Letters from Skambha

A Note – from the Aeon Centre of Cosmology


In this issue we begin a regular feature, ‘Letters from Skambha’. It consists of letters from Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet to students of the New Way in various parts of the world. The purpose is to offer readers of Vishaal an opportunity for a direct and immediate participation in certain facets of the work at the Centre.

A good portion of Sri Aurobindo’s letters to his disciples centred on his efforts to explain the newness of his Yoga and the precise lines his work would take in the world, distinguishing it from all other spiritual endeavours.

If this effort was necessary in Sri Aurobindo’s time, it is an even more imperative need now, since the culminating stages of this work have been reached. As explained in the second letter reproduced here, ‘This Question of Purpose’, the new stage has propelled us into the dimensions of the Supramental Yoga. Therefore Thea discusses in this letter the distinctions to be made between the Integral Yoga and the Supramental in its initial phase. In the process she explains the characteristics of the ‘fields’ where the two yogas are practiced and what constitutes such a field. The present conditions prevailing in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry and in Auroville are outlined in this context.

The first letter, ‘Will and Seeing in the New Way’, casts further light on certain distinguishing features of this work. It is a sequel to the letter reproduced in Vishaal, 2/3, August 1987 under the title ‘The First Imperative’.



October, 1987




23 August 1987


This time from Skambha, the navel of the world! I am beginning to glean the power this place has. It does provide a certain inner support. It helps to arrest a certain ‘caving in’. But this only became possible after realising the inner ‘skambha’, after forging that new axis which is the true centre that fills the ‘void’. Then only did the outer, physical Skambha come into being. But since its destiny existed obviously from the beginning, to serve as this Support, for many hundreds of years it was left untouched. Nothing could ever get going here, no matter who owned the property. In this way you see how the two developments go hand in hand. So, was it Skambha’s power and destiny exerting itself to make me realise that new Axis in order to permit Skambha to finally express itself? Or was it the other way around? I find that this summarises a key feature of this work, – the manner in which a harmonisation comes into being regarding the inner and outer, and the relatedness of things, people, events. How all of this takes place in a field of Oneness – therefore this sort of harmony and integration can come about.

So, the question cannot be answered – which came first, the chicken or the egg. It has to be formulated differently. It is a question of the centre coming into being first, because this is the reality of Creation. But each ‘thing’ in Creation has its centre. Thus there is my centre and Skambha’s. It is the centres of these two elements that have experienced a harmonisation capable of bringing about an integration of various dimensions, all of which are dependent on their respective centres.

We tend to overlook the fact that all of creation is an extension of the Centre – but which is everywhere. We tend to believe that only human beings possess the capacity for this type of centrality to operate. But the fact that we do overlook these essentials is precisely why we cannot experience this harmony and integrality. We are constantly cutting out aspects of Reality. It is only the Truth-Consciousness that can resolve this conundrum; the Supermind alone has the power, the capacity to reconcile the apparent paradoxes. For they are paradoxes, until the Power manifests that can reconcile them. Thereafter the paradox is replaced by understanding and by a continuous growth based on Truth-Seeing.

This brings me to the point of your first letter which I want to answer, concerning work for the Divine or for humanity. Again, another conundrum? But what do we really mean when we say, This Yoga is for the Divine? And if so, would this really present a conflict for you with regard to your ‘work for humanity’?

You see, the yoga for the Divine can never conflict with what your true Dharma is. Indeed, if you do the yoga ‘for the Divine’ the object is to realise that inner truth, that ‘seed’ of the Divine within. In this way we begin to do the yoga for the Divine. Really speaking, the Divine then does the yoga of the world through us, because that Stable Point has been unveiled which permits us to be the Divine’s instrument for this work. Until that happens our yoga is for the purpose of achieving that state.

This takes us back to the question of centres and centering. If one’s goal in life is to work for humanity, to alleviate its pain in whatever sphere – be this through physical care, political work or whatever – then we are poising our consciousness beyond this centre. And in actual fact this may hinder us from finding our true inner Truth. We are simply caught in the periphery. We may be doing the ‘right’ thing, or we may not. Nothing is really clear. However, if we centre ourselves first, then everything shifts. We may continue to do the same work, but this other poise makes all the difference in the work. It makes whatever we do not only more meaningful but more powerful, more lastingly significant. Our contribution endures because it is then supported by all the other ‘centres’ in existence. There comes into being a conscious cementing of a network that goes from truth-centre to truth-centre. Then a ‘new world’ is born.

So, you send me X’s material to assess what bio-kinetics is all about. But, you see, this is not the point. There are so many techniques that sound so good, that ‘produce results’ as you write of bio-kinetics or Polarity. But so what? Don’t you see that I am talking about something else? I am saying, Realise that Seed, that inner Truth. Then whatever the technique it will be used rightly and as a part of a truly integrated reality. In this lies the big difference, and this is why in spite of all these new (and old) techniques no one can really introduce the ‘stable change’, the enduring power to bring about the new world. This is what defines ‘hopping about’.

How are you to know? You follow your inner promptings which oblige you to enrol yourself in X’s course. But perhaps you should have concentrated your energies at that point, rather than seek this new escape. Perhaps you should have held firm under the pressure to come to terms with that inner truth. For indeed, when that pressure is applied the ‘hopping about’ is intensified! The reason is rather obvious.

So, how does the Yoga deal with this? How are you to know what a true prompting is?

You have to practice the Yoga seriously and consistently to come to the point where you can distinguish between the mental and vital promptings – which are the waves in your periphery of consciousness, your outer being – and the soul’s command. For a long time one’s yoga centres on this achievement. It is no small accomplishment, for when the reversal comes about that cements this condition for good, the face of things changes dramatically. Then one is an instrument of the Divine in the world, through which the Divine Mother does the Yoga of the Earth.

There is a stage in this process which is very revealing of the goal itself. I am witnessing it especially clearly in one of the group there now, in these days. It concerns the question of Purpose. At a certain point before a decisive shift is made, one becomes acutely aware of a lack of purpose in one’s life. There has been sufficient contact with this work for the seed of that Purpose to have been planted. But a moment of suspension comes at a certain point and the seed lies dormant in a sense. It is then that a person begins to become aware of the void, the emptiness inside. This awareness is fostered by a certain undermining. The Seed is acting covertly. Its existence, centrally placed though hidden as yet, is able to serve as an underminer to all the peripheral activities the person has been indulging in with satisfaction. This is when the Purpose is acting negatively. That is, there is a phase in the beginning (which may last a long time, depending upon the individual) when the only action possible is a negative one – to undermine the periphery. This is because the consciousness has been poised there all along. It is accustomed to that activity of covering up the void by the waves it casts. Then the seed is planted in the centre of one’s consciousness and that poise is threatened. The aspirant is usually frightened at this stage and feels he/she is neither here nor there. But it is a necessary stage. One has to become aware of the void in one’s life and being and how this was sought to be filled peripherally. Each time this failed a new escape was found, a new ‘filler’. So, I repeat, this is the Power of the One acting negatively, as an underminer. Its existence, its presence by itself serves to draw power away from the peripheral parts of the being – namely the mental and the vital.

What then is needed to come out of this limbo, this suspension, and into the next phase? It is an act of will. This is precisely the nature of the One, the Power inherent in the Divine Purpose, – that ‘seed’. It is the seed/seat of the Divine Will. So, the aspirant has to exert the will centrally at this stage in order to move on and not become rooted in this negative process of undermining; for if that were the case, one could not experience the creative consciousness at work in the world nor be its instrument. Our life is then purposeless, as the condition of our civilisation displays. Collectively the world is at this stage – in transition toward ‘something else’ but presently only aware of the collapse and the purposelessness of its existence. The New Way has to secure the implanting of that ‘seed’, that Divine Purpose, centrally in the consciousness of humanity. That is the greater goal of this work. In this way only can this perilous stage society is in be overcome successfully.

How then does the individual contribute to this process and help to establish this Divine Purpose in humanity, thereby bringing into existence the new consciousness and species? It is by carrying out this process in oneself, this same process.

So when the aspirant is made fully conscious of the void, at a certain point an act of will is required to ‘quicken the seed’. This is engendered by a ‘conspiracy of circumstances’. These create a pressure, resulting in a certain combustion, let us say, which compels the will to exert itself. It is for this reason that this yoga is so effective and brings about real and lasting change. It has this power over circumstances because it acts centrally and is rooted in creation. Then the circumstances of one’s life become allies and tools of the Shakti and this ‘conspiracy’ forces the issue. Then the will exerts itself and from that point onward a positive operation begins.

The choruses I hear when people are in this suspension phase are all the same. They start in the same way; there is a crescendo and then a climax. First it is a certain rebellion and a backing off. Then there is the distance within which one begins to become aware of the void: the undermining of the periphery has started. The lines are then: “Nothing has meaning anymore for me!’ Then one clings even more ardently to the old elements and ways to fill the void. One grabs hold of a lover, a husband, a profession, – whatever we have been accustomed to using. Panic sets in. But the seed is planted, and so, more conclusively than ever one is made aware of the fact that the old pattern is fast crumbling and, more importantly, that it is futile to seek to prolong the collapse. The sooner one realises this the better. One lets go, and then a certain calm sets in which is propitious for the next stage.

It is at this point that the aspirant begins to realise what has shifted and what is the cause of the distress. The Sun in one’s inner universe is seeking to be born. And one realises that nothing else has any meaning – centrally – except that. At this point an act of will takes place that brings a preliminary, decisive reorganisation of one’s being, and by consequence of the circumstances of one’s life. This central Purpose, the One in the Core, can begin to influence all the aspects of our life. Then ‘all life is yoga’, as Sri Aurobindo has written, because our life is infused in all its aspects with this central Fire. After this it is hard for the aspirant to become satisfied with the old way.

There is a certain combined action that brings this about. It is a new combination and power and therefore it might look as if this work does not produce results. This is a very superficial view. It is based on the fact that we associate results with techniques; so the more techniques we learn and practice, the more results we will get. It is very easy then to criticise this work by the claim that there is no technique, no method, and so forth.

However, there is a new Power working here which makes our life the field and our seeing the method. That is, it can be defined as an ‘act of seeing’ – and this is the definition of Creation itself, as the Mother once explained so beautifully: it is a ‘vision that unfolds’. What we ‘see’ is the result of the Supreme’s unfolding vision and power of seeing, – that ‘Eye extended in heaven’ of the Veda.

When the new Seeing is awakened, when the Eye is unveiled, then it acts as a power in all aspects of your life. It is the most effective, conclusive and all-embracing system to come into being because it is not a technique that while you practice it you get results – as, for example, when you sit in meditation or recite a mantra. No, this may utilise such techniques, and it may not. Here it is something else. It is the unveiling and unleashing of a new Power that utilises every aspect of your life for its purpose, for the fulfilment of Itself. Hence, ‘our yoga is for the Divine’.

Thus once you embark upon this New Way there is no escape, like in The Magical Carousel (Chapter 10), or the ‘confinement’ of the Mother’s Chamber. This system decisively harmonises the centre and the periphery. Hence all life is a reminder and its unfolding is the technique – provided the power of the new Seeing is released. This is accomplished by the aids of this Yoga, – the Gnostic Circle, the Temple and the City-Consciousness, and so forth. All of which serve to allow you to see that Power working in every aspect of your life, to appreciate that your whole life is the method and the field of the Yoga. It is only in this way that you bring about a decisive shift: the Divine, the Summit of your quest, as also the purpose of your life and the purpose of creation itself, are NOT ‘up there’, ‘beyond’, away and out of material creation. It is all right here, on Earth, in matter, and in your very body which provides you with that instrument which is capable of serving you in this Act of Seeing.





…Your letter contains important questions at the end, and the timing of its arrival encourages me to give a detailed answer. The fact is I have just returned from the Ashram in Pondicherry where I had some work…. But my experiences there after an absence of seven years convince me that the time has come to press forward energetically if at all Sri Aurobindo’s work is to be fulfilled.

All of this has bearing on the brief exchange of letters I have had with X and Z, and now with you and the questions you ask. But let me first explain why it is that I see no point in continuing a correspondence with Z. The letters I have received from her and her husband are so very full of opinions, ‘advice’, and judgements. This is well and good, but the fact is they have not really read my things, and yet they are full of doubts and questions and judgements. How can one doubt, question, judge what one has no understanding of, even intellectually?

You describe your experiences with the people to whom you have passed on my books and their attitudes. But I must categorically state that my work stands on its own feet. It does not need the authoritative sanction of anyone. Matters have been arranged like this for this phase of the Supramental Manifestation. I do not need anyone to proclaim who I am and what my place in the Work is. It is my task in this Line to do so, because in the process I am able to reveal the new body of Knowledge connected to the third level in the Descent. It is that Knowledge that is the sanctioning authority. And anyone who sincerely reads my books, in particular The New Way, must deal strictly with the knowledge they contain.

The reason why this unusual situation prevails is quite simple to explain. First of all, the supramental apotheosis is a victory of Gnosis. We build the new world on the foundations of the new Knowledge. This bears a fourfold structure, embodied in the four members of the Solar Line. In a descending order these correspond to the Transcendent (9), the Cosmic (6), and the Individual (3), triadic principles upon which the manifestation is based, and which Sri Aurobindo refers to so often in his works. But there is a fourth principle, the power of the Integral. This latter is what consolidates the supramental character of the Manifestation. Hence Sri Aurobindo saw the square as the symbol of the Supermind, given its fourfold essence.

However, at the third level of the Descent, my level and the present times, something significant happens. It is the level of the Individual Divine – and it is the level of choice. At this stage participants in the Work are presented with a choice, because the ‘act of choosing’ is an essential ingredient for the establishment of the higher destiny and the new future. It releases energies, effects the crossing of the threshold between the old and the new and propels one into the new Time.

If things had been arranged differently and I had been provided with an external seal and authoritative sanction, this factor of choosing would not have been present in the Work at all. People involved with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother would have been under an external compulsion, a force imposing its dictates from outside and obliging an acceptance simply on this basis, withholding thereby any more direct involvement in the process. There would have been little or no internal movement and by consequence no act of choosing with its very special characteristics. In a word, the old pattern prevailing in all ashrams would have been repeated here.

But we are not dealing with ‘ashrams’ in Sri Aurobindo’s work. Rather, it is the Supramental Manifestation. Hence something else has been devised, an entirely new process and strategy. The Truth must impose itself from within, by the power it contains of the Word: it is its own Authority. This must generate an inner movement in people who come into contact with this Word. There is no outer compulsion at all. Sri Aurobindo will never come back to Earth to tell disciples: She is the one, follow her! In fact, such a proclamation would be grotesque, to say the least. It would mean that there is no power in my work, no real Gnosis, no self-evident Truth.

Therefore it has been so arranged that I must stand on my own, as my own ‘authority’, that the knowledge which has come as a result of the Yoga would bear ample testimony to who I am and what my place in the Line is. But the interesting part is that none of the people who disbelieve and who criticise my work have actually read my books. If you investigate, my most adverse critics will have to admit that they have never seriously read my writings. This fact alone ought to indicate the prevailing state of affairs and the hard crust of bad will that the Solar Line has been confronted with from its beginning.

And this bad will is not only found beyond the boundaries of Sri Aurobindo’s entourage of disciples and devotees. It exists pre-eminently within that very entourage, in an even more ferocious state than one finds outside these confines. But this too is a part of the affirmation and establishment of the Supramental Creation.

We are in the process of creating a new Cosmos. Therefore, on the basis of existing energies and their interchange, this new Cosmos must come into being. And this brings me to the important questions you ask in your letter. They can be summed up in the following: What is the distinction between the Integral Yoga and the Supramental? Included in this is the question you also ask, Have I ‘added a new element’ to make the crossing to the supramental Yoga possible?

In a very profound sense I have added a new element – for this has been my precise role. Each member of the Solar Line has contributed an essential ingredient to this fourfold manifestation. But I repeat, at the third level something fundamental happens. The trinity of Transcendent, Cosmic and Individual is completed when the third member takes up the Work. And from the third the fourth Power is born – who is the One. Thus a complete reversal takes place at that level. It is this Reversal that draws the Yoga out of the boundaries of the Integral and into the Supramental.

But let me explain more specifically. This Reversal does not eliminate the need for the transformative process of the Integral Yoga. Rather it must be stated: practice of the Integral Yoga prepares one for the Supramental, allows one to participate in this further stage of transformation. Indeed, the two go hand in hand.

Mind you, they all involve process – the means to effect the transformation in this transitional stage. There will come a time when a process of this nature is superfluous – that is, when the complete reign of the Supramental Truth has come. But for now process is essential. And we must engage in it in full awareness of its nature because this conscious involvement is precisely what distinguished this way from all the others the Earth has known so far.

The Integral Yoga can be said to deal with the individual process almost exclusively. A person’s practice of the Yoga may well involve others but only insofar as they help the individual to progress by creating a ‘field of yoga’. Usually this is accomplished by generating a certain tension. The practitioner requires a field in which to carry out the process because this is indeed an integral work on oneself and all the various parts of the being require a stimulus or an exposure in order to deal with the forces within one’s being that are the object of the integration and transformation. Thus it is always a field restricted to the individual practitioner.

Take the Ashram in Pondicherry. That was the field for the development and practice of the Integral Yoga. In the days when the Yoga Shakti was active in the Ashram conditions were exceptionally propitious for a person to work on him or herself. But the emphasis was always on the individual and his/her relation to the Divine, to the Centre of the Yoga, embodied in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. I have often explained the situation that prevailed there geometrically. There is a circle whose periphery consists of many dots or points. These would be the individual sadhaks. The centre of the circle is the Mother. Each of these peripheral points is connected to the Centre directly and exclusively. Within the parameters of the Integral Yoga there can be no other possibility: only the Point to the Centre. In terms of number-powers this relationship is understood by the number 8 and its connection with the Overmind. Hence the Ashram’s official birthday is 24.11.1926, which by the Mathematics of Unity can be reduced to 8 (2+4+1+1+1+9+2+6=26=8).

The emphasis is on preparation of the individual to allow for participation in the next phase, that of the supramental Yoga whose number-power is 9. The 8 always indicates an incomplete process – not erroneous but deceivingly incomplete. It indicates that a further step must be taken. For example, in terms of the Hindu Avataric Line the 8 is Sri Krishna, the 8th Avatar. Indeed, what was celebrated on that 24th November was the descent of the Krishna Consciousness into the physical in Sri Aurobindo. In other words, with this foundation he was to begin his work of introducing the next stage. The Ashram was the field for that initial work. Added to this is the fact that he himself has stated that he did not have time to present the details of this next phase. He actually never described the processes of the Supramental Yoga. The Synthesis , for example, deals primarily with the Integral Yoga, though it ends with the chapter he entitled, ‘Towards the Supramental Time Vision’. And this indeed leaves us with the Key. But in Sri Aurobindo’s time it was merely that, – a key. With it we have been able to open the door and cross the threshold to the realm of the Supramental Yoga.

When the time came for that crossing logically the Ashram was not able to provide the proper field for that extension. The Supramental Yoga requires a more complete field because its process and purpose are more complex. In the language of the New Way, a ‘cosmos’ must be created. The Mother, the second member of the Solar Line, embodying precisely the Cosmic Divine, introduced the new field. She extended the boundaries and set everything in motion for the ‘new time’ and its corresponding process to manifest. Thus she created ‘the city’. Objective analysis of this development alone – from the more confined and restricted arena of an ashram to the wider boundaries of a city – should have allowed disciples to understand what was required of them if they wished to participate in the full process.

The field is complete when the City comes into being, bearing in mind that these arenas represent dimensions and states of consciousness. The 8 as the apex gives way to the 9. Thus Auroville was inaugurated on 28.2.1968, which indeed can be reduced to the number 9 (2+8+2+1+9+6+8=36=9). It was all perfectly as it should be. The Knowledge is that key; with it we can ‘know along with the Supreme’, we can progress and participate in the Supramental Manifestation in full awareness of its marvellous workings, and by this discover that precious quality of the supermind: a growth from truth to greater truth.

Geometrically there is also a significant shift when the movement progresses to the 9: the points (disciples) on the periphery are not only related to the centre of the circle, but even more significantly, they are related and harmonised among themselves. Thus they are in harmony with the Centre as well as integrated and harmonised with all the points of the periphery among themselves, which in turn provides a collective harmony with the Centre. Consequently, another precious quality of the Supermind is able to express itself: the harmony of the One and the Many, the perfect blending of the unity and the multiplicity. In letters to his disciples Sri Aurobindo has stated that for this greater harmony to come about the Supermind is required, the Overmind is insufficient.

For Sri Aurobindo’s work to affirm itself, for the ‘life divine’ to become established on Earth, these two levels, 8 and 9, must come into being and they must constitute a joint process. If this is not the case as with the Ashram (8) and Auroville (9), then it is simply a repetition of ‘the old fiasco’. The 8 (the Ashram) presumes that it is the highest manifestation in the gradation – and functions on the basis of this erroneous conception. Thus it is crystallising Sri Aurobindo’s work at this incomplete level. In a word, it is crystallising it in the slot of the Overmind. And there can be no greater insult to the Supramental Avatar than this.

The word to use is not crystallisation but fossilisation. Sri Aurobindo’s work is being fossilised in the Ashram. My recent visit there confirmed this to an alarming degree. For, what did I find there?

The cleverest strategy of the Falsehood has been implemented in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, – so clever that it seems rescue is now impossible. One of the main reasons is that none there realise the need for rescue! They do not know what it is that must be rescued, what they must be rescued from. They do not care, they are uninterested, they are content with their lot and see in it all sorts of evidences of ‘the Mother’s grace’ working. But which ‘mother’? That is the point. That is the question to ask. The Veda speaks of Aditi and Diti, and believe me, it is very hard to see the distinction. This is why I write that the strategy has been so clever.

Thus one encounters ceaseless, constant activity in the Ashram, busy-ness, continuous entertainment, programmes galore, an endless stream of vital stimulation. And above all, no time to STOP and REFLECT on it all. The evidence of the Mother’s grace for ashramites is the constant stream of pilgrims and tourists, the devotees who flock there, with no regard for the quality of the visitors who are being attracted to the place. The money now flows in (contrary to the Mother’s time when the financial situation there was always precarious and difficult). This too HAS to be the Mother’s grace working. (If that is the case, then her Grace is even more spectacularly manifesting in the Pune and Ganeshpuri Ashrams!) There are new businesses coming up constantly, new buildings and all the rest. Fine. But let us analyse the situation more deeply.

My impression of the five days I spent there was that I was being compelled to enter a movement, a constant ‘gyration’. Indeed, like the figure 8. I felt, I saw the entire Ashram caught up in this movement, this busy-ness. But the tragic part is that it was entirely without purpose.

Let me explain. The moment the split between the Ashram and Auroville took place, in 1976 to be precise, both units lost their truth and reason for being. This split was the work of the Lord of Falsehood to render the work of the Supramental Avatar an impossibility. The Ashram has no reason for existing while it is cut-off from the greater extension of itself, of its field. It came into existence to provide the field for the integral yoga leading to the supramental. Thus in 1968 its time to expand came, to extend its boundaries. By number-power 1968 is 6 (1+9+6+8=24=6). In the Gnostic Circle you will see that this 6 is Saturn’s point, which precisely opens the way to the higher dimension of unity, into Sagittarius and the realm where the ‘boundaries are extended’. It is all so wonderfully coherent and exact, just as one would expect the Supramental Manifestation to be.

Yes, all was as it should be. The Mother was there; she was doing the Yoga, carrying out the process. Soon thereafter she gave the most important ingredient of all in this extension: she revealed the ‘centre of the circle’, and this was represented by the City’s heart and soul, the Temple.

Of course we know what happened to all of this. In 1976 the Measure of the Temple was irrevocably lost; and at the very same time the final split between the Ashram and Auroville took place. The Lord of Falsehood had won, it seemed.

However, bear in mind that it was also in 1976 that the fourth element of the Solar Line was unveiled and became a solid ingredient in the process. On that basis the Work was able to continue (elsewhere) and the invincible Destiny was confirmed – for that 4th Power is the principle of Victory.

Thus the Ashram and Auroville now stand as symbols of a truncated process, precisely what the Earth has known until now, precisely why the Supermind could never operate openly and become established as the reigning power, precisely why Mind has held firmly the throne.

Yes, the New Way is the ‘new element’ and it is ‘a method to see the way of our development’, as you question in your letter. But the Supramental Yoga can never be practiced outside of this larger context. It is the ‘city’ that provides the field for the Supramental Manifestation in its complete sense. Hence it can never be an exclusively individual process. You can never participate in the supramental Yoga as an isolated element. The two key words of the 3rd and 4th levels (our present ones) are harmony and integration, respectively. For these to be active the proper field is required. Neither the Ashram or Auroville is this field, divided as they are, centreless as they are, above all else.

I confirmed this in my recent visit. In the Ashram there is ceaseless activity with no central aim or purpose. In Auroville the collapse is evident for the same reason: no central purpose, no guidance, no knowledge, no spiritual leadership.

The Supramental Manifestation cannot establish itself without the Incarnate Vision – the incarnate Vision, which provides that fundamental ingredient: the Divine Will and Purpose. This Incarnate Vision is, for the present, the 3rd Power of the Solar Line; the incarnate Will is the 4th Power. While people connected to Sri Aurobindo’s work refuse to see this, to accept what has been so meticulously and, I would add, superbly arranged, they can only continue in their meaningless, pointless activity – and their endless, mesmerising gyrations around a void.

For there is a void in both the Ashram and Auroville, a ‘centre that cannot hold’. To a person of Knowledge this is an evident fact. To the sentimental devotee and complacent, slothful disciple, it is a truth which he or she refuses to see, to believe, for it takes courage to see, to break Diti’s spell. Because the strategy of the Falsehood has been so wickedly effective.

Skambha has come into being because there is here that ‘centre that holds’, Skambha houses that centre, thus it is the navel of this Work. For those who have had enough of the illusory gyrations around a void, the work is not truncated but finds its happy fulfilment here. And fortunately I do not require any human ‘authority’ to give me a sanction which only the Supreme can give, which only the realisation of the Yoga can confirm. Nor does this fulfilment require the belief or acceptance of anyone. The Solar Line with its four members is a fact. It is. It can never not be.




19 October 1987 

The Indian Compromise


In India, for the last thousand years and more, the spiritual life and the material have existed side by side to the exclusion of the progressive mind. Spirituality has made terms for itself with Matter by renouncing the attempt at general progress. It has obtained from society the right of free spiritual development for all who assume some distinctive symbol, such as the garb of the Sannyasin, the recognition of that life as man’s goal and those who live it worthy of an absolute reverence, and the casting of society itself into such a religious mould that its most customary acts should be accompanied by a formal reminder of the spiritual symbolism of life and its ultimate destination. On the other hand there was conceded to society the right of inertia and immobile self-conservation. The concession destroyed much of the value of the terms. The religious mould being fixed, the formal reminder tended to become a routine and to lose its living sense. The constant attempts to change the mould by new sects and religions ended only in a new routine or a modification of the old; for the saving element of the free and active mind had been exiled. The material life, handed over to the Ignorance, the purposeless and endless duality, became a leaden and dolorous yoke from which flight was the only escape.

The schools of Indian Yoga lent themselves to the compromise. Individual perfection or liberation was made the aim, seclusion of some kind from the ordinary activities the condition, the renunciation of life the culmination. The teacher gave his knowledge only to a small circle of disciples. Or if a wider movement was attempted, it was still the release of the individual soul that remained the aim. [Emphasis the Editor’s] The pact with an immobile society was, for the most part, observed.

The utility of the compromise in the then actual state of the world cannot be doubted. It secured in India a society which lent itself to the preservation and the worship of spirituality, a country apart in which as in a fortress the highest spiritual ideal could maintain itself in its most absolute purity unoverpowered by the siege of the forces around it. But it was a compromise, not an absolute victory. The material life lost the divine impulse to growth, the spiritual preserved by isolationist height and purity, but sacrificed its full power and serviceableness to the world.

Sri Aurobindo

The Synthesis of Yoga

CE, Volume 20, page 23

Capricorn glyph on India

The Capricorn Factor, Part II India’s ‘lost measure’ and its significance for the world

Throughout the world it is known and accepted that the zodiacal month of Capricorn begins on 22/23 December each year, the solstice point and the shortest day of the year. Hence this is the time when, thereafter, the ‘light’ begins to increase. It is also the time (January 3-5) when the Earth is at perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun. Given these facts ancient traditions conceded a special place to the Capricorn solstice. It was celebrated as the Festival of Light in very remote times in the Mediterranean area, while in ancient Rome it was called the Saturnalia, in honour of Saturn, ruler of Capricorn. These celebrations where in vogue long before the coming of Jesus Christ. Consequently, the followers of Jesus established his birthday as 25 December. Through a scrutiny of the New Testament, some historians are of the opinion that his birth could not have occurred on this date. We know, however, that it was customary then as now to make an event of this nature coincide with the prevailing worship in order to wean followers away from the older cults. By this means the new one was accepted more readily. This seems to have been done regarding the birth of Jesus. In addition, the most important consideration in these matters is not whether the date is accurate or not but what the results of that particular belief have been.

Christianity has been a major conditioning influence on Earth for the past 2000 years; and the day of Jesus’ birth is the most meaningful celebration for followers of his faith. This day falls in the period of the ancient Festival of Light. Because of this, even today the Capricorn solstice is celebrated, however without the faithful understanding its astrological connections.

Matters are quite different in India. The Sun’s (apparent) passage into Capricorn is considered one of the most auspicious days of the year, celebrated enthusiastically throughout the land. In the north it is known as ‘Makar Sankranti’, maker being the Sanskrit word for Capricorn. In the south it is called Pongal, the main harvest festival.

The occasion for the celebration is not at all camouflaged as in the Christian world. In India its auspiciousness is clearly cosmic, astrologically determined. And, above all, it concerns India’s own zodiacal sign. Nonetheless, there is hardly a person in India who realises this fact, nor is there anyone who knows that the hieroglyph of Capricorn actually delineates the nation’s full geographic boundaries. These facts, if they were once known, are thoroughly hidden today. I consider that this vital knowledge was lost at the time the measure of the solar year was lost.

This leaves the Hindu in a debilitated position. But not the Hindu alone, for this celebration has become a pillar in the cultural edifice of the nation and is relevant to all sections of the population of whatever faith. The Hindu follows the advice of his astrologer based on these essential considerations but erroneous calculations. He believes, as no other creature on Earth, in the oneness binding heaven and earth and the power of Time in the material creation. He celebrates this; he allows it to form the foundation of his cultural expression, for no event is begun in India of any consequence, either for the individual citizen or for the larger issues of the nation, unless the ‘auspicious time’ is sought.

But the calculations are wrong. They are based on an irrelevant measure, – irrelevant with respect to the immediate destiny and its fulfilment.

We could use the dates when the Capricorn solstice is celebrated in the West and in the East as a means to gauge a certain essential contact with the Earth and life in a material universe. The West celebrates Christmas three days after the onset of Capricorn; India celebrates the Makar Sankranti twenty-three days after. I must state that this gives us a very good idea of the distance that has to be crossed before India can catch up with the rest of the world in terms of an acceptance of life on this planet, in matter, in a body, as being spiritually relevant and fulfilling.

But India at least accepts the truth of zodiacal wisdom. This knowledge flourishes in the country’s religious experience in spite of any distortion. It is similar with all higher knowledge: India preserves all traditions. Time deforms their outer encasements but ever the innermost seed remains intact. Over the ages the earnest seeker can discover its pristine form beneath these disfigured layers. However, discrepancies such as those I am describing regarding the lost measure of the year have serious consequences in the collective destiny which must be dealt with, for they bear on the lives of each and every citizen and they colour the life of the nation as a whole.

In a situation such as the one obtaining in India the arguments concerning time’s relative and subjective nature are altogether understandable. There can be no objective time experience, in the way we understand time, with the shifting constellational point. To illustrate, in India a harvest festival in several hundred years will no longer coincide with the harvest season because of this shift. I doubt that anyone has considered the problems this poses in the regulation of the life of the Hindu community.

Therefore in practical terms, what does this amount to? We have the right things celebrated at the wrong time! And what does this produce? Power is withheld – for Time adds that power. One is out of tune with the gestating and fulfilling power of time, precisely what India seeks in her concern with proper beginnings. The ‘seed’ of things is therefore not true, it is contaminated, and everything becomes disfigured as a result.

In a way this may have been a protective device. When the Divine Maya was lost the seeds of religion inserted themselves into Hinduism. When I write of religion I mean an orthodox and structured belief system with all its dogmas and mechanical rituals, usually unaccompanied by the direct experience which yoga, for example provides. In Hinduism this resulted in a constricting codification and the rise of a Brahminical dominance out of all proportion to its true worth and place in the cosmological pattern that prevailed in more ancient times, which was the foundation of the caste system. It was the first clear signs of decay. Along with this a certain line of demarcation came into being. There was the inner and esoteric Sanatan Dharma, reached through the rigorous practice of disciplines devised throughout the centuries to bring the sincere seeker of Truth into contact with that inner and truer dimension of reality; and there was an outer structure for the masses. The former held the secret of the true things to itself; the latter propagated and passed on through the aeons the body of a ritual by then devoid of real power. Today that ‘mass’ has increased to the point where it has become, by the sheer question of its numbers, the dominating force.

Was this demarcation the means to protect the Sanatan Dharma from misuse by the profane and the uninitiated through an age of darkness? For the result is that the faithful are permitted and encouraged to engage in elaborate rituals which, because of the loss of the Divine Measure, are largely devoid of shakti. What is generated in such acts is simply a force of very limited consequence and effectiveness. Formations do indeed come into being by the intense faith of the worshipper – particularly because this gains strength through the factor of an accumulative collective effect. However, these formations rule and play themselves out on an extremely superficial level. They are in fact unreal. By this I mean that being out of touch with the Shakti of Time, whatever is generated by these formations is limited to the consciousness of the individual worshipper and is only subjectively real. Since it has no support in the objective world where true Power resides and where the true Dharma finds its base, the individual is disconnected from the Force that permeates creation and which uses Time as its executive Power. The worshipper is held off from an involvement with the real mechanism operative in the universal manifestation for a conscious evolution in terms of his personal destiny as well as that of the nation as a whole.

For India this split brought tragic results, as it did in many ancient civilisations which long ago passed into oblivion. If in the beginning there were persons of Knowledge who understood the corruption that began with the loss of the Divine Measure, before long that esoteric group was not in a position to influence happenings in the nation. Then the cries of ‘Kali Yuga’ began, the Age of Darkness. Then the fashion was to decry the ‘decline of the Dharma’, and all the rest. But was there any precise understanding of what the decline really was, or what it signified and how it could be traced to the seeds of Illusionism which by then had so thoroughly permeated Hindu thought? Was there anyone who understood that this was precisely at the root of ‘the error of the Buddha’ which Sri Aurobindo was to proclaim centuries later that the ‘coming of Kalki would rectify’? And was there by then anyone who could authoritatively state that the cosmology which had come into vogue was the quintessence of that ‘error’?

The Dharma cannot be saved on the basis of a corrupt measure. The Dharma was fated to decline since there was no spiritual force to combat the decay in the area where such a combat could be victorious. Nor was there by consequence that Shakti in the nation to hold off the invading hordes which so easily strode into the body of Mother India and wrecked havoc across the breadth of her physical being. Indeed, the Divine Maya or Measure is ‘the truth of the Mother’, of matter and the kinetic power of the Absolute. Losing it India lost touch with her deepest and highest destiny as the home of a ‘life divine’, which is the victory of the Divine Mother. India lost her hold on material creation.

This lack of power is evident today. But we observe also how truth nonetheless prevails and the Sanatan Dharma lives on. Most of the significant religious festivals in India are determined not so much by the Sun’s position in a zodiacal sign but rather by the phases of the Moon. One of the most important of these is the Vijaya Dashami, the ‘10th Day of Victory’ of the Divine Mother. It is timed to fall on the tenth day after the new Moon in a certain portion of the sky. That portion is not what astrologers in India believe it to be, but this does not detract from the relevance of the Moon’s tenth day. And more interestingly, though the new Moon’s position is other than what the pundits believe, the count from that point brings the Moon, on its tenth day, precisely into the sign of Capricorn, the zodiacal tenth sign and that of ‘the Mother’s victory’, – India’s own ruling sign.

Since zodiacal wisdom was perforce lost when the Constellational Aries 0 point came into vogue, astrology gradually degenerated into merely a system of prediction in India, for it is entirely possible to predict a considerable amount correctly just by the use of the ‘houses’ of the horoscope, which are determined not by the Measure of the Year but rather by the time of the day when an individual was born; or else just by the aspects formed between planets – regardless of their signs. (It must also be mentioned that Hindu astrology does not incorporate the three newly-discovered planets, a point I shall discuss further on.) Today the situation has reached its extreme. A citizen of India will dutifully consult an astrologer but only to know the future in its most mundane and frivolous aspects. This too is a logical development since the zodiac, as a path of yoga, can be understood and experienced only with the Divine Measure intact. The hieroglyphs are the mysterious symbols which describe this path of yoga, for individuals and for nations; but it is realisable only when Time becomes an ally in the process. As the Rig Veda states:

‘Certain eternal worlds are these which have come into being, their doors are shut to you (or opened) by the months and the years; without effort one (world) moves into the other, and it is these that Brahmanaspati has made manifest to knowledge.’

India lost connection with that ‘knowledge’ which could open those doors of the ‘months and the years’, a knowledge which is preserved in her most ancient scripture and bedrock of the Sanatan Dharma. Indeed, to be more precise, the Rig Veda sustains that it is in the tenth month that the victory is achieved. That tenth month is of course the month of Capricorn, India’s own ruler, describing her soul and body. To be meaningful it can only be an active ingredient in the seeker’s quest if the measure used is the one that can connect the Earth to the Sun, the planet’s source of light and the symbol of the Supermind, of the Divine Truth.

I have used this sacred Measure throughout my work, thereby proving its accuracy in contrast to the current measure employed in India with the start of the year in the sidereal zodiac. With this Divine Measure, and with it alone, I have been able to introduce a new body of knowledge which discloses the unique destiny of the Indian nation and the sacredness of its soil and physical boundaries. With it I discovered the mechanism by which India would be able to affirm herself as ‘the soul of the Earth’. I discovered, or rather confirmed, the Solar and Lunar Lines as a sort of helical arrangement for influx into the land of certain transformative energies, supported by an objective pattern based on the harmony of time that the Divine Measure provides. I have affirmed with it Sri Aurobindo’s inspiring vision of an India leader of the world on the path to a supramental apotheosis, The fact that some have seen and known this Measure indicates that the Dharma is saved. But nonetheless we must contend with the consequences set in motion so long ago by the ‘lost measure’.

We suffer these consequences in every area of national and international life. One of its most unfortunate aspects is the loss of that precise knowledge which allows one to discern the work of the Avatar of the Age. Consequently any and every Guru in India is ‘an avatar’. Likewise, the real father of the nation and the leader of the Solar Line, Sri Aurobindo, is relegated to the position of simply a ‘mahayogi’, rather than being acknowledged as who and what he really is. Yet the Power of Time again exerted itself to fulfil the true things by conspiring to locate India’s Independence Day on Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. Time has acknowledged these facts while the people do not.

But how can this acknowledgement come about? It is the Vedic Divine Measure alone that provides the objective key for this discovery. That key alone allows the Avatar to have his mission confirmed not by the sentimental, emotional and subjective experiences of his devotees, but rather the cosmos becomes his credentials. God supports His supreme Realiser by the cosmic harmonies of His universal manifestation, the script written in His very Body. Indeed, if this is veritably the Supramental Manifestation, which is the ultimate reconciliation of Spirit and Matter, that ‘spirit’ must unveil itself unquestionably in the workings of the material kingdom which is the extension of its own truth-essence. The coming of the Evolutionary Avatars is itself the means for this unveiling.

I have presented these credentials in ample measure, thereby not only affirming the Avataric Line but also redeeming the lost Measure in the process. The Solar Line has for its credentials the cosmic harmony of the Divine Mother, the Body of the Absolute. She herself offers us the Divine Measure, and with it we can discover the mechanism for India to establish a life divine upon this planet Earth.


The Mother was born in France. This was not a meaningless fact of circumstance, for it was France that gave the world the important metric measuring system we use today. This occurred in the second half of the 19th Century, precisely when the Mother incarnated.

The formulation of this new system of measure has an important bearing on the world of higher knowledge and cosmic harmonies, especially since the metric system is rapidly being adopted by all countries throughout the world. However, in a number of places there are resistances to its adoption, which would displace the older system, namely the one based on the inch and the foot in a gradation of 12. Let us then analyse what the shift to the metre signifies in terms of higher knowledge.

The systems used in the past were invariably based on the ‘measure of man’. The ‘foot’ itself tells us this much. But the metric system derives its mean  from the Earth. It is a fraction of an arc of the Earth’s circumference. This is an especially important fact to note because it indicates a certain ‘cosmicisation’ in progress. In a sense we could say that the new Aquarian Age, begun in 1926, requires this expansion if at all its truths are to shape the world and bring about the new order Aquarius indicates. At that point our boundaries must be extended in consciousness. We can no longer limit our perception and the regulation of our collective living to anything less than an ‘Earth Measure’. Man is exceeded. In place of his limited mental consciousness the supramental begins to become established.

The metric system born in France is one indication of that shift. Interestingly, the Mother took birth in Paris, exactly where the metre came into being. Indeed, the greatest achievement of her yoga on Earth, the apex of her mission, involved precisely the metre.

I have proven this in The New Way. I have shown the Mother’s spectacular achievement in gifting to the Earth the Temple of the Divine Measure. This could only come to pass when a series of related though apparently unconnected developments had taken place. One was the discovery of the three outer planets, which Indian astrology still does not incorporate; another was the introduction of the metric system. Finally there was the unveiling of the cosmic Truth in a new vision of heaven, Earth and humankind, through an enhanced appreciation and synthesis of the cosmic harmonies. The latter concerns the Vedic Divine Measure and in particular the Measure of the Year, India’s ‘lost measure’.

It is therefore understandable that the builders of the Mother’s Temple in Auroville should have lost its divine Measure as well. One must be objective and put aside all sentimentality in issues of higher knowledge; in which case we realise that a solar temple, whose principal feature is the measure of the truth-conscious Sun, could hardly come into being on Indian soil while the nation had herself lost connection with this sacred measure, a circumstance which in fact lies at the root of the travails and difficulties she has been experiencing for over a millennium.

But there is more to this issue. The Mother’s revelation of the Divine Measure was the main purpose of her incarnation. The transformation of matter begins with this. It is the foundation of the new supramental race. We may look at the unfortunate manner in which her achievement was received and then deduce that it signifies a failure of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s mission. But the facts are different. The rejection of the divine Measure in Auroville provided the means for the victory and affirmation of the true Measure elsewhere. That is what the inauguration of Auroville was for: it was/is the field to work out that recalcitrant dark Knot – for India, for the world. Consequently, the Mother stated on 17 July, 1969, six months before she revealed the Temple’s divine Measure, that ‘Auroville is the only hope for preventing a new world war.’

Certainly this had nothing to do with the surface happenings and the individuals who are participating in the project as we know it today. Indeed, the understanding that the city was the means to work out this critical problem for India and the world can help to explain some of the difficulties that have besieged the project and why it was taken over by elements entirely unable to issue in the new Order. On the surface we are faced with an ordinary ‘new age community’ whose influence extends no farther than the boundaries of the township itself. No decisive power emanates from that area which can transform the world.

This is because it is not expected to be a point of influence but rather the field where that pernicious Knot, that false measure of man and the world could be worked out. And this is precisely what we are engaged in.

The new cosmology reveals the true divine Measure. Its basis is the measure of the year, the Earth’s relation to the Sun. Its goal is to draw aside the curtains covering the ancient Vedic Divine Maya, as Sri Aurobindo had prophesied. But the resistances to this accomplishment are considerable, for the consequences of the false measure have to be borne – just as the consequences of the nuclear experience must be borne, and just as the consequences of the Temple’s disfigurement must be borne.

An interesting feature in this process is one that gives us an indication of the new consciousness and the new world order that is dawning. In all these areas of affirmation of the Supramental Creation there has ever been present one crucial feature: the question of choice, of conscious choosing. That is, humankind, if it wishes to graduate to a higher level, can only do so by participating in a conscious process. The New Way is distinguished from the old by this ingredient, apparently insignificant but in fact of extreme importance. It is for this reason that Knowledge occupies such a central place in this work.

To provide an example, the builders of the Mother’s Temple made a conscious and deliberate choice to adopt a mundane architectural plan rather than the Mother’s sacred and inspired Vision and Measure. Similarly, the world engages in a conscious act of choosing as our governments introduce each day new plans, budgets, programmes to increase the nuclear arsenal. At this point we cannot take shelter in unknowing, nor disregard the consequences of our actions. The entire world knows the destructive potential of nuclear weapons and that with just a fraction of the existing arsenal at our disposal the Earth could be destroyed in toto many times over. Yet we continue on this perilous, maniacal course. The question of course is, Why? What is it that compels man to choose annihilation rather than transformation?

A central aspect of the answer to this question can be explained through the analysis provided in this article. The key issue in the significance of India’s lost measure is that it symbolises the greater loss of the Earth. When this turning point was reached in Medieval India, otherworldliness became the goal of humanity. Though this had always been the key feature of the religions that emerged in the Middle East, when India cemented this goal in her collective consciousness, the world had reached an extreme edge of its destiny – for India is the centre of the Supramental Age and the soul of the Earth. When such matters take root in India, they set in motion a series of events and developments for the entire Earth.

In modern times we may take terrorism as an example. It was only when terrorism reached India in the beginning of the 1980s that the time had come to deal with it for the whole world. But this means tackling the problem in its occult domain, first and foremost, discovering its ‘root cause’ in that subtle plane of existence. In other words, what is the force in the cosmic play of energies that allows and feeds terrorism, or that uses terrorism to secure a certain hold on Earth and in this material dimension? Terrorism can be described by the new cosmology and the power of Time operating in this decade by the planet Neptune and the number-power 8. The decade of the ‘80s is the decade of terrorism – its peak and its ultimate decline.

When India cemented otherworldliness as the goal of humankind and consequently came to describe material creation as ‘illusion’, this became reflected in a lost connection with Time, given the fact that time and matter are interconnected aspects of creation. The vision of the cosmic Truth was lost. Fixing time’s zero point in the constellational circle, correct for the larger demarcations of the planet’s time but not for the evolution of consciousness in its individual terms of participation, demonstrated more clearly than anything else that the focus was now ‘out’ and ‘beyond’. The goal was to transcend material creation entirely, even as it was to free oneself from birth on Earth altogether, as the Buddha had exhorted centuries before. The only truth became the transcendental. Indeed, there was then no way of perceiving and realising a truth connected to material creation when the divine Measure was lost. Time must be the tool to focus one’s perceptive capacities, whereas it had become the means to disfigure the reality we perceive about us. There was no longer the knowledge that could open those ‘doors of the months and the years’.

Given the ‘irreality’ of material creation, there seemed to be no point in solving problems which involved entirely illusory substances and purposes. Thus vital, decisive energies have been withheld from the transformative process the Earth requires through a conspiracy of undermining. The highest energies of the race have gone to realising a heaven beyond this Earth. This orientation did not exist in ancient Vedic times on the subcontinent. It gradually settled in and more and more came to occupy the centre of the nation’s spiritual life and the heart of the seeker’s aspiration. The cosmos became the image of the Dark Mother, Diti, as she is known in the Rig Veda. Indeed, the goal of the Veda, that victory of the tenth month, at that point became virtually impossible to attain in its true terms of experience, for what, after all, and when was that ‘tenth month’? The ‘secret of the Veda’ Sri Aurobindo would later labour to unveil had by then become lost, together with its power and meaning for India. It remains largely so to this day.

As the second member of the Solar Line, the Mother incarnated to provide us with the Divine Measure, to restore the Vedic Divine Maya. This is not an abstract point. When I write ‘measure’, I mean just that. We are not dealing with elusive metaphors and ‘symbolic’ approximations. The Mother used the metre of her native land to provide us with the monumental key that would permit us in an immaculate, impeccable manner to draw aside the veils of the lesser Maya and discover the Cosmic Truth. In this act we also discover the way to re-establish the ancient Veda, the way to regenerate the Sanatan Dharma.

But will the nation rise to the occasion and recognise the process it has been chosen to experience for the Earth? Or will it call forth, by its recalcitrant resistance to this truth, a devastating destruction?

One thing is certain: the Supramental Creation is a thing inevitable – for it is the ‘seed’ and ‘heart’ of things to come. No destruction can annihilate that Seed because the dimension it operates in is inaccessible to the forces that are playing out the lesser destiny in the external strata of the Earth’s being in time. However, the ‘weight’ in that external dimension appears capable of carrying the entire planet into an all-engulfing abyss. As an example we may take the situation that obtains concerning the year measure throughout India, remembering always that it has its correspondence in the Mother’s Temple since the measure that was lost therein was also that of the Solar Year, insofar as the Ray of the Sun descending into the Temple’s core is precisely the measure in space of the 365-day year, the Earth’s measure relative to the Sun, extending down a space of 15.20 metres. The two situations have thereby an exact correspondence, for in both cases what has been lost is the correct 0 point, or the true seed from which the year then develops, extends, and by the Power of Time brings to fruition what that truth-seed contains in its heart.

When a situation of this nature prevails the result is that the original goals are never attained, high as they may be, regardless of the best intentions and all the indisputable goodwill involved. One starts out with one idea and the final result is entirely different; or else the original design never reaches fulfilment at all. It suffers severe distortions along the way of its unfolding, to such a degree that ultimately it is unrecognisable.

We observe this happening constantly in India, as it happened in Auroville. We see that though the fourth member of the Lunar Line did indeed become the prime minister of India as had been foreseen in accordance with the new cosmology, following his mother who was the third of that Line, he is somehow impotent to realise the fullest potentials of his destiny and mission. In this case we also observe that initially he set about his task with full vigour and with the intention of introducing the new horizontal extension that is so characteristic of the Fourth Power of both these Lines, Lunar and Solar [See: TVN 0/1, October 1985]. But gradually disconnected as the collective consciousness is from the true power of Time, a corrosion sets in. By this disharmony the atmosphere is thoroughly vitiated. I had described this phenomenon as a consequence of the distortion of the measurements and design of the Mother’s Temple in Auroville. In a booklet entitled, ‘What is wrong with Matrimandir’, in January of 1977. I wrote precisely of this sort of consequence:

‘The effects of the power of destiny and disintegration stemming from disproportionate forms are seen at the level of this Centre [the Ashram] itself and the national level as well – especially in what concerns those whose destinies are written in the structure [the Solar and Lunar Lines] and those elements prominent in the national life who are joined to the Mother in some way. There too the confusion becomes acute and events begin which can prove in the long run to weaken the effectiveness of the Mother’s force at that level. This is especially felt in the beginning by those who have a direct or indirect connection with Auroville, for it is there that the power establishes itself. But ultimately, as the disproportionate structure grows, its influence widens and strengthens. Ultimately it can bring about a total disintegration on the national level, just as ultimately, if its form is proportionate it can help to bring about the total harmonisation of all levels.

‘Effects of such a disintegrating occult force are subtle, impossible for the human being to perceive and understand. This power is a hundredfold intensified when given a material support such as Matrimandir. When this happens we find that suddenly, almost imperceptibly, the atmosphere begins to change, the area becomes pervaded by a fog that clouds the people’s consciousness. Friends turn to foes, falsehood is held up as truth, and – worst of all – no one can perceive, no one can see the Truth. Each one believes himself to be its upholder, when in fact each one is subjected to the same toxic force, living under the same cloud, being made use of for the one end: disintegration, disunity, division – in a word, the opposite of Truth’s goal. And this is being accomplished by a power greater than the human, which he cannot combat without a psychic realisation, or without at least some touch of the soul as his support and guiding light. The matter becomes doubly difficult when the dark power places itself at the Centre, at the very Soul point, and there disguises itself as this very thing. In so doing it consolidates its hold and enjoys a unique protection, by taking refuge in the very heart of the organism. Thus as it grows its eradication one day would necessitate the destruction of the new creation itself. Once it has taken hold, to uproot it would require such a tremendous shock that the tender new creation could not withstand the impact and would ultimately be carried away in the process. If the dark power is to go, it seeks to establish itself in such a position that it is able to carry with it the new world about to be born, to carry it down into the whirlpool of a primordial Chaos. For this reason the Heart is its most coveted object, and it must at the outset establish itself there. It can do so because of the void, the inner void of the titan symbolised by the void in the Room, the hole in the floor at the place of the core, – the Soul. When that was set in place, when that phase of the construction was reached, the area was left vulnerable and easily succumbed. It is interesting to note that this coincided exactly with the time the Mother left her body in 1973.*

This is exactly what we witness in India in the national sphere, even as it was the condition that finally brought the complete rift between the two bodies of the Mother and Sir Aurobindo’s work, – the Ashram and Auroville. No harmony can arise in such an atmosphere, first of all because, to begin with, there is a perverted idea of what harmony itself is.

The harmony we seek is the harmony of the Divine, on the Divine’s terms, that Divine Measure that reconciles all contraries, that bridges the chasms and provides the true foundation upon which we can build a new Tomorrow. This harmony is not mental, a formula of compromise and ultimate impotency, a product of mental man’s ethical confabulations, so far removed from the world of Knowledge and Truth.

How can the distortion of centuries now be reversed in India? Even as we must ask, How can the disfigured Matrimandir now be undone? Where is the Pundit, the Acharya who will have the courage to admit and proclaim that a new vision of Kala, of Time, must be attained and become the transformed basis for all religious and cultural reckoning in the country? It is difficult, nay impossible, to imagine that such a circumstance would arise and a proclamation of this nature would be heeded, if we realise that it is an admission of inaccuracy – or at best irrelevancy – in an area for a nation who prides herself on a meticulous dedication to the cause of Time and auspicious beginnings. But if this does not come to pass, at least in a significant area of India’s collective consciousness, the nation will continue pinned down under the weight of a colossal mass and its consequent deadening force of inertia – because this is the result of being out of harmony with true Time – which has now the capacity to plunge the country conclusively into an abyss from where she cannot hope to arise. Foreign invasion and rule were insignificant compared to the power this inner decay represents. Indeed, foreign invasion and rule – as even present-day infiltration and subversion – was only made possible when the divine Measure was conclusively lost. The pundits allowed invasion and infiltration in the Sanatan Dharma by withholding power from the collective experience. India reels under this scourge, the consequences of which have reached a momentous ‘crisis of evolution’, as Sri Aurobindo has called this century’s turning point, and which the Mother has described as a ‘crisis of decision’. Indeed, the time has come to choose creation or destruction as the way to the new order.


In closing I would like to provide a simple example of the actions and effects of the ‘lost measure’ in India. This example is close to all of us for it concerns the time when the Aeon Centre of Cosmology moved to Skambha, henceforth its permanent seat. It goes without saying that this move represented a major turning point in our work. Since I have named our headquarters ‘Skambha’, its cosmic correspondences are obviously important because this is the ancient Vedic word for the ‘cosmic pillar’, or what is known in the West as the Navel of the World.

In terms of our work it represents the true Axis, indeed the axis mundi of old; but it comes into being by the faithful collaboration of the true time-measure. Given this background, it will be of interest to those studying and participating in this new way to learn that precisely in the question of the right time to move to Skambha this work was tested. We have had to combat the ignorance that has set in over the centuries throughout vast portions of the subcontinent, especially in Tamil Nadu where the Centre is located. And at this point it appears impossible to dissolve these misconceptions which are affecting the lives of millions of people. It seems as if this chasm must ever remain between an enlightened elite, a corps of persons of true Knowledge, and the masses who are destined to continue prisoners of that ‘lost measure’, regulating their lives accordingly, weighted down under the yoke of ignorance that such a condition fosters.

But to begin with, I must state that in this New Way one does not manipulate events. A real initiation into the New Way’s innermost secrets and the Knowledge this provides, allows us to appreciate that we cannot ‘fool Time’. One of the goals of the Yoga is therefore to attain a poise of consciousness which will permit us to enter into a more refined flow that can carry us to the experience of a higher destiny, both individually and collectively. This means that we do not impose our ideas on the circumstances of our lives. Rather we seek to put ourselves in a state of consciousness and being which will automatically and spontaneously result in a correct timing of essential aspects of our work. This achievement is not an insignificant one, as any student of the new way can verify, for it implies that we have made an important breakthrough in an area that has been forever closed to the Supermind. This is the ‘play of circumstances’.

The New Way engages the play of circumstances because its goal is to create a cosmos, a harmony of the chaos. This means that the new Axis, collective and individual, when it is established allows and encourages the periphery, or the extended, horizontal field where the circumstantial play transpires, to become organized into a cosmos. Then circumstances themselves conspire to fulfil the innermost truth of that Seed. The new Axis (‘Skambha’, the Support of the World) sustains this action; if this centremost Pillar does not exist such a harmony cannot come into being. We can understand better the nature of our solar system and its exquisite harmony when we realise that this Axis and perfect centrality is a quality of the Sun. Thus we aim at ‘becoming the Sun’, creating this solar Axis in our innermost being. Failing this, the ‘centre cannot hold’ and constant collapse of energies is the result. This being the case, when a threshold is reached and it appears that a cosmos will emerge out of the prevailing chaos of collective energies, there is this unexpected collapse into the Void that should be the habitation of that supporting Axis.

This is the story of the Mother’s Temple, and by consequence constant, self-defeating collapse is the result of the city project. The new Axis represented by the correct measure of the Solar Ray and the Core, was not permitted to take shape. The result was constant strife and ultimately a corrosion of the original purpose and the city’s high mission. Indeed, with this central void it could not experience its higher destiny at all. It remains simply a field for the collapse of the old, not the creative womb of the new, the cradle of the Superman.

Thus in the New Way circumstances have collaborated in the move to Skambha for this to happen in the month of Leo. But this is according to the true measure of the year. That is, in the tropical zodiacal year Leo begins on 23/24 July and ends on 22/23 August. However, in Tamil Nadu, according to the sidereal zodiac 0 point as prescribed by Medieval pundits, nothing of the sort happens. On 17 July, 23 days late, it is Cancer that begins, not Leo, and extends through August till approximately the 17th. In the south of India this is called the month of Adi and is considered the year’s most inauspicious period of 30 days. It is so negative for the Tamilian that if he could he would remain closed in his room and not emerge until Adi has passed. Nothing is started during Adi, certainly nothing as important as the move to Aeon Centre of Cosmology’s permanent headquarters. This has so conditioned the mind of the people that a formation is built up. It becomes necessary in such cases to deal with it because on a surface level these formations create obstructions and minor difficulties, annoyances of a petty nature. Therefore, instead of being left free to put all our energies into a creative move, part must go to breaking through this crust of ignorance.

Ironically, as in all matters of this nature in India, the right thing is respected and heeded, but at the wrong time. The auspiciousness of Adi resides in the fact that it is the month of the year in direct opposition on the wheel to the very auspicious Makar, or Capricorn. These two months constitute, therefore, that special axis Capricorn/Cancer, or Aditi and Diti of the ancient Veda, which I have discussed off and on at length in Vishaal. Cancer is thus the ‘shadow’ of the divine Aditi. By consequence it is certainly a period that requires a degree of caution and a time when a greater effort must be made so that one’s consciousness is not clouded over by the beguiling veils of the Shadow. In Puranic times this same figure was known as Chhaya, which is the Sanskrit word precisely for ‘shadow’. Chhaya is the dark half of the spouse of the Sun, Samjna, as she is known. This special effort that is required is actually a potent aid along the way on the path of Truth; hence it is a time of drawing one’s consciousness inward, of a predominantly inner concentration and focus. And out of this consideration the prescription arose that nothing should be undertaken or begun of any importance during this month.

Thus one must make a superior effort to keep one’s vision focussed on the truth of the way in this ‘inauspicious’ month. But what has happened by the wrong placement of the beginning of Adi, or Cancer? Diti has triumphed. Her shadow has thoroughly befogged the seeing Eye and she has indisputably succeeded in extending her influence far and wide so that, at this point, everyone rushes to start their projects before Adi/Cancer sets in on 17 July, according to the false measure; but since in the divine Measure of the Year Adi/Cancer actually begins on 22 June and lasts 30 days thereafter, the incongruous situation exists that what the faithful believe they are escaping is, in fact, the very trap they have fallen into by this incorrect reckoning. Consequently countless new beginnings take place in the first 15 days of July to escape Adi – yet these beginnings are right in the midst of Diti’s midnight Bosom!

All of this concerns the Moon and the Sun. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, Leo, the month following Cancer on the wheel, by the Sun. And Capricorn, on the opposite end of that wheel, is the Sun’s midday, or highest and brightest position in the heavens. Indeed, it is a question of restoring that measure of the Sun and its profound truth. When these matters are cleared up, India will finally embark upon her way to the discovery of her place in the new Supramental Age, for the Sun is the symbol of that Truth-Consciousness.

But India at least recognises these true things, these harmonies of the cosmos. And for this very reason the Aeon Centre of Cosmology and Skambha are established on her soil. Their measures may be distorted but India alone among all nations understands in her innermost heart that the future of the Earth is somehow connected to or described by this important zodiacal time-axis, Capricorn and Cancer. For it is a fact that indeed the future of the world is playing itself out in correspondence with this axis, since India is ruled by Capricorn, while the United States of America is ruled by Cancer. And it is the latter that has put Pakistan in the significant position of being able to deliver a nuclear weapon. At this point it is an open secret that Pakistan is embarked upon a nuclear programme whose ultimate design is the manufacture of this devastating tool of destruction. America knows this, yet it continues to arm Pakistan beyond all reasonable measure, – if at all we can consider the arming of a nation in any way ‘reasonable’. It is an unfortunate situation forced upon our civilisation by the insufficiencies of the present mental race. The way to disarmament is via the channel of a superior act of seeing and a knowledge that arises in a higher poise of being.

Thus in keeping with the exquisitely true nature of cosmic harmonies, it was precisely on the day Adi is purported to begin, 17 July 1969, that the Mother spoke to Indira Gandhi through an emissary of ‘Auroville being the only hope for avoiding a world war’, which at this point would necessarily mean total annihilation. What then was the real aspect of this message? By its timing the Mother seems to have been giving a clue to the shift that must take place if India and the Earth are to be saved.

To add substance to this thesis, it is important to note the correspondences between this and the vision she had of the Temple, that fundamental piece of sacred architecture of such special relevance for India. The Mother’s vision took place in the very beginning of January, right in the midst of the true Capricorn measure. But she gave up insisting to the architects on the implementation of her plan on 17 January 1970. That is, exactly six months after making the above statement concerning Auroville as the only hope for avoiding a third world war. January 17th would stand in direct opposition on the calendar wheel to July 17th. These two dates would thus form an ‘axis in time’. Since the implementation of her vision did not come to pass, can we deduce that the Earth is headed toward some catastrophic destruction?

A special intervention is needed. That intervention is decided and determined in the realm of higher Knowledge and Power and relies on an action that stems from this higher Seeing.

The discovery of the greater triad of planets over the past two centuries heralded the coming of the Supramental Age. They represent the ‘extended boundaries’ of the human consciousness which was to mark the dawning of the new world order. It is significant that the new Age of Aquarius commenced at the time the last planet of the triad was discovered. The world was then ready for a very great change.

But India in both these areas refuses to march with the times. Indian pundits have not integrated the new planets into their cosmology, even as they believe that the Aquarian Age will begin only 500 years from now. These two positions held by the pundits are interrelated. The fact that India’s cosmology remains entrenched in a vision of Medieval times can help us to understand what the coming of the Supramental Avatars must work out for the nation.

The Mother incarnated to reveal that Divine Measure and by her realisation to allow a new synthesis of cosmic harmonies to evolve. This is intrinsically connected to the transformation of matter for it provides a new field in which this may take place. As a climax to this process she bequeathed to India the regenerated Vedic Temple. Her original plan is the renascent vision of the most ancient Vedic formula of sacred architecture. But this required an enhancement, given the present extension of our cosmic boundaries. Her new Temple incorporated that expansion. This is what the Mother accomplished for India.

Since the vision of the cosmos has remained entrenched in a Medieval framework, similarly the spiritual experience, bringing into play the transcendent aspect of Reality, has also been pinned down under the weight of Illusionism. Regardless of what we might like to believe, there has been no significant departure from this poise since Medieval times, powerful enough to serve as the platform from where the realiser in India could spring to new heights in the experience of Truth and into its wider dimensions, a Truth that could significantly reconcile the paradoxes thrown up by the apparent spirit/matter antipathy. Thus Sri Aurobindo incarnated along with the Mother to provide this renovating impetus of a new integration of the transcendent and cosmic Divine.

Now India and the dedicated seeker stand at the third level, – that of the Individual Divine, in the descending scale of God, Cosmos and Humankind. The new India, as a nation, was born on the wings of the Third Power. Significantly, it is only at the third level that the actual realisation, integration, implementation of the New Way can be conclusively achieved. It is therefore in the new India that the way of the Supermind is being established and the ultimate and decisive Victory will be known. We are preparing for that victory now and we shall live to see the triumphant rise of the new Creation, because the true axis and centre have come into being.

September of 1987

*What is Wrong with Matrimandir, Aeon Books, 1977