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At the Feet of The Mother

Satyavan Departs, pp. 576-577

Opening Remarks
The soul of Satyavan is drawn out of his body by Death and it begins its journey into the realms beyond.

One departed
Such seemed he as if one departed came
Wearing the light of a celestial shape
Splendidly alien to the mortal air.

Satyavan seemed now as if someone who had departed came wearing a robe of light in a celestial shape that was splendid yet alien to the mortal air.

Only the spirit knew the spirit
The mind sought things long loved and fell back foiled
From unfamiliar hues, beheld yet longed,
By the sweet radiant form unsatisfied,
Incredulous of its too bright hints of heaven;
Too strange the brilliant phantasm to life’s clasp
Desiring the warm creations of the earth
Reared in the ardour of material suns,
The senses seized in vain a glorious shade:
Only the spirit knew the spirit still,
And the heart divined the old loved heart, though changed.

The mind of the departed Satyavan sought for things loved long but could not recollect them. All seemed an unfamiliar hue that he beheld yet longed, his sweet radiant form feeling dissatisfied and finding his radiant form and bright hints of heaven rather incredulous. All this seemed like a brilliant fantasy for life to clasp that desired the warm earthly creations nurtured by the rays of the sun. The senses tried to find in vain a shade. It is only the spirit that knew the spirit still and the heart somehow divined the old loved heart even though changed through the process of death.

Between two realms
Between two realms he stood, not wavering,
But fixed in quiet strong expectancy,
Like one who, sightless, listens for a command.

Satyavan stood between the two realms of Earth and Beyond. Not wavering he stood fixed in some kind of strong expectancy as if someone blind waits for a command.

One in human clay
So were they immobile on that earthly field,
Powers not of earth, though one in human clay.

Thus were they immobile on that earthly field as if unearthly powers were one in earthly clay.

On either side
On either side of one two spirits strove;
Silence battled with silence, vast with vast.

Both stood on the either side of Death, meeting in vastness and battling in silence.

Impulse of the Path
But now the impulse of the Path was felt
Moving from the Silence that supports the stars
To touch the confines of the visible world.

But now they felt the impulse to move along a Path moving from the Silence of the stars to go towards the edges of the visible material world.

Savitri moved behind Death
Luminous he moved away; behind him Death
Went slowly with his noiseless tread, as seen
In dream-built fields a shadowy herdsman glides
Behind some wanderer from his voiceless herds,
And Savitri moved behind eternal Death,
Her mortal pace was equalled with the god’s.

Satyavan began to move away with Death noiselessly treading right behind him. They moved in some dream like space as a shadowy herdsman glides behind some cattle that has strayed away. Savitri moved behind eternal Death keeping pace with the god.

Wordless she travelled
Wordless she travelled in her lover’s steps,
Planting her human feet where his had trod,
Into the perilous silences beyond.

Savitri travelled in the steps of her lover Satyavan without speaking a word planting her feet where his had trod in the perilous and awful silences beyond the earth.

Closing Remarks
Thus the three, Satyavan, Death and Savitri began their journey into the beyond as the soul of Satyavan moved shedding his earthly body.

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