Opening Remarks for Book Two Canto V “The Godheads of the Little Life”
Aswapati now stands in the kingdom of the little life. He has explored its boundaries and energies and the influence it brings upon earthly life. Now he casts his yogic vision to discover the godheads, the powers and aspects of the cosmic forces that work from behind and the purpose they serve in the grand scheme of things.
Though little in terms of its powers, this world has a strong hold upon matter and consequently upon all life that lives by the flesh. Therefore its empire, though a small little corner in boundless existence, casts its influence far and extends widely.
A fixed and narrow power with rigid forms,
He saw the empire of the little life,
An unhappy corner in eternity.
The closer consciousness draws near matter, the forms begin to crystallise and grow rigid. This narrowness cut off from the vast currents of delight, makes life unhappy as in this small little world.
Protected by Ignorance
It lived upon the margin of the Idea
Protected by Ignorance as in a shell.
This early life moved far from the originating Sun that gives birth to all things, cannot bear the Light and Power that stands behind creation. It is therefore shielded from it through a dense veil of Ignorance, a hard crust that resists the entrye of Divine forces.
Scanty fringe of sight
Then, hoping to learn the secret of this world
He peered across its scanty fringe of sight,
To disengage from its surface-clear obscurity
The Force that moved it and the Idea that made,
Imposing smallness on the Infinite,
The ruling spirit of its littleness,
The divine law that gave it right to be,
Its claim on Nature and its need in Time.
This world of little life is largely submerged in darkness and it is not easy to penetrate into its core and discover the powers and beings that stand behind and move it. Yet Aswapati seeks to discover its secret, the laws that govern it and its justification in the total scheme of things.
The siege of mist
He plunged his gaze into the siege of mist
That held this ill-lit straitened continent
Ringed with the skies and seas of ignorance
And kept it safe from Truth and Self and Light.
Casting his gaze deep into this ill-lit obscure world covered with mist of dense ignorance that keeps it away from Truth and Light as a baby in the womb or a seed that is sown underground.
Vision’s sun-white blaze
As when a searchlight stabs the Night’s blind breast
And dwellings and trees and figures of men appear
As if revealed to an eye in Nothingness,
All lurking things were torn out of their veils
And held up in his vision’s sun-white blaze.
But Aswapati is no ordinary yogi. His vision is charged with the Supramental Light. Nothing can remain hidden to his sight. Thereby he casts his glance far deep into this obscure world as a searchlight pierces the Night. Things and beings and objects of this world begin to appear that were so far hidden in folds of this dense darkness.
Thus we see here Aswapati probing this world with his yogic vision. He seeks to know and understand this world as indeed all other worlds to understand the great game and the occult plan behind it.