With the beginning of Part Two, we have a different kind of poetic enterprise. Books 4 and 5 together cover ground which you don’t find in Vyasa’s ‘Savitri’. Sri Aurobindo takes great delight in describing Savitri’s childhood and youth.
In this poem Savitri is described in four or five different places—once Savitri as seen by Aswapati, once as seen by Narad, once as seen by Satyavan, various descriptions. Here you have a description of Savitri as seen by her own father.
Sri Aurobindo has written beautifully on meditation, on mantra and various other things. He has also written a beautiful lyric on falling in love […] nowhere else do we find love treated with such tender hands, with such purity. Now you have a little poem on love, why and how do people fall in love.
“It’s difficult to write love poetry where you talk about fulfilled love. When the poet finds that the beloved is gone, then his highest poetry comes out. Love fulfilled for most people is sheer domesticity, there is no poetry left. But here you see how he lifts the whole thing. He’s made an adoration of the body, an adoration of the heart, an adoration of the mind. “
“…you won’t find anything comparable to this anywhere in English; it’s a totally different kind of poetry. Only Sri Aurobindo could bring up this kind of miracle in verbal expression.”
God is supposed to be perfect and have created this world out of his joy, his great bliss. But the world of ignorance, death, misery―why did God create this world?
“Book VI, Canto 2 takes up the problem of pain. Sri Aurobindo doesn’t dismiss pain and evil as unreal; evil is real, but evil is not an inherent property characteristic of the supreme Reality. Evil begins at a certain stage in the evolutionary journey, and when its need is over, evil automatically gets eliminated. You can only drive evil away through the spiritual approach by rising to a level of consciousness above the mind.”
“…to understand all the secrets of this universe, of this creation, you should be able to make your consciousness as vast as the consciousness of the Creator himself. This is what Sri Aurobindo calls knowledge by identity.”
“Narad has done all that he wanted to do. He has steeled Savitri’s will, he has explained to Savitri’s mother what he believes pain is and how God created this world.”
…the voice says, “In silence seek god’s meaning in thy depths,” and “Find out thy soul.” The first thing we have to do is to find out who we are. […] without knowing who we are, there is no point in trying to say, “I want to be successful in life.”
“So the instructions given to Savitri have two main parts to it. The first part is to find your soul. This is a very widely accepted goal of all spiritual quest. But the second one is equally important in Savitri’s case: can mortal nature change to the divine? “
“There is no point in thinking of a better theory, a better social system, a better agenda, a better United Nations. As long as the human mind is what it is, it is fully capable of twisting and perverting even the highest truth when it comes. And that is why his [Sri Aurobindo’s] one aim was to go beyond the mind such that this perverting path of the mind can be completely abolished.”
“You don’t find any horse tragic, any animal tragic. Gods, of course, are beyond tragedy; they are a world of perfection. The only creature who is tragic is man. He has lost the innocence of the beasts, he is yet to achieve the perfection. Mind is what has made the human enterprise tragic. “
The God of Death tried to show earlier on to Savitri that all these ideals are meaningless dreams. But she says, my god that I cherish is not the God the Dream, my god is God the Fire: that which purifies, that which aspires, that which constantly burns upwards, the Agni of the Vedas, which always keeps mounting higher and higher!