(S 1)
Once more arose the great destroying Voice:
Across the fruitless labour of the worlds
85 His huge denial’s all-defeating might
Pursued the ignorant march of dolorous Time.
(S 2)
“Behold the figures of this symbol realm,
Its solid outlines of creative dream
Inspiring the great concrete tasks of earth.
(S 3)
90 In its motion-parable of human life EoS
Here thou canst trace the outcome Nature gives
To the sin of being and the error in things
And the desire that compels to live
And man’s incurable malady of hope.
(S 4)
95 In an immutable order’s hierarchy
Where Nature changes not, man cannot change:
Ever he obeys her fixed mutation’s law;
In a new version of her oft-told tale
In ever-wheeling cycles turns the race.
(S 5)
100 His mind is pent in circling boundaries: EoS
For mind is man, beyond thought he cannot soar.
(S 6)
If he could leave his limits he would be safe:
He sees but cannot mount to his greater heavens;
Even winged, he sinks back to his native soil.
(S 7)
105 He is a captive in his net of mind
And beats soul-wings against the walls of life.
(S 8)
In vain his heart lifts up its yearning prayer, EoS
Peopling with brilliant Gods the formless Void;
Then disappointed to the Void he turns
110 And in its happy nothingness asks release,
The calm Nirvana of his dream of self:
The Word in silence ends, in Nought the name.
(S 9)
Apart amid the mortal multitudes,
He calls the Godhead incommunicable
115 To be the lover of his lonely soul
Or casts his spirit into its void embrace.
(S 10)
Or he finds his copy in the impartial All; EoS
He imparts to the Immobile his own will,
Attributes to the Eternal wrath and love
120 And to the Ineffable lends a thousand names.
(S 11)
Hope not to call God down into his life.
(S 12)
How shalt thou bring the Everlasting here?
(S 13)
There is no house for him in hurrying Time.
(S 14)
Vainly thou seekst in Matter’s world an aim;
125 No aim is there, only a will to be.
(S 15)
All walk by Nature bound for ever the same. EoS
(S 16)
Look on these forms that stay awhile and pass,
These lives that long and strive, then are no more,
These structures that have no abiding truth,
130 The saviour creeds that cannot save themselves,
But perish in the strangling hands of the years,
Discarded from man’s thought, proved false by Time,
Philosophies that strip all problems bare
But nothing ever have solved since earth began,
135 And sciences omnipotent in vain
By which men learn of what the suns are made,
Transform all forms to serve their outward needs,
Ride through the sky and sail beneath the sea,
But learn not what they are or why they came;
140 These polities, architectures of man’s brain,
That, bricked with evil and good, wall in man’s spirit
And, fissured houses, palace at once and jail,
Rot while they reign and crumble before they crash;
These revolutions, demon or drunken god,
145 Convulsing the wounded body of mankind
Only to paint in new colours an old face;
These wars, carnage triumphant, ruin gone mad,
The work of centuries vanishing in an hour,
The blood of the vanquished and the victor’s crown
150 Which men to be born must pay for with their pain,
The hero’s face divine on satyr’s limbs,
The demon’s grandeur mixed with the demigod’s,
The glory and the beasthood and the shame;
Why is it all, the labour and the din, EoS
155 The transient joys, the timeless sea of tears,
The longing and the hoping and the cry,
The battle and the victory and the fall,
The aimless journey that can never pause,
The waking toil, the incoherent sleep,
160 Song, shouts and weeping, wisdom and idle words,
The laughter of men, the irony of the gods?
(S 17)
Where leads the march, whither the pilgrimage?
(S 18)
Who keeps the map of the route or planned each stage?
(S 19)
Or else self-moved the world walks its own way,
165 Or nothing is there but only a Mind that dreams:
The world is a myth that happened to come true,
A legend told to itself by conscious Mind,
Imaged and played on a feigned Matter’s ground
On which it stands in an unsubstantial Vast.
(S 20)
170 Mind is the author, spectator, actor, stage: EoS
Mind only is and what it thinks is seen.
(S 21)
If Mind is all, renounce the hope of bliss;
If Mind is all, renounce the hope of Truth.
(S 22)
For Mind can never touch the body of Truth
175 And Mind can never see the soul of God;
Only his shadow it grasps nor hears his laugh
As it turns from him to the vain seeming of things.
(S 23)
Mind is a tissue woven of light and shade
Where right and wrong have sewn their mingled parts;
180 Or Mind is Nature’s marriage of convenance
Between truth and falsehood, between joy and pain:
This struggling pair no court can separate.
(S 24)
Each thought is a gold coin with bright alloy EoS
And error and truth are its obverse and reverse:
185 This is the imperial mintage of the brain
And of this kind is all its currency.
(S 25)
Think not to plant on earth the living Truth
Or make of Matter’s world the home of God;
Truth comes not there but only the thought of Truth,
190 God is not there but only the name of God.
(S 26)
If Self there is it is bodiless and unborn;
It is no one and it is possessed by none.
(S 27)
On what shalt thou then build thy happy world?
(S 28)
Cast off thy life and mind, then art thou Self,
195 An all-seeing omnipresence stark, alone.
(S 29)
If God there is he cares not for the world;
All things he sees with calm indifferent gaze,
He has doomed all hearts to sorrow and desire,
He has bound all life with his implacable laws;
200 He answers not the ignorant voice of prayer.
(S 30)
Eternal while the ages toil beneath,
Unmoved, untouched by aught that he has made,
He sees as minute details mid the stars
The animal’s agony and the fate of man:
205 Immeasurably wise, he exceeds thy thought;
His solitary joy needs not thy love.
(S 31)
His truth in human thinking cannot dwell:
If thou desirest Truth, then still thy mind
For ever, slain by the dumb unseen Light.
(S 32)
210 Immortal bliss lives not in human air:
How shall the mighty Mother her calm delight
Keep fragrant in this narrow fragile vase,
Or lodge her sweet unbroken ecstasy
In hearts which earthly sorrow can assail
215 And bodies careless Death can slay at will?
(S 33)
Dream not to change the world that God has planned,
Strive not to alter his eternal law.
(S 34)
If heavens there are whose gates are shut to grief,
There seek the joy thou couldst not find on earth;
220 Or in the imperishable hemisphere
Where Light is native and Delight is king
And Spirit is the deathless ground of things,
Choose thy high station, child of Eternity.
(S 35)
If thou art Spirit and Nature is thy robe,
225 Cast off thy garb and be thy naked self
Immutable in its undying truth,
Alone for ever in the mute Alone.
(S 36)
Turn then to God, for him leave all behind;
Forgetting love, forgetting Satyavan,
230 Annul thyself in his immobile peace.
(S 37)
O soul, drown in his still beatitude.
(S 38)
For thou must die to thyself to reach God’s height:
I, Death, am the gate of immortality.”
(S 39)
But Savitri answered to the sophist God: EoS
235 “Once more wilt thou call Light to blind Truth’s eyes,
Make Knowledge a catch of the snare of Ignorance
And the Word a dart to slay my living soul?
(S 40)
Offer, O King, thy boons to tired spirits EoS
And hearts that could not bear the wounds of Time,
240 Let those who were tied to body and to mind,
Tear off those bonds and flee into white calm
Crying for arefuge from the play of God.
(S 41)
Surely thy boons are great since thou art He!
But how shall I seek rest in endless peace
245 Who house the mighty Mother’s violent force,
Her vision turned to read the enigmaed world,
Her will tempered in the blaze of Wisdom’s sun
And the flaming silence of her heart of love?
(S 42)
The world is a spiritual paradox EoS
250 Invented by a need in the Unseen,
A poor translation to the creature’s sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech,
A symbol of what can never be symbolised,
A language mispronounced, misspelt, yet true.
(S 43)
255 Its powers have come from the eternal heights
And plunged into the inconscient dim Abyss
And risen from it to do their marvellous work.
(S 44)
The soul is a figure of the Unmanifest,
The mind labours to think the Unthinkable,
260 The life to call the Immortal into birth,
The body to enshrine the Illimitable.
(S 45)
The world is not cut off from Truth and God. EoS
(S 46)
In vain thou hast dug the dark unbridgeable gulf,
In vain thou hast built the blind and doorless wall:
265 Man’s soul crosses through thee to Paradise,
Heaven’s sun forces its way through death and night;
Its light is seen upon our being’s verge.
(S 47)
My mind is a torch lit from the eternal sun, EoS
My life a breath drawn by the immortal Guest,
270 My mortal body is the Eternal’s house.
(S 48)
Already the torch becomes the undying ray,
Already the life is the Immortal’s force,
The house grows of the householder part and one.
(S 49)
How sayst thou Truth can never light the human mind
275 And Bliss can never invade the mortal’s heart
Or God descend into the world he made?
(S 50)
If in the meaningless Void creation rose, EoS
If from a bodiless Force Matter was born,
If Life could climb in the unconscious tree,
280 Its green delight break into emerald leaves
And its laughter of beauty blossom in the flower,
If sense could wake in tissue, nerve and cell
And Thought seize the grey matter of the brain,
And soul peep from its secrecy through the flesh,
285 How shall the nameless Light not leap on men,
And unknown powers emerge from Nature’s sleep?
(S 51)
Even now hints of a luminous Truth like stars
Arise in the mind-mooned splendour of Ignorance
Even now the deathless Lover’s touch we feel:
290 If the chamber’s door is even a little ajar,
What then can hinder God from stealing in
Or who forbid his kiss on the sleeping soul?
(S 52)
Already God is near, the Truth is close: EoS
Because the dark atheist body knows him not,
295 Must the sage deny the Light, the seer his soul?
(S 53)
I am not bound by thought or sense or shape;
I live in the glory of the Infinite,
I am near to the Nameless and Unknowable,
The Ineffable is now my household mate.
(S 54)
300 But standing on Eternity’s luminous brink EoS
I have discovered that the world was He;
I have met Spirit with spirit, Self with self,
But I have loved too the body of my God.
(S 55)
I have pursued him in his earthly form.
(S 56)
305 A lonely freedom cannot satisfy EoS
A heart that has grown one with every heart:
I am a deputy of the aspiring world,
My spirit’s liberty I ask for all.”