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SAVITRI BOOK 1 CANTO 1 POST 5

The next lines from Savitri we are going to discuss are as follows.

Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred;


A nameless movement, an unthought Idea
Insistent, dissatisfied, without an aim,
Something that wished but knew not how to be,
Teased the Inconscient to wake Ignorance.
A throe that came and left a quivering trace,
Gave room for an old tired want unfilled,
At peace in its subconscient moonless cave
To raise its head and look for absent light,
Straining closed eyes of vanished memory,
Like one who searches for a bygone self
And only meets the corpse of his desire.

MEANINGS OF SOME DIFFICULT WORDS


Inscrutable = of an obscure nature, logically not interpretable, some thing which cannot be
analyzed.

Throe = Severe spasm of pain, Hard or painful trouble or struggle.

Quivering = Shaking, Vibrating.

Bygone = Past events to be put aside, related to past or history.

Corpse = the dead body.

In our last posts we have discussed the plight of our earth and also that in the coming parts the
Vedic Goddess Usha will appear, her importance and the objectivity of this concept by referring
to Vedic Acquaintances.

Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred;


A nameless movement, an unthought Idea
Insistent, dissatisfied, without an aim,
Something that wished but knew not how to be,
Teased the Inconscient to wake Ignorance.

Now in these lines the inconscient Night that is prevailing “aspires” for the Dawn that is
realization of Supreme consciousness. For any realization or a change to be brought in, aspiration
is the first step. Now, aspiration means a deepest desire. Desire and aspiration are sometimes
referred to as two faces of a coin. But desire is more of material nature. When this desire is
deeper and originates from the heart instead of brain and every element of our being both psychic
and physical are involved, it is an aspiration. Therefore it was inevitable for nescient Night to
aspire for the Dawn.
Now all of a sudden a stir is felt in the subconscient mind of this night, which is a like
“A nameless movement, an unthought Idea”. At this stage th nescient Night was “Insistent,
dissatisfied, without an aim”, because it wished “something” but it did knew how to be that! That
is this was first step towards the aspiration. Such a situation comes in life of many aspirants.
Whenever I meet a Sadhak who does not have any background of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo
in his or her family, I ask them one question. How was your experience when you first read or
come to know or saw the photograph of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo? All of them always had
a similar and somewhat common answer. They said like “I felt something really spiritual, some
sort of inspiration and aspiration was enlightened. But I could not realize what it was! Because I
was in inconscience, down to my sub conscience”.

And whenever we are in such a situation, we a sort of get teased, that what is happening to me?
Similarly, this blur aspiration now initiated “Teased the inconscient to wake its Ignorance”.
Therefore, this obscure aspiration is also termed as an “impulse” to wake up to a Dawn, not
exactly an aspiration, which amounted in a feeling of “something” which the Night had but did
not know how to be the same.

The second line “A nameless movement, an unthought Idea” suggests that this sudden stir did
not know itself or the night did not knew it or its origin or originator. Also the conditions were
not at all favorable for the full emergence of this movement or aspiration in the midst of this
enormous Night. What all it did was it awoke a memory in the subconscient memory of this
Night. This concept is justified in the following lines.

A throe that came and left a quivering trace,


Gave room for an old tired want unfilled,
At peace in its subconscient moonless cave
To raise its head and look for absent light,

Whenever we remember something related to our past related to our past, say like our child hood
or some very happy moments, we feel a sort of pain. Similarly, this memory recalled for the
enormous night that this was not the first time that it was waking up for the Dawn. Thus this
memory caused a severe pain – “A throe that came and left a quivering trace”. This throe is like
a wave spreading through the atmosphere and leaves a vibrating trace. Why this throe had to
come or comes? Because this is not the first time that this night is was opening itself for a Dawn.
This concept reaffirms the Vedic Vision of a series of creations and destructions, and between
one of such destructions (Pralaya) and creations (Srishti) we have this enormous Night.
Therefore this pain is another step towards the aspiration we are discussing. I will recall once
again that aspiration is the need for any change or realization, and humanly we only aspire for a
change or realization only when we feel a severe pain about our present.

When this throe left a quivering trace, it “Gave room for an old tired want unfilled”. Here old
means long-sanding one. This want or requirement is the aspiration, which is emerging, but still
it is referred as want but not as aspiration, as it is a form of aspiration but not exactly an
aspiration. This want is an old one and not new one, and not a product of thinking. Therefore,
this want emerges in the subconscient mind o this night. The next line “At peace in its
subconscient moonless cave” justifies this. Here cave means the mind of this night. Here we
should observe the magical words – “moonless cave”. Why Sri Aurobindo is calling the mind of
this night as a “moonless cave”? The answer is a bit difficult to digest very easily. When the
consciousness of Divine is not profound, there is an absence of Divine light in our mind, down to
subconscient level. The conditions are very similar at this stage of creation. Therefore this want
now emerging, raises its head and seeks for the absent light, because it has a past memory –
which is faint – that it had once seen a Divine Light.
Sri Aurobindo puts in a very natural and utterly fantastic next lines to emphasize the initiation of
this aspiration and the to tell us the reaction of this inconscient Night, upon the initiation of this
aspiration.

Straining closed eyes of vanished memory,

Whenever we try to remember some faint memory of ours or to remember something very old,
we always closes our eyes and strain them or shrink them. Here Sri Aurobindo compares the
behavior of this Night to a human behavior, as this is not at all a subjective poetical explanation,
but an utterly occult objective reality. Then what happened later? The last two lines of our post
are very natural and human in nature.

Like one who searches for a bygone self


And only meets the corpse of his desire.

Often we look for something, which had moved us before. When we revive an old memory, we
want to have the same fulfillment again. We want to be what we were once, at least for a while,
may be to indulge an old desire. But when the situation is recreated, we find that it no more
yields the same satisfaction and we are disappointed. The old thrill is missing and what we only
see is are the desires, which have once departed.

I would like to share a personal experience of mine on the same concept. A very recent and fresh
experience. When I was in my final year of college, I used to work in our college workshop till
10:00 PM in night. After that to burst the stress, I used to go to a lake site because at 10:00 PM it
used to be a deserted place as it was around 7 kms away from the city. But I liked the peace and
loneliness at that time. So I used to rev up my bike to that place and used sit on the lakeside for
half an hour or so with a blank mind and then return to home.

There after now I am working, not in my native place. Recently when I was there during Diwali,
I felt to have a go at this and I raced my bike to the same place again around midnight. But
amazingly I got bored in not less than 10 minutes and I returned to home!

Like this Sri Aurobindo puts in close-to-life examples in Savitri, so wonderfully, that it becomes
humanly easy to get into the spirit of the poem.

CONCLUSION
Therefore, let us conclude that now the inconscient night is getting ready for the Dawn. A blur
aspiration is initiated in its subconscient mind, for the Divine Light. But still at this stage the
conditions are not propitious for the same. Still there are some developments to take place, which
we shall discuss in our coming parts of discussion.