Above blind fate and the antagonist powers
Moveless there stands a high unchanging Will;
To its omnipotence leave thy work’s result.
All things shall change in God’s transfiguring hour.“
Savitri , Book III, Canto IV, page 341
Nowadays the function of the poetry is underappreciated just as many other expressions of beauty. Poetry is considered to be something beautiful but not interesting enough. However, poetry is not just about beauty – this is not its greatest potential. The power of the poetry is that it can reveal hidden truths and realities in a way the regular speech cannot do. This is because it goes beyond the logical intellect. Even though we can say that the highest attained instrument for search of truth and knowledge in man, the mental being, is the intellect, still it is not the proper tool for it. It is just the highest one that humanity as a whole possesses now. The power of the poetry lies in that that it naturally may go beyond the intellect. When we read poetry we usually do not think or reason but we see, we imagine, we are touched, we leave our intellect passive and become able to perceive or rather receive what is behind the words with other faculties which belong to deeper or higher parts of ourselves.
Yes, it might seem strange that a magazine composed mainly by a comic story has a section with poetry. Perhaps something that you have never met before. However, from point of view of the goals of the Foundation it is quite natural. We shall repeat here that one of the goals is to bring out, develop, popularize, enforce and encourage aesthetic, ethic and spiritual values. Values which belong to regions beyond the intellect. Therefore poetry is one of the best means for that. Just try it and you will see.
Then there comes the question – Why “Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol”?
The best way to explain is just with few quotes. The first one is the author’s note to the book:
“The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truth of being within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save; Aswapati, the Lord of the Horse, her human father, is the Lord of Tapasya, the concentrated energy of spiritual endeavour that helps us to rise from the mortal to the immortal planes; Dyumatsena, Lord of the Shining Hosts, father of Satyavan, is the Divine Mind here fallen blind, losing its celestial kingdom of vision, and through that loss its kingdom of glory. Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life.”
“In truth, the entire form of Savitri has descended “en masse” from the highest region and Sri Aurobindo with his genius only arranged the lines—in a superb and magnificent style. Sometimes entire lines were revealed and he has left them intact; he worked hard, untiringly, so that the inspiration could come from the highest possible summit. And what a work he has created! yes, it is a true creation in itself. It is an unequalled work. Everything is there, and it is put in such a simple, such a clear form; verses perfectly harmonious, limpid and eternally true. My child, I have read so many things, but I studied the best works in Greek, Latin, English and of course in French literature, also in German and all the great creation of the West and East, including the great epics; but I repeat it, I have not found anywhere anything comparable with Savitri. All these literary works seem to me empty, flat, hollow, without any deep reality—apart from a few rare exceptions, and these too represent only a small fraction of the Savitri is. What grandeur, what amplitude, what reality: it is something immortal and eternal he has created. I tell you once again there is nothing like it in the whole world. Even if one puts aside the vision of the reality, that is, the essential substance which is the heart of the inspiration, and considers only the verses in themselves, one will find them unique, of the highest classical kind. What he has created is something man cannot imagine.
Yes, everything is there: mysticism, occultism, philosophy, the history of evolution, the history of man, of the Gods, of creation, of Nature. How the universe was created, why, for what purpose, what destiny—all is there. You can find all the answers to all your questions therein. Everything is explained, even the future of man and of evolution, all that nobody yet knows. He has described it all in beautiful and clear words so that spiritual “adventures” who wish to solve the mysteries of the world may understand it more easily. But this mystery is well hidden behind the words and lines and one must climb to the required level of true consciousness to discover it. All prophecies, all that is going to come is presented with a precise and wonderful clarity. Sri Aurobindo gives you here the key to find the truth, to discover the consciousness, solve the problem of what the light may penetrate there and transform it. He has shown the path, the way to liberate oneself from the ignorance and climb right up to the superconscience; each stage, each plane of consciousness, how they can be scaled, how one can cross even the barrier of death and reach immortality. You will find the whole journey in detail, and much more yet. It is a real experience—reading Savitri. All the secrets that man possessed, he has revealed,—as well as that awaits him in the future; all thus is found in the depth of Savitri. But one must have the knowledge to discover it all, the experience of the conquest of Death. He has noted all the stages, marked each step in order to advance integrally in the integral Yoga.
Indeed, Savitri is something concrete, living, it is all replete, packed with consciousness, it is the supreme knowledge above all human philosophies and religions. It is the spiritual path, it is Yoga, tapasya, sadhana, everything, in its single body. Savitri has an extraordinary power, it gives out vibrations for him who can receive them, the true vibrations of each stage of consciousness. It is incomparable, it is truth in its plenitude, the truth Sri Aurobindo brought down on the earth.”
All texts from “Savitri” are posted with the kind permission of the Copyright Department of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
The book can be downloaded as PDF for free HERE .