Readings in Savitri Volume 10
Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol spans more than 900 pages and covers the gamut of human life and aspiration, the meaning of existence and the evolutionary development of consciousness. M.P. Pandit has systematically gone verse by verse through this epic and highlighted the sense and opened the meaning to us with his brief commentary or meditation on the themes thus revealed. Sri Pandit was secretary to the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He wrote and lectured extensively on Sri Aurobindo’s yoga and the Mother’s transformational work.
The current volume X of Readings in Savitri by M.P. Pandit is the final volume in the series, and covers Book X, canto IV, Book XI and Book XII. The volume also includes a line index to Savitri to aid the seeker in identifying the source of virtually any passage in the text. The index contains the first portion of all 23,803 lines in Savitri making it an invaluable tool for anyone studying the text.
Author: M.P. Pandit
Print Length: 254 pages
Publisher: Lotus Press
Sold by: Amazon.com
Book format: Kindle
Canto 4. The Dream Twilight of The Earthly Real
MARVEL OF IDEAL LOST
There came a slope that slowly downward sank;
It slipped towards a stumbling grey descent.
The dim-heart marvel of the ideal was lost;
Its crowding wonder of bright delicate dreams
And vague half-limned sublimities she had left:
Thought fell towards lower levels; hard and tense
It passioned for some crude reality. (10.4)
As they journey on, they come to a slope that slips towards an uneven dull descent. The vague wonder of the Ideal is no more; its bright delicate dreams and semi-formed greatnesses are left behind. Thought falls downwards towards lower altitudes, seeking intensely for some concrete reality to hold on to.
LURID MIST OF DAY
The twilight floated still but changed its hues
And heavily swathed a less delightful dream;
It settled in tired masses on the air;
Its symbol colours tuned with duller reds
And almost seemed a lurid mist of day. (10.4)
The twilight is still there, but its hues are changed; it is less delightful in its dream-content. It sits heavy and tired, its colours appear dull red. It is almost like a threatening mist of day.
VISIONS OF PLAINS AND CITIES BELOW
A straining taut and dire besieged her heart;
Heavy her sense grew with a dangerous load,
And sadder, greater sounds were in her ears,
And through stern breakings of the lambent glare
Her vision caught a hurry of driving plains
And cloudy mountains and wide tawny streams,
And cities climbed in minarets and towers
Towards an unavailing changeless sky:
Long quays and ghauts and harbours white with sails
Challenged her sight awhile and then were gone. (10.4)
Savitri feels a fierce tugging at her heart; her senses grow heavy as if weighed down with a dangerous load; her ears begin to hear sadder and louder sounds. Through sharp breakings in the pale glow she catches sight of plains below hurrying past, cloudy mountains, wide brownish-yellow streams, cities climbing in minarets and towers towards an unchanging, uninviting sky. Long quays, landings and harbours dotted with sails catch her eyes awhile and then vanish out of sight.
Amidst them travailed toiling multitudes
In ever shifting perishable groups,
A foiled cinema of lit shadowy shapes
Enveloped in the grey mantle of a dream. (10.4)
Amidst them all, she sees toiling multitudes labouring in ever-changing, transient groups. It is a chequered cinema show of shadowy figures in the dull frame of a dream.
Imagining meanings in life’s heavy drift,
They trusted in the uncertain environment
And waited for death to change their spirit’s scene. (10.4)
These multitudes imagine there is some meaning in all this heavy drift of life; they trust in their environment which is so uncertain and they wait in patience for death to bring about a change of scene for their labouring spirit.