Savitri confronting the stroke of Destiny pp. 8-9

The next few passages describe the inner state of Savitri as she confronts the stroke of Destiny. Though Divine, She has chosen to become human so that She can share a human fate and show the way we should deal with it. This assumption of humanity by the Divine is done in grim earnest. It is not a façade whereby the Divine is knowing that He is after all the Divine and hence it does not really matter. The problem is to be faced in real earnest and a way shown and a work done that would help the future. It is not about doing some arbitrary miracle by His divine powers but to actually empower man so that he can be steered out of the narrow and stifling lanes of Ignorance into the vastness and purity of the Divine Light and Peace and Bliss.

The godhead greater by a human fate
Thus trapped in the gin of earthly destinies,
Awaiting her ordeal’s hour abode,
Outcast from her inborn felicity,
Accepting life’s obscure terrestrial robe,
Hiding herself even from those she loved,
The godhead greater by a human fate

Gods are immortal. They live in their own worlds of bliss oblivious of the human state of mortality and grief. Yet it is only through a contact with the Earth that they can evolve because, of all the worlds, it is only here upon Earth that one finds the psychic presence, that evolutionary spark of the Divine that battles with darkness and grows towards the Light. Such is the privilege of being human, a path of growth carved through danger and delight. But to assume a human body, the gods must first renounce their divinity; accept to be limited and confined to a small and rigid frame.

Even so, Savitri is conscious of her immortality and eternity. Yet She has now come down to the realm of mortality where Death and darkness rule. She has renounced her divine status and become human. One may say that the Divine grows through His creation and each Divine Advent adds something to the fullness of the Divine.

Too great to impart the peril and the pain
A dark foreknowledge separated her
From all of whom she was the star and stay;
Too great to impart the peril and the pain,
In her torn depths she kept the grief to come.

True greatness is not only in relieving the pain of others but also in not letting them what you have done. Such is the being of Savitri, such is her greatness and strength that she would bear grief and endure the pain and face the peril silently. Indeed true greatness finds its strength and power in silent depths and without boasting bears the pain of others and removes their difficulties and dangers without letting them even know about it.

Bearing the burden of the race
As one who watching over men left blind
Takes up the load of an unwitting race,
Harbouring a foe whom with her heart she must feed,
Unknown her act, unknown the doom she faced,
Unhelped she must foresee and dread and dare.

Humanity loves its state of ignorance and blindness. It knows not the saviour Grace that takes upon itself our burden and makes our journey smooth and safer. Yet this does not diminish the Divine Love that carries us in spite of our blindness. The Divine Love pours itself in unwilling and darkened hearts with a will to transform them.

The foreknown noon
The long-foreknown and fatal morn was here
Bringing a noon that seemed like every noon.

In two simple lines Sri Aurobindo reveals our human predicament. Though outwardly each day seems similar but it comes burdened with the scroll of destiny that may well be the stroke of death. It is hidden behind seemingly innocuous appearances. But Savitri is aware that the noon that is dawning this day brings for her the challenge of Death.

The mighty stride of Nature
For Nature walks upon her mighty way
Unheeding when she breaks a soul, a life;
Leaving her slain behind she travels on:
Man only marks and God’s all-seeing eyes.

Nature is vast and walks mightily as she moves along the pathways of Time marked out for her by Destiny. Her movements take place along a very vast scale. She is constantly engaged in breaking and building forms. This is her method. Hence she does not bother about the form or forms she is breaking but simply goes around building new ones. Man, living from moment to moment with his vision confined to the surface, is caught in the grip of the passing scene and struggles and suffers. But God, who knows the Future, helps the soul steer through the crisis, bringing out the best out of the worst.

Calm courage
Even in this moment of her soul’s despair,
In its grim rendezvous with death and fear,
No cry broke from her lips, no call for aid;
She told the secret of her woe to none:
Calm was her face and courage kept her mute.

There is a semblance of courage which manifests as restless and agitated action. Actually it is not courage but fear propelling us to action. True courage, in contrast, is always calm. It is the privilege of those who are inwardly strong. They ride above their fears and do not allow despair to take hold of them. Instead of running about to find external aid, they turn within to discover their own founts of perennial strength. Such is Savitri, a perfect example for man in his troubled days. She faces the ordeal alone and does not let even her near ones about the forthcoming stroke of destiny.

Half divine humanity
Yet only her outward self suffered and strove;
Even her humanity was half divine:
Her spirit opened to the Spirit in all,
Her nature felt all Nature as its own.

Savitri is Divine but she has assumed a human body. With this she has also accepted and acquired a human nature. Yet her humanity is touched and uplifted by her divinity to heights of a new possibility. Though face to face with danger and Death, yet she remains caring and compassionate as ever towards all creatures. She does not allow her personal crisis to constrict and narrow her consciousness but continues to take all creatures in her arms and give them the healing touch. She is as vast or even vaster than Nature herself.

The Universal Mother’s love
Apart, living within, all lives she bore;
Aloof, she carried in herself the world:
Her dread was one with the great cosmic dread,
Her strength was founded on the cosmic mights;
The universal Mother’s love was hers.

Though human and hence limited by a body, Savitri was inwardly identified with the Universal Mother and embodied Her vast love for all creatures. Alone she could bear the burden of the world. Alone she could face the dreaded stroke of death that afflicts all creatures. The dread of all creatures was hers and She was their secret source of strength.

The mystic poignant sword
Against the evil at life’s afflicted roots,
Her own calamity its private sign,      (p.9 begins)
Of her pangs she made a mystic poignant sword.

It was not an individual battle with Death that Savitri was waging. She has come to change the very law of suffering wherein she is simply a representative of the race. She must show the way against evil and pain that afflicts all human beings. Instead of throwing herself out in grief and pain, she turned her pain into a sharp mystic sword, that would help her dive deep within into regions of shadowless Light and Oneness, where there is neither Death nor grief.

The lone immortal’s unshared work
A solitary mind, a world-wide heart,
To the lone Immortal’s unshared work she rose.

Only those who have discovered within themselves the consciousness of immortality and dwell in the cosmic consciousness can take on the work of transformation. Savitri shows us the way.

Thus we have here a beautiful description of Savitri’s humanity uplifted to divine heights. She is a Divine example for all of us in our hour of crisis and moments of darkness that afflict our earthly life.

 

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