This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Strengthening the psyche: The Savitri way

Prema Nanda Kumar — Tiruchirapalli.

The Savitri presence in India has been of incommensurable help in strengthening the psyche of Indian women. Though exalted as a goddess who sustained creation in the Vedic and Upanishadic times, at some inimical turn of history, woman had been degraded to a low position. Today, the media that pours out sob stories of helpless women only weakens her further. Whatever little strength is left in her psyche is drained away by the consumerist Valhalla. In ancient times the story of Savitri told by Vyasa in the Mahabharata gave women immense self-confidence to face life. Now it is the message given by Sri Aurobindo in his epic poem. For his heroine, Sri Aurobindo has chosen a person who suffers most of the disadvantages that batter our psyche: being born a woman (in the Indian context), the loneliness of a person uprooted from her natal home, the need to start life once again in a poor household and bear the burden of struggle and suffering in time when one is anxious about the future. Savitri faces all this and in the process strengthens her psyche by drawing upon her inner reserves through yoga. This Savitri is ideal for the contemporary Indian woman who also happens to be a child of the global fraternity anxiously peering towards the new future in this year 60 A.B. (Anno Bombini).

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