Home Page | Workings | Works of Sri Aurobindo | Collected Poems

Sri Aurobindo

Collected Poems

SABCL - Volume 5

III. Longer Poems

A Letter of the Author on Love and Death

The story of Ruru and Pramadvura – I have substituted a name [Priyumvada] more manageable to the English tongue – her death in the forest by the snake and restoration at the price of half her husband’s life is told in the Mahabharata. It is a companion legend to the story of Savitri but not being told with any poetic skill or beauty has remained generally unknown. I have attempted in this poem to bring it out of its obscurity. For full success, however, it should have had a more faithfully Hindu colouring, but it was written a score of years ago [1899] when I had not penetrated to the heart of the Indian idea and its traditions, and the shadow of the Greek underworld and Tartarus with the sentiment of life and love and death which hangs about them has got into the legendary framework of the Indian Patala and hells. The central idea of the narrative alone is in the Mahabharata; the meeting with Kama and the descent into Hell were additions necessitated by the poverty of incident in the original story.


Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo.- Set in 37 volumes.- Volume 2.- Collected Poems.- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2009.- 751 p.