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At the Feet of The Mother


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I am the hushed search of the jealous gods
Pursuing my wisdom’s vast mysterious work
Seized in the thousand meeting ways of heaven.
I am the beauty of the unveiled ray
Drawing through the deep roads of the infinite night
The unconquerable pilgrim soul of earth
Beneath the flaring torches of the stars.
I am the inviolable Ecstasy;
They who have looked on me, shall grieve no more.
The eyes that live in night shall see my form.
On the pale shores of foaming steely straits
That flow beneath a grey tormented sky, [683-684]

The Glory of the Lord is described thus in one of the passages in Savitri as if by the Lord himself. Savitri is full of such marvelous passages that are at once revealing and uplifting. It is said that the final bondage to ignorance is cut asunder when we have seen him. Even a glimpse of that Glory of glories is enough for man to take away all attractions (and repulsions) and put oneself fully at his feet in complete surrender and self-giving, in a gesture of worship and adoration. This vision melts away all the coatings and layers of the nature and the shell of the ego within which He is hidden. Yet to behold him is far from easy since what eyes can outline and what heart can contain that Light of lights, the Splendour described thus in the Katha Upanishad:

There the Sun cannot shine and the moon has no lustre; all the stars are blind; there our lightnings flash not, neither any earthly fire. For all that is bright is but the shadow of His brightness and by His shining all this shineth. [CWSA 18:123]

Even tapaswis of yore find it difficult enough to have even a fleeting glimpse of him who alone IS. And yet from time to time we see him manifested in a human body through whom we can draw a little closer to this grand vision that ultimately comes only by sheer Grace. While human beings in their extreme reaches of thought have tried to conceive God, yet a moment comes when thought falls away and we realise that even our highest conceptions are but poor caricatures, one-sided formulas of He who is at once formless, featureless and yet assumes and inhabits all forms.

And yet there never has been an age when there has not been someone who has witnessed the Glory of the Lord and revealed that grand and beatific Vision to men through sublime poetry. Nearer to us we have, in the century that we just leave behind, two of the greatest spiritual beings who were not just yogis and saints and spiritual Masters, but those who are direct descents of the Divine in man, the Avatar as they are called in India. Of course, to regard them as an Avatar or not is a matter of personal belief or revelation, but this much is certain that in the entire spiritual history of mankind never has such an integral all-unifying revelation of God been given as we see in the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. And when it comes to Savitri, this vision is revealed to us through words that are sheer mantras of the highest planes. Just reading them brings us close to the Vision, exalts our heart and soul, stills the mind and the senses and draws us nearer to the Lord and the Divine Mother. To meditate upon lines from Savitri is to engage in yoga itself, it is to open the doors to the transformative Power that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother brought down and established upon earth so that man too may ascend and grow into the likeness of God. Man is already one with him in essence, as indeed all things in their essence are God, but touched by this new yoga he can also become one with the Lord in the ever-changing, ever-evolving manifestation, since this too is God. While traditionally we see a division, a hiatus left between the Creator and the creation, we see this gap filled by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother wherein the experience and revelation of God has to be not only in static essence as an eternal witness but also in the dynamic dance of creation, in the manifestation itself. It is hoped that these lines from Savitri, a selection based on the theme of the Lord and his Glory, would help us as the next best thing to having a direct personal glimpse of the Lord. In fact, they would prepare us to receive the Lord when He comes, to understand something of his ways, and to fill our mind and heart with him whose Splendour shines in the distant star and sun as much as it is hidden in a grain of sand and caught in the whorl of an atom and a flower.

Sri Aurobindo has revealed to us that the Divine is One but has two sides through which we can approach him. One side is the passive witness aspect, the aspect that is more commonly sought, the aspect of Peace that is liberating. The other side is the dynamic creative aspect, the aspect of Ananda that is creative and transformative. These two sides are regarded as the masculine and the feminine side of the One Divine, the Ishwara and his Shakti, Brahman and Maya, the Lord and the Divine Mother. While the two are one and same and each contains the other within it, for the creation it is the Divine Mother who has become the bridge and it is through her that the doors of liberation and transformation can open. Even when the yogin does not recognise her, yet it is by some power of her that he proceeds in his journey. She is indeed the Knowledge and Power of the Lord that has gone forth into the play and hence it is only through her that our souls can climb back to the Supreme.

In the first part we had taken out selections from Savitri on the Glory of the Divine Mother, in her triple status and also in her manifestation as an Avatar in the persona of Savitri whose experiences are none other than the Divine Mother’s present incarnation as Mother Mirra. This second part takes up the Divine as the Lord in all his different poises and statuses. As an Avatar, however, the Lord is represented in Savitri both in the persona of Aswapati whose experiences we know to be of Sri Aurobindo’s, but also as Satyavan. Satyavan is the soul of man caught here in the forest of ignorance. That is the symbol. But Satyavan is also the Avatar, the incarnation of the Supreme who has descended and become human to bear the human struggles and show the way to man. We have accordingly taken out passages from Aswapati’s yoga as well as the earthly lila of the Lord and his Shakti as revealed to us through the narrative of Satyavan and Savitri.

When the Mother was asked as to what Satyavan represents, She summarised it in two short and sweet sentences: “Well, he is the Avatar. He is the incarnation of the Supreme” (CWM 5: 390).

The selections here are therefore both about the Lord in all his different statuses but also as the conscious descent of the Supreme in a human form, the Avatar.

Alok Pandey
Pondicherry, January 2022