Savitri Book Seven: The Book of Yoga
Canto Three: The Entry into the Inner Countries
The last class of the year – will be resumed in January 2018.
It brought its cry and surge of opposite powers,
Its moments of the touch of luminous planes,
Its flame-ascensions and sky-pitched vast attempts,
Its fiery towers of dream built on the winds,
Its sinkings towards the darkness and the abyss,
Its honey of tenderness, its sharp wine of hate,
Its changes of sun and cloud, of laughter and tears,
Its bottomless danger-pits and swallowing gulfs,
Its fear and joy and ecstasy and despair,
Its occult wizardries, its simple lines
And great communions and uplifting moves,
Its faith in heaven, its intercourse with hell.
These powers were not blunt with the dead weight of earth,
They gave ambrosia’s taste and poison’s sting.
There was an ardour in the gaze of Life
That saw heaven blue in the grey air of Night:
The impulses godward soared on passion’s wings.
Mind’s quick-paced thoughts floated from their high necks,
A glowing splendour as of an irised mane,
A parure of pure intuition’s light;
Its flame-foot gallop they could imitate:
Mind’s voices mimicked inspiration’s stress,
Its ictus of infallibility,
Its speed and lightning heaven-leap of the Gods.
A trenchant blade that shore the nets of doubt,
Its sword of discernment seemed almost divine.
Yet all that knowledge was a borrowed sun’s;
The forms that came were not heaven’s native births:
An inner voice could speak the unreal’s Word;
Its puissance dangerous and absolute
Could mingle poison with the wine of God.
On these high shining backs falsehood could ride;
Truth lay with delight in error’s passionate arms
Gliding downstream in a blithe gilded barge:
She edged her ray with a magnificent lie.
Here in Life’s nether realms all contraries meet;
Truth stares and does her works with bandaged eyes
And Ignorance is Wisdom’s patron here:
Those galloping hooves in their enthusiast speed
Could bear to a dangerous intermediate zone
Where Death walks wearing a robe of deathless Life.
Or they enter the valley of the wandering Gleam
Whence, captives or victims of the specious Ray,
Souls trapped in that region never can escape.
Agents, not masters, they serve Life’s desires
Toiling for ever in the snare of Time.
Their bodies born out of some Nihil’s womb
Ensnare the spirit in the moment’s dreams,
Then perish vomiting the immortal soul
Out of Matter’s belly into the sink of Nought.
Yet some uncaught, unslain, can warily pass
Carrying Truth’s image in the sheltered heart,
Pluck Knowledge out of error’s screening grip,
Break paths through the blind walls of little self,
Then travel on to reach a greater life.
All this streamed past her and seemed to her vision’s sight
As if around a high and voiceless isle
A clamour of waters from far unknown hills
Swallowed its narrow banks in crowding waves
And made a hungry world of white wild foam:
Hastening, a dragon with a million feet,
Its foam and cry a drunken giant’s din,
Tossing a mane of Darkness into God’s sky,
It ebbed receding into a distant roar.
Then smiled again a large and tranquil air:
Blue heaven, green earth, partners of Beauty’s reign,
Lived as of old, companions in happiness;
And in the world’s heart laughed the joy of life.
All now was still, the soil shone dry and pure.
Through it all she moved not, plunged not in the vain waves.
Out of the vastness of the silent self
Life’s clamour fled; her spirit was mute and free.