Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Heaven of Indra where Apsaras dance on gleaming crystal floors

RY Deshpande Fri 12 Jan 2007 05:32 AM PST
Savitri had brought with her power, wide consciousness, bliss, calm delight, the delight that the Upanishads would say weds one soul to all, the delight that is the key to the flaming doors of ecstasy. But the unfortunate fact is the littleness of life that is ours, ignorant and death-bound. It denied all that she had brought with her, did not use the key for the doors of ecstasy. Consequently life must suffer. The key to the flaming doors of ecstasy is to a life that is vaster and brighter than the life that is in heavens. It is also a life that does not remain static in its typal joy, confined to its own form of happiness, forms that are only expressive and not determinative of the world to which they belong...
In the Life Heavens is the music that wanders behind the mortal ear; the notes of rapture heap one over another; forms and senses are a-thrill there; beauty has her enchantment in the voluptuous and affective.
But suddenly there soared a dateless cry,
Deep as Night, imperishable as Time;
It seemed Death’s dire appeal to Eternity,
Earth’s outcry to the limitless Sublime.
(The Life Heavens, Collected Poems pp. 574-75.)
And the result is, Eternity gets broken into fleeting lives and Godhead pents in the mire and the stone. But beyond the flaming doors of ecstasy are forms that are at once expressive and determinative and progressive in their flaming moods and wide-sweeping manners of truth-and-beauty-and delight-and-life-and-spirit. That is the aspect of Savitri’s waking up on the fated day.
To which worlds do the flaming doors of ecstasy open? Surely, they are far beyond the frail or gossamer Life Heavens, beyond the celestial worlds, beyond swargaloka, the Heaven of Indra where Apsaras dance on gleaming crystal floors, with tiny jingling silver bells tied to their anklets, and their rich bosoms heaving in luxurious delight. Savitri’s flaming doors open to the worlds of the transcendent spirit. The Upanishad speaks of passing through the solar gate, sūryasya dwāra, into the world of immortality. Such must be the flaming gates of ecstasy through which Savitri can move in and out in her full freedom, in the joy that is and that shall be. RYD

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