Savitri Book Seven: The Book of Yoga
Canto Three: The Entry into the Inner Countries
In the domain of the Mind, Savitri encounters various beings, each of them representing some aspect of the higher mind of humanity. One of them approaches her, asking her to be part of his religion that alone can satisfy her. But Savitri stops not, since what she is looking for is not a doctrine or belief system but her own soul.
A temperate vigilant spirit governed life:
Its acts were tools of the considering thought,
Too cold to take fire and set the world ablaze,
Or the careful reason’s diplomatic moves
Testing the means to a prefigured end,
Or at the highest pitch some calm Will’s plan
Or a strategy of some High Command within
To conquer the secret treasures of the gods
Or win for a masked king some glorious world,
Not a reflex of the spontaneous self,
An index of the being and its moods,
A winging of conscious spirit, a sacrament
Of life’s communion with the still Supreme
Or its pure movement on the Eternal’s road.
Or else for the body of some high Idea
A house was built with too close-fitting bricks;
Action and thought cemented made a wall
Of small ideals limiting the soul.
Even meditation mused on a narrow seat;
And worship turned to an exclusive God,
To the Universal in a chapel prayed
Whose doors were shut against the universe;
Or kneeled to the bodiless Impersonal
A mind shut to the cry and fire of love:
A rational religion dried the heart.
It planned a smooth life’s acts with ethics’ rule
Or offered a cold and flameless sacrifice.
The sacred Book lay on its sanctified desk
Wrapped in interpretation’s silken strings:
A credo sealed up its spiritual sense.
Here was a quiet country of fixed mind,
Here life no more was all nor passion’s voice;
The cry of sense had sunk into a hush.
Soul was not there nor spirit but mind alone;
Mind claimed to be the spirit and the soul.
The spirit saw itself as form of mind,
Lost itself in the glory of the thought,
A light that made invisible the sun.
Into a firm and settled space she came
Where all was still and all things kept their place.
Each found what it had sought and knew its aim.
All had a final last stability.
There one stood forth who bore authority
On an important brow and held a rod;
Command was incarnate in his gesture and tone;
Tradition’s petrified wisdom carved his speech,
His sentences savoured the oracle.
“Traveller or pilgrim of the inner world,
Fortunate art thou to reach our brilliant air
Flaming with thought’s supreme finality.
O aspirant to the perfect way of life,
Here find it; rest from search and live at peace.
Ours is the home of cosmic certainty.
Here is the truth, God’s harmony is here.
Register thy name in the book of the elite,
Admitted by the sanction of the few,
Adopt thy station of knowledge, thy post in mind,
Thy ticket of order draw in Life’s bureau
And praise thy fate that made thee one of ours.
All here, docketed and tied, the mind can know,
All schemed by law that God permits to life.
This is the end and there is no beyond.
Here is the safety of the ultimate wall,
Here is the clarity of the sword of Light,
Here is the victory of a single Truth,
Here burns the diamond of flawless bliss.
A favourite of Heaven and Nature live.”
But to the too satisfied and confident sage
Savitri replied casting into his world
Sight’s deep release, the heart’s questioning inner voice:
For here the heart spoke not, only clear daylight
Of intellect reigned here, limiting, cold, precise.
“Happy are they who in this chaos of things,
This coming and going of the feet of Time,
Can find the single Truth, the eternal Law:
Untouched they live by hope and doubt and fear.
Happy are men anchored on fixed belief
In this uncertain and ambiguous world,
Or who have planted in the heart’s rich soil
One small grain of spiritual certitude.
Happiest who stand on faith as on a rock.
But I must pass leaving the ended search,
Truth’s rounded outcome firm, immutable
And this harmonic building of world-fact,
This ordered knowledge of apparent things.
Here I can stay not, for I seek my soul.”
None answered in that bright contented world,
Or only turned on their accustomed way
Astonished to hear questioning in that air
Or thoughts that could still turn to the Beyond.
But some murmured, passers-by from kindred spheres:
Each by his credo judged the thought she spoke.
“Who then is this who knows not that the soul
Is a least gland or a secretion’s fault
Disquieting the sane government of the mind,
Disordering the function of the brain,
Or a yearning lodged in Nature’s mortal house
Or dream whispered in man’s cave of hollow thought
Who would prolong his brief unhappy term
Or cling to living in a sea of death?”
But others, “Nay, it is her spirit she seeks.
A splendid shadow of the name of God,
A formless lustre from the Ideal’s realm,
The Spirit is the Holy Ghost of Mind;
But none has touched its limbs or seen its face.
Each soul is the great Father’s crucified Son,
Mind is that soul’s one parent, its conscious cause,
The ground on which trembles a brief passing light,
Mind, sole creator of the apparent world.
All that is here is part of our own self;
Our minds have made the world in which we live.”
Another with mystic and unsatisfied eyes
Who loved his slain belief and mourned its death,
“Is there one left who seeks for a Beyond?
Can still the path be found, opened the gate?”
Savitri: 497 – 500
(line breaks are added to emphasize separate movements)