Works of Sri Aurobindo

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                Book 1    Book II    Book III    Book IV     Book V    Book VI    Book VII    Book VIII     Book IX    Book X    Book XI

Book One. The Book of Beginnings

MusicBook One. Canto One:The Symbol Dawn

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001   It was the hour before the Gods awake.
002   Across the path of the divine Event
003   The huge foreboding mind of Night, alone
004   In her unlit temple of eternity,
005   Lay stretched immobile upon Silence’ marge.
006   Almost one felt, opaque, impenetrable,
007   In the sombre symbol of her eyeless muse
008   The abysm of the unbodied Infinite;
009   A fathomless zero occupied the world.

023   Athwart the vain enormous trance of Space,
024   Its formless stupor without mind or life,
025   A shadow spinning through a soulless Void,
026   Thrown back once more into unthinking dreams,
027   Earth wheeled abandoned in the hollow gulfs
028   Forgetful of her spirit and her fate.

030   Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred;
031   A nameless movement, an unthought Idea
032   Insistent, dissatisfied, without an aim,
033   Something that wished but knew not how to be,
034   Teased the Inconscient to wake Ignorance.

048   An unshaped consciousness desired light
049   And a blank prescience yearned towards distant change.
050   As if a childlike finger laid on a cheek
051   Reminded of the endless need in things
052   The heedless Mother of the universe,
053   An infant longing clutched the sombre Vast.

058   Arrived from the other side of boundlessness
059   An eye of deity peered through the dumb deeps;
060   A scout in a reconnaissance from the sun,
061   It seemed amid a heavy cosmic rest,
062   The torpor of a sick and weary world,
063   To seek for a spirit sole and desolate
064   Too fallen to recollect forgotten bliss.

096   The darkness failed and slipped like a falling cloak
097   From the reclining body of a god.

102   A glamour from unreached transcendences
103   Iridescent with the glory of the Unseen,
104   A message from the unknown immortal Light
105   Ablaze upon creation’s quivering edge,
106   Dawn built her aura of magnificent hues
107   And buried its seed of grandeur in the hours.

130   Earth felt the Imperishable’s passage close:
131   The waking ear of Nature heard her steps
132   And wideness turned to her its limitless eye,
133   And, scattered on sealed depths, her luminous smile
134   Kindled to fire the silence of the worlds.

140   Here where our half-lit ignorance skirts the gulfs
141   On the dumb bosom of the ambiguous earth,
142   Here where one knows not even the step in front
143   And Truth has her throne on the shadowy back of doubt,
144   On this anguished and precarious field of toil
145   Outspread beneath some large indifferent gaze,
146   Impartial witness of our joy and bale,
147   Our prostrate soil bore the awakening ray.

186   And Savitri too awoke among these tribes
187   That hastened to join the brilliant Summoner’s chant
. . .
205   A narrow movement on Time’s deep abysm,
206   Life’s fragile littleness denied the power,
207   The proud and conscious wideness and the bliss
208   She had brought with her into the human form,
209   The calm delight that weds one soul to all,
210   The key to the flaming doors of ecstasy.

247   Thus trapped in the gin of earthly destinies,
248   Awaiting her ordeal’s hour abode,
249   Outcast from her inborn felicity,
250   Accepting life’s obscure terrestrial robe,
251   Hiding herself even from those she loved,
252   The godhead greater by a human fate.

282   Against the evil at life’s afflicted roots,
283   Her own calamity its private sign,
284   Of her pangs she made a mystic poignant sword.

307   At the summons of her body’s voiceless call
308   Her strong far-winging spirit travelled back,
309   Back to the yoke of ignorance and fate,
310   Back to the labour and stress of mortal days,
311   Lighting a pathway through strange symbol dreams
312   Across the ebbing of the seas of sleep.

341   Immobile in herself, she gathered force.
342   This was the day when Satyavan must die.
MusicBook One. Canto Two:The Issue

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025   An absolute supernatural darkness falls
026   On man sometimes when he draws near to God:
027   An hour arrives when fail all Nature’s means;
028   Forced out from the protecting Ignorance
029   And flung back on his naked primal need,
030   He at length must cast from him his surface soul
031   And be the ungarbed entity within:
032   That hour had fallen now on Savitri.

112   And the mighty wildness of the primitive earth
113   And the brooding multitude of patient trees
114   And the musing sapphire leisure of the sky
115   And the solemn weight of the slowly-passing months
116   Had left in her deep room for thought and God.
117   There was her drama’s radiant prologue lived.

124   Here with the suddenness divine advents have,
125   Repeating the marvel of the first descent,
126   Changing to rapture the dull earthly round,
127   Love came to her hiding the shadow, Death.
128   Well might he find in her his perfect shrine.

142   As in a mystic and dynamic dance
143   A priestess of immaculate ecstasies
144   Inspired and ruled from Truth’s revealing vault
145   Moves in some prophet cavern of the gods,
146   A heart of silence in the hands of joy
147   Inhabited with rich creative beats
148   A body like a parable of dawn
149   That seemed a niche for veiled divinity
150   Or golden temple-door to things beyond.

161   As might a soul fly like a hunted bird,
162   Escaping with tired wings from a world of storms,
163   And a quiet reach like a remembered breast,
164   In a haven of safety and splendid soft repose
165   One could drink life back in streams of honey-fire,
166   Recover the lost habit of happiness,
167   Feel her bright nature’s glorious ambience,
168   And preen joy in her warmth and colour’s rule.

246   A creature born to bend beneath the yoke,
247   A chattel and a plaything of Time’s lords,
248   Or one more pawn who comes destined to be pushed
249   One slow move forward on a measureless board
250   In the chess-play of the earth-soul with Doom,-
251   Such is the human figure drawn by Time.

252   A conscious frame was here, a self-born Force.

265   A grey tribunal of the Ignorance,
266   An Inquisition of the priests of Night
267   In judgment sit on the adventurer soul,
268   And the dual tables and the Karmic norm
269   Restrain the Titan in us and the God:
269   Pain with its lash, joy with its silver bribe
270   Guard the Wheel’s circling immobility.

274   Death stays the journeying discoverer, Life.

327   A magic leverage suddenly is caught
328   That moves the veiled Ineffable’s timeless will:
329   A prayer, a master act, a king idea
330   Can link man’s strength to a transcendent Force.

364   A flaming warrior from the eternal peaks
365   Empowered to force the door denied and closed
366   Smote from Death’s visage its dumb absolute
367   And burst the bounds of consciousness and Time.
MusicBook One. Canto Three:The Yoga of the King:
The Yoga of the Soul’s Release

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001 A world’s desire compelled her mortal birth.
002   One in the front of the immemorial quest,
. . .
007   A thinker and toiler in the ideal’s air,
008   Brought down to earth’s dumb need her radiant power.

220   Lifting the heavy curtain of the flesh
221   He stood upon a threshold serpent-watched,
222   And peered into gleaming endless corridors,
223   Silent and listening in the silent heart
224   For the coming of the new and the unknown.
225   He gazed across the empty stillnesses
226   And heard the footsteps of the undreamed Idea
227   In the far avenues of the Beyond.

359   There knowing herself by her own termless self,
360   Wisdom supernal, wordless, absolute
361   Sat uncompanioned in the eternal Calm,
362   All-seeing, motionless, sovereign and alone.

451   An old pull of subconscious cords renews;
452   It draws the unwilling spirit from the heights,
453   Or a dull gravitation drags us down
454   To the blind driven inertia of our base.
455   This too the supreme Diplomat can use,
456   He makes our fall a means for greater rise.

481   Always the power poured back like sudden rain,
482   Or slowly in his breast a presence grew;
483   It clambered back to some remembered height
484   Or soared above the peak from which it fell.
485   Each time he rose there was a larger poise,
486   A dwelling on a higher spirit plane;
487   The Light remained in him a longer space.

534   Already in him was seen that task of Power:
535   Life made its home on the high tops of self;
536   His soul, mind, heart became a single sun;
537   Only life’s lower reaches remained dim.

553   Thence stooped the eagles of Omniscience.
554   A dense veil was rent, a mighty whisper heard;
. . .
558   The voices that an inner listening hears
559   Conveyed to him their prophet utterances,
560   And flame-wrapped outbursts of the immortal Word
561   And flashes of an occult revealing Light
562   Approached him from the unreachable Secrecy.

575   Oft inspiration with her lightning feet,
576   A sudden messenger from the all-seeing tops,
577   Traversed the soundless corridors of his mind
578   Bringing her rhythmic sense of hidden things.
. . .
596   All-vision gathered into a single ray,
597   As when the eyes stare at an invisible point
598   Till through the intensity of one luminous spot
599   An apocalypse of a world of images
600   Enters into the kingdom of the seer.

615   Or she gathered the lost secrets dropped by Time
616   In the dust and crannies of his mounting route
617   Mid old forsaken dreams of hastening Mind
618   And buried remnants of forgotten space.

619   A traveller between summit and abyss,
620   She joined the distant ends, the viewless deeps

696   The inspiring goddess entered a mortal’s breast,
697   Made there her study of divining thought
698   And sanctuary of prophetic speech
699   And sat upon the tripod seat of mind:
700   All was made wide above, all lit below.
701   In darkness’ core she dug out wells of light,
702   On the undiscovered depths imposed a form,
703   Lent a vibrant cry to the unuttered vasts

809   A genius heightened in his body’s cells
810   That knew the meaning of his fate-hedged works
811   Akin to the march of unaccomplished Powers
812   Beyond life’s arc in spirit’s immensities.
813   Apart he lived in his mind’s solitude,
814   A demigod shaping the lives of men:
815   One soul’s ambition lifted up the race;
. . .
819   He drew the energies that transmute an age.
MusicBook One. Canto Four:The Secret Knowledge

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001   On a height he stood that looked towards greater heights.
002   Our early approaches to the Infinite
003   Are sunrise splendours on a marvellous verge
004   While lingers yet unseen the glorious sun.
005   What now we see is a shadow of what must come.

033   A shapeless memory lingers in us still
034   And sometimes, when our sight is turned within,
035   Earth’s ignorant veil is lifted from our eyes;
036   There is a short miraculous escape.

040   Our souls can visit in great lonely hours
041   Still regions of imperishable Light,
042   All-seeing eagle-peaks of silent Power
043   And moon-flame oceans of swift fathomless Bliss
044   And calm immensities of spirit space.

111   A treasure of honey in the combs of God,
112   A Splendour burning in a tenebrous cloak,
113   It is our glory of the flame of God,
114   Our golden fountain of the world’s delight,
115   An immortality cowled in the cape of death,
116   The shape of our unborn divinity.

160   Along a path of aeons serpentine
161   In the coiled blackness of her nescient course
162   The Earth-Goddess toils across the sands of Time.

163   A Being is in her whom she hopes to know,
164   A Word speaks to her heart she cannot hear,
165   A Fate compels whose form she cannot see.
166   In her unconscious orbit through the Void
167   Out of her mindless depths she strives to rise,
168   A perilous life her gain, a struggling joy;

178   Ignorant and weary and invincible,
179   She seeks through the soul’s war and quivering pain
180   The pure perfection her marred nature needs,
181   A breath of Godhead on her stone and mire.

185   A light grows in her, she assumes a voice,
186   Her state she learns to read and the act she has done,
187   But the one needed truth eludes her grasp,
188   Herself and all of which she is the sign.

199   A vision meets her of supernal Powers
200   That draw her as if mighty kinsmen lost
201   Approaching with estranged great luminous gaze.
202   Then is she moved to all that she is not
203   And stretches arms to what was never hers.

204   Outstretching arms to the unconscious Void,
205   Passionate she prays to invisible forms of Gods
206   Soliciting from dumb Fate and toiling Time
207   What most she needs, what most exceeds her scope,
208   A Mind unvisited by illusion’s gleams,
209   A Will expressive of soul’s deity,
210   A Strength not forced to stumble by its speed,
211   A Joy that drags not sorrow as its shade.

332   In Matter shall be lit the spirit’s glow,
. . .
338   A few shall see what none yet understands;
339   God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
340   For man shall not know the coming till its hour
341   And belief shall be not till the work is done.

394   In the wide signless ether of the Self,
395   In the unchanging Silence white and nude,
396   Aloof, resplendent like gold dazzling suns
397   Veiled by the ray no mortal eye can bear,
398   The Spirit’s bare and absolute potencies
399   Burn in the solitude of the thoughts of God.

467   An outstretched Hand is felt upon our lives.
468   It is near us in unnumbered bodies and births;
469   In its unslackening grasp it keeps for us safe
470   The one inevitable supreme result
471   No will can take away and no doom change,
472   The crown of conscious Immortality,
473   The godhead promised to our struggling souls
474   When first man’s heart dared death and suffered life.

499   In the mystery of the deeps that God has built
500   For his abode below the Thinker’s sight,
. . .
506   In this gold dome on a black dragon base,
507   The conscious Force that acts in Nature’s breast,
508   A dark-robed labourer in the cosmic scheme
509   Carrying clay images of unborn gods,
. . .
513   Absolves from hour to hour her secret charge.

551   There are Two who are One and play in many worlds;
552   In Knowledge and Ignorance they have spoken and met
553   And light and darkness are their eyes’ interchange;

627   His works, his thoughts have been devised by her,
628   His being is a mirror vast of hers:
629   Active, inspired by her he speaks and moves;
630   His deeds obey her heart’s unspoken demands:

736   The master of existence lurks in us
737   And plays at hide-and-seek with his own Force;
738   In Nature’s instrument loiters secret God.
739   The Immanent lives in man as in his house;
740   He has made the universe his pastime’s field,
741   A vast gymnasium of his works of might.

771   Then in a figure of divinity
772   The Maker shall recast us and impose
773   A plan of godhead on the mortal’s mould
774   Lifting our finite minds to his infinite,
775   Touching the moment with eternity.

776   This transfiguration is earth’s due to heaven:
777   A mutual debt binds man to the Supreme:
778   His nature we must put on as he put ours;
779   We are sons of God and must be even as he:
780   His human portion, we must grow divine.
781   Our life is a paradox with God for key.

786   For the key is hid and by the Inconscient kept;
787   The secret God beneath the threshold dwells.

824   He is the explorer and the mariner
825   On a secret inner ocean without bourne:
826   He is the adventurer and cosmologist
827   Of a magic earth’s obscure geography.

873   Or passing through a gate of pillar-rocks,
. . .
884   He leaves the last lands, crosses the ultimate seas,
885   He turns to eternal things his symbol quest;
886   Life changes for him its time-constructed scenes,
887   Its images veiling infinity.

888   Earth’s borders recede and the terrestrial air
889   Hangs round him no longer its translucent veil.
. . .
892   The eyes of mortal body plunge their gaze
893   Into Eyes that look upon eternity.

894   A greater world Time’s traveller must explore.
895   At last he hears a chanting on the heights
896   And the far speaks and the unknown grows near:
897   He crosses the boundaries of the unseen
898   And passes over the edge of mortal sight
899   To a new vision of himself and things.

921   But none learns whither through the unknown he sails
922   Or what secret mission the great Mother gave.
923   In the hidden strength of her omnipotent Will,
924   Driven by her breath across life’s tossing deep,
925   Through the thunder’s roar and through the windless hush,
926   Through fog and mist where nothing more is seen,
927   He carries her sealed orders in his breast.

928   Late will he know, opening the mystic script,
929   Whether to a blank port in the Unseen
930   He goes or, armed with her fiat, to discover
931   A new mind and body in the city of God
931   And enshrine the Immortal in his glory’s house
932   And make the finite one with Infinity.

941   A power is on him from her occult force
942   That ties him to his own creation’s fate,
943   And never can the mighty Traveller rest
944   And never can the mystic voyage cease
945   Till the nescient dusk is lifted from man’s soul
946   And the morns of God have overtaken his night.

947   As long as Nature lasts, he too is there,
948   For this is sure that he and she are one;

957   This constant will she covered with her sport,
958   To evoke a Person in the impersonal Void,
959   With the Truth-Light strike earth’s massive roots of trance,
960   Wake a dumb self in the inconscient depths
961   And raise a lost Power from its python sleep
962   That the eyes of the Timeless might look out from Time
963   And the world manifest the unveiled Divine.

964   For this he left his white infinity
965   And laid on the spirit the burden of the flesh,
966   That Godhead’s seed might flower in mindless Space.
MusicBook One. Canto Five:The Yoga of the King:
The Yoga of the Spirit’s Freedom and Greatness

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001   This knowledge first he had of time-born men.
002   Admitted through a curtain of bright mind
003   That hangs between our thoughts and absolute sight,
004   He found the occult cave, the mystic door
005   Near to the well of vision in the soul,
006   And entered where the Wings of Glory brood
007   In the silent space where all is for ever known.

020   There in a hidden chamber closed and mute
021   Are kept the record graphs of the cosmic scribe,
022   And there the tables of the sacred Law,
. . .
027   The symbol powers of number and of form,
028   And the secret code of the history of the world
029   And Nature’s correspondence with the soul
030   Are written in the mystic heart of Life.

031   In the glow of the spirit’s room of memories
032   He could recover the luminous marginal notes
033   Dotting with light the crabbed ambiguous scroll,

071   He saw the unshaped thought in soulless forms,
072   Knew Matter pregnant with spiritual sense,
073   Mind dare the study of the Unknowable,
074   Life its gestation of the Golden Child.

079   A larger lustre lit the mighty page.
080   A purpose mingled with the whims of Time,
081   A meaning met the stumbling pace of Chance
082   And Fate revealed a chain of seeing Will;
083   A conscious wideness filled the old dumb Space.
084   In the Void he saw throned the Omniscience supreme.

085   A Will, a hope immense now seized his heart,
086   And to discern the superhuman’s form
087   He raised his eyes to unseen spiritual heights,
088   Aspiring to bring down a greater world.

129   A packed assemblage of crude tentative lives
130   Are pieced into a tessellated whole.

158   An animal with some instincts of a god,
159   His life a story too common to be told,
160   His deeds a number summing up to nought,
161   His consciousness a torch lit to be quenched,
162   His hope a star above a cradle and grave.

174   Impassive he lived immune from earthly hopes,
175   A figure in the ineffable Witness’ shrine
176   Pacing the vast cathedral of his thoughts
177   Under its arches dim with infinity
178   And heavenward brooding of invisible wings.

184   A universal light was in his eyes,
185   A golden influx flowed through heart and brain;
186   A Force came down into his mortal limbs,
187   A current from eternal seas of Bliss;
188   He felt the invasion and the nameless joy.

207   One-pointed to the immaculate Delight,
208   Questing for God as for a splendid prey,
209   He mounted burning like a cone of fire.

238   His spirit mingles with eternity’s heart
239   And bears the silence of the Infinite.

251   His nature shuddered in the Unknown’s grasp.
. . .
256   In a whirlwind circuit of delight and force
257   Hurried into unimaginable depths,
258   Upborne into immeasurable heights,
259   It was torn out from its mortality
260   And underwent a new and bourneless change.

267   As when a timeless Eye annuls the hours
268   Abolishing the agent and the act,
269   So now his spirit shone out wide, blank, pure:
270   His wakened mind became an empty slate
271   On which the Universal and Sole could write.

290   The little ego’s ring could join no more;
291   In the enormous spaces of the self
292   The body now seemed only a wandering shell,
293   His mind the many-frescoed outer court
294   Of an imperishable Inhabitant:
295   His spirit breathed a superhuman air.

319   There was no small death-hunted creature more,
320   No fragile form of being to preserve
321   From an all-swallowing Immensity.

330   A secret Nature stripped of her defence,
. . .
333   Lay bare to the burning splendour of his will.
. . .
345   Her diagrams of geometric force,
346   Her potencies of marvel-fraught design
347   Courted employment by an earth-nursed might.

476   A border sovereign is the occult Force.
. . .
494   A magic porch of entry glimmering
495   Quivered in a penumbra of screened Light,
496   A court of the mystical traffic of the worlds,
497   A balcony and miraculous fa‡ade.

524   Ascending and descending twixt life’s poles
525   The seried kingdoms of the graded Law
526   Plunged from the Everlasting into Time,
. . .
530   Climbed back from Time into undying Self,
531   Up a golden ladder carrying the soul,
532   Tying with diamond threads the Spirit’s extremes.

619   Sunbelts of knowledge, moonbelts of delight
620   Stretched out in an ecstasy of widenesses
621   Beyond our indigent corporeal range.