La Déesse de pierre
Dans une ville de dieux, nichée sur un petit autel,
de ses contours sculptés me fixait la Déesse, –
Présence vivante immortelle et divine,
Forme qui hébergeait toute l’infinité.
L’auguste Mère-du-Monde avec sa volonté puissante
habitant le sommeil abysmal de la terre,
sans-voix, omnipotente, impénétrable,
muette dans le desert et le ciel et l’océan.
Aujourd’hui du mental voilée elle est là et se tait,
se cachant jusqu’à ce que notre âme ait vu, ait entendu
le secret de son étrange incarnation,
Une dans l’adorant et l’idole immobile
mystère et beauté que peuvent draper la chair ou la pierre.
This beautiful poem by Sri Aurobindo talks about the Divine Mother. Last night, suffering from a rare bout of sleeplessness, I came across this gem. Here is Sri Aurobindo’s translation in English.
The Stone Goddess
In a town of gods, housed in a little shrine,
From sculptured limbs the Godhead looked at me,-
A living Presence deathless and divine,
A Form that harboured all infinity.
The great World-Mother and her mighty will
Inhabited the earth’s abysmal sleep,
Voiceless, omnipotent, inscrutable,
Mute in the desert and the sky and deep.
Now veiled with mind she dwells and speaks no word,
Voiceless, inscrutable, omniscient,
Hiding until our soul has seen, has heard
The secret of her strange embodiment,
One in the worshipper and the immobile shape,
A beauty and mystery flesh or stone can drape.
Sri Aurobindo has not used a capital to begin the word ‘gods’ but has capitalized all the words describing Her, the One with the mighty will. Sculptured limbs indeed, for don’t we build Her in our mind’s eye and see Her the way we want to? She harbours all infinity, says Sri Aurobindo, and yet, she sleeps with us on earth. What is she waiting for? Without a word or a sound?
She has been silenced with the dragon of knowledge. Our minds are clouded with too much information such that we cannot see Her. She meekly waits, the One with the mighty will. She waits for the day where we begin to see with the heart and not with the mind. She is the eternal mystery; see Her with the mind, she is but a stone, see Her with your heart, she comes to life.
Whether draped in stone or flesh, she remains the same.
In a land of gods, dwells She,
Looking over the world with mercy.
Deathless and divine,
She is painted by the colours of our mind.
She is the All-Powerful Mother,
who sleeps in the nooks of our soul.
Nay! she speaks not a word
Like the vast desert or the infinite sky.
She wears a dusty cloak of thoughts
Smothered, hidden, foggy.
She waits for the moment that we can see
the secret of Her true self,
Transcending Her chiselled form,
She lives within our hearts.