells must have only one aspiration: to become conscious of the Divine. With this aspiration constant, sustained, never failing, the world is sure to reach the transformation.
At last was won a firm spiritual poise,
A constant lodging in the Eternal’s realm,
A safety in the Silence and the Ray,
A settlement in the Immutable.
His heights of being lived in the still Self;
His mind could rest on a supernal ground
And look down on the magic and the play
Where the God-child lies on the lap of Night and Dawn
And the Everlasting puts on Time’s disguise.
To the still heights and to the troubled depths
His equal spirit gave its vast assent:
A poised serenity of tranquil strength,
A wide unshaken look on Time’s unrest
Faced all experience with unaltered peace.
Indifferent to the sorrow and delight,
Untempted by the marvel and the call,
Immobile it beheld the flux of things,
Calm and apart supported all that is:
His spirit’s stillness helped the toiling world.
This is the essential condition for one to be able to live in the Truth and not to be affected by the falsehood of the world.
Inspired by silence and the closed eyes’ sight
His force could work with a new luminous art
On the crude material from which all is made
And the refusal of Inertia’s mass
And the grey front of the world’s Ignorance
And nescient Matter and the huge error of life.
As a sculptor chisels a deity out of stone
He slowly chipped off the dark envelope,
Line of defence of Nature’s ignorance,
The illusion and mystery of the Inconscient
In whose black pall the Eternal wraps his head
That he may act unknown in cosmic Time.
A splendour of self-creation from the peaks,
A transfiguration in the mystic depths,
A happier cosmic working could begin
And fashion the world-shape in him anew,
God found in Nature, Nature fulfilled in God.
This is the beginning of transformation, the transformation that must prepare the world for the new creation and let a diviner life be manifested upon earth and transform all this misery into an expression of a higher Truth.
All the outer ways are useless and delay the true working for the transformation. It is only when one decides to unite consciously and permanently with the Divine Origin and to manifest this Divinity in the world that the true work can begin.
All the rest is illusion of the mind, trying to find ways for an illusory transformation.
Already in him was seen that task of Power:
Life made its home on the high tops of self;
His soul, mind, heart became a single sun;
Only life’s lower reaches remained dim.
But there too, in the uncertain shadow of life,
There was a labour and a fiery breath;
The ambiguous cow led celestial puissance worked
Watched by the inner Witness’s moveless peace.
Even on the struggling Nature left below
Strong periods of illumination came:
Lightnings of glory after glory burned,
Experience was a tale of blaze and fire,
Air rippled round the argosies of the Gods,
Strange riches sailed to him from the Unseen;
Splendours of insight filled the blank of thought,
Knowledge spoke to the inconscient stillnesses,
Rivers poured down of bliss and luminous force,
Visits of beauty, storm-sweeps of delight
Rained from the all-powerful Mystery above.
This is the period of preparation for the transformation of the physical. This Nature below, that seemed to be unchangeable, by this constant downpour of Power and Light became plastic and capable of transformation.
Thence stooped the eagles of Omniscience.
A dense veil was rent, a mighty whisper heard;
Repeated in the privacy of his soul,
A wisdom-cry from rapt transcendences
Sang on the mountains of an unseen world;
The voices that an inner listening hears
Conveyed to him their prophet utterances,
And flame-wrapt outbursts of the immortal Word
And flashes of an occult revealing Light
Approached him from the unreachable secrecy.
An inspired Knowledge sat enthroned within
Whose seconds illumined more than reason’s years:
An ictus of revealing lustre fell
As if a pointing accent upon Truth,
And like a sky-flare showing all the ground
A swift intuitive discernment shone.
One glance could separate the true and false,
Or raise its rapid torch-fire in the dark
To check the claimants crowding through mind’s gates
Covered by the forged signatures of the gods,
Detect the magic bride in her disguise
Or scan the apparent face of thought and life.
It is describing this Power of detecting the Falsehood wherever it wants to come in and veil the Truth. This Power becomes more and more evident with the development of the inner consciousness, and there arrives a moment when it is quite natural and spontaneous to see what is true and to detect what is false. This Power brings with it the peace of the certitude and the power of transformation.
Oft inspiration with her lightning feet,
A sudden messenger from the all-seeing tops,
Traversed the soundless corridors of his mind
Bringing her rhythmic sense of hidden things.
A music spoke transcending mortal speech.
As if from a golden phial of the All-Bliss,
A joy of light, a joy of sudden sight,
A rapture of the thrilled undying Word
Poured into his heart as into an empty cup,
A repetition of God’s first delight
Creating in a young and virgin Time.
In a brief moment caught, a little space,
All-Knowledge packed into great wordless thoughts
Lodged in the expectant stillness of his depths
A crystal of the ultimate Absolute,
A portion of the inexpressible Truth
Revealed by silence to the silent soul.
The intense creatrix in his stillness wrought;
Her power fallen speechless grew more intimate;
She looked upon the seen and the unforeseen,
Unguessed domains she made her native field.
All-vision gathered into a single ray,
As when the eyes stare at an invisible point
Till through the intensity of one luminous spot
An apocalypse of a world of images
Enters into the kingdom of the seer.
This is the continuation of the description of the experience when the being has come in contact with the Supreme Consciousness.
This description is most vivid, expressive and true.
A great nude arm of splendour suddenly rose;
It rent the gauze opaque of Nescience:
Her lifted finger’s keen unthinkable tip
Bared with a stab of flame the closed Beyond.
An eye awake in voiceless heights of trance,
A mind plucking at the unimaginable,
Overleaping with a sole and perilous bound
The high black wall hiding superconscience,
She broke in with inspired speech for scythe
And plundered the Unknowable’s vast estate.
A gleaner of infinitesimal grains of Truth,
A sheaf-binder of infinite experience,
She pierced the guarded mysteries of World-Force
And her magic methods wrapt in a thousand veils;
Or she gathered the lost secrets dropped by Time
In the dust and crannies of his mounting route
Mid old forsaken dreams of hastening Mind
And buried remnants of forgotten space.
A traveller between summit and abyss
She joined the distant ends, the viewless deeps,
Or streaked along the roads of Heaven and Hell
Pursuing all knowledge like a questing hound.
A reporter and scribe of hidden wisdom talk,
Her shining minutes of celestial speech,
Passed through the masked office of the occult mind,
Transmitting gave to prophet and to seer
The inspired body of the mystic Truth.
A recorder of the inquiry of the gods,
Spokesman of the silent seeings of the Supreme,
She brought immortal words to mortal men.
After the vision and the experience come the expression and the spreading of the new knowledge and the new experience.
The whole thing is prophetic and an announcement of what will be.
Above the reason’s brilliant slender curve,
Released like radiant air dimming a moon,
Broad spaces of a vision without line
Or limit swam into his spirit’s ken.
Oceans of being met his voyaging soul
Calling to infinite discovery;
Timeless domains of joy and absolute power
Stretched out surrounded by the eternal hush;
The ways that lead to endless happiness
Ran like dream-smiles through meditating vasts:
Disclosed stood up in a gold moment’s blaze
White sun-steppes in the pathless Infinite.
Along a naked curve in bourneless Self
The points that run through the closed heart of things
Shadowed the indeterminable line
That carries the Everlasting through the years.
The magician order of the cosmic Mind
Coercing the freedom of infinity
With the stark array of Nature’s symbol facts
And life’s incessant signals of event,
Transmuted chance recurrences into laws,
A chaos of signs into a universe.
Out of the rich wonders and the intricate whorls
Of the spirit’s dance with Matter as its mask
The balance of the world’s design grew clear,
Its symmetry of self-arranged effects
Managed in the deep perspectives of the soul,
And the realism of its illusive art,
Its logic of infinite intelligence,
Its magic of a changing eternity.
It gives a very vivid and strong impression of the logically incoherent and practical confusion of the creation.
The appearance is confused, incoherent, as if managed exclusively by chance and hazard.
But behind, there is a Conscious Will working and, through this confusion, preparing the evolution towards a greater perfection.
When you can rise above the appearances and understand the ways of the Consciousness at work, then you can discover also the goal towards which the universe is tending.
A glimpse was caught of things for ever unknown;
The letters stood out of the unmoving Word.
In the immutable nameless Origin
Was seen emerging as from fathomless seas
The trail of the Ideas that made the world,
And, sown in the black earth of Nature’s trance,
The seed of the Spirit’s blind and huge desire
From which the tree of cosmos was conceived
And spread its magic arms through a dream of space.
Immense realities took on a shape:
There looked out from the shadow of the Unknown
The bodiless Namelessness that saw God born
And tries to gain from the mortal’s mind and soul
A deathless body and a divine name.
The immobile lips, the great surreal wings,
The visage masked by superconscient Sleep,
The eyes with their closed lids that see all things,
Appeared of the Architect who builds in trance.
The original Desire born in the Void
Peered out; he saw the hope that never sleeps,
The feet that run behind a fleeting fate,
The ineffable meaning of the endless dream.
As if a torch held by a power of God,
The radiant world of the everlasting Truth
Glimmered like a faint star bordering the night
Above the golden Overmind’s shimmering ridge. |
Even were caught as through a cunning veil
The smile of love that sanctions the long game,
The calm indulgence and maternal breasts
Of Wisdom suckling the child-laughter of Chance,
Silence the nurse of the Almighty’s power,
The omniscient hush, womb of the immortal Word,
And of the Timeless the still brooding face,
And the creative eye of Eternity.
And these images are meant to break the ordinary receptivity of mind, and to open it to the conception vaster, truer, creative, of the Supramental.
It is only in a receptive silence – when the whole inquisitive mind stops moving – that one can feel and understand the images described in these verses.
The inspiring goddess entered a mortal’s breast,
Made there her study of divining thought
And sanctuary of prophetic speech
And sat upon the tripod seat of mind:
All was made wide above, all lit below.
In darkness’ core she dug out wells of light,
On the undiscovered depths imposed a form,
Lent a vibrant cry to the unuttered vasts,
And through great shoreless, voiceless, starless breadths
Bore earthward fragments of revealing thought
Hewn from the silence of the Ineffable.
This is the description of what happens when the Consciousness or the Force from above enters into a physical form. All sorts of possibilities and experiences become possible and manifest in a way quite uncommon and unusual.
A voice in the heart uttered the unspoken Name,
A dream of seeking thought wandering through space
Entered the invisible and forbidden house:
The treasure was found of a supernal Day.
In the deep subconscient glowed her jewel-lamp;
Lifted, it showed the riches of the Cave
Where, by the miser traffickers of sense
Unused, guarded beneath night’s dragon paws,
In folds of velvet darkness draped they sleep
Whose priceless value could have saved the world.
A darkness carrying morning in its breast
Looked for the eternal wide returning gleam,
Waiting the advent of a larger ray
And rescue of the lost herds of the Sun.
In a splendid extravagance of the waste of God
Dropped carelessly in creation’s spendthrift work,
Left in the chantiers of the bottomless world
And stolen by the robbers of the Deep,
The golden shekels of the Eternal lie,
Hoarded from touch and view and thought’s desire,
Locked in blind antres of the ignorant flood
Lest men should find them and be even as Gods.
This is a very vivid description of all the possibilities that have been stolen from men and shut up so that they could not use them. But the same possibilities will be revealed by the New Consciousness and put at the disposal of men, if they wish to become Supermen and go beyond their poor consciousness towards a fuller and a more Divine Realisation.
This is just the work that is being done now for all those who aspire and are ready.
A vision lightened on the viewless heights,
A wisdom illumined from the voiceless depths:
A deeper interpretation greatened Truth,
A grand reversal of the Night and Day;
All the world’s values changed heightening life’s aim;
A wiser word, a larger thought came in
Than what the slow labour of human mind can bring,
A secret sense awoke that could perceive
A Presence and a Greatness everywhere.
The universe was not now this senseless whirl
Borne round inert on an immense machine;
It cast away its grandiose lifeless front,
A mechanism no more or work of Chance,
But a living movement of the body of God.
A spirit hid in forces and in forms
Was the spectator of the mobile scene:
The beauty and the ceaseless miracle
Let in a glow of the Unmanifest:
The formless Everlasting moved in it
Seeking its own perfect form in souls and things.
Life kept no more a dull and meaningless shape.
This is a more and more clear description of the true Consciousness that changes the sense, the meaning and the aim of life.
In the struggle and upheaval of the world
He saw the labour of a godhead’s birth:
A secret knowledge masked as Ignorance;
Fate covered with unseen necessity
The game of change of an omnipotent Will.
A glory and a rapture and a charm,
The All-Blissful sat unknown within the heart;
Earth’s pains were the ransom of its prisoned delight.
A glad communion tinged the passing hours;
The days were travellers on a destined road,
The nights companions of his musing spirit.
A heavenly impetus quickened all his breast;
The trudge of time changed to a splendid march;
The divine Dwarf towered to unconquered worlds,
Earth grew too narrow for his victory.
Once only registering the heavy tread
Of a blind Power on human littleness,
Life now became a sure approach to God,
Existence a divine experiment
And cosmos the soul’s opportunity.
The world was a conception and a birth
Of Spirit in Matter into living forms,
And Nature bore the Immortal in her womb,
That she might climb through him to eternal life.
This is a more and more clear description of the Divine Presence in all things and all life.
This is a realisation that is brought by the true Consciousness when it manifests upon earth. And Sri Aurobindo had described all these movements and all these events long before they took place.
Now the Consciousness is come and what He described has become true.
His being lay down in bright immobile peace
And bathed in wells of pure spiritual light;
It wandered in wide fields of wisdom-self
Lit by the rays of an everlasting sun.
Even his body’s subtle self within
Could raise the earthly parts towards higher things
And feel on it the breath of heavenlier air.
Already it journeyed towards divinity:
Upbuoyed upon winged winds of rapid joy,
Upheld to a Light it could not always hold,
It left mind’s distance from the Truth supreme
And lost life’s incapacity for bliss.
All now suppressed in us began to emerge.
This is the prophetic announcement of what can happen or rather what will happen to the body when it begins to be transformed.
Thus came his soul’s release from Ignorance,
His mind and body’s first spiritual change.
A wide God-knowledge poured down from above,
A new world-knowledge broadened from within:
His daily thoughts looked up to the True and One,
His commonest doings welled from an inner Light.
Awakened to the lines that Nature hides,
Attuned to her movements that exceed our ken,
He grew one with a covert universe.
His grasp surprised her mightiest energies’ springs;
He spoke with the unknown Guardians of the worlds,
Forms he descried our mortal eyes see not.
His wide eyes bodied viewless entities,
He saw the cosmic forces at their work
And felt the occult impulse behind man’s will.
Time’s secrets were to him an oft-read book;
The records of the future and the past
Outlined their excerpts on the etheric page.
One and harmonious by the Maker’s skill,
The human in him paced with the divine.
His acts betrayed not the interior flame.
This forged the greatness of his front to earth.
This inner change, the change of the consciousness even in the body, is to come first. The possibility of it is already there, and it has been realised. It will be followed by the change of the physical consciousness, and at last by the body-consciousness, which is the most difficult thing to do. But this change is to come, to be realised and lived before the coming of the New Race.
A genius heightened in his body’s cells
That knew the meaning of his fate-hedged works
Akin to the march of unaccomplished Powers
Beyond life’s arc in spirit’s immensities.
Apart he lived in his mind’s solitude,
A demigod shaping the lives of men:
One soul’s ambition lifted up the race;
A Power worked, but none knew whence it came.
The universal strengths were linked with his;
Filling earth’s smallness with their boundless breadths,
He drew the energies that transmute an age.
Immeasurable by the common look,
He made great dreams a mould for coming things
And cast his deeds like bronze to front the years.
His walk through Time outstripped the human stride.
Lonely his days and splendid like the sun’s.
As Sri Aurobindo described it prophetically, so it is happening now and will happen more and more as the New Consciousness is working closer to the human consciousness.
Let all be ready and understand the meaning of the present events.
Awhile, withdrawn in secret fields of thought,
Her mind moved in a many-imaged past
That lived again and saw its end approach:
Dying, it lived imperishably in her;
Transient and vanishing from transient eyes,
Invisible, a fateful ghost of self,
It bore the future on its phantom breast.
Along the fleeting event’s far-backward trail
Regressed the stream of the insistent hours,
And on the bank of the mysterious flood
Peopled with well-loved forms now seen no more
And the subtle images of things that were,
Her witness spirit stood reviewing Time.
This is the way in which the Poem is built. We will know the story of Her life because She remembers it. At that celestial moment of Her existence She remembers all Her past life and then it will be told to us.
All that she once had hoped and dreamed and been,
Flew past her eagle-winged through memory’s skies.
As in a many-hued flaming inner dawn,
Her life’s broad highways and its sweet bypaths
Lay mapped to her sun-clear recording view,
From the bright country of her childhood’s days
And the blue mountains of her soaring youth
And the paradise groves and peacock wings of Love
To joy clutched under the silent shadow of doom
In a last turn where heaven raced with hell.
Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate.
An absolute supernatural darkness falls
On man sometimes when he draws near to God:
An hour comes when fail all Nature’s means;
Forced out from the protecting Ignorance
And flung back on his naked primal need,
He at length must cast from him his surface soul
And be the ungarbed entity within:
That hour had fallen now on Savitri.
For those who have come upon earth fully conscious of their entire being and conscious of their Origin, there is at first a period when this consciousness gets veiled by the physical life and the body-consciousness. It withdraws deep inside and waits for the hour when the outer circumstances will make it necessary for that inner self to manifest and to become fully active in the body. And generally, as life is organised, it is some more or less dramatic event that makes this change not only possible but needed.
Even those who have come fully conscious, because they are compelled to take birth in the body of a child, their consciousness withdraws for many years, more or less, and has not the full activity that it had in other worlds. But some circumstance, some event tears off the veil and the inner consciousness takes back its place and its activity. It is that that is fully described in these lines of Savitri.
It is only when the outer crust of the ordinary life is violently broken by some unexpected and tragic event that the inner consciousness has the opportunity of taking the place of this outward movement and governing fully the whole being. From the point of view of the growth of consciousness, that is the justification of all these dramatic events. An eventless life is not often a progressive one.
A point she had reached where life must be in vain
Or, in her unborn element awake,
Her will must cancel her body’s destiny.
For only the unborn spirit’s timeless power
Can lift the yoke imposed by birth in time.
Only the Self that builds this figure of self
Can rase the fixed interminable line
That joins these changing names, these numberless lives,
These new oblivious personalities
And keeps still lurking in our conscious acts
The trail of old forgotten thoughts and deeds,
Disown the legacy of our buried selves,
The burdensome heirship to our vanished forms
Accepted blindly by the body and soul.
The true self of Savitri belonged to the Eternal Consciousness and, naturally, was free. But, when accepting to take a body upon Earth, this true self is covered by so many different layers of consciousness that, unless it takes a very complete resolution to manifest and to overcome all the obstacles, it cannot act freely. Now She was put in front of the expected catastrophe in Her life, which externally would put an end to the joy of Her existence, and there was only one way to overcome this fatality.
It was to make the Highest Spirit and Its Power intervene directly in order to counteract the laws of destiny.
An episode in an unremembered tale,
Its beginning lost, its motive and plot concealed,
A once living story has prepared and made
Our present fate, child of past energies.
The fixity of the cosmic sequences
Fastened with hidden inevitable links
She must disrupt, dislodge by her soul’s force
Her past, a block on the immortal’s road,
Make a rased ground and shape anew her fate.
A colloquy of the original Gods
Meeting upon the borders of the unknown,
Her soul’s debate with embodied Nothingness
Must be wrestled out on a dangerous dim background:
Her being must confront its formless Cause,
Against the universe weigh its single self.
On the bare peak where Self is alone with Nought
And life has no sense and love no place to stand,
She must plead her case upon extinction’s verge,
In the world’s death-cave uphold life’s helpless claim
And vindicate her right to be and love.
Altered must be Nature’s harsh economy;
Acquittance she must win from her past’s bond,
An old account of suffering exhaust,
Strike out from Time the soul’s long compound debt
And the heavy servitudes of the Karmic Gods,
The slow revenge of unforgiving Law
And the deep need of universal pain
And hard sacrifice and tragic consequence.
By the Power of Her Origin and the legacy of the One, She must overcome all the laws established in manifestation and conquer the resistance of all that has been organised since centuries and millenniums and show that the Supreme is All-Powerful over His own creation.
In all the world as it is now, death and dissolution reign. She wants to abolish their law in order to establish the Supreme Life and Consciousness. It is the story of the conquest that will be told in the Epic.
Out of a timeless barrier she must break
Penetrate with her thinking depths the Void’s monstrous hush
Look into the lonely eyes of immortal Death
And with her nude spirit measure the Infinite’s night.
The great and dolorous moment now was close.
A mailed battalion marching to its doom
The last long days went by with heavy tramp
Long but too soon to pass, too near the end.
Alone amid the many faces loved
Aware among unknowing happy hearts
Her armoured spirit kept watch upon the hours
Listening for a foreseen tremendous step
In the closed beauty of the inhuman wilds.
It is a very vivid description showing that a stupendous power and energy is needed to face the circumstances when you know them in advance. Man is always complaining that he has not been given the power to know what will happen to him. But there is not one man in a million who would have the strength, the quiet calm to face the circumstances if he knew them in advance. This is just to give the description of that condition. It is because Savitri is conscious of the Divine in Herself that She knows what will happen and yet has the quiet strength to face it.
A combatant in silent dreadful lists,
The world unknowing, for the world she stood:
No helper had she save the Strength within;
There was no witness of terrestrial eyes;
The Gods above and Nature sole below
Were the spectators of that mighty strife.
Around her were the austere sky-pointing hills
And the green murmurous broad deep-thoughted woods
Muttered incessantly their muffled spell.
A dense magnificent coloured self-wrapped life
Draped in the leaves’ vivid emerald monotone
And set with chequered sunbeams and blithe flowers
Immured her destiny’s secluded scene.
There had she grown to the stature of her spirit:
The genius of titanic silences
Steeping her soul in its wide loneliness
Had shown to her her self’s bare reality
And mated her with her environment.
Its solitude greatened her human hours
With a background of the eternal and unique.
It is because no human being knew what She knew that She could be exclusively supported by the Power of Her Spirit. She had not to face human anxiety because the human beings did not know. So She was exclusively wrapped in the Power, the mighty Power of the Spirit. And that is why She could face quietly the dreadful circumstances.
The forests, the hills, were a very good background for the circumstances because it was the expression of a powerful Nature, silent and magnificent. And She felt supported by this beauty and this grandeur, which was not throwing upon Her the vibrations of anxiety.
A force of spare direct necessity
Reduced the heavy framework of man’s days
And his overburdening mass of outward needs
To a first thin strip of simple animal wants,
And the mighty wideness of the primitive earth
And the brooding multitude of patient trees
And the musing sapphire leisure of the sky
And the solemn weight of the slowly passing months
Had left in her deep room for thought and God.
There was her drama’s radiant prologue lived.
A spot for the eternals tread on earth
Set in the cloistral yearning of the woods
And watched by the aspiration of the peaks
Appeared through an aureate opening in Time
Where stillness listening felt the unspoken word
And the hours forgot to pass towards grief and change.
Here with the suddenness divine advents have,
Repeating the marvel of the first descent,
Changing to rapture the dull earthly round,
Love came to her hiding the shadow, Death.
Well might he find in her his perfect shrine.
Since first the earth-being’s heavenward growth began,
Through all the long ordeal of the race,
Never a rarer creature bore his shaft,
That burning test of the godhead in our parts,
A lightning from the heights on our abyss.
There it is revealed that the way out of Death for the creation is Love—Love not as it is falsified and deformed in the human consciousness, but Love in its essence and its pure Origin. It is this Love that found the way to manifest through the consciousness and the life of Savitri.
All manifestations of Love in the world have always been deformed and reduced to need and desire. For the first time a human consciousness was capable of manifesting Love in its simple and magnificent purity – the Love that is entirely and totally divine, free from all desire and all selfishness, all narrowness and all egoism; the Love that exists for the joy of loving and is at once giving and receiving at the same time in the same vibration. This is the Supreme Power that is capable of transforming the world and making it ready for the Divine Manifestation.
All in her pointed to a nobler kind.
Near to earth’s wideness, intimate with heaven,
Exalted and swift her young large-visioned spirit
Voyaging through worlds of splendour and of calm
Overflew the ways of Thought to unborn things.
Ardent was her self-poised unstumbling will;
Her mind, a sea of white sincerity,
Passionate in flow, had not one turbid wave.
As in a mystic and dynamic dance
A priestess of immaculate ecstasies
Inspired and ruled from Truth’s revealing vault
Moves in some prophet cavern of the gods,
A heart of silence in the hands of joy
Inhabited with rich creative beats
A body like a parable of dawn
That seemed a niche for veiled divinity
Or golden temple door to things beyond.
It is a description of a being that is not shut up in the small limit of humanity. It contains the Consciousness of the Beyond.
Immortal rhythms swayed in her time-born steps;
Her look, her smile awoke celestial sense
Even in earth-stuff, and their intense delight
Poured a supernal beauty on men’s lives,
A wide self-giving was her native act;
A magnanimity as of sea or sky
Enveloped with its greatness all that came
And gave a sense as of a greatened world:
Her kindly care was a sweet temperate sun,
Her high passion a blue heaven’s equipoise.
As might a soul fly like a hunted bird,
Escaping with tired wings from a world of storms,
And a quiet reach like a remembered breast,
In a haven of safety and splendid soft repose
One could drink life back in streams of honey-fire,
Recover the lost habit of happiness,
Feel her bright nature’s glorious ambience,
And preen joy in her warmth and colour’s rule.
This is the poetic description of Her nature—the nature of Her being that comes from higher and more perfect worlds, the worlds that intend to manifest upon earth but have first to prepare earth in order that she is ready to manifest them. That is just why Savitri has come down to prepare the earth for the coming of the New World.
There is in this description a strong stress on peace and joy, equanimity and a constant smile. The more things are seen in their totality, the more the limitations are overcome, the more time and space become present—the more can the joy be constant and the peace unshakable. It is only the narrow limits created by separativeness that have created this suffering, this anguish and this anger. With the descent of a Higher Consciousness come a happy smile and a quiet peace that are never disturbed.
Sri Aurobindo has announced that Savitri has prepared the world and now the Consciousness that She carried in Herself is come down upon earth and is preparing to manifest.
A deep of compassion, a hushed sanctuary,
Her inward help unbarred a gate in heaven;
Love in her was wider than the universe,
The whole world could take refuge in her single heart.
The great unsatisfied godhead here could dwell:
Vacant of the dwarf self’s imprisoned air
Her mood could harbour his sublimer breath
Spiritual that can make all things divine.
For even her gulfs were secrecies of light.
At once she was the stillness and the word,
A continent of self-diffusing peace,
An ocean of untrembling virgin fire:
The strength, the silence of the gods were hers.
In her he found a vastness like his own,
His high warm subtle ether he refound
And moved in her as in his natural home.
In her he met his own eternity.
This is the description of Love in its essence, not the love that is known upon earth and is so mixed up with many egoistic movements that it has gone beyond all recognition and become only the expression of selfish desires. It is the Love that is as vast as the Universe, equal to all and to everything and asking nothing in exchange for what it gives.
Till then no mournful line had barred this ray.
On the frail breast of this precarious earth,
Since her orbed sight in its breath-fastened house,
Opening in sympathy with happier stars
Where life is not exposed to sorrowful change,
Remembered beauty death-claimed lids ignore
And wondered at this world of fragile forms
Carried on canvas-strips of shimmering Time,
The impunity of unborn Mights was hers.
Although she leaned to bear the human load,
Her walk kept still the measure of the gods.
Earth’s breath had failed to stain that brilliant glass:
Unsmeared with the dust of our mortal atmosphere
It still reflected heaven’s spiritual joy.
Almost they saw who lived within her light
Her playmate in the sempiternal spheres
Descended from its unattainable realms
In her attracting advent’s luminous wake,
The white-fire dragon bird of endless bliss
Drifting with burning wings above her days:
Heaven’s tranquil shield guarded the missioned child.
Although She had accepted the burden of all the earth’s misery, the influence of the Origin was so strong that it could not change in Her this constant Peace, this wide understanding, this universal Love, that was making of Her a Messenger of the Highest Consciousness.
A glowing orbit was her early term,
Years like gold raiment of the gods that pass;
Her youth sat throned in calm felicity.
But joy cannot endure until the end:
There is a darkness in terrestrial things
That will not suffer long too glad a note.
On her too closed the inescapable Hand:
The armed Immortal bore the snare of Time.
The story of the earth is an ascent from darkness and unconsciousness to Light and Consciousness. This journey is, in spite of so many years, just at its beginning still, and only in front of us is the assurance of the Light that will be.
When we look back, we look at so much darkness, suffering, misery, that if we do not have the inner Consciousness and its assurance of future Victory, truly we could say, as so many have said in the past, that to escape misery we must get out of earth-life.
Now Savitri has brought the promise and the certitude that Light will prevail and that misery will go. So this promise we must base our certitude also and advance towards the luminous Future.
One dealt with her who meets the burdened great.
Assigner of the ordeal and the path
Who chooses in this holocaust of the soul
Death, fall and sorrow as the spirit’s goads,
The dubious godhead with his torch of pain
Lit up the chasm of the unfinished world
And called her to fill with her vast self the abyss.
August and pitiless in his calm outlook,
Heightening the Eternal’s dreadful strategy,
He measured the difficulty with the might
And dug more deep the gulf that all must cross.
Assailing her divinest elements,
He made her heart kin to the striving human heart
And forced her strength to its appointed road.
For this she had accepted mortal breath;
To wrestle with the Shadow she had come
And must confront the riddle of man’s birth
And life’s brief struggle in dumb Matter’s night.
Whether to bear with Ignorance and Death
Or hew the ways of Immortality,
To win or lose the godlike game for man,
Was her soul’s issue thrown with Destiny’s dice.
But not to submit and suffer was she born;
To lead, to deliver was her glorious part.
There it is put exactly and clearly: it was like a problem to be solved and She had the Will and the capacity to solve it. She came remembering who She was and with this remembrance She faced the ordeal. This world of miseries, this world of death and suffering must become a world of glorious Light and of Divine Consciousness. Whatever the pain, whatever the ordeal, whatever the length of the trouble, She has come to win and She brings with her the Victory.
Here was no fabric of terrestrial make
Fit for a day’s use by busy careless Powers.
An image fluttering on the screen of fate
Half-animated for a passing show
Or a castaway on the ocean of Desire
Flung to the eddies in a ruthless sport
And tossed along the gulfs of Circumstance,
A creature born to bend beneath the yoke,
A chattel and a plaything of Time’s lords,
Or one more pawn who comes destined to be pushed
One slow move forward on a measureless board
In the chess-play of the earth-soul with Doom,—
Such is the human figure drawn by Time.
This is the description of the usual human being and his powerlessness in front of circumstances. But this was not the case with Savitri who came, keeping conscious in Herself the Origin and the source from which She came.
Men are accustomed to be pushed by circumstances and have only the force of desire or habit, and this force is powerless in front of the Power of the true Force— the governing Force of the Divine.
A conscious frame was here, a self-born Force.
In this enigma of the dusk of God,
This slow and strange uneasy compromise
Of limiting Nature with a limitless Soul,
Where all must move between an ordered Chance
And an uncaring blind Necessity,
Too high the fire spiritual dare not blaze.
If once it met the intense original Flame,
An answering touch might shatter all measures made
And earth sink down with the weight of the Infinite.
This is a magnificent description of what will happen when the true Power will manifest upon earth. She came to prepare earth with the New Consciousness, the Consciousness that will transform the life on earth to make it ready for a New Creation.
If read with the true understanding, this Epic becomes prophetic and announces the events that are beginning to come upon earth.
A gaol is this immense material world.
Across each road stands armed a stone-eyed law,
At every gate the huge dim sentinels pace.
A grey tribunal of the Ignorance,
An Inquisition of the priests of Night
In judgment sit on the adventurer soul,
And the dual tables and the Karmic norm
Restrain the Titan in us and the God:
Pain with its lash, joy with its silver bribe
Guard the Wheel’s circling immobility,
A bond is put in the high climbing mind,
A seal on the too large wide-open heart;
Death stays the journeying discoverer, Life.
Thus is the throne of the Inconscient safe
While the tardy coilings of the aeons pass
And the Animal browses in the sacred fence
And the gold Hawk can cross the skies no more.
This is a very pathetic description of the condition of the world; each effort to pull it out from this condition meets at each step, every moment, this horrible resistance. Not only power is needed but also endurance, self-sacrifice and a patience that can face all ordeals.
But one stood up and lit the limitless flame.
Arraigned by the dark Power that hates all bliss
In the dire court where life must pay for joy,
Sentenced by the mechanic justicer
To the afflicting penalty of man’s hopes,
Her head she bowed not to the stark decree
Baring her helpless heart to destiny’s stroke.
So bows and must the mind-born will in man
Obedient to the statutes fixed of old,
Admitting without appeal the nether gods.
In her the superhuman cast its seed.
Inapt to fold its mighty wings of dream
Her spirit refused to hug the common soil
Or, finding all life’s golden meanings robbed,
Compound with earth, struck from the starry list,
Or quench with black despair the God-given light.
Accustomed to the eternal and the true,
Her being conscious of its divine founts
Asked not from mortal frailty pain’s relief,
Patched not with failure bargain or compromise.
It is only when there is the power to remain in constant contact with the Supreme Consciousness, beyond all these distortions and these black thoughts, that it is possible to maintain the Truth and to keep up the hope and the conviction of a better life.
The Consciousness is there, the faith is there, the clear vision is there. There is only to bear and to last.
A work she had to do, a word to speak;
Writing the unfinished story of her soul
In thoughts and actions graved in Nature’s book,
She accepted not to close the luminous page,
Cancel her commerce with eternity,
Or set a signature of weak ascent
To the brute balance of the world’s exchange.
A force in her that toiled since earth was made,
Accomplishing in life the great world-plan,
Pursuing after death immortal aims,
Repugned to admit frustration’s barren role,
Forfeit the meaning of her birth in Time,
Obey the government of the casual fact
Or yield her high destiny up to passing Chance.
In her own self she found her high recourse;
She matched with the iron law her sovereign right:
Her single will opposed the cosmic rule.
The earth has been chosen for the big work of bringing back the manifested to its Origin. The world has become the symbol of the whole universe and upon the earth the Sovereign Mother has incarnated from the beginning, to hasten the waking up of the world to the consciousness of its Origin.
It is to this Consciousness of the Mother that legend gave the name of Savitri and then the whole story was built.
To stay the wheels of Doom this greatness rose.
At the Unseen’s knock upon the hidden gates
Her strength made greater by the lightning’s touch
Awoke from slumber in her heart’s recess.
It bore the stroke of That which kills and saves.
Across the awful march no eye can see,
Barring its dreadful route no will can change,
She faced the engines of the universe;
A heart stood in the way of the driving wheels:
Its giant workings paused in front of a mind,
Its stark conventions met the flame of a soul.
A magic leverage suddenly is caught
That moves the veiled Ineffable’s timeless will:
A prayer, a master act, a king idea
Can link man’s strength to a transcendent Force.
Then miracle is made the common rule,
One mighty deed can change the course of things;
A lonely thought becomes omnipotent.
The secret of this Power is the unification of the manifested Consciousness with the Original Consciousness, with the Supreme. If this union is total and conscious, there is no limit to the Power manifested. If it is constant, the world can be transformed.
And then, if this is realised, what would take some thousands and thousands of years to be accomplished can be done in a moment.
All now seems Nature’s massed machinery;
An endless servitude to material rule
And long determination’s rigid chain,
Her firm and changeless habits aping Law,
Her empire of unconscious deft device
Annul the claim of man’s free human will.
He too is a machine amid machines;
A piston brain pumps out the shapes of thought,
A beating heart cuts out emotion’s modes;
An insentient energy fabricates a soul.
Or the figure of the world reveals the signs
Of a tied Chance repeating her old steps
In circles around Matters binding-posts.
This is the world as the New Consciousness has found it and still it lingers on, without thinking even of changing. But the time will come when things will change. The time is coming and one must be ready.
A random series of inept events
To which reason lends illusive sense, is here,
Or the empiric Life’s instinctive search,
Or a vast ignorant mind’s colossal work.
But wisdom comes, and vision grows within;
Then Nature’s instrument crowns himself her king;
He feels his witnessing self and conscious power;
His soul steps back and sees the Light supreme.
A Godhead stands behind the brute machine.
This truth broke in in a triumph of fire;
A victory was won for God in man,
The deity revealed its hidden face.
The great World-Mother now in her arose:
A living choice reversed fate’s cold dead turn,
Affirmed the spirit’s tread on Circumstance,
Pressed back the senseless dire revolving Wheel
And stopped the mute march of Necessity.
A flaming warrior from the eternal peaks
Empowered to force the door denied and closed
Smote from Death’s visage its dumb absolute
And burst the bounds of consciousness and Time.
This is just what has happened and is still happening, and, to pick up courage there is only to look in front to a future that is not so far away.
We are slowly but surely coming out of an almost desperate past towards a future full of promise and bringing to a humanity tired, exhausted and almost in despair, the vision of a Realisation that will bring back not only hope but Light, Power and Realisation.
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.
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.
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.
Always, at each step and on each occasion, try to feel the Presence, constantly and untiringly. Forget the results of all the actions, and find the lesson they bring for you. Each action has something to teach. Try to find that instead of being overwhelmed by the cause and effect. For each event, know how to stand back a little, detached, and find the clue that it gives for the progress – the Truth behind each action. One should use to the maximum the occasion that arises, without being externally involved. The external has no value. But also to recognise that it is He who is within, – the Truth of your existence, – who is doing everything for you. And evidently it can only be for the best. Leave everything to Him alone, do nothing, and above all, do not worry. Abandon all to Him. Then you will see the difference, how each step, each event, each word, each sensation, each vibration, in fact, each action, each sentiment, becomes the source, the means to perceive what the Truth is. My child, this is a game which is much more interesting than all other.
Q: What is the work of the psychic being?
Mother: What is the work of the psychic being? You want it to have some work? What do you want to say exactly? What is its function? Ah! very well. One could put it this way, that it is like an electric wire that connects the generator with the lamp. Now, if someone has understood, let him explain what I said!
Q: What is the generator and what the lamp? (Laughter)
Mother: Ah, there we are! So, what is the generator and what the lamp? That is exactly it. What is the generator and what the lamp? Or rather, who is the generator and who is the lamp?
Q: The generator is the Divine and the lamp is the body.
Mother: It is the body, it is the visible being.
So, that is its function. This means that if there were no psychic in Matter, it would not be able to have any direct contact with the Divine. And it is happily due to this psychic presence in Matter that the contact between Matter and the Divine can be direct and all human beings can be told, “You carry the Divine within you, and you have only to enter within yourself and you will find Him.” It is something very particular to the human being or rather to the inhabitants of the earth. In the human being the psychic becomes more conscious, more formed, more conscious and more independent also. It is individualised in human beings. But it is a speciality of the earth. It is a direct infusion, special and redeeming, in the most inconscient and obscure Matter, so that it might once again awake through stages to the divine Consciousness, the divine Presence and finally to the Divine Himself. It is the presence of the psychic which makes man an exceptional being – I don’t like to tell him this very much, because already he thinks too much of himself; he has such a high opinion of himself that it is not necessary to encourage him! But still, this is a fact – so much so that there are beings of other domains of the universe, those called by some people demigods and even gods, beings, for instance, of what Sri Aurobindo calls the Overmind, who are very eager to take a physical body on earth to have the experience of the psychic, for they don’t have it. These beings certainly have many qualities that men don’t, but they lack this divine presence, which is altogether exceptional and exists only on the earth and nowhere else. All these inhabitants of the higher worlds, the Higher Mind, Overmind and other regions have no psychic being. Of course, the beings of the vital worlds don’t have it either. But these latter don’t regret it they don’t want it. There are only those very rare ones, quite exceptional, who want to be converted, and for this they act without delay, they immediately take a physical body. The others don’t want it; it is something, which binds them and constrains them to a rule they do not want.
But it is a fact, so I am obliged to state that this is how it is, that it is an exceptional quality of the human being to carry within himself the psychic and, truly speaking, he does not take full advantage from it. He does not seem to consider this quality as something very, very desirable, from the way he treats this presence – exactly that! He prefers to it the ideas of his mind, prefers the desires of his vital being and the habits of his physical.
I don’t know how many of you have read the Bible; it is not very entertaining to read it, and besides, it is very long, but still, in the Bible there is a story I have always liked very much. There were two brothers, if I am not mistaken, Esau and Jacob. Well, Esau was very hungry, that’s the story, isn’t it? I believe he was a hunter or something; anyway, the story goes like this. He came back home very hungry, and told Jacob he was very hungry, and he was so hungry that he said to him, “Listen, if you give me your mess of pottage” (Jacob had prepared some stew), “if you give me your mess of pottage I will give you my birthright.” You know, one can understand the story quite superficially, but it has a very profound meaning: the birthright is the right of being the son of God. And so he was quite ready to give up his divine right because he was hungry, for a concrete, material thing, for food. This is a very old story, but it is eternally true.
The psychic self-control that is desirable in these surroundings and in the midst of discussion would mean among other things:
1. Not to allow the impulse of speech to assert itself too much or say anything without reflection, but to speak always with a conscious control and only what is necessary and helpful.
2. To avoid all debate, dispute or too animated discussion and simply say what has to be said and leave it there. There should also be no insistence that you are right and the others wrong, but what is said should only be thrown in as a contribution to the consideration of the truth of the matter. I notice that what you report X as having said in this discussion had its truth and what you said was also true, so that really there should have been no dispute.
3. To keep the tone of speech and the wording very quiet and calm and uninsistent.
4. Not to mind at all if others are heated and dispute, but remain quiet and undisturbed and yourself speak only what can help things to be smooth again.
5. If there is gossip about others and harsh criticism (especially about sadhaks), not to join — for these things are helpful in no way and only lower the consciousness from its higher level.
6. To avoid all that would hurt or wound others.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 31, Page 87