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Agnisākṣi — 4
Désir et mémoire

Mercredi 27 avril 2011

Dans les dernières pages d'Agnisākṣi, Devakî prend conscience (au style indirect libre) du Désir en elle, refoulé par l'ascétisme. Loin de pouvoir être compris et satisfait dans un ashram où les fidèles demandent non pas une vraie Mère mais une Yoginî, c'est un élan vital se traduisant charnellement et affectivement dans le désir d'enfant et la maternité:

Even the word' desire' used to drive her into a fury. But did she manage to hate the creative urge inherent in all living beings? She looked around the ashram with a sigh: disciples, daughters, Mataji, Mother. Yes, all of Woman' s dearest wishes must anchor at this shore in order to be fulfilled. She wanted to cover the entire living world in a kiss, to call aloud, 'My children!' But no one wants Mother, they want a Guru, a Yogini…

Commentaire de J. Devaki (devaki_desire.pdf, p.245): Sexual desire and motherhood are equally taken to be manifestations of the 'creative urge' Antarjanam sees as inherent in all beings.

Une étrange et très brève short story (reproduite ci-dessous) met en scène cet élan du désir incarné par un spermatozoïde qui pénètrera dans le saint des saints (métaphore du pèlerin entrant dans le temple). Désir se déployant dans la multitude des vivants et prenant sa source aux racines de la mémoire, c'est une description du Samsâra, de la Mâyâ et de la fabrication du Soi (le sentiment de mon individualité).

lalitambika_far-side_of_memory.pdf — Lalitambika Antarjanam, On the Far Side of Memory, in Nivedita Menon (Edited by), Sexualities, New Delhi, Women Unlimited, 2007 (Issues in Contemporary Indian Feminism, 5), pp.243–245.

On the Far Side of Memory

[Le spermatozoïde]

Down through the immense surge of energy it flowed, the seed of life... From where did it arrive? What led it here? Memories... not much that could be called memories. He could sense himself wildly thrashing about, shuddering in distress, as if rudely roused from long slumber... Movement. And more movement. Nothing in his consciousness but the fresh upsurge of movement. Nothing was perceivable, not the shifts of time, nor of space. And yet, the whiff of an instinct, of a great journey, sweeping in from the past. Some unique, still distinct trace. What is this that disturbs me, he thought. Like a drop that's flung afar by the force of some tempest striking hard at the waves of infinity, I am all alone. The feeling of being absolutely alone... Can I survive? Is it possible?

[Celui qui, parmi des millions de spermatozoïdes, réussit à entrer dans l'œuf]

He was the One who had grown ever stronger, having swum through fire, through water, through the vastness of the five elements, drawing into himself their vital forces. A mere atom of an atom, yes. But yet he felt himself to be the strongest in the universe. A pleasurable sense of ego invades him, led as he is by this creative, lofty unimpeded instinct. A certain pride, in having grown so much, grown to thrive, to expand, to separate... And here it moves ahead, the festive procession of millions upon millions... I am but one among these. Does not each one of these atoms desire like myself, throb and strive like myself? And yet in the urgency to survive, to take form, to exist... in that great haste... in that great race... only one of them will win. Will I be the one? Am I strong enough, do I deserve to win? This great flow of pilgrims, but only one will enter the temple, the one who forges ahead, the one with unbroken confidence. One and one alone... And then the gates close. The sanctum is sealed. That warrior alone who has won the race, gains entry, all others turn away, transfixed. Surely to die... How many times, at how many doorsteps, have I too frozen and died!

[La Mâyâ et la fabrication de Soi]

No space for reflection. No time to hesitate. I forge ahead in a blind, intoxicating passion that erases all else from my mind. Surge forward towards a sublime goal. There can be no failure this time. There will be no failure. As I grow ever stronger, savouring the exhilarating radiance of creation emanating from elemental instinct, I am convinced—nothing is impossible.

Contemptuously pushing aside the millions of fellow beings milling around, I forge ahead at incomparable speed. No, indeed, I glide, like a winged vehicle in the sky, like a sea-vessel skimming through the ocean's depth, like waves of electricity, I fly... Oh, what heat, what speed, in this movement! Bliss or sorrow? Dread or daring? Hope or frustration? This must be the ultimate limit of all experience. Indeed it must be the very absence of experience. A dream that bore within it the essence of both heaven and hell. Oblivious of his surroundings, focusing on that single inspiration and on it alone, everything that was becoming him, and everything that he had, was becoming one, everything dissolves into that passion.

Forgotten are all the other atoms in that teeming mass of life. Forgotten, all other goals. All of the forces in the mighty universe have become myself. It is I who am present here, I alone. I set the rules. For me, nothing is impossible.

An invincible self-confidence sprang to life as this desire for growth, for individuality, this desire to take a form, filled me in its fullness, Did not this magnificent surge well up from my drive and my. drive alone? Did not the power of my will alone make this honey-sweet underground rivulet gush forth, beating at the shores, breaking the boulders, overflowing the bunds? Who else can unleash this fantastic storm that stirs awake the elemental instincts, who indeed but me? That vital force is present in all that is good, all that survives, in the seed of all that takes birth. That is life. That is truth. Nothing within the space of this universe has the force to stop an atom of life that struggles to be born.

Floating on, carried by those waves, hotter than fire, cool as snow, lighter than air, he was filled with unprecedented joy. And simultaneously with terror. As when the metal that melts in the furnace is poured into the mould... Oh what terrible, persistent, compelling force! What a tremendously arousing confluence of flows! Does this confluence of the mighty forces of the universe occur to make my path easy? Or does it seek to thwart me? He felt a need for something more, some assistance, from somebody, or something. A helping hand, from some force that had charmed him out from infinity, that drew him back to infinity. Will it, in the final moment, abandon me?... Unconscious of myself, I roar, rousing the very limits of consciousness: 'Accept me! I want to be Myself... Myself, the unique Me... '

In the expanse of the universe, that was the only sound he could hear. He was turning into nothing but that sound. Did the whole of the universe emerge from sound?

In that decisive final moment he swooned into a lassitude of sweetness and pain. A second or an aeon, he couldn't say. Could not tell if it was stupor or numbness. Like a child running wildly to his mother falls into her lap... with a cry as anxious, as full of rage, far more dependent, beseeching of sanctuary, his soul tumbled into the sacred chamber opened for him. Yes, into that garbhagriham (*) specially prepared to consecrate him, only him.

With a sob that emanates from the very soul of his soul, that Living Spirit clamours again: 'Which is the way to growth? Growth... completeness. It is for that... for that alone is my pilgrimage.'


(*) In Malayalam, the word garbhagriham means both the womb and the sanctum sanctorum of a temple.

N. Lalitambika Antarjanam, 'Ormayude Appurattu', Agnipushpangal, Kottayam, Sahitya Pravartaka Cooperative Society, 1960, pp.71–75. Translated by J. Devika.