“Invitation to Savitri” Pt 06: Book 1 Canto 2

Talks by Prof. Mangesh V. Nadkarni in Pondicherry in 1995. All posts can be found HERE. A ZIP archive for off-line listening and reading is HERE


We now move on to Canto 2 of Book 1. As you noticed, the first part of Canto 1 begins with a description of the dawn of the day on which Satyavan was destined to die. And the second section introduces us to the first character here, which is Savitri, and we know that in some sense Savitri is an extraordinary person. We don’t know enough about her. It is as if the poet is pointing to her out there, can you see that person, that’s Savitri, this whole book is about that person. It’s something of that kind; it’s a first view, a distant view.

In the second canto we get closer to Savitri. And also the poet explains to us why is it that you and I should be concerned with this person, her life’s struggle, her life’s problem, her destiny. That’s why this canto is called “The Issue.” What is the issue of this whole epic? That is indicated in some fashion in Canto 2.

Savitri has already woken up, and she has finished most of the daily chores that she does in the house; it’s about 8.30 or 9.00. And as she knows that the destined day, the destined moment is very close by, as is most natural, her mind stands witness to her own life. So, she makes a review of her own life. That is what the poet describes:

Awhile, withdrawn in secret fields of thought,
Her mind moved in a many-imaged past
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

Her mind now looked at the many-imaged past. A few lines down the same page, in about nine lines, Sri Aurobindo reviews her life very beautifully. He says:

As in a many-hued flaming inner dawn,
Her life’s broad highways and its sweet bypaths
Lay mapped to her sun-clear recording view,
From the bright country of her childhood’s days
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

She was born a princess and grew up in Aswapati’s palace and everything must have been bright at that time.

And the blue mountains of her soaring youth
And the paradise groves and peacock wings of Love
To joy clutched under the silent shadow of doom
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

Savitri knew exactly one year ahead of time that the person she had chosen to fall in love with, the person she wanted to marry, had just one year to live. So, Sri Aurobindo says, “Joy clutched under the silent shadow of doom” and then in one line, this is where Sri Aurobindo shows what he can do when the mood is on him:

In a last turn where heaven raced with hell.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

That last one year that Savitri spent with Satyavan in the forest was a perpetual honeymoon. On the verge of a forest, with running brooks, the birds, sunrise, sunset, with the one person she loved, and yet every day she spent with him was taking her that much closer to the day of doom. So Sri Aurobindo says this was an experience where you felt heaven and hell were both racing against each other in the tracks of her heart:

Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

The twelve passionate months she had spent with Satyavan now have brought them to this day of fate when Satyavan has to confront death. The interesting point I made earlier, this line—twelve passionate months—comes 365 lines from the very beginning. So one year has been spent and 365 lines have also been covered.

And now we see:

An absolute supernatural darkness falls 
On man sometimes when he draws near to God:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

This is an experience of all saints, of all people: an absolute darkness, an absolute negation, as it were, covers you all over.

An hour arrives when fail all Nature’s means;
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

You become completely defenceless; all your strengths, all your support is taken away from you. Why is that done? Because we have a false notion that some of our mental powers, or other powers, will help us. Only when all these props are taken away, when you are reduced to what you really are in the external life, a big zero, that’s the time when the ego automatically drops down, and you kneel down and surrender yourself unconditionally to the Lord. So this kind of darkness of the soul, for whatever reason, becomes necessary before we can cross the last hurdle.

Forced out from the protecting Ignorance
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

We have the protection of ignorance normally: “I have this thing, I have that thing, in times of need he will come to my help, I live very close to the hospital.” We make all provisions, but when the time comes the doctor himself has fallen ill, your telephone doesn’t work, your only son has been called away for some interview, nothing works except for you to kneel down and pray to the Lord. This is the experience most people have, and something of that kind also Savitri is now facing.

Forced out from the protecting Ignorance
And flung back on his naked primal need,
He at length must cast from him his surface soul
And be the ungarbed entity within:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 11

So you must take your stand on your soul, not on your ego personality.

That hour had fallen now on Savitri.
A point she had reached where life must be in vain
Or, in her unborn element awake,
Her will must cancel her body’s destiny.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 12

Her body had a destiny, but this destiny of the body can only be annulled by the will of the soul. This is an interesting question which comes up again and again in Savitri: fate and free will. Is everything in our life fated to happen or do we have a free will? Sri Aurobindo has answered this question beautifully. He says, it’s not as if the answer is yes or no. If certain conditions are fulfilled then you have free will; until those conditions are fulfilled, fate ultimately is the arbiter of your life. As long as you are caught up in the play of this surface ego, the karma that you have already accumulated is bound to guide, bound to constrict your life; but once you take your stand on your soul, then your free will can be exercised. Ultimately it is your soul that decides how you are going to live your life and what you are going to do with it. So,

Her will must cancel her body’s destiny.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 12

We’ll go down a few lines:

A colloquy of the original Gods
Meeting upon the borders of the unknown,
Her soul’s debate with embodied Nothingness
Must be wrestled out on a dangerous dim background:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 12

She now has this prospect of confronting death: “Her soul’s debate with embodied Nothingness.” Death in fact is nothingness, an embodiment of nothingness. Death, as I said, primarily stands for negation, and an embodiment of that negation is death. With this death she must now thresh out this issue:

Her being must confront its formless Cause,
Against the universe weigh its single self.
On the bare peak where Self is alone with Nought
And life has no sense and love no place to stand,
She must plead her case upon extinction’s verge,
In the world’s death-cave uphold life’s helpless claim
And vindicate her right to be and love.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 12

So she has to stand against the God of Death in this absolute wilderness where there is no support, no help, no guidance. And she must stake her claim to be, to live and to love. Death is that force which is trying to take away this right from you―to be and to love.

Altered must be Nature’s harsh economy;
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 12

This is a very beautiful line. This is what Savitri is born for. What is this ‘Nature’s harsh economy’? It’s unfortunate that we progress, that we grow from within, only when we are lashed by pain and suffering. As long as pain, suffering, disaster does not whip us out of our complacency we simply refuse to grow. Therefore, in the economy of nature, pain seems to be a necessity. We don’t like pain, we’d like to run away from it as much as possible, but pain doesn’t leave anybody no matter who you are and where you are born. Whether you are born in Buckingham Palace or in the slums of Calcutta, pain is a constant companion. Why does it come? Of course, when pain comes unsolicited and we try to wriggle out of it, we can’t, we suffer, and finally we find through this suffering we have grown. But why should it be the law of nature that growth becomes possible only through suffering? This is the harsh economy of Nature. Can this harsh economy of Nature be changed? That is Savitri’s question.

We seek immortality through death, as it were; death is the gate for immorality. Why should it be so? Why should there not be a spontaneous natural growth from one triumph to another triumph, from one kind of victory to another kind of victory? Why should we submit ourselves, why should it be necessary that before man registers any inner growth at all, he has to pay this heavy toll price of suffering and pain and disaster? That is what Savitri wants to change. Sri Aurobindo points out―it is a very complicated and interesting issue―what is the origin of evil and pain. A stone has no pain, a clod of earth has no pain. Pain comes with consciousness, pain comes with life; but there is no evil in the world of plants, plants have no morality, animals have no morality. Moral evil begins with mind, so evil and pain came at a certain stage. Pain came with life, evil came with mind, and as long as we grow under the conditions of the mind, pain becomes an absolute necessity. This is the harsh economy of Nature.

How do you avoid this pain, this evil? It can only be avoided when you transcend the mind. So pain and evil are not there forever. They came up at a certain stage in the evolutionary path and they will be there as long as they are necessary. And they are necessary as long as we live within the limitations of the mind. So when you transcend the mind, there is no need for pain and there is no need for evil. That’s what Sri Aurobindo is saying.

Altered must be Nature’s harsh economy;
Acquittance she must win from her past’s bond,
An old account of suffering exhaust,
Strike out from Time the soul’s long compound debt
And the heavy servitudes of the Karmic Gods,
The slow revenge of unforgiving Law
And the deep need of universal pain
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 13

There seems to be a deep need of universal pain. Later on we will see even when the Divine comes, Christ comes, all that he gets is pain for the light he brings here. That is the condition of this world. Unless you lift this world beyond the level of the mind, this condition cannot be abrogated. And Savitri’s birth was intended to enable man, to show a way by which we can circumvent the need to undergo suffering for growth.

Later on in the same canto there is this wonderful description of Savitri, but before that there is a little passage I’d like to draw your attention to:

There was her drama’s radiant prologue lived.
A spot for the eternal’s tread on earth
Set in the cloistral yearning of the woods
And watched by the aspiration of the peaks
Appeared through an aureate opening in Time,
Where stillness listening felt the unspoken word
And the hours forgot to pass towards grief and change.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

Savitri remembers the exact spot where she had first seen Satyavan and she describes this spot where Nature stood still.

Here with the suddenness divine advents have,
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

This is a very favourite phrase of Sri Aurobindo’s—he always associates divine advent with suddenness. The Divine doesn’t send you advance notice: please prepare for me, I’m coming on such and such a date; it’s always a sudden advent. Therefore, he says, “Here with the suddenness divine advents have…” He is referring to Savitri coming in the chariot. She has already wandered all over the country, met different rishis, sadhus, swamijis, and there in the mountain ranges, she is about to enter the forest and suddenly something happens to her. What happens?

Here with the suddenness divine advents have,
Repeating the marvel of the first descent,
Changing to rapture the dull earthly round,
Love came to her hiding the shadow, Death.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

Love came to her all of a sudden, when she least expected it. It came and possessed her, as it were, but how did love come? Love came in the most dramatic manner: she was swept off her feet, but behind love was this shadow of death.

Well might he find in her his perfect shrine.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

Then Sri Aurobindo says, love could not have found a more perfect place for lodgement than Savitri herself.

Since first the earth-being’s heavenward growth began,
Through all the long ordeal of the race,
Never a rarer creature bore his shaft,
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

Cupid is supposed throw his shaft, arrow. Sri Aurobindo says never a better creature bore the shafts of Cupid. Then there is a long, one-and-a half page description of Savitri. Savitri is, as Sri Aurobindo describes her, the very embodiment of love, because another name for divine Grace is love. In whatever form you find love, whether it’s a manifestation or a corruption or perversion of love. That’s the one saving grace the world has―love―against all ignorance, all forces of death and corruption. There’s only one force in this world, that is love, which manifests in different ways. And in one way it has now manifested itself in Savitri’s life when she meets Satyavan.

And then comes this long description of Savitri. I’ve always felt that if you are a painter and you read this description of Savitri and you asked six painters to paint what they thought Savitri looked like, I’m sure there will be six different Savitris. Sri Aurobindo doesn’t describe whether she has an aquiline nose or a cute little nose, what kind of forehead, what kind of eyes; but the presence is described, the spirit of Savitri is described. This is something very special to Indian art. In Greek art if you see a Venus, everything is perfect, lips are perfect, nose is perfect, eyes are equidistant. But in Indian images, look at Ganesha: big belly, tusks; couldn’t Indians think of more beautiful forms? No. Why not? Because if the form is beautiful in itself, your vision is arrested right there. The form of a god is a door indicating something else: it’s symbolic of something behind the form. The form is intended not to arrest your attention but to release your attention to something beyond the form. So the spirit is important, the presence is important.

Similarly here, when Sri Aurobindo describes Savitri―it begins from page 14, “All in her pointed to a nobler kind” and ends on page 16, as one can see at end of that section―it’s extremely difficult to get details of the physical characteristic of Savitri. Was she tall, was she white colour, was she very fair, what did she look like? But if you read it in the proper spirit, you will feel Savitri’s presence right by your side. That is what description is about. And the reason for it is each one of us has a right to imagine our own Savitri. We have a right to imagine the way we like. This is a freedom given to us. The presence is what is important, but the actual proportion, the lineament, exactly how she looked is something left to your imagination. This is a whole idea of Ishta-Devata. In India we have a notion of Ishta-Devata―Kali, Lakshmi, Durga, etc.―each one has his own Ishta-Devata.

Savitri is like that. The presence is described, the presence can be felt when you read this, but it’s very difficult for three people to sit down and say, this exactly is how we think Savitri looks like. This is the special thing about the description here.

All in her pointed to a nobler kind.
Near to earth’s wideness, intimate with heaven,
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

Sri Aurobindo describes Savitri in this kind of double terms, he doesn’t make her distant and divine nor does he make her too human and familiar. She is human enough and yet she is divine, that’s the mixture: “Near to earth’s wideness,” and immediately he says “intimate with heaven.”

Near to earth’s wideness, intimate with heaven,
Exalted and swift her young large-visioned spirit
Voyaging through worlds of splendour and of calm
Overflew the ways of Thought to unborn things.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 14

When you looked at her you immediately felt a call to go beyond the mind, to go beyond the thought to unborn things.

Ardent was her self-poised unstumbling will;
Her mind, a sea of white sincerity,
Bk 1, Canto 2, pp. 14-15

Sincerity, as those who have read Mother’s works know, if there is any one quality the Mother regards as spiritual, the number one is sincerity. Any spiritual person is primarily sincere and when you talk about sincerity you will see it is not so much sincerity to other people but sincerity to oneself. That is important, and the most difficult thing is to be sincere to oneself. In other words, the most difficult thing is to see that we don’t cheat ourselves.

Her mind, a sea of white sincerity,
Passionate in flow, had not one turbid wave.
As in a mystic and dynamic dance
A priestess of immaculate ecstasies
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 15

Immaculate is pure. Savitri is described as a priestess of the purest of ecstasies.

Inspired and ruled from Truth’s revealing vault
Moves in some prophet cavern of the gods,
A heart of silence in the hands of joy
Inhabited with rich creative beats
A body like a parable of dawn
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 15

What was her body like? Her body reminded you of the dawn: of the freshness, the grandeur, the beauty, the wonder, the majesty of the dawn.

A body like a parable of dawn
That seemed a niche for veiled divinity
Or golden temple-door to things beyond.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 15

The body, like a painting, an Indian painting, doesn’t arrest you there: it’s a golden temple door to things beyond. So when you looked at Savitri she always led you through her being to something beyond her; that was the special feature of Savitri’s physical presence.

We’ll go down a few lines to:

A deep of compassion, a hushed sanctuary,
Her inward help unbarred a gate in heaven;
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 15

“Her inward help”—these are lines that those of you who spent time with the Mother, those who were with the Mother here, would immediately remember—“Her inward help unbarred a gate in heaven.” The Mother gave you x or y, was sometimes angry with you, whatever. But every action resulted in unbarring a gate in heaven; some impediment that you were facing in your inner life was removed by every action of Hers.

So it says, —

Her inward help unbarred a gate in heaven;
Love in her was wider than the universe,
The whole world could take refuge in her single heart.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 15

There is so much love in that heart that the whole world could take refuge there. And each person felt—this was the magic of the Mother, isn’t it?—there are so many kids here in the school, so many sadhaks here, hundreds and thousands came from all parts of the world, but at the moment you were with the Mother, you felt that She was exclusively for you and no one else. And you can’t fake this kind of feeling; this is something you cannot put on. She was for everybody, as Sri Aurobindo says.

Love in her was wider than the universe,
The whole world could take refuge in her single heart.
The great unsatisfied godhead here could dwell:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 15

Who is this great unsatisfied godhead? It is the godhead of love, who wants to come and find lodgement in the human heart, but when he comes and enters the human heart, he finds he has no place there. Why? Because the place he wants to occupy has already been occupied by ego, the human ego. The ego says, I’ll let you in if you are willing to be my slave or servant; you should be available at my disposal. So love has to make a compromise with the human ego, and becomes an accomplice of human ego. Therefore love is always constricted, perverted and rarely pure, which is why you see abasement, disfigurement of love everywhere. But in Savitri’s case, Sri Aurobindo says,

The great unsatisfied godhead here could dwell:
Vacant of the dwarf self’s imprisoned air,
Her mood could harbour his sublimer breath
Spiritual that can make all things divine.
Bk 1, Canto 2, pp. 15-16

In the middle of the page you have the description of Savitri concluding, and then you have the second section where Sri Aurobindo spells out very clearly what exactly was Savitri’s mission in this birth.

Years like gold raiment of the gods that pass;
Her youth sat throned in calm felicity.
But joy cannot endure until the end:
There is a darkness in terrestrial things
That will not suffer long too glad a note.
Bk 1, Canto 2, pp. 16-17

There is something about terrestrial things, about this earth, where there is too much laughter, too much happiness, there is always a shadow that wants to come and make its presence felt. As a result, very often you find where there has been too much laughter, too much joy, happiness, it’s as if the surrounding earth atmosphere feels jealous and sends an intervention. Savitri’s life was so full: a father like Aswapati, growing up in a palace, with the best of education, gifted, talented, and something very rare happened to her, finding the real love of her life in Satyavan at a very young age. But suddenly, he says:

There is a darkness in terrestrial things
That will not suffer long too glad a note.
On her too closed the inescapable Hand:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 17 

This is the inescapable Hand of the adversary, the inescapable Hand of negation that comes and blocks, as it were, Savitri’s life: 

The armed Immortal bore the snare of Time.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 17 

This is how in Savitri’s life suddenly comes such a big problem.

A few lines down the same page you have a very neat presentation of what exactly is Savitri’s problem that she is supposed to face in her life:

For this she had accepted mortal breath;
To wrestle with the Shadow she had come 
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 17 

The ‘S’ is capital as ‘Shadow’ stands for this embodiment of negation; death symbolises this.

And must confront the riddle of man’s birth 

And life’s brief struggle in dumb Matter’s night.

Whether to bear with Ignorance and death 

Or hew the ways of Immortality,

Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 17

Isn’t it very strange? As the Mahabharata’s Yudhisthira was once asked by a yaksha at one of the yakshaprasanas, what is the greatest wonder in this world, and Yudhisthira says: one of the greatest wonders in this world is we see death all around us, our mind knows every individual who is born must die, and yet we keep secretly hoping we might prove an exception. Somehow we behave as if we are going to be immortal. This is not a joke: our soul knows it is immortal, this is the paradox. I am an immortal pretending to be mortal and have got into the habit of dying. Mother says death is a habit, an old habit.

So Sri Aurobindo says we are all here to confront the riddle of man’s birth. Somehow we have not seen anybody in this world who is supremely happy all the time, and yet we keep hoping we will be that rare person who will be happy. We will be that rare person who be able to defy death, that rare person who’ll defy ignorance and attain to truth, because something within us says we have a claim on this. It’s true! We do have a claim on this because the nature of my being is sat, chit and ananda. It has no death and so this is our birthright.

Nachiketa wanted to find out from the God of Death the secret of death, but Savitri’s problem is not understanding the secret of death, Savitri’s problem is confronting death in the world of death, and vanquishing death as a representative of mankind. That is her destiny’s work:

Whether to bear with Ignorance and death
Or hew the ways of Immortality
To win or lose the godlike game for man,
Was her soul’s issue thrown with Destiny’s dice.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 17 

This is the wager she has to win: whether she will be like everyone else, submit to the higher law of ignorance and death, or defy ignorance and death and hew the way to immortality. That was the question.

But not to submit and suffer was she born;
To lead, to deliver was her glorious part.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 17 

The poet assures us: she has not come here to submit to any alien rule or authority; she had come here to rule.

There is a description of Savitri showing in what way she is special:

Here was no fabric of terrestrial make
Fit for a day’s use by busy careless Powers. 
An image fluttering on the screen of Fate, 
Half-animated for a passing show
Or a castaway on the ocean of Desire 
Flung to the eddies in a ruthless sport
And tossed along the gulfs of Circumstance,
A creature born to bend beneath the yoke,
A chattel and a plaything of Time’s lords.
Or one more pawn who comes destined to be pushed
One slow move forward on a measureless board
In the chess-play of the earth-soul with Doom, —
 Such is the human figure drawn by Time.
Bk 1, Canto 2, pp. 17-18

Let’s move on to the last page but one of the canto, page 20, five lines from the top:

She faced the engines of the universe;
A heart stood in the way of the driving wheels:
Its giant workings paused in front of a mind,
Its stark conventions met the flame of a soul.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 20

Now the question arises: Savitri is after all an individual, and death seems to be a universal law, how can one individual defy the universal law? One person, and death seems to be a law that operates at all levels of life: plants die, animals die, humans beings die. That seems to be so universal. And Savitri is one small individual. What can she do against this universal law? This is a question. The poet assures us that an individual is not just an individual. Look at the very first line on the next page.

A Godhead stands behind the brute machine.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 21

This may be a brute machine, but if you really analyse it, go behind the machine, you’ll find a Godhead. So an individual also can defy fate. How does that happen? Sri Aurobindo explains beautifully:

A magic leverage suddenly is caught
That moves the veiled Ineffable’s timeless will:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 20

Sometimes there is a magic leverage, a mechanical device, if you push it at the right point, the lever acts in such a way that you generate great power and are able to push things which you normally cannot push around. That kind of leverage begins to work, provided man knows how to operate this.

A prayer, a master act, a king idea
Can link man’s strength to a transcendent Force.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 20

All that is needed is to realise that you are an embodiment, basically, of a transcendent Force, and find ways of contacting that transcendent Force. Use that transcendent Force with your own capacity and you are not going to be able to do anything at all, but if you can tap this transcendent Force, if you can connect yourself to this transcendent Force, then it is the transcendent Force which will take care of this particular problem. How do you tap it? There are three ways of doing it. A prayer―Sri Aurobindo gives first place to prayer. If God can create a person, can’t He relate to us? If God is incapable of responding to an individual how could He create an individual? You make a prayer, leave it to God and He will understand it, provided the prayer has behind it the heart’s sincere adoration, surrender, offering. If that kind of prayer is offered, the transcendent Force begins to operate. “A prayer, a master act, a king idea.”  One masterful act: Mahatma Gandhi making salt―after all what is salt, so many people are making salt, but in that particular context it became a master act. The British empire fell for a pinch of salt, that much energy was created if that act was done in that particular way. “A prayer, a master act, a king idea.” Engels and Marx brought a king idea, which shook the whole of Europe for nearly 80 or 90 years and which is still shaking parts of Asia: Communism. A transcendent Force was tapped, was activated.

A prayer, a master act, a king idea 
Can link man’s strength to a transcendent Force.
Then miracle is made the common rule,
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 20

Saints perform miracles, how do they do it? Not through the ego centre. When they step out and let God occupy the position that the ego occupies, then the Divine decides what miracle to perform. So miracles are performed, but they are not performed by anybody’s ego, they are only performed by a person who knows how to link up to the transcendent Force. Therefore the poet says, don’t you worry whether Savitri will be able to do this because Savitri is not an individual. After all, behind each individual:

A godhead stands behind the brute machine.
This truth broke in in a triumph of fire;
A victory was won for God in man,
The deity revealed its hidden face.
The great World-Mother now in her arose:
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 21

It’s nearing 10 o’clock and the God of Death is visiting at 12 o’clock, so Savitri is now ready: “The great World-Mother now in her arose.” Savitri had to be pushed aside, and the transcendental great Mother has to occupy that place.

A living choice reversed fate’s cold dead turn,
Affirmed the spirit’s tread on Circumstance,
Pressed back the senseless dire revolving Wheel
And stopped the mute march of Necessity.
A flaming warrior from the eternal peaks
Empowered to force the door denied and closed
Smote from Death’s visage its dumb absolute

And burst the bounds of consciousness and Time.
Bk 1, Canto 2, p. 21

Savitri now becomes the universal Mother and, as it were, gives a strong blow on the visage, the mask worn by the God of Death. And when the mask is shattered, what do you find behind the mask? The real face, which is the face of the God of Love.

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