Savitri – a legend and a symbol is Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem of almost 24,000 lines. Sri Aurobindo worked on it for over 30 years. The first known draft dates from 1916, and the last addition was dictated only a few days before he left his body in December 1950.
His spiritual co-worker, the Mother, has said about Savitri:
I believe it is his message; all the rest are the preparations,
but Savitri is the message.
The importance of Savitri is immense.
Its subject is universal.
Its revelation is prophetic.
The time spent in its atmosphere is not wasted.
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.
Savitri is a mantra
for the transformation of the world.
The supreme revelation of
Here is Sri Aurobindo’s own note about the inner meaning of the theme of his epic:
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.
If this poem becomes a part of your life,
it will make you a part of the Poet whose heights
have sent this call to our lowlands.