The journey of the soul does not stop with its explorations of the physical, vital and mental worlds and their powers. It must go further and discover the spiritual and Supramental world beyond the mind and recreate his life.
Discovering a greater world
A greater world Time’s traveller must explore.
Our material-vital-mental existence is not all we are. Beyond our hopes and dreams, beyond our desires and passions, beyond our thoughts and conceptions, a greater world, a vaster, more luminous consciousness awaits our search and discovery.
A new vision of himself and things
At last he hears a chanting on the heights
And the far speaks and the unknown grows near:
He crosses the boundaries of the unseen
And passes over the edge of mortal sight
To a new vision of himself and things.
The evolution of man, the mental being into a greater spiritual and supramental being is inevitable in the very logic of creation. It would mean a vast inner change in human consciousness, in the way we presently perceive and understand ourselves and the world. With this change man shall become conscious of much that is hidden to his sight and much that appears distant, far or even non-existent will disclose its secret Reality.
An unfinished world
He is a spirit in an unfinished world
That knows him not and cannot know itself:
The surface symbol of his goalless quest
Takes deeper meanings to his inner view;
His is a search of darkness for the light,
Of mortal life for immortality.
Sri Aurobindo reveals to us that ‘Man is a transitional being.’ The world is moving towards a greater perfection that will come as man ascends towards his higher destiny. With the opening of our doors to the higher consciousness we discover that man’s evolution is not yet over. Because of the ignorance that hangs around us we do not understand the real purpose of creation and the deeper sense of life’s journey which is a constant seeking for Light and Truth and Bliss and Immortality.
The earthly vessel and the moonlit night
In the vessel of an earthly embodiment
Over the narrow rails of limiting sense
He looks out on the magic waves of Time
Where mind like a moon illumines the world’s dark.
The soul of man progresses in the human body dimly lit by the earthly mind and limited and hedged by the senses to which we hold as props to help us. Such is our present predicament while we still labour in the Ignorance.
A dim mysterious shore
There is limned ever retreating from the eyes,
As if in a tenuous misty dream-light drawn,
The outline of a dim mysterious shore.
Even so he perceives or vaguely sees distant domains of consciousness, a far off spiritual light, a deeper mystery he cannot grasp that await his discovery.
The ship and the compass
A sailor on the Inconscient’s fathomless sea,
He voyages through a starry world of thought
On Matter’s deck to a spiritual sun.
Even though the journey starts in the dark inconscient with matter as a base, even though its present compass is the mind-born thought, yet its destination is the Superconscient sun that blazes endlessly even when we cannot see it, or simply dream of it in the sleep of our Ignorance.
The goal is fixed
Across the noise and multitudinous cry,
Across the rapt unknowable silences,
Through a strange mid-world under supernal skies,
Beyond earth’s longitudes and latitudes,
His goal is fixed outside all present maps.
Indeed man is destined to go beyond our present mental evolution and embody greater and higher ranges of consciousness now hidden or only vaguely experienced. Right now our consciousness is engaged only with exploring material existence but in the course of evolution we will explore other worlds and subtler domains until we reach that Source of all worlds, the Supermind. This is the New Power that had not manifested upon earth until 1956. But since it’s manifestation a new dimension has already been added to the soul’s ascension.
The great Mother’s Mission
But none learns whither through the unknown he sails
Or what secret mission the great Mother gave.
Surrounded by Ignorance and Unconsciousness we know not our Origin, the Path given to us to traverse and the Goal towards which we are moving. But behind our Ignorance and stumblings, there stands the luminous Will of the Divine Mother impelling our journey towards the great Goal.
Her sealed orders carried in our breast
In the hidden strength of her omnipotent Will,
Driven by her breath across life’s tossing deep,
Through the thunder’s roar and through the windless hush,
Through fog and mist where nothing more is seen,
He carries her sealed orders in his breast.
The Divine Will is hidden in the depths of our heart. It leads our journey of life through everything. Even in our Ignorance we are impelled by the Divine Shakti towards a pre-determined Future that is known only to our soul.
A new mind and body in the city of God
Late will he know, opening the mystic script,
Whether to a blank port in the Unseen
He goes or, armed with her fiat, to discover
A new mind and body in the city of God
And enshrine the Immortal in his glory’s house
And make the finite one with Infinity.
A time must come, does come when we become conscious of the Divine will and the Great purpose that is unfolding through many lives. This Great Purpose contained in the Original impulsion to creation is not a return to some blank, featureless Nirvana but a greater manifestation of the Divine. Indeed if the Lord wanted nirvana there would have never been any creation at all. Only nirvana would have been there. But the Will that has gone into creation is the Fiat of the Supreme and It labours towards divinization of life and mind and body. This creation is not an unfortunate accident but a means for the Immortal and the Infinite to manifest in a material body and a finite consciousness.
The great Adventure
Across the salt waste of the endless years
Her ocean winds impel his errant boat,
The cosmic waters plashing as he goes,
A rumour around him and danger and a call.
This journey of the individual soul from a state of Ignorance to a state of Truth-Knowledge takes place across the cosmic field through many lives. It is the great adventure, a real adventure whose end and goal are certain but the unfolding is through many experiences, pleasant and painful, dangerous and delightful. But the call is there upon the soul of man which pushes him ever more and more towards the heights and the breadths.
The Divine Force hidden in creation
Always he follows in her force’s wake.
The Divine Force is hidden in creation. It is there even behind the workings of seemingly inconscient Nature as the Power that keeps things in order and impels them to evolve. It is there in creation as the Evolutionary Energy that moves the soul towards greater things.
The ceaseless march
He sails through life and death and other life,
He travels on through waking and through sleep.
This journey of the human soul goes on through a number of lives. It does not end with death. The soul returns to complete its unfinished evolutionary journey. Even in our sleep, even in our unconsciousness this journey goes on.
The mystic voyage and the mighty traveller
A power is on him from her occult force
That ties him to his own creation’s fate,
And never can the mighty Traveller rest
And never can the mystic voyage cease
Till the nescient dusk is lifted from man’s soul
And the morns of God have overtaken his night.
God and World are linked together in a common tie. The connecting link of this mystic bond is the soul that brings in greater and greater possibilities for the manifestation. The soul of man is the mighty traveller that knows not rest until the task is done for which creation has emerged. This task is the end of the night of Ignorance in which nature is plunged and along with it the end of darkness and error and suffering and death. This is the purpose of this mystic voyage undertaken by the soul and until it is fulfilled, the journey cannot cease.
He and she are one
As long as Nature lasts, he too is there,
For this is sure that he and she are one;
Even when he sleeps, he keeps her on his breast:
Whoever leaves her, he will not depart
To repose without her in the Unknowable.
Purusha and Prakriti, Soul and Nature, are one. The soul can withdraw Nature into itself. But it is not allowed to escape from her into the Unknowable. Such is not the Will of the Divine in creation. It is only through a selfish and misguided mysticism that one is trapped into the grand illusion of an escape from nature and creation into some kind of nirvana or self-extinction in the Infinite. Even when we have withdrawn from the surface nature, a deeper and truer soul-nature awaits our discovery.
Her play is real
There is a truth to know, a work to do;
Her play is real; a Mystery he fulfils:
There is a plan in the Mother’s deep world-whim,
A purpose in her vast and random game.
This world is not an illusion nor a random accident that has come about by some freak chance or a random will. There is a divine Purpose in creation, a divine Purpose in this game of hide – and – seek played by the Soul and Nature, a divine Purpose in this seemingly random game. Through all this play a work is done in us and in the world. Through this long journey through a large and complex field we grow and the world grows towards Truth and Light and Freedom and Bliss.
World is meant to manifest the Divine
This ever she meant since the first dawn of life,
This constant will she covered with her sport,
To evoke a Person in the impersonal Void,
With the Truth-Light strike earth’s massive roots of trance,
Wake a dumb self in the inconscient depths
And raise a lost Power from its python sleep
That the eyes of the Timeless might look out from Time
And the world manifest the unveiled Divine.
The Divine is hidden in the depths of creation. He is there in cover of Night hidden in the disguise of Ignorance and Inconscient. He is there in our very heart as our core and base, our secret Support and the moving Force. The great purpose hidden behind the world-play, working itself out in countless way is to shape the individual soul and help it grow into the fullness of the Divine. This is what we are in our depths but we have forgotten it due to the surrounding Ignorance. But the Divine Mother is there to Help us and Guide us, even strike with Her Force if need be to mould our soul and nature into the divinity hidden within it. All the blows of life and the crisis we meet are meant to awaken this Power hidden in our own depths. It is also a secret working of the Divine Will and this work will go on until man is fully awake to the divinity hidden in his own depths and the world manifests the Divine concealed behind its present state of ignorance.
For this he left his white infinity
And laid on the spirit the burden of the flesh,
That Godhead’s seed might flower in mindless Space.
The individual soul is the Godhead’s seed that has entered the fields of Time and Space. Its full efflorescence is the purpose and drift of its journey. For in this little spark is hidden all the divine possibilities of creation. It is by the full blossoming of individual souls and the World-soul that the dream Divine can fully express itself in creation. It is for this Purpose that the One became the Many and entered into the play of Time and Space bearing the burden of Matter as the condition for its manifestation.
Closing remarks for the passage
Thus ends this marvelous passage describing the grand culmination of the soul’s journey. This close is not nirvana or extinction in the Divine but a divine perfection of life and a divine fulfillment of the creation itself.
Closing remarks for the Canto
This Canto primarily describes the experiences of Aswapati during his ascension from towards higher planes of consciousness. This ascension brings a heightening and widening of the individual consciousness until the individual widens into the universal and the finite consciousness shares the freedom and bliss of the Infinite. As this ascension takes place new possibilities of knowledge and powers begin to emerge. This journey of ascension is not without its dangers. It is an adventure in the true sense of the word. However through all its experiences the human soul continues to grow towards its highest destiny, which is not nirvana, but a progressive transformation and divinization of the human consciousness.