After unnumbered steps of a hill-stair
I saw upon earth’s head brilliant with sun
The immobile Goddess in her house of stone
In a loneliness of meditating air.
Wise were the human hands that set her there
Above the world and Time’s dominion;
The Soul of all that lives, calm, pure, alone,
Revealed its boundless self mystic and bare.
Our body is an epitome of some Vast
That masks its presence by our humanness.
In us the secret Spirit can indite
A page and summary of the Infinite,
A nodus of Eternity expressed
Live in an image and a sculptured face.
Notes on Text
21 October 1939. Three handwritten manuscripts, the first two entitled “The Temple on the Hill-top”. This sonnet is about an experience Sri Aurobindo had at a shrine in the temple-complex on Parvati Hill, near Poona, probably in 1902.