© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

A Prayer
15 August 1958

As today is Sri Aurobindo's birthday I thought that instead of reading the Dhammapada I could read to you something which will both interest you and show you how Sri Aurobindo visualised our relation with the gods.

You know, don't you, that in India especially, there are countless categories of gods, who are all on different planes, some very close to man, others very close to the Supreme, with many intermediaries.

You will understand better what I want to tell you if I mention the gods of the Puranas--like those we saw the other day in the film--who in many ways are, I must say, inferior to man (!) although they have infinitely more power.

There are gods of the Overmind who are the great creators of the earth--until now. There are the gods of the Vedas who are mentioned in everything that has come down from the Rishis. And there are the gods of the Supermind, those who are going to manifest on earth, although of course they exist from all eternity on their own plane.

Here Sri Aurobindo is speaking mostly about the Vedic gods, but not exclusively nor in a very definite way. At any rate these gods are higher than the gods of the Puranas.

Here is what Sri Aurobindo tells us.

In fact, it is a prayer:

Be wide in me, O Varuna;

be mighty in me, O Indra;

O Sun, be very bright and luminous;

O Moon, be full of charm and sweetness.

Be fierce and terrible, O Rudra; [new p. 377]

be impetuous and swift, O Maruts; [old p. 377]

be strong and bold, O Aryama;

be voluptuous and pleasurable, O Bhaga;

be tender and kind and loving and passionate, O Mitra.

Be bright and revealing, O Dawn;

O Night, be solemn and pregnant.

O Life, be full, ready and buoyant;

O Death, lead my steps from mansion to mansion.

Harmonise all these, O Brahmanaspati.

Let me not be subject to these gods, O Kali. (Note1)

So Sri Aurobindo makes Kali the great liberating power who ardently impels you towards progress and leaves no ties within you which would hinder you from progressing.

Note 1: Thoughts and Aphorisms, Cent. Vol. 17, p. 85.