In his Secret of the Veda Sri Aurobindo writes about the Gods of the Veda as follows: “… existence is not simple in its infinite oneness. Matter is prithivi, tanu or tanva (terra), a wide yet formal extension of being; but behind matter and containing it is a term of being, not formal though instrumentally creative of form, measuring and containing it, mind, mati or manas. Mind itself is biune in movement, modified mind working in direct relation to material life (anu, the Vedantic prāṇa) and moulding itself to its requirements in order to seize and enjoy it, and pure mind above and controlling it. For each of these three subjective principles there must exist in the nature of things an objective world in which it fulfils its tendencies and in which beings of that particular order of consciousness can live and manifest themselves.”
The Vedic Rishis spoke of the body as an unbaked earthen vessel or ataptatanu in which so far no tapas has been done. In their marvellous pursuit they had arrived at this stage but got stuck because it is the descent of the Supermind that alone can bring about the transformative and creative miracle.
There is also a causal body by means of which one enjoys the Bliss of God and holds communion with Him. The Tantra calls it the Bhagavati Tanu, the Divine Body. Beyond all these there is the Mahākāraṇa, the Great Cause.
Now the supramental Avatar comes here as Aswapatiin Savitriand does intense yoga-tapasyā in the physical, makes ready the desired body, brings out the taptatanu, a well-baked dull ochre terra-cotta vessel, an earthen pot. In his occult-yogic pursuit is prepared in the field of ignorant and stumbling Nature the ground for his Executive’s world action, a universal possibility.
The gods, the Ribhus, the Artisans of Immortality, with solar Illumination spread wisdom, it extending over the wide mid-region, they extending it by their own might, they become the powers of luminous Intelligence. The inert body heavy with tamas, inactivity, great knowledge gone inert, like an unmoving rigid mountain in whose womb lies asleep the being,—that is the blossoming of knowledge and power.
Soma is the Lord of the wine of delight, the wine of immortality, amṛta. He is the Lord of Ananda, the true creator who possesses the soul and brings out of it a divine creation. But it is not every human system that can hold, can sustain and enjoy the potent and often violent ecstasy of that divine delight. [Rig Veda I.20,The Ribhus, Artisans of Immortality]
“But it is not every human system that can hold, sustain and enjoy the potent and often violent ecstasy of that divine delight. Ataptatanūrna tad āmoaṣnute, he who is raw and his body not heated does not taste or enjoy that; śṛtāsa id vahantas tat samāśata, only those who have been baked in the fire bear and entirely enjoy that. The wine of the divine Life poured into the system is a strong, overflooding and violent ecstasy; it cannot be held in the system unprepared for it by strong endurance of the utmost fires of life and suffering and experience. The raw earthen vessel not baked to consistency in the fire of the kiln cannot hold the Soma-wine; it breaks and spills the precious liquid. So the physical system of the man who drinks this strong wine of Ananda must by suffering and conquering all the torturing heats of life have been prepared for the secret and fiery heats of the Soma; otherwise his conscious being will not be able to hold it; it will spill and lose it as soon as or even before it is tasted or it will break down mentally and physically under the touch.”
There has been in those long ages of fiery spiritual intensity and thrust the aspiration, the precious desire, the will for a body that could hold in it the divine Ananda. The Hymn to Ananda in the Taittiriya Upanishad is a glowing evidence of the urge for it:
He knew Bliss for the Eternal. For from Bliss alone, it appears, are these creatures born and being born they live by Bliss and to Bliss they go hence and return. …
Pursue thou Him as the firm foundation of things and thou shalt get thee firm foundation. Pursue Him as Mahas, thou shalt become Mighty; pursue Him as Mind, thou shalt become full of mind; pursue Him as adoration, thy desires shall bow down before thee; pursue Him as the Eternal, thou shalt become full of the Spirit. Pursue Him as the destruction of the Eternal that ranges abroad, thou shalt get thy rivals and thy haters perish thick around thee and thy kin who loved thee not. The Spirit who is here in man and the Spirit who is there in the Sun, lo, it is One Spirit and there is no other. He who has this knowledge, when he goes from this world having passed to the Self which is of food; having passed to the Self which is of Prana; having passed to the Self which is of Mind; having passed to the Self which is of Knowledge; having passed to the Self which is of Bliss, lo, he ranges about the worlds, he eats what he will, and takes what shape he will and ever he sings the mighty Sāma. “Ho! ho! ho! I am food! I am food! I am food! I am the eater of food! I am the eater! I am the eater! I am he who makes Scripture! I am he who makes! I am he who makes! I am the first-born of the Law; before the gods were, I am, yea, at the very heart of immortality. He who gives me, verily, he preserves me; for I being food, eat him that eats. I have conquered the whole world and possessed it, my light is as the sun in its glory.” Thus he sings, who has the knowledge. This, verily, is Upanishad, the secret of the Veda.
This is an ardent and forceful Hymn of Glory and Triumph. In the inconceivable Pit of Darkness Savitri sings of it to Death. With its matter of divine felicity is the reign of heavenly phenomenon.
‘A secret air of pure felicity
Deep like a sapphire heaven our spirits breathe;
Our hearts and bodies feel its obscure call,
Our senses grope for it and touch and lose. ||142.1||
If this withdrew, the world would sink in the Void;
If this were not, nothing could move or live. ||142.2||
A hidden Bliss is at the root of things. ||142.3||
The All-Wonderful has packed heaven with his dreams,
He has made blank ancient Space his marvel-house;
He spilled his spirit into Matter’s signs:
His fires of grandeur burn in the great sun,
He glides through heaven shimmering in the moon;
He is beauty carolling in the fields of sound;
He chants the stanzas of the odes of Wind;
He is silence watching in the stars at night;
He wakes at dawn and calls from every bough,
Lies stunned in the stone and dreams in flower and tree. ||142.5||
At last the soul turns to eternal things,
In every shrine it cries for the clasp of God. ||142.14||
In the vast golden laughter of Truth’s sun
Like a great heaven-bird on a motionless sea
Is poised her winged ardour of creative joy
On the still deep of the Eternal’s peace. ||142.18||
Out of the Void this grand creation rose,—
For this the Spirit came into the Abyss
And charged with its power Matter’s unknowing Force,
In Night’s bare session to cathedral light
In Death’s realm repatriate immortality. ||142.19||
Love must not cease to live upon the earth;
For Love is the bright link twixt earth and heaven,
Love is the far Transcendent’s angel here;
Love is man’s lien on the Absolute. ||142.32||
But all this means nothing to stiff and insensitive Death. For him it is a song good enough to quickly deceive oneself, with the mind spinning out yarns of fancy and imagination. With an ironic laughter in his voice he tells that it is so that men cheat the Truth with splendid thoughts. They will hire the glorious charlatan Mind only to clutch greedy dark red passions. Savitri is living in a world of a mystic dream and she must accept her futile birth. Death from the incredulous Darkness sent its cry:
O priestess in Imagination’s house,
Persuade first Nature’s fixed immutable laws
And make the impossible thy daily work. ||142.44||
How shall thy will make one the true and false? ||142.47||
Where Matter is all, there Spirit is a dream:
If all are the Spirit, Matter is a lie,
And who was the liar who forged the universe? ||142.48||
The Real with the unreal cannot mate. ||142.49||
He who would turn to God must leave the world;
He who would live in the Spirit, must give up life;
He who has met the Self, renounces self. ||142.50||
The voyagers of the million routes of mind
Who have travelled through Existence to its end,
Sages exploring the world-ocean’s vasts,
Have found extinction the sole harbour safe. ||142.51||
Two only are the doors of man’s escape,
Death of his body Matter’s gate to peace,
Death of his soul his last felicity. ||142.52||
In me all take refuge, for I, Death, am God. ||142.53||
A dead point Savitri has reached in her logomachy with hard-wearing and inflexible Death, she yet unable to defeat him in his cold grave supposition that death is a perpetuating habit of life and that the habits cannot be changed. This has been the long given of the routine spirituality, throughout the ages. Deepest Ananda is everywhere and nothing would exist without Ananda. Yet there is the material affliction and there is the law of decay-disintegration-death in the unregenerate state of Matter.
… there is the one fundamental necessity of the nature and object of embodied life itself, which is to seek infinite experience on a finite basis; and since the form, the basis by its very organisation limits the possibility of experience, this can only be done by dissolving it and seeking new forms. For the soul, having once limited itself by concentrating on the moment and the field, is driven to seek its infinity again by the principle of succession, by adding moment to moment and thus storing up a Time-experience which it calls its past; in that Time it moves through successive fields, successive experiences or lives, successive accumulations of knowledge, capacity, enjoyment, and all this it holds in subconscious or superconscious memory as its fund of past acquisition in Time. To this process change of form is essential, and for the soul involved in individual body change of form means dissolution of the body in subjection to the law and compulsion of the All life in the material universe, to its law of supply of the material of form and demand on the material, to its principle of constant intershock and the struggle of the embodied life to exist in a world of mutual devouring. And this is the law of Death.
‘This then is the necessity and justification of Death, not as a denial of Life, but as a process of Life; death is necessary because eternal change of form is the sole immortality to which the finite living substance can aspire and eternal change of experience the sole infinity to which the finite mind involved in living body can attain. This change of form cannot be allowed to remain merely a constant renewal of the same form-type such as constitutes our bodily life between birth and death; for unless the form type is changed and the experiencing mind is thrown into new forms in new circumstances of time, place and environment, the necessary variation of experience which the very nature of existence in Time and Space demands, cannot be effectuated. And it is only the process of Death by dissolution and by the devouring of life by Life, it is only the absence of freedom, the compulsion, the struggle, the pain, the subjection to something that appears to be Not-Self which makes this necessary and salutary change appear terrible and undesirable to our mortal mentality. It is the sense of being devoured, broken up, destroyed or forced away which is the sting of Death and which even the belief in personal survival of death cannot wholly abrogate.
‘But this process is a necessity of that mutual devouring which we see to be the initial law of Life in Matter. Life, says the Upanishad, is Hunger which is Death, and by this Hunger which is Death, aśanāyāmṛtyuḥ, the material world has been created. For Life here assumes as its mould material substance, and material substance is Being infinitely divided and seeking infinitely to aggregate itself; between these two impulses of infinite division and infinite aggregation the material existence of the universe is constituted. The attempt of the individual, the living atom, to maintain and aggrandise itself is the whole sense of Desire; a physical, vital, moral, mental increase by a more and more all-embracing experience, a more and more all-embracing possession, absorption, assimilation, enjoyment is the inevitable, fundamental, ineradicable impulse of Existence, once divided and individualised, yet ever secretly conscious of its all embracing, all-possessing infinity. The impulse to realise that secret consciousness is the spur of the cosmic Divine, the lust of the embodied Self within every individual creature; and it is inevitable, just, salutary that it should seek to realise it first in the terms of life by an increasing growth and expansion. In the physical world this can only be done by feeding on the environment, by aggrandising oneself through the absorption of others or of what is possessed by others; and this necessity is the universal justification of Hunger in all its forms. Still what devours must also be devoured; for the law of interchange, of action and reaction, of limited capacity and therefore of a final exhaustion and succumbing governs all life in the physical world.’ [Death, Desire and Incapacity: The Life Divine]
Given the impeccable logic of the entire process, of the growth of life through death, sages and savants have accepted death as the universal hunger to promote life’s thousand propensities and possibilities. The necessity to change form through death has been the current modus operandi, of life-and-death working in tandem. But a question can be asked if that alone could be the final and indispensable mode of operation. It is here that the new spirituality of Savitri and the Essential Agenda makes a different proposition. It seeks not the bodily immortality but the richer condition of deathlessness, in which form can be changed not out of inexorability but at will and as per the soul’s need.
The problem has all along been that of the unbaked vessel, ataptatanu, a body in which not enough tapas has been done, no spiritual light and force have been made operative in the dynamics of progress and growth and expansion. Rishi Agastya exposed his body like a piece of cloth to the sun, but it could not bear its intensity. Besides, it has not just to be an individual’s attainment; it has to be a vaster collective gain in the universal working of nature, in the awakened body of God himself.
While the Upanishad asserts that all this is for the habitation bythe Lord, Īśāvāsyam, it speaks of the final state of the body as nothing but ashes, bhasmāntaṃśariraṃ. [Isha Upanishad]
‘All this is for habitation by the Lord, whatsoever is individual universe of movement in the universal motion. He who knows That as both in one, the Birth and the dissolution of Birth, by the dissolution crosses beyond death and by the Birth enjoys Immortality.The Breath of things is an immortal Life, but of this body ashes are the end. O god Agni, knowing all things that are manifested, lead us by the good path to the felicity; remove from us the devious attraction of sin. To thee completest speech of submission we would dispose.’ 
The objective of immortality, amṛatatva, is very well stipulated and all practising spirituality is aimed at it. But that has been the classical goal; the Breath of things is an immortal Life, in a world somewhere else and not on this hard yet delightful earth. Here, in the final reckoning, the poor body suffers the fate of getting turned into dust and ashes. The test of all endeavor finally lies in the divinity of the corporeal vessel. The prayer to Agni, the Lord of physical propitiousness and immortality, has yet to do its job.
Sri Aurobindo says: “In the inner sense of the Veda Surya, the Sun-God, represents the divine Illumination of the Kavi which exceeds mind and forms the pure self-luminous Truth of things. His principal power is self-revelatory knowledge, termed in the Veda, ‘Sight’. His realm is described as the Truth, the Law, the Vast. He is the Fosterer or Increaser, for he enlarges and opens man’s dark and limited being into a luminous and infinite consciousness. He is the sole Seer, Seer of Oneness and Knower of the Self, and leads him to the highest Sight. He is Yama, Controller or Ordainer for he governs man’s action and manifested being by the direct Law of the Truth, satya-dharma, and therefore by the right principle of our nature, yāthā-tathyataḥ, a luminous power proceeding from the Father of all existence, he reveals in himself the divine Purusha of whom all beings are the manifestations. His rays are the thoughts that proceed luminously from the Truth, the Vast, but become deflected and distorted, broken up and disordered in the reflecting and dividing principle, Mind. They form there the golden lid which covers the face of the Truth. The Seer prays to Surya to cast them into right order and relation and then draw them together into the unity of revealed truth. The result of this inner process is the perception of the oneness of all beings in the divine Soul of the Universe.”
Yet, this ancient revelation falls short of recognising the problem of the material corporeal body proper. It is true also in the case of the Gita. Dismissing the un-Aryan ignorance and frailty the Teacher exhorts in strong words of the immortality of the soul and the change of form a practical necessity. Here is set the Creed of the Aryan Fighter in the Essays on the Gita:
‘There is no such thing as death, for it is the body that dies and the body is not the man. That which really is, cannot go out of existence, though it may change the forms through which it appears, just as that which is non-existent cannot come into being. The soul is and cannot cease to be. This opposition of is and is not, this balance of being and becoming which is the mind’s view of existence, finds its end in the realisation of the soul as the one imperishable self by whom all this universe has been extended. Finite bodies have an end, but that which possesses and uses the body, is infinite, illimitable, eternal, indestructible. It casts away old and takes up new bodies as a man changes worn-out raiment for new; and what is there in this to grieve at and recoil and shrink? This is not born, nor does it die, nor is it a thing that comes into being once and passing away will never come into being again. It is unborn, ancient, sempiternal; it is not slain with the slaying of the body. Who can slay the immortal spirit? Weapons cannot cleave it, nor the fire burn, nor do the waters drench it, nor the wind dry. Eternally stable, immobile,all-pervading, it is for ever and for ever. Not manifested like the body, but greater than all manifestation, not to be analysed by the thought, but greater than all mind, not capable of change and modification like the life and its organs and their objects, but beyond the changes of mind and life and body, it is yet the Reality which all these strive to figure.’
That is all very eloquently said, that, maybe, the body is slain, but can never the soul; weapons cleave it not, nor the fire burn it, nor do the waters drench it, nor the wind dry it. But even this logic will become inapplicable for the transformed body, a divine body for a divine life. There is no question of the body being slain there. The Law of Righteousness, Satya-Dharma, has in its reckoning the needs and demands of the meritorious body itself. Old ethics and old criteria are no longer valid for it.
New operative dynamism is seen in the Mother’s prayers and meditations. Everything is psychically opened to the Divine.
‘Silent and unseen as always, but all-powerful, Thy action has made itself felt and, in these souls that seemed to be so closed, a perception of Thy divine light is awake. I knew well that none could invoke Thy presence in vain and if in the sincerity of our hearts we commune with Thee through no matter what organism, body or human collectivity, this organism in spite of its ignorance finds its unconsciousness wholly transformed. But when in one or several elements there is the conscious transformation, when the flame that smoulders under the ashes leaps out suddenly illumining all the being, then with joy we salute Thy sovereign action, testify once more to Thy invincible puissance and can hope that a new possibility of true happiness has been added to the others in mankind.
‘O Lord, an ardent thanksgiving mounts from me towards Thee expressing the gratitude of this sorrowing humanity which Thou illuminest, transformest and glorifiest and givest to it the peace of Knowledge.’ [25 March 1914]
‘All that has been conceived and realised so far is mediocre, banal, insufficient beside what ought to be. The perfections of the past no longer have any force now. A new puissance is needed to transform the new powers and to subject them to Thy divine will. “Ask and this shall be”, is Thy constant answer. And now, O Lord, Thou must create in this being a constant aspiration, uninterrupted, intense, passionate, in an immutable serenity. Silence, peace are there: there must also be the persistence of the intensity. Oh, Thy heart sings a halleluiah of gladness as if what Thou willest were on the way to its fulfilment…. Destroy all these elements, that from their ashes may emerge new elements adapted to the new manifestation.
‘Oh, the immensity of Thy luminous Peace!
Oh, the omnipotence of Thy sovereign Love!
‘And beyond all that we can imagine, the ineffable splendour of what we feel to be coming. Give us the Thought, give us the Word, give us the Force.
‘Enter the arena of the world, O new-born Unknown One!’ [17 June 1914]
“Oh, Thy heart sings a halleluiah of gladness as if what Thou willest were on the way to its fulfilment…. Destroy all these elements, that from their ashes may emerge new elements adapted to the new manifestation.” From the pyre of the old civilisation has arisen a new world in the joy and glory of a new consciousness in which is even the body is a happy participant. A new birth, a dateless birth, has occurred in the lyric gladness of life in the following from Sri Aurobindo:
Not soon is God’s delight in us completed,
Nor with one life we end;
Termlessly in us are our spirits seated,
A termless joy intend.
Our souls and heaven are of an equal stature
And have a dateless birth;
The unending seed, the infinite mould of Nature,
They were not made on earth,
Nor to the earth do they bequeath their ashes,
But in themselves they last.
An endless future brims beneath thy lashes,
Child of an endless past.
Old memories come to us, old dreams invade us,
Lost people we have known,
Fictions and pictures; but their frames evade us,—
They stand out bare, alone.
Yet all we dream and hope are memories treasured,
Are forecasts we misspell,
But of what life or scene he who has measured
The boundless heavens can tell.
Time is a strong convention; future and present
Were living in the past;
They are one image that our wills complaisant
Into three schemes have cast.
Our past that we forget, is with us deathless,
Our births and later end
Already accomplished. To a summit breathless
Sometimes our souls ascend,
Whence the mind comes back helped; for there emerges
The ocean vast of Time
Spread out before us with its infinite surges,
Its symphonies sublime;
And even from this veil of mind the spirit
Looks out sometimes and sees
The bygone aeons that our lives inherit,
The unborn centuries:
It sees wave-trampled realms expel the Ocean,—
From the vague depths uphurled
Where now Himâloy stands, the flood’s huge motion
Sees measuring half the world;
Or else the web behind us is unravelled
And on its threads we gaze,—
Past motions of the stars, scenes long since travelled
In Time’s far-backward days.
In The Secret of Veda Sri Aurobindo writes:
‘Finally in the Isha Upanishad we find Surya and Agni prayed to and invoked with as much solemnity and reverence as in the Rigveda and indeed in language borrowed from the Rigveda, not as the material Sun and material Fire, but as the master of divine God-revealing knowledge and the master of divine purifying force of knowledge, … to reveal the ultimate truth to the eyes of the Seer and to raise the immortal part in us that lives before and after the body is ashes to the supreme felicity of the perfected and sinless soul.’
And in The Harmony of Virtue Keshava speaking about the Isha Upanishad tells a few pertinent things. “We have nothing to learn from savages; but there is a vast deal to be learned from the errors of civilised peoples. Civilisation is a failure, not a mistake. Civilisation was necessary, if the human race was to progress at all. The pity of it is that it has taken the wrong turn and fallen into the waters of convention. There lies the failure.”
And he continues, the legend of Purusha, the son of Prithivi and his journey to the land of Beulah, a short allegorical story.
‘And down this branch he went, for ever allured by unreal glimpses of a dawning glory, until he has descended into the abysmal darkness and the throne of ancient night, where he walks blindly like a machine, carrying the white ashes of hope in the funeral urn of youth, and knows not whence to expect a rescue, seeing the only heaven above him is the terrible pillared roof, the only horizon around him the antre with its hateful unending columns and demo-gorgon veil of visible darkness, and the beautiful gods he imagined are dead and his heart is no longer sweetened with prayers, and his throat no longer bubbles with hymns of praise. His beautiful gods are dead and her who was his lovely guide and wise monitress, he no longer sees as the sweet and smiling friend of his boyhood, but as a fury slinging flame and a blind Cyclops hurling stones she knows not whither nor why and a ghastly skeleton only the more horrible for its hideous mimicry of life. He sends a wailing cry to heaven, but only jeering echoes fall from the impenetrable ceiling, for there is no heaven, and he sends a hoarse shriek for aid to hell, but only a gurgling horror rises from the impenetrable floor, for there is no hell, and he looks around for God, but his eyes cannot find him, and he gropes for God in the darkness, but his fingers cannot find him but only the clammy fingers of night, and goblin fancies are rioting in his brain, and hateful shapes pursue him with clutching fingers, and horrible figures go rustling past him half-discerned in the familiar gloom. He is weary of the dreadful vaulted ceiling, he is weary of the dreadful endless floor. And what shall he do but lie down and die, who if he goes on, will soon perish of weariness and famine and thirst? Yet did he but know it, he has only to turn back at a certain angle and he will see through a chink of the cavern a crocus moon with a triple zone of burning stars, which if he will follow, after not so very painful a journey, not so very long an elapse of hours, he will come into a land of perennial fountains, where he may quench his thirst, and glistening fruit-groves where he may fill his hunger, and sweet cool grass where he may solace his weariness, and so pursue his journey by the nearest way to the wavering tree-tops, and the blooming gardens and the acres in their yellow gaberdines for which his soul has long panted.’
But the inconscient Reality is another proposition and not Yama of the classical benevolence is one to whom does any prayer reach. There is the stubborn existence meant to oppose all that is precious and divine and promotional in the spirit’s realms.
Death is carrying the spirit of Satyavan to the Abode of the Dead in the deep South and Savitri is following him. She tells him:
‘I know the calm Transcendent bears the world,
The veiled Inhabitant, the silent Lord:
I feel his secret act, his intimate fire;
I hear the murmur of the cosmic Voice.’ ||137.132||
‘I know my coming was a wave from God. ||137.133||
For all his suns were conscient in my birth,
And one who loves in us came veiled by death.’ ||137.134||
‘Then man was born among the monstrous stars
Dowered with a mind and heart to conquer thee.’ ||137.135||
‘In the eternity of his ruthless will
Sure of his empire and his armoured might,
Like one disdaining violent helpless words
From victim lips Death answered not again.’ ||137.136||
‘He stood in silence and in darkness wrapped,
A figure motionless, a shadow vague,
Girt with the terrors of his secret sword.’ ||137.137||
‘Half-seen in clouds appeared a sombre face;
Night’s dusk tiara was his matted hair,
The ashes of the pyre his forehead’s sign.’ ||137.138||
In the frightening grimness of that opposing silence Savitri is moving without any hope.
‘Once more a Wanderer in the unending Night,
Blindly forbidden by dead vacant eyes,
She travelled through the dumb unhoping vasts.’ ||137.139||
‘Around her rolled the shuddering waste of gloom,
Its swallowing emptiness and joyless death
Resentful of her thought and life and love.’ ||137.140||
‘Through the long fading night by her compelled,
Gliding half-seen on their unearthly path,
Phantasmal in the dimness moved the three.’ ||137.141||
A point Savitri has reached in the cruel debate when she has to assert that to her the secrets of the gods are plain, that
‘The great stars burn with my unceasing fire
And life and death are both its fuel made.’ ||142.92||
‘Life only was my blind attempt to love:
Earth saw my struggle, heaven my victory;
All shall be seized, transcended; there shall kiss
Casting their veils before the marriage fire
The eternal bridegroom and eternal bride.’ ||142.93||
So, that is the beauty of the entire thing! The great stars burn with her fire, its faggots being life and death both. But now that death has to be the fire of pure love only. There in a deep room, in Savitri’s meditation house, could dwell the soul’s firm truth,
‘Imperishable, a tongue of sacrifice,
It flamed unquenched upon the central hearth
Where burns for the high house-lord and his mate
The homestead’s sentinel and witness fire
From which the altars of the gods are lit.’ ||142.104||
That is the power of Savitri’s yoga-yajña. In it is cleared the way for her exceptional victory. The occult procession was, the spirit of Satyavan, behind him Death, and behind them both Savitri; but now it is such that she has the bridles in her hands, she has become the leader of the march from behind. It is in her will and strength that things are going to happen:
‘The mortal led, the god and spirit obeyed
And she behind was leader of their march
And they in front were followers of her will.’ ||142.105||
‘A heaven bird upon jewelled wings of wind
Borne like a coloured and embosomed fire,
By spirits carried in a pearl-hued cave,
On through the enchanted dimness moved her soul.’ ||142.107||
‘Death walked in front of her and Satyavan,
In the dark front of death, a failing star.’ ||142.108||
In it has been transformed the denial by Death into consent for a life divine in a divine body.
‘His darkness and his sad destroying might
Abolishing for ever and disclosing
The mystery of his high and violent deeds,
A secret splendour rose revealed to sight
Where once the vast embodied Void had stood.’ ||149.4||
‘Night the dim mask had grown a wonderful face. ||149.5||
The vague infinity was slain whose gloom
Had outlined from the terrible Unknown
The obscure disastrous figure of a god,
Fled was the error that arms the hands of grief,
And lighted the ignorant gulf whose hollow deeps
Had given to nothingness a dreadful voice.’ ||149.6||
‘A marvellous form responded to her gaze
Whose sweetness justified life’s blindest pain;
All Nature’s struggle was its easy price,
The universe and its agony seemed worth while.’ ||149.7||
‘There was no more the torment under the stars,
The evil sheltered behind Nature’s mask;
There was no more the dark pretence of hate,
The cruel ictus on Love’s altered face.’ ||149.9||
The cause of the body becoming the ashes, or a worn-out piece of cloth has disappeared. What Savitri has achieved is carried to its grand finale by the Essential Agenda.
About the Author: Born on 17 April 1931 Dr. RY Deshpande is a professor, philosopher, author, poet and inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. After graduating from Osmania University, Hyderabad, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai as a research physicist in 1955 and worked in this organization till 1957. In 1957 he joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai where he worked till 1981 and headed several Atomic Energy and Space Projects in Advance Technology with Dr. Raja Ramanna. Having received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics in 1964, he worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California USA from 1964 to 1965. He has some fifty research papers published in national and international scientific journals. He was also an examiner for a number of Ph.D. theses in the field of Solid State Physics. In 1981 Deshpande joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Pondicherry. For thirty years, he taught physics and a few other subjects such as Astrophysics, Savitri, The Future Poetry, Science and Society at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. For eight years he was the associate Editor of Mother India, a Monthly Review of Culture, published by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. During 2007-2008 Deshpande was the editor of a web-magazine titled Science-Culture-Integral Yoga founded in Los Angeles. His published works in prose and poetry include titles like Sri Aurobindo and the New Millennium, Vyasa’s Savitri, The Ancient Tale of Savitri, “Satyavan Must Die”, All Life is Yoga, Nagin-bhai Tells Me, The Rhododendron Valley, All is Dream-Blaze, Under the Raintree, Paging the Unknown, The Wager of Ambrosia, Savitri: Notes and Comments, Elements and Evolution, Sri Aurobindo’s Narad, The Birth of the Sun-God, Hymns to Becoming, These Mountains, The Secret Knowledge, Savitri Talks: The Symbol Dawn, Islam’s Contribution to Science, Big Science and India, Running Through Savitri, A Look at the Symbol Dawn: Observations-Comments-Discussions, Savitri: The Poetry of Immortality, and Sanatana Dharma: An Aurobindonian Perspective to name a few. He has also edited the following books: Nirodbaran: Poet and Sadhak, Amal Kiran: Poet and Critic and Perspectives of Savitri.