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At the Feet of The Mother

Book One Canto III Summary

Essentially this state of freedom comes by a progressive growth of consciousness, a heightening, widening and deepening resulting in a greater and deeper and truer awareness of all that remains hidden behind the veil of a limited ego-bound waking consciousness of man. There is much more that awaits our exploration and discovery, states beyond states of peace and joy and beauty and bliss, powers that lie unused in Nature’s sleep, and above all, the Divine Presence hid within man. The Seer and Yogi Aswapati is experiencing these profound mysteries of existence not just as a freak but as a prototype of the human race. His experiences in a way hold an example for others, they carve a path through which Nature must and will move one day carrying human evolution beyond itself. The freedom of one individual, the pioneer and forerunner, Seer-King Aswapati is the freedom that Nature will eventually concede to many more who reach that point of evolution, where the human limits begin to open out into the limitless infinite.

What is however not given to us here is the nature of Aswapati’s yoga that he followed in this great ascension. There are hints and suggestions but the primary refrain is that he is a chosen vessel, a representative of God in humanity. However we are also told that he also embodies the human aspiration and thus becomes a meeting point between the human, as he stands now, and the Divine manifestation that is yet to come. What path man should take towards that is revealed later, primarily in the Book of Yoga (Book Seven), the path opened and shown by the Divine Mother born as Savitri.

This is the description of the seer-king Aswapati as he ascends out of the zone of Ignorance and settles into Knowledge.  Three things stand obvious in this Canto. First, as we can see, these are clearly Sri Aurobindo’s own experiences written with such detail and clarity. Secondly, we may find some of these profound experiences in traditional spiritual literature, whereas others that are not generally so found. Even there are paths and sects that have built themselves upon one or two such experiences. Very clearly Sri Aurobindo went farther, much farther in search of the Integral Truth. Finally and what is indeed interesting is that while traditional spiritual literature, that speaks about bondage to Ignorance and liberation, leans upon Knowledge (as in Vedanta) or upon Power (as in Tantra), we find here a beautiful synthesis of both. Aswapati’s freedom from Ignorance is not just in terms of gaining true Knowledge but also true Power. In the end, as it is revealed in the next Canto, these are in fact two sides of One integral Reality.


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To be spontaneous means not to think, organise, decide and make an effort to realise with the personal will.