Re: 10: Across the Silence of the Ultimate Calm by RY Deshpande on Thu 03 May 2007 03:44 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link Dynamic immortality in the physical is the work of the executive Force
In one of the Vedic Riks we have the description of Rishi Agastya digging—remember ‘digging’ in Sri Aurobindo’s A God’s Labour written in 1935—into the darkness of the Night, khananam as it says; in the Aurobindonian terminology this would correspond to bottom-most Subconsceint, even entering into the Inconscient. But the Rishi found it difficult to deal with the physical nature. He could not bring light to it. His body was afflicted with a triple poison and it could not bear the sunlight. It was like an unbaked clay-pot, atapta tanu. Similarly, Vamadeva could live here in a divine body, divya tanu, only for sixteen years. These ancient Rishis certainly knew what could bring about the physical transformation, the Mahar or Supermind, but they did not know its full modus operandi. The attainment of immortality in the luminous worlds, or divya loka, is one thing and its knowledge in mŗtyuloka is another. Not enough or qualifying tapasya had been done in the physical; Sri Aurobindo had to “consciously enter into death” before a glimmer of hope would be seen. The aspect of dynamic immortality in the physical is the work of the executive Force and unless her incarnation takes place it cannot be accomplished. Though the intuition of her descent to bring about materially the transformation was there,—and that is what the significant legend of Savitri narrates,—the field, the necessary resplendent spiritual support, ādhāra, for its universal action was not yet ready during those early days. The eighteen-year arduous yoga-tapasya of Aswapati was exactly for preparing the ground for her transformative action. In that respect, we see the importance of the radical step that was taken by Aswapati, representing Sri Aurobindo. In fact, what he achieved, he achieved precisely because of Savitri, that is, the Mother in her full executive splendour, she accompanying him. This was not so earlier in the Vedic era, where the Vedic-Vedantic aspect was more prominent than the Shakti or Tantric aspect. Cycles of evolution had to be silently worked out to arrive at this point of time. The psychic being of the earth was being prepared for her dynamism.
Yet if we go into the deep past, we have certain clues about the attempts which were made earlier, the Vedic attempts. In this respect we have a very perceptive comment from David Frawley alias Vamadeva Shastri:
“It seems that the urge to transform the Earth consciousness was stronger in the earlier ages of light. It fell away during the worst of Kali Yuga, when it was enough for a few individuals to gain liberation and the collectivity was too caught in tamas. As we move back towards the ages of light it is arising again. The Rig Vedic Rishis were at the dawn of this cycle of civilisation and were mainly concerned with setting forth the seeds of the upcoming culture, particularly on a spiritual level, but also as the social order. It is hard to say whether physical transformation as Sri Aurobindo envisioned it was part of their yoga but we do have the tradition that many Rishis lived for long periods of time (which could have been done by various methods occult, tantric, yogic, ayurvedic). They seem to have included the idea of transforming physical matter as part of their long-term aspiration for humanity, but they were also aware of Asuric forces in the material world that are very difficult to overcome.”
But one wonders if the Vedic without the Tantric is adequate for the physical transformation. In fact, there has to be psychic also, giving its immortality to the material; the Mother's work was primarily concerned with it. Vamadeva further adds:
“The Rishis’ pursuit of physical and spiritual rejuvenation is reflected in the Vedic knowledge of Soma. There were many types of Somas both external (prepared with herbs) and internal (produced through yogic practices like prāņāyāma) for rejuvenating body and mind and for gaining immorality on various levels. The Bhrigus were particularly known for their knowledge of rejuvenation. Even Brihaspati of the Angirasas sent his son Kacha to gain this knowledge from Shukra of the Bhrigus. Yet it is hard to tell whether the Rishis ever tried to, or were in a position to, create a naturally Divine body such as Sri Aurobindo envisioned. This would require the most powerful form of Soma. It would be, as it were, a body naturally made of pure Soma, matter with the capacity of perpetually rejuvenating itself. Yet there is no reason to think that they were not aware of the possibility, given their pursuit of Soma on all levels. We could also describe this as bringing the Soma of Mahar Loka into the genetic matrix of physical matter. Of course the Asuras would try to prevent this as much as possible as this would mean the end of them.”
But now with the descent of Mahar itself in the earth-consciousness this cannot happen. Asuras are helpless against it. That was the truth seen by Sri Aurobindo and he worked towards it and firmly established it in the earth’s subtle-physical. Things now will happen in the dynamism of the Truth-consciousness itself. Can Vladimir please throw more light on this?
In this context we may also recall the great Vedic revelation in which we see Yama and our illustrious forefathers having together an ambrosial drink under Supalash Vriksha. The mention of supalāśa in the Rik is extraordinarily striking, particularly in association with Yama whom we take as the God of Death. The reference to a cluster of palāśa trees, palāśa-khaņda, by Vyasa in his Savitri-narrative lifts up that narrative itself to another level of symbolism embodying in its richness a whole world of bright future possibilities. The botanical name of this tree is Butea Frondosa, which is popularly known as the Flame of the Forest. But the spiritual significance of it is far deeper than we can discern even from its poetic nomenclature. The Mother sees palāśa as the Beginning of the Supramental Realisation. That Yama should be linked up with it, enjoying the drink of immortality under its branches in the happy company of our forefathers and other gods, only indicates the centrality of his role in the entire process of supramentalisation of the physical. Here is the kind and gracious God who bestows on this creation the desirable boons of a glorious life in the splendours of the spirit. Yama shall thus fulfil himself.
That lends another meaning to the Savitri-legend itself. Savitri’s winning back the soul of Satyavan from Yama therefore acquires another sense that points towards this marvellous realisation. But in order that this happens the dark sombre veil which has been worn by Yama must be removed. Radiant Savitri, the daughter of the Sun-God, alone can do that. In fact Yama has put on a double veil, the veil of the incorrigible Antagonist and the veil of the luminous Inveigler. Behind him is indeed present the loving Supreme himself. It was the removal of this double veil, this double transformation which was accomplished by Savitri. Thus, behind the darkness of this creation, she meets her bright father to receive authentic boons of divine life upon earth. The yoga-tapasya of Aswapati has, in consequence, borne the rich fruits of godly felicity. RYD