It is finished

This passage is here:

He who would save himself lives bare and calm;
He who would save the race must share its pain:
This he shall know who obeys that grandiose urge.

The great who came to save this suffering world
And rescue out of Time’s shadow and the Law,
Must pass beneath the yoke of grief and pain:
They are caught by the Wheel that they had hoped to break,
On their shoulders they must bear man’s load of fate.

Heaven’s riches they bring, their sufferings count the price
Or they pay the gift of knowledge with their lives.

The Son of God born as the Son of man
Has drunk the bitter cup, owned Godhead’s debt,
The debt the Eternal owes to the fallen kind
His will has bound to death and struggling life
That yearns in vain for rest and endless peace.

Now is the debt paid, wiped off the original score.

The Eternal suffers in a human form,
He has signed salvation’s testament with his blood:
He has opened the doors of his undying peace.

The Deity compensates the creature’s claim,
The Creator bears the law of pain and death;
A retribution smites the incarnate God.

His love has paved the mortal’s road to Heaven:
He has given his life and light to balance here
The dark account of mortal ignorance.

It is finished, the dread mysterious sacrifice,
Offered by God’s martyred body for the world;
Gethsemane and Calvary are his lot,
He carries the cross on which man’s soul is nailed;
His escort is the curses of the crowd;
Insult and jeer are his right’s acknowledgment;
Two thieves slain with him mock his mighty death.

He has trod with bleeding brow the Saviour’s way.

He who has found his identity with God
Pays with the body’s death his soul’s vast light.

His knowledge immortal triumphs by his death.

Rhythmical chanting (at 6s per line):

Non-rhythmical chanting (same elongations and pauses as rhythmical, but different durations for different lines):

Metrical reading (natural stressed cadence):

Which one?


4 thoughts on “It is finished

  1. I don’t think the theme permits the first two. I’ll go to some extent by the natural metrical reading.

    Incidentally, there is something about the last three lines:

    He who has found his identity with God
    Pays with the body’s death his soul’s vast light. ||108.40||
    His knowledge immortal triumphs by his death. ||108.41||

    Around 15 November 1950, just a couple of weeks before his withdrawal on 5 December 1950 Sri Aurobindo added by dictation three passages in the Book of Fate, absolutely the last dictation given by him. This is one of them. He had already decided about his ‘going away’, and in that context these three lines acquire a deeply occult significance. “His knowledge immortal”—and not “His love immortal” which would go with the sacrifice of Christ—is exceptionally autobiographical. In any rendering these depths of the occult-spiritual must emerge to the extent possible for us, at least that awareness has to be there in the perception. The luminous occult is what the luminous occult ear would hear.

  2. I must say that I find the regularity of the rhythmic chanting able to sustain the movement over a long time and also able to carry it deep. Of course, it can be a lot better than I have done with a trained voice, memorization of the lines, practice, and better technology to mark the measures and beats.

  3. One of the things remarkable about this passage is the level of deep concern, and anguish even, shown for both the “fallen kind” and the “saviour” while at the same time maintaining a sort of calm aloofness almost to the point of indifference – as his Nishkama karma.

  4. The sense of utter detachment, nishkam-bhava, is certainly there, an uninvolved observation of the Witness Purusha, sakshi; yet there is the complete identification with events and things, the soul experiencing again all that is being described. In combing these two is achieved the greatness that is the epic’s, of the Yogi-Poet’s Savitri.

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