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At the Feet of The Mother

The Twisted Truth, pp. 618-621 (SH 305)

Savitri Class in Hindi with Alok Pandey
Book Ten: The Book of the Double Twilight, Canto Two: The Gospel of Death and Vanity of the Ideal, Canto Three: The Debate of Love and Death

Death now speaks of a sad and harsh philosophy, the so-called realism that drives us towards some dark end of nothingness. It is a perverted truth that carries its own appeal to a type of human mentality. Here we see Death picking up truths and giving it just a little twist here and there to turn it into falsehood.

Immortality thou claimest for thy spirit,
But immortality for imperfect man,
A god who hurts himself at every step,
Would be a cycle of eternal pain.

Wisdom and love thou claimest as thy right;
But knowledge in this world is error’s mate,
A brilliant procuress of Nescience,
And human love a posturer on earth-stage
Who imitates with verve a faery dance.

An extract pressed from hard experience,
Man’s knowledge casked in the barrels of Memory
Has the harsh savour of a mortal draught:
A sweet secretion from the erotic glands
Flattering and torturing the burning nerves,
Love is a honey and poison in the breast
Drunk by it as the nectar of the gods.

Earth’s human wisdom is no great-browed power,
And love no gleaming angel from the skies;
If they aspire beyond earth’s dullard air,
Arriving sunwards with frail waxen wings,
How high could reach that forced unnatural flight?

But not on earth can divine wisdom reign
And not on earth can divine love be found;
Heaven-born, only in heaven can they live;
Or else there too perhaps they are shining dreams.

Nay, is not all thou art and doest a dream?
Thy mind and life are tricks of Matter’s force.
If thy mind seems to thee a radiant sun,
If thy life runs a swift and glorious stream,
This is the illusion of thy mortal heart
Dazzled by a ray of happiness or light.

Impotent to live by their own right divine,
Convinced of their brilliant unreality,
When their supporting ground is cut away,
These children of Matter into Matter die.
Even Matter vanishes into Energy’s vague
And Energy is a motion of old Nought.

How shall the Ideal’s unsubstantial hues
Be painted stiff on earth’s vermilion blur,
A dream within a dream come doubly true?
How shall the will-o’-the-wisp become a star?

The Ideal is a malady of thy mind,
A bright delirium of thy speech and thought,
A strange wine of beauty lifting thee to false sight.
A noble fiction of thy yearnings made,
Thy human imperfection it must share:
Its forms in Nature disappoint the heart,
And never shall it find its heavenly shape
And never can it be fulfilled in Time.

O soul misled by the splendour of thy thoughts,
O earthly creature with thy dream of heaven,
Obey, resigned and still, the earthly law.
Accept the brief light that falls upon thy days;
Take what thou canst of Life’s permitted joy;
Submitting to the ordeal of fate’s scourge
Suffer what thou must of toil and grief and care.

There shall approach silencing thy passionate heart
My long calm night of everlasting sleep:
There into the hush from which thou cam’st retire.”



Canto Three

The Debate of Love and Death

A sad destroying cadence the voice sank;
It seemed to lead the advancing march of Life
Into some still original Inane.

But Savitri answered to almighty Death:
“O dark-browed sophist of the universe
Who veilst the Real with its own Idea,
Hiding with brute objects Nature’s living face,
Masking eternity with thy dance of death,
Thou hast woven the ignorant mind into a screen
And made of Thought error’s purveyor and scribe,
And a false witness of mind’s servant sense.

An aesthete of the sorrow of the world,
Champion of a harsh and sad philosophy
Thou hast used words to shutter out the Light
And called in Truth to vindicate a lie.

[Savitri: 618 – 621]

(line breaks added to emphasize separate movements)

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