Amal-kiran—the Fire-Worshipper R. Y. Deshpande
Sri Aurobindo’s modernism does not rest at all in the sordid and the ugly. In him there is a kind of assimilated richness. He exploits, so to say, everything that can tellingly if not revealingly serve his purpose. Kalidasian moods of seasons and the featurelessness of Nirvana, for example, are as important to it as Homeric similes or the correlative expressions of the Modernists. It is so because his epics or short lyrical verses come from an original source of inspiration inaccessible to us. That incapacity of ours cannot be a reflection on the quality of his creations. Thus Savitri is full of Rasas—Madhura, Karuna, Vatsalya, Adbhuta, Veera, Bibhatsa, Shanta, etc. Quintessentially, however, it is founded on the Shanta. It is in this great Silence that the Epic was born—Silence the true home of Overhead Poetry. To really appreciate it one has to enter into it. Poetry is not only image and symbol; it is also sound and silence; if there is sight’s sound, there is also sound’s sight. And when leMusicien deSilence becomes one with leMusicien de Son we have an unsurpassable marvel. Listen to Ezra Pound: “When we know more of overtones we shall see that the tempo of every masterpiece is absolute, and is exactly set by some further law of rhythmic accord. Whence it should be possible to show that any given rhythm implies about it a complete musical form, perfect, complete. Ergo, the rhythm set in a line of poetry connects its symphony, which, had we a little more skill, we could score for orchestra.” If one is deaf to these sounds, to these rhythmic accords, to these happinesses rushing from the creative possibilities of the inevitable Word, then what can the creative poet do? In the Overhead Poetry as given to us by Sri Aurobindo what we have are the perfect rhythm and thought-substance and soul-vision fused into one, the supreme Mantra itself.
Sri Aurobindo wrote prophetically, long ago, that the future poetry “transcending the more intellectualised or externally vital and sensational expression” would speak “wholly in the language of an intuitive mind and vision and imagination, intuitive sense, intuitive emotion, intuitive vital feeling, which can seize in a peculiarly intimate light of knowledge by a spiritual identity the inmost thought, sight, image, sense, life, feeling of that which it is missioned to utter. The voice of poetry comes from a region above us, a plane of our being above and beyond our personal intelligence, a supermind which sees things in their inmost and largest truth by a spiritual identity and a lustrous effulgency and rapture and its native language is a revelatory, inspired, intuitive word limpid or subtly vibrant or densely packed with the glory of this ecstasy.” He saw five suns of truth-beauty-delight-life-spirit in the sky of poetry waiting for us to receive their glow and warmth. Our creative endeavour should be to open ourselves to them.
Students who graduated themselves from Sri Aurobindo’s Department of Poetry received magnificences of these suns in Sri Aurobindo’s plenty. “The silent wonders of eternity” that were waiting for the inspired utterance suddenly found in rock-hewn images the quivering lips that speak of the blue skies and the golden truths. We witness the ear of ears and the eye of eyes waking to the subtleties of sense and sound, marvelling at the mystery of God’s creation even in Time. Not only did Sri Aurobindo himself write seizing “the absolute in shapes that pass”; he also encouraged actively and positively his disciples who came forward to participate in such an apocalyptic adventure. Amal-kiran was one among the most prominent practitioners of this new poetry, Poetry of the Future. He invoked heaven’s light in the inner chamber and called out the occult fire from the depths of the being to take the form of the deeply expressive and intuitive Word. His was the Hymn of Affirmation welcoming the Aurobindonian Muse, a chant in the praise of Ahana of the Eternal. Glory to the New Dawn appearing on the poetic horizon!