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At the Feet of The Mother


The Mother Reads Selections from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo


Book 9. The Book of Eternal Night

Canto 1. Towards the Black Void

Then suddenly there came on her the change
Which in tremendous moments of our lives
Can overtake sometimes the human soul
And hold it up towards its luminous source.
The veil is torn, the thinker is no more:
Only the spirit sees and all is known.
Then a calm Power seated above our brows
Is seen, unshaken by our thoughts and deeds,
Its stillness bears the voices of the world:
Immobile, it moves Nature, looks on life.
. . .
This in a moment’s depths was born in her.
[pp. 571; 572]

* * *
Like one who looks up to far heights she saw,
Ancient and strong as on a windless summit
Above her where she had worked in her lone mind
Labouring apart in a sole tower of self,
The source of all which she had seemed or wrought,
. . .
That mightiness assumed a symbol form;
Her being’s spaces quivered with its touch,
It covered her as with immortal wings;
[pp. 572; 573]

* * *
All in her mated with that mighty hour,
As if the last remnant had been slain by Death
Of the humanity that once was hers.
. . .
A moment yet she lingered motionless
And looked down on the dead man at her feet;
[pp. 573; 574]

* * *
Then like a tree recovering from a wind
She raised her noble head; fronting her gaze
Something stood there, unearthly, sombre, grand,
A limitless denial of all being
That wore the terror and wonder of a shape.
[p. 574]

* * *
The two opposed each other with their eyes,
Woman and universal god: around her,
Piling their void unbearable loneliness
Upon her mighty uncompanioned soul,
Many inhuman solitudes came close.
[p. 574]

* * *
The dim and awful godhead rose erect
From his brief stooping to his touch on earth,
And like a dream that wakes out of a dream,
Forsaking the poor mould of that dead clay,
Another luminous Satyavan arose,
Starting upright from the recumbent earth
As if someone over viewless borders stepped
Emerging on the edge of unseen worlds.
[p. 576]

* * *
Between two realms he stood, not wavering,
But fixed in quiet strong expectancy,
Like one who, sightless, listens for a command.
So were they immobile on that earthly field,
Powers not of earth, though one in human clay.
. . .
Luminous he moved away; behind him Death
[pp. 576; 577]

* * *
Into a deep and unfamiliar air
Enormous, windless, without stir or sound
They seemed to enlarge away, drawn by some wide
Pale distance, from the warm control of earth
And her grown far. Now, now they would escape.
Then flaming from her body’s nest, alarmed,
Her violent spirit soared at Satyavan.
[p. 578]

* * *
Enigma of the Inconscient’s sculptural sleep,
Symbols of the approach to darkness old
And monuments of her titanic reign,
[p. 580]

* * *
Then to that chill sere heavy line arrived
Where his feet touched the shadowy marches’ brink,
Turning arrested luminous Satyavan
Looked back with his wonderful eyes at Savitri.
But Death pealed forth his vast abysmal cry:
“O mortal, turn back to thy transient kind;
Aspire not to accompany Death to his home,
As if thy breath could live where Time must die.
[p. 580]

* * *
Still like a statue on its pedestal,
Lone in the silence and to vastness bared,
Against midnight’s dumb abysses piled in front
A columned shaft of fire and light she rose.
[p. 581]

End of Book 9 Canto 1

three dots stand for omitted lines, three asterisks indicate also a separate page in the video presentation

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