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|Early Cultural Writings
“Vikramorvasie – The Characters”
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(Sri Aurobindo:) “The Urvasie of the myth, as has been splendidly seen & expressed by a recent Bengali poet, is the Spirit of imaginative beauty in the Universe, the unattainable ideal for which the soul of man is eternally panting, the goddess adored of the nympholept in all lands & in all ages. There is but one who can attain her, the man whose mind has become one mass of poetry & idealism and has made life itself identical with poetry, whose glorious & starlike career has itself been a conscious epic and whose soul holds friendship & close converse with the Gods. This is Pururavus, ‘the noise of whom has gone far & wide’, whose mother was Ida, divine aspiration, the strange daughter of human mind (Manu) who was once male & is female, and his father Budha, Hermes of the moonlike mind, inspired & mystic wisdom, and his near ancestors therefore are the Sun & Moon. For Urvasie he leaves his human wife, earthly fame & desire, giving her only the passionless kindness which duty demands & absorbs his whole real soul in the divine. Even he, however, does not enjoy uninterrupted the object of his desire; he transgresses with her into that fatal grove of the Virgin War-God where ethereal beauty & delight are not suffered to tread but only ascetic self-denial & keen swordlike practical will; at once she disappears from his ken. Then must his soul wander through all Nature seeking her, imagining her or hints & tokens of her in everything he meets, but never grasping unless by some good chance he accept the Jewel Union born from the crimson on the marvellous feet of Himaloy’s Child, Uma, daughter of the mountains, the Mighty Mother, She who is the Soul behind Nature. Then he is again united with her and their child is Ayus, human life & action glorified & ennobled by contact with the divine. It is therefore one of the most profound & splendid of the many profound & splendid allegories in the great repertory of Hindu myth that Kalidasa has here rendered into so sweet, natural & passionate a story of human love & desire.
In one sense therefore the whole previous life of Pururavus has been a preparation for his meeting with Urvasie. He has filled earth & heaven even as he has filled his own imagination with the splendour of his life as with an epic poem, he has become indeed Pururavus, he who is noised afar; but he has never yet felt his own soul. Now he sees Urvasie and all the force of his nature pours itself into his love for her like a river which has at last found its natural sea.”
- Early Cultural Writings, p.203, “Vikramorvasie: The Characters”