When in the heart of the valleys and hid by the roses
The sweet Love lies,
Has he wings to rise to his heavens or in the closes
Lives and dies?
On the peaks of the radiant mountains if we should meet him
Proud and free,
Will he not frown on the valleys? Would it befit him
Chained to be?
Will you then speak of the one as a slave and a wanton,
The other too bare?
But God is the only slave and the only monarch
It is God who is Love and a boy and a slave for our passion
He was made to serve;
It is God who is free and proud and the limitless tyrant
Our souls deserve.
Kamadeva the title appears to be very attractive as it refers to the myths and Puranic stories of Indian archetypes and racial consciousness deeply rooted into our self-layers and cutting the ice of that layer he is trying to explain the mythical aspect herein this poem. The tales of Kamdeva cannot be at one go, but instead let us see what he is writing it about. Let us first try to know it what is kama, vasana. What is Eros, what is desire, love and lust for it? Is it a classical concept? Or, a mythical one? Is it a vikara, a fault, a manovikara, a psycho-neurotic faultline? Why did celibacy try to bypass it? Though we call it classical love poetry and see we in terms of Love Divine, there is something of prem-lila, rasa-asvadan, Amor into the lila of Krishna which is also called Raslila while on the other hand the Lingam-Yoni motif too takes our dhyana away to understand the myths and motifs of Purusha-Prakriti. Did Kamadeva not test Viswamitra with Menaka? The celestial damsels, upsaras and sundaries take the test of the great sadhakas, but who can come out of the maya-jaal will be successful. Kamini, kanchana and sura have always tempted and lured us and now up to you to take. It was also the same while the churning of the ocean.
We often see the village people, older Brahmin folks talking about Kamadeva mythically. But what the tale behind it? How the old feeling? Is it how to banish desire, eros from the self as for a pruritic vision? If desire is in the heart, God cannot be approached. Why do the sadhus and saints talk of? Is it for suppressing sex? Is it for keeping sanctity and sacredness? How to keep the heart pure? How to banish the thoughts of eros and desire? Sometimes it is said sadhna fails it when the mind gets intercepted by kaam, vasana manovikar. Some sadhakas fail they in sadhna when they fall in love with the serving maids or the flower girls. To be God-loving is to banish love from and the marga will change it. The prem-margi is other than the gnan-margi one. But can desire be controlled? Even if, for how long? Can sex be suppressed? We torture the widows in the name of religion and purity. Such a story of dissatisfaction in sex it is there in D.H. Lawrence which has turned into almost an obsession of his fictional stuff.
The temple courtyards with the deities lie in, but the worshipper have to choose their way averting the sculptures in love and lust, erotic and decorative, ornamental and amorous decorating the outer walls as terracotta plates or carved in stone, a repeat of the dharma-artha-kama-moksa concept.
Where does he live, where the God of Love, where the abode of Kamadeva? Where Indian Cupid? How the ways of his? How does he affect the heart? How do the things germinate in? Love as the vikara of the manna, the Indian manna, the oldies, the olden-day classical scholars have propounded it for so long negating it, suppressing it to give it a classical look, but love is not, it is like Dushyanta courting Shakuntala and forgetting him, Krishna in love with the gopis madly, fluting to call them while they going to fill their earthen pitchers with water to riverbeds, the anklets tinkling. The charm of the Indian love story classical and royal, but love is romantic and youthful too which we do not know it. Devdasis cannot love the stone gods for so long sacrificing their youth and the midnight people not so pure, as for gatekeepers, florists, security staff and other middlemen.
Aurobindo Ghose starting the poem Kamadeva says it where love lies it hidden, in what valley hidden by the roses lies it the heart which is but the abode of Kamadeva too and one cannot which way he strikes. But has he the wings to rise to the heavens? Or, in the closes lives and dies he? If somebody meets him rising above, scaling the tops, will he not frown upon the valleys so floral, deep and dark nurturing the tender self?
But who is it behind all that? Can one not rise higher? Can one not meet him freely and proudly? It is God who has made it all, He is behind it all, which we see, what we view it. Even Kamadeva too is the creation of His. Why to view it all as wantons and slaves of passion? Kamadeva cannot affect it all if one rises above and tries to meet him. God too requires love from us. We are not merely the slaves of passion. God is also the same for our passion.
Here in this poem Sri Aurobindo tries to channelize his emotions and feelings differently. A rishi he talks of the conquering of Kamadeva effects, after approaching him in some other way. He is trying his best to transcend the amorous feelings and take it otherwise in an abstract form. As his is a transcendentalist approach so the variation upon this theme of delving as a rishi cannot in such a way and even if, he will of illumination, metaphysical light and mystical closeness.