This third part of the series ‘ऋतश्री – the True Beauty,’ explores the theme – Dawn. The following lines from Sri Aurobindo, taken from his commentary on the opening section of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, describe perfectly the deeper symbolism of Dawn for an aspirant on the path of Light.
“…as day is the symbol of a time of activity, night of a time of inactivity, so dawn images the imperfect but pregnant beginnings of regular cosmic action; it is the Being’s movement forward, it is its impulse to look out at the universe in which it finds itself and looking towards it, to yearn, to desire to enter upon possession of a world which looks so bright because of the brightness of the gaze that is turned upon it. The word Ushas means etymologically coming into manifested being; and it could mean also desire or yearning. Ushas or Dawn to the early thinkers was the impulse towards manifest existence, no longer a vague movement in the depths of the Unmanifest, but already emerging and on the brink of its satisfaction.” (Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, 18: 278)
The photos were taken by Suhas Mehra on different dawns. The passages from Sri Aurobindo‘s Savitri were selected by Beloo Mehra as she read the epic mantric poem on different evenings. All this happened at the rooftop of our home near Pondicherry, and is now offered at the Lotus Feet of the Mother.
Yes, there are happy ways near to God’s sun;
But few are they who tread the sunlit path;
Only the pure in soul can walk in light.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book VI, Canto II, p. 448)
The inconscient world is the spirit’s self-made room,
Eternal Night shadow of eternal Day.
Night is not our beginning nor our end;
She is the dark Mother in whose womb we have hid
Safe from too swift a waking to world-pain.
We came to her from a supernal Light,
By Light we live and to the Light we go.
There is a morning twilight of the gods;
Miraculous from sleep their forms arise
And God’s long nights are justified by dawn.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book X, Canto I, p. 601)
A hidden Bliss is at the root of things.
A mute Delight regards Time’s countless works:
To house God’s joy in things Space gave wide room,
To house God’s joy in self our souls were born.
This universe an old enchantment guards;
Its objects are carved cups of World-Delight
Whose charmed wine is some deep soul’s rapture-drink:
The All-Wonderful has packed heaven with his dreams,
He has made blank ancient Space his marvel-house;
He spilled his spirit into Matter’s signs:
His fires of grandeur burn in the great sun,
He glides through heaven shimmering in the moon;
He is beauty carolling in the fields of sound;
He chants the stanzas of the odes of Wind;
He is silence watching in the stars at night;
He wakes at dawn and calls from every bough,
Lies stunned in the stone and dreams in flower and tree.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book X, Canto III, p. 630)
Our outward happenings have their seed within,
And even this random Fate that imitates Chance,
This mass of unintelligible results,
Are the dumb graph of truths that work unseen:
The laws of the Unknown create the known.
The events that shape the appearance of our lives
Are a cipher of subliminal quiverings
Which rarely we surprise or vaguely feel,
Are an outcome of suppressed realities
That hardly rise into material day:
They are born from the spirit’s sun of hidden powers
Digging a tunnel through emergency.
But who shall pierce into the cryptic gulf
And learn what deep necessity of the soul
Determined casual deed and consequence?
Absorbed in a routine of daily acts,
Our eyes are fixed on an external scene;
We hear the crash of the wheels of Circumstance
And wonder at the hidden cause of things.
Yet a foreseeing Knowledge might be ours,
If we could take our spirit’s stand within,
If we could hear the muffled daemon voice.
Our range is fixed within the crowded arc
Of what we observe and touch and thought can guess
And rarely dawns the light of the Unknown
Waking in us the prophet and the seer.
The outward and the immediate are our field,
The dead past is our background and support;
Mind keeps the soul prisoner, we are slaves to our acts;
We cannot free our gaze to reach wisdom’s sun.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto IV, pp. 52-53)
There is a truth to know, a work to do;
Her play is real; a Mystery he fulfils:
There is a plan in the Mother’s deep world-whim,
A purpose in her vast and random game.
This ever she meant since the first dawn of life,
This constant will she covered with her sport,
To evoke a Person in the impersonal Void,
With the Truth-Light strike earth’s massive roots of trance,
Wake a dumb self in the inconscient depths
And raise a lost Power from its python sleep
That the eyes of the Timeless might look out from Time
And the world manifest the unveiled Divine.
For this he left his white infinity
And laid on the spirit the burden of the flesh,
That Godhead’s seed might flower in mindless Space.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto IV, pp. 72-73)
Now mind is all and its uncertain ray,
Mind is the leader of the body and life,
Mind the thought-driven chariot of the soul
Carrying the luminous wanderer in the night
To vistas of a far uncertain dawn,
To the end of the Spirit’s fathomless desire,
To its dream of absolute truth and utter bliss.
There are greater destinies mind cannot surmise
Fixed on the summit of the evolving Path
The Traveller now treads in the Ignorance,
Unaware of his next step, not knowing his goal.
Mind is not all his tireless climb can reach,
There is a fire on the apex of the worlds,
There is a house of the Eternal’s light,
There is an infinite truth, an absolute power.
The Spirit’s mightiness shall cast off its mask;
Its greatness shall be felt shaping the world’s course:
It shall be seen in its own veilless beams,
A star rising from the Inconscient’s night,
A sun climbing to Supernature’s peak.
Abandoning the dubious middle Way,
A few shall glimpse the miraculous Origin
And some shall feel in you the secret Force
And they shall turn to meet a nameless tread,
Adventurers into a mightier Day.
Ascending out of the limiting breadths of mind,
They shall discover the world’s huge design
And step into the Truth, the Right, the Vast.
(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book XI, p. 704)
Previous parts in this series: