In the Fire of Revelation – PART 2

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Continued from PART 1

Now who can give us such clarity on such difficult and subtle concepts? Only a person who is a Rishi himself!

When Sri Aurobindo writes with such authority about the true nature of Inspiration, Intuition and Revelation, things which do not belong to our ordinary experience at all, he is not quoting any source or basing his authority on some luminary of the past. He is giving us this clarity based on his own experience; he is giving us a record of his own divine seeing and hearing.

Because he was a Drashta and a Srota himself! And hence a Rishi.

He himself made it clear when he wrote:

What I received about the Supermind was a direct, not a derived knowledge given to me; it was only afterwards that I found certain confirmatory revelations in the Upanishad and Veda.

~ CWSA, Vol. 28, p. 309

Sri Aurobindo and the Rig Veda

Here is another small piece of evidence for the sceptics. The oldest and the least understood scripture in the world is the Rig Veda which even by conservative estimates goes back to more than 4000 years. For millennia together, its esoteric verses were a sealed book for the scholars. No one could decipher the meanings of those cryptic verses.

Then Sayana, the Mimamsa scholar in the 14th century wrote his authoritative commentary and interpreted the verses as nothing but various forms of Nature-worship, ritualism and priestcraft. Thereafter, when the European scholars (notably Max Mueller among them) started to work upon the Rig Veda, they too interpreted the verses according to their own Western outlook which never touched even the periphery of what the ancient Rishis had actually seen or heard. Sri Aurobindo’s estimation of European scholarship on the Vedas is frank and brutal:

The handling of the Vedic hymns by the bold & ingenious scholarship of the Europeans has had at any rate one striking outcome, — it has converted the once admired, august & mysterious sacred books of the Hindus into a mass of incoherent rubbish . . . I think there would be a general agreement that a more gross, meaningless & confused collection of balderdash had never been composed or penned.

~ CWSA, Vol. 14, p. 3

We need not be surprised by the pungency of the language if we understand that it is the righteous exasperation of a Rishi who had realized the true meaning of those verses in his Drishti and Shruti.

For Sri Aurobindo recovered for us and for posterity the true meaning of the Rig Veda which remained buried for 4000 years under a mass of monumental ignorance, a collective amnesia of the race and a gross misunderstanding arising out of Sayana’s ritualistic misinterpretation. He has executed this masterstroke in three of his works: Vedic and Philological Studies, The Secret of the Veda and Hymns to the Mystic Fire (CWSA, Volumes 14, 15 and 16 respectively).

Sri Aurobindo has revealed to us the spiritual, mystical and psychological symbolism behind the hymns of the Rig Veda that remained hidden for millennia and reinstated its pride of place amongst our scriptures and restored its lost glory.

No one before him could achieve this feat. Evidently, this was not and could not be work of a mere Vedic scholar or a philologist.

This was the work of a Rishi. Because only a Rishi could have understood what those ancient Rishis truly meant.

Sri Aurobindo had expressed that he had in mind a more elaborate plan for his work on the Vedas but could not do it to his satisfaction because other pressing engagements did not give him sufficient time to complete what he had set out to do. One of those pressing engagements, we can now deduce, was Savitri – his own supreme Revelation and a modern-day Veda in its own right.

Savitri, the Veda of the Future

As a modern-day Rishi, Sri Aurobindo left for us his own scripture of Revelation – 24000 lines of sublime poetry, Savitri.

Savitri is one of the longest poems in the English language whose lines have a Mantric effect on the receptive ear. Sri Aurobindo himself said,

Savitri is the record of a seeing, of an experience which is not of the common kind and is often very far from what the general human mind sees and experiences.

~ CWSA, Vol. 27, p. 343

Isn’t this exactly what we learnt about Intuition and Revelation? And the Mother stated quite emphatically,

In truth, the entire form of Savitri has descended en masse from the highest regions and Sri Aurobindo with His genius only arranged the lines – in superb and magnificent style…..Savitri is a revelation, it is a meditation, it is a quest of the Infinite, of the Eternal.

~ Sweet Mother, Luminous Notes, Conversations with the Mother as recorded by Mona Sarkar

Savitri is Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s own spiritual autobiography. Aswapati’s tapasya in Savitri which takes up 11000 lines out of the total of 24000 lines is nothing but a record of his own sadhana.

Let us now soak in the wisdom of some of those Rishi-vakyas from Savitri which touch upon this very subject of divine seeing, hearing and revelation:

Indifferent to doubt and to belief,
Avid of the naked real’s single shock
He shore the cord of mind that ties the earth-heart
And cast away the yoke of Matter’s law.
The body’s rules bound not the spirit’s powers:
When life had stopped its beats, death broke not in;
He dared to live when breath and thought were still.

~ CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 74

Aswapati cut asunder the thraldom of the material ties (earth-heart) that tie down the mind to the earthly plane and threw aside the bonds of the laws of Matter. The rules of the physical body could not bind the powers of the Spirit.

Thus could he step into that magic place
Which few can even glimpse with hurried glance
Lifted for a moment from mind’s laboured works
And the poverty of Nature’s earthly sight.
All that the Gods have learned is there self-known.

~ CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 74

Thus Aswapati reached a higher plane which is magical and which few can glimpse. It is a plane which is way beyond what the human mind can create with its laboured works of rationality. The natural eye sight is too poor to catch those celestial glimpses.

There the divine knowledge is self-evident, self-known. There’s no more seeking.

All the great Words that toiled to express the One
Were lifted into an absoluteness of light,
An ever-burning Revelation’s fire
And the immortality of the eternal Voice.

~ CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 90

Here, ‘words’ with a capital W implies the great words of the scriptures which always struggle to express the nature of the One (the Divine Reality). These words were elevated to the light of the experiential knowledge of the absolute. The fire of Revelation was always burning and here was heard the immortal and eternal voice of Truth.

There was no quarrel more of truth with truth;
The endless chapter of their differences
Retold in light by an omniscient Scribe
Travelled through difference towards unity,
Mind’s winding search lost every tinge of doubt
Led to its end by an all-seeing speech

~ CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 90

Mind always dwells in the endless chapter of quarrels and differences because it abides in the realm of duality – but when raised to the light of omniscient knowledge, all its differences dissolved in its unity with Truth. At our mundane level, mind is always searching and plagued with doubt at every stage – but there all searching, all doubts ended in the certitude of a divine seeing and utterance.

United were Time’s creative mood and tense
To the style and syntax of Identity.

~ CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 90

All of Time’s moods (situations, events etc.) and tenses (past, present and future) are diverse and varied – there is always duality and conflict in Time’s realm. But there, they were all united having lost their differences of moods and tenses in one experience of unity and identity with the Divine.

A work of such celestial beauty like Savitri, this modern day Veda could have been brought down to the material plane only by a Rishi who had actually experienced those higher states of consciousness; who was native to those realms of divine seeing and hearing, of divine revelation: Rishi Aurobindo.


~ Design: Beloo Mehra

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