Savitri has come to Satyavan moved by her seeking heart. She has entered the spaces where Satyavan dwells. It is but natural for him to initiate the conversation, especially since she has come as a princess in a chariot which must have been very unusual to see in that wilderness.
More than earth
Thus Satyavan spoke first to Savitri:
“O thou who com’st to me out of Time’s silences,
Yet thy voice has wakened my heart to an unknown bliss,
Immortal or mortal only in thy frame,
For more than earth speaks to me from thy soul
And more than earth surrounds me in thy gaze,
How art thou named among the sons of men?
Satyavan spoke first expressing the impact of her coming that has filled his heart with an unexpected unknown bliss. He takes her for an immortal goddess wearing a mortal body since thus she seemed to him as if surrounded by a heavenly atmosphere emerging from her soul. Thus expressing himself Satyavan seeks to know her name.
Whence hast thou dawned filling my spirit’s days,
Brighter than summer, brighter than my flowers,
Into the lonely borders of my life,
O sunlight moulded like a golden maid?
Satyavan speaks of her coming as the dawning of a new light brighter than summer, brighter than the flowers he has around him, filling his lonely days. She seems to his vision as if sunlight were moulded into a golden maid.
I know that mighty gods are friends of earth.
It is a sweet way of saying that she seems like one of the mighty goddesses who are friends of earth and humanity.
Amid the pageantries of day and dusk,
Long have I travelled with my pilgrim soul
Moved by the marvel of familiar things.
Satyavan now opens up to her revealing something of himself. He speaks of himself as a pilgrim soul that has moved amid the colours of life and its rich impressive shows moved by the marvel of things.
Earth could not hide from me the powers she veils:
Even though moving mid an earthly scene
And the common surfaces of terrestrial things,
My vision saw unblinded by her forms;
The Godhead looked at me from familiar scenes.
Earth could not screen from him her secret powers. Even though he moved amid earthly scenes and surface things his vision could penetrate the form and saw within it the indwelling Godhead.
The inner sight
I witnessed the virgin bridals of the dawn
Behind the glowing curtains of the sky
Or vying in joy with the bright morning’s steps
I paced along the slumbrous coasts of noon,
Or the gold desert of the sunlight crossed
Traversing great wastes of splendour and of fire,
Or met the moon gliding amazed through heaven
In the uncertain wideness of the night,
Or the stars marched on their long sentinel routes
Pointing their spears through the infinitudes:
The day and dusk revealed to me hidden shapes;
Figures have come to me from secret shores
And happy faces looked from ray and flame.
Satyavan has an awakened inner sight through which he could see the goddesses of dawn gliding across the morning sky. In the noon he felt the steps of the morning joy pacing towards the coasts or the golden desert of sunlight traversing the sky with its splendor and fire. In the night he sensed the mystic moon gliding through heaven in amazement of the uncertain night. The stars were like sentinels guiding the way towards the infinities beyond. The twilight moments of day and dusk revealed to him hidden shapes even as figures approached him from secret shores of worlds beyond. Happy faces looked at him from the rays and flame.
I have heard strange voices cross the ether’s waves,
The Centaur’s wizard song has thrilled my ear;
I have glimpsed the Apsaras bathing in the pools,
I have seen the wood-nymphs peering through the leaves;
The winds have shown to me their trampling lords,
I have beheld the princes of the Sun
Burning in thousand-pillared homes of light.
His inner ear was open to sounds from the subtle ether and the Centaur’s wizard songs. He had glimpsed the apsaras bathing in the pools and the wood nymphs in the forest trees. The wind gods appeared to his vision. He saw the radiant gods, children of the sun, in the splendour of their thousand-pillared highest heavens of light.
Thus Satyavan starts introducing himself, his inner being, the truth of his inner personality, his way of seeing the world.