THE MOTHER’S SAVITRI: Book 1 Canto 3


The Mother Reads Selections from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

Book 1 Canto 3

A world’s desire compelled her mortal birth.
One in the front of the immemorial quest,
. . .
A thinker and toiler in the ideal’s air,
Brought down to earth’s dumb need her radiant power.
[p. 22]
* * *
A Presence wrought behind the ambiguous screen:
. . .
Then came the abrupt transcendent miracle:
The masked immaculate Grandeur could outline,
At travail in the occult womb of life,
His dreamed magnificence of things to be.
A crown of the architecture of the worlds,
A mystery of married Earth and Heaven
. . .
A Seer was born, a shining Guest of Time.
For him mind’s limiting firmament ceased above.
. . .
The landmarks of the little person fell,
The island ego joined its continent.
Overpassed was this world of rigid limiting forms:
Life’s barriers opened into the Unknown.
. . .
He sat in secret chambers looking out
Into the luminous countries of the unborn
Where all things dreamed by the mind are seen and true
. . .
He lived in the mystic space where thought is born
And will is nursed by an ethereal Power
And fed on the white milk of the Eternal’s strengths
Till it grows into the likeness of a god.
[p. 25 & 27-28]
* * *
Lifting the heavy curtain of the flesh
He stood upon a threshold serpent-watched,
And peered into gleaming endless corridors,
Silent and listening in the silent heart
For the coming of the new and the unknown.
He gazed across the empty stillnesses
And heard the footsteps of the undreamed Idea
In the far avenues of the Beyond.
[p. 28]
* * *
The kings of evil and the kings of good,
Appellants at the reason’s judgment seat,
Proclaimed the gospel of their opposites,
And all believed themselves spokesmen of God:
The gods of light and titans of the dark
Battled for his soul as for a costly prize.
[p. 30]
* * *
There knowing herself by her own termless self,
Wisdom supernal, wordless, absolute
Sat uncompanioned in the eternal Calm,
All-seeing, motionless, sovereign and alone.
[p. 32]
* * *
An old pull of subconscious cords renews;
It draws the unwilling spirit from the heights,
Or a dull gravitation drags us down
To the blind driven inertia of our base.
This too the supreme Diplomat can use,
He makes our fall a means for greater rise.
[p. 34]
* * *
Always the power poured back like sudden rain,
Or slowly in his breast a presence grew;
It clambered back to some remembered height
Or soared above the peak from which it fell.
Each time he rose there was a larger poise,
A dwelling on a higher spirit plane;
The Light remained in him a longer space.
[p. 35]
* * *
Already in him was seen that task of Power:
Life made its home on the high tops of self;
His soul, mind, heart became a single sun;
Only life’s lower reaches remained dim.
[p. 37]
* * *
Lightnings of glory after glory burned,
Experience was a tale of blaze and fire,
Air rippled round the argosies of the Gods,
Strange riches sailed to him from the Unseen;
Splendours of insight filled the blank of thought,
Knowledge spoke to the inconscient stillnesses,
Rivers poured down of bliss and luminous force,
Visits of beauty, storm-sweeps of delight
Rained from the all-powerful Mystery above.
[p. 37]
* * *
Thence stooped the eagles of Omniscience.
A dense veil was rent, a mighty whisper heard;
. . .
The voices that an inner listening hears
Conveyed to him their prophet utterances,
And flame-wrapped outbursts of the immortal Word
And flashes of an occult revealing Light
Approached him from the unreachable Secrecy.
[p. 37]
* * *
Oft inspiration with her lightning feet,
A sudden messenger from the all-seeing tops,
Traversed the soundless corridors of his mind
Bringing her rhythmic sense of hidden things.
. . .
All-vision gathered into a single ray,
As when the eyes stare at an invisible point
Till through the intensity of one luminous spot
An apocalypse of a world of images
Enters into the kingdom of the seer.
[p. 38]
* * *
A great nude arm of splendour suddenly rose;
It rent the gauze opaque of Nescience:
Her lifted finger’s keen unthinkable tip
Bared with a stab of flame the closed Beyond.
[p. 38-39]
* * *
Or she gathered the lost secrets dropped by Time
In the dust and crannies of his mounting route
Mid old forsaken dreams of hastening Mind
And buried remnants of forgotten space.
[p. 39]
* * *
A traveller between summit and abyss,
She joined the distant ends, the viewless deeps
[p. 39]
* * *
The inspiring goddess entered a mortal’s breast,
Made there her study of divining thought
And sanctuary of prophetic speech
And sat upon the tripod seat of mind:
All was made wide above, all lit below.
In darkness’ core she dug out wells of light,
On the undiscovered depths imposed a form,
Lent a vibrant cry to the unuttered vasts
[p. 41]
* * *
A genius heightened in his body’s cells
That knew the meaning of his fate-hedged works
Akin to the march of unaccomplished Powers
Beyond life’s arc in spirit’s immensities.
Apart he lived in his mind’s solitude,
A demigod shaping the lives of men:
One soul’s ambition lifted up the race;
. . .
He drew the energies that transmute an age.
[p. 44-45]

End of Book 1 Canto 3


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