Savitri, the Supreme Revelation of Sri Aurobindo’s Vision

The Mother – “About Savitri” [CWM vol 13]

1) The daily record of the spiritual experiences of the individual who has written.
2) A complete system of yoga which can serve as a guide for those who want to follow the integral sadhana.
3) The yoga of the Earth in its ascension towards the Divine.
4) The experiences of the Divine Mother in her effort to adapt herself to the body she has taken and the ignorance and the falsity of the earth upon which she has incarnated. 

Thus we see that it is also the story of Earth; the story also of man, the inner story of the Divine unfolding upon earth and in man. It is the story, the path, of all who have and continue to inwardly struggle and battle for the victory of Divine life upon earth. Many a mystics and saints and yogis and sages will find some of their experiences documented here. In fact, in the very third Canto of the first book one finds a detailed description of almost all the major spiritual experiences that mystic literature has recorded over the millennia. But that is only the starting point of a great and tremendous journey, one that has never been undertaken so far and yet it is the same journey that runs as an undercurrent of every life since creation began, – the journey of the Divine in matter and His progressive revelation through evolution, albeit in terms of matter, assuming many a names and forms till at last it reaches that giant point where the Glory hidden in our own depths begins to shine out through the cloak of mortal man and the eyes of God looks out through human eyes. But this too only serves for a yet greater start, a leap from one peak of realization to another till that Reality is found in ‘whom the world and self grow true and one’.

THIS too must now be overpassed and left,
As all must be until the Highest is gained
In whom the world and self grow true and one:
Till That is reached our journeying cannot cease.

We see therefore that, not only in its conception and sense but also in its method and source, Savitri is a divine poem. Its power and purpose is not only to acquaint us with diviner things, of the ways divine, but to uplift us through its touch divine into higher and higher states of consciousness. That is why each time we read and re-read it, another and greater meaning begins to dawn upon us. We move as if from dawn to greater dawn. In the ever enlarging circle of our vision, as we climb from hill to hill of an inner sight, we behold the beauty and the wonder of this creation, the deep utility of tears and the apparent justification of death and struggle and error and pain in a world that has issued forth out of the womb, not of some original darkness, but, as Savitri puts it:

All here is a mystery of contraries:
Darkness a magic of self-hidden Light,
Suffering some secret rapture’s tragic mask
And death an instrument of perpetual life.
Although Death walks beside us on Life’s road,
A dim bystander at the body’s start
And a last judgment on man’s futile works,
Other is the riddle of its ambiguous face:
Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,
A grey defeat pregnant with victory,
A whip to lash us towards our deathless state.
The inconscient world is the spirit’s self-made room,
Eternal Night shadow of eternal Day.
Night is not our beginning nor our end;
She is the dark Mother in whose womb we have hid
Safe from too swift a waking to world-pain.
We came to her from a supernal Light,
By Light we live and to the Light we go.

What greater song of hope can there be than this? In a world torn by inner and outer conflicts, collapsing under its own heavy load, there comes in the persona of Savitri the Grace that saves, the Word of Light made flesh, the power of the All-Creative Spirit, the sole Omniscient Omnipotent Goddess ‘of whom the world is an inscrutable mask’. Leaning across the wideness of inner Space which is the home of her birth, she travels through the silence of Space entering the heavy and pain-laden atmosphere of earthly life. The sole purpose of this divine descent is to awaken matter to its spiritual Reality and earth to its supreme goal. Towards this end there is another consenting player, – Man, in and through whom this divine destiny of earth has to be realised. Man is the meeting point of the two poles that seem like opposites to our limited and dividing mental vision. On one side, we have the stamp of the Inconscience in every cell of our being. It takes many a hues and colours; the seal of heredity, the defeatist murmur that ever rises to slay the faith, the whispers of the dark denizens that often steal into the chambers of our mind and speech and corrupt all that is good and beautiful and true by their foul breath. Many are the masks of Death, many its entry points into our lives. It can even assume divine looking masks that allure us to an other-worldly realization of the Perfection we seek here upon eatrth as embodied beings.

But this is only one side of the story of man’s life, not the totality of his being. However much Science and Philosophy may deny or Reason fail to grasp, there dwells within us the One who can create and destroy universes with a single breath. He is the evolutionary Godhead whose secret pressure keeps us moving forward despite ourselves. He is the hope of earthly life, the leader of the human march. It is He who brings down to earth by the power of his one-pointed aspiration and tapasya Savitri, the Light of the Supreme. He is Aswapati, the human father of Savitri but also the sole seer and the Lord of Yoga who brings down to earth’s dumb need her radiant power. Man, the meeting point of the two in whom the play of contraries has taken a rather acute turn is Satyavan, the one who holds the truth somewhere in his secret depths. But now he has lost it, outcast from the glory that must be his, he struggles and stumbles upon this earth with his uncertain mind. The mind of man, blind and error prone is not all his earthly climb can reach. There are shining summits of Glory and Wisdom to which Mind can climb and from which Mind itself is born. But entering an earthly embodiment, trapped by the senses that ever condition and limit and blind him rather than reveal the truth, he is ever striving to reclaim and rediscover the glory it has lost. This is Dyumatsena, the human father of Satyavan, the illumined mind that has here fallen blind. It must recover its lost sight and regain its celestial kingdom.

These are the four main characters of the drama of earthly life as it unfolds itself towards the future cycle. The Divine poet reveals this inner truth and symbolism of Savitri to us:

The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truth of being within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save; Aswapati, the Lord of the Horse, her human father, is the Lord of Tapasya, the concentrated energy of spiritual endeavour that helps us to rise from the mortal to the immortal planes; Dyumatsena, Lord of the Shining Hosts, father of Satyavan, is the Divine Mind here fallen blind, losing its celestial kingdom of vision, and through that loss its kingdom of glory. Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life.

We are clearly told that this is not merely an allegory or a symbol but concrete and immense realities taking on a human shape. Their earthly drama, for which they came down in a particular epoch assuming a certain name and form, does not cease with a single victory. This first victory of which Savitri bears the witness and is a record, paves the way for other similar victories, if we too can surrender our soul and self into the hands and being of Savitri and become the happy recipients of Her Grace. This is the mystic marriage that our being waits for, the marriage of our earthbound soul with the heavenly Grace of which the All-seeing Sun and the gods are the sole witness and the earth itself the ground of the sacred ceremony. This eternal marriage of the Lord and His spouse is to be enacted in many a bodies and lives. But for that our nature must be lifted to its utmost possibility where the eternal Lord and His Shakti are one. Only the power of Aswapati, the Supreme Lord, and the Grace of Savitri, the Divine Mother, can achieve this hoped for miracle in man. When this happens there truly begins a New Age and a new cycle of earthly life. Then is the being of Satyavan fulfilled, and then a new chapter of destiny opens for earth and one master-act changes Fate. This master-act of which Savitri and Satyavan are the living example is the act of luminous faith and surrender, even as Satyavan who recognizing in the persona of Savitri the illuminating Grace of an All-transfiguring Divine Love surrenders:

But thou hast come and all will surely change:
I shall feel the World-Mother in thy golden limbs
And hear her wisdom in thy sacred voice.
The child of the Void shall be reborn in God,
My Matter shall evade the Inconscient’s trance.
My body like my spirit shall be free.
It shall escape from Death and Ignorance […]

Even a brief nearness has reshaped my life.
For now I know that all I lived and was
Moved towards this moment of my heart’s rebirth;
I look back on the meaning of myself,
A soul made ready on earth’s soil for thee […]

Descend, O happiness, with thy moon-gold feet
Enrich earth’s floors upon whose sleep we lie.

This great act of surrender to the Divine Grace with an absolute trust is only for the great in spirit. This is the supreme wisdom, the wisdom that saves us from many a complications and takes us through the shortest and surest route towards this predestined great end. This is the supreme word of savitri, the greatest and the wisest advice ever given to man, the advice of surrendering all he is and does to the Divine Master within or the Avatara without, the two who are a single being; one unseen and hidden within our depths, the other standing before our eyes as the Leader of the human march through the great battle of life. When we thus surrender ourselves to the Spirit of Savitri that is as living and real today as it was yesterday; when we approach Her in the spirit of humility as a child would seek his mother not so much through the pride of the intellect but through the door of love in our heart, then Savitri herself begins to reveal her mysteries.

It is not a book that we read but try to enter into the atmosphere of a living and conscious Deity, the Being of the Divine Mother of whom Savitri is an embodiment, then She Herself takes us by the hand through every passage and, carrying us in Her arms helps us understand what we see and hear and sense and feel till the true Knowledge awakens and our soul and mind and body are thrilled by the rapture of the epiphany. She becomes then the Teacher and awakens in us the inner listener, the hearer of the Divine Word who is seated within our soul. Nothing is impossible or difficult for one who has thus opened and given himself to Savitri, the living embodiment of Light and Truth and Love Divine.

Lay all on her; she is the cause of all

The Mother reveals:

The direct road is through that – the heart […] Try and you will see how very different it is, how new, if you read with this attitude, with this something at the back of your consciousness, as though it were an offering to Sri Aurobindo. You know it is charged, fully charged with consciousness; as though Savitri were a being, a real Guide. I tell you, whoever wants to practice Yoga, if he tries sincerely and feels the necessity, he will be able to climb with the help of Savitri to the highest rungs of the ladder of Yoga, will be able to find the secret that Savitri represents. And this without the help of a Guru. And he will be able to practice it anywhere. Savitri by itself will be his guide, for all that he needs he will find in Savitri.

[Sweet Mother: Luminous Notes, Conversation with the Mother by Mona Sarkar]

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