Loretta reads Savitri:Seven.IV "The Triple Soul-Forces" part 2
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Seven: The Book of Yoga
Canto IV: The Triple Soul-Forces
Part 2 of 3, pages 508-514
In the first part of this canto, Savitri meets the first soul-force, the Mother of divine pity and compassion. She tells Savitri that she is her secret soul. But Savitri says that she is a portion of her soul, put forth to bear the unbearable sorrow of the world. The Mother of divine pity said that she has come to share the suffering of the world, and that the universe is her body of woe. But she complained that she had no force to make her work successful.
Then the voice of the lower force, the tortured Titan once a god – the voice of the beast crouching within man's depths, who takes everything by force – told about his suffering and pain, and said that it is his nature that he will never change, and he will always be like this.
Savitri promised the Mother of divine pity that she would return and bring the strength of the Eternal, so that she can succeed in her divine work.
Now Savitri is going to meet the second soul-force, who Sri Aurobindo calls the Mother of Might. This divine force also appears as a woman. She is also seated in the world of inner mind – like the first soul-force – and like the first soul-force, she tells Savitri that she is Savitri's secret soul. Although she's really a portion of Savitri's soul put forth the help mankind.
She tells Savitri that she stands upon the world's paths of danger and grief, and helps the unfortunate, and saves the doomed. The Mother of might brings strength to the strong and protection to the weak. But she complains that the crookedness and evil in man's heart is too strong, and the cosmic evil is too deep, and the cosmic suffering too vast – so she can only help a few people. But she will never stop her divine work, and she knows that God will come at last.
During her description of her mighty work, she speaks of “the red Wolf and the Snake” (p.510). Sri Aurobindo writes of these two things in Book Two: “The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds”. This occurs during the yoga of King Aswapati as he journeys down into the Inconscient to find out why things have gone wrong in the world. When he gets to “the dumb beginnings of lost Self” (p.231), and will finally stand on the last locked subconscient's floor, Sri Aurobindo writes (in Canto VII):
- In Night he plunged to know her dreadful heart,
- In Hell he sought the root and cause of Hell. (p.230)
- And traversed the ambush of the opponent Snake.
- In menacing tracts, in tortured solitudes
- Companionless he roamed through desolate ways
- Where the red Wolf waits by the fordless stream
- And Death’s black eagles scream to the precipice (p.230)
This is the point where Sri Aurobindo is really getting to the truth of things.
The Mother of Might does not fear Heaven or Hell. She's charged by God to do her mighty work – and she guards man from the red Wolf and the Snake, as she guides man to the path of the Divine.
Then Savitri heard the warped echo coming through the spaces of the mind from the lower human world. Like the voice of the beast crouching within man's depths, who spoke after the Mother of divine compassion and pity, the lower force echoing the Mother of Might is also a Titan who takes everything by force. Sri Aurobindo calls him:
- […] the dwarf-Titan, the deformed chained god
- Who strives to master his nature’s rebel stuff
- And make the universe his instrument. (p.510).
Sri Aurobindo says he is “The Ego of this great world of desire” (p.511), and he claims that the universe was made for him, and for his use. He claims that he has grown “greater than Nature [and] wiser than God” (p.511). But he is a tool and slave of Nature, although he describes what he does as if Nature is his slave and tool.
After hearing the voices of the Mother of divine Might and the warped lower Titan, Savitri tells the Mother of Might that she has given men strength, but she could not give them wisdom. And without wisdom, power “cannot build the extreme eternal things” (p.514).
Savitri promises to return and give her the way to see everything as God sees; then, her wisdom will be as vast as her power. And hate and fear and weakness will go. And “The cry of the ego [will] be hushed within” (p.514).
So, second soul-force...
… On passed she in her spirit’s upward route. An ardent grandeur climbed mid ferns and rocks, A quiet wind flattered the heart to warmth, A finer perfume breathed from slender trees. All beautiful grew, subtle and high and strange. Here on a boulder carved like a huge throne A Woman sat in gold and purple sheen, Armed with the trident and the thunderbolt, Her feet upon a couchant lion’s back. A formidable smile curved round her lips, Heaven-fire laughed in the corners of her eyes; Her body a mass of courage and heavenly strength, She menaced the triumph of the nether gods. A halo of lightnings flamed around her head And sovereignty, a great cestus, zoned her robe And majesty and victory sat with her Guarding in the wide cosmic battlefield Against the flat equality of Death And the all-levelling insurgent Night The hierarchy of the ordered Powers, The high changeless values, the peaked eminences, The privileged aristocracy of Truth, And in the governing Ideal’s sun The triumvirate of wisdom, love and bliss And the sole autocracy of the absolute Light. August on her seat in the inner world of Mind, The Mother of Might looked down on passing things, Listened to the advancing tread of Time, Saw the irresistible wheeling of the suns And heard the thunder of the march of God. Amid the swaying Forces in their strife Sovereign was her word of luminous command, Her speech like a war-cry rang or a pilgrim chant. A charm restoring hope in failing hearts p.509 Aspired the harmony of her puissant voice: “O Savitri, I am thy secret soul. I have come down into the human world And the movement watched by an unsleeping Eye And the dark contrariety of earth’s fate And the battle of the bright and sombre Powers. I stand upon earth’s paths of danger and grief And help the unfortunate and save the doomed. To the strong I bring the guerdon of their strength, To the weak I bring the armour of my force; To men who long I carry their coveted joy: I am fortune justifying the great and wise By the sanction of the plaudits of the crowd, Then trampling them with the armed heel of fate. My ear is leaned to the cry of the oppressed, I topple down the thrones of tyrant kings: A cry comes from proscribed and hunted lives Appealing to me against a pitiless world, A voice of the forsaken and desolate And the lone prisoner in his dungeon cell. Men hail in my coming the Almighty’s force Or praise with thankful tears his saviour Grace. I smite the Titan who bestrides the world And slay the ogre in his blood-stained den. I am Durga, goddess of the proud and strong, And Lakshmi, queen of the fair and fortunate; I wear the face of Kali when I kill, I trample the corpses of the demon hordes. I am charged by God to do his mighty work, Uncaring I serve his will who sent me forth, Reckless of peril and earthly consequence. I reason not of virtue and of sin But do the deed he has put into my heart. I fear not for the angry frown of Heaven, I flinch not from the red assault of Hell; I crush the opposition of the gods, p.510 Tread down a million goblin obstacles. I guide man to the path of the Divine And guard him from the red Wolf and the Snake. I set in his mortal hand my heavenly sword And put on him the breastplate of the gods. I break the ignorant pride of human mind And lead the thought to the wideness of the Truth; I rend man’s narrow and successful life And force his sorrowful eyes to gaze at the sun That he may die to earth and live in his soul. I know the goal, I know the secret route; I have studied the map of the invisible worlds; I am the battle’s head, the journey’s star. But the great obstinate world resists my Word, And the crookedness and evil in man’s heart Is stronger than Reason, profounder than the Pit, And the malignancy of hostile Powers Puts craftily back the clock of destiny And mightier seems than the eternal Will. The cosmic evil is too deep to unroot, The cosmic suffering is too vast to heal. A few I guide who pass me towards the Light; A few I save, the mass falls back unsaved; A few I help, the many strive and fail. But my heart I have hardened and I do my work: Slowly the light grows greater in the East, Slowly the world progresses on God’s road. His seal is on my task, it cannot fail: I shall hear the silver swing of heaven’s gates When God comes out to meet the soul of the world.” She spoke and from the lower human world An answer, a warped echo met her speech; The voice came through the spaces of the mind Of the dwarf-Titan, the deformed chained god Who strives to master his nature’s rebel stuff And make the universe his instrument. p.511 The Ego of this great world of desire Claimed earth and the wide heavens for the use Of man, head of the life it shapes on earth, Its representative and conscious soul, And symbol of evolving light and force And vessel of the godhead that must be. A thinking animal, Nature’s struggling lord, Has made of her his nurse and tool and slave And pays to her as wage and emolument Inescapably by a deep law in things His heart’s grief and his body’s death and pain: His pains are her means to grow, to see and feel; His death assists her immortality. A tool and slave of his own slave and tool, He praises his free will and his master mind And is pushed by her upon her chosen paths; Possessor he is possessed and, ruler, ruled, Her conscious automaton, her desire’s dupe. His soul is her guest, a sovereign mute, inert, His body her robot, his life her way to live, His conscious mind her strong revolted serf. The voice rose up and smote some inner sun. “I am the heir of the forces of the earth, Slowly I make good my right to my estate; A growing godhead in her divinised mud, I climb, a claimant to the throne of heaven. The last-born of the earth I stand the first; Her slow millenniums waited for my birth. Although I live in Time besieged by Death, Precarious owner of my body and soul Housed on a little speck amid the stars, For me and my use the universe was made. Immortal spirit in the perishing clay, I am God still unevolved in human form; Even if he is not, he becomes in me. The sun and moon are lights upon my path; p.512 Air was invented for my lungs to breathe, Conditioned as a wide and wall-less space For my winged chariot’s wheels to cleave a road, The sea was made for me to swim and sail And bear my golden commerce on its back: It laughs cloven by my pleasure’s gliding keel, I laugh at its black stare of fate and death. The earth is my floor, the sky my living’s roof. All was prepared through many a silent age, God made experiments with animal shapes, Then only when all was ready I was born. I was born weak and small and ignorant, A helpless creature in a difficult world Travelling through my brief years with death at my side; I have grown greater than Nature, wiser than God. I have made real what she never dreamed, I have seized her powers and harnessed for my work, I have shaped her metals and new metals made; I will make glass and raiment out of milk, Make iron velvet, water unbreakable stone, Like God in his astuce of artist skill, Mould from one primal plasm protean forms, In single Nature multitudinous lives, All that imagination can conceive In mind intangible, remould anew In Matter’s plastic solid and concrete. No magic can surpass my magic’s skill. There is no miracle I shall not achieve. What God imperfect left, I will complete, Out of a tangled mind and half-made soul His sin and error I will eliminate; What he invented not, I shall invent: He was the first creator, I am the last. I have found the atoms from which he built the worlds: The first tremendous cosmic energy Missioned shall leap to slay my enemy kin, p.513 Expunge a nation or abolish a race, Death’s silence leave where there was laughter and joy. Or the fissured invisible shall spend God’s force To extend my comforts and expand my wealth, To speed my car which now the lightnings drive And turn the engines of my miracles. I will take his means of sorcery from his hands And do with them greater wonders than his best. Yet through it all I have kept my balanced thought; I have studied my being, I have examined the world, I have grown a master of the arts of life. I have tamed the wild beast, trained to be my friend; He guards my house, looks up waiting my will. I have taught my kind to serve and to obey. I have used the mystery of the cosmic waves To see far distance and to hear far words; I have conquered Space and knitted close all earth. Soon I shall know the secrets of the Mind; I play with knowledge and with ignorance And sin and virtue my inventions are I can transcend or sovereignly use. I shall know mystic truths, seize occult powers. I shall slay my enemies with a look or thought, I shall sense the unspoken feelings of all hearts And see and hear the hidden thoughts of men. When earth is mastered, I shall conquer heaven; The gods shall be my aides or menial folk, No wish I harbour unfulfilled shall die: Omnipotence and omniscience shall be mine.” And Savitri heard the voice, the warped echo heard And turning to her being of power she spoke: “Madonna of might, Mother of works and force, Thou art a portion of my soul put forth To help mankind and help the travail of Time. Because thou art in him, man hopes and dares; Because thou art, men’s souls can climb the heavens p.514 And walk like gods in the presence of the Supreme. But without wisdom power is like a wind, It can breathe upon the heights and kiss the sky, It cannot build the extreme eternal things. Thou hast given men strength, wisdom thou couldst not give. One day I will return, a bringer of light; Then will I give to thee the mirror of God; Thou shalt see self and world as by him they are seen Reflected in the bright pool of thy soul. Thy wisdom shall be vast as vast thy power. Then hate shall dwell no more in human hearts, And fear and weakness shall desert men’s lives, The cry of the ego shall be hushed within, Its lion roar that claims the world as food, All shall be might and bliss and happy force.” ...