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Savitri (1)
The Infinite Adventure

Lecture-Notes of Classes held at Pondicherry: Serial 1

Ananda Reddy , Ph.D.


One day, in the early thirties, Sri Aurobindo told the Mother:

    "I am impelled to launch on a new adventure ... I  was hesitant at the beginning, but now I am decided. Still I  do not know how far I shall succeed... I have launched myself in a rudderless boat upon the vastness of the Infinite."

Sri Aurobindo had launched himself upon an infinite adventure of consciousness and joy and Savitri was born in the Silence of Eternity.

Of course, almost thirty years had lapsed between the first version of the preliminary cantos of Savitri and its resuming. It was in the beginning of this century that, while at Baroda, Sri Aurobindo, inspired by the story of Savitri from the Mahabharata, had attempted to give it a new form and instil into it new consciousness. Like his other major works that appeared in the journal Arya, Savitri was "not regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished, but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could he written from one's yogic consciousness and how that could he made creative," wrote Sri Aurobindo.

Indeed, his own yogic consciousness had heightened infinitely since his Baroda days. On Nov. 24, 1926 was the descent of the Overmental consciousness into his physical paving the way to the full descent of the Supramental light and force and consciousness into his body. It was this puissant ascent into the Golden Light and the descent of this Light into Matter that is reflected in Savitri.

    "I used Savitri as a means of ascension" said  Sri Aurobindo. "I began with it on a certain mental level, each time I could reach a higher level I rewrote from that level... All had to be as far as possible of the same  mint."

After several rewritings, the opening canto, "The Symbol Dawn" saw the light of the day in August 1947, and the Advent's editorial proclaimed:

    "Savitri, the Divine Grace in human form, is upon  earth. The Divine Consciousness has abandoned its own  Supramental transcendental status to enter into the human consciousness and partake of the earthly life... "

Later, as more and more cantos were added, Sri Krishnaprem (Ronald Nixon) described this poetic avalanche as:

    "Savitri is neither  subjective fancy nor yet mere philosophical thought, but  vision and revelation of the actual inner structure of the  Cosmos ... It is an omen of the utmost significance and hope that in these years of darkness and despair (post-World War  II. Years) such a poem as Savitri should  have appeared. Let us salute the Dawn."

    (Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1948)

Ultimately, when the epic of the Supreme was revealed to the people's gaze in about 24000 lines of graphic etching of the Divine Love and the human consciousness, some critics feared it, while others, like Raymond Frank Piper, humbly submitted:

    "Sri Aurobindo created what is probably the  greatest epic in the English language ... "

"I venture the judgement that it is the most comprehensive, integrated, beautiful and perfect cosmic poem ever composed. It ranges symbolically from a primordial to the highest realms of Supramental spiritual existence, and illumines every important concern of man, through verse of unparalleled massiveness, magnificence, and metaphorical brilliance."

    "Savitri is perhaps the most powerful artistic work in the world for expanding man's mind towards the Absolute."

Indeed, to delve into the Mantric lines of Savitri, to meditate upon the never ending "Sights' sound-waves breaking from the soul's great deeps" would itself be the best way to expand our consciousness and to bathe in the soft blue and golden consciousness of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.


    "It is only divine Love which can bear the burden  I have to bear, that all have to bear who sacrificed everything else to the one aim of uplifting earth out of its darkness towards the Divine."

Sri Aurobindo


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