Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (Jul 2018)

  The July edition of our Newsletter has as its theme the lead chapter of Book Seven of Savitri, the Book of Yoga. With this book, we are led into the wonder and miracle of Savitri’s Yoga which brings her from the throes of deepest grief into worlds where she stands alone with the strength within her and eventually wins for herself and the rest of existence the heavens promised. Interestingly, her intense Yoga which is to be described in this book, begins with, “The Joy of Union; The Ordeal of the Foreknowledge of Death and the Heart’s Grief and Pain” all contained within the first chapter of Book Seven.

Released from the clutches of her past, leaving behind sights and scenes of her childhood and bringing with her the little foundation of all the growth she had attained till then, in this life and lives before, Savitri approaches her future’s abode and the work awaiting her for which she came to earth. She joins Satyavan in his hermitage after a brief separation during which time she learnt of Satyavan’s fate from Narad’s lips. A new Savitri approaches Satyavan, one curiously in knowledge of the secret of his fate, his impending death in the next year or so. 

Savitri’s joy in this union probably comes from a sense of obeying her innermost call at the time she met him in the emerald glades. An act carried out in identification with one’s innermost truth surely is a joy? And the manifestation of that love truly was nothing but Joy? And so she spends her time with Satyavan, deeply in love and he with her, equally, if not more, in love. However, the foreknowledge of the future, though a boon, acts itself out against this joy of union. It pricks and prods her constantly with its insistence, far but ever so near. That was Savitri’s ordeal; each time she looks at the face of her beloved, the joy is instantly replaced by grief at the foreknowledge. The irony was that that Joy was not a lasting sunshine. The dark clouds gathering in the corner, threatening to engulf the joy of her heart’s call constantly dogged her. That was fate’s iron law which plunged itself time and again upon Savitri’s path. There was her heart’s grief, now multiplied folds by the condition that she was the only one who knew, in that blessed household and had none else to confide in. Circumstances worked themselves up to deny Savitri the fortune of resting on her joy lest she forgets the work at hand, perhaps.  

Sri Aurobindo penned this significant chapter as a prelude to the intense Yoga she would eventually plunge herself in as the one and only option left for her, come what may. Savitri was, as it were, swept to the very edge of a flat earth, compelled to jump off it, not knowing what would await her following the plunge. One can imagine what this means in our own life, if at all we would have lived such an ordeal as she. Ordeals may be aplenty, in any mortal’s life. However, with what spirit one confronts ordeals, with what faith and for what life’s aim makes all the difference. Savitri stands before us with all the strength of character and purity of soul before the ordeal fronting her, though tortured and tormented by it.

We will agree that this is one of the chapters, besides the one just passed, “The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain” that we can relate with in all our humanness. Sri Aurobindo draws us, along with Savitri, through familiar human pathways and prepares us to stand with Savitri when she finally takes the plunge into the unknown to know herself and the secret of all life and her life’s purpose.

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