Re: 17: An Ardent Prayer by RY Deshpande
Sri Aurobindo wrote this poem when the World War II had already caused irreparable loss, marking a decisive stage towards annihilation of human values and human civilisation. All the progress made through the long and gruesome centuries was on the brink of destruction. The inglorious Battle of France began on 10 May 1940 and the German armoured units had swiftly pushed through the Ardennes; in the second operation dated 5 June, just within a fortnight, they outflanked the Maginot Line, the thrust being to seize larger territory of France. The French government collapsed like a house of cards and Paris was occupied on 14 June. On 22 June the Second Army Group was forced to surrender and within three days France catapulted, on 25 June. The dance of the dark and terrible Kali was at its fiercest. “Paris shall be destroyed, Paris shall be destroyed”—the air was filled with the deafening cry in the march of the triumphant Devil and there was no opposition, none could stand the onslaught. French army didn’t have reserves, none, “acune” as its commander told Churchill when he flew to France. Her military casualties were appalling, in such a short duration, a hundred thousand dead as against twenty-seven thousand Germans. About half a million civilians would die in bombings.
On 18th of June, Churchill made a speech to the British Parliament. "The battle for France is over," he warned. "The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us." The Battle of Britain was about to begin. Paris must be saved, Sri Aurobindo at once knew, and started applying his yogic-spiritual force to mould the course of history. Dunkirk showed the first success in the deep occult battle. It is in this context we must read Sri Aurobindo’s Children of Wotan, written in August 1940, just a month after the collapse of France...
A dark force had descended on mankind and it had to be met, and met decisively, with a superior luminous force. Wotan—how apt the description we have in the poem! Let us have some idea about this dark occult god, powerful, overbearing, and his children Sri Aurobindo is mentioning in the context of the world-shattering events. RYD