The writing of Savitri extended over much of the later part of Sri Aurobindo’s life. The 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 has 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 stage 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 the poem was brought out in a second volume.
For the present edition, the text has been thoroughly checked for agreement with the final manuscript and dictated revision.
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