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At the Feet of The Mother

The Queen Senses Something Ominous, pp. 427-428

Opening Remarks
The queen senses something ominous hidden behind Narad’s speech that is dissuading her to know the future as it will be an added burden.

The ancient human sentence
As though her own bosom were pierced the mother saw
The ancient human sentence strike her child,
Her sweetness that deserved another fate
Only a larger measure given of tears.

Savitri’s mother feels the arrow of an adverse fate pierce her own bosom. Death, the apparent final end of all our hopes seemed to have struck her child. She naturally felt that her daughter so full of sweetness deserved another fate than the large measure of tears.

The strength that extreme adversity brings
Aspiring to the nature of the gods,
A mind proof-armoured mailed in mighty thoughts,
A will entire couchant behind wisdom’s shield,
Though to still heavens of knowledge she had risen,
Though calm and wise and Aswapati’s queen,
Human was she still and opened her doors to grief;
The stony-eyed injustice she accused
Of the marble godhead of inflexible Law,
Nor sought the strength extreme adversity brings
To lives that stand erect and front the World-Power:
Her heart appealed against the impartial judge,
Taxed with perversity the impersonal One.

Though the queen aspired to grow into godlike nature, though her mind lived in the ivory tower of mighty thoughts and her will acted under the eye of wisdom, though she had grown into knowledge and being Aswapati’s wife she was calm and wise, yet was she human and hence opened her doors to grief. Instead of bringing to the forefather calm wisdom, she accused the cosmic law and its stone like inflexibility and injustice. Instead of seeking the strength that extreme adversity brings to lives that stand and face the World-Power, her heart appealed against the judge and charged the Impersonal One with perversity.

As a common man beneath his load
Her tranquil spirit she called not to her aid,
But as a common man beneath his load
Grows faint and breathes his pain in ignorant words,
So now she arraigned the world’s impassive will:
“What stealthy doom has crept across her path
Emerging from the dark forest’s sullen heart,
What evil thing stood smiling by the way
And wore the beauty of the Shalwa boy?

Instead of calling her spirit to her aid, she responded as a common man fainting below his load and sighs in pain. So now she spoke in ignorant words laced with pain blaming fate and the design of the gods. She blamed the doom that took the form and face of Satyavan and came stealthily across Savitri’s path.

An enemy from the past
Perhaps he came an enemy from her past
Armed with a hidden force of ancient wrongs,
Himself unknowing, and seized her unknown.

As we ordinarily react, she blamed the past karmas the present misfortune thinking that perhaps Satyavan is an enemy from the past who came to settle the score of some ancient wrong doing, though unknowingly and has seized upon her not knowing the shadow of pain he is going to bring to her.

Closing Remarks
Thus the queen sensing something ominous begins to blame fate and the gods who have brought about this ill fortune at her daughter’s doorsteps.

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