Loretta reads Savitri:Two.VIII "The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness" part 2
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Two: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds
Canto VIII: The World of Falsehood, the Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness
Part 2 of 3, pages 225-229
The traveler is moving down to the depths of the Inconscient. In 1935, Sri Aurobindo wrote a letter about the Inconscient. And he mentioned names for it in two other languages; one is Sanskrit and one is Chinese. He says:
- “The Inconscient itself is only an involved state of consciousness which like the Tao or Shunya, though in a different way, contains all things suppressed within it so that under a pressure from above or within all can evolve out of it”
He's always speaking from his own experience. In 1936, he wrote a letter about some of the lines in Canto VII that we've read; here are the lines:
- Often, a familiar visage studying
- His vision warned by the spirit’s inward eye
- Discovered suddenly Hell’s trademark there (p.215)
He said in the letter:
- “It is a reference to the beings met in the vital worlds that seem like human beings but, if one looks closely, they are seen to be Hostiles, often assuming the appearance of a familiar face, they try to tempt or attack by surprise, and betray the stamp of their origin — there is also a hint that on earth also they take up human bodies or possess them for their own purpose.”
“The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds” was written mostly in the 1930s and 1940s. The Second World War was going on in the 1940s, when Sri Aurobindo was writing lines like:
- Uprooted cities, blasted human homes,
- Burned writhen bodies, the bombshell’s massacre. (p.228)
It was well-known all over the Ashram that during the Second World War, Mother and Sri Aurobindo were on the side of the Allies, against Hitler. It was also known that they were working constantly on an occult level, to make sure that Germany did not win the war. Sri Aurobindo said that if the forces which moved Hitler were successful, it would set the progress of the world back hundreds and hundreds of years.
Notice he does not say, “if Hitler were successful”. He says, “the forces that move Hitler”. Mother and Sri Aurobindo said that Hitler was possessed. He was possessed by an Asuric being called the Lord of Nations. This is one of the four principle hostile forces which they said had to be conquered or transformed. So they were actively, consciously, constantly working on that level during the war, to make sure these forces could not succeed.
Sri Aurobindo said that if Hitler had invaded England after the collapse of France, he could have been in Asia by 1941, thus endangering India. But, another force was set up against him. Sri Aurobindo didn't say that it was his force – even if it was not only his force, he must have known all about it. And it's certain that their force was set up against Hitler. Sri Aurobindo called World War II, “The Mother's War”.
In 1940, Hitler declared that he would win the war by August 15th. August 15th is Sri Aurobindo's birthday, and of course an Ashram darshan day. And in  it became India's Independence Day.
Sri Aurobindo said that darshan days are days of great descent of force. On that day of August 15th of 1940, 144 German airplanes were brought down over England in half a day. One month later, on September 15th, Sri Aurobindo said, '<//nowiki>England has destroyed 175 German planes – a very big number – and after this, German invasion of England will be difficult<nowiki>'.
Sri Aurobindo always said that everything he wrote was realized or experienced. Perhaps he was putting in this part of Savitri some of the things that he saw and experienced during the war. Because we know that his consciousness was actively present in France and in England – and no doubt, in all the other places where the war was going on.
We have independent proof of Mother and Sri Aurobindo's occult work they did at the time. Sir Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of England then. In his speech to the English House of Commons, on October 13th, 1942, he said:
- “I want to stress that I have a feeling sometimes that some guiding hand has interfered. I have the feeling that we have a guardian because we serve a great cause. And that we shall have that guardian so long as we serve that great cause faithfully. And what a cause it is!”
Churchill also said something exactly like Sri Aurobindo; he said, “if Hitler [won] the war, the world will be set back”. Mother said that Churchill was being guided by the Divine directly, and his soul was responding magnificently.
Mother and Sri Aurobindo were working at all levels of activity during the war; they were not only at the government level. They were active on the front, in the trenches with the fighting soldiers. One American soldier, an 18-year-old G.I., fighting on the front in France, used to see Sri Aurobindo and Mother there. He called them “Great Sir” and “The Heaven Lady”. Sri Aurobindo guided him a lot in the heat of the battle. The soldier's name was John Kelly. Suddenly Sri Aurobindo would appear to John Kelly and say, “That wall is going to fall, move on”; the men would move on, and the wall would fall. Sri Aurobindo would come and warn John, “There will be shelling there.” He would say when to move and where to go. He would say 'do this thing', or 'do that thing', or “go out through the door on your right”. John said that Sri Aurobindo looked just as he actually was in the Ashram during the 1940s, with long white hair and a white beard; and that his skin had a golden color.
Once he told John Kelly to go out and draw the enemy's fire, and that he would be alright. And by then John trusted him enough to do it.
One time, John and the men with him wanted to find out what was inside a boxcar with a lock on the door. John drew his gun to shoot the lock off the door. Suddenly, Sri Aurobindo appeared and shouted “Don't shoot! Don't shoot!” John was so close to acting on this impulse to shoot, with his hand on the trigger of the gun, that Sri Aurobindo had to tell him three times, shouting at him, “Don't shoot! Don't shoot! Don't shoot!” Finally John put his gun away. And the men went around to the back of the boxcar. It was open: the whole boxcar was full of bombs. If John had shot his gun into the door on the other side, every one of those bombs would have exploded, and everyone would have been killed. There would have been really terrible destruction.
Many years later, John came to the Ashram and had Mother's darshan. Eventually he settled in Auroville in the very early days. While he was in the Ashram, he told his story to Maggie, one of Mother's secretaries. And Maggie wrote it all down and put it into a book.
I remember John Kelly from the early days. He'd been a fireman in New York City. And that's how we knew him: John Kelly the fireman. He was a big man, very tall. He had fair hair. And he was very gentle and very quiet, very soft-spoken. He was kind of stooped over, as though all his life he'd bent down to listen to people shorter than he was, when they spoke to him. And he lived in Auroville for the rest of his life.
So now we are with the great yogi king. He is moving through the world of Falsehood. Because he's conquered fear – when he descended into Night – he's been able to “see the hidden heart of Night” (p.220), where Nature denies the eternal Truth. He saw “Unreality made real and conscious Night” (p.221), in a place where “All high things served their nether opposite” (p.222). He saw the terrible cosmic form monstrously born from the stark Inconscient's sleep. And he saw “Life grew into a huge and hungry death” (p.223).
Now Sri Aurobindo is going to tell us about subtle and enormous powers which fill Nature with evil at that level of the Inconscient. He gives us a lot of details about how religions used to preach to people, and to impose upon them the opposite of true spirituality, and to create a world of hate instead of a world of love.
He also gently hints that this is also inside us; that it is also done inside us. The first mention he makes of religion here, he says:
- The artificers of Nature’s fall and pain
- Have built their altars of triumphant Night
- In the clay temple of terrestrial life. (p.226)
And then he goes on to talk about ceremonies in the temple. And this is a common idea in many spiritual teachings: that our body is our temple. And our body is made of earth.
Then he speaks of an unseen communion, and he also says:
- All the fierce bale with which the world is racked
- Is mixed in the foaming chalice of man’s heart
- And poured to them like sacramental wine. (p.226)
Later on here he goes into a longer description, which he begins by saying, “This was religion, this was Nature’s rule” (p.228). Then he speaks of how it makes people act badly, and how they then try to use their idea of God to support their terrible acts.
He even mentions how these subtle forces can affect objects, and how the inanimate can answer with the wickedness it receives.
It's good that he gives us these detailed descriptions and explanations, because he tells us straight out that:
- None can reach heaven who has not passed through hell. (p.227)
And he also says:
- This too the traveller of the worlds must dare. (p.227)
So we're in the world of Falsehood, with the sons of Darkness, and Sri Aurobindo writes...
… For terrible agencies the Spirit allows And there are subtle and enormous Powers That shield themselves with the covering Ignorance. Offspring of the gulfs, agents of the shadowy Force, Haters of light, intolerant of peace, Aping to the thought the shining Friend and Guide, Opposing in the heart the eternal Will, They veil the occult uplifting Harmonist. His wisdom’s oracles are made our bonds; The doors of God they have locked with keys of creed And shut out by the Law his tireless Grace. Along all Nature’s lines they have set their posts And intercept the caravans of Light; Wherever the Gods act, they intervene. A yoke is laid upon the world’s dim heart; Masked are its beats from the supernal Bliss, And the closed peripheries of brilliant Mind Block the fine entries of celestial Fire. Always the dark Adventurers seem to win; Nature they fill with evil’s institutes, p.226 Turn into defeats the victories of Truth, Proclaim as falsehoods the eternal laws, And load the dice of Doom with wizard lies; The world’s shrines they have occupied, usurped its thrones. In scorn of the dwindling chances of the Gods They claim creation as their conquered fief And crown themselves the iron Lords of Time. Adepts of the illusion and the mask, The artificers of Nature’s fall and pain Have built their altars of triumphant Night In the clay temple of terrestrial life. In the vacant precincts of the sacred Fire, In front of the reredos in the mystic rite Facing the dim velamen none can pierce, Intones his solemn hymn the mitred priest Invoking their dreadful presence in his breast: Attributing to them the awful Name He chants the syllables of the magic text And summons the unseen communion’s act, While twixt the incense and the muttered prayer All the fierce bale with which the world is racked Is mixed in the foaming chalice of man’s heart And poured to them like sacramental wine. Assuming names divine they guide and rule. Opponents of the Highest they have come Out of their world of soulless thought and power To serve by enmity the cosmic scheme. Night is their refuge and strategic base. Against the sword of Flame, the luminous Eye, Bastioned they live in massive forts of gloom, Calm and secure in sunless privacy: No wandering ray of Heaven can enter there. Armoured, protected by their lethal masks, As in a studio of creative Death The giant sons of Darkness sit and plan The drama of the earth, their tragic stage. p.227 All who would raise the fallen world must come Under the dangerous arches of their power; For even the radiant children of the gods To darken their privilege is and dreadful right. None can reach heaven who has not passed through hell. This too the traveller of the worlds must dare. A warrior in the dateless duel’s strife, He entered into dumb despairing Night Challenging the darkness with his luminous soul. Alarming with his steps the threshold gloom He came into a fierce and dolorous realm Peopled by souls who never had tasted bliss; Ignorant like men born blind who know not light, They could equate worst ill with highest good, Virtue was to their eyes a face of sin And evil and misery were their natural state. A dire administration’s penal code Making of grief and pain the common law, Decreeing universal joylessness Had changed life into a stoic sacrament And torture into a daily festival. An act was passed to chastise happiness; Laughter and pleasure were banned as deadly sins: A questionless mind was ranked as wise content, A dull heart’s silent apathy as peace: Sleep was not there, torpor was the sole rest, Death came but neither respite gave nor end; Always the soul lived on and suffered more. Ever he deeper probed that kingdom of pain; Around him grew the terror of a world Of agony followed by worse agony, And in the terror a great wicked joy Glad of one’s own and others’ calamity. There thought and life were a long punishment, The breath a burden and all hope a scourge, p.228 The body a field of torment, a massed unease; Repose was a waiting between pang and pang. This was the law of things none dreamed to change: A hard sombre heart, a harsh unsmiling mind Rejected happiness like a cloying sweet; Tranquillity was a tedium and ennui: Only by suffering life grew colourful; It needed the spice of pain, the salt of tears. If one could cease to be, all would be well; Else only fierce sensations gave some zest: A fury of jealousy burning the gnawed heart, The sting of murderous spite and hate and lust, The whisper that lures to the pit and treachery’s stroke Threw vivid spots on the dull aching hours. To watch the drama of infelicity, The writhing of creatures under the harrow of doom And sorrow’s tragic gaze into the night And horror and the hammering heart of fear Were the ingredients in Time’s heavy cup That pleased and helped to enjoy its bitter taste. Of such fierce stuff was made up life’s long hell: These were the threads of the dark spider’s-web In which the soul was caught, quivering and rapt; This was religion, this was Nature’s rule. In a fell chapel of iniquity To worship a black pitiless image of Power Kneeling one must cross hard-hearted stony courts, A pavement like a floor of evil fate. Each stone was a keen edge of ruthless force And glued with the chilled blood from tortured breasts; The dry gnarled trees stood up like dying men Stiffened into a pose of agony, And from each window peered an ominous priest Chanting Te Deums for slaughter’s crowning grace, Uprooted cities, blasted human homes, Burned writhen bodies, the bombshell’s massacre. “Our enemies are fallen, are fallen,” they sang, p.229 “All who once stayed our will are smitten and dead; How great we are, how merciful art Thou.” Thus thought they to reach God’s impassive throne And Him command whom all their acts opposed, Magnifying their deeds to touch his skies, And make him an accomplice of their crimes. There no relenting pity could have place, But ruthless strength and iron moods had sway, A dateless sovereignty of terror and gloom: This took the figure of a darkened God Revered by the racked wretchedness he had made, Who held in thrall a miserable world, And helpless hearts nailed to unceasing woe Adored the feet that trampled them into mire. It was a world of sorrow and of hate, Sorrow with hatred for its lonely joy, Hatred with others’ sorrow as its feast; A bitter rictus curled the suffering mouth; A tragic cruelty saw its ominous chance. Hate was the black archangel of that realm; It glowed, a sombre jewel in the heart Burning the soul with its malignant rays, And wallowed in its fell abysm of might. These passions even objects seemed to exude, — For mind overflowed into the inanimate That answered with the wickedness it received, — Against their users used malignant powers, Hurt without hands and strangely, suddenly slew, Appointed as instruments of an unseen doom. Or they made themselves a fateful prison wall Where men condemned wake through the creeping hours Counted by the tollings of an ominous bell. An evil environment worsened evil souls: All things were conscious there and all perverse. ...