January 25, 2007

That dire hour itself brought that strength out most wisely and most convincingly

by RY Deshpande on Wed 24 Jan 2007 06:39 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
Unhelped she must foresee and dread and dare Savitri was living in love’s union, as would a young and newly married couple would. But even as the summer of this union was coming to a close, (Savitri, pp. 468-69)
…listening to the thunder's fatal crash And the fugitive pattering footsteps of the showers And the long unsatisfied panting of the wind And sorrow muttering in the sound-vexed night, The grief of all the world came near to her. Night's darkness seemed her future's ominous face. The shadow of her lover's doom arose And fear laid hands upon her mortal heart. The moments swift and ruthless raced; alarmed Her thoughts, her mind remembered Narad's date. A trembling moved accountant of her riches, She reckoned the insufficient days between: A dire expectancy knocked at her breast; Dreadful to her were the footsteps of the hours: Grief came, a passionate stranger to her gate…None was there to help her and, not knowing what could be the way out of this dire predicament, silently, helplessly she awaited the fast-approaching doom. No help came to her from any quarter. True, she did not disclose her psychological plight to anyone, not even to the great accomplished rishis and tapasvins of the forest; true, also that she did not speak of Narad’s prophecy to anybody; but, then, she was absolutely sure that none would be able to provide her the needed conquering strength. For her, with the kind of stuff she was made of, there was no other alternative but to win the battle against the inveterate and hardened death, the irreparable habit born of Inconscience. Who would wage a battle against him? and win it? Spiritual history of the earth tells us that all, everybody had accepted death as a fact of life here and had found other ways to escape from it. Savitri would not go by it. And yet the question will continue to trouble us: Why did Savitri keep the prophecy only to herself, instead of sharing it with others, with the dearest ones, with the wise ones? They would have at least spoken to her soft comforting words of sympathy, given her consolation, provided some kind of moral support, assuaged her sad deep feelings. Caving in of the vital causes depression which can be dangerous, suicidal, and it is wise to speak out heartrending and sorrowful things. But Savitri was Savitri; and there was always, and everywhere, something luminous about her. She knew perfectly well that her strength would come from God only, and from none else, and that it is that strength alone which would give her true help in her dire hour. She had that inner conviction, and inherent inborn wisdom, and she knew that she could fully depend upon it. Indeed, that dire hour itself brought that strength out most wisely and most convincingly. In answer to her mother’s pleading to choose another youth as life’s partner, Savitri tells: (Savitri, p. 435)
My will is part of the eternal Will, My fate is what my spirit's strength can make, My fate is what my spirit's strength can bear… If for a year, that year is all my life. And yet I know this is not all my fate Only to live and love awhile and die. For I know now why my spirit came on earth And who I am and who he is I love.This awakening to her own spiritual reality came to her with the newly awakened power of love. She has not yet done any conscious yoga but the kindled soul at once saw what was hidden behind the prophecy and she held on to her decision firmly. With the disclosure of Narad, of Satyavan’s death, Savitri at once awoke to the purpose of her birth itself. With it her missioned work must begin; Narad had cast the seed for that to happen and she received it rightly. Equally significant, in the context, is Savitri’s capacity to hold only to herself the foreboding as well as mysterious prophecy, without divulging anything to anyone around. It indeed needs enormous strength of character, almost amounting to the superhuman. The mystery is, Satyavan’s death had to take place in total isolation, without the knowledge of anybody; it had to take place not in the hermitage, but in the forest where none else, apart from Satyavan and Savitri, were present. This aspect of the episode is luminously charged with the occult. By holding the prophecy to herself only, she kind of strengthened her will-power to face the event; everything got firmly quintessenced in it, without the possibility of any dispersion. Like spiritual experiences taking wings when made public, getting lost, this would have lost its effectiveness had she divulged it to others. When Savitri discovered her soul and when the Consciousness-Force descended, centre below centre, in her body, she was told not to bare her kingdom to the foe, she was told to hide her royalty of bliss (Savitri, p. 536)
Lest Time and Fate find out its avenues And beat the thunderous knock upon thy gates. Hide whilst thou canst thy treasure of separate self Behind the luminous rampart of thy depths Till of a vaster empire it grows part.Savitri’s dhāraņā śakti, the power to hold what was given, is absolutely marvellous, absolutely yogic in the superlative, and it is that which became the basis of her success. So also is the power to hold the secret prophecy in the deeps of her soul where no assault is possible. Because Savitri has that dhāraņā sāmarthya, capacity to hold it, that Narad made his eventful prophecy. Narad knew who Savitri was, and he knew that human Savitri had to be set on the path of yoga; no wonder, in the joy of his Vishnu whose glory he ever sings, he rushed to earth. His visit is an epochal visit. In it are the elements of the new unfolding destiny of the evolutionary earth. Savitri’s keeping the word of fate is an aspect of that momentous possibility. Savitri has found her soul and she is told to keep its kingdom hidden from the foe. Savitri has come to know the death of her husband after the marriage and she understands well that she must keep its knowledge as a secret even from him. Savitri is indeed a Yogini par excellence. RYD

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