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At the Feet of The Mother

The Inconclusive Toil, pp. 251-253 (SH 125)

Savitri Class in Hindi with Alok Pandey
Savitri Book II: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds, Canto X: Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind

 

At will she spaces in thin air of mind
Like maps in the school-house of intellect hung,
Forcing wide Truth into a narrow scheme,
Her numberless warring strict philosophies;
Out of Nature’s body of phenomenon
She carves with Thought’s keen edge in rigid lines,
Like rails for the World-Magician’s power to run,
Her sciences precise and absolute.
On the huge bare walls of human nescience
Written round Nature’s deep dumb hieroglyphs
She pens in clear demotic characters
The vast encyclopaedia of her thoughts;
An algebra of her mathematics’ signs,
Her numbers and unerring formulas
She builds to clinch her summary of things.
On all sides runs as if in a cosmic mosque
Tracing the scriptural verses of her laws
The daedal of her patterned arabesques,
Art of her wisdom, artifice of her lore.
This art, this artifice are her only stock.
In her high works of pure intelligence,
In her withdrawal from the senses’ trap,
There comes no breaking of the walls of mind,
There leaps no rending flash of absolute power,
There dawns no light of heavenly certitude.
A million faces wears her knowledge here
And every face is turbaned with a doubt.
All now is questioned, all reduced to nought.
Once monumental in their massive craft
Her old great mythic writings disappear
And into their place start strict ephemeral signs;
This constant change spells progress to her eyes:
Her thought is an endless march without a goal.
There is no summit on which she can stand
And see in a single glance the Infinite’s whole.
An inconclusive play is Reason’s toil.
Each strong idea can use her as its tool;
Accepting every brief she pleads her case.
Open to every thought, she cannot know.
The eternal Advocate seated as judge
Armours in logic’s invulnerable mail
A thousand combatants for Truth’s veiled throne
And sets on a high horse-back of argument
To tilt for ever with a wordy lance
In a mock tournament where none can win.
Assaying thought’s values with her rigid tests
Balanced she sits on wide and empty air,
Aloof and pure in her impartial poise.
Absolute her judgments seem but none is sure;
Time cancels all her verdicts in appeal.
Although like sunbeams to our glow-worm mind
Her knowledge feigns to fall from a clear heaven,
Its rays are a lantern’s lustres in the Night;
She throws a glittering robe on Ignorance.
But now is lost her ancient sovereign claim
To rule mind’s high realm in her absolute right,
Bind thought with logic’s forged infallible chain
Or see truth nude in a bright abstract haze.
A master and slave of stark phenomenon,
She travels on the roads of erring sight
Or looks upon a set mechanical world
Constructed for her by her instruments.
A bullock yoked in the cart of proven fact,
She drags huge knowledge-bales through Matter’s dust
To reach utility’s immense bazaar.
Apprentice she has grown to her old drudge;
An aided sense is her seeking’s arbiter.
This now she uses as the assayer’s stone.
As if she knew not facts are husks of truth,
The husks she keeps, the kernel throws aside.
An ancient wisdom fades into the past,
The ages’ faith becomes an idle tale,
God passes out of the awakened thought,
An old discarded dream needed no more:
Only she seeks mechanic Nature’s keys.
Interpreting stone-laws inevitable
She digs into Matter’s hard concealing soil,
To unearth the processes of all things done.

[pp. 251-253]

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