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At the Feet of The Mother

The One Destined Face, pp. 394-395 (SH 204)

Savitri Class in Hindi with Alok Pandey
Savitri Book Five: The Book of Love, Canto One: Satyavan

At last Savitri’s journey comes to an end; the chariot comes to a halt before the one destined partner of her great game of life. She has discovered Satyavan even as Satyavan has discovered her. This great moment is captured now in the lines that follow.


Helping with confident steps her slow great hands
He leaned to her influence like a flower to rain
And, like the flower and tree a natural growth,
Widened with the touches of her shaping hours.
The mastery free natures have was his
And their assent to joy and spacious calm;
One with the single Spirit inhabiting all,
He laid experience at the Godhead’s feet;
His mind was open to her infinite mind,
His acts were rhythmic with her primal force;
He had subdued his mortal thought to hers.
That day he had turned from his accustomed paths;
For One who, knowing every moment’s load,
Can move in all our studied or careless steps,
Had laid the spell of destiny on his feet
And drawn him to the forest’s flowering verge.
At first her glance that took life’s million shapes
Impartially to people its treasure-house
Along with sky and flower and hill and star,
Dwelt rather on the bright harmonious scene.
It saw the green-gold of the slumbrous sward,
The grasses quivering with the slow wind’s tread,
The branches haunted by the wild bird’s call.
Awake to Nature, vague as yet to life,
The eager prisoner from the Infinite,
The immortal wrestler in its mortal house,
Its pride, power, passion of a striving God,
It saw this image of veiled deity,
This thinking master creature of the earth,
This last result of the beauty of the stars,
But only saw like fair and common forms
The artist spirit needs not for its work
And puts aside in memory’s shadowy rooms.
A look, a turn decides our ill-poised fate.
Thus in the hour that most concerned her all,
Wandering unwarned by the slow surface mind,
The heedless scout beneath her tenting lids
Admired indifferent beauty and cared not
To wake her body’s spirit to its king.
So might she have passed by on chance ignorant roads
Missing the call of Heaven, losing life’s aim,
But the god touched in time her conscious soul.
Her vision settled, caught and all was changed.
Her mind at first dwelt in ideal dreams,
Those intimate transmuters of earth’s signs
That make known things a hint of unseen spheres,
And saw in him the genius of the spot,
A symbol figure standing mid earth’s scenes,
A king of life outlined in delicate air.
Yet this was but a moment’s reverie;
For suddenly her heart looked out at him,
The passionate seeing used thought cannot match,
And knew one nearer than its own close strings.
All in a moment was surprised and seized,
All in inconscient ecstasy lain wrapped
Or under imagination’s coloured lids
Held up in a large mirror-air of dream,
Broke forth in flame to recreate the world,
And in that flame to new things she was born.
A mystic tumult from her depths arose;
Haled, smitten erect like one who dreamed at ease,
Life ran to gaze from every gate of sense:
Thoughts indistinct and glad in moon-mist heavens,
Feelings as when a universe takes birth,
Swept through the turmoil of her bosom’s space
Invaded by a swarm of golden gods:
Arising to a hymn of wonder’s priests
Her soul flung wide its doors to this new sun.
An alchemy worked, the transmutation came;
The missioned face had wrought the Master’s spell.

Savitri: 394 – 395

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