Yatra yogeswara krishno yatra partho dhanurdhara
Tatra srirvijayo bhutirdhruva nitirmatirmama (Gita. XVIII. 78)
Where Sri Krishna, the Lord of Yoga and Arjuna, the wielder of the bow work in union, there come victory and prosperity
The end result of yoga is samadhi (yuj samadhau) i.e., the intelligence (dhi) brought to balanced (sama) position. Samadhiyate iti samadhi. Balanced intelligence results in higher vision. But there must be the proper executive power, represented here through Arjuna’s bow wielding hands, to see the vision realized. Victory depends on the desirable harmony of intelligence and its execution or the intelligible bridging in between vision and work. The vision, however much lofty, would only fail if not properly executed just like the work that doesn’t spring from a higher vision would reach nowhere.
The man of balanced intelligence or samadhi is one with the highest reason. “Reason using the intelligent will for the ordering of inner and outer life is undoubtedly the highest developed faculty of man … it is the sovereign, … the governing and self-governing faculty in the complexities of our human existence”. (Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle – The Ideal of Human Unity – War and Self-Determination, Pondicherry, 1985, p. 94). The ordinary mind, Aurobindo opines, is not truly the thinking mind proper. It is only a life mind, a vital mind which has learned to think and even to reason but for its own ends and on its own lines, not on those of a true mind of knowledge. (Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Pondicherry, 1987, p. 546) It is Reason that makes man capable of standing back from slap-dashing to study and understand things disinterestedly. When mind becomes unattached, taking the middle path between the extremities, it analyses things and events in the light of Reason. Reason leads one to the real realization. Reason exists for the sake of Knowledge by preventing one from being carried away by action. It intelligently studies, accepts, refuses, modifies, alters, improves, combines and recombines the working and capacities of the forces in operation. It is the light for all human actions. It according to Sri Aurobindo is the “Prometheus of the mythical paradise”, the civilizer of mankind. A high vision which is the expression of pure Reason, when gets desirably executed, leads to the progressive evolution. Reason is the supreme light, the higher vision, and only a knowledge based on pure Reason can take humanity towards the attainment of the highest aim i.e., an ideal based progress. A confused and partial application of Reason and vision can only make humanity stumble on from experiment to experiment without real fulfilment.
Existence cannot be produced by non-existence – nasato satjayate. Behind the expression there must be an idea. Any constructive work is the outcome of a creative idea or intellect. The ideal is the force that corrects the real execution of things and the real is to bring the ideal to its full fruition. Thought is to Aurobindo, the Paraclete, the holy spirit who is the real comforter, intercessor, aider and consoler. It is the guiding light for all activities of man without which all his future would remain shrouded in darkness. Thought is the creative power. Sri Aurobindo’s poem Thought the Paraclete glorifies the vision which is the supreme light, the manifestation of the highest mental level or, to quote him, the ‘supramental manifestation’.
The poem, like the many by Sri Aurobindo, Savitri being the example par excellence, is the expression of the Mahayogi’s spiritual and psychic experience. The poetic style of Sri Aurobindo resembles the Hymn of Creation – Nasadiya Sukta of the Rik Veda. It is totally mystic, far beyond the ken of ordinary perception which Aurobindo himself opines is a premature adventure if an ordinary mortal with no background of spiritual preparation ventures to plunge in. His diction, bristling with extraordinary vocabulary of the kind usually found in the leading mystic poems, too goes far beyond the gamut of an academic lexicon and hence to be imbibed, felt and experienced intuitively. In fact, the world of Aurobindonian thought is that of the highest realm where explanations of ordinary academic level fail. It must be studied, analysed and understood with the help of a highly balanced intelligence, Samadhi. Because most of the writings of Sri Aurobindo pours down from the highest yogic plain. When the intelligence becomes honed and balanced it becomes intuition. The state of balanced intelligence wherein intelligence (dhi) comes to an equilibrium (sama) is the state of Samadhi. It is from this plain, the Aurobindonian views are to be looked to.
Thought is to Aurobindo the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Because the divine is the product of the highest realm of thought, and it is through the purification of one’s thought, or the ‘Right Thought’ (Samyak Samadhi), as the Buddha puts it, one reaches the state of highest perfection. Such a man who has purified his thoughts and balanced his intelligence is the Superman (Ubermenshen of Nietzschean thought). His is the Life Divine.
But to express this highest idea, ordinary vocabulary would not suffice. Hence the use of symbols. He compares his spiritual sojourn with that of an archangel that soars in the immensity and the vast expanse of the divine which is the realm of the infinite light. This supreme light or the thing of beauty is to Aurobindo Like Shelley’s Skylark who from the highest plain sings hymns unbidden and “pourest in profuse strains a rupture so divine”. (Sri Aurobindo’s Letters on Poetry, Literature and Art., Pondicherry, 1971, p. 238) This holy light is the purest emotional and aesthetic feeling, the “purest subtle mind-touch of an essence behind the appearance, an essence of ideal light, truth or beauty”. (ibid) Travelling past the horizon of spiritual and mystic experiences symbolized by the “orange skies”, orange being the colour of the fire, the highest purifier, he becomes lost in or one with the infinite vastness of the Divine. Thought is to Aurobindo the illuminating agent, “luminous garden of truth” that shines out and dawns the Seer vision to man. (Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, Pondicherry, 1971, p. 10) This fire or agni is the greatest purifier, Purohita – the promoter of all aspirations, the hitas.) Fire or agni is the great eternal light which purges human soul of its ignorance and darkness which are the real bondages. When the mind becomes free of the mundaneness of the mortal world, time and space which are mere constructs of mind become mute, almost vanished. The man of Samadhi (balanced intelligence) who poised his intelligence – dhi – in a sama (balanced) position is above time, space and all such relativities which are ephemeral. The intelligence, the ultimate consciousness – the bodha alone remains eternal. It is the point of man becoming one with the God, the micro and macrocosms merge together into an unbound ecstasy. The split consciousness identifies itself as the cosmic consciousness, to borrow the language of science. The man is raised to the level of a recluse, the hermit whose realm is boundless. The man of self-conquest conquers, crossing all the boundaries. He dares and braves everything. He is the real dhira or the sage of the Rik Vedic descriptions.
Human soul with its luster and high thoughts soars up like a griffin beyond all the bounds of ordinariness. There in the unbound expanse of the infinite, the soul comes face to face with the streaming effulgence that descends from the summits of the timeless being, the ultimate and primordial truth which stands above all the terrestrial space-time limits. The mind and soul are above the abyss of the mundane (that “failed below”) which they have trodden behind in their sojourn of spiritual uplift.
In the new world of the mental and spiritual heights there is only the dawn (Aurobindo often explains the deity Ushas referred to in the Rik Veda as the symbolic representation of the ever broadening intellectual and spiritual horizon) or the sun-beams of the ethereal. It is the unending or infinite ocean of bliss which embraces the man into the moonlit world of ecstasy. It is an invitation into the world of the divine melody, the dulcet voice where one enjoys the bliss – ananda – of the ethereal Beauty – the saundarya – the thing of beauty which is the ‘joy forever’. Thought, the Paraclete himself gets disappeared in the end. Because the thought itself is only the way towards the spiritual accomplishment. It is only a means, not the end. It hungered for the ambrosia of the spiritual bliss which is the unconned or unknown ‘Ultimate’ or the ‘Last’ (as the bard uses it) camouflaged by the veil of the ‘white-fire’ that represents the bliss inlaid in the flowerbed of the satwik state of mind. (White is the colour of the satwa guna – the enlightened state of mind). The high souled spirit, Paraclete sojourns in its power of rapturous silence all the stunning, embarrassing stages of spiritual progression and climbs up to the quintessence of heavenliness where the sun, the savitur showers the infinite light. Here, getting the vision of the infinite, Paraclete becomes one with the Infinite entity, the end of all thoughts or to where all the thoughts are mere ways to reach. It transforms into the divine letter or rune of light to be a part of the blissful melody of the Divine. (Aurobindo may be comparing here the rune, the letter of the Scandinavian Germanic alphabet with the Sanskrit letter – akshara- which is free of kshara or destruction. Akshara which means alphabetical letter in Sanskrit is the abstract of the One without destruction). Paraclete becomes the embodiment of non-ego with its self or ego lost. It becomes lone, sole. It becomes the infinite, nude or free of all the mundane jackets or outer wrappings. It is immune from fetters. It is the beginning, the middle, the end, all combined in one. It is the infinite where time and space, birth and death, pain and joy – all merge together into an unbearable ecstasy. Freedom from all the bondages is the real bliss. Thought alone leads man to this state of bliss born of freedom. Rational is the real. It is the greatest Reason, the divine Light. It is God.