Loretta reads Savitri:Five.I "The Destined Meeting-Place"
|Loretta reads Savitri
Book Five: The Book of Love
Canto I: The Destined Meeting-Place
Savitri is coming to the place where she'll find her life's partner and soul-mate, Satyavan. Here she will begin her destined part in the destiny of the world. We all have relationships with people who we've known before, in past lives. Paramhamsa Yogananda – who wrote that very well-known and well-loved book, Autobiography of a Yogi – once gave a lecture about friendship. And most of the lecture was pointing out that we have a better friendship with those we've known for a very long time – and that means from other lives. And he recommended friendship with people we've known before, saying it really was the best kind of friendship to have.
In some of our lives, we have an ongoing relationship with certain people. And we have that relationship with that one soul who is closest to our own soul. In some lives we meet our soul-mate in a distant relationship – somebody who's just passing through our life, or who's on the edges of our life. Sometimes our soul-mate is closer: a member of our family. Perhaps our parent, perhaps our child. Perhaps a more distant relative. Or maybe a close friend, or more distant acquaintance.
The more our psychic being participates in our daily life, the easier it is for us to recognize people we've known before. Our soul is the most conscious part of us. It's pure consciousness; it's bliss; it's everything that's goodness and light and pure love. Everything that is the highest that we know – that we could possibly know. And that's because our soul – our psychic being – is a tiny portion of the highest. The all-Love which is everything, and from which everything manifests.
This wonderful love relationship – soul to soul – is sung about, written about, and endlessly sought after in all cultures. But it's not always understood in terms of a relationship that continues life after life. Many cultures don't have knowledge or teachings about past lives. And people often say there is no rebirth. But the soul-to-soul relationship is there when two true soul-mates are together. It doesn't matter what it's called, or what people think it comes from. And when soul-mates who are conscious – their souls are conscious in them – and they become conscious that this is really their soul-mate – when these soul-mates are ‘mated’ or are lovers or married, they become a very pure human expression of the relationship between the Divine Mother and the Supreme Master.
There are cultures that teach the ideal behavior of man and woman in marriage, in these terms – the relationship between the Supreme and the manifestation. Which is the total relationship – the total relationship. This is done in India. In India people grow up in the knowledge of this way of seeing the universe. And this eternal truth is described by Sri Aurobindo in Book One, Canto IV of Savitri: “The Secret Knowledge”. He describes who is the Divine Mother, who is the Supreme Master, and what their relationship is – what they are for each other, what they do for each other. How they act with each other.
When King Aswapati has the full realization of the Supreme Master – in India the Supreme Master is called ‘Ishwara’ (among other names, but it is often called Ishwara) – and he has the full realization of the Divine Mother, as the partner of the Supreme called ‘Ishwari’; and when he knows their true relationship with each other, he is ready for the completion of his individual Yoga practice and his individual progress. All along, his yoga practice has widened his being, and his consciousness has become more and more universalized. After this deepest and highest realization, changed and greatened by this knowledge of the Two-who-are-One, the king is ready and able to do the Yoga for the world. He is no longer a limited individuality, working on himself for his own development. Now his developed being continues as a universal being – a being whose needs for progress are the world's needs for progress.
After receiving the secret knowledge, the king goes on, and we get the description of his final changes as an individual. And then, this is the point in Savitri when the king becomes the traveller of the worlds. And by the end of his long journey – as Sri Aurobindo tells us – when Aswapati finally reaches the Divine Mother, he says:
- But now his being was too wide for self;
- His heart’s demand had grown immeasurable:
- His single freedom could not satisfy,
- Her light, her bliss he asked for earth and men. (p.315)
Aswapati begs the Divine Mother to take birth on earth, because he knows that she is the one who brings change. And he also knows that if she is here, her eternal mate will come with her. Because her manifestation is also his manifestation.
Here is some of the secret knowledge, from the canto called “The Secret Knowledge”. It's just parts of it – you can find the whole thing, set out in a kind of beautiful order, so beautifully, on pages 61 through 73 in Savitri.
- There are Two who are One and play in many worlds;
- [L]ight and darkness are their eyes’ interchange;
- Our pleasure and pain are their wrestle and embrace (p.61)
- He was here before the elements could emerge (p.60)
- He is the substance, he the self of things
- He is the Maker and the world he made,
- He is the vision and he is the Seer;
- He is himself the actor and the act,
- He is himself the knower and the known,
- He is himself the dreamer and the dream. (p.61)
- The Absolute, the Perfect, the Alone
- Has called out of the Silence his mute Force
- Where she lay in the featureless and formless hush
- Guarding from Time by her immobile sleep
- The ineffable puissance of his solitude. (p.67)
- This is the knot that ties together the stars:
- The Two who are one are the secret of all power,
- The Two who are one are the might and right in things.
- His soul, silent, supports the world and her, (p.63)
- She through his witness sight and motion of might
- Unrolls the material of her cosmic Act (p.64)
- For him she was made, lives only for his use.
- But conquering her, then is he most her slave (p.65)
- The Spirit, the innumerable One,
- He has left behind his lone eternity,
- He is an endless birth in endless Time,
- Her finite’s multitude in an infinite Space. (p.66)
- This was his compact with his mighty mate,
- For love of her and joined to her for ever
- To follow the course of Time’s eternity,
- Amid magic dramas of her sudden moods
- And the surprises of her masked Idea
- And the vicissitudes of her vast caprice. (p.68)
The Divine Mother is the creative power of the Supreme Master. She is put out from him, out of himself, to create everything that he is, and to be everything that he is, in manifestation. As Sri Aurobindo says, “This whole wide world is only he and she” (p.63). Everything is their endless attraction and never-ending romance, and their ever-increasing union.
Sri Aurobindo and Mother told us they were soul-mates. And they have this relationship. Mother said, “Without him, I exist not; without me, he is unmanifest.”
Generally speaking, all the love and all the attraction between women and men is a diluted and deformed expression of the Divine Mother's love and attraction for the Supreme Master, and his love and attraction for her. All our human development is basically the Mother becoming again one with the Master. In us, she realizes him – and we become conscious beings.
In Sri Aurobindo's yoga, we are particularly concerned with the Divine Mother in her work of bringing the new supramental force and creation out of the supreme Unmanifest – the Supreme Master. Sri Aurobindo says she stands at the border of the manifestation and the unmanifest, and brings everything out of the Supreme. And today, this is the work that Sri Aurobindo and Mother came to do. She is here for this work. And those people who are conscious of the whole thing – and even for those people who are not conscious – people receive the supramental forces from her automatically, when we are ready. Because she is the force itself; she gives the force itself; she brings the force itself. She is the force of evolution.
This is a good aspect of ‘the secret knowledge’ for us to remember – it helps us participate more consciously in the change. We know more about it. We change faster and more easily, the more our consciousness has something of that in it.
Savitri is the Divine Mother who has come to conquer Death, for the beautiful soul of man on earth. Satyavan is the aspect of the Supreme Master who takes birth as the highest, most developed soul on earth at that time. He is too great to stay here without her help. Using mystic poetry, Sri Aurobindo discloses to us the reason why the two of them are soul-mates, for the purpose of this story.
When Satyavan dies, Savitri has to conquer the universal force known as Death to bring him back. Mother said this is part of the next step in human evolution. Death is no longer going to be what it was. Man is going to evolve into a being who is no longer ruled or controlled by forces of destruction, forces of deterioration, or death. All of this will take hundreds of years to materialize; but it is coming. It is a reality that is in destiny – the destiny of the earth, and the destiny of mankind. And the very first seeds of it begin to start to manifest here, with Sri Aurobindo and Mother.
Mother spoke of the disappearance of Death as part of her work. And she left us a record of her progress in her Agenda. She said the Agenda was a gift to those who love her.
In the canto today, Sri Aurobindo simply describes the meeting place – the place where Satyavan and Savitri will first see each other, and first speak. He sets the scene of the first destined earthly contact of these soul-mates in this life. Far from the world of men, they meet in the pure, untouched beauty of nature – the wild, peaceful, undisturbed ways of nature, that she herself is totally satisfied with. Here in this solitude, Savitri first begins to play her fated part in the world's joy and strife.
- A stranger on the sorrowful roads of Time,
- Immortal under the yoke of death and fate,
- A sacrificant of the bliss and pain of the spheres,
- Love in the wilderness met Savitri. (p.391)
The Book of Love, “The Destined Meeting-Place”...
Canto One The Destined Meeting-Place But now the destined spot and hour were close; Unknowing she had neared her nameless goal. For though a dress of blind and devious chance Is laid upon the work of all-wise Fate, Our acts interpret an omniscient Force That dwells in the compelling stuff of things, And nothing happens in the cosmic play But at its time and in its foreseen place. To a space she came of soft and delicate air That seemed a sanctuary of youth and joy, A highland world of free and green delight Where spring and summer lay together and strove In indolent and amicable debate, Inarmed, disputing with laughter who should rule. There expectation beat wide sudden wings As if a soul had looked out from earth’s face, And all that was in her felt a coming change And forgetting obvious joys and common dreams, Obedient to Time’s call, to the spirit’s fate, Was lifted to a beauty calm and pure That lived under the eyes of Eternity. A crowd of mountainous heads assailed the sky Pushing towards rival shoulders nearer heaven, The armoured leaders of an iron line; Earth prostrate lay beneath their feet of stone. Below them crouched a dream of emerald woods And gleaming borders solitary as sleep: Pale waters ran like glimmering threads of pearl. A sigh was straying among happy leaves; Cool-perfumed with slow pleasure-burdened feet Faint stumbling breezes faltered among flowers. The white crane stood, a vivid motionless streak, p.390 Peacock and parrot jewelled soil and tree, The dove’s soft moan enriched the enamoured air And fire-winged wild-drakes swam in silvery pools. Earth couched alone with her great lover Heaven, Uncovered to her consort’s azure eye. In a luxurious ecstasy of joy She squandered the love-music of her notes, Wasting the passionate pattern of her blooms And festival riot of her scents and hues. A cry and leap and hurry was around, The stealthy footfalls of her chasing things, The shaggy emerald of her centaur mane, The gold and sapphire of her warmth and blaze. Magician of her rapt felicities, Blithe, sensuous-hearted, careless and divine, Life ran or hid in her delightful rooms; Behind all brooded Nature’s grandiose calm. Primaeval peace was there and in its bosom Held undisturbed the strife of bird and beast. Man the deep-browed artificer had not come To lay his hand on happy inconscient things, Thought was not there nor the measurer, strong-eyed toil, Life had not learned its discord with its aim. The Mighty Mother lay outstretched at ease. All was in line with her first satisfied plan; Moved by a universal will of joy The trees bloomed in their green felicity And the wild children brooded not on pain. At the end reclined a stern and giant tract Of tangled depths and solemn questioning hills, Peaks like a bare austerity of the soul, Armoured, remote and desolately grand Like the thought-screened infinities that lie Behind the rapt smile of the Almighty’s dance. A matted forest-head invaded heaven As if a blue-throated ascetic peered p.391 From the stone fastness of his mountain cell Regarding the brief gladness of the days; His vast extended spirit couched behind. A mighty murmur of immense retreat Besieged the ear, a sad and limitless call As of a soul retiring from the world. This was the scene which the ambiguous Mother Had chosen for her brief felicitous hour; Here in this solitude far from the world Her part she began in the world’s joy and strife. Here were disclosed to her the mystic courts, The lurking doors of beauty and surprise, The wings that murmur in the golden house, The temple of sweetness and the fiery aisle. A stranger on the sorrowful roads of Time, Immortal under the yoke of death and fate, A sacrificant of the bliss and pain of the spheres, Love in the wilderness met Savitri. END OF CANTO ONE
- Words of the Mother – I, p.32