The Moment of Death (SVH 51) Book 8 Canto 3


Book Eight: The Book of Death. Canto 3: Death in the Forest.

This book comprised of one single canto cryptically titled Canto Three seems a natural extension of Cantos One and Two of Book One from an earlier draft. However, Savitri was extensively expanded, especially the yoga of Aswapati and Savitri. Hence this canto kept getting pushed back further and further but the title remained unchanged.

Savitri is prepared to confront the riddle of man’s life. She is ready and armed to meet death. She knows the fated day and hence goes with Satyavan into the forest to keep a vigil. The fated moment nears and the god Death arrives as an ominous formless shadow and snatches the soul of Satyavan from his body. There is a description of the process of physical death. But Satyavan has made a grand act of surrender to Savitri even as he slips into the dark trance of death. This free and glad surrender of his being was the first act that he had done when he saw Savitri. This is the last rite at the moment of death. Savitri now follows the steps of Death into his dark lair. 

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