Guiding Light of The Month

O Lord, how ardently do I call and implore Thy love! Grant that my aspiration may be intense enough to awaken the same aspiration everywhere: oh, may good- ness, justice and peace reign as supreme masters, may ignorant egoism be overcome, darkness be suddenly illu- minated by Thy pure Light; may the blind see, the deaf hear, may Thy law be proclaimed in every place and, in a constantly progressive union, in an ever more perfect harmony, may all, like one single being, stretch out their arms towards Thee to identify themselves with Thee and manifest Thee upon earth. - The Mother

And lead man to Truth's wide and golden road

Her nights are sleepless, for still she hears and sees "the dumb tread of Time and the approach of ever-nearing Fate". Then one night she is startled by a mighty voice invading her mortal life; she is jerked into a trance and becomes "a stone of God lit by an amethyst soul". What use Savitri—"O spirit, O immortal energy"!—coming to "this dumb deathbound earth" if it was merely to nurse a hopeless grief in a helpless heart? Not passive sufferance but positive action is expected of her:

      Arise, O soul, and vanquish Time and Death.

Still in her tranced state, Savitri replies: How can she strive when she has neither the strength nor the will to fight? Feeble are her chances of success, feeble the chances of the ignorant race of man responding to the "saviour Light" from above. "Is there a God whom any cry can move?" Isn't he careless of mankind, their dolour and their defeat?

What need have I, what need has Satyavan
To avoid the black-meshed net, the dismal door,
Or call a mightier Light into life's closed room,
A greater Law into man's little world? 

For her own problem there surely is cure enough; she can follow Satyavan to the far off bourne and there "lie inarmed breast upon breast...forgetting eternity's call, forgetting God". Almost a drowsy and pendant reply, hardly worthy of Savitri; the voice therefore admonishes her: "Is this enough, O spirit?" She has come down with a mightier intent, and it will not do to shrink from the task:

Cam'st thou not down to open the doors of Fate,
The iron doors that seemed for ever closed,
 And lead man to Truth's wide and golden road
 That runs through finite things to eternity? 

The petulant human rebel is silenced, and another power, the creator spirit within her, makes a reply. Savitri is ready for action as a vessel of the immortal Spirit; when she knows what she has to do, she will readily strive to do it. The voice answers:

      Find out thy soul, recover thy hid self,
      In silence seek God's meaning in thy depths,
      Then mortal nature change to the divine.

Human thought and human sense can be barriers checkmating the passage of the soul to the Soul; casting away everything, everything has to be gained; and by this means Savitri will be able to invoke the force of the Supreme and conquer Death.

      The voice is withdrawn, and Savitri finds herself sitting "rigid in her gold motionless pose" by sleeping Satyavan's side. The sky lours, thunder rumbles, rain hisses; but Savitri sits impassive still in self-absorbed concentration. She will look into herself, she will go in quest of her soul (as earlier she had gone in quest of her spouse), and she will not turn back till she sights and claims her hidden self.

      Her first series of insights disclose to her, "the cosmic past, the crypt-seed and the mystic origins,/The shadowy beginnings of world fate". It is a vivid and breathless pageantry—from the cosmic whirl of atomic space, the appearance of huddled masses of matter, the emergence of life' in algae, plant and tree, in insect, bird and beast, to the ultimate flowering of 'mind' in man:

      Mind nascent laboured out a mutable form,
      It built a mobile house on shifting sands,
      A floating isle upon a bottomless sea.

 Restless and enterprising, Mind has made conquests of all sorts and organised the "thousandfold commerce of the world". Sometimes probing below, sometimes gazing above, Mind has extended its inquiries into the lower as well as the higher regions of consciousness, nether Hell as also .high Heaven. Mind has its handmaidens—fancy, imagination—and they annex vast territories of experience for man to lord over. In apprehension like a god, yet man can also solicit the dark and devalue himself:

      Man's house of life holds not the gods alone:
      There are occult Shadows, there are tenebrous Powers,
      Inhabitants of life's ominous nether rooms,
      A shadowy world's stupendous denizens...
      The Titan and the Fury and the Djinn
      Lie bound in the subconscient's cavern pit
      And the Beast grovels in his antre den...

They are best kept caged and cribbed in the chambers of the underground, for once you start negotiating with them, they seize you body and soul, pervert all instruments, press their advantages without mercy, and deluge man's world with blood and terror:

      The terrible Angel smites at every door:
      An awful laughter mocks at the world's pain
      And massacre and torture grin at Heaven:...

 Man has propensities both towards good and evil; to give evil full and free play is to turn God's purposes upside down, for,

      It imitates the Godhead it denies,
      Puts on his figure and assumes his face.
      A Manichean creator and destroyer,
      This can abolish man, annul his world.

Thus man finds himself at the crossroads where meet opposing paths that show the way either to the world of the blessed or to the condemned wastes of hell. Man has a past and future, and the narrow isthmus of the present is his playground of trial and striving. While his mind is his helper, he cannot wholly depend upon it; mind too can mislead, unawares sometimes, and sometimes deliberately. There are other forces, however, to redress the balance, at times also to tilt it to dangerous consequence:

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.

But this is no more than a first report or preliminary finding; deeper meanings, clearer purposes, emerge on a closer look at the human drama that is being played on the cosmic stage. Not out of a "blind Nature-Force" has life emerged, and then mind; the sea of inconscience carries the potencies of life, mind, and any powers that may be above mind, though all as yet held in suspension as it were. What is 'involved', nascent or held in suspense comes out when the time is ripe, and so the evolutionary march begins and continues.

      There is a law that controls, yet transcends, the wide ranges of consciousness, from inert matter to man and the future superman. It may be that man has his "prone obscure beginnings" in the jungle ape; but he has not ceased to grow, he has not ceased to hanker after good and beauty and God, and he has been moving "in a white lucent air of dreams". The setbacks have been many, the frustrations numberless, but pioneering man has moved breast-forward, flirted with the omniscient, and made vague approaches to 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.

As Savitri sees these vistas pass before her, the realisation comes to her that the mighty Mother has made her,

      .. .the centre of a wide-drawn scheme,...
      To mould humanity into God's own shape
 And lead this great blind struggling world to light
 Or a new world discover or create.

But for this to be accomplished, the heavenly psyche hidden in Savitri should come out into the open and "liberate the god imprisoned in the visionless mortal man".

 (An excerpt from “Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri – A study of the cosmic epic”, Dr. Premanandakumar, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

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