Category Archives: Savitri

Allusions in Savitri – part 2

This article continues a previous article “Allusions in Savitri” in which we discussed some allusions employed by Sri Aurobindo in his epic poem Savitri.   Sri Aurobindo had to evolve a new diction in English to describe his supernatural experiences and towards this end, he occasionally employed images, symbols and phrases from English Romantic poetry.  All allusions discussed herein were discovered by Dr V.K. Gokak(1909-1992), a professor of English and Kannada literature, and have been extracted from his book “Sri Aurobindo – Seer and Poet”[1].

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Allusions in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri

In his epic poem Savitri, Sri Aurobindo sought to convey many of the superconscient experiences that he and the Mother Mirra Alfassa underwent. In order to bring home the touch of the Ineffable to the reader, he employed a number of literary devices as part of the diction, including what are known as “allusions“.  An allusion is a distinct phrase, assumed to be relatively familiar to the discerning reader, which is used in poetry to kindle specific images and symbols in the reader’s mind.  V.K.Gokak, a professor of English and Kannada literature, was able to uncover about 130 allusions to Romantic era poetry in Savitri (not unusual considering that Sri Aurobindo was a Cambridge-educated classics scholar). Gokak has discussed these allusions in his book Sri Aurobindo – Poet and Seer[1].   In this article, we cover a few of allusions that he discovered.

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Summary of Savitri by Jyotipriya (Dr Judith Tyberg)

This is Jyotipriya’s summary of Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri. Jyotipriya aka Dr Judith Tyberg (1902-1980) was the founder and director of the Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles. Savitri is an epic poem in blank verse of about 24000 lines, which narrates the spiritual journey undertaken by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as part of their Integral Yoga. It details the varied occult worlds they witnessed, the states of consciousness they experienced, and the work of Supramental Transformation that they undertook in their life. Sri Aurobindo has rendered in accessible English verse many of the concepts found scattered across the numerous Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas.

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