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At the Feet of The Mother

Gratitude (7/18) The Incarnate’s Tread

The little ego’s ring could join no more;

In the enormous spaces of the self
The body now seemed only a wandering shell,
His mind the many-frescoed outer court
Of an imperishable Inhabitant:
His spirit breathed a superhuman air.
The imprisoned deity rent its magic fence.
As with a sound of thunder and of seas,
Vast barriers crashed around the huge escape.
Immutably coeval with the world,
Circle and end of every hope and toil
Inexorably drawn round thought and act,
The fixed immovable peripheries
Effaced themselves beneath the Incarnate’s tread. [Savitri: 82]

The Mystery that took the Name of Krishna and assumed his form, the Force that moves the stars and changes Time by her dance was once again impelled by Its own Will to assume a human name and form that was prepared for this purpose. The revelation of Krishna and Kali had already started in Baroda while Sri Aurobindo’s life had taken a conscious spiritual turn towards engaging in a yoga that would emancipate India. However this new journey would not stop with India’s independence whose large lines had already been laid down by Sri Aurobindo in a brief period of less than a decade. He had already awakened the Soul of India, Bhavani Bharati, invoking her as Durga, the guardian of India’s destiny through the deep spiritual cry of Bande Mataram, Karmayogi, Dharma and other writings. The fact of India’s political freedom from the British was already settled. The decree had gone forth. What was not settled was the greater emancipation of India from another deeper slavery to an alien law. It was this that was urgently required so that once again the Light of the Ages that India bore could spread far and wide and redeem the world. That needed another kind of effort, a new yoga for earth that would save not only the soul but also the body.

Sri Aurobindo was freed from the prison in May 1909 but this freedom led to another freedom as well. He was completely surrendered and by that very act free from all anxiety about the future. He acted as he was commanded by the inner Divine whose directions he had learnt to obey. The bars of the prison of ignorance ceded beneath Sri Krishna’s tread and Sri Aurobindo found himself entering higher and higher planes of consciousness. It was thus that one day at an inner command Sri Aurobindo set his sails southwards for Pondicherry in 1910. The year 1910 marked a great transition in Sri Aurobindo’s life. The fiery revolutionary, the journalist who had set the nation ablaze with his soul stirring writings in the Bande Mataram, Karmayogi, Yugantar and Dharma, the speaker whose speeches were heard with rapt attention and in pin drop silence, the Chief and Captain of the Revolutionary movement had set an example of what a true Jivanmukta is. Having realised the Silence of Nirvana in January 1908 he continued to speak and write, attend to the revolutionary meetings and guide the freedom movement even as Sri Krishna had once steered the chariot of Arjuna in the Mahabharata. The British Government, afraid of his rising popularity and the power of his word sent him to the Alipore jail under false charges for a year from May 1908 to May 1909. But God had other plans. He turned the jail into his cell of tapasya and released him into the highest inner freedom through the prison. Soon the golden bird, the Phoenix had sailed over to Chandernagore in February 1910 and from there he had sailed to Pondicherry moved by the invitation to an unprecedented infinite adventure of the Spirit. As the sun was setting down the Eastern Coast of India a new Sun had begun to rise in the world horizons from the cave in Pondicherry. The Mother called this day of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival to Pondicherry as the spiritual new year of the city whose destiny was sealed as Sri Aurobindo set his feet upon its soil, repeating in a way what Rishi Agastya had done in far back times establishing the Vedapuri here having crossed the Vindhya. The hills never saw him return nor did Bengal see Sri Aurobindo set his sail back from Pondicherry. He had sailed beyond the last bars and maps of Earth.

His soul retired from all that he had done.
Hushed was the futile din of human toil,
Forsaken wheeled the circle of the days;
In distance sank the crowded tramp of life.
The Silence was his sole companion left.
Impassive he lived immune from earthly hopes,
A figure in the ineffable Witness’ shrine
Pacing the vast cathedral of his thoughts
Under its arches dim with infinity
And heavenward brooding of invisible wings.
A call was on him from intangible heights;
Indifferent to the little outpost Mind,
He dwelt in the wideness of the Eternal’s reign.
His being now exceeded thinkable Space,
His boundless thought was neighbour to cosmic sight:
A universal light was in his eyes,
A golden influx flowed through heart and brain;
A Force came down into his mortal limbs,
A current from eternal seas of Bliss;
He felt the invasion and the nameless joy. [Savitri: 78-79]

Pondicherry became his cave of tapasya where Silence was his sole companion left. As he moved up and down the corridors of the place of his stay, he seemed to pace through the corridors of time as if tuning the moments to the rhythms of the Eternal. By now Sri Aurobindo had another major realisation which was a prolonged and conscious dwelling in Parabrahman (the Ultimate Reality). He did not need to withdraw into the trance of samadhi but could experience it all in the waking state. The undercurrent of spirituality that was gathering strength over the years and directing his steps like the hidden Saraswati had now emerged fully and become a wide river of Light and Delight nourishing his heart and mind, his life and breath and the very body cells.



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