by Sri Aurobindo
Book Five - The Book of Love
All she remembered
on this day of Fate,
The road that hazarded not the solemn depths
turned away to flee to human homes,
The wilderness with its mighty
The morning like a lustrous seer above,
The passion of the
summits lost in heaven,
The titan murmur of the endless woods.
As if a
wicket gate to joy were there
Ringed in with voiceless hint and magic
Upon the margin of an unknown world
Reclined the curve of a
Groves with strange flowers like eyes of gazing
Peered from their secrecy into open space,
Boughs whispering to a
constancy of light
Sheltered a dim and screened felicity,
And slowly a
supine inconstant breeze
Ran like a fleeting sigh of happiness
slumbrous grasses pranked with green and gold.
Hidden in the forest's bosom
Amid the leaves the inmate voices called,
desires enamoured and unseen,
Cry answering to low insistent cry.
slept emerald dumb remotenesses,
Haunt of a Nature passionate, veiled,
To all but her own vision lost and wild.
Earth in this beautiful
refuge free from cares
Murmured to the soul a song of strength and
Only one sign was there of a human tread:
A single path, shot thin
Into this bosom of vast and secret life,
enormous dream of solitude.
Here first she met on the uncertain earth
one for whom her heart had come so far.
As might a soul on Nature's
Stand out for a moment in a house of dream
the ardent breath of life,
So he appeared against the forest verge
twixt green relief and golden ray.
As if a weapon of the living
Erect and lofty like a spear of God
His figure led the splendour
of the morn.
Noble and clear as the broad peaceful heavens
A tablet of
young wisdom was his brow;
Freedom's imperious beauty curved his
The joy of life was on his open face.
His look was a wide daybreak
of the gods,
His head was a youthful Rishi's touched with light,
was a lover's and a king's.
In the magnificent dawning of his force
like a moving statue of delight
He illumined the border of the forest
Out of the ignorant eager toil of the years
Abandoning man's loud
drama he had come
Led by the wisdom of an adverse Fate
To meet the
ancient Mother in her groves.
In her divine communion he had grown
foster-child of beauty and solitude,
Heir to the centuries of the lonely
A brother of the sunshine and the sky,
A wanderer communing with
depth and marge.
A Veda-knower of the unwritten book
Perusing the mystic
scripture of her forms,
He had caught her hierophant significances,
sphered immense imaginations learned,
Taught by sublimities of stream and
And voices of the sun and star and flame
And chant of the magic
singers on the boughs
And the dumb teaching of four-footed
Helping with confident steps her slow great hands
He leaned to
her influence like a flower to rain
And, like the flower and tree a natural
Widened with the touches of her shaping hours.
The mastery free
natures have was his
And their assent to joy and spacious calm;
the single Spirit inhabiting all,
He laid experience at the Godhead's
His mind was open to her infinite mind,
His acts were rhythmic with
her primal force;
He had subdued his mortal thought to hers.
That day he
had turned from his accustomed paths;
For One who, knowing every moment's
Can move in all our studied or careless steps,
Had laid the spell
of destiny on his feet
And drawn him to the forest's flowering verge.
first her glance that took life's million shapes
Impartially to people its
Along with sky and flower and hill and star,
on the bright harmonious scene.
It saw the green-gold of the slumbrous
The grasses quivering with the slow wind's tread,
haunted by the wild bird's call.
Awake to Nature, vague as yet to
The eager prisoner from the Infinite,
The immortal wrestler in its
Its pride, power, passion of a striving God,
It saw this
image of veiled deity,
This thinking master creature of the earth,
last result of the beauty of the stars,
But only saw like fair and common
The artist spirit needs not for its work
And puts aside in memory's
A look, a turn decides our ill-poised fate.
Thus in the
hour that most concerned her all,
Wandering unwarned by the slow surface
The heedless scout beneath her tenting lids
beauty and cared not
To wake her body's spirit to its king.
So might she
have passed by on chance ignorant roads
Missing the call of Heaven, losing
But the god touched in time her conscious soul.
settled, caught and all was changed.
Her mind at first dwelt in ideal
Those intimate transmuters of earth's signs
That make known
things a hint of unseen spheres,
And saw in him the genius of the spot,
symbol figure standing mid earth's scenes,
A king of life outlined in
Yet this was but a moment's reverie;
For suddenly her heart
looked out at him,
The passionate seeing used thought cannot match,
knew one nearer than its own close strings.
All in a moment was surprised
All in inconscient ecstasy lain wrapped
imagination's coloured lids
Held up in a large mirror-air of dream,
forth in flame to recreate the world,
And in that flame to new things she
A mystic tumult from her depths arose;
Haled, smitten erect
like one who dreamed at ease,
Life ran to gaze from every gate of
Thoughts indistinct and glad in moon-mist heavens,
when a universe takes birth,
Swept through the turmoil of her bosom's
Invaded by a swarm of golden gods:
Arising to a hymn of wonder's
Her soul flung wide its doors to this new sun.
An alchemy worked,
the transmutation came;
The missioned face had wrought the Master's
In the nameless light of two approaching eyes
A swift and fated
turning of her days
Appeared and stretched to a gleam of unknown
Then trembling with the mystic shock her heart
Moved in her
breast and cried out like a bird
Who hears his mate upon a neighbouring
Hooves trampling fast, wheels largely stumbling ceased;
chariot stood like an arrested wind.
And Satyavan looked out from his soul's
And felt the enchantment of her liquid voice
Fill his youth's
purple ambience and endured
The haunting miracle of a perfect
Mastered by the honey of a strange flower-mouth,
soul-spaces opening round a brow,
He turned to the vision like a sea to the
And suffered a dream of beauty and of change,
Discovered the aureole
round a mortal's head,
Adored a new divinity in things.
nature foundered as in fire;
His life was taken into another's life.
splendid lonely idols of his brain
Fell prostrate from their bright
As at the touch of a new infinite,
To worship a godhead
greater than their own.
An unknown imperious force drew him to
Marvelling he came across the golden sward:
Gaze met close gaze and
clung in sight's embrace.
A visage was there, noble and great and
As if encircled by a halo of thought,
A span, an arch of meditating
As though some secret nimbus half was seen;
Her inner vision still
A forehead that wore the crown of all her past,
her constant and eternal stars,
Comrade and sovereign eyes that claimed her
Lids known through many lives, large frames of love.
He met in her
regard his future's gaze,
A promise and a presence and a fire,
embodiment of aeonic dreams,
A mystery of the rapture for which
Yearns in this world of brief mortality
Made in material shape his
This golden figure given to his grasp
Hid in its breast the key
of all his aims,
A spell to bring the Immortal's bliss on earth,
with heaven's truth our mortal thought,
To lift earth-hearts nearer the
In these great spirits now incarnate here
down power out of eternity
To make of life his new undying base.
passion surged a wave from fathomless deeps;
It leaped to earth from far
But kept its nature of infinity.
On the dumb bosom of
this oblivious globe
Although as unknown beings we seem to meet,
lives are not aliens nor as strangers join,
Moved to each other by a
The soul can recognise its answering soul
dividing Time and, on life's roads
Absorbed wrapped traveller, turning it
Familiar splendours in an unknown face
And touched by the
warning finger of swift love
It thrills again to an immortal joy
a mortal body for delight.
There is a Power within that knows beyond
knowings; we are greater than our thoughts,
And sometimes earth unveils that
To live, to love are signs of infinite things,
Love is a
glory from eternity's spheres.
Abased, disfigured, mocked by baser
That steal his name and shape and ecstasy,
He is still the godhead
by which all can change.
A mystery wakes in our inconscient stuff,
bliss is born that can remake our life.
Love dwells in us like an unopened
Awaiting a rapid moment of the soul,
Or he roams in his charmed
sleep mid thoughts and things;
The child-god is at play, he seeks
In many hearts and minds and living forms:
He lingers for a sign
that he can know
And, when it comes, wakes blindly to a voice,
A look, a
touch, the meaning of a face.
His instrument the dim corporeal mind,
celestial insight now forgetful grown,
He seizes on some sign of outward
To guide him mid the throng of Nature's hints,
truths into earth's semblances,
Desires the image for the godhead's
Divines the immortalities of form
And takes the body for the
Love's adoration like a mystic seer
Through vision looks
at the invisible,
In earth's alphabet finds a godlike sense;
But the mind
only thinks, Behold the one
For whom my life has waited long
Behold the sudden sovereign of my days.
Heart feels for
heart, limb cries for answering limb;
All strives to enforce the unity all
Too far from the Divine, Love seeks his truth
And Life is blind and
the instruments deceive
And Powers are there that labour to debase.
can the vision come, the joy arrive.
Rare is the cup fit for love's nectar
As rare the vessel that can hold God's birth;
A soul made ready
through a thousand years
Is the living mould of a supreme Descent.
knew each other though in forms thus strange.
Although to sight unknown,
though life and mind
Had altered to hold a new significance,
summed the drift of numberless births,
And the spirit to the spirit was the
Amazed by a joy for which they had waited long,
The lovers met upon
their different paths,
Travellers across the limitless plains of
Together drawn from fate-led journeyings
In the self-closed solitude
of their human past,
To a swift rapturous dream of future joy
unexpected present of these eyes.
By the revealing greatness of a
Form-smitten the spirit's memory woke in sense.
The mist was torn
that lay between two lives;
Her heart unveiled and his to find her
Attracted as in heaven star by star,
They wondered at each other
And wove affinity in a silent gaze.
A moment passed that was
An hour began, the matrix of new Time.
in "Savitri" - SABCL Volume 29
- (pages 392-399)
published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA