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At the Feet of The Mother

Savitri Responds, pp. 402-403

Opening Remarks
Savitri hears Satyavan and speaks for the first time responding to the query of Satyavan.

The charm of a voice
Awhile she paused as if hearing still his voice,
Unwilling to break the charm, then slowly spoke.

Savitri is charmed by his voice and pauses for a moment before answering Satyavan.

I am Savitri
Musing she answered, “I am Savitri,
Princess of Madra. Who art thou? What name
Musical on earth expresses thee to men?

A short and simple answer she gives saying that she is Savitri, the princess of Madra. Then turns to ask his name through which he is known in the world of men.

Trunk of kings
What trunk of kings watered by fortunate streams
Has flowered at last upon one happy branch?

Though he is living in wilderness in a thatched hermitage, Savitri recognizes the royalty in him by his voice and way of speaking, by his countenance and gait. She asks him as to what line of kings he belongs that have nurtured and nourished the lineage so well as to see him flower so beautifully.

Haunt of the anchorites
Why is thy dwelling in the pathless wood
Far from the deeds thy glorious youth demands,
Haunt of the anchorites and earth’s wilder broods,
Where only with thy witness self thou roamst
In Nature’s green unhuman loneliness
Surrounded by enormous silences
And the blind murmur of primaeval calms?”

She asks him why he is living in these pathless woods staying away from the glorious deeds that his youth demands. For such a far away dense forest can only be the haunt of anchorites and wild beasts where one can live in a state of witness self amidst the ancient loneliness surrounded by silence and the murmur of winds and the primaeval calms.

Satyavan replied
And Satyavan replied to Savitri:
“In days when yet his sight looked clear on life,
King Dyumatsena once, the Shalwa, reigned
Through all the tract which from behind these tops
Passing its days of emerald delight
In trusting converse with the traveller winds
Turns, looking back towards the southern heavens,
And leans its flank upon the musing hills.

Satyavan reveals something about his outer life now. He shares how his father, once a king of Shalwa regions, reigned over the entire fields around this mountain passing his days in joy with nature, conversing with the winds as they passed by.

Equal Fate
But equal Fate removed her covering hand.

Fate, however took away its cover and shield upon his life.

Living night
A living night enclosed the strong man’s paths,
Heaven’s brilliant gods recalled their careless gifts,
Took from blank eyes their glad and helping ray
And led the uncertain goddess from his side.

A dark phase began straddling his life whence the gods took away their gifts. He lost his sight and the light and vision that helped his labouring mind.

Outcast from empire
Outcast from empire of the outer light,
Lost to the comradeship of seeing men,
He sojourns in two solitudes, within
And in the solemn rustle of the woods.

He lost his kingdom, outcast by his own people. So now he dwells in both inner and outer solitude in the deep woods amidst the rustle of trees.

Son of that king
Son of that king, I, Satyavan, have lived
Contented, for not yet of thee aware,
In my high-peopled loneliness of spirit
And this huge vital murmur kin to me,
Nursed by the vastness, pupil of solitude.

Satyavan reveals that he is the son of that king. With beauty and grace he mentions that so far he lived contented in his loneliness rich with inner experiences nursed with vastness and solitude.

Closing Remarks
Thus Satyavan reveals his background, that is to say what he has inherited, and makes ground for sharing his life with Savitri.

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