The Incarnation. The Divine Mother as Savitri

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The Incarnation of the Divine Mother

The birth of the Divine Mother in a human form

The Divine becoming human, assuming a human cloak is a wonder and a mystery. It is the secret of secrets, the great secret that saves earth and man. It is the most concrete expression of divine Love since it is by the Divine becoming human that humanity can regain its lost divinity and become a portion of the Divine. Each such Divine birth has brought to earth a new possibility, a new and higher expression of the Divine upon earth and in man. It is a new manifestation and all earth heaves with joy as the gods above watch this marvel of marvels. A new phase of evolution begins, a new rung is added in the ladder of ascension through which earth moves towards its divine destiny. Though the eyes of ignorance recognise it not, the soul of earth rejoices for this is the moment for which centuries have waited. Now it has come. Let us wake up to this new Presence, this new possibility in matter and give ourselves to this sublime work.

In this high signal moment of the gods
Answering earth’s yearning and her cry for bliss,
A greatness from our other countries came.
A silence in the noise of earthly things
Immutably revealed the secret Word,
A mightier influx filled the oblivious clay:
A lamp was lit, a sacred image made.
A mediating ray had touched the earth
Bridging the gulf between man’s mind and God’s;
Its brightness linked our transience to the Unknown.
A spirit of its celestial source aware
Translating heaven into a human shape
Descended into earth’s imperfect mould
And wept not fallen to mortality,
But looked on all with large and tranquil eyes.
One had returned from the transcendent planes
And bore anew the load of mortal breath,
Who had striven of old with our darkness and our pain;
She took again her divine unfinished task:
Survivor of death and the aeonic years,
Once more with her fathomless heart she fronted Time.
Again there was renewed, again revealed
The ancient closeness by earth-vision veiled,
The secret contact broken off in Time,
A consanguinity of earth and heaven,
Between the human portion toiling here
And an as yet unborn and limitless Force.
Again the mystic deep attempt began,
The daring wager of the cosmic game.
For since upon this blind and whirling globe
Earth-plasm first quivered with the illumining mind
And life invaded the material sheath
Afflicting Inconscience with the need to feel,
Since in Infinity’s silence woke a word,
A Mother-wisdom works in Nature’s breast
To pour delight on the heart of toil and want
And press perfection on life’s stumbling powers,
Impose heaven-sentience on the obscure abyss
And make dumb Matter conscious of its God.
Although our fallen minds forget to climb,
Although our human stuff resists or breaks,
She keeps her will that hopes to divinise clay;
Failure cannot repress, defeat o’erthrow;
Time cannot weary her nor the Void subdue,
The ages have not made her passion less;
No victory she admits of Death or Fate.
Always she drives the soul to new attempt;
Always her magical infinitude
Forces to aspire the inert brute elements;
As one who has all infinity to waste,
She scatters the seed of the Eternal’s strength
On a half-animate and crumbling mould,
Plants heaven’s delight in the heart’s passionate mire,
Pours godhead’s seekings into a bare beast frame,
Hides immortality in a mask of death.
Once more that Will put on an earthly shape. [353 – 354]

What we have here is a sublime passage revealing to us the great secret of the successive Divine descents in matter which are known as the great Divine incarnations or Avatars in India. It is through the intervention of the Avatars that the process of evolution gets a sudden push, a jump and a leap across centuries. Cutting through huge time loops matter brings out a new element that lay buried in its depths as the secret Will. Savitri is one such Incarnation of the Divine Mother in far back times, a story that Sri Aurobindo, the master mystic-poet weaves beautifully with the birth of the Divine Mother upon earth on the 21st February 1878.

 

The mystery of the Divine’s birth and its impact

The anguish and aspiration of the ages embodied in Aswapati, the King amongst men, the master-yogi, has brought her close to earth and man. She has been now installed in the temple of the earth in the sanctum sanctorum of man’s inmost heart-cave. There She dwells now, a permanent and intimate Guest. There we can find her and, lighting the lamp of aspiration and worshipping her with the flowers of faith and devotion, become part and parcel of her being, a child new-born to her, a portion of her vast infinity.

A Mind empowered from Truth’s immutable seat
Was framed for vision and interpreting act
And instruments were sovereignly designed
To express divinity in terrestrial signs.
Outlined by the pressure of this new descent
A lovelier body formed than earth had known.
As yet a prophecy only and a hint,
The glowing arc of a charmed unseen whole,
It came into the sky of mortal life
Bright like the crescent horn of a gold moon
Returning in a faint illumined eve.
At first glimmering like an unshaped idea
Passive she lay sheltered in wordless sleep,
Involved and drowned in Matter’s giant trance,
An infant heart of the deep-caved world-plan
In cradle of divine inconscience rocked
By the universal ecstasy of the suns.
Some missioned Power in the half-wakened frame
Nursed a transcendent birth’s dumb glorious seed
For which this vivid tenement was made.
But soon the link of soul with form grew sure;
Flooded was the dim cave with slow conscient light,
The seed grew into a delicate marvellous bud,
The bud disclosed a great and heavenly bloom.
At once she seemed to found a mightier race.
Arrived upon the strange and dubious globe
The child remembering inly a far home
Lived guarded in her spirit’s luminous cell,
Alone mid men in her diviner kind.
Even in her childish movements could be felt
The nearness of a light still kept from earth,
Feelings that only eternity could share,
Thoughts natural and native to the gods.
As needing nothing but its own rapt flight
Her nature dwelt in a strong separate air
Like a strange bird with large rich-coloured breast
That sojourns on a secret fruited bough,
Lost in the emerald glory of the woods
Or flies above divine unreachable tops.
Harmoniously she impressed the earth with heaven.
Aligned to a swift rhythm of sheer delight
And singing to themselves her days went by;
Each minute was a throb of beauty’s heart;
The hours were tuned to a sweet-toned content
Which asked for nothing, but took all life gave
Sovereignly as her nature’s inborn right.
Near was her spirit to its parent Sun,
The Breath within to the eternal joy. [354 – 355]

Though seemingly like any other birth, the body and mind that would hold the Divine influx are prepared in a special way by Nature. It is a conscious birth and a conscious preparation of the bodily instruments to express the divine Power that comes along with the incarnate Divine. It is a special mind that comes empowered to open the doors for man. The incarnate Divine comes for all beings, embraces all creatures, bends down to soothe and heal our suffering and pain, yet each receives according to their openness and receptivity. Even though her movements seem to be human, She is not a human being turning into the Divine, but a progressive divine manifestation that takes place with the human frame supporting the process of inner alchemy. What transpires within her human frame becomes then accessible to all who are ready and open or simply have faith in the divine sacrifice in matter by assuming a human body.

 

A greater Nature

She has come assuming a human form but always conscious of the divine founts. Though She leans down to touch the earth with her Glory, her inner being always kept the stature of the gods. All the cosmic powers are conscient in her birth and surround her being as a halo surrounds the full moon.

Even when she bent to meet earth’s intimacies
Her spirit kept the stature of the gods;
It stooped but was not lost in Matter’s reign.
A world translated was her gleaming mind,
And marvel-mooned bright crowding fantasies
Fed with spiritual sustenance of dreams
The ideal goddess in her house of gold.
Aware of forms to which our eyes are closed,
Conscious of nearnesses we cannot feel,
The Power within her shaped her moulding sense
In deeper figures than our surface types.
An invisible sunlight ran within her veins
And flooded her brain with heavenly brilliances
That woke a wider sight than earth could know.
Outlined in the sincerity of that ray
Her springing childlike thoughts were richly turned
Into luminous patterns of her soul’s deep truth,
And from her eyes she cast another look
On all around her than man’s ignorant view.
All objects were to her shapes of living selves
And she perceived a message from her kin
In each awakening touch of outward things.
Each was a symbol power, a vivid flash
In the circuit of infinities half-known;
Nothing was alien or inanimate,
Nothing without its meaning or its call.
For with a greater Nature she was one. [356 – 357]

The Divine Mother has come embodying the higher supernature. Though human in appearance, her divinity shines out in all her acts.

 

The divine Work of the Incarnation

She has come not for the founding of a religion, new or old, but for transforming human life into a divine life. She has come to transmute our humanity into a diviner image. She has come not just to awaken us to the new divine possibility but to accomplish it for us and show us the way through her own divine example. Let us give ourselves in a gesture of gratitude and love for of all means this is the best for drawing closer to her.

As from the soil sprang glory of branch and flower,
As from the animal’s life rose thinking man,
A new epiphany appeared in her.
A mind of light, a life of rhythmic force,
A body instinct with hidden divinity
Prepared an image of the coming god;
And when the slow rhyme of the expanding years
And the rich murmurous swarm-work of the days
Had honey-packed her sense and filled her limbs,
Accomplishing the moon-orb of her grace,
Self-guarded in the silence of her strength
Her solitary greatness was not less.
Nearer the godhead to the surface pressed,
A sun replacing childhood’s nebula
Sovereign in a blue and lonely sky.
Upward it rose to grasp the human scene:
The strong Inhabitant turned to watch her field.
A lovelier light assumed her spirit brow
And sweet and solemn grew her musing gaze;
Celestial-human deep warm slumbrous fires
Woke in the long fringed glory of her eyes
Like altar-burnings in a mysteried shrine.
Out of those crystal windows gleamed a will
That brought a large significance to life.
Holding her forehead’s candid stainless space
Behind the student arch a noble power
Of wisdom looked from light on transient things.
A scout of victory in a vigil tower,
Her aspiration called high destiny down;
A silent warrior paced in her city of strength
Inviolate, guarding Truth’s diamond throne.
A nectarous haloed moon her passionate heart
Loved all and spoke no word and made no sign,
But kept her bosom’s rapturous secrecy
A blissful ardent moved and voiceless world.
Proud, swift and joyful ran the wave of life
Within her like a stream in Paradise.
Many high gods dwelt in one beautiful home;
Yet was her nature’s orb a perfect whole,
Harmonious like a chant with many tones,
Immense and various like a universe.
The body that held this greatness seemed almost
An image made of heaven’s transparent light.
Its charm recalled things seen in vision’s hours,
A golden bridge spanning a faery flood, [357 – 358]

With the growth of the body and mind of the Incarnation the Divine within begins to manifest increasingly. The secret Will, clothed in a human shape, begins to press towards the surface and even the outer personality begins to reflect the Truth that She guards in her depths. Though mingling with our imperfections and sharing its struggles and pain, She remains aware of her luminous depths and the conscious aspiration and the divine Work She has come to do.

 

The divine-human personality of Savitri

The adaptation of the incarnate Divine Mother to earthly life

The Divine Mother comes to show us by her own divine example as to how we can integrate life and yoga. She comes to show us how our nature can be uplifted to greater and greater peaks of humanity until it is ready to cross the borders that limit us. Through her humanity She has touched all aspects of human life lifting them towards unseen heights of Glory, opening their doors to diviner possibilities.

Over her watched millennial influences
And the deep godheads of a grandiose past
Looked on her and saw the future’s godheads come
As if this magnet drew their powers unseen.
Earth’s brooding wisdom spoke to her still breast;
Mounting from mind’s last peaks to mate with gods,
Making earth’s brilliant thoughts a springing-board
To dive into the cosmic vastnesses,
The knowledge of the thinker and the seer
Saw the unseen and thought the unthinkable,
Opened the enormous doors of the unknown,
Rent man’s horizons into infinity.
A shoreless sweep was lent to the mortal’s acts,
And art and beauty sprang from the human depths;
Nature and soul vied in nobility.
Ethics the human keyed to imitate heaven;
The harmony of a rich culture’s tones
Refined the sense and magnified its reach
To hear the unheard and glimpse the invisible
And taught the soul to soar beyond things known,
Inspiring life to greaten and break its bounds,
Aspiring to the Immortals’ unseen world.
Leaving earth’s safety daring wings of Mind
Bore her above the trodden fields of thought
Crossing the mystic seas of the Beyond
To live on eagle heights near to the Sun.
There Wisdom sits on her eternal throne.
All her life’s turns led her to symbol doors
Admitting to secret Powers that were her kin;
Adept of truth, initiate of bliss,
A mystic acolyte trained in Nature’s school,
Aware of the marvel of created things
She laid the secrecies of her heart’s deep muse
Upon the altar of the Wonderful;
Her hours were a ritual in a timeless fane;
Her acts became gestures of sacrifice.
Invested with a rhythm of higher spheres
The word was used as a hieratic means
For the release of the imprisoned spirit
Into communion with its comrade gods.
Or it helped to beat out new expressive forms
Of that which labours in the heart of life,
Some immemorial Soul in men and things,
Seeker of the unknown and the unborn
Carrying a light from the Ineffable
To rend the veil of the last mysteries. [359 – 360]

She has brought with her the aspiration of the ages. The godheads from far back times who have carried earth’s evolution forward came near her drawn by her divinely-human personality.

 

Her many-sided splendour

She has come not as a saint or sage to teach a method or a technique to escape earthly life. She has rather come to enrich it. She has come to pour her Light and Beauty and Love and Bliss and Perfection upon each and every field of human activity. She takes in all human interests and turns them into means for the divine ascension of our humanity.

Intense philosophies pointed earth to heaven
Or on foundations broad as cosmic Space
Upraised the earth-mind to superhuman heights.
Overpassing lines that please the outward eyes
But hide the sight of that which lives within
Sculpture and painting concentrated sense
Upon an inner vision’s motionless verge,
Revealed a figure of the invisible,
Unveiled all Nature’s meaning in a form,
Or caught into a body the Divine.
The architecture of the Infinite
Discovered here its inward-musing shapes
Captured into wide breadths of soaring stone:
Music brought down celestial yearnings, song
Held the merged heart absorbed in rapturous depths,
Linking the human with the cosmic cry;
The world-interpreting movements of the dance
Moulded idea and mood to a rhythmic sway
And posture; crafts minute in subtle lines
Eternised a swift moment’s memory
Or showed in a carving’s sweep, a cup’s design
The underlying patterns of the unseen:
Poems in largeness cast like moving worlds
And metres surging with the ocean’s voice
Translated by grandeurs locked in Nature’s heart
But thrown now into a crowded glory of speech
The beauty and sublimity of her forms,
The passion of her moments and her moods
Lifting the human word nearer to the god’s.
Man’s eyes could look into the inner realms;
His scrutiny discovered number’s law
And organised the motions of the stars,
Mapped out the visible fashioning of the world,
Questioned the process of his thoughts or made
A theorised diagram of mind and life.
These things she took in as her nature’s food,
But these alone could fill not her wide Self:
A human seeking limited by its gains,
To her they seemed the great and early steps
Hazardous of a young discovering spirit
Which saw not yet by its own native light;
It tapped the universe with testing knocks
Or stretched to find truth mind’s divining rod;
There was a growing out to numberless sides,
But not the widest seeing of the soul,
Not yet the vast direct immediate touch,
Nor yet the art and wisdom of the Gods.
A boundless knowledge greater than man’s thought,
A happiness too high for heart and sense
Locked in the world and yearning for release
She felt in her; waiting as yet for form,
It asked for objects around which to grow
And natures strong to bear without recoil
The splendour of her native royalty,
Her greatness and her sweetness and her bliss,
Her might to possess and her vast power to love:
Earth made a stepping-stone to conquer heaven,
The soul saw beyond heaven’s limiting boundaries,
Met a great light from the Unknowable
And dreamed of a transcendent action’s sphere. [360 – 362]

This wonderful passage reveals the human side of the Avatar. She must take into herself and represent the various human movements and efforts in the long history of the evolution of the race. We see here the incarnate Divine Mother developing different sides of her human personality. From the occult perspective, each side of our personality represents some aspect of the Divine. It is a godhead struggling to emerge under earthly conditions. By assuming different human activities and absorbing them in her personality the Divine Mother gives a chance for these to discover new heights and prepare them for their transmutation into divine values.

 

The human response to her Grace

Vast is her heart of infinite Love and Mercy. Endless is her Grace pouring upon man as the sun pours its rays, the clouds their heavenly nectar, the flowers their beauty and fragrance. Her vast universal Love is not for the faithful few. It is given to all without calculation or expectation of return. Yet faith and devotion prepare us to receive it rightly. Without these, we close the doors to her tireless Grace. It is not the Grace that turns away from man; it is man who turns away from it. The Grace is infinite, it is our hands that are small and cannot receive, or they spill what we are given.

Aware of the universal Self in all
She turned to living hearts and human forms,
Her soul’s reflections, complements, counterparts,
The close outlying portions of her being
Divided from her by walls of body and mind
Yet to her spirit bound by ties divine.
Overcoming invisible hedge and masked defence
And the loneliness that separates soul from soul,
She wished to make all one immense embrace
That she might house in it all living things
Raised into a splendid point of seeing light
Out of division’s dense inconscient cleft,
And make them one with God and world and her. [362]

A friend and yet too great wholly to know,
She walked in their front towards a greater light,
Their leader and queen over their hearts and souls,
One close to their bosoms, yet divine and far.

To see her was a summons to adore,
To be near her drew a high communion’s force.
So men worship a god too great to know,
Too high, too vast to wear a limiting shape;
They feel a Presence and obey a might,
Adore a love whose rapture invades their breasts;
To a divine ardour quickening the heart-beats,
A law they follow greatening heart and life.
Opened to the breath is a new diviner air,
Opened to man is a freer, happier world:
He sees high steps climbing to Self and Light.
Her divine parts the soul’s allegiance called:
It saw, it felt, it knew the deity.
Her will was puissant on their nature’s acts,
Her heart’s inexhaustible sweetness lured their hearts,
A being they loved whose bounds exceeded theirs;
Her measure they could not reach but bore her touch,
Answering with the flower’s answer to the sun
They gave themselves to her and asked no more.

She held their hands, she chose for them their paths:
They were moved by her towards great unknown things,
Faith drew them and the joy to feel themselves hers;
They lived in her, they saw the world with her eyes. [363-364]

The Divine Mother has not come as the leader or master of a limited cult or sect. She is not confined to her physical body just as a godhead is not confined to the sanctum sanctorum of a temple where his presence may be established. Her fragrance and radiance spreads out to all, not just to earthly beings but also to beings of other worlds. Even the gods and the titan kings are drawn to her earthly lila. Yet each receives according to his or her capacity and limitation.

 

The Divine Mother’s close and chosen ones

It has been said that many are called but few are chosen. There is a truth in it, a truth of profound significance. Though her Sweetness and Love are meant for all and many are the recipients of her wonderful Grace, it is a few who are ready to give all and walk through the doors of a new destiny opening for earth and man. It needs tremendous courage and faith, indeed a leap of faith. Her call is a call to a limitless adventure. Let us respond with faith and an absolute self-giving holding back nothing in reserve.

But mid this world, these hearts that answered her call,
None could stand up her equal and her mate.
In vain she stooped to equal them with her heights,
Too pure that air was for small souls to breathe.
These comrade selves to raise to her own wide breadths
Her heart desired and fill with her own power
That a diviner Force might enter life,
A breath of Godhead greaten human time.
Although she leaned down to their littleness
Covering their lives with her strong passionate hands
And knew by sympathy their needs and wants
And dived in the shallow wave-depths of their lives
And met and shared their heart-beats of grief and joy
And bent to heal their sorrow and their pride,
Lavishing the might that was hers on her lone peak
To lift to it their aspiration’s cry,
And though she drew their souls into her vast
And surrounded with the silence of her deeps
And held as the great Mother holds her own,
Only her earthly surface bore their charge
And mixed its fire with their mortality:
Her greater self lived sole, unclaimed, within.
Oftener in dumb Nature’s stir and peace
A nearness she could feel serenely one;
The Force in her drew earth’s subhuman broods;
And to her spirit’s large and free delight
She joined the ardent-hued magnificent lives
Of animal and bird and flower and tree.
They answered to her with the simple heart.
In man a dim disturbing somewhat lives;
It knows but turns away from divine Light
Preferring the dark ignorance of the fall.
Among the many who came drawn to her
Nowhere she found her partner of high tasks,
The comrade of her soul, her other self
Who was made with her, like God and Nature, one.
Some near approached, were touched, caught fire, then failed,
Too great was her demand, too pure her force.
Thus lighting earth around her like a sun,
Yet in her inmost sky an orb aloof,
A distance severed her from those most close.
Puissant, apart her soul as the gods live.
As yet unlinked with the broad human scene,
In a small circle of young eager hearts,
Her being’s early school and closed domain,
Apprentice in the business of earth-life,
She schooled her heavenly strain to bear its touch,
Content in her little garden of the gods
As blooms a flower in an unvisited place. [365 – 367]

Her mind sat high pouring its golden beams,
Her heart was a crowded temple of delight.
A single lamp lit in perfection’s house,
A bright pure image in a priestless shrine,
Midst those encircling lives her spirit dwelt,
Apart in herself until her hour of fate. [368]

Man takes comfort in the customary ways and feels safe within the limits of his discovery. Even the seers and sages are limited by their experiences and realisations. Man by his very nature has a certain angle of approach even towards the Divine and cannot comprehend whatever exceeds his limited ways and known paths. But Nature feels the Incarnate’s tread and rejoices to the touch of Grace upon her vast being.

 

Savitri and Satyavan

The soul’s love and surrender to the embodied Divine Mother

There is in us something that alone is capable of a true response to the Divine. It is the soul in us. It dwells deep within an inmost heart surrounded by solitude and a purity untouched by the ways of the human mind. It waits for the hour when the Divine will draw near and holding its hands lift it out of its rendezvous with mortality. It is neither the human mind nor the vital and physical parts of man that can make the right response. These react with doubt or bewilderment, at most with some tepid belief or a desire for worldly gains. But the soul makes a straight and direct response to the Grace. The soul gives itself to the Divine as a flower to the sun and the Divine too in response to the call of the soul gives herself completely taking the entire burden and the charge of the destiny of such a being directly in her own hands.

A visage was there, noble and great and calm,
As if encircled by a halo of thought,
A span, an arch of meditating light,
As though some secret nimbus half was seen;
Her inner vision still remembering knew
A forehead that wore the crown of all her past,
Two eyes her constant and eternal stars,
Comrade and sovereign eyes that claimed her soul,
Lids known through many lives, large frames of love. [396]

Although to heaven thy beauty seems allied,
Much rather would my thoughts rejoice to know
That mortal sweetness smiles between thy lids
And thy heart can beat beneath a human gaze
And thy aureate bosom quiver with a look
And its tumult answer to an earth-born voice.
If our time-vexed affections thou canst feel,
Earth’s ease of simple things can satisfy,
If thy glance can dwell content on earthly soil,
And this celestial summary of delight,
Thy golden body, dally with fatigue
Oppressing with its grace our terrain, while
The frail sweet passing taste of earthly food
Delays thee and the torrent’s leaping wine,
Descend. Let thy journey cease, come down to us. [401 – 402]

But now the gold link comes to me with thy feet
And His gold sun has shone on me from thy face.
For now another realm draws near with thee
And now diviner voices fill my ear,
A strange new world swims to me in thy gaze
Approaching like a star from unknown heavens;
A cry of spheres comes with thee and a song
Of flaming gods. I draw a wealthier breath
And in a fierier march of moments move.
My mind transfigures to a rapturous seer.
A foam-leap travelling from the waves of bliss
Has changed my heart and changed the earth around:
All with thy coming fills. Air, soil and stream
Wear bridal raiment to be fit for thee
And sunlight grows a shadow of thy hue
Because of change within me by thy look.
Come nearer to me from thy car of light
On this green sward disdaining not our soil.
For here are secret spaces made for thee
Whose caves of emerald long to screen thy form.
Wilt thou not make this mortal bliss thy sphere?
Descend, O happiness, with thy moon-gold feet
Enrich earth’s floors upon whose sleep we lie.
O my bright beauty’s princess Savitri,
By my delight and thy own joy compelled
Enter my life, thy chamber and thy shrine. [408]

Savitri is the very embodiment of divine Love and Grace who has descended here to save those who are willing and ready. Satyavan is the human soul that recognises the Divine through an intuitive soul-vision or soul-feeling. The meeting of Satyavan and Savitri is the meeting of the Divine Mother and the human soul and show how the soul perceives and receives the Divine Mother’s coming. These passages are a wonderful description of the human soul responding to the Divine Mother with wonder and hope and joy and the promise of fulfilment of the work for which it has descended here upon earth.

 

The Divine tying herself to humankind

Mystic marriage

She has not only come near us but become one with us. She has merged her divinity with us since thus alone through this self-loss could man be lifted to her heights of Glory. She has become so intimately one with us that her Breath moves our speech and breath and actions, her Light illumines and informs our intelligence, her Love beats its golden wings in our heart and her Sweetness and Bliss flow in our very blood and veins. The tiniest human cells and atoms that constitute us have felt her touch since even with these She has identified and become one. The Divine becoming human is the hope of the world, it is this sublime sacrifice that brings the Glory of heaven into a human vessel.

As when a soul is merging into God
To live in Him for ever and know His joy,
Her consciousness grew aware of him alone
And all her separate self was lost in his.
As a starry heaven encircles happy earth,
He shut her into himself in a circle of bliss
And shut the world into himself and her.
A boundless isolation made them one;
He was aware of her enveloping him
And let her penetrate his very soul
As is a world by the world’s spirit filled,
As the mortal wakes into Eternity,
As the finite opens to the Infinite.
Thus were they in each other lost awhile,
Then drawing back from their long ecstasy’s trance
Came into a new self and a new world.
Each now was a part of the other’s unity,
The world was but their twin self-finding’s scene
Or their own wedded being’s vaster frame.
On the high glowing cupola of the day
Fate tied a knot with morning’s halo threads
While by the ministry of an auspice-hour
Heart-bound before the sun, their marriage fire,
The wedding of the eternal Lord and Spouse
Took place again on earth in human forms:
In a new act of the drama of the world
The united Two began a greater age.
In the silence and murmur of that emerald world
And the mutter of the priest-wind’s sacred verse,
Amid the choral whispering of the leaves
Love’s twain had joined together and grew one.
The natural miracle was wrought once more:
In the immutable ideal world
One human moment was eternal made. [410 – 411]

Though outwardly this passage describes the heavenly marriage of Savitri and Satyavan, in this very powerful and evocative image it also describes the mystic marriage leading to a mystic union between the human soul and its divine Beloved. But since the union needed here is not just in some deep soul-space but also in the mind and heart and body of the seeker, the Divine pours herself and her Power and Love into the seeker’s body and heart and brain as a wine into a beaker and a river into a sea.

 

The work that the incarnate Divine Mother has come to do

Savitri revealed as the Avatar by Narad, the heavenly sage

She is the warrior and the victor of man’s battle against the titan agencies that stop his onward march. She is the leader of the shining upward way that has been opened for man. She is the Power that shields us and fights against darkness and death that have so far held man a captive in their grip. Let us put ourselves deliberately on the side of the Divine and the victory is certain.

In this enormous world standing apart
In the mightiness of her silent spirit’s will,
In the passion of her soul of sacrifice
Her lonely strength facing the universe,
Affronting fate, asks not man’s help nor god’s:
Sometimes one life is charged with earth’s destiny,
It cries not for succour from the time-bound powers.
Alone she is equal to her mighty task.
Intervene not in a strife too great for thee,
A struggle too deep for mortal thought to sound,
Its question to this Nature’s rigid bounds
When the soul fronts nude of garbs the infinite,
Its too vast theme of a lonely mortal will
Pacing the silence of eternity.
As a star, uncompanioned, moves in heaven
Unastonished by the immensities of Space,
Travelling infinity by its own light,
The great are strongest when they stand alone.
A God-given might of being is their force,
A ray from self’s solitude of light the guide;
The soul that can live alone with itself meets God;
Its lonely universe is their rendezvous.
A day may come when she must stand unhelped
On a dangerous brink of the world’s doom and hers,
Carrying the world’s future on her lonely breast,
Carrying the human hope in a heart left sole
To conquer or fail on a last desperate verge,
Alone with death and close to extinction’s edge.
Her single greatness in that last dire scene
Must cross alone a perilous bridge in Time
And reach an apex of world-destiny
Where all is won or all is lost for man.
In that tremendous silence lone and lost
Of a deciding hour in the world’s fate,
In her soul’s climbing beyond mortal time
When she stands sole with Death or sole with God
Apart upon a silent desperate brink,
Alone with her self and death and destiny
As on some verge between Time and Timelessness
When being must end or life rebuild its base,
Alone she must conquer or alone must fall.
No human aid can reach her in that hour,
No armoured god stand shining at her side.
Cry not to heaven, for she alone can save.
For this the silent Force came missioned down;
In her the conscious Will took human shape:
She only can save herself and save the world. [460 – 461]

In this passage, the heavenly sage Narad reveals the kind of work that the Divine Mother has come to do. Her fate is what She has chosen, her destiny what her Will can create. This work for which the Avatar descends, though it may seem to be personal and outward, is in its real nature cosmic and inner. It is to prepare nature for the next leap. It is also to prepare matter for new manifestation, to transform it by the divine Touch. But for this, the Avatar must wrestle and grapple with all the established forces of ignorance and darkness and falsehood and death that have governed earth nature for long. The Divine Mother has come for this battle and this victory, a battle that takes place within every heart. Her victory too means the victory of the Divine Mother over the individual’s nature.

 

Divine humility and the divine example of the incarnate God

The Divine Mother opening and showing the way to humanity as its leader

Man is ever busy exalting himself. Being at the apex of creation he thinks of himself as the sole leader and master of existence. But the one true Master, the Divine Mother sits within the heart of each atom and nothing can be or move without her Power, directly or indirectly, moving and supporting it. Therefore when She takes up a human body She teaches by her divine example the way of humility. Humility, humility, humility, how sweet is your presence without which the most beautiful flower of quality in the garden of life will look abrupt and absurd. It is when you stand in the background of man’s life that man is ready to recognise and meet the Divine when He comes to tread the human way.

Apart in a bright nest of thoughts and dreams
Made room for tragic hours of solitude
And lonely grief that none could share or know,
A body seeing the end too soon of joy
And the fragile happiness of its mortal love.
Her quiet visage still and sweet and calm,
Her graceful daily acts were now a mask;
In vain she looked upon her depths to find
A ground of stillness and the spirit’s peace.
Still veiled from her was the silent Being within
Who sees life’s drama pass with unmoved eyes,
Supports the sorrow of the mind and heart
And bears in human breasts the world and fate.
A glimpse or flashes came, the Presence was hid.
Only her violent heart and passionate will
Were pushed in front to meet the immutable doom;
Defenceless, nude, bound to her human lot
They had no means to act, no way to save.
These she controlled, nothing was shown outside:
She was still to them the child they knew and loved;
The sorrowing woman they saw not within.
No change was in her beautiful motions seen:
A worshipped empress all once vied to serve,
She made herself the diligent serf of all,
Nor spared the labour of broom and jar and well,
Or close gentle tending or to heap the fire
Of altar and kitchen, no slight task allowed
To others that her woman’s strength might do.
In all her acts a strange divinity shone:
Into a simplest movement she could bring
A oneness with earth’s glowing robe of light,
A lifting up of common acts by love.
All-love was hers and its one heavenly cord
Bound all to all with her as golden tie. [470 – 471]

The passage describes how Savitri holds her grief within while spreading happiness around. Accepting man’s robe of sorrow, She leads the way of service, love and humility to show to us that true strength does not lie in aggressive assertion but in love that expresses itself through service and the rare ability to absorb the world’s pain without letting it reflect in one’s relationships with the world.

 

The Divine Mother doing the sadhana for earth and man

O Soul, step forward and lead the march of life towards great unknown things. O mind, be still and quiet as the hush before the dawn. She has arrived and shows us the way towards Truth and Light and Immortality. Awaken from the slumber and stupor of unconsciousness, wake up to the Light.

A portion of the mighty Mother came
Into her as into its own human part:
Amid the cosmic workings of the Gods
It marked her the centre of a wide-drawn scheme,
Dreamed in the passion of her far-seeing spirit
To mould humanity into God’s own shape
And lead this great blind struggling world to light
Or a new world discover or create.
Earth must transform herself and equal Heaven
Or Heaven descend into earth’s mortal state.
But for such vast spiritual change to be,
Out of the mystic cavern in man’s heart
The heavenly Psyche must put off her veil
And step into common nature’s crowded rooms
And stand uncovered in that nature’s front
And rule its thoughts and fill the body and life.
Obedient to a high command she sat:
Time, life and death were passing incidents
Obstructing with their transient view her sight,
Her sight that must break through and liberate the god
Imprisoned in the visionless mortal man.
The inferior nature born into ignorance
Still took too large a place, it veiled her self
And must be pushed aside to find her soul. [486 – 487]

“For man thou seekst, not for thyself alone.
Only if God assumes the human mind
And puts on mortal ignorance for his cloak
And makes himself the Dwarf with triple stride,
Can he help man to grow into the God.
As man disguised the cosmic Greatness works
And finds the mystic inaccessible gate
And opens the Immortal’s golden door.
Man, human, follows in God’s human steps.
Accepting his darkness thou must bring to him light,
Accepting his sorrow thou must bring to him bliss.
In Matter’s body find thy heaven-born soul.” [488]

Man seeks for things to change. Something in him does want the earth and humanity to become a better place. But he knows not how to do it. Therefore he either keeps making efforts towards outer change, a change in systems, machinery, governments, or else he waits with hands uplifted towards heaven hoping for a miracle or some magic wand to change his life. But the key to change lies within and is hid from his view by the surface agitation of nature. He must dive in his own depths to discover the key, the alchemist energy that is held in his soul though lost to the surface mind. Here we see the Divine Mother clearing and showing the way to man. She has no need to do the yoga for herself but still does it identifying herself with the earth and our humanity so that we may be new-born and raised into a new humanity.

 

The aspect of the Divine Mother as Madonna of Suffering

The Power that works in material nature and bears our suffering and gives the healing touch

The Mother is One but there are many of her aspects and powers that do her work in the world. They give hope and strength, inspire man’s heart towards deeds that seem impossible, bring wisdom and light to our hearts torn with terror and grief. Pouring their powers in the human vessel they create the hero and the saint out of mere mortal beings. To open to the Mother is to release these godlike powers and qualities in our nature and grow into the mould of a god and do her work in the world.

The Mother of the seven sorrows bore
The seven stabs that pierced her bleeding heart:
The beauty of sadness lingered on her face,
Her eyes were dim with the ancient stain of tears.
Her heart was riven with the world’s agony
And burdened with the sorrow and struggle in Time,
An anguished music trailed in her rapt voice.
Absorbed in a deep compassion’s ecstasy,
Lifting the mild ray of her patient gaze,
In soft sweet training words slowly she spoke:
“O Savitri, I am thy secret soul.
To share the suffering of the world I came,
I draw my children’s pangs into my breast.
I am the nurse of the dolour beneath the stars;
I am the soul of all who wailing writhe
Under the ruthless harrow of the Gods.
I am woman, nurse and slave and beaten beast;
I tend the hands that gave me cruel blows.
The hearts that spurned my love and zeal I serve;
I am the courted queen, the pampered doll,
I am the giver of the bowl of rice,
I am the worshipped Angel of the House.
I am in all that suffers and that cries.
Mine is the prayer that climbs in vain from earth,
I am traversed by my creatures’ agonies,
I am the spirit in a world of pain.
The scream of tortured flesh and tortured hearts
Fall’n back on heart and flesh unheard by Heaven
Has rent with helpless grief and wrath my soul.
I have seen the peasant burning in his hut,
I have seen the slashed corpse of the slaughtered child,
Heard woman’s cry ravished and stripped and haled
Amid the bayings of the hell-hound mob,
I have looked on, I had no power to save.
I have brought no arm of strength to aid or slay;
God gave me love, he gave me not his force. [503 – 504]

Only to change this great hard world of pain
A patient prayer has risen from my breast;
A pallid resignation lights my brow,
Within me a blind faith and mercy dwell;
I carry the fire that never can be quenched
And the compassion that supports the suns.
I am the hope that looks towards my God,
My God who never came to me till now;
His voice I hear that ever says ‘I come’:
I know that one day he shall come at last.” [505]

The Madonna of Suffering is the aspect of the Divine Mother that leans over our pain and heals and succours. It is She who gives us the strength to endure the assault of evil and hell until we are ready to battle against the forces of Darkness and Night.

 

The aspect of the Divine Mother as Madonna of Might and Strength

The Power that Embodies the Warrior Aspect to Slay Evil and Save the Good

She comes to us in her warrior mood, the slayer of the Asura in man, the destroyer of evil. Once the evil has been slain She prepares man for sweetness and delight. Purifying man’s heart and mind, clearing the ground of his vital energies so that we may be ready for the transforming power of her divine Love and Ananda. Let us greet her with flowers of faith and collaborate with her power in clearing the obstacles that wait on the long road to the Divine.

The Mother of Might looked down on passing things,
Listened to the advancing tread of Time,
Saw the irresistible wheeling of the suns
And heard the thunder of the march of God.
Amid the swaying Forces in their strife
Sovereign was her word of luminous command,
Her speech like a war-cry rang or a pilgrim chant.
A charm restoring hope in failing hearts
Aspired the harmony of her puissant voice:
“O Savitri, I am thy secret soul.
I have come down into the human world
And the movement watched by an unsleeping Eye
And the dark contrariety of earth’s fate
And the battle of the bright and sombre Powers.
I stand upon earth’s paths of danger and grief
And help the unfortunate and save the doomed.
To the strong I bring the guerdon of their strength,
To the weak I bring the armour of my force;
To men who long I carry their coveted joy:
I am fortune justifying the great and wise
By the sanction of the plaudits of the crowd,
Then trampling them with the armed heel of fate.
My ear is leaned to the cry of the oppressed,
I topple down the thrones of tyrant kings:
A cry comes from proscribed and hunted lives
Appealing to me against a pitiless world,
A voice of the forsaken and desolate
And the lone prisoner in his dungeon cell.
Men hail in my coming the Almighty’s force
Or praise with thankful tears his saviour Grace.
I smite the Titan who bestrides the world
And slay the ogre in his blood-stained den.
I am Durga, goddess of the proud and strong,
And Lakshmi, queen of the fair and fortunate;
I wear the face of Kali when I kill,
I trample the corpses of the demon hordes.
I am charged by God to do his mighty work,
Uncaring I serve his will who sent me forth,
Reckless of peril and earthly consequence.
I reason not of virtue and of sin
But do the deed he has put into my heart.
I fear not for the angry frown of Heaven,
I flinch not from the red assault of Hell;
I crush the opposition of the gods,
Tread down a million goblin obstacles.
I guide man to the path of the Divine
And guard him from the red Wolf and the Snake.
I set in his mortal hand my heavenly sword
And put on him the breastplate of the gods.
I break the ignorant pride of human mind
And lead the thought to the wideness of the Truth;
I rend man’s narrow and successful life
And force his sorrowful eyes to gaze at the sun
That he may die to earth and live in his soul.
I know the goal, I know the secret route;
I have studied the map of the invisible worlds;
I am the battle’s head, the journey’s star.
But the great obstinate world resists my Word,
And the crookedness and evil in man’s heart
Is stronger than Reason, profounder than the Pit,
And the malignancy of hostile Powers
Puts craftily back the clock of destiny
And mightier seems than the eternal Will.
The cosmic evil is too deep to unroot,
The cosmic suffering is too vast to heal.
A few I guide who pass me towards the Light;
A few I save, the mass falls back unsaved;
A few I help, the many strive and fail.
But my heart I have hardened and I do my work:
Slowly the light grows greater in the East,
Slowly the world progresses on God’s road.
His seal is on my task, it cannot fail:
I shall hear the silver swing of heaven’s gates
When God comes out to meet the soul of the world.” [508 – 510]

The Madonna of Strength is the aspect of the Divine Mother that helps us cross the dangerous spaces towards our soul. Without her help, the path would be interminably long and fraught with danger. She guards us on the way and protects us against the uprising of evil forces that seek to slay the soul by creating doubts, depression, fear and confusion within man’s heart in his adventurous journey towards the Divine. Thus purifying our nature She prepares us for receiving the dawn of the spiritual light.

 

The aspect of the Divine Mother as Madonna of Light and Truth

The Power that works to pour Wisdom

Lo, the Dawn has arrived and the blind firmaments of the mind are lit up by the rays of a new-born sun. Darkness is chased away as the illuminating rays pour their riches upon earth. Let us greet the dawns that have come and those that are yet to arrive since the first glimmer of morning rays is only the beginning. The heralds of the Dawn have arrived. Slowly the sun shall rise until the darkest corner is smitten by the Light and the night of Ignorance vanishes without a trail. This is the surest sign that She has come. A strange joy grips the heart and even the body is filled with a sublime glow of peace and beatitude and love.

Here, living centre of that vision of peace,
A Woman sat in clear and crystal light:
Heaven had unveiled its lustre in her eyes,
Her feet were moonbeams, her face was a bright sun,
Her smile could persuade a dead lacerated heart
To live again and feel the hands of calm.
A low music heard became her floating voice:
“O Savitri, I am thy secret soul.
I have come down to the wounded desolate earth
To heal her pangs and lull her heart to rest
And lay her head upon the Mother’s lap
That she may dream of God and know his peace
And draw the harmony of higher spheres
Into the rhythm of earth’s rude troubled days.
I show to her the figures of bright gods
And bring strength and solace to her struggling life;
High things that now are only words and forms
I reveal to her in the body of their power.
I am peace that steals into man’s war-worn breast,
Amid the reign of Hell his acts create
A hostel where Heaven’s messengers can lodge;
I am charity with the kindly hands that bless,
I am silence mid the noisy tramp of life;
I am Knowledge poring on her cosmic map.
In the anomalies of the human heart
Where Good and Evil are close bedfellows
And Light is by Darkness dogged at every step,
Where his largest knowledge is an ignorance,
I am the Power that labours towards the best
And works for God and looks up towards the heights.
I make even sin and error stepping-stones
And all experience a long march towards Light.
Out of the Inconscient I build consciousness,
And lead through death to reach immortal Life. [514 – 515]

I bring back hope to the despairing heart;
I give peace to the humble and the great,
And shed my grace on the foolish and the wise.
I shall save earth, if earth consents to be saved.
Then Love shall at last unwounded tread earth’s soil;
Man’s mind shall admit the sovereignty of Truth
And body bear the immense descent of God.” [516]

The last of the Powers to come and prepare man is the Madonna of Light. She is the knowledge aspect of the Divine Mother, the Wisdom that dwells in the heart of all things. When the heart has endured suffering and the night is slain by a growing sincerity of will and spiritual strength then slowly there dawns a spiritual day. The Mother of Wisdom awakens us to hidden truths and pours her lights that bring illumination to the mind and turn the mind of the thinker into the mind of a seer and sage. Revelations and intuitions begin to pour and we are thus prepared for the full blaze of the supramental Truth.

 

The incarnate Divine recovering her divine Self

Savitri uniting with her soul

The Divine Mother has been upon earth since its very inception. She became part of its life to share its struggle and the evolutionary labour. She has flowed with the life of earth as the sap flows through the tree. At each and every crucial juncture when the tide of Time had to be changed, at each of its critical moments when the dharma was in peril, She was there. We too as her children have participated in her Work one way or the other. The big difference is that while we are unconscious of it, hers is a conscious participation, a conscious birth. She is the soul of creation itself, we are the individual points, sparks that have emerged out of her vast Fire. In each such successive birth, She must once more recover the evolutionary thread that runs as an undercurrent behind our surface life crowded with events and circumstances. By coming close to her, by drawing near to her we too become aware of our inner closeness with her and the Work that extends beyond a single lifetime. To consciously participate in her divine Play we too must uncover our secret soul and make ourselves a conscious collaborator in the evolutionary process.

There was no step of breathing men, no sound,
Only the living nearness of the soul.
Yet all the worlds and God himself were there,
For every symbol was a reality
And brought the presence which had given it life.
All this she saw and inly felt and knew
Not by some thought of mind but by the self.
A light not born of sun or moon or fire,
A light that dwelt within and saw within
Shedding an intimate visibility
Made secrecy more revealing than the word:
Our sight and sense are a fallible gaze and touch
And only the spirit’s vision is wholly true.
As thus she passed in that mysterious place
Through room and room, through door and rock-hewn door,
She felt herself made one with all she saw.
A sealed identity within her woke;
She knew herself the Beloved of the Supreme:
These Gods and Goddesses were he and she:
The Mother was she of Beauty and Delight,
The Word in Brahma’s vast creating clasp,
The World-Puissance on almighty Shiva’s lap,—
The Master and the Mother of all lives
Watching the worlds their twin regard had made,
And Krishna and Radha for ever entwined in bliss,
The Adorer and Adored self-lost and one.
In the last chamber on a golden seat
One sat whose shape no vision could define;
Only one felt the world’s unattainable fount,
A Power of which she was a straying Force,
An invisible Beauty, goal of the world’s desire,
A Sun of which all knowledge is a beam,
A Greatness without whom no life could be.
Thence all departed into silent self,
And all became formless and pure and bare.
Then through a tunnel dug in the last rock
She came out where there shone a deathless sun.
A house was there all made of flame and light
And crossing a wall of doorless living fire
There suddenly she met her secret soul.

A being stood immortal in transience,
Deathless dallying with momentary things,
In whose wide eyes of tranquil happiness
Which pity and sorrow could not abrogate
Infinity turned its gaze on finite shapes:
Observer of the silent steps of the hours,
Eternity upheld the minute’s acts
And the passing scenes of the Everlasting’s play.
In the mystery of its selecting will,
In the Divine Comedy a participant,
The Spirit’s conscious representative,
God’s delegate in our humanity,
Comrade of the universe, the Transcendent’s ray,
She had come into the mortal body’s room
To play at ball with Time and Circumstance.
A joy in the world her master movement here,
The passion of the game lighted her eyes:
A smile on her lips welcomed earth’s bliss and grief,
A laugh was her return to pleasure and pain.
All things she saw as a masquerade of Truth
Disguised in the costumes of Ignorance,
Crossing the years to immortality;
All she could front with the strong spirit’s peace.
But since she knows the toil of mind and life
As a mother feels and shares her children’s lives,
She puts forth a small portion of herself,
A being no bigger than the thumb of man
Into a hidden region of the heart
To face the pang and to forget the bliss,
To share the suffering and endure earth’s wounds
And labour mid the labour of the stars.
This in us laughs and weeps, suffers the stroke,
Exults in victory, struggles for the crown;
Identified with the mind and body and life,
It takes on itself their anguish and defeat,
Bleeds with Fate’s whips and hangs upon the cross,
Yet is the unwounded and immortal self
Supporting the actor in the human scene.
Through this she sends us her glory and her powers,
Pushes to wisdom’s heights, through misery’s gulfs;
She gives us strength to do our daily task
And sympathy that partakes of others’ grief
And the little strength we have to help our race,
We who must fill the role of the universe
Acting itself out in a slight human shape
And on our shoulders carry the struggling world.
This is in us the godhead small and marred;
In this human portion of divinity
She seats the greatness of the Soul in Time
To uplift from light to light, from power to power,
Till on a heavenly peak it stands, a king.
In body weak, in its heart an invincible might,
It climbs stumbling, held up by an unseen hand,
A toiling spirit in a mortal shape.
Here in this chamber of flame and light they met;
They looked upon each other, knew themselves,
The secret deity and its human part,
The calm immortal and the struggling soul.
Then with a magic transformation’s speed
They rushed into each other and grew one. [524 – 527]

On assuming a human birth, the Divine too must first recover her divine Self that has gone into creation to assist the evolutionary process. By doing so She recovers the life of the cosmos, the connecting threads that have led the great evolutionary march. Even though always the Divine, She too must share the labour and bring out of her secret divine Self the new possibility and the new manifestation. This is what we see described here, — the Divine Mother discovering her divine Self, her secret soul so that She can carry the evolutionary march further.

 

The Divine Mother as the Kundalini Shakti hidden in man

Opening of the inner centres and release of divine Powers in the fields of human Nature

All power is her Power. It is She whose effulgence radiates on the apex of creation as the Beauty of beauties, the Light of all lights, the Might of all things. In the mid worlds and all the different layers and levels of consciousness and the multiple systems of worlds, it is She who presides as the Power behind them. All nature is nothing else but her conscious front. Nay, She plunges into the very nether depths, into the home of darkness and inconscience and resides there as the secret incognito Power. There She submerges into matter as the coiled Kundalini Shakti whose slow unfolding gives us the evolutionary push to move from level to level, from height to greater height until we reach the very highest home of the Goddess beyond the thinking mind.

In its deep lotus home her being sat
As if on concentration’s marble seat,
Calling the mighty Mother of the worlds
To make this earthly tenement her house.
As in a flash from a supernal light,
A living image of the original Power,
A face, a form came down into her heart
And made of it its temple and pure abode.
But when its feet had touched the quivering bloom,
A mighty movement rocked the inner space
As if a world were shaken and found its soul:
Out of the Inconscient’s soulless mindless night
A flaming Serpent rose released from sleep.
It rose billowing its coils and stood erect
And climbing mightily, stormily on its way
It touched her centres with its flaming mouth;
As if a fiery kiss had broken their sleep,
They bloomed and laughed surcharged with light and bliss.
Then at the crown it joined the Eternal’s space.
In the flower of the head, in the flower of Matter’s base,
In each divine stronghold and Nature-knot
It held together the mystic stream which joins
The viewless summits with the unseen depths,
The string of forts that make the frail defence
Safeguarding us against the enormous world,
Our lines of self-expression in its Vast.
An image sat of the original Power
Wearing the mighty Mother’s form and face.
Armed, bearer of the weapon and the sign
Whose occult might no magic can imitate,
Manifold yet one she sat, a guardian force:
A saviour gesture stretched her lifted arm,
And symbol of some native cosmic strength,
A sacred beast lay prone below her feet,
A silent flame-eyed mass of living force.
All underwent a high celestial change:
Breaking the black Inconscient’s blind mute wall,
Effacing the circles of the Ignorance,
Powers and divinities burst flaming forth;
Each part of the being trembling with delight
Lay overwhelmed with tides of happiness
And saw her hand in every circumstance
And felt her touch in every limb and cell. [528 – 529]

This passage and the one that continues is a most beautiful description of the Kundalini Shakti awakening in Savitri under the pressure of her soul that has emerged from the depths of her heart to enter the cosmic play and fulfil its mission. Here we see the general overview of the awakening of the Divine Shakti asleep in matter, coiled as it were, and rising upwards towards her home above the head.

 

The flaming touch

She has come and with her touch all the centres open one by one and life begins to yield to the divinity within. Powers and possibilities emerge into our life engaging with creation in a new way. This is her gift to man but to receive it rightly man too must prepare himself.

In the country of the lotus of the head
Which thinking mind has made its busy space,
In the castle of the lotus twixt the brows
Whence it shoots the arrows of its sight and will,
In the passage of the lotus of the throat
Where speech must rise and the expressing mind
And the heart’s impulse run towards word and act,
A glad uplift and a new working came.
The immortal’s thoughts displaced our bounded view,
The immortal’s thoughts earth’s drab idea and sense;
All things now bore a deeper heavenlier sense.
A glad clear harmony marked their truth’s outline,
Reset the balance and measures of the world.
Each shape showed its occult design, unveiled
God’s meaning in it for which it was made
And the vivid splendour of his artist thought.
A channel of the mighty Mother’s choice,
The immortal’s will took into its calm control
Our blind or erring government of life;
A loose republic once of wants and needs,
Then bowed to the uncertain sovereign mind,
Life now obeyed to a diviner rule
And every act became an act of God.
In the kingdom of the lotus of the heart
Love chanting its pure hymeneal hymn
Made life and body mirrors of sacred joy
And all the emotions gave themselves to God.
In the navel lotus’ broad imperial range
Its proud ambitions and its master lusts
Were tamed into instruments of a great calm sway
To do a work of God on earthly soil.
In the narrow nether centre’s petty parts
Its childish game of daily dwarf desires
Was changed into a sweet and boisterous play,
A romp of little gods with life in Time.
In the deep place where once the Serpent slept,
There came a grip on Matter’s giant powers
For large utilities in life’s little space;
A firm ground was made for Heaven’s descending might.
Behind all reigned her sovereign deathless soul:
Casting aside its veil of Ignorance,
Allied to gods and cosmic beings and powers
It built the harmony of its human state;
Surrendered into the great World-Mother’s hands
Only she obeyed her sole supreme behest
In the enigma of the Inconscient’s world. [529 – 530]

We see the results of this awakening within us. Our mind, heart, life and the very body undergoes a marvellous change.

 

The Mother awakes

Awakening within us, all in us is turned into a temple ground for our beloved Mother to come and dwell and be our Master and Queen of our life. She is the hope for the future, the absolute Power that can transform all things.

A secret soul behind supporting all
Is master and witness of our ignorant life,
Admits the Person’s look and Nature’s role.
But once the hidden doors are flung apart
Then the veiled king steps out in Nature’s front;
A Light comes down into the Ignorance,
Its heavy painful knot loosens its grasp:
The mind becomes a mastered instrument
And life a hue and figure of the soul.
All happily grows towards knowledge and towards bliss.
A divine Puissance then takes Nature’s place
And pushes the movements of our body and mind;
Possessor of our passionate hopes and dreams,
The beloved despot of our thoughts and act
She streams into us with her unbound force,
Into mortal limbs the Immortal’s rapture and power.
An inner law of beauty shapes our lives;
Our words become the natural speech of Truth,
Each thought is a ripple on a sea of Light.
Then sin and virtue leave the cosmic lists;
They struggle no more in our delivered hearts:
Our acts chime with God’s simple natural good
Or serve the rule of a supernal Right.
All moods unlovely, evil and untrue
Forsake their stations in fierce disarray
And hide their shame in the subconscient’s dusk.
. . .
In the slow process of the evolving spirit,
In the brief stade between a death and birth
A first perfection’s stage is reached at last;
Out of the wood and stone of our nature’s stuff
A temple is shaped where the high gods could live.
Even if the struggling world is left outside
One man’s perfection still can save the world.
There is won a new proximity to the skies,
A first betrothal of the Earth to Heaven,
A deep concordat between Truth and Life:
A camp of God is pitched in human time. [530 – 531]

This powerful passage describes the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti celebrated by the tantric yogis and some other systems of yoga. The Kundalini Shakti is the power of the Mother and when it awakens and climbs from centre to centre of consciousness in man it creates a great upheaval unless the nature is thoroughly purified. In this yoga, however, these centres open of themselves as the Divine Shakti, the Mother’s Force streams in from above. The needed purification itself is not achieved by mental processes such as yama and niyama but by the emergence of the secret soul, the psychic being, from within the heart-cave and its radiance and purifying influence spread over the field of nature thus preparing it for the descent of her Power. It is this descending current of her Force that eventually consumes all evil and darkness and tears through every citadel and corner of ignorance. Thus our nature is compellingly aligned to the intended transformation, the divinisation of mind and life and the body itself.

 

The incarnate Divine recovering her universal Self

Her vast universal Love

The one whom we adore as the Divine Mother, the one who has assumed a human body, is none else than the One who dwells in all beings and in whose vastness all creatures find their ultimate refuge. It is out of her infinite Love for her children that She has assumed this cloak of obscurity so that She can carve a way through its blind and dark alleys a pathway to the Infinite, a doorway to Immortality. All are recipients of her Grace, from the smallest and meanest and weakest of all creatures to the mightiest heroes and seers and sages, all are equal recipients of her Love.

She had found herself, she knew her being’s aim.
Although her kingdom of marvellous change within
Remained unspoken in her secret breast,
All that lived round her felt its magic’s charm:
The trees’ rustling voices told it to the winds,
Flowers spoke in ardent hues an unknown joy,
The birds’ carolling became a canticle,
The beasts forgot their strife and lived at ease.
Absorbed in wide communion with the Unseen
The mild ascetics of the wood received
A sudden greatening of their lonely muse.
This bright perfection of her inner state
Poured overflowing into her outward scene,
Made beautiful dull common natural things
And action wonderful and time divine.
Even the smallest meanest work became
A sweet or glad and glorious sacrament,
An offering to the self of the great world
Or a service to the One in each and all.
A light invaded all from her being’s light;
Her heart-beats’ dance communicated bliss:
Happiness grew happier, shared with her, by her touch
And grief some solace found when she drew near. [532 – 533]

A sight opened upon the invisible
And sensed the shapes that mortal eyes see not,
The sounds that mortal listening cannot hear,
The blissful sweetness of the intangible’s touch;
The objects that to us are empty air,
Are there the stuff of daily experience
And the common pabulum of sense and thought.
The beings of the subtle realms appeared
And scenes concealed behind our earthly scene;
She saw the life of remote continents
And distance deafened not to voices far;
She felt the movements crossing unknown minds;
The past’s events occurred before her eyes.
The great world’s thoughts were part of her own thought,
The feelings dumb for ever and unshared,
The ideas that never found an utterance.
The dim subconscient’s incoherent hints
Laid bare a meaning twisted, deep and strange,
The bizarre secret of their fumbling speech,
Their links with underlying reality.
The unseen grew visible and audible:
Thoughts leaped down from a superconscient field
Like eagles swooping from a viewless peak,
Thoughts gleamed up from the screened subliminal depths
Like golden fishes from a hidden sea. [540 – 541]

The Divine Mother must recover her universal poise so that even in a limited earthly body She can pour her heart out on all creation. Though She has assumed a limited body for the kind of work She has come to do upon matter, her Self and her action are not limited to the body. This is what is revealed to us in this passage whereby Savitri recovers her universal Self.

 

Beyond the universe into the silence of Nirvana

Even the universal Self is a limitation. She has come to bring out something new from the folds of the unmanifest. She has come to establish a new power from the transcendent regions and make it a part of the earth consciousness and thereby of the universe. She is the Force that sleeps in the atom and the stars. She is the Word that is hid in the silence. She is the Power that climbs beyond all that is made and unmade and rests in blissful nothingness. She is the supreme Peace that comes not by thought, the absolute Stillness that marks the birth of the cosmic stir. In her being and non-being, form and formlessness come together and rest in her absolute infinity.

The One only real shut itself from Space
And stood aloof from the idea of Time.
Its truth escaped from shape and line and hue.
All else grew unsubstantial, self-annulled,
This only everlasting seemed and true,
Yet nowhere dwelt, it was outside the hours.
This only could justify the labour of sight,
But sight could not define for it a form;
This only could appease the unsatisfied ear
But hearing listened in vain for a missing sound;
This answered not the sense, called not to Mind.
It met her as the uncaught inaudible Voice
That speaks for ever from the Unknowable.
It met her like an omnipresent point
Pure of dimensions, unfixed, invisible,
The single oneness of its multiplied beat
Accentuating its sole eternity.
It faced her as some vast Nought’s immensity,
An endless No to all that seems to be,
An endless Yes to things ever unconceived
And all that is unimagined and unthought,
An eternal zero or untotalled Aught,
A spaceless and a placeless Infinite.
Yet eternity and infinity seemed but words
Vainly affixed by mind’s incompetence
To its stupendous lone reality.
The world is but a spark-burst from its light,
All moments flashes from its Timelessness,
All objects glimmerings of the Bodiless
That disappear from Mind when That is seen.
It held, as if a shield before its face,
A consciousness that saw without a seer,
The Truth where knowledge is not nor knower nor known,
The Love enamoured of its own delight
In which the Lover is not nor the Beloved
Bringing their personal passion into the Vast,
The Force omnipotent in quietude,
The Bliss that none can ever hope to taste.
It cancelled the convincing cheat of self;
A truth in nothingness was its mighty clue.
If all existence could renounce to be
And Being take refuge in Non-being’s arms
And Non-being could strike out its ciphered round,
Some lustre of that Reality might appear.
A formless liberation came on her.
Once sepulchred alive in brain and flesh
She had risen up from body, mind and life;
She was no more a Person in a world,
She had escaped into infinity.
What once had been herself had disappeared;
There was no frame of things, no figure of soul.
A refugee from the domain of sense,
Evading the necessity of thought,
Delivered from Knowledge and from Ignorance
And rescued from the true and the untrue,
She shared the Superconscient’s high retreat
Beyond the self-born Word, the nude Idea,
The first bare solid ground of consciousness;
Beings were not there, existence had no place,
There was no temptation of the joy to be.
Unutterably effaced, no one and null,
A vanishing vestige like a violet trace,
A faint record merely of a self now past,
She was a point in the unknowable.
Only some last annulment now remained,
Annihilation’s vague indefinable step:
A memory of being still was there
And kept her separate from nothingness:
She was in That but still became not That.
This shadow of herself so close to nought
Could be again self’s point d’appui to live,
Return out of the Inconceivable
And be what some mysterious vast might choose.
Even as the Unknowable decreed,
She might be nought or new-become the All,
Or if the omnipotent Nihil took a shape
Emerge as someone and redeem the world.
Even, she might learn what the mystic cipher held,
This seeming exit or closed end of all
Could be a blind tenebrous passage screened from sight,
Her state the eclipsing shell of a darkened sun
On its secret way to the Ineffable.
Even now her splendid being might flame back
Out of the silence and the nullity,
A gleaming portion of the All-Wonderful,
A power of some all-affirming Absolute,
A shining mirror of the eternal Truth
To show to the One-in-all its manifest face,
To the souls of men their deep identity.
Or she might wake into God’s quietude
Beyond the cosmic day and cosmic night
And rest appeased in his white eternity.
But this was now unreal or remote
Or covered in the mystic fathomless blank.
In infinite Nothingness was the ultimate sign
Or else the Real was the Unknowable.
A lonely Absolute negated all:
It effaced the ignorant world from its solitude
And drowned the soul in its everlasting peace. [547 – 550]

Going beyond creation Savitri recovers her high source. She enters the silence pregnant with infinity. This She must do to fulfil her Avataric mission in this life since this time She has come to bring something utterly and entirely new that has not yet manifested in creation. She must go beyond creation to bring that new Force out of the silence where form dissolves into formlessness and all that is made is unmade and remade.

 

The vast impersonal universality

Though the Avatar appears outwardly like any other human being, yet there is a marked difference in the consciousness. She does not act from a small and narrow standpoint but from a vast universal consciousness free from all that binds and ties us down to the fixed and rigid form of things. A vast universal impersonality is her constant state. The silence of Brahman is in her, the stillness of the Absolute is held within her.

In the little hermitage in the forest’s heart,
In the sunlight and the moonlight and the dark
The daily human life went plodding on
Even as before with its small unchanging works
And its spare outward body of routine
And happy quiet of ascetic peace.
The old beauty smiled of the terrestrial scene;
She too was her old gracious self to men.
The Ancient Mother clutched her child to her breast
Pressing her close in her environing arms,
As if earth ever the same could for ever keep
The living spirit and body in her clasp,
As if death were not there nor end nor change.
Accustomed only to read outward signs
None saw aught new in her, none divined her state;
They saw a person where was only God’s vast,
A still being or a mighty nothingness.
To all she was the same perfect Savitri:
A greatness and a sweetness and a light
Poured out from her upon her little world.
Life showed to all the same familiar face,
Her acts followed the old unaltered round,
She spoke the words that she was wont to speak
And did the things that she had always done.
Her eyes looked out on earth’s unchanging face,
Around her soul’s muteness all moved as of old;
A vacant consciousness watched from within,
Empty of all but bare Reality.
There was no will behind the word and act,
No thought formed in her brain to guide the speech:
An impersonal emptiness walked and spoke in her,
Something perhaps unfelt, unseen, unknown
Guarded the body for its future work,
Or Nature moved in her old stream of force.
Perhaps she bore made conscious in her breast
The miraculous Nihil, origin of our souls
And source and sum of the vast world’s events,
The womb and grave of thought, a cipher of God,
A zero circle of being’s totality.
It used her speech and acted in her acts,
It was beauty in her limbs, life in her breath;
The original Mystery wore her human face.
Thus was she lost within to separate self;
Her mortal ego perished in God’s night.
Only a body was left, the ego’s shell
Afloat mid drift and foam of the world-sea,
A sea of dream watched by a motionless sense
In a figure of unreal reality.
An impersonal foresight could already see,—
In the unthinking knowledge of the spirit
Even now it seemed nigh done, inevitable,—
The individual die, the cosmos pass;
These gone, the transcendental grew a myth,
The Holy Ghost without the Father and Son,
Or, a substratum of what once had been,
Being that never willed to bear a world
Restored to its original loneliness,
Impassive, sole, silent, intangible. [551 – 552]

Even if the Divine did nothing outwardly seemingly great to men’s eyes, even if He lived in a far off place unknown to the world, even if his name remained unknown and his work went unnoticed, He would, by his mere Presence upon earth, release the divine Forces and infuse a new spirit into life, a new consciousness in matter. He would do what He came to do even if none could see or ever know.

 

Divine speech

In her silence and stillness, all is there. It was not the emptiness of an absence but was packed with the contents of formlessness, it was filled with the divine Powers and Forces that could be beckoned at her Will and illumining speech and act pour upon the world. Her speech is packed with Wisdom and states of consciousness that are not readily accessible even to the rare yogin and tapaswi. She brings immortal truths to mortal men to illumine our life and show us the pathways to Truth and Light and Immortality.

Yet all was not extinct in this deep loss;
The being travelled not towards nothingness.
There was some high surpassing Secrecy,
And when she sat alone with Satyavan,
Her moveless mind with his that searched and strove,
In the hush of the profound and intimate night
She turned to the face of a veiled voiceless Truth
Hid in the dumb recesses of the heart
Or waiting beyond the last peak climbed by Thought,—
Unseen itself it sees the struggling world
And prompts our quest, but cares not to be found,—
Out of that distant Vast came a reply.
Something unknown, unreached, inscrutable
Sent down the messages of its bodiless Light,
Cast lightning flashes of a thought not ours
Crossing the immobile silence of her mind:
In its might of irresponsible sovereignty
It seized on speech to give those flamings shape,
Made beat the heart of wisdom in a word
And spoke immortal things through mortal lips.
Or, listening to the sages of the woods,
In question and in answer broke from her
High strange revealings impossible to men,
Something or someone secret and remote
Took hold of her body for his mystic use,
Her mouth was seized to channel ineffable truths,
Knowledge unthinkable found an utterance.
Astonished by a new enlightenment,
Invaded by a streak of the Absolute,
They marvelled at her, for she seemed to know
What they had only glimpsed at times afar.
These thoughts were formed not in her listening brain,
Her vacant heart was like a stringless harp;
Impassive the body claimed not its own voice,
But let the luminous greatness through it pass.
A dual Power at being’s occult poles
Still acted, nameless and invisible:
Her divine emptiness was their instrument.
Inconscient Nature dealt with the world it had made,
And using still the body’s instruments
Slipped through the conscious void she had become;
The superconscient Mystery through that Void
Missioned its word to touch the thoughts of men.
As yet this great impersonal speech was rare. [552 – 553]

What the Divine Mother puts in her speech is consciousness. They are not words nor even meanings but something that goes beyond both. It is states of consciousness that she communicates and those who are open and receptive get the illumination and the needed help.

 

All is in her, She is in all, all is her

Even though She appears to our ignorant vision as any other human body, yet is this body one with all bodies. Even though She seems to dwell in one place upon earth, yet She dwells in each and every atom of existence as the energy and wisdom that moves its motions. Even though within each creature determining their life and destiny, She holds all things in her vast embrace. Nay, all is She. This world and all its events and forms and figures are but herself playing with herself. Eternity is her resting couch and Time is her playfield, Yet in her profound Love She has come as one of us since thus alone we could summon courage and faith to become like her. She came like us so that She can tell us to become one with her and grow in her likeness.

It was her self, it was the self of all,
It was the reality of existing things,
It was the consciousness of all that lived
And felt and saw; it was Timelessness and Time,
It was the Bliss of formlessness and form.
It was all Love and the one Beloved’s arms,
It was sight and thought in one all-seeing Mind,
It was joy of Being on the peaks of God.
She passed beyond Time into eternity,
Slipped out of space and became the Infinite;
Her being rose into unreachable heights
And found no end of its journey in the Self.
It plunged into the unfathomable deeps
And found no end to the silent mystery
That held all world within one lonely breast,
Yet harboured all creation’s multitudes.
She was all vastness and one measureless point,
She was a height beyond heights, a depth beyond depths,
She lived in the everlasting and was all
That harbours death and bears the wheeling hours.
All contraries were true in one huge spirit
Surpassing measure, change and circumstance.
An individual, one with cosmic self
In the heart of the Transcendent’s miracle
And the secret of World-personality
Was the creator and the lord of all.
Mind was a single innumerable look
Upon himself and all that he became.
Life was his drama and the Vast a stage,
The universe was his body, God its soul.
All was one single immense reality,
All its innumerable phenomenon.
Her spirit saw the world as living God;
It saw the One and knew that all was He.
She knew him as the Absolute’s self-space,
One with her self and ground of all things here
In which the world wanders seeking for the Truth
Guarded behind its face of ignorance:
She followed him through the march of endless Time.
All Nature’s happenings were events in her,
The heart-beats of the cosmos were her own,
All beings thought and felt and moved in her;
She inhabited the vastness of the world,
Its distances were her nature’s boundaries,
Its closenesses her own life’s intimacies.
Her mind became familiar with its mind,
Its body was her body’s larger frame
In which she lived and knew herself in it
One, multitudinous in its multitudes.
She was a single being, yet all things;
The world was her spirit’s wide circumference,
The thoughts of others were her intimates,
Their feelings close to her universal heart,
Their bodies her many bodies kin to her;
She was no more herself but all the world. [555 – 556]

All bodies are her Body, all life draws its power and breath from her Life, all thoughts draw their illumination from her Light. Thus all is herself, a single multitudinous all.

 

The supreme Mystery

She is the supreme Mystery of existence, the original Mystery that has spread herself as this many-layered, multi-hued world. Nowhere She dwells though everywhere is her home. She is the Self of Space, the fount of Time, the origin of all that is and also the secret essence of all that exists. The infinitesimal and the infinite are two terms of her single Being.

Out of the infinitudes all came to her,
Into the infinitudes sentient she spread,
Infinity was her own natural home.
Nowhere she dwelt, her spirit was everywhere,
The distant constellations wheeled round her;
Earth saw her born, all worlds were her colonies,
The greater worlds of life and mind were hers;
All Nature reproduced her in its lines,
Its movements were large copies of her own.
She was the single self of all these selves,
She was in them and they were all in her.
This first was an immense identity
In which her own identity was lost:
What seemed herself was an image of the Whole.
She was a subconscient life of tree and flower,
The outbreak of the honied buds of spring;
She burned in the passion and splendour of the rose,
She was the red heart of the passion-flower,
The dream-white of the lotus in its pool.
Out of subconscient life she climbed to mind,
She was thought and the passion of the world’s heart,
She was the godhead hid in the heart of man,
She was the climbing of his soul to God.
The cosmos flowered in her, she was its bed.
She was Time and the dreams of God in Time;
She was Space and the wideness of his days.
From this she rose where Time and Space were not;
The superconscient was her native air,
Infinity was her movement’s natural space;
Eternity looked out from her on Time. [ 557]

All is herself. There is nothing else but She, — She the sole existence, She the supreme Consciousness-Force, She the absolute Bliss that made the worlds. She is the sole Transcendent, beyond being and non-being, beyond the manifest and the unmanifest, yet in all things and as all things. All She loves, all She moves, All are Hers, all is She.