Rebirth and Other Worlds: PartII, Chapter XXII

Track Running Rebirth Track 02

Mantric poetry for the one who hears it has a very special meaning. When mantra is heard it carries with it the power of realization. It is a specialization of mantric poetry. If it is heard properly, with a silent, attentive consciousness, if you just even repeat it, the meaning grows into you and what is conveyed is realized in due course with constant repetition of it. This is the special power of mantra. Sri Aurobindo wrote the whole poem, ‘Savitri’ as a repetition of what he had written earlier about ‘Future Poetry’ as proof that English language is capable of mantric poetry. You can write mantra not only in Sanskrit but also in English, it is a new creation of our times.

These seven books Sri Aurobindo wrote simultaneously, at the same time. Secondly, he wrote with a completely silent mind, as he said he never thought. Thinking process as we understand it was completely absent when he wrote. He said that knowledge came to him like a rain from heaven, in a windless mind there is a complete hush of consciousness, a completely silent mind capable of receiving the knowledge formulating itself by itself. He used to sit at his typewriter and type out so that the knowledge was transmitted straight on his fingers and was transmitted on the typewriter. In a sense you might say he knew what he was typing only when it appeared on the typewriter. It was straight transmission. And the third quality of his writing was, as he himself said; it is a sadhana which he did during this period to express the Truth without any error whatsoever. So that is the character of all the seven works he wrote during that period. The fourth character of his writing was that it is the highest knowledge formulated in a language appropriate to the modern mentality. This is a very special quality of his writing.

Modern mentality is skeptical, materialistic, logical, systematic, and lover of subtle and complex arrangement of ideas in which conclusions follow from the presentation of data naturally without forcing conclusion to come out. This is the mentality and it is this mentality that all his writings were addressed. Therefore in his writings, there is you might say, a rigor of data, facts, and data of all kinds, comprehensive data and presentation of data in such a way that the conclusion will follow if you observe the data really carefully, trying to measure every aspect of the data. That is why when we read his writings we must remember that there is this kind of presentation and argumentation and he sees the same data sometimes from different points of view. Some people who are not very observant and are very hurried in their way of thinking they might feel it rather tiring but this is the modern mentality. Modern mentality does not want to escape from any rigor of presentation of data from which anything is missed out. It is as if you stand on the top of a mountain and describe whatever you are seeing as you stand on one side you cannot describe from all sides of the mountain but you are standing on the top and you are see certain portion of what you are surveying and you describe the whole thing. Then you move to another part and take another angle and see the other part. But in doing so the earlier part you were seeing is also surveyed again. And then it is the third part until you see the whole thing in totality. So if you read the whole of ‘The Life Divine’ you will feel something of this kind like a geographer who maps the whole and how he goes around a hill and surveys the entire hill and gives topography of the whole hill.

Or he is like a composer of orchestra. This is also another image of his writing. If you want hundred violinists, hundred pianists and so many others who are accompanists and you know each and everyone’s role and all kinds of tunes, melodies and harmony which have to be brought together and you are in control of everything and you direct everything and ultimately a very harmonious music comes out. Many of us who are not attuned to western music feel very tired when they hear western music because it is not only melody but harmony and we are not accustomed to it. Similarly, those who want a real run out of this argument may not feel happy with this writing. But one who wants joy of a complete orchestra, one who has patience, quietude, a great sensitivity, a capacity to go into the depths and wants to enjoy how melodies emerge out of harmony and how from small movements it goes into bigger, and bigger movements and how it drains off ultimately and gives rise to another. Unless you are attuned to this you will not enjoy western music. ‘The Life Divine’ is written on that pattern. It is a big orchestra as it were, being played before you. So, out of that orchestra this chapter is only one little piece. It is injustice to a book if you take out a chapter and read it separately. But if you know this is a part of the whole, then even a big music can be heard in parts also and you can enjoy by itself also because the orchestral enjoyment is present in every part of it. 

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