Loretta reads Savitri:One.IV "The Secret Knowledge" part 5
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book One: The Book of Beginnings
Canto IV: The Secret Knowledge
Part 5 of 5, pages 66-73
Sri Aurobindo continues here with the two-who-are-one, but in a much less concentrated way. He tells us how the Master of existence becomes all of us. And his journey back to become only himself, but also us at the same time.
At the end, he brings us to ourselves in a sense, because he tells a story of spiritual growth and progress, by using a story of a sailor whose boat carries him through life to spiritual birth. The boat is the sailor's own physical body in which he has taken birth – or you can say in which the Master of existence has taken birth, and made the body of course. And he makes his way, and eventually he finds out who he is.
At the very end, we end with the two-who-are-one in a very soft way, because Sri Aurobindo has brought us from pure, high relationship of the Master and Mother of creation, down into ourselves (although they are still there).
Richard has sent us a quotation from the Record of Yoga, showing Sri Aurobindo's own progress to have the consciousness of the two-who-are-one. It's an entry of 22nd December, 1914. And it's very cryptic; it has really brief notations including the Sanskrit words – so after I substituted Sri Aurobindo's English language definitions of these Sanskrit words, I found that I had to add words to make whole sentences. To make it make sense. Just small words, like “but”, or “in all”, or something like that. But if you want to see the original, of course you'll find it at December 22nd 1914 in the Record of Yoga.
So here he writes:
- Dec 22
- Intensity of the Transcendent as all-in-all in all beings, (but as yet only the transcendent & his force, not yet a complete union of the two sides of the duality in human beings).
- The One – the Master & his Power seen as one intensity begins in things & animals. It has begun also in human beings.
- Also pervading the extension of the Absolute in Ether, Air, Water etc
- It is the full joy & plenitude of the conscious existence illuminating also the inert & the void.
- The difficulty that remains is to harmonise the perception of the ordinary egoistic consciousness with the perception of the complete union of the two sides of the duality. The former is a subordinate mode of the latter [complete union] and it must be seen as a lesser conscience in the Integrality. It is so seen, but the difficulty is that the egoistic conscience presents itself first & translates itself into the Integral or the mass of the Integral comes first & the mental egoistic has then to be distinguished in it – the two must be simultaneous, not exclusive.
We have another one of Sri Aurobindo's experiences of the two-who-are-one: he's written a sonnet about the creation. And in this case it's about how the two-who-are-one create the universe and man, and then move on to spirit and oneness in their creation. He writes about the mighty dance of Shiva. And Shiva is known for centuries, in Indian philosophy and practice, as the god of destruction of falsehood. His dance is usually known to destroy what must be removed from the creation. And Mother had said that Shiva is the Lord of Transformation, because this is the work that he does.
So we have the mighty dance of Shiva and his power, Shakti, in a sonnet that Sri Aurobindo simply calls “Shiva”:
- “On the white summit of eternity
- A single Soul of bare infinities,
- Guarded he keeps by a fire-screen of peace
- His mystic loneliness of nude ecstasy.
- But, touched by an immense delight to be,
- He looks across unending depths and sees
- Musing amid the inconscient silences
- The Mighty Mother’s dumb felicity.
- “Half now awake she rises to his glance;
- Then, moved to circling by her heart-beats’ will,
- The rhythmic worlds describe that passion-dance.
- Then, moved to circling by her heart-beats’ will,
- Life springs in her and Mind is born; her face
- She lifts to Him who is Herself, until
- The Spirit leaps into the Spirit’s embrace.”
- She lifts to Him who is Herself, until
So here we have the last part of this canto.
… The master of existence lurks in us And plays at hide-and-seek with his own Force; In Nature’s instrument loiters secret God. The Immanent lives in man as in his house; He has made the universe his pastime’s field, A vast gymnasium of his works of might. All-knowing he accepts our darkened state, Divine, wears shapes of animal or man; Eternal, he assents to Fate and Time, Immortal, dallies with mortality. The All-Conscious ventured into Ignorance, The All-Blissful bore to be insensible. p.67 Incarnate in a world of strife and pain, He puts on joy and sorrow like a robe And drinks experience like a strengthening wine. He whose transcendence rules the pregnant Vasts, Prescient now dwells in our subliminal depths, A luminous individual Power, alone. The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone Has called out of the Silence his mute Force Where she lay in the featureless and formless hush Guarding from Time by her immobile sleep The ineffable puissance of his solitude. The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone Has entered with his silence into space: He has fashioned these countless persons of one self; He has built a million figures of his power; He lives in all, who lived in his Vast alone; Space is himself and Time is only he. The Absolute, the Perfect, the Immune, One who is in us as our secret self, Our mask of imperfection has assumed, He has made this tenement of flesh his own, His image in the human measure cast That to his divine measure we might rise; Then in a figure of divinity The Maker shall recast us and impose A plan of godhead on the mortal’s mould Lifting our finite minds to his infinite, Touching the moment with eternity. This transfiguration is earth’s due to heaven: A mutual debt binds man to the Supreme: His nature we must put on as he put ours; We are sons of God and must be even as he: His human portion, we must grow divine. Our life is a paradox with God for key. But meanwhile all is a shadow cast by a dream p.68 And to the musing and immobile spirit Life and himself don the aspect of a myth, The burden of a long unmeaning tale. For the key is hid and by the Inconscient kept; The secret God beneath the threshold dwells. In a body obscuring the immortal Spirit A nameless Resident vesting unseen powers With Matter’s shapes and motives beyond thought And the hazard of an unguessed consequence, An omnipotent indiscernible Influence, He sits, unfelt by the form in which he lives And veils his knowledge by the groping mind. A wanderer in a world his thoughts have made, He turns in a chiaroscuro of error and truth To find a wisdom that on high is his. As one forgetting he searches for himself; As if he had lost an inner light he seeks: As a sojourner lingering amid alien scenes He journeys to a home he knows no more. His own self’s truth he seeks who is the Truth; He is the Player who became the play, He is the Thinker who became the thought; He is the many who was the silent One. In the symbol figures of the cosmic Force And in her living and inanimate signs And in her complex tracery of events He explores the ceaseless miracle of himself, Till the thousandfold enigma has been solved In the single light of an all-witnessing Soul. This was his compact with his mighty mate, For love of her and joined to her for ever To follow the course of Time’s eternity, Amid magic dramas of her sudden moods And the surprises of her masked Idea And the vicissitudes of her vast caprice. Two seem his goals, yet ever are they one p.69 And gaze at each other over bourneless Time; Spirit and Matter are their end and source. A seeker of hidden meanings in life’s forms, Of the great Mother’s wide uncharted will And the rude enigma of her terrestrial ways He is the explorer and the mariner On a secret inner ocean without bourne: He is the adventurer and cosmologist Of a magic earth’s obscure geography. In her material order’s fixed design Where all seems sure and, even when changed, the same, Even though the end is left for ever unknown And ever unstable is life’s shifting flow, His paths are found for him by silent fate; As stations in the ages’ weltering flood Firm lands appear that tempt and stay awhile, Then new horizons lure the mind’s advance. There comes no close to the finite’s boundlessness, There is no last certitude in which thought can pause And no terminus to the soul’s experience. A limit, a farness never wholly reached, An unattained perfection calls to him From distant boundaries in the Unseen: A long beginning only has been made. This is the sailor on the flow of Time, p.70 This is World-Matter’s slow discoverer, Who, launched into this small corporeal birth, Has learned his craft in tiny bays of self, But dares at last unplumbed infinitudes, A voyager upon eternity’s seas. In his world-adventure’s crude initial start Behold him ignorant of his godhead’s force, Timid initiate of its vast design. An expert captain of a fragile craft, A trafficker in small impermanent wares, At first he hugs the shore and shuns the breadths, Dares not to affront the far-off perilous main. He in a petty coastal traffic plies, His pay doled out from port to neighbour port, Content with his safe round’s unchanging course, He hazards not the new and the unseen. But now he hears the sound of larger seas. A widening world calls him to distant scenes And journeyings in a larger vision’s arc And peoples unknown and still unvisited shores. On a commissioned keel his merchant hull Serves the world’s commerce in the riches of Time Severing the foam of a great land-locked sea To reach unknown harbour lights in distant climes And open markets for life’s opulent arts, Rich bales, carved statuettes, hued canvases, And jewelled toys brought for an infant’s play And perishable products of hard toil And transient splendours won and lost by the days. Or passing through a gate of pillar-rocks, Venturing not yet to cross oceans unnamed And journey into a dream of distances He travels close to unfamiliar coasts And finds new haven in storm-troubled isles, Or, guided by a sure compass in his thought, He plunges through a bright haze that hides the stars, Steering on the trade-routes of Ignorance. His prow pushes towards undiscovered shores, He chances on unimagined continents: A seeker of the islands of the Blest, He leaves the last lands, crosses the ultimate seas, He turns to eternal things his symbol quest; Life changes for him its time-constructed scenes, Its images veiling infinity. Earth’s borders recede and the terrestrial air Hangs round him no longer its translucent veil. p.71 He has crossed the limit of mortal thought and hope, He has reached the world’s end and stares beyond; The eyes of mortal body plunge their gaze Into Eyes that look upon eternity. A greater world Time’s traveller must explore. At last he hears a chanting on the heights And the far speaks and the unknown grows near: He crosses the boundaries of the unseen And passes over the edge of mortal sight To a new vision of himself and things. He is a spirit in an unfinished world That knows him not and cannot know itself: The surface symbol of his goalless quest Takes deeper meanings to his inner view; His is a search of darkness for the light, Of mortal life for immortality. In the vessel of an earthly embodiment Over the narrow rails of limiting sense He looks out on the magic waves of Time Where mind like a moon illumines the world’s dark. There is limned ever retreating from the eyes, As if in a tenuous misty dream-light drawn, The outline of a dim mysterious shore. A sailor on the Inconscient’s fathomless sea, He voyages through a starry world of thought On Matter’s deck to a spiritual sun. Across the noise and multitudinous cry, Across the rapt unknowable silences, Through a strange mid-world under supernal skies, Beyond earth’s longitudes and latitudes, His goal is fixed outside all present maps. But none learns whither through the unknown he sails Or what secret mission the great Mother gave. In the hidden strength of her omnipotent Will, Driven by her breath across life’s tossing deep, Through the thunder’s roar and through the windless hush, p.72 Through fog and mist where nothing more is seen, He carries her sealed orders in his breast. Late will he know, opening the mystic script, Whether to a blank port in the Unseen He goes or, armed with her fiat, to discover A new mind and body in the city of God And enshrine the Immortal in his glory’s house And make the finite one with Infinity. Across the salt waste of the endless years Her ocean winds impel his errant boat, The cosmic waters plashing as he goes, A rumour around him and danger and a call. Always he follows in her force’s wake. He sails through life and death and other life, He travels on through waking and through sleep. A power is on him from her occult force That ties him to his own creation’s fate, And never can the mighty Traveller rest And never can the mystic voyage cease Till the nescient dusk is lifted from man’s soul And the morns of God have overtaken his night. As long as Nature lasts, he too is there, For this is sure that he and she are one; Even when he sleeps, he keeps her on his breast: Whoever leaves her, he will not depart To repose without her in the Unknowable. There is a truth to know, a work to do; Her play is real; a Mystery he fulfils: There is a plan in the Mother’s deep world-whim, A purpose in her vast and random game. This ever she meant since the first dawn of life, This constant will she covered with her sport, To evoke a Person in the impersonal Void, With the Truth-Light strike earth’s massive roots of trance, Wake a dumb self in the inconscient depths And raise a lost Power from its python sleep p.73 That the eyes of the Timeless might look out from Time And the world manifest the unveiled Divine. For this he left his white infinity And laid on the spirit the burden of the flesh, That Godhead’s seed might flower in mindless Space. END OF CANTO FOUR