A busy restless uncouth populace
Teemed in their dusky unnoted thousands there.
On the one hand we can see that Sri Aurobindo is describing here the general atmosphere of these beings, uncouth and restless. On the other hand we can identify this image with crowded places, often dim lit filled with crude beings where these forces and energies have a freer play.
The little deities of Time’s nether acts
In a mist of secrecy wrapping the world-scene
The little deities of Time’s nether act
Who work remote from Heaven’s controlling eye,
Plotted, unknown to the creatures whom they move,
The small conspiracies of this petty reign
Amused with the small contrivings, the brief hopes
And little eager steps and little ways
And reptile wallowings in the dark and dust,
And the crouch and ignominy of creeping life.
These beings are known in the Vedic lore as small deities since ultimately they all derive their powers, however small, from the One. But their work is in the darkness where unseen by the higher gods and deities of the Mind worlds they act planning and plotting small incidents of our everyday life. They fill the world with smallness and pettiness thereby tying our life to small ignoble things.
A trepidant and motley multitude,
A strange pell-mell of magic artisans,
Was seen moulding the plastic clay of life,
An elfin brood, an elemental kind.
It is a mixed lot of ugly deformed creatures, ghost-like beings that cast their passing influence upon our lives.
Astonished by the unaccustomed glow,
As if immanent in the shadows started up
Imps with wry limbs and carved beast visages,
Sprite-prompters goblin-wizened or faery-small,
And genii fairer but unsouled and poor
And fallen beings, their heavenly portion lost,
And errant divinities trapped in Time’s dust.
This dark nether realm is the abode of goblins, imps and elfs and other such beings who prompt us towards pettiness and fall. Apart from beiongs native to this world, Aswapati with his luminous gaze also witnesses here beings and existences that have suffered a fall and are trapped in this region due to some grave error.
Ignorant and dangerous
Ignorant and dangerous wills but armed with power,
Half-animal, half-god their mood, their shape.
Compared to earthly beings these beings may well appear like powerful gods often with an animal form to support their energies. However they dwell and act in Ignorance and their will and action driving us into impulsive harmful acts, can often be dangerous and inimical.
Sting of impulse
Out of the greyness of a dim background
Their whispers come, an inarticulate force,
Awake in mind an echoing thought or word,
To their sting of impulse the heart’s sanction draw,
And in that little Nature do their work
And fill its powers and creatures with unease.
Their characteristic action is by a seemingly overpowering impulse that makes us restless in the heart and will and forces our speech and drives us to act in a rash and dangerous manner.
Spur towards the abyss
Its seed of joy they curse with sorrow’s fruit,
Put out with error’s breath its scanty lights
And turn its surface truths to falsehood’s ends,
Its small emotions spur, its passions drive
To the abyss or through the bog and mire:
Or else with a goad of hard dry lusts they prick,
While jogs on devious ways that nowhere lead
Life’s cart finding no issue from ignorance.
By their luring whispers and dark suggestions they fill the world with sorrowful events and passions and lusts that deviates us from the straight and sunlit path. They goad and spur us towards the abyss by the sting and prick of crude lusts and petty desires that misleads man and directs his journey towards the abysses of nature. Thus is the human being kept tied to the outposts of ignorance and to pettiness and misery through their dark influence.
What has been summarily described here are the beings of the lower vital world and their action. What will follow is a detailed understanding of these creatures and their action in different spheres of earthly life.