There are two beings in my single self.
A Godhead watches Nature from behind
At play in front with a brilliant surface elf,
A time-born creature with a human mind.
Tranquil and boundless like a sea or sky,
The Godhead knows himself Eternity’s son.
Radiant his mind and vast, his heart as free;
His will is a sceptre of dominion.
The smaller self by Nature’s passions driven,
Thoughtful and erring learns his human task;
All must be known and to that Greatness given
His mind and life, the mirror and the mask.
As with the figure of a symbol dance
The screened Omniscient plays at Ignorance.
— Sri Aurobindo – The Dual Being – Sonnets 1930-1950 – Collected Poems – p. 152
(image by Henri Cartier-Bresson – source : Kheper)
A STILLNESS absolute, incommunicable,
Meets the sheer self-discovery of the soul;
A wall of stillness shuts it from the world,
A gulf of stillness swallows up the sense
And makes unreal all that mind has known,
All that the laboring senses still would weave
Prolonging an imaged unreality.
Self’s vast spiritual silence occupies Space;
Only the Inconceivable is left,
Only the Nameless without space and time:
Abolished is the burdening need of life:
Thought falls from us, we cease from joy and grief;
The ego is dead; we are freed from being and care,
We have done with birth and death and work and fate.
O soul, it is too early to rejoice!
Thou hast reached the boundless silence of the Self,
Thou hast leaped into a glad divine abyss;
But where hast thou thrown Self’s mission and Self’s power?
On what dead bank on the Eternal’s road?
One was within thee who was self and world,
What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars?
Escape brings not the victory and the crown!
Something thou cam’st to do from the Unknown,
But nothing is finished and the world goes on
Because only half God’s cosmic work is done.
Only the everlasting No has neared
And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart:
But where is the Lover’s everlasting Yes,
And immortality in the secret heart,
The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
The symboled OM, the great assenting Word,
The bridge between the rapture and the calm,
The passion and the beauty of the Bride,
The chamber where the glorious enemies kiss,
The smile that saves, the golden peak of things?
This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life.
— Sri Aurobindo – Savitri
I saw the electric stream on which is run
The world, turned motes and spark-whirls of a Light,
A Fire of which the nebula and sun
Are glints and flame-drops, scattered eremite;
And veiled by viewless Light worked other Powers,
An Air of movement endless, unbegun,
Expanding and contracting in Time’s hours
And the intangible ether of the One.
The surface finds, the screen-phenomenon,
Are Nature’s offered ransom, while behind,
Her occult mysteries lie safe, unknown,
From the crude handling of the empiric Mind.
Our truths discovered are but dust and trace
Of the eternal Energy in her race.
— Sri Aurobindo – Discoveries of Science – Collected Poems (Sonnets 1930-1950, p. 138)
The electron on which forms and worlds are built,
Leaped into being, a particle of God.
A spark from the eternal Energy split,
It is the Infinite’s blind minute abode.
In that small flaming chariot Shiva rides.
The One devised innumerably to be;
His oneness in invisible forms he rides,
Time’s tiny temples to eternity.
Atom and molecule in their unseen plan
Buttress an edifice of strange oneness,
Crystal and plant, insect and beast and man, –
Man on whom the World-Unity shall seize,
Widening his soul-spark to an epiphany
Of the timeless vastness of Infinity.
— Sri Aurobindo – Collected Poems – Electron (Sonnets – p. 141 – 15/07/1938)
“Science has already changed its conception of matter – to it, Matter and Energy are interconvertible. The Vedic Seers also considered matter to be a conceptual form of substance – so much so that a point can be reached where only an arbitrary distinction in thought divides form of substance from form of energy. In fact, to the spiritual tradition of India, ‘Mind’, ‘Life’ and ‘Matter’ are just different formulations of the same Energy. If so, then this ‘Energy’ is not a brute mechanical force that works through accident or chance but a Cosmic WILL in action – a consciousness applying itself to a work and a result.”
— Institute of Integral Yoga Psychology – www.iiyp.net
Is this the end of all that we have been,
And all we did or dreamed, –
A name unremembered and a form undone, –
Is this the end?
A body rotting under a slab of stone
Or turned to ash in fire,
A mind dissolved, lost its forgotten thoughts, –
Is this the end?
Our little hours that were and are no more,
Our passions once so high
Being mocked by the still earth and calm sunshine, –
Is this the end?
Our yearnings for the human Godward climb
Passing to other hearts
Deceived, while smiles towards death and hell the world, –
Is this the end?
Fallen is the harp; shattered it lies and mute;
Is the unseen player dead?
Because the tree is felled where the bird sang,
Must the song too hush?
One in the mind who planned and willed and thought,
Worked to reshape earth’s fate,
One in the heart who loved and yearned and hoped,
Does he too end?
The Immortal in the mortal is his Name;
An artist Godhead here
Ever remoulds himself in diviner shapes,
Unwilling to cease
Till all is done for which the stars were made,
Till the heart discovers God
And the soul knows itself. And even then
There is no end.
— Sri Aurobindo – Is This the End?
Death wanders through our lives at will, sweet Death
Is busy with each intake of our breath.
Why do you fear her? Lo, her laughing face
All rosy with the light of jocund grace !
A kind and lovely maiden culling flowers
In a sweet garden fresh with vernal showers,
This is the thing you fear, young portress bright
Who opens to our souls the worlds of light.
Is it because the twisted stem must feel
Pain when the tenderest hands its glory steal?
Is it because the flowerless stalk droops dull
And ghastly now that was so beautiful ?
Or is it the opening portal’s horrid jar
That shakes you, feeble souls of courage bare?
Death is but changing of our robes to wait
In wedding garments at the Eternal’s gate.
— Sri Aurobindo – Collected Poems and Plays, vol 1 – p. 144
A bare impersonal hush is now my mind,
A world of sight clear and inimitable,
A volume of silence by a Godhead signed,
A greatness pure, virgin of will.
Once on its pages Ignorance could write
In a scribble of intellect the blind guess of Time
And cast gleam-messages of ephemeral light,
A food for souls that wander on Nature’s rim.
But now I listen to a greater Word
Born from the mute unseen omniscient Ray:
The Voice that only Silence’ ear has heard
Leaps missioned from an eternal glory of Day.
All turns from a wideness and unbroken peace
To a tumult of joy in a sea of wide release.
— Sri Aurobindo – Last Poems – The Word of the Silence
The vast universal suffering feel as thine:
Thou must bear the sorrow that thou claimst to heal;
The day-bringer must walk in darkest night.
He who would save the world must share its pain.
If he knows not grief, how shall he find grief’s cure?
— Sri Aurobindo
I have thrown from me the whirling dance of mind
And stand now in the spirit’s silence free,
Timeless and deathless beyond creature-kind,
The centre of my own eternity.
I have escaped and the small self is dead;
I am immortal, alone, ineffable;
I have gone out from the universe I made,
And have grown nameless and immeasurable.
My mind is hushed in a wide and endless light,
My heart a solitude of delight and peace,
My sense unsnared by touch and sound and sight,
My body a point in white infinities.
I am the one Being’s sole immobile Bliss:
No one I am, I who am all that is.
— Sri Aurobindo – Last Poems – Liberation
Awakened to the meaning of my heart
That to feel Love and Oneness is to live
And this the magic of our golden Change,
Is all the truth I know or seek, O sage.
— Sri Aurobindo – Savitri – Epilogue: The Return to Earth