In May 1974 Thea found herself facing the most serious dilemma her Yoga had thus far presented: India had detonated a nuclear device. In the 1960s the Mother of Pondicherry had written that India enjoyed an occult protection which would be broken should she ever explode ‘the bomb’.
“I was left in a state of total confusion given the central position of India in the new body of knowledge that was taking shape in such a harmonious and steady flow . . .,” a knowledge inclusive of India’s role as the Earth’s soul.
She prayed for guidance:
“Please send me a sign, a sign that only I may know, that will prove to me that what I am seeing of India’s glorious place in the future of the Work WILL come to pass in spite of this happening, that somehow it WILL come to pass. Send me a sign that this will be so.”(Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, (Thea), The Tenth Day of Victory, Vol 2, Book One, Aeon Books, 2014, pp 27-28.)
The sign came:
The Capricorn Hieroglyph superimposed upon the undivided geography of India Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, Aeon Books, 1975, p.68
“This was more than a reply from the Supramental Shakti that somehow the words of the Mother would be neutralised along the way of India’s unfolding destiny in the course of time. The map-symbol was and always has remained, for me, the seal and sanction of the Supreme on my work.”(The Tenth Day of Victory, Vol 2, Book One, p. 33)
As the Earth makes her annual journey around the sun, entry into Capricorn occurs on 21/22 December, the winter solstice. Capricorn is known in esoteric circles to be the ‘gateway to heaven’. In the northern hemisphere, the Light begins to increase. For centuries it was understood that this ‘heaven’ entered through the Capricorn portal was other-worldly. The map-symbol confirmed what Thea had SEEN: The Vedic Swar (heaven) of the Rishi was not in some far-off ‘beyond’. Swar is a state of being/consciousness not only accessible on Earth, but written in her destiny. Capricorn IS that realization. India embodies both the potential and the physical reality of the Capricorn gateway.
“The Capricorn hieroglyph has always been known as the most secret and sacred of the twelve. It is called ‘the name of God’ in certain occult traditions. But little of concrete knowledge has been revealed about the real nature of its sacredness and divine quality. Until now, that is.”(Time & Imperishability, p 192)
“…Capricorn is the Cosmic Midday, the highest position of the Sun, luminous symbol of absolute truth in manifestation. To reach this height the depths must be experienced and integrated. Thus the pictograph of Capricorn precisely indicates these two levels of existence, the mountain goat with the tail of a fish. The one journeys with unflinching endurance to the summit, while the other bathes in the deep waters of the ponderous and mysterious abyss. The Goat, however, is not detached from the Earth, from Matter. This is fundamentally important to note because we learn herein that the way to the discovery of the absolute truth is through life in the material universe.”(Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Magical Carousel Commentaries, Aeon Books 1979, p. 83)
Over the years, the map-symbol would reveal more of its ‘secrets’. Just as Capricorn, through its rulership by Saturn/Kronos, is intimately connected to Time, India, through her very landmass, embodies Time in Matter.
One sees in looking at the hieroglyph 3 distinct parts. Each corresponds to a cardinal energy flow, or guna: Rajas, Sattwa, Tamas (Creation, Preservation, Destruction – Future, Present, Past). Only Time allows movement through the gunas. And it is through Time that the evolution of that which is in nascent/seed form develops, is nourished, renews itself. The triune nature of the hieroglyph can also be equated to the qualities of the Hindu Trimurthi: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. (Time & Imperishability, p. 140)
“…the hieroglyph describes a condition of unified being, – for the individual, for the collectivity, for the nation and the consciousness of its people, as well as for its very geography. This unity of being is beautifully and clearly expressed in the Capricorn hieroglyph by its trifold nature, in which are contained the three Gunas of Indian philosophy and cosmology: Rajas, Sattwa and Tamas. These gunas cover different parts of the hieroglyph, and with the superimposition on the map of India we see that the country itself consists of three areas which together create a harmonised unity in diversity.”(Ibid, p.191)
Capricorn hieroglyph superimposed on undivided geography of India, with Gunas (Time & Imperishability, p.140)
“… the three gunas on the country’s physical body indeed correspond to the nature of the people inhabiting those areas, as well as the type of forces at play in the areas, today as also in the past, which have contributed to build the history of the Indian nation . . . One of the most secret significances of this hieroglyph concerns the fact of an area which, because of the perfect balance or harmonisation of the three gunas within it, gives rise to a creation that is eternal in nature or unending in time, enjoying a continual process of renewal.”(Time & Imperishability, p.196)
The Dismembering of India’s Body
What happened? How did India allow the amputation of her body?
In The New Way, Volume 2, Thea writes that partition can only occur when the unifying element of the soul has not been unveiled. She goes on to point out this is exactly what happens within the human body: without the power of the soul to harmonize conflicting perceived ‘needs’, its organs are at war with one another, resulting in illness and ultimately death.
India’s abandonment of an Earth-based realization in favor of extra-terrestrial ‘bliss’, with its exclusive focus on the Sattwic/static poise, allowed for a disarrangement of the Gunas in the Indian landmass. It allowed for the dismemberment of India’s body, and along with it, the loss of its true measure (See also ‘International Cosmic Ruler’).
Remarking on the original ‘seeing’ of the Capricorn symbol centuries earlier, Thea asks
“. . . How could the design of the symbol be so exact as to come to delineate the entire landmass of India as she would be presented in maps at the time of Independence, as if it were a slap-in-the-face to all ideas of partition of the sacred symbol-land by mere human design; and above all in response to the call of religion and politics, none of which could be said to approach the supremacy of ‘the Name of God’ as the true fashioner of Destiny? This symbol was the real India, unblemished by human interference in the ancient contours of everything that the symbol signifies. Indeed, Capricorn has always been India’s most revered among all the sign/months, as attested to in many myths and the nation’s own epics.”(The Tenth Day of Victory, Vol 2, Book One, p. 33)
India’s True Measure
India unfolds along 40 degrees longitude and 30 degrees latitude. In addition to allowing the complete manifestation of the Capricorn hieroglyph within its landmass and all that entails (see above), many other keys of knowledge were seen to be held in these numbers, 40 and 30.
The Gnostic Circle superimposes the circles of 9 (planets) and 12 (zodiacal signs). It ‘reveals the pattern and pace of evolution’ (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, Aeon Books, 1975, p. 187). The 360 degree circle divided into 9 parts = 40 degrees each. This represents the longitudinal time measure. Dividing the circle into 12 parts yields sections of 30 degrees each, representing the latitudinal space measure. Bharat Mata encompasses a perfect harmonization of Time and Space.
The numbers 40 and 30 also were discovered to play prominently in the Mother’s original Vision of the core of her Matrimandir. (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volumes 1 &2)
Why any of this Matters
As emphasized in Thea’s Welcome Message to the Forum, India has a unique destiny among nations. If she is to fulfill the role of ushering in a Life Divine on Earth, it is imperative that she understand the need for a TRUE integration of all energies. The Capricorn map-symbol encourages that understanding for one with eyes to See.
“True integration implies a harmonisation on the basis of complementation. The matter of national integration is given prominence today. There is even a governmental body appointed to assist in the process. But for a real integration to come about the first necessity is to know the exact nature of the parts in the whole, permitting them then to find their right place. Unless each part is known in its true light it cannot add itself to the mosaic on the basis of its right and effective contribution. It is always out of place. Demands are made upon it which it cannot fulfil because they have no relation to its inherent nature and worth. Thus integration necessarily implies a cognition of all the existing parts first, then of their true nature, and only then can these diversified elements be set in their rightful place in the unified mosaic that is to be the new India, the Vedic Swar on the Earth.” (Time & Imperishability, p. 193)
The supreme symbol that holds the keys to eternal truths is the ancient astrological/astronomical symbol of the Sun,
In this most simple of all diagrams the knowledge required to update the Puranas as well as to know the path ahead to a universal apotheosis is contained. Its most striking aspect is the privileged position of the central Point. It is as if the Point is the Sun itself, centre of the System it has spawned. On the other hand, the circumscribing periphery is the family of planets which presently number 9. Since the periphery can be reduced to 9 (360=9), we are informed that when the measure of the System reaches this number the Puranas and all else can be updated – i.e., made factual and relevant to our Age, the same message of the Navagrahas.In astrological tradition the sign Aquarius, our present Age, is known in its esoteric significance as the period of universal transformation. Thus, our exercise of updating must be applicable to the entire Earth. Such being the case, we can once more use the symbol of the Sun to describe the methodology to attain the goal of universalism. In other words, this symbol provides the key to the heart of wisdom, not just to the role of the central Sun in the solar system. It can be the symbol of the individual as well as the entire Earth.Regarding the individual the central point is the Soul, nexus of time and space, the descending and ascending principles and their powers of manifestation. The location of this point in the human being identifies the converging point of the lower ascending planes and the higher descending powers. They meet in the individual Soul. It is the receptacle of what lies beyond the cosmic ‘singularity’ – the threshold that Science for all its wonders cannot cross. The soul is the repository of the supporting powers of existence, not only on Earth but of the entire material universe – this is the universal soul. Those planes are known in metaphysics and philosophy and some schools of yoga as Transcendent, Cosmic and Individual, the trinity at the root of all manifestation. When the time comes for the universal transformation, then this threshold must be breached; and incarnations descend into Earth time with the ability, by virtue of the manner in which they take birth, to draw those powers into the atmosphere. By their unique relation with Time the powers they jointly embody become the support of the march forward for the purpose of the 9 becoming the 10. They are the path breakers of the Age. Indeed, this passage is not merely cosmological or metaphysical: it is a reality made poignantly real by the lived process in Earth time of the 9th Avatar becoming the 10th, or Kalki of Puranic tradition.Leaving this aside for the moment, the Sun symbol can also be the Earth in her totality in the circumscribing periphery. But the symbol must describe the condition of the way forward for the Earth, once more based on this symbol and what it reveals. It indicates that the Sun is the central Point within the system of planets, while the soul is the central point of each individual. Therefore, so too the Earth must bear her own central Point. The ancients had understood as much when the Puranic Cosmology was formulated. The sages gave the cosmology the same structure I am describing in this updating process. But in those early times Science had not contributed its part to the evolution of consciousness and to the universalism that was being prepared and for which many aspects of Earth life had to be drawn in to carry the objective from the realm of Ideals into the material world we inhabit. For example, as earlier noted, geographical exploration had to reveal the full body of our planet. This was ultimately accompanied by the proper tools to measure that newly-discovered Body. On this basis the very first steps could be taken on the road to the preordained universal transformation of Aquarius – RIGHT ON TIME.In Update 6 I presented a means to identify factually the connection between Capricorn and the subcontinent by the superimposition of its hieroglyph on the landmass. Its exact synchronisation cannot be disputed, though we may be hard pressed to understand how this could have come to pass in an age we consider primitive. But that superimposition was only the first step in the elaborate process of drawing Mt Meru/Bharatvarsha into our Age, or to materialise the symbol. Now we must carry that process into further levels of ‘densification’ to bring Heaven to Earth as it were by employing certain tools science has provided to measure our globe; for instance, latitude and longitude. Thanks to the Circle and its wide applications, the concept of Mt Meru can be carried forward in the exercise of the symbol becoming the thing symbolised. This measuring act will prove that the Sun’s astronomical symbol does represent the Earth herself with that indispensible ‘centre that holds’, which is discovered as existing on the planet through India’s astrological ruler. India is for the Earth what the Sun is for the solar system and what the soul is for each individual.
I present above the world map – but it is unlike any other that our atlases offer. This world map presents the 12-part division of the ecliptic circle – the zodiac – brought to Earth; and given the strides science has made in devising tools to measure our circular globe, and since both longitudes and latitudes consist of bands of 30 degrees to reach the 360 of all circles, similar to the zodiacal signs, our own planet can serve as a means to bring the celestial phenomena to Earth. For this purpose we lay the zodiac across the planet on the basis of the Vedic laws of correspondence and equivalence, 6 signs west and the other 6 east in the manner indicated to complete the circle superimposition. Further on we will continue this measuring exercise to reveal even more clearly the relevance of Capricorn for India and for the world since this convergence of time and space would be the equal-bodied cross for our planet and hence the perfect ‘centre that holds’ due to the axial alignment that comes into being from this perfect convergence.Capricorn serves the new cosmology as a sort of Philosopher’s Stone as in alchemical tradition, the element that could reveal true gold and thus the success of the transmutation. Similarly today, we may use Capricorn, known in the ancient mysteries as the Name of God, to test its relevance as the new and updated Mt Meru of old. In locating the sign both by longitude and latitude, Capricorn appears on the map in both directions over India. It is a convergence of time (longitude) and space (latitude), using our own globe as the field to test the Knowledge. The Vedas, as well as the more recent Revelation of St John, speak of a new heaven and a new earth. We can readily recognise that given the above-mentioned discoveries our planet has indeed undergone a metamorphosis: she has been made NEW before our eyes, in our very times. But the scriptures speak of a new HEAVEN as well. No one, to my knowledge, seems to have grasped the enormous significance of this simple phrase: a new Heaven and a new Earth. For how, pray tell, can ‘heaven’ be made new? In our understanding of the word, Heaven lies beyond all that is corruptible and subject to the decaying mechanism of all things Earthly born of time. Heaven must perforce be eternal and definitely unchanging. At least this is what the dogmas teach us. If we follow the dictates of the priests, that static, incorruptible realm awaits us at death – but of this ‘heaven’ we have no empirical proof. Again I pose the question, what then is meant by a new heaven, since in our conception it lies beyond the mechanism that can make ‘all things new’. Without Time no renewal is possible, and all religions concur in the belief that ‘heaven’ is eternal and beyond time and space and hence any change. It stands beyond our material universe.And yet, the words of the Ancients haunt us. What is the answer?Conditioned as humans have become after passage through Pisces by the religions that evolved during that period, we equate heaven (Swar) with an eternal, static, unchanging and, of course, undying dimension. For after all, if this were not so, how then to offer it as a prize for the faithful who cannot make sense out of this dynamic madness with its imprisonment in and by Time that carries us to ineluctable death? Heaven of all religions has to be different and therefore soothing in our world of suffering and miseries of all sorts. Even Eastern philosophies and yogic systems succumbed to this enticement. They offer sure methods of escape (in themselves illusions?), and realisations of seemingly the highest order were presented as indisputable proof that right here on this planet subjected to the dratted enchainment of life, death and possibly rebirth, the chain could be broken for good. Liberation, moksha, could be attained right here. But the fly in the ointment was that the finest energies of humanity were thus siphoned off either by a dogma, unprovable but nonetheless binding through fear of eternal damnation, or else by proffering yogic tactics of escape from this entrapment that birth on Earth signifies.Eastern yogis succumbed in equal measure to the enticement of a static Beyond. Having been so proficient in their respective paths, they are to be held the most guilty for the sorry state our planet finds herself in. Indeed, yogic methods were perfected in the true oriental tradition of realising the truth and not simply accepting dogmas which could convince the seeker that indeed all things Earthly and of this cosmos are simply illusory, unreal. This position continues to hold firm in the minds of aspirants. This simple undermining has carried the Earth to the brink of the Abyss of Time. For indeed, if it is all basically unreal, and everything, including truth itself, is relative, then striving as I am doing in these pages to re-establish the Divine Maya or Measure is simply part and parcel of that unreality and need not detain us further.However, the Sun symbol tells us otherwise: both Being (point) and Becoming (periphery) – harmonised through the yogic realisation of the new Aquarian Age – hold the key to making both the Earth AND Heaven new.The map of the world which I present here is a factual demonstration of the manner in which HEAVEN ITSELF IS MADE NEW. In the Puranic Age that harmonisation could not be attained. Science and spirituality had to evolve separately until Time had fulfilled itself and the Age of the Supermind had arrived. This highest of all principles, until now unmanifest on Earth, is the tool to bring Swar to Earth, made new in our perception when the earlier separation is healed because of the allegiance of Time in this Age of the Supermind, and the unveiling of the updated Vedic and Puranic traditions. For the way to make heaven new is by rendering dynamic to our perceiving eye what dogma holds to be static. The lived realisation of the Supermind introduces this changed direction which describes something very different.The 10th month victory, with its secret ‘door’ that opens before the aspirant at the December Solstice, provides the magic formula that can bring Swar right here onto this planet thanks to the joining of science and spirituality by a process which itself makes obsolete the two separate approaches to Reality: a synthesis is the key, a third way beyond both.
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet Director Aeon Centre of Cosmology
The past holds such a fascination for all of us that we are unable to see the same thread of an ancient knowledge weaving its way across the ages into the present. We search for the hidden, the arcane and esoteric, and therefore we often miss the forest for the trees, preferring to concentrate on discovering in our long lost past the answer to who we are, where we came from and where we are going. Atlantis, legendary or real, holds the answers we seek if we could just locate its ruins. Or else it is Lemuria, Mu, the prehistoric Maya or Vedic India of many thousands of years ago. Given the lamentable state of our contemporary civilisation, the present does not seem to be much help in discovering what was of real and lasting value to the ancients and which we intuit may show us the way out of our present unenlightened condition. There is indeed evidence of advanced civilisations having populated the Earth in ages gone by, and a history that extends into a past far more distant than any contemporary academic would allow us to believe. But surely the question to ask is why we permitted this ‘sleep’, as I call it, to overtake us so thoroughly as to cause us to forget who we are. How did it come about, what were its causes? Above all, why do we refuse to awaken even when faced with undeniable evidence of what was called in the Vedic Age the ‘lost sun’? Compared to the accomplishments of those former times it is obvious that we are primitives seeking the light. For instance, the Great Pyramid at Giza stands right before us and displays a technology so far in advance of our own wonders of this 21st century that we do not need to search any further. It has been preserved with meticulous care and concern – with the obvious intent of leaving clues to help us in our search when darkness would descend. The Great Pyramid tells us what we need to know but not about its ancient builders, – aliens from afar or otherwise. Rather, it provides an unmistakable pointer to the path we must follow today in order to find our connection with the solar system we inhabit; as the ancients had done so long ago, permitting the creation of such monuments. Measure, alignment, precision – these were and remain the keynotes of our quest. But the problem is that for the past several thousand years we have been afflicted with a spirituality which has undermined the foundation that gave meaning to these words. Not so in the age of the Great Pyramid; or in ancient Vedic India. The undermining began at a later date. It remains the scourge of our times and it is the reason why technology and science are impotent to provide us with a direction to our quest that can give us a sense of purpose and connectedness with the cosmic surround. A number of centuries ago a great sleep descended on humanity across the entire globe. It overtook the East as well as the West. If there were wise men and women who understood the danger, they also knew that the scourge was inevitable. And the wise of a much more ancient vintage foresaw the inevitable, and thus the Great Pyramid was born. In India the Ancient Ones also realised that a very deep sleep would overtake the civilisation, and these wise souls did whatever was in their power to preserve the Word. And thus was born the compilation known as the Veda, – Rig, Saman, Yarur and Atharva. In Egypt, for reasons we will explore further on, the preservation was in stone; in ancient India it was through the human channel by virtue of an unbroken line of Seers who had REALISED the truth of the way through the yogic process described in those preserved documents, as well as in the Great Pyramid itself. Indeed, the very same process. These Vedic texts have come to us only as fragments of the ancient knowledge, whereas the Great Pyramid was designed to defy intact the ravages of time and humanity’s destructive tendencies when faced with what it cannot understand and must therefore destroy. The primitive state of humanity at the end of the Pyramid age was such that it would not be in a position to demolish the evidence this colossus would preserve for many thousands of years up to our very own times, this blessed Age of Aquarius, the period of revelation and completion. Egypt of the Pyramid age and even of the Pharaonic period is lost to us as a civilisation, thanks to the great Sleep that allowed shadows to edge out the light of the deep wisdom preserved in those timeless monuments. We note though that the mysterious Sphinx was installed as a companion to the mighty Pyramid; for one, because it was necessary to leave a sample of the language of celestial harmonies, but above all to demonstrate that it is eternal, truly the language of the Gods. And as long as our solar system continues to journey through space and time, so long will that celestial language live. However, to lose that knowledge only a simple technique was required: an undermining of the foundation that was indispensable to make any sense at all of what stands before our eyes. That foundation is our planet Earth. In denying to measure, precision, alignment any ‘spiritual’ substance, we deny the truth and purpose of our planetary home in the higher scheme of things. Thus, the sleep that fell upon us permitted a chasm to arise in our collective consciousness, affecting the course our evolution would take. The result has been an abysmal split that was entirely unknown in ancient times – the divide between spirit and matter. As time moved on and ‘science’ became the exclusive preserve of the materialist, men and women of the spirit increasingly took refuge in the quest for a ‘beyond’, precisely because the Earth as base was as if covered in a thick mist due to the constant undermining from within the ranks of the spirit itself. The critical crossroads we have reached is expressed simply as an imperative need to heal this divide, to bridge the chasm, to restore a consciousness of unity wherein such a split is unthinkable. However, this is no simple task primarily because we do not have the right tools to help us make the discoveries needed to construct the bridge. We turn to spirituality of various hues for answers, little realising that all the paths we know today are a product of the great Sleep. All of them drive us farther and farther away from the goal we must seek. Thus, we may make astonishing discoveries regarding the technology used to build the Great Pyramid, exposing in the process the pathetic state of scientific orthodoxy of our times which tries to hide the truth; but these discoveries take us no closer to understanding WHY that great civilisation laboured to leave this monument on Earth for a future age. For example, we marvel at the precision of alignment of this enormous construction; we focus on the tools, techniques, technology to achieve this because that is the way our 21st century minds work. We do not ask the obvious: Why was alignment so important? What message is that preserving for us today? Since spirituality cannot provide the answer because it has denied any truth to matter, precision and measure – the things of our Earth earthly – and embraced instead the Beyond and the after-death state for the light of salvation, we turn to Science, entirely convinced that if we pursue scientific methods to their logical conclusion we will ultimately find all the answers we seek. But even the most recalcitrant materialist has to admit that the more science uncovers, the greater the danger of self-annihilation, be it either through physics, chemistry, or now biology which presents the threat of a genetic manipulation that may ultimately destroy the human race as we know it. Our moral codes are breaking down; religions hold no power to help us control our destructive impulses; while our spirituality continues to undermine the reality of this material base we call home. And so the destruction continues unabated. Nonetheless, the mysterious Sphinx broadcasts the message not only of the age in which it was built but also that in the present Aquarian Age the destined time has come to uncover a third way. The Rig Veda interestingly tells us the very same thing. Yet both remain enigmas, inscrutable mysteries – the Rig Veda no less than the Sphinx. Both have survived because of an abiding respect for the demands of our material base: precision, measure, alignment. Both preserve the truth of the Third Way – and for us today, a new way. Indeed, this is a new discovery, and it forms the core of this essay. If we respect the demand of our planetary home for precision, measure, time and space – unlike all the spirituality and religions we know, in spite of their protestations to the contrary – then we learn the method to heal the divide and bridge the chasm. We are guided to the true unitary consciousness that was the natural state of at least an elite in ancient times. While our technologists must admit that the Great Pyramid could not be built today to equal its precision, and that a missing link exists in the evolution of culture which left a huge gap in our understanding of past accomplishments on this planet, there is no such admission in India regarding the very same knowledge preserved in the Rig Veda. While there appears to be an unbroken thread in Hinduism from the Vedic Age right into the present, the yogic realisation is lacking today that could permit a real and not an imaginary continuity with the line established by the Seers of those former times. That realisation was the bedrock or the ‘fulcrum’, as one Sanskrit scholar has called it, of the Vedic way; yet it does not figure in the vast collection of minutely documented paths of Indian yogas of any school after the Vedic Age. And, lamentably, India moves farther and farther away from attaining that lost realisation with each passing day. This is more than a deep sleep; it is denial, while at the same time we hear the constant refrain, ‘We are truly Vedic!’ All these remains of the ancient civilisations we are discussing give us the same message. Not that this was their intention – though certainly the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx were constructed with a mind to preserve the Knowledge for our times. The message was and remains simple: themeasure of the year, and the cardinal point alignment that forms a part of this sacred measure. It is the Earth’s contribution to the solar system – her own harmony, the means by which the planet can contribute her ‘note’ to the cosmic symphony. It is what the Earth adds to the overall scheme, with the other planets similarly offering their own measure. And thus the Music of the Spheres arises. From the time the great Sleep began to overtake humanity, right up to Isaac Newton himself, the keys to this ‘music’ have been sought. It was the primary focus of all ancient civilisations, if the extant clues they have left are to be believed. But all the academics who study the matter fail to discover the obvious. They invariably focus their search on the constellations and various stars therein; but the Earth’s own measure in the ecliptic of her home base is disregarded. Yet we are aware of the Great Pyramid’s near perfect alignment to the ecliptic’s four cardinal points and not to the constellations beyond our system. But we do not carry the discovery forward to answer the real question: Why was orientation so important, and what is it that was actually being aligned? Primarily it was the Earth’s place and alignment on the ecliptic within our solar system; and only secondarily, and as a result of the former it must be noted, a measure involving the constellations. Orientation was of central importance in the Vedic Age as well. The complex geometry of the vedi – simple brick structures based on sacred geometry where the homam or sacrifice was carried out – honoured before all else this same alignment. It was the basis for everything that followed in the rituals and offerings. In contemporary Hindu society a pundit will commence construction of a temple or an individual dwelling by first establishing true North and aligning the building to as near perfect a degree as possible with the four quarters of the ecliptic. What the pundit does is to recreate a horoscope on the ground, just as we do when we draw up a chart for an individual. It is called Vastu Purush, the cosmic Man. In other words, the cosmic surround based on the ecliptic alignment is transferred from the heavens to the site and construction begins once that transposition is accomplished according to processes established for the purpose. Up to that point all is in order. But when time is added to the process everything collapses in the current scheme of things. The pundit or priest, similar to the scholar, seeks the right time measure in the constellations rather than through the Earth’s own harmony, a point I will elaborate further on to reveal that Hindu civilisation is, unfortunately, a far cry from its Vedic ancestor. The Earth in toto is floundering, East no less than West. Advances are being made in science that seem to border on the miraculous. But there does not appear to be any focus to these advancements, contrary to the ancient way. Yes, there is undeniable evidence that the builders of the Great Pyramid possessed a superior technology; but it was not technology for its own sake, as ours is today, – an end in itself without a connected purpose drawing together the efforts of many different branches of science, all supportive of a central purpose. Yet when we observe with an Initiate’s eye the monuments and documents of old, we perceive immediately that however formidable the technology and science, they were a servant to something greater, something all-encompassing, something that gave a deep and abiding logic to everything that emerged out of the collective efforts of those civilisations. It is when such a consciousness arises that the Theory of Everything (TOE), as it is called in scientific circles, will be discovered. First a vision of unity has to be established in the consciousness of the observer by which he becomes one with the thing observed; and then a unified theory emerges out of that consciousness. This perception of unity and oneness was a global phenomenon in very ancient times. We marvel today at the fact that civilisations across the globe, apparently disconnected from one another, reveal an underlying affinity. This is precisely the point that needs to be made: they were all aware of the means to speak in one voice – the voice of the Cosmic Truth. And they all made use of the same tool: the circle of 360 degrees divided into four, – i.e., the days and nights of equal measure, and the shortest and longest days of the year, or our seasonal rhythm due to the tilt of our planet’s axis with respect to the ecliptic. That is the magical circle which provides us with the knowledge we need to transform the dross that we are into pure gold. It is not that there was a mysterious connection between these remote civilisations; or that aliens were visiting our planet and planting the same message here and there. This may well have been the case, but it is immaterial to our present problem which is that we have no such knowledge today binding our endeavours around a single purpose. And that purpose is to find the sense in the Earth’s place in the system and her special contribution to the music of the spheres. We are not even aware that such ‘music’ exists, much less that we can ‘hear’ its sounds; and far less that this sacred music can provide the means to create harmony where now only cacophony exists. We inhabit the third planet from the Sun in the third orbit; and it is a third way which we are in the process of unveiling as an element that can make cosmic sense of our existence. Currently the belief prevails that we could be anywhere and it would all be the same since in any case it is all just ‘coincidence’. This belief alone reveals that we were wrenched from our planetary roots, just as we were cut off from our ancient past when the great Sleep overcame us as a planetary society. In fact, this sleep too is recorded in the ‘script’ the ancients left for us: the zodiac, the language the ecliptic uses through our annual orbit of the Sun to speak to us of things abiding and eternal.
The knowledge the ancients preserved is eternal in the sense that the same truths of old can be discovered today. On that basis we learn who we are and where we are headed as a civilisation. We know our past, present and future. If the Great Pyramid preserves the message of alignment to the four cardinal points, it is clear that in the ecliptic which is marked off by these points we can begin to find the clues required. But a primary ingredient in the discovery is the measure the Earth provides. Without this ingredient that circle tells us nothing. We need the correct Zero Point. With that we can always find our place in the cosmic harmony; and finding our place tells us who we are eternally. That is, we can understand what the Earth’s purpose is and why she alone in the System houses a species capable of conscious awareness. Above all, why evolution is the bedrock of her planetary purpose. Most ancient scriptures, including the Bible, describe the evolution of the species quite openly. Genesis for one is a perfect example. The text reveals a continuous fragmentation of an original ‘cell’, similar to the multiplication an organic cell undergoes as it grows to produce a mature form. But orthodoxy has concealed this self-evident message in the text, since most interpreters have lost the ability to decipher the language of Symbols. Even in India, where knowledge, or veda, is supposed to be present in its original form in an unbroken line, we must state that around the time of the Cosmic Dawn – that is, when there was a convergence between the Zero Point of the Precession of the Equinoxes and the equatorial zero point of the ecliptic, 0 degrees Aries – this line was if not completely broken at least severely damaged. It was by then, in the third century BCE, continuously under attack, for that was the period when the great Sleep reached its deepest level. Contrary to popular belief, it overtook India no less than the rest of the world. In the west it was the abolition of Goddess worship and the ancient Mystery Schools, which were finally replaced by orthodox religions from the Middle East. In India the Goddess survived but yogis succumbed to an focus on otherworldliness in contrast to the Vedic Way which was entirely Earth-oriented. The Precession of the Equinoxes is produced by a slow gyration the Earth makes like a spinning top, because of which her equatorial plane (hence a precession of the equinoxes) traces a complete circle in space. It takes 25,920 years for this movement to be completed, or for this circle to close and return to the starting point. This greater circle is also divided into twelve zodiacal sections of 30 degrees each, just like our ecliptic. And similarly, the Precession is of no value without the correct zero point, the start of the wheel from where we begin the count. We must also appreciate that, contrary to the accepted notion, this cosmic rhythm originates on Earth as the result of her own unique axial tilt whose slow gyration is the architect of the larger zodiac projected onto the constellations. Out there, there is nothing; out there we seek only one thing: a marker, a location in the vast beyond that can serve as a sort of docking station when the two zero points must converge. Once again it must be emphasised that the zodiac is the key, the language that allows the Precession to speak to us and show us our place in the cosmic harmony. However, Hindu tradition provided clues to help resuscitate the knowledge when the Precession would reach the Age of Aquarius, our own times. One such important clue is the Hindu Line of Ten Avatars. Sri Aurobindo has rightfully called this Line a ‘parable of evolution’. Indeed, it does describe an evolutionary process very specifically, beginning with the ‘Fish Avatar’, an obvious reference to the origins of biological species, and then on through the Line until the human creation emerges. With the help of the Precession of the Equinoxes, coupled with the yearly journey of the Earth around the Sun as the planet marks off the cardinal points of equinoxes and solstices, we can read all the details of that evolution we are a part of and which Hindu tradition has preserved, though in its own place of birth that knowledge was later sent underground. The ‘parable of evolution’ gives us the details of that retreat as well. The key issue is the correct Zero Point. As this study progresses and we uncover more and more layers until the full knowledge is revealed, we will understand why that sacred Point was essential to know. Losing that, the Earth and her civilisations would be swimming in a vast cosmic ocean without a goal in sight, and without a lighthouse to lead the way. But we need not project our vision out to the constellation-circle which the Precession deals with as it covers a round of that larger projection of the zodiac approximately every 26,000 years. We experience the very same journey here on Earth in our annual orbit of the Sun in twelve stages – the twelve months of the year which the Veda sustain are the doors we must pass through for access to the supreme Light. The smaller (in time and space) and the larger speak in one voice: the stages of zodiacal progression in a measure of twelve. They both describe the evolutionary process; but while the equinoxes and solstices mark off the yearly orbit – the Earth’s sacred measure – the Precession of the Equinoxes allows for that annual Aries Zero Point to be inserted into the larger cycle and by this link up to provide us with the greater patterns of evolution. Through this means we can insert ourselves into the flux and flow of the vast cosmic sea while yet remaining anchored to the Earth’s zero point in time and her measure of twelve; and thus to remainconnected to the planet we inhabit and not to seek a purpose for existence in a beyond that bears no connection with our home base. The Hindu line of Ten Avatars deals exclusively with the larger cycle of twelve traced by the Precession. Of particular relevance – from the time the great Sleep took effect – are the last three stages covering approximately 12,000 years, or the appearance of the last three Avatars, bringing the Line to a close with Kalki. It was during the last round of the Precession that the Earth was approaching a do-or-die crossroads. The Great Pyramid arose during that round of 26,000 years and has stood as a silent witness waiting for the moment when its own purpose would be unveiled. The Sphinx indicates that this would be in the present Aquarian Age. She provides this information by virtue of the zodiacal symbols of her form: Lion and Man. The former indicates the Age of Leo as the time of construction of both the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid, – now confirmed by geologists; and the Man portion refers to the time of revelation, the Man sign, or Aquarius, known in Vedic India as the Friend, Mitra. (Similar to the Sphinx, the Rig Veda also points to our Aquarian Age as a culmination, though this is ignored in India today because the true Zero Point is unknown.) With the correct zero point we discover when that Age would begin: 1926 CE; coincidentally, the same year that the Sphinx herself was finally uncovered in the vast sands of the Egyptian desert. Obviously it becomes important to have the correct insight into the Precession time-frame in combination with the yearly rhythms; otherwise we risk missing the moment, – as India is doing because of miscalculations. The interesting factor concerning India is that Hindu civilisation even today professes an abiding faith and adherence to the cosmic harmonies. All of its culture, including music, dance, drama, temple art and architecture arose on the basis of a cosmic perception of life and the organisation of society according to the rhythms etched out by the cosmic harmonies. It was a civilisation in the Vedic Age that understood the Earth’s position in time and space, vast and small. Out of that understanding came the outflow of a culture unparalleled today. But unfortunately the essential item that made this grandeur possible – the Zero Point – was lost, incredible as this may seem in the land that gave the concept of zero to the world. Since then, close to three thousand years ago, there has been a steady decline. Today, as if to stress the point, there are perhaps a dozen ayanamshas, as the zero point is called in Sanskrit, in the different almanacs and ephemeredes employed to regulate all individual and collective celebrations by Hindu society. None of the pundits can agree on when the yearly orbit of the Sun truly begins, much less on the beginning point of the larger cycles of the Precession. The result is that the Aries starting point of the zodiacal year is celebrated 23 days late. Aries is believed to begin on 14-15 April, and not on the March Equinox. One thing must be stated, however: India does at least honour that Zero Point, giving it its due place of reverence in the Hindu calendar, though the date is alarmingly incorrect. I call this period of 23 days, the measure of the Hindu civilisation’s ‘sleep’. What do the Veda say? And the Great Pyramid? The emphasis in both remains the balancing points of the yearly equinoxes and solstices. That is, the same message the Great Pyramid preserves in its immaculate alignment to the four quarters is also central to all ancient Vedic Scriptures on the subject. The alignment, so carefully calculated in the Great Pyramid, was not to some elusive point in the far-off constellations as post-Vedic Hindu pundits have determined. While a constellation or sidereal alignment does exist for the Great Pyramid to Orion’s Belt, it was meant to record the time of construction – approximately 12,000 years ago. But by its ecliptic alignment the Great Pyramid preserves the Earth’s eternal contribution to the cosmic harmony. And on that basis we can discover the very same knowledge the ancients had and finally we can learn to live in the same consciousness they enjoyed.
While the Great Pyramid records in stone the importance of the Earth’s alignment to the four quarters of the ecliptic and the equinoxes and solstices, Vedic texts have also laid stress on the same harmony – the Earth’s sacred measure and her contribution to the combined harmony of the 9 planets in orbit of the Sun in a twelve-stage progression through the zodiac. Each planet offers its own ‘note’ to make up the cosmic symphony of our solar system; but of special significance is the ‘note’ our own planet contributes. All ancient traditions have honoured this knowledge. It is only our technological age that finds itself completely cut off from the sense and purpose of these rhythms of the universe. Never before have societies the world over been so utterly disconnected from the planetary family of our solar system. The Earth in this situation is similar to an orphaned child. This may well be the prophetic meaning in the tale describing the abduction of Persephone by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. Her imprisonment in the region of the Dark God mirrors the dark consciousness of our 21st century civilisation. But this myth also gives us a clue to the zodiacal mystery since Persephone, we are told, is allowed to spend one third of the year with her Divine Mother in Elysium (from where she was abducted); the remaining portion of the year she must spend ruling over the Underworld with Pluto. If we divide the ecliptic in three parts, two-thirds (the period in the Underworld) takes us to the zodiacal Scorpio; the remaining one-third begins in Sagittarius and closes the wheel with Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Indeed, Scorpio is Pluto’s realm, the region of death and the dead. In Hindu tradition the 8th in the series is Martanda, 8th of the divine mother Aditi’s twelve sons. He is the progenitor of our mortal human race and his name means, appropriately, dead egg. However, to explain more fully the meaning of Scorpio, it is the sign of the deep Sleep, which may be more easily comprehended today if it is known as Inertia. Death, as the mortal species experiences, is the individual’s inability to break through the stranglehold of the Scorpio inertia. Truly there is no ‘death’; there is no ‘end’. Death is merely a transition. However, for us in our present stage of evolution, it is indeed an end because of the deep sleep we experience and the plunge into complete unconsciousness and oblivion that this brings about. Many myths of the ancient world preserve the same knowledge. However, more significantly than myths, it is only the zodiac that can bring these tales into our dynamic experience because it connects the twelve-stage journey to time. Thus, as the Rig Veda informs us, it is the months of the year that hold us back or else that allow us access to Knowledge. When we see the zodiac as the map of evolution, we understand that it contains a knowledge unlimited by temporal and spatial boundaries. What it conveys is eternally valid at whatever stage the human species may be in its evolution – provided, however, that we have the correct zero point and can find our location in the cycles the zodiac describes. The 8th month is therefore the stage where an irresistible inertia overtakes the voyager; and this iron hold can come about because of the ‘sleep that is death’. The ‘sleep’ must occur for Inertia to succeed in holding the traveller back from completing the journey on Earth as a continued process. In other words, we can succumb to sleep and inertia and experience the remaining one-third ‘in heaven’; or we can use the key the zodiac provides to unlock the doors to the secret chamber where the Knowledge is held of our true immortal condition. Mortal creation, the present state of the species, is one possibility. It is the stamp in our cells by choice, as molecular biology is now discovering. However, until this 9th Manifestation there was really no ‘choice’ since as a species we were never born. We were unaware of the higher potential which is also our birthright – if we exert our right to choose. For humanity at this 9th stage of its evolution the choice means to be a passive victim of Inertia and to continue arresting the journey at the 8th stage of Scorpio, or to realise the higher potential, as the Ancient Ones have done, and experience immortality. That is, the transmutation of the Scorpion into the Eagle. The 8th sign was always known in ancient traditions as the Eagle. St. John’s Revelation confirms this. In Chapter IV the visionary describes the ecliptic as a ‘rainbow about the throne [the Sun] in sight like unto an emerald’ (3). And further on in verse 6, even more clearly the ecliptic is described as ‘a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind’. These four are then given the same symbol-forms as the four signs of Preservation, Vishnu’s signs, the zodiacal Fixed cross of lion, calf, man and eagle (see the Map of the 12 Manifestations*). In an even more remote age, the Vedic Rishi used the very same symbols precisely in praise of Vishnu the Preserver: lion, bull, man. The Seer sees Vishnu taking three strides (not the full four). It is as if he stands with Vishnu in the 8th position which we know of as Scorpio; and from there Vishnu begins to measure the universe, moving as the Precession of the Equinox does in a clockwise fashion. But from where he stands, according to the Scriptures, the 8th sign is his own vahana or carrier – the Eagle Garuda. The knowledge is preserved impeccably from an age countless centuries before St John penned his equally famous verses; and both concur exactly to confirm the ancient knowledge. Most Christians would not accept this unmistakable zodiacal content of The Revelation; but neither would Hindus, historians, or pundits accept that the Rishi preserved the knowledge by way of the very same zodiac we use today throughout the world. This is lamentable because that was the basis of all belief systems and cults in those former times before the onslaught of orthodox exclusivist religions. Only in our times has the universal language been discarded in favour of beliefs and dogmas that cut one off from one’s fellow creatures and from the cosmic vastness, – this great Clock whose cogs and wheels we help to perpetuate. We have made neat compartments and missed entirely the underlying script that provides a purpose to our sojourn on Earth. This universal script is so accurate that it also speaks of the great Sleep that was to overtake humanity as a whole, and exactly when. With the Precession of the Equinoxes we can locate the moment in evolution when the Sleep began and engulfed the world, west as well as east, if India’s famous epic, the Mahabharat, is to be believed. It too accurately informs us of the wave that overtook the orient at the same time western cultures succumbed. Indeed, it is via a combination of the Hindu epics and Vishnu’s famed three strides to measure the universe that we learn what happened to the Earth; and, above all, where we are meant to go in this collective experience once we fully awaken from the Sleep. It all centres on Scorpio, the 8th sign, and the transmutation of Scorpion to Eagle. It is the story of the choice humanity can make in order to escape the hold of Inertia.
We know that the ancients had the key to transmutation because closer to the Great Pyramid age, or the Ramayana and Mahabharat epochs, the zodiacal Scorpio was universally known as the Eagle, a symbolism which indicates this transmutation. Today no one knows the 8th sign by that name. However, we do have a significant clue to the state of consciousness and being of those sages of old in the remains found in Egypt of the Pharaonic age. Indeed, the tombs and mummies archaeologists have unearthed are our best guide. With these remains we can unravel the enigma, though this may not concur with the theories prevalent today. First of all, we must accept that there is no connection between the Great Pyramid and the pyramid-tombs of the Pharaohs. But what these structures in combination do reveal is that a huge gap exists in our analysing process based on the extant ruins of both periods. If we step out of the cage in which scientific orthodoxy is trapped, we are forced to acknowledge that a period of perhaps several thousand years separates one from the other. Darkness engulfs those astrological ages until a thread is taken up once again as the Precession of the Equinox ‘clock’ seems to be set ticking once again. In the ensuing period, the 8th Manifestation, the pyramid-tombs began to emerge and we find ourselves in the full-blown era of the Pharaohs. Meanwhile, contemporaneously in Vedic India the same gap was closed when the Mahabharat was connected to the Ramayana of the previous 7th Manifestation– equally via the Precessional ‘clock’. The reason for this gap is clearly established by Vedic tradition in that it is always in an Age of Preservation – Vishnu’s mode of manifestation – that the ‘ticking’ is set loud enough for us to hear. For this reason a later text like The Revelation also mentions only Vishnu’s four Fixed signs of Preservation out of the twelve. They are the symbols of most of extant sphinxes (see the crosswise section of the Map of 12 Manifestations). Indeed, preservation seems to have been an obsession, if you will, of Pharaonic Egypt. The latter’s obsession was not the thread of the Precession as it was in Vedic India, which was lost in Egypt. Rather, it was the actual mortal remains of the Pharaoh. This development does indeed reveal the consciousness of the ancients more conclusively than anything we could hope to uncover in our own peculiar obsession with tomb hunting. The Egypt of the Pharaohs bears no resemblance to the Egypt of the builders of the Great Pyramid. The only connection is that pyramids continued to be built, but nothing more. However, they were significantly different from the early specimens, not only in technological expertise for their construction but above all in their explicit ‘purpose’. In the Great Pyramid there is no evidence whatsoever that it was a tomb, the dogmas of scientific orthodoxy notwithstanding. Yet because the pyramids of the 8th Manifestation reveal beyond any doubt their funerary intent, it is assumed that the Great Pyramid must have served a similar purpose – if we could only find the evidence, now lost, robbed, ravaged, disintegrated in the structure or elsewhere to confirm the hypotheses. Nothing having been discovered so far, we are forced to conclude that this is, indeed, nothing but a hypothesis not at all substantiated. The evidence has never come to light. Instead the two remnants, side by side, tell their own tale unmistakably: there is a gap, a black hole plaguing our awareness of continuity. The gap has never been closed. However, if we look at what IS, quite simply, dropping all the dogmas science and scholarship have foisted on us over the past few centuries – indeed, even from Herodotus, the noted Greek historian – we see the obvious: Immortality was the issue. And this simple ‘obsession’ discloses that in some manner it was a physical immortality. More than that we cannot extract from Pharaonic Egypt because the knowledge of this superior state was long lost to these ‘descendants of the Sun’. It was indeed a physical state of immortality that was achieved; but similar to Vedic India this was a ‘heaven on Earth’, if it may be so described. That is, the alignment message of the Great Pyramid, as well as the Rig Vedic text, are absolutely clear on this point. After the ‘sleep’ set in, this Earth orientation and a birthright of immortality could only be interpreted as a transmutation centred on the physical body itself. The point was entirely missed though generations of Pharaonic ‘descendants from the Sun’ continued to persevere in this ephemeral quest, with the results we see today: meaningless tombs cluttered with inconsequential artefacts which scientific orthodoxy can utilise to prove that 1) all the extant tombs, including the Great Pyramid and its two companions, were tombs to house a megalomaniac Pharaoh, and that 2) this reveals the superstition and ignorance of former civilisations, however impressive their cultural achievements. This line of reasoning only served to lead away from the true path of discovery. But it did serve to convince us that our present civilisation is the apex of the evolutionary scale, and that everything before us, be it in the west or the east or midway between, was a long and dark age redeemed only by science and technology. To sustain this belief, it has been imperative to hide the truth of the technology employed to build the Great Pyramid. Similarly, theories had to be made into dogma regarding India’s hoary past to spread the belief that nothing existed in the subcontinent before 1500 BCE, when pagan-worshipping hoards from the north descended on a land devoid of any significant civilisation and culture. Both orthodoxies have served the same purpose: our contemporary civilisation has been brainwashed to believe that it is the fruit of millions of years of evolution and represents the highest level attained so far in the evolution from ape to man. But let us explore another premise that is more in harmony with the ground reality, and that answers question the above theory cannot. At the same time, this premise does not diminish our present status but rather helps us to regain a knowledge of ourselves and of the world that has been long lost.
The Egyptian obsession with the preservation of the physical body after death stems from the remembrance of things long past, the memory of Immortality and the period when the Gods walked the Earth. Whenever we find a culture with a similar obsession – such as the ancient Inca of pre-Colombian America – we know that it is the same memory of a lost state enjoyed on Earth that still haunts them. In the Rig Veda we discover the very same ‘obsession’, which none who have studied the text can deny. But this was not carried over to the physical in the Egyptian manner; and through this we discover the difference in the way the decline set in both in Egypt and India. For Egypt it was focussed entirely on the physical, and hence the art of mummification was developed to a remarkable degree. It came to influence even the development of an exquisite and unparalleled art in an effort to preserve the physical features of the deceased who was somehow to realise the same immortality of old, if the right rules were followed. But what were those ‘rules’? The chasm was too complete. It proved impossible to bridge and the anticipated transformation never materialised in spite of trial after trial which the extant new pyramids and the relics they contain demonstrate. Nor did those ancient Gods reappear who could guide the Pharaoh through the labyrinthine mysteries of the afterlife journey. That much is indeed recorded in an age closer to ours: the deceased was expected to meet his Guide and be ferried to the shore of the Immortals in his very own physical body, similar to the earlier Gods. Being ‘Descendants of the Sun’ they were expected to attain that same state – i.e., physical immortality. Important to note is that in Egypt it was all centred on the physical body, not a state of consciousness as we find in India. The reason is that there was no such chasm, a stark before and after, as we can clearly perceive in the Egyptian progression. The Great Pyramid and the more recent imitative structures of Pharaonic Egypt indicate this complete severance, which we do not detect in India and which the Rig Veda confirms; a point we will develop further on. Perhaps Egypt experienced the Great Flood recorded in a number of myths and scriptures of that area. Certainly passage over the first cardinal point in the Precession of the Equinoxes, 0 degrees Cancer, around 8000 BCE, could provide the answer we seek. And being the point of Cosmic Midnight, and a sign of the water element in fact, it would have presaged this plunge into the oblivion that the great Sleep induced and which is so clearly demonstrated in the before and after that we find today in Egypt. The accompanying diagram can make this clear. The Precessional period we are discussing stands at the end of the Age of Cancer (where the arrow points), moving backwards through the signs or in a clockwise movement. The deep night of Cancer was the signal that darkness was soon to descend. But in India the decline was gradual. It was a slow and steady deviation, as if one had introduced a gradual change in direction and the space ship of consciousness was imperceptibly steered toward a different location, a far-off horizon in the Beyond, an otherworldliness that could perhaps grant the nectar of Immortality, – Soma, as it is called in the Veda, which tradition tells us is found on the Moon. Immortality for the yogi of the Vedic Age was a matter of an attainment of a state of consciousness, first and foremost, though Vedic tradition does preserve stories of physical survival after death and in numerous instances of a conscious passage to the other world, whatever that might be. Tradition in India records that many Rishis had the ability to leave their bodies at will. It is a tradition carried right into the present; there are cases recorded today of a form of conscious transition. Since there is an unbroken thread to the ancient way in India, the result is that the state of Immortality of the Gods developed into a state of consciousness exclusively, due to the slow and largely imperceptible change in the direction of the quest over several thousands of years, allowing the yogi to believe that he was still on course, as it were. The Rishis who penned the Rig Veda knew better, however. The text very clearly indicates that there was something missing – and these sages were fully aware of the fact. The final verses of the famous Nasadiya–Sukta, (RV X, 129), known popularly as the Vedic Hymn of Creation, states,
Who really knows it? Who can presume to tell it? Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation? Even the Gods came after its emergence. Then who can tell from whence it came to be?
That out of which creation has arisen, Whether it held it firm or it did not, He who surveys it in the highest heaven, He surely knows it – or maybe he does not!
(Translation: Raimundo Panikkar, The Vedic Experience, All India Books)
Time after time we encounter this sort of questioning (‘Who truly knows?’) to indicate a lost knowledge that must be retrieved, the ‘lost sun’; and finally a perplexing exclamation at the end of a profound revelation. Since there was no dramatic severance with the former culture, unlike in Egypt, the great Sleep affected the ‘fulcrum’ of the ancient Vedic path which was the very first step on the way to the full realisation of Immortality. This fulcrum was hailed as Skambha, the cosmic pillar, centre of the world and upholder of the realisation. With the removal of Skambha the integral realisation became impossible, covering all the planes down to the physical. Dislodging the essential Cosmic Pillar resulted in what we have today: a civilisation that calls itself ‘vedic’ and believes itself to be what it was of old, but which preserves that condition only in the four Vedas. It is not found on the ground today. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, ‘The letter lived on when the spirit was forgotten; the symbol, the body of the doctrine, remained but the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings.’ (The Secret of the Veda.) If we wish to piece together history before the great Sleep, this is the method: we look deeply at what IS, like the Rig Veda encourages the Aryan Warrior to do. For us today this means that we must have the courage to dismiss the many falsehoods that orthodoxy of all types has saddled us with over the centuries, all of which can be proven to be coloured by motives incompatible with the pursuit of truth. What such a penetration reveals is an Egypt where the great Sleep resulted in an entirely physical memory, and consequently an obsession with the preservation of corpses because Egypt did not experience continuity through the human channel of yogic realisation. It woke up one day and found the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx before its bewildered collective eye. From that point onward its wisemen began piecing together the tradition of old with whatever tools it could find amidst the ruins at its disposal. It is as if the great Flood had submerged the continent – indeed as the Bible states – destroying everything but the Great Pyramid with its two companion pyramids and the Sphinx, all of which were very consciously built to survive the holocaust because the Precession of the Equinoxes would have foretold what lay ahead. Thereafter, no trace was found of the state of consciousness of the ancient builders, the Gods who walked the Earth in a physical embodiment, only the distant memory of things now lost. From that point onward, when the Precessional clock began ticking loudly once more at the onset of the Age of Taurus, or Vishnu’s sign of Preservation in the 8th Manifestation, an awakening from this induced stupor began. The magnificent civilisation of Pharaonic Egypt did the best that it could under the circumstances to attain the same height of the former age of glory, copy-cat fashion. And thus countless imitative pyramids arose to somehow bring the mummified corpse to the promised shores where the Gods could be seen. To sum up, the point to be made is that, as the Precession indicates, passage over the cardinal point of 0 degree Cancer, the Cosmic Midnight of the zodiac, brought a complete dislocation with the former 7th Manifestation when the Gods seemed to have walked the Earth. In the next Manifestation, the 8th, the great Sleep (or Flood) in the case of Egypt, whose destiny was centred on space and on the physical, would result in an obsessive striving to regain that former state as a reality of the Earth, and not a heaven beyond – though ultimately, as the distance increased from the age of the Gods, so to speak, the Earth orientation began to take on the appearance of a location beyond our solar system and into perhaps other galaxies. In India, whose destiny was determined to be a voyage of Consciousness before all else from the beginning of this last round of the Precession (approximately 20,000 years ago), the unbroken thread with the age in question resulted in the preservation of a text that fully indicates the lost knowledge; ‘the lost Sun’, as it is called in the Veda. The object of the quest described in the text is the retrieval of that lost Sun. There can be no mistake that a deviation set in because the Veda itself records this happening. In exploring the verses to Skambha from the Atharva Veda, we will see not only that the lost state was known then to the Rishi, but also exactly what that loss would indicate for the subcontinent in ages to come; and, with great precision, the area that would be afflicted most by the loss, resulting in a society believing itself to be Vedic but having lost its Vedic essence simply because the Cosmic Pillar had been dislodged. In the Chandogya Upanishad, penned in an age closer to the Vedic than the later Upanishads, we read in III, 12, 2-9:
‘What the Gayatri is, that indeed the earth is also, for it is on the earth that this whole universe is established; it does not extend beyond. What the earth is, that indeed the body in man is also, for on it these vital breaths are established; they do not extend beyond it. What the body in man is, that indeed the heart within man is also, for on it these vital breaths are established; they do not extend beyond it. The Gayatri has four feet and is sixfold. About this a verse of the Rig Veda says: ‘Such is the measure of his greatness, but greater still is the Man (RV X, 90).’ All beings form a quarter of him, three quarters, the immortal in the sky. What is called Brahman, that indeed the space outside a man is also; what the space outside a man is, that indeed the space within a man is also; what the space within a man is, that indeed the space within the heart is also. That is the full, the unchanging. Whoever knows this obtains good fortune, full and unchanging.’ (Translation: Raimundo Panikkar, ibid.)
Notwithstanding the above and to demonstrate the logical finality of a quest centred on the Beyond and the extra-cosmic, preservation of the corpse has not at all been a part of civilisation on the subcontinent – right into our own times. The body of the deceased is cremated – an adequate symbol of its ultimate fate of impermanence and inevitable dissolution, and a return to the elements from whence it arose. In other words, a complete contrast to Pharaonic Egypt. Cremation is utterly in keeping with the emphasis on a swar –as the goal is called in the Veda – beyond physicality. It is, however, a symbol-end contradicting everything that is stated in the Chandogya Upanishad quoted above and in countless other scriptures, the direction having changed by 180 degrees, pointing away from the Earth entirely. What else does this ‘symbol’ tell us? For there is far more to discover regarding the course both civilisations etched out for themselves over the centuries on the fabric of time and space. There is the question of continuity, for example. Why did every civilisation in Egypt result in a cul-de-sac? The Pyramid Age left nothing but a few structures behind to mark its passage; Gods or aliens, humans or divine beings disappeared entirely leaving no trace other than these colossi. And as for Pharaonic Egypt, after the turmoil and upheaval that befell the land when the Pharaohs disappeared, Islam soon stepped in and once again no traces are to be found of the magnificent civilisations of old. Egypt today bears no similarity to anything of its great past. And yet those cultures attained levels which may never be reached again. But Egypt was not obsessed with time. India always has been, even in the most ancient Vedic Age. Consequently India could never experience a total disconnection from any experience it met along the way. It could only embrace the new and absorb it into its being because of the spherical properties of Time itself, in contrast to the linearity of Space of the Egyptian obsession, resulting later in temples of massive size perhaps in an effort the recapture the lost glories of the Pyramid Age. Furthermore, India’s perennial relationship with Mahakal¸ the Great God of Time as Shiva is known, condemned it to a slow and steady evolution. For it is in evolution that we find the secret to her continuity. In Egypt we note something of an intrusion. The Great Pyramid is somehow out of place in time. It is disconnected from the race that later came to inhabit the area, and from everything else evolution seems to have attained up to that age. This can never happen in India. There can be no such intrusion of anything disconnected from the whole. All must evolve organically in a process where Time is the great and immortal presiding deity because the essence of Skambha is time itself. And on this cosmic pillar the entire civilisation, from beginning to end, reposes. But the deviation took its toll and the yogic realisation of Skambha was lost; with it came the loss of the sacred measure of the Earth that lies at the heart of the process of evolution, confirmed in so many of the civilisation’s ancient scriptures. However, the multitude of scriptures which form the most impressive array of yogic documentation the Earth has ever known are meaningless without the realisation of Skambha, fulcrum for all the rest. Continuity hinging on the human channel across the ages, it is logical that in India time and evolution should be the civilisation’s instruments in a continuous flow without any drastic break in the thread time and circumstance weave through the larger or smaller cyclic movements. Nothing confirms this assessment as well as the Puranic Line of Ten Avatars, from the Fish Avatar through to the tenth of the present Age of Vishnu, our current Age of Aquarius.
In the 26 May 2004 issue of The Hindu, an article appeared that is relevant to this discussion, entitled ‘Skeletons, inscriptions found at ancient burial sites in Tamil Nadu’. The report carries details of the very latest findings of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu. Over a dozen burial urns were found containing human skeletons, dating to pre-Megalithic times; that is prior to the 3rd century BCE.
‘…The skeletons found in two or three urns show that prior to the Megalithic period, these people used to enter the dead in urns along with the items they had used. Early Tamil Sangam works contained elaborate description of the urn-burial custom.’
The report further states that the urns were found in layers of soil which indicate a possible dating of the 7th or 8th century BCE, a number of centuries earlier than the original estimates. For the ASI the main interest is that inscriptions were found on the urns in early Tamil Brahmi script, previously considered to have come into usage at a much later date. But considering our topic, of significance is the fact that interment, of whatever form, seems to have been practiced perhaps up to the Buddhist era, – at least in South India. It appears that some time thereafter cremation became the means to dispose of corpses. It was also thereafter that to take birth at all came to be regarded as a ‘fall’, even though this was not explicitly stated until a later date. For the Buddhist, nirvana was a means to rid oneself of the bondage samskaras create, pinning one down to endless rebirths which are intended to finally liberate the individual from this incarceration. The Buddha was not as much concerned with the illusion or reality of material creation as with liberation from the suffering such bondage engendered. But in denying the soul any reality in the equation because it was tied to everything that appears to be impermanent, it was just one small step to Advaita and Mayavada which sustain that this material creation is an ‘illusion’ engendered by maya. The latter was no longer perceived as in Vedic times, a divine power, but rather something similar to Eve of Judeo-Christian tradition: a temptress, a beguiler and certainly disconnected from the higher strata of the Spirit. Therein the only permanent reality is the Self, extra-cosmic, transcendent. By that time cremation would have been the proper ‘symbol’ for a cultural shift of this order from the Vedic perception. Material substance was then awarded its just due by complete dissolution; no importance at all was attached to that ‘sheath’ of little or no value, since transcendence was the true goal. By the time cremation became the norm, the split between matter and spirit was complete. Though we like to believe that such a split is a Western affliction and finds no place in the Eastern perception of reality, in the practicalapplication of the different yogas, this split exists, just as it does in the West. The wave that clouded the evolving human consciousness was global. While all forms of pagan worship were targeted in occidental cultures, and came to be replaced by the exclusivist religions arising in the Middle East, in the orient it was, simply put, otherworldliness. But the result was the same, East and West: a total divide between matters of the spirit and of the flesh. For this reason, since such a division was not engrained in Hinduism with its roots in the Veda, it has been more difficult for India to cope with the demands a divisive postulation of this nature imposes, as we find in western cultures where no such foundation exists. Therefore we witness a notable material decline in the East and a rise of the West. India could not operate in a world where matter was somehow separated from spirit due to a conflict caused by this divisive perception because of the Vedic realisation of wholeness and integrality which lay at the root of its origin. The result was a weakening of the inner fibre of the society due to a diminished ‘fuel’ that was required to keep the spaceship of consciousness directed toward the Earth. This ‘fuel’ is released and made available only through processes of yoga and founded on the realisation of Skambha, the ‘support’ of all the worlds, the Point that fills the void and provides an anchor, a stability amidst change, a centre that holds. Without this nurturing fuel finally invasions took their toll bringing with them a relentless denial of the earlier wisdom, similar to what was transpiring in the rest of the world. And India, like many societies where paganism was uprooted, succumbed to colonial rule, which not only depleted the nation of its riches and skills and a loss of its self-respect, but also permitted a tactical undermining of the youth through educational institutions which are entirely based on Western religious/cultural perceptions far removed from the civilisation’s Vedic roots. Now the ancient hallowed Vedic texts are simply repeated like slogans. Today they cannot inspire the youth in a world where material accomplishments are the ultimate one can aspire for; they have no power to guide the nation to the discovery of a third way wherein the Veda themselves again become the foundation on which that new world can be built. We have these important archaeological discoveries coming to light precisely while we are pondering over the way human remains were treated in ancient times in Egypt and Vedic India. This is an example in itself of the play of circumstances becoming integrated right in the preparation of this essay, ‘supporting’ our endeavour as ‘Skambha’, the anchor for that play, is wont to do. Thus these archaeological discoveries confirm our deduction that cremation was post-Vedic and is an appropriate symbol of the different orientation of the quest and a fixation on the Beyond rather than an apotheosis on Earth as we find in the Rig Veda. Cremation in lieu of interment simply reinforces the post-Vedic changed direction. This is not to suggest that cremation is somehow less desirable and Hindu India should return to the former ‘symbol’ (burying the dead), to honour the physical body as one’s vahana (carrier) during sojourn on Earth. It is simply a question of unveiling the inner ‘eye’ to then perceive these symbols within an entirely new framework. In the third way it is not a question of a symbol representing something else but BEING THAT VERY THING. The symbol is the very thing symbolized, be this cow or horse, rising Sun or nighttime sky illumined by a resplendent Moon. In a context of the symbol being the thing symbolized, the introduction of cremation, now the universal Hindu custom, means exactly what it is: dissolution (nirvana) of the physical just as the seeker is encouraged to dissolve all threads of consciousness binding one to the physicality of an Earth-rooted consciousness. In ancient Vedic times the quality of life was different because the goal of the quest was different. Immortality was sought but not by denying or undermining the base of our quest, the Earth, as we do today however camouflaged.
The point to be made is that arcane, hidden formulas comprehensible only to sages are not required at this stage of evolution to understand where we are and how and why we got there in this long and steady process of decline. All we need to do is observe what is; but only if we reacquire the ability to observe the world we live in through a re-made ‘lens’. We need to bring into focus the reality before our eyes so that this material world will no longer be seen as separate from its inner essence. And it is that inner essence that must be allowed to speak to us once again through all the elements of a world in time and space. The focusing required allows us to apply the yoga of ancient times within our contemporary society and to perceive that same Truth in this 21st Century. When the Becoming is integrated solutions manifest. It is this, the play of circumstances, that must provide the harmonious way which alone can integrate the total reality. Then there is no choosing, as such, no exertion or imposition of the individual will. In the true sense of the word we are conscious instruments for the Divine Will to manifest, through the instruments that we have become, and to thus express Itself in material creation. This is our ‘purpose’, our sacred birthright. If we realise this condition we do not need to flee the world, to seek nirvana or samadhi or any other strategy to disassociate ourselves from a world in constant movement. By this accomplishment, our birth on Earth is not at all a bane as religions and spirituality encourage us to believe; because it is only in a material creation that this integral realisation can be experienced. Thus, it is only in a body devised for the purpose that the Absolute can BE and MANIFEST. This is a radical departure from all the former paths. Indeed, it is only a radical solution that can bring back the divine Purpose into our lives and allow us to accept birth on Earth for what it is: a sacred playing field where the human species manifests increasingly the higher truth, the one relevant truth – not a single Prophet or Saviour, or a one God, all of which becomes irrelevant in this context – but the truth of what we are, of a creation in matter which exists so that the Absolute can manifest unceasingly. And since the play is infinite and eternal, so are the myriad possibilities of manifestation open to the human species until all is the Divine.
‘…This unity embracing all mind, life and matter in the Light of a supramental Truth and the pulse of a spiritual Bliss will be to us our internal fulfilment of the Divine in a complete cosmic consciousness. But since we must embrace all this in the double term of the Being and the Becoming, the knowledge that we shall possess must be complete and integral. It must not stop with the realisation of the pure Self and Spirit, but include also all those modes of the Spirit, by which it supports, develops and throws itself out into its cosmic manifestation. Self-knowledge and world-knowledge must be made one in the all-ensphering knowledge of the Brahmin.’
Sri Aurobindo The Synthesis of Yoga
On April 13, 1962, the Mother experienced perhaps the most critical moment in her yoga, a process that had stretched over many decades. Her physical body was the focus of an action that was to mark the beginning of a new phase in the work she was born to accomplish. On that fateful night, she was declared ‘dead’, only to ‘resuscitate’ some time later. And then she proceeded to describe the experience she had in that state. She entered into a dimension which revealed that material creation was carried along in its manifestation by pulsations or undulations, and that the essence of these pulsations was the power of Love:
‘Suddenly in the night I awoke with the full awareness of what we could call the Yoga of the World. The Supreme Love was manifesting through big pulsations, and each pulsation was bringing the world further in its manifestation. It was the formidable pulsations of the eternal, stupendous Love, only Love; and each pulsation of the Love was carrying the universe further in its manifestation…’
(Extracted from The Gnostic Circle, page 57)
1956, the year of the Supramental Manifestation, marked a new beginning in the unfolding of Sri Aurobindo’s vision and determined a particularly important turning point regarding the action of Supermind (see VISHAAL 0/1 and 0/2). From then onward Supermind crossed a certain threshold and the processes it controls began to overtly bear witness to its upholding power.
From that time onward as well, the Mother’s yoga gradually began to give evidence that it was being carried out in consonance with this new development, that she was in fact the instrument through which that Power was hewing its path and extending its influence in the world. But to be more specific, it was arranging a ‘new language’ for itself, precisely one of the means by which a collective change is meant to come about, bridging the consciousness of the unity and the multiplicity. Hence, the descriptions the Mother gave of her yogic experiences thereafter provide us with certain clues as to the exact language the new Knowledge would evolve. In the first issue of VISHAAL (October 1985), I have given an example of that new formulation. In this article I shall present a further example, equally accurate, of the new formulation that was arising out of the direct experiences provided by the supramental yoga.
Time, as I have pointed out in all my publications, holds the key to the new language. And this is not an abstract formula, theory or hypothesis. It is a living time, gestator of a lived experience that delineates an intelligent and intelligible process, a conscious pattern in evolution and a means by which we can measure the activity of Supermind on Earth.
Considering the role time plays, the fact that this critical juncture for the Mother was reached in 1962 is meaningful in many ways. First, in terms of number-power, 1962 equals 9 (1+9+6+2=18=9). Any year of this vibration points to a new beginning. It marks a death to the prior 9-year cycle and the start of a new one, integrating in the process all that had been lived previously. The 9-power years are seed periods (by virtue of the equality of the 9 with the 0). The experiences lived at that time present a sort of condensation of what will extend outward in time, spanning the next 9-year period. This 9 rhythm may also be referred to one’s age, any year equalling 9, as, for example, one’s 18th, 27th, or 36th year, and so on.
There are many remarkable facets to this arrangement, but limited space does not permit a detailed discussion here. However, the reader may refer to my books on the subject for a more detailed presentation, with a complete exposition of the theory and the methodology in the context of the new yoga. Nonetheless, I must make brief mention of certain facts, in order to bring forth the importance of 1962 in the Mother’s life and the progress of her work. In fact, 1962 was especially important in that it marked 36 years from the beginning of the Aquarian Age (1926); and the rhythm of 36, or 4 x 9, carries a yogic (or other) process through four levels, or a complete development, corresponding to the four levels of creation: physical, vital, mental and spiritual. Indeed, that year marked a substantial change in that the Mother then withdrew permanently to her room and hence from the outer management of the Ashram which, until that time, she had supervised. From then onward she remained in this withdrawn state, fully concentrated on her new phase of yoga.
Apart from the 9-year cycle, students of Sri Aurobindo’s life and works are aware that the 12-year cycle is also significant, to such an extent that happenings involving this cycle in his lifetime cannot be easily dismissed as ‘coincidences’, – a word which in any case we employ to cover a range of striking synchronistic phenomena for which we have no valid explanation. As such, we see that 1962 marked the 12th year after Sri Aurobindo’s passing, and it was a 9-power year. These two numbers and their corresponding time cycles experienced an integration in 1962, in the Mother’s yoga. And indeed the process we shall discuss concerning the new formulation she set in motion then revolves around a harmony of 9 and 12, the former being related to time and the latter to space. These divisions of the Circle, into 9 and 12 parts, give us, in their superimposed combination, the Gnostic Circle.
Shortly after the Mother’s critical ‘death’ experience of the night of 12/13 April, 1962, a new vision began to emerge. It was truly a new beginning and set the pace for an entirely different development, not only within the parameters of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, but in the context of the entire range of known yogas. Indeed, this marked the beginning of the formulation of certain essential elements in the supramental yoga. This was in fact the ‘newness’ that was born in the Mother’s ‘death’ experience – a death that was effectively a new birth.
I should like to present an example of this new formulation that began to take shape at that time. To do so, I shall reproduce a dialogue of the Mother’s which took place just after her momentous ‘death’. This conversation was on 24 May, 1962. I have included the major portion of this talk as Appendix VIII of The New Way, Volumes 1&2, but for this review I shall present the entire published transcript (translated from the French), taken from L’Agenda de Mere, Volume III, Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris (1979).
There was a time when I thought that if one could have a total knowledge, complete and perfect, of the entire functioning of physical Nature, as one perceives it in the world of Ignorance, this could be the means to rediscover or once again to reach the Truth of things. With my last experience (of 13 April), I can no longer think this way.
I don’t know if I am making myself understood . . . . There was a time – a very long time – when I thought that Science, if it went to the depths of its potential, but in an absolute form (if this were possible), would discover the true Knowledge. As for example in its study of the composition of Matter: by pushing-pushing-pushing the investigation, there would be a time when the two would join. Well, then I had the experience of the passage of the eternal Truth-Consciousness to the consciousness of the individualised world, it seemed to me that this was impossible. And if you ask me now, I think that the one and the other, that possibility of attainment by pushing Science to its limits, and then that impossibility of any conscious, real connection with the material world, are both inexact. There is something else.
And during these days, more and more I find myself surrounded by the whole problem, as if I had never seen it.
Perhaps these are two paths leading to a third point, and at the moment it is the third point that I am in the process of…not exactly studying, but I am searching for – where the two would join in a third that would be the True Thing.
But certainly objective knowledge, scientific, pushed to its extremes, if it is at all possible for it to be total (in this there is an ‘if’), at least leads to the threshold. This is what Sri Aurobindo says, only he says it is fatal, because all those who have given themselves up to this sort of knowledge, believed in it as if it were an absolute truth, and this closed for them the door to the other approach. This is what is fatal.
But according to my personal experience, I can see that for all those who believe in the EXCLUSIVE spiritual approach via the inner experience, this is in any case also fatal if it is exclusive. Because it reveals ONE aspect to them, ONE truth of the ALL, but not the ALL. The other side seemed to me equally indispensable, in the sense that when I was so totally immersed in that supreme Realisation, it was absolutely indisputable that the other external realisation, deceiving, was only a deformation (probably accidental) of something that was AS TRUE AS the other.
It is that something that we are searching for. Perhaps not merely searching for, but building.
We are being used so that we may participate in the manifestation of that which is still inconceivable for everyone, because it is not yet there. It is an expression that is yet to come.
That is all I can say.
It is truly the state of consciousness in which I live at this moment. It is as if I were in the presence of this eternal problem, but…FROM ANOTHER POSITION.
These positions, the spiritual and the ‘materialistic’, if one may call it so, that are believed to be exclusive (exclusive and unique, so that one denies the value of the other, from the point of view of Truth), are insufficient, not only because they do not admit each other, but because even admitting the two and uniting the two does not suffice to solve the problem. There is something else – a third thing which is not the result of these two, but something that is to be discovered, which will probably open the door to the total Knowledge.
This is where I am. More I cannot say because I am there.
One can ask, practically, how to participate in this…
This discovery? That…after all, it is always the same thing. It is always the same: realise one’s own being, enter into a conscious rapport with the supreme Truth of one’s own being, under NO MATTER what form, NO MATTER what path – this is unimportant – it is only the means. Each one of us carries within a truth, and it is with this truth that one must unite, this truth that must be lived; and in this way the path that he will have to follow in order to unite with and realise this truth is the path that will take him CLOSEST to the Knowledge. That is to say, the two are totally united: the personal realisation, and the Knowledge.
Who knows, perhaps it is even this multiplicity of approaches that will provide the Secret – the Secret that will open the door.
I do not think that a single individual (on the earth as it is now), however great he is, however eternal his consciousness, and origin, can alone, by himself change and realise, – change the world, change the creation as it is and realise the Higher Truth that will be a new world, a world more true, if not absolutely true. It seems a certain number of individuals (till now it appears to be rather in time, as a succession, but it may also be in space, a collectivity) is indispensable so that this Truth may concretise and realise itself. I am practically sure of it.
That is to say, however great, however conscious, however powerful ONE Avatar may be, he cannot, all alone realise the supramental life on Earth. It is either a group in time, arranged in a line in time, or a group spread over space – or both – that are indispensable for this realisation. I am convinced of it.
The individual can give the impetus, indicate the way, WALK himself on the path, that is to say show the way by realising it himself – but not accomplish it. The accomplishment obeys the collective laws which are the expression of a certain aspect of the Eternal and the Infinite – naturally! it is all the same Being. It is not some different individuals or some different personalities, it is the same Being. But it is the same Being that expresses itself in a certain way which, for us, translates itself by means of an ensemble, a group, a collectivity.
There…Have you any other questions to ask about this?
I would like to ask you: on what point has your vision become different after that experience (of 13 April)? What is the point of difference?
I repeat, for a long time it seemed to me that if one made a perfect union between the scientific approach carried to its extreme and the spiritual approach carried to its extreme – its maximum realisation – , if one joined these two, one would find, one would obtain naturally the Truth one seeks, the total Truth. But with the two experiences that I had, the experience of the external life (with universalisation, impersonalisation, with all the yogic experiences that one can have in the material body), and then the experience of the total and perfect union with the Origin, now that I have had these two experiences and there has occurred something – which I cannot describe now – I know that the knowledge of the two and the union of the two are not sufficient; that there is a third thing in which these two terminate, and it is this third thing that is in the making, in the process of working itself out. It is this third thing that can lead to the Realisation, the Truth that we seek.
This time is it clear?
It was something else I had in mind…How has your vision of the PHYSICAL world changed after this (experience)?
One can give only an approximation of that consciousness.
I arrived by yoga at a certain kind of relation with the material world based on the notion of the fourth dimension (inner dimensions that become innumerable in yoga) and I made use of this attitude and this state of consciousness. I studied the relation between the material world and the spiritual world with the sense of inner dimensions – that had been my experience before the last one.
Naturally, for a long time, there was no longer any question of three dimensions – that belonged absolutely to the world of illusion and falsehood. But now it is the use of the sense of the fourth dimension with all that it entails which appears to me as superficial! I do not find it any more, the thing is so strong. The other, the three-dimensional world is absolutely unreal; and the other one appears, how to say, conventional. It is as it were a conventional translation to give you a certain kind of approach.
And as for saying what it is, the other one, the true position?…It is so much beyond all intellectual states that I am unable to formulate it.
But the formula will come, I know. But it will come in a series of lived experiences, which I have not yet had.
The means which were for me useful, very convenient, and by the help of which I did my yoga, which gave me a grip on Matter, appeared to me like a method, a means, a procedure – but it is not THAT.
This is the state I am in.
More I cannot say. I would prefer making some progress before saying anything else.
Like the 5 February, 1969 dialogues concerning the way in which the Superman Consciousness would be organised for Earth use, utilising number-power or the mechanism of time, this conversation is another milestone. It offers an equally precise clue to a certain arrangement the Supermind uses for the purpose of producing an imprint on the evolutionary blueprint – that is, the mechanism that the Supreme Consciousness utilises in its process of deployment in the material creation. As the Mother says, ‘…the collective laws which are the expression of a certain aspect of the Eternal and the Infinite.’ This deployment is the act of giving a body to the Absolute. Our evolution as a species provides a channel for the reproduction of certain basic laws in the act of the manifestation. From an in-depth study of human evolution within the framework of terrestrial and cosmic existence, we can come to a better, a truer integral vision of the reality of our world. This is the goal that the Mother indicates in her dialogue she was set upon reaching.
The important clue the Mother provides in this conversation concerns two poises that are the mainstays of the mechanism Supermind employs. In consequence, these two poises have become the principal features of the new cosmology, that new ‘formula’ the Mother was seeking, or the laws describing the structure of the vehicle for the propagation of the Truth-Consciousness in the world. We have, then, a new cosmic language, and elements central to the Mother’s experience are found to be pillars in this new cosmology.
Insofar as the Mother embodied the Divine Consciousness focussing its action on the cosmic dimension (the number 6), it is not surprising that the successful completion of her yoga should have produced a new cosmic synthesis. It is evident that the elements constituting this unique synthesis have been in existence for centuries, millennia, and stretching back even to the origin. She did not bring them into being, but rather her yoga served to give birth to the initial stages of a process of integration, on the basis of which a new language could arise expressing a more total Knowledge. This constitutes the ‘third point’ or poise she refers to. It is not a product of scientific investigation, nor of the spiritual endeavour, properly speaking. And yet, like all true syntheses, this Knowledge harmonises both poises; and at the same time it is indeed something else. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, is an aphorism that is especially true and applicable to the process under discussion.
In the analysis of the Mother’s 5 February, 1969 experience (VISHAAL, October 1985), it was noted that her yoga was centred on the cosmic dimension and was a descending, penetrating activity, an action ‘above’ reaching down into the physical. I shall demonstrate the manner in which this ‘direction’ is registered by the use of numbers, the elements so central to her experience. This can be done by presenting the formula of the Supramental Descent: 9-6-3-0/1, which, in effect, represents a descending or inverted direction in time, – that is, time coupled with vibratory number-power. (This same formula was presented in VISHAAL 0/1, to describe the contribution of the Lunar Line.) But the exciting aspect of this revelation lies in the fact that once the Mother had broken through in her yoga to the new dimensions of the Supramental Manifestation, she immediately began to perceive the existence of this inverted direction, even though at the time she was not fully able to grasp the intricacies of its actual formulation (‘…But the formula will come, I know. But it will come in a series of lived experiences, which I have not had yet…’) and the manner in which this would come to express itself in the body of the new Knowledge. Regardless of this temporary limitation, we find that once again the Mother’s description was precise enough to provide a means which could help us to verify the accuracy of the Knowledge, once it became formulated on the basis of those ‘lived experiences’.
In this conversation, the Mother describes two poises, which for her constitute the mechanism (corresponding to higher laws) on the basis of which the Supramental Change would come about. In so doing, she provides us with the splendidly accurate description of exactly how the Supramental Manifestation would be arranged in terms of the Incarnations (the Avatars she refers to) who would form one of these ‘poises’ or directions involving an inversion of number-power, related to time via our calendar – in other words, registered by the births of these incarnations, as well as the points in time when significant breakthroughs in their yogas (and other meaningful happenings) would take place to form a new web of time, or a new ‘blueprint’. We are brought into the heart of her Yoga by these descriptions, and are able to follow the process as if it were unfolding before our eyes, even as the Mother was then engaged in a process of ‘unfolding’, or hewing the path day by day.
In 1962, the Mother began to cross the threshold to a new way and hence to make possible the precise formulation of the Supramental Action on Earth. Indeed, the avataric Descent for this new age of the Supermind has been arranged as a succession in a line in time, because this is the mechanism for the great Change, utilising certain higher laws which control the evolutionary process. The above mentioned formula (9-6-3-0/1) is the pattern of that deployment, and indeed ONE incarnation is not sufficient to secure the victory, insofar as it is a process that covers four planes of consciousness – spiritual, mental, vital and physical. This ‘line in time’ that the Mother had foreseen in 1962 – 9 years before the last components were known, or that such a ‘line’ even existed for that matter – came to be called the Solar Line in the new cosmology, or the new formulation that the Mother was seeking so assiduously. Its peripheral companion in the action is the Lunar Line of the Nehrus (see VISHAAL 0/1), and like the resistance the Nehru succession has encountered in Indian political life, so too has the Solar Line faced a similar if not worse resistance and downright hostility; as if this hostility and denial could in any way alter the power of destiny stemming from the Truth-Consciousness and erase what is and has been done.
The necessity for a mechanism using an inverted time power is fully understood when it is realised that the Supramental Manifestation has a fourfold nature, corresponding, as mentioned, to the four planes of existence. Accordingly, this renders clear why Sri Aurobindo had seen that the Square was the geometric symbol of the Supermind, insofar as this form is composed of four sides and its number equivalent is 4. As explained in VISHAAL 0/1, there is an experience of reversal at the last poise: the 3 introduces this reversal and the two dimensions, or directions, join at the level of the 0/1. This would be the interconnecting nexus for the two poises the Mother mentions in her dialogue: an avataric descent stretched out in a succession in time, AND a group spread out in space. That is, the mechanism brings into being a harmony of the unity and the multiplicity – in higher knowledge, this is its significance – or the individual poise and the collective.
But there is something even more interesting to note in this unique arrangement. At the third level, the Descent has reached the domain of the vital. It is in that domain that the ‘organisation’ of time comes into being, in its periods which civilisation has registered by calendars in consonance with the cosmic harmony. When in her talk of 5 February, 1969, the Mother spoke of the ‘creative zone of the physical’, it was this area that was indicated, and hence she mentioned ‘the order of events’ that her action would determine. This is the zone that serves as a ‘bridge’ connecting the more subtle planes to the physical. As proof of this, we may note that it was only when the third stage of the Descent was reached, centred on the third incarnation of the Line and indeed connected to the vital plane, that the question of Time became prominent and it was possible to ‘measure’ the action of the Supermind via the time factor. Added to this, all disciples of Sri Aurobindo are aware of the fact that he was rather obsessed with time. There are various, often amusing, anecdotes in circulation attesting to his interest in this fundamental element of creation.
The Supramental Descent embraces a fourfold action; it integrates four planes in the process that constitutes what I have called the vertical dimension. This implies a vertically descending direction measured through number-power and the calendar. There is a penetrating descent into the physical manifestation of this Earth-plane, thereby producing an involution: it embeds a ‘seed’, a supramental Seed in the field of earth-consciousness. This ‘field’ is constituted by the expanding evolutionary movement, the horizontal dimension of the consciousness-cell, – a ‘group spread over space’. Thus the two poises – vertical and horizontal, or involutionary/evolutionary – join at a certain stage of the manifestation, a certain maturing point that occurs when the final two stages are reached. In the formula by which this activity can be measured, it would be at the level of the third and fourth powers (3 and 0/1). The express work of the Third in the organisation is precisely to secure this interconnection by a process of reversal. That is, the inverted, involutionary embedding reaches its compact wholeness, after which the Fourth Power engenders an expansion that overtakes the evolutionary process and plays itself out over the wider field of the Earth. Time is the instrument by which this action of the solar Line is extended to encompass the whole earth-consciousness and to permeate the evolutionary mechanism. This activity and the part time plays have been amply detailed in my books. The Mother’s yoga of the 1960s opened the way to the formidable body of Knowledge that would be fundamental in the overtaking process that is upon us.
When the Mother perceived the necessity of these two interconnected dimensions, the new language was still far from materialising. Above all, she did not have the key to the means by which such an action could not only play itself out but could also be registered in our world of material creation. The Divine Measure was yet to be established as the key element in the Supramental Change. But when that key finally did come – after the victorious completion of the Mother’s transformation – she was able to reveal to the world that time and number were the means. Thus, in 1969 she described how the Supramental Consciousness would work in the very terms we subsequently employed and have been able to verify according to the laws which comprise the new cosmology. This is the beginning of the third poise beyond both science and spirituality – a poise that does not deny the constituent elements of material creation in order to realise the heights of the supreme Spirit, nor does it deny the upholding subtle planes of consciousness in the effort to stamp its mark and mould civilisation into its image. Neither one – science or spirituality – secures its exclusive supremacy in the arena of life on Earth.
The important factor that comes forth in this analysis of the Mother’s dialogue is that an entirely new poise emerges when the Supermind reaches a particular phase in its actualisation. The time when this threshold was reached, initiating therefore the onset of this revolutionary activity, was the 9-year span from 1962-1971. By the beginning of the decade of the 70s, the Mother’s yoga had effectively produced the Divine Measure, the truth-measure of matter, and this was indeed the Golden Rod by which a new and truer understanding of matter could begin to emerge. However, with the new revelation the method also manifested of the realistic process for establishing a new consciousness on the planet and in consequence for the emergence of a new world order. The key to this realisation lies in a harmony and integration of the above mentioned directions the Truth-Consciousness uses for its manifestation on Earth: involution and evolution, – or the vertical and horizontal poises of contraction and expansion. We can best understand their respective properties if we imagine it as a biological process. What has to come into being is veritably a new Cell. As in a biological cell, there are two parts to the supramental Consciousness-Cell: the nucleus and the cellular mass. In this new Cell the nucleus comes into being by a contracting, involutionary action, which, through the mechanism of time, forms a core from which the encircling mass receives its sustenance.
The contracting power (of time), utilised for the formation of the Cell’s nucleus, creates then a sort of binding energy, on the basis of which the new Cell is held together. As the reader can appreciate, this process involving a reduced microscopic consciousness-cell, is the same any cell is subject to; the Supramental Manifestation in fact reproduces the original act of manifestation, the fundamental laws of all creation in matter.
What is embedded in the core/nucleus then extends to the outer mass, influences it and uses it for its propagation (‘the collective laws which are the expression of a certain aspect of the Eternal and the Infinite’). The nuclear activity of the Solar Line could not succeed in penetrating the world consciousness if deprived of the cellular mass of the collectivity.
This is an evolutionary process. An experience that is, in fact, the deepest truth of the evolution of consciousness on the planet. Ever and always the first expression in any great change in evolution comes through the creation of a new cell of consciousness in some form or other, which then divides and reproduces itself according to the pattern embedded in the nucleus or Seed. The Supramental Manifestation is no different. Rather, it is the apotheosis of the entire evolutionary arc of which we are a part. That is, when the truth-conscious creation comes into being it signifies that as an evolving planetary species we have crossed a decisive threshold: from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge.
It is clear beyond any doubt that the Mother was consciously ‘in search of’ that third poise, since it involves the Divine Measure whose revelation was the core of her destiny. She was well aware of its indisputable relevance to the work of transformation she was embarked upon. Time and again I have referred to this search as something so entirely evident, if one studies the records of her yogic experiences with the right preparation and in the correct poised of consciousness. Above all, the study must be pursued on the basis of an holistic seeing and supported by a vision that provides us with the coherent thread that time weaves through the garland of innumerable yogic achievements that she was forming. Thus, in these introductory issues of VISHAAL, I have presented two milestone dialogues in which she offers us the insight into the beginning and the end of her formidable activity, embracing in fact the final years of her embodiment. In the dialogue under discussion in this issue, she describes the first glimpses she was given of the path to be hewn. Above all, the Mother knew from the first breakthrough that the ultimate answer would be a process of transformation of the earth-consciousness that would ultimately harmonise and integrate two poises of universal creation: time and space, or contraction and expansion. But in order to do so an entirely new vision of just what these universal dimensions are had to come about. Hence in the process that followed hers, covering the 1970s to the present, time and space have come to reveal aspects or certain properties ignored by both the worlds of science and spirituality. Indeed, this has carried us to that Third Poise the Mother had foreseen. By the work we are able to present in this combined third and fourth stage of the Supramental Manifestation, it is entirely possible to carry the yogic achievements of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother out of the realm of speculation and thereby secure their indisputable contribution at the heart of the new world that is being born.
December of 1985 The Aeon Centre of Cosmology Kodaikanal, India
This is the third stage of the transformative process Sri Aurobindo set on its way in 1872, when he took birth on Earth as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu. Its first two stages were carried out as a joint mission by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, his co-worker in the Yoga. Ostensibly the focus during those early first two stages was to lay the foundations for what came to be known as the Integral Yoga. The newness this added to the vast array of yogic disciplines in India was precisely its integral character. But this was in service of a higher purpose.
As I have pointed out many times, almost the entire focus during those decades was to reverse the direction of the quest assumed by all yogas approximately after the time of the Buddha. It was a joint mission to turn the tide – a tide virtually with the power of a tsunami – in that all the great realisers over the past 2000 years, barring very few, had opted for an escape out of the material dimension so as not to face the challenges posed by a creation in matter which appeared insurmountable given the totality of circumstances at that stage of the evolution of the species. To bring about this shift the collaboration of the Mother was essential; without it his mission could not have succeeded. And in order to succeed in the reversal, the planes of consciousness contained in the physical had to be brought into the process: the spiritual, the mental, the vital, down to the physical. Thus was born the Integral Yoga. It was the first stage of the reversal that would change life on Earth forever. The physical vessel had to be poised to receive the more potent forces in their descent, a physical that had been abandoned to its unavoidable destiny of disintegration, closed to the luminosity of the higher regions.
After Sri Aurobindo’s passing in 1950, the Mother continued the process he was also engaged in, but on the subtle plane; and finally, six years after his passing, the long-awaited breakthrough occurred. It set the transformative process on to its third stage. But for the Mother on this material plane there was still much to do. Mainly, it was an overlapping period to prepare the field for the Third to enter. This overlapping, if it may be so called, lasted for 21 years; without it there would not have been a successful completion of the first two stages, nor the adequate field readied within which the Third was to take up the baton, as it were, of the critical third stage – corresponding to the vital in the four planes of consciousness; up to that point only the first two planes had been brought into the ambit of the transformation. Throughout the years the Mother remained physically incarnate after Sri Aurobindo’s withdrawal, the focus of her yoga was to create conditions for the transition to the Supramental Yoga from the Integral. Everything she did from 1950 onwards had this objective. The crucial turning-point came when the breakthrough finally arrived.
It was on 29 February 1956, 59 years ago, that the yogic breakthrough took place releasing the descent of a power that would ultimately bring about an entirely new principle operating within the evolutionary process. After it occurred the Mother made this statement:
‘This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that “the time has come”, and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.’
This was the beginning. Significantly it was a 3-Power year, because much of what was to manifest thereafter was an intertwining of action between all the parts of the Solar Line, converging on the Third, opening the way to the 0 and the integrating power of the Fourth, the One. From then on evolution of the human species has been undergoing critical changes in the realm of consciousness; above all, these have had an accumulative effect, with the speed of change experiencing acceleration, like the tightening of a spiral. The technological developments in communication are responsible in large part for this accelerated progress; in itself this reveals a key feature of the new manifestation that can be more easily understood by visualising the methodology as circular; progress therefore is made by convergence. In the course of this message, I will explain the system in depth because it is a distinguishing feature between the Integral and the Supramental Yogas.
The task of the Third in the Line is to facilitate a vision of the Divine in action on Earth. The result is ‘seeing in understanding’ whereby all creation is her Being.
The capacity to observe the play of circumstances differently is one of the Third’s key additions. It requires an ability to perceive always the parts within the whole as a harmonious display, as order and no longer chaos. Succinctly this means a consciousness poised centrally, as if in the centre of the circle whose periphery would be that play. One thus becomes the Sun, or reproduces in perceptive awareness the astrological symbol of the luminary of our System ☉. In this circular methodology the issue of convergence introduces quite a new operation, never before experienced on Earth; it is unique to the Supramental Shakti as the prime mover of the evolution of consciousness. The principle characteristic of convergence, as opposed to linear processes, is that transformation is contingent on a simultaneous progress that as a harmonised action among the parts and the whole can then be integrated or drawn into the net, as it were, attached to the Centre of the new supramental cosmos.
From this central position we observe the harmonious relation between the parts of the periphery. This integrated perception of harmonised parts within the whole is attracted to the Centre that HOLDS – that is, this centralised play is the key to order. The harmony we perceive and measure in our solar system is because of the Sun’s ‘holding power’, if it may be so called. In the language of contemporary science it would be the gravitational pull of the Sun that keeps the family of planets in defined orbits or specific boundaries. The nine planets must display this Order because they extend into the system the harmony that is the essence of our Sun. It cannot be otherwise. The ancient text on sacred architecture, the Mayamata, describes the same principle of perception, revealing in the process the role the Hindu Temple has played across the ages: If the measurement of the temple is in every way perfect, there will be perfection in the universe as well. (XXII.92)
The temple in this verse is equivalent to the eye of perception of the transformed human being. Based on that centering of consciousness, order is perceived throughout the universe. This is not to be confused with the centering acquired within one’s consciousness-being as attained in the practice of the Integral Yoga, involving the transformation of the four major parts of the being within one’s individual cosmos. Centering in that scenario does not extend beyond. The Mayamata, on the other hand, points to a poise that extends beyond the confines of the individual consciousness: the entire universe is drawn into that central point by contraction – or the same ability ‘to hold’ as the Sun possesses by its gravitational pull. In the Sun’s case no exertion of will is involved: it is simply a state of being; the individual aspires to that same condition of Being – not an exertion of will, just Being, or Sat of the trinity Sat-Chit-Ananda.
But contraction as a cosmic direction acting on the material dimension is not alone. Its origin is in the subtle plane and carries the properties of the Unmanifest across the borderline where it meets the expanding field of space. The joining of the two directions lies at the heart of the universal manifestation as we know it on this side of the border. Without the harmonisation of the two, there could be no material manifestation. The balance between contraction/vertical and expansion/horizontal is the great secret of a creation in matter.
This is the same message in Leonardo’s famed drawing of the Man in a Circle and Square. The process he describes graphically is the same attributed to the Hindu Temple: remaining pinned to the Square the aspirant is boxed in, quite literally, within the limits the sex-centred individual experiences in life. Everything is self-serving, contaminated by vested interests of various sorts and degrees of severity. The reason for this cramped, cut-off condition is the imbalance as in the off-centred cross ✝. Contraction is not balanced by expansion. This unbalanced condition describes the state of the human consciousness in the recently-concluded Age of Pisces. Indeed, the most iconic symbol that had imprinted itself on the collective consciousness during that Age was the off-centred cross, the meaning of which is that the final stage of the Supramental Descent symbolised in the birth of the victorious – not crucified – Son had not occurred. Put another way, the Piscean Age was one in which shadows had to be dissolved – as in the ‘shadow’ of the 9thAvatar of Vishnu, and also the shadow-Son. These were the two ‘redemptions’ Sri Aurobindo had to attend to by his birth as the 9th Avatar, combined with his return as the 10th in an unbroken line of time. These shadows required his direct intervention.
In a word, the Man in the Square is poised around the ego – the off-centred axis – and regardless of the hours spent in meditation or psychotherapy, there is no escape from that constricted box: awareness is always conditioned by an axis stemming from the sex-centre and therefore bound to the atavistic purpose of evolving humanity. In such a poise perceptive capacity can never reach the extended boundaries figured in Man within the Circle – that is, incorporating the entire universe. In the words of the Mayamata, the Circle Man is integrated into the cosmic manifestation which then becomes perfection. It is perfection precisely when that extended integration occurs. This is the heart and soul of the Supramental Yoga. What is truly awe-inspiring is that individual incarnation, birth on this third planet of the System, offers the potential of expanding one’s consciousness to encompass the entire universe. The issue is therefore just how far can this take us. Can this new poise cover all planes of consciousness-being, down to the physical?
All of these elements are essential parts of the Supramental Manifestation. They have been elaborated one by one in the Keys of Knowledge presented in our website – the only site where the contours of the Supramental Yoga are presented to an aspiring humanity eager to collaborate in the great change the new Power of Gnosis has introduced.
In the new dispensation we cannot remain satisfied with the poise of the ‘crucified’ man in Leonardo’s divinely-inspired drawing. We want more now; we need more if the things promised by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are to manifest on Earth. The Integral Yoga they established in their Ashram in Pondicherry, India, can no longer suffice as a channel for the manifestation of the promised Life Divine. We must move ahead to the Circle Man and integrate the entire universe by means of a consciousness-being so poised that we can ‘become the Sun’, or become the new temple for the new age by realising the poise described by the Mother as ‘the symbol of the future realisation’. In that image we see the vertical solar ray (that casts no shadows), the luminous globe, the supporting pedestal; all of which are upheld by the Mother’s horizontal symbol. The entire gnostic content of the Supramental Manifestation is contained in these conjoined elements. They give rise to the main key of the new cosmology, the Geometry of Time. This new revelation encourages that process of realignment to ‘become the Sun’ because all these parts are drawn into the centred consciousness and they then make sense, as in ´seeing in understanding’.
Only when the four members of the Solar Line are perceived to form one whole, each member covering one of the four planes of consciousness that constitute the reality of existence on Earth – Transcendent (Sri Aurobindo), Cosmic (the Mother), Individual/Soul (Thea), and the Fourth as the integrating power of the Supermind in the physical – can the first phase of the Manifestation be considered successfully completed. Likewise, in the fourfold Solar Line we understand the most important ingredient for a conscious participationin the Supramental Manifestation. It is the simultaneous perception of parts within the whole as a harmonised reality of life. Put another way, it is the combined vertical (Solar Line) and horizontal (the field provided by the collectivity) as the lived experience on Earth that the Supermind made possible.
In the subtle plane, which the Mother called the creative plane of the physical, the transformed Earth already exists. Our task is to be the instruments for that higher reality to become established on Earth as an indelible feature of the evolution – that is, to imprint it through extended Time, the first step in the transformation of the physical since Time is the congealing constituent of Matter.
‘…In the knowledge of Cosmology the history of the Earth is permanently recorded in a way that is indelible, because the information is ever there in the workings of the cosmos, in the structure of our solar system, and as long as our system prevails, this record is infallible.’ The “Map of the 12 Manifestations“ or ‘Map of the Ages’ holds the key to understanding the developmental scheme of history and the organisation of ancient and modern civilization.… However, man is dependent on one thing for the possibility of deciphering the cosmic scripture: he must receive the light from above, the divine word or revelation must be granted for the task. In no other way can he pretend to know the universal language. The heavens are there, the symbols are preserved, but he is blind to these workings unless the divine will grants him the light whereby to see.’—Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea), The Gnostic Circle, Aeon Books, 1974, pp. 32-33
One of the most important tools of the Supramental knowledge is the map of the 12 Manifestations. By studying its cycles we are able to discover what may be considered the greatest of all mysteries, a vision of ‘Mahakala’ – the Time-Spirit and the birth of the ONE. As in all of Thea’s work this is not a scholarly or intellectual pursuit but the careful cultivation of an understanding that the individual, the solar system, the galaxy, and finally the whole of the universe are One Being. By understanding the laws of correspondence and equivalency; each can be observed enjoying the same orderly movements and rhythms ordained by the Time Spirit. This is especially important in the study of world history because it grants to the student the vision of a hidden preexisting order that has escaped the grasp of academic scholarship.
Our present though limited view of history has been given to us by historians, paleontologists and archeologists following the preferred scientific method of analyzing the material clues of bygone civilizations in the hope of piecing together a linear, orderly and meaningful sequence of events from the primitive to the more advanced civilizations that now populate the globe. For hundreds of years scientists and scholars have sifted through the detritus of ancient civilizations only to conclude that civilized cultures began to appear with the creation of writing around 5,000 years ago. There is however an abundance of evidence that contradicts this view and demonstrates that advanced civilizations existed long before the timeline of modern historical theory.
A Wider View of History
‘As archaeologists and scientists advance in their knowledge and probe with greater skill through the strata of time, they come closer and closer to the conclusion that not only is our civilisation much older than has been believed, but that long before ours came into being there may well have been civilisations which existed, flourished in a manner undreamt of today, and then were apparently completely demolished… There is indeed evidence of advanced civilisations having populated the Earth in ages gone by, and a history that extends into a past far more distant than any contemporary academic would allow us to believe.—Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, p. 20
This wider view of history was part of a revered tradition of the ancient Mystery Schools whose sages, record keepers, and astrologer priests preserved and sustained the thread of higher consciousness and knowledge that we find woven through the culture of all civilizations. And while they understood that history was cyclical in character, with a vast repeating series of ages or ‘Yugas’, it was nevertheless a Static vision, an endless cycle consisting of two golden ages, two silver ages, two bronze ages, and two iron ages, with the larger cycles or yugas subdivided into the smaller yugas of: Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali, whose lengths follow a ratio of 4:3:2:1.
As with all knowledge and the passage of time, the underlying cosmological basis of the Cycle of Yugas became corrupted and the original realization was lost.
“What we have inherited from the Middle Ages regarding the Yugas is not really the way things ARE out there. Somehow this ‘tradition’ got established and passed on, just like the wrong calendar in use based on the Nirayana (sidereal) system. These things get established by some authority or another; and then everyone goes on repeating them, and the errors compound. The situation has reached the absurd point where it is believed that Kaliyuga will last 432,000 years!”—Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Private Correspondence
It is for this very reason that these ancient ‘keys’ of knowledge require a periodic updating and this is the role of the Avatar. Sri Aurobindo, the 9th of Vishnu’s line, found the Yugas with their circular view of evolution to be incomplete, just as the more modern secular view of endless linear progress. In The Life Divine, he proposes that the procession of human history follows a ‘Spiral’, which contains something of both the circular and linear movements but which goes beyond these to imply an ordered and purposeful evolution. According to Sri Aurobindo,’ the wheel of Brahma rotates forever, but it does not turn in the same place; its rotations carry it ever forward’.
While Sri Aurobindo gave us the overview of his Supramental Time vision in the Synthesis of Yoga, the details of this forward moving spiral of time were set forth by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, (Thea) in the ‘Map of the 12 Manifestations’.
The Spiral Movement
‘In order to give the proper understanding of the movement, the circles are drawn in a spiral, since this is the motion in space of the universe, reflected in the very structure and movement of our galaxy. Then, each of the sections of the spiral corresponding to a quarter of the Circle is given a number, going backwards, or clockwise, through the spiral as the precession of the equinoxes moves. These are called the Manifestations. When they are all numbered we find that there are twelve, and if we count the number of zodiacal signs included in this triple spin, there are found to be thirty-six in all….’In this manner we find that our spiral is really a reproduction of what some astronomers and archaeologists consider the oldest existing astrological documents on Earth, the ‘astrolabes’ of Mesopotamia, which as yet they are unable to decipher.
‘This Map of the I2 Manifestations, as we have termed it, becomes dynamic when we add to it the factor of Time, and this is accomplished by the Precession of the Equinoxes. It takes 25,920 years (12 X 2,160) for the Precession to make one complete round of the Circle, or to pass through the twelve signs of the zodiac once, taking us through four Manifestations. The completion of the entire three circles on the spiral takes then 77,760 years (3 X 25,920), and this we call one ‘Great Circle’.Ibid, p. 20
When we study the Map of the 12 Manifestations in conjunction with the Gnostic Circle it becomes self-evident that there is a direct correspondence that exists between the cycles of the Earth and the life of the Individual. Both are based upon the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Owing to the 23 ½ degree tilt of the Earth’s axis, its Annual cycle is divided into four quarters which causes us to experience the Solstices and Equinoxes – four points which mark off the stages of the great cycle of life. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter are the seasons that organize all life on Earth from birth to death to rebirth in an eternal cycle. They represent the ebb and flow of energy-consciousness in various stages of manifestation. But it is not just the Earth that experiences orderly and purposeful seasons in its cycle, the individual follows an identical plan in the cyclic unfolding of his own life. Once again we are given correspondences that bring to light the structure and process of our own becoming. When we explore these symmetries we discover that the Earth’s four seasons find their equivalence in the individual as he cycles through the four planes of consciousness and the four parts of his own being.
The Structure of the Circle
‘…as we have studied the Circle divided into four parts and seen its profound meaning in the flow of energy, we can also see this division of four as meaningful in the question of the Earth’s birth. There are four births, which would correspond to the four different sheaths. We therefore proceed through the Circle of 12 Manifestations four times before the true and full birth is accomplished; nearing the fourth, the child is truly born and delivered into his rightful destiny.
‘If this is related to time we must allow 311,040 years for the full process (4 X 77,760). Each Great Circle (twelve Manifestations) completed signifies the birth or the fulfillment of one of the four parts of the Body. Therefore, 311,040 would correspond to a full and total manifestation. Within this period, 77,760 years is the time necessary for any one of the ‘sheaths’ to be matured. Thus in the span of the Greater Circle there are four civilizations or empires that come forth and each one points to a particular sheath, the Physical, the Vital, the Mental and the Spiritual. Remnants of these past achievements always remain on Earth during the full gestation, until the time when the entire work is to be dissolved and drawn back into the womb of the Mother.
‘Traces of these other ‘sacks’ are to be found in the legends and fossils and ruins of olden times, of other Great Circles… For this purpose humanity is left with fragments of past teachings, to assist man in understanding his place on the spiral of evolution. This is the sole and only reason that wise men passed down the Knowledge, as well as constructed monuments that show the race the heights of the achievements of lost civilisations. In our times this would perhaps be Atlantis, and the monument that captures and preserves something of that civilisation’s accomplishments absorbed by the present race is the Great Pyramid. From that point we work to bring about another birth or shedding of the sack. We have moved through two such births. The first corresponded to the Physical, the second to the Vital, to which the civilisation of Atlantis belonged, and the third is the Mental. It is supposed that after our period of 77,760 years the birth of the Spirit will fully take place. In this way, 144 signs of the Zodiac are traversed to complete the process, the square of 12.’
‘…During the Third Great Circle, our own times it is in the 2nd Manifestation that the Mental development begins, only 6,480 to 12, 960 years after the commencement of our Circle, or approximately 47,520 years ago. Then each passage through the Vital quarter would be a time when destruction would be necessary, in order to subdue the development of that part of the Earth’s being, so that a balanced and harmonious growth could ensue. If this did not occur, humanity could never reach the pinnacle toward which it moves. Destruction is particularly necessary when dealing with the bodies of the lower half of the Wheel, the Physical and Vital, since in this region Prakriti is particularly strong and the Ignorance can often be dealt with only in this way.
‘Referring to the map of the Greater Circle it can be seen that passing though the 77th, 89th and 101st signs would perhaps signify the breaking down and absorption of the Vital formation of the previous Great Circle. If this is referred to events of our times, what we call the Atlantean civilization would appear then to have undergone certain periods of destruction, the first occurring about 40,000 years ago and the second about 12,000 years ago. The Third, which Edgar Cayce has referred to, might have been the destruction that took place during the Second Great Circle itself, not affecting the Atlantean race but rather the remains of the Manifestation of the previous Great Circle, the Physical.Ibid, pp. 23-27
The Cosmic Necessity of Destruction
‘In the Fourth Great Circle to come, as well as in ours, though there may be destruction, it is hardly likely that we shall have to lose the conscious link with the past. Working in full consciousness with the harmonies and laws of evolution this evidently will not be necessary. The ‘missing link’ periods correspond to the great destructions when it is necessary to erase certain evidences of the passage to a higher state, and that only the species perfected up to that point remain. What disappears in the destruction is the negative appendage that served as a transition. No specimens of man’s leaps to a higher state remain, the real transitional beings. These are carried away during the periods of the great catastrophes, and it is usually at the solstice points of the Circle that this occurs; so this possibility is present while passing through any Cancer or Capricorn Age. The time of destruction in the coming Capricorn Age, some two to three thousand years from now will most likely leave only the Supramental beings and do away with the transitional race.
‘If Nature did not cover up her footprints, man would cling to his old form and would be unwilling to move to the next stage, because he always fears the unknown. Thus destruction is a prime part of evolution and is a process that cannot be eliminated. It corresponds to the guna of tamas, Shiva’s force, the force of our times. But there is one factor that must be stressed again: if man is conscious enough and understands the coming stage and the work being accomplished, accepts it and willingly discards his old ways, he can avoid destruction. Evidently it has never happened yet it is possible at this time. It is also possible that instead of sweeping catastrophes being employed, a gradual process of elimination may now occur. Presently the guna of tamas or destruction, can be realised as an active passivity, an action in non-action, a conscious surrender.’
‘…The period that served to leave us the traces of the Atlantean civilisation was between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago. After this or precisely around 8,640 years before the beginning of this Aquarian Age, which took place during the 20th Century, there was evidently a minor natural catastrophe, minor compared to the great destruction that overtook the Atlantean civilisation. It probably occurred during the time that the precession of the equinoxes was moving over the second Cardinal point Cancer, or to be more precise, during the last 360 years of the Age of Cancer, which being a Water sign we can understand why there exists to this day the legend of the Great Flood. That disaster is said to have covered the globe in water but perhaps it was only the Mediterranean area that suffered, most of our records of the flood having come from this portion of the civilised Earth. The Great Pyramid survived the disaster and was later restored: it appears that many different hands have passed over this monument, but the essential structure remains the same.
‘We shall not dwell to lengthily on that civilisation, though if the student is inclined to he can reconstruct this epoch on the basis of the zodiacal wheel, not so much in the details of the material life of the times, but rather with the knowledge of the zodiac and its symbols and time relationships it is possible to understand the spiritual development of the civilisation existing then and what it was to contribute to the movement of evolution. In precisely the same way that we know what the contribution of the actual 9th Manifestation is to be, culminating in the Age of Capricorn, so that we can reconstruct the direction of the evolutionary urge during any particular period, `based on the zodiac and the harmonies of the spheres. To study ancient history properly the only way possible is on the basis of the cosmic harmonies; there is no other key that can be used in such a precise way. These harmonies do not depend on methods of preservation of knowledge that are fallible and subject to the decaying hand of Time.’Ibid, pp. 27-32
The Involution and the Evolution
When we think of the Map of the 12 Manifestations as ‘a spiral of evolution’ we must also understand that ‘Evolution’ is simply an inverse action of the ‘Involution’. What the Map expresses is the orderly unfolding or Becoming in Time of an original Involutionary principle. What is an ultimate and last derivation in the involution is the first to appear in the evolution. What was original and primal in the involution is in the evolution the last and supreme emergence; a mind of knowledge that knows all things as itself and in itself and therefore knows them intimately, completely, in their reality as well as their appearance. This is the Supramental Gnosis that gave rise to Thea’s Map and for which reason Sri Aurobindo wrote:
‘The secret truth that emerges in Supermind has been there all the time, but now it manifests itself and the truth in things and the meaning of our existence.’—Sri Aurobindo, Essays in Philosophy and Yoga, p. 592
What has been recorded in this series is an effort to carry the seeker into a zone normally closed to researchers – that is, certain deeper levels of the universal manifestation that have been relegated to the category of myth in its acquired sense of fanciful imagination. The practitioner of certain advanced Yogas can access the areas of human consciousness-being where the core of what we know as ancient mythologies can be experienced; but this requires recognition and acceptance of the role the Soul plays for the species in evolution. Time and again I have stated that myth is the language of the soul. I have also stated that periodically an updating of that perennial knowledge is required. This series has been an exercise in the act of updating – i.e., the present observed on the backdrop of certain timeless keys of knowledge. The great good fortune of India is that a method was in-built in her tradition from very ancient times that provides an orderly, organic system of updating, respectful of everything that is of value for the future evolution as we move higher and higher up the ladder toward an apotheosis of unimaginable depth and beauty. There are, however, difficulties on the way to this culmination.
First and foremost is the current state of civilisation, often referred to as a global society. We are aware how it comes to pass that civilisation is almost a universal phenomenon, to the point that the oft-quoted phrase from the ancient scripture vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam (the world is but one family) seems so very contemporary. But to really abide in that consciousness of Oneness, as the Sanskrit words suggest, great effort must be made to shed the baggage we carry that impedes this attainment – a condition that plagues the spiritual realiser as much as the scientist and the layman.
The Time-Spirit of the Age of Aquarius demands a universalised consciousness – not only on the individual level but more especially on the level of the societies we create. We are burdened with the baggage of fragmentation and divisiveness – so aptly reflected in the 4.5 Orbit of our solar system when we view the Gnostic Circle as a blueprint of the human consciousness-being, as indeed it is. For centuries the human being has been cajoled into believing that this particular passage through the System can be avoided. Sri Aurobindo has described this ‘error’ for his disciples:
‘According to both Buddha and Shankara liberation means laya of the individual in some transcendent Permanence that is not individualised – so logically a belief in the individual soul must prevent liberation while the sense of misery in the world leads to the attempt to escape.’ (Letters on Yoga, Sri Aurobindo, CE, p.66)
In another letter his perception of the human condition has been captured in the Gnostic Circle when he refers to a ‘Higher Path’ after the experience of the Buddhist Nirvana. This would be the path the seeker embarks upon when escape is rejected. The ‘higher path’ is known as the ‘higher hemisphere’ in astrology, where we find Uttarayana; it begins at the 4.5 Orbit (Libra) and culminates in the highest Cardinal Pole, Capricorn/Makar.
‘Nirvana cannot be at once the ending of the Path with nothing beyond to explore and yet only a rest house or rather the beginning of the Higher Path with everything still to explore…. The reconciliation would be that it is the end of the lower path through the lower Nature and the beginning of the Higher Evolution. In that case it would accord exactly with the teaching of our yoga.’ (Ibid, p.67)
Of all contemporary realisers, Sri Aurobindo is the only one who has emphatically stated that what has been sought in a Beyond, in a timeless, spaceless realm can and must be brought down here on Earth – what he has often referred to as ‘a life divine’. The issue is, how do we effectively reach the point where we can participate consciously in the establishment of a far better world than has ever been known on this blessed but beleaguered planet we have the good fortune to inhabit?
Baggage has to be shed. The next question to ask is, how can we distinguish between the Eternal and the temporal, between the Infinite and the finite – for hasn’t spirituality been hammering into our consciousness that only the Eternal and the Infinite are worthy of our efforts; the rest is simply an illusion, a ‘play’ of some remote God whose mysterious ways we can never understand, at least while in this third orbit. From here, we have been told, we must shed whatever pins us down to this material abode. We must destroy that network of time in space we have woven since our first individual breath at birth. Only then, we have been assured, can we be released from repeated births until the ultimate liberation whereby we disappear forever from the face of a planet that knows only the way of war and destruction of every sort – from physical to psychological in an unending display of all that opposes the good, the true, the real.
The truth of the matter is that this very promise of a better Beyond, however we call it – for we do project our prejudices and biases to that Beyond as well – is responsible for the lamentable condition of our now-global society.
In this series I have attempted to present a means to re-position ourselves on the planet so that we can live the experience of the Eternal and the Infinite right here, and nowhere better than here. The purpose of evolution, poised on our soul-vahana, is to know those divine Principles in material creation, those very same properties, transcribed for us here on Earth via the harmonies of our solar system, as simply the densification or the materialisation of that which not only transcends but which evolves, using time and space as its sacred instruments. A science that can inculcate this experience of Oneness in our youth is the only science worth teaching.
To date this science has not been in the forefront. It is covered in veils that must now be lifted. This series, as all my publications, seeks to reveal just how those Divine Principles fare in this material dimension as seen and experienced from Earth. Above all how our planet contributes her part in enhancing the experience by the splendid diversity she exhibits in all aspects of the evolution she houses: change, movement do not diminish but rather they increase the delight – which we may consider to be the heart and soul of material creation, its purpose of being. For if there is one truth none can deny it is the truth of diversity, of multiplicity, of exuberant displays by the greatest artist of them all – Mother Nature.
Mother indeed. This principle or mode of being lies deeply beneath those heavy-laden veils now in need of lifting. For sure civilisation needs to be feminised; we all know it, we all aspire for a softening of our culture, divesting it of what has come to be associated with a masculine, heavily-testosteroned societal aberration. But how do we carry out this transformation? How do we carry at least a collective representative grouping to that realisation of Oneness?
All we need for now is to observe the trends displayed in this very society we judge to be in serious decline, and which we intend to remould into whatever ‘image’ we cherish the most. As things now stand, given the hardening of barriers across the globe, we can be certain that that ‘image’ will be in conflict with another’s. We see that there is a breakdown of traditional structures which until now have sustained certain patterns very effectively during the early stages of the process, particularly the stark male/female divide. In Hinduism we find support for this biological stage of evolution in the Shiva/Shakti tradition, or more specifically, the divine couple, Parvati and Shiva, and in the coupling of all the Gods. The result is that given our rapid pace of development, a divide of this nature, so efficient during the less mature stages of evolution, has become an encumbrance and is impeding progress to something beyond these divides that are now a burden. Try as we might to maintain or impose them, time moves on, we cannot reverse its inexorable march. But what we can do is to assess the signals projected before the collective eye of contemporary societies the world over with a re-focused lens, as it were, widened to include what had hitherto been hidden beneath veils, awaiting the time when they could be removed as a part of an organic process.
We have reached the point where our perceptions of the division between the male and female contributions to society are pressing for change. We have reached the point where the way we express our love for one another is pressing for change – same-sex marriage issues are one example. It would be naive to believe that such expressions are a contemporary aberration and indicate the decline of our civilisation and had never occurred in the past. What we must admit is that for some reason this state of affairs seeks to be legitimised as perhaps a sign of things to come, a Love liberated from atavistic constraints alone. This and many other demands troubling democratic societies simply reflect what the human consciousness knows instinctively: Oneness and not sameness, not uniformity but the oft-repeated but seldom attained diversity in unity.
There is a place on the globe that bears the responsibility of shedding the baggage of dogmas – both spiritual and scientific – that are now impediments to attaining true diversity in unity in this 9th Manifestation. It is the Indian subcontinent, for the simple reason that it is in India where we find an unbroken thread in the web of Time that joins the present to the past regardless of the distortions that have crept in along the way but are easily removed. For instance, the realisation of Oneness that seeks universal expression now is a state depicted in Hindu iconography carried over from a distant past. It is the image of Siva Ardhanarishvara, half male, half female. The same condition is echoed time and again in the Rig Veda where we find hymns to the ‘twins’ that seek to join the One. It is the foundation of zodiacal tradition with its feminine and masculine signs, all part of the ONE CIRCLE extolled in the Veda. In other words, if we can trust the Hermetic aphorism, As above, so below, the journey through the 12 signs/stages of the tropical zodiac, unveils what each human being on planet Earth embodies: an essential oneness of being. This condition is just in its initial stages of manifestation.
We need to go a step further and understand more pointedly where that eternal Vedic journey is headed. Is it intended to fortify the baggage we carry that divides us more and more – part of which is the dogma of exclusivism, resulting in a constricting stagnation the Earth had never known until we crossed the threshold of Cosmic Dawn in 234 BCE? We then plunged into the deep cosmic sea of the Piscean era, whose dark purpose has been the consolidation of certain obscure trends inherent in a consciousness in evolution. These consolidations carried humanity far away from a more enlightened condition as we find in the hymns of the Rig Veda, or the iconography of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The upshot was the complete denial of that former condition – and of Form in general; more specifically, of the Mother in all her exuberant manifestations. At that point the only recourse was to seek escape in one form or another, to abandon this hapless planet to her own devices – and at this we have proven ourselves to be masters.
This mastery is, of course, an illusion. Nature knows best how to tame this wayward species: Ganga’s responses are an example of the way the Mother makes her will known when a certain threshold has been crossed and humanity can no longer be left to its own devices. Interventions are then required, ruthless as they may appear; we witness their increase across the globe.
A mature civilisation does not consider these reprimands by Nature as mere superstition; we have done this for far too long in the effort to justify our greed, insensitivity and ego-centricity. On the other hand, the pragmatists throw the baby out with the bath water and turn to Science for the answers. Can there be a higher synthesis that accommodates both positions by accepting the laws of Nature that have been transgressed, individually and collectively, not as punishments of a wrathful Power but rather an awareness of the consciousness-being of the Earth herself? We do seek to transform those tendencies common to all human beings; the question is, how do we go about the task? If we continue to ignore the hidden in favour of only that which can be measured by our contemporary scientific yardsticks, we will never reach that synthesis.
Those who do not shy away from the ‘deep thought’, as Sri Aurobindo had described it in the early part of the last century, or the supreme Vision as presented to Arjun of the Bhagavad Gita, fearlessly observe the trends society unequivocally offers for scrutiny. Feminisation, yes of course – but is this the preserve of only half of the human creation? Is this what Siva Ardhanarishvara conveys?
I have always sustained that women are responsible for their own unfortunate plight because they themselves have not realised Shiva Ardhanarishvara. They have found a way to accommodate themselves to an increasing darkness by leaning on the male and forfeiting their responsibility to stand at the forefront of Time’s forward march. But this too is fast changing, much to the chagrin of the chauvinist.
In this grand transitional phase we live in, the obvious challenge is to acquire a finer discrimination whereby we recognise what needs to be shed to lighten our burden in order to be able to reach those lofty heights that stand before the human race as a realisable goal. The past is preserved only insofar as we can discriminate in the prescribed manner – that is, when we are able to carry into the present the residue of former ‘churnings’, shorn of the accoutrements that were required in former times but which are now encumbrances that slow down our march. However, the process of universalisation presents difficulties as intuitive historians recognise if they are to shed their ideological baggage or prisms through which they observe the past. Our world today, given our transitional stage, presents us with a One World perspective thanks to the thoroughness of past geographical exploits on land, on sea, leading up to the present and the stunningly beautiful photographs of the globe from outer space, borderless and whole. This is the new icon: the Earth as an integral Whole. This is what can inspire children across the planet in a new way.
But the pace of evolution as experienced in different parts of the globe varies – some are more materially advanced than others; therefore less mature societies are confronted with impositions of material advancements shorn of the tempering wisdom known to the Ancients. This situation is confined to a certain ‘swathe of time’ during which those imbalances will surface through negative displays until the globe is cleansed of the useless and obstructionist.
Indian news channels, for the most part, are displays of just what society needs to shed by the biases their conditioning constraints foist on the public. Presently [late July-early August] what occupies the news space is the fact that in Gujarat there is sought to be an imposition of a fast-receding culture. This appears outrageous to a section of contemporary Indian society, particularly because the books in question extol the attainments of the Ancients which these intellectuals have neatly closeted away as mere fiction – imaginative but misleading myth.
I do not seek to add fuel to the fire raging for the moment, but I do wish to call attention to the true, the real, the eternally abiding Dharma that India holds as her most cherished foundation but which requires updating from age to age. This methodology has been carefully nurtured across the ages in the Epics and sacred literature preserved from those former times. However, to seek to interpret the verses and myths today proves an almost impossible task, given the distance in time and circumstance from the civilisation we seek to analyse. We are burdened with countless disciplines or specialisations answering to whichever of the numerous ideologies that burden the human consciousness as it stands today. I will provide just one example of the difficulty in interpreting the mystifying verses of the Rig Veda. This is the work of Dr. B.G. Sidharth, director general of the Birla Science Centre. He has sought for a specific ‘code’ in the Veda that can enlighten researchers today not only about the civilisational moorings of India but of the factual (not mythical) content of the verses. According to his study they are explicitly astronomical, provided their symbolism is understood.
I just came across Dr Sidharth’s book, The Celestial Key to the Vedas (Inner Traditions, 1999), and his more recent publications on the theme via his website. Sidharth’s deductions prove what the Rig Veda itself very clearly explains: there is an exoteric layer as well as a more hidden, secret dimension to the hymns. Being a trained scientist Dr Sidharth has quite naturally analysed the symbolism from his perspective. To provide one example by which the seeker can judge whether or not the verse in question is understood properly, on page 42 of his book, Sidharth quotes from the Veda the following:
What pathway leadeth to the Gods? Who knoweth this of a truth, and who will now declare it? Seen are their lowest dwelling places only, but they are in remote and secret regions. (RV 3.54.5)
When I read this verse I nodded in approval; it seemed clear beyond dispute. But I understood the hidden regions not to be a part of the advances in astronomy of the Rishis but of the way in which they bridged the subtle and the material by following the path (of the year) as prescribed in the Scripture. For Sidharth the enigma is solved once we accept that the Rishi was simply revealing that in the Vedic Age the distances between the stars that shine brightly in our night sky was well known, an astronomical fact that eluded the early Greco-European astronomers. (For Sidharth the Gods are the code for ‘stars’.)
I have no doubt that the Vedic Rishis had material as well as supramental knowledge, and on that basis the chants flowed from their lips displaying the fact of Oneness in verse after verse. Having stated that, to one who has taken the same ‘journey’, the Rig Veda encourages the seeker to embark upon it consciously. Therefore the Ancients, while not judging which is right or which is wrong, highlight the fact that there is a ‘hidden’ aspect that is made known only to those who embark upon that journey into those secret recesses, into the esoteric dimension.
There is another verse that amounts to the same exhortation but which is even more interesting in this regard. On page 41 Sidharth quotes the following line from the Veda: ‘Who hath beheld him as he sprang into being, seen how the boneless one supports the bony?’ And his comment follows: ‘Rendered less literally, the boneless and the bony are understood to indicate the insubstantial, or feminine, and the substantial, or masculine. That is, Nature supports the manifested or material world. On the other hand, the respected German scholar Hillebrandt surmises that “the boneless” is the Sun, and “the bony”, the Moon. Reason suggests that “the boneless” would indeed imply the Sun, because it is gaseous, but that “the bony” would mean the Earth, because it is, in contrast, solid and rocky. The hymn says in other words, “The Sun supports the Earth.” Now, apart from being meaningful, interpretations should also be consistent. Can the heliocentric theory in the Rg [sic] Veda be deduced from other straightforward statements?’
Sidharth goes on to quote the verse I have noted above regarding the hidden and secret regions. It does seem obvious that this verse refers to the Unmanifest and the Manifest. According to the new cosmology the Unmanifest (‘unsubstantial’ of Sidharth’s reading) is the masculine Transcendent, while the Manifest (‘substantial’) is feminine – the opposite of his interpretation.
The point to note is that astronomy was not the central concern of the composers of the hymns. Furthermore, Sidharth has an aversion to astrology and he makes no ‘bones’ about it (pun intended!). In my view it is only astrology that can give the right interpretation of bony and boneless, especially in view of the fact that a separate discipline, which we have to contend with today, did not exist in the Vedic Age and well into the Piscean era. There was only astrology, considered by many as the mother of all sciences – the point being that what most interested the Ancients was the logic of the spheres, much the same as I am stating in these pages. And this is what we find lacking in contemporary science that seeks only the how of material creation and not the why and wherefore. The Vedic Journey shorn of that sense and purpose is meaningless. Let me use bony and boneless as an example of how astrology even today can explain the verse, though admittedly it is a knowledge that, as Sri Aurobindo wrote early in the last century, ‘has fled from its coverings’. We are left with a science, an astronomy that seeks to penetrate those ‘secret regions’ without having taken the same Journey! It is as if to say that we can criticise quantum and relativity without the knowledge of contemporary physics.
Taking the words within the context of the astrology of the day – to appearances a system of 6 planets plus the Sun – we need to interpret the verse on the basis of the knowledge of those early times, and not foist upon them a ‘science’ entirely alien to the consciousness of the Rishi from where the hymns were emitted. Therefore, the zodiacal lore that is still intact across the globe (lost in post-independent India’s astrology but preserved in her temples and myths), understands that the 6th and last planet of the old order, Saturn, rules the bones – that is, the most material element of the human structure, the part of our constitution that never dies or that is, for all practical purposes, immortal. Organic flesh withers and is ‘insubstantial’. Not the skeleton of the human being. Saturn would have represented the final stage, the goal of the journey which was immortality.
The point made is that only an intimate knowledge of what supports the manifest, material dimensions can lead to an immortal state of being. The rest of the verse encourages the initiate to understand that even this most material part of his being is supported by that which sustains it beyond this materiality of the external regions, or the ‘lowest dwelling places’.
Another example of the multi-dimensional approach is the usage of hieroglyphs in astrology inherited from a very distant past – the same today as then. For instance, the glyph for the 5th sign Leo (the Lion) is .The exoteric interpretation is simply that it is a stylised image of the lion’s tail. But deeper reflection sees the symbol as more precisely what astrology has handed down across the ages as the characteristics of the 5th sign – paternity, the masculine principle, and so forth. In that light the glyph is clearly a representation of the male sperm, wiggling tail and all. There will be predictive howling from the historian’s quarter: The sperm was only ‘seen’ with the modern invention of the microscope! And thus the deeper levels will be passed off as either coincidence or fiction. As always, the choice is the observer’s to make.
The problem is that in seeking to uncover the value of the tradition inherited from ancient times, we run the risk of doing so without the proper preparation. I can confidently state along with Sri Aurobindo that there is no one who can understand the Veda in India today; but the fault does not lie with Science; it lies in a spirituality that sought only those ‘hidden regions’ and abandoned the Earth to those who focus only on the material disconnected from the true foundational support ‘on the other side’.1 Astrologers in the subcontinent have followed suit.
Youth today cannot be satisfied simply with what is seen as an imposition of a tradition that is meaningless in today’s context. But, I repeat, the Vedic Tradition is fortunate to have an in-built system of renewal, the potential of an updating from age to age, just as the Bhagavad Gita proclaims. This is not mere rhetoric; it is factual; provided the effort is made to understand that from time to time there is a need to update, to re-evaluate the scripture within today’s context. If we accept that Time’s becoming is as meaningful as its being, that what is involved in the Seed is as precious and relevant as the growth that proceeds from that compactness, then we have found the path to an unveiling that can satisfy the scientist as well as those inclined to the less apparent. The only demand is sincerity in the quest, and an acceptance of the fact that destiny has provided India with a connection to the ancient tradition that is unbroken though ‘hidden’. The many temples that preserve this Tradition stand all around us. It is unfortunate to state that contemporary science itself is responsible for that ‘lost knowledge’, that soul which, in Sri Aurobindo’s words, has fled from its coverings.
1 See Beyond Contemporary Scientific Paradigms, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, for a presentation of the manner in which the two dimensions can be unified in a seamless operation that does not negate the material or the ‘insubstantial’.
Following its evolution from ancient times, in search of of keys for renewal and application today.
‘… [F]or some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Vedas…’
The Great Divide
– Its purpose and implications for survival of the Veda
India is a good model to use if we want to follow a civilisational development from the beginning of at least recorded history to the present. For this purpose there is the abiding discipline of cosmology. The earliest recorded example of that discipline, or rather its product – a certain widespread level of awareness along the particular lines the record indicates – would be the Rig Veda. Few would be willing to accept that this early record of cosmic praises can be considered cosmology. But if we follow the unbroken line from that period to the present we easily note the relevance. And we are also able to understand the fundamental difference with our world as it moves in toto to its ‘brave new’ complexity.
The important element that distinguishes the cosmology of the Vedic Age and our present scientific brand is the focus on the human element and the development of a superior consciousness central to the collection. The difference can also be evaluated by the simple fact that to the modern Indologist and historian the hymns are simply the emotional outpourings of primitive nature worshippers – pagans, as they are labelled in the religiously-influenced mind of monotheistic academicians and theologians. Only very few have detected anything deeper in the Veda. And yet the text, to one initiated into the same system it propagates, is our best example of what contemporary cosmology lacks. Scientific cosmology makes no mention of the element so central to that of the Vedic Age – the evolution of human consciousness in harmony with the cosmos and able to use its harmonies for self-perfection and the perfection of the entire civilisation it spawned – a society in which the ills of the modern world would appear to have been absent. As an example, the approach to Nature in those former times reveals a very different connection. The world was alive, a living being; the same awareness was extended to the entire solar system with each planet given an identity and imbibed with a consciousness. Indeed, the significant difference between then and now is that there was clearly in evidence a spirit of oneness, making the Earth and the surrounding cosmos a single being.
In our times this understanding has only come through certain mystical experiences to select individuals. It is an awareness that has been aggressively eliminated from our sciences, with the exception of certain trends somewhat outside of the mainstream such as the Gaia Hypothesis of James Lovelock in the 1960s. Given the thirst abroad upon the planet to find connectedness and purpose, it became a beacon for New Age and ecology groups throughout the world. But even the Gaia Paradigm, now considered a theory and no longer an hypothesis, does not incorporate a precise method to evolve a higher consciousness and a spirit of oneness which we find elaborated in the Veda, for indeed there are the guidelines of such a system in the ancient text.
The Rig Veda has preserved its yogic method of the evolution of consciousness for all times. But evolution cannot be fooled. The very fact that the verses are in the main incomprehensible, or have been poorly interpreted to support a largely fossilised ritualism rather than the deeper aim of self-perfection, confirms that the old cosmology had lost its bearings. Somewhere along the line the human component was eliminated, which had previously been the central objective of the process. Having deliberately secured that elimination the resultant scientific cosmology has brought the world to a critical crossroads. Science and technology have run amok with their successes. Almost every branch of learning and technology has carried us collectively to a dangerous crossroads without being able to ensure us that these remarkable discoveries will not carry us to a partial or complete annihilation of the human species.
This impasse would have been unthinkable in the Vedic Age precisely for the reason stated: the focus was on the human element and the development of all parts of consciousness-being in harmony with the cosmos. Perception of the binding integrality and oneness of creation is lacking today, though with every breakthrough science makes we are faced again with the disastrous effects such ignorance can cause to humanity. We could argue that being so ‘primitive’ and ‘technologically under-developed’ the inhabitants of the subcontinent had little choice but to concentrate on the only available laboratory for experimentation: the human component.
While that focus bore the desired results in producing a society in harmony with the cosmic surround, this was only part of Nature’s plan. As it turned out, this one-sided development of sorts while essential would not have served the evolutionary purpose as mapped out in cosmology itself. Our good fortune is to be living in the age of synthesis. To play out the cosmic Purpose there had to be a separation, a determining divide precisely in what has come to be known as the concerns of the spirit in contrast to those of material existence. Both had to go their separate ways and be left to their own resources for the destined synthesis to evolve. The question now is to examine those developments on either side of the divide. In the process we will uncover the way to that Synthesis.
The Unravelling Begins
Early in the Age of Pisces (234 BCE to 1926 CE), the definitive split between the way of the Spirit and that of Science became consolidated. It was also then that the Vedic Way began to suffer a decline. The effects of the parting of ways was harshly felt in the subcontinent in that gradually a corrosion set in with the loss of an emphasis on a cosmological system geared toward establishing a society of a higher model by first consolidating that superior level in the individual and collective consciousness. On the other hand, science on its own, bereft of the control a higher consciousness can provide, veered off and gradually produced a global society demonstrating this failure in that its proclivities have carried us to the brink of annihilation. If we do not bring about our downfall through global warming and its consequences, we may well do so by the unstoppable stockpiling of lethal weapons of mass destruction. Regarding the latter, it is now generally accepted that it is just a question of time before something of that stockpile falls into the hands of extremists who are playing out their religious or ideological beliefs on the world stage. For instance, the arrival of religions offering salvation in an afterlife made it possible, when carried to an extreme, to convince vulnerable youth that martyrdom is the way to that salvation, the quickest and surest way. Thus armies are gathering, weapons are amassed to play out a final Judgement Day, but one that may be quite different from what is prophesied in our holy books.
Scholars often become victims of the parameters set around their respective disciplines; they tend to miss the forest for the trees. The true purpose of cosmology is to transcend those limitations. As a discipline it alone among all others is capable of revealing a consciousness of unity and oneness such as the ancient sages enjoyed and which will be the solution to our problems today. In this essay I will introduce a cosmology that calls up that ancient way but now brought fully into the context of our contemporary civilisation. This exercise will prove that in understanding the ‘logic’ of the cosmos the culprit at whose feet the divisive consciousness of our times can be laid is, in a word, otherworldliness, with its focus on an afterlife. But it is not only exclusivist Piscean-Age religions of the Middle East that have inculcated this belief in a redeeming Beyond; the subcontinent has been its victim as well. After the great divide all spirituality, with perhaps only few exceptions, took the same route away from an Earth-based realisation such as the Vedic Age had produced. The only difference between this development and the occidental model based on that Piscean exclusivism is the continuity we find in India, extending to a former Age prior to the Piscean. Though the Veda is a closed book for thinkers today, it remains the bedrock of the evolution of consciousness and the many spiritual disciplines that have evolved over this period. Fortunately we can make use of this continuity to discuss the problem the great divide has caused in order to pinpoint that culpability and thereby to learn the manner in which it can be overcome.
To this end the cosmology bequeathed to us from the Vedic Age has to be updated. In so doing when we seek to apply the system today, not only will its inadequacies be revealed but also that the need for updating is upon us. None of the postulations of the Age of Pisces will adequately serve us in this process, precisely because of the otherworldly emphasis they all harbour. But in maintaining the thread of development intact, even if distorted, we find ourselves in a position to discover exactly how and when the degeneration set in and, above all, what its purpose has been. In the realm of spirituality just as in science it had become imperative to lose the original poise in order to encompass a wider base, global in fact; this would be provided by science set upon its own discoveries, thereby creating a new field where cosmology of the Vedic type could flourish in an unprecedented manner because science had paved the way.
The key lay in integrality. This was present in the Vedic Age as we will discover, but the scope or reach of the realisation was perforce limited to the subcontinent. Today cosmology must be integral and all-encompassing: it must cover the entire globe.
Universalism and wholeness
It would be unfair to lay the blame entirely on spirituality for our woes; the materialist consciousness out of which science arose plays its role in the conundrum as well. If this material life is all that matters and there is neither an afterlife nor future births to consider, then the control religions could hold over human beings is eliminated by dissolving the notion of sin, punishment and recompense. With that elimination, however, went a certain respect for our planetary base: science of the staunchly materialistic kind repeatedly demonstrates this disrespect, to the point that in an uncontrolled frenzy it has collaborated with the spiritual camp to bring us to the brink of extinction.
Based on a study of the development of cosmology from the Vedic Age to the present, we are able to note the limitations that brought about the need for the great divide; and also how processes are constantly evolving to prepare avenues of expression for the new dispensation so that the whole Earth can benefit and not just the subcontinent. This analysis will provide evidence to suggest that the cosmology of the Veda continues to be not only the bedrock of Indian spirituality but how the survival of the thread connecting today’s expressions to that bedrock in itself indicates the necessity for the planet to preserve and protect that continuity for the survival of not only the Veda but the species itself. In this exercise it will be interesting to note how these discoveries can be made simply by observing the degeneration that set in after the Vedic Age had passed, and the inadequacies of the old cosmology when analysed with a contemporary eye. These made it imperative for science to lend a helping hand by providing an Earth whose body itself had become whole in the last half of the second millennium; this perception of wholeness has been further consolidated by space travel and the image of an undivided borderless planet irrespective of the ills a divisive consciousness continues to generate, depriving human beings of that binding sense of Oneness which is our natural birthright.
We will attempt to follow the thread connecting us to those former times via one precise area: cosmology. Ervin Laszlo, whose thoughtful book, The Creative Cosmos, makes the case for cosmology as the one discipline capable of expressing and answering the concerns of our contemporary world, writes on page 26,
‘…The next great paradigm shift in science will be by nature transdisciplinary – it will be a cosmological revolution in the classical sense in which cosmology has always been the science of the whole of reality (kosmos, after all, means ‘ordered whole’ in classical Greek).’
In this essay I intend to present just a few examples of the way a cosmology or a philosophy can escape fossilisation. In point of fact, it will become clear that only a culture, a civilisation rooted in the cosmic harmony can indeed escape the dogmatism that must perforce accompany a system without such an in-built mechanism. There are two aspects to note. One is that a certain stable constant exists which when discovered serves as an axis similar to those proper to every planetary and stellar object; indeed, proper to the centre of our galaxy and universes beyond. We could almost state that the Axis is the basic premise and truth of existence in a material creation. Without this ‘centre that holds’, there can be no formation of a cosmos; at least as we are able to discern from observation of our particular dimension.
An axis is the pole whereby that which is static becomes dynamic. It does so by involving certain cosmic ‘directions’. There are two such directions in our manifest universe, contraction and expansion. When we speak of ‘the other side’, we actually mean the intensified compaction of its essence, beyond the reach of our present mathematical aids, in an ever increasing drive as if in a descending movement. The borderline or threshold is the barrier beyond which that ‘drive’ cannot pass without, it would appear, disappearing into nothingness. But since our world is born of fullness, this never occurs. Fullness is thus the unalterable upholding quality or principle of our universe.
When this compacted essence meets or crosses that threshold, it turns back upon itself. The result is the emergence of a pulsating point born of this intense contraction in its self-generated drive. That threshold is the direction of expansion. Contraction and expansion wrap around each other, in a sense, and an axis is born. These conjoined directions stabilise each other everlastingly – a steady state as it were. Thus there is no material aspect involved, measureable with our current tools. Nor is it exactly an energy. The ‘substance’ of an axis is simply the marriage of two directions which can be described as contraction and expansion. The ancients did not rely on measuring devices to plumb the depths of Reality and its true nature, as we understand the term; they experienced the creative process in their innermost beings. The result is the record they left of those experiences, the Rig Veda. Naturally its hymns are incomprehensible today; they belong to another world, another time, another poise of consciousness.
The lived experience in the human consciousness of the conjoined directions is a new balance; that is, when the proper balance or harmonisation occurs an axis can emerge, be this macro- or micro-cosmic, the result of a cross-sectioning of these basic cosmic directions. The Rig Veda hymn, Nāsadīya Sūkta (RV X, 129), translated by Raimundo Panikkar as the Hymn of Origins, states in verse 5:
A crosswise line cut Being from Nonbeing. What was described above it, what below? Bearers of seed there were and mighty forces, thrust from below and forward move above… Who really knows? Who can presume to tell it? Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation? Even the Gods came after its emergence. Then who can tell from whence it came to be? And the Rishi concludes with these inimitable, profound words, That out of which creation has arisen, whether it held firm or it did not, He who surveys it in the highest heaven, He surely knows – or maybe He does not!
The origins of material existence in this view would not be a ‘big bang’ but rather the combined directions similar to the breathing mechanism with its own contraction and expansion, born of a primordial Pulsation (tapas) which lies at the root of all motion. However, we experience breath as a contiguous rise and fall. In the creation of a cosmos they are simultaneous. In the Rig Veda the axis that is formed of these intertwined ‘directions’ is known as Skambha, the cosmic Pillar, support of the worlds and the fulcrum of creation. Panikkar defines it in the Glossary to his book, The Vedic Experience, as ‘The cosmic pillar, understood to be the stable center of the universe (axis mundi) and its hidden support.’ (All India Books, 1977.)
Being creation’s ‘centre’ this axis or skambha supports movement, essential to all consolidated bodies in this universe whose essence is perforce movement. In point of fact, it would be the first stirrings within that original ‘something’ that ultimately creates an axis which in turn becomes the binding energy of that particular body. The ancients on the subcontinent called that first stirring OM – the primordial sound at the Origin and which reverberates endlessly in the great diversity that is the universal manifestation. Science calls it, or seeks to discover this secret ‘something’, by other names – the Big Bang for one. The two are hardly comparable, we must admit; OM creates or reproduces that stirring vibration every time it is sounded with the correct intonation and within the correct context. We can hardly expect ‘big bang’ to do the same!
Again we must not miss the forest for the trees. Whatever the origin the result is a constant unfolding or ‘becoming’ of that original Being of a compressed pulsation. Thus, Becoming is truly the grace we are granted to escape fossilisation, once we realise that we are only more and more complex displays of that original creative Sound.
It is possible to state that each consolidated body in our universe strikes a particular note in this immensity, and its axis obliges that body to mark out a certain tempo as in a musical composition. But all have their origin in OM – however we wish to call it. In other words, using the Becoming of that ‘sound’ we can not only find our way to Being but we can discover just what our ‘note’ might be in the grand scheme of things.
Encouraging the observing Eye to seek and dwell on the ‘first moment’, as science does, is to move farther and farther away from the means not only to discover that ‘note’ but to take our place in the cosmic design, fully conscious of what we are meant to contribute. Therefore the ancients in the subcontinent focussed on the method to bring the human being to the point where he or she could join the cosmic symphony in full awareness of its overall Harmony embracing both the vast and the small in a sublime experience of Oneness. They provided a background for the process which reproduced both Being and Becoming close at hand. They did not extend the eye of perception beyond their recognised ‘field’ so that a certain intense concentration (tapas) would come about that could provide each individual with the energy demanded to undertake the sacred ‘journey’, as it was known in the Vedic Age. The parameter for the process was our solar system. It was viewed as a single ‘family’, and as we are creatures born of the Sun’s third ‘offspring’ our experience of life in all its aspects must be coloured by our position within this family unit, as it were.
There is a certain temporal aspect to the issue: contemporary science uses evermore complex instruments to peer through the folds of space in the effort to reach that First Moment, that Big Bang and the beginning of Time. In other words, it is a penetration into the past. There is no other way for science to proceed because of the POISE it has adopted, – almost an obsession with the known, with what has been and will never more return. This is a positioning external to the fact. It might be argued that quantum physics proceeds in the opposite direction and hence into the minute present; but experience records that the phenomenon observed cannot be separated from the action of observation. While this indicates a certain desirable unity, it more likely indicates that this method of discovery is also inadequate; and though the timeframe is shortened to the extremes our observational techniques permit, simultaneous identification is withheld, the keystone of the Vedic experience.
Extension beyond is simply another manifestation of the belief in an Afterlife that religious adherents cling to in the expectation of salvation. The scientist of course does not dwell on the future, heavenly or otherwise, which to him and his kind cannot be known or proven. On the other hand, religions put all their cards only in the basket of that future condition, whose reality, if any at all, can only be speculated on and never proven as science demands. It must be believed. There is no factual proof of the existence of ‘heaven’ of whatever sort. It is a condition which can be known only by crossing the threshold of Death. And as we experience Death today, we cannot then consciously re-enter life to factually prove what that heaven might be and if it truly exists. At the time of death the human being experiences the same contraction to a ‘point’ as described in the passage across the border of our material dimension. But our transitional stage of evolution makes the passage an experience of nothingness not Fullness, ergo …‘dust unto dust’.
Thus the unknown future blocks the aspirant’s path with only faith to sustain him through life’s tumultuous avenues of pain and suffering. The scientific method, on the other hand, would appear to be far more concrete and believable, because one is constantly dealing with the known, the accumulation of past experience, be this for the individual as in psychoanalysis, or for the theoretical physicist and scientific cosmologist who peers into space, carrying his perception deeper and deeper into the past and to that First ‘Bang’.
The Vedic practitioner, in contrast, does neither. Its initiate does not extend his perceiving eye into the past or into the beyond and the future. Moreover, and this is important to note, the only ‘telescope’ used for the purpose of discovery rather than an extension outward carries the aspirant deep within to that inner most point of the Soul. This reveals the different poise adopted – neither into the known past, nor beyond and into the unknowable future. The inner point is the temporal Present; it is attained through centering of the consciousness on the axis of being that comes through a perfect balance in time and space. In that innermost dimension the truths of the cosmos are unveiled through the lived experience, as the Rig Vedic Hymn of Origins reveals.
The Stabilising Axis of Being
Being and Becoming are offered to us eternally, for as long as the solar system exists. The quality of Being is cosmically conveyed by the Stable Constant. It is the ecliptic upon which, within which the entire Family travels; and through the respective tilts and rotations of axes, our System creates its very own music of the spheres.
In our solar system the ecliptic ‘densifies’ the cosmic directions of contraction and expansion via the Solstices and Equinoxes. Within the 365 days of the year, at four points in our annual circumambulation of the Sun, this same function is carried out to become ingrained in the constitution of all things born on planet Earth.
As creatures of planet Earth, it appears that we alone in the Family are provided with a special device whereby we can not only ‘hear’ that music but we can become conscious of our role and contribution to the Harmony. If we observe our solar system within the parameters laid out above, the Axis stands out among all other aspects of the System as a determining factor; yet so little is known of its own origin and the cause for its emergence at a given time and place. The purpose of this essay is not so much to uncover the origins of an axis but how a deeper understanding of the special assembly of axes in our solar system can help us fulfil the destiny of the Earth.
In the Vedic Age the axial function was understood in depth. The hymns of the Rig Veda are testimony to the fact that the solar system with its rhythms and harmonies was a living being and all its planets and living creatures were expressions of that particular ‘note’ the System contributes to the total Reality. While the ecliptic stable constant exists for the entire universe, it is the abiding truth of all its individual components. In our solar system the ecliptic stable constant is the eternal pathway of the planets around the solar Paterfamilias, whose own axis is truly the pole of our existence, the ultimate ‘centre that holds’ the Family together. For the ancient Rishis fulfilment was clearly connected to understanding the cosmic harmony and discovering a method whereby not only would that understanding come but the aspirant undertaking that special journey would discover the internal axis and thereby his or her place within the whole, commonly known as one’s inner truth (swadharma) and destiny. It was never a question of disengaging from the Harmony but rather to become evermore conscious of its ‘sounds’; and in the process the individual note each soul contributes to the symphony in praise of the Sun.
Regarding the Axis, macro- or micro-cosmic, we must take note of the fact that its origin is largely unknown because the axis is our link to the beyond – that is, beyond science’s singularity. When in the new cosmology we refer to compaction of the trinity in the Zero, expressed in Number as 9, 6, 3, and from that Zero the first point of space emerges, or in the number 1, we are actually describing the origin of the axis. It would be a further densification of OM. There are the three dimensions of Time whose fourth dimension is the first point of Space. It could also be said that Time’s fourth dimension is precisely the point of the origin of the Axis. These three dimensions of Time are properties of the side beyond the singularity of material science. Naturally they cannot be examined because, as we know, the laws of scientific cosmology break down at that threshold. The cosmologist stands before a closed door. Thus, however much he pushes his probing into the depths of the past, he will always crash up against this tightly-sealed door. Access is barred because his poise of consciousness is not a harmonious balance of time and space, or contraction and expansion. It is that balance produced by alignment born of centering which offers the possibility of access to that dimension on the other side of the Zero. Out of that Zero comes the Point; its pulsations (tapas) ultimately create an axis: Skambha of the Veda which in turn is personified as Agni, navel of the world, the Son of Force, and the primordial Fire.
The Contingency Plan
I have laid emphasis on the disease of Otherworldliness, which we have inherited from the Age of Pisces with its clear evidence of the Great Divide, because it demonstrates what the result must be when we reject our place in this material universe in favour of an unprovable Beyond disconnected from our solar system and its harmonies. The critical crossroad we have reached is only because we stand on the edge of the Divide and we must make a choice. That choice is not of one side or the other of the divide, i.e., spirit or matter. It is the greater harmony of Synthesis that must be the choice if we are to continue on this journey as a global society. To reach that synthesis we have to accept our destiny and place in the cosmic manifestation and cease fleeing from the ‘land of our birth’.
That land is our solar system. The ancients understood this by universalising their consciousness to the point where they experienced the whole world as their abode, kutumbhakam vasu…. Naturally today’s Indologists, historians and pundits cannot understand the records they have left of that vastness and wideness of consciousness because their approach is one of an a priori rejection, even in the best of cases. The key to unlock the door to the worldview they enjoyed is to retrace our steps and seek to recapture their acceptance of the cosmos as the only path to integral self-perfection, and thereby to the establishment of a society, now global, that can express the harmonies of the System and so to eliminate the cacophony we now know and attempt to prolong, though we all realise its death is near at hand.
Indeed, as I have written, evolution is not to be fooled. Therefore, the decline in consciousness and the poise of rejection had to have been a carefully crafted part of the universal Becoming of Being like everything else. The experience of Oneness makes this obvious. The Divide would necessarily bring quake-like disturbances: cacophony would be the result. But to help the evolving species survive the tumultuous breakdown, an escape route was devised. This was the focus of all religions and yogic systems of the Age of Pisces when the global disruption was destined to begin. It is often stated that religions are the major cause of discord in the world, incongruous as this would seem. But if we understand that they were part of a merciful ‘contingency plan’, we understand how this incongruence can be true. Buddhism is an example. It had to be a mahatma of the Buddha’s calibre, with his immeasurable depth of compassion, to introduce the reversed direction away from life and not flowing with it. Proponents of Buddhism may argue that it seeks to do just the contrary, to join the flow, as Zen Buddhism in particular encourages. The truth be told, there is only one vehicle available to the human being to ‘join the flow’. That vehicle is the Soul, and Buddhism disregards its place and purpose in the scheme of things.
This was a deliberate act because the Buddha’s only concern was to free human beings from suffering, from entrapment on the wheel of endlessly generated samskaras. Given the unavoidable breakdown after the Vedic Age, the method or contingency plan, which would carry evolution through the most dangerous period of its trajectory somewhat in tact until the arrival of better times, would be to preach the illusion of that suffering itself. It was unreal, or only as real as the subject’s poise of consciousness would allow. With the loss of the true and full Harmony and given the breakdown with its attending diminished awareness, those seeds of undermining were easily planted. They have been flourishing ever since.
The soul is precisely the element that can harmonise Being and Becoming in the individual. It is the compact essence of the Transcendent and Cosmic powers/principles as they become embedded in our universe and in particular in the consciousness of the highest species on planet Earth. The compacted Transcendent is born as the Immanent in each individual consciousness. But it stands that a world where Death is lord and master with the consequent suffering this lordship entails, the soul, the Earth’s very own contribution to the universal harmony of an integral truth, had to be rejected. This rejection continues into the present and can be identified as the root of the destruction of our habitat itself. Rather than free ourselves of suffering by this denial, we have become more solidly entrapped in this diminished state where Death is the sole master.
We must realise that the breakdown the Divide caused is not external to the whole; therefore, it too must ‘make sense’, as indeed it does. But the contingency plan is also part of the whole and its very existence points to the ultimate solution.
When the ecliptic is the foundation, the stable constant of our existence, the ups and downs of the evolution of consciousness can be understood as the increase and ebb tides of destiny. One follows the other, even as the Earth dips and rises below and above the plane of the ecliptic, similar to ocean tides. But plateaus are reached from time to time in the ascent of consciousness. The ‘downs’ are experienced from ever higher levels as we scale the evolutionary mountain. At this stage in our journey we are almost at the summit, the mountain’s apex from where a steady state can be attained: from truth to greater truth.
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