May 31, 2007

Outbreak of Perfection’s Law

Re: 13: Nature a Conscious Front of God by RY Deshpande on Tue 29 May 2007 04:28 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link Aswapati saw two negations
There was the pull of the past; there were wandering voices that moaned, not only moaned but also pleaded for heavenly leniency to the imperfections of the earth. Would heaven be lenient to them? Should it be? But then, in that case, the earth potentials would not emerge to receive what heaven can offer to them; heaven would not oblige the imperfect. Aswapati notices that these thousand instincts pushed themselves from the subconscious and there were fierce revolts from the unregenerate nature. In fact, even as he wished to tackle them, more and more did they grow, grow in direr and larger proportions; for, “the Inconscient too is infinite”, the Inconscient holding all the powers and possibilities in their negative modes. Aswapati had to remove these totally first from his person, after assuming them, accepting the shortcomings of mortality. Thus alone could these be seen to, taken care of. This is a strenuous and painful job and Aswapati undertakes it to make possible the Law of Excellence to operate everywhere, operate in a flawless and just and right manner. The problem is, this difficult inheritance tagged on to the evolving soul cannot be simply discarded, sent away, dismissed. It can be got rid of only by putting it in the cleansing fire; it has to be burned in the Fire of the Yoga, offered in the Fire-Sacrifice to Agni Pavaka, Fire the Purifier. He did it and
His mind answered to countless communing minds,
His words were syllables of the cosmos’ speech,
His life a field of the vast cosmic stir.
He felt the footsteps of a million wills
Moving in unison to a single goal.
Consequently, Aswapati witnesses everywhere the outbreak of Perfection’s Law, in and above and around, everywhere, with life pursuing, unwearied of her sport and
Joy in her heart and laughter on her lips,
The bright adventure of God’s game of chance.
Not only mind and life, but body too; there “Matter is the Spirit’s firm density.” But the most fundamental problem, the problem of problems yet remains unresolved. How is this Perfection’s Law going to be operative here, how in the world full of deprivation and suffering and incapacity is God’s bright adventure going to be received in its gladness? What Aswapati has experienced, what he has willed and achieved in the infinity of the Spirit, all that must become the earthly real. One who is operative here at the moment is the errant Power one who, by division, attempts to find the indivisible One, an impossible proposition. This Error must be obliterated, totally liquidated. Such is the task that Aswapati recognises, a task which must be done if this creation has to have any sense in it, any meaning to it; and he attends to it, right earnestly. This is the deconstruction needed to be done before any new scheme can be considered for implementation. Our response to the positive, the constructive and the creative, and the progressive, had been all along corrupt and frustrating and, therefore, deconstruction should take place at the origin of this corrupting and frustrating crookedness. In any case, it cannot be the popular metaphysical deconstruction; it has to be of the spiritual-occult kind.
Aswapati saw two negations, “a world that feels not its own inhabiting self” and “a spirit ignorant of the world it made”. There is present in the cosmic manifestation a silent spirit denying life, rather a strange paradox, and it has to be quickened to see the gainful aspect of this creation. If such should remain the spirit’s denial here, then the doubt and the uncertainty would be of a severe kind. Indeed, the question would be: how can at all the new world then be brought down here, if it is going to be an unwelcome guest, if it is going to be repelled by the things that detest it? But Aswapati has also the experience of the Oneness of the Spirit, oneness everywhere. In that instance, in that experience of Oneness, the descent of the Superconscient in the Subconscient and the Inconscient is not going to be paradoxical, is not going to be without a meaning and, therefore, the bringing down of the new world, though it might be a difficult task, is not incompatible with the aim of the evolutionary manifestation. RYD

Aspiration and adhesion to make the expansion of the being

Re: 13: Nature a Conscious Front of God by RY Deshpande on Wed 30 May 2007 02:26 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link There must be a constant expansion and self-perfecting
In one of the footnotes to the Agni-hymns, Sri Aurobindo makes the following comment: “The supramental world has to be formed or created in us by the Divine Will as the result of a constant expansion and self-perfecting.”
Both the terms are fixed in it, expansion and self-perfecting. Could this not have been the method of Aswapati in creating the new world in the supramental? He had become vast by his largeness, extending all the way up to the Unknowable and enveloping every bit of this vast manifestation, including those of the dark abysses; he had achieved self-perfection that no trace of the Inconscient and the Subconscient was present in it, the oneness that embraces all the positives and the negatives and rejects nothing, that it is all God’s creation. The rendering of the corresponding Rik is as follows: (The Secret of the Veda)
O knower of the births, the man perfect in his works for whom thou createst that other blissful world, reaches a felicity that is peopled happily with his life’s swiftnesses, his herds of Light, the children of his soul, the armies of his energies.
In the context of Aswapati’s yoga-sadhana, we see that he has already done his part of the job and now he has to wait for the other term of the process to come into operation. In his Sachchidananda consciousness he has formed or created this new world, the supramental world, and now he prays to the Divine Will to enter into the play. The Mother makes the point more explicit: hope to receive, use and form in oneself a supramental being, and consequently a supramental world, there must first of all be an expansion of consciousness and constant personal progress... the constant idea of the being... the constant will of the being, the constant preoccupation of the being... there must be enough aspiration and adhesion in the being to make the expansion of the being, the expansion of consciousness possible… There must be great widening to make room for the movements of the Supermind.
The question put to the Mother was: “How is the Supermind going to act? What should be done to receive it? In what form will it manifest?” She is quite categorical in her statement that, it is the Divine Will who is going to do all that. What is expected of us is to have a constant aspiration for progress; we should make our consciousness wide and receptive, open our being more and more to the descending force and light and happiness, strive for self-perfection in every respect, every aspect of our personality, the soul-personality. Agni is the knower of the births, jātavedas, and it is based on our perfection in works that he will give new birth, create for us a new world of blessedness and felicity.
The Mother was the first to pick up this Sri Aurobindo’s very pregnant footnote to the Rik and significantly reveal that, though in reality everything is done by the Divine Will, the urge to progress is the necessary part that has to combine with it in the creation of the supramental world. That is how Aswapati, by his “constant” idea and will and preoccupation, succeeded in building the “godhead of the race”, the supramental race. That is how the real human potential will be fulfilled. That should be the authentic human effort, the human input needed for the process. Now, coupled with this effort, must come the sanction of the Supreme, the “fiat of the Word”, the most important executive pronouncement of Gayatri, the mighty voice of the operative Logos.
We should note that the Veda speaks of the Divine Fire, Agni, as one who is amuram, one who is not perplexed or bewildered, who is free from ignorance. (Rig Veda, III.19.1) At the same time, he is wide-seeing and is the knower of the births, and the bringer of the bright issues of the Eternal, brahma-prajā. He is therefore a supramental Godhead and in his will and action there is that supramental infallibility. The Word that he brings is the Word, brahma, whose light shines in Heaven.
But, then, will that light shine at all in the cave of this darkness also, in the terrestrial darkness, in the recesses of the Inconscience as well? Will it? Perhaps not,—if at all it will shine, it will shine only occasionally,—in its most occult connotation. The Vedic Word is still the Word for an individual aspirant, for the Rishi, to be reborn in the Riches of the Divine. It is not yet the transformative Word, a Word that can usher in the divine experience in this collectivity. For that to happen, that it becomes an aspect of universal working, the evolutionary depths of Inconscience will have to be first filled up with the light of the Supreme; it is it that that shall then give us the Truth, illumine us with it. The original creative Power, the supreme Shakti herself will have to do it. This is the new task which needs a certain urgency of attention, and Aswapati is alert to it. She must come down and do it; she and none else can do it. Aswapati’s concern therefore is to bring her down to carry out this divine work here. RYD

May 24, 2007

Preoccupation of the Vedic gods

[The fostering or increasing of man in all his substance and possessions, his continual enlargement towards the fullness and richness of the vast Truth-Consciousness, the upholding of him in his great struggle and labour, this is the common preoccupation of the Vedic gods.]

May 23, 2007

The timelessness cannot be the dismissal of all that is in time

Re: 12: A Downward Look by RY Deshpande on Wed 23 May 2007 04:06 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link In a thunder-flash of God
The gains of the world are, fortunately, not all that insignificant and we can derive a good deal of comfort from our daily occupations and activities, feel relief from the feeling of frustration that invades us quite often. But, perhaps, only the complaint is that these gains and gifts are too little to satisfy the spirit’s deeper thirst. It looks, it is that desirable uneasiness in us which prods us on the fulfilling quest, always urging us to make progress. We remain discontented till life’s meaning and purpose are discovered, till we live in what they bring to us. The quest is therefore happily there, inherently there, and we cannot just rest till the discovery is made. In its absence our greatest actions would remain dull, obtuse, uninteresting.
However, if this quest, and this discovery, were to lead us only to the pure Self, it would remain incomplete, compromised. In such a discovery name and form and attributes and qualities, and all the workings of the mind would cease to exist, with the appalling danger of giving the impression of this phenomenal world to be nothing but a bad dream, an illusion. When the self is won, more often than not the world is lost; vastness and space, time and eternity get cut off from each other—as if they are fundamentally incompatible with each other, antagonistic to each other.
The path, in that case, would be the Path of Escape; but “Escape brings not the victory and the crown!” The negative is asserted forcefully, but then it turns out that, in this creation, the possibility of the positive gets denied with equal vehemence. Aswapati is alert and swift in recognising the situation and arrives at the realisation that there is a greater and truer, the truest Truth “at the mystic fount of Life”, that the first entrance into the timelessness cannot, in fact need not be the dismissal of all that is in time. Aswapati’s pursuit of the Unknowable reveals to him the true mystery behind all this:
Across the silence of the ultimate Calm
The Presence he yearned for suddenly drew close.
In a “thunder-flash of God” he sees that that Presence must be brought down into the “darkness of the suffering world”, that it is she who would heal its wound and suffering, heal it with her love and truth and joy. That is the only way, and there is none other, nānyastha panthah. In it the riddle of the world got dissolved and a “Life from beyond grew conqueror here of Death.” The dichotomy between the hesitant ‘yes’ and the stubborn ‘no’ has at once vanished and the unity of knowledge embraced every aspect of the creation.
There was no cleavage between soul and soul
There was no barrier between world and God.
Not only that; Aswapati’s ascent is beyond the world awaiting the Descent the world to save. He even steps into regions “past not-self and self and selflessness”. There, in that supreme Nirvanic state, in that infinity, he awaits the ultimate voice of the utter Transcendence. And what does he hear, and see?
The great world-rhythms were heart-beats of one Soul,
To feel was a flame-discovery of God,
All mind was a single harp of many strings,
All life a song of many meeting lives;
For worlds were many, but the Self was one.
This knowledge was now made a cosmos' seed:
This seed was cased in the safety of the Light,
It needed not a sheath of Ignorance.
Then from the trance of that tremendous clasp
And from the throbbings of that single Heart
And from the naked Spirit's victory
A new and marvellous creation rose.
His knowledge of things and the unity of all the cosmic aspects now became the seed from which a new world could spring up. In fact it has become the seed, but cased in the safety of the Light.
This is the great things Aswapati has already done, the measureless siddhi achieved, achieved in the Transcendent, in the House of the Spirit, forming the seed but encased in the safety of the Light. That seed must now sprout in the dim earthly soil. Presently this is Aswapati’s one concern. RYD

May 20, 2007

To discover which we must proceed on the hypothesis of some potency

[The real Monism, the true Adwaita, is that which admits all things as the one Brahman and does not seek to bisect Its existence into two incompatible entities, an eternal Truth and an eternal Falsehood, Brahman and not-Brahman, Self and not-Self, a real Self and an unreal yet perpetual Maya. If it be true that the Self alone exists, it must be also true that all is the Self. And if this Self, God or Brahman is no helpless state, no bounded power, no limited personality, but the self-conscient All, there must be some good and inherent reason in it for the manifestation, to discover which we must proceed on the hypothesis of some potency, some wisdom, some truth of being in all that is manifested.
The discord and apparent evil of the world must in their sphere be admitted, but not accepted as our conquerors. The deepest instinct of humanity seeks always and seeks wisely wisdom as the last word of the universal manifestation, not an eternal mockery and illusion,—a secret and finally triumphant good, not an all-creative and invincible evil,—an ultimate victory and fulfilment, not the disappointed recoil of the soul from its great adventure.
For we cannot suppose that the sole Entity is compelled by something outside or other than Itself, since no such thing exists.] Page-30 Document: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > The Life Divine Volume-18 > Reality Omnipresent

Sri Aurobindo has no horror of substance

[Whitehead’s naturalism, therefore, is a weak spot in his philosophy of organism and takes away a good deal from its value. But the greatest weakness that we find in his philosophy is that it is a structure that hangs in mid-air, having neither a foundation nor any roof. The whole difficulty here is caused by his repugnance of the notion of substance which has developed into a sort of phobia…
Here Sri Aurobindo is in a better position. He has no horror of substance, and does not feel therefore the need of having a double set of principles, one ideal and one actual, to correct their mutual deficiencies.]
From The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy
by S.K. Maitra Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications Department (1988)
Add comment May 20th, 2007 tusarnmohapatra

May 19, 2007

Consciousness and Creativity

Glimpses of Vedantism in Sri Aurobindo's Political Thought by Samar Basu: Published by Sri Mira Trust; Pondicherry, India. Pp 73 (Book Review) International Journal of Humanities and Peace, January, 2002 by Reddy, Ananda
Samar Basu's attempts at bringing out the Vedantic ideals in Sri Aurobindo's political thought only confirms that with Sri Aurobindo "spirituality explained politics and politics fulfilled itself in spirituality". All along his brief political engagement, Sri Aurobindo's life was based on spirituality of which politics was only an outer expression. And the underlying realization of this spirituality was the Vedanfic ideal...
Giants of Modern Hinduism - Part 1: Aurobindo
A Listmania! list by A_Rama Rao "Rama" (Morgantown, WV USA)
1. Search for the Soul in Everyday Living by The Mother
2. Sri Aurobindo and His Yoga by M.P. Pandit
3. The Meeting of the East and the West: in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy by S.K. Maitra
4. The Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo by Satyajyoti Chakravarty
5. The Essential Aurobindo: Writings of Sri Aurobindo by Aurobindo
6. Powers Within by Aurobindo
7. Glimpses of Vedantism in Sri Aurobindo's political thought by Samar Basu
8. Psychic Being (Soul: Its Nature, Mission, Evolution) by Aurobindo
9. Essays on the Gita by Aurobindo
10. Life Divine - U.S. Edition by Aurobindo
11. Consciousness and Creativity: A Study of Sri Aurobindo, T.S. Eliot and Aldous Huxley by Sumita Roy
12. Sri Aurobindo on Himself by Aurobindo
13. Sri Aurobindo and Vedanta philosophy by Sheojee Pandey
14. Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo's Teaching & Method of Practice by Aurobindo
15. La Bhagavad-Gîtâ : Extraits des essais sur la Gîta by Aurobindo Ghose
16. Secret of the Veda, New U.S. Edition by Aurobindo
17. Bhagavad Gita and Its Message by Sri Aurobindo
18. The Mother with Letters on the Mother (Guidance from Sri Aurobindo) by Aurobindo
19. The Upanishads, 1st US Edition by Aurobindo
20. The Mother - US Edition by Aurobindo
21. Growing Within: Psychology of Inner Development by Aurobindo
22. Adisankara and Sri Aurobindo by V. Narayan Karan Reddy

We have here Sri Aurobindo’s supreme Word established

Re: 11: The Sun from which we Kindle all our Suns by RY Deshpande
on Tue 15 May 2007 02:39 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Savitri is the Force, the inevitable Word It is in play of the transcendental speech or parā vāņī that we have the full expressive power of the supreme Logos. Like sweet and fertilisng waters of luminous music, the soul of delight grows in it from richness to greater and agreeable richness, bringing to our worlds the supernal harmonies. But always there has to be the all-pervasive silence to carry these rivers of sound, of infinite distances, in their rushing speeds to lands and countries of peace and quietude. In the Rhythm of the Word are built world after world, and in the Rhythm of the Word move the sun and all the other stars. Its creative force creates and sustains everything.
The Unspoken upholds, with its power of countless possibilities, that which it lets itself lose in inundations of the spoken. Sri Aurobindo's Savitri is at once such “a power of silence in the depths of God” and “the Force, the inevitable Word” by whose splendid magical strength the supremely potential becomes the superbly actual. It is the flawless fusion of sense and sound and sight, ever ushering in the divine experience. It is mantra, Word embodying the Truth in its substance and in its movements. In the listening quiet a miracle is wrought by its up-streaming and down-streaming incantations, its self-willed and self-assured cadences swaying and stirring the fields of sleep to divine action in the celebration of its moods of wonder. In it, to use Amal Kiran’s phrase from his Savitri, “tongues of fire break from a voiceless deep”. But to put it in Sri Aurobindo's defining words, the mantra is
…a direct and most heightened, an intensest and most divinely burdened rhythmic word which embodies an intuitive and revelatory inspiration and ensouls the mind with the sight and the presence of the very self, the inmost reality of things and with its truth and with the divine soul-forms of it, the Godheads which are born from the living Truth. Or, let us say, it is a supreme rhythmic language which seizes hold upon all that is finite and brings into each the light and voice of its own infinite.
This is precisely what we have in Savitri, this “poem of sacred delight”. Of this parā vāņī, rhythm and sight and the reality of things are the great revelatory attributes. If sometimes all the three come as a trinity from the sheer plenary Truth-world, from the Vedic Home of Truth, ŗtasya sadanam, very often it is one aspect or the other that stands out in a more perceptibly significant manner. Thus we have the pure mantra, majestic and holding all, lucid and undiminished anywhere in its calm undisturbed sea-like grandeur, lit by the blazing sun from within and mooned from above by the sweet and enchanting goddess of beauty in the wide tranquil sky:
A burning Love from white spiritual founts
Annulled the sorrow of the ignorant depths;
Suffering was lost in her immortal smile...
All the elements of poetry are aglow in it, aglow like several suns in their gold-and-bright spiritual intensity and force, yet sweet and felicitous in their psychic ardour and association, aglow in a neo-Vedic soul-body of the mantra. At times gentle and soft overtones pushing a suggestive sense to culmination of the reality’s substance, or else a marvellous iconopoeia carrying with it both logopoeia and melopoeia, as in the line “Her body of beauty mooned the seas of bliss”, or often enough revealing the occultly packed mystery of the Night in a lustrous creative play, we have here a ruby-and-topaz fire pouring the raptures of luminous gods on the expectant heart of terrestrial creatures and things. To bring happiness and perfection to this transient and sorrowful material world does, by the power of that invocation, a Presence come out of the utter Unknowable.
The prayer—like Agni himself sweet of joy and one who has with him the Truth—is a persuasive adoration of that benign All-Beautiful to bestow on the suffering human boons of God-light and God-felicity. It is an absolute and compelling adoration in every respect. With it only can the divine multitude, or as the Veda says, the Divine People, divyam janam, appear on the earth; it only can make Time step into Eternity’s marvels. Only then shall the “indignity of mortal life” be cancelled, and pain turned into ecstasy. If mantra is always charged with power, is a Word that creates happy majesties, and desirable excellences, brings realisation of what it utters, then we have here Sri Aurobindo’s supreme Word established in the earth-consciousness to transform it into the divine substance of Truth, Beauty, Delight, into God-Life, all held by the Spirit’s vast calm. RYD

May 17, 2007

Nothing of it can be really rejected or belittled

Re: 11: The Sun from which we Kindle all our Suns: Spirituality of affirmative life
by RY Deshpande on Mon 14 May 2007 02:09 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
A Vedic Rishi asked for cows and horses and sons, and a life of a hundred years. He lived in material plenty, with the corn in the fields rich with milk. In the pursuit of immortality he also cherished joys of the world in the nobility of their truth. And, then, we have in the Isha Upanishad one of the most persuasive claims of spiritual life in its affirmative values. No wonder, its life-positivism proved such a stumbling block to Shankara the metaphysician, when he considered the whole creation only on the basis of the experience of the Passive Brahman, making it life-negating, maintaining it to be illusory and false. The Upanishad opens with the following śloka:
All this is for habitation by the Lord, whatsoever is individual universe of movement in the universal motion. By that renounced thou shouldst enjoy; lust not after any man’s possession.
All this is for the habitation of the Divine—because the Divine is all and is in all. The whole philosophy of dynamic thrust in existence, with its yogic-spiritual process opening to greater potential, finds in this powerful verse a compacted utterance about the worthwhileness of this entire world, as if it springing straight from the Hand of God, suggesting that nothing of it can be really rejected or belittled. It holds in its contents the wide infinity of knowledge itself, knowledge asserting everywhere the possibilities of the essential self; it accepts no fundamental dichotomy between spirit and matter, no trenchant cleavage between Being and Becoming, between the phenomenal and the creative-expressive absolute. And look at the forcefulness with which the phrase and idiom comes through, scripted in the language of the seer of the truth as if he has put the whole of his tapasya into it, expression into the seen speech, paśyanti vāk, the creative Word with Sight. And the language of the Upanishad has such splendour and such density that it can make visible what is invisible, marking well its ‘seen’ or paśyanti aspect, making concrete and true for us that which is real-ideally unapproachable. It at once has the Truth-Word’s original rhythm, substance, and vision in their pleasing intensities which render it mantric.
Though invariably the Upanishadic poetry is quantitatively dense, with more of thought-substance than other elements in it, it can also have lyrical moments. Thus at times does the Rishi loudly chant the glory of the universal spirit in men and moments and happenings in the inexhaustible delight of existence rushing everywhere. There is the happy psychic inspiration in his poetry that bears a distinctive mark of the mantra:
Thou art woman and Thou art man also; Thou art the boy, or else Thou art the young virgin, and Thou art yonder worn and aged man that walkest bending upon a staff. Lo, Thou becomest born and the universe groweth full of Thy faces. Thou art the blue bird and the green and the scarlet-eyed; Thou art the womb of Lightning and the Seasons and the Oceans. Spirit without beginning, because Thou hast poured Thyself multifoldly into all forms, therefore the worlds have being. There is one Unborn Mother; she is white, she is black, she is blood-red of hue; having taken shape, lo, how she giveth birth to many kinds of creatures; for One of the two Unborn taketh delight in her and lieth with her, but the other hath exhausted all her sweets and casteth her from him. They are two birds that cling to one common tree; beautiful of plumage, yoke-fellows are they, eternal companions; and one of them eateth the delicious fruit of the tree and the Other eateth not, but watcheth His fellow.
Such wonderful lyricism and sweetness, such felicity of expression! And at times we have the cry of the bhakta speaking with another quality of the mantra, as in the Gita:
Thou art the ancient Soul and the first and original Godhead and the supreme resting place of this all; Thou art the knower and that which is to be known and the highest status; O infinite in form, by Thee was extended the universe. Thou art Yama and Vayu and Agni and Soma and Varuna and Prajapati, father of creatures, and the great-grandsire. Salutations to Thee a thousand times over and again and yet again salutation, in front and behind and from every side, for Thou art each and all that is, Infinite in might and immeasurable in strength of action. Thou pervadest all and art every one.
If in these verses we have Vedic fervour raised to epic loftiness, we also see in them the beginning of another kind of lyrical devotionalism entering into poetry. Still weighty, rather splendidly heavy, quantitative in its substantiality, still very solid and classical in its greatness and grandeur, yet in its poetry we begin to feel another component entering in. It brings in its poignancy the sweet and the melodious, the fascination of an ardent soul approaching with confidence the god of its adoration. The easy felicity in its flow is the new gift we receive from the Muse. Another landmark gets established in its beautiful revelatory mood.
But in the magic of Savitri there are present, together or variously, the luminous density of the Vedic intuitive-spiritual, the Upanishadic profundity of the seer-vision and seer-thought, and the Gita’s psychic warmth and enchantment flooded with the sheer Overhead. The wonderful result is, in the Adoration of the Divine Mother, we have not the submissive or acquiescent, the passive compliance of the Bhakta to the God of his Worship, not the dāsya-bhāva, but a surrender of another kind, almost as if both the devotee and the deity were each other’s comrades and companions, equals. It is not female but male surrender to the Divine that we see in it. The quality of the surrender of Aswapati is masculine, lofty, wonderful, full of knowledge and power, more spiritual than psychic. RYD

May 15, 2007

The force is anterior, not the physical instrument

“It is becoming always clearer that not only does the capacity of our total consciousness far exceed that of our organs, the senses, the nerves, the brain, but that even for our ordinary thought and consciousness these organs are only their habitual instruments and not their generators. Consciousness uses the brain which its upward strivings have produced, brain has not produced nor does it use the consciousness. . . Our physical organism no more causes or explains thought and consciousness than the construction of an engine causes or explains the motive-power of steam or electricity. The force is anterior, not the physical instrument.” Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine
Each Thing Is All Itself April 12, 2007 at 5:27 pm In Spirituality, Quotes
“When we withdraw our gaze from its egoistic preoccupation with limited and fleeting interests and look upon the world with dispassionate and curious eyes that search only for the Truth, our first result is the perception of a boundless energy of infinite existence . . . an existence that surpasses infinitely our ego or any ego or any collectivity of egos . . . We instinctively act and feel and weave our life thoughts as if this stupendous world movement were at work around us as centre and for our benefit . . . When we begin to see, we perceive that it exists for itself, not for us . . . And yet let us not swing over to the other extreme and form too positive an idea of our own insignificance. . . Science reveals to us how minute is the care, how cunning the device, how intense the absorption it bestows upon the smallest of its works even as on the largest. . . To Brahman there are no whole and parts, but each thing is all itself and benefits by the whole of Brahman. . . The form and manner and result of the force of action vary infinitely, but the eternal, primal, infinite energy is the same in all. The force of strength that goes to make the strong man is no whit greater than the force of weakness that goes to make the weak. The energy spent is as great in repression as in expression, in negation as in affirmation, in silence as in sound.” Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine
“For the senses the sun goes round the earth; that was for them the centre of existence and the motions of life are arranged on the basis of a misconception. The truth is the very opposite, but its discovery would have been of little use if there were not a science that makes the new conception the centre of a reasoned and ordered knowledge putting their right values on the perceptions of the senses. So also for the mental consciousness: God moves round the personal ego and all His works and ways are brought to the judgment of our egoistic sensations, emotions, and conceptions and there are given values and interpretations which, through a perversion and inversion of the truth of things, are yet useful and practically sufficient in a certain development of human life and progress. They are a rough practical systematisation of our experience of things valid so long as we dwell in a certain order of ideas and activities. But they do not represent the last and highest state of human life and knowledge . . . The truth is not that God moves round the ego as the centre of existence and can be judged by the ego and its view of the dualities, but that the Divine is itself the centre and that the experience of the individual only finds its own true truth when it is known in the terms of the universal and the transcendent.” Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine
Evil as a Part of a Whole February 24, 2007 at 10:21 am In Spirituality, Quotes
“An omnipresent reality is the Brahman, not an omnipresent cause of persistent illusions . . . And if this Self, God, or Brahman is no helpless state, no bounded power, no limited personality, but the self-conscient All, there must be some good and inherent reason in it for the manifestation, . . . [there must be] some truth of being in all that is manifested. The discord and apparent evil of the world must in their sphere be admitted, but not accepted as our conquerors. The deepest instinct of humanity seeks always and seeks wisely wisdom as the last word of the universal manifestation, not an eternal mockery and illusion, . . . an ultimate victory and fulfillment, not the disappointed recoil of the soul from its great adventure . . . Brahman is indivisible in all things and whatever is willed in the world has been ultimately willed by the Brahman. It is only our relative consciousness, alarmed or baffled by the phenomena of evil, ignorance and pain in the cosmos, that seeks to deliver the Brahman from responsibility for Itself and its workings by erecting some opposite principle, Maya or Mara, conscious Devil or self-existent principle of evil. There is one Lord and Self and the many are only His representations and becomings.” Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine
“The affirmation of a divine life upon earth and an immortal sense in mortal existence can have no base unless we recognize not only eternal Spirit as the inhabitant of this bodily mansion, the wearer of this mutable robe, but accept Matter of which it is made, as a fit and noble material out of which He weaves constantly His garbs, builds recurrently the unending series of His mansions.” Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine

May 10, 2007

Twelve suns

Re: 10: Across the Silence of the Ultimate Calm
by RY Deshpande on Wed 09 May 2007 02:19 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
The Vedic tradition speaks of twelve Adityas, twelve Suns; their names are: Dhata, Mitra, Aryama, Rudra, Varuna, Surya, Bhaga, Vivasvana, Pusha, Savita, Twashta, and Vishnu. In the Gita Sri Krishna says that among the Adityas he is Vishnu. Each one of these Suns or Adityas represents a certain quality and cosmic function. Thus Love and Light are represented by the Sun as Mitra. In the form of Bhaga he is the Lord of Enjoyment, as the Increaser, he becomes Pushan.
If the new creation founded by Aswapati in the House of the Spirit is to manifest upon earth, then these suns must be set ablaze in the material sky. The Mother of the Godheads holds the key in the dynamism of the twelve suns and it is that which can set into operation the process of the physical transformation. RYD

May 09, 2007

Our own mantra of surrender will be yet of another kind

Re: 10: Across the Silence of the Ultimate Calm by RY Deshpande on Tue 08 May 2007 07:05 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link What she decides and the Supreme sanctions
Did the divine executive Shakti get the consent from the Supreme before she granted the boon to Aswapati? This aspect is very clear in the Savitri-tale narrated by Vyasa in the Mahabharata, when she told him that she is giving him the boon of a radiant daughter in the authorization of the great Father-Creator Brahma himself, bhagavān pitāmaha. But it seems to be absent in Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri. If, as we have in his The Mother, “nothing can be here or elsewhere but what she decides and the Supreme sanctions,” then this difference between the two narratives assumes importance of a fundamental character; in a certain sense, it becomes crucial also, absolutely central. Vyasa’s Aswapati approaches Goddess Savitri with the intention of getting a son, that by the righteous conduct the order of the worlds be maintained in its functioning, that the dharma of the eternal truth which upholds the creation, which holds it together and which makes it move forward is maintained. It is in that context that the Goddess obtains the sanction from the Supreme, from the Father-Creator Brahma, bhagavān pitāmaha.
  • Did in a similar way, or in some other manner the divine Shakti in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri receive such a sanction from the Supreme?
  • Did she already have it with her before her meeting with the Son of Strength, one who had climbed the creation’s peaks?

Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri does not speak of it in any specific way. Perhaps extremely significant occult-spiritual factors, aspects of the yogic will are present in the profound issue and they need to be looked into with attention. Perhaps bringing the theme of “sanction” into the presentation could be incongruous in more than one respect.

Possibly, as one immediate answer, it could be for the reason that Sri Aurobindo’s Aswapati meets someone who is “infinite and absolute”, who came from beyond the limitless Unknowable, came “breaking the vacancy and voiceless hush”, the most positive Void poised for dynamic Action, the Void supreme with his face turned towards creation-manifestation, one who came from the utter Non-Manifest, Parātpara. In that eventuality, to speak of her getting a “sanction” could be inapt or inappropriate. Perhaps we could explore this aspect in more detail when we should reach Book Three Canto Four describing the Vision and the Boon.
It is in this regard, however, we might briefly look into what Rod Hemsell says apropos of the Adoration of the Divine Mother in his Savitri, Surrender and the Void:
“One can easily imagine that this second canto of Book 3 is the expression of the central theme of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo, and therefore it is particularly important. I think this is so. It is perhaps an ultimate, or at least a penultimate, statement of the absolute necessity and profound significance of the idea of Surrender. Sri Aurobindo makes it extremely clear and explicit in this canto what the word or idea of Surrender means, and yet it is still, inherently, a very difficult movement to grasp integrally, and to practise.”
Certainly, this canto could easily be “the expression of the central theme of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo.”
But the aspect of yogic surrender has many facets. When Barin, Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother asked him as to what he felt when the Mother met him for the first time on 29 March 1914 and bowed down in front of him, the reply in effect was: “I knew at once that it is possible to make complete surrender even to the last bit of the physical.” When Savitri’s Mantra of Surrender, in Book Eleven, becomes essentially “What Thou Willest, What Thou Willest”, it cannot be considered as the Mantra of Surrender of Aswapati. Our own mantra of surrender will be yet of another kind, bearing another quality, perhaps differing from individual to individual. RYD

May 08, 2007

The God of Death in Sri Aurobindo’s legend is the quintessential Adversary

Mangesh Nadkarni Instalment-45 nextfuture Write to us
Before I conclude, I would like to comment briefly on this episode of the four boons, or the choices given to Savitri four times and her responses to these. In the original Mahabharata story as narrated by Vyasa, during the colloquy between Yama and Savitri, Yama is greatly impressed by Savitri’s knowledge of Dharma, her cultured manner of speaking and her language, even her polished diction. So pleased is he with Savitri for these extraordinary accomplishments of hers that he urges Savitri to seek from him a boon asking for anything she wants except Satyavan’s life. Savitri asks for the restoration of the eye-sight for the father of Satyavan, Dyumatsena. Yama grants this but he is not satisfied. He asks her to seek from him another boon, and then another and then another, until he ends up giving her four boons. For a second boon, Savitri asks that Dyumatsena’s lost kingdom be restored to him. By the third boon, she asks that her sonless father be granted a hundred valiant sons. Then Yama encourages her to ask for a fourth boon. Savitri then says: “By our union, mine with Satyavan, let there be a hundred sons, noble and heroic in deed, well-born, extending the glory of the house.” Then when Yama realises that Savitri cannot have the sons he had bestowed on her by his fourth boon, except through Satyavan, he bestows on her the fifth boon – that of Satyavan’s life. And with that Satyavan is restored to life.
Unlike Yama in Vyasa’s Mahabharata story, the God of Death in Sri Aurobindo’s legend is the quintessential Adversary. His aim is to thwart Savitri’s enterprise, so, as we have seen, he keeps opposing Savitri with all his power and with all the intellectual resources he can muster. But he is finally vanquished by Savitri, and he disappears and his place is taken by the enchanting figure of the Supreme God. When arguments and persuasion fail to have any effect on Savitri, he tries to win her over to his side by offering these four boons we discussed in this instalment. Savitri doesn’t ask for these boons, the God offers this choice. In the Mahabharata story, it is Yama’s feeling that Savitri might go back satisfied with what he has to offer her as his boons. Besides, he genuinely likes her and admires her for her learning and for her virtuousness and understanding of Dharma. He wouldn’t like to send her back empty-handed. But in Sri Aurobindo’s legend, these boons represent one last attempt to persuade Savitri to give up her commitment to earth and to bringing Divine perfection to it.
It is but natural that the God should offer her what until now has been regarded as the highest rewards of a spiritual life – Nirvana and the blessings that go with it. These are peace, oneness (the annihilation of the sense of the other), energy and bliss. These are no doubt spiritual felicities but with one built-in drawback to them. They make you escape from life. Savitri would, like to retain these spiritual felicities but turn them to good use in ushering in the age of new consciousness or what Sri Aurobindo has called the Supramental consciousness. If that is done, then these very features will be seen as the features characterising the supramental consciousness.
(Mangesh Nadkarni retired as professor of Linguistics a few years ago. He enjoys sharing with
as many people as possible what he receives from his study of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother)

May 05, 2007

The compendium of yogic wisdom that is Savitri

Savitri, Surrender and the Void by Rod Hemsell by Rich on Wed 02 May 2007 Permanent Link (Commentaries based on a course given from Jan. to Mar. 2006 at Savitri Bhavan by Rod)
The Theme of the Void There is a line of Savitri that occurs at the end of the first section of Book 1, Canto 5, which has extraordinary mantric value. It reads, “In the Void he saw throned the Omniscience Supreme,” and just opposite that line on the facing page, Sri Aurobindo says: “The Immortal’s pride refused the doom to live/ A miser of the scanty bargain made/ Between our littleness and bounded hopes/ And the compassionate Infinitudes.” Here, near the beginning of the compendium of yogic wisdom that is Savitri, we have an emphatic statement of what Sri Aurobindo has elsewhere called “the refusal of the ascetic,” proclaimed to be the law of spiritual life. “His height repelled the lowness of earth’s state.”

But what I find most interesting to notice is that the Void, the Omniscience Supreme, and the compassionate Infinitudes, are juxtaposed in this way by Sri Aurobindo. The idea that the Void and Mind, with a capital M, and infinite Compassion, are the fundamental truths of existence, and of the experience of Aswapati’s yoga, is something that Sri Aurobindo is clearly very interested in having us realize. The theme of the Void will continue to be developed throughout the first three cantos of the book that will be our focus, the Book of the Divine Mother, especially in the canto we will read tonight, The Pursuit of the Unknowable, which is fully devoted to that theme, and later just as fully developed in Savitri’s yoga in the Book of Yoga...
The Adoration of the Divine Mother One can easily imagine that this second canto of Book 3 is the expression of the central theme of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo, and therefore it is particularly important. I think this is so. It is perhaps an ultimate, or at least a penultimate, statement of the absolute necessity and profound significance of the idea of Surrender. Sri Aurobindo makes it extremely clear and explicit in this canto what the word or idea of Surrender means, and yet it is still, inherently, a very difficult movement to grasp integrally, and to practise.

And yet the canto is quite short, and you can read it in the same amount of time as you take to read the newspaper, and you can read it in the same way. It’s quite simply stated and easy to read. However, if you read it in that way you won’t have a clue as to what he is talking about. I tried it, and it doesn’t work. It is deceptively simple. But if we render the canto as a mantra, in the spirit of practice, we have to perform the Vedic sacrifice and make it the expression of our call and our complete self giving. It comes from the Void. The first movement of that self giving is a total, total and absolute, surrender. This canto really only speaks to us when we have done that. It is the expression of that...
So this transformation of consciousness is a very subtle change from perceiving everything outwardly, through the senses and mental impressions, to perceiving everything inwardly, without sensations and mental impressions, by another instrumentation, another faculty, another energetic of consciousness. It is very subtle, and this canto is telling us exactly how that subtle change happens. But it’s not in the lines of the canto. You don’t catch it by reading and reflecting on each line on the page. It comes through the process of sacrifice. It is a realization of the mantric transmission that happens through us by the invocation of Savitri. And it takes time. The active intention must persevere for as long as it takes.

In several cantos of Savitri there are expressions of how activity in the world can take place from that position of being/non-being, and absolute calm. There are many descriptions of how that can take place, especially in the Book of Yoga, which is the yoga of Savitri. In the yoga of Aswapati, this transition takes place after all of his practice, or tapasya, and is the transition into identification with the Supreme. In the next canto, The House of the Spirit…, it is also a transition into the experience of the perception of the world when the psychic being is totally in front. And in the experience of Aswapati, it is revealed dramatically to be also the transformation into an ultimate compassion for humanity and the world, which is expressed absolutely in the last canto in the cycle. The final work is that work of compassion. It brings about the descent of Savitri for the salvation of the world.

So what is the difference between the Buddhist teaching and this one. In the Mother’s Agenda, she says somewhere that now she understands that the Buddhist teaching is something that has to be learned and realized, not as a final step but in order to take the next step. In itself it doesn’t make possible the taking of that next step. It didn’t bring that special connection with the divine, that new force, into the reach of mortal consciousness. We can reflect that perhaps, historically or psychologically, humanity wasn’t ready, or that this teaching had to come first. However, Sri Aurobindo is conveying in Savitri the spirit and power of that realization as a passage to something very specific, which we might call the yoga of Sri Aurobindo, or the yoga of transformation.
When I make such comments on Buddhism, or on the Upanishads or Gita, I try to emphasize that this is Sri Aurobindo, it’s not really the Upanishad or Gita per se. What Sri Aurobindo calls the synthesis of yoga is an understanding of how the movements of yoga can be utilized for this particular change of consciousness, and not for the realizations of the past. And so his works are not really translations or commentaries on ancient texts, but vehicles, like the emptiness, like the void, for a passage and the entry of a power that is different. So Nachiketas learns the teaching of yoga from Death in the Katha Upanishad. And that is a necessary realization, and much of Savitri is about that.
But it’s not for the realization of the illusoriness of life, the stillness of death or the Emptiness, but for the transformation of death, the transformation of spiritual consciousness. This idea of transformation is the unique combination of the teaching, lessons and realization of yoga in order for something else to happen. In a way, all of the teachings are still valid, and in a way they are just stepping stones for something else that is specific. We are trying to learn what that is. And we are allowing Savitri the word, Savitri the silence, Savitri the golden bridge, to bring us into the realm of that possibility. Out of whatever we are, into whatever that is. And the way…?
And so, in the canto we are going to read tonight, called The Vision and the Boon, which is the central canto of Savitri and perhaps the most difficult to read, because the most powerful and the most perfect, Sri Aurobindo culminates his yoga tapsya of Nirvana in the Brahman, realizes the descent of the Divine Mother in him, and then invokes the force of transformation for the earth, as an ultimate act of sacrifice. In this canto is contained everything that is meant by sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice. This is the summation of the movement of invocation, self-giving, and affirmation, the absolute affirmation of the divine in existence. This is also therefore the culmination of the yoga of transformation, the disappearance of the ego, dwelling in the divine emptiness, and then the descent into it of That, and then the work of That manifesting the new consciousness on earth, in the self of all.

May 04, 2007

Four Asuras who stand as eternal Antagonists

Re: 10: Across the Silence of the Ultimate Calm by RY Deshpande on Fri 04 May 2007 06:02 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link The Presence he yearned for
Aswapati has climbed this huge world-pile, “erect like a mountain-chariot of the Gods,” rising from Matter’s plinth and vanishing, beyond sight, into the viewless Supreme. He has seen the nether worlds, of darkness below direr darkness; he has also experienced the joys of the true and the beautiful. He has understood the cause of this world’s failure. When Life had entered into the material scene, at the call of the gods of the material objects, she was at once stunned by the ambiguous Presence that sprang up from the depths of the Inconscience; Life was overpowered by Death. Unless this stranglehold of Death is removed, Aswapati knows, Life cannot make proper and genuine progress in the possibilities of the Spirit. The problem is defined and it gives a distinct focus to his quest.
Presently, Aswapati is standing on the being's naked edge where even the seeking of his soul faces extinction. The issue is Cosmic-Transcendental, beyond the Individual. Nothing of this world he carries as a burden, all that belongs to this dumb and fallen Nature, all that has connection with the inconscience of this world obscures no more his perception. He knows at once that, here is one who can redeem the lot of this mortal creature, bring meaning and fulfilment to his authentic existence, make the phenomenal the real. The Presence he yearned for has suddenly drawn closer. From across the ultimate Calm, Aswapati saw someone coming, infinite and absolute. Yes, it was the being of wisdom, power and delight, jňāna-śakti-ānanda, the triple Mother, who takes to her breast everything, Nature and world and soul.
The Power, the Light, the Bliss no word can speak
Imaged itself in a surprising beam…
For one was there supreme behind the God…
He felt a rapturous and unstumbling Force.
The moment he saw her, met her, all got settled:
The Enigma ceased that rules our nature's night,
The covering Nescience was unmasked and slain;
Its mind of error was stripped off from things
And the dull moods of its perverting will.
But how does Aswapati know that she is indeed the one who can remove the enigma of this world, how does he make sure that here is the Power who can really change the Fate of this world, this dark and sorrowful and transient death-bound death-governed creation? Will she be able to vanquish the Foe, conquer this Mortal World, this mŗtyuloka? What kind of tests does he apply to secure that she will, notwithstanding the odds of the path, work out the miracle even in the face of the most formidable Adversary, the test Sugriva had given to Rama that he would be able to vanquish Vali?
Nothing can be left to comfortable thought only, to happy acquiescence, when the battle is a grim do-or-die battle, a rendezvous of the fiercest enemies. Is, therefore, the quality of that “unstumbling Force” convincing enough that it will not stumble while encountering Death, will not get darkened by the “dire universal Shadow? Aswapati’s search should not prove futile or unavailing or frustrating. This is particularly so, when on six occasions earlier the creation had to be dissolved. This is particularly so, when Death himself is one of the Four Powers who had separated themselves from the Supreme, the Four Asuras who stand as eternal Antagonists. Is she the one who will conquer this Asura of Death? RYD

Yama has put on a double veil, the veil of the incorrigible Antagonist and the veil of the luminous Inveigler

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

Théon was actually incarnation of the God of Death

Re: 10: Across the Silence of the Ultimate Calm by RY Deshpande on Wed 02 May 2007 02:26 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link The Yogin’s stifling Assignation with the Night
The fallen Life’s predicament cannot but set Aswapati on the quest to find a solution to it. He descends into the Night and witnesses there her pitiful plight. She in that gloom, with her perilous charm and beauty, lies cursed under the Gorgon spell. But Aswapati’s stepping into the Night is an act of grace, of supreme Grace. Wherever the Avatar moves, there, at every place, he leaves his presence behind. It is this presence that becomes the support and ground, ādhāra-sthāna, for the incarnate Force’s work. It is the guarantor of the Truth that shall prevail. There is a Greek proverb: “Great is Truth and it shall prevail.” But it prevails step by step with each appearance of the Avatar. It does not seek to prevail of its own. In fact, the harsh reality is that it cannot prevail in the Abyss of the Night unless the Avatar enters into it.
For the Truth to prevail, the Avatar has to come down and do the yoga-tapasya in the Inconscient fields. Its inevitability, of the Avatar’s coming, is an occult necessity and an occult fact, something of supreme significance, which the linear Newtonian-Darwinian evolution cannot grasp. The force of Matter is intrinsically inadequate to bring out of itself the higher expressions of the Truth. Aswapati’s descent into the Night is charged with all these connotations. Such indeed is the significance of the Book of the Traveller of the Worlds in Savitri, in which Aswapati the Avatar is putting his foot in every nook and corner of this vast cosmic manifestation. It is that universal Presence, calm and luminous and powerful, which gives to Savitri’s task the needed meaning and success.
When the Avatar puts his foot on the soil of the Night, it indeed marks the beginning of the Everlasting Day. In Sri Aurobindo’s yoga-tapasya it means, the first decisive step towards integral transformation. In its sequel great things will happen,—including the upsurge of terrible forces. That this business with the jeopardous Night should have coincided with the Second World War, when the Regiments of Darkness had heavily precipitated upon earth, does not therefore come as a surprise. The fate of the evolutionary creation was hanging in the balance. But Aswapati came out victorious. Savitri informs us about that aspect of the occult history. Here the aspect of Savitri as a symbol has certainly gone far ahead of the traditional aspect of it being a legend.
It was in this Night that the secret Mantra of Life was kept in a sealed box. During the days, about a hundred years ago, when the Mother was doing occultism under Théon, once she discovered this Mantra, with her name written on the seal. Théon got interested in it and wanted the Mother to break the seal for him. She refused. We can possibly understand Théon’s interest in it, if we know that he was actually incarnation of the God of Death. He as Death ought to be interested in having a full hold on Life. Life in the possession of Death makes sense even to us. Later the Mother gave this Mantra of Life to Sri Aurobindo. How marvellous!
What did Sri Aurobindo do with the Mantra? Who can say anything about it? It will be presumptuous to speak anything about it. Yet in our rash foolishness we can hazard a conjecture. He removed the hold Death had on Life and gave it back to the Mother, to her whose task it was to make the divinity of Life manifest here. It is that Shakti Aswapati was seeking in his cosmic and transcendental sojourns. He must meet her and he must persuade her to take the mortal birth because, thus alone, could the Mantra of Life work its dynamism in this creation. RYD