Loretta reads Savitri:One.III "The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul's Release" part 3

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AurovilleRadio-logo-pop.png Savitri: Book One, Canto III, part 3 of 4
by Loretta, 2015 (23:16)

Savitri Book 1 Canto III icon.jpg  Loretta reads Savitri
Book One: The Book of Beginnings
Canto III: The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul's Release
Part 3 of 4, pages 34-39
Loretta Savitri single icon.png

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We're going to continue to follow King Aswapati as he's achieving his own spiritual self-fulfilment. Sri Aurobindo is calling it “a psycho-spiritual transformation”.[1]

Now that the king has achieved higher states, they need to become stabilized and permanent in his being. At first the higher states could not stay. And his greater consciousness withdrew behind. But “always the power poured back like sudden rain” (p.35). Each time he was able to rise again, it was to a higher place, until finally he did stabilize, and Sri Aurobindo says, he “won a firm[er] spiritual poise” (p.35).

But the work is not over – not Aswapati's work, and not the work of the great spiritual powers that are shaping him.

In the first part of this canto, we saw:

The cosmic Worker set his secret hand
To turn this frail mud-engine [that we are] to heaven-use. (p.24)

A Presence worked. And “the Craftsman of the magic stuff of self ... Modelled in inward Time his rhythmic parts” (p.25). Now Sri Aurobindo speaks of “the formless Power, the Self of eternal light”, who:

...comes unseen into our darker parts
And, curtained by the darkness, does his work” (p.34)

Aswapati is now at the point when his own force can really work; and his force worked on himself, and:

As a sculptor chisels a deity out of stone
He slowly chipped off [his] dark envelope (p.36)

Then other powers come to work in him: “The ambiguous cowled celestial puissance worked” (p.37), watched by Aswapati's absolutely still witness consciousness. “The intense creatrix in his stillness wrought” (p.38).

A traveller between summit and abyss,
She joined the distant ends, the viewless deeps (p.39)

And she revealed “the mystic Truth” (p.39).

All the while these things were being done in the king, he attained greater and greater heights of realization and power. In this part of Canto III, Sri Aurobindo speaks of illumination, of knowledge, and of wisdom for the king to be having great realizations.

Mother and Sri Aurobindo always said that a disciple could not do the work of the Yoga by themself. The disciples were always being told to surrender to a higher power. And Sri Aurobindo often spoke of surrendering to the Mother, the great power of the universe, at this point that she's come just for the transformation itself – and that she alone can do the work in the sadhak.

Here in this canto, Sri Aurobindo has described some of the ways that the higher powers work in us. And we know that he wrote Savitri out of his own experiences and Mother's experiences. And of course they advised the sadhaks out of their own experiences.

Richard Hartz from the Ashram Archives has sent us two things from Sri Aurobindo's own diary, the Record of Yoga. These things have some correspondence to things that Sri Aurobindo has written about Aswapati's yoga. The first one comes after the king has attained stability and permanence in keeping the higher states.

Sri Aurobindo has also written about the king having illuminations, and insights, and realsations – but so far, he has not told us what they are. Here in this part of Sri Aurobindo's diary, we can see some of Sri Aurobindo's own attainments and his own realisations.

And the first one starts like this, in Savitri:

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. (p.36)

And then Sri Aurobindo writes about himself, in the Record of Yoga, on the 26th of June of 1914:

The realisation of the One and Only as the self-existent consciousness and universal knowledge is now adding itself to the realisation of the One & Infinite as a constant manifestation in the consciousness. Bliss is behind.
The One as pure Being is always the base, but the Infinite manifests normally in the pure Existence, direct and divine knowledge now manifests less actively, but still normally in the Bliss. The Non-being One is behind & varies between bliss-filled Non-being in its purity, which is always bliss-filled, & the Negation of things in the mind & the life energies which is indifference or joylessness. The Non-Being in the body is Death.”[2]

So as Aswapati's sadhana and his change is going on, and he is – his higher and lower self are being illumined, and high wisdom is coming into his consciousness, Sri Aurobindo writes:

The voices that an inner listening hears
Conveyed to him their prophet utterances,
And flame-wrapped outbursts of the immortal Word
And flashes of an occult revealing Light
Approached him from the unreachable Secrecy. (p.37)

And on the 13th of January, 1912, Sri Aurobindo writes:

“The Word from above that announces appears as that of an Angel of God, controlling, but aware of the derivative nature of the control & allowing the Word to flow through her. The derivative control of the world by Angels, Powers, Gods, great souls announced by this message from above preceded by a blowing of trumpets in the world of supreme Bliss.”[3]

So now we come to this part of Savitri.

      Only awhile 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 pose 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.
For into 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 p.35
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.
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. p.36
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.
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. p.37
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 cowled 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.
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-wrapped 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, p.38
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.
      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.
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. p.39
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 wrapped 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.