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At the Feet of The Mother

The Lord in the Becoming

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The Divine Becoming Human

LO, HE HAS COME, the Wonder of wonders, the Mystery of mysteries, Truth sublime, the Light ineffable, Vision supreme. He has come assuming a human face wearing a human form. Oh the error of mortal thought that believed God to be seated forever above in some transcendent realm beyond the reach of man the thinker, beyond even the reach of the gods, covered in the Silence ineffable, hidden by a veil of Light. Yet He has come leaving his eternal doors to be with us, amongst us, as one of us.

His was a spirit that stooped from larger spheres
Into our province of ephemeral sight,
A colonist from immortality.
A pointing beam on earth’s uncertain roads,
His birth held up a symbol and a sign;
His human self like a translucent cloak
Covered the All-Wise who leads the unseeing world.
Affiliated to cosmic Space and Time
And paying here God’s debt to earth and man
A greater sonship was his divine right.
Although consenting to mortal ignorance,
His knowledge shared the Light ineffable.
A strength of the original Permanence
Entangled in the moment and its flow,
He kept the vision of the Vasts behind:
A power was in him from the Unknowable.
An archivist of the symbols of the Beyond,
A treasurer of superhuman dreams,
He bore the stamp of mighty memories
And shed their grandiose ray on human life.
His days were a long growth to the Supreme.
A skyward being nourishing its roots
On sustenance from occult spiritual founts
Climbed through white rays to meet an unseen Sun.
His soul lived as eternity’s delegate,
His mind was like a fire assailing heaven,
His will a hunter in the trails of light.
An ocean impulse lifted every breath;
Each action left the footprints of a god,
Each moment was a beat of puissant wings.
The little plot of our mortality
Touched by this tenant from the heights became
A playground of the living Infinite. [22-23]

This passage introduces us to Aswapati who is the Divine’s representative upon earth. He has come to open the skyward way even as before. The Divine not only governs from above, he throws himself also in the flow and flux of things so that the forward march of mankind continues according to the original Plan.



Realising the Lord as Self

HE WATCHES THE PLAY from beyond in a state of perfect Peace, a state where all debates, quarrels and struggles cease to be. It is where our soul finds rest. The soul that realises this is no more absorbed in the earthly play. It becomes a witness as the Lord, free and a King of nature rather than its bondslave.

His centre was no more in earthly mind;
A power of seeing silence filled his limbs:
Caught by a voiceless white epiphany
Into a vision that surpasses forms,
Into a living that surpasses life,
He neared the still consciousness sustaining all.
The voice that only by speech can move the mind
Became a silent knowledge in the soul;
The strength that only in action feels its truth
Was lodged now in a mute omnipotent peace.
A leisure in the labour of the worlds,
A pause in the joy and anguish of the search
Restored the stress of Nature to God’s calm.
A vast unanimity ended life’s debate.
The war of thoughts that fathers the universe,
The clash of forces struggling to prevail
In the tremendous shock that lights a star
As in the building of a grain of dust,
The grooves that turn their dumb ellipse in space
Ploughed by the seeking of the world’s desire,
The long regurgitations of Time’s flood,
The torment edging the dire force of lust
That wakes kinetic in earth’s dullard slime
And carves a personality out of mud,
The sorrow by which Nature’s hunger is fed,
The oestrus which creates with fire of pain,
The fate that punishes virtue with defeat,
The tragedy that destroys long happiness,
The weeping of Love, the quarrel of the Gods,
Ceased in a truth which lives in its own light.
His soul stood free, a witness and a king.
Absorbed no more in the moment-ridden flux
Where mind incessantly drifts as on a raft
Hurried from phenomenon to phenomenon,
He abode at rest in indivisible Time. [32-33]

This passage describes Aswapati achieving Self-realisation. This is the first step in a series of further ascensions and transmuting experiences that change our inlook and outlook on things.



The Masked Transcendent’s Throne

THE EARTH IS HIS SEAT, the stars are his crown. He is the invisible King, the true claimant to the throne of earth. He is the King of kings and all are his delegates. Now He has come wrapped in the thick of darkness to overthrow the tyrants and change this world into a kingdom of God. Man knows not since a dense veil of ignorance surrounds us. Yet He is here, stealing into the hearts and minds of men.

Thus will the masked Transcendent mount his throne.
When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast
And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,
As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread
Of one who steps unseen into his house.
A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey,
A Power into mind’s inner chamber steal,
A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors
And beauty conquer the resisting world,
The Truth-Light capture Nature by surprise,
A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss
And earth grow unexpectedly divine.
In Matter shall be lit the spirit’s glow,
In body and body kindled the sacred birth;
Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,
The days become a happy pilgrim march,
Our will a force of the Eternal’s power,
And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.
A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done. [55]

The passage is at once a prophesy and a hope. However dense the darkness, the Divine will one day govern from within it this world of matter even as He governs it now from above and behind the veil. He shall come and change the course of things turning this earthly human life into a life divine.



The Spirit’s Bare and Absolute Potencies

THE LORD is not just featureless, formless Silence bare and nude. He is also the infinite One. Each of his countless aspects that are part of his infinite Personality are the great gods. In the triple world of the Ignorance they appear separate and independent but within him they stand united as a distinct yet unified aspects of his infinite Personality.

In the wide signless ether of the Self,
In the unchanging Silence white and nude,
Aloof, resplendent like gold dazzling suns
Veiled by the ray no mortal eye can bear,
The Spirit’s bare and absolute potencies
Burn in the solitude of the thoughts of God.
A rapture and a radiance and a hush,
Delivered from the approach of wounded hearts,
Denied to the Idea that looks at grief,
Remote from the Force that cries out in its pain,
In his inalienable bliss they live.
Immaculate in self-knowledge and self-power,
Calm they repose on the eternal Will.
Only his law they count and him obey;
They have no goal to reach, no aim to serve.
Implacable in their timeless purity,
All barter or bribe of worship they refuse;
Unmoved by cry of revolt and ignorant prayer
They reckon not our virtue and our sin;
They bend not to the voices that implore,
They hold no traffic with error and its reign;
They are guardians of the silence of the Truth,
They are keepers of the immutable decree.
A deep surrender is their source of might,
A still identity their way to know,
Motionless is their action like a sleep.
At peace, regarding the trouble beneath the stars,
Deathless, watching the works of Death and Chance,
Immobile, seeing the millenniums pass,
Untouched while the long map of Fate unrolls,
They look on our struggle with impartial eyes,
And yet without them cosmos could not be. [57]

The passage describes the way the great gods function and deal with creation and its creatures. They do what they are assigned to do as moved by the One. The only thing they count upon is the divine Law.



Guide of the World

HE IS HERE; He is here amidst all our error and ignorance and sin. He is here; He is here entangled in the flux of the hours, upholding the march of time with his silent Will, the Will that has woven the stars and is ingrained in the very fabric of creation. It is ultimately his Will that prevails against all odds and dangers and difficulties. All that is needed is to be full of trust and hope, since He is here, He is here.

One who has shaped this world is ever its lord:
Our errors are his steps upon the way;
He works through the fierce vicissitudes of our lives,
He works through the hard breath of battle and toil,
He works through our sins and sorrows and our tears,
His knowledge overrules our nescience;
Whatever the appearance we must bear,
Whatever our strong ills and present fate,
When nothing we can see but drift and bale,
A mighty Guidance leads us still through all.
After we have served this great divided world
God’s bliss and oneness are our inborn right.
A date is fixed in the calendar of the Unknown,
An anniversary of the Birth sublime:
Our soul shall justify its chequered walk,
All will come near that now is naught or far.
These calm and distant Mights shall act at last.
Immovably ready for their destined task,
The ever-wise compassionate Brilliances
Await the sound of the Incarnate’s voice
To leap and bridge the chasms of Ignorance
And heal the hollow yearning gulfs of Life
And fill the abyss that is the universe. [59]

As always, Sri Aurobindo brings us hope and cheer. As the above passage indicates, God is not only the still small voice in the heart but also the tempest and the blinding storm. Indeed all is He and there is nothing else but him. It is this supreme truth that we must always remember. It is this that is the source of all hope.



The Two Who Are One

ALL ARE HIS, all are He. It is his Knowledge and Power that breathes life within each seemingly separate element. It is his Energy that drives them even though veiled by the shroud of ignorance that He has willed for his incalculable purpose. This too was needed for the play. Yet secretly and in essence the Creator and the creation, the Lord and his Shakti, The One Self and Nature are always one.

All here where each thing seems its lonely self
Are figures of the sole transcendent One:
Only by him they are, his breath is their life;
An unseen Presence moulds the oblivious clay.
A playmate in the mighty Mother’s game,
One came upon the dubious whirling globe
To hide from her pursuit in force and form.
A secret spirit in the Inconscient’s sleep,
A shapeless Energy, a voiceless Word,
He was here before the elements could emerge,
Before there was light of mind or life could breathe.

He is the Maker and the world he made,
He is the vision and he is the Seer;
He is himself the actor and the act,
He is himself the knower and the known,
He is himself the dreamer and the dream.
There are Two who are One and play in many worlds;
In Knowledge and Ignorance they have spoken and met
And light and darkness are their eyes’ interchange;
Our pleasure and pain are their wrestle and embrace,
Our deeds, our hopes are intimate to their tale;
They are married secretly in our thought and life.
The universe is an endless masquerade:
For nothing here is utterly what it seems;
It is a dream-fact vision of a truth
Which but for the dream would not be wholly true, [60-61]

This whole wide world is only he and she.
This is the knot that ties together the stars:
The Two who are one are the secret of all power,
The Two who are one are the might and right in things.
His soul, silent, supports the world and her,
His acts are her commandment’s registers.
Happy, inert, he lies beneath her feet:
His breast he offers for her cosmic dance
Of which our lives are the quivering theatre,
And none could bear but for his strength within,
Yet none would leave because of his delight. [63]

Here Sri Aurobindo reveals to us the original Vedanta where the Divine and his Force that has built the worlds and its countless processes are not two but one. It is He who has become the world. It is He who is the All and greater than the All.



The Master of Existence

THE LORD is above, around, within, wrapping all things with Force. Nay, He even descends into the play and assumes the form of bird and beast and man. He is beyond Time and Space but has also become the vast expanse of Space and the endless motion of Time. Dwelling with each particle of existence He becomes each and every element so that each element can one day become himself. As the Avatar He becomes human and all that the human state entails so that man may rise and become even as He.

The master of existence lurks in us
And plays at hide-and-seek with his own Force;
In Nature’s instrument loiters secret God.
The Immanent lives in man as in his house;
He has made the universe his pastime’s field,
A vast gymnasium of his works of might.
All-knowing he accepts our darkened state,
Divine, wears shapes of animal or man;
Eternal, he assents to Fate and Time,
Immortal, dallies with mortality.
The All-Conscious ventured into Ignorance,
The All-Blissful bore to be insensible.
Incarnate in a world of strife and pain,
He puts on joy and sorrow like a robe
And drinks experience like a strengthening wine.
He whose transcendence rules the pregnant Vasts,
Prescient now dwells in our subliminal depths,
A luminous individual Power, alone.
The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone
Has called out of the Silence his mute Force
Where she lay in the featureless and formless hush
Guarding from Time by her immobile sleep
The ineffable puissance of his solitude.
The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone
Has entered with his silence into space:
He has fashioned these countless persons of one self;
He has built a million figures of his power;
He lives in all, who lived in his Vast alone;
Space is himself and Time is only he.
The Absolute, the Perfect, the Immune,
One who is in us as our secret self,
Our mask of imperfection has assumed,
He has made this tenement of flesh his own,
His image in the human measure cast
That to his divine measure we might rise;
Then in a figure of divinity
The Maker shall recast us and impose
A plan of godhead on the mortal’s mould
Lifting our finite minds to his infinite,
Touching the moment with eternity.
This transfiguration is earth’s due to heaven:
A mutual debt binds man to the Supreme:
His nature we must put on as he put ours;
We are sons of God and must be even as he:
His human portion, we must grow divine.
Our life is a paradox with God for key. [66-67]

This extraordinary revealing passage describes the Lord in his triple status as the Transcendent, Universal and Individual. It also reveals the purpose of the divine Self choosing to dwell within the limits of our humanness as well as becoming even outwardly human in the Avatar. It is so that we may become even as He.



The Close Touch of God

THE LORD’S TOUCH liberates us from our limits and limitations. It redeems matter by awakening in it higher possibilities. His touch enlarges our consciousness into the cosmic dimension. Once his hand is laid upon the struggling matter it changes this hard stuff of earth into a means to manifest his Glory. The lump of clay is turned into a living centre of his Light and Force and Wideness and Bliss.

The Silence was his sole companion left.
Impassive he lived immune from earthly hopes,
A figure in the ineffable Witness’ shrine
Pacing the vast cathedral of his thoughts
Under its arches dim with infinity
And heavenward brooding of invisible wings.
A call was on him from intangible heights;
Indifferent to the little outpost Mind,
He dwelt in the wideness of the Eternal’s reign.
His being now exceeded thinkable Space,
His boundless thought was neighbour to cosmic sight:
A universal light was in his eyes,
A golden influx flowed through heart and brain;
A Force came down into his mortal limbs,
A current from eternal seas of Bliss;
He felt the invasion and the nameless joy.
Aware of his occult omnipotent Source,
Allured by the omniscient Ecstasy,
A living centre of the Illimitable
Widened to equate with the world’s circumference,
He turned to his immense spiritual fate.
Abandoned on a canvas of torn air,
A picture lost in far and fading streaks,
The earth-nature’s summits sank below his feet:
He climbed to meet the infinite more above.
The Immobile’s ocean-silence saw him pass,
An arrow leaping through eternity
Suddenly shot from the tense bow of Time,
A ray returning to its parent sun.
Opponent of that glory of escape,
The black Inconscient swung its dragon tail
Lashing a slumbrous Infinite by its force
Into the deep obscurities of form:
Death lay beneath him like a gate of sleep. [79]

The passage beautifully describes the first transformation that begins in Aswapati as he ascends to the higher planes. His thought and mind undergo a vast change as he passes into the Immobile’s Silence and crosses the gates of unconsciousness into the superconscious states.



The Lord’s Descent Into Man

LO, HE HAS COME, the Lord hidden in an excess of Light. He has come leaving the secrecy of the eternal doors. With him comes as the eternal partner and collaborator in the game of games called life, his Divine Shakti, the tremendous Force Divine. The earth has waited for this coming. This double coming brings hope of a new and decisive transformation. It creates the possibility of a perfect manifestation, here upon earth.

In a divine retreat from mortal thought,
In a prodigious gesture of soul-sight,
His being towered into pathless heights,
Naked of its vesture of humanity.
As thus it rose, to meet him bare and pure
A strong Descent leaped down. A Might, a Flame,
A Beauty half-visible with deathless eyes,
A violent Ecstasy, a Sweetness dire,
Enveloped him with its stupendous limbs
And penetrated nerve and heart and brain
That thrilled and fainted with the epiphany:
His nature shuddered in the Unknown’s grasp.
In a moment shorter than death, longer than Time,
By a Power more ruthless than Love, happier than Heaven,
Taken sovereignly into eternal arms,
Haled and coerced by a stark absolute bliss,
In a whirlwind circuit of delight and force
Hurried into unimaginable depths,
Upborne into immeasurable heights,
It was torn out from its mortality
And underwent a new and bourneless change.
An Omniscient knowing without sight or thought,
An indecipherable Omnipotence,
A mystic Form that could contain the worlds,
Yet make one human breast its passionate shrine,
Drew him out of his seeking loneliness
Into the magnitudes of God’s embrace.
As when a timeless Eye annuls the hours
Abolishing the agent and the act,
So now his spirit shone out wide, blank, pure:
His wakened mind became an empty slate
On which the Universal and Sole could write.
All that represses our fallen consciousness
Was taken from him like a forgotten load:
A fire that seemed the body of a god
Consumed the limiting figures of the past
And made large room for a new self to live.
Eternity’s contact broke the moulds of sense. [80-81]

This passage describes the beginnings of the descent of the higher consciousness, of the Lord and his Shakti together into Aswapati’s being. He experiences the beginnings of the yoga of supramental transformation.



Being and Non-Being

CREATION is the result of the Lord’s sacrifice. By plunging himself into utter inconscience He has become the very opposite of what He is. Thus alone creation could be, and thus alone each element and particle of this creation can hope, and darkness cry out to the Light, and suffering aspire to change into utter Bliss.

In the enigma of the darkened Vasts,
In the passion and self-loss of the Infinite
When all was plunged in the negating Void,
Non-Being’s night could never have been saved
If Being had not plunged into the dark
Carrying with it its triple mystic cross.
Invoking in world-time the timeless truth,
Bliss changed to sorrow, knowledge made ignorant,
God’s force turned into a child’s helplessness
Can bring down heaven by their sacrifice.
A contradiction founds the base of life:
The eternal, the divine Reality
Has faced itself with its own contraries;
Being became the Void and Conscious-Force
Nescience and walk of a blind Energy
And Ecstasy took the figure of world-pain.
In a mysterious dispensation’s law
A Wisdom that prepares its far-off ends
Planned so to start her slow aeonic game.
A blindfold search and wrestle and fumbling clasp
Of a half-seen Nature and a hidden Soul,
A game of hide-and-seek in twilit rooms,
A play of love and hate and fear and hope
Continues in the nursery of mind
Its hard and heavy romp of self-born twins.
At last the struggling Energy can emerge
And meet the voiceless Being in wider fields;
Then can they see and speak and, breast to breast,
In a larger consciousness, a clearer light,
The Two embrace and strive and each know each
Regarding closer now the playmate’s face.
Even in these formless coilings he could feel
Matter’s response to an infant stir of soul.
In Nature he saw the mighty Spirit concealed,
Watched the weak birth of a tremendous Force,
Pursued the riddle of Godhead’s tentative pace,
Heard the faint rhythms of a great unborn Muse. [140-141]

What is being described here is the truth of involution. The Rig Veda speaks of the sacrifice of the Purusha through which creation has come into being. But for that, the Divine Being had to plunge himself into utter inconscience and become non-being. His Light became darkness, his Force changed into utter helplessness, his Truth into falsehood turned, Life became death and Bliss changed into suffering. Yet in a still larger consciousness the two embrace and become One.



All Creation Awaits for the Lord

IT IS THE LORD alone who can redeem his creation. All creation therefore waits for him to bare himself and lift us out of our mortal state into Truth and Freedom and Bliss and Immortality.

“Oh, surely one day he shall come to our cry,
One day he shall create our life anew
And utter the magic formula of peace
And bring perfection to the scheme of things.
One day he shall descend to life and earth,
Leaving the secrecy of the eternal doors,
Into a world that cries to him for help,
And bring the truth that sets the spirit free,
The joy that is the baptism of the soul,
The strength that is the outstretched arm of Love.
One day he shall lift his beauty’s dreadful veil,
Impose delight on the world’s beating heart
And bare his secret body of light and bliss.” [200]

Life aspires to the Lord to descend and transmute it into the divine life it is meant to be.



The Lord Lying in the Inconscient Depths

THERE IS not a corner dark enough which the Lord cannot pierce. Nay, it is He who is hidden within the densest darkness. It is He who is lying there in Yoganidra and as He opens his eyes creation takes a step forward and his Glory begins to shine through the dark cloaks of ignorance and death.

There in the stark identity lost by mind
He felt the sealed sense of the insensible world
And a mute wisdom in the unknowing Night.
Into the abysmal secrecy he came
Where darkness peers from her mattress, grey and nude,
And stood on the last locked subconscient’s floor
Where Being slept unconscious of its thoughts
And built the world not knowing what it built.
There waiting its hour the future lay unknown,
There is the record of the vanished stars.
There in the slumber of the cosmic Will
He saw the secret key of Nature’s change.
A light was with him, an invisible hand
Was laid upon the error and the pain
Till it became a quivering ecstasy,
The shock of sweetness of an arm’s embrace.
He saw in Night the Eternal’s shadowy veil,
Knew death for a cellar of the house of life,
In destruction felt creation’s hasty pace,
Knew loss as the price of a celestial gain
And hell as a short cut to heaven’s gates. [231]

This passage comes towards the end of Aswapati’s descent into the Night and the realms of Falsehood. Piercing through layers after layers of darkness he discovers the Lord there too as the secret evolutionary impulsion within creation. This sacrifice of the Lord is the great secret.



The Lord as the Cosmic Being

THE LORD is within each element of creation as the immanent Divine. But He is also the cosmic being, the universal Purusha to whom the individual soul returns after death to be rocked by his love and bliss and come back rejuvenated to the great and tremendous adventure of evolution. Let us invoke him as the universal being and know that the One who dwells within us is the same who dwells within everyone, and the entire creation is held within his single being.

The silent Soul of all the world was there:
A Being lived, a Presence and a Power,
A single Person who was himself and all
And cherished Nature’s sweet and dangerous throbs
Transfigured into beats divine and pure.
One who could love without return for love,
Meeting and turning to the best the worst,
It healed the bitter cruelties of earth,
Transforming all experience to delight;
Intervening in the sorrowful paths of birth
It rocked the cradle of the cosmic Child
And stilled all weeping with its hand of joy;
It led things evil towards their secret good,
It turned racked falsehood into happy truth;
Its power was to reveal divinity.
Infinite, coeval with the mind of God,
It bore within itself a seed, a flame,
A seed from which the Eternal is new-born,
A flame that cancels death in mortal things.
All grew to all kindred and self and near;
The intimacy of God was everywhere,
No veil was felt, no brute barrier inert,
Distance could not divide, Time could not change.
A fire of passion burned in spirit-depths,
A constant touch of sweetness linked all hearts,
The throb of one adoration’s single bliss
In a rapt ether of undying love.
An inner happiness abode in all,
A sense of universal harmonies,
A measureless secure eternity
Of truth and beauty and good and joy made one.
Here was the welling core of finite life;
A formless spirit became the soul of form. [291]

This passage describes the world soul where our souls go for rest and restoration having passed through a long passage in the vital and mental worlds after death. The world of soul is described as being pervaded by the Divine in his status as the cosmic being. It is He alone who loves all, unconditionally, without judgment or condemnation. It is He who moves all, even as all belong to him.