January 04, 2007

Savitri is the Mantra of Realisation, of Transformation

A Spiritual Biography of Savitri: The Radiant Daughter—as we have in Sri Aurobindo’s Epic Savitri - Introduction by RY Deshpande on Mon 01 Jan 2007 04:36 AM PST Permanent Link
“Savitri is represented in the poem as an incarnation of the Divine Mother,” said Sri Aurobindo in a letter written in 1936 about his epic Savitri. “This incarnation is supposed to have taken place in far past times when the whole thing had to be opened out, so as to hew the ways of Immortality.”
In one of the evening talks he used to have with his attendant disciples, after the accident to his right thigh bone on 24 November 1938, Sri Aurobindo explained the symbolism in Savitri as follows: “Satyavan whom Savitri marries is the symbol of the Soul descended into the Kingdom of Death; and Savitri, who is, as you know, the Goddess of Divine Light and Knowledge, comes down to redeem Satyavan from Death’s grasp. Aswapati, the father of Savitri, is the Lord of Energy. Dyumatsena is ‘one who has the shining hosts’. It is all inner movement, nothing much as regards outer action.
The poem opens with the Dawn. Savitri awakes on the day of destiny, the day when Satyavan has to die. The birth of Savitri is a boon of the Supreme Goddess given to Aswapati. Aswapati is the Yogi who seeks the means to deliver the world out of Ignorance.”
And then in another letter he wrote: “The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truth of being within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save; Aswapati, the Lord of the Horse, her human father, is the Lord of Tapasya, the concentrated energy of spiritual endeavour that helps us to rise from the mortal to the immortal plane; Dyumatsena, Lord of the Shining Hosts, father of Satyavan, is the Divine Mind here fallen blind, losing its celestial kingdom of vision, and through that loss its kingdom of glory. Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life.” If Savitri is the incarnation that took place in the “far past times”, so too must have been the incarnation of Aswapati, perhaps farther yet before that time.
A few things are at once revealed for us to grasp the truer significance of the Savitri-tale that has come down to us as a tradition. Savitri is an incarnation; it took in far past times; the work is to open out the ways of Immortality. But what is that “whole thing” that had to be opened out, for which she had come here? And how is she going to do that? These are important questions which arise in our mind vis-à-vis the gripping story of Savitri.
Indeed, the story of Savitri is both myth and pre-history. Its character is occult and its contents are spiritual. Given as a human tale, the story has several connotations and is loaded with supernatural significance. In fact, its symbolic nature is quite suggestive of the issue involved in this mortal creation, mŗtyuloka, the creation to which we belong. The issue is of divine manifestation in an evolutionary way, evolution that has its beginning in Inconscience, evolution which is carried out by the “fit intermediaries” who have taken birth in it. Aswapati’s “spiritual endeavour” prepares the base for the descent of Savitri who, on that essential foundation, carries out the divine Will to lead evolution from Ignorance into Knowledge. Sri Aurobindo’s epic presents this vast luminous theme with the power to make it real here.
As a matter of fact Savitri is the Mantra of Realisation, of Transformation. It is given in a succinct way as follows. The Rishi of the Mantra is Sri Aurobindo himself.

tat savitur varam rūpam jyotih parasya dhīmahi yannah satyéna dīpayét
Let us meditate on the most auspicious form of Savitŗ, on the Light of the Supreme which shall illumine us with the Truth.
Here the meditation is on the auspicious form of the Sun, the Sun of Divine Light. The Mantra affirms that the Light shall illumine us with the Truth. It shall illumine all the parts of our being, even the very physical. In it shall be our true progress. The threefold reality of Sat-Chit-Ananda shall express itself in this creation. Even the physical shall express the dynamic Truth. The auspicious form of the divine Light, varam rūpam, can alone be the foundation for the divine life in a divine body. The implication, in fact the power of the Mantra is that of physical transformation.
This mortal world, mŗtyuloka, is the great concern of Savitri. She must bring down the Truth in this world, must make that Truth dynamically operative in it. She must espouse the Truth howsoever difficult the circumstances, even in the presence of ubiquitous death. The biography of Savitri is the presentation of this work of hers.

No comments:

Post a Comment