Savitri | a Legend and a Symbol




Savitri Canto Recordings

Reading Exercises





Book Seven
The Book of Yoga

Canto Four

The Triple Soul-Forces

[Savitri B-07 C-04 Canto Name]


Play Section One
[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01]


Here from a low and prone and listless ground

The passion of the first ascent began;

A moon-bright face in a sombre cloud of hair,

A Woman sat in a pale lustrous robe.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-01]

A rugged and ragged soil was her bare seat,

Beneath her feet a sharp and wounding stone.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-02]

A divine pity on the peaks of the world,

A spirit touched by the grief of all that lives,

She looked out far and saw from inner mind

This questionable world of outward things,

Of false appearances and plausible shapes,

This dubious cosmos stretched in the ignorant Void,

The pangs of earth, the toil and speed of the stars

And the difficult birth and dolorous end of life.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-03]

Accepting the universe as her body of woe,

The Mother of the seven sorrows bore

The seven stabs that pierced her bleeding heart:

The beauty of sadness lingered on her face,

Her eyes were dim with the ancient stain of tears.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-04]

Her heart was riven with the world's agony

And burdened with the sorrow and struggle in Time,

An anguished music trailed in her rapt voice.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-05]

Absorbed in a deep compassion's ecstasy,

Lifting the mild ray of her patient gaze,

In soft sweet training words slowly she spoke:

“O Savitri, I am thy secret soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-06]

To share the suffering of the world I came,

I draw my children's pangs into my breast.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-07]

I am the nurse of the dolour beneath the stars;

I am the soul of all who wailing writhe

Under the ruthless harrow of the Gods.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-08]

I am woman, nurse and slave and beaten beast;

I tend the hands that gave me cruel blows.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-09]

The hearts that spurned my love and zeal I serve;

I am the courted queen, the pampered doll,

I am the giver of the bowl of rice,

I am the worshipped Angel of the House.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-10]

I am in all that suffers and that cries.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-11]

Mine is the prayer that climbs in vain from earth,

I am traversed by my creatures' agonies,

I am the spirit in a world of pain.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-12]

The scream of tortured flesh and tortured hearts

Fall'n back on heart and flesh unheard by Heaven

Has rent with helpless grief and wrath my soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-13]

I have seen the peasant burning in his hut,

I have seen the slashed corpse of the slaughtered child,

Heard woman's cry ravished and stripped and haled

Amid the bayings of the hell-hound mob,

I have looked on, I had no power to save.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-14]

I have brought no arm of strength to aid or slay;

God gave me love, he gave me not his force.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-15]

I have shared the toil of the yoked animal drudge

Pushed by the goad, encouraged by the whip;

I have shared the fear-filled life of bird and beast,

Its long hunt for the day's precarious food,

Its covert slink and crouch and hungry prowl,

Its pain and terror seized by beak and claw.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-16]

I have shared the daily life of common men,

Its petty pleasures and its petty cares,

Its press of troubles and haggard horde of ills,

Earth's trail of sorrow hopeless of relief,

The unwanted tedious labour without joy,

And the burden of misery and the strokes of fate.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-17]

I have been pity, leaning over pain

And the tender smile that heals the wounded heart

And sympathy making life less hard to bear.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-18]

Man has felt near my unseen face and hands;

I have become the sufferer and his moan,

I have lain down with the mangled and the slain,

I have lived with the prisoner in his dungeon cell.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-19]

Heavy on my shoulders weighs the yoke of Time:

Nothing refusing of creation's load,

I have borne all and know I still must bear:

Perhaps when the world sinks into a last sleep,

I too may sleep in dumb eternal peace.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-20]

I have borne the calm indifference of Heaven,

Watched Nature's cruelty to suffering things

While God passed silent by nor turned to help.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-21]

Yet have I cried not out against his will,

Yet have I not accused his cosmic Law.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-22]

Only to change this great hard world of pain

A patient prayer has risen from my breast;

A pallid resignation lights my brow,

Within me a blind faith and mercy dwell;

I carry the fire that never can be quenched

And the compassion that supports the suns.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-23]

I am the hope that looks towards my God,

My God who never came to me till now;

His voice I hear that ever says ‘I come’:

I know that one day he shall come at last.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-24]

She ceased, and like an echo from below

Answering her pathos of divine complaint

A voice of wrath took up the dire refrain,

A growl of thunder or roar of angry beast,

The beast that crouching growls within man's depths,—

Voice of a tortured Titan once a God.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-25]

“I am the Man of Sorrows, I am he

Who is nailed on the wide cross of the universe;

To enjoy my agony God built the earth,

My passion he has made his drama's theme.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-26]

He has sent me naked into his bitter world

And beaten me with his rods of grief and pain

That I might cry and grovel at his feet

And offer him worship with my blood and tears.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-27]

I am Prometheus under the vulture's beak,

Man the discoverer of the undying fire,

In the flame he kindled burning like a moth;

I am the seeker who can never find,

I am the fighter who can never win,

I am the runner who never touched his goal:

Hell tortures me with the edges of my thought,

Heaven tortures me with the splendour of my dreams.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-28]

What profit have I of my animal birth;

What profit have I of my human soul?

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-29]

I toil like the animal, like the animal die.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-30]

I am man the rebel, man the helpless serf;

Fate and my fellows cheat me of my wage.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-31]

I loosen with my blood my servitude's seal

And shake from my aching neck the oppressor's knees

Only to seat new tyrants on my back:

My teachers lesson me in slavery,

I am shown God's stamp and my own signature

Upon the sorry contract of my fate.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-32]

I have loved, but none has loved me since my birth;

My fruit of works is given to other hands.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-33]

All that is left me is my evil thoughts,

My sordid quarrel against God and man,

Envy of the riches that I cannot share,

Hate of a happiness that is not mine.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-34]

I know my fate will ever be the same,

It is my nature's work that cannot change:

I have loved for mine, not for the beloved's sake,

I have lived for myself and not for others' lives.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-35]

Each in himself is sole by Nature's law.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-36]

So God has made his harsh and dreadful world,

So has he built the petty heart of man.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-37]

Only by force and ruse can man survive:

For pity is a weakness in his breast,

His goodness is a laxity in the nerves,

His kindness an investment for return,

His altruism is ego's other face:

He serves the world that him the world may serve.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-38]

If once the Titan's strength could wake in me,

If Enceladus from Etna could arise,

I then would reign the master of the world

And like a god enjoy man's bliss and pain.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-39]

But God has taken from me the ancient Force.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-40]

There is a dull consent in my sluggish heart,

A fierce satisfaction with my special pangs

As if they made me taller than my kind;

Only by suffering can I excel.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-41]

I am the victim of titanic ills,

I am the doer of demoniac deeds;

I was made for evil, evil is my lot;

Evil I must be and by evil live;

Nought other can I do but be myself;

What Nature made me, that I must remain.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-42]

I suffer and toil and weep; I moan and hate.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-43]

And Savitri heard the voice, the echo heard

And turning to her being of pity spoke:

“Madonna of suffering, Mother of grief divine,

Thou art a portion of my soul put forth

To bear the unbearable sorrow of the world.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-44]

Because thou art, men yield not to their doom,

But ask for happiness and strive with fate;

Because thou art, the wretched still can hope.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-45]

But thine is the power to solace, not to save.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-46]

One day I will return, a bringer of strength,

And make thee drink from the Eternal's cup;

His streams of force shall triumph in thy limbs

And Wisdom's calm control thy passionate heart.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-47]

Thy love shall be the bond of humankind,

Compassion the bright key of Nature's acts:

Misery shall pass abolished from the earth;

The world shall be freed from the anger of the Beast,

From the cruelty of the Titan and his pain.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-48]

There shall be peace and joy for ever more.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-01 F-49]

Play Section Two
[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02]



On passed she in her spirit's upward route.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-01]

An ardent grandeur climbed mid ferns and rocks,

A quiet wind flattered the heart to warmth,

A finer perfume breathed from slender trees.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-02]

All beautiful grew, subtle and high and strange.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-03]

Here on a boulder carved like a huge throne

A Woman sat in gold and purple sheen,

Armed with the trident and the thunderbolt,

Her feet upon a couchant lion's back.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-04]

A formidable smile curved round her lips,

Heaven-fire laughed in the corners of her eyes;

Her body a mass of courage and heavenly strength,

She menaced the triumph of the nether gods.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-05]

A halo of lightnings flamed around her head

And sovereignty, a great cestus, zoned her robe

And majesty and victory sat with her

Guarding in the wide cosmic battlefield

Against the flat equality of Death

And the all-levelling insurgent Night

The hierarchy of the ordered Powers,

The high changeless values, the peaked eminences,

The privileged aristocracy of Truth,

And in the governing Ideal's sun

The triumvirate of wisdom, love and bliss

And the sole autocracy of the absolute Light.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-06]

August on her seat in the inner world of Mind,

The Mother of Might looked down on passing things,

Listened to the advancing tread of Time,

Saw the irresistible wheeling of the suns

And heard the thunder of the march of God.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-07]

Amid the swaying Forces in their strife

Sovereign was her word of luminous command,

Her speech like a war-cry rang or a pilgrim chant.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-08]

A charm restoring hope in failing hearts

Aspired the harmony of her puissant voice:

“O Savitri, I am thy secret soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-09]

I have come down into the human world

And the movement watched by an unsleeping Eye

And the dark contrariety of earth's fate

And the battle of the bright and sombre Powers.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-10]

I stand upon earth's paths of danger and grief

And help the unfortunate and save the doomed.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-11]

To the strong I bring the guerdon of their strength,

To the weak I bring the armour of my force;

To men who long I carry their coveted joy:

I am fortune justifying the great and wise

By the sanction of the plaudits of the crowd,

Then trampling them with the armed heel of fate.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-12]

My ear is leaned to the cry of the oppressed,

I topple down the thrones of tyrant kings:

A cry comes from proscribed and hunted lives

Appealing to me against a pitiless world,

A voice of the forsaken and desolate

And the lone prisoner in his dungeon cell.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-13]

Men hail in my coming the Almighty's force

Or praise with thankful tears his saviour Grace.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-14]

I smite the Titan who bestrides the world

And slay the ogre in his blood-stained den.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-15]

I am Durga, goddess of the proud and strong,

And Lakshmi, queen of the fair and fortunate;

I wear the face of Kali when I kill,

I trample the corpses of the demon hordes.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-16]

I am charged by God to do his mighty work,

Uncaring I serve his will who sent me forth,

Reckless of peril and earthly consequence.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-17]

I reason not of virtue and of sin

But do the deed he has put into my heart.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-18]

I fear not for the angry frown of Heaven,

I flinch not from the red assault of Hell;

I crush the opposition of the gods,

Tread down a million goblin obstacles.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-19]

I guide man to the path of the Divine

And guard him from the red Wolf and the Snake.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-20]

I set in his mortal hand my heavenly sword

And put on him the breastplate of the gods.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-21]

I break the ignorant pride of human mind

And lead the thought to the wideness of the Truth;

I rend man's narrow and successful life

And force his sorrowful eyes to gaze at the sun

That he may die to earth and live in his soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-22]

I know the goal, I know the secret route;

I have studied the map of the invisible worlds;

I am the battle's head, the journey's star.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-23]

But the great obstinate world resists my Word,

And the crookedness and evil in man's heart

Is stronger than Reason, profounder than the Pit,

And the malignancy of hostile Powers

Puts craftily back the clock of destiny

And mightier seems than the eternal Will.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-24]

The cosmic evil is too deep to unroot,

The cosmic suffering is too vast to heal.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-25]

A few I guide who pass me towards the Light;

A few I save, the mass falls back unsaved;

A few I help, the many strive and fail.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-26]

But my heart I have hardened and I do my work:

Slowly the light grows greater in the East,

Slowly the world progresses on God's road.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-27]

His seal is on my task, it cannot fail:

I shall hear the silver swing of heaven's gates

When God comes out to meet the soul of the world.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-28]

She spoke and from the lower human world

An answer, a warped echo met her speech;

The voice came through the spaces of the mind

Of the dwarf-Titan, the deformed chained god

Who strives to master his nature's rebel stuff

And make the universe his instrument.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-29]

The Ego of this great world of desire

Claimed earth and the wide heavens for the use

Of man, head of the life it shapes on earth,

Its representative and conscious soul,

And symbol of evolving light and force

And vessel of the godhead that must be.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-30]

A thinking animal, Nature's struggling lord,

Has made of her his nurse and tool and slave

And pays to her as wage and emolument

Inescapably by a deep law in things

His heart's grief and his body's death and pain:

His pains are her means to grow, to see and feel;

His death assists her immortality.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-31]

A tool and slave of his own slave and tool,

He praises his free will and his master mind

And is pushed by her upon her chosen paths;

Possessor he is possessed and, ruler, ruled,

Her conscious automaton, her desire's dupe.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-32]

His soul is her guest, a sovereign mute, inert,

His body her robot, his life her way to live,

His conscious mind her strong revolted serf.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-33]

The voice rose up and smote some inner sun.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-34]

“I am the heir of the forces of the earth,

Slowly I make good my right to my estate;

A growing godhead in her divinised mud,

I climb, a claimant to the throne of heaven.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-35]

The last-born of the earth I stand the first;

Her slow millenniums waited for my birth.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-36]

Although I live in Time besieged by Death,

Precarious owner of my body and soul

Housed on a little speck amid the stars,

For me and my use the universe was made.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-37]

Immortal spirit in the perishing clay,

I am God still unevolved in human form;

Even if he is not, he becomes in me.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-38]

The sun and moon are lights upon my path;

Air was invented for my lungs to breathe,

Conditioned as a wide and wall-less space

For my winged chariot's wheels to cleave a road,

The sea was made for me to swim and sail

And bear my golden commerce on its back:

It laughs cloven by my pleasure's gliding keel,

I laugh at its black stare of fate and death.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-39]

The earth is my floor, the sky my living's roof.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-40]

All was prepared through many a silent age,

God made experiments with animal shapes,

Then only when all was ready I was born.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-41]

I was born weak and small and ignorant,

A helpless creature in a difficult world

Travelling through my brief years with death at my side;

I have grown greater than Nature, wiser than God.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-42]

I have made real what she never dreamed,

I have seized her powers and harnessed for my work,

I have shaped her metals and new metals made;

I will make glass and raiment out of milk,

Make iron velvet, water unbreakable stone,

Like God in his astuce of artist skill,

Mould from one primal plasm protean forms,

In single Nature multitudinous lives,

All that imagination can conceive

In mind intangible, remould anew

In Matter's plastic solid and concrete.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-43]

No magic can surpass my magic's skill.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-44]

There is no miracle I shall not achieve.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-45]

What God imperfect left, I will complete,

Out of a tangled mind and half-made soul

His sin and error I will eliminate;

What he invented not, I shall invent:

He was the first creator, I am the last.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-46]

I have found the atoms from which he built the worlds:

The first tremendous cosmic energy

Missioned shall leap to slay my enemy kin,

Expunge a nation or abolish a race,

Death's silence leave where there was laughter and joy.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-47]

Or the fissured invisible shall spend God's force

To extend my comforts and expand my wealth,

To speed my car which now the lightnings drive

And turn the engines of my miracles.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-48]

I will take his means of sorcery from his hands

And do with them greater wonders than his best.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-49]

Yet through it all I have kept my balanced thought;

I have studied my being, I have examined the world,

I have grown a master of the arts of life.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-50]

I have tamed the wild beast, trained to be my friend;

He guards my house, looks up waiting my will.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-51]

I have taught my kind to serve and to obey.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-52]

I have used the mystery of the cosmic waves

To see far distance and to hear far words;

I have conquered Space and knitted close all earth.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-53]

Soon I shall know the secrets of the Mind;

I play with knowledge and with ignorance

And sin and virtue my inventions are

I can transcend or sovereignly use.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-54]

I shall know mystic truths, seize occult powers.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-55]

I shall slay my enemies with a look or thought,

I shall sense the unspoken feelings of all hearts

And see and hear the hidden thoughts of men.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-56]

When earth is mastered, I shall conquer heaven;

The gods shall be my aides or menial folk,

No wish I harbour unfulfilled shall die:

Omnipotence and omniscience shall be mine.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-57]

And Savitri heard the voice, the warped echo heard

And turning to her being of power she spoke:

“Madonna of might, Mother of works and force,

Thou art a portion of my soul put forth

To help mankind and help the travail of Time.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-58]

Because thou art in him, man hopes and dares;

Because thou art, men's souls can climb the heavens

And walk like gods in the presence of the Supreme.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-59]

But without wisdom power is like a wind,

It can breathe upon the heights and kiss the sky,

It cannot build the extreme eternal things.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-60]

Thou hast given men strength, wisdom thou couldst not give.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-61]

One day I will return, a bringer of light;

Then will I give to thee the mirror of God;

Thou shalt see self and world as by him they are seen

Reflected in the bright pool of thy soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-62]

Thy wisdom shall be vast as vast thy power.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-63]

Then hate shall dwell no more in human hearts,

And fear and weakness shall desert men's lives,

The cry of the ego shall be hushed within,

Its lion roar that claims the world as food,

All shall be might and bliss and happy force.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-02 F-64]

Play Section Three
[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03]


Ascending still her spirit's upward route

She came into a high and happy space,

A wide tower of vision whence all could be seen

And all was centred in a single view

As when by distance separate scenes grow one

And a harmony is made of hues at war.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-01]

The wind was still and fragrance packed the air.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-02]

There was a carol of birds and murmur of bees,

And all that is common and natural and sweet,

Yet intimately divine to heart and soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-03]

A nearness thrilled of the spirit to its source

And deepest things seemed obvious, close and true.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-04]

Here, living centre of that vision of peace,

A Woman sat in clear and crystal light:

Heaven had unveiled its lustre in her eyes,

Her feet were moonbeams, her face was a bright sun,

Her smile could persuade a dead lacerated heart

To live again and feel the hands of calm.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-05]

A low music heard became her floating voice:

“O Savitri, I am thy secret soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-06]

I have come down to the wounded desolate earth

To heal her pangs and lull her heart to rest

And lay her head upon the Mother's lap

That she may dream of God and know his peace

And draw the harmony of higher spheres

Into the rhythm of earth's rude troubled days.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-07]

I show to her the figures of bright gods

And bring strength and solace to her struggling life;

High things that now are only words and forms

I reveal to her in the body of their power.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-08]

I am peace that steals into man's war-worn breast,

Amid the reign of Hell his acts create

A hostel where Heaven's messengers can lodge;

I am charity with the kindly hands that bless,

I am silence mid the noisy tramp of life;

I am Knowledge poring on her cosmic map.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-09]

In the anomalies of the human heart

Where Good and Evil are close bedfellows

And Light is by Darkness dogged at every step,

Where his largest knowledge is an ignorance,

I am the Power that labours towards the best

And works for God and looks up towards the heights.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-10]

I make even sin and error stepping-stones

And all experience a long march towards Light.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-11]

Out of the Inconscient I build consciousness,

And lead through death to reach immortal Life.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-12]

Many are God's forms by which he grows in man;

They stamp his thoughts and deeds with divinity,

Uplift the stature of the human clay

Or slowly transmute it into heaven's gold.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-13]

He is the Good for which men fight and die,

He is the war of Right with Titan wrong;

He is Freedom rising deathless from her pyre;

He is Valour guarding still the desperate pass

Or lone and erect on the shattered barricade

Or a sentinel in the dangerous echoing Night.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-14]

He is the crown of the martyr burned in flame

And the glad resignation of the saint

And courage indifferent to the wounds of Time

And the hero's might wrestling with death and fate.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-15]

He is Wisdom incarnate on a glorious throne

And the calm autocracy of the sage's rule.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-16]

He is the high and solitary Thought

Aloof above the ignorant multitude:

He is the prophet's voice, the sight of the seer.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-17]

He is Beauty, nectar of the passionate soul,

He is the Truth by which the spirit lives.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-18]

He is the riches of the spiritual Vast

Poured out in healing streams on indigent Life;

He is Eternity lured from hour to hour,

He is infinity in a little space:

He is immortality in the arms of death.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-19]

These powers I am and at my call they come.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-20]

Thus slowly I lift man's soul nearer the Light.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-21]

But human mind clings to its ignorance

And to its littleness the human heart

And to its right to grief the earthly life.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-22]

Only when Eternity takes Time by the hand,

Only when infinity weds the finite's thought,

Can man be free from himself and live with God.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-23]

I bring meanwhile the gods upon the earth;

I bring back hope to the despairing heart;

I give peace to the humble and the great,

And shed my grace on the foolish and the wise.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-24]

I shall save earth, if earth consents to be saved.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-25]

Then Love shall at last unwounded tread earth's soil;

Man's mind shall admit the sovereignty of Truth

And body bear the immense descent of God.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-26]

She spoke and from the ignorant nether plane

A cry, a warped echo naked and shuddering came.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-27]

A voice of the sense-shackled human mind

Carried its proud complaint of godlike power

Hedged by the limits of a mortal's thoughts,

Bound in the chains of earthly ignorance.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-28]

Imprisoned in his body and his brain

The mortal cannot see God's mighty whole,

Or share in his vast and deep identity

Who stands unguessed within our ignorant hearts

And knows all things because he is one with all.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-29]

Man only sees the cosmic surfaces.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-30]

Then wondering what may lie hid from the sense

A little way he delves to depths below:

But soon he stops, he cannot reach life's core

Or commune with the throbbing heart of things.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-31]

He sees the naked body of the Truth

Though often baffled by her endless garbs,

But cannot look upon her soul within.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-32]

Then, furious for a knowledge absolute,

He tears all details out and stabs and digs:

Only the shape's contents he holds for use;

The spirit escapes or dies beneath his knife.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-33]

He sees as a blank stretch, a giant waste

The crowding riches of infinity.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-34]

The finite he has made his central field,

Its plan dissects, masters its processes,

That which moves all is hidden from his gaze,

His poring eyes miss the unseen behind.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-35]

He has the blind man's subtle unerring touch

Or the slow traveller's sight of distant scenes;

The soul's revealing contacts are not his.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-36]

Yet is he visited by intuitive light

And inspiration comes from the Unknown;

But only reason and sense he feels as sure,

They only are his trusted witnesses.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-37]

Thus is he baulked, his splendid effort vain;

His knowledge scans bright pebbles on the shore

Of the huge ocean of his ignorance.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-38]

Yet grandiose were the accents of that cry,

A cosmic pathos trembled in its tone.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-39]

“I am the mind of God's great ignorant world

Ascending to knowledge by the steps he made;

I am the all-discovering Thought of man.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-40]

I am a god fettered by Matter and sense,

An animal prisoned in a fence of thorns,

A beast of labour asking for his food,

A smith tied to his anvil and his forge.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-41]

Yet have I loosened the cord, enlarged my room.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-42]

I have mapped the heavens and analysed the stars,

Described their orbits through the grooves of Space,

Measured the miles that separate the suns,

Computed their longevity in Time.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-43]

I have delved into earth's bowels and torn out

The riches guarded by her dull brown soil.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-44]

I have classed the changes of her stony crust

And of her biography discovered the dates,

Rescued the pages of all Nature's plan.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-45]

The tree of evolution I have sketched,

Each branch and twig and leaf in its own place,

In the embryo tracked the history of forms,

And the genealogy framed of all that lives.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-46]

I have detected plasm and cell and gene,

The protozoa traced, man's ancestors,

The humble originals from whom he rose;

I know how he was born and how he dies:

Only what end he serves I know not yet

Or if there is aim at all or any end

Or push of rich creative purposeful joy

In the wide works of the terrestrial power.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-47]

I have caught her intricate processes, none is left:

Her huge machinery is in my hands;

I have seized the cosmic energies for my use.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-48]

I have pored on her infinitesimal elements

And her invisible atoms have unmasked:

All Matter is a book I have perused;

Only some pages now are left to read.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-49]

I have seen the ways of life, the paths of mind;

I have studied the methods of the ant and ape

And the behaviour learned of man and worm.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-50]

If God is at work, his secrets I have found.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-51]

But still the Cause of things is left in doubt,

Their truth flees from pursuit into a void;

When all has been explained nothing is known.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-52]

What chose the process, whence the Power sprang

I know not and perhaps shall never know.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-53]

A mystery is this mighty Nature's birth;

A mystery is the elusive stream of mind,

A mystery the protean freak of life.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-54]

What I have learned, Chance leaps to contradict;

What I have built is seized and torn by Fate.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-55]

I can foresee the acts of Matter's force,

But not the march of the destiny of man:

He is driven upon paths he did not choose,

He falls trampled underneath the rolling wheels.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-56]

My great philosophies are a reasoned guess;

The mystic heavens that claim the human soul

Are a charlatanism of the imagining brain:

All is a speculation or a dream.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-57]

In the end the world itself becomes a doubt:

The infinitesimal's jest mocks mass and shape,

A laugh peals from the infinite's finite mask.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-58]

Perhaps the world is an error of our sight,

A trick repeated in each flash of sense,

An unreal mind hallucinates the soul

With a stress-vision of false reality,

Or a dance of Maya veils the void Unborn.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-59]

Even if a greater consciousness I could reach,

What profit is it then for Thought to win

A Real which is for ever ineffable

Or hunt to its lair the bodiless Self or make

The Unknowable the target of the soul?

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-60]

Nay, let me work within my mortal bounds,

Not live beyond life nor think beyond the mind;

Our smallness saves us from the Infinite.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-61]

In a frozen grandeur lone and desolate

Call me not to die the great eternal death,

Left naked of my own humanity

In the chill vast of the spirit's boundlessness.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-62]

Each creature by its nature's limits lives,

And how can one evade his native fate?

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-63]

Human I am, human let me remain

Till in the Inconscient I fall dumb and sleep.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-64]

A high insanity, a chimaera is this,

To think that God lives hidden in the clay

And that eternal Truth can dwell in Time,

And call to her to save our self and world.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-65]

How can man grow immortal and divine

Transmuting the very stuff of which he is made?

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-66]

This wizard gods may dream, not thinking men.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-67]

And Savitri heard the voice, the warped answer heard

And turning to her being of light she spoke:

“Madonna of light, Mother of joy and peace,

Thou art a portion of my self put forth

To raise the spirit to its forgotten heights

And wake the soul by touches of the heavens.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-68]

Because thou art, the soul draws near to God;

Because thou art, love grows in spite of hate

And knowledge walks unslain in the pit of Night.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-69]

But not by showering heaven's golden rain

Upon the intellect's hard and rocky soil

Can the tree of Paradise flower on earthly ground

And the Bird of Paradise sit upon life's boughs

And the winds of Paradise visit mortal air.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-70]

Even if thou rain down intuition's rays,

The mind of man will think it earth's own gleam,

His spirit by spiritual ego sink,

Or his soul dream shut in sainthood's brilliant cell

Where only a bright shadow of God can come.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-71]

His hunger for the eternal thou must nurse

And fill his yearning heart with heaven's fire

And bring God down into his body and life.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-72]

One day I will return, His hand in mine,

And thou shalt see the face of the Absolute.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-73]

Then shall the holy marriage be achieved,

Then shall the divine family be born.

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-74]

There shall be light and peace in all the worlds.”

[Savitri B-07 C-04 S-03 F-75]

Book Seven Canto Four End

The Triple Soul-Forces

[Savitri B-07 C-04 Canto End]