There are important aspects of the One Divine Being that we humans have since ever been perceiving as separate entities and giving names to, different ones in our different cultures. ‘Krishna’ is one of those major Aspects, as perceived and named in the Indian spiritual tradition.
I have mentioned this most wonderful Aspect of the Divine already several times on this blog, but today, being November 24th, is special: it is the day when in 1926 this Krishna aspect of the Divine, already an intimate Friend and Companion for Sri Aurobindo since the year he had spent in the British jail of Alipore in Calcutta from May 5, 1908 to May 6, 1909, became a permanent Presence associated to his whole being, down to the physical consciousness.
In 1926 on this special day what happened was more than something individual; here is how Sri Aurobindo himself, in answer to a question by a disciple, described ten years later, on 29.10.1935, that momentous inner event:
“24th [November 1926] was the descent of Krishna into the physical.
Krishna is not the Supramental light. The descent of Krishna would mean the descent of the Overmind Godhead preparing, though not itself actually, the descent of Supermind and Ananda. Krishna is the Anandamaya; he supports the evolution through the Overmind leading it towards the Ananda.”
‘Ananda’ is the sanskrit word for the Delight of Being that is innate to the Supreme Divine Nature, ‘Satchidananda’ as it is called in Indian spirituality. At the Supramental level (in the Supermind) it is still all part of the same Oneness in all its diversified Aspects. At the Overmind level where the One starts manifesting Separativeness, each Aspect begins to work on its own as one specific Godhead, although still in an overall harmony with all the other Aspects/Godheads. Only at the Mental level does the sense of duality and utmost polarization appear, and the struggle between what is seen by the Mental Consciousness as multiple Opposites.
So this Essential Ananda that Krishna manifests as a Godhead on the Overmind Plane is one of the most needed Aspects of our Divine Nature that must be reconquered, on our way from our present mental consciousness as ordinary human beings, to hopefully the Overmental level and then some day the Supramental level. For the gradual transformation of our whole being, and particularly the physical body, this Ananda is one of the most indispensable powers required.
One can see then how important was this deliberate joining of Krishna, as early as 1926, to the intense evolutive work that Sri Aurobindo had been given the task of doing for the Earth.
During the following period of Sri Aurobindo’s life, between 1930 and 1940, when he expressed many of his earlier spiritual experiences in the highly concise poetic form of Sonnets, one can find a sonnet titled ‘Krishna’, the final draft of which is dated 15 September 1939 and, as for all its other previous drafts, is placed by Sri Aurobindo just after another one also finalised on the same date, titled ‘The Cosmic Dance’; the reason for that precise place becomes obvious when one reads both texts in that order:
THE COSMIC DANCE
DANCE OF KRISHNA, DANCE OF KALI
Two measures are there of the cosmic dance.
Always we hear the tread of Kali’s feet
Measuring in rhythms of pain and grief and chance
Life’s game of hazard terrible and sweet.
The ordeal of the veiled Initiate,
The hero soul at play with Death’s embrace,
Wrestler in the dread gymansium of Fate
And sacrifice a lonely path to Grace,
Man’s sorrows made a key to the Mysteries,
Truth’s narrow road out of Time’s wastes of dream,
The soul’s seven doors from Matter’s tomb to rise,
And the common motives of her tragic theme.
But when shall Krishna’s dance through Nature move,
His face of sweetness, laughter, rapture, love?
At last I find a meaning of soul’s birth
Into this universe terrible and sweet,
I who have felt the hungry heart of earth
Aspiring beyond heaven to Krishna’s feet.
I have seen the beauty of immortal eyes,
And heard the passion of the Lover’s flute,
And known a deathless ecstasy’s surprise
And sorrow in my heart for ever mute.
Nearer and nearer now the music draws,
Life shudders with a strange felicity;
All Nature is a wide enamoured pause
Hoping her Lord to touch, to clasp, to be.
For this one moment lived the ages past;
The world now throbs fulfilled in me at last.
This huge new step being achieved on that very special day of 1926, Sri Aurobindo saw that now the next step had to be started: to bring down the Supramental Consciousness-Force itself from its own far away realm into the earth’s atmosphere and very Matter, where it would awaken the corresponding ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (as I put it) waiting there since the beginnings of Evolution, so that at last she would start manifesting this Power upon earth with all the transforming energy that will progressively bring about what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother foresaw and worked for all their life: the ‘Life Divine’ yet to come.
Seeing the necessity of now focusing as entirely as possible on this tremendous new task – bringing the Supramental down here – Sri Aurobindo on that very same day asked the Mother to take charge of organizing materially the Ashram rendered necessary by the growing number of disciples around them, and to take charge spiritually as well of those disciples, as he himself would have to withdraw into the seclusion of his room in order to concentrate on that other, much more important result, to be achieved as quickly as possible.
So, this day is still celebrated as one of the few ‘Darshan Days’ that were observed since those early years of the Ashram, although Sri Aurobindo and the Mother aren’t there to give a physical Darshan any more – inwardly the contact with them can still be the same, and even physically too, for the bodies which are especially receptive, the blissful blessing of their Presence can be felt, stronger and stronger as the years pass and evolution is progressing.
Of course, on this specific day particularly, the delightful Presence of Krishna is also there to be enjoyed… And don’t be surprised if it is slightly mischievous: fun and laughter are definitely part of the utterly charming Personality of Krishna, who even as an adult is akin to a Child through his Divine Playfulness…