The Transition between Sleep and Waking p. 9

What follows over the next twenty lines or so is a detailed description of sleep. There is also here a subtle contrast between Savitri’s sleep and how we ordinarily experience it.

The sleep beyond care and grief
At first life grieved not in her burdened breast:
On the lap of earth’s original somnolence
Inert, released into forgetfulness,
Prone it reposed, unconscious on mind’s verge,
Obtuse and tranquil like the stone and star.

Normally our sleep is a process of unburdening and cleansing. We forget the pains of the day that has gone by and are equipped to face the day is dawning. The body enters into a state of oneness with the earth-nature, it shares the state of inertia and indifference that is the common property of matter.

A cleft of silence between two realms
In a deep cleft of silence twixt two realms
She lay remote from grief, unsawn by care,
Nothing recalling of the sorrow here.

Through gaps in the ladder of consciousness we then pass into a brief and momentary contact with the Sachchidananda state that rejuvenates us. Still parts of our nature remain submerged in subconscient regions burdened with grief and care. Hence we cannot remain there for long and start returning back to earth-nature pulled by the strings that tie us. Savitri is however an adept at entering this state consciously. She reposes in the Light so to say. Her nights are a conscious entry into the Superconscious realms.

The faint rememberance
Then a slow faint remembrance shadowlike moved,
And sighing she laid her hand upon her bosom
And recognised the close and lingering ache,
Deep, quiet, old, made natural to its place,
But knew not why it was there nor whence it came.

Then drawn back to her outer consciousness by the memory of pain she had nurtured through the year that has rolled by, Savitri returns to the waking state by a thread of memory that has been kept intact. The memory is faint and shadowlike which is rather kept as a link to remain connected with earth where she has a work to do.

The slow and heavy return
The Power that kindles mind was still withdrawn:
Heavy, unwilling were life’s servitors
Like workers with no wages of delight;
Sullen, the torch of sense refused to burn;
The unassisted brain found not its past.

Her being has now to adapt to the earthly body. This takes time. The powers and forces that move our bodily life and senses and mind have to be reconnected so that she can once again be human upon Earth and experience earthly life.

Vague earth-nature
Only a vague earth-nature held the frame.

While she had moved out of her body, it was maintained automatically by the earth-nature which supported the physical frame.

Sharing the cosmic load
But now she stirred, her life shared the cosmic load.

The return to the human body meant tying herself down to the most material consciousness.

Back to the labour
At the summons of her body’s voiceless call
Her strong far-winging spirit travelled back,
Back to the yoke of ignorance and fate,
Back to the labour and stress of mortal days,
Lighting a pathway through strange symbol dreams
Across the ebbing of the seas of sleep.

During her sleep Savitri has left her body and travelled far beyond the realms of waking and of sleep. But now at the call of her body whose destiny she has come to change, she returns back, accepting the labour and struggle of earthly life. Her return is through higher regions (the world of symbol dreams), leaving behind the world of superconscient sleep.

Re-entering the human body
Her house of Nature felt an unseen sway,
Illumined swiftly were life’s darkened rooms,
And memory’s casements opened on the hours
And the tired feet of thought approached her doors.

The last phase is marked by a certain rhythmical movement of the body as her being enters into it. With this entry, the house of nature (the human body) and the vital and mental parts of the bodily life are once again activated. She once again returns to the world of human thought and sense.

Savitri is now fully awake, ready to take upon herself the burden of earthly life.

 

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