‘The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truth of being within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save… Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life.’
To readers of theVISHAAL Newsletter, it ought to be evident after studying several issues that significant emphasis is being given in these essays to the factor of a harmonisation of two poises – the material and the spiritual – and by consequence, to the question of bridging the chasm that now exists between these two dimensions of reality. The spirit/matter polarity has translated itself into a planetary polarity. The East is considered the pole wherein the spirit finds itself most comfortable, and the consciousness of the people born and bred in that part of the world more easily reflects a concentration on this aspect of life. The West, on the other hand, has revealed itself over the past few centuries to be the staunchest champion of the concerns of matter. Our 20th Century technology stands testimony to the formidable strides the West has made in compelling matter to disclose its secrets for the purpose of this remarkable development.
A careful observation of the course of civilisation over the past several hundred years, particularly accelerated in this century, will show that indeed such a polarity exists. Moreover, we can observe that a sort of degeneration has set in, both in the East and in the West. It is clear that these two poises, isolated and disconnected from each other as is presently the case, are experiencing a decay never before witnessed. In fact, never before has it been so easy to distinguish the dichotomy that exists on the planet, clearly displayed in an East/West split and carried over to a disturbing separation between the concerns of the spirit and of matter.
On the surface it would seem that matter is leading in this confrontation and quest for supremacy; but it is moving us toward some as yet unformulated fulfilment, – or devastation. We cannot be sure which. Where is the technological conquest taking us as a civilisation? For we see that the severance between spirit and matter has indeed left the latter in a commanding position. By means of the tremendous destructive power that modern technology has given birth to, we realise that unless something as yet unforeseen takes place, this leadership of the material West will carry us to a devastating annihilation.
In the last VISHAAL (1/1), I discussed to some extent the position of the East in this regard, according to what Sri Aurobindo had foreseen. It is true that the East is to provide the inspiration that will arrest the decline and prevent materialism from overtaking the consciousness of the species and stamping its mould on all future generations, if indeed they are allowed to take birth. But what exactly is this inspiration? This is the important question we must now ask. And it concerns the inhabitants of both East and West in equal measure. At the same time, by reviewing the situation that has developed over the past two decades in particular, we can come to a clearer understanding of what the problem is and where its solution may lie. None can deny that the West has witnessed a spiritual invasion from the East during these past two decades, and more specifically from India. But what has been the result? My own work was born during this very period. It was in 1965 that I took up in earnest the quest for ‘a new way’. From that time until the present, we have seen many spiritual empires rise and fall, with no significant achievements left behind that point to a decisive encroachment into the stronghold of science and the all-pervading materialist consciousness. The latter still holds sway on the planet, still holds it captive to its destructive power, while no spiritual movement has been able to arrest this decay that we consider the upholders of matter over spirit to be responsible for.
However, I view the matter somewhat differently. The decay we are experiencing is largely the result of an effete, impotent and stagnant condition of spirituality. And why is this so? Why have the countless gurus with their respective messages of superior Eastern wisdom failed to correct the degenerative decline in any significant manner?
One of the problems that surfaces in this review concerns the stagnation of spirituality. While we have seen an extraordinary renewal in the realm of science and technology, in particular over the past century, on the surface there has been no such renaissance of spirituality in evidence. Furthermore, the most interesting and significant point is that the very necessity for such a renewal in spirituality is not at all appreciated. Today we are witnessing an upsurge of fundamentalism with its consequent fanaticism. Some people consider this a renaissance; but this appraisal is far from the truth. And in any case the rise of fundamentalism is reserved for religions – all of them without exception, we may add – and does not touch spirituality at all. Indeed, there can be no fundamentalism and fanaticism in true spirituality.
There is a vast abyss between the two – religion and spirituality – as anyone proficient in yoga can affirm. Therefore, while fundamentalism has increased over the past twenty years, in an effort to reinforce the hold religions have over the masses, which has significantly weakened due to the rise of science, we find no such movement in spiritual circles. That is, there is no attempt to renew or formulate the truths of the Spirit in a way consonant with the new demands a bold and determined Science thrusts upon us. What we have seen, however, is a fever to spread the word, in the East and in the West. Consequently, countless gurus have gone on spiritual campaigns to conquer the West and save the world by this invasion of the enlightened hordes from the East.
Many theoretical physicists with philosophical inclinations have become spokesmen for this spiritual invasion. They have perceived that Eastern mysticism holds ‘timeless’ truths and that science is just beginning to discover this fact and come to the same conclusions. These exponents of a new physics consider that they are bridging the gap between Science and Spirit in this fashion, and hence between West and East. However, to date I have not encountered any such thing. We do find physicists quoting from ancient eastern texts of wisdom, such as Brian Josephson with his penchant for Vedic science due to his involvement with transcendental meditation. But in no way does this throw any effective light on the issue, a light powerful enough to dispel the darkness in that abyss and concretely bridge the chasm.
The reason for this is quite clear: spirituality is considered a timeless truth and its experience static and unevolving. This is considered to be its main characteristic, by which it is distinguished from mundane and materialist concerns. The mysticism that has been exported to the West is hence ‘old wine’, devoid even of ‘new bottles’. And in most cases it is not even that, not even the true expression of the ancient paths.
Sri Aurobindo laboured intensely to alter this closed concept of the unchanging nature of spirituality, of schools of yoga and philosophy. I myself have heard criticisms of his work along these lines: It has never been done before, therefore it cannot be done (regarding the establishment of a life divine on Earth). Or else I have heard: If the great sages of the past have not revealed these things, how can Sri Aurobindo pretend to do so? This attitude is so recalcitrant and widespread that it has even been carried over to a condemnation of my work vis-à-vis Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: ‘They’ never saw these things (you write of), so how can you! One venerable old sadhak who had been with Sri Aurobindo for many years has even gone so far as to tell me explicitly that whatever had not been seen and described by Sri Aurobindo could not be done by anyone else. Sri Aurobindo’s word is the ‘final word’, according to these pontiffs. But following this line of thought, it is evident that they must have also come to the conclusion that Sri Aurobindo’s work has failed, insofar as he himself admitted that much remained to be done. If we are not permitted to carry on where he left off, we must accept that failure is the ‘final word’.
In actual fact, Sri Aurobindo’s ‘word’ is the beginning, the broad outline of a spectacularly vast all-encompassing vision. The task is now to fill in the details of that vision and complete a work that he gave us in seed form.
Let me quote from his letters to disciples on this very theme, showing the incessant effort he was called upon to make in order to expose people to the idea of an evolving spiritual experience, to help them to accept the fact that spirit as well as matter is engaged in the process of evolution, and in equal measure:
‘…I have had no inspiration from the Sadhana of Bejoy Goswami, though a good deal at one time from Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. My remarks simply meant that I regard the spiritual history of mankind and especially of India as a constant development of a divine purpose, not a book that is closed, the lines of which have to be constantly repeated. Even the Upanishads and the Gita were not final though everything may be there in seed. In this development the recent spiritual history of India is a very important stage and the names I mentioned had a special prominence in my thought at the time – they seemed to me to indicate the lines from which the future spiritual development had most directly to proceed, not staying but passing on. I do not know that I would put my meaning exactly in the language you suggest. I may say that it is far from my purpose to propagate any religion, new or old, for humanity in the future. A way to be opened that is still blocked, not a religion to be founded, is my conception of the matter.’
Concerning those sages he saw connected with him in this pioneering work, I must point out that in the new cosmology the places of both Ramakrishna and Vivekananda are clearly distinguishable above all the others, confirming empirically, so to speak, Sri Aurobindo’s experience (see The Gnostic Circle, and The New Way l&2). But on another occasion he displayed greater impatience:
‘…Truly, this shocked reverence for the past is a wonderful and fearful thing! After all, the Divine is infinite and the unrolling of the Truth may be an infinite process or at least, if not quite so much, yet with some room for new discovery and new statement, even perhaps new achievement, not a thing in a nutshell cracked and its content exhausted once for all by the first seer or sage, while the others must religiously crack the same nutshell all over again, each tremblingly fearful not to give the lie to the “past” seers and sages.’
8 October, 1935 (Ibid, page 135.)
These letters cast essential light on the difficulties that have surfaced in the export of spirituality to the West. For in fact what has been sought is an opening to the old spirituality, that the West should become exposed to the timeless truths of the Sanatana Dharma, and in this way find salvation, or give to God what is His just due but which has been denied in the West in its frenetic pursuit of scientific and technological achievements.
However, the result of this endeavour has been quite the opposite. We have witnessed that rather than impose eastern truths of the Spirit on the consciousness prevailing in the West, the movements that sought to establish a certain supremacy became, each one of them, caught up in the morass of that materialistic mire which the gurus encountered, with the result that none of them could avoid the onslaught and the evident toll their spiritual enthusiasm had to bear in an increasing submission to the elements that have always been considered anathema to spirituality, – i.e., wealth, affluence, material comfort, not to speak of the temptations to use the media for publicity and thus become entrapped in the very mire they originally sought to purify. Accepting this state of affairs, the business of guruhood soon became the fastest way to make a fortune. Invariably all the movements that have gone westward since the 1960’s have suffered a diminishing of their spiritual purity and zeal and increasingly have taken on the proselytising attitudes of western religions, so far removed from the true nature of Indian spirituality. They have done very little to effectively change anything, and the most that can be said for them is that they have provided a means to close a culture gap, exposing the West to certain terms and modes of spiritual expression which it had been ignorant of on a mass level, but hardly a true establishment of the highest of Indian spirituality as a real force for change in the world. Nothing in fact comparable to the power that science wields, – not only in the West but increasingly in the East as well. That is, there has been no spiritual movement of this century that has been sufficiently powerful (and I use the word purposefully) to arrest the course that science and western materialism are imposing upon the world.
The reason for this is more than clear. All the spiritual movements have become bogged down in the past and are merely repeating the old formulas. And those formulas were, even in the past, incomplete. They catered to the regions and demands of the spirit, disregarding the life of the body. Indeed, the spirituality we know as ‘eastern’ is founded on the basic principle of escapism. This is the same as the foundation of western religion and mysticism: the Earth is a hell and birth thereupon is a scourge; salvation lies in heaven or nirvana, – anywhere, but decidedly out of this cosmic dimension and free from the strangling coils of a corruptible flesh.
With this formula, no matter how much we seek to clothe it in veils that camouflage its essence or render it palatable to our 20th Century taste for matter-oriented solutions, it is evident that no real and effective change can be brought about. The spiritual power that exponents of the traditional ways bring to the West is undermined from the outset, notably by this emphasis on otherworldliness, the outcome of a spirituality that refuses to renew itself and open itself to the new light that is being born on Earth.
I do not wish the reader to construe from the above that it is not by a spiritual force that the imperative change is to come about. What is meant is that with the spiritual force something more is needed, anew power that can effectively deal with the demands that a growing materialistic consciousness has imposed. Until now it has not been properly understood that ‘something else’ is required at this stage of evolution, something that the old spirituality simply cannot provide because its foundations are essentially otherworldly. And that ‘something’ is the capacity to deal with the power of matter, to withstand its colossal assault and not be overwhelmed by its boldness and, above all, its definiteness.
The way Sri Aurobindo has introduced (‘… a way to be opened that is still blocked’…) is not meant either to be a religion or, more especially, a movement, a stirring thus of the superficial strata in society and the collective consciousness. Rather, this new way offers a true power for change and unfolds a mechanism that works in the deepest layers. Because it touches the heart and root of existence, and because it holds the secret of the method for introducing true change, it is certain of attaining the goal.
In this context, I would like to point out that the USA, which stands at the centre of present day materialism, its inspirer, we may say, is characterised by a constant submersion in the flux and flow of precisely that superficial strata of change, those ceaseless, relentless stirrings in the most external dimensions. This finds its expression in a nation enamoured of fads, to name just one aspect, which wildly overtake the population. Like a tornado that whisks away everything it meets on its path, so the collective consciousness of America is drawn into the frenzy accompanying every new fad, intoxicated by the desire for change – for the sake of change. What is lacking in this display is an immobile, solid and stable core, a poise akin to the centred eye of the tornado which while it encourages and upholds change and dynamic renewal, yet bears in its centre that Stable Constant.
India at present is still caught in the opposite condition. There is stability born of the eternal truth it knows, but deriving from the old poise, it has become a power that obstructs change and renaissance, so badly needed now. India needs to unveil a new core or nucleus, one that is born of true unity, the unity that is the expression of the oneness of spirit and matter. For this, the quest has to be Earth-oriented and no longer otherworldly.
In the VISHAAL Newsletter of December, 1985, I mentioned the work of the neuroscientist, Roger Sperry, who is presently channeling his energy into what he calls the formulation of a new ethic. But he feels that science is the answer, and only through scientific methods – suitably enhanced or modified for the purpose – can any unifying force manifest in the world and halt the decay he is so conscious of, a decline that is precipitating us to our doom. Sperry insists that religion cannot provide this new ethic, nor mysticism, precisely because he understands that they are oriented to a beyond. In his book, Science and Moral Priority (Praeger 1985), he writes: ‘Today’s conditions call for long-term, biospheric perspectives in which this world is conceived to be more than merely a way station to something better beyond.’ (page 23.)
This brief passage reflects a trend in increasing evidence among the world’s intelligentsia. But thinkers such as Sperry or Josephson are well aware that science as it is now cannot provide the new poise that is required for this great transition. Indeed, what is interesting to note is that when they come to the point where their interests turn to the more spiritual needs of the human being, realising the impossible impasse we have reached as a civilisation, they invariably look into more mystical areas in the effort to find a solution. Or, like Sperry, they seek to introduce a new element into the old, a new scientific approach that can somehow accommodate this hitherto disregarded aspect of life. Sperry, as the above passage from his book reveals, is fully aware that any system which does not reorient itself toward a ‘this-world’ quest for truth is hopelessly doomed to failure. And with this – notwithstanding certain reservations which I shall discuss anon – we can agree.
Yet the gurus with their teachings are not equipped to deal with this situation. Hence they all succumb to the prevailing consciousness, in a sort of ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude. What has been clearly overlooked is that a new way is needed to deal with the problem by effectively providing an entirely new Formula. And this is what the revelation of Supermind is: a newly manifested Power that can introduce real change, because it is a truth-consciousness poised on a completely different foundation from the old ways of the spirit, eastern or western.
This is apparent if we consider the aim of Sri Aurobindo’s work, the Earth-oriented nature of the quest, the goal of a life divine upon Earth. It is evident that in order to accomplish such a thing, a new way has to arise, equipped to deal with the strenuous demands made upon those of us who have become pioneers on this trail-blazing gnostic way, in which the truths of both spirit and matter find their rightful and complementary places.
The old spirituality has sought to convince the West with its technological consciousness that it must give up its materialistic bent in favour of a vision of reality in which forms of matter are seen to be intrinsically unreal. The only truth, they exclaim, is the Spirit, or the Self. And this is of course otherworldly. But the bold materialist consciousness is not so easily convinced, insofar as daily extraordinary breakthroughs are made in science and technology that indicate an increasing power to control those ‘unreal’ substances for the benefit – or detriment, if you will – of the human species. No amount of preaching the illusion of the world, in whatever of its overt or camouflaged forms, will convince the hard-core materialist that otherworldly spirituality is the answer to our woes. Rather, the scientific mind perceives that precisely such escapist attitudes have left us with no other choice but to accept a dichotomy between the two, spirit and matter, one pitted against the other.
After studying Roger Sperry’s work, its limitations become rather evident. Though he perceives or desires an upward trend in evolution to better and more noble expressions, his limited understanding of the human instrument undermines his efforts. The very fact that he places mind at the summit of being is one drawback. It obstructs a fuller vision and hence closes him to the numerous dimensions of consciousness that influence the human being and work through both body and mind. Added to this is his insistence that mind emerges from the instrument’s constituent parts, from which it cannot be separated. He stresses this point in an effort to discourage others from using his ideas to support the contention that there is an indwelling, immortal spirit, not dependent for its survival upon the life of the body. For Sperry, this sort of postulation lies at the root of the otherworldly syndrome he constantly decries.
However, a view of this order closes out the true vision, the integral poise and nature of the instrument, and hence it defeats its own purpose. Though Sperry seeks to reinstate what he considers to be the subjective reality by offering a certain legitimacy to the inner experience via his lofty concept of mind over matter, nonetheless he is closed to certain aspects of that subjective experience which would clearly demonstrate to him the fact that one may very well experience a Reality, a Presence, a Consciousness disengaged from the body and not dependent upon it at all. He ought to realise, furthermore, that it is this very fact that has sustained the otherworldly emphasis for so many millennia. As well, scores of people have had genuine out-of-the-body experiences. For the most part these are experiences in which the vital sheath slips out of the physical body and journeys on its own, fully conscious of what it is experiencing and able to provide a faithful description of those experiences when back in the physical. In many cases, the subject stands beside his sleeping body and thereafter can give a detailed account of what transpired in the room and around his sleeping frame. By an a priori refusal to accept such experiences, scientists like Sperry do little to further their aim of introducing a more holistic approach to life and consciousness.
Roger Sperry’s work offers the most striking example of the constrictions a mental attempt to reorder society imposes. His emphasis is preeminently on remodeling science so that it can be made to serve as the overseer in the introduction of ‘a new ethic’. According to Sperry this can only take place within the scientific framework. But the modified science he wishes to introduce is as impotent as the old science, – or the old spirituality, for that matter. It is limited in its perspective to the material strata and barely the surfacemost of those ‘inner’ dimensions. What is revealed is an appalling lack of knowledge concerning the real and integral causal role of consciousness, or even its very nature. The entire effort centres on mind and in fact barely touches the more all-encompassing truths of Consciousness. To further confuse the issue, the activity of consciousness is mistaken for the mental functions, or vice versa. When there is such a total disregard for the undeniable truths of the spiritual experience, when these are dismissed as merely quirks of an immature, undeveloped mind and psyche as yet closed to the higher redeeming light of Science, how can the true change come about that will relieve us of the narrowness that cages us in as a species? These attitudes reflect the customary pompousness of an inflated mental instrument, a mind in love with its meagre light, of which the individual submerged in Science is usually the victim. Rather, salvation can only come by a true widening, by which the truths of both spirit and matter are known. To seek to eschew the undeniable spiritual and occult experiences (called mystical and parapsychological by Sperry) of scores of people throughout the ages in favour of a one-dimensional, narrow and uninspiring concentration on the physical/mental strata solely, is, to say the least, a more presumptuous form of bigotry.
In another of his letters, Sri Aurobindo makes clear the distinction that is paramount in this matter, the line he draws between the change that can be brought about on the basis of traditional spirituality, in contrast to the ‘supramental transformation’ his work has introduced. This distinction is essential to understand because in it lies the answer we seek concerning the failure of the efforts of countless Indian gurus to alter the patterns of evolution in any significant way and thus deter us from the apparent collision course we are on. The supramental transformation, as Sri Aurobindo points out, engages the outer nature of the aspirant in the process of change along with the inner and spiritual dimensions of the being. This is its notable difference. And it is especially because of this that the Supermind can bring about a real and effective change on Earth, since it embraces the totality of the being and the surroundingcircumstances of life in the operation.
‘If spiritual and supramental were the same thing, as you say my readers imagine, then all the sages and devotees and Yogis and Sadhaks throughout the ages would have been supramental beings and all I have written about the Supermind would be so much superfluous stuff, useless and otiose. Anybody who had spiritual experiences would then be a supramental being; the Ashram would be chock-full of supramental beings and every other Ashram in India also. Spiritual experiences can fix themselves in the inner consciousness and alter it, transform it, if you like; one can realise the Divine everywhere, the Self in all and all in the Self, the universal Shakti doing all things; one can feel merged in the Cosmic Self or full of ecstatic Bhakti or Ananda. But one may and usually does still go on in the outer parts of Nature thinking with the intellect or at best the intuitive mind, willing with a mental will, feeling joy and sorrow on the vital surface, undergoing physical afflictions and suffering from the struggle of life in the body with death and disease. The change then only will be that the inner self will watch all that without getting disturbed or bewildered, with a perfect equality, taking it as an inevitable part of Nature, inevitable at least so long as one does not withdraw to the Self out of Nature. That is not the transformation I envisage. It is quite another power of knowledge, another kind of will, another luminous nature of emotion and aesthesis, another constitution of the physical consciousness that must come in by the supramental change.’
(Ibid, pages 111-112.)
The key here is the emphasis on a new development in a world hitherto thought to have reached the summit of the spiritual pursuit, in which the integral scope of the endeavour permits the practitioner of the Yoga to withstand a certain impact – if it may be so called – on the inner dimensions from the powers contained in the more external strata. Until now, the only way to withstand this overpowering onslaught has been by a withdrawal of the consciousness. Thus when the propagators of Eastern mysticism and spirituality voyage to the West and seek to confront that power in its own domain, so to speak, with the old formula of withdrawal, the result is either a complete or partial degeneration of the teachings, or else a submission to the lures the materialist world offers in abundance. In this neither spirit nor matter is the victor. The truth is rather that they end by destroying or at best weakening each other through a process of either top dog bullying or underdog undermining, to use a current description of western psychology.
The truth of the Spirit, upholder of this material manifestation, is an eternal unfolding of Itself into the myriad forms of our universe, – like a rose that from a perfectly formed bud blossoms into its full and ravishing beauty, each stage in its flowering being as perfect as the former. And yet something increases, something is added by this unfolding of an ever-perfect splendour. Our experience of God is like the blossoming rose – a perfection to an ever greater perfection, never static, ever dynamic, as Truth always discloses more sublime aspects of itself.
This is the essence of Being, Sat of the Hindu tradition. Sat, pure existence is the absolute Truth, the infinitesimal Seed at the core of material creation. It is not religious dogma, so often called absolute truth by the zealots. Dogma is not being and hence can never be an absolute. But a rose engaged in the becoming of perfect and increasingly perfect form, is expressing that state of Being – that absoluteness. Even in its withering it never loses the grace of its essential and spontaneous perfection of being.
On this foundation we must build the bridge that unites East and West: on the solid rock of an eternal but ever unfolding, integral Truth.
Those who have followed my work in India since 1971 through a number of published books, and more recently also through blogs, articles and videos (aeoncentre1-youtube channel) online, can join with me in acknowledging that the Indo-American tie-up has been long overdue. I described its inevitability via perceptions gleaned on the basis of a new paradigm offered to the people of India and the world. For the first time we have at our disposal an Indo-centric applied cosmology as the background for our analyses that provides a very different understanding of world affairs, insofar as they were always viewed through the Euro-centric prism; but there are certain aspects to the current rapprochement that enhance our earlier perceptions. In this paradigm one of its outstanding features is the manner in which America is shown to form an axis with India in both time and space. To present factual examples of the applicability of the new cosmology, in Chapter 15 of The Gnostic Circle, entitled ‘The United States of America and India’, in 1974 I wrote the following, revealing far deeper commonalities between the two than simply the largest and oldest democracies:
The United States of America is of course a very important element in the Earth’s evolution at present. Together with India it forms the evolutionary axis of Cancer and Capricorn that has often been referred to in this text. Capricorn [Makar] is India’s occult sign, and Cancer is the Sun sign of the United States [based on its July 4th independence date]; these together represent the axis of Spirit and Matter which is now carrying the evolution. It is around these two nations that the future of humanity’s growth into a more divine species largely depends. Both must pass through ‘labour pains’ as described for Tibet. India must become ‘materialised’ and the United States must awaken to the Spirit. If neither of these fulfils its destiny there is no possibility of a transformation on Earth. It is also essential that the two nations realise their union and come to the point where they shall work in harmony with one another in order that the new reign upon Earth can become established, for it is no coincidence that Columbus in 1492 thought he had reached India in his travels and called the natives of the land Indians… (p.181)
Following the publication of The Gnostic Circle in 1975 this theme has run through all the discoveries I have made since then; there was nothing to change that perception – rather, it has been enhanced over the years. I had even written to leading politicians of the day in the same vein, notwithstanding the compunctions of the Cold War and the fact that Richard Nixon had just a few years earlier sent the 7th Fleet into the Bay of Bengal in support of Pakistan in its war against India and the rebellion of its then eastern wing.
…I spoke to you of the necessity of India and the USA coming closer. The reason for making such a statement is not some sentimental fantasy on my part, rather it corresponds to a cosmic working which, when realised, would signify the ultimate victory of Truth. To explain briefly: India and USA form a ‘pole’, occultly, cosmically and physically. This is the pole of Spirit and Matter, respectively. To those who have an inner vision of things this is obvious, but I must point out that this Pole is a world reality as well. India is of the sign Capricorn; the USA is of the sign Cancer. These are opposite signs and this would make them complements in this ‘occult’ pole. Yet this Pole is what I have called the ‘Axis of Evolution’, for it is also the very axis of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. In July, the month of Cancer, the Earth moves farthest away from the Sun. In January (Capricorn) it is closest, and this becomes then the physical axis of the orbit and hence of the evolution. We see that even in the development of our 20th Century civilisation this has been the case. USA is the prime representative of the materialistic consciousness, of Science, of Matter. India is the prime representative, as she has been for aeons, of the Spiritual Reality, and this has been her major contribution to the world. But we must understand that Spirit and Matter are one, and it is the discovery of this oneness that the world is now experiencing. If these two countries would somehow come together in this understanding, support each other, and work in harmony and unity, it would mean that the Earth would be able to live through these trying moments and come to the true spiritual age that is before us. I must point out also that these two nations are also ends of the Pole that pierces the very planet we inhabit. They stand back to back on the globe; we could say, it is a question that now they must stand ‘face to face’ rather. USA must come ultimately to recognise the value of India and that only by giving it full support can anything truly great for the Earth be accomplished. The Mother has arranged things in a perfect fashion, for all the events help to bring this about. I feel that the fall of South East Asia will inevitably bring USA to reconsider its position with regard to India; it will be obliged to ‘court her’…otherwise…China? (Private correspondence dated 18.4.1975, published in Tenth Day of Victory, Volume 2, Book One, Aeon Books, 2014.)
It is one thing to jump on the bandwagon today when the efforts of past labours are bearing overt results. The most difficult part of the labour was completed long before India and the world realised what was being done, for it is not limited to India. It is important to review those efforts because they began in the late 19th Century and continued through the 20th, unbeknown to even close observers of the political or spiritual scenes, and have finally culminated in this 21st Century as it transpires before our eyes in India and before the eyes of the world.
To illustrate, it was the labour of Vishnu’s 9th Avatar, Sri Aurobindo, that made it possible for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare that ‘India would be clean by 2019’, in his recent public appearances precisely in the USA. He referred to Mahatma Gandhi in the context of his championing the cause of cleanliness – a clean India which we all deeply desire on more levels than one. However, Gandhi was in a sense jumping the gun because he did not go to the root of the problem – he could not, because it was not his dharma to do so. In his day the cleanliness situation was bad enough; therefore, he himself took on tasks traditionally reserved for certain sections of the society so as to convey the message forcefully. With the increase in population since then, the lack of sanitation and hygiene has become overwhelming. But it must be noted that while these efforts were necessary they could not bear results unless the root cause of the filth that India has become was addressed.
I have written extensively on this ‘original cause’, and since that was dealt with successfully over the past century and into this 21st without interruption, one can rejoice today when Prime Minister Modi lauds Mahatma Gandhi and declares that he will take up the baton of cleanliness and sanitation, no doubt believing that it all started with Gandhi’s campaign.
What was the original cause? If we follow the thread we will see that it was cemented in the spiritual consciousness of the civilisation over 2000 years ago; moreover, it lay at the basis of every successful invasion and colonisation ever since. This understanding is reached today only if we manage to enlarge our view of evolution to include matters of the spirit as well as material. Both evolve, pari passu in fact. The evolution of the Spirit is the driving force of the material. Without it we would, as an evolving world, collapse into the ‘nothingness’ Science and even certain spiritual greats cherish dearly.
This first cause was a pernicious undermining in the spiritual domain that began approximately around the time the world entered the 9th Manifestation in 234 BCE, marking a stark departure from the realisations of the Rishis in the Vedic Age. The arrival of Vishnu’s 9th Avatar was due on the scene some 2100 years thereafter, during Vishnu’s gunaic/zodiacal period of Sattva/Preservation; more particularly, when the cosmic clock marked arrival at the borderline between the Age of Pisces and into our current Aquarian Age in 1926. From that point onward the stage was set on the subcontinent for all the elements to be put in place for India to play her destined role as centre of the 9th Manifestation comprising 6480 years – a duty for which she is eminently prepared: India is required to work out the dark patches in the collective consciousness of the subcontinent which are representative of the energy knots in the global consciousness, or in the aura of the Earth herself, if you will.
What was the original cause that finally, after two millennia, has come to be reflected in the filth that none have wished to see or to acknowledge as Prime Minister Modi has done, an individual aptly suited to the task, being born in the zodiacal sign of Virgo (see Chapter 6, The Magical Carousel, PNB, Aeon Books, where the characteristics of Virgo are embodied in none other than Miss Lily Spotless!)? The cause lay in the direction yogic and philosophic systems cemented in the spiritual consciousness of the civilisation as the be-all and end-all of every quest from the time of Gautam the Buddha. Simply put, it was Otherworldliness.1 A ‘seed’ was planted that undermined the Earth-centred quest of the Vedic Age as described in the Rig Veda, the world’s oldest scripture and the bedrock of the civilisation even today, though it has moved so far away from that Earth-centred direction to find itself unable even to satisfactorily decipher the treasure left to us by the Rishis. The good news is that this decline, this degeneration that has become so evident in the physical through the filth that we cannot ignore and that welcomes every visitor to India today, is part of the system of renewal and re-establishment of the eternal Dharma. And it is eternal only because of this in-built method of renewal, because only by renewal has it escaped fossilisation.
In a nutshell, this is the task of the Vishnu Avatars. The national Epics describe the life and times of the 7th and 8th in the Line of Ten. Today we have the grace to be born during the period of Vishnu’s 9th, Sri Aurobindo, some 6000 years after the last. The soil for his appearance was prepared by two spiritual giants of Bengal, just prior to his 1872 birth, Sri Ramakrishna (1836) and Swami Vivekananda (1863). In The Gnostic Circle I drew the connection more emphatically, in the process revealing the remarkable consistency in these matters Vedic:
…In the lives of these three there are significant dates which show us the important role they play. Ramakrishna was born with the Sun in Aquarius, in opposition to India’s new birth sign, Leo, and he left his body on August 16th, just an hour or so after the date of India’s independence, August 15.2 Vivekananda was born with the Sun in Capricorn, in opposition to the sign of America, Cancer, and he left his body on July 4th, the date of the American Independence … Ramakrishna’s incarnation was necessary for India’s spiritual awakening, and Vivekananda brought the word to America and planted the seeds of Vedanta in that country. (Ibid, p.182.)
Only those who have experienced at close hand the labour of reversal, as I have called it, can understand what a colossal task this has been. It entailed reversing an otherworldly goal and positing that as the ultimate attainment of any spiritual quest, because that created a split in an area that had never suffered a severance of this order. The Vedic Age was characterised by a seamless unity between Spirit and Matter. There was recognition of the various planes of consciousness, or sheaths that constitute both the individual and collective consciousness-being, but never a linear, polar positioning. It is to be noted that this linearity has plagued not only the subcontinent but the entire world. Those ancient civilisations that shared the unity poise in time and space, all succumbed to the same undermining in the Age of Pisces as India has; none survived, none were able to fend off the onslaught of Otherworldliness until finally this projection culminated in some of the major religions of the world, all of which arose in the past Age of Pisces, all of which enjoin their followers to aspire for salvation and ultimate fulfilment in heaven after death. In other words, this planet can never provide that fulfilment.
Bharat did survive and in spite of the degeneration could keep the thread more or less intact because of a system that allowed India to do so over vast evolutionary cycles of time – the Vishnu Line of Ten, backbone of Hinduism.
Conditions for dealing with what I have called a tendency in the human constitution were in place by entry into the Aquarian Age in 1926 – and this includes Partition, the contours of which began to take shape around that time. These conditions allowed for the 9th to begin the task of uprooting the cause of the decline. The task set before him was to reverse that trend and ultimately to extirpate the tendency of escape to realms beyond, entirely due to the state of incompletion of the human species. Therefore, together with reversal he had to establish in the evolutionary matrix what was lacking to cause the problem in the first place. This was the truth-conscious Supermind, the next level in human evolution. Each of Vishnu’s emanations has had a similar task – that is, the cementing of a particular feature of the human species in an ascending order, because of which Sri Aurobindo called the Line of Ten a parable of evolution. The consequence in India of the tendency to focus on the Beyond away from our planetary base, and thereby bringing about a de facto split between Spirit and Matter, was that the energies of hundreds, if not thousands of realised beings upon which the transformation of the human species depends, were withdrawn from the evolutionary drive. Eventually this withdrawal percolated through all the planes of consciousness down to the physical, the abandonment of which resulted in what we see today. The new, post-Vedic postulation was, simply put, all that is in motion – ergo, the material universe – is mere illusion. Up there in the Self, in the Spirit lies the only reality – a proposition significantly boosted by contemporary particle physics. Bharat thus lost a grip on the physical dimension. It was just a question of time before that physical would be abused to the intolerable level we witness today. Is it not incongruous that the nation acknowledged to have reached spiritual peaks as no other should also hold the distinction of today being the filthiest? India’s ruling zodiacal sign can perhaps give us the answer in its mystic imagery. Capricorn is depicted as the mountain goat with the tail of a fish. This image conveys the connected heights and depths. The time has come to reach a deeper understanding of the symbol when we learn that Capricorn is the sign of the Earth’s soul.
No one now sees the filth; it is just the way things are because it has been a slow and steady decline over centuries. Another aspect of the abuse is corruption, perhaps worst of all; it too is now just the way things are. For there is no store of those finer spiritual energies available, accompanied by the purposefulness required to eliminate the evidence of this abandonment. It is as if a gap exists in the human constitution through which energies are seeped away. This has allowed the physical body of Bharat Mata to display the problem for all those who have the courage to search beneath the surface debacle and reach what Sri Aurobindo called, a falsehood planted…at the very root of things, in his poem, ‘A God’s Labour’,
…A voice cried. ‘Go where none have gone! Dig deeper, deeper yet Till thou reach the grim foundation stone And knock at the keyless gate.’
I saw that a falsehood was planted deep At the very root of things Where the grey Sphinx guards God’s riddle sleep On the Dragon’s outspread wings.
I left the surface gods of mind And life’s unsatisfied seas And plunged through the body’s alleys blind To the nether mysteries.
I have delved through the dumb Earth’s dreadful heart And heard her black mass’ bell I have seen the source whence her agonies part And the inner reason of hell.
Above me the dragon murmurs moan And the goblin voices flit; I have pierced the Void where Thought was born, I have walked in the bottomless pit…
By undoing that knot the rest could then find its place. Well meaning souls could shout till the proverbial cows come home, but until the labour of the 9th was completed, no efforts could bring concrete results.
This work is done; the reversal stands cemented in the evolutionary matrix. In February of 2014 the final ingredient was added to the alchemy and the sacred labour was completed. A Zero-Seed was planted within the prescribed harmony of Time and Space so that, through the Vedic laws of equivalency and correspondence the poisons in the Earth sheath of the past 300 years, further compacted into 30 years, to be further condensed, by the same laws, into 3 years, and finally 3 months (February to May) – were at last extirpated from the body of the Mother that is Bharat. The external evidence was that for the first time since 1984 – precisely 30 years ago – majority rule resulted from the electoral process on May 26, 2014, a majority none expected. This was the signal of a job well done behind the scenes, so to speak; the surface, in a connected, seamless consciousness, displayed this accomplishment, to remind us once again of that underlying drive with a purpose. This is not an unconscious, mindless creation and evolutionary process: there is a divine Purpose at the root of everything material and spiritual. Thus, that compacted Vedic Zero-Seed planted at a specially selected geographic position, directly aligned with the physical source of Ganga, was a womb which, like the poison accumulated in Shiva’s throat at the great Churning, served to gather within itself the compacted poison of centuries and, once and for all, cast it out of the body of the Mother, rendering it truly sacred again.
These are facts not theories or idealistic imaginings. When the Avatar’s labour covers all four dimensions – spiritual, mental, vital, physical – only then can we proclaim the work to be done, the direction to be reversed irrevocably; and the actors are now in place who can carry the fruit of that hidden labour into the dimension that people the world over can relate to: the material plane of the physical consciousness.
This is India’s response to the Aquarian wave that has swept across the globe awakening the masses to their rightful place beneath the Aquarian Sun. It is a revolution Indian-style. In this context, the coming together of America and India is not left to governments alone. The driving force in response to the Aquarian ideal is the people of both nations, and all nations. This was amply displayed in Madison Square Garden on 28 September 2014, a drive that extends well beyond the confabulations of the governments of the day. Exactly 43 years ago on this very date the final ingredients were drawn into India to assure this great victory of the people of both continents as an inevitable consequence the gnostic wheel of Time sets in motion when its divine purpose is accepted as a legitimate part of the Earth’s fulfilment. Today one leader plays the role the Divine Shakti commands, tomorrow it will be another. Her will prevails and we are blessed to participate in the manifestation of her Power that we have just seen Indian-Americans display in the United States of America.
‘At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny…’
‘…The significance of our existence here determines our destiny: that destiny is something that already exists in us as a necessity and a potentiality, the necessity of our being’s secret and emergent reality, a truth of its potentialities that is being worked out; both, though not yet realised, are even now implied in what has been already manifested. If there is a Being that is becoming, a Reality of existence that is unrolling itself in Time, what that being, that reality secretly is what we have to become, and so to become is our life’s significance.’
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 28
‘…This fullness of the means of life might be, by its power for a release from the incessant unsatisfied stress of his economic and physical needs, an opportunity for the full pursuit of other and greater aims surpassing the material existence, for the discovery of a higher truth and good and beauty, for the discovery of a greater and diviner spirit which would intervene and use life for a higher perfection of the being; but it is being used instead for the multiplication of new wants and an aggressive expansion of the collective ego.’
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 28
I write these lines in the United States of America, the nation whose coming into existence changed the face of the world. For a new world was indeed born, where new energies could find their freedom of expression, largely unburdened by the weight of past traditions.
The impression of a new and vibrant vitality is unmistakable in America, as anyone coming from an older, ancient civilisation can affirm when entering within the borders of this vast country. Indeed, one feels ‘burdenless’, and this creates the impression that anything is possible in the United States, the impossible appears totally possible, the attainable is there for all to attain. This is so largely because one is free of the weight of the past.
In terms of the new way, this condition is especially meaningful. I have delved deeply into the question of ‘time energy’. By specific yogic processes it was discovered that the experience of time ― the lived experience of conscious awareness, on this planet, in our particular physical bodies ― revolves around the question of energy, much as all else in this universe. Time is energy, or the executive force of Consciousness. As Sri Aurobindo wrote in Savitri: ‘The executor of my will, eternal Time.’
But an experience lived in an unconscious state, with half or more of the energies of the being asleep, results in the fact that time begins to condense energy within one’s consciousness-being. Consequently, one way in which we can describe the ego is by this formulation: the ego is the pivot formed by those accumulated, unresolved substances that come into being because of a wrong poise of the consciousness of the individual, whereby the time energies of the past form a ‘knot’ and pull the being off centre. That is, one lives one’s life pivoting this off-centre, which is the dross of our experience in time. The past becomes thus our prison. It is the burden we carry and which nails us to our cross in the lowest chakra.
Certain Yogas have sought to release this energy by various techniques which would bring about enlightenment. Tantra is one such path. The rise of the Kundalini in Tantra Yoga is one method to bring about a release. But there are certain limitations in the Tantric and Kundalini Yogas which I have described in the third volume of The New Way. Suffice to say here that seers have long been aware of this ‘knotted energy’ — or the coiled Serpent at the base of the spine. The ego’s pivot, and hence the pivot of the present human race, is the sex centre. Consequently, we have the Left-Handed path of Tantra which seeks to utilise the sex act for the attainment of its highest goal.
This is the situation for each human being born in a human body on this planet. But it is also applicable to nations. Some nations are tremendously burdened by the past, to such an extent that in order to free themselves from these shackles, they do so by seeking to obliterate them completely. China is one example offering this type of resolution, in that it has dramatically cut away its past and introduced a new order. But there are others as well. In the Middle Ages we find that Islam stepped in to fill a void it had created by a similar act of cutting away the existing order. And what was once there, a force of the new, has today become a conservative power of the past.
The United States of America does not have this burden, but because of this we find an interesting situation prevailing, perhaps even more interesting in view of the astrological sign that rules the nation, — Cancer. This sign describes the ego pivot, given the present condition of the race. That is, it is the sign that describes where and when the separation occurs in the evolution of consciousness that permits an individual to emerge. In our present condition of incompletion and unenlightenment, and our difficulty in dealing with time energy in a manner which would allow for a gnostic race to come into being, Cancer thus describes the ego pivot. Hence it is the sign of the past in astrological tradition, and also the ‘end of life’ period and the ‘tomb’. Its hieroglyphic symbol pictures the void we orbit as a race, an ‘empty centre’. And indeed the past is like a black hole; it consumes precious time energy, the lack of which keeps us from enjoying a state of immortal being.
America is representative of this condition because though she does not carry the burden of the past, yet she pivots a certain void. Other nations fill that void with traditions that have accumulated and which eventually become forces of inertia. This, however, the United States has not been permitted to do. The nation has only a short history of barely 200 years, and this short span covers precisely the period of history that saw tremendous upheavals the world over with respect to tradition and continuity.
America is indeed part of the ‘new world’. But in the context of this work, we may use this term as synonymous with ‘the new creation’. That is, this is a global condition and the time of the discovery of America marked the period when a ‘new world’ was being born on Earth, involving the whole planet. The coming into being of the United States as a nation in 1776 (a year of 3 power according to the mathematics of unity) was part of the foundation-laying for a new world order. But an essential ingredient in this order is a vision of oneness and unity. When these become firm pillars of our seeing and are applied to international affairs, then a new world order will take the place of the divisive oldness we live at present.
This vision of oneness and unity must permeate all aspects of life, the individual’s daily experience as well as relations between nations. Similarly, it must refashion our vision of the zodiacal wheel. For the condition that assails us of an incomplete experience of time, forces a separative vision of the wheel; and this creates a fragmented view of the zodiacal signs, whereby each is analysed in isolation of the rest. But with the new perceptive faculties now emerging, such as the Mind of Light, (see TVN 0/2, December 1985) this limitation is overcome. Accompanying the vision of planetary oneness there is a seeing of the integrated, united zodiac. Thus Cancer is no longer a sign separate from the rest, since that would then describe the ‘void’ central to the old creation and hence be productive of the off-centre pivot in the individual; and consequently it would be the sign representing the ego. Any nation, therefore, ruled by Cancer during times when these perceptive limitations prevailed on Earth, would suffer also from the severe limitations the ego would impose. (The several bouts with isolationist policies that the United States has experienced would indicate the old poise and an ‘unintegrated’ Cancer influence.)
However, the United States of America is one of the nations at the forefront of the new world order, and she came into being precisely when those first foundations of human unity and global oneness were being laid. The last three centuries of this millennium are ushering in a radically different harmony among nations and individuals; and the final three decades of this century are carrying this process to its culmination. Consequently, America’s rulership by Cancer carries a different significance. The void is still central, this is a fact, but not having tradition to fill it, the nation has come to express another attribute of the sign: Change. The result is a country caught up in a process of compulsive change, attempts to fill the void. The economic system America champions in the world is also strongly coloured by this factor, since the consumerist society is one that feeds on this need. New products must be churned out with relentless fury to replace old ones; and this, when accompanied by sophisticated marketing and advertising techniques, drives the public to desire ever better products with an insatiable appetite. The new technology is heightening this condition because daily new inventions render obsolete those of yesterday. The consumer is thus driven along on the crests of this compulsive wave of change.
Yet this situation lies very close to the key purpose for America’s existence, her true dharma, we may say. It is a very special attribute that she offers the world and represents her contribution to the symphony of nations, and in particular for the new world order that is upon us. This drive to renew, rather than a clinging to tradition and the ways of the past, is the expression of her Cancer heritage. But since this is a harmony of the One and the Many, one cannot appreciate this heritage and contribution unless the vision of oneness replaces the old seeing. Thus Cancer in the new holistic vision would not be the ego, if taken in conjunction with the other signs, all constituting one evolutionary ‘journey’, one united and connected process. More pointedly, Cancer must be viewed in conjunction with the sign that stands opposite on the wheel, Capricorn. We then find that these two poles form one axis, so to speak. Capricorn then fills that void with the stable core that it provides, for that is its dharma; while Cancer offers to Capricorn the essential ingredient it needs: the drive to renew, to change, without which the stability of Capricorn would become its power of undoing by virtue of a stagnation of energies.
India is known to be ruled by Capricorn, and within the symphony of nations she does provide us with that stable core, which has resulted in the fact that India has given the world so many philosophical systems and spiritual paths and leaders. But a harmonious interchange between these two nations, India and America, is essential now, especially for the latter, which has yet to fulfil her dharma. The United States may have been born as an independent nation in 1776, that year of 3 power, but her journey in the discovery of her soul is still incomplete. Likewise, though India — the new India — was born in 1947, also a year of 3 power, she too awaits the moment of her psychic fulfilment.
Both nations have reached a very important crossroads, and this has become especially apparent to me in my recent travels in the United States. But opposing any true expression of the American soul are forces of inertia which are making a concerted effort to fill that central void. The rise of conservatism in this decade, accompanied by a phenomenal increase in fundamentalism, indicates that occult forces are seeking to draw America away from her true destiny, — a destiny which in fact she has not yet fulfilled.
This of course may be said of all nations: none have fulfilled their destinies. It may be said of the entire Earth. The planet stands at a formidable crossroads: on one side lies collapse, caving in of energies, destruction, and on the other we find the new creation which the Earth is meant to house and which is the true and sole reason for her existence. This planet is to provide the physical base for this evolution to a higher species and a gnostic society.
The turning point America (and India) faces, is thus the same the whole Earth faces. What is going to emerge? Out of this great churning will the Earth’s soul be victorious and her child live and take his place in the complete harmony of the System? Or will the forces of Inertia prevail and cast this new creation into the black hole of the past, aborting the birth of the One Earth and the harmonious interrelations between nations and between individuals?
It is clear that this crucial juncture is upon us as a species, as a planet. There is no longer any possibility of an individual salvation, — read ‘escape’. It is abundantly evident that isolated parts cannot disengage themselves from this decisive reckoning. Thus the critical juncture that America faces expresses the turning point of our entire civilisation. What is to come? What is, in the first place, the real nature of the victory?
This may be said to be the central issue of the present discussion, and about which we seek to be very clear. At stake is the destiny of an entire civilisation. But more than that, it is the destiny of a planet. The decisive moment of which we are witnesses and participants, concerns the unveiling of the Earth’s soul.
In our racial memories we carry truth-seeings of our planetary psychic being. These have been conveyed in various ways and handed down throughout the Ages, — in epics, myths, or in records left by individual seers of their truth perceptions which all traditions have preserved. These are veiled prophetic glimpses, of seeings into that soul dimension. Yet the difference with our times is of capital importance. We are now living the actual Birth, a condition which the world has not known prior to our Age. Or if it has in the endless recurring cycles of Time, that event has receded deep into our collective unconscious. We have lost the living and conscious connection with that planetary condition. Some [people?] attempt to reconstruct this past, to ferret out traces of cultures and civilisations which seem to indicate that the Earth has known the full birth of her soul. But I am not especially concerned with what might have been thousands of years ago. I am solely concerned with the actual birth we are living now; and I realise that the times we live in are, for this reason, the most glorious and exciting that our race has living memory of. We are experiencing that great Birth. We have the possibility to be conscious participants in this unique event. For out of the labour pains of our times, the new creation emerges. Can there be any more sublime grace than to be offered by destiny the possibility of a conscious participation in this revolutionising happening?
An event of such phenomenal importance and proportions is clearly a global involvement, concerning nations and individuals. Therefore, if one observes world events with the eye of a new Seeing, enlightened by this faculty of clear vision, they take on a different meaning. We view then in a new perspective. Accordingly, this introduces a heightened sense of responsibility. For example, the turning point that the United States faces becomes a matter of deepest concern for all nations and people. We cannot stand aloof from the consequences a wrong turn at this stage would signify. In addition, a true spiritual insight reveals that the old methods for dealing with our problems are not adequate to influence events and people or change the course of destiny during this entirely new Birth. To seek to usher in the new Creation requires a new way, a new process. And this is what we are concerned with primarily. It is more than clear that the right course is not going to be found in the old paths of the spirit, nor through the already outdated solutions science and political ideologies provide. Rather, it is abundantly clear that a new consciousness has to come into being which can deal with the tremendous mental development of the human race, — the major conditioning factor of our civilisation. That is, a supramental change has to come about — or rather, is coming about. And we seek to become more conscious instruments in this great Change.
However, this requires special Knowledge. In my travels in America, I have been able to observe that there exists a decided immaturity in questions of Spirit. Unlike India where for thousands of years sages, seers, and yogis have been exploring all the existent dimensions open to the individual in his or her quest for Truth — from the highest reaches of the spirit, down through the innumerable occult planes and into the physical — , America is barely at the first portal in this investigation. Consequently, I have found that this lack of a precise Knowledge about those subtle, occult dimensions and the forces working therein has placed in jeopardy the realisation of the country’s higher potential. I feel that this matter is serious enough to merit a somewhat detailed discussion, and it is my hope that an explanation of the nature of the problem will help to arrest an incipient wrong turn and guide those individuals who could provide a certain amount of precious energies for the great Change back to the safe and real path of the Earth’s own way.
A great wave is sweeping over America, dispersing energies and creating a considerable amount of confusion among seekers regarding the nation’s true role in the new dispensation that the Earth stands poised to experience. This is occurring because, as mentioned, there is very little real understanding of the true nature of the occult dimensions that surround us, — those subtle dimensions with their respective forces, entities, and so forth, that ‘fold into’ the physical, and permeate it. These entities seek to mould the consciousness of the people in ‘their own image’, quite simply. Yet they have no real role to play in this manifestation; or rather, no directional role.
This has presently reached alarming proportions. One of its main expressions is the rampant influences these occult forces have acquired by means of mediumistic channels — be this either through automatic writing, the pendulum, the planchette, or simply a ‘source’ speaking through a sensitive, all of which are means to receive ‘messages’ from disembodied entities. There are many ways to receive such communications, but the actual methods are unimportant. The resultant communications are, however, a matter of deep concern to anyone knowledgeable about such matters.
The position needs to be explained in greater detail. In an integral path, and above all a supramental manifestation which presupposes an integration of all levels of the being, from the subtlest realms of the Spirit to the densest dimensions of material creation, it is not possible to brush aside the occult realms and all their intermediate planes as ‘illusory’, or to consider them plagued by the scourge of impermanency and hence to be dismissed as unreal. This has been done in the past. In fact, all spiritual disciplines and philosophies have propagated this view in one way or another. They all prescribe an extra-cosmic apotheosis, and in so doing the question of knowledge about the occult planes becomes irrelevant, since the Cosmic Body of the Mother is dismissed as ‘unreal’. The aim is to escape those subtle as well as physical planes, which are labelled Illusion, or Maya. This attitude is reflected in zodiacal tradition by the aforementioned separation between Cancer and Capricorn. By this divisive view, Cancer then becomes Diti of Vedic tradition, the Mother of darkness and division. Aditi, the unifying Mother, only comes into being when this point is joined in the perceptive vision to Capricorn.
In calling creation ‘illusion’, this has not freed the race from an interpenetration by the occult forces of this physical dimension. In fact, today we find that this disregard fostered by the spiritual authorities has created fertile ground for occult forces to influence happenings on the planet and they have come to wield considerable power over people, especially those engaged in a quest for Truth. It is not that those forces can effectively impede the new Birth, or even that they care to do so. What is happening, however, and which is truly lamentable, is that channels that could serve the Divine as instruments for the Supramental Change are being taken over by these powers of lesser significance; and worse yet, they are cajoled into believing that they are those chosen instruments utilised for this change.
I must point out that this is not a new phenomenon. In India the role of these forces has long been accurately known. But what is new is the all-pervasiveness of the happening. Yet Tantra, for instance, is a specialised Indian path with a specific body of knowledge concerning those occult realms. Indeed, any path that places the Divine Mother on its central altar of worship — such as the Tantric and ancient Vedic — perforce has to accept the reality of those innumerable occult dimensions that constitute Her consciousness-being. In her cosmic form she is the Body of the Absolute; and even as our own physical bodies contain subtle as well as denser material sheaths, so too does the Cosmic Mother’s ‘body’ embrace these same dimensions in macrocosmic proportions. Consequently, in the Supramental Yoga, in which the union with the Divine Shakti is paramount, it is not possible to either deny or ignore the existence of those occult planes with the forces that inhabit them.
However, it must be cautioned that an even more finely honed discrimination is required in this new path, insofar as it harmonises both the individual and the collectivity and by consequence it integrates all aspects of existence. This means that in the Supramental Manifestation, we cannot disengage the individual from the circumscribing collective consciousness. It is all one. Thus the phenomenon of communicating with the occult entities we are describing is of major concern to us since it is a primary influence today in the nation that has a special role to play in the dawning new creation.
These occult forces are seeking to gain influence on Earth by usurping certain channels, and especially by using the extensive communications network for the express purpose of extending their influence as widely as possible. At stake is the destiny of the planet. Is she to be the home of the supramental creation and thus fulfil her true destiny, or are those forces going to succeed in disfiguring the message and usurping the individual channels and moulding the vision into their lesser image? Each force in those planes attempts to do just that. The proverbial war between the Dark and the Light revolves finally around this conflict: the dark simply represents those forces of Inertia which strive to impede the forward movement and the establishment of the New. They are those blocked energies of the Past that resist change at all cost. And the seeker today faces an arduous task, for those influences come under the guise of the Good. It may also be said that as far as those entities are concerned, given the limited knowledge they possess, they are good. But as far as this work is concerned, though we must agree that a certain goodness exists, in the context of the new creation, what does ‘good’ really mean?
The point to bring forth here is that what may have been valid and true in ages past is not necessarily the light of today. Quite the contrary. Or what might be valid and true for another galaxy in another star system, may not be relevant and healthy for this planet, Earth. But let us briefly analyse this situation.
The Supramental Creation is a thing indigenous to planet Earth. Therefore it emerges from this planet’s own consciousness-being and in harmony with her own evolutionary laws. Via these laws that new creation comes into being, therefore resulting in an expression of the Earth’s particular and unique inherent Truth-essence, — not something imposed from outside, no matter how romantic such interventions may appear to our fanciful and imaginative tastes. It may be safely stated that the salient feature of this new creation is precisely a society in which each individual and every aspect of that society expresses their inherent truth of being.
One aspect that is perhaps the central ingredient in this evolutionary development is the gestation and birth process. The cycle of 9 is thus fundamental and it is the means used to create a new blueprint of the new consciousness to establish new ‘forms’. Therefore to expect that this new world is to come into being on Earth through channels external to that process and through guidance from other galaxies, or by the help of guidance from the occult dimensions through any particular ‘source’, is to fail to understand the real process and its full mechanism for introducing change.
The forces in these other dimensions are typal entities (see TVN 1/3; Sri Aurobindo on the Supramental Evolution). They are not engaged in this sort of evolutionary process. Yet they do seek to spread their ‘word’ on this planet, in this physical dimension, a fact which is made especially evident today by the great proliferation of mediums and ‘sources’. But lacking the capacity to discriminate on those planes, the seeker in America is being drawn into an area of occultism that can be extremely dangerous for the layman who has no secure grounding in the knowledge required to deal with those planes and forces. This situation has long been appreciated in India, and from very ancient times a distinction was made between spiritual attainments and the occult. In addition, it has always been recognised that to attain any proficiency in occultism a specialised preparation is required, and, in particular, the guidance of a trusted and reliable master or guru, to assist the disciple in the early stages in order to avoid a catastrophic possession by the forces operating in the occult planes.
To illustrate, I would like to reproduce a portion from a Tantric text that deals with this matter. It cautions the seeker on the spiritual path and lays bare the dangers one faces. The same advice can be extended to seekers in America, who unquestioningly accept all that comes through occult channels. The passage is from, The Ten GreatCosmic Powers, by S. Shankaranarayanan, (Dipti Publications), page 2:
‘…There is a regular hierarchy of Gods, some of whom are far above the highest heavens of human reach. But there are also Gods and Goddesses closer to the human level. They are more readily accessible to those who aspire to them and in some cases the seeker on the Tantric path looks to the aid and lead of these deities in his effort. They are endowed with capacities and powers beyond normal human possibility, but they are not at all for that reason divine in nature. There are higher and lower classes of them, ucca and ksudra Devatas. Those that are nearest to the earth-plane, swarming in the vital world overtopping the physical, are usually of the latter type. They respond very readily to the approaches of those who seek their help but they do so mainly for their own purpose, namely, to get hold of the particular human vehicle and convert it into a centre for their activity on the earth. They may and do answer the call of the seeker in the beginning, but in the end they let him down, rather roughly, once their purpose is fulfilled. The seeker is mislead, his inner progress comes to a standstill if it does not end in disaster. The Kshudra Devatas mislead the seeker with petty glamorous gifts, induce a false sense of progress and siddhi, prevent the dawn of real Jnana [knowledge] which would expose their whole game and succeed in enslaving the man for their purpose at the cost of his soul which is betrayed into misadventure.’
In addition to the above, I would like to draw the reader’s attention to the article that appeared in this Newsletter, 0/3, February 1986, on Pendulums, Planchettes and Automatic Writing.
To conclude, it is clear that the time has come for the American seeker to extend his or her boundaries, to begin to forge truly secure foundations in a more central domain of Truth-Seeing. During my travels it became apparent that a certain saturation had taken place; it was abundantly clear that something else has to manifest now, something that represents the culmination of two decades of intense involvement with the paths of the Spirit, something that in fact can reconcile the two poles of existence — the material and the spiritual — and which are translated into our life on this planet as the presently antagonistic poises of change and stability. For us at this time, one of the most relevant attributes of the Supermind is its inherent harmonisation of these two aspects of universal manifestation, and the new way has evolved as a tool to apply this higher principle in our individual and collective lives. This path is universal in its scope, as well as the language that characterises it, and by means of which it extends its influence in the world. It was born on Earth and is of the Earth. There is no question of its subjugation to the dictates of beings from other galaxies, or entities from the occult dimensions; nor is it dependent on sanction from disembodied spirits whose consciousnesses ‘on the other side’ retain the same limitations as when they were embodied on this planet. Nonetheless, this is indeed a vision connected with certain higher planes of consciousness, those realms of the Truth-Consciousness, as Sri Aurobindo described them. But these are intrinsic parts of the Earth’s own inherent truth of being. The Supermind is the mode by which the connection with the Absolute is made, as it is for each individual born on this planet.
India can provide the central stable core with its spiritual foundation and mature knowledge and wisdom born of the ages. But America must contribute the element of change and force of renewal, an element which is essential in any creation in matter. A forging of an axis of this sort, balancing change and stability, is the means by which an integrated new creation, expressing itself individually and collectively, can come about and hasten the establishment on Earth of the life divine.
Kodaikanal, August, 1986
A silent Cause divine…
A silent Cause divine Has settled in my heart From where a laughter mocks The busyness without.
No movement now, Mobility coils out from one point: A vibrant core of quiet joy, A snow-white ocean of fathomless Power.
Gone, gone the asking Gone the yearning. Nothing but that Cause remains. Silent, impeccable and alone.
‘…A new spiritual awakening must arise from the depths of this vast life that shall this time more successfully include in its scope the great problems of earthly life as well as those of the soul and its transmundane destinies, an awakening that shall ally itself closely with the renascent spiritual seeking of the West and with its yearning for the perfection of the human race. This third and as yet unknown quantity is indeed the force needed throughout the East. For at present we have only two extremes of a conservative immobility and incompetence imprisoned in the shell of past conventions and a progressive force hardly less blind and ineffectual because second-hand and merely imitative of nineteenth-century Europe, with a vague floating mass of uncertainty in between…’.
Sri Aurobindo CE, Volume 16, page 327
Civilisations evolve religions out of a perception of a certain metaphysical or cosmic order. Or else, the cosmos acts as a screen onto which an order is projected that has evolved out of the religious experience. This, in turn, finds itself reflected in different forms of government, more or less faithful images of that higher perception. Though we may seek to disconnect models of government from the religious experience, in an age which appears to have exceeded the boundaries of old and in the effort to secularise society, a deeper study of the matter does reveal the connection.
To illustrate, Semitic religions, whose influence has spread across the entire globe largely through colonial conquests, have a monotheistic conceptual basis. This ONE GOD then evolved into the monarch and later the president. Below this single Godhead there are the angels in Middle Eastern religions, and the pattern extends to governing bodies via the prime minister, ministers of state, and so forth, – executors of the commands of an all-powerful divine General.
A hardening of the structure has often come about. Fascist and communist regimes of the 20th Century are examples of this degeneration, for in the monotheistic model there are no attenuating, harmonising and balancing forces. The divine General lacks the other two aspects of the trinity, as equal powers, which do indeed prevent the degeneration of a process which bears a respect for the cosmic triune play of energy: CREATION, PRESERVATION and DESTRUCTION. This triadic compound is the true reality of the cosmos, describing the macrocosmos as well as the microcosmos. Upon this play of energy the whole of creation is balanced.
Two of these interacting forces are feminine in quality. In pre-Christian times this fact was expressed in the Greek myth of Demeter, the Divine Mother, and her daughter, Persephone. Joining them in the action was Pluto, thus completing the triune expression of positive and negative interacting and mutually sustaining forces. When these balancing, attenuating forces are eliminated from the pantheon, and this is carried over to governing bodies, it is understandable that a brittleness sets in and despotism of various degrees is the outcome. The dictator is the result of a monotheistic religious model which leaves salvation in the hands of a one God, masculine, wrathful, almighty, and a jealous guard of his all-inclusive rule.
In our 20th Century, secularism evolved when finally the hold of religion began to give way and society sought to disconnect it entirely from the processes of government. Indeed, the religious experience was seen to be unable to inspire the correct order which could accommodate and express a truth that harmonises. Thus, to all appearances, the West and all the governments it has provided models for across the globe, staunchly uphold the division of State and Religion. But a more penetrating observation discloses that the separation is in name only, and perhaps in law: the essence of government and the forms it produces are direct products of a metaphysical perception.
There are examples of the link between government and religion even today in the ‘secular’ West. Switzerland, to name one country, has only very recently granted women the right to vote, having withheld this right on the basis of its Calvinistic interpretation of the Bible, with certain cantons still adamantly refusing to concede what the courts are now seeking to impose.
Indeed, a force moves across the globe urging a release of those long pent-up feminine energies. This is primarily reflected in feminist campaigns for the liberation and uplift of women, similar to the Swiss development; or else there are the environmentalist movements, the save-the-Earth drives which receive more energy and commitment daily. The world is now being forced to accept the existence of these powers and to integrate them somehow into the existing order. But the governing bodies of Semitic inspiration are not reflective of this triune play of energy, hence we observe a state of flux and sometimes collapse when the resulting brittleness reaches an extreme. Or else these drives create a greater resistance and consequently a more intensive effort at suppression of feminine powers. In the sphere of religion itself, fundamentalist responses are always a reaction to the urge for change and the experience of integration and wholeness.
In the Middle East, cradle of the monotheistic tradition, this development has reached an extreme in certain quasi theocratic regimes where women are excluded from any form of effective participation in government. In Pakistan this is now a dominant issue insofar as the Sharia Law is about to be adopted, accompanied by a specific injunction barring women from the right to occupy the highest offices of government, being considered unfit to rule according to the scriptures. These regimes, through fundamentalist, proselytising agencies, seek to foist their divisive framework onto societies whose foundational perceptions are entirely different from the Semitic. Whenever these agents have been successful, we witness a schism: models of government out of tune with the nation’s cultural foundation. A prime example is India.
Rigid fundamentalist responses to change are simply indications that indeed the old order is collapsing. Throughout the world the call is for a new order, and none can now silence this fervent appeal. At the same time, societies are in a state of turmoil precisely because the lines of this Order are unknown; or else the imposition of an order alien to the indigenous soul persists, though colonial rule has ceased to hold sway, through patterns of thought perpetuated by an intelligentsia held prisoner of this bygone rule, acting as agent for a system totally alien to the national soul, the finer points of which these intellectuals themselves ignore.
To a certain extent the United States of America presents a divergence to the rule of a progressively hardening structure degenerating into despotic rule, simply because it has a specific role to play in this 9th Manifestation. America’s essential truth of being is a binary expression, perhaps the purest model to be found on the globe today. Its religious experience of a Semitic origin is expressed in the office of president very faithfully, but the more important feature is the binary party system which has its roots in a stark divide in the early perception of reality, positioning God on one side of the cosmic fence and Satan on the other, in eternal confrontation and struggle for supremacy. In other words, they stand as two basic forces in ceaseless opposition and mutual antagonism. In spite of numerous efforts to break this pattern and to introduce a third or more parties, these have never been successful. The USA has remained thoroughly entrenched in its binary system because indeed it represents the truth of the national soul and its contribution to the global harmony. At the same time, in this epoch, when a force of unity and integration is moving across the globe, we witness stresses on that system with the Republican Party virtually gaining a monopoly through successive re-elections with apparently no breakthrough in sight for the Democrats. Nonetheless, in Congress and the Senate the binary party system continues to function with an admirable degree of proficiency.
Yet, what might be true for one nation may not hold for another. The legacies of colonial rule are in evidence in most nations in the world. As in the case of India, they bear little relation to the soul of the nations colonised. They were imported models forcibly imposed, covertly or overtly. For this reason we see the world in the process of regurgitating all the concepts on which those governments had been based. The outcome of this worldwide movement is certain to be a new world order for there are breakdowns, stresses, pressures for change felt everywhere.
We are interested in the nature, the texture of that emerging Order because the New Way is a heralding voice of that superior expression. It has provided a model of a new order taken from the cosmic harmony which is its inspiration. Its order is hence of universal relevance and not in the least sectarian and divisive. Its essence is triune, or the harmonious balance of the triune powers of creation. Thus, using the formulas of the new way Cosmology, in this essay we shall present an example of 1) India’s higher seeing and the features which distinguish it from the Semitic model; 2) how this seeing has played itself out in India in the political sphere, though ostensibly the nation has adopted the Semitic model in contrast to the ancient Hindu formula; and 3) how 20th Century secularism impedes a competent resolution of the problems the Semitic model created in the nation, to the point where the entire edifice of modern India stands on the brink of a catastrophic collapse.
The long slumber of the soul of India
If the West evolved its political framework out of its perception of ‘heaven’ – often a euphemism for the cosmos divested of the sacredness of the Divine Mother once she had been relegated to the inferno of man’s suppressed desires and libido – the East has equally produced its contemporary order. But here we encounter an interesting phenomenon. India has never really displayed this order in the more recent historic period, having been saddled with foreign rule for the past thousand and more years. Nonetheless, Hindu civilisation has nurtured this order and kept it alive in subterranean levels of the consciousness of its people. This is because, come what may and in spite of innumerable fierce attempts to destroy its vision of wholeness, it has been maintained by the nation’s obsession with the cosmic harmony. Even today, western rationalism and Bible-thumping zealots notwithstanding, great store is placed in the validity of certain minor aspects of cosmic harmonies, namely astrology and other forecasting arts. In addition, India has used these harmonies to record its history in a language which evolved for that purpose. The Puranas, for example, express this cosmic truth. These ‘myths’ serve a purpose which has not been fully appreciated in modern India: they preserve the Cosmic Truth which is the basis of the new world order. While the West and the Middle East experienced the destruction of a unified perception and consciousness, which relegated the Divine Mother to the position of an Eve, evil temptress and responsible for all mankind’s woes, and in the process eliminated the Feminine Principle entirely from its civilisational expressions, so too India experienced the same severance – or at least a nearly successful attempt to split asunder the consciousness of unity which has always characterised the Indian spiritual genius. Indeed, the philosophical fragmentation has been reflected in the violation of the wholeness of the geographical body of Mother India. Thus, if Partition can be taken as a pointer, the attempt appears to have succeeded, and on a certain level of physical existence we are forced to admit that this splitting apart has taken its toll and appears now irreversible. But, is this entirely true?
To arrive at certain conclusions we must analyse the present position in the light of developments in this century which involve the political and spiritual manifestations of that cosmic harmony. At the outset one factor becomes clear: India had been suppressed by extraneous foreign and colonial rule only until the time when this superior pattern, this cosmic truth of her higher destiny had begun to play itself out. This means that for many centuries, indeed for several millennia, nothing of this cosmic truth escaped an imprisonment Time had demanded and maintained. However, the general lines of this pattern were preserved intact in the Puranas.
We are discussing the flow of Time over millennia. At the same time, we have narrowed our vision like a microscope and zeroed into this century where, in a nuclear time-space, physical and temporal, we observe that sacred Secret playing itself out. We see the truth of the Puranas cast into the political/spiritual pattern upon which the new India has been moulded. More astoundingly, we see it clearly and unmistakably reflected in the very geography of the subcontinental land-mass.
The discernible play-out began in 1857 with the Sepoy Rebellion or India’s first war of independence from colonial rule. Ninety years later, in 1947, that independence from the colonial power would become an historical fact. But ‘independence’ reflected the unconsciousness of the process: India’s physically dismembered condition is simply an expression of a process not whole, involving much unconsciousness in the executing instruments and an ‘order’ imposed upon the new India which does not bear a direct relation to that cosmic Harmony.
We can appreciate the gravity of the situation when we understand that the political order of the West reflects that civilisation’s religious perception. We know that the Indian perception is markedly different from the Western, of Middle-Eastern origin. Yet India has adopted a political system which is an import from that world very far removed from her reality. What, precisely, is left out? It is that very mother, – yet we go on invoking Bharatmata, or Mother India. Thus, we are not surprised to observe that the physical body of the ‘new’ India presents a dismembering of the Mother. The geographical condition simply describes the condition of India’s contemporary political and social order.
At the same time, in a paradoxical manner so much in keeping with the abounding paradoxes one is faced with daily in the Indian subcontinent, the awakened consciousness of the Indian spirit which we may call the Hindu Soul, for want of a better expression, has already revealed itself faithful to the unified perception of that ancient Vision. It has been the reflection of the Puranic cosmic truth in spite of surface appearances; or rather, that Truth has played itself out negatively though with immaculate precision.
The structure of the collection of Puranas provides the key, which none suspect exists and which has therefore served as its means of protection and preservation. Thus the Puranas have a triune structure: 18 books divided into 3 groups of 6. Each 6-section belongs to a particular aspect of the essential Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, or Creation, Preservation and Destruct ion. This same triadic play is more pointedly connected to the Mother through the gunas (energy flows) of the Tradition: Rajas, Sattwa and Tamas – again, Creation, Preservation and Destruction. This very same trinity forms the basis of astrology as it is practised throughout the world.
These triune groupings are the woof and warp of Hindu philosophies and systems of yoga. They are also the woof and warp of India’s political order via the Nehru Lunar Line of three (plus a fourth ‘one’). The accurateness of this pattern is empirically verifiable. The birthdates of the members of this Line provide the harmonic key: 9 and 6 and 3: the Trinity manifest. (See The New Way, Volume l; TVN 0/1) The cosmic harmony of our solar system given exquisitely faithful reproduction on Earth.
Nonetheless, the situation is problematic. The imported political structure bears little relation to that harmony ‘up above’. It does not describe a triune conglomerate of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, but harkens rather to a Semitic monolithic Godhead, a one God and no other, to the point where it denies the manifold expressions of the Divine Mother as reflected explicitly in its condemnation of ‘idol worship’. Contemporary India followed suit. Thus, we have witnessed the rise of organisations such as the Arya Samaj, a clear example of the subjugation of the Hindu perception of the cosmic Truth in its integral form to the imported religious experience of the Middle East and Western nations with their insistence on a stark monolithic truth, at war with the many-faceted reality of the Divine Mother’s vast Being.
Predictably, this exclusiveness and damning of the multiplicity of creation was inflicted upon the planet itself in an on-going war with Mother Nature, or the ecological collapse of our planet Earth.
Vedic India knew no such war. It expressed the integral realisation, – a harmony of God, Nature and the human being, or the Transcendent, the Cosmic and the Individual Divine. This was its foundational seeing; this remains the basis of the Hindu perception of reality. But where is the political order to express this indigenous seeing?
Over the centuries India has experienced continuous attacks on this original Vision – a vision that must form the recognised foundation upon which the new India is built, as well as the anticipated new order that is global. But, let us be clear, it is not HINDUISM that becomes that global order. It is the cosmic truth. Whoever has not realised that Truth cannot comprehend the universal character of Hinduism and its destiny of world affirmation. This affirmation will not be labelled ‘Hindu’. It will be simply that Truth, that impersonal face of the cosmic harmony manifesting in each nation in a progressive unfolding according to the ever-widening eye of its collective perception. This ‘infiltration’ by the Cosmic Truth – which began with the accelerated spread of the Indian spiritual vision throughout the world in the 1960s – brought about a gradual undermining of those old structures based on divisiveness and a separative perception of reality. Creation is seen as a wholeness of the triune manifestation, as the One and the Many, as a superb unity in diversity. The destiny of India is to spread the vision of this truth-seeing, not under the label of Hinduism but as the Cosmic Truth, a perception which then pierces the veils that hold back the energies concentrated in the Vision and these then find manifold avenues and patterns of eternally-renewing expressions.
Indeed the old order is crumbling. But it is merely the beginning. At present we are simply witnessing the collapse of very basic elements which in their continued existence will not permit the ‘infiltration’ of the Cosmic Truth. We have yet to witness overtly the formulas themselves which will evolve in those nations once the transitional period has been successfully surpassed and the channels of expression of that Truth begin to manifest.
Similarly, there is a crumbling of inadequate structures in India. Indeed, the nation seems to be disintegrating. It was predictable. It is inevitable. The existing order is inadequate to express the Vedic Seeing. It served its noble purpose during India’s transitional phase, but its limits have now been reached, in time and in the lived experience of India society. The time has indeed come for the true new order to be unveiled.
We emphasis unveiled, because like Shiva’s mighty and invincible Son, Guha, the Hidden One, the superlative Secret of the most profound secrets of Hinduism, the new order already exists in India. The travails of the present are simply experiences in this act of unveiling, in becoming conscious and whole, in granting to that Cosmic Vision a manifest vehicle of Truth which is able to unify the formidable diversity that is India.
The Vision that Illumines
The world order which was established at the close of the Second World War is crumbling, in India and beyond. The central focus of that order was the threat of communism and political systems in a number of countries were a reactionary response to that threat. Hence these systems were externally imposed. One very clear example is Italy. Having as it does a special relationship with India in esoteric tradition, Italy’s case history is particularly relevant. For we note that a crossroads has been reached there as well. Apart from revealing a chronic instability – the rise and fall of no less than fifty governments since the end of the War – Italy’s north now seeks to establish a certain independence from the south. The outcome of this movement and its effects on the newly-united Italian nation promise to be significant. As has been rightfully pointed out by political analysts, the demise of communism had a particularly hard effect on Italian politics, given the fact that the constitution and political structure adopted at the fall of Fascist Italy, bore this focus foremost: the threat of communism and its containment. Now that this threat has dissolved, the entire structure upon which it stood is threatened with collapse.
This is the situation we encounter throughout the world, and it is this circumstance which is the cause for the present strife and turmoil: artificial structures were adopted, systems which bore scant relation to the soul of the nations. India’s condition is not an isolated one. We may cite any number of similar situations where national ‘orders’ were the outcome of external conditions and not true and free internal movements and expressions. Constitutions and socio-political systems were devised in reaction to those externals almost exclusively. Even the national borders were determined by extraneous considerations. Such has been the legacy of colonialism throughout the world; and in this assessment we include the special brand of colonialism of both the USSR in Eastern Europe, and the USA in Latin America.
It is now openly accepted and stated in India that ‘something else’ must evolve to replace the constitution and parliamentary democracy which the nation adopted almost in its entirety from Great Britain. The loud invective is heard, COMMUNAL!, for any attempt to unveil another order, more attuned to the national soul. The death of secularism is bemoaned and the attempt to establish a ‘Hindu Rastra’ is frantically opposed and labelled retrograde.
The reply to these castigations and lamentations must necessarily be that the affairs of the nation have been in the hands of those ‘secular forces’ for decades. Independent India has never experienced anything else. Therefore, if the country is today faced with communalism, desecularisation, disintegration, and the opposite of any true integration, it is this secular mindset that must be held responsible. We must therefore question its efficacy and legitimacy and cease avoiding this badly needed introspection.
However, an introspection of the sort required at present is not advisable when it is a speculative, intellectual exercise – those which continue to abound. That is, analysts turn round and round on a wheel of nothingness with a void as its hub. These attempts to probe the failures of the system are thus always negative. It is similar to dissecting a corpse rather than the examination of a living body. We may uncover the reason for a fatal disease in dissecting the corpse, but we cannot pretend that this will replace a vision of its living truth. The implication is that introspection must have a centre, a focus – indeed, a vision. It is that vision which illumines our penetration. Without the light of this vision we simply engage in endless speculative gyrations in a mind-boggling labyrinth, apportioning the blame here or there. Introspection can only be a valid exercise when a clear focus exists. That focus in this case is the living pulse of the soul of India, with its mathematical avenues of expression, as the light which illuminates the causes for the failure of the old order. Without that we simply construct another model as a result of our introspection which will once again bear a central void in place of the living and pulsating soul of Bharat Mata. Because of this it has been stated time and again that the new world order can only arise on the basis of knowledge, the fruit of a very precise ACT OF SEEING, by persons of Knowledge.
Aids are provided for this purpose, born in the midst of intensely concentrated states of higher awareness. These revelations act as Philosopher’s Stones in our introspection. They reveal that India, unlike any other nation in the world, is not only a consciousness of the Divine Mother on Earth, but her very PHYSICAL being, her geography, proves that she is the earthly representative of that Mother. The key of Knowledge for this higher perception is the Capricorn hieroglyph (ruler of India) superimposed on the map of her integral Body. We may use this in our present analysis as we have done on numerous occasions in the past, this key being a ceaseless self-replenishing source, and we shall see that even in her disintegration there is a control that is a superb reflection of the Cosmic Truth. This superior tool of perception can, by consequence, reveal the path we must take toemerge from the present prison of unknowing.
Disintegration shows the way
Wholeness, an integration of a trifold manifestation is the way. But what are we faced with today? We have anything but wholeness. We have a truncated physical nation – but that is not enough. The subtle energy sheath of Bharat Mata is riddled with holes and in parts devastatingly dismembered. Massive portions have been severed from the Body, torn out of the sheath at crucial points. This is also the result of the external system imposed upon the civilisation. The results are mathematical. One clear example may suffice because it is of such crucial importance at present.
The inadequate brand of Gandhian non-violence permitted the body of Bharat Mata to be torn asunder at the time of Partition, and, lamentably, its effects continue to be felt in the nation. India, because of this inadequate perception, became a victim of an emasculated energy base. In terms of its ancient heritage, this meant that the concept of non-violence struck a critical, almost fatal blow at the Kshatriya (warrior/ruler) segment of Indian civilisation. This having been the case, what are the results today? We have the ‘defenders of the Dharma’, as the Sikhs have been traditionally called, not exerting themselves in the defence of this Dharma in the direction it should go, but twisted, turned back upon itself. This question of energies turning back upon themselves is the mathematical part of the process. We shall now explore it in depth.
Originally Sikhism arose not as a religion, let us be clear, but as an organisation within the Kshatriya caste for the defence of the Dharma in the wake of relentless onslaughts from the North West of forces seeking to implant in India a foreign culture and faith. The Sikhs stood at the frontier of Bharat Mata, face to face with that invading and corrosive element, at the point where it had entered. On the Symbol-Map, this would be in the Rajas portion of the subtle energy sheath (see page 10). They still occupy that same physical position, pushed back to the new frontier at the time of Partition. But what transpired after that initial moment of truthfulness, of faithfulness to their inherent dharma and the blessed expression of that Kshatriya energy?
With the completion of the Line of Ten Gurus, we see those corrosive invading seeds taking their toll and the Sikh religion came formally into being, separate from the cultural identity of the greater body. This crystallised as a reaction to that invading ideology rather than a true expression of the Kshatriya soul (numerous elements of its belief system and ritual attest to this fact). We are justified in asking how this came to pass. The answer is given in the sacred Symbol-Map of a united subcontinent and its projection of wholeness and integrated, integral seeing.
Thus, on the basis of the Symbol-Map, we note that at the other end, the North East, another corrosive substance had entered, through the Tamas portion of the subtle energy sheath. The British came originally through what is now Calcutta, and this invasion through the Tamas section forced the Hindu Soul more cunningly than ever into the cramped space of the religious consciousness. Its effects have been more devastating than the Islamic attack on the wellspring of Warrior energies. The Sikhs were caught in this crunch when the inadequate brand of non-violence was imposed upon the nation and the Sikh Dharma had no proper outlet of expression, or felt itself a victim of an inexpressible undermining.
Partition reflected the same turning back upon itself of that energy. The forces which might have been directed toward the colonial aggressor were blocked, suppressed, emasculated. The mathematical effect was a collapse of energies. That is, those frontier pillars of strength fell into the central void of where the Dharma is ‘preserved’. The impact of this collapse of energies in the subtle sheath of the nation brought a convulsive turn of Indian upon Indian rather than a concentrated, unified thrust of a county whole and integral in its energy body to oust the invading virus. It is similar to a disease attacking the immune system – indeed, AIDS is the utterly perfect symbol. The body of Bharat Mata lost its defences. Those ‘warrior cells’ were undermined throughout the breadth of the land, just as the immune system is undermined in AIDS. The Body from that time onwards succumbed to one disease after another. Continuing into the present, at both ends of the nation there are seepages of energy, escapes which at the same time permit entries of new viral hordes. These, it must be emphasised, enter and attack the health of the Body because of internal causes. The system breaks down, caves in upon itself, immunity fails from causes inherent in the body itself. The result is compulsive auto-destruction.
The suppression at the time it was most needed of these ‘warrior cells’ forced them to turn back upon the system – i,e., the main body – for they had no other legitimate outlet. The bloodshed of Partition was one such expression, but only the first in a long series of energy collapses. The process is mathematical, I hasten to repeat. Thus, the Sikh revolt of today, ostensibly for economic and political grievances, is a predictable development, the result of a denial of the truth of the Kshatriya dharma in the fourfold division of the civilisation’s consciousness-being, a division taken directly from the cosmic harmony, an expression, faithful and pure, of the Cosmic Truth. A denial of this sort perforce affects the entire nation since the Body and its presiding consciousness-force is an integral whole.
Sri Aurobindo once remarked that Gandhi was a Christian soul in an Indian body. Gandhi represented the prevailing conditions at the time of British rule, when the nation had failed to recognise and respond to the Supramental Avatar and aligned itself solely with the agents of the Lunar Line; it was thus a partial expression of the greater vision.
Gandhi, like the Sikhs in reaction to Islam, evolved a formula for the independence struggle which was primarily Christian in its flavour – ethical and moral (its main ingredient was a Christian-inspired manipulation of guilt) – but bearing no essential connection to the soul of the new India because the ancient foundation had long since been corroded upon which the new was to arise. The infiltration and its consequences on the national psyche became reflected in the physical Body, resulting in a dismembering entirely representative of this disintegration in the energy sheath.
This sheath is threefold and fourfold in its structure. It has ever been the basis of the Hindu Dharma. The Kshatriya element of the fourfold energy body bears a connection to the sexual expression of a civilisation or an individual. Thus, in the Rajas portion of Bharat Mata we encounter a very virile force, not merely in evidence in the North-western male, but in the female as well. Indeed we see the symbol materialised with an astounding accuracy when we note that while Gandhi attacked the Kshatriya segment of the energy sheath through his policy of non-violence, throughout his entire adult life until the time of his demise, he grappled with this unruly energy within his own being. He admitted that he had not succeeded in his self-styled methods to dominate his sexual nature, while he also seems to have stated that had he done so he would have succeeded single-handed in ousting the British.
The connection Gandhi made was valid, but his ignorance of the Integral Yoga and the work of the Supramental Avatar, while nonetheless finding himself at the helm of the movement, has left the nation with this shadowy legacy of incompletion and half truths. At this point the Government of India is expected to deal with that ‘unruly energy’ in its collective expression (one of which is terrorism, we may add), in such a manner that its policies will integrate it into the larger body of Bharat Mata and in that integration allow it its correct expression. But failing to appreciate and discuss the real flaws, how can a solution come about?
The Kshatriya element, like all the other segments of the fourfold sheath of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, must be allowed to express legitimately its dharma: the protection of Bharat Mata, similar to a healthy immune system in a body invaded by a virus. Instead, this ancient tradition must surely have felt itself undermined and relegated to an inferior status, for it is only such a deep-rooted frustration, impossible to express in the context of present-day secular India, that can account for the ferocity of the Sikh uprising and the determination to secede of a portion of the community’s members – precisely its virile youth – rather than the ‘grievances’ which appear on the surface to have caused the degenerated expression of that vir dharma.
The Government must act in this unclear atmosphere – unclear about the REAL causes of the disease; and similar to the administration of antibiotics, a violent suppression of the immune system of this order results in an enhancement of the invading virus by INCREASING the resistance of the body to the medicine. Thus, every remedy applied of this inadequate sort, based on retrogressive methods and not enlightened approaches to health and well-being, simply serves to fortify the resistance, or drive it to lower layers of the collective subconscious where it accumulates power (toxins) and returns at a later period to disrupt the Body’s harmony once more. None can deny that the nation faces precisely this unfortunate situation: whatever measures are taken merely enhance resistance and increase the efficacy of the destructive power.
Thus, in the subtle body of Bharat Mata these warrior cells were suppressed and controlled artificially by the imposition of a will acting in opposition to the inherent Cosmic Truth, with the predictable result that they now attack the central Body rather than the invading viruses on the frontier; indeed, equally predictably, the rebel cells align themselves with the invaders to add vigour to the viral attack. The Body no longer has the capacity to fight off invasions of this sort; it can only turn back upon itself and eat itself away. The result is collapse, collapse, collapse in an unending inward convulsion.
Interestingly, these two northern segments of the nation, ruled by Rajas and Tamas gunas, are important sources of economic support for the main Body. The Punjab stands in the forefront of the nation’s agricultural production, while Assam contributes considerably to the production of oil and the benefits accrued in terms of foreign exchange which its tea industry provides. Secessionist movements in these areas thus have the potential of striking deadly blows at the economy of the country, and it stands to reason that the inputs from those segments, Rajas and Tamas, will be critically affected as the collapse of energies quickens.
The Birth of the Cosmic Ignorance
In spite of these undeniable facts based on an integral perception of the Indian Reality, we are faced with a society which persists in denying its own soul-truth. The ‘Hindu Dharma’ is simply an expression, in its integral form, of the Cosmic Truth. But due to the inadequacies mentioned above which permitted the invasion of viruses, that Cosmic Truth became the shadow of itself – i.e., the Cosmic Ignorance. Indeed, the ancient Vedic Knowledge in its practical application was lost, and the keys which allowed this truth to provide the formulas for management of the civilisation along those higher lines became buried beneath a thick crust of ignorance. This was a process slow in developing, straddling many centuries. The first symptoms of the disease could be detected at the time of Gautam the Buddha, the ‘ruse of the Supreme’, the underminer of the Dharma (see Part I of this series, TVN 5/6). The Buddha played a pivotal role in the collapse of energies we witness today. This original undermining brought about a gradual disintegration in the spiritual dimension of Bharat Mata: energies began to collapse into a Nirvanic Void. They were thrust into the cosmic waste bin or ‘black hole’, and the nation was thus deprived of the only energy which could counteract the future invasion of ‘foreign bodies’. By the early centuries of the Christian era – the ‘Dark Ages’ – this withering away of spiritual force, this emasculation of the spiritual consciousness brought the same results as the emasculation of the Kshatriya element in contemporary Indian society. Consequently, it is not surprising that the Supramental Avatar was born into a Kshatriya family rather than a Brahmin. To arrest the decline in the realm of the Spirit, no less than in the more material realms, only those warrior energies will suffice.
We have thus far discussed the collapse due to faults in the Rajas and Tamas sections of the subcontinental Symbol-Map. We have not yet dealt with the central guna, Sattwa, or Preservation, though in this area of our discussion we are confronted with an equally important ‘symbol’, as irrefutable in its connections as the former two. For where have those viral seeds the Buddha planted some 2000 years ago settled? They were collected centuries ago in an especially significant location in the Symbol-Map: the lowermost tip of the descending ‘V’. Thus there too – indeed, most important of all in the esoteric sense – we encounter a gap, a point of seepage in the pocket of energy-mass we know today as Sri Lanka.
The drainage is thus at all three points of the Guna-Map of Rajas, Sattwa, and Tamas: the North West, the North East, and the deep, deep South…where the Dharma is ‘preserved’.
In Tamil Nadu the effects of this drainage are almost physically palpable, as if a deadly corrosive element were eating away at the bowels of the Body. Indeed, its effects upon the system are predictable. From time to time poisonous fumes emanate from this deepest-most pocket. They cloud the atmosphere periodically and on an increasing scale. These toxic fumes arise from this deep pit and infiltrate the entire Body with devastating results.
The central portion of Bharat Mata is ruled by the guna of Preservation, Sattwa. But preservation of what? The Hindu Dharma, of course, – or the Cosmic Truth. What is the channel or instrument of expression on Earth, in a physical embodiment, of that cosmic Truth? It is the Soul, the Atman. The power of Mahakal, the Time-Spirit operates through the psychic construct of the individual and collectivity to establish its heaven (the Cosmic Truth) upon this planet Earth. The secret goal of our Age is the ‘marriage’ of that Heaven and this Earth. But, as the ancient Veda prescribes…a new heaven and a new earth.
The Buddhist realisation, at a predictable moment in the evolution of the species, cast the first effective undermining seeds into the Body of Bharat Mata. It attacked precisely this channel: it denied the individual soul.
This is the poison that lodged itself in the pit of the Body, at the deepest heart of the Preservation Guna. Without this formidable happening some 2000 years ago, the North-Western and North-Eastern infiltrations could never have taken place. The foundations of the civilisation had to be undermined, which in the Symbol-Map are located in the deepest portion of the ‘V’, those energies which alone can preserve the Dharma. The other, uppermost portions of the Body which sustain themselves on these support pillars can suffer collapse only after the Preservation Guna is attacked and not before.
It was thus in this deepest southern Sattwa region that the great defender of the Dharma arose, Shankara. But what was his ‘defence’, at a time when the shadowy mantle of the Dark Ages had already settled over the soul of the nation? Shankara merely ‘integrated’ the Buddhist realisation of the Void into the Hindu Dharma; and while not its complete abrogation, the soul was relegated to an entirely inferior status in the spiritual echelon. Shankara carried those seeds, impeccable instrument that he was, from the deep south to the four corners of the Body. The result was the first clear and unmistakable sign of the loss of the Cosmic Truth. It was then that the nation became the representative on Earth of the Cosmic Ignorance and no longer the higher Vedic reality. Thus the Divine Maya of the ancient Veda became Shankara’s ‘Maya’, or Illusion, devoid of any divine attributes. For all practical purposes, she became the temptress Eve, the weaver of the veils of illusion and the cunning power which binds the human being to this woeful evolution, prisoner of his atavistic drives in the fruitless cycles of birth and rebirth. The cleavage in the energy body of the civilisation was complete: on the one side was ranged the Spirit, on the other Matter. And the toxic fumes from the chasm in between never cease to emit their corrosive substances to cloud perception of the higher Truth.
Shankara, like all superior souls, could not fail to be faithful to the Time-Spirit: he could ‘see’ only what the divine Power permitted, in an Age characterised by a dimming of the light, a first perceptible decline in the Dharma.
Thus, in present-day Tamil Nadu we observe a situation similar in some ways to the North. We witness the largely Hindu Tamils at the frontier, standing in opposition to the Buddhist Sinhalese. To appearances the struggle is ethnic, social and political. But this is simply because the channel provided for the struggle is the external political dimension. The spiritual channel to deal with the true issue is closed – or rather, hidden.
The ‘Bottomless Pit’
The base for the Supramental Avatar was carefully selected. It lay in the southern sector of Bharat Mata – in order to deal with those toxic fumes which no politician can possibly detect much less understand. That ‘sattwic’ portion of the Body requires a YOGIC defence, hidden from the eye of the uninitiated. Therefore Tamil Nadu preserves the nation’s most important, most meaningful and determining worship for the new India – that of Murugan or Kartikeya, or Guha, the Hidden One. His work is symbolised by the description of the 10th Evolutionary Avatar, Kalki, with sword in hand and mounted on a white steed: Kshatriya symbols. Indeed, all the prominent players mentioned were Kshatriyas. The Buddha belonged to this caste also, who had usurped the place of the true 9th Avatar, Sri Aurobindo, himself a Kshatriya. But in the yogic experience of higher expressions of energy interaction, how is that warrior force to be exercised? In the case in reference we have Sri Aurobindo’s explanation of the method as well as the struggle, recorded in his most autobiographical poem, ‘A God’s Labour’. Here are some of its verses:
All around is darkness and strife;
For the lamps that men call suns
Are but half way gleams on this stumbling life
Cast by the Undying Ones.
Man lights his little torches of hope
That lead to a failing edge;
A fragment of Truth is his widest scope,
An inn his pilgrimage.
The Truth of truths men fear and deny,
The Light of lights they refuse;
To ignorant gods they lift their cry
Or a demon altar choose.
All that was found must again be sought,
Each enemy slain revives,
Each battle for ever is fought and refought
Through vistas of fruitless lives.
My gaping wounds are a thousand and one
And the Titan kings assail,
But I cannot rest till my task is done
And wrought the eternal will.
How they mock and sneer, both devils and men!
‘Thy hope is Chimera’s head
Painting the sky with its fiery stain;
Thou shalt fail and thy words lie dead.
‘Who art thou that babblest of heavenly ease
And joy and golden room
To us who are waifs on inconscient seas
And bound to life’s iron doom?
‘This earth is ours, a field of Night
For our petty flickering fires.
How shall it brook the sacred Light
Or suffer a god’s desires?
‘Come, let us slay him and end his course!
Then shall our hearts have release
From the burden and call of his glory and force
And the curb of his wide white peace.’
But the god is there in my mortal breast
Who wrestles with error and fate
And tramples a road through mire and waste
For the nameless Immaculate.
A voice cried, ‘Go where none have gone!
Dig deeper, deeper yet
Till thou reach the grim foundation stone
And knock at the keyless gate.’
I saw that a falsehood was planted deep
At the very root of things
Where the grey Sphinx guards God’s riddle sleep
On the Dragon’s outspread wings.
I left the surface gods of mind
And life’s unsatisfied seas
And plunged through the body’s alleys blind
To the nether mysteries.
I have delved through the dumb Earth’s dreadful heart
And heard her black mass’ bell
I have seen the source whence her agonies part
And the inner reason of hell.
Above me the dragon murmurs moan
And the goblin voices flit;
I have pierced the Void where Thought was born,
I have walked in the bottomless pit…
Sri Aurobindo writes of the ‘bottomless pit’. In the occult Body of the nation, it is precisely where he established his counterattack, his yogic realisation, together with the Mother’s. The first trinity of his Line set about their work in this lowermost area and injected an antidote into the bowels of Bharat Mata – into the ‘bottomless pit’ where the Void had consolidated its seeping stronghold in the body of the Dharma.
Yet all is still very much hidden. Thus this play-out continues to be a reflection of the Cosmic Ignorance and not the Cosmic Truth, and it is composed of suffering, bloodshed, schism, disintegration – all the trappings of that Ignorance.
To counteract this the Kshatriya element is needed not merely in the physical realm proper but in the spiritual. Mind is the bane of the human being. The Void is the experience of a species balanced on a precarious binary structure where Mind is the regent and the soul is denied…in Sri Aurobindo’s words, ‘the Void where Thought was born’. The Supramental Avatar, 9th in the Line of the ten, came to dislodge the usurper and to re-establish the Dharma in the only way that it could be done: to undermine the Void itself. And the location for this exercise was the South in the Preservation/Sattwa guna, right where the original invading virus had been collected and firmly lodged.
Courage is needed in this exercise – the courage of the Divine Warrior. To see what is, to express that profound Seeing fearlessly, and to refashion the new India on this foundation of Cosmic Truth.
The play is no longer quite so hidden, however. The Act of Seeing has lifted many veils from the Hidden One, exposing in greater measure the divine Truth. It is seen increasingly to shape even the most material and apparently insignificant aspects of daily life. To illustrate, a massive statue of the Buddha sinks to the bottom of the sea in Andhra Pradesh in 1990, while the Chief Minister of the state had previously declared that the project of installing the statue, inherited from his predecessor, would ‘sink the economy of the State’, – almost as if his words became a spell and played itself out most physically, driving the statue to its watery grave. People justifiably question how so noble a project could display such a merciless lack of divine blessings. In the light of what is written in this essay, one must question the wisdom of such projects being left to the discretion of secular leaders who have no deeper understanding of the hidden reverberations of such acts. Are they, we must question, in tune with the real Dharma of the nation? Or might these be further acts in this centuries-old process of undermining, unconscious no doubt but nonetheless exacting their toll?
The Dharma is an integral truth. The three Gunas are an harmonious whole, each completing the other. The Cosmic Truth describes this integral play of the Divine Shakti, resulting in both individual and collective integrality. Unless this is perceived and the truth is exposed in its totality, no integration can come about. For to integrate implies first to know what the equation is, what energies stand to be integrated, what the total alchemy consists of. Right now we have a truncated energy base: some portions of the subtle body are denied, others upheld, while the foundations are corroded.
The Buddha was a native of Bharat, it must be remembered, while Christianity and Islam came from outside. The element that the Buddha introduced was a work exclusive to India, a work which only India could do, or rather undo. The establishing of the Dharma is thus the undoing of that illusory substance, the unmasking of the cosmic Lie and the re-establishing of the light of the soul in its eternal truth of being.
Illusion – in the planetary harmony Neptune is its representative. Thus those ‘veiling fumes’ which arose from the nation’s deepest South are, astrologically speaking, ruled by Neptune. Being essentially an illusion, cinema also comes under Neptune’s rule in astrology. We cannot help but see the parallel, for which State can lay claim to a more consistent involvement with Neptune/Cinema than Tamil Nadu – ruled for decades by prominent figures from the world of Tamil films? How perfect therefore is this consonance with the Cosmic Truth. Similarly, how understandable is the rabid anti-Brahminical campaign which has struck blow upon blow in that segment of the civilisation whose duty it has always been to preserve the Dharma, to perceive, to experience, to foster the higher truths?
For several decades predominantly secularly oriented governments have ruled Tamil Nadu and have engaged in this campaign. They have justified their attacks by citing the age-old dominance of this highest caste, in detriment to the rise of the lower. In addition, justification is sought by citing the ancient Rig Veda, foremost pillar of Hindu civilisation, to establish an ‘historic’ precedent for a congenital North/South divide, thereby fanning the fires of the Dravidian movement. I have demolished this ‘historic’ interpretation of the Rig Veda elsewhere and need not present the evidence again. Suffice to say that without precise knowledge of cosmic harmonies erroneous and misleading interpretations are inevitable. Particularly nefarious is the persistent intrusion of the ‘secular’ viewpoint into a domain that is the product of a vision in which this contemporary framework is not only irrelevant but at times wickedly falsifying.
In the 18th and 19th Centuries – that is, with the entry of European invaders carrying the banner of Judeo-Christianity – the perversion was complete. The seeds of undermining were thrust right into the core of the Dharma by casting a secular, historic coating over the Veda; or else, in an even more perverse exercise, a mantle of paganism and nature worship.
The results of that invasion were particularly devastating in the Tamilian/Dravidian area of the Symbol-Map. The Rig Veda could thus be interpreted historically to prove an inherent division and by consequence the dominance of the Brahmin who then had to be neutralised. This development, however, is entirely understandable if we realise that geographically the south of India is the destined Preserver of the Dharma, while the north is the Defender, and the North East stands as the Dissolver of the old forms, casting the energy that emerges from that breakdown back into the central Body in a perfect containment of energies in a balanced play.
We live in a ‘secular world, hence these are perceptions not permitted to colour our policies or help us to identify the forces at play and their objective. Yet the Indian reality, I repeat, is a faithful expression of the Cosmic Truth, one element of which is the Symbol-Map which reveals with impressive precision this triune play of energy in the subcontinent.
Secularism is a necessary evil in a world dominated as it is by divisive and fanatical religions. But what has this to do with the Hindu Dharma whose foundation is unity and oneness? And if this appears not to be so it is precisely because these constricting formulas will not allow the real Hindu soul to arise and shape the future of India. This has plunged the nation into a very great inertia; and the elements most responsible for this degeneration of the Tamas Guna are the invaders into and through the Tamas segment – that is, the proponents of western secularism. At the same time, the awakening periodically comes from that very segment with Bengal playing this noble role.
In terms of this impersonal, objective assessment, the limitations of a secular, democratic system of government are obvious. It does not permit an analysis of this order because it appears that we are ‘mixing religion with politics’, insofar as the language I am employing happens to be the fundaments of the Hindu perception of reality and part of its ancient philosophical base. Yet none can deny that the revelation of the Capricorn hieroglyph superimposed on the map of India, whole and integral, does indeed explain the course of events and the policies which have shaped India since Independence.
How could we, for example, explain why anti-Brahminism ‘happened’ to arise in Tamil Nadu and no where else in the nation to the same degree – that is, as a consistent platform of the political parties that have held a monopoly over the State government for almost half a century?
The Symbol-Map informs us that such a development and these behavioural trends are compulsive. They also serve a purpose, but unfortunately this purpose at present does not contribute to the integration of Bharat Mata but rather to her disintegration. Consequently, we also understand why the Dravidian movement fostered secessionism, since the breaking up of the energy structure of the triune Map must inevitably become expressed at later stages as actual physical divides – witness the Partition at Independence.
We do not find the Kshatriya element hounded in South India as a policy, only the Brahmin. This is simply because the guna that governs this portion of the geography is Sattwa/Preservation, to which the Brahmin feels affinity. Whereas in the North, the pursuance of non-violence took its toll where the Symbol-Map indicated that it would: in the Rajas portion which bears an affinity with the Kshatriya. Similar to Tamil Nadu, we observe that the movement to restore something of the dharma in that area has resulted in a call for independence from ‘Delhi Rule’ because secessionism is the inevitable outcome when those seeking redress from wrongs which they cannot even formulate since they are related to deeply esoteric principles, become victims of the secular imprint which bars them from a vision of wholeness and integrality, whereby they would not seek to secede but demand to be integrated.
Christianity is a religion which holds Death central to its vision. One need only enter a Christian church or home with the image of a crucified Christ hanging on the wall to realise that this is so. Notwithstanding the Resurrection, which cannot compete with the Crucifixion in terms of a predominance of the symbol in the focus of ritual and worship, we must concede that Death via the Crucifixion does occupy a pre-eminent place. Consequently, the Christian invasion occurred in the Tamas portion of the Symbol-Map, a guna which bears an affinity with Death insofar as it is the agent of breakdown, destruction, dissolution, and so forth. In this case that affinity acted as a magnet and drew the British into the nation precisely through that segment, entirely in keeping with the Christian perception of reality.
These are facts of history which none can deny. However, to express them in the way I have done invites attacks from secularists who cannot go beyond the limited consciousness they possess and see Hindu civilisation and culture as a phenomenon completely distinct from all organised religions, in India and in the world. The Hindu Dharma founds itself on a COSMIC pattern – ideally on the threefold/fourfold pillars of the Cosmic Truth. This is as distinct from religions as day is from the night. Yet the secular model of independent India has trapped the nation in this false assessment with the result that all policies and even the political, judicial and social structures themselves are products of an essentially flawed perception. The question then remains, How can these structures be undone or otherwise permit the real soul of the civilisation to flourish?
The Divine Shakti presides over the evolution of the world and the evolution of Indian civilisation. As time moves on we witness that the flawed system is strangling itself, as if a malefic parasite were eating into the nation’s viscera, causing breakdowns in almost every aspect of collective life. This too was predictable, given the fact that the Cosmic Truth had degenerated into the Cosmic Ignorance centuries ago.
At this point, if at all we have the good of the nation at heart – and this too we must question given the patently self-destruct policies which are often adopted – we must accept what this cosmic-truth foundation of Hindu culture has to tell us regarding the true and real foundations of this civilisation. And we must accept that the principle of secularism, as it has evolved and the bizarre interpretations given to it by all and sundry, are simply clever ‘ruses’, tactics of hostile forces bent upon carrying Bharat Mata to a complete and total disintegration, for the only way to preserve her integrity is via the Hindu model.
The cleverest aspect of the ruse has been the constraints people of Knowledge have been subjected to when attempts have been made to cast aside these debilitating formulas and found the new India on real foundations, those in harmony with the nation’s ancient soul. Indeed, we are witnessing at present a formidable upsurge of forces intrinsically hostile to that Hindu psyche and who, by clutching the sinking raft of secularism, seek to suppress and eventually eliminate any elements in society who can vigorously champion the cause of Bharat Mata and rid her of these age-old viruses. They are in her body, physically; but more painfully, they are eating away at her psychic being because none have laid hands on the real roots of the problem – the perversion in the spiritual domain. None except the real 9th Avatar of this 9th Manifestation.
Insofar as the nation is at a perilous crossroads and in this situation the people of India must now elect a new government, it is understandable that all politicians proclaim that their party alone can provide the stability which India so badly needs in these disquieting times of collapse. But the analysis provided in these pages, I believe has exposed the vacuity of these claims: Stability of any sort is impossible unless the nation accepts the only real basis for that stability – the cultural and civilisational truth of India divested of these external models and ideologies which bear no relation to the soul of the nation, and incorporates this truth as a determining power. This does not mean that India must eject from her body whatever cannot honestly feel at ease with this ancient expression. It simply means that this is her central truth. All else is peripheral and can no longer be permitted, by underdog or top dog tactics, to mould the polity of the nation. Or if this continues to be the case, the mechanism I have described will continue to function with impeccable faithfulness to the formula, and the extremities of the Body will go on experiencing corrosion, decay, disintegration until they fall away at an ever accelerated pace from the central trunk. While that trunk itself, divested of its ‘arms’, or its shakti or power, will cave in upon itself in a sombre pralayic convulsion until another Age, until another line of Ten Avatars begins its cyclic work through the eternal meanderings of Time.
Just before printing the above, there has been further evidence of the efficacy of the new way cosmology in its ability to cast light on happenings which, without this guideline, might fail to enlarge our vision and widen our perspectives. I refer to the cyclone which struck Bangladesh just after midnight on 30 April 1991 – thus pushing it over and into a day of 9 number-power (3+0+4+1+9+9+1=9). Insofar as Bangladesh is an integral part of the Symbol-Map analysed at length in this essay, a tragic happening of such colossal proportions striking at this ‘armpit’, must capture our attention. Indeed, on numerous occasions in the past I have written about the special characteristics of Bangladesh, since it occupies a very critical position in the Body (see page 10). It is located in the Tamas segment which does indeed account for these periodic visitations of Nature in her full fury. But of all the Indian states which occupy the same segment, why is Bangladesh targeted more than the others for this on-going devastation?
The answer lies in the new way geography whereby the Gnostic Circle is laid across the globe, its 360 degrees, comprised of the 12 signs of the zodiac, thus covering the entire planet. With this superimposition we can ‘read’ the various characteristics of certain geographical locations by the sign under which they fall (see The New Way, Vol. 2, Chapter 9). Bangladesh, for example, lies at exactly the transition from Capricorn to Sagittarius; that is, from a sign ruled by the Rajas Guna (Capricorn) to one ruled by Tamas (Sagittarius). Given this correspondence, it is understandable that the Tamas character is fortified. Particularly relevant is the location of the mouth of Ganga at this 90-degree longitude point.
In The New Way, Volume 2, page 355, I had written the following in January of 1978:
‘One of the most crucial areas of her Body is the armpit of the left arm, Bangladesh, because this area stands at the point of transition from Capricorn to Sagittarius and coincides with the mouth of the Ganges. The energy change there is from rajas…to tamas… It is a tremendously potent point – hence even nature manifests there in her full power when cyclones rage into this armpit with a force only occasionally felt elsewhere on the globe… Life can only be tumultuous in that area until the essence of this ‘armpit’ is understood and its true place taken in the destiny of a united India.’
The point of the above was to highlight the fact that a break-up in the geography of the triadic Symbol-Map results in ‘cracks’ in the system whereby no attenuating force can ease the impact of such furies and come to the aid of that segregated area. This type of assessment will certainly be ridiculed by the secularists and pragmatists, but I am confident that the evidence provided by the new way cosmology and the light it throws on what may be called, esoteric geography, will silence these criticisms. Indeed, almost on a daily basis, happenings across the globe do offer continual confirmation of the precision of this Seeing. Unfortunately, Bangladesh also furnishes us with a confirmation, a poignant and tragic reminder of the relentless drive of the Shakti to force the artificial barriers which separate the ‘nations’ of the subcontinent to give way and unity to be restored.
More recently, in the December 1988 issue of VISHAAL (TVN 3/5), in the article entitled, ‘The New Dawn of 1989’, I had again referred to Bangladesh and the tribulations it would undergo due to its severance from the main Body:
‘On the basis of the knowledge provided by the new cosmology, we see that it is the existence and reliance on just one of the energy flows that will provide the means to bring about unification in the subcontinent. Bangladesh, for example, cannot survive the constant onslaught of Mother nature in her Tamas energy flow as an independent nation. The natural calamities and the constant destruction which the area experiences can only be overcome successfully if that ‘armpit’ is an integral part of India; however, an India strong enough in her economy and political organisation to be able to absorb those disasters with relative ease. On its own Bangladesh will face ultimate disintegration under the weight of its isolated energy experience. The Shakti, using the tool of her destructive Tamas guna in continuous natural calamities, will undermine the economy of the State to such an extent that Bangladesh will either join India in the unification of the subcontinent or find itself overwhelmed by debts and thus left vulnerable to a host of aggressive forces because of the fragility of its political and economic structure. (p. 41)
Lamentably, this latest calamity, by its severity and fidelity to the above, has revealed that Bangladesh, similar to India, has reached the critical threshold. Henceforth, each such calamity – and they are already an annual occurrence, be these either floods or cyclones or tornadoes – will serve to push the State deeper and deeper into an abyss. To exit from that black hole, the only solution is Bangladesh’s re-entry into the main Body. If such were the case, given the restitution of the threefold harmony and balance of energy, these natural calamities would begin to lessen until the point is reached where this destructive force could no longer act in the area with its present ferocity, – destruction would be transformed into dissolution.
A statement of this nature cannot be accepted unless the Earth is seen and experienced as a consciousness-being of the Divine. India, better than any other nation, has the capacity – and indeed the duty – to reveal this Truth-Seeing to the world. This is her destiny, her dharma, her truth of being. In this analysis we have discussed the trifold nature of that Dharma. In the final part of this series, I shall concentrate on the fourfold harmony and a focus on the Chaturvarna, the ancient caste system, companion of the above, We shall explore its cosmic nature, and, by consequence, its place within the vision of the Cosmic Truth.
‘O soul of India, hide thyself no longer with the darkened Pandits of the Kaliyuga in the kitchen and the chapel, veil not thyself with the soulless rite, the obsolete law and the unblessed money of the Dakshina, but seek in thy soul, ask of God and recover thy true Brahminhood and Kshatriyahood with the eternal Veda; restore the hidden truth of the Vedic sacrifice, return to the fulfilment of an older and mightier Vedanta.’
Sri Aurobindo Thoughts and Aphorisms
We begin this portion of the essay with a recapitulation. For this purpose, I shall present a diagram which incorporates in one design everything discussed so far. Indeed, in so doing an important service is rendered to the cause of higher knowledge by highlighting its distinguishing features. Employing just one geometric form to draw together all the elements so far analysed is the most effective means of describing the unitary, integrated perceptive capacity. This act will be engaged in throughout the remainder of our study in caste and cosmos. The very fact that a single design is capable of incorporating numerous dimensions and planes, related both to the individual and society as a whole, reveals a salient feature of the new consciousness seeking to become established on Earth: the experience of Oneness. Central to the perception lies Time. In this portion of the study, I will describe the manner in which the process of integration is carried out almost exclusively on the basis of a gnostic vision and utilisation of Time. Vast cycles are connected to the smaller, always through the same diagram. And these are rooted in the consciousness of the human being via his or her individualised ‘measure’: the Earth Year.
In the diagram (below) I have incorporated several major divisions of the circle which draw together various apparently separate branches of Knowledge, the relatedness of which may not be fully appreciated without this visual aid. The main division is fourfold. Each section combines various elements of our analysis. For example, the first of the four segments refers to caste (Shudra), and time via the first quarter of the zodiacal year, the sign/months Aries, Taurus and Gemini, or April, May and June, starting with the March Equinox. In addition there is Twashtri’s ‘Bowl’ of the ancient Vedic school in which the fourfold division refers to planes of consciousness and parts of the being, in this case the Physical. But Twashtri’s Bowl does not restrict itself to the human being. It refers to the subtle dimensions as well and the ‘being’ of a civilisation or a society. Consequently, it is intrinsically connected to caste. Each caste has an affinity with one of the subtle planes of consciousness-being which this ‘Bowl’, or the celestial sphere, describes. As the study progresses, we shall locate these divisions in the greater harmony, in the workings of evolution itself and in the movement of the Cosmic Ages. In the process, I am confident that a new perception of the destiny of India will emerge, an offshoot of which is a radically different concept of nationalism, for the latter too has its roots in the cosmic harmony.
The Uniqueness of Indian Nationalism
India is the centre of the new Aquarian Age. Given that Aquarius is a sign of Preservation or Fixed energy flow, it is the Sattwa period designated for the appearance of one of the ten Avatars in Hindu tradition. But being a ‘centre’, and the only centre of the Age, a heavy burden is cast upon India, one that sets it apart from the comity of nations. Indeed, at the heart of the matter lies precisely the question of nationhood. What, exactly, is meant by a nation; and in this special case, a nation whose destiny lies in being the ‘centre’ of the 9th Manifestation’s Age of Aquarius?
The definition is very precise and unequivocal, albeit somewhat obscure for the layman not versed in the specifics of the new cosmology. For it involves the question of cosmos, and by consequence the definition of ‘centre’ itself. The Indian nation is not merely a landmass, sacred through it may be as revealed by the application of the Capricorn hieroglyph, or tradition’s hallowed ‘Name of God’, on this landmass. It is the physical-consciousness manifestation on Earth of a new cosmos. This, succinctly, is the description of the Indian ‘nation’: a cosmic body. Insofar as the Divine Mother is that very Cosmic Body of the Brahman, we aptly refer to this landmass as Bharatmata, or Mother India. Thus, the nation is far more than the land enclosed within its borders. It is a creation on Earth of the Cosmic Truth; or, more precisely, it is a portion of the Earth upon and through which that Truth is given physical/consciousness expression. To understand this singular type of ‘nation’ demands therefore that we discover the nature of that Cosmic Truth itself. In other words, the nationhood of India is described in and by the cosmic harmonies. Inasmuch as this also describes the foundations of Hindu Dharma, it stands that as we unravel the mysteries of India’s nationhood, we also reveal the intricacies of Hindu Dharma, and vice-versa.
The heavy burden of such a destiny is obvious, for the world is not an image as yet of that high Truth. The presiding powers are agents of the Cosmic Ignorance. It is India’s destiny therefore to work out this cosmic ‘knot’ for the world, which alone can permit light to replace darkness. Thus, a true and uncontaminated concept of Indian nationalism is obliged to incorporate an appreciation of this service to be rendered, the effects of which extend far beyond the nation’s borders.
When this cosmic foundation of the Indian nation is disregarded or unknown, the result is varying degrees of chauvinism. For India, and India alone, the dividing line between the two may be thin – but, at the same time, there is a great chasm separating one poise from the other. Chauvinism, within the Indian context, is nationalism which ignores the nation’s cosmic character. It seeks to cage the national soul in the boundaries of the separative, divisive consciousness. To provide a practical example, the soul of the nation is its COSMIC substance as described in the Capricorn symbol-map of the subcontinent. The area the symbol delineates is thus the true nation. These would be or should be its borders in the higher vision of its cosmic destiny as the Centre of the 9th Manifestation.
If higher knowledge is employed in the determination of such essential issues, it is evident that the partitioned condition of Bharatmata exposes the fact that this cosmic truth was unknown at the time Pakistan was sliced out of the landmass and organised into a separate state and Bengal became divided. Similarly, Sri Lanka, Burma, and since 1971 Bangladesh, all stand as aberrations or denials of that Cosmic Truth. To have attempted to stand, integrated and whole, as a landmass united to form the Capricorn hieroglyph at the time of Independence would have meant a conscious espousal of these guidelines. Or a nationalism not tinged with ignorance as was the case in 1947. Had the nation been in a position to listen to and follow the indications Sri Aurobindo was giving from the early days of the freedom movement, the 9th Evolutionary Avatar would have been able to guide the people of India to the fulfilment of that cosmic destiny, swiftly and benignly. That is, the organisation on Earth of the Centre of the Age and the direct representative of the Cosmic Truth in the comity of nations – an element which is lacking at present. Insofar as no other nation can occupy that centre, the position stands as a void. In that ‘black hole’, energies are compressed which demand now to be released.
The totality of prevailing conditions did not permit this guidance. The result was Partition. The ‘nation’ that emerged stood as representative on Earth not of that unifying Cosmic Truth but of the Cosmic Ignorance. Indeed, the very power which has been in command of the evolutionary process for many millennia and which is sought to be vanquished.
The Vedic Dharma describes the mechanism by which the Cosmic Truth is manifested on Earth. The truncated nation we know today as India presents the world with a denial of the purest, highest expression of that Truth. The Indian ‘nation’ is simply the lived embodiment of that Dharma. That this has been denied and combated, in the effort to uphold a confused brand of secularism, is also evident in the dismembered condition of the symbol-map; while the ‘nationalism’ which seeks to take hold of the people of India in this last ennead of the millennium is simply the perception of the nation as a sacred landmass, embodying for the Earth that cosmic Truth or Hindu Dharma.
When this cosmic purpose is lost sight of, the result is chauvinism which in the Indian context is nationalism divorced from the enlightenment this Cosmic Truth provides. Thus, to awaken true nationalism in the hearts and minds of the people of India signifies that we must simultaneously unveil India’s cosmic purpose; and this in turn implies that the Vedic Dharma is revealed as the foundation of that nationalism. Since this was not the case during the freedom struggle, in the fullest terms which it is now possible to do, the result was a nationalism coloured by concepts which stood in stark opposition to the fundaments of the soul of the nation. The outcome was Partition, and since then a gradual disintegration not only of the nation’s body but also of its collective will.
The answer is therefore only one: an awakening of true nationalism which is the unveiling of the nation’s soul whose essence is the Cosmic Truth, and which, in turn, forms the indisputable foundations of the Hindu Dharma. While we continue to deny or oppose these facts, we postpone the act of integration and in the meantime we continue to suffer the anguish of diseases which have set into the body of the nation due to this denial and for which we have no cure.
Religion is not involved in this process in any way. The Cosmic Truth that is the Vedic Dharma is akin to an umbrella under which all expressions of life may take shelter. It is a synthesising, integrating agent – NOT a unity of religions but revealing a superior reality beyond religions, towards which the world as a whole is rapidly moving – a reality which stands well above organised religions of whatever brand. Partition, signifying the denial of India’s cosmic Purpose, drew into the nation’s destiny a lesser struggle for which it was ill prepared. Indeed, for which the contaminated condition of its collective consciousness had no effective means to combat or counteract. Partition, and everything that led up to it over the centuries, thrust before the nation the ugliness of the religious consciousness, a totally alien concept which came into the body of Bharatmata through a series of invasions and foreign conquests. India today continues to grapple with this alien concept. Yet lamentably the tools it uses to do so are themselves products of those alien concepts, – impotent in the extreme as elements for the unveiling of the true spirit and soul of the nation. That the intelligentsia of the country believes these concepts to be the only ones which can arrest the impending slide into a further partition and a complete disintegration of the collective will, is the measure of the success of those foreign conquests. India is thus still a prisoner of ‘foreign rule’, the meaning of which is ideologies, concepts, formulas, programmes which fail to take into account the nation’s cosmic essence and hence the true quality of the Vedic Dharma and its central place in the formation of the new India. If Islam and Christianity were the avenues for those alien concepts to take root in the consciousness-soil of Bharatmata, the method to the madness was not that they be integrated and a ‘synthesis’ emerge of the resulting cocktail. Rather, they were drawn into the nation to serve her in the process of conquering the power that feeds these limited expressions of human society and holds the entire Earth prisoner of a divisive, separative consciousness.
These concepts did not enter into the symbol-nation to enrich the Vedic Dharma but simply to provide a field in which the soul of the nation could express its cosmic purpose through a struggle which has been described in a series of epics and myths recorded in the nation’s collective memory. The finality of the struggle will be to rid the Earth of the scourge inflicted upon her by the divisive consciousness. And none can deny that religions throughout the world are tools to divide rather than unite. The seeds of the religious consciousness were thus drawn into the Centre of the Age not to conquer but to be conquered – i.e., to force the soul of the nation to stand erect and unveiled in its cosmic purpose, to unveil this before the eyes of the people of Bharat and the world.
I write these lines at a most incongruous moment, it would appear. I write as the nation seems to face a further dismembering. To appearances this is so, but it is also true that in this darkest hour of her history, India prepares to conquer. India prepares to experience for the first time in her long history of thousands of years, the fullest depths and heights of true nationalism rooted in the fully revealed precepts of its Vedic soul. This study in caste and cosmos is one more ingredient in the process of kindling the flame of that true nationalism by a revelation of the cosmic background of caste and therefore how in antiquity the Chaturvarna served as a vehicle for Indian society to express that Cosmic Truth on Earth. The decline of caste proceeded pari passu with the decline of the Dharma, and it accompanied the infiltration of alien concepts meant to hasten the collapse so that the soul of the nation could be more swiftly born.
The time has come for that birth, insofar as the Earth has become one whole, a global ‘being’. That is, the necessity for a ‘centre’ to emerge hinges on the uncovering of the periphery of the circle. Until the Earth was fully explored, and until space exploration had revealed its boundary-less condition of oneness, the purpose of the Centre could not be fulfilled. It must be borne in mind that India has always been this ‘centre’. That is, India’s role in this capacity is a development stretching over thousands of years – approximately 50,000. It has been a progressive unfolding or unveiling. This is an evolutionary process, the contours of which are provided by the Ten Evolutionary Avatars of Puranic tradition. In an explanation of the Gnostic Circle geography in Volume 2 of The New Way, I have disclosed certain elements of the new cosmology which reveal India’s predestined role as Centre of the Age, when the Earth’s entire periphery would be known and the Centre would be called upon ‘to hold’.
Fullness versus Void
Having laid the foundations for an assessment of the cosmic background of the caste system, it is important at this point to discuss briefly the elements which served to weaken the system. Not so much because, in the view of certain religions, it was an inhumane treatment of a large segment of the society, but because those religions opposed the cosmos itself. Hence caste became a target for their attacks.
The case of Buddhism is quite clear. While Buddhism did not directly bar the cosmos and material creation from its vision of reality, it did plant the seeds for a slow and steady decay in the spiritual dimension of Vedic civilisation by a remarkable process of undermining. This was achieved through the introduction of a certain realisation which in itself served as the undermining agent. It was the dissolution of the consciousness (Nirvana), whereby the nexus binding the individualised consciousness to the planet and the cosmos, as an integrated, vibrant particle in the network of time and space, was disintegrated. The result was moksha or ‘liberation’. Hence it is held that Buddhism denied the existence of the soul, for indeed it is this component of the human incarnation which provides the link between cosmos and man. The Cosmic or Universal Purush is thus a description of that supreme Atman or Soul through which the microcosm (multiple souls) is equal to the macrocosm. Caste was a system whereby the entire society became the reflection of that greater harmony by organising it in such a way as to provide the Cosmic Being with every possible channel of expression for its evolutionary purposes. Each section of the ‘circle’ embracing the four castes was intended to be the collective instrument for that superior, integral manifestation.
The Purush is the cosmic Soul. The individual born on Earth partakes of the macrocosmic by embodying in the physical universe a spark, shall we say, of that all-encompassing Flame. Time is the essence coursing through this network, as breath rushes through the body, and it utilises the soul for creating a cosmos; or, in a succinct description of our world: a unified multiplicity. Consequently, two features of caste cannot be overlooked in a truly deep study of the matter: time and cosmos. Both hinge on the soul and the part it plays in the physical universe in this act of harmonising and integrating.
Thus, if the Buddha undermined the soul’s central position in the civilisation, it was only a matter of time before the edifice of caste would collapse. However, it did not collapse entirely, as history records and an assessment of present-day society affirms. Rather, as Sri Aurobindo wrote in the early part of this century ‘…old names and formulas have been preserved while the thing itself was profoundly modified until its original sense remained only as a pious fiction.’ (TVN, 6/2, p. 31.)
Referring to our diagram on page 16, we may situate the soul at its central Point, the centre without which ‘the circle cannot hold’. The Point or the Soul having been undermined, the channel which feeds the periphery and the infinite diverse segments of the circle was attacked. Seepages of energy began, drains on the system. Buddhist practice and related methods of ‘liberation’ secured in India that the Centre would no longer hold the periphery together or be the bridge to the Cosmic Fullness of the Mother. Rather, it would be the shadow of that Fullness, – i.e., the Void.
In practical terms, in the spiritual world this introduced the first perceptible seeds of what was to develop fully later, in Shankara’s time: an almost complete split between Spirit and Matter in the perception of Reality and the experience of yoga. The Spirit was no longer experienced through the channel of the Soul, or the Mother, but rather, in a series of yogic realisations which in varying degrees continued the process initiated by the Buddha in his experience of Nirvana, the seeker was encouraged to overstep the Cosmos as Sri Aurobindo has explained:
‘…But in speaking of the supreme liberation I was simply taking the Buddhist-Adwaita view for granted and correcting it by saying that this Nirvana view is too negative. Krishna opened the possibility of overmind with its two sides of realisation, static and dynamic. Buddha tried to shoot from mind to Nirvana in the Supreme, just as Shankara did in another way after him. Both agree in overleaping the other stages and trying to get at a nameless and featureless Absolute. Krishna on the other hand was leading by the normal course of evolution. The next normal step is not a featureless Absolute, but the supermind. I consider that in trying to overshoot, Buddha like Shankara made a mistake, calling away the dynamic side of the liberation. Therefore there has to be a correction by Kalki.’
‘Letters on Yoga’, p. 402-3
The consolidation of these realisations in the spiritual evolution of Indian society had the devastating long-term effect of undermining the cosmic bridge, the soul, and all that this signifies for a creation in matter. The soul was thus the target; in the terminology of the new cosmology, it is the Third in the descending scale of 9-6-3-0/1. If the 3 (the soul) and the 6 (the Mother) are eliminated, the realiser shoots from the 9 directly to the 0. In that case, without the ‘fullness’ of material creation in between, the 0 stands as Shunya, or the Void. It has not thrown up the One, the divine Son Agni. In a word, it is an incomplete perception of Reality, entirely un-Vedic, with devastating results on the society that embraces these concepts, driving it to devise evermore sophisticated means of escape. Again, Sri Aurobindo writes…
‘According to both Buddha and Shankara liberation means laya of the individual soul 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.’ (Ibid, p.66.)
Returning to our diagram once again, this process can be visually appreciated if we locate the area of dissolution or annulation OUTSIDE the periphery of the circle. In that realm there is no individualised consciousness. The nexus or the binding energy that constitutes the soul is dissolved (‘nirvana’). Thus, the embodied consciousness of such an individual, who in the proper terms of the experience can no longer lay claim to that title, does not offer sufficient concentration of energy to serve as a channel on Earth for the influx of an integral flow. In other words, the individual is no longer centred, no longer poised at the centre of the influx and harmoniously aligned so that he or she may express that totality. The centre is a void and the binary structure of an incomplete energy base is the result. Such individuals or the society they form can never be the instruments on Earth of a divine manifestation:
‘What are you going to do with all these people? If you want Nirvana, you have either to expel them or stifle them or beat them into coma. All authorities assure us that the exclusive Nirvana business is a most difficult job…and your own attempt at suppressing the others was not encouraging, – according to your own account it left you as dry and desperate as a sucked orange, no juice left anywhere. If the desert is your way to the promised land, that does not matter. But – well, if it is not, then there is another way – it is what we call the integration, the harmonisation of the being. That cannot be done by the mind and vital being – they are sure to bungle their affair. It can be done only from within by the soul, the Spirit which is the centraliser, itself the centre of these radii…’ (Ibid, p.53.)
Fullness versus Void is most clearly expressed in the art Buddhism and Hinduism have inspired. Pure Buddhism, not influenced by Tantra, is bare, placid, revealing no other state or emotion but a static Peace. On the other hand, Hindu art and temple architecture offer always exuberant displays of the Fullness; and, above all, dynamism. Even its representations of Peace in certain creations depicting Shiva, for example, are dynamic and serve to convey one of the highest experiences available to the practitioner of the Integral Yoga – the supramental state of a harmonised unity and multiplicity, or the simultaneous experience of rest and motion. For the whole of society it would be the correct blending of Stability and Change. This would be the true VEDIC experience, shorn of these intermediate developments, in the fullest sense of the word: veda meaning knowledge: a Gnostic Society.
‘…The harmonisation is in the Supermind – the Divine Truth at once static and dynamic, a withdrawal and extinction of the Ignorance, a recreation in the Divine Knowledge.’ (Ibid, p.79.)
Most spiritual realisations offer the seeker only unity, or rest, or stability. Change, movement, dynamism became equated with a lesser deceptive power whose objective it was to imprison man within that Circle where movement is perceived as the impermanent and hence the unreal, impeding his escape to the Beyond by entangling him in the coils of a ceaseless, inebriating motion, an entanglement in what has come to be known as the veils of Maya or Illusion. Escape can be achieved only on the basis of the experience of Dissolution or disintegration of the consciousness in one form or another by a prior denial of reality to that deceptive conspiracy of circumstances labelled samskaras, or one’s fixed responses to past patterns within the web of time and space.
This development or emphasis reached a peak in the Middle Ages. If we refer to our diagram again, Hindu civilisation quickly became the shell of itself once the Soul had been dislodged from its central binding throne, once the Point had been rendered an empty space.
Hindu Dharma was ill prepared to contend with the consequences of Nirvana, having no recourse to dogma, to bigotry, to expulsion or excommunication. The foundation of the Dharma was unity, and the lived perception and experience of the One embracing the All. Therefore its response was the only possible one if wise men and women in that dark period of the Age of Pisces were to be faithful to the Vedic foundations of the Dharma. Their reaction was thus to incorporate the Buddhist realisation, for it was the lived experience that the Brahman included everything, even the darkness. At the same time, they knew that even if contained in the All, Nirvanas and Voids were underminers of the Atman.
Hence the Buddha was incorporated into the Puranic Line of the Ten Avatars, but his participation was a qualified one: the ruse of the Supreme meant to mislead the asura-seeker. This incongruous description for an Evolutionary Avatar of the Line points to two facts: one is the all-embracing nature of the Vedic perception, and the other indicates that perhaps the decline was anticipated and accepted and foreseen in the renovating mechanism of the Dharma as a means to attain greater future manifestation. That ‘fall’ was seen as a necessary corollary to a future rise. In the terms Sri Aurobindo provides, the wider harmonisation which only the present Age of the Supermind can unfold.
But the results of the decline were fast in coming. Thus, in the early 700s the subcontinent witnessed the first invasion from the west. The seeds of Islam were brought into India as a perfect symbol of the denial of the soul which had already become consolidated in the civilisation by that time. The capacity for Islam to serve as this symbol lay in the fact that one of its pillars of the faith is the condemnation of idol worship. Given the proliferation of Hindu Gods and Goddesses with their many arms, vahanas and whatnot, it is clear that Islam’s almost complete denial of FORM, or the Mother who is the FORMATIVE POWER of the Brahman, would present a chasm between the two civilisations which has never been bridged, partly because most do not realise what it is that really separates the two. The compulsive destruction of Hindu Temples by these invaders and their replacement by mosques is simply a very physical albeit brutal means to affirm the supremacy of a religion which has radically veered toward the masculine pole in its perception of Reality, and which, when denied the companionship of the Feminine, is able to espouse a vision of God entirely formless.
The undermining Nirvana and similar realisations set in motion simply served to dissolve the energies which could have coped with the invasions. At the same time, we must admit that Islam was merely fulfilling its own dharma via those relentless incursions into the Body of Bharatmata. Thus, no blame can be attached to their bold thrust. Nonetheless, we must realise that the conquests by these foreign powers were simply reflections of that inner disintegration. From the standpoint of the conquered, it ought to be stressed once again that the purpose was to queer the pitch, as it were, to heighten tensions. It was a divine strategy to play out before the civilisation the results of an original denial of the soul.
This play-out has been central to Indian life for the past 2000 years. With each passing year the results of the great Undermining became more and more devastating because the imbalance of energies was accentuated. Today the nation has no energy/will to eject definitively the viruses from its sacred form which are the offspring of those original ‘seeds’ planted so long ago.
Half-lights of History
In the June 1991 VISHAAL (6/2), I discussed at length the areas in the physical landmass through which invasions took place. By the application of the Capricorn hieroglyph, I pointed out how perfectly in tune they were with the cosmic harmony, albeit negative expression of that harmony – that is, representing Vedic civilisation’s decline and the disintegration of its collective will. I repeat, having begun more than 500 years prior to the first invasions from Arabia, by the Middle Ages the inner disintegration was such that invasions could not be conclusively repelled. Historians speculate endlessly about the underlying causes of India’s inability to contend successfully with these invasions. Many consider the degeneration of the caste system to be the principal reason, or at least one of the main expressions of the inner decay and subsequent collapse, presenting the invaders with a society at war with itself and unable to unite its forces due to an inherent divisive quality in the system itself, where the four castes were not complements but antagonists. However, this is only partially true.
To begin with, I find the reasons given for the degeneration of the caste system to be entirely unsatisfactory. The prevalent view is that the preponderance of the priestly caste caused the structure to collapse under the weight of this sacerdotal despotism. While I might attribute the decline to that segment of the society, the reasons I give are quite different. Such a system, founded on a SPIRITUAL perception, can disintegrate only when that perception has been corroded. And this was exactly the case.
Be this as it may, the fact is Hindu civilisation could not contend with Arabic, Persian and Moghul invasions. Within a span of several hundred years, and though greatly out-numbering the aggressors, almost the entire subcontinent came under foreign rule and Islamic influence.
The problem lay in the fact that the unifying power of the subcontinent, the binding force of Hindu civilisation, was the Dharma. Thus, in spite of the fact that there was no POLITICAL unity meeting the aggressors, with the subcontinent presenting a very disunified appearance, it was the Vedic Dharma that made of India a unified civilisation, entirely unique and not to be found anywhere else on the globe in ancient times. India was a ‘nation’ regardless of the separate kingdoms the subcontinent housed.
As already established, the Cosmic Truth is central to that Dharma; the soul is, in turn, central to the Cosmic Truth. With the denial of the soul, and by consequence the denial of the Mother or the Formative Power of the Brahman, it is understandable that Islam and later Christianity – religions which both nurture an aversion to form as demonstrated in their condemnation of idol worship, labelled paganism – moved into the subcontinent with relative ease, except for isolated periods and incidences of effective resistance here and there. The latter, however, were not conclusive or all-encompassing enough to protect the Body from an implantation of divisive elements in the system which would take decades and centuries to eliminate.
The degeneration of caste was thus contingent on that original denial and undermining. Indeed, it was a wave which, in a very brief span, engulfed the entire planet. The Age of Pisces, dating from 234BC to 1926AD, witnessed the almost complete collapse of one element which in itself encapsulates the entire process described above: the prominence of the Mother or the Goddess in almost all philosophies, belief systems, schools of yoga, and cults of worship. In a word, the dismantling of the ancient world which in its entirety could be labelled ‘pagan’ since the Goddess was indubitably central to all belief systems that in the Piscean Age earned that label.
With the spread of the Middle-Eastern religions, in particular the proselytising ones such as Christianity, the Goddess and all that the Feminine Power stands for in the collective consciousness of the Earth, was almost entirely dislodged from the elevated status she had always held. The symbol of this displacement was the simple act of condemning idols, a tenet shared by all the young faiths which emerged from the Age of Pisces. Accompanying this displacement was a loss of perception of the sacredness of the Earth itself, – indeed, mother Earth. This too was reflected in the new tenets in a blanket condemnation of ‘nature worship’, a corollary to ‘paganism’ in theology, and ‘animism’ in philosophy. Both carried the connotation of uncivilised and barbaric. By implanting this sense of inferiority in the masses of the subcontinent, conversions to the new religions were easily achieved, its corroding power being far more potent than the discriminations of caste. These incursions into the core of Vedic belief, affecting especially the elite of the society, was to peak in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Thus, the seeds of the great Undermining which began at the outset of the last Age, the first of the three which comprise our 9th Manifestation, allowed for two different though related foreign conquests in India, Islamic and Christian. The former signified military subjugation above all else, in keeping with Islam’s character. Islam, being so utterly different from Hindu worship and culture, posed little danger of invading and replacing the indigenous philosophies and cultural substratum of Hinduism, or even contaminating it in any essential way. Conversions were effected by force or otherwise, but these did not strike at the core of the unitary consciousness which pervades Hinduism, primarily because Hinduism was not a religion as Islam was. The twain could therefore never really meet or mutually influence each other in substantives.
The situation regarding Christianity was quite different. It was not Christian religion that conquered or made definitive inroads into Hindu civilisation. Rather, it was the consciousness which had overtaken the entire world as a result of Europe’s colonial exploits. Christianity, with its dogmas of faith and discomfort in dealing with matters material and of the flesh, had forced the rise of science (as separate from pursuits of the spirit), rationalism, the logic of the Age of Reason and ‘enlightenment’. And finally a worldview entirely overshadowed by a materialism divorced from the more subtle influence of the Spirit, – a split unknown in the ancient world and even, though greatly reduced in vigour, in India at the time of the appearance of the traders/conquerors from the British Isles. These are the ‘seeds’ that Christianity planted through British rule, stressing, as we must, that this rule occurred not at Christianity’s peak of influence but rather at a time with the seeds of its own decline were evident. And the conquering continues though the conqueror has left because the consciousness that invaded India was ‘secular’ and bore profound affinities with the ancient Indian spirit.
The Indian mind, while not enjoying any particular affinity with Islam, was entirely at ease and comfortable with the ‘scientific temper’ and with ‘secular’ concepts, – these having been part and parcel of India’s ancient culture and civilisation millennia before the appearance of these latter-day secularists and scientists. Rationalism, logic, science, the demand for empirical proof and practical substance which characterise all schools of Indian yoga, founded on direct experience rather than blind faith, were part of Indian civilisation before the advent of Jesus. When these attitudes arose in the West as a reaction to religious dogmatism and obscurantism, they were easily accepted in India of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, insofar as they were concepts closer to the character of Indian philosophy and systems of yoga than any religion might be.
Thus, the two waves, Islamic and Christian, each in their own way continue to ‘conquer’: Muslims, with their demand for a dismembering of the subcontinent on the basis of religion at the time of Independence, and presently with a rise in Islamic fundamentalism which, in the form of another wave from the West, has stoked the fires of secessionism and has not ceased to encourage a sense of instability, a nation perennially threatened with a new partition. While the brand of secularism which the West firmly planted in the consciousness of the elite of pre- and post-independent India through British conquest and influence is a constant underminer that does not allow the nation to appreciate its own soul and the deepest truths of the Vedic Dharma. This is attainable only when the true nature of Hinduism is explored and its unreligious character is discovered. In other words, the western concept of secularism, introduced in Europe because of a necessity to counteract the dominance of religious obscurantism, is inadequate to contend with the fissiparous forces at work in the subcontinent. Western secularism cannot unify because the seed of its own origin is divisive. It was an entirely reactionary formulation, with no inherent and substantial power and truth; unlike the Vedic Dharma founded on the Cosmic Truth.
Caste, Time and the Calendar
The first appreciable casualty in the loss of the cosmic vision was the caste system. When the Beyond became the goal, and life in the cosmos and on Earth was held to be a prison of consciousness, the spherical perception disappeared and in its place remained caste as a linear, pyramidal structure (see: TVN 6/3, diagram p.24). In the very same period, Hindu civilisation lost its vision of an enlightened perception of Time, a development which I have discussed in ample detail in the series ‘The Capricorn Factor’ (TVN 2/4, 2/5). The Divine Maya or Measure was lost and this had a direct effect on caste because caste and time are quasi synonymous. That is, without the Divine Measure there can be no Cosmic Purush reflected in a society on Earth, integrated in all its parts, each limb or organ supporting the other limbs and parts of the Being. Nor could there be any all-encompassing fabric integrating the diversity that has always characterised the societies of the subcontinent. Time provided the means to achieve this integration. Hence, the means to record and regulate the flow of time in a cosmic society is fundamental. We understand, therefore, why the Year occupied such a central position in the knowledge of the Vedic Age (and also in Mayan America), as revealed in the extant hymns of the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda. The Rishis were forever singing praises to the various components of the Year, – the seasons, the periods of the 24-hour day such as the dawn, the night; or else the elements which are energy manifestations within that time structure: fire, earth, air and water, elements which Time uses to give form to consciousness.
It must be borne in mind that the diagram by which we have integrated all the elements of our discussion (p.16) – or the circle of 360 degrees divided into four – is also the year. Thus, Shudra, Vaishya, Kshatriya and Brahmin can also be allocated to a portion of the Earth Year. This means that there is a beginning and an end, a 0 point and a 360-degree point to both the year and caste. It means that while 90 degrees of the 360 comprise three months – those of Spring, for example – they also ‘comprise’ the Shudra in the collective Body. It means that the twelve months of our Earth year and the calendar we devise to monitor the passage of time within that span are intrinsically related to caste and are essential to its right functioning. Given the disintegration of caste, whereby only its shell remains, and the proliferation of divisions within each segment which are indications of the degeneration, it is not surprising that we should find the same process to have afflicted the methods for a collective systematisation of the time experience: the calendar. India today does not possess just one calendar; there are many. Almost each State and community have a different system of reckoning, as well as each religion – Islam, Christianity (the Gregorian calendar in use throughout the world), Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, and so forth. There are five principal methods employed; that is, some may use the lunar year, some the solar. In addition, there are 300 almanacs in use throughout the country, each different from the other, each catering to the needs of the different communities.
The Cosmic Truth, which uses time via the Divine Measure for its binding and formative creative operations, is reflected in the calendar. An enlightened calendar is the hallmark of an enlightened society. This means a calendar which comes as near as possible to aligning society with the Cosmic Truth unrolling through the flow of time during the Earth year. Thus, we can easily appreciate why the Rishi declared in the Rigveda, ‘Certain eternal worlds are these which have come into being, their doors are shut to you (or, opened) by the months and the years; without effort one (world) moves into the other, and it is these that Brahmanaspati has made manifest to knowledge.’ (II,24-5)
The essential feature of that superior alignment was the correct zero point, or the start of the year, which then set ‘each thing in its place’ as time moved on in the course of the ensuing twelve months. If that 0 point was miscalculated or otherwise tampered with, the flow was disfigured accordingly and time’s ‘gestation’ produced either a stillborn or maimed creature. A society that had lost that correct calculation of the 0 Point could not hope to experience any significant harmony within itself or integration of its diverse limbs, not to speak of a proper relationship with the cosmos, since the act of integration hinges on the correct ‘axis’ or ‘alignment’. In the Veda and the earlier Upanishads, this ‘axis’ was the property of the God Agni.
Before proceeding further, a word ought to be said about the proliferation of symbols, personifications of the Gods and their carriers via animal or other images in India, since this practice is one that divides contemporary society from almost all ancient civilisations. In all parts of the world there has been a complete break with this ancient form of conceptualisation. India is perhaps one of the few nations today where we find that this practice is still a vibrant part of the country’s cultural and spiritual life, given the fact that myth, epics and, above all, the still prevalent guru/disciple parampara or tradition, are vigorous ingredients in the socio-cultural fabric. The need to transmit knowledge in this fanciful manner was not a frivolous indulgence of a pagan, nature-worshipping and naïve mind. Rather, that the Seers of the Vedic Age (and rare modern visionaries) chose to frame their knowledge in this way was an indication of a very high degree of sophistication. The purpose was to achieve an integral seeing. For example, this meant that the use of Number alone, or even the enlightened use of diagrams as a means of transmitting facts about matter, time and the cosmos, could only appeal to and develop the mind without engaging other equally important parts of the being and planes of consciousness. Hence, they were not adequate if exclusively utilised, as we do today, for the transmission of concepts. Indeed, in so doing the result is information leading to the manipulation of those facts, never an understanding of the integrality and oneness of our world and the interconnectedness of its many planes and dimensions. Number might appeal exclusively to only one of those planes – the mental; while the animal image, for example, drew in the visualisation capacity of the human consciousness, the art of seeing, and hence the vital to a large extent.
Or else there was the utilisation of hieroglyphs, for instance of the twelve signs of the zodiacal year – a highly sophisticated means of transmitting knowledge which drew into the exercise the higher mind and higher vital centres. Today this capacity to see in such an integral fashion is entirely lacking. Consequently, there are no seers, no Rishis.
Let me provide an example of the above which illustrates the capacity for ‘seeing’ in an area connected to the present topic under discussion: the calendar related to caste. Agni’s vahana or carrier is known to be the Goat. This image must not be construed as a meaningless designation born in the mind of pagan nature-worshippers, for the Goat in Agni’s imagery refers to the Year and the correct alignment under discussion. There are two complementary 0 points which describe the Divine Measure and bear a very special relevance to the act of ‘setting each thing in its place’. One is the Ram 0 point, or the first zodiacal sign Aries, and the second is the other goat image, Capricorn, the tenth sign/month. In terms of number-power they are both 1 – the 10 simply being the 1 after the completed cycle of 9 numbers; 10 starts the new cycle and is, numerologically speaking, a 1. Both correspond to the power of the Son, or the One: the divine Agni.
Hence, the Vedic ritual may begin (and end) with an invocation to Agni, first manifestation of the Gods, first of the elements (fire=Aries), ‘leader of the hosts’ in his aspect of Mars, ruler of Aries; Mesham, in Sanskrit, the first month. These correspondences are found throughout the hymns. Thus to ignore the zodiacal character of the Rigveda is to deliberately and wilfully seek to thrust upon this bedrock of Hinduism a character which is entirely foreign to its true nature and purpose. This was indeed the case when 19th– and 20th-century Indologists sought to cram the Veda in the entirely inadequate slot of History. That they succeeded in doing so is the measure of success of the contamination set into the Indian mind via the western secular onslaught.
After Aries – first sign or first manifestation of Agni/Mars – the ‘journey’ or the ‘sacrifice’ brought the initiate to the 10th sign/month/’door’ and entry into Swar, the realm of the Truth-Consciousness. But this passage was not a simple matter. It was fraught with danger, for it involved the 8th stage, Scorpio, also ‘ruled’ by Mars; it was then that the real trouble began – in the imagery of the Veda, the rescue of the cows (rays of Light, or Knowledge) from the cave of the Panis. Scorpio is the sign of Death in traditional astrology. It was the same in the Vedic Age, ample proof of which is given in the references to Martanda, the eighth son of Aditi, the ‘fallen star’, whose very name comes from the root meaning death.
If the energy of Mars is not transmuted or released (the ‘release’ of the cow/rays), death meant the obliteration of the consciousness and disconnection with the physical plane. It meant that the ‘victory’ in the 10th month of Capricorn, traditionally known as the exaltation of Mars, could not be achieved on Earth and connected to its evolutionary processes, but only in ‘heaven’. The decline of the Dharma saw this drama enacted in full, with spiritual energies posited in that ‘heaven’ beyond and withheld from a process which alone could unify and conquer on Earth.
On the other hand, when the Mars transmutation occurred and the Sacrifice was ‘pleasing’, the energy was released which provided fuel for the rise to the mountaintop or the sign/month Capricorn, India’s very own zodiacal ‘ruler’, according to tradition the world over. Interestingly, at that point Agni became the Horse, the white steed – indeed, horse-power. This was indicated by the 9th sign sandwiched between Scorpio and Capricorn: Sagittarius, precisely the sign of the Horse. And in order to emphasis the Earth-oriented essence of the realisation, rather than a heaven beyond of a dimension outside of this cosmos and our material creation, that immaculate Steed which is Agni transmuted, is the vahana of none other than Usha, the divine Earth-Dawn. Agni, as the Horse (9th sign/month), ushers in the Dawn, be it of the Earth day, or the year or twelve months, or the cosmic year of many thousand months.
We may now refer to our diagram on page 16 and locate this process of transmutation, of conquering, in the third segment of the Circle – the Kshatriya. In so doing, we instantly confirm the connection between caste, time, the calendar and the Vedic Dharma. To provide even more conclusive proof, it may be recalled that an aspect of Agni is the Hindu War God Kartikeya. His birthday is celebrated precisely in the heart of this Kshatriya segment: late November, or with the correct 0 point, in the sign/month Sagittarius. In Sanskrit the month is known as Kartik.
Thus the Rigveda, the oldest book in the world and foundation-seed of all that is contained in Hindu culture, establishes a remarkably rich and poetic connection between cosmos, time, year, Earth – and caste. The only problem is that the great Undermining produced the unfortunate result of a loss of the Divine Measure. Contingent upon that loss is the lack of a single calendar uniting the collective consciousness. There is not one but dozens, and each has a different 0 or starting point. Hence, though these multiple calendars may still use the backdrop of the 360 degrees of the celestial sphere and the division of that sphere into 12 segments or months, initiating their counts at different times reflects the inability of Indian society to become integrated. Indeed, for a person of Knowledge it is as if one were observing the unfolding of present-day Indian society through a painfully unfocussed lens: no matter how hard one tries, clarity just will not attend one’s efforts. The chaos brought before one’s vision is simply another indication of that lost Measure. Notwithstanding the fact that at the time of Independence the Gregorian calendar was adopted for official purposes in order to align India with the rest of the world, the different communities and religions continued to use their own methods of reckoning. Any attempt to bring about a ‘focussing’ in this time-lens would be similar to the demand voiced by certain quarters for a uniform civil law code, whose adoption is also hotly contested by communities which view such a step as a threat to their ‘separate identities’. In fact, a true discussion of caste and cosmos is, by definition, precisely one of identity, of essential truth of being, of individual and collective dharma. This aspect of the study will be explored further on.
To return to our discussion of the stages of the Vedic Sacrifice, or progression through the year, we note that passage through the 7th, 8th and 9th stages, or the Kshatriya/warrior caste segment, was considered crucial. Indeed, in the successful ‘crossing’ of this zone lays India’s ability to survive as a nation and a civilisation. But to appreciate how this may be and what connection these ancient prescriptions may have with contemporary Indian society, we must expand our time vision and study the Chaturvarna on the backdrop of the larger measures of time, the cosmic Ages, or, as I have called them, the Twelve Manifestations. In this way we shall appreciate why it is that the 7th and 8th Avatars, and indirectly the 9th, have come to such fierce prominence of late, through the contentious issue of ‘temple or mosque’ at Ayodhya, and how this issue is singularly reflective of the grand Sacrifice described in the ancient Rigveda as precisely involving the 7th, 8th and 9th stages of the Journey. And by this interrelated seeing, we shall discover how the last three decades of the millennium, the 70s, 80s and 90s, have recapitulated or condensed in this very special time span the Vedic passage through the most dangerous and determining portion of the Circle.
As we proceed with the next portion of the study, once again we engage in that magical feat of harmonisation and integration, whereby caste and time continue to reveal the profound truth in the Hermetic aphorism, ‘As above, so below’. This further act of perceiving the equality of macrocosm and microcosm will assist us in drawing together these multiple time-threads in a concentrated focus on caste within contemporary Indian society, in its individual and collective expressions; and what might be its relevancy to the civilisation that gave it birth, if any at all.
‘…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.
‘The vehemence of the Amnesty report at this time is what made all this come into greater focus. Secularism…The point is, secularism might indeed intend to give equal rights to all religions, and all the other slogans that go with it. But this is precisely the point: the real battle, the real element being worked out for the Earth is just that: Is it to be the religious consciousness, or the spiritual. This is what ‘Hindu Dharma’ is all about. The Eternal Dharma, that ‘core’ means a SPIRITUAL foundation rather than religious. The West upholds the religious, because that is all it knows, that is as far as it has gone. India alone in the world upholds the Spiritual and not at all the religious. For the past 2000 years, and particularly the past 200, and particularly the past 20, this struggle has been the real motivator of all our problems.‘Let me put it more clearly. The only way to a world of unity and harmony—in other words, exactly the opposite of what we have—is when the basis of the Order is the Spiritual. Unity can only be achieved if that consciousness is the determining force. On the other hand, the religious consciousness is the force of division and disunity. If we want to perpetuate that old world, then we must cling to the religious consciousness, we must ‘protect’ all religions, we must ensure that our nation is founded on that ‘right’, because then we will ensure that it is the religious consciousness which governs India and therefore the world.’ (PNB, extract from a letter to Girilal Jain, 11.5.1991) Once again hostilities have erupted on the border between India and Pakistan. There is no need to discuss the causes of the recent turmoil; periodically, for one reason or another, this does come to pass. And if we scrutinize these happenings in the light of the new Indo-centric cosmology, it will be clear that such periodic upheavals will continue. The issue is therefore to examine the causes of Partition – the root of it all – in a manner unknown to our contemporary disciplines. The tools I use are cosmological, just as India has done since this civilisation began a slow and steady evolution across the astrological ages. It is as if a building plan had been drawn up using these tools to help the civilisation transition into the time-edifice of our current 9th Manifestation, a period during which India is to become established as the accepted centre of the Earth – that is, the planet’s soul-centre.A Centre defined: superpower irrelevancyIt is appropriate at this point to define centreship, if it may be so called. It is not to be confused with the term superpower. Though this may cause disbelief in many on the subcontinent, it needs to be stated that the destiny of India has nothing to do with being recognised as a superpower. On the contrary. Even to apply the word today to the United States of America is inadequate because the presence or even the necessity of a superpower implies a global society poised binarily – the unavoidable end-product of what I call the Binary Creation. This condition – or affliction, if you will – collapsed in the 1980s when the Wall came down and the Soviet Union, one of the extremities of the binary superpower polarity, fell apart. We refer to what happened then as a ‘velvet revolution’ because there does not seem to be any clear root-cause for such a colossal and relatively peaceful remaking of the world order. But the truth is the dismantling was the first visible effect of what I call the Aquarian Wave which came about due to a set of conspiring circumstances with that singular objective. Everything and everyone then converged to further the operation, to bring an end to a world poised on a binary pole of tension.However the truth be told, it was the Time-Spirit in control of the play of circumstance and who brought the Wall down and did away with the binary condition that had produced two superpowers wedded to interminable hostility. Or rather, that decade marked the beginning of a process of transition to a true new world order based on unity and a perceived oneness governing our societal exchanges. Therefore I stated that the issue of superpower does not exist in the new order that is already evolving in our midst. It was the correct nomenclature for the Binary Creation – i.e., the linear structure based on a fragmentary, divisive outlook ruled by Mind as the highest principle influencing the evolving species. If we wish to understand the limitations of a species under the aegis of Mind we need only observe the world the human being has created. Our societies across the globe have clearly reached a point of near collapse, the finality of just such an incomplete condition.In order to rectify the situation adjustments are brought about. To this end there is a yogic process behind any given break-through, particularly when a monumental transition to a new spherical order of unity is the objective. Indeed the current passage was preceded by just such a breakthrough. It occurred in the first half of that singularly-important ennead of the last century, 1980-89. What occurred in 1983, to be precise, was a process of centering and consequent re-alignment, the outcome of bringing into being, through yogic processes, the Centre that fills the Void. It is to be noted that the breakthrough, though yogic and unknown to the layperson, had a cosmological foundation. It was the first step on the road to establishing a new world order with its accompanying revolutionising paradigm, a product of a faculty higher than Mind. The binary see-sawWhat relation does this have to the current disturbances on the border? The question is pertinent because the issue underlying the trials and tribulations of the past 100 years on the subcontinent is society’s determined refusal to eschew the now-surpassed paradigms of the 8th Manifestation and to give way to the new unitary order. The goal of the process is for India to take possession of the world’s cosmological centre; that is, the geo-cosmological Centre as presented in The Partition of India (2009). That document describes the cosmic properties of centrality upon which the new world order is based – but it is more than that. This new Indo-centric cosmology finally and conclusively inserts our very planet into the cosmic harmony in her rightful place; thereafter she can contribute legitimately to the overall Harmony on her own terms.This issue demands an in-depth analysis because the hostilities on the subcontinent will not come to an end unless India updates the vision of herself and cosmos that she carries over from the now-concluded (1926) Age of Pisces. We note that it was precisely around the end of Pisces and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius that a definitive consolidation of the Hindu/Muslim divide became established. This was made possible because India had lost her cosmic moorings. By the end of the Age of Pisces she roamed anchorless in the cosmic sea and could therefore be held captive in the binary epistemology of the former Age. To do that Hinduism had to allow itself to be treated as a religion, a categorisation Bharat’s ancient roots could never allow. In the Vedic Age and even in the pre-Christian Old World, exclusivist religions did not exist. They are products of the so-called Kaliyuga which is purported to have begun at Krishnavatar’s demise. And I have pointed out in earlier publications (The Gnostic Circle, 1975, Aeon Books) that the famous kali darkness lasts only until the new light of a principle higher than Mind can effectively take over and begin to re-mould the species in preparation for the new times ahead.Those times are upon us. First of all we need to dismantle the binary polarity of Hindu/Muslim because it is illusory. Hinduism cannot be accommodated within a linearity of this nature, something entirely foreign to its essence. But the next question to ask is how did it factually happen that the ancient pre-religion civilisation of Vedic origin became trapped on this see-saw finally resulting in Partition?The answer lies precisely in the fact that India lost the anchor she had securely maintained in the cosmic surround. Despite protests to the contrary, her renowned ‘cosmic connection’ became disrupted during the Age of Pisces when the rise of Religions took centre-stage and moulded the world we know today. The multi-faceted constellation of beliefs enjoyed in the pagan world – that is, the situation prevailing in every society and culture across the globe – could not be accommodated during the Age of Pisces, an astrological period known for its self-undoing propensities. The limitation of Exclusivism was the required instrument of the time. In the extract of the 1991 letter quoted at the beginning of this message, the issue was religious or spiritual. This conforms to the terminology the world was familiar with at the time; if we were to use different terms to express the newness that was taking shape, hardly any would be able to follow. I have included the extract precisely for this reason: to reveal the limitations that closet India in a pattern inherited from the former Dark Age. In clinging to the old formulas India is found to be as rigid as other conservative and even fundamentalist societies, though Hindus believe the contrary. Fundamentalism has many guises; precisely for this reason it is so hard to eradicate.Much yoga has passed under the bridge of time since 1991. The breakthrough of the 1980s discussed earlier set on its way the first concrete attempts at a very different understanding of the matter. The unitary consciousness being established since then could not occur on the basis of spirituality as its supporting pillar. In fact, the dichotomy Religion or Spirituality, as it has reached us in the Age of Aquarius, was the result of passage through an age of darkness. This binary terminology did not exist in the Vedic period. Then it was Dharma and a society faithful to its dictates that was the sustaining pillar of the civilisation. Contemporary thinkers have translated the word as religion because when this came about we were in the thick of the Binary Creation, moving toward a definitive collapse that would begin with the onset of the new age in 1926.To rid the world of the Binary, a faculty considerably higher than Mind had to be introduced in the evolutionary matrix through yogic means, precisely because Mind, dualistic as it is, was the begetter of the religious consciousness. We can go further to state that the spirituality inherited from the former Age bears all the limitations of a mental constriction. Finally, it has become the staunchest propagator of the strategy of escape and therefore the primary cause of the Earth’s woes. This statement will be found disturbing, but if one has the courage to probe the matter deeply, there can be no other conclusion.When the motor of evolution reached the point when it was ready to carry the species up the ladder to a higher level, the mental constriction breathed its last, but not before energetically leaving its stamp on the species in the form of a distortion of the very element that would be its sustenance in the new order of unity. Therefore, through yogic methods the 9th Avatar (not to be confused with Gautam the Buddha) did succeed in imprinting the principle that would displace Mind and cause the earlier dichotomy to be superseded – that is, the truth-conscious Supermind. The decades following 1926 consolidated this imprinting, and gradually with Mind superseded the higher principle has been able to create the conditions for its complete emergence.Consequently, at this point we can no longer revert to the old nomenclature in the effort to convey the contours of the new world order. Sphericality definedWhile the political/diplomatic binary world of superpowers has collapsed, the linear hold of religions is merely at the initial stage of responding to the Time-Spirit’s pressure for change. An unmistakable indication is the intransigence observed in a rising fundamentalism across the globe. No society is free from this type of reaction to the Aquarian Wave whose intent is to do away with the Binary Creation under whatever guise it presents itself. The goal, I repeat, is a Unitary Creation, spherically poised around a centre, no longer linear. This will be completely set in place when India agrees to accept her centre-ship, when, in a reversal of the poet’s words, the Centre WILL hold. She will then abandon the mesmerising aspiration to become a superpower, for that simply indicates a clinging to the old binary formulation with its now outdated nomenclature that does not express the true reality of the new world order she is destined to facilitate. It indicates her reticence to move ahead on the crest of the Aquarian Wave and to be the channel for the ‘waters’ the Water Carrier dispenses upon Earth from his cosmic kumbha or jug. Millions of Hindus celebrate this astrological event at Allahabad precisely during the month of the Aquarian Kumbha. But the point is missed when the oneness is overlooked between the ‘water’ he carries in his kumbha and those the heavenly Ganga releases periodically upon Earth – provided the correct anchoring is done in calendrical/zodiacal time to permit reception of the River-Goddess’ boundless grace, just as the myth describes. The ‘jug’ is filled with her beneficent, re-vitalising energies; therefore her sign, Capricorn, precedes Aquarius in the wheel and the celebration should rightfully begin in her period – more specifically, when her sacred Source is reached in our annual zodiacal time-journey. This is January 3rd in calendar time each year, or when the Sun is seen to occupy the 12th degree of the sign. As centre, India can bridge the heavens to engage in this replenishing directly from the Source. (The New Way, Vol.2, Chapter 9, Aeon Books, 1981)Pervasive senselessness: a civilisation without ‘purpose’We have discarded the true Harmony. We have pulled up the Anchor from the ecliptic wherein we and all the planets orbit the Sun, the Anchor which should serve to steady us in the cosmic surround. For instance, we have allowed the split between astrology and astronomy to rule our lives and to limit this ancient civilisation to a binary shadow of its former unitary poise. What we fail to realise is that the split between the acknowledged mother-of-all-sciences and the contemporary discipline we call scientific cosmology, which is based on an astronomy devoid of sense and purpose, is the root-cause of much of the pain the Earth suffers. Indeed, astrology’s primary aim is precisely to offer sense and purpose to life on this planet. In this view evolution is part and parcel of the cosmic harmony which, through the zodiac or the Vedic journey along the 12-stage ecliptic plane, that sense could be known and consciously lived in a progressive evolution to ever higher plateaus of consciousness-being. It is this divine Purpose the enriching waters of Ganga nourish.The ancients did not revel in the observation of phenomena as an end in itself. Their goal was simply to preserve the Anchor intact and to assure that the individual and society would never lose the cosmic connection by an incorrect positioning in the ecliptic plane in orbit of the grand luminary, a misplacement the currently-used Nirayana system of astrology and ritual timings promotes. A ‘dark age’ or a Kaliyuga is defined by that loss: the light of the Sun is eclipsed and an all-pervading darkness chills the mind and spirit of humanity, allowing for all sorts of distortions which blot out the soul’s luminosity. But exposure to the light by yogic processes is the key, failing which the Harmony continues but the perceiver can no longer find his place therein. The vision of Oneness is lost and the result is pure and simple chaos.That is the definition of our present collapsing world. It is being carried away by the Aquarian Wave as by a veritable tornado, but no one really knows why and when the disaster began or what its finality will be. The Anchor is pulled out of the cosmic sea and like a rudderless ship civilisation meanders aimlessly toward a sombre unknown. This is the inevitable end to a world where sense and purpose have been lost, to a world beholden to the rule of Mind.Is a total devastation to be permitted? One thing above all else is certain: the emergence of this new creation is under the complete control of the Time-Spirit, more apparent now, on the basis of the new paradigm, than ever before. But it operates with an impeccable control when order prevails; chaos is its enemy and therefore the task we are set upon is to re-establish that Order, but now in the new mould provided by the truth-conscious Supermind. Therefore, to know the goal of the Zeitgeist’s pre-planned new Order we must turn to the cosmic harmony itself to discover the nature of the anchoring that can create order out of chaos. We must have the courage to discard the cosmic formulas of the Dark Age and, above all, to realise that India cannot pretend to re-shape herself and re-fashion her destiny in any manner other than what the Indo-centric cosmology establishes. She must do away with those time-bound formulas that are carrying this civilisation farther and farther away from consciously occupying the geo-cosmological Centre that is her dharmic right. Centreship as ‘cosmological constant’It needs to be emphasised that the role of a planetary geo-cosmological Centre is to serve as the bridge to ‘the other side’ for the entire planet, as defined in the new paradigm beyond science and spirituality. (See: Beyond Contemporary Scientific Paradigms – an essay on ‘End Time’) That is, the Centre provides a direct connection to the source of those ‘heavenly waters’ of the sacred Ganga that the Water Carrier dispenses upon Earth in this Aquarian Age. For this reason her astrological ruler is Capricorn/Makar, the zodiacal sign that opens before us with the December Solstice each year when the Light begins to increase and when, in a direct connection, the Earth and the heavens can be bridged to receive the grace India deserves when she consciously embraces her role as cosmological constant for the world. India as geo-cosmological Centre is to the Earth what the soul is to individual incarnation. The soul contains the individual’s private portal to the Source. Similarly, India, as the planet’s own soul, is the link or the portal to an ever-replenishing, eternal fount of light and power and bliss. Unique among cultures she is the cosmological constant that connects the comity of nations to ‘the other side’ where the source of Light and Power is found.In the effort to encourage a dismantling of the old and the definitive unveiling of the new cosmology that establishes India as centre, I am presenting once again The Partition of India wherein that geo-cosmology is clearly defined – and with it the understanding that the end of all conflicts will come about when the updating is completed and India re-anchors herself in the cosmic harmony she lost touch with centuries ago and which then left her vulnerable and empty. This emptiness permitted the possession and ravaging of the body of Mother India time and time again, leaving her subject to lesser effete formulations, in contrast to the robustness of her Vedic Soul with its anchor in the true Zero of the cosmic surround. In that Zero lies fullness. An exuberance of its multi-faceted Self that does not fear diversity because as Centre of a circumscribing firmament it can accommodate all and everything in the periphery it holds to its bosom in the true expression of oneness and unity that destiny demands of this sacred Bhoomi. That true ayanamsha, or the 0 degree beginning of the zodiacal wheel on the March Equinox and no later, is the means to enjoy stability in the midst of an evolving world.The great secret is stability and change, rest and motion, or 0 and 9, as a simultaneous experience of unity and oneness. This new Order can become a reality on Earth but only by and through India because of her destined ‘centreship’, because of which she can bring Swar to Earth.
In 1920, Sri Aurobindo wrote to his brother, Barin, about his concept of a sangh, a community of individuals spread throughout the country, dedicated to the high ideals he had envisaged as necessary for transforming the nation so that it could fulfil its destiny. In those days the primary goal of all was to become free from British rule. But Sri Aurobindo went beyond that and under-stood that a radical change had to come about in the Indian character and consciousness for anything lasting and significant to occur.
Sri Aurobindo wrote this letter to his brother from Pondicherry, where he had settled after a year spent in the Alipur jail. It is interesting to note that a few years after writing this letter and expressing his ideas the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh came into being, with structure and goals similar to those Sri Aurobindo wrote of in this letter. He was almost brutal in his description of the failings of the Indian character and the reasons why the nation was not able to free itself from British rule. In particular he emphasised the need to worship power and that having lost that capacity, India could not fulfil her destiny, much less liberate herself from foreign subjugation. He was equally very clear that a community of individuals was the call of the hour and not simply an individual working in isolation from the rest. He further emphasised the necessity to search for an Indian way or solution, as for example, a new form of politics to replace what he considered simply an aping of Europe:
We do not want to exclude any of the world’s activities. Politics, trade, social organisation, poetry, art, literature – all will remain. But all will be given a new life, a new form.
Why did I leave politics? Because our politics is not the genuine Indian thing; it is a European import, an imitation of European ways. But it too was needed. You and I also engaged in politics of the European style. If we had not done so, the country would not have risen, and we would not have had the experience or obtained a full development. Even now there is a need for it, not so much in Bengal as in the other provinces of India. But now the time has come to take hold of the substance instead of extending the shadow. We have to awaken the true soul of India and to do everything in accordance with it. For the last ten years I have been silently pouring my influence into this foreign political vessel, and there has been some result. I can continue to do this whenever necessary. But if I took up that work again openly, associating with the political leaders and working with them, it would be supporting an alien law of being and a false political life.
Sri Aurobindo was therefore very clear that there was an Indian way and certain laws of the nation’s being had to be respected for the country’s unique destiny to manifest. Failing to do this, he warns of the consequences:
I can associate with everyone, but only in order to draw them onto the true path, while keeping the spirit and form of our ideal intact. If that is not done we will lose our way and the true work will not be accomplished. If we spread out everywhere as individuals, something will no doubt be done; if we spread ourselves out everywhere in the form of a sangha, a hundred times more will be accomplished. But the time has not yet come for this. If we try to give it form hastily, it will not be the exact thing I want. The sangha will at first be in a diffused form. Those who have accepted the ideal, although bound together, will work in different places. Afterwards, bound into a sangha with a form like a spiritual commune, they will shape all their activities according to the Self and according to the needs of the age. Not a fixed and rigid form like that of the old Aryan society, not a stagnant back-water, but a free form that can spread itself out like the sea with its multitudinous waves – engulfing this, inundating that, absorbing all – and as this continues a spiritual community will be established. This is my present idea; it is not yet fully developed. What is being developed is what came to me in my meditations at Alipur. I shall see what shape it finally takes later. The result is in God’s hands – let his will be done.
The necessity for a sangha was therefore foremost in his consciousness. It was clearly the need of the hour. ‘This is the infancy, the embryonic state, of the new age, just a hint, not yet the be-ginning,’ he wrote. And indeed, five years later a sangha was formed when the dawn of that anticipated new age had arrived.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, it has to be noted, began its formal existence precisely at the start of the new Aquarian Age, 1926. It was a year of immense importance for the whole Earth. Hints of this importance were in evidence across the globe. But in India the formation of the RSS was certainly an indication that the time had come for a major change in the life of the nation. For Sri Aurobindo himself, 1926 marked the formal beginning of his work based on a spiritual attainment that was the harbinger of the Supramental Age he had foreseen as the culmination of a long line of development originating in the distant Vedic Age.
The point to be made is that the need for an organisation such as the RSS was in tune with the demands of a more cosmic order, shall we say. As such it is necessary to view its history in a wider context and the role it must play in contemporary Indian society. In this overview we will also assess what the immediate future may hold for such an enterprise.
The imperative of ‘contingency plans’
Eighty years have elapsed since Sri Aurobindo wrote of the need to evolve a new politics that would be more in tune with the soul of India. We know that this did not happen. India and most of the former colonies of Great Britain continue to govern their people by way of a parliamentary democracy. What are the consequences of this failing?
The RSS’ 75th year is an appropriate time to review its own role in the context of the above. We will discover that the organisation came into being as a balancing factor, or better, a contingency plan, to counter this failing. There were other such ‘contingency plans’ which I have described elsewhere in my writings. But we are concerned in this essay with the role of this special sangh over the years, and what its future contribution might be in light of Sri Aurobindo’s call.
I have written elsewhere of the formula devised by the divine Shakti by which, from the time of the first war of Independence in 1875, the nation would be granted a stabilising factor and a method for holding it together during its tumultuous formative years. This too was a ‘contingency plan’ in view of the fact that not only was the nation under foreign domination, but when finally free of that rule it had opted for a system that was not ‘the Indian way’, as Sri Aurobindo had desired.
This labourious ‘plan’ was completed in 1989 to a large extent. At that time single-party rule, under the leadership of what has come to be known as the Dynasty, came to an end. The nation then appeared to enter a period of confusion, turmoil and uncertainty once that axial formation was completed in which the Dynasty played a central role. But the chaos is only a question of externals and does not correspond to the deeper levels of destiny; it exists because during the intervening years from Independence to the present, that ‘Indian Way’ did not take shape. At least to all appearances.
The interesting point to bear in mind is that a new way did indeed arise and come into evidence since 1875, utilising the Dynasty and other factors as tools for this new mechanism. In other words, with those existing tools the true Indian way did evolve, unknown to all. The discovery of this mechanism and its purpose and future role could only be unveiled after1971, when certain essential ingredients in the formula had been incorporated.
I have written extensively on thishidden aspect of India’s destiny – i.e., the precise formula whereby a new mechanism is seen to have been operating, albeit in camouflaged form, since 1875. But it has to be borne in mind that when a process is hidden, or is really one thing while pretending in this external, material dimension to be another, there is attendant damage, destruction, and at certain points chaos to be expected. Given the fact that the divine Shakti has to work through inappropriate forms, there must inevitably be an accompanying loss of power. The concentration of energy required to carry the movement forward is significantly reduced. This introduces gaps, as it were, where energy is siphoned off; the result is a diminishing, or destruction of some sort because the true form, consisting of a certain shape to contain a determined energy balance, is not en-countered on the material plane where destiny is played out. An example would be the form of the nation itself. In its higher destiny it has a certain shape, but on the ground that shape has been carved into and sections of the body of Bharat Mata have been cut out. The result is that in its spatial dimensions there is an inappropriate vessel and energy seeps out through these ‘gaps’.
The pulse of destiny
In spite of this insufficiency the initial work has been done and in a certain sense successfully completed. Various aforementioned ‘contingency plans’ have been set in motion at appropriate times to counterbalance the loss due to this inadequate political, social and even physical form.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is one such ‘plan’. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to observe that the organisation often appears to be at odds with the political establishment, and even its own offspring, the present government, since its role has been to serve as a means of keeping the nation on a certain track that is in harmony with its pulse of destiny. This pulse is only one, not many. And in this we note another difficulty.
When we repeat the refrain, Unity in Diversity, we must understand what unity means for this ancient land. We know what its diversity is, but few are aware of the true nature of unity for this ancient civilisation. It has to do with the fact that of all the nations on Earth only India can lay claim to an unbroken civilisational line from the very distant past to the present. This is part and parcel of the role India is to play in the contemporary global context. I shall elaborate this point more fully further on.
This being the case, the original pulse of destiny is still sounding in the civilisation’s inner dimensions of being and it can still be ‘heard’. All Indians, and I repeat all, can hear that pulse and learn that they are in tune with it and that it resonates in the hearts of all inhabitants of this land. It is the upholding foundation of the contemporary nation, just as it was in ancient times. This is the energy field that permeates the consciousness of Bharat Mata. To deny its existence, or to claim that this underlying, upholding field of a given pulsation is non-existent, or else that it has been altered or modified over the ages, is to demonstrate ignorance of the workings of the Time-Spirit. For had that ‘thread’ from the ancient past been broken somewhere along the line of Time, we could then agree that ‘something else’ had taken the place of the original Pulse. This not having been the case, wisdom demands that we must accept this true position and work with it and not against it, for to do so is simply to prolong the present confusion and to foster a society that is at odds with its truth of being. When such is the case, all citizens abiding within the consciousness of Bharat Mata, of whatever creed, caste and class must necessarily suffer.
Thus, when the present Sarsangchalak encourages all Indians to ‘join the mainstream’, he is in fact putting forth the same call: To find a harmony with this underlying and inalterable Pulse of Destiny that still today constitutes the nation’s upholding energy base.
The new unifying Language
I have demonstrated this cosmologically in all my written works. The point to be stressed is that cosmology is non-denominational, non-sectarian, and certainly not communal. The problem is that a new way is required, a new formulation that, while not denying the old, draws this discourse beyond the confines of these delimiting factors. When a new Age dawns, as Sri Aurobindo announced and cosmology confirms, it means that we have entered a transitional period and a new language must evolve to express more adequately the contemporary condition and demands. We know that the Vedic and Puranic Gods and Goddesses are expressions of cosmic energies. We must also realise that the cosmos is impersonal. Everything we know, every crystallisation of form is that same Energy, however we wish to label it. Indeed, ‘Truth (that Energy) is one, the wise know it by many names.’ Therefore, the new cosmology is simply a tool for drawing aside the veils covering that truth and rediscovering the original Pulse of the civilisation as the unifying factor of a common destiny.
It is perfectly proper for the Sarsangchalak to exhort all his fellow countrymen and women to accept this common heritage, not necessarily as Ram or Krishna and all the other cosmic Energies, but as an inherited Pulse of Destiny which, in an unbroken line of Time, unlike in any other civilisation, continues to uphold and to influence from its field of unity the contemporary diversity that forms this 21st century nation. We may ignore this fact; we may deny it; we may even make war against it. But none of this changes the reality that is Bharat and will ever remain Bharat for all its inhabitants.
Until 1989, the present Indian political structure was the channel for a meticulous and mathematical expression of that sacred Pulsation. Since then however, since the axis of the new India was forged and securely set in place, a period of turmoil seems to have ensued. It has continued until today and is likely to continue into the future. Unless, of course, other ‘forms’ come into being and the Time-Spirit is provided an adequate vessel for expressing that true Pulsation. The ostensible reason for this turmoil has been the collapse of single party rule. Coalition politics, after an initial upheaval attendant upon that collapse, seems now relatively stable. But this is simply a transitional period. Underlying the present calm is a power working to create new vessels, a new form of democratic process that will better express the nation’s unity in diversity. This is one of the sacred duties of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and kindred organisations.
The universal harmonies
There are certain rhythms in the universe that the ancients called the music of the spheres. These can be ‘heard’, listened to as one would listen to music. Carnatic music still bears a direct relation to those harmonies as perceived in ancient times. It is, in a sense, the celestial harmonies formu-lated in a manner that can permit a listener, from whatever social class or creed, to appreciate that same divine Melody. Music of this order is thus a means to extend a Sage’s vision or perception to the populace. Along with other cultural expressions, it is a binding element in the civilisation. For a civilisation to endure, and the Vedic is one of the very few to survive the passage of time, there has to be this cosmic connection, because in this way Time is an ally in the evolutionary progression as creator rather than destroyer.
Thus the need is to find a harmonisation with the Power that acts through channels inherent in the cosmic manifestation. It has various names but perhaps the best to describe its fullest properties is the Divine Shakti; or else, as in ancient times, the Divine Maya. This is the key to permanency and the ancients founded this civilisation on just such a principle.
By means of the same ancient science, renewed for the present, we can also locate a particular area on the globe that is especially receptive to the workings of this Power. These spatial configurations, if they are to embody a certain sacred quality, must also be harmonised with the power of Time. In so doing, that area acquires a special purpose in evolution, and because of its singular properties we can refer to it as the embodiment of the Mother, Bharat Mata. Further, due to this special harmonisation and integration of space as well as time, the land so described can be termed a centre, in the truest cosmological sense.
As with any circle there is one centre at the midpoint of its diameter; the circumscribing periphery is held together by the central Point. If we take the whole of the Earth with all its continents and the nations located on these continents, as the periphery, we observe that Bharat occupies the perfect centre for the circumscribing periphery due to these unique harmonising and integrating properties which make of it a centre. This places a special burden on a civilisation that happens to find itself in this position, particularly during this 9th Manifestation which began in 234 BC. Such a civilisation may be said to be ‘chosen’, but far from being a privileged circumstance, a very great responsibility lays upon the nation: the future of the entire evolutionary process hinges on that civilisation’s enduring wisdom.
Similar to a musical composition, the cosmic harmonies that connect the civilisation to the greater Harmony are based on a particular scale. In this 9th Manifestation the scale consists of nine notes; thus, 0 to 9. Each of these nine are tones, as it were. With certain keys at our disposal we can apply this scale to many areas of life and to many different activities, as well as the beginning of certain enterprises, or even the birth of an individual. Thus we apply the scale to the birth of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, for example, and read its destiny, or rather ‘hear’ its destiny, just as one would listen to a raga.
It is pertinent in this 75th anniversary of the Sangh to ‘listen’ to the harmony of its particular destiny and ‘hear’ what it might foretell. More important, it will be of interest to those who celebrate the occasion to learn in what way this 75th year might have more meaning than others, if indeed that is the case, and what that special meaning might be.
It needs to be stated at this point that in this assessment we are not employing a predictive science such as astrology. It is not a question of ‘seeing the future’, in the ordinary sense. Rather, through this Music of the Spheres one seeks to find a means of entry into the vast movement of the cosmos by finding the correct note we are meant to sound within the Harmony, be this individually or collectively, so that a true harmony emerges by our contribution. In other words, we wish to know the sacred formula that will enable us to contribute to an emerging cosmos, or divine Order, in a manner that least distorts that cosmic Theme.
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