THE MOTHER’S SAVITRI: Book 10 Canto 3


The Mother Reads Selections from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

 

Book 10. The Book of the Double Twilight

Canto 3. The The Debate of Love and Death

But Savitri answered to almighty Death:
. . .
O Death, I have triumphed over thee within;
. . .
O Death, not for my heart’s sweet poignancy
Nor for my happy body’s bliss alone
I have claimed from thee the living Satyavan,
But for his work and mine, our sacred charge.
Our lives are God’s messengers beneath the stars;
To dwell under death’s shadow they have come
Tempting God’s light to earth for the ignorant race,
[pp. 621; 633]
* * *

But to the woman Death the god replied,
. . .
O human face, put off mind-painted masks:
The animal be, the worm that Nature meant;
Accept thy futile birth, thy narrow life.
. . .
But Savitri replied to mighty Death:
“My heart is wiser than the Reason’s thoughts,
My heart is stronger than thy bonds, O Death.
It sees and feels the one Heart beat in all,
It feels the high Transcendent’s sunlike hands,
[pp. 633; 634; 635]
* * *

Death bowed his sovereign head in cold assent:
“I give to thee, saved from death and poignant fate
Whatever once the living Satyavan
Desired in his heart for Savitri.
. . .
Return, O child, to thy forsaken earth.”
But Savitri replied, “Thy gifts resist.
Earth cannot flower if lonely I return.”
[pp. 636; 637]
* * *

Then Death once more sent forth his angry cry,
. . .
“What knowst thou of earth’s rich and changing life
Who thinkst that, one man dead, all joy must cease?
. . .
But Savitri replied to the vague God,
“Give me back Satyavan, my only Lord.
Thy thoughts are vacant to my soul that feels
The deep eternal truth in transient things.”
. . .
Thus with armed speech the great opponents strove.
[pp. 637; 639]
* * *

The mortal led, the god and spirit obeyed
And she behind was leader of their march
And they in front were followers of her will.
. . .
Death walked in front of her and Satyavan,
In the dark front of death, a failing star.
Above was the unseen balance of his fate.
[pp. 639; 640]

End of Book 10 Canto 03


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