Krishna and Kali (LP16)


The subject of the talk is an event of Sri Aurobindo’s identification with Sri Krishna on the 24th November 1926. The texts of quoted poems and aphorisms are below.


THE COSMIC DANCE (Dance of Krishna, Dance of Kali)

Two measures are there of the cosmic dance.
Always we hear the tread of Kali’s feet
Measuring in rhythms of pain and grief and chance
Life’s game of hazard terrible and sweet.

The ordeal of the veiled Initiate,
The hero soul at play with Death’s embrace,
Wrestler in the dread gymnasium of Fate
And sacrifice a lonely path to Grace,

Man’s sorrows made a key to the Mysteries,
Truth’s narrow road out of Time’s wastes of dream,
The soul’s seven doors from Matter’s tomb to rise,
Are the common motives of her tragic theme.

But when shall Krishna’s dance through Nature move,
His mask of sweetness, laughter, rapture, love?

 

SRI AUROBINDO’S APHORISMS

Kali is Krishna revealed as dreadful Power and wrathful Love. She slays with her furious blows the self in body, life and mind in order to liberate it as spirit eternal.

Canst thou see God in thy torturer and slayer even in thy moment of death or thy hours of torture?
Canst thou see Him in that which thou art slaying, see and love even while thou slayest?
Thou hast thy hand on the supreme knowledge. How shall he attain to Krishna who has never worshipped Kali?

I did not know for some time whether I loved Krishna best or Kali; when I loved Kali, it was loving myself, but when I loved Krishna, I loved another, and still it was myself with whom I was in love. Therefore I came to love Krishna better even than Kali.

When I first met Krishna, I loved Him as a friend and playmate till He deceived me;
then I was indignant and could not forgive Him. Afterwards I loved Him as a lover and He still deceived me; I was again and much more indignant, but this time I had to pardon.

When I saw others than Krishna and myself in the world, I kept secret God’s doings with me; but since I began to see Him and myself everywhere, I have become shameless and garrulous.

My Lover took His crown and royal necklace from His head and neck and clothed me with them; but the disciples of the saints and the prophets abused me and said, “He is hunting after Siddhis.

Living in Krishna, even enmity becomes a play of love and the wrestling of brothers.

The Semites have afflicted mankind with the conception of a God who is a stern and dignified king and solemn judge and knows not mirth. But we who have seen Krishna, know Him for a boy fond of play and a child full of mischief and happy laughter.

When will the world change into the model of heaven? When all mankind becomes boys and girls together with God revealed as Krishna and Kali, the happiest boy and strongest girl of the crowd, playing together in the gardens of Paradise. The Semitic Eden was well enough, but Adam and Eve were too grown up and its God Himself too old and stern and solemn for the offer of the Serpent to be resisted.

The divine Friend of all creatures conceals His friendlines in the mask of an enemy till He has made us ready for the highest heavens; then, as in Kurukshetra, the terrible form of the Master of strife, suffering and destruction is withdrawn and the sweet face, the tenderness, the oft-clasped body of Krishna shine out on the shaken soul and purified eyes of his eternal comrade and playmate.

 

KRISHNA (Cretics)

O immense Light and thou, O spirit-wide boundless Space,
Whom have you clasped and hid, deathless limbs, gloried face?
Vainly lie Space and Time, “Void are we, there is none.”
Vainly strive Self and World crying “I, I alone.”
One is there, Self of self, Soul of Space, Fount of Time,
Heart of hearts, Mind of minds, He alone sits, sublime.
Oh no void Absolute self-absorbed, splendid, mute,
Hands that clasp hold and red lips that kiss blow His flute.
All He loves, all He moves, all are His, all are He;
Many limbs sate His whims, bear His sweet ecstasy.
Two in One, Two who know difference rich in sense,
Two to clasp, One to be, this His strange mystery.

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