There is admiration, there is love, there is a kind of aspiration to become identical with the object for whom you are enthusiastic. What do you see, so as to become like that. You and I see the same object and you are enthusiastic, I am not. What is the difference between you and me? You are perceiving something, which I am not perceiving. What is it that you are perceiving, what is the light that you are perceiving that state is the state of Illumined Mind. When you see the whole world with that consciousness in which there is a special kind of enthusiasm. The man who is filled with illumined mind is normally an enthusiastic man. He has enthusiasm for everything in the world, his enthusiasm has no bounds. He perceives something in the world. This perception, this sight is usually connected with sound. Actually every sight is connected with sound. Even my physical perception of a flower has a kind of a sound along with it, which I do not know.
Normally, I do not perceive but there is always a kind of interconnection between sound, vision, colour, idea. There is a kind of interconnection that is why you have the birth of arts. All arts are connected with sights, sounds, colours and ideas. Poetry is an art of ideas, or the highest literature, highest philosophy is an art of ideas. Sights and colours combined together are all kinds of fine arts, painting, sculpture, architecture and music. All different kinds of arts are somehow connected with these ideas, sounds, colours, vibrations of various kinds and the difference between one artist and the other is this. What is the quality of the sound that one hears, not a physical sound, but there are sounds? Why is one poem better than the other because the sound of one poem is better than the sound of another poem? The rhythm of one poem is better than the rhythm of another poem. The combinations of sounds in words, which are put together in some poems, are so powerful that the moment you hear them, your inner sound begins to vibrate immediately. Ideas may be the same, same ideas is expressed in the two poems and yet one poem has expressed the idea in such a combination of sounds that the moment you hear and when these sounds, or these sights, or these colours are put together in a certain measure, in what you call inevitable connections then get greatest pieces of architecture, or music, or dance, or all arts. An artist is one who perceives these connections of sounds or vibrations of various kinds. You can be also an artist of life, not necessarily a musician or anything but some of the great leaders of mankind are artists of life. They know how to connect relationships, human relationships, to connect human with the divine, it’s also connection and to relate divine properly, rightly, inevitably. When you can do this you must have perceptions of that kind. You must perceive man, you must perceive the divine there must be that light, that vibration.
Great mystics are those who can relate themselves with God and relate themselves with others in the light of God, they are great artists of life. Christ might not have written a book, or a poem, or not composed any music, or drawn any picture, but the relationship that he had with God, the inevitability that relationship that existed in his life and with his fellow beings; it’s a tremendous art of life. Buddha, he wrote no book at all, he composed no music in his life, drew no picture in his life, one of the greatest artists of life. As Sri Aurobindo says, ‘He is the greatest personality who ever walked on the earth’.
As you rise higher, I am only talking at present of Illumined Mind but ultimately as you rise higher and higher these vibrations become more and more powerful, more and more luminous. Sri Aurobindo while explaining he has given examples of some of the poems – Shelly, Keats, Kalidasa, Vyasa. If you see their mode of expression, the way in which certain things are expressed, they bring to you the messages as it were from the unknown and they become lit up in your mind, the moment you hear those words the mind becomes illumined, you understand it. ‘A man may smile and smile and yet be wicked’, one sentence in Hamlet, very short sentence, a man may smile and smile and yet be wicked, the brevity, the force, the content of it, the experience involved in it, − so packed. It’s a great perception, you can’t easily write a sentence like this.
Next time we shall read some of the poems of this kind, some examples Sri Aurobindo himself has given. How ultimately you get what is called mantric poetry. A mantra arises from the experience of the Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, Overmind, Supermind, vibrations coming down from there as the Rig Veda says about the Rishi, − Rishi says: ‘I go into the profundities yoma, supreme ether of existence and there I hear the words, sounds and these sounds as they come down, they are clothed in words in my heart and they are uttered, Rishi himself explains, This is the birth of that mantric poetry. Every verse of Rig Veda is born from these levels of consciousness. Therefore, Sri Aurobindo says, that the supreme poets in the history of the world are the Vedic poets; they brought down the sounds which vibrate in these realms, the inaudible sounds, inaudible to us. When you enter there you hear the sounds like Beethoven for example, why do we hear Beethoven, what is the magic in it, the combination of sounds, the inevitable connections of the sounds, the cosmicity of the sounds and the arrangement of these sounds, the flow of the sounds. At times when you come to a climax as if you live in whole universe at the same time, such a climax is reached, unless the poet has heard, the musician has heard those sounds, how can he reproduce here. These are some of the glimpses we get of these higher planes of consciousness and many of these people are not even yogis. If you just enter into certain planes of consciousness, you begin to vibrate. Shakespeare was not a yogi in that sense, in a sense in which we use the word yogi, although we should use that word yogi for him also. Anyone who makes a tremendous effort to break the limitations of our ordinary mind and begins to perceive the imperceptible, hear the inaudible – shruti and drishti, these are the two marks of the Rishi in the Veda. One who has drishti and one who has shruti, one who sees the invisible and hears the inaudible and brings those sounds, those sights here, − these are the experiences belonging to these higher planes.