(S 1)
Then Aswapati answered to the seer:
690 “Is then the spirit ruled by an outward world?
(S 2)
O seer, is there no remedy within?
(S 3)
But what is Fate if not the spirit’s will
After long time fulfilled by cosmic Force?
(S 4)
I deemed a mighty Power had come with her;
695 Is not that Power the high compeer of Fate?”
(S 5)
(S 6)
But Narad answered covering truth with truth:
“O Aswapati, random seem the ways
Along whose banks your footsteps stray or run
699 In casual hours or moments of the gods,
Yet your least stumblings are foreseen above.
(S 7)
Infallibly the curves of life are drawn
Following the stream of Time through the unknown;
They are led by a clue the calm immortals keep.
(S 8)
704 This blazoned hieroglyph of prophet morns
A meaning more sublime in symbols writes
Than sealed Thought wakes to, but of this high script
How shall my voice convince the mind of earth?
(S 9)
Heaven’s wiser love rejects the mortal’s prayer;
709 Unblinded by the breath of his desire,
Unclouded by the mists of fear and hope,
It bends above the strife of love with death;
It keeps for her her privilege of pain.
(S 10)
A greatness in thy daughter’s soul resides
714 That can transform herself and all around
But must cross on stones of suffering to its goal.
(S 11)
Although designed like a nectar cup of heaven,
Of heavenly ether made she sought this air,
She too must share the human need of grief
719 And all her cause of joy transmute to pain.
(S 12)
The mind of mortal man is led by words,
His sight retires behind the walls of Thought
And looks out only through half-opened doors.
(S 13)
He cuts the boundless Truth into sky-strips
724 And every strip he takes for all the heavens.
(S 14)
He stares at infinite possibility
And gives to the plastic Vast the name of Chance;
He sees the long results of an all-wise Force
Planning a sequence of steps in endless Time
729 But in its links imagines a senseless chain
Or the dead hand of cold Necessity;
He answers not to the mystic Mother’s heart,
Misses the ardent heavings of her breast
And feels cold rigid limbs of lifeless Law.
(S 15)
734 The will of the Timeless working out in Time
In the free absolute steps of cosmic Truth
He thinks a dead machine or unconscious Fate.
(S 16)
A Magician’s formulas have made Matter’s laws
And while they last, all things by them are bound;
739 But the spirit’s consent is needed for each act
And Freedom walks in the same pace with Law.
(S 17)
All here can change if the Magician choose.
(S 18)
If human will could be made one with God’s,
If human thought could echo the thoughts of God,
744 Man might be all-knowing and omnipotent;
But now he walks in Nature’s doubtful ray.
(S 19)
Yet can the mind of man receive God’s light,
The force of man can be driven by God’s force,
Then is he a miracle doing miracles.
(S 20)
749 For only so can he be Nature’s king.
(S 21)
It is decreed and Satyavan must die;
The hour is fixed, chosen the fatal stroke.
(S 22)
What else shall be is written in her soul
But till the hour reveals the fateful script,
754 The writing waits illegible and mute.
(S 23)
Fate is Truth working out in Ignorance.
(S 24)
O King, thy fate is a transaction done
At every hour between Nature and thy soul
With God for its foreseeing arbiter.
(S 25)
759 Fate is a balance drawn in Destiny’s book.
(S 26)
Man can accept his fate, he can refuse.
(S 27)
Even if the One maintains the unseen decree
He writes thy refusal in thy credit page:
For doom is not a close, a mystic seal.
(S 28)
764 Arisen from the tragic crash of life,
Arisen from the body’s torture and death,
The spirit rises mightier by defeat;
Its godlike wings grow wider with each fall.
(S 29)
Its splendid failures sum to victory.
(S 30)
769 O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,
Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief,
Are not thy fate, — they touch thee awhile and pass;
Even death can cut not short thy spirit’s walk:
Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.
(S 31)
774 On the altar throwing thy thoughts, thy heart, thy works,
Thy fate is a long sacrifice to the gods
Till they have opened to thee thy secret self
And made thee one with the indwelling God.
(S 32)
O soul, intruder in Nature’s ignorance,
779 Armed traveller to the unseen supernal heights,
Thy spirit’s fate is a battle and ceaseless march
Against invisible opponent Powers,
A passage from Matter into timeless self.
Adventurer through blind unforeseeing Time,
784 A forced advance through a long line of lives,
It pushes its spearhead through the centuries.
(S 33)
Across the dust and mire of the earthly plain,
On many guarded lines and dangerous fronts,
In dire assaults, in wounded slow retreats,
789 Holding the ideal’s ringed and battered fort
Or fighting against odds in lonely posts,
Or camped in night around the bivouac’s fires
Awaiting the tardy trumpets of the dawn,
In hunger and in plenty and in pain,
794 Through peril and through triumph and through fall,
Through life’s green lanes and over her desert sands,
Up the bald moor, along the sunlit ridge,
In serried columns with a straggling rear
Led by its nomad vanguard’s signal fires,
799 Marches the army of the waylost god.
(S 34)
Then late the joy ineffable is felt,
Then he remembers his forgotten self;
He has refound the skies from which he fell.
(S 35)
At length his front’s indomitable line
804 Forces the last passes of the Ignorance:
Advancing beyond Nature’s last known bounds,
Reconnoitring the formidable unknown,
Beyond the landmarks of things visible,
It mounts through a miraculous upper air
809 Till climbing the mute summit of the world
He stands upon the splendour-peaks of God.
(S 36)
In vain thou mournst that Satyavan must die;
His death is a beginning of greater life,
Death is the spirit’s opportunity.
(S 37)
814 A vast intention has brought two souls close
And love and death conspire towards one great end.
(S 38)
For out of danger and pain heaven-bliss shall come,
Time’s unforeseen event, God’s secret plan.
(S 39)
This world was not built with random bricks of Chance,
819 A blind god is not destiny’s architect;
A conscious power has drawn the plan of life,
There is a meaning in each curve and line.
(S 40)
It is an architecture high and grand
By many named and nameless masons built
824 In which unseeing hands obey the Unseen,
And of its master-builders she is one.
(S 41)
“Queen, strive no more to change the secret will;
Time’s accidents are steps in its vast scheme.
(S 42)
Bring not thy brief and helpless human tears
829 Across the fathomless moments of a heart
That knows its single will and God’s as one:
It can embrace its hostile destiny;
It sits apart with grief and facing death,
Affronting adverse fate armed and alone.
(S 43)
834 In this enormous world standing apart
In the mightiness of her silent spirit’s will,
In the passion of her soul of sacrifice
Her lonely strength facing the universe,
Affronting fate, asks not man’s help nor god’s:
839 Sometimes one life is charged with earth’s destiny,
It cries not for succour from the time-bound powers.
(S 44)
Alone she is equal to her mighty task.
(S 45)
Intervene not in a strife too great for thee,
A struggle too deep for mortal thought to sound,
844 Its question to this Nature’s rigid bounds
When the soul fronts nude of garbs the infinite,
Its too vast theme of a lonely mortal will
Pacing the silence of eternity.
(S 46)
As a star, uncompanioned, moves in heaven
849 Unastonished by the immensities of Space,
Travelling infinity by its own light,
The great are strongest when they stand alone.
(S 47)
A God-given might of being is their force,
A ray from self’s solitude of light the guide;
854 The soul that can live alone with itself meets God;
Its lonely universe is their rendezvous.
(S 48)
A day may come when she must stand unhelped
On a dangerous brink of the world’s doom and hers,
Carrying the world’s future on her lonely breast,
859 Carrying the human hope in a heart left sole
To conquer or fail on a last desperate verge,
Alone with death and close to extinction’s edge.
(S 49)
Her single greatness in that last dire scene
Must cross alone a perilous bridge in Time
864 And reach an apex of world-destiny
Where all is won or all is lost for man.
(S 50)
In that tremendous silence lone and lost
Of a deciding hour in the world’s fate,
In her soul’s climbing beyond mortal time
869 When she stands sole with Death or sole with God
Apart upon a silent desperate brink,
Alone with her self and death and destiny
As on some verge between Time and Timelessness
When being must end or life rebuild its base,
874 Alone she must conquer or alone must fall.
(S 51)
No human aid can reach her in that hour,
No armoured god stand shining at her side.
(S 52)
Cry not to heaven, for she alone can save.
(S 53)
For this the silent Force came missioned down;
879 In her the conscious Will took human shape:
She only can save herself and save the world.
(S 54)
O queen, stand back from that stupendous scene,
Come not between her and her hour of Fate.
(S 55)
Her hour must come and none can intervene:
884 Think not to turn her from her heaven-sent task,
Strive not to save her from her own high will.
(S 56)
Thou hast no place in that tremendous strife;
Thy love and longing are not arbiters there;
Leave the world’s fate and her to God’s sole guard.
(S 57)
889 Even if he seems to leave her to her lone strength,
Even though all falters and falls and sees an end
And the heart fails and only are death and night,
God-given her strength can battle against doom
Even on a brink where Death alone seems close
894 And no human strength can hinder or can help.
(S 58)
Intrude not twixt her spirit and its force
But leave her to her mighty self and Fate.”