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At the Feet of The Mother

The First Few Steps, pp. 577-578

Opening Remarks
Sri Aurobindo describes the first few steps of the journey after death.

Blind stress of woods
At first in a blind stress of woods she moved
With strange inhuman paces on the soil,
Journeying as if upon an unseen road.

At first Savitri moved as if blindly with strange inhuman paces feeling the stress of woods around her. She was treading on the soil of an unseen road.

Emerald robe
Around her on the green and imaged earth
The flickering screen of forests ringed her steps;
Its thick luxurious obstacle of boughs
Besieged her body pressing dimly through
In a rich realm of whispers palpable,
And all the murmurous beauty of the leaves
Rippled around her like an emerald robe.

The green earth was like an image with the flickering screen of forests ringing around and obstructing her steps. The thick boughs and leaves of the trees seemed to press dimly against her body. This realm was rich with whispers and all the beauty of the leaves rippled around her like an emerald robe.

A burden
But more and more this grew an alien sound,
And her old intimate body seemed to her
A burden which her being remotely bore.

But all this sense started growing alien to her. Her physical body seemed like a burden to which she was remotely connected.

Herself lived far
Herself lived far in some uplifted scene
Where to the trance-claimed vision of pursuit,
Sole presences in a high spaceless dream,
The luminous spirit glided stilly on
And the great shadow travelled vague behind.

She herself seemed to live far away in some uplifted scene as if in a state of trance, guided by an inner vision and traveling through dream spaces. In that spaceless dream-height she was sole with the soul of Satyavan and the shadow of Death behind him.

Amorous crowd
Still with an amorous crowd of seeking hands
Softly entreated by their old desires
Her senses felt earth’s close and gentle air
Cling round them and in troubled branches knew
Uncertain treadings of a faint-foot wind:
She bore dim fragrances, far callings touched;
The wild bird’s voice and its winged rustle came
As if a sigh from some forgotten world.

The amorous crowd with seeking hands of old desires softly entreated her. Her senses felt earth’s gentle air closely still clinging around this crowd with troubled hands and the uncertain faint footfalls of wind. She smelt dim fragrances and was touched by calls from afar as if a sigh from some forgotten world as the wild bird’s voice and its winged rustle came to her.

Earth stood aloof
Earth stood aloof, yet near: round her it wove
Its sweetness and its greenness and delight,
Its brilliance suave of well-loved vivid hues,
Sunlight arriving to its golden noon,
And the blue heavens and the caressing soil.

The Earth seemed aloof, yet near. The subtle atmosphere of the earth composed of its sweetness and greenness and delight, its brilliant well-loved hues, its sunlight arriving to a golden noon and the blue skies and the caress of the soil all still felt near.

Kind familiar things
The ancient mother offered to her child
Her simple world of kind familiar things.

Earth, the ancient mother, offered to her child Savitri her simple world of kind familiar things.

Closing Remarks
The first few steps of Savitri’s journey in the steps of Satyavan are described vividly.

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