This talk is centred around one of the major experiences of Sri Aurobindo with Lele Maharaj in Baroda. Today’s poems include Adwaita, Parabrahman, Nirvana and Surrender (their full text is given below).
I walked on the high-wayed Seat of Solomon
Where Shankaracharya’s tiny temple stands
Facing Infinity from Time’s edge, alone
On the bare ridge ending earth’s vain romance.
Around me was a formless solitude:
All had become one strange Unnameable,
An unborn sole Reality world-nude,
Topless and fathomless, for ever still.
A Silence that was Being’s only word,
The unknown beginning and the voiceless end
Abolishing all things moment-seen or heard,
On an incommunicable summit reigned,
A lonely Calm and void unchanging Peace
On the dumb crest of Nature’s mysteries.
These wanderings of the suns, these stars at play
In the due measure that they chose of old,
Nor only these, but all the immense array
Of objects that long Time, far Space can hold,
Are divine moments. They are thoughts that form,
They are vision in the Self of things august
And therefore grandly real. Rule and norm
Are processes that they themselves adjust.
The Self of things is not their outward view,
A Force within decides. That Force is He;
His movement is the shape of things we knew,
Movement of Thought is Space and Time. A free
And sovereign master of His world within,
He is not bound by what He does or makes,
He is not bound by virtue or by sin,
Awake who sleeps and when He sleeps awakes.
He is not bound by waking or by sleep;
He is not bound by anything at all.
Laws are that He may conquer them. To creep
Or soar is at His will, to rise or fall.
One from of old possessed Himself above
Who was not anyone nor had a form,
Nor yet was formless. Neither hate nor love
Could limit His perfection, peace nor storm.
He is, we cannot say; for Nothing too
Is His conception of Himself unguessed.
He dawns upon us and we would pursue,
But who has found Him or what arms possessed?
He is not anything, yet all is He;
He is not all but far exceeds that scope.
Both Time and Timelessness sink in that sea:
Time is a wave and Space a wandering drop.
Within Himself He shadowed Being forth,
Which is a younger birth, a veil He chose
To half-conceal Him, Knowledge, nothing worth
Save to have glimpses of its mighty cause,
And high Delight, a spirit infinite,
That is the fountain of this glorious world,
Delight that labours in its opposite,
Faints in the rose and on the rack is curled.
This was the triune playground that He made
And One there sports awhile. He plucks His flowers
And by His bees is stung; He is dismayed,
Flees from Himself or has His sullen hours.
The Almighty One knew labour, failure, strife;
Knowledge forgot divined itself again:
He made an eager death and called it life,
He stung Himself with bliss and called it pain.
All is abolished but the mute Alone.
The mind from thought released, the heart from grief
Grow inexistent now beyond belief;
There is no I, no Nature, known-unknown.
The city, a shadow picture without tone,
Floats, quivers unreal; forms without relief
Flow, a cinema’s vacant shapes; like a reef
Foundering in shoreless gulfs the world is done.
Only the illimitable Permanent
Is here. A Peace stupendous, featureless, still,
Replaces all,—what once was I, in It
A silent unnamed emptiness content
Either to fade in the Unknowable
Or thrill with the luminous seas of the Infinite.
O Thou of whom I am the instrument,
O secret Spirit and Nature housed in me,
Let all my mortal being now be blent
In Thy still glory of divinity.
I have given my mind to be dug Thy channel mind,
I have offered up my will to be Thy will:
Let nothing of myself be left behind
In our union mystic and unutterable.
My heart shall throb with the world-beats of Thy love,
My body become Thy engine for earth-use;
In my nerves and veins Thy rapture’s streams shall move;
My thoughts shall be hounds of Light for Thy power to loose.
Keep only my soul to adore eternally
And meet Thee in each form and soul of Thee.
[Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems]