“For the opening of the psychic, for the growth of consciousness and even for the improvement of English it is good to read one or two pages of Savitri each day.”
The Mother to Norman Dowsett – About Savitri
It’s captivating, Savitri!
I believe it’s his Message—…. Savitri is the Message…..
The Mother – Agenda, Vol. 4, p. 84
He said, Savitri, a Legend and a Symbol; it’s he who made it a symbol. It’s the story of the encounter of Savitri, the principle of Love, with Death; and it’s over Death that she won the victory, not in life. She could not win the victory in life without winning the victory over Death.
The Mother – Agenda, Vol. 6, p. 18
The daily record of the spiritual experiences of the individual who has written.
A complete system of yoga which can serve as a guide for those who want to follow the integral sadhana.
The yoga of the Earth in its ascension towards the Divine.
The experiences of the Divine Mother in her effort to adapt herself to the body she has taken and the ignorance and the falsity of the earth upon which she has incarnated.
The importance of Savitri is immense.
Its subject is universal. Its revelation is prophetic.
The time spent in its atmosphere is not wasted.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – I: CWM, Vol. 13, p. 26
SAVITRI began as a narrative poem of moderate length based on a legend told in the Mahabharata. Sri Aurobindo considered the story to be originally “one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle”. Bringing out its symbolism and charging it progressively with his own spiritual vision, he turned Savitri into the epic it is today.
By the time it was published, some passages had gone through dozens of drafts. Sri Aurobindo explained how he wrote the poem: “I used Savitri as a means of ascension. I began with it on a certain mental level, each time I could reach a higher level I rewrote from that level…. In fact Savitri has not been regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished, but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could be written from one’s own yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative.”
Sri Aurobindo – Savitri : CWSA, Vol. 34, p. 727
You know, Savitri is an exact description—not literature, not poetry (although the form is very poetical)—an exact description, step by step, paragraph by paragraph, page by page; as I read, I relived it all. Besides, many of my own experiences that I recounted to Sri Aurobindo seem to have been incorporated into Savitri….
The Mother – Agenda, Vol. 2, p. 249
Author’s Note in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri:
“The Tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truth of being within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save; Aswapati, the Lord of the Horse, her human father, is the Lord of Tapasya, the concentrated energy of spiritual endeavour that helps us to rise from the mortal to the immortal planes; Dyumatsena, Lord of the Shining Hosts, father of Satyavan, is the Divine Mind here fallen blind, losing its celestial kingdom of vision, and through that loss its kingdom of glory. Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life.”
Sri Aurobindo – Sri Aurobindo on Savitri
It does not matter if you do not understand Savitri, read it always. You will see that every time you read it, something new will be revealed to you. Each time you will get a new glimpse, each time a new experience; things which were not there, things you did not understand arise and suddenly become clear. Always an unexpected vision comes up through the words and the lines. Every time you try to read and understand, you will see that something is added, something which was hidden behind is revealed clearly and vividly. I tell you, the very verses you have read once before, will appear to you in a different light each time you re-read them. This is what happens invariably. Always your experience is enriched, it is a revelation at each step.
But you must not read it as you read other books or newspapers. You must read with an empty head, a blank and vacant mind, without there being any other thought; you must concentrate much, remain empty, calm and open; then the words, the rhythms, the vibrations will penetrate directly to this white page, will put their stamp upon the brain, will explain themselves without your making an effort.
Savitri alone is sufficient to make you climb to the highest peaks. If truly one knows how to meditate on Savitri, one will receive all the help one needs. For one who wishes to follow this path, it is a visible help, as though the Lord himself were taking you by the hand and leading you to the destined goal. And then, every question, however personal it may be, has its answer here, every difficulty finds here its solution, indeed there is everything that is necessary for doing the Yoga.
*He has crammed the whole universe in a single book.* It is a marvellous work, magnificent and of an incomparable perfection.
Sweet Mother Luminous Notes – Conversations with the Mother recollected by Mona Sarkar
Sri Aurobindo considered Savitri as his most important work. It stands as the longest epic poem in English, with nearly 24000 lines spread out in Eleven Books and an Epilogue. He worked on it for decades to infuse into it the highest mantric vibrations so that Savitri the poem could serve as a bridge between man’s present state and the supramental consciousness. The Mother further confirmed it and by reading it has further added to its mantric quality. She has categorically stated that ‘Savitri is the mantra of transformation’. In this respect it can be seen not only as a supreme mystic poetry but, along the lines of Vedas and the Upanishads, it is a mantric poem.
Given the fact that Sri Aurobindo in his personal yoga reached much farther and wider beyond what had ever been realized, the power of Savitri embodying his consciousness also carries with it the power to uplift the human consciousness much farther than any such previous works. While of course it can be said that this is a matter of individual faith, but it is a faith that is justified by the experience of many who have been drawn to the magic of Savitri and dwelt in its atmosphere.
One can say without the least exaggeration that a mere reading of Savitri is to engage in the yoga of transformation. Its effect upon the inner being as well as on the body itself continues even after the reading is over. Those who have made Savitri an important means for their own yoga find that Savitri alone is sufficient to carry the human consciousness on the path of ascension without the need or help of any other guide.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that Savitri is not just another literary work that one needs to grasp with the analytical mind. In fact, it will only fail since the poem itself has been born as a supreme revelation and hence it is not possible for the analytical mind with its limited experiences to grasp even its outer images.
However, when read with an opening of the heart, in a state of inner quietude and receptivity, then its meaning begins to be revealed in some deeper layer of our being. We begin to become aware of the deeper realities and the states of consciousness through which Savitri climbs towards the very highest regions of our being. It takes us eventually to the grand culmination in the beatific divine vision of the Divine Mother and the Supreme and closes with the boon that Sri Aurobindo’s tapasya and the Mother’s Grace have brought to earth and man.
But to receive these divine boons rightly man’s consciousness must also be ready. Savitri itself is a means to prepare our consciousness to open to and receive the transformative Divine Influx into ourselves.
Most of all enjoy Savitri. It is Sri Aurobindo’s gift of Love to the world. Read it from the heart with love and gratitude as companions, and drown in its fiery bliss. That is the true understanding rather than one that comes by a constant churning of words in the head.
There is no auspicious hour to come in contact with the Divine, or rather whenever we feel or experience the contact with the Divine Reality, that very moment becomes an auspicious moment even if it be outwardly a moment of great crisis in our life!
Still it is always good and helpful to fix a time that works for an individual. It is our personal time with the Lord. One can always take out some time for the reading, even if it be late at night when one is done with all the daily works.
Of course, as with meditation, – and reading Savitri is itself a meditation, – a certain receptivity is needed. If one is too tired or the reading becomes too mechanical as a ritual routine to be somehow finished it tends to be less effective, hence the advice is to read in a quiet receptive state.
As to the pace of reading it is best to slowly build up and keep it steady. To read a page or a passage daily is better than reading many pages once and then none for days. This brings a certain discipline in the consciousness which makes one receptive. What it means is that one should fix up reading a few passages or a page or two daily, and then if an odd day one is enjoying and spontaneously wants to read more, one can go by the inspiration of the moment.
It is best to read at least once from cover to cover. However, if one is not feeling inclined or rather is not yet ready for that, one can read some of the beautiful cantos and passages whose reference one can find in various places. This helps us familiarise with the epic and the style of poetry.
Later one can go for the cover to cover reading. For those who take up Savitri as a sadhana, the reading never really finishes with one or even a few readings. Once Savitri begins to sink within, one notices that its mantric lines continue sometimes even in sleep and spring up as if from some unknown depths whenever one needs a help or a guidance.
One can read it silently. Loud reading is needed only if one is unable to focus with silent reading. A mantra is more potent when read subtly. I am aware that some people recommend reading it aloud, which is fine if that helps one better. A certain flexibility in these things is always good.
After a while the rhythm develops from within, however those who would wish to know the rhythm, it is best to simply listen to the Mother’s readings of Savitri. She has read many lines which have been fortunately recorded and are freely available now.
It has been found that merely playing these readings has a tremendous effect on the atmosphere in driving away much that is dark and obscure, and opening up the physical and psychological spaces to the vibrations of the supreme Light embodied in Savitri as a sound-body.
One can also write some of the beautiful passages with which one feels suddenly connected. It is a help in the yoga since such a writing involves the pouring in of the consciousness of Savitri through the brain and nerves and the hand.
Reflecting and meditating upon some of these magnificent lines and passages while one is engaged in one’s daily activities helps to create a background state for our inner being. It also helps us to get absorbed more and more in the luminous vibrations of Savitri.
It is helpful if a brief background about each Canto is known. This allows the mind to focus and also to keep in sync with the overall scene and sense of what is being read.
But it is best not to keep referring to the dictionary while reading. Let the overall sense emerge. Specifics can be done during a detailed reading later and or may not be necessary at all. Besides, the sense that Sri Aurobindo has given to many words may not be accurately conveyed by the standard dictionaries. A certain plasticity is required to understand the subtle suggestions hinted at by the Master-poet.
In this sense Savitri is in the line of Vedic poetry, using images that are at once profound as well as commonplace. That is the beauty of mystic poetry. These are things actually experienced and seen by Sri Aurobindo, and ultimately it is Their Grace that alone can reveal the intrinsic sense of this supreme revelation of the Supreme.
Above information was selected from Auromaa -Reading Savitri
Following are dedicated website links with information, books and videos for further understanding of Savitri: