My soul unhorizoned widens to measureless sight,
My body is God’s happy living tool,
My spirit a vast Sun of deathless light.
They say that Sri Aurobindo passed away on 5th December 1950. Even, it is said that it was His withdrawal. Did He really pass away, away from us, from the Humanity and the World? Did He pass into ignominy and ignorance and Darkness, into Death? Did He really withdraw Himself from the Mankind, from His Work of the Supramental Manifestation and Transformation?
In 1956, one of my teachers, son of one who closely knew Sri Aurobindo and remained in the Ashram, asked me the question: why did He die? At that time, I could not explain the matter or meet the challenge thrown to me. But the question lived in me and forced me to find the answer in course of time.
Majority of the people, now and then, took it and believed and knew it as a great withdrawal of a great Person, of a great Divine Person, who endeavored to cause descent of the Supermind and Manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness and Force. Indeed, the very event was beyond human words. Sri Aurobindo’s “Withdrawal” was a necessity for the Supramental Descent on earth.
Prior to that, Sri Aurobindo was ill. His illness continued and it caused a deep concern in the Ashram. Dr Nirodbaran and Dr Sanyal looked after his treatment. The illness prolonged. The Mother told Dr Sanyal: “He is fully conscious within, but he is losing concern in himself.” Champaklal, however, asked Sri Aurobindo : “Are you not using your Force?” The Master replied : “No.” Dr Nirodbaran asked then: “if you don’t use you Force, how is the disease to be cured?” The reply was: “Can’t explain, you won’t understand.”
The reply, if possible for us, to the human question about the Withdrawal would have also been—“You won’t understand.”
As K D Sethna puts it, Sri Aurobindo was both a Pilgrim of Day and also of Night. He went to the Highest height of Consciousness and, as well, he went to the lowest of the planes of Darkness and Inconscience, in order to kindle the Light there and accelerate the Transformation of the Earth and the mankind. He had to combat with Death, so that in due course, in the Next Evolution, Death comes to an end.
I made an assignation with the Night;
In the abyss was fixed our rendezvous:
In my breast carrying God’s deathless light
I came her dark and dangerous heart to woo.
I left the glory of the illumined Mind
And the calm rapture of the divinised soul
And travelled through a vastness dim and blind
To the grey shore where her ignorant waters roll.
I walk by the chill wave through the dull slime
And still that weary journeying knows no end;
Lost is the lustrous godhead beyond Time,
There comes no voice of the celestial Friend,
And yet I know my footprints’ track shall be
A pathway towards Immortality.
[A Pilgrim of Night : Sri Aurobindo]
The Mother wrote on 9th December, which is for the mankind the mantra of rejuvenation and of starting anew from the stupefaction that resulted from His “Withdrawal”:
“To THEE who hast been the material envelope of our Master,to THEE our infinite gratitude. Before THEE who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before THEE who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us,before THEE we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to THEE.”
As everybody knows, this has been inscribed on the Samadhi. This inscription has been addressed to “the material envelope” of Sri Aurobindo, but not to Sri Aurobindo himself.
Sri Aurobindo is a Being and a Consciousness and a Force that cannot die. His coming to earth was, and is, a Hope for the Earth and the Mankind, a Promise by the Supreme for the conquest of Ignorance and Darkness and Death on earth, a Dream to be fulfilled.
Sri Aurobindo did never leave us. His Presence is always with us here on earth. His “Withdrawal” was simply the act of leaving the body. The Mother wrote on 7th December 1950:
“Lord, this morning Thou hast given me the assurance that Thou wouldst stay with us until Thy work is achieved, not only as a consciousness which guides and illumines but also as a dynamic Presence in action. In unmistaken terms Thou hast promised that all of Thyself would remain here and not leave the earth atmosphere until earth is transformed. Grant that we may be worthy of this Presence and henceforth everything in us be concentrated to the fulfilment of Thy sublime work.”
The Mother has even said that "Sri Aurobindo has come to announce to the world the beauty of the future that will be realized. He has come to bring not a hope but the certainty of the splendour towards which the world is moving. The world is not an unfortunate accident: it is a miracle moving towards its expression."
Thus, Sri Aurobindo is not only a Hope, He stands for a certitude — the certainty that through further Evolution and Progress, there will come the conquest of Ignorance and Darkness and Death. He embraced Death, so that Death and Darkness and Ignorance shall be conquered on earth. The Dream which Sri Aurobindo has bought for us is positively a Future Reality.
He dies that the world may be new-born and live.
He is a turning point in the Evolution, in the Next Evolution. With his Descent on earth, the New Evolution has begun. He came to earth and is here to change the Earth and bring in Joy and Life and Light and conquer Death. He made a supreme sacrifice and left His Body, so that the Way is open to conquer Ignorance and Darkness and Death on earth.
He who has found his identity with God
Pays with his body’s death his soul’s vast light.
His knowledge immortal triumphs by his death.
Sri Aurobindo’s sacrifice has been sufficiently and greatly fruitful, as The Mother continued His Work, which is also Her Work, and then there was the Supramental Descent on earth on the 29th February 1956. And then began the Supramental Manifestation on earth. The Mother walked into the New Body on 17-11-1973. [Ref: The Transition— The Seventeenth November, by Barin Chaki]. There has been some progress, in the meantime, in the transition from Man to Superman. The Mother has said on 15 April 1972 :
The transition from man to the supramental being is accomplished through the overman. There may be a few overman - there are - who will actually make that transition. [Mother’s Agenda]
Reference: The Withdrawal by Barin Chaki
Written on 5th December 2007
and revised on 7th and 8th .
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