Loretta reads Savitri:Seven.II "The Parable of the Search for the Soul" part 3
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Seven: The Book of Yoga
Canto II: The Parable of the Search for the Soul
Part 3 of 3, pages 482-487
Our past still lives in our unconscious selves
At the start of Savitri's yoga, she's been given a cosmic dream. So far, it has disclosed to her the cosmic past, and how the universe began, and earth took shape, and man was made. The great guiding voice told her that she has to quiet her mind, so that she can know God's truth without her usual surface thought. So her dream has shown her the ceaseless activity of her surface mind, with its endless busy thoughts.
Sri Aurobindo has called this mind “a puppet of the dance of Time” (p.478), that never rests. This puppet is driven by the thronging needs of life, and the babble of the voices of the world. Savitri has also been told to go beyond the senses that seek in the outside world. Then, in her quiet mind – which no longer gets pushed by what her senses were bringing it – she will see the Eternal's body in the world.
Then the voice said that she has to conquer her heart's throbs, which means her vital energies, so that her heart can beat in God alone. Because Savitri has also been told to quiet her vital, her dream has also shown her the truth about the lower vital energies – the source of the powers that move us all without our knowing it. These things affect our emotions, our energies, how we feel... And above all, Savitri must find her soul: that part of her which is directly connected to our divine source. Therefore she's been shown where she has to do her yogic work, to get to her soul. She sees these common human functions when the presence and guidance and the influence of the soul is missing.
Now Savitri will see how our past lives within us, and how it drives our future's pace. Our past still lives in our unconscious selves. It has a hidden influence on us and all that we do.
So far, Sri Aurobindo has shown us very briefly what comes from the outside world into our mind and our vital; and we have seen that we're helpless to control it without the presence of our soul. Now he's going to show us briefly what we have collected in our lives, and what is stored inside us, and what comes up to move us. He says:
- An old self lurks in the new self we are (p.483)
And because he will show all of this without the presence of our conscious soul, again we will see that we are helpless – but this time we are helpless against our own old thoughts, and our own old longings. We become the victims of our own old, dead, vital passions. He shows us that it is an automatic action in the way that we are made. He says:
- In the dim gleam of habit’s passages,
- In the subconscient’s darkling corridors
- All things are carried by the porter nerves
- And nothing checked by subterranean mind,
- Unstudied by the guardians of the doors
- And passed by a blind instinctive memory (p483)
Getting beyond all this is the process of Sri Aurobindo's yoga. Mother says that we must continually reject these things that we see which we do not want in our being. She says we have to do it again and again, a thousand times if necessary. People came to her complaining that they had worked on something so much, and they thought it was out of their being – but years later it rose again, and they saw that they were still keeping it. When we see this, we know that somewhere, somehow, we get pleasure from it, and we want to keep it for reasons that we are hiding from ourselves. It may not seem like something pleasurable on first glance – but otherwise, why would we keep it? Somewhere inside, we have felt that we have to have this thing. And since we are growing towards the love of the Divine, somewhere in our darkened consciousness our decision is made like this.
Godhead descending into mortal life
And Sri Aurobindo went through all these things in his yoga, and he talks about them in Savitri. In King Aswapati's yoga for the world (which is Sri Aurobindo's yoga), in Book Three, “The Book of the Divine Mother”, in Canto III, when he is very close to finding the Divine Mother – the Supreme's Power of creation itself – the king finally achieves a last and mightiest transformation. His soul comes completely forward, and floods his mind and body with its waves. And his being spreads to embrace the universe.
But, in order to do this, he has to find things that are still hidden inside him. Sri Aurobindo writes:
- 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. (p.317)
In this part of Savitri's yoga, he is saying it again; and he has these beautiful simple words, he says:
- The seeds of sins renounced sprout from hid soil (p.484)
And Savitri's dream goes on – it shows her that all this is only Matter's first self-view, part of the series of the Ignorance, and we do have a greater self of knowledge. It will descend, and it will make earth's life divine. Our higher parts are our own aspect of eternity, and our greatness will come out of our inner being. Sri Aurobindo writes, she saw the occult seeker emerge, who:
- ... heard the far and touched the intangible,
- He gazed into the future and the unseen
- Aspiring he transcend[ed] his earthly self;
- He [stood] in the largeness of his soul new-born (p.486)
He reached his high source, his fount of immortality, and called the Godhead into his mortal life.
All of this, Savitri had achieved. The spirit concealed inside her had done this. Now she was ready to take the next step. And her cosmic dream brought her a spiritual realization, and a transforming experience. It was one more step towards fulfilling her true destiny, and acting according to the divine will. Sri Aurobindo writes:
- A portion of the mighty Mother came
- Into her as into its own human part:
- Amid the cosmic workings of the Gods
- It marked her the centre of a wide-drawn scheme,
- Dreamed in the passion of her far-seeing spirit
- To mould humanity into God’s own shape
- And lead this great blind struggling world to light
- Or a new world discover or create. (p.486)
So the mighty Mother is there in her dream. And then Sri Aurobindo speaks of the work of the mighty Mother again in Savitri – when she has two major realizations. In Canto V of this Book, we will see that when Savitri finds her soul, her being calls to the mighty Mother of the worlds, to make Savitri's body her house. And “in a flash from a supernal light, / A face, a form” which were a living image of the original Power came down to stay in her heart. And when its feet had touched Savitri's half-opened heart chakra, “A mighty movement rocked the inner space” (p.528) And the Kundalini force in the chakra at the base of the spine rose up to awaken all of her chakras. And then all in Savitri underwent a high celestial change.
Sri Aurobindo writes that the immortal Will became a channel of the mighty Mother's choice, and took control of governing Savitri's life. And this is in fact what happens to all of us, if we really realize our soul to that degree.
Savitri's work and destiny
Savitri's story is the story of a part of Mother's yoga, and the work she came to do. Mother came to mould our humanity into God's own shape, and to lead our blind, struggling world to light – or to discover a new world, or to create a new world. We've seen that: I mean people know that's why she came. And they've seen how she's worked and how the success is coming.
Mother also came to conquer Death; so that we would no longer have to go through the death process and the rebirth process. In Savitri's story, the mighty Mother finally manifests fully in her when Death has to give back the soul of Satyavan. Death tells Savitri:
- Reveal thy power, lay bare thy spirit’s force,
- Then will I give back to thee Satyavan.
- Or if the Mighty Mother is with thee,
- Show me her face that I may worship her;
- Let deathless eyes look into the eyes of Death,
- Then can thy dead return to thee and live. (p.664)
So here, what happens reveals to Death – and reveals to us – the destiny of the death process. It shows us where things are going.
So in Book Ten, Canto IV, Sri Aurobindo describes how the incarnation thrust aside its veil, and a mighty transformation came upon Savitri. And in her, and through her – because she really was the Divine Mother, and because she had done the yoga in a human body, so that in a human body, through a human body, she could conquer death – the Divine Mother as Savitri commanded Death to release the soul of the world called Satyavan. Although Death tried to refuse, her mastering world commanded every limb, and left no room for his enormous will. And Savitri's work was successful. And Satyavan returned to her.
But when Savitri began her yoga, and even when she had her dream about helping humanity and the world, she didn't know anything about this. She knew her dream. And she know that she wanted to help humanity and the world – she was going to help humanity and the world. But she also saw that to do this, first she had to find her soul.
And so Sri Aurobindo ends this canto with these words:
- Obedient to a high command she sat:
- Time, life and death were passing incidents
- Obstructing with their transient view her sight,
- Her sight that must break through and liberate the god
- Imprisoned in the visionless mortal man.
- The inferior nature born into ignorance
- Still took too large a place, it veiled her self
- And must be pushed aside to find her soul. (p.487)
Savitri, “The Book of Yoga”, “The Parable of the Search for the Soul”...
Book Seven, Canto II, part 3
... All the world’s possibilities in man Are waiting as the tree waits in its seed: His past lives in him; it drives his future’s pace; His present’s acts fashion his coming fate. The unborn gods hide in his house of Life. The daemons of the unknown overshadow his mind Casting their dreams into live moulds of thought, The moulds in which his mind builds out its world. His mind creates around him its universe. All that has been renews in him its birth; All that can be is figured in his soul. Issuing in deeds it scores on the roads of the world, Obscure to the interpreting reason’s guess, Lines of the secret purpose of the gods. In strange directions runs the intricate plan; Held back from human foresight is their end And the far intention of some ordering Will Or the order of life’s arbitrary Chance Finds out its settled poise and fated hour. p.483 Our surface watched in vain by reason’s gaze, Invaded by the impromptus of the unseen, Helpless records the accidents of Time, The involuntary turns and leaps of life. Only a little of us foresees its steps, Only a little has will and purposed pace. A vast subliminal is man’s measureless part. The dim subconscient is his cavern base. Abolished vainly in the walks of Time Our past lives still in our unconscious selves And by the weight of its hidden influences Is shaped our future’s self-discovery. Thus all is an inevitable chain And yet a series seems of accidents. The unremembering hours repeat the old acts, Our dead past round our future’s ankles clings And drags back the new nature’s glorious stride, Or from its buried corpse old ghosts arise, Old thoughts, old longings, dead passions live again, Recur in sleep or move the waking man To words that force the barrier of the lips, To deeds that suddenly start and o’erleap His head of reason and his guardian will. An old self lurks in the new self we are; Hardly we escape from what we once had been: In the dim gleam of habit’s passages, In the subconscient’s darkling corridors All things are carried by the porter nerves And nothing checked by subterranean mind, Unstudied by the guardians of the doors And passed by a blind instinctive memory, The old gang dismissed, old cancelled passports serve. Nothing is wholly dead that once had lived; In dim tunnels of the world’s being and in ours The old rejected nature still survives; The corpses of its slain thoughts raise their heads p.484 And visit mind’s nocturnal walks in sleep, Its stifled impulses breathe and move and rise; All keeps a phantom immortality. Irresistible are Nature’s sequences: The seeds of sins renounced sprout from hid soil; The evil cast from our hearts once more we face; Our dead selves come to slay our living soul. A portion of us lives in present Time, A secret mass in dim inconscience gropes; Out of the inconscient and subliminal Arisen, we live in mind’s uncertain light And strive to know and master a dubious world Whose purpose and meaning are hidden from our sight. Above us dwells a superconscient God Hidden in the mystery of his own light: Around us is a vast of ignorance Lit by the uncertain ray of human mind, Below us sleeps the Inconscient dark and mute. But this is only Matter’s first self-view, A scale and series in the Ignorance. This is not all we are or all our world. Our greater self of knowledge waits for us, A supreme light in the truth-conscious Vast: It sees from summits beyond thinking mind, It moves in a splendid air transcending life. It shall descend and make earth’s life divine. Truth made the world, not a blind Nature-Force. For here are not our large diviner heights; Our summits in the superconscient’s blaze Are glorious with the very face of God: There is our aspect of eternity, There is the figure of the god we are, His young unaging look on deathless things, His joy in our escape from death and Time, His immortality and light and bliss. Our larger being sits behind cryptic walls: p.485 There are greatnesses hidden in our unseen parts That wait their hour to step into life’s front: We feel an aid from deep indwelling Gods; One speaks within, Light comes to us from above. Our soul from its mysterious chamber acts; Its influence pressing on our heart and mind Pushes them to exceed their mortal selves. It seeks for Good and Beauty and for God; We see beyond self’s walls our limitless self, We gaze through our world’s glass at half-seen vasts, We hunt for the Truth behind apparent things. Our inner Mind dwells in a larger light, Its brightness looks at us through hidden doors; Our members luminous grow and Wisdom’s face Appears in the doorway of the mystic ward: When she enters into our house of outward sense, Then we look up and see, above, her sun. A mighty life-self with its inner powers Supports the dwarfish modicum we call life; It can graft upon our crawl two puissant wings. Our body’s subtle self is throned within In its viewless palace of veridical dreams That are bright shadows of the thoughts of God. In the prone obscure beginnings of the race The human grew in the bowed apelike man. He stood erect, a godlike form and force, And a soul’s thoughts looked out from earth-born eyes; Man stood erect, he wore the thinker’s brow: He looked at heaven and saw his comrade stars; A vision came of beauty and greater birth Slowly emerging from the heart’s chapel of light And moved in a white lucent air of dreams. He saw his being’s unrealised vastnesses, He aspired and housed the nascent demigod. Out of the dim recesses of the self The occult seeker into the open came: p.486 He heard the far and touched the intangible, He gazed into the future and the unseen; He used the powers earth-instruments cannot use, A pastime made of the impossible; He caught up fragments of the Omniscient’s thought, He scattered formulas of omnipotence. Thus man in his little house made of earth’s dust Grew towards an unseen heaven of thought and dream Looking into the vast vistas of his mind On a small globe dotting infinity. At last climbing a long and narrow stair He stood alone on the high roof of things And saw the light of a spiritual sun. Aspiring he transcends his earthly self; He stands in the largeness of his soul new-born, Redeemed from encirclement by mortal things And moves in a pure free spiritual realm As in the rare breath of a stratosphere; A last end of far lines of divinity, He mounts by a frail thread to his high source; He reaches his fount of immortality, He calls the Godhead into his mortal life. All this the spirit concealed had done in her: A portion of the mighty Mother came Into her as into its own human part: Amid the cosmic workings of the Gods It marked her the centre of a wide-drawn scheme, Dreamed in the passion of her far-seeing spirit To mould humanity into God’s own shape And lead this great blind struggling world to light Or a new world discover or create. Earth must transform herself and equal Heaven Or Heaven descend into earth’s mortal state. But for such vast spiritual change to be, Out of the mystic cavern in man’s heart The heavenly Psyche must put off her veil p.487 And step into common nature’s crowded rooms And stand uncovered in that nature’s front And rule its thoughts and fill the body and life. Obedient to a high command she sat: Time, life and death were passing incidents Obstructing with their transient view her sight, Her sight that must break through and liberate the god Imprisoned in the visionless mortal man. The inferior nature born into ignorance Still took too large a place, it veiled her self And must be pushed aside to find her soul. END OF CANTO TWO