Loretta reads Savitri:Three.II "The Adoration of the Divine Mother"
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Three: The Book of the Divine Mother
Canto II: The Adoration of the Divine Mother
The great yogi king has finally been able to have his mind quiet ‒ just quiet. In the last canto, “The Pursuit of the Unknowable”, he reached a height “where nothing made could live” (p.306):
- ...where all disguises fail
- And human mind must abdicate in Light
- Or die like a moth in the naked blaze of Truth
There, the king made the choice that all he had once been, and all towards which he grew, would be left behind, or be transformed “Into a self of That which has no name” (p.307). His separate self rose above all impermanent, perishable support. And then his separate self could join his mighty origin; and his separate self melted, or was reborn “Into a Truth beyond the mind’s appeal” (p.307).
Then, everything coming from the king's own power was undone. All the potential of the king ‒ everything he could do, everything he had, was undone. Nothing remained in the king that was even conceived by the cosmic Mind. The king's being had no longer any involvement in any plane of the mind. So our friend, the great king, that we've been traveling with all this time, was left only a great seeking soul.
In this purified condition, the consciousness of the supreme Master, “Uncreating, uncreated and unborn” (p.309), answered to the passionate seeking of the king's soul. And the traveler of the worlds was out of all the worlds ‒ he was out of all the levels of manifest creation. The traveller was in the consciousness of “The One by whom all live, who lives by none” (p.309). And we can be with him in that consciousness, in the last verse of a poem that Sri Aurobindo wrote about the Supreme. The poem is called “Who”. And in four lines, we can be right there.
- “It is He in the sun who is ageless and deathless,
- And into the midnight His shadow is thrown;
- When darkness was blind and engulfed within darkness,
- He was seated within it immense and alone.”
When we last left the king, that's where he was. Only the immense Alone.
Now, as we wait for him, in the silence of the self, in the colorless purity of his soul, we're in the beginning of the canto that Sri Aurobindo calls “The Adoration of the Divine Mother”. And he starts this canto by speaking directly to us, to the reader. Of course, he's telling us about Aswapati, and he's also speaking to Aswapati ‒ but he's speaking directly to us. And he tells us that the realization that almost all spirituality has been aimed at through the ages is simply not enough. As great as this realization of the Supreme is, we are only halfway there.
As though we are the king, Sri Aurobindo says to us:
- Self’s vast spiritual silence occupies Space
- The ego is dead; we are freed from being and care,
- We have done with birth and death and work and fate.
- O soul, it is too early to rejoice!
- And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart:
- But where is the Lover’s everlasting Yes
- This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life.
- A huge extinction is not God’s last word
- In absolute silence sleeps an absolute Power. (p.310-311)
In this state, the soul's ignorance is slain. But the soul is not slain ‒ the soul is very much alive. And basically he's saying, ‘ok, here you are ‒ what are you going to do now?’ Each soul has its own ongoing destiny; it takes birth from life to life, making its way along its path. And Sri Aurobindo speaks to the soul who has only reached the boundless silence of the Self. And he asks the soul this question:
- [W]where hast thou thrown Self’s mission and Self’s power?
- One was within thee who was self and world,
- What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars (p.310)
- To free the self is but one radiant pace;
- Here to fulfil himself was God’s desire. (p.312)
So here we are, incarnated in a body, on the earth: the earth which is the Divine Mother herself. We, who are the Divine Mother herself ‒ an individual soul working out the Divine's will. So Aswapati must realize the consciousness of the Divine Mother. And in the same way, those who are doing Sri Aurobindo's Yoga will also have to find the consciousness (or let's better say, to receive the consciousness) of the Divine Mother. Because again in this canto we see that Aswapati doesn't come upon the Mother and suddenly discover her; again it is the Divine Mother who comes to contact the seeker.
Now that Aswapati is ready, when she comes, he can feel what is actually always here. While for us in our partly-conscious condition, we're not aware of it yet. First, in the wide bare space of Aswapati's realization ‒ of the infinite, solitary Supreme ‒ a glow comes: a glow of reflected light. A beautiful lustre comes and glows, and then:
- The Power, the Light, the Bliss no word can speak
- Imaged itself in a surprising beam
- And built a golden passage to his heart
- Touching through him all longing sentient things. (p.312)
Sri Aurobindo goes on to tell us how this presence ‒ which is behind all things, and in all things ‒ takes all the darkness and misery and suffering out of our life. He uses a very unfamiliar word, that has a very close and dear meaning. He says:
- A love that bore the cross of pain with joy
- Eudaemonised the sorrow of the world
And ‘eudaemonised’ means: to turn sorrow into a feeling of personal well-being ‒ that small sense of just feeling ‘everything is ok’. So our sorrow turns into ‘everything is ok’.
He tells us that it affirmed ‒ or, one could say, it ‘made a positive reality of’ ‒ the ecstasy that is hidden in life. The love of the Divine Mother “justified the labour of the suns” (p.313). And now the king can feel the undying truth, and the enduring power, of everything that is made, and then destroyed, and then made again, and destroyed again, here in our lives. He knows that it is the Mother that is all the gods, and all strengths. He knows that she is the living power that binds earth to the Supreme.
So now the king, in the vast unmanifest consciousness of the Supreme, begins to receive the Supreme's greatest power: the power of creation itself. The power that is the creation itself.
In the Mother's consciousness, our king, the great seeker, is now beyond the duality of the opposites that make up our normal life: good and bad, love and hate, darkness and light, etc. etc. And he sees the meaning of his spirit's birth into a body and mind. The Mother's love canceled the sorrow of the ignorant depths.
- Suffering was lost in her immortal smile.
- Wrong could not come where all was light and love. (p.314)
In the purity of her consciousness, that's all that's there. Suddenly, as in “a thunder-flash of God” (p.315), Aswapati knows all of this; and he knows only the Divine Mother can change the world to be the wonderful world that he is seeking. His spirit is “caught in her intolerant flame” (p.315). And now that he has seen her, his heart sees only her, and accepts only her.
By now, the king's being has grown “too wide for self” (p.315), and his single freedom is not enough. He also wants her light and her bliss for earth, and for men.
And here, Sri Aurobindo teaches us that at a certain point in our Yoga, we have to stop all personal effort to seek the divine. There comes a point where we can't do anything more to have the realization of such a high consciousness. He tells us that everything that the great yogi Aswapati has done so far was only to prepare a field.
- His nature’s might seemed now an infant’s grasp;
- This Light comes not by struggle or by thought
- In the mind’s silence the Transcendent acts (p.315)
The quiet heart hears the deep communication ‒ the great all-powerful Word. And we have these few beautiful words that teach us exactly what we should do. Sri Aurobindo tells us:
- A vast surrender was his only strength.
And yet, here, if he hasn't done this, he may still have something to do ‒ because, Sri Aurobindo says:
- All that denies must be torn out and slain
- And crushed the many longings for whose sake
- We lose the One for whom our lives were made.
And now other claims are gone. Aswapati only wants to draw the presence and the power of the Divine Mother into his heart, into his mind, into his breathing frame. His soul is freed and given to her alone.
Savitri, Book Three: The Book of the Divine Mother. Canto II: “The Adoration of the Divine Mother”.
Canto Two The Adoration of the Divine Mother A stillness absolute, incommunicable, Meets the sheer self-discovery of the soul; A wall of stillness shuts it from the world, A gulf of stillness swallows up the sense And makes unreal all that mind has known, All that the labouring senses still would weave Prolonging an imaged unreality. Self’s vast spiritual silence occupies Space; Only the Inconceivable is left, Only the Nameless without space and time: Abolished is the burdening need of life: Thought falls from us, we cease from joy and grief; The ego is dead; we are freed from being and care, We have done with birth and death and work and fate. O soul, it is too early to rejoice! Thou hast reached the boundless silence of the Self, Thou hast leaped into a glad divine abyss; But where hast thou thrown Self’s mission and Self’s power? On what dead bank on the Eternal’s road? One was within thee who was self and world, What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars? Escape brings not the victory and the crown! Something thou cam’st to do from the Unknown, But nothing is finished and the world goes on Because only half God’s cosmic work is done. Only the everlasting No has neared And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart: But where is the Lover’s everlasting Yes, And immortality in the secret heart, The voice that chants to the creator Fire, The symbolled OM, the great assenting Word, The bridge between the rapture and the calm, p.311 The passion and the beauty of the Bride, The chamber where the glorious enemies kiss, The smile that saves, the golden peak of things? This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life. A black veil has been lifted; we have seen The mighty shadow of the omniscient Lord; But who has lifted up the veil of light And who has seen the body of the King? The mystery of God’s birth and acts remains Leaving unbroken the last chapter’s seal, Unsolved the riddle of the unfinished Play; The cosmic Player laughs within his mask, And still the last inviolate secret hides Behind the human glory of a Form, Behind the gold eidolon of a Name. A large white line has figured as a goal, But far beyond the ineffable suntracks blaze: What seemed the source and end was a wide gate, A last bare step into eternity. An eye has opened upon timelessness, Infinity takes back the forms it gave, And through God’s darkness or his naked light His million rays return into the Sun. There is a zero sign of the Supreme; Nature left nude and still uncovers God. But in her grandiose nothingness all is there: When her strong garbs are torn away from us, The soul’s ignorance is slain but not the soul: The zero covers an immortal face. A high and blank negation is not all, A huge extinction is not God’s last word, Life’s ultimate sense, the close of being’s course, The meaning of this great mysterious world. In absolute silence sleeps an absolute Power. Awaking, it can wake the trance-bound soul And in the ray reveal the parent sun: p.312 It can make the world a vessel of Spirit’s force, It can fashion in the clay God’s perfect shape. To free the self is but one radiant pace; Here to fulfil himself was God’s desire. Even while he stood on being’s naked edge And all the passion and seeking of his soul Faced their extinction in some featureless Vast, The Presence he yearned for suddenly drew close. Across the silence of the ultimate Calm, Out of a marvellous Transcendence’ core, A body of wonder and translucency As if a sweet mystic summary of her self Escaping into the original Bliss Had come enlarged out of eternity, Someone came infinite and absolute. A being of wisdom, power and delight, Even as a mother draws her child to her arms, Took to her breast Nature and world and soul. Abolishing the signless emptiness, Breaking the vacancy and voiceless hush, Piercing the limitless Unknowable, Into the liberty of the motionless depths A beautiful and felicitous lustre stole. The Power, the Light, the Bliss no word can speak Imaged itself in a surprising beam And built a golden passage to his heart Touching through him all longing sentient things. A moment’s sweetness of the All-Beautiful Cancelled the vanity of the cosmic whirl. A Nature throbbing with a Heart divine Was felt in the unconscious universe; It made the breath a happy mystery. A love that bore the cross of pain with joy Eudaemonised the sorrow of the world, Made happy the weight of long unending Time, p.313 The secret caught of God’s felicity. Affirming in life a hidden ecstasy It held the spirit to its miraculous course; Carrying immortal values to the hours It justified the labour of the suns. For one was there supreme behind the God. A Mother Might brooded upon the world; A Consciousness revealed its marvellous front Transcending all that is, denying none: Imperishable above our fallen heads He felt a rapturous and unstumbling Force. The undying Truth appeared, the enduring Power Of all that here is made and then destroyed, The Mother of all godheads and all strengths Who, mediatrix, binds earth to the Supreme. The Enigma ceased that rules our nature’s night, The covering Nescience was unmasked and slain; Its mind of error was stripped off from things And the dull moods of its perverting will. Illumined by her all-seeing identity Knowledge and Ignorance could strive no more; No longer could the titan Opposites, Antagonist poles of the world’s artifice, Impose the illusion of their twofold screen Throwing their figures between us and her. The Wisdom was near, disguised by its own works, Of which the darkened universe is the robe. No more existence seemed an aimless fall, Extinction was no more the sole release. The hidden Word was found, the long-sought clue, Revealed was the meaning of our spirit’s birth, Condemned to an imperfect body and mind, In the inconscience of material things And the indignity of mortal life. A Heart was felt in the spaces wide and bare, A burning Love from white spiritual founts p.314 Annulled the sorrow of the ignorant depths; Suffering was lost in her immortal smile. A Life from beyond grew conqueror here of death; To err no more was natural to mind; Wrong could not come where all was light and love. The Formless and the Formed were joined in her: Immensity was exceeded by a look, A Face revealed the crowded Infinite. Incarnating inexpressibly in her limbs The boundless joy the blind world-forces seek, Her body of beauty mooned the seas of bliss. At the head she stands of birth and toil and fate, In their slow round the cycles turn to her call; Alone her hands can change Time’s dragon base. Hers is the mystery the Night conceals; The spirit’s alchemist energy is hers; She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire. The luminous heart of the Unknown is she, A power of silence in the depths of God; She is the Force, the inevitable Word, The magnet of our difficult ascent, The Sun from which we kindle all our suns, The Light that leans from the unrealised Vasts, The joy that beckons from the impossible, The Might of all that never yet came down. All Nature dumbly calls to her alone To heal with her feet the aching throb of life And break the seals on the dim soul of man And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things. All here shall be one day her sweetness’ home, All contraries prepare her harmony; Towards her our knowledge climbs, our passion gropes; In her miraculous rapture we shall dwell, Her clasp shall turn to ecstasy our pain. Our self shall be one self with all through her. In her confirmed because transformed in her, p.315 Our life shall find in its fulfilled response Above, the boundless hushed beatitudes, Below, the wonder of the embrace divine. This known as in a thunder-flash of God, The rapture of things eternal filled his limbs; Amazement fell upon his ravished sense; His spirit was caught in her intolerant flame. Once seen, his heart acknowledged only her. Only a hunger of infinite bliss was left. All aims in her were lost, then found in her; His base was gathered to one pointing spire. This was a seed cast into endless Time. A Word is spoken or a Light is shown, A moment sees, the ages toil to express. So flashing out of the Timeless leaped the worlds; An eternal instant is the cause of the years. All he had done was to prepare a field; His small beginnings asked for a mighty end: For all that he had been must now new-shape In him her joy to embody, to enshrine Her beauty and greatness in his house of life. But now his being was too wide for self; His heart’s demand had grown immeasurable: His single freedom could not satisfy, Her light, her bliss he asked for earth and men. But vain are human power and human love To break earth’s seal of ignorance and death; His nature’s might seemed now an infant’s grasp; Heaven is too high for outstretched hands to seize. This Light comes not by struggle or by thought; In the mind’s silence the Transcendent acts And the hushed heart hears the unuttered Word. A vast surrender was his only strength. A Power that lives upon the heights must act, Bring into life’s closed room the Immortal’s air p.316 And fill the finite with the Infinite. All that denies must be torn out and slain And crushed the many longings for whose sake We lose the One for whom our lives were made. Now other claims had hushed in him their cry: Only he longed to draw her presence and power Into his heart and mind and breathing frame; Only he yearned to call for ever down Her healing touch of love and truth and joy Into the darkness of the suffering world. His soul was freed and given to her alone. END OF CANTO TWO
- Collected Poems, p.203