February 16, 2007

I will prefer to observe not dumb but deep and respectful silence

Re: Re: Re: 05: Numerology of 365th line of 'Savitri'? RY Deshpande Thu 15 Feb 2007 06:36 AM PST Profile Permanent Link Hi Ron But you want me to handle a difficult situation! In Canto One, The Symbol Dawn of Savitri, we have the following passage on p. 7:
In vain now seemed the splendid sacrifice.
A prodigal of her rich divinity,
Her self and all she was she had lent to men,
Hoping her greater being to implant
And in their body's lives acclimatise
That heaven might native grow on mortal soil.
Hard is it to persuade earth-nature's change;
Mortality bears ill the eternal's touch:
It fears the pure divine intolerance
Of that assault of ether and of fire;
It murmurs at its sorrowless happiness,
Almost with hate repels the light it brings;
It trembles at its naked power of Truth
And the might and sweetness of its absolute Voice.
The 5th line here—“And in their body's lives acclimatise”—is the additional line which occurs in the Revised Edition of Savitri; with it the total number of lines in the first Canto becomes 342, as against 341 in the earlier editions. That would make our line—the line from Canto Two, The Issue we have been discussing, “Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate”—as the 366th line of Savitri. There is a reason to feel somewhat disappointed with it, with this change of count; your question “...why they changed the line count in the Revised Edition?” becomes pertinent. What should be 365, has become 366. Why?
The answer is simple and straightforward: No, their intention was not to change the line count. They have restored what was missed or dropped; they found a line that was missed by the earlier versions, including those which came out before the publication of Part One consisting of the first three Books of Savitri in September 1950, before Sri Aurobindo’s passing away on 5 December of that year; the remaining nine Books came out as Part II and Part III in a single volume in May 1951. This absence—of the relatable line in The Symbol Dawn—continued through the Centenary Edition, 1972, and its subsequent reproductions, until the Revised Edition reinstated it in 1992. So, unfortunately, that upsets our line count.
But is that important? But if there is an occult-hermeneutic connection between 365 days of the year and the appearance of the line “Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate” as the 365th line of the poem, if there is acceptable numerology pertaining to the deeper working of things, then our sensibility has reason to feel disappointed.
The second part of your query is more complex, with a complexity which could also include official as well as editorial approaches. You are asking “…why this critically important line, ‘Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate’, became the 366th rather than the 365th line as in the Centenary Edition? Was this an editorial decision they made on their own, or was it the result of new research regarding SA's actual intention?” A part of the answer is already present in what I have just said.
Regarding “Sri Aurobindo’s actual intention”—what can anyone really say, or should say about it? His “intentions” belong to another domain altogether and his instruments of knowledge are of a different order. We have talked elsewhere in considerable detail about our limitations and the small scope of the possibilities vis-à-vis our post-human destinies. I will therefore prefer to observe not dumb but deep and respectful silence as far as this phrase “Sri Aurobindo’s actual intention” is concerned; it is beyond my capacity.
But if the line was simply missed by the earlier team, and yet what was printed during Sri Aurobindo’s time as the text was a result of having been read out to him at every stage of its composition and publication, then would that not amount to his tacit approval of things as they were presented to him? What does one really do in such a situation? Does one go by what Sri Aurobindo heard and passed, or go by what he wrote or dictated but got left out by others? Each has its own set of uncertainties, and we become helpless with our mental or so-called objective-rational approaches. the dangers are there... Well, before I make my position known in this regard, it will be good to have responses from the readers of this sciy forum. And thanks. RYD 12:45 PM

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