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At the Feet of The Mother

Satyavan and Savitri

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Concluding session of the Savitri Study Camp 26, February 2020

We read these magical lines:

Built is the golden tower, the flame-child born. [702]

The ‘golden tower’ is of course the supramental consciousness coming all the way down to earth, and the ‘flame-child’ is the new creation, still in its infancy.

What are the signs of the Supermind?

People often ask, now that the Supermind has come, what are the signs?

What could the ape see when the first prototype not-even-humans – humanoids – walked upon the earth? Perhaps that ‘this is a strange cruel fellow that doesn’t look like an animal, doesn’t look like us, but still there are a lot of similarities’. He must have wondered who this fellow is, that’s all. ‘Strangeness.’ Maybe in the ape world he would have been declared mad! The ape wouldn’t have known what is going on inside, and what is going to take place in the future.

Such is the gap between the ape and human beings; and the Mother said that the gap between the supramental being and the human is much greater than the gap between the animal and humanity. It’s quite likely, she says, that for a long time, it will go unnoticed. But slowly a silent revolution has begun in the consciousness of earth, in children who are going to come more and more. They are children of the new age, they are ‘massive barrier-breakers’ [344]. The age of institutions is over. All the old ways of thinking – they are gone. There is hardly any room for narrowness, rigidity. Children live in a very wide psychological space.

All this is happening spontaneously; it’s not somebody’s doing. In fact, people don’t want this to happen, because it’s very unsettling. The coming of man has upset the animal world. The coming of superman is upsetting the human world: its fixed measures, its comfort zones, its way of life – it’s all gone. Almost all gone.

I have seen people where they… you know, earlier in India, marriages used to take place with somebody on the godi, with all the horns and all that, blowing them. Now many people say, ‘This looks so strange. Really people get married like this?’ Because really there is nothing which corresponds to an inner truth. There is a growing truth inside human beings. It looks, actually, outrightly foolish, all this show.

Many things are like that. Standard classroom education, in a fixed format – all that is gone. The formats of the mind are gone; this is what we see outwardly. Inwardly we see the cry for unity, for more harmony, for more knowledge, for greater adventures… all this is coming up in human beings. There is a cry for greater harmony, not just based on outward associations. These are the challenges. A new way of being is coming up upon earth.

First there will be a few prototypes who will embody this consciousness. Often people ask, ‘Can you name any supramental being, a superhuman being, as an example?’ Well, the first one is of course Mother and Sri Aurobindo. If we look at their lives we can see this. There are some very beautiful lines which describe this. One thing which we notice about the passages that we read about the way of being of the supramental being is Truth and Delight. These two things are very prominent.

That is where he will discover the law of his being, he will be beyond the social standards and yardsticks. First this truth will emerge as a subjective way of being: ‘I’ll do according to what I feel is right.’ Now this is a new change; it is not based on any social, legal, custom, tradition – that’s gone. Naturally this is a dangerous passage to start with, but slowly this ‘I’ will change, deepen, the ego’s self will soften, and there will be this great discovery of what is the law of Truth.


Relations of friendship

Earlier people would deal with different people based on common interest, based on whether they are related or not, blood-relation, custom, tradition, but now it’s no longer like that. A new way of relating with others is coming up, which is known as ‘friends’. It is very interesting that in most of the relations – between parent and child, husband and wife, and other different relations – the word that is being picked up to describe them is ‘friendship’, as if it is the law of the future. With friends it’s very beautiful: we don’t expect anything from the other and at the same time there’s a deep bonding. We don’t need to be together in one geographical space, and yet the relation can be there. It’s a deep understanding. It’s not based on any fear. And that is the relation that is developing even towards the Divine.

Things are going to change. The basic difference is that the mind is a divided consciousness – that is why it has been regarded as a ‘fall’ or the ‘original sin’. We have fallen. Because of the ego-sense we have lost the wideness and the instinctive oneness of animal kind. Now we have to regain it again in the intuitive consciousness; we have to develop this sense of unity. In the higher hemisphere, the beings have a sense of unity. Does that mean that there will be no difference? There may be. The example that Sri Aurobindo gives in The Life Divine is very beautiful. He says that differences will be like between the different gods. Each god is one aspect of the Divine, but at another level (in the Puranas) you see that each god is the highest. Each god is the highest. How can each god be the highest? Agni is the highest in his own way; Vayu is the highest in his own way; Varuna is the highest in his own way. If you read the Puranas, the impression is that, whichever god is being discussed, ‘this god is the highest’; it can be pretty confusing. But what this means is that each god is a prayer of the oneness which is behind, but the oneness is held back and one aspect is put forward. Agni holds within himself Varuna and Mitra and Bhaga and Soma and all the others, and puts forward the Agni aspect. Varuna holds within himself the Agni, the Vaya, Bhag, Som, Aryaman, and all of them inside, and puts forward the Varuna aspect. This is how creation will be: manifold! There are many millions of gods, and yet each god is connected with the Supreme.

This is how the creation will be: a rich play of difference and yet on the basis of oneness. This oneness will not blur differentiations. It’s not that everybody will wear the same dress – that would be a very boring world, and one would want to run away from that. It will not be a regimented world, everybody doing the same thing at the same time every day. The Divine doesn’t like that. He laughs in differentiation, in differences, everything – but on the basis of unity, because it is infinite. This is one thing that we find prominently.

The second thing is that the creation will be based on Truth and Harmony. This Truth means, again, that there will be varied relations, but with each one there will be the unfolding of the law of Truth, nothing else. You can’t fix a supramental action. We like to fix it by the mind; that is why the supramental personality is described as an ‘impersonal universality’. We like to see people acting in the same way always. That’s a fixed personality – mind works like that. But the supramental being will not be like that. We see this in Savitri in how she responds even toward the contrary arguments of Death with the Truth.

The third very important thing is that the supramental being will see the One, the Divine, God, in everything – in every creature, in every event, in every circumstance, in every happening. Even what appears to our outer eyes as disaster, it will see the way of working of the Divine. It will see wisdom operating even in something which looks like a catastrophe, even there it will see the wisdom is at work. It will put the mind at ease, at rest; there will be this self-existent peace at all times. This worry, anxiety, fear (‘What is going to happen?’ ‘What may happen?’) – that will go away because one will see that this is how the Divine is working towards his own greater plan, towards his great unfolding.


From light to greater light

The experience of the supramental being will run from point to point of light to greater light. It will not be from light towards ignorance, where suddenly doubt comes, and we don’t know whether God is there or not – ‘Is it true? Is it right?’ – no. It will start from a point of light and move towards greater light, wider light, vaster light. It will be that kind of growth, from freedom to greater freedom. There will be a fundamental freedom of the soul. It will know that ‘regardless of Nature, I am free within’ – this is the Jivanmukta state. Then, progressively, the parts of the nature will get liberated and unite with the Divine. It will run from freedom to greater freedom, and most importantly, from delight to greater delight.

This is the new creation which is being promised to us. There are those souls which are destined for this, have become ready, or have been picked up – and there is the Divine Mother, who is carrying all of us together towards this new creation. Obviously, in the beginning it’ll be only a few. That is what Sri Aurobindo has written very categorically: it is those who have turned, those who have opened, who are ready to pay the price – and it is a big price for changing from man the mental being to the supramental being. It’s not money that’s needed; you can’t buy it with ten thousand dollars or say ‘let me do a two-week course’. You can’t; it’s impossible. What is the price? The price is ego. That is difficult. Especially as it sticks in the mind: ‘me, my view, my idea, my opinions, people should behave as I want them to behave.’ That’s all gone, the children are breaking it. That is the price that we have to pay, and if we are ready to pay the price, then we are ready for that delight.


Who is Satyavan?

We’ll quickly go through these lines on page 702:

“Descend to life with him thy heart desires.
O Satyavan, O luminous Savitri,
I sent you forth of old beneath the stars,
A dual power of God in an ignorant world, [702]

Always we have walked together: the soul within, Satyavan, and luminous Savitri, the Divine Mother. We don’t remember it; but she knows it. That is the only difference. This dual power.

In a hedged creation shut from limitless self, [702]

This ‘hedged creation’ is the lower creation.

Bringing down God to the insentient globe,
Lifting earth-beings to immortality. [702]

Now comes a description of who is Satyavan. We know Satyavan is the soul of man entangled in the forest of ignorance but aspiring towards light. This is the hallmark of humanity. If there is no aspiration, no seeking, then it’s very difficult to say it is humanity. We can say it’s a ‘semblance of humanity’. The body is human; but the hallmark of humanity is that there’s a seeking, and it expresses itself at first in a very vague way: as dissatisfaction with what is. That is what the Mother says: if you are very satisfied with life as it is, with the world as it is, it’s all right, go back, be happy. One is not ready for the new creation.

This doesn’t mean that one has to start looking for dissatisfaction – it’s not about complaining. Everything is wonderful; life is beautiful outwardly, everything is wonderful. But still there is something that seeks for something greater, higher, more beautiful. That is the hallmark of an aspiration which is awakened in man. This is Satyavan. A few lines below it says:

He is my soul that climbs from nescient Night [702]

Satyavan can really never be happy until he has found the Divine Mother, who will lead him to his home. He cannot be happy. He is looking for that, looking for her, in countless forms, in countless ways.

Through life and mind and supernature’s Vast
To the supernal light of Timelessness
And my eternity hid in moving Time
And my boundlessness cut by the curve of Space. [702-03]

Out of the limits he’s growing towards the limitless Vast. That’s the story of Matsya-avatara: every time you put it in water, it grows bigger and bigger. The consciousness is expanding and it no more limits. Human consciousness is growing in such a way that it does not want to accept limits. Fifty years back it was very happy with limits. If a child moved out of the village to a new town nearby, it was a big event! And if he went abroad, then he was as good as dead. When he came back, there was a ceremony. I think some of us are aware of it, isn’t it so? ‘Take a bath in the Ganges water – you are corrupted, you’re spoiled.’

Now, everybody is restless. Because something in the mind has to burst. It is going here, there, everywhere. People are already planning for a trip to Mars, and they have paid up for a few days in a satellite, the Space Station. Already some people have signed up with Elon Musk. Millions of dollars they have already paid in advance. But it’s not about outer space, it’s about inner space, the inner impulse.

It climbs to the greatness it has left behind
And to the beauty and joy from which it fell, [703]

This is the great Fall, and we have to climb back to that light, to that beauty. Supermind is beauty, Supermind is love, Supermind is harmony. Supermind is Ananda. It is not just Truth, but all these based on Truth. Its unity is not formed on any external association, compromise, adjustment, law – none of those things – but on a spontaneous discovery of the Divine within.

To the closeness and sweetness of all things divine,
To light without bounds and life illimitable,
Taste of the depths of the Ineffable’s bliss,
Touch of the immortal and the infinite. [703]

This too we have read before – how to the supramental being even the touch of hell will be to her his kiss. Even the close touch of hell. Because you see the Divine in everything. Even that will be the kiss of the Lord, so where will be scope for sorrow? It is in the depths, in the heights, everywhere.

He is my soul that gropes out of the beast
To reach humanity’s heights of lucent thought
And the vicinity of Truth’s sublime. [703]

This is Satyavan, struggling out of the beast, growing through man towards superhuman heights with thought as the ladder – he climbs on the ladder of thought.

He is the godhead growing in human lives [703]

This is the godhead. We are worshipping all the gods outside, in all the temples. But the real godhead inside remains unworshipped, unseen, unfound. At one place Sri Aurobindo says it is God’s last refuge from the profaning touch of the world. Where has he hidden himself? He saw everywhere human beings go to the mountains, here, there, everywhere – they go to God and fill him with all the desires, with money. I went to a temple where they had some soft drinks outside. What is it for? They said, ‘You can offer it to the deity.’ People were buying the soft drinks, 10 rupees or whatever (I didn’t buy it of course) – buy it and give it to the deity. Around the deity there were a lot of soft drinks! Obviously, the drinks had been circulating. Somebody, who was revolted, asked me, ‘What is this?’ I said, ‘No, see, this is socialism. Don’t look at it as a very deep spiritual thing. It is Indian socialism: the soft drink is picked up from here, going there, going back to the stall. In between, some people are drinking it. Money is coming. What is the problem?’ (Laughs)

This will go away. None of this is needed. The real godhead is here – he has taken refuge. Because it is here that thought’s profaning touch will not reach. We have to leave it outside, then step inside.

Everywhere else, whenever we go to a place – even the Ashram – ‘Ah… (looking around)… What is this? What is that?’ Feel for awhile, the place. ‘What is the philosophy? This book, that book…’ The human mind is all the time active. If it rested from that for just a few moments, if one just keeps one’s head at the Samadhi, I tell you more light will enter inside. But the human mind is like that.

He is the godhead growing in human lives
And in the body of earth-being’s forms: [703]

Earth is a being, a goddess! And she is building forms – for whom? For the Lord to inhabit.

What do we do? We don’t care for making the temple here; we build temples outside to satisfy our desires. All the gods are satisfying our desires, and the priests are having a happy time. If our desire is fulfilled, it is thanks to the god; if it is not fulfilled, it is karma, or, ‘sometime, it will happen.’ Not realising that when the desire is not fulfilled, that is when God has picked you up and started acting. (Of course the Divine Mother does both.)

He is the soul of man climbing to God
In Nature’s surge out of earth’s ignorance. [703]


The new strategy

Who is Savitri?

O Savitri, thou art my spirit’s Power, [703]

We can take Savitri as the Divine Mother, the embodiment. We can take Savitri the book as ‘my spirit’s power’. And we can take Savitri as the divine energy, the divine will in the race.

That’s why in the whole tantra yoga, the whole kundalini, it is the divine energy, the Divine Shakti. Sri Aurobindo said that the energy in the kundalini is the Divine Mother’s. It is held at the base, in matter, where this fellow is tied – the psychic essence – and she climbs upward, right up to the Siddhidatri, the giver of all perfection, through Maharatri, the darkness of the infinite, through Kali and Gauri, all these. We can look at it in many ways. It’s not just in one incarnation she has come, light to light, birth to birth – the Divine Mother has never left the earth since its inception; and she continues to be here now, if I may say so, in her supramental form, her highest form.

We do not have to awaken her from within from matter’s base like in the old kundalini yoga. That’s gone; that’s old yoga. Now she’s here! We just give ourselves to her, and she pours her shakti from above, streaming down, right to the base. This is the new strategy.

We have this:

O Savitri, thou art my spirit’s Power,
The revealing voice of my immortal Word, [703]

The first drop of creation: ‘You are That.’ Mother also says each line of Savitri is the perfect word, Om.

The face of Truth upon the roads of Time
Pointing to the souls of men the routes to God. [703]

Mother says, ‘all souls who aspire are directly under my care.’ Mark the word ‘directly’ – it changes everything. Indirectly, as the universal Mother, she is with all. But directly, all those who aspire, she says, ‘Now this is mine. Death dare not come near. They are mine, they will come to me; when I want, they will come back into the world, in forms that I decide and choose.’

She builds the forms of the vibhutis, her vibhutis. It is there in The Mother. They are directly under her care. But also, Sri Aurobindo has said and the Mother has said, just reading Savitri is enough to take us to the highest realisations of the yoga of transformation without the need of a living guru. How beautifully it corresponds.

Pointing to the souls of men the routes to God. [703]

There’s not one route – there are many routes, a million routes!

While the dim light from the veiled Spirit’s peak
Falls upon Matter’s stark inconscient sleep
As if a pale moonbeam on a dense glade, [703]

The moonbeam, we know, is the spiritual mind, as it’s coming upon earth.

And Mind in a half-light moves amid half-truths
And the human heart knows only human love [703]

This is one of the marvellous lines! ‘The human heart knows only human love.’ In fact, when it is face-to-face with divine Love, Mother says it finds it remote, cold, austere, inaccessible. That’s what people wrote to Sri Aurobindo, not realising that he is someone who has sacrificed his own realisation for the sake of us earthlings. What kind of love must be there in his heart! In his poem ‘Seer deep-hearted’, Sri Aurobindo says:

Seer deep-hearted, divine king of the secrecies,
Occult fountain of love sprung from the heart of God,

Vast thy soul was a tide washing the coasts of heaven.
[CWSA 2: 677]

He is the fount of love. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, we have turned them into philosophers, which Sri Aurobindo never wanted to be. That is our problem. We think: ‘philosopher’ is very good; ‘lover’ is like a crazy fellow. God is the lover of mankind. That is how he describes it in his poem ‘Who’: the eternal lover of mankind.

The Master of man and his infinite Lover,
He is close to our hearts, had we vision to see;
[CWSA 2: 203]

The human heart does not know that love; that is what will be revealed to us.

And life is a stumbling and imperfect force [703]

It tries to hold this, loses it; tries to hold it, loses it, because it doesn’t know that by renouncing, you enjoy. It doesn’t know, so it’s always trying to grab. Therefore it loses it, because how much can you possess in two hands? It’s like the story of the monkey, putting his hand to take out channa, and his hand got stuck in the pot. He is not letting go of the thing in his hand, and at the same time he wants the hand to come out. It doesn’t work like that. Let go of that; let the hand come out. There are better ways of having the channa!

And the body counts out its precarious days, [703]

This is our life. ‘How old are you?’…

You shall be born into man’s dubious hours
In forms that hide the soul’s divinity [703]

This can be understood in many ways. People say, ‘Oh, the Divine Mother will come again.’ – yes, of course. When has she ever not come? It also means the divine soul reproducing herself in countless bodies. It can mean many things.

That’s how Sri Aurobindo puts it in The Life Divine: the divine soul reproduces itself in many bodies, in unnumbered bodies and births. Where is the limit?

In forms that hide the soul’s divinity
And show through veils of the earth’s doubting air
My glory breaking as through clouds a sun,
Or burning like a rare and inward fire,
And with my nameless influence fill men’s lives. [703]

What will she do? In these forms, she will come and give us a mantra? No, those are old ways. That path is not needed. What she will do is influence us. Sri Aurobindo says repeatedly in the letters: it all depends on whether you can open to the Influence or not (‘influence’ with a capital ‘I’). That’s why he says one must come repeatedly to the Ashram, to open to that Influence.

What was she doing when people came to her? She says, ‘I just give them a bath of the Lord.’ That’s it. When we go to the Samadhi, we take a bath of the Lord. When we think of her and meditate on her, wherever we are, we have a bath of the Lord. When we gaze at her photograph, she gives us a nice bath, with all the ideal ingredients to scrub off the dirt of the centuries and previous lives.

Yet shall they look up as to peaks of God
And feel God like a circumambient air
And rest on God as on a motionless base. [703]

In the energy of motion, in the circumambient air which is driving them, they feel the presence of the Divine Shakti flowing through their breath, their heartbeat, their speech, their acts, and everything. At the same time, when they rest, where do they rest? In her breast, in her lap.

Somebody asked, ‘What is the routine of a sadhak?’ He was expecting to learn what does he do when he gets up, when he prays, how much he meditates… What is the routine of the sadhak? He wakes up and breathes Mother’s air, is driven by her Force, sleeps in her lap. This is it. Nothing else. All else are outward things.

Yet shall there glow on mind like a horned moon
The Spirit’s crescent splendour in pale skies [703]

Why is he qualifying with the word ‘yet’? Because as of now, the human heart knows only human love. The human mind knows only ignorance. The human life is always a stumbling and struggling thing. But in spite of everything, ‘yet’, this glow will come; people will begin to feel this crescent moon, this chandrashekara, waxing and waning.

The moon is the sign of the spiritual mind. Our human mind will begin to glimpse the spiritual mind – and that is what is happening. That is why we see suddenly there is this spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst in humanity. Unfortunately, like any thirst, if you are very thirsty sometimes you are given Coca Cola. Please – it will only increase the thirst and create diabetes. But if you have no option, you take it.

This is what is happening, because there is an increased thirst, an increased hunger, a lot of shops, a lot of markets have opened – spiritual shops. ‘Guidance in three days.’ ‘Crash-course in seven days.’ ‘Nirvana in 14 days.’ ‘What do I need to do?’ ‘Ten-thousand, two-thousand, five-thousand’… there are rates. If somebody is selling the Koh-i-Noor diamond for a price, be careful. Nobody can buy the Koh-i-Noor. It’s either stolen, which is the wrong way of doing it, or it’s given as a gift. Nobody can buy the Koh-i-Noor. No human being can.

It’s very interesting: the Koh-i-Noor never belonged to anyone. Yes, Ranjit Singh – but he also got it from somewhere. Nobody really knows. Then the Mughal prince again came back, then the British came. It doesn’t ‘belong’ to anyone.

It is like that. It is something which will grow upon men.

Yet shall they look up as to peaks of God [703]

In spite of being bound to matter, they will start looking up. This is what man is created for, unlike the animals who cannot look up – it is very difficult for them. They can only look to the sides. (Except the jackal which looks up to the moon – I think that’s just in movies. I don’t know whether he really looks up to the moon.) But they can’t, generally, animals can’t do it. Human beings can look up. They can even lie like this (gesture) and look up. It’s given to man.

Yet shall they look up as to peaks of God
And feel God like a circumambient air
And rest on God as on a motionless base.
Yet shall there glow on mind like a horned moon
The Spirit’s crescent splendour in pale skies
And light man’s life upon his Godward road. [703-04]

This light will grow, and the road will open before man: the supramental path, the road to the new creation. It is done, it is fixed, and none can reverse it.

We can doubt it. We can stay on the shore. We can think and calculate; that’s up to us. Or we can simply plunge with this certitude which is the sign of heroism. Take the plunge, slay the ego, and swim in the upward current of the supramental life.