[the disciple]: You spoke of Sri Aurobindo’s birth as “eternal” in the history of the universe. What exactly was meant by “eternal”?
The sentence can be understood in four different ways on four ascending planes of consciousness:
- Physically, the consequence of the birth will be of eternal importance to the world.
- Mentally, it is a birth that will be eternally remembered in the universal history.
- Psychically, a birth that recurs for ever from age to age upon earth.
- Spiritually, the birth of the Eternal upon earth.
The Mother, 1957 [CWM 13]
Since the beginning of earth history, Sri Aurobindo has always presided over the great earthly transformations, under one form or another, one name or another.
The Mother [CWM 13]
It Was the Hour before the Gods Awake
To write about Sri Aurobindo’s life is an impossible task as it is like cramming the Creator and the Creation in a single book. A mere look at the range and plethora of his breathtaking works one is simply astounded. It is as if the Himalayas and the Atlantic, Vyasa and Homer, Valmiki and Kalidasa, the seers of the Vedas and the mystic poets of the Puranas were all held in a single large orchestral mind. It is as if he were now moving amidst the galaxies, now diving deep into the heart of the atomic particles, now conversing with the gods behind the veils and now entering the secret heart of nature and her occult designs. When he speaks about the past it is as if some eternal Witness were reviewing his own works but when he lends us a vision of the future it is as if the Creator himself is revealing his hidden plans. All this he does with the deftness and ease of a Master of all, a divine omnibus and polymath and yet without losing a firm foothold upon the ground earthly realities of the present. One has only to take a dip into the mighty liberating Ganges of his luminous words that he seems to have brought down from some inaccessible summits hidden from sight and sound in the original Silence before the gods were born. No wonder that he remarked to a biographer keen to write about him that no one except Sri Aurobindo himself could write about his life since it was not on the surface for men to see.
And yet dwelling upon his life, fragment though it be is richly rewarding. His birth marked the transition of an Age from the hard iron grip of a rational materialistic order and philosophies and nations divided over by class and colour and pride and prejudice. He was born in the midst of this darkness to bring hope and light and truth and beauty in a world that had forgotten it’s true aim.
To the hill-tops of silence from over the infinite sea,
Golden he came,
Armed with the flame,
Looked on the world that his greatness and passion must free. [CWSA 2: 649]