(S 1)
Immutable“, Death’s denial met her cry:
“However mighty, whatever thy secret name
Uttered in hidden conclaves of the gods,
Thy heart’s ephemeral passion cannot break
465 The iron rampart of accomplished things
With which the great Gods fence their camp in Space.
(S 2)
Whoever thou art behind thy human mask,
Even if thou art the Mother of the worlds
And pegst thy claim upon the realms of Chance,
470 The cosmic Law is greater than thy will.
(S 3)
Even God himself obeys the Laws he made:
The Law abides and never can it change,
The Person is a bubble on Time’s sea.
(S 4)
A forerunner of a greater Truth to come, EoS
475 Thy soul creator of its freer Law,
Vaunting a Force behind on which it leans,
A Light above which none but thou hast seen,
Thou claimst the first fruits of Truth’s victory.
(S 5)
But what is Truth and who can find her form EoS
480 Amid the specious images of sense,
Amid the crowding guesses of the mind
And the dark ambiguities of a world
Peopled with the incertitudes of Thought?
(S 6)
For where is Truth and when was her footfall heard
485 Amid the endless clamour of Time’s mart
And which is her voice amid the thousand cries
That cross the listening brain and cheat the soul?
(S 7)
Or is Truth aught but a high starry name EoS
Or a vague and splendid word by which man’s thought
490 Sanctions and consecrates his nature’s choice,
The heart’s wish donning knowledge as its robe,
The cherished idea elect among the elect,
Thought’s favourite mid the children of half-light
Who high-voiced crowd the playgrounds of the mind
495 Or people its dormitories in infant sleep?
(S 8)
All things hang here between God’s yes and no,
Two Powers real but to each other untrue,
Two consort stars in the mooned night of mind
That towards two opposite horizons gaze,
500 The white head and black tail of the mystic drake,
The swift and the lame foot, wing strong, wing broken
Sustaining the body of the uncertain world,
A great surreal dragon in the skies.
(S 9)
Too dangerously thy high proud truth must live
505 Entangled in Matter’s mortal littleness.
(S 10)
All in this world is true, yet all is false:
Its thoughts into an eternal cipher run,
Its deeds swell to Time’s rounded zero sum.
(S 11)
Thus man at once is animal and god, EoS
510 A disparate enigma of God’s make
Unable to free the Godhead’s form within,
A being less than himself, yet something more,
The aspiring animal, the frustrate god
Yet neither beast nor deity but man,
515 But man tied to the kind earth’s labour strives to exceed
Climbing the stairs of God to higher things.
(S 12)
Objects are seemings and none knows their truth,
Ideas are guesses of an ignorant god.
(S 13)
Truth has no home in earth’s irrational breast:
520 Yet without reason life is a tangle of dreams,
But reason is poised above a dim abyss
And stands at last upon a plank of doubt.
(S 14)
Eternal truth lives not with mortal men.
(S 15)
Or if she dwells within thy mortal heart,
525 Show me the body of the living Truth
Or draw for me the outline of her face
That I too may obey and worship her.
(S 16)
Then will I give thee back thy Satyavan.
(S 17)
But here are only facts and steel-bound Law.
(S 18)
530 This truth I know that Satyavan is dead
And even thy sweetness cannot lure him back.
(S 19)
No magic Truth can bring the dead to life,
No power of earth cancel the thing once done,
No joy of the heart can last surviving death,
535 No bliss persuade the past to live again.
(S 20)
But Life alone can solace the mute Void
And fill with thought the emptiness of Time.
(S 21)
Leave then thy dead, O Savitri, and live.”
(S 22)
The Woman answered to the mighty Shade, EoS
540 And as she spoke, mortality disappeared;
Her Goddess self grew visible in her eyes,
Light came, a dream of heaven, into her face.
(S 23)
“O Death, thou too art God and yet not He, EoS
But only his own black shadow on his path
545 As leaving the Night he takes the upward Way
And drags with him its clinging inconscient Force.
(S 24)
Of God unconscious thou art the dark head,
Of his Ignorance thou art the impenitent sign,
Of its vast tenebrous womb the natural child,
550 On his immortality the sinister bar.
(S 25)
All contraries are aspects of God’s face. EoS
(S 26)
The Many are the innumerable One,
The One carries the multitude in his breast;
He is the Impersonal, inscrutable, sole,
555 He is the one infinite Person seeing his world;
The Silence bears the Eternal’s great dumb seal,
His light inspires the eternal Word;
He is the Immobile’s deep and deathless hush,
Its white and signless blank negating calm,
560 Yet stands the creator Self, the almighty Lord
And watches his will done by the forms of Gods
And the desire that goads half-conscious man
And the reluctant and unseeing Night.
(S 27)
These wide divine extremes, these inverse powers
565 Are the right and left side of the body of God;
Existence balanced twixt two mighty arms
Confronts the mind with unsolved abysms of Thought.
(S 28)
Darkness below, a fathomless Light above,
In Light are joined, but sundered by severing Mind
570 Stand face to face, opposite, inseparable,
Two contraries needed for his great World-task,
Two poles whose currents wake the immense World-Force.
(S 29)
In the stupendous secrecy of his Self,
Above the world brooding with equal wings,
575 He is both in one, beginningless, without end:
Transcending both, he enters the Absolute.
(S 30)
His being is a mystery beyond mind,
His ways bewilder mortal ignorance;
The finite in its little sections parked,
580 Amazed, credits not God’s audacity
Who dares to be the unimagined All
And see and act as might one Infinite.
(S 31)
Against human reason this is his offence,
Being known to be for ever unknowable,
585 To be all and yet transcend the mystic whole,
Absolute, to lodge in a relative world of Time,
Eternal and all-knowing, to suffer birth,
Omnipotent, to sport with Chance and Fate,
Spirit, yet to be Matter and the Void,
590 Illimitable, beyond form or name,
To dwell within a body, one and supreme
To be animal and human and divine:
A still deep sea, he laughs in rolling waves;
Universal, he is all, — transcendent, none.
(S 32)
595 To man’s righteousness this is his cosmic crime, EoS
Almighty beyond good and evil to dwell
Leaving the good to their fate in a wicked world
And evil to reign in this enormous scene.
(S 33)
All opposition seems and strife and chance,
600 An aimless labour with but scanty sense,
To eyes that see a part and miss the whole;
The surface men scan, the depths refuse their search:
A hybrid mystery challenges the view,
Or a discouraging sordid miracle.
(S 34)
605 Yet in the exact Inconscient’s stark conceit,
In the casual error of the world’s ignorance
A plan, a hidden Intelligence is glimpsed.
(S 35)
There is a purpose in each stumble and fall; EoS
Nature’s most careless lolling is a pose
610 Preparing some forward step, some deep result.
(S 36)
Ingenious notes plugged into a motived score,
These million discords dot the harmonious theme
Of the evolution’s huge orchestral dance.
(S 37)
A Truth supreme has forced the world to be; EoS
615 It has wrapped itself in Matter as in a shroud,
A shroud of Death, a shroud of Ignorance.
(S 38)
It compelled the suns to burn through silent Space,
Flame-signs of its uncomprehended Thought
In a wide brooding ether’s formless muse:
620 It made of Knowledge a veiled and struggling light,
Of Being a substance nescient, dense and dumb,
Of Bliss the beauty of an insentient world.
(S 39)
In finite things the conscious Infinite dwells:
Involved it sleeps in Matter’s helpless trance,
625 It rules the world from its sleeping senseless Void;
Dreaming it throws out mind and heart and soul
To labour crippled, bound, on the hard earth;
A broken whole it works through scattered points;
Its gleaming shards are Wisdom’s diamond thoughts,
630 Its shadowy reflex our ignorance.
(S 40)
It starts from the mute mass in countless jets,
It fashions a being out of brain and nerve,
A sentient creature from its pleasures and pangs.
(S 41)
A pack of feelings obscure, a dot of sense
635 Survives awhile answering the shocks of life,
Then, crushed or its force spent, leaves the dead form,
Leaves the huge universe in which it lived
An insignificant unconsidered guest.
(S 42)
But the soul grows concealed within its house;
640 It gives to the body its strength and magnificence;
It follows aims in an ignorant aimless world,
It lends significance to earth’s meaningless life.
(S 43)
A demigod animal, came thinking man; EoS
He wallows in mud, yet heavenward soars in thought;
645 He plays and ponders, laughs and weeps and dreams,
Satisfies his little longings like the beast;
He pores upon life’s book with student eyes.
(S 44)
Out of this tangle of intellect and sense, EoS
Out of the narrow scope of finite thought
650 At last he wakes into spiritual mind;
A high liberty begins and luminous room:
He glimpses eternity, touches the infinite,
He meets the gods in great and sudden hours,
He feels the universe as his larger self,
655 Makes Space and Time his opportunity
To join the heights and depths of being in light,
In the heart’s cave speaks secretly with God.
(S 45)
But these are touches and high moments lived; EoS
Fragments of Truth supreme have lit his soul,
660 Reflections of the sun in waters still.
(S 46)
A few have dared the last supreme ascent EoS
And break through borders of blinding light above,
And feel a breath around of mightier air,
Receive a vaster being’s messages
665 And bathe in its immense intuitive Ray.
(S 47)
On summit Mind are radiant altitudes
Exposed to the lustre of Infinity,
Outskirts and dependencies of the house of Truth,
Upraisedestates of Mind and measureless.
(S 48)
670 There man can visit but there he cannot live.
(S 49)
A cosmic Thought spreads out its vastitudes; EoS
Its smallest parts are here philosophies
Challenging with their detailed immensity,
Each figuring an omniscient scheme of things.
(S 50)
675 But higher still can climb the ascending light;
There are vasts of vision and eternal suns,
Oceans of an immortal luminousness,
Flame-hills assaulting heaven with their peaks,
There dwelling all becomes a blaze of sight;
680 A burning head of vision leads the mind,
Thought trails behind it its long comet comet;
The heart glows, an illuminate and seer,
And sense is kindled into identity.
(S 51)
A highest flight climbs to a deepest view:
685 In a wide opening of its native sky
Intuition lightnings range in a bright pack
Hunting all hidden truths out of their lairs,
Its fiery edge of seeing absolute
Cleaves into locked unknown retreats of self,
690 Rummages the sky-recesses of the brain,
Lights up the occult chambers of the heart;
Its spear-point ictus of discovery
Pressed on the cover of name, the screen of form,
Strips bare the secret soul of all that is.
(S 52)
695 Thought there has revelation’s sun-bright eyes;
The Word, a mighty and inspiring Voice,
Enters Truth’s inmost cabin of privacy
And tears away the veil from God and life.
(S 53)
Then stretches the boundless finite’s last expanse,
700 The cosmic empire of the Overmind,
Time’s buffer state bordering Eternity,
Too vast for the experience of man’s soul:
All here gathers beneath one golden sky:
The Powers that build the cosmos station take
705 In its house of infinite possibility;
Each god from there builds his own nature’s world;
Ideas are phalanxed like a group of suns,
Each marshalling his company of rays.
(S 54)
Thought crowds in masses seized by one regard;
710 All Time is one body, Space a single look:
There is the Godhead’s universal gaze
And there the boundaries of immortal Mind:
The line that parts and joins the hemispheres
Closes in on the labour of the Gods
715 Fencing eternity from the toil of Time.
(S 55)
In her glorious kingdom of eternal light EoS
All-ruler, ruled by none, the Truth supreme,
Omnipotent, omniscient and alone,
In a golden country keeps her measureless house;
720 In its corridor she hears the tread that comes
Out of the Unmanifest never to return
Till the Unknown is known and seen by men.
(S 56)
Above the stretch and blaze of cosmic Sight, EoS
Above the silence of the wordless Thought,
725 Formless creator of immortal forms,
Nameless, investitured with the name divine,
Transcending Time’s hours, transcending Timelessness,
The Mighty Mother sits in lucent calm
And holds the eternal Child upon her knees
730 Attending the day when he shall speak to Fate.
(S 57)
There is the image of our future’s hope; EoS
There is the sun for which all darkness waits,
There is the imperishable harmony;
The world’s contradictions climb to her and are one:
735 There is the Truth of which the world’s truths are shreds,
The Light of which the world’s ignorance is the shade
Till Truth draws back the shade that it has cast,
The Love our hearts call down to heal all strife,
The Bliss for which the world’s derelict sorrows yearn:
740 Thence comes the glory sometimes seen on earth,
The visits of Godhead to the human soul,
The Beauty and the dream on Nature’s face.
(S 58)
There the perfection born from eternity
Calls to it the perfection born in Time,
745 The truth of God surprising human life,
The image of God overtaking finite shapes.
(S 59)
There in a world of everlasting Light, EoS
In the realms of the immortal Supermind
Truth who hides here her head in mystery,
750 Her riddle deemed by reason impossible
In the stark structure of material form,
Unenigmaed lives, unmasked her face and there
Is Nature and the common law of things.
(S 60)
There in a body made of spirit stuff,
755 The hearth-stone of the everliving Fire,
Action translates the movements of the soul,
Thought steps infallible and absolute
And life is a continual worship’s rite,
A sacrifice of rapture to the One.
(S 61)
760 A cosmic vision, a spiritual sense
Feels all the Infinite lodged in finite form
And seen through a quivering ecstasy of light
Discovers the bright face of the Bodiless,
In the truth of a moment, in the moment’s soul
765 Can sip the honey-wine of Eternity.
(S 62)
A Spirit who is no one and innumerable,
The one mystic infinite Person of his world
Multiplies his myriad personality,
On all his bodies seals his divinity’s stamp
770 And sits in each immortal and unique.
(S 63)
The Immobile stands behind each daily act,
A background of the movement and the scene,
Upholding creation on its might and calm
And change on the Immutable’s deathless poise.
(S 64)
775 The Timeless looks out from the travelling hours; EoS
The Ineffable puts on a robe of speech
Where all its words are woven like magic threads
Moving with beauty, inspiring with their gleam,
And every thought takes up its destined place
780 Recorded in the memory of the world.
(S 65)
The Truth supreme, vast and impersonal
Fits faultlessly the hour and circumstance,
Its substance a pure gold ever the same
But shaped into vessels for the spirit’s use,
785 Its gold becomes the wine jar and the vase.
(S 66)
All there is a supreme epiphany:
The All-Wonderful makes a marvel of each event,
The All-Beautiful is a miracle in each shape;
The All-Blissful smites with rapture the heart’s throbs,
790 A pure celestial joy is the use of sense.
(S 67)
Each being there is a member of the Self, EoS
A portion of the million-thoughted All,
A claimant to the timeless Unity,
The many’s sweetness, the joy of difference
795 Edged with the intimacy of the One.
(S 68)
“But who can show to thee Truth’s glorious face?
(S 69)
Our human words can only shadow her.
(S 70)
To thought she is an unthinkable rapture of light,
To speech a marvel inexpressible.
(S 71)
800 O Death, if thou couldst touch the Truth supreme EoS
Thou wouldst grow suddenly wise and cease to be.
(S 72)
If our souls could see and love and clasp God’s Truth,
Its infinite radiance would seize our hearts,
Our being in God’s image be remade
805 And earthly life become the life divine.”
(S 73)
Then Death the last time answered Savitri:
“If Truth supreme transcends her shadow here
Severed by Knowledge and the climbing vasts,
What bridge can cross the gulf that she has left
810 Between her and the dream-world she has made?
(S 74)
Or who could hope to bring her down to men
And persuade to tread the harsh globe with wounded feet
Leaving her unapproachable glory and bliss,
Wasting her splendour on pale earthly air?
(S 75)
815 Is thine that strength, O beauty of mortal limbs,
O soul who flutterest to escape my net?
(S 76)
Who then art thou hiding in human guise?
(S 77)
Thy voice carries the sound of infinity,
Knowledge is with thee, Truth speaks through thy words;
820 The light of things beyond shines in thy eyes.
(S 78)
But where is thy strength to conquer Time and Death?
(S 79)
Hast thou God’s force to build heaven’s values here?
(S 80)
For truth and knowledge are an idle gleam
If Knowledge brings not power to change the world,
825 If Might comes not to give to Truth her right.
(S 81)
A blind Force, not Truth has made this ignorant world,
A blind Force, not Truth orders the lives of men:
By Power, not Light, the great Gods rule the world;
Power is the arm of God, the seal of Fate.
(S 82)
830 O human claimant to immortality, EoS
Reveal thy power, lay bare thy spirit’s force,
Then will I give back to thee Satyavan.
(S 83)
Or if the Mighty Mother is with thee,
Show me her face that I may worship her;
835 Let deathless eyes look into the eyes of Death,
An imperishable Force touching brute things
Transform earth’s death into immortal life.
(S 84)
Then can thy dead return to thee and live. EoS
(S 85)
The prostrate earth perhaps shall lift her gaze
840 And feel near her the secret body of God
And love and joy overtake fleeing Time.”