Early Poems

Poems – (1950-1965)

Niranjan Guha Roy – Sri Aurobindo Ashram

A Moment of Respite

Life is so dull, so boring,
Mediocre without any pomp or ceremony.
Give me a moment of respite when I can feel the Eternal,
As I am holding for a brief moment a stranger in my arms.
See in his body, the luminous substance of which the stars are made,
Million, trillion years have gone by.
I see dancers on the stage,
Nameless godheads in ecstasy for a fraction of a second.
Never, never in time, it shall be the same,
A face, a name, a souvenir, a mystic presence,
The precious moment, when all is Infinity and fathomless.
The death of a duck, laid out in the sun
Evokes the passage of the Lord in a feathery body
For an utter joy through the jungles and marches of time.
Give me an instant when eyes pierce through the guise,
When signs and symbols fall silent
Before the ineffable grandeur of a mystic Existence.
*************

All Thine

Mother Divine, in a kingdom of dreams on the border of life,
The fettered creepers virile and thirsting for the sunlight,
Burst the chains that held them anchored so long
To become snakes gliding over fields and lakes.
A luminous green ardor still flows in their veins.
Camellias, Petunias, Orchids, Roses and Lilies,
Fly away in a tumult of exciting colors
Changed into dragonflies, gorgeous moths and butterflies;
Forerunners of the splendid tribe of peacocks and swans,
They draw their strength from the liberty of the blue sky.
The patient majestic tree brooding for centuries,
Imploring the Gods above with a thousand hands,
Detached from its earthly moorings,
Becomes the restless and daring spirit of Man
Besieging the mute heavens with his thousand queries.
Aspiring men and women, young and old, seeking their souls,
Burning day and night in an inner fire, life after life,
In this miraculous Hour of Grace, leave their humanity behind,
And lightened for ever from the burden of the tormenting night
Invade the Earth with a supernal delight and a God-vision deep and wide.
Mother Divine, hidden will in the atom and the protoplasm,
Thou aspirest in the flowers and the creepers,
Extendest Thy arms of prayer in the tree,
Thou keepest vigil on the altar of the soul of man;
Mother Divine, Thine is the inspired vision, the struggle and the battle,
Thine too the Victory, the laurel and the crown,
The Realisation, the glory of the marvelous New Creation.
*************

Anandamayi

Aum Anandamayi, Compassionate Mother of Delight,
Sustained by Thy smile we move towards Thy ecstasy.
The darkest soul awakened by Thy Grace,
Burns heavenward pure as a flame.
Patiently thou disengagest our real shape
By Thy clairvoyant refusals, delicate strokes of chisel,
Healing our wounds with the tender touch of Thy magic fingers.
The lightning kiss of Thy Force from above in the end
Puts the seal on the pact of love that never wanes.
O Blissful Presence, our beloved Queen!
Thou veilest Thy face in feigned indifference
When our souls are besieged by rebel passions.
In despair when we sink to the bottom,
We come to rest on Thy bosom.
We seek Thee no more, Mother Divine,
Each being is truly Thy shrine;
Transparent eyes reflect the outline of Thy mystic face.
Wherever we turn our look, we meet only Thy reassuring gaze.
**********

Battlefield

Life is a ceaseless struggle between today’s victories
And the future triumphs and impossible dreams.
A grim duel between a desperate past that refuses to retire
And an invincible Morning which endeavours to be born.
A relentless campaign, a holy crusade against the Power of today,
Which hold sway over the march of time and keep man in bondage.
A clash between the undisputed privileges enjoyed over ages
And the inherent rights of the godhead surging out in the humankind.
No one can avoid the battle, the direct assault or the stealthy infiltration.
It is a global conflict, total war on all fronts with no reservations.
There are no civilians, nurses, priests, women or children,
Infirm or old, conscientious objectors immune from attack and ruin.
The enemies are far too numerous, inside and all around,
Powerful, cunning, unscrupulous, conscious of our every move.
They are within our own ranks, no lover or close-relation can be trusted.
We gladly harbour in ourselves quislings and trained
Who unaware, gratefully serve the diabolic ends of the Enemy.
Our own fancies, ideals, faiths and beliefs, conventions and traditions
Are the trusty henchmen and pillars of strength of the Darkness
That strives to shut out forever the opal glow of a lucent sky?
Our feelings and passions, instincts and ambitions, love and indifference
Built in the very cells of the body are traitors to our divinisation.
Morbid satisfaction in a monotone inertia,
Sense of repose in gloom and filth,
Unwillingness to fight, blind resignation to an unjust Fate
Are the treacherous sentinels, bribed by the antagonist,
Who guard our camps.
Nostalgy for littleness, weakness for our sweet human ways
Are the indefatigable collaborators of the Night.
It is a single-handed fight for each soldier whose morale is high.
One against too many adversaries,
An unyielding ripple against the Ocean, a flickering obstinate gleam
Against the onslaught of a pitiless hurricane.
Often chances of success seem remote
Like the disappearing tail of a comet.
There is no respite, the battle goes on even in sleep,
Every inch is a bloody nightmare.
Advance and retreat, struggle and falling back,
Ebb and tide on a sea in flames.
Every flowering tree is an ambush.
Precaution is of no avail.
Lanes through the forest at each step
Hide pitfalls with bristling iron pikes.
The arsenal of the Enemy lies deep in the sealed subconscient caves,
The weapons he employs are deadly and we hold their patent,
He uses nectar to put out the heavenly Fire,
Loyalty to engender perfidy,
Love to demolish harmony, commonsense to uproot faith,
Reason to dislodge compassion from the heart
And beauty to annihilate the invigilant soul of man.
His cunning is so refined, so subtle
That he makes us fight his battle against our own kind.
He kills the victim with an overdose of pleasure.
He blinds the vision with the dazzling glimpses of Truth.
In moments of boredom and depression,
He is the sweet-tongued counselor
Who walks by our side persuading us to escape through suicide.
Pleading for the suffering humanity,
Shedding cascade of tears for its welfare.
O Pilgrim, as the golden hind he decoys you from the immortal route.
The ascending road is strewn with the sun-bleached bones of his dupes.
Dressed as archangel, giving sermons on the spiritual destiny,
With a devilish rictus,
He pushes the undiscerning disciple over the precipice.
The Enemy is patient, calculating, bent on murder,
He would strangle the child in the cradle
Nor recoil from destroying the embryo in Nature’s womb.
He is uncanny, thirsting for your blood, seldom visible,
Treacherous as the slippery rocks in the bed of a shallow stream.
He would paint such lurid pictures of our misfortune,
As if we were hunted by the Divine,
Unwanted within the range of His light,
That in the end on bended knees
We implore his aid for liberation.
Even in dreams he stalks the seeker with a dagger.
Exuding sweetness in a lovely form, he crushes out
God-yearning in an amorous embrace.
In a lurid ritual, he entices the soul in a bestial rapture.
The unwary traveller boosted by the subtle flattery of the Enemy
Abandons the arduous climb and basks in the sunshine of his own grandeur
Or turns into a disdainful cynic from whose house love has been banished.
The Adversary whispers into the ear bits of gossip
And rumor picked up in the courtyard
And incites the immature acolyte to revolt against the Master.
He feeds his offended amour-propre with calculated provocations
And slowly convinces the seeker that the Divine is a deadly monster.
Goading him with inordinate desire and spiritual ambition
He drives him with the skill of a horseman to the lunatic asylum.
How will you fight back the bodiless darkness, companion of your fireside?
Match your indomitable faith in the Divine
Against his insidious gospel of sorrow and eternal damnation,
Match the endurance of our immoral spirit against his
Relentless false propaganda on the futility of human life,
Match the courage born of Truth and Right
Against his perversion and cruelty?
Meet his sorcery and black magic
With the sincerity of unvacillating purpose,
His million guises will no more protect him from the naked light.
Meet his challenge in the tournament where Dawn is the prize,
With the calm Force of the Eternal Divine,
And the vision that sees the Hand of Grace in defeat and death.
Oppose his lure of beauty, pelf and splendour, fame, honour
And unlimited pleasure with the Spirit’s imperishable treasures,
Boundless love and felicity of Oneness.
Fight him, grapple him and expunge him from existence
With the mad joy that comes from a reckless abandon.
Be the pursuer and not be pursued,
Seek out the enemy, burn him in the lair. Each little mastery,
Each skirmish in which you succeed portends the final victory.
Your strength will increase a hundred-fold with each encounter.
Mother is our impregnable armour, defense which no assault can shake,
Mother is our triumphant offensive arm which none dare face.
In the end we will find the great adversary, the dark Enemy
Was only our Comrade, our playmate in disguise,
Beautiful Kali behind a terrible mask,
Love hiding Her rapture in the Scourge.
Pushing us through unbearable ordeals,
Fortifying our muscles and nerves,
God prepares the soul for an unbroken Peace,
The still Power that holds the suns in their trajectory.
He fashions you into a vessel of Love and Wisdom,
Channel of transmuting Ecstasy.
Sinister battle is transformed into a friendly tussle, pleasant shock,
A humorous surprise, a joyous tug of war, an exhilarating trial of strength,
A strenuous race to forestall decay and death and reach the Goal,
A dangerous expedition into the unfamiliar spaces
With God as Commander.
**************

Darshan

Mother Divine,
My heart in gratitude bows down at Thy feet.
Against the pink-rose background of Thy Eternity
Each moment is a revelation, each shadow an apocalypse of Thy glory,
A diamond-constellation which shall never appear
In the canopy of heaven till the end of time,
The dream-washed faces we shall never see, the same yet so charmingly different,
The hands we shall never clasp to convey the message of our hearts.
Life is so fascinating, so beautiful and so mysterious,
Half in jest, half in seriousness all is play of Thy boundless Love.
Who is good or who is wicked? None can be neglected.
Behind the veil of our forgetfulness shines the omnipotent Divine in all.
Even the flicker of the eye is a chosen rhythm of His marvelous design.
Children from the infinitudes of His indivisible existence,
We enjoy harmony and strife on this tiny uncharted island of beatitude.
Pageantry of magnificent souls gladly robed with titanic difficulties,
Reverent procession of seers and mystics in the guise of an average humanity,
Nascent pilgrim sparks, moths in love with night attracted by a hidden Light,
Gods and goddesses and Lords of the Earth whom man venerates through the ages
Move silently with folded hands in front of the Dais of the Two-in-One.
Offering their lives in homage, they stay on or pass through the Shrine.
All are blessed for eternities to come in this benign Hour of Grace.
Who can ever reach Thee, Mother Divine?
Active, puissant and immobile, Thou art all around us, within and above.
Pursued Thou disappearest in the far and the wide.
Who can ever contain Thee, Mother Divine?
Like water through the mesh, Thou escapest from the strongest wit,
Yet choosest to abide in the heart of Thy children.
Who can ever know Thee when Thou seekest Thy own self ceaselessly?
Mother Divine, Thou only art, Thou only hast been,
And Thou only shalt be, Origin self-born, Supreme.
In Thee we move and live and have the bliss of our being.
My heart in gratitude bows down at Thy feet.
**************

Divine Ecstasy

A divine ecstasy burns the stars in their ceaseless hurrying.
She flows in the sap of the flowering grapevines radiant in expectancy
And spurts out moaning from the gashes of an old giant mango tree.
She marks the beat in a hymn sung by the white-robed children aspiring,
Weeps in the helpless hind and devours exultingly before the victim is cold.
She joins the power-drunk lords in their sessions of garish revelry
And is trodden underfoot in a faded lotus offered with devotion to gods.
Silent, immanent, She creates Her gamut of gay and sombre hues ever new.
She is the ferment in a revolution, the vision of the architects and sculptors
Who carve out rock-temples over generations, shape the future in stone-structures.
The majesty of Her gait can be seen behind the bier of a proud queen.
Undercurrent of all laughter and tears, nourishment of dreams and nightmares,
Holding Her head high in a coquette pose, keeping everyone suspended in hope,
She ruins the harmony of wedded souls by slipping away through a loophole.
Haunting the deserts with the eerie disembodied glories of the past,
She mows down with nonchalance the strong cheerful stalks in their prime.
Scattering to the four winds the gains of millenniums treasured by ages,
She makes the forest flow with a sudden outburst of flamboyant rapture.
Immobile on the face of a sage unconscious in Her embrace,
She gambols among the golden curls of a little girl out in the fields.
Dancing with the foaming angry waves threatening the ship of Fate,
With a mad abandon She rushes into the welcome wide-open jaws of Death.
Without Thy sustaining Presence incognito,
Life could not prevail over Pain
Nor man be admitted to the secret councils
Where Thou presidest unveiled.
**************

Divine Mother

Nameless Eternal Being, Creatrix Supreme,
Grace Incarnate in a fragile body,
Who art beyond the Form and the Formless,
Beyond the zenith of our climbing,
Beyond the widest waking and the deepest sleep,
Only one boon we ask Thee to hasten Thy manifestation:
Transmute these earthen vessels into immaculate receptacles
And fill them with Thy transcendent Love,
Delight-content in the lotus-core of the Reality.
No Light can persuade the Night to mend her ways.
No power can bend the self-will of wind-blown thistledown.
No beauty can break through the armour of gloom and selfishness.
But Love conquers by surrendering Her omnipotence
To division, derision, violence and death.
All opposition succumbs to Her, worn out in the end
Like a sword that yields to water finding no resistance.
Only Love can reveal the Beloved in a speck of dust caught in a sunbeam.
Only Love can prepare the destined hour for the birth of the unborn Spirit.
Thy Love self-fulfilled gives and gives
And wants nothing in exchange, sustains the humble violets
And the majestic chrysanthemums with equal grace
Leads the unwilling blindness to illumination through tenderness,
Nurses with compassion the wounds of the victor
And the pride of the vanquished, and sees the promise of God
In each closed bud sleeping in the glow of the Dawn.
Love lies bleeding in the sand pierced through the heart by a jeering rabble
And transforms each particle into a crimson epiphany of sacrifice.
Power can obliterate a vast empire with a mere glance,
Break the frail bodies but cannot tame the indomitable spirit of man.
Knowledge can dazzle the mind with its prismatic splendour
Yet cannot change a sun-bleached mountain into a forest of orchids and ferns.
When Love smiles and rains down its sweetness,
Buried hope is resurrected; rocks melt into fountains and cascades,
Deserts stop their march towards barrenness,
Worms and caterpillars are exalted to a nobler sphere,
The Daemon locked in the mute heart of the atom is delivered.
Love finds the psychic lines of rapture,
Gathers the consecrated petals yearning
And unites them into a mystic gesture,
A symbol of close-linked harmony,
Pink meditation of a dedicated Rose.
Occult powers, riches and artistic faculties,
Though precious gifts, we lay them at Thy feet.
Only one boon we ask Thee to hasten Thy manifestation:
Transmute these earthen vessels into immaculate receptacles
And fill them with Thy transcendent Love,
Delight-content in the lotus-core of the Reality.
Love is the recondite name of the One,
The insoluble bond holding together
The Mansion of the manifold creation,
The ever-new mystery which knowledge cannot fathom.
Love is the foundation,
Love the stair of our ascension, the ring of fire
Which keeps the wolves at bay when falls the darkness,
The miracled tonic that prevents fatigue on the way,
The crown that awaits the seeker at the summit of aspiration.
Mother Divine,
Only Love can realise on Earth Thy purple design.
***********

Ever Young Life

Waking from sleep, rushing of feet for birth,
Return to Earth, ever recurring joy of being.
One should not hurry but wait his turn.
All must go and no one remains for too long;
Like the waves of the Ocean that rise
And surprise one another for a moment
Then disappear to rise again under a new name.
The grains of sand pulsate
Like the Nova or the heart of compassion
Animated by the same force too common, too little known.
Why tears and weeping? Where is death or parting?
Admire the tireless effort of a Power reaching out to Immortality
From the tiny rings of plasma through bodies with secret doors
More and more open to a subtler light.
The changing colours, mobile bosom of the sea,
Ever the same, never the same, always young,
Mirror of the eternal becoming, seven bands and million shades,
Momentary oblivion and blissful change,
Life forges forward through death.
*************

Fiery Rings of Grace

A Whirlwind, a volcanic eruption, an earthquake,
Mighty Kali passed, challenging our right to live and breathe,
Defiant, vigilant eagles lightning-swift came tearing down,
Roaring young lions answered forth with their talons and fangs.
Somnolent serpent-powers raised their hoods, hissed and struck.
Complacent souls bogged in trivialities shook off their fatal indolence.
Arrogant tin gods shut up in their bloated castles of vanity
Came out into a nobler dimension and tasted the impact of oneness.
Galvanised into a giant unity, parts forced open the gates of bliss.
Love and power poured down in grateful hearts in a thousand cascades.
Dynamic, imperative, brooking no insolence, falsehood or delay,
A supernal rhythm has come to stay, a decisive battle been won.
The World-Mother pressed Her children through the fiery rings of Grace,
Proud, She entrusts Heaven’s work to their hands.
They have justified Her faith.
We are irrevocably one, now and forever,
In and around the Mother,
One tree and its million yearning branches,
One Sun and its numberless darkness-destroying rays,
One oceanic Impulse and its eternal passionate waves.
O Kali, we welcome Thy fury, keep us awake.
Shatter the mortal hold of the old deities
Unwilling to admit the new.
Thyself withdraw and leave the future
To the power of Love, Harmony and Truth.
*************

Galleon of the King

Fortunate voyagers on the galleon of the King, rejoice, O happy pilgrims,
Long harassed by storms, hunger and privation, waves of passion,
Hunted by marauding pirates through the ages,
Held up by long doldrums of despair and slack sails of emptiness,
Ensnared by the crystalline bays within coral reefs
Which tear open bare keels with the ease of a razor blade.
Forget, O soldiers, now that the land is in sight
The giant whirlpools, irresistible downward pull drowning all yearning,
Forget the fog, the rain, the sleet, the icebergs and the biting bleak winds,
The dreadful sleepless vigils in face of starvation and certain death,
Efface the memory of the hard sacrifices made to appease an implacable Fate,
Forget the harsh words, secret plots of rebellion against your Pilot Queen.
Celebrate, O chosen delegates, your long ordeals are over.
Land-birds sing an anthem of welcome to our new home.
Dancing bits of green wood, fresh-water weeds and plants
Eagerly kiss the advancing prow of our galleon.
The laughing winds bring an incense offering from the excited virgin fields.
The Dawn writes her message of greeting with the contour of the Eastern hills.
Remember the friendly stars on the way and the trade winds of constant Grace,
The smile of the Sun and the Moon signaling through the crevices in the sky,
The dolphins and the seagulls by daylight and the honk of the geese at night
And your anxious brothers and sisters who wait with trust in your mission,
Remember the mighty ocean that carried you so long on its bosom
And above all the sovereign vision and determination of your Captain.
O happy pilgrims bridle your impatience, stand a while in silence.
Then lower the plank, move aside, give the Queen the right of the way.
She has steered the galleon of the King safely to the other hemisphere.
Watch Her plant on the untrodden soil
The blue and gold banner of New Creation.
Stay and pray with Her in this mystic hour of hope and triumph.
Beyond the fringe of the sand lies the unsullied land of Love’s adventure.
*****************

Glory to the Mother Divine
Glory to Sri Aurobindo

Ever welcome to my kneeling soul and heart in adoration.
O Secret Spirit, subtler than the subtlest as You are,
Yet You have inhabited these fragile earthen frames,
To make Yourself tangible, accessible to the soul of man.
You speak through them each word they say,
You pour through them the molten gold of an invisible Sun.
O Secret Spirit, before I caught a glimpse of Them,
Arranged by a lucky accident, like a lost tragic note
Cry moaning in the hopeless night, my desolate life
Was a tedious stretch of a wretched play,
A huge senseless waste, a perpetual gnawing affliction.
Had I not met Them and borne Their transmuting gaze,
O Secret Spirit, I could never, never have believed
That the Divine is so wonderful, all love and compassion.
Like a passionate moth burning madly
For the embrace of Fire, how my whole being
Yearns to be possessed by His Sweetness till nothing,
Nothing shall be left of the sordid amalgam that is myself.
O Secret merciful Spirit, in answer to my desperate longing,
You have pressed a tiny concealed Spring.
A flow of cleansing waters stream down from the benign Peaks,
Melt and purify the petrified filth and gloom of the ages.
My soul now deeply satisfied, a happy one-note hymn of faith,
Throbs faintly with gratitude, drowned in the symphony of Grace.
O Secret Spirit, penetrating the vast Universe and beyond,
All its nooks and corners with Your breathing Presence,
Substance of dreams, realities and abysmal mysteries,
From the most Luminous high Divinities
To the tenebrous God-denying almighties,
You are always the same intimate, nameless Supreme.
I see You, feel and touch You and hear Your voice,
Yet You are the strangest of the strangers, I have ever met.
Do I exist? It makes me laugh, such a ridiculous question.
In Your boundless unbroken changeless Self-extension,
An isotope of an old shattered atom, pulsating with hope
For the billionth of an undying second that is myself.
No, I do not exist yet this moment is rich and poignant.
O Secret Self, from You I am born, Your body’s portion, in You
I disappear like the exalted sprays
Falling back into the Ocean in suspense.
When I contemplate the endless sacred procession
Of Your fugitive names and faces on the cinerama of Time,
Then, then only I vibrate and my life even so insignificant
Glows and burns in ecstasy like a meteor in explosion.
Glory to You, my Friend, Sweetheart, Master, Guide and Queen,
Glory to Your Messengers, Emanations and Incarnations.
Glory to the earthly bodies filled with the Holy Spirit.
*************

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