Rishi (Collected Poems), pp. 107-109 (SH 065)


Savitri Class in Hindi with Alok Pandey
Savitri Book II: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds, Canto II: The Kingdom of Subtle Matter

 

The Rishi

Even as a ship upon the stormy flood
With fluttering sails
Labours towards the shore; the angry mood
Of Ocean swells,
Calms come and favouring winds, but yet afar
The harbour pales
In evening mists and Ocean threatens war:
Such is our life.
Of this be sure, the mighty game goes on,
The glorious strife,
Until the goal predestined has been won.
Not on the cliff
To be shattered has our ship set forth of old,
Nor in the surge
To founder. Therefore, King, be royal, bold,
And through the urge
Of winds, the reboant thunders and the close
Tempestuous gurge
Press on for ever laughing at the blows
Of wind and wave.
. . .
Grieve not for wounds, nor fear the violent storms,
For grief and pain
Are errors of the clouded soul; behind
They do not stain
The living spirit who to these is blind.
Torture, disdain,
Defeat and sorrow give him strength and joy:
’Twas for delight
He sought existence, and if pains alloy,
. . .
We are but sparks of that most perfect fire,
Waves of that sea:
From Him we come, to Him we go, desire
Eternally,
And so long as He wills, our separate birth
Is and shall be.
Shrink not from life, O Aryan, but with mirth
And joy receive
His good and evil, sin and virtue, till
He bids thee leave.
But while thou livest, perfectly fulfil
Thy part, conceive
Earth as thy stage, thyself the actor strong,
The drama His.
Work, but the fruits to God alone belong,
Who only is.
Work, love and know,– so shall thy spirit win
Immortal bliss.
Love men, love God. Fear not to love, O King,
Fear not to enjoy;
For Death’s a passage, grief a fancied thing
Fools to annoy.
From self escape and find in love alone
A higher joy.

CWSA, Vol-2 [pp. 233-235]

 

 

Savitri

Thus taken was God’s plunge into the Night.
This fallen world became a nurse of souls
Inhabited by concealed divinity.
A Being woke and lived in the meaningless void,
A world-wide Nescience strove towards life and thought,
A Consciousness plucked out from mindless sleep.
All here is driven by an insentient will.
Thus fallen, inconscient, frustrate, dense, inert,
Sunk into inanimate and torpid drowse
Earth lay, a drudge of sleep, forced to create
By a subconscient yearning memory
Left from a happiness dead before she was born,
An alien wonder on her senseless breast.
This mire must harbour the orchid and the rose,
From her blind unwilling substance must emerge
A beauty that belongs to happier spheres.
This is the destiny bequeathed to her,
As if a slain god left a golden trust
To a blind force and an imprisoned soul.
An immortal godhead’s perishable parts
She must reconstitute from fragments lost,
Reword from a document complete elsewhere
Her doubtful title to her divine Name.
A residue her sole inheritance,
All things she carries in her shapeless dust.
Her giant energy tied to petty forms
In the slow tentative motion of her power
With only frail blunt instruments for use,
She has accepted as her nature’s need
And given to man as his stupendous work
A labour to the gods impossible.
A life living hardly in a field of death
Its portion claims of immortality;
A brute half-conscious body serves as means
A mind that must recover a knowledge lost
Held in stone grip by the world’s inconscience,
And wearing still these countless knots of Law
A spirit bound stand up as Nature’s king.
A mighty kinship is this daring’s cause.
All we attempt in this imperfect world,
Looks forward or looks back beyond Time’s gloss
To its pure idea and firm inviolate type
In an absolute creation’s flawless skill.
To seize the absolute in shapes that pass,
To fix the eternal’s touch in time-made things,
This is the law of all perfection here.
A fragment here is caught of heaven’s design;
Else could we never hope for greater life
And ecstasy and glory could not be.
Even in the littleness of our mortal state,
Even in this prison-house of outer form,
A brilliant passage for the infallible Flame
Is driven through gross walls of nerve and brain,
A Splendour presses or a Power breaks through,
Earth’s great dull barrier is removed awhile,
The inconscient seal is lifted from our eyes
And we grow vessels of creative might.
The enthusiasm of a divine surprise
Pervades our life, a mystic stir is felt,
A joyful anguish trembles in our limbs;
A dream of beauty dances through the heart,
A thought from the eternal Mind draws near,
Intimations cast from the Invisible
Awaking from Infinity’s sleep come down,
Symbols of That which never yet was made.
But soon the inert flesh responds no more,
Then sinks the sacred orgy of delight,
The blaze of passion and the tide of power
Are taken from us and, though a glowing form
Abides astonishing earth, imagined supreme,
Too little of what was meant has left a trace.
Earth’s eyes half-see, her forces half-create;
Her rarest works are copies of heaven’s art.

[pp. 107-109]

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