Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on 15 August 1872. At the age of seven he was taken to England for his education. He studied at St. Paul's School, London, and at King's College, Cambridge. Returning to India in 1893, he worked for the next thirteen years in the Princely State of Baroda in the service of the Maharaja and as a professor in the state's college.
In 1906 Sri Aurobindo quit his post in Baroda and went to Calcutta, where he became one of the leaders of the Indian nationalist movement. As editor of the newspaper Bande Mataram, he put forward the idea of complete independence from Britain. Arrested three times for sedition or treason, he was released each time for lack of evidence.
Sri Aurobindo began the practice of Yoga in 1905. Within a few years he achieved several fundamental spiritual realisations. In 1910 he withdrew from politics and went to Pondicherry in French India in order to concentrate on his inner life and work. Over the next forty years, he developed a new spiritual path, the Integral Yoga, whose ultimate aim is the transformation of life by the power of a supra mental consciousness. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator the Mother, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. His vision of life is presented in numerous works of prose and poetry, among the best known of which are The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and Savitri. Sri Aurobindo passed away on 5 December 1950.
The writing of Savitri extended over much of the later part of Sri Aurobindo's life. Earliest known manuscript is dated 1916. The Original narrative poem was recast several times in the first phase of composition. By around 1930, Sri Aurobindo had begun to turn it into an epic with a larger scope and deeper significance.
Transformed into "A Legend and a Symbol", Savitri became his major literary work which he continued to expand and perfect until his last days. In the late 1940s, when his eyesight was failing, he took the help of a scribe and dictated the extensive final stages of revision.
Separate cantos started to appear in print in 1946. Part One of the first edition was published in 1950. The next year after Sri Aurobindo's passing the rest of poem was brought out in a second volume. In the Second edition (1954), Sri Aurobindo's letters on Savitri were added.
For the present edition the text has been thoroughly checked for agreement with the final manuscript and dictated revision.
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