Sri Aurobindo: The Infinite

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Part I — Poems 1955 - 1997

The Birth of The Infinite1

(5 am, August 15th, 1872)

The golden dawn of the cosmos rapt in trance,
Awaits the Birth of the All.
The seven worlds' bliss converges in her heart
With august and sun-vast call.

Slowly the Peak unmeasured of rapture-fire
Climbs down to our human cry.
His diamond Vision's deathless Will leans low,
Our mortal yearnings nigh.

Suddenly life's giant somnolence is stirred.
His all-embracing Wing
Declares, "I come to end your eyeless fear.
To Me alone now cling!

No fleeting dreams your teeming births do trace:
Now own My infinite Bloom.
In Me the flood of Immortality!
Nowhere shall be your doom."


  1. SAI 1. (1956)

The Sun-Knowledge1

(At Darjeeling, 1877 to 1879)

"O Sun-knowledge!
we bow to Thee,
To Thee we pray.
Be born
Within our human feelings and thoughts.
Blaze for blind eyes Thy morn."

"My Power is My Love, your bold desire
I meet, like you I shall grow.
I was, I am and shall be with you
Through My eternal flow.

The ignorance-sea I now shall swim.
O bodies of earth!
behind
Me come with hearts of snow-white prayer,
My boundless Grace to bind."


  1. SAI 2. (1956)

The Call from the West1

(1879)

"Stay not forever rapt in the East alone.
We too must plunge into thy Bliss.
O Lord of the gods!
Thy Presence august we crave.
Torture our naked pride with Thy Peace.

Alas!
we have but mind, and in Matter's reign
We are forced to live, no heart have we.
Who else shall plumb our sleepless dole save Thou?
Joy is our choice, not this vain misery.

The Sun of inner life comes not to the fore.
Long lost our vision's Beauty supreme.
Thy Feet of Love shall smite our folly's crest
And shut the door to disaster-dream."


  1. SAI 3. (1956)

In the West1

(1879 to 1893)

"I now accept your deep heart's offering white.
O West!
sink not in abysmal black despair.
Awake, and tear your self-oblivion-mask
To seize my vision's Dawn, my boundless care.

The grim discords of dire revolt will soon
Capture the world, and I have a mighty part
In that vast drama.
The Mother of my human life
For me now pines, for her freedom wide I will start.

A day shall come when I shall join the East
And the West with my stupendous Power and I
Shall be the Bridge of peace between the twain.
I am for all with my Spirit's infinite sky."


  1. SAI 4. (1956)

The Boy Aurobindo with Mr. Drewett1

A deep scholar of Latin Mr.
Drewett,
Compelled by a white desire of joy,
Pours his knowledge like a sparkling shower
Into the brain of a tender boy.

The brave, inborn talent of Aurobindo
Creates a sudden wide surprise,
And there's a glisten in the tutor's gaze:
"O knowledge-flame!
high ever you rise."


  1. SAI 5. (1956)

Five Years at St. Paul's School1

Black-pinioned suffering and poverty wild
Try their utmost to throw his body aside.
But his giant knowledge-thirst devours their pride.
In a hush unknown his lofty thoughts abide.


  1. SAI 6. (1956)

Two Years at King's College1

A matchless student comes from Indian soil.
The great muses of Latin and Greek on earth
Descend to hail him with Victory's trumpet high.
The myriad knowledge-stars in him take birth.


  1. SAI 7. (1956)

Aurobindo in the I.C.S.1

(1892)

Bravely he climbs the height of a varied lore.
In Latin and Greek once more that brilliant brain
Of Ind is master; but he spurns all common power:
The eager horse in the field is saddled in vain.


  1. SAI 8. (1956)

A momentous meeting1

A noble heart, James Cotton — and profound.
His love for young Aurobindo, by him drawn
To meet an Indian Prince's searching gaze:
The Gaekwad of Baroda was all amaze
To see his far clime's sun-vast promising youth.
"Aurobindo, let us sail for India's Dawn."


  1. SAI 9. (1956)

The death of his earthly father1

(1893)

"My Auro!
Auro!
all world-pain in flood
Within my finite breast.
My pride, my country's pride, O earth's hope-noon,
The all-transforming Crest!

Alas!
to feed my longings high no more
I shall see Auro, my son.
The sombre night envelops my mortal sheath.
To-day my heart is undone.

Now cruel fate has torn my vision's Rose.
Auro, I shut my eyes
To see your golden face, to be with you
In the blue-white climbing skies."


  1. SAI 10. (1956). K D. Ghose had almost intuitive high hopes that his Auro was sure to brighten the face of the Mother country. The ship which was to carry Auro sank on the way. But Aurobindo boarded a second ship. On the assumption that his son must have perished with the lost ship, his father died of a broken heart.

Return to His Motherland1

(At Apollo Bunder — Bombay — February 1893)

The days have run into weeks, and weeks
Into months: for twice seven years
Abroad he remained, a far-off star.
Mother India with tears
Of joy and love garlands her son,
Wishing him life's true bliss.
With the first step on Indian soil
Infinitude's abyss
Captures his mind: earth's lures are gone.
His inner Spirit's Light
Shall guide his tranquil feet; he views
His Motherland's first might.


  1. SAI 11. (1956)

He meets his human mother1

(At Rohini)

His earthly mother, the 'Rose of Rangpur' —
Alas!
now lame is her mind.
"They say, my Auro is come, but where?
Nowhere his face I find.

My lovely little boy Auro
Can never be this youth,
With long hair and the eyes unknown."
His mother's love and ruth

A heartless fate allows him not
To cherish; the sombre sea
Of woe between them lies to-day
And devours reality.

"I am the mad son of a mother mad."
This jest we see in his pen.
The Divine now plays His hide and seek
With human thought and ken.


  1. SAI 12. (1956)

The guide-knowledge1

(At the Baroda College)

The knowledge-flames of the West in him abide.
But the knowledge-lights of the East from him still hide,
Behold!
a miracle-glow upon his brow;
Slowly to him the tongues of Asia bow.
Time holds no paltry dreams before his sight.

Nothing allures save knowledge infinite.
He conquers soon his students' hearts with love
Immaculate, and matchless remains above.
In his students' minds high thoughts and joys now play.
Their dear 'Arvind' unveils the knowledge-Day.


  1. SAI 13. (1956)

The volcano-leader of the nation1

(In Bengal, 1906)

The Mother in chains, he labours with her dole.
His human heart is wet with her tears.
"India, my India, awake!
awake!
Mere fruitless mortal years; —

O they can never be your choice sublime.
Break through the storm of deadening blows.
Bande Mataram, the fire-incantation
Shrine in your heart-beats; close

The door of age-long dark oblivion.
For the Mother's freedom vast, to you
My heart shall give her Will's tremendous flow
Of deathless golden hue.

Our Mother shall sit on the throne of ecstasy,
Guiding the world with her Immortality."


  1. SAI 14. (1956)

His advice to National College Students1

(August 2nd, 1907)

"...
To you one sole advice of mine.
Serve the Motherland now.
To see the crown on her brow
Suffer, and lift up Heavenward your eyes.

For her, in might and light increase;
Never for your own cause.
For you no common laws.
Set her a-shining with eternal peace.

Upon your glorious deeds I shall look,
And have the wonder-pride
Of being your pioneer-guide;
Your victory shall pay the pains I took."


  1. SAI 15. (1956)

Aurobindo in the 'Karmayogin' and the 'Dharma'1

A tremendous Will from the eagle-height descends
To hear in silence his inner august command.
The thunder-blaze of his volcano-pen awakes
The sleeping souls to free their Motherland.

Aurobindo, the leader-Peak of the dire revolt
With rising sparks of Ind is all a-shine.
In him they find their altar of sacrifice;
From his words and deeds they drink the ambrosial wine.

A freedom vast and absolute he wants.
And Mother Ind to the world shall show
The sun-lit road of unity sublime.
The truth immaculate all life must know.


  1. SAI 16. (1956)

Aurobindo in the Alipore Jail1

(May 1908)

"I am the Infinite,
Though lies my outer sheath
In the finite's hurtful clasp,
Pierced by the Dragon's teeth.

My deathless love for the clime
Of my cherished human birth
No soul can dare deny
Upon this sceptic earth.

O Jail of Alipore!
Your stupid torture stark
Creates a laughter in me.
I plunge within, you bark.

Krishna in every speck
Dances before my gaze.
Nothing save Him I see.
In me His rapture-blaze!

Who speaks now from afar?"
"I am Vivekananda's voice:
Hear with thy fathomless Calm
That shuns all earthly noise.

For days fifteen my words
In a ceaseless flow shall shine,
Speaking the truth august
Of experience divine."


  1. SAI 17. (1956)

Beachcroft, C. R. Das, Aurobindo1

(At the Alipore Court)

"Aurobindo, my superior in Greek
And Latin in the I.
C.
S.
Alas,
What tenebrous fate gives me the Judge's cap!
My silent friend, speak out your mind, surpass
All bars that hurl their gloom-weight round you now."

"Beachcroft!
my friend of the past, I desire
No sorrow to burden your kindly heart.
I have the Power to sit on torture's fire.
If fight for freedom is crime, I stand
Guilty forever.
Why should I veil the truth?
To break our Mother's chain was my sole aim.
I want but justice, friend, and not your ruth."

"The lance of piercing truth shines in your lips.
Cloven, the cloud of ignorance is gone.
Aurobindo, matchless pride of this great land!
You are the history of the world's new dawn.

O Chitta Ranjan, triumph has clasped your brow.
From the sea of white-blue truth your prophecy is born.
Your eye has shown the world the diamond unknown.
Our friend Aurobindo is the deathless Morn."


  1. SAI 18. (1956)

Divine Command1

A white command from mysteries Above
Suddenly leads the Nation's Lance
To Chandernagore, the child of France,
Without his friends' advice of love.
A boat plying on the Ganges' breast
Carries Bengal's brave son away
To live hush-held all night and day
Within a secret, vigilant nest.


  1. SAI 19. (1956)

To the mind1

(At Chandernagore — February 1910)

O mind!
think not,
The more you think, the more you see
The sombre knot.

Above the chain
Of ignorant virtue and blinded sin
In Truth remain.

Arouse your Will
From the depths of gloom and faster turn
Your evolving wheel.

In you the flood
Of God's gold Vision to create
Deathless life-blood!


  1. SAI 20. (1956)

He sails for Pondicherry1

(1910)

He measures soon the strength of human souls
And sails for Pondicherry.
The Power divine has set its Will to make
The Mother free and merry.

"The fount of Power in me I now shall create
To unveil the freedom-sun
Upon aspiring India's ancient sky.
Who says we are undone?
" ..
.

His message divine is crowned with triumph august.
His 'birthday-gift' from Above
Awakes the rapture-light upon the soil
Of Ind; and him to love

Is to own the golden nectar-boon of the All.
For the earth entire his transformation's call!


  1. SAI 21. 1956

The Mother with Her Four Aspects1

The Aspects:
Mother, we pray, we too may go with Thee.
For by Thy service we last through Eternity.

Maheshwari:
Mother, make me Thy highest Height.
Give me Thy Knowledge to end the Night.
In Thy gold Fount of tranquillity
I shall wash the mortal's misery.

Mahakali:
I call to Thy quick Power supreme!
O crush the pride of ignorance-dream.
My thunder feet shall break the head
Of the Asura, by me shall be led
The warrior-children of the truth.
Mother, for them my boundless ruth.

Mahalakshmi:
Mother, Thy Rapture-Fire I crave.
I shall throw all filth to a bottomless grave.
Thy Harmony shall be my gift
To earth; and I her form shall lift
To Thy all-embracing Joy and Love
And all shall breathe Thy Spirit above.

Mahasaraswati:
Perfect perfection on me bestow.
Thy patience-seed.
Mother, I shall sow
Within the heart of aspiring earth.
In me Thy Work's undying birth.


  1. SAI 22. (1956)

The Infinite and the Mother Divine1

(March 29th, 1914)

They each other find in a silent gaze.
From their limbs awakes the rapture-blaze.

The Infinite:
"Thy Advent makes me whole to-day.
I am now certain to flood the clay
With my Spirit-Vision's golden Light.
Thou art my only help in the Night."

Mother:
"Thou art the proof, O Lord Supreme!
That all shall be free from ignorance-dream.
I know 'the darknesses shall be
Changed into Light'.
Forever in Thee
The ceaseless fount of Life Divine:
The earth with Heaven's height shall dine."


  1. SAI 23. (1956)

His Victory1

(November 24th, 1926)

A silver moment in rapture flies
Beyond the golden veils of skies.
The Master brings his Silence down
And tears the huge Night's tenebrous frown.
He nears the end of his endless flight.
The sun-vast promise shines now white.
His transformation's supreme Call
Shall save the world from blinded fall.
The Master's glowing Victory's flood
Gives birth in us to nectar-blood.


  1. SAI 24. (1956)

"The Life Divine"1

(The Magnum Opus of Philosophy)

The only way to grow
Is to aim beyond our reach.
We are in a ceaseless flow
To seize the fount of peace.

Truly, no end there is
That is not a starting mark.
Behold!
His blazing bliss
Transforms our nature dark.

Our oneness with Him we own
In faith; and challenge of Death
We meet; the Truth is revealed
In us His eternal Breath.


  1. SAI 25. (1956)

"Savitri"1

(The Epic Divine)

Savitri, wonder-light of the Seer supreme!
The Mother Divine through her glows out on earth.
Stretching to perfection's knowledge-sun clay-boughs
Now clasp far Immortality's first birth.

At every step tearing the frown of Doom,
Closing the gate to all temptation vile,
Our heart can dwell beyond the clutch of fate:
Our mind no ignorance-dream can now beguile.


  1. SAI 26. (1956)

World War II and Sri Aurobindo1

Hitler, the dire face of the prince of gloom,
Feeds now the black desire that leaps to seize
Direct the length and breadth of the world entire
And drive away from earth the dream of peace.

At last the Master commands all human souls,
"Fear not.
In me the boundless surge of hope!
My all-pervading light shall guide the earth.
Therefore in abysmal woe no longer grope.

Dunkirk, I have come to wipe your doleful eyes.
I now shall change the speedy flow of the war.
I bring the free world triumph from the Skies:
My unhorizoned Power who dares to bar?"


  1. SAI 27. (1956)

Sri Aurobindo1

Thy vast of bliss enfolds our mortal sheaths,
Thy smile from Eternity unlids our eyes.
O Thou!
the Flame that hymns of creation new,
Thy Blaze transmutes our poison-paradise.

Who dares to love Thy diamond Heart of love?
Lover of the self-same stupendous Soul —
Within, without a world of nectar's flood
Sporting with Thy ever-unhorizoned whole.

Out of a marvel process of time-toil
Thy gnostic Sun flowers in the gloom of earth.
The clay is not a dream, a chimera's mist —
In Thee she shall awake to golden birth.


  1. SAI 28. (1955)

His Eyes of diamond Peace1

To feed the brooding spans with vision-flame
Two Eyes of diamond Peace.
Their moon-gold Love descends in the human heart
Our mortal life to seize

And change our sombre fate and venomed hours,
Our sorrow's songs outcast.
No more shall rule the ancient heavy veil
Our self's forgotten vast.

Uncovered is the earth's aspiring soul.
Two Eyes; only two Eyes!..
.
The storm-winged tragedy of ignorance stark
Salutes their immortal Rise.


  1. SAI 29. (1955)

His Feet of the Spirit-Blaze1

Two Feet of Thunder
To plumb the abysmal deep,
To build the Day
Over the python sleep
Of eyeless earth.
The Feet of the Spirit-Blaze
Now pierce the masks
Of fate and time-born ways.
In silence they move.
The aspiring souls of clay
Invoke their lights
And ascend to see Heaven's Play,
To slaughter Death
And human body's strife.
Two Feet wherein
Are roots of immortal Life.


  1. SAI 30. (1955)

The Couch of Our Master's Rest1

(December 5th, 1950)

With wings remote of stars silent is Thy voice.
Our mortal breath knocks at Thy giant trance.
In vain ends not our aspiration's cry.
The supreme King of Immortality
Commands the cosmic gods to play in mirth
The hide and seek on Thee, around, below.
The eternal Hour dances within their eyes.
Our Master's immortal sheath by Thee is clasped.
We feel his occult presence upon Thy breast.
The dire hunger of earth is vanished at last.


  1. SAI 31. (1955)

The Immortal's Boon to Death1

(December 9th, 1950)

Death:
"I am Thy lifeless child
With ignorance dark and wild.
Father, my brother life
Ever dislikes my fife.
He dwells within Thy Heart
To pierce my pride with his dart.
O change my fruitless fate,
And write the immortal Date
Upon the brow of the earth.
Father, give me true birth."

The Immortal:
"Thy bosom's mourning sore,
My child, shall last no more.
Within Thy naked night
I stand with my footsteps' light.
I give you life, O Death!
My Bounty's ceaseless Breath
Shall flow across the soil.
I hush all time-turmoil.
My Truth's supremacy
Wills Immortality."

(1955)


  1. SAI 32. (1955)

While passing through Sri Aurobindo's Room1

No more the tempest howls upon my mind;
Thy emerald shower descends and hugs my soul.
I tear my ire and pride and black despair.
I view the quintessence of the world's flood-peace
Around Thy trance-bound couch majestic, sweet.
Thy august Voice, in each hush-gap, declares,
"O son of the All, in you the Infinite.
I now unveil the truth that of Nectar-Bliss
You all are bloomed, in Bliss you dwell and retire
In her colossal core when your play is done."


  1. SAI 33. (1955)

The Flame-Altar of Sri Aurobindo1

A sun-vast silence, freedom of Void supreme
Around the triumphant Altar of our heart's King.
His Will bodied, unbodied ever shall last,
Time but a child in his all-embracing Wing.

The far-off rapture and wisdom here we meet;
The Breath of life burns pure within this Shrine.
Here eyeless errors reach the unflickering Fire,
His Immortality, the Boon divine.

On earth obscure to fulfil His mission sublime
The riddles of all the contraries abide.
All worlds are His, He the creation vast
And He our goal, the one unfailing Guide.

The flame-haven, a dawn of deathless birth,
To summit vast a flight of steps from earth.


  1. SAI 34. (1955)

The child-disciple to the Father Infinite1

Father, awake my heart with Thy dancing hues,
And keep away from me the earth's dark news.
With Thy Honey-Love make me the silver sky.
The surge of Thy Grace I invoke, all worlds to buy.
The love-offerings of my tender soul
Accept; in Thee I know my Journey's Goal.


  1. SAI 35. (1956)

The youth to the Player Eternal1

High thoughts I thought,
And Thy love I caught.
Upon Thy road
Was my abode.
Whatever I sought
By Thee was brought.
Alas!
to-day
I am but clay.
Those days of gold
No more I behold.
To all unknown
I dwell alone.
O Player divine!
Within me shine.
With Thee I shall play
Through sleepless day.
Deep in Thy Breast
My eternal rest.


  1. SAI 36. (1956)

The veteran to the Immortal1

Not out of fear
I weep when I of Thee do speak,
But out of joy,
O Grace supreme, unmeasured Peak!

Though Death looms large,
Thou with the Immortal's ecstasy
Holdest my heart.
I plunge in Thy Infinity.


  1. SAI 37. (1956)

To Sri Aurobindo1

Our foil in battle of life
Can never be Thy master Choice.
Our triumph truly is Thine,
Creation's King of the adamant Voice!

The pinioned mind of earth
Is wide awake to Thy Decree.
Her breast's unknown abyss
Harbours Thy Immortality.

Our living sheaths and souls
Emblem Thy Godhead's infinite urge
Of almighty Flame and Love.
Who dares to plumb Thee, O Thaumaturge?

Gold fires of bliss and grace
From the earth's buried Heaven arise
To climb Thy nude noon-peak
And Thy Sun-Face beyond surmise.


  1. SAI 38. (1955)

Master1

O Lord of Nature, sovereign Sun of all!
Who, if not Thou, will speak of Thee?
Thy Smile of Grace through Eternity
Frees all aspiring souls from night's dumb call.

Reality unique!
Thou art the ring
Of the lowest chasm and spanless height.
In Thee they feel their haven bright;
In Thee all beings move and wave and wing.

To see Thy all-transcending mystic Form
No vision have we of golden gaze;
Thou art the Noon of all our days,
The veerless Pilot in our death's stark storm.


  1. SAI 39. (1955)

O Avatar of the era1

I bow to You, O Avatar of the era!
Will You give me the right
To worship You
By touching Your red Lotus-Feet?
O Seer-Poet, O Love incarnate!
In hundreds of ways I call You,
In hundreds of ways I paint You,
I bow to You countless times.
O beckoning hands of humanity's liberation,
Do offer Your Nectar-flood,
And sweep away the dark disgrace of death.
I bow to You, O Avatar of the era!


  1. SAI 40. (1974)

O Avatar of the era1

I bow to You, O Avatar of the era,
O emblem of infinite Compassion-Height.
Constantly I sing Your Victory-Song.
This mad world is running toward destruction.
Around me is the poison of jealousy, cruelty
And injustice.
I bow to You, O Avatar of the era,
Your Consciousness-Body,
Which is the receptacle of boundless Light,
Is filled with Heavenly Light and Power.
O Avatar of the era,
My world invokes You alone.


  1. SAI 41. (1974)

The hope-noon of my Mother India1

My Mother India,
Your pride, your hope-noon,
Your all-transforming crest
Was Aurobindo.
Wet with your tears, his human heart.
The thunder-blaze of his volcano-pen
Awoke the sleeping souls
To free their Motherland.
Aurobindo,
The zenith Leader of the dire revolt,
With rising sparks of Ind was all aglow.
In him we found our altar of sacrifice.
From his works and deeds
Drank we deep delight ambrosial.


  1. SAI 42. (August 27th, 1997)

My Mother India's son Aurobindo1

My Mother India,
Your son Aurobindo,
Sri Aurobindo,
Became the harbinger
Of the Supermind-descent
Into the heartbeat of humanity
And the champion supreme
In the cause of mankind's
Nature-transformation.


  1. SAI 43. (August 27th, 1997)

Sri Aurobindo1

Sri Aurobindo, you are Heaven's
Immortal Nectar-Delight-Message.
Yours are the feet that are
The floods of Light
And the oceans of Liberation.


  1. SAI 44. (November 12th, 1997)

The diamond of my heart1

Mother Mira, you are the diamond of my heart.
I am your fearless and reckless son.
Alas, I move around
Paying no heed to you.
Forgive me, forgive me,
Hold me firm for Eternity
In your Infinity.


  1. SAI 45. (November 12th, 1997)

O Blessed Daughter of the Absolute Supreme1

Goddess Savitri, the entire world dances
In your glory and in your beauty non-pareil.
You are the ocean-flood and the mountain-summit
Of self-giving.
O blessed daughter of the Absolute Supreme,
You are His Satisfaction-Fountain.
You embody the infinite consciousness
Of Sri Aurobindo's epic 'Savitri'.
You are at once the aspiration-flowers of the world
And the liberation-fruit of the Supermind.


  1. SAI 46. (November 12th, 1997)

Auro1

Auro, Auro, Auro,
Arabinda Ghose,
Mother India's
Stupendous satisfaction
You are.


  1. SAI 47. (November 12th, 1997)

Thakur Naren Auro1

My Indian brothers and sisters,
If you want to know and carry
The real message-light of Mother India,
Then you must sleeplessly and breathlessly
Look at and invoke the Blessings of
Thakur (Sri Ramakrishna),
Naren (Swami Vivekananda)
And Auro (Sri Aurobindo).


  1. SAI 48. (November 12th, 1997)

Sri Aurobindo1

Sri Aurobindo, may your very Name
Be repeated sleeplessly and breathlessly
By each and every human being.
Our Mother Mira, the Mother of the Universe,
Is the Compassion-Ocean.
She carries the message of transformation,
And she is the diamond of the Heart Universal.


  1. SAI 49. (November 12th, 1997)

India's poet1

India's poet,
India's seer,
India's Yogi-Avatar,
O Sri Aurobindo,
O Superman pioneer,
To you I ceaselessly bow.


  1. SAI 50. (November 12th, 1997)

Sri Aurobindo: The Unknowable1

Sri Aurobindo, Lord Supreme,
You are at once the climbing flames
Of the finite
And the beauty of the Infinite Self
Transcendental.
In you the world has discovered
Earth's hunger-cries
And Heaven's Nectar-Smiles,
Sri Aurobindo: the Unknowable.


  1. SAI 51. (November 12th, 1997)

The Pilot Supreme of the World-Boat1

Sri Aurobindo, you are the Pilot Supreme
Of the world-boat.
You are the first beckoning Hand
Of the Supermind.
O Avatar of the era, you have paved
The Light-flooded road
For us to travel.


  1. SAI 52. (November 12th, 1997)

Part II — Longer poems

The Ideal of Forgiveness1

Slowly the queen of astral virgins moves
Across the giant embrace of teeming clouds.
Below, the runnel meanders murmuring high.
The panorama of the moonlit gloom
Captures the hearts of the lovers of beauty's core.
Our earth's splendour and delight now grow sublime.
The trance that guides Vasishtha's fire-pure hut
Is far beyond all mortal's straining view,
No equal his trees and buds and flowers have.
The flood of their torrent magnificence compels
Eden to bow to them with all its lustre.
A dart of sombre pangs tortures its heart.
It cries aloud, "O Lord!
behold my balk.
My pride is broken, I am now a piteous thing."

Quintessence of deep peace in his sage eyes,
With a dawning smile Vasishtha in silence commands,
"Arundhati!
some salt from the mighty sage
Vishwamitra I desire, therefore, speed forth."
"Thy words break all my body, I see my doom.
Sorrows of the whole world within me rage.
Alas!
no soul to soothe my woeful heart.
It was Vishwamitra, the cruel king,
Who slaughtered my hundred sons of endless knowing.

My children's spirit-stirring hymnal song
I hear no longer; alack!
my heart no more
Feels now their calm and joy of the Spirit's gaze.
Thou art, my Lord, the root of my bosom's pangs.
For thee have passed beyond the eternal bars
Those hero-fires sprung out of my flesh.
Why stayed thy voice back from the saving words
'Vishwamitra, truly the greatest sage'?"
Through the deep of night Vasishtha unveiled the truth.
"My love for him is boundless, Arundhati,
Infinite sparks of bounty within me burn.
The knowledge supreme he has still to con: O then
How can I falsely title him Brahman-rapt?
To be the seer divine his bosom craves.
Unique his high aspiration's fiery wings."

Flushed quivering with tempest-ire had come
Vishwamitra, unbeheld, to the sage's cote.
"The time is ripe, I must slay him, if he still
Pronounce me not the God-omniscient sage."
Suddenly a vision revealing flashed through his mind
As he heard the matchless seer's bounteous words.
Down he fell and kissed the Master's hallowed feet.
"Arise, O king of all the seers, arise."
"Alas!
my sire, shame not this mortal self.
The titan eyes of my naked cruelties
Deserve not, I know well, thy pardon divine."
From vastness-stilled summit Vasishtha spoke,
"What urgent need impels thy advent rare?"
The doleful voice of Vishwamitra broke,
"My heart now flames to own Brahman, the One.
My bosom's Lord, fulfil my white desire."
"Speed thou to Ananta — the eternal Snake,
The endless upbearer of this created sphere.
Doubt not my love shall ever harbour thy soul."

"O Lord Ananta!
thy grace sublime I invoke.
Reveal the sunlit path to know the One."
"Vishwamitra, that stupendous power I have.
But ere I fulfil thy choice, thy strength divine
I needs must weigh.
Become thou now all ears.
Seest thou the earth's globe?
— that whole vast is mine!
If thy strength is sure to hold its mighty weight
To thee I shall give the knowledge of the Sole."
The proud sage-king replied, "Upon my head
Leave all: I shall bear the earth's gigantic load."
Lo!
he was sunk in disaster's greatest gulf.
Alas!
too fast the globe moved round his sense,
The ceaseless terror tortured his living veins.
No volcano-will could calm the universe,
A tenebrous void before his mere man's form.
But Ananta smiled and spoke: "Thou hast known at last
The measure of thy might.
Hear me, O sage!
Use for thy strength the fruits of the company
Of sacred souls if any such thou knewest.
Call to thy aid at once the memory
Of their high mood.
Away from thee shall pass
Danger.
" In a twinkling Vasishtha's giant name
Broke on his mind.
Ananta's high command
He carried out.
All silent was the earth.
Tranquillity was in flood within its heart.
"O Lord Ananta!
now fulfil my quest."
"O reckless fool!
Vasishtha's bounty implore.
None on this earth but he can meet thy hunger.
The enormous power of his diamond presence
Saved thee from perilous juncture and strengthened thy heart
To bear the colossal earth, O unseeing soul!
Go pray his haven, the time is fleeting fast."

He came again to high Vasishtha's hut.
How base his doom no soul on earth can dream.
"O Master, I beg of thee, by thy feet august,
Drive me not from thy door this time, I pray."
"Thy eagle-high aspiration clasps the Crown.
Vishwamitra, to thee I give victory.
Envy and pride could veil thy mind, and so
The knowledge supreme I gave thee not before.
Thy humble mind and brave heart win it now."

What is chimera's mist or miracle today
Was the immaculate Truth divine of yore.
Immeasurable by our human thought
Was regal Vasishtha's presence and bright power.
But from Above yet greater souls unmatched
Over our Ind imperishably shall lean.
The might of seers antique shall fade away
Before the souls to come with Light new-born;
And she shall sit on splendour's throne in the world.


  1. SAI 53. Note: After a story in Bengali prose entitled "Kshamar Adarsha" which was published by Sri Aurobindo in the Dharma. Chinmoy originally rendered this into 200 lines of Bengali verse and then into its present form of 107 lines of English iambic pentameter verse. (1956)

The Awakening of Dawn1

Fulfilling the vision of the sages,
India, our Mother India,
With smiling face opens to-day
The door of Her Eastern Light.

Our Mother's body is not amputated.
She shines with divine beauty —
Though even now Her glow and grace
Are veiled by the clouds.

It is the festival of awakening of our Mother;
It is the dawn of a golden new era;
Our Mother is bringing for us Her casket
Filled with Her immortal gifts.

We shall bestow to the comity of nations, to the world at large
The sweet nectar of the Supermind.
We shall satisfy by the favour of our Mother
The hunger of all the souls.

The vision of Jesus Christ: — the Kingdom of Heaven —
In order to materialise,
Narayan is revealed today in man
On this earth of dust.

Victory of the Creator, victory of Bharatvarsha,
Victory of the dwellers of the universe
Is indicated today, and of the Golden Age
To-day forms the dawn.


  1. SAI 54. Composed on the occasion of Independence Day, August 15th, 1948 — afternoon

Kshamar Adarsha1

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

O Lord Absolute,
We, the ever-blossoming souls,
Shall satisfy You with our
Oneness-devotion-breath-hearts.
We embody certainty's life
To surprisingly illumine
Our journey's birthless
And deathless course.

Lovingly, prayerfully and soulfully
We shall bring the Victory-Crown
From the Consciousness-Ocean-Beyond
And, with a brightness-splendour-smile,
Place it at Your Feet
With our softness-heart-care.

A poltroon-body, a dunce-mind,
A restlessness-vital
We never shall be.
We shall ever be found
In the newness-vortex
Of activities multifarious.

No sorrow, no diffidence,
No loss can torture us
Before Your blessingful, august Presence.
To none save You
Shall we offer our fear-surrender.

You to invoke
And place inside
Our mind's seraglio-cave,
Let us sleeplessly
Occupy our mind, shunning
All our childish games and pranks.

Together, in oneness-heart,
Your Victory we all shall proclaim.
You if we fail to receive and achieve,
Our earth-life will helplessly betray
Its utter worthlessness and uselessness.

Singing our Master's Victory-Song,
We, the ever-blossoming souls,
Shall walk along Eternity's Road
Blazed by His Divinity's Radiance-Feet.

Like fully blossomed flowers,
We shall distribute
Our sweet redolence-fragrance.
Speechless, the whole world will watch
Our journey's progress-march.

Your new Message we shall carry
To all climes, near and far.
We shall be self-discoverers;
Pride-victims we never shall be.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

O Summit-Soul supreme,
Your Compassion-Light we invoke
To keep our hearts
Eternally at Your Feet.

In all,
The lower than the lowest
And the higher than the highest,
You abide.
Sleeplessly Your Victory-Song
Resonates in the heart of Eden.

You are a perfect stranger
To superiority-inferiority-twins.
You are at once the chosen Haven
Of both penury and prosperity-possessors.

You are Your Life's Sweetness-Affection
To all souls that breathe on earth.
None can dare fathom
Your Compassion-Heart-Ocean.

To offer You our raison d'etre,
We are speeding towards
Your Infinity's Height,
Smashing asunder today
All the bondage-shackles
That will cross our path.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

To spread Your Compassion-flooded
Life-Transformation-Message-Light
Here on earth,
We shall offer our all,
Our very last breath.

Even if we fail to muster
A new supply of strength
At each hush-gap,
We, the ever-blossoming souls,
Shall not permit ourselves
To be name-fame-beggars.

While enjoying a short respite,
We shall sing Your Victory-Songs
And fly Your Victory-Banner
Upon the Himaloy-pinnacle.

A day shall dawn
When we, the ever-blossoming souls,
Only by virtue of
Your Compassion-Blessings,
Shall proclaim our world-conquest
To the four corners of the globe.

No iota of wealth You own;
Yet, all El Dorados at Your Feet.
O Lord Supreme,
Indweller of our hearts,
Your boundless Bounty
Permits You not to escape
Our stark mind-confines.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

If any bosom pines
To be our compatriot,
Then presto!
Renounce your all,
Your world-pleasure-plethora.

When all world-attachments leave you,
We shall welcome you
To join our group
With ever-widening open arms.

The rich and the poor,
The wise and the ignorant —
All those who inhabit the world —
In each and every human being
We shall see the living Presence of God,
Like our Master-Guru.

If ever we become pride-victims,
We know for certain
That Your infinite Compassion-Treasure
Will desert us.

We, the ever-blossoming souls,
Must be extremely careful
In preserving
Our newness-strength indomitable.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

He whom the holy saints
And honesty-flooded souls
In perfect amity worship,
And the single-minded devotees
Invoke to claim as their own.

He has taken human form
In the heart of Mother Bengal.
In His happiness
Our hearts must rejoice.
In His sadness
Our hearts must suffer.

To each and every soul,
Smiling we shall offer
Our hearts' newness-strength.
We, the ever-blossoming souls,
Shall dive deep
Into the Heart of Infinity's Light.

O Lord Absolute,
Today do inundate our earth-existence
With Your Compassion-Flood.
May our devotion-adoration
Ever be found
At Your Feet Supreme.

O Transcendental Height,
O Beauty Unfathomable,
To You we bow.
May we be totally oblivious
To our earthly gains and losses
In committing ourselves
To Your Service-Light.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

O Lord of the ever-transcending Beyond,
You are discovered Self-amorous
In Your birthless and deathless Light.
At Your Feet
All utterly lost human souls
Have found their Peace-Haven.

Vishma, Dadichi, Arjuna, Drona,
Bhima, Abhimanyu
Were all indomitable hero-souls
Who walked Mother Earth
With their loftiest tower-majesty-heads.

You have inundated us
With Your Blessings infinite.
By virtue of Your Blessings,
We, the ever-blossoming souls,
Shall equal those immortal souls
And run abreast with them.

O Lord, Your Consciousness
Pervades the sky
And the Himaloy-pinnacle-heights.
In darkness-caves
And in ocean-expanse
It sings and dances
In perfect oneness.

O Lord Absolute,
Pondicherry-Dweller,
The saints, sages and yogis
Every morn and every eve
Proclaim Your Victory
From all four corners of the globe.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

If ever others speak ill of us,
We shall never hurt their hearts
In return.
Knowing perfectly well
That the Absolute Lord Supreme abides,
In His living Presence, in all,
How can we ever torture
Any human life?

The way the Life-Force
Of our breath
Resides in us
Exactly the same way
The Life-Force abides in all,
And accepts and endures
Each and every human being.

You are the Source
Of Brahma the Creator.
Before You we place
Our supplication, devotion
And adoration-surrender.

No iota of fear have we
While offering You
Our wee, puny and paltry gifts,
For we know
You are the Compassion-Lord
Of our motherless, fatherless, helpless life.
You are the Vision-Light
Of the whole universe.
You are our Eternity's only Friend.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.

Like the most insignificant service
Rendered by the morning dew
To the ocean-surface,
We know our service to You
Is equally and unmistakably
Most insignificant.
Notwithstanding, lovingly
You accept our service-flames
To bless us
With Your bountiful Pride.

In fire and water,
In dust and atoms,
Seeing You, Your Meditation-Trance,
Many poets have depicted
Your immortal Beauty.

They are our pioneers.
We are walking along the same road
To reach Your hallowed Feet.
This beautiful morning
We are weaving the garland
Of our heart's message,
Prayerful and soulful:

"Victory, victory, victory
To Sri Aurobindo,
The Guru Supreme of the Universe!"
Sleeplessly and breathlessly
Repeating this incantation,
We shall become
Eternity's sweetness-purity-breath.

O Lord Supreme,
You have donned
An earthly cloak.
We place at Your Feet
Our surrender unconditional
For Your unhorizoned Manifestation
Here on earth.

Refrain

God in human form
Descends from Heaven today
To touch and feel
The breath of earth-dust.
Comrades, His Victory
Let us proclaim, casting aside
All our world-responsibility-obligations.


  1. SAI 55. This is a translation of a Bengali poem which was written by Chinmoy in Pondicherry, India, on August 14th, 1945 — the day before Sri Aurobindo's Birth Day. Chinmoy was then thirteen years old. The poem became a song in New York on July 8th, 1995 — fifty years later. It is the longest song in Sri Chinmoy's musical opus. Sri Chinmoy began translating this Bengali song into English on June 9th, 1996. He completed the translation on August 4th so that it might be released on August 15th.

"Savitri"1

(The Epic Divine)

Savitri, wonder-light of the Seer supreme!
The Mother Divine through her glows out on earth.
Stretching to perfection's knowledge-sun clay-boughs
Now clasp far Immortality's first birth.

At every step tearing the frown of Doom,
Closing the gate to all temptation vile,
Our heart can dwell beyond the clutch of fate:
Our mind no ignorance-dream can now beguile.

A strange coincidence: with the start of the first World War, shaking human life and culture to their foundations with its unprecedented horrors, the world-saving message of The Life Divine found publication.


  1. SAI 56. (1956)

"The Life Divine"1

(The Magnum Opus of Philosophy)

The only way to grow
Is to aim beyond our reach.
We are in a ceaseless flow
To seize the fount of peace.

Truly, no end there is
That is not a starting mark.
Behold!
His blazing bliss
Transforms our nature dark.

Our oneness with Him we own
In faith; and challenge of Death
We meet: the Truth is revealed —
In us His eternal Breath.


  1. SAI 57. (1956)

Part III — Essays

Sri Aurobindo: a glimpse1

Sri Aurobindo was born on August 15th, 1872 in Calcutta. His grandfather, Rishi Rajnarayan Bose, was a patriot of the deepest dye and a pioneer of India's renaissance. His daughter, Swarnalata, became Sri Aurobindo's mother. Sri Aurobindo's father. Dr. K. D. Ghose, was to all outer appearances completely anglicised. However, he too cherished a genuine and abiding love for his Motherland.

At the age of five, Aurobindo was sent to Loreto Convent School in Darjeeling for two years. Strangely enough, it was to this same convent that Mother Teresa was sent when she first arrived in India in 1929 at the age of eighteen.

When Aurobindo was just seven years old, his father took him and his two older brothers to England to receive their education. Aurobindo was to remain in England for fourteen years, far removed from his parents and his homeland. He attended St. Paul's School in London for five years and was accepted into King's College, Cambridge, as an Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.) probationer. Aurobindo was at Cambridge from October 1890 to October 1892. He secured a First Class result in Latin and Greek, but was disqualified from the open I.C.S. examination for failing to present himself for the riding test. In later years, Sri Aurobindo revealed that he was wandering the streets of London at the time of his appointment. He had resolved to bring about his rejection from the I.C.S. because he felt no call for the administrative life. He preferred poetry, literature, the study of languages and patriotic activities.

At this time, he was introduced to the Gaekwar of Baroda, who offered him a position in his State Secretariat. Aurobindo accepted the position and decided to sail for India in January 1893. Aurobindo's father was extremely attached to this son, whom he had not seen for fourteen years. He had almost intuitive high hopes that his Auro was to brighten the face of India. Alas, the ship which was to carry Aurobindo sank off the coast of Portugal. On the assumption that his son must have perished with the lost ship, his father died of a broken heart. But Aurobindo boarded a second ship and he reached India safely in February 1893.

As soon as Aurobindo stepped on India's soil at Apollo Bunder, Bombay, he had a most significant spiritual experience. His entire being was inundated with peace. The all-pervading Presence of the Infinite he felt. This lofty experience came to him unsought. Aurobindo's father had been an atheist and his children's upbringing in England did not encompass spirituality. Aurobindo's spiritual experiences came to him gradually.

Aurobindo's mother, Swarnalata, was extremely beautiful. She was known as "the Rose of Rangpur." A most poignant moment occurred when Aurobindo and his mother were reunited. To the family's intense sorrow, over the passage of years she had lost her mental balance and could not recognise her Aurobindo. Only by looking at an old scar on his finger could she verify that it was her own son who had returned.

Aurobindo spent thirteen years in the Baroda State Service, first in the Secretariat, later as Professor of French and English, and finally as Vice-Principal of the Baroda State College. Consecrated to India's independence from his Cambridge days, he devoted his spare time to learning Indian languages, absorbing Indian culture and practising yoga. He conducted secret societies for work towards independence and wrote political articles constructively criticising the thinking of India's political leaders of the National Congress.

In 1903 the Maharaja took Aurobindo with him as secretary on a tour to Kashmir. There, on Shankaracharya Hill, high above the valley of Kashmir, Aurobindo had a vivid experience of the vacant Infinite. This experience left an abiding impression on his mind.

In 1906 the National Movement, centring around the Partition of Bengal, brought Aurobindo to Calcutta. While Principal of the Bengal National College, he conducted the journals Mataram in English and Yugantar in Bengali. A leader of the secret societies, he also worked ceaselessly — publicly and behind the scenes — sowing the seeds of love of country and her independence in the national mind and heart. As Aurobindo's stars were ascending in Bengal politics, India's greatest poet Rabindranath Tagore — a patriot and nationalist of the supreme height — proudly and unreservedly voiced forth from his unhorizoned vision-eye:

""Aurobindo, do accept Rabindranath's salutations!
O my friend, O our country's friend,
You embody the living message-image-light
Of our Mother India's soul..."
//(translated from the original Bengali)//"

Aurobindo's contributions to the cause of lndian independence were also highly appreciated by the towering trinity of Lal-Bal-Pal — Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal. Pal, who was one of Aurobindo's closest colleagues in those days, cheerfully accepted six months' rigorous imprisonment just to keep his cherished friend Aurobindo at large.

In 1907 Aurobindo resigned from the Bengal National College. At his farewell party, Aurobindo's students asked him for some words of advice. He responded with a momentous and soul-stirring speech, saying:

""...There are times in a nation's history when Providence places before it one work, one aim, to which everything else, however high and noble in itself, has to be sacrificed, Such a time has now arrived for our Motherland when nothing is dearer than her service, when everything else is to be directed to that end....Work that she may prosper. Suffer that she may rejoice.""

Hand in hand with his political activities of those days, Aurobindo also pursued his spiritual inclinations. He took as his spiritual guide a yogi by the name of Vishnu Bhaskar Lele. Just before meeting with Aurobindo, Lele had the intuition that he was about to give initiation to a very great soul. In 1908 Aurobindo stayed with Lele for three days and Lele instructed him in meditation, specially how to make his mind completely blank. Lele was extremely proud of his student. What it had taken Lele himself six long years to accomplish, Aurobindo accomplished in just three days. He far surpassed Lele.

On May 4th, 1908 Aurobindo was suddenly arrested on charges of sedition and imprisoned in Alipore Jail. He was to remain there for twelve months. This period of enforced seclusion was actually a blessing in disguise for Aurobindo. It enabled him to carry on his yoga uninterrupted and he passed hour after hour in his cramped cell in silent contemplation. For fifteen days he vividly heard the voice of Swami Vivekananda speaking to him about the Supermind. As Aurobindo Ghose progressed towards his God-realisation, he had the vision of Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, everywhere and in everything. Sri Krishna assured him that He would work in and through Aurobindo's junior counsel, Chitta Ranjan Das, to secure Aurobindo's acquittal. Sri Krishna also gave Aurobindo direct assurance that India's independence would be achieved — but that the rest of the work towards that end would be carried out by others, while he himself would have to work for a higher Cause.

While concluding the case for the defence, C. R. Das said:

""...My appeal to you is this — that long after this turmoil, this agitation will have ceased, long after he is dead and gone, he will be looked upon as the poet of patriotism, as the prophet of nationalism arid the lover of humanity. Long after he is dead and gone, his words will be echoed and re-echoed not only in India but across distant seas and lands....""

After his acquittal on May 6th, 1909 Sri Aurobindo started two publications: the Dharma in Bengali and the Karmayogin in English. In 1910 he received an Adesh or 'Command' from Above and abruptly quit all his political activities. He retired into seclusion, first at French Chandernagore, then at French Pondicherry, to work for the greater Cause of the world's spiritual transformation and divinisation.

Because he had taken refuge in French territory, Sri Aurobindo could not be recaptured by the British. However, they posted a spy in his household to report on his movements. This spy became Sri Aurobindo's cook. At the end of six months, the spy came to Sri Aurobindo and made a clean breast of his real motives. Then, with tears in his eyes, he offered Sri Aurobindo all his savings from the Government pay and begged his forgiveness. Sri Aurobindo did forgive him, smilingly and unreservedly.

From 1910 to 1920, from his base at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo conducted the Arya, a philosophical monthly into which he poured his spirituality-flooded message. These writings formed the basis of his major works: The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and many more. He also wrote essays on poetry and literature, including The Future Poetry, Hymns to the Mystic Fire and two volumes of Collected Poems and Plays. His last and greatest work is Savitri, the epitome of spiritual autobiography, It is an epic of 23,814 lines, far surpassing in height, depth and length any epic in Greek, Latin, English, Italian or German. It is, indeed, a new Veda for the New Age.

On November 24th, 1926 Sri Aurobindo attained to his spiritual perfection. He withdrew from all contacts and put into the hands of his spiritual Collaborator, the Mother, the disciples who had gathered around him. This marked the beginning of the Ashram at Pondicherry.

For over twenty-four years, with the Mother working in front, he continued with his yoga, not caring to rest on the laurels of his first Victory, but pushing upward till he found himself within sight of his supreme and final Victory which alone could achieve the end of his Mission: the descent of what he called the Supermind into the very cells of his physical body.

India's independence was won on August 15th, 1947. Most significantly, this was Sri Aurobindo's own Birth Day. He was requested to offer a message to the free nation and he began:

""August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it, by our life and acts as a free nation, an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.
August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition....""

At the age of seventy-eight, for purposes of his own, Sri Aurobindo decided to part with his body, and he carried out this decision on December 5th, 1950 after a brief "illness." He left the charge of his work to the Mother, who accepted it and gave her word that she would remain on earth to accomplish his work of integral transformation. Sri Aurobindo, too, gave his word to the Mother that he would not leave the earth atmosphere until his work was done. People living in the Ashram and abroad have been, ever since, feeling his living Presence and Force at work. An immortal event took place on February 29th, 1956 when the manifestation of the Power for which Sri Aurobindo had sacrificed his body took place and it has been operating increasingly in world affairs since that time.

It was the Mother's conviction and assertion that the more the earth responds seriously and sincerely, and offers itself for the radical transformation of its nature, the sooner will it change with the help of the New Light and Consciousness. As confidence was her wont, this goal would be attained and she left the body in 1973 at the age of ninety-five.

Inner memories of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother I and many others have, but I would like humbly to share with you some of my most precious outer possessions and memories. When I joined the Ashram in 1944 as a young boy of twelve years old, I received from Sri Aurobindo a copy of his book Kara Kahani (Tales of Prison Life). Sri Aurobindo had blessingfully written down my name, Chinmoy, in his own handwriting. Needless to say, I was overjoyed.

At the Ashram I had many mentors who encouraged my literary attempts. In 1946 I was inspired to render one of Sri Aurobindo's Bengali stories about the Vedic sages Vasishtha and Vishwamitra into Bengali verse. Sri Aurobindo's story is called "Kshamar Adarsha" ("The Ideal of Forgiveness"). My poem ran to about two hundred lines. Timidly and devotedly I submitted it to the Mother. Out of her infinite compassion for me, the Mother gave it to Sri Aurobindo. In a few days' time, at four-thirty in the afternoon, I was on my way to the volleyball ground. One of Sri Aurobindo's dearest attendants, Mulshankar, stopped me and said, "Chinmoy, Nirod is reading out to Sri Aurobindo your long poem and Sri Aurobindo is smiling." When I heard this, I was in the seventh Heaven of delight! A few hours later, Nirod-da sent for me and returned the poem. He told me that Sri Aurobindo had remarked: "It is a fine piece of poetry. He has capacity. Tell him to continue."

In 1948 I translated one of my Bengali poems about India's independence into English and, as usual, with utmost timidity, I gave the Mother the poem. Smiling, Mother said to me, "I know it is for Sri Aurobindo that you are giving it to me." She took it from me and gave it to Sri Aurobindo.

In 1958 I began writing a play about the Life of Sri Aurobindo and I was told by Champaklal, one of his personal assistants, that the Mother enjoyed hearing my play. It was published serially in the Mother India.

In 1959, on my birthday, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram manager, Amrita — a pioneer-pillar-disciple whose name, meaning 'Nectar: Immortality', was given by Sri Aurobindo himself — presented me with a Parker fountain pen. "Chinmoy, I am giving you my most precious and my most treasured possession. This was the pen our Lord gave me on one of my birthdays many years ago, long before you were born. He himself used it many, many times."

Finally, my prayerful heart is all gratitude to the Divine Mother for granting me the invaluable blessing-opportunity to be allowed to meditate every morning very early in front of the Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's pictures at the place where they used to give Darshan four times a year and also at the two doors of Sri Aurobindo's main room. This unimaginable privilege started in 1958 and continued until 1964 when I came to America. In the beginning, I used to pray and meditate for five minutes and then, gradually, gradually, after a few months' time, it went up to about two hours. My soulful joy knew no bounds, specially when the Mother herself watched and passed by me as I was praying and meditating. This happened four or five times over the course of the years. With my heart's tearful devotion, I place those Heaven-touched moments of my aspiration-life at the Feet of the Divine Mother.

Long twenty-seven years ago — to be precise, on November 23rd, 1970 — I was extremely fortunate to give a talk on "The Higher Worlds" here at this august King's College of Cambridge University. I wish to conclude today my prayerful and soulful talk on Sri Aurobindo, a transcendental pride of Cambridge, the way I began my talk three decades ago:

Cambridge, I bow to your aspiration-height.
I bow to your knowledge-light.
I bow to your divine pride.
True, you are in England, you are of England,
But you are also of the world at large.
The entire world claims you as its very own.


  1. SAI 58. This essay was originally written in Pondicherry. It was extensively revised in New York on November 5th, 1997 and delivered as a talk by the author at King's College, Cambridge, on November 12th, 1997.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram: a nursery of the spirit1

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is an attempt at the embodiment of a universal divine brotherhood — an invitation to all, irrespective of nationality, caste, creed, age or sex to consecrate themselves to the spiritual life along the lines of the Master's Integral Yoga.

The ashramites endeavour to cultivate a comprehensive scale of divine values broad enough to harmonise opposites like work and meditation, mysticism and rationalism, austerity and aesthetic expression and to unite the twin goals of our individual and collective evolution.

The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, with its two inseparable limbs of action and meditation, makes the Ashram quite unlike most others, for it has a different story to unfold for the future. It carries within itself the seeds of a new and greater cosmos to come. It is a powerful influence towards the reconciliation of the highest past in Indian spiritual attainment and the most glorious future. All over the world we observe new tentative ideologies and impulses arising, a new attempt to develop and progress. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one expression of this new dynamic drive. And in years to come this spirit is bound to assert itself and result in the greater and higher development of mankind.

The Ashram represents humanity through its individual types and society through its different vocations.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother observed that the enforcement of regulations tends to encourage their violation in secret. Hence discipline here is learned through the efforts towards self-rule, attempted and expressed in freedom. This freedom helps to promote in the individual an unflinching honesty and integrity. Nevertheless, this lack of ordinary discipline in the Ashram does not mean that the question of test does not arise.

"There is in the Ashram," says the Mother, "no exterior discipline and visible test. But the inner test is very severe and constant; one must be very sincere in the aspiration to surmount all egoism and to conquer all vanity in order to be able to stay. A complete surrender is not outwardly exacted but it is indispensable for those who wish to stick on, and many things come to test the sincerity of this surrender. However, the grace and the help are always there for those who aspire for them."

The Mother is the Ashram. All the ashramites are bound to her by their inner faith in her divine Realisation and her spiritual Insight. Her divine guidance solves all individual and collective problems, physical, vital, mental and spiritual. The final authority in the carrying out of any decision is the Mother.

People living here are from many countries, speaking different languages, belonging to different religions and cultures. They find themselves thrown into an atmosphere which is not always easy to adjust to, where souls alone can breathe. Yet the remarks of a newcomer from America on the Ashram are significant:

""The atmosphere of the Ashram is discouraging to all pretence and vanity. Ego-antics, common in the average small group, are rarely noted here, even among a thousand — blessed relief! Surely there is here a powerful force at work to subdue the ego and bring forward the soul....Yet we were warned on arrival not to assume that we were in the company of angels, but rather a grand cross-section of humanity, who form the Mother's laboratory for the great transformation.""

The Mother is the sole exponent of Sri Aurobindo's yoga. "Surrender to the Mother" has ever been the refrain of the Master's supremely inspired voice.

""She [the Mother] alone can say what is the right way to deal with people. If she were to deal with people only according to their defects, there would be hardly a dozen people left in the Ashram."
"Always behave as if the Mother is looking at you because she is indeed always present.""

This message of Sri Aurobindo is deeply engraved in the hearts of the aspiring souls who want to launch into the field of His Integral Yoga. Indeed his ideal and the Mother's creation are a mirror for the world to come.


  1. Written in Pondicherry. First published August 27th, 1966

Part IV — Extracts from essays

SAI 60-72. Note: The extracts in this section are from essays which have been published in Mother India's Lighthouse: India's Spiritual Leaders (New York: Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1973).

Rishi Rajnarayan Bose1

"A prophet is not honoured in his own country." This frequently mouthed proverb proved quite true in the case of Rishi Rajnarayan Bose. His own son-in-law, K. D. Ghose, decided to send his children to England to become thoroughly anglicised. As preparation for the fulfilment of his wishes, perhaps, he appointed a European nurse to attend his child, Auro, and later sent him to an English convent at Darjeeling for his primary education. But as a contrast, it is equally strange that the very same father should send to his son Auro in England press-cuttings from India describing the injustices and atrocities of British rule here. Thus, unconsciously, he supplied fuel to the fire of patriotism with which the son appears to have been born. The father did all this, for he intuitively felt that his son Auro was destined to do something very great. His expectations were more than fulfilled in Sri Aurobindo's becoming a spiritual Leader of mankind, while his immediate expectations were only partly fulfilled. Aurobindo learned what the West could teach him, yet he remained thoroughly Indian in the core of his heart, and was not anglicised, as his father desired. The grandfather's joy and pride knew no bounds to find in his grandson a unique love for his Motherland, for his culture ad education, notwithstanding his Western education of the highest order.


  1. SAI 60. from "Rishi Rajnarayan Bose"

'His strength lay in his touch with God'1

Sri Aurobindo's India had no material equipment to wage a war against the British. But his strength lay in his touch with God. Does he not say in Savitri:
""All can be done if the God-touch is there"?"


  1. SAI 61. from "Rishi Bankim"

'Nationalism'1

Nationalism is not a highly political or mental aspiration. What is Nationalism? In the words of Sri Aurobindo, "Nationalism is not a mere political programme; Nationalism is a religion that comes from God."


  1. SAI 62. from "Rabindranath: The Myriad-Minded"

'Bankim'1

""Bankim, the greatest of novelists, had...versatility developed to its highest expression. Scholar, poet, essayist, novelist, philosopher, lawyer, critic, official, philologist and religious innovator — the whole world seemed to be shut up in his single brain." (Sri Aurobindo)"

Sri Aurobindo's appreciation of Bankim may partly be attributed to the fact that Bankim had theoretically chalked out the path of ideas in the cause of India's independence which Sri Aurobindo was to work out and extend in his inimitable way.

Now let us learn in a flash from Sri Aurobindo the difference between the earlier Bankim and the later Bankim: "The earlier Bankim was only a poet and stylist — the later Bankim was a seer and nation-builder."


  1. SAI 63. from "Rishi Bankim"

'Bankim Chandra Chatterjee'[fn:: SAI 64. from "Chitta Ranjan Das". Note: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was the author of "Bande Mataram, which was the original national anthem of India, and the source of profound inspiration in the long struggle for India's independence.

The years 1907 and 1908 shall shine perpetually in the history of Bengal. The current of true patriotism simply inundated the four frontiers of the province. On May 4th, 1908, in the small hours of the morning, Sri Aurobindo was arrested, and soon he was considered to be the supreme leader of the firebrand revolutionaries. The two significant features of the Alipore Bomb Case were the unexpected acquittal of Sri Aurobindo and C. R. Das's swift flare-up into fame. Das was then a junior counsel. Bhupal Bose, the father-in-law of Sri Aurobindo, appointed Byomkesh Chakravarti to defend his son-in-law. The old man dismissed Das as a child, saying, "I should not commit the charge of the case of my son-in-law to a younger counsel."

But somehow Chitta Ranjan Das felt an inner urge to participate in the defence of Sri Aurobindo, his dear friend, whom he had first met in England. In those days, he used to communicate with the spirit-world with the help of a planchette. One day a particular message was received by him repeatedly.

"You must defend Arabinda." To the query who he was, the reply came, "Upadhyaya." Requested to be more explicit, the "spirit" replied: "Brahma Bandhava Upadhyaya" (a fire-soul of patriotism). From that day on, it became quite clear to Chitta Ranjan that he would have to conduct the Alipore Bomb Case.

Meanwhile, for some reason or other, the counsel Byomkesh Chakravarti was dispensed with and C. R. Das was called in.

On this occasion Sri Aurobindo's sister, Sarojini Ghose, played a significant role in saving her brother. She raised subscriptions and even begged from door to door, appealing to the very rickshaw-drivers and the coolies who, on their part, never failed to respond to her throbbing appeal. At last, on August 18th, 1908 in Bande Mataram she issued the following appeal:

""I am sincerely grateful to my countrymen and countrywomen of different provinces, creeds and grades of society for their kind response to my appeal for funds for the defence of my brother, Srijut Aurobindo Ghose. The time has now come to engage a counsel to defend him in the Court of Sessions."
"Perhaps the public have not hitherto had any accurate idea of the probable expenses of my brother's defence. My legal and other advisers tell me that the amount required would not fall short of sixty thousand rupees. But only twenty-three thousand rupees have been received up to date."
"May I not hope that the balance will be received shortly?...""

Deshabandhu Chitta Ranjan's love and affection for Sri Aurobindo will be evident from the following incident. When some of the friends of Sri Aurobindo made a fervent request to him to conduct the case to the best of his ability, he was deeply pained:

""Am I less anxious than any of you to get Aurobindo released?""

On another occasion he said that while defending Aurobindo he felt that he himself was the accused and he was arguing his own case. What a sense of identification he developed with his intimate friend!

While closing the Alipore Bomb Case, he made a short and eloquent speech. His prophetic voice will ring in the ears of posterity for all time:

"".. .My appeal to you is this — that long after this turmoil, this agitation will have ceased, long after he is dead and gone, he will be looked upon as the poet of patriotism, as the prophet of nationalism and the lover of humanity. Long after he is dead and gone, his words will be echoed and re-echoed not only in India but across distant seas and lands....""

Let us here leave Sri Aurobindo to speak about the loving sacrifice of C. R. Das and the divine mystery involved in the matter.

""He came unexpectedly — a friend of mine, but I did not know he was coming. You have all heard the name of the man who put away from him all other thoughts and abandoned all his practice, who sat up half the night day after day for months and broke his health to save me — Srijut Chitta Ranjan Das. When I saw him, I was satisfied, but I still thought it necessary to write instructions. Then all that was put away from me and I had the message from within. 'This is the man who will save you from the snares put around your feet. Put aside those papers. It is not you who will instruct him. I will instruct him.' From that time I did not of myself speak a word to my counsel about the case or give a single instruction, and if ever I was asked a question, I always found that my answer did not help the case. I had left it to him and he took it entirely into his hands, with what result you know.""

'The Master-Seer of the Age'1

1925. Deshabandhu left the earth. The Master-Seer of the Age, from his silence-hushed Ashram, telegraphed a message to a daily journal that had wired for a comment. "Chitta Ranjan's death is a supreme loss. Consummately endowed with political intelligence, constructive imagination, magnetism, a driving force combining a very strong will and uncommon plasticity of mind for vision and tact of the hour, he was the one man after Tilak who could have led India to swaraj."


  1. SAI 65. from "Chitta Ranjan Das"

'Lala Lajpat Rai's deportation'1

On the occasion of Lala Lajpat Rai's deportation, how Sri Aurobindo with his indomitable will inspired the people of the Punjab is not only striking but also highly elevating. It was far into the night. Sri Aurobindo was asleep. One of his co-workers came in and gave him the news of Lala Lajpat's deportation. While searching for paper to write on, he found a piece of packing paper within his reach. He in no time wrote out the following words for publication in his Bande Mataram on the morrow:
""Men of the Punjab! Race of the lion! Show these men who would stamp you into the dust that for one Lajpat they have taken away, a hundred Lajpats will arise in his place.""
""Swaraj is my birthright," so said Tilak."
""Swaraj," said Rai, "is our war-cry, our all-inspiring and all-absorbing aim in life.""

According to Sri Aurobindo, "Swaraj means fulfilment of our national life."


  1. SAI 66. from "A Great Quartet"

'Lala Lajpat Rai'1

Long after Sri Aurobindo bade farewell to politics, — to be precise, on January 5th, 1925 — Lala Lajpat Rai came to meet him at Pondicherry. There was an exchange of free ideas on current politics. To quote his genuine appreciation of Sri Aurobindo which he wrote long ago: "In intellectual acumen and in scholastic accomplishments, he is perhaps superior to Har Dayal, but above all, he is deeply religious and spiritual."


  1. SAI 67. from "A Great Quartet"

'Tilak'1

"….a name to be remembered so long as the country has pride in its past and hope for its future." In these few words of appreciation from Sri Aurobindo's immortal pen, the world can form an idea of the contribution of Bal Gangadhar Tilak to his Motherland.

At a time when our Motherland was swooning under the yoke of subjugation imposed by the British, the profusely inspired voice of Tilak, the Father of Indian Unrest, was heard: "Home rule is my birthright." And his voice was propagated from that very moment to Eternity.

Tilak's lofty appreciation of Sri Aurobindo runs in this wise:

""None is equal to Aravinda in self-sacrifice, knowledge and sincerity....It is a dispensation of benign Providence that persons like Aravinda have been drawn to the national work....He writes from divine inspiration, satwic intelligence, and unshakeable determination.""


  1. SAI 68. from "A Great Quartet"

'Bipin Chandra Pal'1

Bipin Chandra Pal's triumphant call to patriotism reached every heart, rich and poor, wise and unwise. It is an undeniable fact that patriotism is the true love of one's own country. Pal adds something to it. He says: "Love's test is sacrifice." His final conclusion is: "Agitation is not, in any sense, a test of true patriotism. That test is self-help and self-sacrifice."

Indeed, one of his self-sacrifices captures our attention and draws admiration from all his countrymen. But for him, Aurobindo, his dearest colleague, would have been thrown into jail. He cheerfully accepted six months' rigorous imprisonment just to keep his cherished friend Aurobindo at large.

According to Bipin Chandra Pal, a nation is not simply a collection of individuals. His firm conviction is that "a nation is an organism; it has organical life, and like all organisms a nation has an end unto itself, which is different from the ends that regulate the activities of other similar organisms, other similar nations."

And Sri Aurobindo reveals the truth that lies behind the rise of India. "She does not rise as others do, for herself or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal Light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be free."

In his unique Uttarpara Speech, Sri Aurobindo's lofty appreciation of Bipin Chandra Pal runs: "He is one of the mightiest prophets of Nationalism." No other characterisation of Bipin Chandra Pal's life could be more apposite than this.


  1. SAI 69. from /"A Great Quartet"

'Bharati'1

Poet, patriot, savant, awakener of Tamil Nad: — Bharati is all these. When his political life fell under the shadow of danger, he fled in 1908 to Pondicherry, then a French settlement. For some time he was lost to the public eye, and his life was poverty-stricken.

In 1910 occurred a stroke of Providence. Aurobindo Ghose of Bengal was no more in the vortex of politics. The presiding Deity of Pondicherry housed the fiery apostle of Indian Nationalism not only peacefully but also cheerfully.

The opportunity was too good to be missed. For years, when the sun would go down, Bharati would go to Sri Aurobindo's place to bask in the sunshine of his affection. Under that great influence, his head began to teem with national songs which brought him, in after years, transcendental praise. Sri Aurobindo taught him how to vision the country as the Mother personified. Bharati saw that, while mankind was engrossed in the immediate, Sri Aurobindo was devoted to the Ultimate. It was Sri Aurobindo who so very kindly helped him to launch into the Vedic mysteries, and made him at home in ancient literatures. Let us listen to Prema Nandakumar, an authority on Bharati and a student of Sri Aurobindo, describe the relation between the two: "…a spellbinder, an inspiration, a veritable Krishna to the neophyte Arjuna."


  1. SAI 70. from "Bharati, Awakener of Tamil Nad"

'Pondicherry'1

Pondicherry derives from Puduhcheri, a new town. Yes, it is a new, an ever-new town, new from age to age.

In Agastya's time it was Vedapuri, the seat of Vedic knowledge. The truths of the Vedas are at once eternal and ever-new. Coming down to our own days, we find Vivekananda visiting Pondicherry in 1893, just a few months before embarking on his historic voyage to America, where the multitudes of people heard in him the voice of Eternity ringing across the ages, and saw in him the ineffable vision of God.

Vivekananda, the dearest disciple of Sri Ramakrishna; Tilak, the fearless champion of India's swaraj; Bharati, the patriot-bard of India's nationalism and independence; Sri Aurobindo, the Heaven-born prophet of India's independence and of the Life Divine — all hallowed the town with the dust of their feet.

Sri Aurobindo's choice of Pondicherry as the divinely ordained seat of his world-transforming sadhana led to visits by a number of distinguished leaders of the national movement — Lala Lajpat Rai, C. R. Das, Moonje Purushottandas Tandon and Rabindranath Tagore, to name only a few. In 1914 there occurred an epoch-making event in the history of the world. From Paris came a remarkable spiritual figure. Madam M. Alfassa, now known as the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is she who by her divine Personality and far-seeing powers of organisation has changed the face of Pondicherry to a great extent, and is continuing to build a New Life in this ever-new town. The Vedapuri of old is again going to be the Vedapuri of the modern times — the meeting-place of East and West, the place of pilgrimage of the whole world.


  1. SAI 71. From "The Disciple and the Master"

Nolini Kanta Gupta1

Your soul-life was written
By Sri Aurobindo's Vision.
Your heart-life was produced
By Sri Aurobindo's Compassion.
Your mind-life was directed
By Sri Aurobindo's Illumination.

Since the beginning of creation
Sri Aurobindo's Fondness-Soul
Has been your permanent Address.

No wonder that Barin-da [Barindra Kumar Ghose],
Sri Aurobindo's younger brother,
Wrote to the late Yogesh Chandra Bishwas
Of Chittagong
Many years ago that you were
The mind-begotten son of Sri Aurobindo.


  1. SAI 72. From "Nolini: Sri Aurobindo's Unparalleled Friend-Son-Disciple"

Part V — Aphorisms

Chandelier1

Sri Aurobindo is the Father of a beginningless beginning and the Son of an endless end.

The Mother always gives. We too always give. Hers is the Blessing. Ours is the unworthiness.

Sri Aurobindo's Truth is the Seed. His Law is the Plant. His Forgiveness is the Tree. His Holocaust is the Fruit — the Supermind for the world's transformation.

The Mother is ceaseless forgiveness. It is man's bulwark against perdition.


  1. SAI 73. This is Chinmoy's original dedication page for his fourth book, which was published in 1959. The Mother has added her blessings and those of Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother1

Sri Aurobindo is the Flower. The Mother is the Fragrance,

Sri Aurobindo is the Face. The Mother is the Smile.

Sri Aurobindo is the Lamp. The Mother is the Flame.

Sri Aurobindo is the Victory. The Mother is the Trumpet.

Sri Aurobindo is the Mast. The Mother is the Flag.

Sri Aurobindo is the Aerodrome. The Mother is the Plane.

Sri Aurobindo is Truth in its Conception. The Mother is Truth in its Embodiment.

Sri Aurobindo is a Cup of Nectar. The Mother is the Spoon.

Sri Aurobindo is the Heart. The Mother is the Tender Feeling.

Sri Aurobindo is the Song. The Mother is the Singer.

Sri Aurobindo is the all-containing Book. The Mother is the all-explaining Teacher.

Sri Aurobindo is the Handkerchief. The Mother is the Hand to wipe their disciples' tearful eyes.

Sri Aurobindo is Immensity in its growing revelation. The Mother is Intensity in its blossoming fulfilment.

Sri Aurobindo protects the disciples. The Mother holds and nourishes the disciples.

Sri Aurobindo is the crystal-pure Water. The Mother is the untiring Tap.

Sri Aurobindo is the Medicine. The Mother is the Doctor.

Sri Aurobindo is the Vision. The Mother is the Action.

Sri Aurobindo is the ever-creative subtle body of his disciples. The Mother is the ever-progressive physical body of her disciples.

Sri Aurobindo draws admiration from his disciples. The Mother draws love from her disciples.

Sri Aurobindo is the Unfailing Hope. The Mother is the Constant Help.

Sri Aurobindo's eyes are All-Grace for the fallen earth-consciousness. The Mother's eyes are All-Solace for the fallen earth-consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo is our souls' Reserve Bank. The Mother is the Banker.

The disciple sees in Sri Aurobindo an Ocean of Peace the moment he places himself at His Feet. The disciple sees in the Mother an Ocean of Ecstasy the moment he places himself at Her Feet.

Sri Aurobindo says: "The Mother is Everything. " The Mother says: "Yes, but all I am is in Him, with Him, of Him and for Him. "


  1. SAI 74. Written in Pondicherry. First published August 27th, 1966

Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga1

A Seer-Poet to the poets, a divine Philosopher to mankind, a Master Yogi to his worshippers, an Avatar to his disciples — who is he? Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo's Yoga is an ambrosial consciousness with infinite possibilities; it is a never-tiring march, a decisive and everlasting victory of Truth.

The keynote of Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga is evolution — evolution of consciousness in and through Matter. There is no shadow of doubt that Matter and Spirit are one. Spirit, when it is fast asleep, is Matter; Matter, when it is fully awakened, is Spirit.

Integral Yoga is founded on an all-fulfilling experience which is anything but speculation and reasoning. An Integral Yogi is he who has seen all the phases of existence and whose very life is full of variegated experiences and realisations.

A marvel-idealism and a highly practical divinity are housed in Sri Aurobindo. His are the experiences that may serve as humanity's royal road to a life worth living — a life of the Spirit, the Life Divine.

Sri Aurobindo holds that physical work is in no way a bar to spiritual progress. On the contrary, he strongly feels that physical work is an aid to self-preparation for the full manifestation of the Divine both in oneself and upon the earth.

Sri Aurobindo tells the world that it is not only possible but entirely practicable to work easily, incessantly, consciously, inwardly, outwardly, thus finally successfully. And in his opinion, life itself is a blessing of God through which man has to realise Him and be one with Him.

Sri Aurobindo's is the supernal Smile that reveals at once the embodiment of an infinite achievement and the future spiritual destiny of mankind.

Invisible to the blind, yet invincible to the strong, and a wonderful practical hope to the four corners of the globe, is the power of Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga.

Sri Aurobindo is the ever-creative silent bridge between God's Will and His Fulfilment.

In Integral Yoga, God-realisation means merely standing at the shore of the vast sea of Consciousness. The fire-pure change of the inner and outer life means swimming in that sea. Manifestation of the Divine on earth means returning Home after having crossed the sea, bringing with you the Golden All.

It is not a dream of God but His Decree that Heaven and earth must fall supremely in love with each other. He wants their marriage to take place sooner than immediately. Earth feels that she is inferior to Heaven. Heaven feels that he is superior to earth. And because of their mutual hesitation, the day of their marriage is kept in abeyance.

Integral Yoga has made a significant choice. It wants not only to see and feel the conscious evolution of life, but also to embody a fully harmonised life of Matter and Spirit.

An Integral Yogi is he who sacrifices his life to become a bridge between earth and Heaven. He has foregone Heaven; he uplifts earth.

The aspirant in man is the cross-bearer. The Yogi in man is the crown-bearer.

To say that Yoga is the realisation of God is not to say all. Yoga is the living union with God by self-affirmation and self-abnegation.

Sri Aurobindo tells us that God-realisation never obliges us to kill all feelings, to make our heart a sterile wasteland and to pronounce a curse on the world. God is everything and in everything.

Readiness in Integral Yoga amounts to an aspiration that wishes to be expressed. Willingness amounts to an aspiration that has already been expressed.

An unprecedented teaching of Integral Yoga propounded by Sri Aurobindo is that man can have material prosperity alongside his spiritual development.

Give an ordinary man ten dollars. He will immediately wonder what he can buy with it to make life more pleasant. Give a sannyasin ten dollars. He will try to avoid taking it or else find some means by which he can do without it. Give an Integral Yogi ten dollars. Since he has neither attachment to nor repulsion from money, he will try to utilise it as a divine trustee.

To be unconscious of a spiritual opportunity is to starve one's spiritual destiny.

Difficulties in Integral Yoga never indicate one's unworthiness. Behind each difficulty there is a possibility, nay, a blessing in disguise, to accept the test boldly and to come out successfully.

In Yoga, all reactions are threatening but passing clouds. Human aspiration is the naked and permanent sword of the soul to stab through the weakness of human nature and rise triumphant on the ashes of its conquests.

Follow no other ideal than to materialise the power of perfection on earth.

Sri Aurobindo's Yoga is the tallest mango tree. His disciples and followers have to climb right up to the top of the tree and bring the mangoes down to earth. For if the fruit is taken at the top, it tastes sour; if taken at the foot of the tree, it tastes delicious.

What is the meaning of coming into contact with God? It means that we shall become one with His universal Existence. As after marriage a woman automatically possesses her husband's name, home and wealth, even so, after our union with God we shall infallibly become one with His all-fulfilling Nature. Verily, in that Divine Hour we shall hear Sri Aurobindo's soul-stirring voice:

""We are sons of God, and must be even as He.""


  1. SAI 75. Written in Pondicherry. First published August 27th, 1966

Part VI — Editor's notes

Editor's note

Although most of the material in this book was published in India, it is published in the West for the first time. This is the 1,190th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West on April 13th, 1964. His first book was published in 1970.

Editor's preface

On November 12th, 1997, Sri Chinmoy will offer a Peace Concert at King's College Chapel, Cambridge University, at the gracious request of the Rev. George Pattison, Dean of the Chapel. This Peace Concert will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of India's independence and the 125th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, Mother India's beloved Poet-Seer- Revolutionary-Patriot-Avatar-Son. The introduction is to be given by His Excellency Dr. L. M. Singhvi, the High Commissioner for India to the United Kingdom.

Sri Aurobindo spent almost fourteen years in England from the age of seven to twenty. He was a student at King's College, Cambridge, from October 1890 to October 1892 and was considered to be one of the most brilliant emerging classical scholars of the day. Returning to India in 1893, he plunged into the cause of nationalism and was later arrested. After being detained for twelve months in Alipore Jail, Sri Aurobindo was released. Eventually, he retired into seclusion in Pondicherry, South India, in order to devote himself entirely to his inner, spiritual work.

Sri Chinmoy spent his early years from 1944 to 1964 as a permanent resident of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. He received Sri Aurobindo's darshan four times a year while Sri Aurobindo was in the physical.

On August 15th, 1947 — the day of Sri Aurobindo's 75th birthday — India's independence was finally won and Sri Aurobindo issued his historic message to the nation. In this message, Sri Aurobindo spoke of the deep, personal significance for him of August 15th:

""August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it, by our life and acts as a free nation, an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.
August 15th is my own birthday, and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition....""

Sri Chinmoy's poems in this volume offer us a poetic biography of the life of Sri Aurobindo, from his earliest days as a boy in London, through to his self-realisation and his transformation into the "Avatar of the Era," which was presaged by his Birth. As the great scholar M. P. Pandit wrote when he first read these poems almost half a century ago, "Each poem celebrates a landmark and is elevating."

The poet was blessed to receive direct encouragement from Sri Aurobindo himself in his poetic journey. In 1946, at age fourteen, the young Chinmoy rendered Sri Aurobindo's story "Kshamar Adarsha" ("The Ideal of Forgiveness") into two hundred lines of Bengali verses. This poem was read to Sri Aurobindo by his literary assistant, Nirodbaran. Sri Aurobindo remarked, "It is a fine piece of poetry. He has capacity. Tell him to continue."

The budding poet of those years has now written more than 52,000 poems in English and is presently working on a special series of 27,000 poems which he has named Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants. It may be said that the poems in this volume. The Infinite: Sri Aurobindo, which are inspired by Chinmoy's deepest love, admiration and devotion for Sri Aurobindo, represent a pure stream of expression and feeling flowing through his lyric morn.

Publisher's notes

The four books by Sri Chinmoy which were published in India are:

Flame-Waves, 1955

The Infinite: Sri Aurobindo, 1956

The Mother of the Golden All, 1958

Chandelier, 1959

The date that appears after each poem in the present volume indicates the date of the first publication. A number of the poems were published in the Mother India, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Monthly Review of Culture, prior to that date.

Not included here is a full-length play about the life of Sri Aurobindo entitled The Descent of the Blue. It was published serially in the Mother India from 1958 to 1962.