A thing of truth is a force for ever. And the most stiking
peculiarity of Shri Aurobindo Goshe’s new book of poems,
Ahana, is its uniform adherence to poetic truth. Truth
is to poetry what fact is toscience. And whatever aspect
of the poetic art may appeal most to the mind of the
lay reader, the poets themselves have aways regarded
true poetry as the right expression of the soul-truth
of things. The Vedic name for the pot, Kavi, means a
It is not the tender melody or the flowing rhythm of
Shri Goses’s lines, nor yet his assured mastery of certain
difficult and rare form of English metre that captures
one’s heart, so much as his Aryan clarity of vision
and straightness of utterance. For instance, the first
poem “Ahana” (Dawn) which aptly lends its name to the
whole collection – is characterized by an almost Vedic
directness. Read these lines:
“ To be content with our measure, they say, is the law
of our living.
Who is the nomad then? Who is the seeker? This gambler
All for a dream, in a dream? All the old, all the sure,
all the stable?
Lightly are staked for a lure that never was laid on
Her we have the spirit of Yoga depicted with the ease
of a master. Of course there are terrible difficulties
and many defeats on the path. But God tempts.
“Honied a thousand whispers come, in the birds, in the
Moonlight, the voices of steams, form hundreds of beautiful
Always he cries to us, “Love me”
Shri Ghose’s poetry is, of course, deeply affected by
his profound study of the Veda, and his seer-like insight
into the true, Ayhuyatmic (spiritual) meaning of that
Ancient Record of God experiences.
Above all the gods the Veda mentions Rudra, Vishnu and
higher still, the great God who is simply called the
‘Deva’. And above Him is that, the unthinkable. In two
of his finest poems, ‘Who’ and the Parabrahman’, Shri
Ghose gives some luminous and beautiful thoughts on
the most High. Stray quotations can convey no idea of
the splendor of these poems.
But Krishna is the humanized symbol of the All-pervading
and All-loving Vishnu. And Krishna-symbolism has been,
in the past, one of the most rapturous themes for the
Indian poet’s heart. In Hidusthan and in Bengal, in
the Maharasthtra and the Tamil land, the older seers
have written some of their best songs about the picture
of the cowherd boy, his flute and his kine – of God,
His love and His illuminations. And Shri Ghose’s realization
of Krishna Lila, the sport of God, is portrayed in the
For his flute with its sweetness ensnaring
Sounds in our ears in the night and our souls of their
Hales them out naked and absolute, out to his woodlands
Out to his moonlit dances, hi dalliance sweet and supernal,
And we go stumbling, maddened and thrilled to his dreadful
“In the moon light,” “ The Rishi ” and “To the Sea”
are other remarkable poems shaped in Aryan beauty and
truth. “In the Moonligh” is especially remarkable as
containing the verdict of the higher Indian culture
on what is known as “Modern Science”. That science has
attempted to know all about the earth and has undoubtedly
been crowned with a partial success, but giddy with
this slight success, she tends to ignore the fundamental
Essence of the Universe, it ultimate Being. Man is a
living, aspiring soul. And the most momentous question
that concern him here are: “How shall I live best? And
what shall I aspire for with the utmost yearning of
my heart, consistently with my high dignity of a soul
– a flaming spark of the substance which perishes not?”
And if science ignores these questions with a thinly
veiled scorn, in her last generalizations, then says
Her days are numbered and not long
Shall she be suffered to belittle thus
Man and restrain from his tempestuous
Uprising that immortal spirit strong.
The old shall perish; it shall pass away,
Expunged, annihilated, blotted out;
And all the iron hands that ring about
Man’s wide expansion shall at last give way.
Freedom, God, immortality; the three
one and shall be realized at length.
The last two lines mark the whole spirit of the poem.
Shri Aurobindo Ghose is one of those who make us proud
that we as born as Indians.