Man, the Ignorant (GS 014)


We reflect upon these lines about man from Savitri.

The outward and the immediate are our field,
The dead past is our background and support;
Mind keeps the soul prisoner, we are slaves to our acts;
We cannot free our gaze to reach wisdom’s sun.

Inheritor of the brief animal mind,
Man, still a child in Nature’s mighty hands,
In the succession of the moments lives;
To a changing present is his narrow right;
His memory stares back at a phantom past,
The future flees before him as he moves;
He sees imagined garments, not a face.

Armed with a limited precarious strength,
He saves his fruits of work from adverse chance.

A struggling ignorance is his wisdom’s mate:
He waits to see the consequence of his acts,
He waits to weigh the certitude of his thoughts,
He knows not what he shall achieve or when;
He knows not whether at last he shall survive,
Or end like the mastodon and the sloth
And perish from the earth where he was king.

He is ignorant of the meaning of his life,
He is ignorant of his high and splendid fate.

(Savitri, p. 53)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email