The Issue: Canto Two of Book One in Savitri

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Savitri- Book One: Canto Two –The Issue. Prof.S.Jayaraman. Sri Aurobindo, the great saint –poet and philosopher began writing ‘Savitri’ in the closing years of the 19th century and concluded it about the mid-point of the 20th century. It is a great epic comprising 3 parts, 12 books, 49 cantos and 24,000 lines. The conquest over Death is the thematic principle of Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Savitri’. The original story appears in the epic Mahabharata as well as in the Puranas. In short, it tells the story how Savitri retrieves her husband Satyavan from Yama, the God of Death. Justify the title of the Canto Two of Book One

In Canto Two of Book One of ‘Savitri’ entitled ‘The Issue’, Sri Aurobindo describes the growth of Savitri. Canto One of Book One entitled ‘The Symbol Dawn’ ends with the line “This was the day when Satyavan must die.” So, The Second Canto ‘The Issue’ is the one in which Savitri faced the fundamental problem of human life, death. In a few hours, death would take away Satyavan. It placed Savitri very near to the mighty issue between Death ignominious and Life Eternal. The issue would be joined between Yama and Savitri. She could not withdraw and allow Fate to run its course. She had to go forward, struggle, and dare Destiny, whatever the outcome. Still, Savitri, the Universal Mother, should not fail. Full of compassion, she had to strengthen her inner spirituality and face the inevitable Death to defeat it. Hence the title. How did Savitri recapitulate her many -faceted past? Savitri was the Universal Mother, full of compassion. She was lost in thinking about her secret, mysterious thoughts. Now in human form, her mind recapitulated her many - faceted past. The near past marched through her memory as a reverie. She glanced at her treasure – trove of memorable experiences where everything could be found as fresh as a morning flower. Her sweet childhood days and the romantic youth lay in “the sweet by paths” of her...
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