Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

Savitri by Sri Aurobindo is an epic poem of 12 books and 24,000 lines about an individual who overcomes the ignorance, suffering, and death in the world through her spiritual quest. Sri Aurobindo continuously revised and worked on Savitri for over 20 years. Savitri is the poetic expression of Sri Aurobindo’s loftiest spiritual philosophy and the emergence of Divinity on earth. It is loosely based on the ancient Indian tale of ‘Savitri and Satyavan’ from the Mahabharata.

 

Selected Passages from Savitri

Quotes from Savitri

Within Savitri, there are numerous lines which embody a mantric like quality and power.

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All can be done
if the God-touch is there

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A traveller between summit and abyss.

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God shall grow up
While the wise men
Talk and sleep.

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We are sons of God
And must be even as he.

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Oh, surely one day
He shall come to our cry.

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None can reach heaven
Who has not
Passed through hell.

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Escape brings not the victory and the crown.

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In absolute silence
Sleeps an absolute Power.

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The soul in man
Is greater
Than his fate.

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The day-bringer
Must walk
In darkest night.

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Man can accept his fate,
He can refuse.

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He who would save the world
Must share its pain.

~

 

I shall save earth,
If earth consents
To be saved.

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A death-bound littleness is not all we are.

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A Light there is that leads,
A Power that aids.

~

A moment sees,
The ages toil to express.

Sri Aurobindo from Savitri

Author’s Note on 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

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