Loretta reads Savitri:Seven.IV "The Triple Soul-Forces" part 3
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Seven: The Book of Yoga
Canto IV: The Triple Soul-Forces
Part 3 of 3, pages 514-521
Still on her inner journey, Savitri has now encountered two of the triple soul-forces. They are divine powers who appear to her, in her inner space, as women. The first one was the Mother of divine pity and compassion, whose tale of her work in man – and her complaint that she had no strength to successfully complete her work – was echoed by the voice of a lower force: the beast crouching within man's depths, the tortured Titan who fights against the law of things and builds his world on death and suffering.
After listening to both voices, Savitri promised the Mother of compassion that she would return and bring her the strength of the Eternal, so that her work will be done.
Then Savitri met the second soul-force: the Mother of Might, who helps the unfortunate and saves the doomed. She brings strength to the strong, and protects the weak. But she also complained that her work was not successful. Then Savitri heard the voice of the lower force, the dwarf-Titan, the deformed god who claimed that he is greater than Nature and wiser than God. The Ego of the world of desire, he uses his strength and might to master the universe for his own purposes.
Again, Savitri promised to return – and this time, to bring wisdom to the Mother of Might, so her work will also be successful.
Now, Savitri's going to encounter the third soul-force, who Sri Aurobindo calls “Madonna of light, Mother of joy and peace” (p.520). This is the portion of Savitri's soul who is her being of Light. Like the other two soul-forces, she claims to be Savitri's secret soul; and she also speaks of her divine work, and complains because she is so many powers of God – and she can give them to man – but the human mind “clings to its ignorance” (p.516); the human heart clings to its littleness; and earthly life clings to its right to grief.
The Mother of Light says that she will save the earth, only if the earth consents to be saved.
Again, after the divine power speaks, a warped echo comes from the ignorant nether plane. The two lower forces that spoke after the first two divine soul-forces were Titans – beings that took everything by violence, and lived only for themselves and the worlds of pain and limitation they created. This third warped echo is not a Titan; the voice is the voice of the sense-shackled human mind bound in the chains of earthly ignorance. He does not want to rule or to possess like the other two; he wants to know everything. But he believes only in what his senses and his reason tell him. So he has no inner knowledge of the spirit or the soul. Even though he's discovered everything about the surface of the earth, surface of man, surface of the cosmos – he feels that his knowledge is finally useless, because he cannot learn the truth, and the real cause and aim of things is left in doubt.
Therefore, he does not believe in the existence of the soul, or believe that man can grow immortal and divine. Like the other two nether forces, he believes that he can never change.
Savitri hears the voice of the Mother of light and joy and peace, and listens to the warped echo coming from the mind of man. And she tells the Mother of Light that she will return, hand-in-hand with God. And the Mother of Light will see “the face of the Absolute”, and there will be “light and peace in all the worlds” (p.521).
So, third part of “The Triple Soul-Forces”...
… Ascending still her spirit’s upward route She came into a high and happy space, A wide tower of vision whence all could be seen And all was centred in a single view As when by distance separate scenes grow one And a harmony is made of hues at war. The wind was still and fragrance packed the air. There was a carol of birds and murmur of bees, And all that is common and natural and sweet, Yet intimately divine to heart and soul. A nearness thrilled of the spirit to its source And deepest things seemed obvious, close and true. Here, living centre of that vision of peace, A Woman sat in clear and crystal light: Heaven had unveiled its lustre in her eyes, Her feet were moonbeams, her face was a bright sun, Her smile could persuade a dead lacerated heart To live again and feel the hands of calm. A low music heard became her floating voice: “O Savitri, I am thy secret soul. p.515 I have come down to the wounded desolate earth To heal her pangs and lull her heart to rest And lay her head upon the Mother’s lap That she may dream of God and know his peace And draw the harmony of higher spheres Into the rhythm of earth’s rude troubled days. I show to her the figures of bright gods And bring strength and solace to her struggling life; High things that now are only words and forms I reveal to her in the body of their power. I am peace that steals into man’s war-worn breast, Amid the reign of Hell his acts create A hostel where Heaven’s messengers can lodge; I am charity with the kindly hands that bless, I am silence mid the noisy tramp of life; I am Knowledge poring on her cosmic map. In the anomalies of the human heart Where Good and Evil are close bedfellows And Light is by Darkness dogged at every step, Where his largest knowledge is an ignorance, I am the Power that labours towards the best And works for God and looks up towards the heights. I make even sin and error stepping-stones And all experience a long march towards Light. Out of the Inconscient I build consciousness, And lead through death to reach immortal Life. Many are God’s forms by which he grows in man; They stamp his thoughts and deeds with divinity, Uplift the stature of the human clay Or slowly transmute it into heaven’s gold. He is the Good for which men fight and die, He is the war of Right with Titan wrong; He is Freedom rising deathless from her pyre; He is Valour guarding still the desperate pass Or lone and erect on the shattered barricade Or a sentinel in the dangerous echoing Night. p.516 He is the crown of the martyr burned in flame And the glad resignation of the saint And courage indifferent to the wounds of Time And the hero’s might wrestling with death and fate. He is Wisdom incarnate on a glorious throne And the calm autocracy of the sage’s rule. He is the high and solitary Thought Aloof above the ignorant multitude: He is the prophet’s voice, the sight of the seer. He is Beauty, nectar of the passionate soul, He is the Truth by which the spirit lives. He is the riches of the spiritual Vast Poured out in healing streams on indigent Life; He is Eternity lured from hour to hour, He is infinity in a little space: He is immortality in the arms of death. These powers I am and at my call they come. Thus slowly I lift man’s soul nearer the Light. But human mind clings to its ignorance And to its littleness the human heart And to its right to grief the earthly life. Only when Eternity takes Time by the hand, Only when infinity weds the finite’s thought, Can man be free from himself and live with God. I bring meanwhile the gods upon the earth; I bring back hope to the despairing heart; I give peace to the humble and the great, And shed my grace on the foolish and the wise. I shall save earth, if earth consents to be saved. Then Love shall at last unwounded tread earth’s soil; Man’s mind shall admit the sovereignty of Truth And body bear the immense descent of God.” She spoke and from the ignorant nether plane A cry, a warped echo naked and shuddering came. A voice of the sense-shackled human mind Carried its proud complaint of godlike power p.517 Hedged by the limits of a mortal’s thoughts, Bound in the chains of earthly ignorance. Imprisoned in his body and his brain The mortal cannot see God’s mighty whole, Or share in his vast and deep identity Who stands unguessed within our ignorant hearts And knows all things because he is one with all. Man only sees the cosmic surfaces. Then wondering what may lie hid from the sense A little way he delves to depths below: But soon he stops, he cannot reach life’s core Or commune with the throbbing heart of things. He sees the naked body of the Truth Though often baffled by her endless garbs, But cannot look upon her soul within. Then, furious for a knowledge absolute, He tears all details out and stabs and digs: Only the shape’s contents he holds for use; The spirit escapes or dies beneath his knife. He sees as a blank stretch, a giant waste The crowding riches of infinity. The finite he has made his central field, Its plan dissects, masters its processes, That which moves all is hidden from his gaze, His poring eyes miss the unseen behind. He has the blind man’s subtle unerring touch Or the slow traveller’s sight of distant scenes; The soul’s revealing contacts are not his. Yet is he visited by intuitive light And inspiration comes from the Unknown; But only reason and sense he feels as sure, They only are his trusted witnesses. Thus is he baulked, his splendid effort vain; His knowledge scans bright pebbles on the shore Of the huge ocean of his ignorance. Yet grandiose were the accents of that cry, p.518 A cosmic pathos trembled in its tone. “I am the mind of God’s great ignorant world Ascending to knowledge by the steps he made; I am the all-discovering Thought of man. I am a god fettered by Matter and sense, An animal prisoned in a fence of thorns, A beast of labour asking for his food, A smith tied to his anvil and his forge. Yet have I loosened the cord, enlarged my room. I have mapped the heavens and analysed the stars, Described their orbits through the grooves of Space, Measured the miles that separate the suns, Computed their longevity in Time. I have delved into earth’s bowels and torn out The riches guarded by her dull brown soil. I have classed the changes of her stony crust And of her biography discovered the dates, Rescued the pages of all Nature’s plan. The tree of evolution I have sketched, Each branch and twig and leaf in its own place, In the embryo tracked the history of forms, And the genealogy framed of all that lives. I have detected plasm and cell and gene, The protozoa traced, man’s ancestors, The humble originals from whom he rose; I know how he was born and how he dies: Only what end he serves I know not yet Or if there is aim at all or any end Or push of rich creative purposeful joy In the wide works of the terrestrial power. I have caught her intricate processes, none is left: Her huge machinery is in my hands; I have seized the cosmic energies for my use. I have pored on her infinitesimal elements And her invisible atoms have unmasked: All Matter is a book I have perused; p.519 Only some pages now are left to read. I have seen the ways of life, the paths of mind; I have studied the methods of the ant and ape And the behaviour learned of man and worm. If God is at work, his secrets I have found. But still the Cause of things is left in doubt, Their truth flees from pursuit into a void; When all has been explained nothing is known. What chose the process, whence the Power sprang I know not and perhaps shall never know. A mystery is this mighty Nature’s birth; A mystery is the elusive stream of mind, A mystery the protean freak of life. What I have learned, Chance leaps to contradict; What I have built is seized and torn by Fate. I can foresee the acts of Matter’s force, But not the march of the destiny of man: He is driven upon paths he did not choose, He falls trampled underneath the rolling wheels. My great philosophies are a reasoned guess; The mystic heavens that claim the human soul Are a charlatanism of the imagining brain: All is a speculation or a dream. In the end the world itself becomes a doubt: The infinitesimal’s jest mocks mass and shape, A laugh peals from the infinite’s finite mask. Perhaps the world is an error of our sight, A trick repeated in each flash of sense, An unreal mind hallucinates the soul With a stress-vision of false reality, Or a dance of Maya veils the void Unborn. Even if a greater consciousness I could reach, What profit is it then for Thought to win A Real which is for ever ineffable Or hunt to its lair the bodiless Self or make The Unknowable the target of the soul? p.520 Nay, let me work within my mortal bounds, Not live beyond life nor think beyond the mind; Our smallness saves us from the Infinite. In a frozen grandeur lone and desolate Call me not to die the great eternal death, Left naked of my own humanity In the chill vast of the spirit’s boundlessness. Each creature by its nature’s limits lives, And how can one evade his native fate? Human I am, human let me remain Till in the Inconscient I fall dumb and sleep. A high insanity, a chimaera is this, To think that God lives hidden in the clay And that eternal Truth can dwell in Time, And call to her to save our self and world. How can man grow immortal and divine Transmuting the very stuff of which he is made? This wizard gods may dream, not thinking men.” And Savitri heard the voice, the warped answer heard And turning to her being of light she spoke: “Madonna of light, Mother of joy and peace, Thou art a portion of my self put forth To raise the spirit to its forgotten heights And wake the soul by touches of the heavens. Because thou art, the soul draws near to God; Because thou art, love grows in spite of hate And knowledge walks unslain in the pit of Night. But not by showering heaven’s golden rain Upon the intellect’s hard and rocky soil Can the tree of Paradise flower on earthly ground And the Bird of Paradise sit upon life’s boughs And the winds of Paradise visit mortal air. Even if thou rain down intuition’s rays, The mind of man will think it earth’s own gleam, His spirit by spiritual ego sink, Or his soul dream shut in sainthood’s brilliant cell p.521 Where only a bright shadow of God can come. His hunger for the eternal thou must nurse And fill his yearning heart with heaven’s fire And bring God down into his body and life. One day I will return, His hand in mine, And thou shalt see the face of the Absolute. Then shall the holy marriage be achieved, Then shall the divine family be born. There shall be light and peace in all the worlds.” END OF CANTO FOUR