Savitri | a Legend and a Symbol




Savitri Canto Recordings

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Book Seven
The Book of Yoga

Canto Five

The Finding of the Soul

[Savitri B-07 C-05 Canto Name]


Play Section One
[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01]


Onward she passed seeking the soul's mystic cave.

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

At first she stepped into a night of God.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-02]

The light was quenched that helps the labouring world,

The power that struggles and stumbles in our life;

This inefficient mind gave up its thoughts,

The striving heart its unavailing hopes.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-03]

All knowledge failed and the Idea's forms

And Wisdom screened in awe her lowly head

Feeling a Truth too great for thought or speech,

Formless, ineffable, for ever the same.

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

An innocent and holy Ignorance

Adored like one who worships formless God

The unseen Light she could not claim nor own.

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

In a simple purity of emptiness

Her mind knelt down before the unknowable.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-06]

All was abolished save her naked self

And the prostrate yearning of her surrendered heart:

There was no strength in her, no pride of force;

The lofty burning of desire had sunk

Ashamed, a vanity of separate self,

The hope of spiritual greatness fled,

Salvation she asked not nor a heavenly crown:

Humility seemed now too proud a state.

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

Her self was nothing, God alone was all,

Yet God she knew not but only knew he was.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-08]

A sacred darkness brooded now within,

The world was a deep darkness great and nude.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-09]

This void held more than all the teeming worlds,

This blank felt more than all that Time has borne,

This dark knew dumbly, immensely the Unknown.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-10]

But all was formless, voiceless, infinite.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-11]

As might a shadow walk in a shadowy scene,

A small nought passing through a mightier Nought,

A night of person in a bare outline

Crossing a fathomless impersonal Night,

Silent she moved, empty and absolute.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-12]

In endless Time her soul reached a wide end,

The spaceless Vast became her spirit's place.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-13]

At last a change approached, the emptiness broke;

A wave rippled within, the world had stirred;

Once more her inner self became her space.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-14]

There was felt a blissful nearness to the goal;

Heaven leaned low to kiss the sacred hill,

The air trembled with passion and delight.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-15]

A rose of splendour on a tree of dreams,

The face of Dawn out of mooned twilight grew.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-16]

Day came, priest of a sacrifice of joy

Into the worshipping silence of her world;

He carried immortal lustre as his robe,

Trailed heaven like a purple scarf and wore

As his vermilion caste-mark a red sun.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-17]

As if an old remembered dream come true,

She recognised in her prophetic mind

The imperishable lustre of that sky,

The tremulous sweetness of that happy air

And, covered from mind's view and life's approach,

The mystic cavern in the sacred hill

And knew the dwelling of her secret soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-18]

As if in some Elysian occult depth,

Truth's last retreat from thought's profaning touch,

As if in a rock-temple's solitude hid,

God's refuge from an ignorant worshipping world,

It lay withdrawn even from life's inner sense,

Receding from the entangled heart's desire.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-19]

A marvellous brooding twilight met the eyes

And a holy stillness held that voiceless space.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-20]

An awful dimness wrapped the great rock-doors

Carved in the massive stone of Matter's trance.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-21]

Two golden serpents round the lintel curled,

Enveloping it with their pure and dreadful strength,

Looked out with wisdom's deep and luminous eyes.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-22]

An eagle covered it with wide conquering wings:

Flames of self-lost immobile reverie,

Doves crowded the grey musing cornices

Like sculptured postures of white-bosomed peace.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-23]

Across the threshold's sleep she entered in

And found herself amid great figures of gods

Conscious in stone and living without breath,

Watching with fixed regard the soul of man,

Executive figures of the cosmic self,

World-symbols of immutable potency.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-24]

On the walls covered with significant shapes

Looked at her the life-scene of man and beast

And the high meaning of the life of gods,

The power and necessity of these numberless worlds,

And faces of beings and stretches of world-space

Spoke the succinct and inexhaustible

Hieratic message of the climbing planes.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-25]

In their immensitude signing infinity

They were the extension of the self of God

And housed, impassively receiving all,

His figures and his small and mighty acts

And his passion and his birth and life and death

And his return to immortality.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-26]

To the abiding and eternal is their climb,

To the pure existence everywhere the same,

To the sheer consciousness and the absolute force

And the unimaginable and formless bliss,

To the mirth in Time and the timeless mystery

Of the triune being who is all and one

And yet is no one but himself apart.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-27]

There was no step of breathing men, no sound,

Only the living nearness of the soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-28]

Yet all the worlds and God himself were there,

For every symbol was a reality

And brought the presence which had given it life.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-29]

All this she saw and inly felt and knew

Not by some thought of mind but by the self.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-30]

A light not born of sun or moon or fire,

A light that dwelt within and saw within

Shedding an intimate visibility

Made secrecy more revealing than the word:

Our sight and sense are a fallible gaze and touch

And only the spirit's vision is wholly true.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-31]

As thus she passed in that mysterious place

Through room and room, through door and rock-hewn door,

She felt herself made one with all she saw.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-32]

A sealed identity within her woke;

She knew herself the Beloved of the Supreme:

These Gods and Goddesses were he and she:

The Mother was she of Beauty and Delight,

The Word in Brahma's vast creating clasp,

The World-Puissance on almighty Shiva's lap,

The Master and the Mother of all lives

Watching the worlds their twin regard had made,

And Krishna and Radha for ever entwined in bliss,

The Adorer and Adored self-lost and one.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-33]

In the last chamber on a golden seat

One sat whose shape no vision could define;

Only one felt the world's unattainable fount,

A Power of which she was a straying Force,

An invisible Beauty, goal of the world's desire,

A Sun of which all knowledge is a beam,

A Greatness without whom no life could be.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-34]

Thence all departed into silent self,

And all became formless and pure and bare.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-35]

Then through a tunnel dug in the last rock

She came out where there shone a deathless sun.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-36]

A house was there all made of flame and light

And crossing a wall of doorless living fire

There suddenly she met her secret soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-01 F-37]

Play Section Two
[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02]



A being stood immortal in transience,

Deathless dallying with momentary things,

In whose wide eyes of tranquil happiness

Which pity and sorrow could not abrogate

Infinity turned its gaze on finite shapes:

Observer of the silent steps of the hours,

Eternity upheld the minute's acts

And the passing scenes of the Everlasting's play.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-01]

In the mystery of its selecting will,

In the Divine Comedy a participant,

The Spirit's conscious representative,

God's delegate in our humanity,

Comrade of the universe, the Transcendent's ray,

She had come into the mortal body's room

To play at ball with Time and Circumstance.

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

A joy in the world her master movement here,

The passion of the game lighted her eyes:

A smile on her lips welcomed earth's bliss and grief,

A laugh was her return to pleasure and pain.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-03]

All things she saw as a masquerade of Truth

Disguised in the costumes of Ignorance,

Crossing the years to immortality;

All she could front with the strong spirit's peace.

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

But since she knows the toil of mind and life

As a mother feels and shares her children's lives,

She puts forth a small portion of herself,

A being no bigger than the thumb of man

Into a hidden region of the heart

To face the pang and to forget the bliss,

To share the suffering and endure earth's wounds

And labour mid the labour of the stars.

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

This in us laughs and weeps, suffers the stroke,

Exults in victory, struggles for the crown;

Identified with the mind and body and life,

It takes on itself their anguish and defeat,

Bleeds with Fate's whips and hangs upon the cross,

Yet is the unwounded and immortal self

Supporting the actor in the human scene.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-06]

Through this she sends us her glory and her powers,

Pushes to wisdom's heights, through misery's gulfs;

She gives us strength to do our daily task

And sympathy that partakes of others' grief

And the little strength we have to help our race,

We who must fill the role of the universe

Acting itself out in a slight human shape

And on our shoulders carry the struggling world.

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

This is in us the godhead small and marred;

In this human portion of divinity

She seats the greatness of the Soul in Time

To uplift from light to light, from power to power,

Till on a heavenly peak it stands, a king.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-08]

In body weak, in its heart an invincible might,

It climbs stumbling, held up by an unseen hand,

A toiling spirit in a mortal shape.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-09]

Here in this chamber of flame and light they met;

They looked upon each other, knew themselves,

The secret deity and its human part,

The calm immortal and the struggling soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-10]

Then with a magic transformation's speed

They rushed into each other and grew one.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-02 F-11]

Play Section Three
[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03]



Once more she was human upon earthly soil

In the muttering night amid the rain-swept woods

And the rude cottage where she sat in trance:

That subtle world withdrew deeply within

Behind the sun-veil of the inner sight.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-01]

But now the half-opened lotus bud of her heart

Had bloomed and stood disclosed to the earthly ray;

In an image shone revealed her secret soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-02]

There was no wall severing the soul and mind,

No mystic fence guarding from the claims of life.

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

In its deep lotus home her being sat

As if on concentration's marble seat,

Calling the mighty Mother of the worlds

To make this earthly tenement her house.

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

As in a flash from a supernal light,

A living image of the original Power,

A face, a form came down into her heart

And made of it its temple and pure abode.

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

But when its feet had touched the quivering bloom,

A mighty movement rocked the inner space

As if a world were shaken and found its soul:

Out of the Inconscient's soulless mindless night

A flaming Serpent rose released from sleep.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-06]

It rose billowing its coils and stood erect

And climbing mightily, stormily on its way

It touched her centres with its flaming mouth;

As if a fiery kiss had broken their sleep,

They bloomed and laughed surcharged with light and bliss.

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

Then at the crown it joined the Eternal's space.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-08]

In the flower of the head, in the flower of Matter's base,

In each divine stronghold and Nature-knot

It held together the mystic stream which joins

The viewless summits with the unseen depths,

The string of forts that make the frail defence

Safeguarding us against the enormous world,

Our lines of self-expression in its Vast.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-09]

An image sat of the original Power

Wearing the mighty Mother's form and face.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-10]

Armed, bearer of the weapon and the sign

Whose occult might no magic can imitate,

Manifold yet one she sat, a guardian force:

A saviour gesture stretched her lifted arm,

And symbol of some native cosmic strength,

A sacred beast lay prone below her feet,

A silent flame-eyed mass of living force.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-11]

All underwent a high celestial change:

Breaking the black Inconscient's blind mute wall,

Effacing the circles of the Ignorance,

Powers and divinities burst flaming forth;

Each part of the being trembling with delight

Lay overwhelmed with tides of happiness

And saw her hand in every circumstance

And felt her touch in every limb and cell.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-12]

In the country of the lotus of the head

Which thinking mind has made its busy space,

In the castle of the lotus twixt the brows

Whence it shoots the arrows of its sight and will,

In the passage of the lotus of the throat

Where speech must rise and the expressing mind

And the heart's impulse run towards word and act,

A glad uplift and a new working came.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-13]

The immortal's thoughts displaced our bounded view,

The immortal's thoughts earth's drab idea and sense;

All things now bore a deeper heavenlier sense.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-14]

A glad clear harmony marked their truth's outline,

Reset the balance and measures of the world.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-15]

Each shape showed its occult design, unveiled

God's meaning in it for which it was made

And the vivid splendour of his artist thought.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-16]

A channel of the mighty Mother's choice,

The immortal's will took into its calm control

Our blind or erring government of life;

A loose republic once of wants and needs,

Then bowed to the uncertain sovereign mind,

Life now obeyed to a diviner rule

And every act became an act of God.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-17]

In the kingdom of the lotus of the heart

Love chanting its pure hymeneal hymn

Made life and body mirrors of sacred joy

And all the emotions gave themselves to God.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-18]

In the navel lotus' broad imperial range

Its proud ambitions and its master lusts

Were tamed into instruments of a great calm sway

To do a work of God on earthly soil.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-19]

In the narrow nether centre's petty parts

Its childish game of daily dwarf desires

Was changed into a sweet and boisterous play,

A romp of little gods with life in Time.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-20]

In the deep place where once the Serpent slept,

There came a grip on Matter's giant powers

For large utilities in life's little space;

A firm ground was made for Heaven's descending might.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-21]

Behind all reigned her sovereign deathless soul:

Casting aside its veil of Ignorance,

Allied to gods and cosmic beings and powers

It built the harmony of its human state;

Surrendered into the great World-Mother's hands

Only she obeyed her sole supreme behest

In the enigma of the Inconscient's world.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-22]

A secret soul behind supporting all

Is master and witness of our ignorant life,

Admits the Person's look and Nature's role.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-23]

But once the hidden doors are flung apart

Then the veiled king steps out in Nature's front;

A Light comes down into the Ignorance,

Its heavy painful knot loosens its grasp:

The mind becomes a mastered instrument

And life a hue and figure of the soul.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-24]

All happily grows towards knowledge and towards bliss.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-25]

A divine Puissance then takes Nature's place

And pushes the movements of our body and mind;

Possessor of our passionate hopes and dreams,

The beloved despot of our thoughts and acts,

She streams into us with her unbound force,

Into mortal limbs the Immortal's rapture and power.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-26]

An inner law of beauty shapes our lives;

Our words become the natural speech of Truth,

Each thought is a ripple on a sea of Light.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-27]

Then sin and virtue leave the cosmic lists;

They struggle no more in our delivered hearts:

Our acts chime with God's simple natural good

Or serve the rule of a supernal Right.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-28]

All moods unlovely, evil and untrue

Forsake their stations in fierce disarray

And hide their shame in the subconscient's dusk.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-29]

Then lifts the mind a cry of victory:

O soul, my soul, we have created Heaven,

Within we have found the kingdom here of God,

His fortress built in a loud ignorant world.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-30]

Our life is entrenched between two rivers of Light,

We have turned space into a gulf of peace

And made the body a Capitol of bliss.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-31]

What more, what more, if more must still be done?

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-32]

In the slow process of the evolving spirit,

In the brief stade between a death and birth

A first perfection's stage is reached at last;

Out of the wood and stone of our nature's stuff

A temple is shaped where the high gods could live.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-33]

Even if the struggling world is left outside

One man's perfection still can save the world.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-34]

There is won a new proximity to the skies,

A first betrothal of the Earth to Heaven,

A deep concordat between Truth and Life:

A camp of God is pitched in human time.

[Savitri B-07 C-05 S-03 F-35]

Book Seven Canto Five End

The Finding of the Soul

[Savitri B-07 C-05 Canto End]