Savitri Reading Group - Canto II [2019-9-4]

Recorded 4 September 2019

Book One Canto II: The Issue

For a while Savitri is withdrawn into thought; her whole life flashes past in her mind, her childhood, youth, her fateful meeting with Satyavan, the last twelve months of love lived in the shadow of death.

In this hour of crisis her exterior personality is displaced by her inner spirit which steps forth and takes hold of the situation. For only so can the determinism of Nature be erased. The destiny of the body can be changed only by the will of the soul. With her it is not a question of her personal submission: the whole challenge of Death to Life, of Doom to Love is involved and she is preparing for the moment of trial in this context. She does not seek any external help, nor does anyone know of the part in the cosmic struggle she is preparing for. The solitudes of Nature in which she has passed the last twelve months have helped in the deepening of her inner life.

It was here in the deeps of green Nature that Love had at last found in Savitri a home which he had not secured anywhere so far in the human world. Her wideness and height of consciousness, her purity and sublimity of being, her unbreakable strength were a match to his, she was worthy of this godhead of Love.

Till this encounter with Love (who has brought Death in his shadow) Savitri has known of no earthly sorrow. She has carried undimmed memories of the felicities of the higher worlds from which she has come. But this state of joy cannot continue for long in this world of Ignorance. The problem of life is presented to her in its acutest form and she is called upon to face it. Savitri is no ordinary mortal to shirk the challenge and stay content with her lot. She does not accept the clamps of the Inconscient and the bounds of Ignorance on the embodied consciousness. She means to change the order that has prevailed so far, assert the supremacy of Light over Darkness, of Life and Love over -Death. She summons all her inner resources, links herself with the transcendent Will and Force and stands up ready for the momentous encounter.

The Divine Puissance surges up in her being, she stops the wheels of Doom and breaks through the finite into the Infinite.

(Summary from

art by Jane Adams |

We are performing an intimate reading of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri – A Legend and a Symbol, with virtual meeting every 1st and 3rd Wednesday until the poem is fully read. Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol is an epic poem in blank verse by Sri Aurobindo, based upon the theology from the Mahabharata. Its central theme revolves around the transcendence of man as the consummation of terrestrial evolution, and the emergence of an immortal supramental gnostic race upon earth. Unfinished at Sri Aurobindo’s death, Savitri approaches 24,000 lines. 

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