Sunday, November 11, 2007
The bride of light.
In a sense, the legend of Savitri is woven around the mystery underlying the Gayatri Mantra. It is the story of the passage of the sun, riding its chariot to seek out the limits of our earthly horizon, where in a forest region, at the far western brink of our world, the Light of the sun, which is like Wisdom, the spirit of illumination, discovers her beloved as an unknown youth whose blind Father is blind, was in fact a disinherited king, banished to the dark forest, where the family was living incognito in an ashram. This young man, who was called Satyavan, became the recipient of Savitri’s garland of love, which she had refused to give to all those eligible princes who came from far and wide to her “swayamvara” when she was meant to select the hero whom she intended to marry.
The journey of the sun princess in search of her beloved, is like the way that the sun goes out, traversing the heavens, only to enter finally into the darkness of night, and continue its journey into the underworld. The sun ascends, only finally to descend, and through the dark passages which no human eye has seen, go to the kingdom of the Lord of Death, there to awaken again the spirit that has to die, before it can be born again into a new life. The metaphor underlies the meaning of every initiation into the mystery of life, for as the poet Kabir has also suggested, the ultimate marriage is to be found not in this mortal life, but in what is often only understood as a process of dying.