Aswapati responds to the hints even as Narad holds back his words. He has read behind the words and wants to assuage any anxieties that may arise in the queen’s mind.
He held back his words
He spoke but held his knowledge back from words.
Narad held back his words from revealing more than needed. He has seen more than he has spoken.
As a cloud plays with lightnings’ vivid laugh,
But still holds back the thunder in its heart,
Only he let bright images escape.
The Divine poet describes this holding back of truth as a cloud plays with lightnings but holds back the thunder that is yet to come. The lightning is like a bright hint of the thunder that is to follow.
His speech like glimmering music veiled his thoughts;
As a wind flatters the bright summer air,
Pitiful to mortals, only to them it spoke
Of living beauty and of present bliss:
He hid in his all-knowing mind the rest.
Narad has arrived at the state where the past and future can be seen together in the present moment. He has seen the future but his musical speech veiled his thoughts as a wind feeling pity towards the mortals appease the heat of the summer. He spoke of present joys and beauty while concealing the dreadful rest.
Veil of pity
To those who hearkened to his celestial voice,
The veil heaven’s pity throws on future pain
The Immortals’ sanction seemed of endless joy.
Those who listened to his celestial voice that veiled the future pain out of pity felt that the betrothal of Savitri and Satyavan had the sanction of the gods and was blessed with endless joy.
Aswapati preamble to his response
But Aswapati answered to the seer;—
His listening mind had marked the dubious close,
An ominous shadow felt behind the words,
But calm like one who ever sits facing Fate
Here mid the dangerous contours of earth’s life,
He answered covert thought with guarded speech:
“O deathless sage who knowest all things here,
If I could read by the ray of my own wish
Through the carved shield of symbol images
Which thou hast thrown before thy heavenly mind
I might see the steps of a young godlike life
Happily beginning luminous-eyed on earth;
Between the Unknowable and the Unseen
Born on the borders of two wonder-worlds,
It flames out symbols of the infinite
And lives in a great light of inner suns.
Aswapati being a yogi had sensed the dubious close, the ominous shadow behind the words. Yet calm was his countenance in the face of dangerous fate. His words were also guarded as he spoke to Narad, the sage. He starts by saying that he is trying to understand the all-knowing sage through the rays of his own wish. He expresses his understanding that perhaps there is a godlike life before Savitri beginning happily with luminous eyes. She is born on the borders where the finite worlds meet the infinite and lives in a great light of the suns within.
Rank and march of the gods
For it has read and broken the wizard seals;
It has drunk of the Immortal’s wells of joy,
It has looked across the jewel bars of heaven,
It has entered the aspiring Secrecy,
It sees beyond terrestrial common things
And communes with the Powers that build the worlds,
Till through the shining gates and mystic streets
Of the city of lapis lazuli and pearl
Proud deeds step forth, a rank and march of gods.
She has read through the veils and has drunk the joy of the immortals. It has looked across the bright bars of heaven that conceals the scroll of fate. She has entered the Secrecy that that sees beyond terrestrial things and communes with the Power that build the worlds till through the shining gates of fate and the mystic streets of heaven. He sees her engaged in proud deeds even as the gods.
Thus Aswapati starts his response to the enigmatic speech of Narad. He too is guarded in his response as he reveals bright hints.