Loretta reads Savitri:Three.III "The House of the Spirit and the New Creation" part 1

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Transcript of:
Savitri: Book Three, Canto III (part 1 of 3)
by Loretta, 2017 (45:29)
Listen on Auroville Radio →

Savitri Book 3 Canto III icon.jpg  Loretta reads Savitri
Book Three: The Book of the Divine Mother
Canto III: The House of the Spirit and the New Creation
Part 1 of 3, pages 317-322
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The traveller of the worlds has attained the boundless silence of the Self. His separate self has joined its mighty origin, and his mind is completely silent ‒ it can no longer rule him. From that state, he moves beyond the silent self ‒ the infinite, eternal cause of all ‒ but he doesn't really move. Now that he's ready, the Divine Mother, the supreme Power of the supreme Master, comes to him. He feels her rapturous and unstumbling force, and experiences the undying truth and the invincible power of all that is forever made and then destroyed in the creation.

Suddenly, he knows that our life is confirmed in the Divine Mother alone ‒ because our life is transformed in her alone. And all “other claims ... hushed in him their cry” (p.316). All he wanted was her. All he wanted was her presence and power, to come to heal the suffering world. All he wanted was her presence and power in his heart, in his mind, and in his breathing frame ‒ in his very physical body. “His soul was freed and given to her alone” (p.316).

As we've gone along from canto to canto, we've seen the king loosening himself more and more from all mental influence. When he finally achieved a silent mind, and he was no longer under the control of the mental processes which control us all, he could then attain the silence of the self; and once he was there, he was prepared to receive the Divine Mother's light and bliss. And he could know something of who she is.

But what about us? Our mind, by its nature, is a sending and receiving instrument ‒ a little instrument which cuts things down to its own size; and which, as we have seen, distorts things to our own bias. So our mind tells us stories that we've somehow programmed. So, what if we are silent ‒ what do we do then? How do we get this silence, and what practical function does silence of the mind mean to someone here in our daily life?

Because here, our mind isn't silent. We're at the mercy of the sending and receiving. We're at the mercy of the thoughts which come in; and then we're at the mercy of the thoughts we can't control, and which interfere with what comes in. And so in fact, we're really living in our own world, created by our mind.

And yet, Sri Aurobindo and Mother teach that once we've attained any union with the highest, we don't abandon our life, run away with the silent mind ‒ we don't stay only in an inner realization. We have to bring our progress back into our daily consciousness. With this progress, we transform ourselves, our daily consciousness; and then, with our progress, we have to transform our world.

So what can we do? How do we get there? Mother has described one of the ways we can. She's explained a way we can be in our mind, to achieve the silence of the mind, and also when we have achieved the silence of the mind. Here is Mother's very beautiful teaching:

“Our house has a very high tower; at the very top of that tower there is a bright and bare room, the last one before we emerge into the open air, into the full light.
Sometimes, when we are at leisure to do so, we climb up to this bright room, and there, if we remain very quiet, one or more visitors call on us; some are tall, others small, some single, others in groups; all are bright and graceful.
Usually, in our joy at their arrival and in our haste to receive them well, we lose our tranquillity and come galloping down to rush into the large hall which forms the base of the tower and which is the store-room of words. Here, more or less excited, we select, reject, assemble, combine, disarrange, rearrange all the words within our reach in an attempt to transcribe this or that visitor who has come to us. But most often the picture we succeed in making of her is more like a caricature than a portrait.
And yet if we were wiser, we would remain up there at the summit of the tower, quite still, in joyful contemplation. Then, after a certain length of time, we would see the visitors themselves descending slowly, gracefully, calmly, without losing anything of their elegance or their beauty and, as they cross the store-room of words, clothing themselves effortlessly, automatically, with the words needed to make them perceptible even in the material house.”[1]

Here, where we're starting Canto III, we already get a hint of what the king will realize, by the name of the canto: “The House of the Spirit and the New Creation”. This canto is quite long, and it naturally divides itself into three parts. So today in the first part, we have the king, as he continues his yoga sadhana. You would think that he would have finished having to work on himself by now (!) ‒ but there is still something else to do, as we will see.

And we will also see that although the king has attained the silence of the self, and then moved on, to move further on he will again have to be in the silent self in another place. (Or perhaps we could say, ‘from another place’.) The king has to do it; and we also have to do it if we want to purify our own being enough to realize who we really are, and what the creation is really like.

And there are people who have that flame burning within them, to really want to know. Sri Aurobindo writes about the king's need for more yoga practice this way:

In the texture of our bound humanity
He felt the stark resistance huge and dumb
Of our inconscient and unseeing base,
The stubborn mute rejection in life’s depths,
The ignorant No in the origin of things. (p.317)

And there we are ‒ that ignorant No is in all of us; it's our origin, it's from the Inconscient from which everything came out. This ignorant No is the rejection in the depths of our life, which we do automatically. And mostly we don't know we're doing it, until we start to look at ourselves. And then, one by one, the different ‘No’s, the different resistances, the different rejections, start to show themselves to our consciousness. And Sri Aurobindo writes further:

A veiled collaboration with the Night
Even in himself survived and hid from his view:
Still something in his earthly being kept
Its kinship with the Inconscient whence it came.
A shadowy unity with a vanished past
Treasured in an old-world frame was lurking there (p.317)

There are people who are trying to do Sri Aurobindo's Yoga who have this experience: who in their inner vision, see old ways ‒ see them somehow as ‘frames’ of things, almost physically, frames of things in their inner vision. So we know that Sri Aurobindo's experience, as he's describing it here, is also the experience of other people ‒ by knowing their experience too.

So the part of Canto III today is about what the king has to do, and then how a result does come to him. And then, wonderful as that result is, there is still more ‒ because he has to go on. We will see that his being spreads to embrace the universe; that he grows to be “one flesh and nerve with all that lives” (p.319). He reaches a consciousness of the spirit's secret unity in all. Finally, the king stands:

...fulfilled on the world’s highest line
Awaiting the ascent beyond the world,
Awaiting the descent the world to save.

So, in more simple words, he waits to rise to the highest he can reach; and then he'll come back into the world, changed by his realization. And he will use it to work, to change the world.

At that level where he was, there was no cleavage between soul and soul: a unity level of consciousness. And again his seeking mind ceased. This time it ceased in the Truth that knows. And then in the king, the last movement died, and all was still. “Infinity swallowed him into shoreless trance” (p.320)

And finally the king reached his infinite, eternal, sempiternal base. He abode in his shoreless self; and once again he became the unborn self that never dies. And here, Sri Aurobindo uses this to describe our own life for us. He contrasts what's going on here with the eternal self ‒ the silent self ‒ from which all comes.

Then the king's being is silent. A universal force waits... waits... waits for the “Transcendent’s ultimate decree” (p.322).

So now, Book Three: The Book of the Divine Mother, Canto III: “The House of the Spirit and the New Creation” (the first part).

Canto Three
The House of the Spirit and the New Creation
A mightier task remained than all he had done.
To That he turned from which all being comes,
A sign attending from the Secrecy
Which knows the Truth ungrasped behind our thoughts
And guards the world with its all-seeing gaze.
In the unapproachable stillness of his soul,
Intense, one-pointed, monumental, lone,
Patient he sat like an incarnate hope
Motionless on a pedestal of prayer.
A strength he sought that was not yet on earth,
Help from a Power too great for mortal will,
The light of a Truth now only seen afar,
A sanction from his high omnipotent Source.
But from the appalling heights there stooped no voice;
The timeless lids were closed; no opening came.
A neutral helpless void oppressed the years.
In the texture of our bound humanity
He felt the stark resistance huge and dumb
Of our inconscient and unseeing base,
The stubborn mute rejection in life’s depths,
The ignorant No in the origin of things.
A veiled collaboration with the Night
Even in himself survived and hid from his view:
Still something in his earthly being kept
Its kinship with the Inconscient whence it came.
A shadowy unity with a vanished past
Treasured in an old-world frame was lurking there,
Secret, unnoted by the illumined mind,
And in subconscious whispers and in dream
Still murmured at the mind’s and spirit’s choice.
Its treacherous elements spread like slippery grains
Hoping the incoming Truth might stumble and fall, p.318
And old ideal voices wandering moaned
And pleaded for a heavenly leniency
To the gracious imperfections of our earth
And the sweet weaknesses of our mortal state.
This now he willed to discover and exile,
The element in him betraying God.
All Nature’s recondite spaces were stripped bare,
All her dim crypts and corners searched with fire
Where refugee instincts and unshaped revolts
Could shelter find in darkness’ sanctuary
Against the white purity of heaven’s cleansing flame.
All seemed to have perished that was undivine:
Yet some minutest dissident might escape
And still a centre lurk of the blind force.
For the Inconscient too is infinite;
The more its abysses we insist to sound,
The more it stretches, stretches endlessly.
Then lest a human cry should spoil the Truth
He tore desire up from its bleeding roots
And offered to the gods the vacant place.
Thus could he bear the touch immaculate.
A last and mightiest transformation came.
His soul was all in front like a great sea
Flooding the mind and body with its waves;
His being, spread to embrace the universe,
United the within and the without
To make of life a cosmic harmony,
An empire of the immanent Divine.
In this tremendous universality
Not only his soul-nature and mind-sense
Included every soul and mind in his,
But even the life of flesh and nerve was changed
And grew one flesh and nerve with all that lives;
He felt the joy of others as his joy,
He bore the grief of others as his grief;
His universal sympathy upbore, p.319
Immense like ocean, the creation’s load
As earth upbears all beings’ sacrifice,
Thrilled with the hidden Transcendent’s joy and peace.
There was no more division’s endless scroll;
One grew the Spirit’s secret unity,
All Nature felt again the single bliss.
There was no cleavage between soul and soul,
There was no barrier between world and God.
Overpowered were form and memory’s limiting line;
The covering mind was seized and torn apart;
It was dissolved and now no more could be,
The one Consciousness that made the world was seen;
All now was luminosity and force.
Abolished in its last thin fainting trace
The circle of the little self was gone;
The separate being could no more be felt;
It disappeared and knew itself no more,
Lost in the spirit’s wide identity.
His nature grew a movement of the All,
Exploring itself to find that all was He,
His soul was a delegation of the All
That turned from itself to join the one Supreme.
Transcended was the human formula;
Man’s heart that had obscured the Inviolable
Assumed the mighty beating of a god’s;
His seeking mind ceased in the Truth that knows;
His life was a flow of the universal life.
He stood fulfilled on the world’s highest line
Awaiting the ascent beyond the world,
Awaiting the descent the world to save.
A Splendour and a Symbol wrapped the earth,
Serene epiphanies looked and hallowed vasts
Surrounded, wise infinitudes were close
And bright remotenesses leaned near and kin.
Sense failed in that tremendous lucency;
Ephemeral voices from his hearing fell p.320
And Thought potent no more sank large and pale
Like a tired god into mysterious seas.
The robes of mortal thinking were cast down
Leaving his knowledge bare to absolute sight;
Fate’s driving ceased and Nature’s sleepless spur:
The athlete heavings of the will were stilled
In the Omnipotent’s unmoving peace.
Life in his members lay down vast and mute;
Naked, unwalled, unterrified it bore
The immense regard of Immortality.
The last movement died and all at once grew still.
A weight that was the unseen Transcendent’s hand
Laid on his limbs the Spirit’s measureless seal,
Infinity swallowed him into shoreless trance.
      As one who sets his sail towards mysteried shores
Driven through huge oceans by the breath of God,
The fathomless below, the unknown around,
His soul abandoned the blind star-field, Space.
Afar from all that makes the measured world,
Plunging to hidden eternities it withdrew
Back from mind’s foaming surface to the Vasts
Voiceless within us in omniscient sleep.
Above the imperfect reach of word and thought,
Beyond the sight that seeks support of form,
Lost in deep tracts of superconscient Light,
Or voyaging in blank featureless Nothingness,
Sole in the trackless Incommensurable,
Or past not-self and self and selflessness,
Transgressing the dream-shores of conscious mind
He reached at last his sempiternal base.
On sorrowless heights no winging cry disturbs,
Pure and untouched above this mortal play
Is spread the spirit’s hushed immobile air.
There no beginning is and there no end;
There is the stable force of all that moves; p.321
There the aeonic labourer is at rest.
There turns no keyed creation in the void,
No giant mechanism watched by a soul;
There creaks no fate-turned huge machinery;
The marriage of evil with good within one breast,
The clash of strife in the very clasp of love,
The dangerous pain of life’s experiment
In the values of Inconsequence and Chance,
The peril of mind’s gamble, throwing our lives
As stake in a wager of indifferent gods
And the shifting lights and shadows of the idea
Falling upon the surface consciousness,
And in the dream of a mute witness soul
Creating the error of a half-seen world
Where knowledge is a seeking ignorance,
Life’s steps a stumbling series without suit,
Its aspect of fortuitous design,
Its equal measure of the true and false
In that immobile and immutable realm
Find no access, no cause, no right to live:
There only reigns the spirit’s motionless power
Poised in itself through still eternity
And its omniscient and omnipotent peace.
Thought clashes not with thought and truth with truth,
There is no war of right with rival right;
There are no stumbling and half-seeing lives
Passing from chance to unexpected chance,
No suffering of hearts compelled to beat
In bodies of the inert Inconscient’s make.
Armed with the immune occult unsinking Fire
The guardians of Eternity keep its law
For ever fixed upon Truth’s giant base
In her magnificent and termless home.
There Nature on her dumb spiritual couch
Immutably transcendent knows her source
And to the stir of multitudinous worlds p.322
Assents unmoved in a perpetual calm.
All-causing, all-sustaining and aloof,
The Witness looks from his unshaken poise,
An Eye immense regarding all things done.
Apart, at peace above creation’s stir,
Immersed in the eternal altitudes,
He abode defended in his shoreless self,
Companioned only by the all-seeing One.
A Mind too mighty to be bound by Thought,
A Life too boundless for the play in Space,
A Soul without borders unconvinced of Time,
He felt the extinction of the world’s long pain,
He became the unborn Self that never dies,
He joined the sessions of Infinity.
On the cosmic murmur primal loneliness fell,
Annulled was the contact formed with time-born things,
Empty grew Nature’s wide community.
All things were brought back to their formless seed,
The world was silent for a cyclic hour.
Although the afflicted Nature he had left
Maintained beneath him her broad numberless fields,
Her enormous act, receding, failed remote
As if a soulless dream at last had ceased.
No voice came down from the high Silences,
None answered from her desolate solitudes.
A stillness of cessation reigned, the wide
Immortal hush before the gods are born;
A universal Force awaited, mute,
The veiled Transcendent’s ultimate decree.

  1. On Education, p.186