LESSON 27: THE VOICE
This and future lessons mark the beginning of the search of the soul and represent a very important departure from previous lessons. Your “yoga,” the purpose of your life, the work in which you must engage in order to wake up will be explained. Now, it’s time to get to work.
Savitri and her parents are aware that Satyavan will die within 12 months of the lovers’ union. Upon hearing this news from the sage Narad, Savitri’s mother tries to talk Savitri out of being with Satyavan because of the ordeal of such an event, as all parents wish to help their children avoid pain. But the fate of the two lovers is set.
“Helpless against the choice of their daughter’s heart
They left her to her rapture and her doom.”
In spite of her knowing of Satyavan’s death, Savitri chose the path of love.
“Day was a purple pageant and a hymn,
A wave of the laughter of light from mourn to eve.
His absence was a dream of memory,
His presence was the empire of a god.
A fusing of the joys of earth and heaven,
A tremulous blaze of nuptial rapture passed,
A rushing of two spirits to be one,
A burning of two bodies in one flame.
Opened were the gates of unforgettable bliss:
Two lives were locked within an earthly heaven
And fate and grief fled from that fiery hour.”
The sanctuary of love is sought by all, causing the storms of life to become more bearable together. The bliss of being with one in whom one has placed one’s heart, to be loved, to be cared for by another is cherished above all materials things on this earth. And yet, even the sanctuary of love cannot shield the lovers from the ebb and flow of life, the breathing in and the breathing out, the ups and the downs, not even death. Savitri, however happy, cannot dismiss her knowing of Satyavan’s impending death.
“The shadow of her lover’s doom arose
And fear laid hands upon her mortal heart.
The moment’s swift and ruthless raced; alarmed
Her thoughts, her mind remembered Narad’s date.
A trembling moved accountant of her riches,
She reckoned the insufficient days between:
A dire expectancy knocked at her breast;
Dreadful to her were the footsteps of the hours:
Grief came, a passionate stranger to her gate:
Banished when in his arms, out of her sleep
It rose at mourn to look into her face.
Vainly she fled into abysms of bliss
From her pursuing foresight of the end.
The more she plunged into love that anguish grew;
Her deepest grief from sweetest gulfs arose.”
The fate of your and their physical body is recorded in a celestial calendar whose date is temporarily forgotten in the busyness of daily life. But reminded you will be of the impermanence of all living things. The pain of goodbye, grief-filled passages where Time slows to an unbearable rhythm, the too-speeding days when all is safe and sound, the human spirit is the anvil for the blows of fate and Time whose heavenly purpose remains obscure to you. Try as you might, joy makes room for grief and loss when the next moment hinges on the brink of excruciating change. It’s too hard. I can’t do this. I’m not going to make it. Why bother? What difference does it make? Why is life so difficult?
And in this trance of regretful knowing of Satyavan’s looming death, a Voice touched Savitri.
“Why camest thou to this dumb deathbound earth,
This ignorant life beneath indifferent skies
Tied like a sacrifice on the alter of Time,
O Spirit, O immortal energy,
If ’twas to nurse grief in a helpless heart
Or with hard tearless eyes await thy doom?
Arise, O soul, and vanquish Time and Death.”
Now, be still. Just breathe. Let each rising and pressing thought dissipate into a cloud of yesterday. Have a friend, a loved one, read slowly to you the passage above. Just be still and listen to the question. Why camest thou? And answer the question. Hear your reply…not the reply of your mind but the reply of your Soul. Why did you come here? What are you here for?
And now, another question. Is the life you are living reflective of that answer? No judgment. No defense. No need. Just observe. Contrast the two. Must you continue to live a life as though you are, “Tied like a sacrifice on the alter of Time?”
Allow yourself to feel if but for a fleeting second, the stirring of the part of you to whom the Voice speaks. The real you. The Divine you. The you that chose to be here. and “Arise, O soul.”
It is time to begin to wake up. And all that is needed is your intention to do so. All that is needed is a spark of Will. It will do the rest.