Sunday, May 26

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Savitriā€™s meaning: Savitri and Satyavan

There is a central section of Sri Aurobindoā€™s mantric poem, Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol, which is often mistakenly interpreted as primarily a mythological legend of Savitri and Satyavan, rather than as a symbol and spiritual teaching. However, through a series of workshops presented at our center here in Crestone, Colorado, we have tried to demonstrate the truer esoteric nature of the teaching that is revealed in this important part of the book. It is the section of about 60 pages in the very middle of the 700-page tome that ostensibly deals with the meeting of Savitri and Satyavan in the forest.Ā 

On a deeper level it is an initiatory transmission of the qualities embodied by the symbolic goddess of the ā€œNew Consciousnessā€ descending on earth, and of the truly ready human soul that is elected as a vessel of that descent.

In the cantos of Books 4 and 5, therefore, we find a description, canto by canto, of the gradual emergence of that new consciousness on earth. It first takes the form of an invisible universal power working through nature and art and science; then as a subtle mystical intuition experienced by many who aspire for the emergence of a more spiritual reality beyond the practical and rational mind to which we seem bound; and finally as the original Vedic luminosity and joy of revelatory inspiration named Savitri that descends into the life and mind of the ready human being. It includes an elaborate description of what such readiness means and requires. And it is here that we are made to hear and see the qualities of a spiritual presence that can be experienced through Yoga.Ā 

For example, She is described as: ā€œA silence in the noise of earthly things. The very room and smile of musing space. A godhead sculptured on a wall of thought. This intimation of the worldā€™s delight… A Mind of light, a life of rhythmic force.ā€Ā  And in these pages, we also find several examples of a pattern and technique whereby Sri Aurobindo makes the poem reflect on itself in a way that expresses its deeper meaning and purpose. He writes of it: ā€œThis word was seed of all the thing to be [sic]. There came the gift of a revealing hourā€¦ā€ The word was used as a hieratic means, for the release of the imprisoned spirit.

When read in the normal way, by the eyes and the brain/mind, one can easily miss the meaning and power of lines and phrases like these. But in dynamic mantric reading and hearing, the direct revelatory effect is of a presence and quality of experience that is exactly what is being described and transmitted by the poetry. This is the mantric quality of Savitri, and the essence of that Vedic speech known as mantra. One of the primary aims of our workshops and the activities of the center is to make such experience a familiar occurrence on the path of Integral Yoga.

For further information or questions about Sri Aurobindo and his yoga call Brian at 719-937-1371. This content is paid for by Sri Aurobindo Learning Center.

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