Selections from a performance at the Matrimandir Amphitheatre on September 10, 2019.
Based on Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, Book 7 “The Book of Yoga”. Recorded and edited by Manohar, Auroville
The title refers to the following passage from Book 7 Canto 2, “The Parable of the Search for the Soul”
The Voice replied: “Is this enough, O spirit?
And what shall thy soul say when it wakes and knows
The work was left undone for which it came?
Or is this all for thy being born on earth
Charged with a mandate from eternity,
A listener to the voices of the years,
A follower of the footprints of the gods,
To pass and leave unchanged the old dusty laws?
Shall there be no new tables, no new Word,
No greater light come down upon the earth
Delivering her from her unconsciousness,
Man’s spirit from unalterable Fate?
Cam’st thou not down to open the doors of Fate,
The iron doors that seemed for ever closed,
And lead man to Truth’s wide and golden road
That runs through finite things to eternity?
Is this then the report that I must make,
My head bowed with shame before the Eternal’s seat, –
His power he kindled in thy body has failed,
His labourer returns, her task undone?”
Then Savitri’s heart fell mute, it spoke no word.
But holding back her troubled rebel heart,
Abrupt, erect and strong, calm like a hill,
Surmounting the seas of mortal ignorance,
Its peak immutable above mind’s air,
A Power within her answered the still Voice:
“I am thy portion here charged with thy work,
As thou myself seated for ever above,
Speak to my depths, O great and deathless Voice,
Command, for I am here to do thy will.”
The Voice replied: “Remember why thou cam’st:
Find out thy soul, recover thy hid self,
In silence seek God’s meaning in thy depths,
Then mortal nature change to the divine.
Open God’s door, enter into his trance.
Cast Thought from thee, that nimble ape of Light:
In his tremendous hush stilling thy brain
His vast Truth wake within and know and see.
Cast from thee sense that veils thy spirit’s sight:
In the enormous emptiness of thy mind
Thou shalt see the Eternal’s body in the world,
Know him in every voice heard by thy soul,
In the world’s contacts meet his single touch;
All things shall fold thee into his embrace.
Conquer thy heart’s throbs, let thy heart beat in God:
Thy nature shall be the engine of his works,
Thy voice shall house the mightiness of his Word:
Then shalt thou harbour my force and conquer Death.”
Then Savitri by her doomed husband sat,
Still rigid in her golden motionless pose,
A statue of the fire of the inner sun.
In the black night the wrath of storm swept by,
The thunder crashed above her, the rain hissed,
Its million footsteps pattered on the roof.
Impassive mid the movement and the cry,
Witness of the thoughts of mind, the moods of life,
She looked into herself and sought for her soul.