To the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the Earth is not just a piece of mud and clay but a conscious being, a soul, a goddess that has been crystallised for s specific purpose. It occupies a special place in creation since it is only upon Earth that there is found the psychic presence. That is why we see here upon Earth an impulse for evolution, which becomes in human beings an urge for conscious growth, conscious progress and ultimately an aspiration for yoga. The unconscious yoga that is going on within the being of Earth becomes in man a conscious yoga for the earth. In the passages that follow we see the Master Poet revealing to us some of these subtle and profound truths about the yoga of the Earth, her aspiration and seeking and strivings and longings that are nourished within her core.
The Earth Goddess
The Earth-Goddess toils across the sands of Time.
The earth we inhabit is not just dead matter but a living Goddess who wears a material body. She is engaged in a deep and vast labour since its very formation, to bring out the Divine Presence that is hidden within her.
A field of progressive manifestation
A Being is in her whom she hopes to know,
A Word speaks to her heart she cannot hear,
A Fate compels whose form she cannot see.
The Earth is a field of progress, a field of progressive manifestation of the Divine hid within its core. The outer body of earth seeks to know and grow conscious of her inner being and to give it an appropriate form and voice. For this she struggles and strives, building one form after another through which she can discover herself more and more. She is moved by an inner impulsion that she herself does not fully understand. She is driven towards a Fate still hidden to her eyes.
The beauty that must die
In her unconscious orbit through the Void
Out of her mindless depths she strives to rise,
A perilous life her gain, a struggling joy;
A Thought that can conceive but hardly knows
Arises slowly in her and creates
The idea, the speech that labels more than it lights;
A trembling gladness that is less than bliss
Invades from all this beauty that must die.
The yoga of the Earth is still incomplete. What she has accomplished so far is at best partial touches and far off glimpses of the divinity concealed in her. And even these glimpses do not stay for long surrounded and submerged as they are in a field of Unconsciousness, Darkness and Death. Even the best and most beautiful creations here cannot endure and perish after a time. She is haunted with impermanence and transience so to say.
An inward urge
Alarmed by the sorrow dragging at her feet
And conscious of the high things not yet won, (p. 51 begins)
Ever she nurses in her sleepless breast
An inward urge that takes from her rest and peace.
Yet she refuses to give up the labour to build divinity here with transient things, to discover immortality with mortal elements. Driven by the whiplash of sorrow on the one hand and an inward aspiration for Truth-Light and Peace and Harmony, she is unable to rest from her vast labour and struggle.
A breath of Godhead
Ignorant and weary and invincible,
She seeks through the soul’s war and quivering pain
The pure perfection her marred nature needs,
A breath of Godhead on her stone and mire.
Earth aspires even in its unconsciousness. The very matter of earth aspires towards Perfection and the manifestation of divinity in clay. It is for this that earth was formed, it is for this that she strives and struggles and waits for the fulfillment, for the day when she can become an equal of Heaven and feel the breath and force of God upon her mud and mire.
A faith, a love, a truth
A faith she craves that can survive defeat,
The sweetness of a love that knows not death,
The radiance of a truth for ever sure.
This is the secret longing that is embedded in earth and all earthly beings. It is the aspiration we inherit by being born upon earth, – the aspiration for love, truth, light, bliss, immortality.
The one needed truth
A light grows in her, she assumes a voice,
Her state she learns to read and the act she has done,
But the one needed truth eludes her grasp,
Herself and all of which she is the sign.
Slowly, the light hidden in her bosom grows and expresses itself through the mind and speech. Yet the Mind cannot arrive at the ultimate truth or the intended perfection. Therefore the ultimate Mystery, the divinisation of Matter continues to elude her. This is the intended perfection that awaits its hour.
The truth that she has missed
An inarticulate whisper drives her steps
Of which she feels the force but not the sense;
A few rare intimations come as guides,
Immense divining flashes cleave her brain,
And sometimes in her hours of dream and muse
The truth that she has missed looks out on her
As if far off and yet within her soul.
From time to time there have been manifestations of divinity in this house of clay but the divinization of matter itself is still a far-cry. There have been attempts and efforts at a self-exceeding but the victory of Spirit over matter is a task that is yet to be done. Yet it is for this that she was made, to feel the touch of divinity in the house of matter or rather to turn this house of clay into the city of God.
A change comes near
A change comes near that flees from her surmise
And, ever postponed, compels attempt and hope,
Yet seems too great for mortal hope to dare.
This has been the history of all attempts to establish a reign of Beauty and Truth upon earth. There are approximations and brief-lived successes, but eventually there is a collapse. The successes however partial and brief inspire hope whereas the failures fill man with doubt. But the effort is bound to continue and bear fruit and the crown of lasting victory will come one day.
Mighty kinsmen lost
A vision meets her of supernal Powers
That draw her as if mighty kinsmen lost
Approaching with estranged great luminous gaze.
The powers that dwell in the higher realms continue to labour for the Divine Victory and come again and again to prepare the Earth for the fulfillment of her highest aspirations. In fact these higher realms have gone into the Earth’s formation. They are embedded within the being of earth and are bound to emerge one day.
Stretches her arms to be
Then is she moved to all that she is not
And stretches arms to what was never hers.
It is this repeated contact with beings of higher worlds that aspiration awakens in earth and her heart is moved to pray for things that are not yet but must be one day.
What most she needs
Outstretching arms to the unconscious Void,
Passionate she prays to invisible forms of Gods
Soliciting from dumb Fate and toiling Time
What most she needs, what most exceeds her scope,
A Mind unvisited by illusion’s gleams,
A Will expressive of soul’s deity,
A Strength not forced to stumble by its speed,
A Joy that drags not sorrow as its shade. (p. 52 begins)
This is the Earth’s persistent aspiration, – the unmixed Truth free from all error and doubt, the ever victorious Power and Strength, the Will that acts in perfect unison with Truth, the shadowless Light and undiminished Bliss. Though this prayer dwells within her heart it assumes a conscious voice in man.
For these she yearns and feels them destined hers:
Heaven’s privilege she claims as her own right.
Indeed she is Heaven’s child and justly claims Heaven’s riches as her rights. A faith is in her that compels her to strive on and a certitude that one day she will become the Home of the All-wonderful and Blissful.
Just is her claim
Just is her claim the all-witnessing Gods approve,
Clear in a greater light than reason owns:
Our intuitions are its title-deeds;
Our souls accept what our blind thoughts refuse.
Souls born upon earth inherit this aspiration and faith. A deep intuition and conviction of our divine possibilities exists within us that refuses to die despite a thousand doubts and denials. Indeed the existence of this faith and aspiration is a sign that it has the approval of the Gods.
God’s sign of things to be
Earth’s winged chimaeras are Truth’s steeds in Heaven,
The impossible God’s sign of things to be.
What our intellectual mind discards hastily as mere imagination is very often the first indication of a deep possibility of the Divine seeking to manifest upon Earth.
This is the yoga of the Earth that starts from the soul’s aspiration towards perfection and would end with the divinization of matter.