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At the Feet of The Mother

The Core and the Message of Savitri

The Supreme Revelation

Savitri can be called as the Veda of the New Age, that is to say, it is the Scripture meant to lead and help mankind make the transition from Man to Superman. We can equally call it as the grand Scripture that takes within itself all the Scriptures and all the discoveries made by man in his quest of Truth in its various aspects so far. Taking up the discoveries so far it boldly leaps towards the future that has not yet been discovered because it had not yet manifested. It is the Prasad of Sri Aurobindo’s tapasya, the gift of the Mother’s Grace, the saga of Divine Love, the revelation of their supreme vision. It is indeed the supreme revelation of the Supreme that contains in a single book the truths including the experiences and realisations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, all the fundamental realisations of the past Yogas, the essential past of mankind in its emergence out of the animal through a long winding evolution and even more importantly, his luminous golden future. 

And what is in its core, the core of Savitri. It is the supreme Mystery, or shall we say the Mystery of mysteries, – Love. Savitri is the embodiment of the Divine Love. Of course, it is not the love that finds its joy in singing and dancing, not the love that suffers the pangs of separation and the joy of union, virah and milan, not the love that is limited to our human experience, but the love that moves the stars and has woven a beautiful necklace of stars around the Unseen Beloved.  It is the Love that throbs in the heart of creation, the Love that has impelled God to create this many-mansioned system of worlds, the Love that is the very heart of God concealed behind His mask of pain as well as behind His vast impersonal Peace, the Love that has leaned into the Abyss to succour and save. The average bhakta knows it not and it is concealed from the mind of the Adwaitin.  This flaming Love in the core of everything that descends from Beyond to redeem earth and man is the central message of Savitri. Savitri is an embodiment of this Love. It is the transcendent Mystery described in these lines:

The hidden Word was found, the long-sought clue,
Revealed was the meaning of our spirit’s birth,
Condemned to an imperfect body and mind,
In the inconscience of material things
And the indignity of mortal life.

A Heart was felt in the spaces wide and bare,
A burning Love from white spiritual founts
Annulled the sorrow of the ignorant depths;
Suffering was lost in her immortal smile.

A Life from beyond grew conqueror here of death;
To err no more was natural to mind;
Wrong could not come where all was light and love.

The Formless and the Formed were joined in her:
Immensity was exceeded by a look,
A Face revealed the crowded Infinite.

Incarnating inexpressibly in her limbs
The boundless joy the blind world-forces seek,
Her body of beauty mooned the seas of bliss.

At the head she stands of birth and toil and fate,
In their slow round the cycles turn to her call;
Alone her hands can change Time’s dragon base.

Hers is the mystery the Night conceals;
The spirit’s alchemist energy is hers;
She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire.

The luminous heart of the Unknown is she,
A power of silence in the depths of God;
She is the Force, the inevitable Word,
The magnet of our difficult ascent,
The Sun from which we kindle all our suns,
The Light that leans from the unrealised Vasts,
The joy that beckons from the impossible,
The Might of all that never yet came down.

All Nature dumbly calls to her alone
To heal with her feet the aching throb of life
And break the seals on the dim soul of man
And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things.

All here shall be one day her sweetness’ home,
All contraries prepare her harmony;
Towards her our knowledge climbs, our passion gropes;
In her miraculous rapture we shall dwell,
Her clasp shall turn to ecstasy our pain.
Our self shall be one self with all through her. [S:313-314]

 

Love Conquering Death

Savitri embodies love as we see described in the very beginning of the epic:

Love came to her hiding the shadow, Death.
Well might he find in her his perfect shrine.
Since first the earth-being’s heavenward growth began,
Through all the long ordeal of the race,
Never a rarer creature bore his shaft,
That burning test of the godhead in our parts,
A lightning from the heights on our abyss.

All in her pointed to a nobler kind…..

…..wide self-giving was her native act;
A magnanimity as of sea or sky
Enveloped with its greatness all that came
And gave a sense as of a greatened world:
Her kindly care was a sweet temperate sun,
Her high passion a blue heaven’s equipoise.

As might a soul fly like a hunted bird,
Escaping with tired wings from a world of storms,
And a quiet reach like a remembered breast,
In a haven of safety and splendid soft repose
One could drink life back in streams of honey-fire,
Recover the lost habit of happiness,
Feel her bright nature’s glorious ambience,
And preen joy in her warmth and colour’s rule.

A deep of compassion, a hushed sanctuary,
Her inward help unbarred a gate in heaven;
Love in her was wider than the universe,
The whole world could take refuge in her single heart. [S:14-15]

We see the same truth reiterated repeatedly even as in the end when the sages ask Savitri her secret power, she reveals the great Secret:

Awakened to the meaning of my heart
That to feel love and oneness is to live
And this the magic of our golden change,
Is all the truth I know or seek, O sage. [S:724]

The central message of Savitri therefore is that one day Love will conquer Death, not Death as we understand it, physical death so to say which is only an extreme result of the consciousness seemingly separating itself from the Lord. This separation of course is not real or ultimate.  It is due to a veil drawn between the Creator and the Creation.  This veil is needed in the beginning so that the Creation does not vanish in the blaze and Splendour of the Divine.  It is this veil that casts a shadow upon the lower triple world of mind, life and body with its attendant consequence of Ignorance and Suffering and Falsehood and Death. The self-imposed veil is slowly lifted through the long process of evolution. With the advent of man, that is to say the emergence and reign of Mind in Creation, human beings have discovered ways and means to thin the veil, have a glimpse of the Creator through the thin veil and, in few instances pierce the veil and escape from the mortal realms into the immortal ones. The means to do so are various forms of spiritual paths generally termed as Yoga. However, Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s work is to remove the veil completely, not only for few individuals but for the entire Creation.  This would mean, on the one hand the flooding of the Greatness and Glory and Splendour and Beauty and Light and Peace and Bliss and the infinity of the Divine into this finite world of ignorance and suffering and pain. Secondly and as a consequence of the first, the divinisation of earthly life through its progressive transformation. The central message of Savitri is this promise of terrestrial transformation, the transformation of earthly life into the Life Divine and of the present human being into the supramental being of the future.  The central message of Savitri is that Love not only conquers Death but transforms it. It is the alchemist Energy in Creation, the transforming Power.

 

The Journey of Yoga

But precisely because the Power is so strong, there has to be some preparation, some receptivity upon earth so that Man, the main recipient, must be ready to receive this tremendous transforming Power of Divine Love. There are two ways to prepare oneself, two that complement and complete each other. The first is to undertake the Yoga as revealed in Savitri in the book of Yoga. Here we are revealed the essence of the Yoga undertaken by Savitri that arms and equips her for becoming the centre of the transformation, the representative of the Divine Power upon earth.  She had come in fact to open the path of this Yoga for man.

For man thou seekst, not for thyself alone.
Only if God assumes the human mind
And puts on mortal ignorance for his cloak
And makes himself the Dwarf with triple stride,
Can he help man to grow into the God.

As man disguised the cosmic Greatness works
And finds the mystic inaccessible gate
And opens the Immortal’s golden door.

Man, human, follows in God’s human steps.

Accepting his darkness thou must bring to him light,
Accepting his sorrow thou must bring to him bliss.

 In Matter’s body find thy heaven-born soul. [S:488]

The path and the journey are fully described in the Yoga undertaken by Savitri. She has opened the doors so that man may walk in her footsteps aided and guided by her Light, supported and helped by Her Love. There is simultaneously another movement that is the rare courageous soul can take. It is a leap of faith, a leap of love. It is described beautifully in the gesture that Satyavan makes when Savitri comes looking for the heroic souls that do not seek an escape from earthly life but are aspiring for perfection here.

I sat with the forest sages in their trance:

There poured awakening streams of diamond light,
I glimpsed the presence of the One in all. 

But still there lacked the last transcendent power
And Matter still slept empty of its Lord.

The Spirit was saved, the body lost and mute
Lived still with Death and ancient Ignorance;
The Inconscient was its base, the Void its fate.

But thou hast come and all will surely change:
I shall feel the World-Mother in thy golden limbs
And hear her wisdom in thy sacred voice.

The child of the Void shall be reborn in God,
My Matter shall evade the Inconscient’s trance.
My body like my spirit shall be free.
It shall escape from Death and Ignorance. [S:405-406]

 

The Mystery of the Divine Incarnation

And this indeed is the last secret among the many secrets revealed to us in Savitri, the final secret or the Secret of secrets. The Mother calls it as the Great Secret, as the Gita also puts it.  It is the mystery of the Divine Incarnation that makes it so much easier if we can trust and give ourselves to the embodied Divine:

Love is like a flame that changes what is hard into something malleable and even sublimates this malleable thing into a kind of purified vapour—it does not destroy, it transforms.

In its essence, in its origin, love is like a flame, a white flame which overcomes all resistances. You can experience this yourself: whatever the difficulty in your being, whatever the burden of accumulated error, ignorance, incapacity and bad will, a single second of this pure, essential, supreme love dissolves it as in an all-powerful flame; a single moment and a whole past can disappear; a single instant in which you touch it in its essence and a whole burden is consumed.

And it is very easy to explain how a person who has this experience can spread it, can act on others; because to have the experience you must touch the one, supreme Essence of the whole manifestation, the Origin and the Essence, the Source and the Reality of all that is; and at once you enter the realm of Unity—there is no longer any separation of individuals, there is only one single vibration that can be repeated indefinitely in external form.2

If you rise high enough, you find yourself at the heart of all things. And what is manifest in this heart can manifest in all things. That is the great secret, the secret of the divine incarnation in an individual form, because in the normal course of things what manifests at the centre is realised in the external form only with the awakening and the response of the will in the individual form. Whereas if the central Will is represented constantly and permanently in an individual being, this individual being can serve as an intermediary between this Will and all beings, and will for them. Everything this individual being perceives and offers in his consciousness to the supreme Will is answered as if it came from each individual being. And if for any reason the individual elements have a more or less conscious and voluntary relation with that representative being, their relation increases the efficacy, the effectiveness of the representative individual; and thus the supreme Action can act in Matter in a much more concrete and permanent manner. That is the reason for these descents of consciousness—which we may describe as “polarised”, for they always come to earth with a definite purpose and for a special realisation, with a mission—a mission which is decided upon, determined before the incarnation. These are the great stages of the supreme incarnations on earth.

And when the day comes for the manifestation of supreme love, for the crystallised, concentrated descent of supreme love, that will truly be the hour of transformation. For nothing will be able to resist That. [CWM 10: 72-74]

Satyavan puts it very simply. He says revealingly:

Lay all on her; she is the cause of all. [S:723]

And the sages echo in marvellous words full of profound mystic wisdom:

If this is she of whom the world has heard,
Wonder no more at any happy change.
Each easy miracle of felicity
Of her transmuting heart the alchemy is. [S:723]

 

The Message of Hope

The core message of Savitri is the message of hope that springs not from any human calculation but from the marvellous and luminous presence of the Divine Grace and Love at this human hour. For the darkest hours are a preparation for the dawn and the light is nearest when the darkness is dense. This is the certitude that Savitri gives to man and so much more than human speech can ever express. Let us close with one of the many such beautiful uplifting passages that are at once a prophesy and a promise of a luminous future for earth and man.

Thus will the masked Transcendent mount his throne.

When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast
And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,
As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread
Of one who steps unseen into his house.

A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey,
A Power into mind’s inner chamber steal,
A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors
And beauty conquer the resisting world,
The Truth-Light capture Nature by surprise,
A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss
And earth grow unexpectedly divine.

In Matter shall be lit the spirit’s glow,
In body and body kindled the sacred birth;
Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,
The days become a happy pilgrim march,
Our will a force of the Eternal’s power,
And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.

A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done. [S:55]

 


Alok Pandey
Pondicherry, June 19, 2024   

 

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