Loretta reads Savitri:One.III "The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul's Release" part 4

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AurovilleRadio-logo-pop.png Savitri: Book One, Canto III, part 4 of 4
by Loretta, 2015 (22:08)


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 4 of 4, pages 39-45
Loretta Savitri single icon.png

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Now Aswapati, the great yogi and king, is completing his own spiritual self-fulfilment, his psycho-spiritual transformation. Afterwards, he will go on to other things, but this is his personal movement. Towards the end of this part of Canto III, Sri Aurobindo writes:

Thus came his soul’s release from Ignorance,
His mind and body’s first spiritual change. (p.44)

And here, in this last part of the canto, we'll mostly see the great things that Aswapati experiences, and the incredible things that he sees and knows.

We have seen how the different forces have shaped him. And that's mostly over, but Sri Aurobindo tells us about one last power that works to change him. And he says:

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. (p.41)

As Aswapati's experiences increase and increase, and his powers increase and increase, Sri Aurobindo says:

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. (p.42)

And then Sri Aurobindo speaks a little bit about a change in the physical body's consciousness. He says:

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 (p.43)

Richard found us this entry in the Record of Yoga on December 18th, 1912, where Sri Aurobindo relates his own experience: his subtle body's laws are now able to function in his physical substance. And this is what he says:

“This defect of subtlety in the mere physical substance continues, but has no real effect, because the life sheath of the vital body & the physical nervous system liberates itself more & more from the mere physical experiences & accepts more & more the law of the subtle body.”[1]

Here in this canto, we have one of the few rare times that Sri Aurobindo uses the words 'Overmind' or 'Supermind' in Savitri. Here he writes 'Overmind', and he uses it in a context which indicates that the Supermind is beyond the Overmind. He writes here:

The radiant world of the everlasting Truth
Glimmered like a faint star bordering the night
Above the golden Overmind’s shimmering ridge. (p.41)

After Sri Aurobindo's experience of Krishna consciousness, and his attaining of the very great spiritual goal on November 24th, 1926 – at which time he retired to his room, and didn't come out again but continued only doing his sadhana in his room – he wrote in his diary on January 16th, 1927 (a little over three weeks later), he wrote this:

“The divine power working out of the supreme Self in the union of telepathy, knowledge of the past, present and future, and the concentration of the power of consciousness, that which is above the Telepathic and above the willed, direct knowledge of the past, present and future (the perfection of the knowledge of the past, present and future) and above the combination of these things, is beginning to manifest but only as a kind of occasional point or star above the mass movement.”[2]

Sri Aurobindo uses two particular words which are not too familiar in spoken English. One is French. He says that:

Left in the chantiers of the bottomless world
And stolen by the robbers of the Deep,
The golden shekels of the Eternal lie (p.42)

Most people are familiar with the word 'shekel', which is a word used in ancient times for 'coins'; but the place they are left, called 'chantiers', is somewhat surprising. 'Chantier' means a building site; it means something like a shipyard. And it's also used in a phrase: 'L'etre chantier', which means 'to get things started'. So it gives this sentence that he writes in this canto a very particular meaning.

Then Sri Aurobindo says that these golden shekels are locked away from men “in blind antres of the ignorant flood” (p.42). 'Antres' is in the English dictionary, and it means 'caves'. In the end of this canto, when Sri Aurobindo describes what Aswapati is now doing, it sounds like his own work here. He says Aswapati lived in spirit's immensities, and that he was:

A demigod shaping the lives of men:
One soul’s ambition lifted up the race;
A Power worked, but none knew whence it came. (p.44)

And he also says,

He made great dreams a mould for coming things
And cast his deeds like bronze to front the years. (p.45)

So here we are in the last part of Canto III.


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: p.40
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.
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, p.41
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.
Hardly for a moment glimpsed viewless to Mind,
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.
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.
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 p.42
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.
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. p.43
Life kept no more a dull and meaningless shape.
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 an unseen necessity
The game of chance 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.
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 p.44
And lost life’s incapacity for bliss.
All now suppressed in us began to emerge.
      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.
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. p.45
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.
END OF CANTO THREE




  1. Record of Yoga, p.156
  2. Ibid., p.1254