Revelation by Maharshi Aurobindo by Bijay Kant Dubey SignUp

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Revelation by Maharshi Aurobindo
by Bijay Kant Dubey Bookmark and Share


Someone leaping from the rocks
Past me ran with wind-blown locks
Like a startled bright surmise
Visible to mortal eyes,–
Just a cheek of frightened rose
That with sudden beauty glows,
Just a footstep like the wind
And a hurried glance behind,
And then nothing,– as a thought
Escapes the mind ere it is caught.
Someone of the heavenly rout
From behind the veil ran out.

What is he saying it about? Did Aurobindo write it before his tryst with Narayan darshana or after? But perhaps it is of the latter period as because the yogi here relates and refers to the story of his mystical experiences of registering some supernatural footfall going past hurriedly? Maharshi Aurobindo is not only a yogi, a sadhaka, an ashramite, a poet, a philosopher, but a nationalist, a patriot, a freedom fighter; an educationist, a reformer, a pamphleteer; a teacher, a guru and the mind and vision behind the Pondicherry Ashrama. We cannot think of Aurobindo without the Ashrama and his ashramites. To discuss him is to discuss his correspondences with his disciples as the critics of Aurobindoean literature.

Revelation as a poem is one of those poems which can charm us with their mystical note and flashes, meditative strain and reflection, spiritual insight and delving, transcendental vision and realization, supernatural visualization and realization. A small poem it is a marvel of poetic expression. The poet undergoes strange feelings and emotions while lost in his thoughts and ideas, while meditating upon or taking to the recourse of sadhna. The yogi marks someone leaping from the rocks and running him past with wind-blown locks and matted hair. Who can be it? Who can be as such? Who the persona? Like a startled bright surmise, visible to mortal eyes? Who can be the one running him past, who can be as such is a matter of reckoning? Who the being, a frightened one with blushing cheeks and sudden jerk coming and going away hurriedly?

Just like the wind with the footstep of it and a hurried glance cast behind, with all this the human or inhuman being passing which is but a mystical experience. Those who do experimentation with the Divine, those who do the sadhna undergo such an experience. If to prove, these cannot be proved, these can just be felt within. Once crossed by gone forever. The experience is just like the escape of thoughts as they crop up and vanish away before being caught and put down on paper. Perhaps someone of the heavenly rout from behind the veil has he run out. When we talk of the Divine Messenger it may be like that of John Milton, thousands at His work and when we think in terms of escape from reality, it may be Keatsian and Coleridgean elements as there lie in escape, fancy and imagination in them. It is not Don Juan or Kubla Khan’s dream, but the test and ordeal of sadhna.

Revelation as a poem is but a realization of the semi-divine, the spirit-like force. It is a matter of feeling. Those who are experimental otherwise may feel, realize it. What it goes into the levels of consciousness, who can but say it?

Who is it showing the face and running out? Is he a mortal figure or something as illusory, hallucinatory? This is but a matter of feeling as when one starts experimenting with, illusions and hallucinations take him over.

The first two lines start the revelation beautifully:

Someone leaping from the rocks
Past me ran with wind-blown locks

Generally, the sadhakas select a lonely place for the sadhna. It may in the midst of Nature or on the crematorium ground or at some nook and corner. When in the course of sadhna, one passes through several tests and ordeals felt mystically, supernaturally and psychically. But one needs to follow the course of action with utter restraint and logical faculty otherwise blind rites and rituals may sway the feet.

Something is true, but it is difficult to confirm so is the case here with the mystical figure, the shadowy presence fleeing, striding and escaping from after showing itself:

Like a startled bright surmise
Visible to mortal eyes,–

While going through the poem, we get reminded of the ghost scene of Hamlet and the line ‘Life is but a walking shadow’ as used in Macbeth. The image is like that of a frightened rose glowing with beauty:

Just a cheek of frightened rose
That with sudden beauty glows,

The poet makes it clear rightly at the end of the poem, whose is it the mighty presence jolting it all, who the shadowy figure going with a jerk:

Someone of the heavenly rout
From behind the veil ran out.

At that time one should not fear and if one fears, it will have a negative impact upon. The best way is to feel and realize it without sharing the tete-e-tete, vis-à-vis with.

After reading the poem, one may ask in different ways. Who is the persona under discussion? What his purpose? How the feeling? Is it an illusion, a hallucination? Is it magical? Is there something of hocus-pocus, black art in it? Is it delirium? How to answer all that?

How to relate to tantra-mantra? Who can say who is what? What to say about the mystical experience which is purely personal and which cannot be proved? Who was it the agent, the spiritual creature, the frightful fellow?

Was he a yaksharaj? A spirit? A semi-god? Sometimes people sight them so. Sometimes reminiscences and remembrances of gone-by people mesmerize it the memory lines. It is very difficult to say it exactly. Do the astronauts or the airmen not see the aliens or sight some mysterious things in the space? Those may be aliens with their hovercrafts alighting, holding parleys with mystical things of the mystical surface and whispering with the stars in a strange tale of their own as these are but in also spooky stories of narration.

The word, ‘someone’ adds suspense and mystery with regard to the persona under askance. The ‘leaping from the rocks’ and ‘running past’ adds to furthermore to the element mystical and spiritual suspicion, aggravating the suspense to a heightened state of purview and reflection. The ‘wind-blown locks’ gives a strange look to the myth already doing the rounds. And we doubt, who can be it the person? Definitely not a rebel of Shelley, not a revolutionary of Milton, not an addict recovering of Ginsberg too, maybe it a transcendental character of Emerson. There may be something of Shelley’s The Cloud and Ode to the West Wind and something of Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey the secluded domain and the hermits into the hills. It passes in such a way that one will be frightened to see or feel it going. As a thought comes and slides way so was the presence of the creature. The words, ‘a startled bright surmise, a cheek of frightened rose, that with sudden beauty glows’, are of a different guage as these tell of something of the rosy spectre divine.

The below-referenced two lines speak of the swift-footedness and the glide of the footsteps hurrying past:

Just a footstep like the wind
And a hurried glance behind,

The spiritual creatures wait it not as their presence so much proven as well as so much debated:

And then nothing,– as a thought
Escapes the mind ere it is caught.

To see the things in the version of Charles Lamb, how would he say in dream Children: A Reverie while visiting his great house in Norfolk where the great grandmother Mrs.Field used to live as caretaker:

“Then I told how she was used to sleep by herself in a lone chamber of the great lone house; and how she believed that an apparition of two infants was to be seen at midnight gliding up and down the great staircase near where she slept, but she said “those innocents would do her no harm”; and how frightened I used to be, though in those days I had my maid to sleep with me, because I was never half so good or religious as she—and yet I never saw the infants. Here John expanded all his eyebrows and tried to look courageous.”

Whatever be the discussion, Revelation as a poem is like one from the cluster of small poems dealing with the mystical flicker and flashes experienced by him. Sometimes the people undergo such an experience which is found beyond explanation as it turns into a matter of the psyche. The sadhakas and mystics often tell about that experienced or seen by them. Such an experience gives inner delight. How to bear down, view it awe-struck and in a breathtaking manner is the thing of deliberation.

Revelation as a poem is all about a mystical experience, a supernatural feeling when some unexpected presence takes it over with awe and suspense. The passing of the unexpected persona ruffles it all with a flutter and review of the strangely-taking scene and that too by surprise and suspense, but be sure of he will not stop by, he will just pass by hurriedly and forcibly making his way even if give you or not, but always looking back likely in a mystical way with his activity nocturnal and suspicious. How to identify the persona, the mystical figure, the supernatural being, the nature spirit, the wanderer?

Is he a persona of the secluded place? Is he the nature spirit wandering? We are not sure of it. But whatever be that, it is a revelation, a disclosure about the strange meeting, but the guest definitely an unworldly fellow, a supernatural being, a dark force with consciousness divine in it coming across by chance and fleeing with the hurried steps overtaken, so wild, swift and proud.

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